It’s been a year….
OK, maybe it’s been a few years or a few decades of struggles masked by smiles.
But Maker is faithful to sculpt scarred hearts surrendered to Him into resilient masterpieces.
As I prepare to close this chapter in Atlanta – I am so thankful for the healing that has happened here over the past year-and-a-half.
I am especially thankful for those my Maker has surrounded me with in this season to help the healing happen…. Just to name a few: my North Springs United Methodist Church family – especially the Celebrate Recovery group there, my incredible colleagues who became fast friends at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, my warm and welcoming neighbors here on The Hill ATL, and Hector Pereles at New Living Counseling…. Not to mention the faithful friends and family who have covered me with encouragement and prayers from across the country.
I am so very grateful and more adamant than ever when I say “Don’t do life alone”.
I really don’t think I would have survived had I not reached out for help.
#MyStorysNotOver because it’s part of an #EternalStory. AΩ; #AlphaOmegaSemicolon #SuicidePrevention #Hope #Healing #AbuseSurvivor #CodependencyRecovery #HealingContinues #HealingCommunities
As we enter into this holiday season – here’s a little wisdom from A Christmas Carol to help remind us to not let what really matters get lost in the turkey and tinsel!
Anyone who has met my Dad knows that one of his favorite pastimes is joking around with anybody and everybody around him.
Well…. he’s met his match in pranksters in the teaching team of West Park Baptist’ Church’s Parent’s Day Out program (where my amazing Mom loved teaching preschoolers before heading to Heaven and my Dad now volunteers)!
Dad gets there every morning before anyone else so he can have the coffee made and be at his post by the door to greet the little ones with his infamous “high five” from “Mr. Jay”. He starts his day by hanging his hat on a hook before he goes about his business.
Over the past few weeks, Dad goes to retrieve his hat at day’s end often finds that one of the teachers has “kidnapped” it. Dad then must go on a hunt – sometimes complete with ransom notes and clues – to find it.
On the last day of school before Thanksgiving, the hat was still on its hook – but it had been turned into a turkey!
At age 82, Dad is showing me that there is an alternative to growing old. We can choose to grow young by never taking ourselves too seriously and not missing opportunities to make someone else smile.
Thanks, Dad! You’ll always be my favorite turkey!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Perhaps our fierce pursuit of happiness gets us so tightly wound that it minimizes our chances of ever being truly happy. Ironic… isn’t it?
I took this photo 8 years ago today. Much has changed since then. But what matters remains the same. Wherever I go, the Light still pursues me.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” –John 1:5 NLT
My best days are when I seek to connect with my Maker with every part of my heart.
1) Let God reveal….
Listen. Be still. Be present. Be aware. (This is not an easy task in today’s world filled with these little screens in our hands).
And…. Don’t limit the way He speaks to a sermon, Bible verse, or some seemingly theological insight. He may speak to you through a friend, a movie, the top 40 on the radio, or -most often- a quiet whisper to your own soul.
Remain consistent. Sync your every step with the Maker of your soul.
And notice…. I didn’t say (nor did the Bible) that this is a two-step plan to happiness or to the Westernized world’s version of success.
God’s best may not feel good in the moment. It may not look good or smell right or put you in the limelight.
But it will create a stronger connection to our Creator and to His most favorite creation, other people.
And… in the end, isn’t that all that matters?
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus, Matthew 22:37-39
But finally I knew the marriage was dead and draining the life from both of us. And the only way for either us to have a chance at surviving was to create a necessary ending.
Even though I know that, for me, leaving was the only choice left and became a matter of survival – sometimes the “what if’s” and “if only’s” begin to drop anchor on my soul.
I see friends celebrate anniversaries by sharing social media posts about how they stuck with it through the hard times and prayed and fasted through the tough spots…. As I keep scrolling, I start wondering…. Should I have prayed more? Should I have endured more? Improved myself more? Fasted more? Covered the house with more anointing oil although the place was pretty much slick with it?
But I have to step away from the shoulds about the past or they will shroud my present.
So I blogged the blurb below as a reminder to myself and hopefully an encouragement to others….
You prayed about that decision like crazy. You probably even delayed what your God was telling you to do because of what other people were telling you to do.
Now…. let’s give ourselves the grace to move freely forward… leaving the “would if’s” and “should of’s” and that piece of ourselves wrapped up in that other person in the hands of our Maker.
Little else is as beautiful as the morning after a storm. Why then do we so disdain the storms in our lives? Our Maker is the Author of both the sunshine all the rain. True peace comes when we let go of the whys and let our hearts settle into the beautiful mystery of the gift of our lives.
If you look, there’s always ALWAYS beauty shining through.
Maker God, forgive us for missing moments of beauty and grace because we’ve been too busy trying to control everything – futilely attempting to take Your place.