Tag Archives: sacrifice

Passion Week – Fasting and Prayer: My Time with God

wpid-textgram_1397469720.pngOur church fast officially begins now as we enter Passion Week. and includes no social media 6am to 6pm or not at all. Saturday, i began preparation of my heart and mind in advance to fast and pray. I will be taking a break from social media. My sacrifice: no social media until 4/20. Please keep me in your prayers. I will pray for you too.

#GodBless -JD

Daniel 9:3 Then I turned to the Lord God and prayed and asked him for help. To show my sadness, I fasted, put on rough cloth, and sat in ashes.(NCV)

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Fasting and Prayer, Transformation; Divine Manifestation!

Matthew 6Fasting and prayer has become a monthly personal devotion for me but in the past sixteen days I participated in my church’s fast with purpose, discipline, sacrifice, and prayer to God seeking transformation, a renewed spirit, and growth. Yesterday was the last day of the fast.

Before I went to bed last night I positioned myself to indulge in sweets and meats as soon as the fast ended. I put a box of Junior Mints on my bed and knew which meat I was gonna eat at 12:01 am. However, I slept through the night, woke this morning and didn’t have a desire for any of it.

I prayed daily making my requests known to God. I may not have seen immediate results of my prayers during the fast but in my obedience, not my sacrifice, I still worshipped God. I learned fasting not only disciplines but it cleanses and removes the desire of a want for what we believe we need when in actuality we don’t. It is just a want.

We sacrifice. We are obedient. But somewhere during all that, we change. I call it growth. We become familiar with the unfamiliar where God moves us from comfortable and complacency out of our comfort zone to growth and transformation. It is what he calls us to do; grow.

Prayers may not yet have been answered and immediate results may not yet have occurred but are already taking place in the spiritual realm. Spiritually, inside we change. We grow. We draw closer to God. Amazing!

Some things will not go out by prayer alone but by fasting and prayer. You may not see change immediately, but something is already happening spiritually. And the breakthrough will not happen until God knows you’re ready for it. It’s coming. Thank you Jesus!

Now I’m ready for what’s next. Transformation before elevation. I hope you are too. Growth. This is what fasting and prayer will do for you.

Fasting and prayer, Transformation; Divine Manifestation!

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 6:17-18 “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (ESV)

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Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

wpid-textgram_1389895655.pngOne of the hardest things as a Christian is to overcome evil intentions of others with kindness and humility. We can’t let it get to us or make the decision to be unloving to others as a result of unforgiveness. We must not give in to the enemy’s devious plan. Pray for them. Stand.

Some people think Christians are infallible and not human too. We may minister but sometimes we need someone to minister to us too. I’m not perfect, nor you. We make mistakes and lose focus even when we know we’re not supposed to.

People will hurt and sin against us. And we may sin against them too. What will make the difference are the choices we make after we’ve done what we were not supposed to do. Either we will choose to stay in it and do as the evildoer do. Or we will choose to repent, seek forgiveness, and do what we know God is calling us to do.

We may stumble but mustn’t live a lifestyle of unrepentant sin. As a believer, we are to be consistent in how we choose to live. There’s a level of comfort we may become accustomed to and will stay in it thinking it’s enough. God will take us out of our comfort zone because he has our best interest at heart.

We can’t live with regrets. We must not focus on what we should have or could have done living with regrets. Ask God for forgiveness. Work to do better so that when the time comes. You know it was by God’s grace you were able to overcome. Our God is gracious, merciful, forgiving. God promises in his word our sins have already been forgiven. Forgive those who have sinned against you. Forgive yourself. God will forgive you.

We must focus on the here and right now. If you don’t know how, ask God to show you how. When you pray and think God is not listening because things didn’t turn out as you wished. Hold on. God hears the prayers of the righteous. Pray and not only ask God to show you what to do, but be willing to sacrifice and make it a priority to do exactly what he instructs you to do. No matter what, God’s Will will be done. Seek God. Let His will, not your will, be done.

When you’re born of God, you will choose not to make a practice of sinning. You’re saved and not just pretending. Change your mindset. Reach new heights in God. When he presents opportunities to elevate you, be open. Come out of your comfort zone.

