somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


26 Comments

Rest in the Love of Jesus

There are many reasons that I could give to explain why I haven’t written a post for such a long time.  However, this is what sums it up:

The facade of my life that I unknowingly created in my own mind was demolished.  This devastated me, and I am still processing what it means to be me.

I thought that I dealt with each life event as they happened…but I didn’t, all the way back to my childhood.  What I did was put all of it on the back burner, thinking that I could go on with my life without actually feeling the pain, confusion, disappointment or anger that was simmering inside of me, just below the surface.  Because, I have so many wonderful blessings in my life…why couldn’t I just focus on those blessings?  What was wrong with me, what was that gnawing feeling down deep that there was more to me than I was willing to acknowledge?

The last few years were extremely difficult for me: 

My sons and their wives moved across country…something I never, ever envisioned happening to our family.

My mom passed away after living with my husband and me for over ten years.  The stress of being responsible for her health and happiness, and then sharing in her dying process through hospice in our home, was overwhelming.  As I started to grieve for her, I realized that I never truly grieved or faced the death of my father years ago. And both of those grief processes are very complicated.

Making the decision to move cross country to be near our new grandson, and my oldest son and daughter in law.  That meant leaving friends, family, and our beautiful home in Virginia.  Which also meant downsizing about 75 percent of our belongings, and moving into a much smaller condo in California.  As I sold and gave away so many things that had been a part of my life for so long, I kind of put blinders on, and pushed all my feelings to the side.  I did the exact same thing regarding my friends and family that I would be moving away from.  How else could I have made that move?  I literally numbed myself without even realizing it.

Then I started a job at an assisted living community.  I work reception, and have fallen in love with many of the residents and their families.  Although I love the people, and the relationships, something else started to happen to me.  I started suffering anxiety/panic attacks, and I did not understand why.

Evidently, God isn’t through with me yet.  More and more dark layers are being peeled away from my heart.  I am facing demons that have lied to me for many, many years.  And once again, Jesus is helping me to heal gently.  I want it all to be gone NOW, however, He knows the timing…He knows what remains hidden inside of me.

One of the reasons that I haven’t posted in such a long time, is that I don’t have all the answers.  However, I know now that it’s ok not to have the answers.  Jesus has been there each and every minute of my life. He knows The Truth…He knows my true soul and my true self.  My life is in His hands, and I trust where He is leading me.

He is there for all of us…in our joy, sadness, sin, anger, confusion, grief, and pain. When we truly accept that, we can stop trying to control everything and everyone in our lives, and we can rest in the love of Jesus.  And we will come closer and closer to understanding “what it means to be me.”

 

 

 

 

 


18 Comments

Listening for His Voice

IMG_2728Being that it’s a gorgeous sunny day today…in the eighties, I decided to take a walk during my lunch hour.

As I stepped outside and breathed in that amazingly warm and comforting air, I asked God to speak to me.  You see, usually I pray (talk!) the whole time I am walking, so I asked the Lord to do the talking today.

And I was listening for His voice.

For a few moments I was hearing the common drone of cars humming down the main road, and those sounds gave way to the gentle whirring of the breeze around me.  All of a sudden, there was the sound of a bird squawking.  The sound was getting nearer and nearer to me, and I looked down.  The bird was running in circles right in front of me and making all sorts of crazy sounds.  Then I saw it.  Her baby was off to the left of me, running toward the grass.  I realized that the mommy bird was protecting her baby!

Seeing the natural instinct of a mother protecting her little one really warmed my heart.  I thanked God for showing me such beauty, turned the corner and stepped up to the sidewalk.  Then I saw something I wish I hadn’t.  I saw two little furry baby birds, all soft and downy, lying dead on the ground.  I asked the Lord why He allowed me to see that?  Why did I need to see those sweet little birds that looked as though they just died?  And why did they have to die in the first place?

He answered, “there is beauty to be found through both life and death.”  After a few more steps, once again I looked down, and I saw it.  A bookmark had flown over and landed on the side of the path I was walking on.

I saw the words…Jesus is Alive! And I understood that because of Jesus, death holds no power over us.  In Christ Jesus, we are saved.  He is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and our lives, and accept the precious gifts He offers us.  Love, mercy, and salvation.  These are not merely words to bring us comfort.  Jesus is truly alive…He is right here with us now!

