Last year, both of my parents passed away; my father in July and my mother in September. With them not being married, or even a couple, this caused for pools of emotions from two separate sets of siblings and at times became a bit challenging. As a counselor, I found myself offering assistance in that capacity but not dealing with their passing on a personal level of being daughter, sister, mom or auntie. As time has passed, I’m now seeing and feeling the loss in a different way; not just my experience but also the experiences of my siblings.
We all grieve in our own way. Some have taken on compulsive habits that are addictive and harmful, some have become so occupied that they don’t have time to think about what’s taken place while others drift amiss, hoping that portions of this is a dream that they will soon awaken from. Regardless of the steps we take, we all have a grief process that we must go through in order to be healed from the loss. I want to empower you today with a few thoughts:
don’t attempt to make others fit into “your” grief process, everyone grieves differently
don’t put a time limit on when one should move forward in life, such as with a new relationship
don’t tell someone that they’ve grieved long enough – that’s so harsh
be patient in your process, take each step as a teaching and healing tool
stay optimistic about life, a loss should not keep you in a depressed state, especially if it was someone who had a relationship with God
prepare to live again!
Life happens, death is inevitable – grief is real but we must for your own sanity understand your grief process and be willing to go through it your way.
On a typical day, I watch very little television and that entertainment is limited to one of three channels because I like happy endings! The interruption occurs, a commercial, and its talking about car insurance. The commercial suggests that you’ve chosen the wrong insurance company because your company is only going to give you enough money to pay for 1/3 of your totaled vehicle. How tragic! You’ve been making an investment in a plan that you trusted to cover in the time of need and it doesn’t happen. It is that same way when investing your time in relationships that don’t provide the needed dividend in times of need.
Good news! There is a relationship that you can invest in that covers any situation you may face. If you’ve received Jesus as Lord and savior there is coverage for you! Isaiah 54:17 reads, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” To know that whatever circumstance you may face, God has you covered and the enemy will not succeed. Many are facing some trying times right now; emotional, financial, grief, or a health concern – just know that God has you covered. Today, God wants you EMPOWERED by His Word. Today, He wants your faith strengthened in the midst of your trouble – knowing that He’s got you COVERED!
Pray this prayer with me:
Father, I come before you in this moment, seeking solace in the time of turmoil and fear. God, I need you like never before to re-align me on the path that you’ve established for me. I am asking that you forgive me for the error of my ways and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I trust you Father and I yield my will to yours. Today, I believe that I Am Covered. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Does is bother you when you’ve not been accepted by a certain person or group of people? Does it really matter if you don’t fit in? I’m sure most will say, I’m cool with not being accepted by people and give you religious response, “I’m accepted by God”. That’s a really good answer but unfortunately – it’s not the truth for most. 😦
Acceptance is something that we all desire, whether it be a child being accepted by a parent, a new employee being accepted on the job, or simply having your circle of influence expanded by like minded champions. Acceptance is something that we all desire! In reading over the manuscript of our book this morning, this passage from the chapter “You Bastard” began speaking loudly again.
” I remember being asked as a child, “Who is your daddy?” and I couldn’t answer. All I remember ever stating was that my mother was Barbara. People often ask who your parents are as a way to find out your lineage, or a possible relation to them, but some will ask with the intent to disqualify you or make you feel unworthy. As a child you are unable to discern the true meaning behind the question, yet you are left to deal with the repercussions of it. Did it really matter to people if they knew who my dad was? Did everybody know I was a bastard and were mocking me? Is that why I was treated differently? These are emotions that I’m recalling as if it were yesterday. Having been born into a relationship of two individuals who had “moments of expressed love”, yet now I’m suffering because of it.” (taken from “I Am His Child” by V. Burrell & N. Williams)
Acceptance, was the root of this torn moment that would require truth to bring forth healing. Today, take time to look within – exposing those areas in your life where healing is needed in the area of acceptance. Don’t overexert yourself in this process though – come to terms with the reality that you’re not going to be accepted by all. Seek out those relationships that you’ve yearned for, those individuals who would be willing to embrace you with love and understanding that’s unapologetic and pure. Be mindful also that the first step in acceptance is attached to forgiveness.
“What God has joined together, let no one put asunder”. Do you think about your vows; your marriage and often wonder if it’s worth it. I mean, the heartache, pain, disappointment, financial struggles – is it really worth it – going through all of this in a relationship? You know this is a trick question – right! Is it worth is? Yes, it is!
As a marriage counselor and counseled several couples through their pre-marital challenges, it made me take a look at my own marriage. Here is was encouraging them to work through their problems and to communicate. I gave them exercises to help them interact more productively – they did it and it worked. I listened to their stories about things they considered to be a struggle and shed light on the minimal impact that it had on their relationship. They shared tears, fears and all were able to see that at the end of the day, they were important enough to each other to allow God to be the center of their union and work it out.
How hypocritical of me, here I was encourage them while I was facing times in my marriage that I felt like it wasn’t worth it and wanted to give up. I was being selfish, I can admit that now but when my husband was challenging me with truth – I constantly denied everything. What spirit was resident within me that was causing me to push away a blessing? I was dealing with a spirit of rejection and it was causing havoc in my life, my marriage, my ministry and it had to stop. That spirit had manifested itself through passive aggressive behavior, lack of confidence, fear of further rejection, guilt and even vexation. The enemy had me captive, believing that it wasn’t worth it.
I thank God for His power, and revealing to me the lie that had gotten my attention. I took authority over that spirit and that mindset. I took my confidence back, my willingness to communicate openly back – I took back all that the enemy had stolen from my marriage because It’s Worth It!
Too often, as a people we get so consumed with our trials and tribulations without taking to time to find a viable resolve. We’ve got to stop – breath – reassess – and then move forward in God’s plan for our lives and our marriages. If you’ve been struggling in your marriage, wondering if it’s worth is – don’t give up so quickly. Seek God for an answer as to why and then obey the directions that He gives you to fix it. Marriage is honorable before God, it’s a good thing and remember – It Is Worth It!
We all know that friends come in to your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime – that’s a proven fact. Often, I look at my circle of influence and rationalize, “Where do I fit in the scheme of things for them and how do they fit into my life?” Not that it mattered; it was just a curious moment. My circle of friends is rather small and I’m not complaining. I’ve discovered that there is so much power with the right friends. I don’t have to validate myself with my friends. I don’t have to give excuses when I don’t show up or get blasted when I show up unexpectedly – they are my friends! When problems arise, I know that I can depend on them to help me out with a kind word, a hug, a smile – the small things that encourage me to push through – they are my friends!
So, I took a look at that word friend to make sure that these people that mean so much to me are properly defined. By definition, a friend is, “somebody who trusts and is fond of another; somebody who thinks well of or is on good terms with somebody else; an ally, or somebody who is not an enemy; or a defender or supporter of a cause, group, or principle” according to Encarta dictionary. As I read theses definitions I realized that these people, my friends, are really not my friends. Don’t gasp – that’s a good thing. These people that I’ve been calling my friends are more than friends; more than sistah’s; more than confidants – just so much more than a friend.
When I need an answer to a question, I always go to my reliable source, God, and get clarity. I said to Him, “Daddy, if these people are not my friends, who are they?” I didn’t hear anything right away but quietly He began to speak to me and all I could do is smile. These people that I’ve been calling my friends are “His True Servants”! That brought such joy to my spirit. God had given me people who know Him, understand His power, work according to His plan – these people actively seek to be in His will as it relates to the relationship they have with me. What an awesome thing!
Take a look at those who around you – see if they are really your friends or are they His True Servants?