Thoughts & Prayers #55

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth Psalms 145:18ESV

It’s been another one of those weeks when it seems like every time the phone rang it was with news of the death of someone who has been a part of my journey throughout this life. It’s always interesting to me that death makes me think more in depth about life. I’ve been thinking about how whenever something tragic happens in a person’s life the people around them will say that they’re in their thoughts and prayers. I often wonder if the sentence “you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers” is something that has become commonplace to say, because we don’t know exactly what to say when tragedy arises in the lives of those around us. I question if people really pray for me when they’ve said those words to me.

“You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers” was a statement that I heard a lot when my daddy died, even then I remember thinking to myself “yeah right you’re just saying that, you’re not really going to pray for me.” I only have a handful of people in my life who I truly feel keep me in their thoughts and prayers no matter what. I am honestly guilty of saying those words to people because I just didn’t know what else to say and I honestly planned on saying a word of prayer for them but simply forgot. It was never because I didn’t mean it or because I didn’t care about what was going on in the life of the person that I said it to, it was simply because I forgot to place them in my prayers. That probably seems awful of me, but I’m human and I forget things sometimes.

These days I’ve gotten in the practice of whispering a word or two of prayer as soon as I tell someone that they will be in my thoughts and prayers, because the older I get, the more I believe in and understand the importance of prayer. I feel like it’s a statement that shouldn’t be thrown around as often as it is simply because you don’t know what’s best to say in certain situations. I guess maybe I am just not one hundred percent trusting of people to do what they say they are going to do, but I would prefer that people not tell me what they think I need to hear in the moment if they aren’t truly going to keep me in their thoughts and pray for me. I hope that I am wrong the next time someone tells me I’ll be in their thoughts and prayers and I think to myself sarcastically “yeah sure you will” because it’s a blessing to have people think enough of you to say a pray for you.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Trusting God Through The Good & The Bad #52

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

D1ECB8C7-920B-4E5F-86D7-F996EC503DEBThe fact that I question God all the time is no secret to anyone who reads my blog regularly because I’m always very honest with you all about the things that I question God about. I question God because I don’t understand certain things that are happening around me, not because I don’t trust him. Today I was thinking about how it’s always easy to trust God when life is going good, but when the difficult times roll in for some trust in God rolls out, although it’s during the difficult times when our trust and faith in God should increase. I’ve been wondering if God uses the difficult times in the lives of those of us who believe in him as a chance to test our trust in him.

I often use the phrase “let go and let God” because to me that phrase means let go, stop trying to handle things (life) in your way, pray about it and let God show you the way to handle the difficulties that life sends your way. I believe that God has a solution even before you are presented with the problem, but you have to fully one hundred percent trust in God and be willing to hand it all over to him. I know just from living my own life that it is extremely challenging to just step out of the way and hand your life and all your issues over to the Lord. Relinquishing control isn’t easy, because it’s natural to want to handle everything yourself.

Just as most human beings, I am a work in progress and God is always working on me and my relationship with him. I have had plenty of times in my life when I was worried about something, although I know that God always knows and does what’s best I found myself having a difficult time giving my issue(s) to God and no longer worrying about it. I have also had times in my life when I question God about something happening in my life or in the world that I just don’t understand and I didn’t trust his plan completely, because I didn’t understand. I feel like I have gotten much better with my faith and trust in God now that I am a bit older and each day it grows stronger.

A while ago, I read a devotional message that said “God will use difficult situations to teach us about ourselves so I wonder if difficult situations are God’s way of reminding us christians to keep trusting in him. That devotional message also said that if we don’t learn from our trials we’ll keep repeating them. I wonder if one of those lessons is that we must completely trust in God, maybe the lessons to be learned within our trials are different for each of us. I definitely believe it’s always one lesson that God is constantly repeating in my life.

When I have moments of difficulty in my life, when I’m worried or stressed over something, even though it’s still difficult for me sometimes to just give everything to God, I have to remind myself that ultimately I am not the one who is in control. I have to say to myself, Zena, God has not failed you in 36 years, he is not going to start failing you now, his way is always best, trust him.

What about you, what do you do when the troubles roll into your life and you start to lose your trust and faith in God?

