I Cried When I Was Denied…

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I Cried When I Was Denied…

But I Never Died!

The morning coffee buzz from being drunk on too much caffeine, along with the speed from the busy waitresses rushing to cater to every need clanging plates, drowned out the sobering convulsions conveyed from the beaten and burned beloved.

From rejected to accepted!

Cigarette burns and bruises to any part of your body is considered torture and abusive!

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Somebody is always listening…

If truth be told, I prefer my morning brew in the comforts of my own home, preferably in bed, along with my morning devotional time spent at my Lord’s feet while opening up my Bible.  The sounds from Mr. Owl chiming in with his whoot-whoots as the orchestra of frogs rib-bit out a beat or two in sync with the birds’ melody who excitedly embrace their new day is more than a welcomed sound.

Today was different, though!  Tuesdays we do a Bible study for the homeless beloveds that would like to know how to experience this great love affair I have trusting and waltzing with the Lord after being abused myself.  I am writing this Bible study called God’s Great Love Changes Everything specifically catered to the homeless! 

After only receiving a couple of RSVPs for tonight’s study and the constant complaints delivered from being cold, had rained all night, chocolate chip pancakes and hot coffee seemed to be the menu topic initiated in a community text message about where dinner would be.  This quickly ushered us into meeting at iHop for breakfast along with the Bible study in lieu of dinner. 

Dinners are a rare luxury for the homeless population and Blameless is one of the few organizations that offers hot dinners twice a week.  Usually only breakfast and sack lunches are offered at shelters and churches, so I knew there was a great need behind this need for a breakfast meeting.

Blameless Need Behind Need

Between the noise, we settled in tight as the girls started peeling off their damp scarves and jackets to get warm.  I hadn’t noticed the bruises and lacerations on one beloved until she removed her many layers hiding more than emotional turmoil.  Once the injuries were in full view, I knew we needed to have an intimate conversation and figure out the best protocol to approach this behavior. 

Homeless women tend to be associated with domestic violence encounters because they’re used to living under the fight and flight mentality as a form of protection, no matter how distorted that may appear.  Having a buddy for comfort and protection helps fend off other violent attacks against the homeless along with assurances that their few bags of possessions will still be nearby when they awaken.  But the cost is often great!

This precious beloved shared how she just wanted to be held and comforted because she didn’t end up getting to talk to her son, who had promised to call her over the weekend.  This mama totally understands the love our children cover us with and the rejection that might follow. 

She shared how much she loved her son, but that she was so wrapped up tight living under her own veil of shame and living in the wrong hood (battlefield of the mind), that she just decided to pity party her own disappointment.

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If you’ve ever lived under the demands of abuse, you find yourself living, or surviving, under the confines of mental anguish.  Instead of seeing this pain as a process (a wake-up call to get out), you find it accepting as a permanent residence because you become isolated due to shame with no one to help you get up or out. 

You cried when you were denied, but since you never died, you become quite familiar and comfortable in the most horrid conditions.  When you live in darkness, being out in the light is frightening and quite startling.  Initially…

I shared with the girls how my pain turned into power when I realized that facing this Goliath of fear walking through it scared as hell was the only way to unlock the shackles.  The key was that it would take others to help pick me up when I fell.  No more isolation. 

Taking baby steps ended the life being subjected to the multitude of abusers while living a life loved and yes, helping others.  That meant acting and living like who God says we are; His works of art! 

We cannot allow this process, being homeless and/or abused, to become our permanent spot.  Engaging in pity parties, having the mindset of a victim and denier, announces the need to break free from the toxicity of this environment. 

Yes, living a life filled with an outpouring of love and peace will be awkward and quite uncomfortable at first, but it will offer us freedom, along with our own tear-stained pillows and soft embrace from the protection and warmth that our own cozy blankets offer. 

I am choosing to honor my Lord by honoring the beloveds He has placed in my life.  I know the Lord will show me how to love others the way in which He loves me so that our faith will grow stronger and deeper in our hearts as we learn to trust in Him.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being

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Today Is The Bridge Between Your Past and Future!

Are You Fully Present Today?

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Life of Worship

I admit, living in the present is sometimes so, so very hard.  When my mind is exhausted from this tug of war delivered from both the fear and shame in not being good enough that the unknown presents and the excitement in seeing what God is actually doing is overwhelming. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes living in the future with all its anticipation and excitement can rob us of God’s blessings here and now because He lives in the “today.”  We forget what we receive “today” is preparing us for tomorrow’s blessings, so we would bode well to embrace this scenic route bridging our pasts and futures.

I have found myself becoming somewhat resentful as to what God has called me to at this particular point in time because He is opening up all these other doors that I thought were forever closed and I’m stinkin’ excited. 

Because of this, I have found myself living buried underneath the weight of anger and discouragement because I’m ready to move on; thereby, consuming my thoughts and interfering with time I usually am spent in His presence. 

Time spent with our Lord empowers us to walk out each day faithfully with joy and trust. 

How many gifts of today do we pass by, neglecting to pick up or even open up because we’re so preoccupied with thoughts, anxieties and/or fears in our future?

There’s no room living in that bad neighborhood (mindset) to be present for today.

The enemy gets worked up for good reason when we’re doing what the Lord wants and attacks our beautiful hearts and minds with flaming arrows and emotional darts filled with the venom and sting that doubt and confusion delivers. 

These tidbits of insecurities, fears and indiscretions are trying to completely wipe me out and keep me from focusing on the Lord and on today; thereby, nearly robbing me of all these amazing blessings the Lord is ushering me to receive.

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If you’re anything like me, sweet friend, planning for tomorrow is exciting and time well spent, but when we become preoccupied with worry and control about tomorrow, time is not only being wasted, but we’re robbing ourselves and others of being present for this day. 

If our Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23), then why do we deviate and fill our hearts and minds with preoccupation and the opinions of others, forgetting life is about the journey and not the destination?

Guilty as charged…

When walking out our callings, and I’m not just talking about my nonprofit organization dealing with the homeless, we can be consumed with both fear and excitement. 

Isaiah 61:1 (AMP) reminds me, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners…”

Remembering to be fully present enables me to receive the comfort through trust that the Lord promises in bringing deliverance through His timing.  It is up to me to be present so I can hear and receive His guidance filled with treasures that are right around the corner.  If I’m not present, then I’ll walk right past His blessings (peace/perseverance/strength) and wonder what happened causing me to forfeit His gifts for today. 

So recognizing that planning for our futures can alleviate much of our anxiety and worry, when we become obsessed worriers, we become so consumed, forgetting to trust in God’s provision, therefore running ahead of His timetable, we become tripped up. 

The worst part of all of this is denying Jesus’ invitation for help through an intimate and loving relationship with Him. 

So… if the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in Love (Psalm 103:8), this should illustrate to us a picture of God’s nature and will, worthy of His trust, commitment and timing!

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So I hope you’ll join me in sojourning this side of heaven living under the umbrella of God’s Great Love and promises that offers peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7) while being reminded that today is the bridge between your past and future.  Live in this moment.  This way we can embrace the invitation that our Beautiful Jesus is extending only if we’re fully present.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

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