Do self-examination in times of testing when the enemy plans an attack against you. See if Jesus Christ is in you. Test yourself to see if you’re saved. Test whether you are in the faith. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Co 13:5)

No matter what people may do to you. Or how right they think they may when sinning against God or trying to hurt you. Look to God for the answer. Follow his example. Abide in Christ, and he abide in you. Without him, you cannot bear fruit. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Be blessed! -JD

Ephesians 1:17-18 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (NIV)

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Mothers whoever you are and Children Too, This One is For You

Be careful how you treat your mother because there will come a day when she will not be on this side of heaven. But will be taken up to glory with God on the other side of heaven. You won’t be able to say “I love you” or call or text her or pass her in the wind. Once she’s gone, she’s gone. It will be the end. Cherish your mother. Tell her you love her if not always, every now and then. Appreciate her while she’s here. Because once the memory fades there is no fixing what you failed to appreciate while she was here.

I know this is a long post and I apologize for the lengthy thought, but this has been on my heart for a few days and I couldn’t help but share my thoughts.

My heart is heavy laden. I’m confused with children of today. God I know you sent mothers and fathers as gifts and deemed us salt of the earth. So are our children too. But I don’t understand why they do what they do. Sometimes they are in extreme opposition to your opinions and no matter what you do, will place blame on any or everything you do.

When they’re young, we look at them in admiration wishing they would hurry and walk, talk, and grow as we embrace them. Our hearts are overjoyed with this precious life you have given. We come to the conclusion there is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. We make sure there are clothes on their backs, shoes on their feet, a roof over their head, and food to eat. We will go to the ends of the earth and in most cases lay down our life for them. We are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

We watch them grow over the years as they become adults. We want nothing but the best for them and try our best not to place fault, when things don’t turn out as they want. We stay on our knees in prayer asking you cover them because we want to prepare them for what’s to come. Since we already know what life will throw at them; which will make it that much more difficult to overcome. We cast all our cares upon you concerning them. We know because of your love for each of us, you will protect, guide, and keep them.

We must be careful how we treat our mother. She is a gift from God. There is no need to put blame on everything she does. But choose not to place the same blame on others regardless of what he or she does. This includes the things you do. Because it feels like you are competing with your past and want to prove a point to them and you. Ask yourself, how can everything be wrong with her but there’s nothing wrong with me? When you’re on the outside looking in, you cannot grasp the wrong in things you are doing or take the time to see. But if it is pointed out to you, learn to accept constructive criticism when you’re told of the wrong things you do.

God help me understand, who are these children we profess to love but feel they can’t show the same appreciation or love towards us? Why does it have to be a constant battle between us? What happens when you live each day and pass each other in the wind? You only feel the need to talk or call when you need something. When she calls you don’t answer. Time passes by you text, and they still don’t answer. But can find time to talk to others whether it’s a sister, brother, or a friend. But why is it you choose not to answer the phone most of the time for her? This is confusing.

There are events you take part in that take precedence in your life. But can’t find a moment to call out of the blue and say “I love you” or make the sacrifice. You make it clear no calls can be received at work. But when something requires your attention during this time, you make the sacrifice to get calls at work to make sure everything is fine. Everything has to fit in your schedule according to your plans. But remember, your plans are not God’s plans. God knows and see all you do. And one day when it’s too late, you will reap what you sow all because of you.

Don’t get me wrong, granted there are some good times you share with your children and will cherish the memory. Not every child will do these things even though some will choose to live in misery. There are some children who will go through some things and you will do your best to be there for all of them. There may be one child who you know loves you unconditionally. Every time you speak or hear from them, they will tell you “Mom I love you.” It’s comforting. Mothers are a gift from God. They are treasured memories. I just have to wonder why it is so hard for children to embrace this.

Yes, I confess I have faults. There are some things I don’t always get right. But I can admit my faults and humbly submit to God’s will as I make the sacrifice to make things right. There are times I can be stubborn and will block my own blessing. Yet, when I get angry and choose to refuse help it’s because I feel uncomfortable when I may feel your reaction was unnecessary. When I feel someone is doing something not out of love but out of obligation. I make the decision to refuse help without hesitation. I know it is not the right thing to do. God, please be patient with me. I am working on this too.

