Tag Archives: #addiction

Permission To Serve Without Reserve?

Blameless Helping Hands

Choosing To…

Serve Without Reserve!

When feeling unwanted, not cared for, unloved and forgotten by everyone…

I may not know you personally, but one thing I do know: You have been badly hurt in your life. You have heard words that have assaulted, even stung.  Words filled with hate and lies that you just can’t deny or shake off!  People have said and done mean and damaging things to you.

However, beloved, your past does not define you!

My heart pours into yours being a sister in Christ filled with compassion and understanding. You may not hear just how radiant and valuable you are, but you are! Your life does matter and the world needs what only you possess.  I appreciate how precious you are and everything you’ve taught me.

Thank you for teaching me how important God’s Great Love is!

As I turned the corner, our eyes met up; yours filled with shame, mine filled with joy and delight. You see, God answered my prayers. Your life means more to me than we dare to understand. I get you because I’ve been there. Felt that! Lived that!

God doesn’t want you crawling back into your shell. God wants to pour love into you and breathe life back into your dry bones. His Great Love! Our paths crossed so you might understand somebody sees you and that you’re not alone. You are being offered warmth and acknowledgement from a heart filled with love and compassion.

I understand it’s hard to trust others when you’ve been rejected, but grab a hold of the loving hand extended. You don’t have to hide any longer in fear or rejection. You no longer have to invite people into the inner parts of your heart that offer more sabotage and seduction than support just to exist.

Blameless Fear Not Isaiah 41.10

I may have never been homeless living on the streets, but I was just a paycheck away from it for many terrifying years being a single parent. We relate because I have lived through the chaos and poor decisions leading up to homelessness. I’ve experienced what it’s like being alone and abandoned.

God has placed people along your path who will treat your heart with care.

Understanding what hopelessness and paralyzing fear does to a beloved through attacking thoughts of not being enough and the shame that accompanies those lies is intense.

Beloved, there’s no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! Nothing you did cannot be forgiven. Receive the forgiveness as a strength, not a weakness.

God promises double for your trouble (shame) in Isaiah 61:7!

When we embraced, I could feel your desperate hold due to fear that turned cold. You shivered and hung onto me like an addict needing her fix. You grasped for air as your face was buried into my chest with tears that drowned and overwhelmed your soul. I am forever dressed in your tears that permeated my own soul.

Your hopelessness mirrors the darkness that exists due to a few bad choices and decisions. We all make mistakes. God will turn your ashes (pain and mistakes) into beauty if you will let go and learn from Him through them. 

Blameless Psalm 37.23

God wants us to run this race victoriously all the way to and through the finish line. He fights for us by sending support from others who will speak words of life, love and encouragement. A new family! ♥♥♥

Embracing God’s amazing grace offers us hope by guiding us out of the darkness with His strength. You don’t have to go at it alone. That’s why He crosses our paths with other beloveds. That’s the light that will help guide you out of your darkness!

Blameless Light Of Your Love

I am trying to love and emulate what Mother Teresa said about giving: “It is not about how much we give, but about how much love we put into giving.

I don’t understand why we’re so reluctant to reach out and extend a helping hand to those who are in need, but maybe it’s just fear.

I admit, there are times when I encounter others in need and I act like I’m blinded to it. I either don’t want to be inconvenienced or feel what little I have to offer really wouldn’t help much. Truth be told, that’s a sinful act of omission; failing to reach out and do good by helping another. 

Ouch!

Jesus commanded us to be on the lookout for such needs by showing compassion and pity without expecting anything in return. 1 John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

Serve Without Reserve

At least you looked at me and we shared a smile!

I wish we could bottle up all the love and grace that is extended to us before it disappears. I’m praying many others will choose to mirror the kingdom of God this side of heaven through choosing to serve without reserve.

Give Until It Hurts

When we help others, we live out what Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Blameless Martin

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Love Offers Hope.  Hope Develops Confidence.  Confidence Leads To Action.  Action Results In Change!

Albert Einstein was onto something when he stated, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!”

When we encounter homeless beloveds, our natural reaction generally triggers dismay along with blinders because it exposes the depth of our hearts.

