Have you ever felt alone in the middle of a room full of a sea of people? The room is full to capacity with laughter and conversation. People are talking, catching up like old friends but no one is talking to you. You have a feeling of being out of place but yet you are called to be there. There are times in my life where I have been alone but people were around me. I felt that the people did not understand me or even like me but yet this is place that I have been called to serve. I have asked God how do I serve in a place when I feel so alone? How do you serve but yet you are in exile? This was hard for me I battled with my feelings of rejection, sadness and aloneness but yet I was called to serve and still held accountable to uphold the assignment.
The Bible tells us that to be a disciple that we have to take up our cross and follow after Jesus. In no way shape or form did Jesus say that following him would be easy. In fact He said that we would be persecuted for His sake and that tribulations would come but the good things is that Jesus has overcome the world. Meaning that everything that we face Jesus has overcome it for us. Jesus was exiled for a purpose when he went to the garden to pray the disciples went with him but yet he was alone because they could not even stay awake long enough to pray with him never mind pray for him. The cross was exiled the disciples left him during the hardest fight of his life but yet he endured because of the assignment he was called to. At His point of pain and despair He still had to serve. My friend just because you are in a place of exile right now the assignment does not stop. No my friend you have to push forward, wipe away the tears from your eyes and do the work.
What I learned during this time was that God was dealing with me about me. I had some problems it was not the place of serving it was I. I had to deal with old hurts and not infer my pain on those whom I served. I had to mature and realize that I am the vessel in which God has chosen to use for this time but if I didn’t get myself together I would miss out on the joy of serving with an grateful heart.
Beloved know that your purpose will always outweigh the trials. If you are feeling alone, maybe God has you in this place to work on you. Or he wants you to be in a place where it is just you and He alone in a room so that you can hear clear directions. There are some things in life that we may loose but know that God will always provide what is best for us and what is applicable to fulfill purpose. Sometimes we think we are loosing but we are actually gaining something beautiful. My friend please be encouraged and know that God has graced you to handle the exile. The time of exile is perfecting, establishing and making you better in order to fulfill purpose.
What do you do when life happens, when the unexpected pain and disappointment comes knocking at your door? The pain has invaded your space like an unwelcomed guest. What do you do when you try to get rid of the pain of disappointment but the ache lingers? How does one cope when life deals you a bad hand? Do you play the hand that you are dealt or throw in the towel? These are the questions that people face everyday so what do you do when life happens to you?
Last year my dad was diagnosed with cancer again. The cancer that we thought was in remission came back and this time he had to have surgery to remove it. We were told it would be a long surgery and recovery would take time. Needless to say I was nervous for my dad and our family began to pray. The day of the surgery came; it took 10 hours for the doctor to complete the surgery. The surgeon was ready to speak with mom, he stated the surgery went well and that he had removed the cancer that was awesome news. We waited to see my dad with anxious hearts it would take some time to get him in a room. Finally he was ready and settled in a room, when I walked in I put on a bold face but my heart sunk in my stomach. My big strong daddy, the one I always counted on, the one that in my eyes was stronger than life was hooked to machines, with a trach in his throat, he couldn’t talk. I wanted to cry. I wanted to run away because I did not want to see my dad like that but this is when he needed me the most. My dad needed me to be strong so I walked outside the room to get myself together. My cousin let me cry for a moment but only a moment because at the time I had to make a decision was I going to wallow in self-pity or trust God to heal my daddy. I chose the latter.
You see life can be difficult but you have to make the choice to overcome and walk in victory. When hard times come I have to remember that God has been my constant guide. His truth has led me through life challenges. You see there will always be challenges; we just have to know whom to turn to during the trial. The mistake that people make is turning away from God instead of turning to him. He is the one who keeps us during the hard times and the good times. I had to learn that when I am overwhelmed by life I turn to the rock that is higher than me. I hide in the safety of his presence, because in His presence I find strength, direction, peace and answers for my situation.
