The older I get, the more I realize that life isn’t just a serious of coincidences. There has been a plan all along. Even when I couldn’t see it, there was a path lit before my feet guiding the way in which I should go. A long the way were lessons, people, relationships, joy and pain. Not a single person or situation was wasted. There was a purpose in every detail that not only prepared me for the upcoming season in my life but also kept me on a timely course.
I look back in awe as I replay how it all went down. There were so many blessings I missed because I had emotional ties to things, time and people. When it looked like my life was in total chaos, the only thing in chaos was my mind. We have to trust that there is a reason for every season. A time to grow, and a time to go. A time to laugh and a time to mourn. It will all make sense in the end so we have to surrender our need to control every outcome and trust that there is a gentle hand guiding us on the path we are on. The destination is bigger than we could ever imagine. Life is more that a single frame or a snapshot a long the way. When all the pictures are before us, the vision will be clear. Keep going and trust that the path you are on is the place you are meant to be. Look for the blessings a long the way. They are there, waiting to be revealed.
Sometime I look at people and I see their shame. They wear it like a coat that blinds them to the truth of the very things that make them unique and amazing. I see the cloak of guilt that follows them around relentlessly whispering you are less than, you will never be enough. We learn to hide behind the lies that we come into agreement with. We start to believe that we do not even deserve a seat at somebody’s table.
Sometimes I look into the hearts and eyes of people that I love and I can feel their heaviness. Sometimes I wish people could see themselves through my eyes instead of their own. Sometimes I wish there were more hands available willing to lift people up than there are pointing fingers knocking people down. There’s a heaviness on people that we put on one another. It’s not supposed to be this way. We are not meant to live in pain. We are supposed to lay it down. We are not meant to judge and criticize and force our way on somebody else. We are meant to support, encourage and lift up. I pray that eyes are opened. I pray that the truth comes to light. Why can’t people see the angst they cause? Why can’t they see they are the problem when they think they are being the solution?
You are NOT less than. You are more beautiful than you could ever imagine, far more beautiful than a single, flawed human eye could ever see. You are more than. More than who people say you are. More than your choices. More than your regrets. More than your mistakes. You are so much more than you think. I pray someday you discover your worth and no one ever holds the power to define you again. You were made in the perfect image of God and He doesn’t make mistakes. Step into who you are and hold your head up high. You are beautiful and you are loved and there IS a place for you at the table. Just sit down and claim it.
It has been 7 months since one of the hardest seasons of my life. Looking back, I know it was no accident that God strategically placed me in the middle of a beautiful group of ladies who would mentor me in ways that would forever change my life. I didn’t realize that the words I allowed out of my mouth would literally bring death or life to every situation and relationship I would ever walk through. I was unaware of the poisonous negativity that was oozing from my own lips. When I sat in a class that taught me about using my words to breathe life into everyone and everything, my life dramatically changed. At first they were just empty words but eventually those words led to new thoughts and an amazing new confidence regardless of what situation life threw my way. I knew as soon as heard this amazing concept that this was exactly the key that was missing in having a life free of fear and worry. My dream is to pay this information forward and to coach people into recognizing how their words affect every outcome. Awareness is the first step and I am so excited to pass on what I have learned. My heart is so full as I think of the dramatic changes I feel in my heart and mind. I never could have imagined that I could sit here feeling so much joy, gratitude and excitement about my future. But God right? He is so good!
Sometimes I forget there are people out there who need me. Sometimes I get so closed in by the prison of my own thoughts that I cannot see beyond the tiny hopeless box I’m hiding in. I am here to remind you that there will be hard times and rough days. There will be hours that seem like years. There will be mountains you don’t want to climb but trust me you want to get to the other side. If nothing else, climb to the top and sit down on whatever situation has you feeling down. That mountain is not on top of you, you are on top of it and the view looks so much different when you commit to the climb. Be courageous. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot move beyond what seems like Mt. Everest standing before you. Alone it may seem to hard to face but you are never alone and everything, EVERYTHING is possible with God. Keep moving! Look to where where you’re going and don’t even take a peek back. You don’t live there anymore.
Life sometimes takes an unexpected turn and you find yourself on a path you never thought you’d have the courage to take. What has been your normal for so long will become a distant memory but there’s no need to shed more than one tear as you take a final glance in your rear view mirror. Keep your eyes ahead and keep moving forward. There are better things in front of you than what you’re leaving behind. Go in faith. God will always make a way.
Sometimes in our lives, the unexpected happens. We wake up thinking that today will be like every other day. Then we are shaken to our core. We are attacked from behind in a way we never saw coming when we first opened our eyes that unsuspecting morning. Where do we go when there is no place to run? Who do we go to when there is no one around? When the ground feels shaky underneath our feet, where can we stand to feel safe again?
We all run into stormy seasons when the rain comes and there is no sun in sight. I am here to remind you that when you feel like you will never make it through you’re toughest day, you will. You are an overcomer. When you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains. You have been prepared to face that time when your faith is all you have and it will get you to the other side of whatever your obstacle is. Be still and wait for it to pass. Stand tall and let the violent winds just pass on through. You can do this. You are never alone.