Shallowness!

Ouch!  If you’re anything like I used to be, you become appalled when you encounter the homeless.  Do you discount them as losers?  Even refer to them as junkies and beggars with mental illness?  Or do you judge and group them together as lost souls who are polluting our rivers and streams and becoming public safety toxins?

Sadly, Einstein’s analogy is exactly how we, as a society, have been operating and dealing with the homeless.  We need to facilitate an emergent change because this homeless epidemic is out of control and it’s birthing hate, division and war instead. 

Casting and shifting blame onto our overwhelmed governmental programs, lack of law enforcement implementation and nonprofit organizations scrambling to find needed finances to create shelters, carrying the full weight of society’s expectations in finding a remedy obviously has failed.  We need education and awareness of this process while becoming part of the front lines that are no match to this Goliath.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries continues to become equally frustrated at the increasing numbers.  This nonprofit has found that incorporating God’s Great Love and treating the homeless as our own family with the addition of their “A Beautiful You” homeless events where outreach is geared towards providing nourishment spiritually, physically and emotionally is conquering this battlefield one life at a time, one day at a time.

Should we give up because society dictates a numbers game so responsibility is relinquished? 

Every life matters so one life saved is victory!

The founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has spent the last year doing life with the homeless, getting to know the need underlying the needs, and is going to try as humbly as possible to share her raw, true feelings comparing the pain and shock from the loss of her own first husband succumbing to the death delivered from alcohol addiction, depression along with homelessness, to spending a Friday evening eating dinner and listening to the story of a working homeless man, to starting a charitable organization catered to the many facets of homelessness.

Homelessness hurts and effects everyone.  Whether you’re a family member, an ex-spouse, a child/parent, taxpayer, you name it, we’re all being effected one way or another.  We can no longer relinquish responsibility.

I pray that I can somehow share openly my past judgments with candor while offering awareness to just how long it takes to cut through the bureaucratic red tape to find governmental help along with the stigma that mental illness carries to a world who is just now being introduced to the painful consequences that has been swept underneath the rug for generations. 

I am going to start showcasing one homeless beloved a month so you might understand their story; how they get to where they are and why they still remain abandoned and rejected.  Shame is a hard outer shell to crack through, much less rehabilitate.

The man above is Martin.  Martin thought he was going to die homeless with his Stage 4 colon cancer.  Outreach offered me the ability to befriend Martin, engage in fellowship with him, along with introducing him to Christ. 

Martin’s lens had been clouded and tainted by life, pain delivered through tragedy and rejection, but once we got him reading glasses, a Bible, and a whole lot of love emulating our Beautiful Jesus, Martin soon realized his life mattered.  He didn’t need as much alcohol that once dictated every decision he made (liquid courage, NOT!!!).  He realized he belonged and is now living comfortably in Sacramento with his sister and family. 

Martin, I love you and miss you dearly.  Thank you for teaching me the simplicity in sharing that I’m not the only one who becomes giddy watching the twilight of the moon dance through the trees while howling like a wolf when the moon becomes full. 

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

My mission with Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is not to encounter the appalling picture above anymore encamped alongside of our grocery stores.  Not all homeless want help, including Martin’s friend passed out in the photo above, but roughly 40% of our homeless do. 

And with our amazing God and all the precious beloveds dedicated to being His hands and feet, contributing to the welfare and outpouring of God’s Great Love, rehabilitation is awakened, proving with God, all things are possible! 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Understanding Life’s Journey…

Blameless Chloe

The Big Picture…

Pure Beauty!

Many of you have asked why and how I organized and developed the qualifying criteria for the board of directors of Blameless, my charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. Besides a calling, we may not always understand the ways of our Lord.

I sure didn’t understand the big picture seven years ago why, being a chaplain, the Lord was asking me to work with the youth ministry at Bridgeway Christian Church along with pursuing my degrees.  Thankfully I was obedient working with FUEL.

While working with the sophomore girls, I met this beautiful beloved whom I bonded to instantly named Miss Chloe Long.  She had just come back to youth group that evening after a long absence. The Lord asked me to pull her aside and see if she would share her story with me.  We connected.