In this life, we all have had jobs that either was hard or satisfying. At some point, we enjoyed what we were doing or gave up trying. And sometimes we are given the choice to walk away from it if it is not fulfilling. Or we will keep at it to find success because it is fulfilling. But I find one of the most astute occupations for anyone is being a parent. And I can attest to the fact that the role we are given can be the hardest job ever. It can be even more difficult when children grow up and seem to have various opinions that are in conflict with yours. You chalk it up as a lesson learned. And although some parents will choose to walk away, for others it is not a choice we make. We make the decision to stay.

We age and with aging many things will change. Our body tells us some things aren’t going to operate the same. As believers, we live and we learn. When we come to know God, as we grow and mature we take stride in adapting to changes from lessons we learn. Sometimes we learn hard lessons and decide we don’t want to ever do that again. And then there are times we keep doing the same things over and over again. We fail to learn and get stuck in our old ways. We have trouble adapting and accepting change.

If you think about it, children who grow up will endure the same process. But they may have even a much harder time accepting why we change in the process. Granted they too can get stuck in their ways, but why it is they think it’s acceptable, whether young or old, to do what you used to do and not what you say.

What happened to the old days when children used to say, “Yes ma’am, no sir, excuse me ma’am, how are you today?” What about the times when you made sure a moment didn’t go by without calling Mom or Dad just to say, “I love you” not just today but every day. What about a phone call here or there just to check up on their well-being? Nowadays its cell phones with the option to ignore calls, which I find meaningless. And you can sense when this happens when it goes to voicemail. Or text messages you receive only when they need a favor. Or they tell you, “You have a phone just as I do. Why do I always have to be the one to call you?’ Or “I’m busy, don’t call me at work but you can call me later.” Yet, if something arises at work that they need to get done, they will call you sooner rather than later.

Respect, where did it go? Sadly, it has gone out the window. The only thing we can do is accept what God presents to us in that circumstance and be thankful for the blessing. From the test, learn the lesson. My advice, take this lesson with you. And remember this in all you do. God requires you obey your parents while you are under their care, but it is your responsibility to honor your parents for life. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Eph 6:1-3). This is God’s promise.

Mothers whoever you are and children too, this one is for you. Remember, God loves each and every one of you.

Be blessed! -JD

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (NIV)

20:12 notes:  “This is the first commandment with a promise attached. What does it mean to “honor” parents? Partly, it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). It means following their teaching and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them.”

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To My Father on Father’s Day

Dad, I called you this morning.
I thought of you today.
I think of you often even though you are far away.
As I do every day, not just on Father’s Day.
Every day I wonder how you’re doing.
I pray for you every day.

We may be miles apart.
I may not see you much.
But I know I can depend on you when life gets tough.
I love you. Nothing can ever take your place.
In my heart you always will have a special place.

I may have been raised by my mother as a single parent years down the line.
But nothing will ever replace the love I have for you.
When I called you were there, right on time.
You’ve been there for me through the good and bad.
You taught me things I could not have learned from my mother but only from my Dad.

I remember when I graduated from college twice you weren’t one to fly.
But you were the first one to walk off the plane full of joy and pride.
At my graduation words could not express how proud you were of me.
As you stood in the aisle, with a smile on your face, and blocked the view
Of others who couldn’t see.

You are my role model.
You taught me how to be strong.
You taught me the importance of education.
And assured me I didn’t have to fit in to belong.

You always told me to keep my “eyes on the prize”
To make decisions not based on ignorance, but to be strong and wise
When I found trouble lurking, your words motivated me.
You are intelligent.
You were driven and a hard-worker.
You inspired me.

You taught me the value of life.
You instilled encouragement and inspiration.
You cemented in me the value of obedience and dedication.
You were one-half of another person God sent, my mother, who gave me life.
I thank you both in admiration for your sacrifice.

You told me to be the best I could be.
In essence, I am a replica of you, a “mini-me.”
I’m thankful you taught me how to appreciate who I am and be me.
I’m fearless, confident, smart, and intelligent.
These are some of the things I have you to thank for it.

