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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Saying Goodbye: What I Learned About Death

It is NEVER easy to say goodbye to a loved one. Regardless of the situation, we harbor the hope that they will get better. We can’t imagine our lives without their smile, laughter, and love. And that is what breaks our hearts.

For months, I’ve watched my Mamaw suffer. A disease, which affected her brain, took her away from me. She no longer remembered my name, my children, or even that she was my Mamaw. But God blessed us to share smiles, and glimpses of understanding— every once in awhile.

As I stayed with her in the hospital, I witnessed her strength. Even though she suffered greatly, she didn’t complain. She handled it all with such grace. Once when she couldn’t even talk she hummed, and I knew that God was comforting her.

Then we got the call that all families dread; the one where they explain the options and then talk about precious time. We all have an appointed time with death. And nothing can stop it. Not even love or prayers. As I sat in her room and watched her fade away, I thought about life and death. In that moment, nothing about this world mattered. Money, education, friends, or family could not stop it from happening. When we near the end of this life, all that truly matters is our soul, and where we chose to spend eternity.

We always think we have more time. One moment we might be just fine, and in the next instant, the doctors might be telling our family that we won’t make it through the day. We don’t have the promise of tomorrow or even the next breath. Now is the time to get things fixed with God. We are all just passing through this world. It’s not our home. This is the place where we get ready for Eternity. And He lets us decide. That is the most powerful decision we will ever make. Somewhere, at some time in our life, we will realize just how badly we need God. In our dying hour, will He embrace us as we have embraced Him, or turn away from us as we turned away from Him?

Even though my heart broke as my Mamaw passed away, my heart also rejoiced for her. My tears and grief are for me, not her. Nothing or no one can ever hurt her again. She is resting in the arms of the Lord. She chose God, and He was with her—until the very end of her natural life. Now she will spend Eternity with Him. And that makes me so happy.

While I may not have all the answers or completely understand it all, I do know that this verse comforts me.  

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5 KJV

May God bless you, 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Don’t Care: The Lies of Self-destruction

Several years ago, this became my daily saying, “I don’t care.” Everything that was going wrong in my life was replaced with this mantra.

Realization: I’ve gained weight
Response: I don’t care. Life is too short to eat “diet food”.

Realization: I’m not happy with my job.
Response: I don’t care. I tried to go back to school, but no one would help me.

Realization: I don’t feel like I have a friend in the world
Response: If people don’t like me, it’s their loss. I don’t care.

Regardless of my problem, I was the victim. It was always someone else’s fault. I didn’t take responsibility for my actions. Nor did I realize that I was depressed. I had turned cold and bitter, and shut nearly everyone out—including God.

One morning, I was able to break through to myself. As I tried to squeeze into my favorite jeans, I tore a gaping hole in them. I tried to tell myself that I really didn’t care, but as I looked in the mirror I realized that I did care. Very much.

As the restrained tears fell, I realized that I was overwhelmed physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yes, I went to church, but I didn’t serve God nor worship Him. Yes, I had gained some weight, but it was more than that. I didn’t like the person underneath it all. And then I discovered the most important part; it was no one’s fault but my own. I continuously made bad choices, and created a perfect storm of misery for myself.

Once I was ready to ask for forgiveness and more forward, God was there to help me. He helped me to change my mind-set. In my experience and knowledge, it is impossible to be happy without God being the center of our life. When we focus on Him; seeking His knowledge, wisdom, and understanding then we are able to truly live.

Climbing out of the depression hole was extremely hard. I had to change my thoughts and my daily routine. Ignoring my problems did not make them go away. In fact, it added to my problems and made them multiply. Being honest was imperative. It was necessary for me to peel back the layers on my heartaches, and dig to the very bottom of my grief.

Even though God had already forgiven me, I had to forgive myself and become my own best friend. Next, I had to tune into my inner self and discover what I needed to move forward in my life. And that is what I want to share with you.

·    **   We all need total acceptance of ourselves. We have to realize that God created us for a purpose; His  purpose, and we need to seek Him until we discover it.
·   **     We need unconditional love, for others as well as ourselves. God is love. The more we exhibit His  love, the more love we will welcome into our own lives.
·   * *  The “I don’t care lifestyle” is of no benefit to anyone. God gives us all a unique and beautiful life.  It’s up to us whether we accept and nurture His gift or waste it.
·  * *  People can only hurt us if we allow them to. When the broken are lashing out, they need our  understanding, forgiveness, prayers, and love.

The devil wants our lives. He wants to destroy us all. God, on the other hand, wants us to enjoy our lives. Imagine being in a cage with the devil. Would you fight for your life? Or simply lie down and accept defeat?

Fight, my friends—with everything inside of you! Not with others, but with the enemy inside of you. Fight for your happiness. Fight for your own acceptance. And fight for your life. Don’t allow the enemy to win.

It makes me sad for all of the moments of my life that I wasted and missed. Now I’m genuinely happy. I no longer go through the motions of my life, but everyday I’m learning how to live—with love and gratitude in my heart and peace in my soul.  

May God bless you,


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Author shares message through Zippy the zebra