Precious Chloe and I get each other.  We are mirror images.  We’re embracing our imperfections and painful journeys as something that God has allowed in order to awaken and arouse the beautiful beloveds we are underneath all the layers of heartache and projected images.  We’re no longer bound by this power controlling our lives, telling us we have to look, act or be a certain way in order to be seen, belong, loved and accepted.

We are prayerfully living and practicing each day recognizing that we do not have to conform or perform to others’ expectations in order to be loved.  Accepting we will make mistakes as no one is perfect, we are walking out our faith and lives acknowledging the royal blood running through our veins as we are God’s treasured daughters that He loves and even designed in His likeness.

Oh, if we all would only quit running from our imperfections and embrace our uniqueness!

We’re choosing to embrace and celebrate who we are.  We refuse to waste another precious minute going through life feeling like we’re all alone in our messes and that we rebuke the lies of the enemy telling us we don’t belong or are not good enough.

We believe you’re strong, authentic and courageous if you step out and share your life with others; that creates intimacy we all crave.  Through every word shared and tear shed, you’re relinquishing the power it has over you and you’re helping others to do so also.  Fear locks us in from the inside.  You’re only weak if you hide behind your veils of shame and stay shackled to your thoughts in your cells of hell.  We are loved just the way we are.

Be encouraged by reading Chloe’s unedited testimony and biography for Blameless.  Be drawn into her rawness, her candor and transparency.  You will see why this petite powerhouse is a valuable asset and integral force for Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and why she holds the officer position of secretary for the board of directors.

Her heart is not in serving for her own glory and magnification.  She is a board member and team member because she’s advocating for the lives of precious children and the youth while running after God’s own heart.  She wants to share what Jesus has done for her personally in order to help and build others up!

Chloe’s life and testimony is proof how God is constantly working behind the scenes preparing the way for our future challenges and life’s blessings. 

When certain scenes of our stories are painful, our faith encourages us to walk with God through this frame knowing it’s just a part of a bigger picture ahead.  Every day is but one frame of a million frames revealing a grander picture.  This leading enables us to walk in power and freedom that could never have been imagined or realized.  God is indeed omniscient.
Blameless Courage Over Comfort

 

Meet Miss Chloe Long…

 

Blameless Chloe

 

Pure Beauty!

Hello there! My name is Chloe Long and I am 21 years old. I am a lover of cats, pizza, movies, books, and most of all, helping others.

Now if you quickly scroll right now, you’re probably going to sigh and say this is too much to read and believe me I feel the same! Hahaha. So in a nutshell here’s my story: Lived in a Christian household but didn’t understand or recognize what God’s love meant for me till I was in my mid teens. God has helped me overcome anorexia, body dysmorphia, depression, anxiety, getting out of an abusive relationship, and is currently helping me with my family situation. He has helped me through speaking to me through mentors I’ve had over the years, including the wonderful Miss Tammy, friends, and even therapists, which inspired me to one day become a Child Psychologist, to be the help I need when I was younger. I have learned that God works on his own time and that makes me frustrated at times (a lot of the time actually), but I know it’s good thing because His way is always better than any other way I could possibly imagine. The Bible verse Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn,” has been placed on my heart to be a kind person to everyone no matter their status, race, beliefs, sexual orientation/gender identity, etc. and with it has brought me all of the various careers I have at this moment starting as a secretary for Blameless, a youth counselor at a foster home, a behavior technician for an ABA therapy company (helping children who have autism), and being a child care provider. I have a heart to help others and feel especially drawn towards youth and I can’t wait to see where God will take me next.

Now if that intrigued you to read a more in-depth testimony, keep reading. If you’re done, well let me just say that I welcome ya to our organization and hope that you’ll feel as drawn to helping others as we do!

Although I may be a very young woman in my 20s, it feels as though I’ve lived a very long life with everything God has done to bring me on this path of being called to help others.

I’ll admit that I have lived a very privileged life by being raised in a middle class suburb and never having to face any economic hardships of my own, so when I say that “growing up was tough,” I’m not considering the obvious privileges that I had. I say it because the unconditional love that’s needed in fulfilling healthy family relationships was lacking in my household.