That’s just my perspective!💜

Don’t Let The Load Loosen The Grasp #35

07CB4A51-98F6-4D31-B4DA-4B225A746014In my last perspective I wrote about how I feel that every thing that happens in this life is all a part of God’s plan for each of our lives. I’ve been thinking about that topic a lot more in the last few weeks probably because I have been paying closer attention to everything going on in the world around me. My perspective hasn’t changed, I still feel like everything that happens to us is already pre-planned by God. My thoughts have been on how some people say that God won’t put any more on us than we can bare. Sometimes it seems like God loads people’s lives with piles of problems with no solution in sight just to see how much they can bare or maybe its to show them their own strength. Maybe God piles a million and one problems on our backs with no solution in the foreseeable future to teach us to trust him. I think in some situations and circumstances when life has piled a load of problems on our backs and we don’t know how to keep carrying the heavy load while trying to continue to walk straight and travel through this rocky journey called life, that is just the time when God steps in and shows us that we can carry any load that life piles on our backs if we always trust in him to help us. God has the solution even before we are presented with the problem, but we have to trust that he will make a way when we don’t see how it’s even possible to do so. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

We all experience times when we allow our right hand to slip away from God’s grasp, because trials and tribulations that come along with living life seem to be endless, those times when the devil gets his bullhorn out sticks it right in your ear and very loudly constantly reminds you of all the problems on your back so that you can not hear God saying “just trust in me.” I have experienced various health issues in my life due to having been born with a birth defect and those are the times in my life when I personally felt like God was putting more on me than I could bare, but they are also the times when I have come to realize I am much stronger than I feel sometimes. Lately when I experience those times I try to snap out of it really quickly by reminding myself that God gave me the gift of life for a specific purpose, a purpose he hasn’t shown me yet and while he is shaping me into the person he needs me to be to fulfill that purpose he has blessed me beyond measure and I can’t allow life’s problems to make me forget that. I may not have as many problems loaded on my back as many others in this world but my life isn’t an ease everyday, I have to remind myself that I know that God didn’t promise that life would be easy, he promised not to leave or forsake me and through fourteen surgeries and many other trials God still has a tight grasp on my right hand. Sometimes I loosen that grasp a bit, when I find myself asking “Lord why me?” and questioning him when I know I shouldn’t but I always get my answer, usually not right when I want it but always when I must need it.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

That’s just my perspective.💜

It’s All God’s Plan #34

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalms 32:8ESV

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9ESV

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If you’ve read anything that I have previously written you are aware that it doesn’t take much to stir my thoughts, everyday just staying abreast of what’s going on around me keeps me in deep thinking mode and wanting to write about my thoughts.

I recently heard someone say that sometimes we mess up God’s plan for our lives. It was a statement made in reference to the mistakes and bad choices that we humans sometimes make in our lives. The statement really stirred my thoughts, because I am not sure I agree with that theory. I believe that everything that happens in our lives is all a part of God’s plan for you and me. My belief is that both the good and the bad things that happen in our lives are all part of God’s plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a scripture that speaks of God’s plan, it’s a scripture that I have probably used countless times within my writing because it’s one of my favorites. In the good news version of the bible Jeremiah 29:11 says, I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. I think that from the time you are born into this world until the end of your life in this world God has your life all planned out, nothing that happens in your life is a surprise to God. There is nothing that you do that can mess up God’s plan for your life, because God knows what you are going to do before you do. We are all meant to go through everything that we do each and every day of our lives.

I have probably said this before, but I think God allows us to endure certain things because he wants us to learn something from the experience. You know, those times in life when the bad moments seem to occur in a domino effect, back to back and back again, those times when it seems you have more bad days than good and life makes you wonder just when will it get better. I’m sure most people may not look at those moments like I have come to look at them, but I feel like those moments just like my good times are all part of God’s plan. I have found that for me the bad times in life have been the moments that have most taught me to appreciate the gift of life. I know sometimes it seems we make mistakes or it seems we get off track in our lives but I believe that each and every thing that happens to us is all a part of God’s plan for you and me.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:18

That’s just my perspective💜

A Thankful Heart #27

There is always something for which to be thankful.” Charles Dickens

pro-church-media-441073-unsplashIt’s a week before Thanksgiving and for the last few days I have been trying to come up with something to write about because I love to write, but since I started this blog the words just don’t come to my mind as often as I would like them to.

