Your Angels

Lord, please telling me these people in need, and on the street, are your angels in disguise and are not really suffering. I just don’t think my heart could handle if you told me anything different.

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:35-40

If they are not, please reassure me you see them and you are providing for their needs. Instruct me to move on your behalf. What is my part in their plan you have for them? I have no money, but what I have is yours. I can’t believe you would give me your eyes to see them, if you didn’t also equip me to show them your love.

Use me, Lord! Send me! I am suffering too not knowing what to do. I am your servant, Lord. I am theirs.

For your glory,

Amen

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The Valley of Blessings

The Valley of Blessings

This is where I live, and it’s ok. Yes it’s in the valley where we struggle the most. But I’ve been told you’re either on your way out of the valley or on your way in. We never spend much time on the mountain top. And that’s ok too.

As long as I know I’m not alone once I get there, I know I’ll be ok. In fact, I praise God when I’m there, because I’ve also been told he is close to the broken hearted. So I would rather be broken with my savior in the valley, than be living the high life, alone.

Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance.  – 2 Chronicles 20:3

This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. – 2 Chronicles 20:15

Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. – 2 Chronicles 20:20

On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today. – 2 Chronicles 20:26

The Apology

Yesterday, I found myself sitting in my car yelling at some woman I have never met because she fed my son. Actually, that’s not why I was yelling at her, but it is something she does everyday.

I had lost it. I lost my patience. And then I hung up. It was ugly. I was ugly.

I was already having a bad day, a bad week actually. And I know I was being tested.

Things just kept happening.

I had to take my mom to two appointments. Take my kids to theirs. Go to mine. Schedule more for my mom. Try to coordinate with work what times I could take off. My AC broke. My AC broke again. My daughter gets sent home from school with a fever and can’t be sent back. There are fraudulent activities on my debit card.

And then there is this woman who was just trying to do her job. Who doesn’t understand the issues I have with my son. Who doesn’t know our history. Who just…just was a person I could lash out at instead of a thing that was making my life more difficult.

Satan, I’m sure loved that. I felt horrible. I felt horrible not because of all the crap that was happening around me or to me, but I felt horrible because of something I did, something I could have controlled.

The feeling festered inside of me. And even though people around me were telling me I was justified and I shouldn’t beat myself up over it; we all make mistakes, I felt… unworthy, I felt disgusted, I felt I let God down.

That’s exactly the feeling Satan wanted me to feel.

This morning I heard a faint whisper, it was faint but it was clear.

You could call, and apologize.

It wasn’t a command. It wasn’t a should.

It was just a suggestion, but as soon as I heard it, I knew it was right. I knew how to stop the self loathing, I knew how I could stand tall before the altar of God, again.

But I was scared! How can I do this? What will I say? What if she yells back at me?

Oh God, this is really something I need to do to make it right? I knew the answer.

Yes, I screwed up. Yes I am human. Yes, I am forgiven. But none of these made me feel any better about myself.

I picked up the phone. I called the school. I asked to speak to the cafeteria. And as the words fell from my mouth how deeply sorry I was for speaking to her the way I had, I became completely broken and I couldn’t keep my composure.

There was silence.

I was scared she was going to lash back at me for making her feel so bad. I deserved it. I was not Christ-like. I had misrepresented him. I should be ashamed. I was ashamed.

The pause broke, and I could feel her heart melt, as mine did, when she responded, “I am sorry, too.”

At that moment I felt the Grace of God, not only pour down onto me, but onto us, as we were lifted from this earthly realm, and risen to a heavenly state.

I felt Jesus today. I felt Holy; set apart. I felt transformed. I felt forgiven. I felt worthy. I felt loved.

LOVE ME, EVEN THOUGH I AM UNLOVABLE!

I felt God say, “I do.

Protect

When Justice starts to complain about all his aches and pains, when he starts searching for sleep, I start to worry that he’s detoxing from something; that he’s self medicating. I become more anxious as he grows more desperate and agitated.

He retires to his room and I am left wondering, is he ok? Is he healing himself? Or is the noise in his head about to hold him captive all night long, and leave him exhausted by morning, with his mom forcing him to get up, get ready and get out the door for school?

I complain he doesn’t get a job so that he can drive and then I imagine, what if he did and then would I really want him to have access to a car when he’s struggling with his demons?

That’s not something I can take back, easily. 

Maybe God is still protecting us.

I am, once again, reminded that he is not normal. He may never be normal. I may never be ready for him to grow up. The risks just keep getting greater. I would rather have him, not normal, than to lose him forever.

Is this getting easier for him? Is he more in control? I know he has more control of his monsters, but is he controlling them? Or is he letting them roam, until they are out of control?

God, please continue to protect me from the unknown.

Please continue to work inside of him, to tame his demons. Empower him to take control. He is your son, and the spirit of Christ lives in him. Build his faith in you. Give him strength when he is weak. May his inner monsters shutter at your name.

Stay with us, both. Always. Protect and shield.

Amen.

Crown of Glory

So after a rough morning of wondering if I was really ready to continue letting my natural hair color grow in, a new friend encouraged me by stating; we need to change the thinking of people who believe grey hair is for the old, and we can’t do that unless we start changing how we are thinking too.

I never realized how emotional this was going to be! I started coloring my hair at 21 because of the remarks I would get. It is unbelievable what strangers will say to people they don’t know. So I let others shame me into hiding who I was.

I thought I was past that. Apparently, I’m not. But I am older now, no…I am wiser.

I hide myself from no one. I strive to live an authentic life, a transparent one, which often means, a vulnerable one; but also a free one. It is incredibly freeing to see myself as a grown woman for the first time.

I am no longer a child. I no longer need to think as a child. I have been given a crown of Glory (Proverbs 16:31), and I will wear it for as long as God will let me.

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