You’re my …..             Friend, a father, a foe who set the foundation for many things
You’re       …..              Audacious, not afraid of anything
I hold on to  ….           Treasured memories that stood the test of time
My   ………….               Heart will always belong to you until the end of time
I appreciate ….           Everything you do
I honor this day in… Remembrance of you

Happy Father’s Day Dad! I love you.

Signed,

Your daughter

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What Does It Mean To Be A Mother?

My mom asked me the other day, “What does it mean to be a mother?” I didn’t have a word to say. I couldn’t answer.

My response was “Dead silence on the other end of the telephone.” I couldn’t think of an answer because I was in a zone. I was tired and sleepy but after I hung up. I started thinking and here is what I came up with as an afterthought. But before I enlighten you, I must say this to you. The words I share below is what I’m reminded of what I learned from my mother. “What it means to be a mother.”

“Being a mother is “unspeakable” joy. It is a special gift and a blessing from God above. It is being chosen by God. His love is unconditional. It means knowing you are loved. You will fulfill the plan he designed for you. To raise the children he’s gifted to you. His grace and mercy will carry you through. It is God’s favor upon you.

Being a mother means having a humble spirit. Humble yourself and not get weary. For, if you faint not in due season you will reap a reward. It’s all God!

It means to show love and patience to your children. And teach them the goodness about God our Father. It is to prepare them for what’s to come. To teach them God’s Word that will help them overcome. It is to grow in grace. No matter the obstacles you may face. God will give you wisdom and knowledge to fulfill your role.  To be the best mother you can be as you travel the “motherhood” road.

Being a mother is to know when you tell your children this, they are assured of this: God is there for you. No matter what you may go through. Carry these words of wisdom with you. “The road may get rough and the going may get tough. And the hills may be hard to climb. But I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice. No greater love will I ever find.

Carry these words in your heart. And from it, never depart. Bless the Lord at all times. Let his praise continuously be in your mouth. His love is true love. He loves you without a doubt.”

After reflecting on this, I couldn’t help but think of my mother and the life she blessed me with. As I am led to say this:

Being a mother can mean many things. But the one thing that came to mind, where I didn’t think twice, one certain quality that exemplifies my mother…“Sacrifice.”

It is to make the sacrifice to raise our children that will go beyond what we do for ourselves. Knowing they are helpless and cannot care for themselves. In time we will wonder how could we ever depart from this being God sent as a blessing? When we are given an opportunity to learn and teach them godly lessons.

We are kind, loving, generous, and unselfish. We are selfless and full of compassion. Our love is unconditional. No strings attached. We are passionate and affectionate. We nurture. We do our best to be a role model. In order that our children may live lives free of worry and drama.

We love our children more than anything in life. No matter the cost or sacrifice. We will go to the ends of the earth and lay down our life for them. We will do the best we can to protect them. We will not allow anyone to bring harm to them. If someone tries to hurt our child, we will stop the enemy in his tracks. We will go out of our way to let them know we got their back. With God, we will make sure their needs are met. And will be confident he will handle it.

We will put our lives on hold so that we are available, no matter the reason. We will embrace the precious life God has given us, no matter the time or season. The love we have for our children will be etched in our hearts. They are one part; of two human beings. They will bring new life and new meaning. We can’t imagine life without them.

Being a mother means we will wear many hats. That will serve a different purpose in many aspects. We will guard our children’s feelings and teach them to be wise. We will guide their footsteps in every decision that may be unwise. We will instill the love of God in their hearts. That they may grow up and never depart. From his Word or what they have been taught.

Yes, we may have imperfections and have made some mistakes. We have and will fail you on occasion. But we want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. As we try our best to guide and lead you. So you may avoid what we’ve been through. We may set standards that may provoke you from time to time. With bitterness and anger, even rebellion when you fall out of line. But we do this only because we want what’s best for you. We love you.

It is our responsibility to help shape and mold you into honorable human beings God designed you to be. That you may grow up to have good character, sound moral judgment, respect, and dignity. And you may have strong values and integrity.

