Real Love Hurts

I am learning about love and what it should look like. After taking a long journey down an undesired path several years ago, I am cautious about opening up my heart to others. Many will agree that we need to be cautious about opening up our hearts to others. Even in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) it states “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

But I wonder, will I be able to receive or show love when I am so cautious and closed?

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Answered Prayers, Fulfilled Dreams (July 2009)

Recently, while reading “Just A Sister Away” (Dr. Renita Weems) I came across a statement that blew me away: “The first lesson to be learned was how to receive a blessing no longer expected (p. 114).” This statement prefaced an interesting perspective on Elizabeth, the future mother of John the Baptist, the cousin (and baptizer) of Jesus Christ.

As I read this section, I began to reflect on my life. I have seen many things, experienced several tragedies, disappointments and setbacks. Because of this ongoing trend and uphill battle, I’ve felt as if the prayers I have prayed and the promises spoken over my life were not happening anytime soon. I began to give up.

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The Covenant (July 2009)

It is impossible to create something legitimate from something that is illegitimate. (Only GOD can do that.)

Today as I prepared to take my son out for an afternoon of fun and relaxation (unheard of in my vocabulary), I took up the Bible and Genesis 15 was already marked. I read where God told Abram (before the name change) not to fear; he was promised a “reward (that would) be very great(verse 1).”

What I noticed was Abram’s quick response to God’s promise. I am guessing it was a foregone conclusion in Abram’s mind that his great reward would include heirs (who knows, maybe the entire conversation was not recorded), as he said in verse 2: “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Eliezer was a slave who was born within Abram’s household. The practice in those days was that sons of slaves would become surrogate sons to their barren owners; an inheritance would be willed to them as adoptive sons. God responded immediately: “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir (verse 3).”

Because I know this story so well, I stopped reading to reflect on Abram’s life journey from that moment forward. God decreed blessings, a “very great” reward. Abram looked at his life based on what he was accustomed to seeing – the inheritance is usually passed down to a slave of a barren family. God blew his mind with His response since his wife Sarai was very old and past her childbearing years. He was also quite old himself.

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Goodbye 2010, HELLO 2011!

As 2010 comes to a close, I cannot help but reflect on all that has transpired. New house, new (to me) car, new opportunities on the job (praying for a promotion in 2011) and strange challenges – like the routine annual checkup I had a few weeks ago.

I left the place after the checkup, thinking nothing of it. Less than one week later I received a call from my primary physician to stop by to pick up a prescription to GO BACK and redo the test! (Huh?) I tried to calm myself down by saying “Maybe they’re just checking on the issue you had a few years earlier that was resolved. Maybe they just want to confirm.” When I went to pick up the paperwork and noticed it was NOT what I thought, I indeed started to panic. Just a little. So I procrastinated in setting up the follow-up visit because they could end up telling me something I didn’t want to hear. Well, two days before Christmas, I bravely walked into the place, redid the test, sat through another test and the radiologist walked into the room with a warm smile and his extended hand (for a handshake) and said “Everything is fine! See you next year.” I could have hugged AND kissed him! (He was old enough to be my grandfather, I think….)

So this year has been interesting. But what I think has kept me intact is my inner circle: My grandmother, who calls me at least once per day; my dad who lives 2 minutes away from me but checks in by phone constantly; other friends who respond with inbox messages to my facebook status updates when they sound “weird” and phone calls from other close friends when they KNOW I need to hear their voices. And I can’t leave out my biggest supporter: GOD. Yes, God. He has been with me from the moment I was conceived until now. My life’s journey has been kinda rough, but I’m still standing.

So, here’s to 2010 – because it’s been a blessed year – but definitely HOORAY for 2011! I can’t wait to see what lies just ahead!

The Path to Destiny

The path to destiny is not necessarily clear-cut or predictable.

Many who are now walking in their life’s calling will say they either had promptings that they needed to do it or situations presented themselves unexpectedly and resulted in a new direction for them.

I would say I am experiencing the latter.

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