My friends when life happens stay close to God. Allow the truth of God to guide your heart and lead you in what to do. Remember God will never leave you nor forsake you but He will hold you close in His arms and work everything out for your good. God has a good plan for your life. Beloved life happens to the best of us, how will you handle it? I pray you handle it with grace and the assurance that God loves you and live through it.
p.s. My dad is doing very well. He has some rough days but all in all God has given him the grace to make it.
Inconsistent is the word that resonates in me when I think about certain parts of my life. Inconsistency has been my constant friend. Inconsistency has been apart of my life for a long time. For a time I thought it was okay to change my mind whenever the wind blew. Not committing to anything for a long period of time because I wanted to be free or I was bored with that particular subject so I stopped. It was probably about a year or so ago that I looked at my life and saw that Teresa you do not complete things. I am good at starting but very inconsistent about finishing. Y’all this is not a good character trait. You see I always find something that I like and I start strong but before you know it something else would catch my eye and you guessed it I would not finish the first thing that I started. People you talk about crazy. One day I came to myself and realized that this was not good for me. So I begin to ask God to help be consistent, to not find something else interesting before I finished what I originally started. I purposed in my heart and mind to finish one thing before I began another. I had to make up my mind to become consistent
Let me tell you if you are going to do anything in this life you have to make up your mind to change. Change begins when you make up in your mind that you want to change and then put effort behind the motivation to change. When you do something for so long it takes time to change bad habits. This is why Paul admonishes us in Romans to renew our minds. By renewing your mind you take what was old thinking and replace it with the truth. The truth is, it is not good for me to not finish things because it shows a lack of commitment and self-control. So I had to renew my mind to become committed to finish what I start.
Beloved God has given you the grace to finish what you start. You do not have to settle for defeat. You just have to make up in your mind that you will do what God has purposed for you to do. Make up in your mind that you will honor God regardless of the circumstance. Do not settle for anything less than God’s very best for you. Remember you have been given the GRACE to prosper and push through whatever obstacle that comes your way. Make up your mind to change.
Wow!! 2016 swept by so quickly with all of its ups and downs. The good and the bad 2016 have left us and now we are embracing the start of the New Year. I have heard the saying usually at the beginning of the year, mostly in weight loss commercials “New Year, a new you.” That sounds really good right a new year, a new you, after we have eaten all through the holidays from candy, cakes to turkey and gravy, yams and, momma’s cheesy baked macaroni and cheese (delicious) and now that all of the goodness is over it is time to shed away the fat to become a new you. Is it just that simple at the change of the calendar you become a new person? Is it really a new year and a new you or is it really the same you but a different day?
So many times I have made resolutions at the beginning of the year to only fail. The year begins with such high momentum but to only find by February or March I am deflated. The air has left me so that I do not even scratch the surface of change. How many of us do that? We have good intentions but no action behind those intentions. I believe that I never reached my goals or resolutions because there was no real, sincere action taken. It was almost like wishing on a star hoping for a miracle to suddenly happen that would change my life. Now I do believe in miracles but I also know that nothing will change in me until I actually do something. I have learned that if I want a new me then there must be a change within. I cannot expect my life to be better when I continue to do the things that are not healthy for me. If I want to loose weight then I have to make healthy choices and exercise. I cannot expect the weight to just fall off without doing something about it. If I want a better relationship with God then I have to spend time with him. Change happens when you do something. In this blog series I will hope to help you and myself really become a NEW YOU, to shed away the bad habits and mind sets that kept us stagnant in 2016. 2017 we will set attainable, measurable goals and complete what God has purposed in our hearts to do. So come with me on this journey to becoming a better YOU, the YOU that your heavenly Father has destined you to be.
So what does this look like? The first step in change is making up your mind that you want change. You must become resolved or committed to change. Let me just say when you are use to do something one way for 20 plus years you have built habits that will not change overnight. I am not asking for perfection you may go back and eat that donut at 12 in the morning and that is okay just do not stop but stick with the process. Make up in your mind that you really want change and make the necessary steps to achieve your goals. Remember to always commit your plans to God and He will direct you every step of the way. So this week I want you to become resolved to change, pray and seek God for an attainable plan and execute it. It is not too late to start becoming a better YOU!!!! Okay Grace family lets do it.