Who’s Watching?

If you’re like me, you probably go through life with your head down, taking each day as it comes, doing your daily routine consisting of obligatory tasks with hopefully a few minutes of joy along the way. You probably never even think about whom, if anyone, is watching you – watching how you interact with others, how you carry yourself, how you prioritize the people and things in your life. I know I never really thought about anyone really paying attention to me or how the way I live my daily, sometimes mundane life, may affect or impact others. Well, that was until several weeks ago, when a fellow church member and friend, approached me and pulled me to the side to tell me something.

I have to say, when first approached, I instantly asked myself, “Oh no, did I do something wrong?” – because I naturally assume the worst (not a great trait, I’m trying to change that) and always seem amazed when someone compliments me (another bad trait – I need to learn to accept compliments for what they are and start believing them, but that’s a whole other story).   Anyways, this fellow church member proceeded to tell me that I had been a big inspiration to them in how I have handled the past few years of my life going through infidelity, separation, divorce and single parenting. Me? An inspiration? The past two years, I have most of the time felt like a hot mess, constantly running from point A to point B, trying to keep my head above water. But, I never realized, that to others, it may have shown through as strength, perseverance, faith, and determination. He told me that it was inspiring to him, how I continued to attend church weekly, continued to volunteer my time at the church as much as possible, continued to live my life rather than hide away and sulk about the hand that life had dealt me. He also told me that his wife looked up to me as a role model for being a mom – again, I thought “ME?” Daily I feel like I struggle in the mom department because of all the additional “hats” I have had to wear as a single parent, but I guess I must not be doing such a bad job of loving and supporting my kids if it shows through to others.

The other side of this story, is that, what this friend didn’t know, until I told him in return, is what an absolute inspiration he has been to me. You see, a little over a year ago, he had a major health crisis, one that the doctors never saw him surviving. While he did survive (Praise God!), it was a long road to recovery, one which he still walks. I was inspired by his story, his faith, his wife’s faith and how their faith never wavered or lessened during their darkest hours. Watching them praise God during this dark period, and praying continuously, and even sending me notes saying they were praying for me during their storm, was so inspiring to me and actually made me realize that I had to move forward with life rather than sulk and feel sorry for myself.

Its always important for me to realize, that we all have struggles, everyone is going through something – even though they are varying degrees of significance when you compare your problems with others, we all have struggles that affect each of us differently. It is great when you have friends and family to help you through these struggles, but its also great, that if you keep your chin up, and continue to be the best “YOU” you can be during struggles and lean on your faith in God, you may actually be helping others without even knowing it. How awesome is that! Living a life that reflects God’s love to others, without even really trying to. I feel like the greatest testimony a person can have is the way in which they live life, their daily actions and interactions, rather than spoken words. To me, the old adage is true….”actions do speak louder than words”.

If we love ourselves enough to weather the storms life can engulf us in and continue to love and honor God by helping others during these times, we are doing what God commanded us to do and we are showing love and spreading hope to others, and maybe, giving someone a little inspiration to do the same.

Every New Day is a Gift of Hope

The past five months have been a roller coaster of emotions since my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore.  In the beginning, there was a lot of sadness, anger, emptiness, loneliness and unanswered questions, along with self-doubt.   I guess that is the typical cycle of emotions when your life is turned upside down by a sudden change like separation, divorce or death.  

I’ve been told many things by many people; many people have shared advice.   A lot of that advice has been useful, such as “he does not define you”, “it’s not anything you did or did not do, it’s something within him that has caused his unhappiness”.   All great words of encouragement to me when I was feeling “less than” after the end of a fifteen year relationship.

The most comforting advice of all that was given to me was a piece of scripture from a wonderful lady at my church who has been through a similar situation.   That scripture is Romans 5:3-5 (NIV), which I would like to share with you now…

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
For me, this verse first reminds me of God’s undying love for me.  Love that was poured over me through the shedding of his blood on the cross and love that is within me through the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Secondly, I’m reminded that through all of the pain and suffering comes perseverance and character which leads to hope.   And with every new day that I am blessed to wake up, I am hopeful for many things.   Hopeful for a day when all suffering ends and I get to meet my Lord and Savior.   Hopeful for a new start on life…a new career…a new chance to share my testimony and experiences to help someone else traveling this difficult road…hope that my children will not be scarred by divorce but know what love and marriage is supposed to be one day…hope that life goes on and my current circumstances do not define me…and hope that one day, the Lord will send me a wonderful loving partner, if that be His will.  If that is not in His Devine plan, then I also have the hope and peace in knowing that I am loved by the Almighty Creator and there is no love greater than that.   I will persevere…I will not be afraid to love others as I am commanded to do, just because I have been hurt…I will continue to grow as a person, a mom and a Christian…I will have hope that each day brings me a new beginning full of blessings, I just have to take the time to notice them and focus on all of the positive things, rather than dwell on the past.

Blessings to you and thank you for sharing in my journey of healing.

‘Do NOT let your Hearts be Troubled…’

If you’re gong through a rough time like I currently am, and you feel like your stuck “between a rock and a hard place”, please know, that if you have God on your side it is more likely that you are “stuck between a rock and a cross”.  Let me explain.

I feel like we, as human beings, get so caught up and hung up on our worldly pains and issues, that we forget that even during these times of hopelessness that we are not alone.  We do not have to face this world or its trials alone.  As a Christian, I fully believe in God’s word – and reading His word gives me the hope I need when I’m feeling hopeless.  It has been amazing to me in my most recent situation where my husband has left and life has been turned upside down, that I haven’t really felt alone.  It has been surreal how God has used people in my life, past and present, to reach out to me and provide me with comfort even when they have no clue what has recently happened to me.  I got a text from an old church friend that moved across the country last year that simply said I had been on her mind and that she had been praying for me.   I was so overwhelmed and amazed at God’s grace through her simple text that I broke down in tears.  While, the situation I’m going through was not my plan, nor is it what I want, I know that with God by my side and in my heart, no matter what the future holds, I will be okay.  I get this reassurance from the following verse, which helps my heart during troubling times:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God,; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   John 14: 1-4 NIV

 This passage shows us the compassion that Jesus had for his disciples and how he tried to comfort them during this difficult time in which they were fearful, troubled, worried and scared about what was about to happen to them and to Jesus. Would they be executed for following Jesus? Was Jesus leaving them forever? Were they safe? What was going to happen?

It also shows us the compassion that He has for us. These same verses apply to us today. Just like the disciples, many of us have troubled hearts full of fear, sadness, despair, and worry based on the circumstances that may be going on in our life at the current time. What happens if I lose my job? What if my spouse leaves me? What if my child gets sick? What will people think? What if? Why? When? These questions surround us constantly in a world where we are not in control and don’t have the answers to why certain things happen, good or bad.  And while it completely goes against our human nature to follow this command of “Do not let your hearts be troubled”, we, as believers, have to trust in God’s word and give our troubles, worry, grief, and sadness to Him and believe in his promise that He has prepared a place for us to be with Him forever. We must know that the pains and sorrows of this life are temporary, and that He will be there for us and with us during difficult times, helping us through, even if the outcome or circumstance is not the one for which we hoped.

He doesn’t want us to be troubled in this life, but troubles happen. He has given us all the tools to help us make it through times of trouble, all we have to do is believe in Him, read His word, and talk to Him daily.

May His peace be with you in the days to come.

❤️✝️