MOVING PAST THE PAIN

Moving past pain can be a very difficult task. You are stuck with memories and desires to want to go back. You have been use to what is familiar and you don’t welcome change easily. Hold your head up because it is quite normal for you to feel this way. Letting go of someone you love isn’t easy rather it is due to breakup, divorce or death. That was your life for so long. It was so familiar. But now, it’s gone and you have to move on. Putting one leg in front of the other just to walk becomes a difficult task. Opening your eyes in the mornings can be a difficult task. If you could, you would rather lay in bed all day in a cool room with darkness. You eat too much or too little. Your heart weighs ten tons. Hurting is just what it is…..hurting. Sometimes, it will take you throwing yourself on the floor crying out to God for strength. Sometimes, it will take you calling out to God in your vehicle while tears stream down your face. Sometimes, it will take rushing to the restroom during your work breaks and crying out to God. Whatever it takes, to move past the pain, as long as God is in it, do it. Your tears aren’t a sign of weakness; they are a sign of strength because you desire to release the pain instead of holding it inside. God sees every one of your tears. God hears your cries. God knows your heart. Release all of that pain into His hands so He can help you move past the pain. Take one day at a time with Jesus, and it will get better. Allow Him to work in your life. Obsessing over memories and desires will only cause you to hurt more. It is like stabbing your own heart time and time again watching it bleed. Don’t do that to yourself. God wants to help you move past all of this. He will place people in your life to help you and you will know that they are God-sent. Draw closer to Him and He will draw closer to you. There is no other satisfying way to move past pain other than allowing the Lord to help and guide you. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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LIGHTEN THE LOAD IN YOUR BOAT

I picture a boat out in the sea. The boat is rowing along with passengers. This is your boat and you are paddling forward with a determination to make it safely to shore. The other passengers have paddles too, but they are not moving in the same direction in which you are. So the boat gets stagnant at times. The boat rocks viciously side to side at times. The boat even rows backwards at times. Can you picture all of that? Now, apply this to your life. The boat is your life. You have the desire to succeed in life or move forward to the shore. Your great destination is the shore. Then, you have passengers or a circle of people in your life who have motives or paddles. Some people are trying to help you move forward but some are not. Some people don’t want you to succeed. Some don’t want you to know happiness. Some try to pull you backwards. Are you feeling me on this? Some folks will row with you just to have an update on what you are doing so they can find a way to mess stuff up for you. This is truth.

Stop paddling for a second and check the passengers in the boat of your life. Check their paddles or their motives. If those paddles are not going in the same direction as yours, it may be time to lighten the load in your boat. If they are trying to pull you under then obviously, they can swim. Put them out in love! If they want to go backwards, put them out and let them swim backwards on their own. If they want to keep rocking the boat, put them out and let them rock by themselves in the water. If you have a vision or destination that you desire to make it to in life and it is GOOD, do know that you won’t be able to take everybody with you. That is why it is called YOUR VISION or YOUR DESTINATION. Everybody isn’t going to understand your journey so don’t expect them to. Everybody will not support it. Check the passengers in your boat. Check their paddles  or motives. The vision or destination is FORWARD, and if their paddling isn’t reflecting that, lighten the load in your boat! “Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh” (Philippians 3:2 NIV). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.

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SHE FOUND HERSELF IN THE LIGHT

…..And she found herself broken. Her heart and life was shattered into pieces. She felt worthless and like no one cared. She fell to her knees screaming in emotional pain. Minute by minute, she felt life escaping her body. She didn’t fight it. She laid on the floor in darkness feeling cold allowing life to escape from her.  She had no energy. She closed her eyes. She gave up.

                             …..Out of nowhere, a warm, bright light came shining through. The light was so warm. It felt like something was putting life back into her bit by bit. The light shined so brightly. It was almost like the light was speaking to her and telling her to get up. She felt energy. She began to stand up. Her heart felt lighter, like it was new. She looked down and seen all of the shattered pieces of her old heart on the ground.