Since my parents were considerably older than the parents of my friends, they raised me with lessons from when they were young, which brought up a bit of outdated values. A main one that unfortunately brought some damage onto me was that I (a young female) was put here to satisfy a man and that I would not be valued unless a man was by my side. I looked at myself and thought that I was worthless unless I had someone. It didn’t help that I was encouraged to lose weight since that would make me more desirable. A dark era occurred where I would try not to eat (purge if I did), eventually become so depressed that I would stay in bed for days, and never stop comparing myself to others; I was only 13. I eventually gained a boyfriend, but nothing good came of it. I was introduced to a whole new world of sexual gratification, but I knew deep down I wasn’t ready and I wasn’t comfortable with it either.

When I was sexually assaulted, that’s when thoughts of “this is what you deserve… this is your future…” plagued my mind and I felt trapped. It went on for three years because I was desperate to be valued; I thought this was my only option. My anorexia worsened and it got to a point that after my 15th birthday, I landed in the hospital because my organs were shutting down and I also had a pregnancy scare; not ideal for your 15th birthday I might add. It was there in that hospital bed, with an IV in both arms, that I started crying and wondering why did things get this far and feeling absolutely devastated that no matter how much I would message my boyfriend (at that time), he never once responded to me being in the hospital. I was furious, sorrowful, and numb all at once and I asked God why.

I remember eventually getting a gut feeling saying that now is the time to start over and that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t really know if God was truly real or not before then, but after that feeling, I knew what my new answer would be.

I was raised in a Christian household but I didn’t know what that meant till I was older, even after my hospital experience. I never knew that God loved me just the way I was until I was in my adolescence, despite going to church all of my life. It made me realize that saying you’re a Christian and living like a Christian were two very different things. After my time in the hospital, the more I went to youth groups, summer camps, and other fellowship activities, the more I was able to experience unconditional love. I thought recommitting to God every chance I could would keep my bases covered and that now that I no longer feel depressed or actually feel comfortable eating, nothing could go wrong, right?

A dear friend of mine started cutting herself about a few months after I was better (note how I did not say healed; I believe God is STILL healing me even though it’s been 5+ years. Everyday is a battle). I immediately thought to myself about the miracle healings Jesus had done in the Bible, so I called up the prayer team at my church and scheduled a meeting after my youth group ended so I could bring my friend and that she would be healed radically. I prayed everyday until then because I thought that THAT would do the trick. I brought her in, some people prayed over her, and presto! Nothing changed. Instead I felt embarrassed and angry that nothing had happened. Though it did not happen immediately, this experience humbled me into realizing and remembering that God works on his own time and no matter how much I could hope or pray, nothing can change God’s plan. What did happen however was a bitter season which included me falling out of the church and falling back into my depression. I knew I needed help.
I eventually headed into therapy, thanks to my father and his access to healthcare. My mother adamantly told me that mental illnesses don’t exist and that if I was actively experiencing something of that nature that it’s my fault and it’s because I wasn’t close enough to God. Despite my mother’s comments, I knew this was the right thing to do. Therapy definitely helped me. It helped me understand that it was okay to be angry sometimes, that it was okay to cry it all out, that it was okay to not be perfect or in my case to not fit into my mother’s standards.

About a year later I stopped going into therapy because I thought I was okay and could fight my own battles. Boy oh boy was I wrong. What ultimately kept destroying me was this lesson about understanding that God knows better than I do. That his time and plans for me often look quite differently from mine. Through my abusive relationship, through my eating disorder, through my dear friend’s experience, through those that God had called to come home with Him and pass away from this planet, and through my newest challenge of living with an alcoholic brother who physically assaulted me and my parents who have become increasingly distant from the church, God knows what he’s doing even though some days I really question if He does.

This has brought me back to therapy and has humbled me yet again. It’s okay to ask for help and I am proud to call myself a mess. I am a work in progress, I am loved, and I am called to love others.

