I am shy. I am introverted too. I am embarrassed to say that it takes me a long time to warm up to people because of these two traits. However, if an extroverted person is interacting with me, I come out of my shell quickly and I make fast friends with people. I base friendship on trust, laughter, shared memories, and especially deep conversations regarding uncomfortable topics shared without judgment. One-on-one time is precious time to me. After years of trust, laughter, shared memories, and discussions regarding uncomfortable topics, I considered a certain person one of my best friends. During a discussion after I did something randomly unexpected for them, I said I did it because they are my best friend.
The look on their face told me otherwise.
It was a split second, but I caught it all on the tape I replay in my mind. I saw the furled brow appear as well as the questioning eye squint. Their lips remained pursed together. It was a split second, but that split second was packed with a punch.
I am not short of friends, but something triggered me to think about this person lately. I miss what used to be before I spilled the beans. Maybe the relationship was not really as strong as I had conjured up in my mind. I live and I learn. Some people stay in our lives, and others don’t. They weren’t my only best friend as there can be more than one based on the shared qualities of the relationship. I accepted the fact that they had other best friends as we cannot be everything to everyone we meet. But I was never on their list of best friends. Perhaps they hit their limit and had no room for me.
Situations like this make me recoil and go back to the shy and introverted person I am deep down. “Back to the drawing board” I tell myself. At the proverbial drawing board, I take inventory of who my friends really are. Who sticks with me through thick and thin? Who can I call on any time of the day and they answer me? Who does not judge me and loves me even though they know my sin?
I can count my absolute best friends on one hand. And the ultimate best friend is Jesus and he is counted on my heart. All I learned about being a friend, I learned from Jesus. He sticks with me through thick and thin, He answers me whenever I call, He does not judge me and loves me even though I sin.
Thank you, God, for your son Jesus and that I can truly call Him my best friend, forever. Thank you also for my earthly friends. May I continue to be there for them through thick and thin, answer whenever they call and never judge them though they sin.
Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Today is January 1, 2017 and yesterday was so last year. I stayed awake to ring in the new year with my husband. Normally I get sleepy by 9:30pm and find myself crawling in bed by 10:00pm. Because I stayed awake, I, along with millions of other people, either in New York Times Square or sitting comfortably in our homes in front of a television or other electronic device, were witness to Mariah Carey’s train-wreck of a show minutes before the ball drop. Much to her chagrin, her reputation needs repair. I can only guess what her New Year’s Resolution is for 2017. However, a big round of applause goes to her backup dancers as they did a great job!
On February 12 my husband, and I, said good-bye to our little girl, Bean. She was the sweetest Grey Tiger-striped kitty who we adopted from a local no-kill cat shelter years ago. My husband picked her out and the first day in our house, she owned it. She sat up on the couch and took a nap, all while our other cats were sniffing her acquaintance. On December 5, my niece passed away. She was an awesome mom to her children and had a huge heart for helping people. We are blessed to know how many lives she touched in her short 31 years of life. My summation for 2016 is that the good die young.
This past year was heart-breaking, to say the least, but knowing that God is close to the broken-hearted brings me peace. That means He is near to me, my husband, my family, and Jill’s friends, holding us close as we mourn.
Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” But our minds hit replay on many episodes of days gone by, conversations that happened or didn’t happen, loved ones who were called home to eternity, or the voice of the doctor delivering news of a grave illness just discovered. God is close to the broken-hearted and he offers His outstretched hand for us to walk into 2017 with Him. Yes, God can even help restore Mariah Carey’s reputation if she reaches out to Him.
Isaiah 41:10 So Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
May God Bless you in 2017.
If change is inevitable, why do we have such a hard time when it happens?
From my childhood recollection, the days were longer; my parents worked for the same company from the day I was born to the day they retired, and our family schedule was so consistent you could set your clock by our routine. But as I age, the days seem shorter, working for one company your whole career is unheard of, and nobody needs a routine because cable television has a convenient feature called DVR.
