iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the tag “Peace”

Late Night Visitor – More Visitors


When I wrote my first Late Night Visitor post on April 10, 2019, I didn’t know it would become so important in my grief process and become a series of posts. If you are grieving, I hope each entry has helped you in your walk with grief as it has helped me to get it out of my head.

In that first entry, grief came to me in the middle of the night, standing next to a large suitcase and without a return ticket from where it came.

Recently grief, ignoring the shelter-in-place orders and social distancing regulations, has invited anxiety and panic into my home. They follow me around and have been known to hold my hands, whisper lies in my ear, and wake me out of a sound sleep. So annoying.

As they hold my hands, I am not able to clasp them together to make praying hands. I cannot lift them up to the heavens to give God praise and honor He rightly deserves.

The whispers in my ears I know are blatant lies, but they are said over and over and over especially when I am alone. And during this pandemic, I am alone a lot of the time; I started to believe this negative one-way conversation. As they whisper in my ear, they grip my throat in a way that it tightens and my breathing becomes shallow.

From my experience, anxiety and panic are nocturnal too. Their most active time is around 2:30 in the morning while I am sound asleep. They poke and prod at me. They continue the negative whispers in my ear and in the silence of the night, it rings louder. I lose about 1.5 hours of sleep because of their active lifestyle.

I alone do not have the strength it takes to fight these enemies. I am weak and powerless on my own when grief and its friends, anxiety, and panic, gang up on me. But even when my hands are constrained and my throat feels tight and my breathing is shallow, I can find it within me to whisper four syllables, “Jesus, help me” and I am no longer alone.

Listen to my cry, for I am in need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.

Psalm 142:6

Jesus brings His army of angels to fight these battles for me. They rush in and unbind my hands and they force the grip away from my throat.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 14:14

I cannot see the spiritual war going on around me, but I know angels are present and God’s peace covers me like a blanket. Suddenly my hands are lifted high as my heart and mind recall what I know about my relationship with God…

I am a child of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  I have Jesus Christ living inside of me. My God has promised to meet every one of my needs and He is right here with me at this moment.  

If you are bound by grief, anxiety, and panic, know that you too can cry out to Jesus for this same protection.  You are not alone.

 

Late Night Visitor – Grief and Joy


Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life. There is a time to mourn just as there is a time to laugh; so I had an idea. I put grief and joy in the same room with me (with 6 feet separation and we are all wearing masks).  Here is what happened.

Grief:  “Hi Kristine, are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

Me:  “Hi Grief.  Yes, I am going to introduce you to my friend.  Grief, this is Joy, Joy this is Grief.”

(Neither can they shake hands, nor can they see a smile on each other’s face, so they nod to each other.)

Joy:  “Hello, Grief.

Grief:  “Hello, Joy.”

Me:  “Grief, Joy, I brought you two together because I need you to know that you both exist in my life. Grief, you and I were spending way too much time together and it was taking a toll on my concentration. I had some negative comments when you were at your peak, but not everyone knows how tight we have been and it just looked like I was not on my game.  I was reading the Bible one day and I met Joy.

As the Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:4 it is okay that both of you are in my life.  The verse says, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”.  I don’t always want to be sad and I don’t always feel like laughing or dancing, but whatever emotion I want to feel, I need you two to respect, as well as, get out of the way of the other.  I would like to send you away, Grief, but Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world and that is why Joy needs to step in between us more often. I am hanging onto Jesus’s promises rather than settling in with sadness. Jesus overcoming this world is really good news for me because I cannot do this alone or with my own strength.”

Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life.  Let Jesus in with the joy He has in store for you and watch your emotions, health, and spiritual life be rejuvenated.

 

Late Night Visitor – Time Travel


Today we drove 5 hours, round trip, to celebrate the life of my brother-in-law.  I did not know very many of the people there, but it was a nice turn out of family and friends who were touched by his life.  Although drugs consumed a big part of his life, the bigger part was when he met Jesus on his own road to Demascus.  He was on fire for the Lord and that makes my heart happy.  Distance and finances had kept us from really getting to know each other, but I do recall one Easter brunch in a restaurant several years ago, I had the opportunity to sit next to him and we talked “God”.  It was a refreshing conversation, especially on Easter, my favorite holiday of the year. We had a few telephone conversations after that brunch and we shared God stories.  I love sharing God stories.

