Ok, God…I Get It

“What comes out of your mouth is an overflow of what is in your heart.”
-Jeff Michael

“It is because of the hurt we have experienced that we are capable of showing great love towards others.”
-Me

I have a name that has been mispronounced so many times, I’m not even sure I pronounce it correctly any more.  Honestly, it shouldn’t be that difficult to pronounce.  But clearly it is.

As a result, I intentionally make sure I try to pronounce other people’s names correctly.

I have a digestive system that is high maintenance.  Which often leads to feeling left out.

As a result, when I know someone else has issues, I make the appropriate accommodations, and make them something they can have.

I have a birthday that is difficult to celebrate.

As a result, I try to make sure I am joyous over other people’s birthday.

I have been having a long talk with God this morning, because I feel the hurt this week.  I feel the hurt today.  I feel the hurt right now.

But in life, hurt will happen.  We will be both the recipients and the deliverers of the hurts.  I’m not perfect.  I know that I have hurt people in the past.  Not that I’m a horrible person and purposefully hurt other people.  But I’m human.  And it happens.

And when that hurt happens, we have to choices.  Two polar opposite choices we can make.

1. We can let that hurt and hatred settle in our hearts, lash out at others, and try to make others hurt as badly as we do.

OR…

2. We can let that hurt and hatred settle in our hearts, and try to make sure no one else ever has to feel that way ever again.

Both choices define you.

I can’t say that I am grateful to have gone through the things that I have.  But I also know that experiencing and surviving some of the things that I have have defined my character.  It was a conscious choice to choose the God path in my life, and realize that the only way to combat hate is with great love towards others.  The only way to combat violence is with great love towards others.

When asked about what the greatest of the commandments were, Jesus answered quite simply “Love God, and love other people.”

He didn’t say to love them when they loved you.

He didn’t say to love them only when they were worthy.

He didn’t say to love them only when they agree with you.

He didn’t say to love them only when they were the same race as you, the same gender as you, the same belief system as you.

He just said to love them.

Love them all.

Love them fiercely.

Love them without condition.

Just love them all.

You may be struggling today.  You may feel like no one cares.  Like you’re no one special.  Like you’re the only one that feels this way.

You’re not.

Read that again.

You.  Are.  Not.

You ARE special.

You ARE loved.

Want to know what you are not?

You are NOT alone.

Take a deep breath.  Take a step forward.  Then take another step forward.  Use the hurt you feel.  Use it for good.

Because the benefits you receive from that will change your world.  Change it for the better.

An Epidemic is Upon Us

There is an epidemic in our community.  In our state. In our country. In our world.  

As Christians, there are several different topics you might think I’m referring to.  But this one hits home most to me, because I see the effects of it every single day. Our children aren’t being parented at home.  And maybe their parents weren’t parented growing up, so they don’t know how. Maybe life has touched them, damaged them, in a way that they aren’t capable of functioning as a parent.  But the effects in today’s society are prevalent.

Not just prevalent.  They are overwhelming.  

And these effects are seen in both girls and boys.  But, to me, it hits home the most with these boys.

At first glance, even the second, and often the third, these boys come across as with a bad attitude, foul-mouthed, angry, stubborn, disruptive and a menace to society.  And honestly, that isn’t wrong. Because they are boys with bad attitudes, foul-mouthed, angry, stubborn, disruptive, and menaces to society.  Because they have never been taught anything else.

And far too often, these boys are written off as no-good failures at life.  

And my heart is broken.  

My heart is broken, because sometimes, not all, but sometimes, when you take the time to dig deeper, and really get to know these boys, what you see on the surface is far from the entire picture.  Some of these boys have huge hearts, and brilliant minds. But these big hearts and brilliant minds have been beaten down by the hand that life has dealt them.

I know, even though I always have hope, that not every single one of them can be saved.  But I pray that we can reach as many as possible.

And I, as a woman, can love on these boys like a mama bear.  And I do, oh I do. But that isn’t enough. These boys need a man to stand up in their life.  Stand up, and show them what it truly means to be a good man.

But how do we make that happen?

As a society, we can do better.  We must do better.  

Life has handed them a bad start.  But that doesn’t mean they have to be stuck there.