Through it all, I have come to understand that putting my complete faith and trust in God will not result in a walk in the park, more often than not a very bumpy ride, but still having the comfort that I’m not alone and that God still manages to answer our prayers gives me the courage to keep hanging on. Maybe it might not be in the way that we want, but God does hear and does answer.

Until next time…

Blameless Beautiful You

When InHumane Conditions Exist…

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When Inhumane Conditions Exist…

There Is Always Love!

Dreams… Is there such a place where dreams do come true?

Oh wait, isn’t that Disneyland?

No, that’s just a theme…

We ALL need dreams to thrive and not just survive. They’re beautiful reminders of what could be, right?

What happens when a little D.I.R.T. is poured into our dreams? Does that suffocate them?

Would God really consider D.I.R.T. to be a blessing in disguise that ushers us to the Promised Land?

Well, seeds of love often require D.I.R.T. acting as soil that will help initiate the growth and blossoming, so…

But…

D = Disappointment

I = Insecurity

R = Rejection

T = Trouble

We all know the dreaded D.I.R.T.  Sometimes Disappointment arrives needing more than ointment. Insecurity develops robbing us of our security. Good ‘ole Rejection then rolls through starving us of that much-needed affection. And then Trouble rears its ugly head arriving as a strong tower threatening to burst more than our bubble.

Living life homeless is an understatement than the acronym D.I.R.T. defines. The pictures below are but a glimpse of what homelessness is like under the umbrella of inhumane conditions. Many homeless just sleep directly on the cement sidewalks.

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The amazing thing about our Jesus is, when seeds of love are sprinkled about, new life suddenly appears. And when this new life sprouts up towards the light, it is given a second chance for life by reaching up and grabbing ahold of the hand that is extended. All because of L-O-V-E.

Seeds of love, mixed with tears of compassion, and nourishment filled with interaction and engagement, grew into this young man named Trev. I am honored and bouncing like a Mexican jelly bean in excitement to relate that Trev WAS A HOMELESS man.

Not anymore…

Through many amazing people and resources that I am blessed to surround my life with, Trev now has his own legal residential address and is being given a second chance at life. He grabbed the hand that was being utilized as God’s hands and feet.

He wants to do something in the veterinarian genre, so hopefully he will be able to give back to the homeless community with all the animals that accompany the homeless.

You see, I want to be different. I want to radiate LOVE. I see these homeless beloveds as our Beautiful Jesus does; treasured family. I want the fire living inside of me to effect everyone. I refuse to be stuck in the typical pattern of society’s egotism and blindness.

Trev gave me permission to write about him. He is one of a few beloveds that I will follow closely throughout their lives because relationships were made and they’re a reminder of how God’s Great Love Changes Everything…

I refer to Trev as my chocolate son. He is an amazing young man who made a few mistakes leading to bad decisions that led him to a homeless lifestyle. It does not mean that his life doesn’t matter!

Living on skid row down in Sacramento is the pit of hell. It is violent and dangerous. But LOVE diffuses more than crime. It encourages second chances through the offering of the olive branch.

With over a million-plus in total homeless population, 24% of that total number residing right here in California, highlighting the 28% increase in homelessness in my own backyard, Roseville, something has to be done. Time to take off our blinders.

I understand that serving the homeless isn’t for everyone. I spent many months guarding my own heart for fear that I was not cut out for it. It’s not glamorous. But as the picture reflects, I was crying big time, but they were tears of joy that Trev trusted me enough to engage in and share his life and the many broken pieces that led him to be a part of the homelessness. This relationship and trust took over four months of weekly contact to develop the nurturing and guidance. With God, all things are possible!

It takes a village of people to stabilize this epidemic of homelessness. Action is needed, not lip service! It takes everyone coming together to attack it through time, money, resources, commitment and dedication! One reason why I started Blameless…

Without my amazing resources and special team that are involved in this homeless epidemic in varying aspects; like Stacia, for opening up the gates of heaven with her angelic voice that draws others in as she is singing; Laura, for her commitment in loving on the homeless and being connected to one amazing county resource who places homeless people in HUD-owned properties; Becky, who works all day in the streets full of crime looking for those who she can place within county guidelines and budget; Eric, who loves ALL and will give you the shirt off of his back if you need it; and Dan for listening to me cry, grieve and bitch that enough is not being done quick enough when we’re driving away after another day…

Cheers! Here’s to you, Trev. We love you, are so proud of you, and are excited to see what all the Lord is doing through you and your life! Your life matters! Thank you for allowing me to sojourn with you!

