When nothing makes sense

There is no simple response to the pain. No words fill the deep void for the unexplainable loss. Life is not fair. This weekend, a friend of mine lost a co-worker unexpectedly to a brain aneurysm. This weekend, I also lost a co-worker unexpectedly. In what should have been a joyous occasion, she lost her life while giving birth. 

No words can fill these deep crevices of pain. 

To say, I will be praying is true, but as I prayed, I confessed to God….what am I supposed to pray? Yes, for comfort. But peace? What peace is there in these types of situations?

Times like this we must lean. Lean into one another. Lean into the people God has placed in our lives. Lean into people to uphold us, to keep us strong. And most importantly, although we do not understand, we lean into God.

The world is a broken place. During the sermon yesterday at church, the minister quoted John 16:33…These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trials and sorrows, but take heart, I have overcome the World.

Life is not promised to be perfect or painless. I believe God hurts when we hurt. I believe this because He loves us. I can’t try to understand why this stuff happens. I can only lean….lean into others, lean into Christ.

Life promises no one another moment. Hug your children. Love your family and friends. Forgive people. Forgive yourself. 

Today is another​ day. It may be a day filled with unexplainable loss as in these situations. I don’t know your story, but I do know that God is in the midst of our lives. 

I have to believe this. When nothing else makes sense, I have to cling to my faith that He is walking through these difficult times with us.

God, grow me…

I should have anticipated this might be a hard week. I should have expected it would not be easy. As I struggled and wrestled through some difficult issues last weekend, I found myself at the one place I know can make all the difference…on my knees.

I prayed through these situations last Saturday in the quiet of my home. I felt uncertainty. I felt like a failure. The tears flowed freely as I prayed, “God grow me.”

I kept praying through the weekend and as the week started. I prayed. I’m​ not going to sugar coat this…it wasn’t easy. The anxiety was at an all time high. I woke up in the middle of the night with anxiety. I have learned, though, what to do when the anxiety strikes. I pray through Philippians 4:6-7. It helps the breathing to calm so I can I sleep and so the dark clouds of doubt do not overshadow peace.

As I worked through the issues, God was there. In the midst of my anxiety, He was there. Anxiety tries to tell you the worse thing possible. It tries to blind you from all the positive things around you. I know. I have lived in the land of anxiety.

This time, I decided I would not stay in that land. I would pray through the anxiety. I would take ownership. I would share my reflections, my ah-ha moment with someone. I did. God extended His grace. God answered my prayers​ and continues to answer my prayers…God, grow me.

What does it mean to be a better person? People say this a lot…but what does it mean? To be a Godly leader, a good mom and wife, and a loyal friend…so much truth is found in Proverbs. 
For me, this concept of being a “better person” is grounded in “God, grow me.” It is being open to His teaching, His loving discipline, and His revelation of areas in my life where I need developed and refined.

I told my amazing leader that growth is painful. She provided a much different perspective for me in her response…”Growth is exciting.”

She’s right, so right. 

Tonight, something I saw something on Facebook related to my issues from this past week triggered an anxiety attack. I wasn’t staying there. I prayed. My friend prayed for me. I went for a walk. I filled my soul with life breathing words of truth through the music flowing from my headphones to my ears to my heart.

Yes, God’s grace is so sweet. Dear friend, don’t give up. Stay the course. Stay very, very close to Him. And don’t be afraid of growth…it is so exciting. It may seem slow. It may be subtle. If God is in the midst of it, it is worth celebrating!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. Psalm 37:5 NLT
You see, when God gives a grace gift and issues a call to a people, He does not change His mind and take it back. Romans 11:29

There is NO “I” in “Servanthood”

This is a great post from a friend on having an attitude of serving!!

A breezy nip was in the air on that April 1 morning when I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying a veteran on the Honor Guard Flight to Washington, D.C. We had been well trained about our dutiesas guardians of these outstanding ladies and gentlemen who had served our country in WWII, the Korean War,or the Vietnam War.This was not to be a tourist visit forus to these great memorials, but we were to beservantsof our assigned veteran and do everything within our means to make that day a wonderfully memorable day.”This day is about the veterans, and not you,” we were told over and over again. I got the message loud and clear.IHF Baker April 1, 2017

The day was long as I picked up my veteran at 4:00 a.m. and I didn’t return home until after 11:00that night. Beingfocused on the needs of another was not hard when we started out the…

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Sunday Reflections

When the things of the world seem uncertain or out of control or when your own life feels like it is spiraling, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to push an exit button and just hide away from everything for a little while??

We all know life isn’t like that. 

When I look back at some of my greatest times of growth in my life, I recall the challenging circumstances that embodied those times. Those times were often painful times of taking things one step at a time.

I heard a Christmas sermon a few years ago about joy and pain coexisting. I think they do. It is often a matter of perspective and self reflection. This verse comes to mind…

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.      James 1:2-4 NIV

I have spent some time the past few days reflecting over a conversation I had with someone. Admittedly, I was in a hurry, needing to work my way through a “to do” list when I had spoken with her. I didn’t realize until later that my non-verbal communication communicated just that…I was in hurry. She interpretted this as she was inconveniencing me and taking time from me she was unworthy of deserving.  

I am choosing to use this interaction as an opportunity for me to self-reflect. Life is busy. Life is messy. Life often does not go as planned. Since there is no exit button of temporary escape, how can I endure the pain and embrace the joy simultaneously? In those times when I am feeling overwhelmed, how can I make my interactions with others meaningful despite my own issues?

True, there are times when we need lifted up and supported, but how can we lift up and support others through our own struggles? 

I want to be that person that encourages, coaches, lifts up, and slows down. I am not always that person. The lessons I am taking away from my interaction with this woman are…

1. Every interaction matters.

2. Our non-verbal communication often communicates louder than our spoken words.

3. Everyone has a story and that story often impacts our communication.

4. Slow down. 

5. Perception is reality.

5. Everyday trials hold lessons from God to grow us.

6. Just listen. Listen attentively. Listen a lot.