Lord, there are so many times I don’t understand your ways.  I don’t understand why some people suffer more than others, why some seem to attract the good things of the world, while others struggle just to survive.  Help me to understand that you are present in all of our lives, and in all circumstances.  Help me to trust that your grace is sufficient in all things, and that suffering, even death itself, can bring us closer to you.  All we need to do is open our hearts to you, and ask that you fill us with your saving holy presence.

 


11 Comments

What Love Really Looks Like

Lately the words “What Love Really Looks Like” have been going through my head.  Probably because of our recent visit to Central California to enjoy some time with our son and daughter in law, and to meet our first grandchild, Brayden.  Watching their family bond together, and all that goes into the care of an infant, etched into my heart the reminder that love does not usually look like the love that is marketed to all of us on a daily basis.

Yes, there are times of carefree romantic bliss, and those moments of angelic babies surrounded by an aura of sweet white light.  Like the moments  that are portrayed by Hallmark and on social media.  Do we even remember anymore that most of the photos we see now are the result of careful staging, that depict perfectly put together couples, adorable babies, and trendy families?  Whatever happened to the uncomfortable, and many times unflattering pictures of old?  The ones that truly show life as it is…spontaneous and messy.  I must admit, I am the first one to delete “bad” pics of myself or anyone else that I feel would not be flattering.  Why do we desire to show the happy “perfection,” and not the struggle?

Sometimes, in trying to make our world “look good” to ourselves or others, we kind of forget what love really looks like. 

As we get closer to Jesus, we realize that through the suffering and struggle of our daily crosses, when we open ourselves up to His love and healing mercy, we begin to experience His Divine Love.

What does love really look like?

There is beauty in love that is revealed through joy, happiness, and contentment.  We all have known moments of great love and happiness…when we are so filled with love that we feel our hearts will just burst.

However, there is a deeper love…a greater joy that unites us with Jesus.  That unfathomable joy is shown in ways we don’t expect. Some of those moments don’t “feel” like love when they are happening.  The love is shown when we experience those moments, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through them, and work through us.

What does love really look like?  It looks like…

Hearing your newborn scream incessantly no matter how you try to soothe him; living on a few hours of sleep, and feeling overwhelmed. Changing dirty diapers that look like an explosion took place…how could all of that even come out of that tiny baby?  Then your baby focuses and gazes straight into your eyes, and smiles with his whole face.  Your heart instantly melts.

Doing what needs done as a couple to run your household and raise your children.  Getting up everyday to go to work, when you’d rather stay home or do something much more interesting.  Or maybe you are the one who is staying home to raise your children and manage your home…and the day to day “drudgery” sometimes feels as though you can’t do it one more day.  Then, through the little things of daily life, through a smile, a hug or a special moment, you are once again reminded of the big “why” and your spirit is renewed.

The misunderstandings, arguments, and pain that happen in your marriage.  The times when you bite your tongue when your spouse says something that hurts you to the core.  Or the times you are the one who lashes out with angry, biting words.  Then, through a miracle, the both of you once again work through the issues and difficulties, and become even closer through the struggle together.

Being the caregiver for someone in your life.  The daily care, responsibility, and the pain of watching the one you love suffer, and then pass away.  The grief.  And then the joy of knowing he/she is with you forever, and no longer are you separated  by sin, but united in love.

The pain of a mother, hearing that her daughter was killed while on a date with a boyfriend, who was driving drunk.  That mother’s grief and pain in losing her daughter was overwhelming.  However, the love of Jesus allowed her to stand up in the courtroom to speak up for the young man that was responsible for her daughter’s death.  She was able to hug and love him, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit working in her heart.

The look of anguish between a husband and wife, as one of them confesses to infidelity, and the forgiveness that is offered from the heart to the offender.  The grief, the pain, and the days, months and sometimes years of suffering together to restore the marital trust.  And then the joy of discovering that the journey of healing miraculously built a truly happy, whole marriage relationship that is their greatest gift in life.

A well known country singer, who was diagnosed with cancer, and knew that her days on earth were coming to an end.  She allowed her final loving days with her family to be shared with the world, in order to share her faith and love of God with those that may have needed to see through her eyes of faith.  Beautiful.

What does love really look like?

It looks like Our Savior, sacrificing Himself to suffer and take on full  punishment for our sins.  It looks like a man, bloodied, scourged, tortured, mocked, hanging on a cross, and uttering the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and then dying for us.