Come be different with me… It’s a beautiful life radiating the love of Christ!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Becoming Love…

Animals Versus Human Beings,

Whose Life Is More Valuable?

An adorable puppy was found left on the side of a Sacramento freeway with his skull bashed in. It was clear he had been abused.

It made news headlines.

Tragically so… 

People were knocking each other out to contribute financially for his needed care!

What kind of monster would smash the head in of a two-month-old puppy with a hammer?

Then again, what sick person would take a military-style weapon into an elementary school and start taking their aggression and deep hurts out by shooting and killing innocent children?

When more value is placed on the Animal Kingdom than Mankind, we need to revisit our priorities!

Combing through all these tangles and snags of deception is brutal. We’ve obviously viewed these tragedies blinded while they laid dormant awaiting a spark to ignite the wick of mania explosion.

We need what only a miraculous Divine intervention can offer now.

Blameless Light Of Your Love

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God (Romans 15:7).

I thought we united as a society where all lives matter! Was that just a trend and it fizzled?

If we appreciate and celebrate each others’ lives, then why are our pocketbooks overflowing when it comes to injured animals, but we become bankrupt and blind when it’s regarding our forsaken homeless?

Thank God He never forsakes us…

If we are accepted and celebrated, why is man’s best friend more valuable than a beloved that God created and designed in His own image?

I love animals and love to rescue. It’s beautiful so many people had compassionate hearts and donated money to give life to this puppy. But why are our pocketbooks or belongings sealed up tight when donations are solicited for homelessness?

Homeless people should be considered more valuable than a puppy. Homeless beloveds have the same needs as puppies; they need love, nurturing, guidance and patience to learn behaviors that will equip them with tools to make better decisions. 

I know what it’s like to be rejected and orphaned by those who were supposed to nurture, love and protect while providing a loving environment to learn and grow from.

When you’ve been abandoned, you often make decisions and choices that are not in the best interest of anyone. Bad choices follow you around like the plague, waiting to kill, steal and destroy.

Every single one of the drops of blood Jesus shed had a name written in it!

Jesus died for us, our sins, and was resurrected to eternal life so He could take hopeless situations and flood them with His Love and hope. Beautiful Jesus takes our many broken pieces and turns them into peace.

These precious and homeless souls need to be shepherded to Him for healing. Jesus Is the reason in every season and has Risen!

As Vironika Tugaleva states, “I can’t change you and you can’t change me, but together we can work to change the world.”

Inspiring just ONE person ALREADY changed the world.

We all need affirmations and validation that will tear down the cement barriers surrounding our tattered and bleeding hearts in need of Jesus’ healing. 

Changed lives change Cities!

Since the depth of our past reveals the height of our future (thank God I’m almost six feet tall), are our heads too far up our pasts to see that we are putting more value on animals than mankind?

God’s love is not based on performance. Jesus became Love. Before Jesus ever performed any miracle, He had the validation of God’s love speaking from Heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love…” (Matthew 17:5).

God does not validate like we do. We validate based on what people do for us and how they make us feel. If our actions validate and bring value to what that individual needs, they in turn love. God validates based on relationship and that relationship requires intimacy.

Every single one of those drops of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross was for me and for you. Each drop had our names on them.

We can be 100% certain, even if we don’t have any further direction for our lives, that being and becoming LOVE is always God’s will for us. Giving love away is easy, but it requires action. The only thing it costs is ourselves, our time and action.

That includes when there’s traffic…

When we’re waiting in long lines…

When the doctor is an hour behind…

When our in-loves (in-laws) are moving in…

When we feel we’re accepted and loved, our self-esteem and confidence is boosted and it helps us make better choices and decisions. We start trusting others. And where Love radiates, our Beautiful Jesus heals.