I’m sitting in a quiet room alone at home because I need silence for the words to come and I started thinking about my life and the multitude of things that I have to be thankful for. A few weeks ago in perspective #25 I wrote about how I am always questioning my purpose and my place in this world, well in the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about that and talking to God and praying he’ll soon show me his purpose for my life. I have decided to try and stay in the frame of mind thinking that as long as God allows me to wake up each morning, he has something more planned for my life, God has some purpose for me that I have not fulfilled yet. I am an imperfect human being so I have down days when I question life like when I wrote perspective #25 but I am so thankful for this life that I have been given and as I have stated before I want to be able to make a difference in the world even if it’s only through my writing.

I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy that carries us all through each day. I am thankful for my mother who has been with me through thick, thin and everything in between, she’s getting older,she’s almost to her promised seventy, and I can’t bare the thought of maybe having to live in a world without her some day. I am thankful for that one extraordinary aunt, my second mother y’all know who she is, God didn’t make anyone else like her, the tears come when I think about what she means to me. I am thankful for my brother who tests my patience as younger brothers do to their older sisters all the time, but he also shows me that he cares just at the right moment and he gave me the best nephew ever. My brother is also one of the smartest people I know and teaches me so much daily. I am thankful for my praying ninty three year old grandmother because she is ruler of our family and is aging better than a lot of people her age. I am thankful for my godfather because he has always been like a second father to me, he is a man I admire a lot. I am thankful for my adorable, handsome, super intelligent four year old nephew, because his smile, the way he calls my name and just everything about him makes this world a better place. I am thankful for my aunts and uncles, because they all show me what strength, intelligence, courage, love, and excellence is just by being who they are. I am thankful to have been taught the importance of family and to have family members that I know will always have my back.

I am extremely thankful for all the great people that God has placed all along the way throughout this journey called life because they have influenced the person that I am. I am thankful to have a roof over my head, sadly I realize there are so many people in this world who do not have a decent place to lay their head at night. I am thankful that my life does not lack love, I am fortunate to have people who I know without any doubts love me. As crazy as it probably sounds I am thankful for my physical struggles, because they have given me strength that sometimes even I don’t realize I possess until I have to use it. I am thankful that I have family in my life like my mother, who will tell me the truth about myself regardless of whether I want to hear it or not even if it hurts me. I am thankful to have had a father who was present in my life until God said it was time for him to go. I am thankful that God made me someone who has compassion for others. I am thankful for my sensitivity and all that makes me who I am. I could fill a million sheets of paper writing about the things I am thankful for and I would still need more paper. I think that the older I get the more I am realizing that even though I question life and my place in it, I am still trying to be a positive person with a thankful heart and truly appreciate all that I have been given.

This year on Thanksgiving as you sit around the table with your loved ones look around and think about your life and all that you have to be thankful for I know I will.💜

Moment of Clarity – #8

A few months ago I wrote a post on Facebook about how I think that God sometimes sends us signs in our daily lives that make us stop and think and completely changes our outlook on life. The experience that I wrote about on Facebook is one that has stayed in my mind since it occurred and even though it may seem simple to some the experience was very significant to me and has changed my perspective on life in several ways.

In August I went to have some repairs made on my leg braces, it is something that I had not done in a long while so I had forgotten how long I might be there. I probably should have taken something to read with me because the apps on my cell phone just were not entertaining me. I was experiencing the beginning of a migraine before I left home so the brace repair company was really the last place I wanted to be at that point in time. I was sitting there bored, in pain, getting impatient with a million things running through my mind. All of a sudden in the room where I was I saw a prosthetic leg that was made for a small child. It had been so long since the last time I was there I had forgotten that prosthetics were made there.

I took that experience as God telling me that things could be so much worse in my life. I found myself apologizing to God aloud for constantly dwelling on the things that I feel are negative parts of my life. Since God gave me that moment of what I consider clarity I have tried to stop thinking as negatively as I have in the past about the parts of my life that I am unsatisfied with. During the months since my moment of clarity anytime I have down days I pray and try to push myself back into the frame of mind of thinking and believing I am alive because God has a specific purpose for me to fulfill and a reason for placing me where I am.

My prayer since that day is that God continues to help me think positively, that he helps me to learn to not dwell so much on the negative aspects of my life while he is continuing to prepare me to fulfill his purpose for me. I pray that the moment God shows me what that purpose is that my ears, eyes and heart are open to receiving and understanding it  and ultimately fulfilling it as he wants me to.💜