As I was walking home from the gym today, I came upon this flower. It was outside a fence, next to the sidewalk, no garden, no other plants, just this lone, rogue, beautiful flower. It sprouted up in the middle of the rocks near a busy main street.
What was it doing there? Why was there such a beautiful thing all alone in the rocks? What if someone walked by and stepped on it, what if some kids passed by and pulled it out? How was this flower going to survive?
Yet, there it was. I wondered if it had been there the other day when I walked by? I couldn’t remember. How could I not have noticed it? But today, as I walked home in the Phoenix heat, tired after working out at the gym and fatigued from my battle with #ValleyFever, I stopped. This flower made me smile, it made me pause and it reminded me of Jesus and His love for me in the midst my exhaustion.
This flower chose to bloom. This flower didn't care that it was alone. This flower didn't say "I want to root in a better location." This flower didn't worry about it's own safety. This flower did the only thing it knew how to do.... bloom and grow.
What I was reminded of today and what I so joyfully want to share with you is this: it's not always the best and prettiest place, it's not always the safest place and it's not always the place we pick to root and grow, but may you (and I) always remember to bloom where you are planted because you never know who will be blessed because you grew roots in the rocks in the middle of the desert.
Here’s the thing. I am in it right now. I have not come out on the other side yet. Yesterday was full of tears, but it was also filled with encouragement from some of the most unlikely places.
I’m in the struggle. And it’s OK for me to be here. I’m in the battle and I feel stuck and alone, but I am NOT alone. While I’m here, I am choosing to lift my eyes up to where my help comes from.
While I am in it, I am choosing joy even in the midst of tears. I am choosing to worship in the midst of pain and to praise in the process of healing.
I am using my voice to speak and not hide, to tell those closest to me that I am hurting. My nature is to isolate. But now, as I struggle, I push myself to fight my natural tendencies and not stay silent because maybe you are like me.
Maybe you, like me, have a picture on Facebook that makes you look happy and well (and so many moments we are!), but the reality is you are also struggling physically or emotionally.
Maybe you, like me, can give your best energy forward to smile and get the job done, but when you get home you crash, because smiling laughing and actually having a great time took all you had to give.
Maybe you, like me, come home and cry when no one is watching.
Maybe you, like me, need to be reminded daily of the Truth. The Lord never leaves or forsakes.
Isaiah 43- In the deep waters and through the fire, the Lord is with us. He isn’t taking us around it, or shortening it or even making it go away. He is simply and magnificently with us while we are in it, passing through.
We will come out. We are Not Alone.
#ValleyFeverAwareness #ChronicFatigue #Depression
If you have a chance to read the first half of Psalm 22, verses 1-18, you will find that it's basically David crying out to God saying... "God, you have left me. I'm being attacked. I'm hungry. I'm thirsty. I'm shriveling away. I have no strength. I have nothing. WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?!?!"
There are times we may feel alone and abandoned by people and the reality is maybe, we are. There are times when we feel like our strength is gone and maybe, it is. There are times when we may be hungry, thirsty and walking the streets.... abused, attacked and left to die.
Pretending like these things aren't real means one has shut their eyes to the reality of pain that surrounds us and those in our community who are lost and hurting. This world can be brutal, this world can let us down.
Yet, in the midst of this, as David begins his cry for God to simply respond, David says this: "Yet, you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” Psalms 22:3
Life can suck, it really can, YET God is on the throne and worthy to be praised!
If you are in the thick of it, lost, alone, hurt and desperate, you, like David, in the midst of the pain can still cry out and say "Yet, You are Holy"
It's hard. I know, I have been there, but that soul stretching cry is the chorus that reaches straight to the ears of God who sees, hears, responds and loves.
Our Lord doesn't sit on a cold throne. He sits on a heavenly throne of praise that extends to the the depth of where we are right down to the very whisper of our heart. We are not alone.
"God I look to you, I won't be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do."-Bethel Worship
These words have been a constant cry of my heart as I remember over a decade ago crying out to God in a state of being overwhelmed with the vision He gave me. It was too much, the good, the glorious, the pain, the struggle... all of it. I was blinded by what He showed me.
It is a huge prayer to ask for eyes to see what He sees. Because once we see it, it can't be unseen and we have to make a choice. And in that choice, do we respond or do we turn a blind eye to others pain, to others joy or do we get in the trenches and dig our heals in and choose to walk or crawl alongside them in the muck and walk alongside them in their joy, even when we, ourselves, are still floundering in the mud?
"God I look to you, I won't be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God I look to You. You're where my help comes from. Give me wisdom, You know just what to do."-Bethel Worship
Lord, Give us vision. Be our strength. You know what to do. May we follow you through the hills, the valleys and even in the trenches. You reign!
Where in your life do you need to respond to what you have seen and dig your heels in the trenches because of it? Let's be comforted in knowing that our Lord knows what to do, He is just asking us to respond.
"God I Look To You" Bethel Worship
Today, I am happy to share a blog written by Dr. Jeralyn B Major. She is a writer and author (with a contagious smile) who is "willing to risk, that she may accomplish." May her words bless, inspire and encourage you. ~Mia
I traveled to South Africa for an immersion and mission experience with approximately 70 members from my church. I went with a heavy heart and a concerned/worried spirit, not about where I was going, but about several things on the home front. One of which had to do with my sister's children. Since my sister's death in December 2015, I have been worried and concerned about my one niece and three nephews and feeling inadequately able to help and support them.
I've been worried more about the baby girl (who is a mother herself) a little more than the boys - but concerned about them all. While I was in South Africa she called and asked what I was doing, and I responded that I was in Africa. Her response was "When were you going to tell me you were going to Africa?" I laughed and apologized and said "I thought I told you."
If she called for a specific reason she immediately shifted her focus to what I was doing and said okay, enjoy yourself and that she would talk to me later. Even though I had limited computer access I did manage to see that she posted about having a job interview that could determine her future. Then I saw a posting after the interview "blessings after blessing, Got the job!"
In this day and age we talk about young people turning away from the church - sometimes, I think, more than we talk about young people turning away from God. It is wonderful when young people acknowledge that what is happening in their lives is a result of God blessing them - I am happy, glad, excited and overjoyed.
After my sister died I attended a women's conference and as an ice breaker we were asked if we could talk to anyone who was no longer with us, who would it be and what would we say. My response was my sister and I would ask her what did she tell her children. I wanted to know what seeds were planted, what foundation was laid and what was said to help them live in this world.
And this morning as I reflect and thank God for blessing my niece, I would like to be able to ask the same question to anyone reading this blog. "What seeds were planted, what stories were shared and what allows you to hold onto to hope?"
And then I would ask "What seeds are you planting, what stories are you sharing, what guiding principles are you instilling in the lives of those you are responsible for?"
There are moments in our lives when we are prompted towards reflection, but sometimes in the busyness of life we don't reflect. So it is during those times that God sends a Breath of Fresh Air to encourage us on the journey. Like a niece whose actions and comments lets you know that she not only heard what her mother taught but also some of what you taught. Or God presents a Breath f Fresh Air that allows you to travel to another county and be a blessing to others.
We need those Breaths of Fresh Air to remind us of the presence of a loving God that is concerned about the details of our lives.
Note to Self -
Seeds Properly Planted Result in
Great and Lasting Harvest!
Dr. JerAlyn B. Major
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.