I know this personally, because though my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord received me graciously (Psalm 27:10) with new life.

 

Blameless Jesus on Cross

It’s amazing what His Love does for us. The alchemy of transformation is nothing short of miraculous!

When Good Friday comes upon us and Easter, let’s be awakened to the beauty that every tear and drop of blood Jesus shed suffering His unconscionable crucifixion on the Cross had a name written in it as He Became Love Himself.

I don’t know about you, but my name was in one of those bloody droplets along with many homeless people’s names. Now that’s Love!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Stopped Me Dead In My Tracks To Be God’s Hands And Feet

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Stopped Me Dead In My Tracks To Be God’s Hands And Feet

Today started like any other day.  Awakened with joy and gratitude, but dreading another long day being over committed.  Those last few moments of sleep cuddled around my pillow were screaming my name!  But the heightened enticement from the delicious morsels of more sleep lost their battle to sprint the hurdles of the ticking clock.

Appointments versus Being Present 

It’s hard to prioritize our lives when the clock ticks faster than each footstep.  I don’t glide like I used to.  Strength and speed have been replaced with substance and snap.  I long to master how to navigate the constant and rapid changes that occur with the snap, but I’m working on it.  Work in progress!

Once my prayers were finished and released, I made a flippant request to my Lord asking Him to show me somebody today that would stop me dead in my tracks who needed His love and affirmations to remind me of how desperate and alone I was 37 years ago that would trigger the mania to tragically end my life. 

It’s hard to share about depression through the loneliness and desperation when you can’t quite remember what that looked like.  Sure, I get depressed at times, we all do; but to be that desperate and all alone, that is something that required probing back into my underbellies.

I seem to forget to practice what I preach, because I sure would be a lot more selective in my prayers and petitions to the Lord.  I either fail to hear myself making these flippant requests on a maxed-out schedule as if I was emulating the Pharisees to look more holy or I arrogantly pour out prayers to make myself look better in front of God.  I mean, God knows our motives; so…

The day shifted and howled similar to the blazing north winds.  Upon exiting the medical center to leave behind the news that ushered me into frenzy, my mind occupied residency in the bad neighborhood.  That deadly hood needs barricading.

Due to being upset with the doctors and the shuffling of appointments that I was now late for, I failed to notice this man who shocked life back into me by jumping out of nowhere into the sidewalk before me.  The fright caused from being winded forced a pathetic screech and an accompanying tinkle as I soon realized lingering in the hood is far more dangerous than any mortal.

Epiphany versus Revelation

This mortal man’s name was William.  Yes, I flippantly prayed in the morning that the Lord would show me somebody who needed His love.  I almost missed out on God’s answer to that prayer because I was too busy being focused on all the demands and unknowns and how could I possibly prioritize my time to not upset others.

Herein lies William who is 28 years old.  He just got released from the hospital after overdosing on Meth.  He knew God could hold him through recovery, but just couldn’t gather up the strength to walk away from the comforts of his drug of choice.  My heart broke because his life matters, for one; and second of all, he could have been any one of my kids.  He knew I cared, after initially pulling away from him because of fear and fright.

Time stopped.  The world didn’t, but the clock literally stopped ticking.  Nothing mattered except for being present.  We talked awhile.  I shared a little and he listened.  Then it changed to me listening to words that would unearth this desperation I once encountered.  He felt all alone.  Meth took away the sting of rejection.  He belonged and always had someone with Meth.  Meth always waited to pick him up.

He shared his prayers that morning to God and the gravity of them happening upon his release from the hospital.  He had nobody to pick him up because he didn’t want additional guilt or to burden the few who were lingering in his life.  He prayed that if one person stopped to talk to him and acknowledge his presence, he would not take his own life.  

Death versus Matter

The pain flooding his heart and the desperation in which he expressed himself unearthed emotions that laid dormant for decades.  I absorbed every last word.  Ocean tears ushered in an agreement that paved the way for William to walk through.  Uber was summoned to take him where his life mattered.  The care-packed resources included my cell number to keep in touch.