…..The light called to her telling her to walk forward. She stood there looking at the shattered pieces on the floor. Then she looked around her at the darkness. The light beckoned to her again and she took a step forward. Then another step. She kept walking towards the light. Every step got stronger. She began to feel whole again. She saw her worth again.

…..She found herself in the light.

 -S.L.M.

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YOU CAN’T RUN FROM PAIN IF IT IS INSIDE OF YOU

I look back over my life and note how eminent I was for running from places where I was hurt. Every time I got my heart broke, rather is was self-inflicted or not, I would run. I wanted to move and start over. And I did just that….only to run into more pain. I ran from any or all that hurt me. I can admit this now – I WAS SO IMMATURE! I didn’t take the time to acknowledge that all I was doing was creating chains that were shackled to my feet. I didn’t take the time to realize that I was only stacking more pain up in my heart. My body was on the run by my mind and heart was still attached to these painful things. Running was never getting rid of the problems I was having. I was like a little dump truck hauling pain from place to place, only I was just making bigger piles! These piles were filling up my heart and mind with the wrong stuff. I transferred bitterness and insecurity into many friendships and relationships which caused them to fail. I was quick to blame the other person and didn’t want to admit that it was I who had issues. I had a fear of others talking down on me because of my own insecurities; but truthfully, some people could have care less about me! That is how PAIN will have you messed up!

I thank God for the gift of wisdom that I allowed me to open my eyes to what I was doing. God showed me that I couldn’t run from the PAIN going on inside of me. God opened my eyes to see that my body ran but my heart and mind was carrying the hurt along with me. In other words, my heart and mind was stuck in PAIN. God showed me that I was carrying PAIN to a new place in order to create MORE PAIN. And before long, my entire life was in a mess. I was a mess. My heart was a mess. My thoughts were a mess. All of me was just hurtful. I have always heard people say, “You can run but you can’t hide.” Well, allow me to tell you what this means to me. Yes, you can run from PAIN but if the PAIN is inside of you, you can’t hide from yourself! Your PAIN is going to come out sooner or later and it will come out in new beginnings you try to develop. Then, you will have more PAIN!

Until you face all that junk that you have going on inside you, new beginnings are bound to fail terribly. Until you face what is really eating at the core of you, misery will be your best friend. Until you acknowledge that you have to stop running from PAIN and confront it, you will never truly be happy. Stop running from the PAIN your heart and mind is in. If you continue to run, it will only grow. Call out to Jesus right where you are. Jesus wants us to be able to confront that pain we keep holding onto so we can experience complete healing.  In one of Joyce Meyer’s devotions, “Don’t Hide from Confrontation”, she wrote about Moses who, at forty years old, did something wrong. The Lord had a destiny for Moses. Moses was supposed to face Pharoah but instead, he fled and the Bible says he “went to live in Midian” (Exodus 2:15 NIV). So in other words, Moses ran! For the next forty years, Moses lived his life in a stagnant way. God had to step in and pull some things out of Moses before he could go back as a leader to the Israelites. With that being said, God can work those PAINFUL things out of you that hinders you from deliverance. Jesus will transform and bless you right in the midst of your PAIN. Be Blessed. –S.L.M.

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CREATING A HEALTHY BOUNDARY FOR YOURSELF

I am all for having conversations others. But there are just some conversations I don’t want to entertain. There are certain types of people I just don’t want to be around. In the past, I did. But I live in the present now and entertaining things that don’t add to my walk in Christ is something I no longer do. Now, if someone is having a problem in a certain area that is a bit touchy, I pray and ask God for wisdom so that I can offer positive advice. I don’t care to indulge in conversations that involve someone using explicit profanity, gossiping about others, talking sexually or trying to put me down. I don’t care to indulge in situations or conversations where others try to belittle or hurt me. I don’t care to indulge in situations or conversations where some may try to take my mindset off of Christ. I don’t care to indulge in situations or conversations where I am reminded of the person I used to be. These situations or conversations don’t add to me but subtract greatly from me.