What does it mean to be a mother? Simply put. It is love, wisdom, and the sacrifice of our life, that our children may have a better life. God placed us in your life that we may be a blessing to lead and guide you. To the life God has designed for you. That will lead to your destiny. Thank God for the blessing.

Mothers are special. They are a treasured memory. Honor, respect, and cherish the memories. No matter what you’ve been through. God sent them as angels to guide and keep watch over you. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day to honor your mother. Let everyday be a day you tell them that you love them. Mothers are one of God’s greatest gifts. Love them with all your heart. Handle your Mother with tender loving care. Keep her close and near to your heart.

Be blessed! -JD

Proverbs 31:26 “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

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We Are The Salt Of The Earth

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. We only want what’s best for our children in all they do. We are the angels God gave to you. We would risk our lives just so that they may have a better life. We would if we could, take away all their strife. If we could, we would do everything for them so that they may not fail. But we know this is not what God expects from us for them, as his love will prevail.

The love we have for our children is undeniable. It shows in the lessons we try to teach them. Oftentimes we have to move ourselves out of the way. In order, that they may find their way. Even if it means sacrificing ourselves in humility, we are to honor God in bringing tranquility. A peace that will surpass all understanding with the hope they get an understanding. Of the life God desires they live. In all their ways and the manner in which they give… to others freely and unselfishly…. a life filled with humbleness and humility.

It doesn’t mean we don’t love them because a mother’s love is a treasured memory. It is a gem. However, what we mustn’t do is stop praying for them.

We must continue to pray that God will manifest through their circumstances and they gain an understanding. That he is the one who gives them unlimited chances. At some point, through trials and testing they will either recognize the divine nature of God. Or they will continue to live a life filled with hopelessness and void.

God’s presence is with us every day. He desires we work to do things his way. He provides guidance and direction in his Word. Your dream will not be deferred. Children must understand God also use us to instruct, nurture, refine, and guide you. But as parents, there’s only so much we can do. We have to surrender our will to God in order that he may do his work through you.

We desire the best, just as he. But sometimes we have to let things be. We do our best to use God’s Word with the desire to bring encouragement, hope, and inspiration. Only in preparation… of this thing we call life. That will guide you through a life that may be easier for you. If only you knew.

We can’t keep driving the same words in the hopes you will listen and take heed. We can’t keep saying, “God is not pleased…” with the things you continue to do. We must release our cares unto Him and let him do what he knows is best for you.

One day children who become adults will be required to seek God’s grace on their own. Or continue to live life alone. Not physically but spiritually. It will take a great level of wisdom and maturity.

As we grow older we mature. As we mature we’re supposed to change. The possibilities are limitless where there is no range. However, in order to change we must be open to it. Use of wise spiritual or mature counsel is a part of it. Godly counsel also will be of benefit.

Guidance and motherly advice verses control and motherly opinion differs. On so many levels but will make a difference. We can give our children all the advice in the world but ultimately it is up to them to choose their own path. Or in the end they will eventually experience God’s wrath.

We pray our children follow the path God has set before them. That they may hear to convict the heart and not condemn. Psalm 23 is my prayer every day. For it confirms God has prepared the way. He is our shepherd. We are the sheep. God will guide the meek.

When children choose to not listen to us or God, ultimately he will send a clear message that will not be void… of the consequence they will pay. For the life they have chosen to live anyway.

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. As you become adults, please be wise and listen to the voice of God to lead you. Listen to your heart and not your head when it concerns your parents. Honor and respect them as taught. It is inherent. Children, you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth too. Let the Word of God guide you.

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 5:13 – 14 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

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Do We Live Just to Die?

Life is a vapor. It’s not given freely. It’s not an entitlement nor should it be taken for granted. It’s a privilege.

Be grateful. Give thanks every day. Be a blessing to others on your way. You don’t know what others are going through or when life will end for you. Thank God each day you rise. No matter what life looks like in your present state of mind.

Suffering takes place in our lives to mold and shape us into the person God designed us to be. Yet, to suffer is painful regardless what form it comes in. Therefore, we should not trivialize its significance or the impact it has on one’s life. Consciousness and consideration of a person’s struggle must be a daily sacrifice. Because you never know when the day will come that your life will change and you will be one… of those people.