We prayed as we walked.  Meth addicts do not like to stand still.  They need to keep moving.  Time started clicking.  I released William back into the care of the Lord as hard as it was, but I trust the One who ordered this Divine appointment all due to prayer. 

The ease in being the hands and feet of God is so simple, but it requires being present; spiritually, emotionally and physically.  His Uber trip cost me a whole $8.80 and his life is priceless.  Sometimes God has to literally drop people right in front of us because we’re too consumed with stress or worry.  That’s why the Lord tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:25-34).

I will say I don’t know what’s going to happen to William.  All appointments were fulfilled; Divine and scheduled.  I stuttered, but surrendered.  I felt awkward and was uncomfortable.  I did share the love of the Lord and William graciously received it as he grabbed a hold of the hand extending down from heaven.  Being the hands and feet of God shifted my life.  William texted me and said “thank you.”

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Masterpiece and Work in progress

 

Living With Addiction Day 11 ~ Depression and Belonging

Blameless Window of Blessings

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Depression

Damage more than the Afflicted

Day 11 of 40

News Alert:  That mask I lived behind for many years showed the deep darkness to what controlled my very existence.  Depression is a lonely torment.  The enemy plants these tiny seeds of doubt into our minds with words like “You don’t belong, you’ll never be good enough or pretty enough.”  This scheme of deceit creeps into our minds and hearts while this full-blown warfare develops solely to steal, kill and destroy.

Somehow, some way, I saw the hand of God extending down from heaven as I was driving off that cliff and grabbed ahold of it as my car smashed and bounced off the wall of rocks.  Jesus had been patiently waiting for me to grab ahold of His help so I would understand why He came; to set us ALL free, those who would believe, so that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10).  It was then that this weapon of depression and force of destruction that was being formed against me lost its power during my final attempt at suicide.

While I was unconscious due to my skull fracture, I witnessed that bright light that some near-death experiences receive as I witnessed my life flashing before my very eyes.  I was touched clearly by the hand of God; how else could I survive flying through the air 350 feet after going through steel beams and bars and smashing into the cliff’s rocks, not to mention living through the force of the impact that compressed and wrapped my remains around the twisted metal of what was once my Volkswagen Bug.

So what happened to good ‘ole Scott, that dreamy boy, that some of you have asked?  You know, I don’t know.  I will never forget the “words” from his get-well card saying, “If you ever want to drop in anywhere, drop in at my house.”  He said I looked beautiful at the concert and disappeared right afterwards.  Due to our amazing seats, he was unable to get up front with us, but that he was behind me the whole time watching us a dozen rows back.

My parents and I moved to a completely new area shortly after my release from both hospitalizations and I never saw him again.  The enemy is good about robbing us of blessings and gifts that were ours to begin with to open, but we let doubt, insecurities, and fears, you name it, rob us of our value and our gifts intended just for that day.

Since Isaiah 54:17 reassures us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, then it is my duty and responsibility to believe and walk out my faith trusting God at His Word.  This will require moving forward in great expectation and obedience so I may receive the deliverance from this weapon called depression however He chooses to orchestrate it.

God is faithful; He brought my deliverance and healing, but it was not without great cost and pain; the death of Jesus Christ.  I’d call it nothing short of a miracle.  Being healed by Jesus offers us a lifelong journey of hope and joy while giving us glimpses into what heaven will really be like. 

When we encounter this Great Love affair on a daily basis breathing, living and applying His Word to our lives, we become redeemed and transformed and our old strongholds and insecurities that genetically shackled us are removed and we become restored and renewed to being these Beautiful Beloveds God designed and created us to be.

It also helps us love others, even those that have brought us harm.  I want to live and love like 1 Corinthians 13 tells us; through kindness, humility, patience, and by being one who does not easily anger and holds no record of wrongdoing while seeing the best in others through the lens of the forgiveness that was bestowed upon me during the outpouring of love and redemption.

Having a relationship with the Lord changed my perception on who I was!  I finally belonged, to the King of kings and Lord of lords, mind you, and experienced the Love that we all yearn for; the Love I was even going to die for, but Jesus took my place instead and rescued me from myself.  This is called our Father’s Love!  He’s a good, good Father.

Until next time…