For years I have listened and watched as certain voices grew louder and bigger. I sat back quietly as the crowds who disrespected the very things I believed in became like loud, childlike bullies. I thought keeping the peace was best for everyone but now I find myself in crisis because of my silence. I know now that I never have to defend myself because of what or who I believe in. I don’t owe anyone an explanation about what or why I believe something. Yes we have the right to disagree but we do not have the right to disrespect and demean. And if someone does, I do not have to receive it. We have come to a crossroad in time where we must be so grounded that our roots go so deep until we are unshakeable. It’s taken me years to live comfortable in my own skin where I feel safe to use my God given voice to speak His word. I am not I shamed. I am faithful and I will not apologize to people who do not feel the same. One of my favorite quotes is this,
Be You. The world will adjust.
Carry that thought out into your day.
Why is it that people feel the need to personally insult fellow human beings? Today especially, I have seen one meme and post after another knocking people who believe in God or believe in the power of prayer. I never believed that a persons heart could realistically be so heartless and cruel. I wanted to believe that all people are good and kind and ultimately want a place we can abide together in peace. The reality is people are so full of themselves and their need to demean and insult far exceeds their desire to be kind. Why can’t people leave other people alone? Why has it become common practice to use our voices to humiliate, embarrass and demoralize another human being? What kind of person does that on a regular basis? What could possibly be in the mind and heart of someone who stops at nothing to prove a point and be flat out cruel? I’ve had it. I try my best to be respectful. Nine times out of ten I choose not to respond or feed negativity but everyday it gets a little bit harder. I will never let their lack of self control harden me to the point that I too become cruel. Today I recommit even more to be nicer, make this world a kinder place and to kill attack words with words of peace. Is anyone out there? Everyone needs to believe in something. They need hope to get through the years of their life. Why take that away from someone whatever that hope may be? Just leave people alone. I need an army. Please join with me.
Today I knelt down and prayed for some peace. I’ve been living my life all wrong and what better time to start over than this season of lent. I have wasted precious prayers on speeding life up. When my kids were little I wanted them to grow out of certain phases faster. When the day is difficult, I want the week to speed ahead to Friday. When the year is filled with hard and heart broken, I want to jump ahead to the next one leaving the difficult one behind. I rush the moments that I will never get back. Even now, I want the next 8 days to fast forward so I will be sitting on a plane on my way to California for spring break. The truth is we don’t have a special button that will move us through time at our own will. This isn’t our plan. It never was. I have come to the realization that there are mountains we all have to climb. Things we must overcome to lead us to the person we are meant to be. There are no shortcuts, no passes on pain or hard times. We have to learn to find peace in our skin as our hearts experience the unthinkable or our pulse races to a dangerously high pace. More than ever, those are the moments we must strive to find faith and comfort knowing the moment won’t last and a new one is just around the corner waiting for us to arrive. We have to stop fighting and surrender to what is. How do we sit calmly in a place that makes us feel so uncomfortable? How do we stop fighting what is and just relax and let it be? What does it take? Faith? Hope? Confidence?
The next forty days I am going to pray that I find peace in my uncomfortable moments. I pray that I find a way to embrace each and every day regardless of the circumstances. I don’t want to speed the moments up and sit in regret as I look back and wish I enjoyed them more. Every day is precious and each one holds challenges and blessings. Rather than wanting to change my life, I am seeking a way to see it in a new way that will help me experience less of the anxiety and fear that rob me of my peace and the intention to embrace more joy and hope. Perception is the difference in a good and bad day…a good and bad life. Today, I pray for a new perspective on my own life and that even on the darkest days, I will find beauty. Life is too short to miss or rush a single moment. Today I make it my intention to slow down and focus on the things that really matter. I pray for a calm in this storm that is raging inside of me and a renewed hope and faith that I am not alone. I pray for peace inside of myself and throughout the world.
Mad doesn’t even come close to what I was feeling tonight. I was trapped in the car while my husband was in Home Depot, stuck with the feelings that were burning me up inside. I had this incredible urge to rip open my skin and step out of myself so I could escape the rage that was building inside of me. I am feeling tired and worn from my son pushing me past my limit to be a decent human being. His lack of concern for anything leaves me completely concerned about everything and by the time Sunday evening rolls around, I have reached the end.
We picked him up from church a few hours later and he got in the car like nothing ever happened. He leaned into the front seat, “Hi.” Just the sound of his voice made my heart race. I wanted to continue the argument we were having before I dropped him off. I sinking into the depths of hell and my instinct was to grab his arm and drag him through with me. I took a deep breath. “Let it go Kim.” All my life I had heard the phrase misery loves company and I was fighting the urge to invite him over. Would rehashing the unhashable do any good? A tear rolled down my face. Sometimes the desperation I feel as a parent weighs on me heavily. How do I reach him?That tiny voice in my head whispered quietly, speak softly and maybe he will listen. Yes, soften. Start with your voice and your words and heart will follow. Sometimes I just have to sit long enough with my feelings until the intensity comes down. Acting on feelings that are inflated beyond containment is unhealthy for everyone involved.
Tonight I pray, not that God changes my situation but that he changes my perception of it. I pray for the strength and courage to continue to reach out to my son regardless of how many times he pushes me away. I pray that I never give up on him even when the hurt gets hard. I pray for a way to quiet the anger that sometimes builds a wall between myself and the people I love. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow offers hope to try again.