Then there was Easter Sunday!  Triumph over death!  Alleluia!

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us what love really looks like.  I ask that you work through me, allowing your love to reach those in need of your mercy.

 

 

 

 

 


15 Comments

From the Other Side, With Love

Since my mother passed away, my husband and I are slowly getting back to our life.  After so many years of my mom living with us, and the accommodations we made in our life and marriage due to her needs and happiness, we are having difficulty figuring out what “getting back to our life” means.  Our love and our marriage is strong, however, we are kind of in a waiting place…to see where the Lord is leading us at this time in our life.

There are many thoughts and feelings filling my heart and mind, and I miss my mother in a way that I never could have expected.

Her heart and spirit are a part of me now, and although she is gone from this physical world, I know  she is alive… in and with Jesus forever.   That doesn’t stop the pain of her absence, and also the pain of knowing the sorrows, struggles, and suffering that she endured throughout her life.

My dear friend wrote the following poem about her husband, when he was taken from her and her family.  Her beautiful and comforting  words touch my heart deeply and I wanted to share with you.

 

Today one more soul is heaven sent, 

A husband, father, and papa to many has finally found his way home; 

An eternity to spend. 

 

A place of rest, where everything is at its best, 

No more sorrow or tears to shed, 

A place where all are heavenly blessed. 

 

No more darkness or sickness; things of the past. 

A home at last; to the Father I must go. 

My time here has ended, the life we once knew gone but not forgotten, 

I’ll be watching over you. 

 

As I step out of this body and enter love’s pure light, 

I look back at your tear stained face and long to tell you it’s alright; 

The place I’m going, I do not fear. 

 

As I run to the Father, life’s pains and struggles disappear; 

And are replaced with everlasting joy. 

I think I’ll be ok staying here. 

 

Don’t you spend too much time crying over me. 

Remember the good times and don’t dwell on the bad; 

Take what you can from the things I have taught 

And you may learn a thing or two. 

 

Pay attention; tune your ear to the still small voice; 

I am always with you, not so far away. 

Just close your eyes, think of me, 

And remember to smile; 

I’m going home to the Father above. 

 

From the other side, with love. 

 

Written by Melissa Cox

 

 


19 Comments

Treasure the Moment You Are In

Many of you know that my eighty-eight year old mother lives with my husband and me.  If you would like to know a little about her, and our life together, here is the link of a past blog I wrote about her.

When my mom first came to live with us, (eleven years ago) she was walking with a cane.  She got around pretty well, able to shop with me, walk unaided around the house, go outside, etc.  That progressed to her using a walker.  In the last year, her walking has become much more labored, and her shortness of breath has increased with any exertion or activity at all.

A week ago, she experienced a very scary breathing episode, that led her to be admitted into the hospital and then to rehab.  When she was first admitted, she was extremely weak and very afraid for her life.

After a very stressful week for her and us, we are very happy, because due to medication, oxygen treatment, and physical/occupational therapy, she is more energized and is responding well and regaining some strength.  It is her hope, and ours, that she is able to do the simple things that she was doing a little over a month ago.  The basic things…like walking with her walker to the bathroom, being able to join us at the dinner table, or to watch a movie or go out for dinner as a family.  These simple things are our prayer for her.

I have learned so many things through this experience with her.  The main thing that keeps going through my mind is how many times Mom was so upset that she wasn’t able to do some of the things other people her age were doing.  I tried to reassure her, and reminded her to not compare herself and what she is capable of, with others.  That she should focus on what she is blessed with, and what she still CAN do, instead of her limitations.

We all tend to do that at times…not fully appreciating or acknowledging the blessings, and focusing on what we feel is lacking.

All that my mother is focusing on right now is the hope that she will once again enjoy a “normal” day.   That she will not be bedbound…that she is able to breathe normally, and get around “a little.”

“Treasure the moment you are in.”  I opened my notebook this morning that I am keeping about my mom’s hospital/rehab stay, and those words jumped out at me.  When I attended a Woman’s Conference, a few months ago, I jotted that thought down.

“Treasure the moment you are in.”  So appropriate for me to think about at this time.

What moments will you treasure?

For me, those moments are my “normal” day…the little things that often go unnoticed or taken for granted.  Those are the moments that we will learn are the true blessings that we all have received from our heavenly father.  Some of those blessings are the same for most of us, some are unique.