I have been told that I just have to be strong around different types of people and I do understand that. I have much strength but, I simply have a boundary line. And there are certain types of people and conversations that I don’t care to indulge in. If what someone presents to me attempts to go beyond speaking and having a decent conversation, I have to shut it down. And this is creating a healthy boundary for myself. When a person attempts to go beyond that point, I call it crossing my boundary line. It is at that point that I must shut that conversation down. I must remind them of who I am NOW. And I am a Daughter of The King. I will talk as such. I will walk as such. And if they are offended by that, they will have to take that up with The King.  If one chooses to connect with me, one must accept and respect my boundaries. I just don’t care to entertain the company of those who are going nowhere, those who are constantly boasting, or those who only have money and sex on their minds.

I have drawn a boundary line in my life and this line is for my protection. I have come too far to be pulled back. You may be dealing with some people in your life who are dragging you down but you are afraid to say something but YOU MUST SAY SOMETHING! You don’t have to be ugly about it but let them know how you feel. Draw a boundary line when dealing with others. If they are not on the same level you are on, draw that line. Sometimes, you just have to say, “Hi” and “Bye.” Sometimes, you are strong enough to deal with such situations but you choose not to be around it. This doesn’t mean that you are weak. When it comes to your peace, joy and walk with God, you will have to set boundaries when dealing with others.  “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14 NIV). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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I LOVE YOU, DADDY!

I want to take time today and just give thanks to my earthly father, Pratus, for being there for me always. I can remember my dad taking me to get my favorite sausage biscuit with grape jelly from a local drive-thru in Columbus, Mississippi, then taking me to the babysitter. I can remember him bouncing me on his knees and playing with me. I was spoiled but not in a bad way. I got gifts but his presence was the best gift. I can remember sitting outside every day after school waiting for my dad to get off work. When I would see his work truck pulling in the yard, I would run to meet him. I was daddy’s little girl. As I grew up, I just remember my dad always being there. There came times when I disappointed him but my daddy was there. I had my first child at age seventeen but my dad didn’t turn his back on me. He never yelled but he did preach to me. If I had car problems, instead of him referring me to a car repair shop, he repaired my vehicles with his own time and sweat. He has always come through when I needed him the most. Even when I didn’t ask, he still gave. And he still does. My daddy’s presence in my life has been consistent. He never went days without talking to me. He has always checked up on me. He has never been selfish regarding me. It was my desire for my children to have the same kind of fathers but my choice in men messed that up. Even then, my dad still supported me never letting my kids go without anything. My dad is helping me raise all of my children. The same fatherly character he has practiced with me, he practices with my children as well. I am grateful for that. Because of my dad’s dedication, I learned the qualities a man should possess in regards to being a great man to me and a great father to my children. I thank my dad for his genuine love from the bottom of my soul. Although I am older now, I think in his eyes I will always be “his little girl.” I love you, Daddy. – S.L.M.

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WHEN YOUR DREAMS ARE SHATTERED

Making it to the destination of our beautiful dreams is what many of us long to make it to. But what happens when something suddenly occurs and within a blink of an eye, our dreams are shattered apart? I have been to this place so many times. I am writing to you from this place write now. So what do you do when your dreams are all of sudden shattered? The answer I finally embraced was that you gather all of the pieces of those broken dreams and you place them in the Hands of God. God takes those shattered pieces and transform them into something great. While He is transforming those pieces, He also begins a transformation in you. He takes your life and examines it. He begins breaking off or removing all that shouldn’t be there. Anything or anyone that hinders what He is about to give you, He removes. He begins a work in your heart removing all that shouldn’t be there. And God works in your mind taking out all negativity that shouldn’t be there. All you have to do is give it ALL to Him. This includes ALL OF YOU – your life, your heart, your body, your mind and your soul. Just give it ALL to Him. Shattered dreams sometimes shatter your life. It can leave you not knowing where to turn or where to begin again. Shattered dreams can cause you to feel lost. Give it ALL to God. And do know…It is OK. You can begin again. You can. I know you don’t know why your plans crumbled but God does. Did you ever stop to think that God wants something far greater for you? He loves you that much. He loves me that much. You have to trust God. I have to trust God. He knows what is best. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV).