I can remember a time in my life when I used to tell myself if I were diagnosed with a deadly disease, I would be able to handle it based on the amount of suffering I have endured. While at the same time, adopting the wrong attitude saying things like, “It is what is and what will be, will be.” I had come to a point in my life where I believed in my own “false” reality.

Unconsciously letting words come out my mouth in haste. I would openly express it this way, “We all have to die from something one day. Don’t take to heart what you can’t change.” As if that wasn’t enough, I would go on to say, “I am going to keep doing me. And whatever happens when I die let it be. It’s all a part of life.” My thoughts: “Trivial matters of death.”

But one day here recently, that all changed. After watching one of my favorite shows, Private Practice, the other night, my entire perspective took a dramatic turn to the point where it scared me. It put fear in my heart that made me rethink my position.

Two of the characters were diagnosed with cancer; both were receiving radiation treatment but one was terminally ill. I was in tears. I couldn’t help but think of myself and this nonchalant, indignant attitude I had taken towards the detriment of my own life. I cried and couldn’t sleep all night.

I woke the next day, and for a long time, I was in deep thought about life; mine in particular and really wondered how I would handle it if I were told I had cancer or any other condition that would render me terminally ill. Better yet, what would I do if the conditions I now suffer with would contribute to my demise? I didn’t know but what it caused me to do was take a different approach.

I began to do a self-evaluation. Upon reflection of my life and the decisions I made, I asked myself, “What was it that made me feel this way? What would possess me to believe it is okay, to think death is that simple or not take into account the seriousness of it. Nor was it becoming of me to take a nonchalant attitude when saying things like, “life happens and we all will die.” Again, I had to ask myself, “Why?”

I thought, maybe one of the reasons could be that my heart was hardened towards people in need, no matter how sick or damaged they seemed. I had to take a hard look at myself. Realizing I needed help. For years I found it easy to be this way…until one day…. my life changed.

So often we take things for granted when selfishly putting our needs before others. We believe when we’re well and able to take care of ourselves, we think life’s good. It’s okay. Outside of every day struggles; we believe it is normal.

Never realizing what would happen if in a split second life changed under no control of your own. And all that you had was taken away. What would life be to you that day? What if you were to lose things that mattered most to you? Things not limited but would include your strength, your sanity, your health, your worldly possessions, your self-esteem, and your dignity. How would you handle life then? It prompted me to reflect and think on these things:

Too often we go through life blindly. Never once realizing what is given to us doesn’t come free. Life is a gift but we fail to cherish it. And why some of us fail miserably at handling it.

We don’t take into account the impact failure brings until we are faced with having to deal extensively with the storm after the rain. We call it the aftermath, coupled with severe effects. At which time will have a greater impact than what we are accustomed to; our physical well-being, our mind-set, and our attitude. I know. It happened to me. My heart became hardened because of things I refused to see.

I thought I was exempt. I lived carefree. Nothing bothered me. I was insensitive to the plight of others, uncompassionate to those who suffered. And inconsiderate to many who I thought was over exaggerating the seriousness of their situation because they sought attention.

I never once thought I had a problem. I blamed it on the world and everyone else; failing to take a look in the mirror at myself. It revealed what my life showed. A person filled with emptiness and void; and cared less about others. I had become an insensitive, rude, and uncompassionate individual who spent two-thirds of a lifetime living in contempt. I lived life on a whim. Never taking seriously how my life would end.

My attitude wasn’t that great either. Thought it all was about me. I couldn’t understand why life was so unfair. Never looking outside of myself each time I focused on my circumstances and encountered despair. Although I suffered from many ailments that clearly were not my fault. I blamed the world for the hand I had been dealt.

As intelligent as I was, for the life of me, I couldn’t grasp the depth of its reality. I didn’t want to understand but instead wanted to feel sorry for myself. And I looked for pity and validation from others when seeking help. Regardless of the fact what they knew about me, I wanted them to feel sorry for me. To make matters worse, this was my mind-set too. I believed my life was doomed.