 

Some of the moments I am thankful for in my life, and will savor as treasures:

Having my husband next to me, being the last face I see before I go to sleep at night, and the first face I see when I wake up.

All of the people in my life…my family, friends, and all those that God places in my daily life.  To appreciate all they are to me, and all that I can be to them.

Waking up in a comfy bed, in our cozy home, and having a hot shower or bath to enjoy.

Being able to enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast with my husband, each day as we commute to work together.  Even going a step further – to simply be physically able to eat and drink.

Feeling the warm summer air on my skin, and taking in the beauty of nature in what I see and hear.

Having a job that helps to attend to our basic needs, and also allows us some of the little pleasures that we enjoy together.

The ability to breathe…to just be.  To enjoy the world, and the presence of God, through my senses –  being able to see, hear, taste, smell, feel.  To be able to walk, and do the things I need or desire to do.

When I am totally aware that none of us are alone.  God is with us at all times, and when we stop to listen, He is always right there with us, all around us.  He is our strength, our heart, our soul…he is the reason we exist.  His love flows around us, in us, and through us.

Treasure the moment you are in…it is a blessing and will work toward good through God that loves you more than you can fathom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


14 Comments

True Source of Love

In the last week or so, my eyes and heart have been more fully opened to the daily struggles that oftentimes hinder joy, happiness and an intimate relationship with Jesus.  In fact,  many times the circumstances of life are proclaimed as the reason for lack of faith…souls in despair and darkness choose to blame God for their plight instead of inviting God into their lives and submitting their sins, struggle, and pain to Him.  Through that choice…made in stubbornness, fear, pride, or through the pain and deception of the evil one, darkness overtakes the life and very soul, leading to a life devoid of true love and joy.

These struggling souls do not need our condemnation.  What they need is prayer, that the Holy Spirit may cover them with love and peace, and that their hearts are opened to the intense love, mercy, and saving grace that only Jesus can provide.  They hunger for us to be strong enough in our relationship with Christ, that we can overlook the darkness and look for the spark of Jesus in their hearts.  They need our faith to be strong enough to be a light in their darkness…that we love and not judge. 

We have no idea how these souls arrived at the place where they are suffering and ‘stuck.’  They may or may not know.  However, the Holy Spirit knows the depth of each and every soul, and knows the root causes of choices made and the events that led to the damage in their hearts.

All of us have experienced pain, despair and darkness at different times in our lives.  It is only the saving grace of Jesus that set us free.  It is only the divine mercy and love of Jesus that fills our hearts and beings with an indescribable joy and peace.

This is the essence of Christianity…the desire to share this amazing love with as many hearts as we can.

Let’s take this day to offer our prayers to the Lord for someone in our lives that is suffering and in darkness.  Maybe we have tried to share Jesus with them, and they scoff or close their hearts.  They may even show intense anger when the name of Jesus is spoken.  Maybe we have provided for their needs, and given what we thought they needed, in love. However, those things are not their true need.

We must remember that their souls are crying out for the healing love of Jesus, even when they proclaim the opposite.

Let’s never forget where the TRUE SOURCE of love resides…

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:12-13

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

 

 

 


18 Comments

How Long Will You Choose to Wait?

Today, I received the following words to share with you.  I pray that they touch your heart, as they did mine,  and help you to grow in your relationship with Jesus.

Why are you fighting against me?  You have heard that quiet voice in your heart as I speak to you…but you tune me out.  You have felt the direction that I am guiding you toward; however, you ignore me and continue on your familiar path.  You see the wonder and beauty of my creation all around you each day, but you choose to skim over all those beautiful sights  I specifically  place in front of your eyes, and replace them with worldly glitter and gaudy replications.  And you wonder why you feel unhappy and that  “there is something missing”.

What are you waiting for?  Why do you keep me waiting, with my arms outstretched in love?  I ask you again, how long will you wait?

Are you waiting until you have time?  What is keeping you from me?

Is it…

Family

Friends

Date Nights

Work

Volunteering

TV

Music, Concerts

Reading

Movies

Sports

Addictions or pleasures

Laziness

Stubbornness

Or just waiting for the “perfect” time…

 

Take a moment now to breathe in the peace of my spirit.  You do not have to live without my grace and love any longer…it just takes a daily decision to want to be in relationship with me.  All that I ask is that you open your heart, and allow me to live within you.  Allow the Holy Spirit to heal the darkness that you are fighting to hide deep within yourself.   You feel far away from me because of the darkness that lurks…I understand that darkness and am waiting for your invitation for me to wipe it away  and replace it with my light.