I recall when my niece, Jill, passed away a little over three years ago.  My brother-in-law heard the news and called me while I was at the funeral home with hundreds of people paying their respects to her and my family.  He shared the love of Jesus with me and comforted me with his prayers for peace. He shared Easter with me in December.

In the last leg of our journey home this evening, we passed the bus station.  The dark evening sky and the lights inside the station made it so I could see the bench that my two sisters and I sat on as we waited for a bus to transport one of my sisters back home after the funeral for Jill.  I remember how I did not want my sister to leave.  The closeness of family is the only thing I can grasp onto at such times and sitting on the bench made me want to stop time and keep my sister here with me.

Death is a wake up call.  We feel close to those we love; we cling to those we love that are still with us.  But as time moves forward, we hit a snooze button and “forget” we had that closeness.  Life moves on.

Even though we know we will all one day die, death is a shock.  Recent posts on Facebook of death notices include the familiar comment, “remember to spend time with your loved ones as you never know when someone will be called home”.  Why do we have to be reminded to spend time with those we love?

Funerals are the one occassion we stop what we are doing and pay our respects.  Our pictures and stories become extra special as we recall the relationships that have suddenly ended.  Distance doesn’t seem to matter when there is a death.  Most funerals are held only when everyone can be there that needs to be there.  We take the time to travel to be there.  Whether it is a 5 hour round trip or a bus ride across a few states; we make the time because we know love.  This love is what Jesus taught us.

Godspeed to the newly deceased.  To be absent from the body means they are present with our Lord.  Rest in peace dear brother-in-law, great is your reward.

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It’s Not You, It’s Me


My momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump Read more…

About the Mountain Top


Read more…

Lunch with Jesus


Read more…

Here’s to Loss, Part 3


Here’s to Loss, Part 1

Here’s to Loss, Part 2

Luke 23:26-29 (NIV).  The title of this section in my Bible is The Crucifixion of Jesus:

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.  A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.  Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.   For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 

Jesus said this to the crowd because He probably saw his mother there and He knew the agony she was going through as she mourned and wailed watching her innocent son endure such brutality while walking to His death. There was nothing she could do for her son.

Not only is Jesus talking to mothers, but he is also talking to me and every barren woman.  I am blessed to be shielded from a certain agony.  Over the years, I attended two funerals for children. One child died at the age of 5 from brain cancer and the other was stillborn at nearly nine months gestation. Etched in my mind’s eye are the blank looks on the faces of the mothers.  They stood numb with grief next to the tiny caskets.  Nothing could comfort their distraught hearts.

We cannot play hide-and-go-seek with loss; no matter how well we think we hide, loss will always find us.  Remember that God has a plan for our lives.  He knit us in our mother’s womb, gave us our gifts and talents, and placed us in the world right now because we fit into a bigger picture, a bigger plan.

This ends my series Here’s to Loss.  I have made peace with my loss and I urge you to make peace with yours.  Rather than dwelling on what we do not have or dwelling on what we wish we could be, place your trust in the God who created you.  His plans are bigger than anything we can imagine.  Know that God will bless you because He made you and loves you.  Be thankful for being here and now.

 

 

 

 

Alpha Strength


I dropped Mojo off at the vet one morning before work. Read more…

No Regrets


Daily Post Prompt: Kick It
What’s the 11th item on your bucket list? Read more…

In Mysterious Ways


Mystery writers fill us with suspense. The pins and needles type of suspense. Who done it? twisted stories that keep the reader at the edge of their seat. There is an expectation for suspense, sprinkled with elements of fear.

How often have you heard, or said, this phrase? “God works in mysterious ways”. What does that mean to you? 

If your spouse, family or friend did something that seemed out of the ordinary, would you say, “My spouse/family/friend works in mysterious ways”.  Probably not as it sounds silly.  Why then do we insert God in the sentence and make it seem alright?

God, the author of our lives, does not want us living as if we sit on pins and needles.  He wrote love, joy, peace and kindness into our life-script.  Take a look into a few passages from the Bible for examples… 

Jeremiah 31:3 
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

Psalm 4:8 
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

God, …who loves with an everlasting love, clothes us with joy, draws us with unfailing kindness, and allows us peaceful rest because He is in control…, does nothing “mysterious” in my life.  

Expect a mystery writer to take you down some suspenseful paths, always wondering ‘who done it?’.  As a Christian, I can faithfully point to Jesus on the cross, the one ‘who done it’ so I need not live in fear, and, know the end of the story; eternal life.

Post Navigation