My thought process led me to believe my own “false” truth. I felt, on my own, I could endure anything. I was invincible, regardless what diagnosis the doctor would bring. I believed in myself; selfish me. I believed I would manage even in my weakest moments mentally. I failed to deny anything my mind would tell me. Although pain was my middle name, I felt I could get through anything… sinful pride. Foolish was I.

And to think, God takes care of babies and fools. God, I thank you. For leading me to the very things you needed to show me. Albeit, the journey I traveled was not easy. I made a lot of mistakes. There were too many priorities. And I took for granted the life you gave to me. Along with underestimation of death, thinking it was okay to not fret, over how I would die.

It was not until after I traveled one long and hard journey filled with agony, pain, heartbreak, disappointment, and defeat that I began to see things and people differently. My heart changed. My consciousness and mental awareness changed too. There was something else I needed to do. I needed to be held accountable for the lack of sincerity I had shown. I had to change what I had done.

God began a great work in me, revealing things outside of my “false” reality. He revealed and told me, “This is not about you, but about me.” I needed to give him glory in spite of what was taken from me; a life of luxury I thought was necessary to complete me.

It was amazing. I can’t even explain. I found purpose to live again. I found myself searching for answers to the missing pieces of the puzzle. Things began to manifest within each circumstance I faced. I would find myself meeting people in different places. That either was in the same position I was or were worse off than me. Each experience I encountered taught humility.

I began to concentrate and focus extensively on God. I started looking for the lesson to be learned. I started reading the Word every day. I would meditate. In pursuit of intimacy with Him, I wanted to know more about God. I wanted to be clear on the things he desired from me. So that I could live the life he set before me.

With my heart open wide, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I developed genuine compassion for others with God’s help. I learned about God’s ways which taught me how to be considerate towards those in need. I cherished the relationships God sent to me.

No longer was I bound by selfish, careless thoughts of why it was necessary to live just to die. I no longer had to ask myself why. I developed a new attitude with plenty of gratitude. I found a new passion for people in pain. Not because of what I went through but because my heart changed. I became diligent in my efforts as an advocate for change.

I believed it was not fair to discount the seriousness of what others are going through. Even if on the outside they look well to you. Many of us suffer in different ways. Whether it’s mentally, physically, or spiritually we all live with some type of pain.

We should not question the suffering of others just because they look okay or because their issue may not be as serious as the next person. We must learn to be considerate of their feelings and have compassion if we profess to be Christians. We must have the love of God in our hearts as God teaches us to love one another. We must have love for all our sisters and brothers.

The road I’ve traveled taught me many things, but the thing I’m most grateful for, is  I won’t ever say this again, “If I’m diagnosed, it’s not on me. It’s on you.” I won’t be insensitive to what others are going through.

Although my life isn’t what I hoped it would be. I won’t ever take life for granted or the seriousness of any condition that ails others; even me. I won’t ever be inconsiderate of the suffering of others. I will cherish life and the opportunity God has blessed me to be a part of.

We don’t know the day or the hour. It is not for us to say when. It is not in our power. We cannot predict the end.  Only God determines it. We must make sure we’re ready when it comes. Our living while here on earth must be a reflection of not who we are, but what we’ve done… to please God.

I’m blessed because my experiences led me, ultimately to the purpose God prepared for me. It became the catalyst which I found God and re-established my relationship with him. And for that I am so thankful. Without God, I would be nothing. My world now revolves around him.

I realize my life must now be a reflection of the life I now live for God. For, I AM an ambassador of Christ. I will work to honor him in spite of strife. His agenda is my agenda. The spirit of the Lord is upon me. I will walk with integrity. I will live to please God through all humanity.

2 Corinthians 5:20 “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.”

I won’t ever make the mistake and presume it is okay to be indifferent, selfish, and self-centered when it comes to others. I will have the love of God in my heart for my sisters and brothers. I will make it my goal to move myself out of the way. I will center on selflessness every day.

While it is true we all will die one day. Don’t let it take away the reason God wakes you every day. The issue must not be that we will die. But the manner in which we lived should the truth lie. Be cognizant of how you treat others and what you choose to do. For the life you choose to live will be a reflection of you. The life you live, to some degree. Could very well determine the way you will leave… this earth.

Ezekial 36:26-27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

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