It is your decision…how long will you choose to wait?

 

With more love than you can imagine,

Jesus

 

 

 


17 Comments

Blessings Through Barrenness

 

This is the time of year that I used to dread.  Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.

Blessings Through Barrenness

My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before.  One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.

There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.

This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull.  What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.

As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue.  The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.

All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.

Our lives are like that.  We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world.  We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.

We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.

He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love.  He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him that loves you?  Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus?  Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?

Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.

 

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


28 Comments

Patti, Your Life is a Prayer

Patti at 12 years of age

Patti at 12 years of age

This last weekend, I was blessed with some ‘one on one’ time with my oldest sister, Patti.  We usually get to visit only once or twice a year, being that she lives in Ohio, and I am in Virginia.  My mom has been living with my husband and me for over ten years now, so naturally all our visits with Patti are always together, as a family.

For some reason, I felt compelled to see my sister, and spend time with her alone.  There was no question in my mind…I needed her.  Just like I did throughout my childhood, and then as I grew to adulthood.

So, let me tell you a little about Patti.  She was a beautiful and feisty young girl, who now describes herself as a tomboy who loved climbing trees and neighborhood roofs.  To be honest, she was a little mischievous.

That very sweet and active little girl contracted polio when she was 12 years old. 

Sisters: Bernadette and Patti

Sisters: Bernadette and Patti

As a foreshadowing of the strength of character that would radiate all through Patti’s life,  when she was suffering through the onset of the disease, the doctor was called to the house to check on her.  When she realized she was to be taken to the hospital, she insisted that she would not be carried out.  She  climbed down the stairs on her own, saying that she wanted to do it herself, knowing she would never walk again.  According to my mother, Patti never cried about her plight…which was a very different reaction than that experienced by my mom, who as a young mother, watched her daughter suffer through a horrible disease that almost killed her, and then caused her to be totally paralyzed.  My mother’s heart broke for her daughter, and always wished there had been something she could have done to prevent this from happening.  Even now, my mom’s eyes fill with tears as she remembers those days when Patti first got sick, how scared she was that Patti might die, and what lie ahead.  The prognosis, according to the doctors at that time, was that Patti  probably only had about ten years to live in her condition.

Well, God had other plans.

Patti is now 72 years old, and I can honestly say I have NEVER once heard her complain or cry about her ‘handicap.’  Just so you understand her condition, she can only move her right hand and her neck.  Our mom and dad took care of all of her needs; my two sisters and I also learned to care for Patti’s personal and physical needs.  That is, until she moved away so she could attend Ohio State University, where she ended up earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work.  You see, Patti could never refuse to “walk” through a  door  that the Lord opened for her.  She walked by faith and the Lord blessed her life tremendously.  It was not always easy for her, however, her life has always been filled to the brim!

The funny thing is, I never saw my sister as ‘handicapped.’  In fact, she is the least handicapped person I have ever known. 

Patti is totally open to The Holy Spirit directing her life, and she always makes herself available to those around her.  When Patti is with you, she is focused on knowing not only your needs, but your heart.  She has a way of reading between the lines; she is an edifier, always loving and supporting in any way she can.

She has touched so many people’s lives, and is loved by so many, that it boggles my mind.  Being with her this last weekend was a Godsend to me.  I was once again reminded of all the ways my sweet sister  impacted my life…through all the stages I went through, the joys and the struggles.

She was always there for me:

When I climbed up on her hospital bed, snuggling up against her as she read my favorite stories and poems over and over again.  She never refused when I asked her to read to me.

When I headed straight to her room after school all the way up through high school, unloading the highs and lows of my days.

When I needed advice about friends or boys, and then later on as I was struggling in my marriage.

When I started to question my faith, and did not understand why my life seemed so hopeless.  She always gave me hope, and always shared her faith with me.

When she shared my joy as I became a mother; and as she loved my sons and enjoyed the time spent with them.

When she overlooked my selfishness, impatience and misdirection…always just loving me through everything.

Mostly, just by being present; in the moment.

So, as we visited, the time flew by.  There is so much in our hearts to share with each other, and really only had hours to connect.  And connect we did.  I realized that my sister is truly  a saint.  I am not saying that lightly, and being the humble person that she is, Patti will most probably not agree with my assessment.