Consistency is comforting. My cats know when it’s feeding time, my spouse always returns home, and my playlists on my iPod are programmed with my favorite songs. But what happens when there is a shift from the norm?
The Pastor of my church made that shift from the norm. He wasn’t even with us for a full year before he left abruptly about two weeks ago. No good-bye party, no parting gifts, no keeping in touch; just gone from our lives due to personal reasons. We were left cold in our pews with a void in leadership. However, God has blessed my congregational family with a stand-in Pastor who led our congregation less than a year ago. He sympathizes with our heavy hearts. I believe his reassuring words today were Spirit-inspired messages from our God and Father, as they were genuine and comforting.
Change is inevitable. From my Christian perspective, our days are a gift from God, He knows us from before conception to the day we will die. Even Pastors change careers, and routines are hard to keep because the world is forever evolving. The abrupt departure may not make sense to my congregation, but we are pulling together once again because we have faith in the God we serve. He will not leave us nor will he forsake us, He will not leave us orphans as He holds us up with his righteous right hand. God is our comforting consistency.
For the Pastor that left us, the stand-in Pastor that is with us, and the Pastor that is to come, I pray these words from 2 Thessalonians 1:11
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
A hand to hold (in lonely times).
A spine (during times of weakness).
Empathy (as a shoulder to lean on).
A voice (for truth).
A smile (to cheer).
Non-judgment (to erase perfection).
Faith (in doubt).
Hope (when all is lost).
Peace (amidst storms).
Direction (when air is still).
Unconditional love (because of sin).
Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I am experiencing writer’s block.
I have not been able to create a blog and I am experiencing difficulty writing for a church assignment.
Please God, open my mind so I can share the gift of writing with your people.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
On November 9, 2010 I came out of the closet on this blog. Not the typical closet that most are accustomed to hearing about; I came out of an even more secret closet…the childless closet. This is the blog Blessing in Disguise, if you have not read it before.
It was a very vulnerable move on my part as only select people were privy to this information in the past. So why did I do it? I did it because I made peace with this part of my life.
I am a charter member of ChildlessNotByChoice, a childless website begun in 2002. I owe so much to Diane and Kimberly who founded the site out of their own need for a childless community. I thank the members there for their virtual hand-holding and understanding of the pain, fears, and frustrations of being childless not by choice. With all of their support, I have been able to make peace with my surgically removed dreams of motherhood.
For years I focused on the fact that children are a gift from God, and I wasn’t given this gift. I felt left out and I allowed this to block my view of all of the other blessings that God has given me. I realized this week that even though I am a parent to none, God’s children are everywhere and every age. I am able to share His word and love with God’s children I never bore.
I made my exit from the childless closet to let you know that while I was in there, I struggled with what I thought should have been my blessing. In my humanness, I was angry and confused with God.
Today, I am walking in faith, by the grace of God, knowing that I am right where I should be. I extend to you my virtual hand to hold, along with my virtual shoulder to lean on, from this day forward. I am willing to listen to you without judging, walk along side you without running away, and pray for you unceasingly. Whatever burden you carry, I want you to know the love of God.
This is a confidential invitation. I will only share your burdens in prayer with God.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
When I am in your Word, I feel you close to me. When I sit silently, I hear your sweet voice.
Please forgive me for taking a vacation from you this summer. Rattling off excuses will be of no use. The bottom line, I was selfish with my time. Apple got it right when they named their products iPhone and iPad as they are hand-held me-focused toys with a few business uses. I spent my time intertwined on the web commenting to friends on facebook and reading email after email in Yahoo all while my Bible sat on the end table in the front window getting a sunburn.
Please forgive me for taking you for granted. I feel like I wasted this beautiful season without you near. Recent days have not been good for me. My smile flipped into a frown. My aches turned into pains and when loneliness crept in, I realized I had not spoken with you in quite a while.
I am sincerely sorry for neglecting you. Thank you that you meet me where I am. You are the Father running to meet His prodigal child. I am going to end this blog to spend time with you.
In Jesus’s Name I Am Forever Yours,
I ♥ God
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.