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LET GOD HAVE THE LAST WORD

Have you ever been in a situation where you hurt someone and had to desire to explain your actions or the words in which you did or said AFTER a situation was over with, said and done? Perhaps the person didn’t want to hear it or maybe your words were twisted and the person made you look like a fool. And perhaps, you attempted to apologize again and explain from the heart but they didn’t care not one bit. I think we all experience these situations from time to time. Unfortunately, some people can’t feel what you are feeling. They won’t be able to label your apology or explanations as genuine. It’s life. And we all have to accept the decision of others. We may not like it. It may hurt. But we have to accept it. There are some situations in life where you must be silent, walk away and let God have the last word. You probably did meant to do that certain thing but you did. You probably didn’t mean to say those hurtful things but you did. And although you are genuinely sorry, many will not take it that way. Don’t try to force an apology; just let God have the last word. I have been there. I have jumped in my emotions. I have spoken and did things out of anger. God convicted me and I knew I needed to apologize. And when I did, the damage was already done. A concern for an apology wasn’t of any concern. This is what makes you feel and look like a fool. Once you have said that you are sorry and actually meant it, stop right there. Let it go and don’t pick the situation back up again. If you go back and pick it up, words will get thrown back and forth. Sometimes the explanation you desire to give will be like a boomerang and it will come back to hit you hard in the face. Let God have the last word. If something is over, let it be over. Don’t go back trying to explain anything because it’s over. Let God have the last word. Going back and trying to explain something is like taking a knife and pretty much stabbing your own self. You will cause your own self to bleed pain. Yes, people are difficult but that is not your problem; that is God’s problem. And He will fix it. In other words, God has the right to have the last word. When we give the last words, we mess things up really bad. “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue” (Proverbs 16:1 NIV).  Be Blessed.

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LOVE IN THE MIDST OF REBELLION

In high school, I never thought about working future jobs that I hated, having more than two children, not being happily married or getting my heart broke over and over again. My dreams, then, were the opposite. I wanted the happy job, the happy marriage, the two kids, and the house with the white picket fence, a decent vehicle and a dog. That was my dream. Somewhere in between graduating high school, going to college, and getting involved with guys too soon too deep, I dropped my dream. I went in a totally opposite direction in life. My mom had always instilled God in me. My mom kept me in church. I sang the hymns, participated in every church function, prayed, learned bible verses and did everything that involved church. And it was fun. My mom taught me right from wrong. She warned me of things. She did her part. Then, life happened. And I rebelled. And kept rebelling. I wasn’t loud with my rebellion; I was quiet and sneaky with it. But no matter how much trouble I got myself in, my parents never turned their backs on me. Yes, they were upset but they loved me still. And my mother prayed for me and she still prays for me today.

That is how we are. Many of us go to church and we participate. We have God in us and for a while, life goes smoothly. When it gets rough, we pray and endure. Then some of us start getting tired. Some of us get sidetracked. Some of us get mesmerized by the attractions and temptations of the world. Before long, we are walking into rebellion. When we walk into rebellion, we start feeling too tired to go to church. We don’t want to participate in church functions. We would rather find something else to keep us entertained. We begin to act differently and speak differently. We become slaves to the world. We get ourselves into all types of rough situations and trouble but God still loves us. God still calls out us. He doesn’t love us any less. Many will become wise enough to return to God. I did. And I am glad that I did. If you have rebelled against God and doing right, you still have a chance to return to God. Surrender to Him while you still have breath in your body. God’s way is the best way in life. Be Blessed.

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