My life has been richly blessed with the privilege of having Patti for my sister.  Through her journey, which she travels completely trusting the Lord in every way, I have learned faith, hope, and love.  I am learning to bloom where I am planted, and never to compare myself or my personal journey to others.  To just be me…the person that God created me to be.

I have learned that God works great things through all things.  Patti’s life, which has been filled with great adventure and much love, shows us that the Lord works beauty  through any situation we may find ourselves in.  All we need to do is open our hearts to Jesus, allow His Spirit to flow through us, and then trust that He is working through us.  The amount of hearts touched through Patti’s life is not even measurable; his love exudes from her.

When we were talking, Patti mentioned that she needs to work on her prayer time with The Lord.  That she feels bad that she hasn’t set aside as much time as she would like for praying and meditating.  I asked her if she talks to God, and she answered’ “all day long.”

Although I understand her desire to spend more alone time with Jesus, all that comes to my mind is…

Patti, your life is a prayer!

And thank you for covering me, and all the ones that the Lord has entrusted to you, with the light of that prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


12 Comments

Your Greatest Blessing

“Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

These words were unexpected.  I was talking with my priest about an inner struggle I was experiencing, and the pain and frustration I was feeling.  Although I prayed for The Holy Spirit to heal me and work through the situation, I kept failing miserably over and over again.

My impatience and selfishness definitely called for  a miracle, however, I just wanted to wish the whole experience away and not have to deal with it or carry it anymore.

I looked at Fr. Jeb and said, “I guess it’s just my cross to bear.”  And then I expected him to wallow in my situation with me and tell me how happy he was that I was hanging in there.  I wanted a pat on the back.

What he said to me jolted my heart and thought process.  “Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

How could this be?  What did he mean?  How could he think that my situation was a blessing at all?  I was being stifled, and felt trapped, like I was in prison.  How could this troubling situation be a blessing?

Fr. Jeb prayed over me and  I felt comforted, but I felt a little confused as I left his office.

Over the next few weeks, his words kept coming back to me.  I was starting to realize that God’s most wonderful blessings are not always  what the world would see as blessings.  His most generous blessings are sometimes the crosses to bear that we can not work through ourselves.  Those crosses that we finally choose to accept, and when we realize that we can’t continue carrying them on our own, we finally throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus, and offer our struggles to Him.  We learn to join our suffering with the suffering of The Cross.

In that way, we become one with Him.

I also found that once I accepted my cross, The Holy Spirit started changing me and working on my weaknesses.  Although I still fall short, I see His work being done in my spirit and soul.  And THAT is the biggest blessing!

What is that heavy burden that you are carrying?  What is it that is hindering your spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus?

Is it financial?  Are you out of answers?  Do you feel hopeless because you don’t know where to turn?

Is your marriage struggling?  Is your heart breaking because you yearn for a holy and happy relationship with your spouse?  Do you even think a happy and joyful marriage or relationship is possible?

Are you living a lie, and hiding abuse?  Physical, emotional, or verbal?

Do you have an addiction that is overwhelming you and the lives of those around you?

Are you holding on to painful and debilitating memories from your past?  Atrocities that you endured as a child and/or through your life?

Are you overcome with the pain of having an abortion or participating in abortion?

Maybe you are sorrowful due to not being able to conceive the child you so desperately want?

Are you suffering through disease, depression, or incapacitating pain?

Are you lonely and living in despair?

Do you feel trapped…maybe a job that you feel is going nowhere? Maybe a family situation? Or just feeling trapped in your day to day life?

Remember, your heaviest cross, can be your greatest blessing.  Give your whole heart and your burdens to The Lord.  Ask The Holy Spirit to fill you with His mercy, love and wisdom.  Ask Him to guide you and teach you what you need to know.

And then listen for His answer. 

He will soften your heart and  let you know the changes to be made.  Align yourself to Him in all the ways you know; offer Him the best of you.

And when you get to the point of knowing that it is impossible to continue carrying that burden on your own, offer your struggle and suffering  to the Lord.  For He wants ALL of you…He loves you that much.  And He wholly understands the blessings that come with the heaviness of The Cross.

May God bless you and fill you with His Holy Presence.

 

 

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.  2 Corinthians 4:8-12

For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:16-18