You know the routine. You’re traveling along, going about your daily life…. All is good, all is calm. No stress, no problems. You’re overcoming and listing victories every day. You feel relaxed and peaceful. Breathe in that sweet blessed air. … Then BAM! You walk head first into the fog. Where the F does it come from!? Every flippin time life is good the dreaded fog appears.
If you’re lucky, you’re not too many steps into it before you realize you’re in it. If you’re one of those lucky ones you an stop and assess it. If you’re one of those quick thinking ones you’re strong enough to turn around and walk away from it. If you’re one of the strong ones you won’t pay any attention to it. If you’re one of the balanced ones, the fog doesn’t even exist.
But what if you’re not so lucky or strong or quick thinking or balanced? Well, like me, you then stare into. You see the swirly gray and black mist and hear it calling your name. You feel it on your skin. It’s as soft and comfortable as it is dark and forbidding. It’s as warm and fuzzy as it is cold and clammy. It’s everything you need and everything you hate swirled into one. But you can’t walk away. It pulls at you. Little tugs here and there while you’re assessing it. It winks at you and bears it’s fangs at the same time. You love it/you hate it. Before you know it, you’re toying with it has caused you to be consumed by it.
You can’t think. You can’t talk. You can’t focus. You can’t hear. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. You cant feel. You can’t function. You are being digested by the fog. You are aware of what’s happening to you but you can’t think remember so you can’t break free. You can’t cry. You can’t scream. You can’t exist. It’s like mental quick sand. The more you fight against it the deeper into it you’re pulled. The anger controls you. The anger of everything controls you. It’s ….all….you….know.
I’ve been chewed up and spit out by that fog more times than I care to admit. I don’t understand it. I know God has many reasons for allowing the fog to block our paths and to force us to make a decision but I don’t understand IT. And I don’t understand why I keep walking right into it every flippin time. Clearly I’m not doing something right when the fog surrounds me appears; but how do i figure out what that something is from inside the fog where I cannot function?
I pray, I beg, I confess, I repent, I quit. Every time i enter the fog more and more of it remains in me after I finally exit it. It won’t leave. It becomes part of me.
Last night I took a short walk, 15 mins or so. I had to be somewhere but on my way walking there God nudged me to slow down. But not just to slow down but to listen. And not just to listen but to hear….and to see…and to smell….
Hear the whoosh of the cars driving past….see the multi colors of the sky changing from light to dark…feel the soft, cool breeze on my cheeks…smell the food in the restaurant nearby…feel and hear the gravel crunching under my steps….hear the rush of the water in the creek….smell the wet leaves….see the beauty in those leaves….listen to the sweetness of the kids laughing who are playing….feel my own breath fill up my lungs…feel my hair blowing in the wind and hear the wind in my ears…see the love between the couples walking arm in arm…Take it all in. All the things we take for granted. Stop…and take it all in. Appreciate your senses and take it all in.
I am not a selfish person (most of the time). Im fact, I am very much the opposite. I was 10 when my parents divorced. My dad moved out and my mom was stuck working 3 jobs to make ends meet. I only saw her in the mornings when my school bus passed her car on her way home from one of those jobs. Because she worked every day of the week to support us, someone had to clean, someone had to cook and someone had take care of things at home. That someone was me. I was ok with that job. I wasn’t nominated for it, I chose it. I wanted to help my mom. I knew the sacrifices she was making for her 3 kids. I knew the hardship we were in. The government issued cheese and peanut butter we had for breakfast every day was the finest example of that. I wanted to clean the house for my mom and do the laundry and make sure she had nothing to worry about at home. I even made myself responsible to make sure my older brother was awake and made it to school on time. Never once did these jobs bother me. Someone needed me and I stepped up to bat. Was that wrong?
Throughout my high school days I did become more selfish, maybe in rebellion of my younger years, maybe because of hormonoes, maybe because of peer pressure. Whichever, being that selfish little brat never felt good. I always had a yucky feeling in my belly because of the crap I pulled. Living for me was not exactly the dream I thought it would be. I didn’t want to come before my friends or my schoolwork but I did anyway and suffered tremendously because of it. I lost some great friends, hurt some dorky boys and failed 2 grades requiring summer school. Nice huh?
I ended up pregnant right after high school. BOOOOOM POW right? Nope. Being a mother was something I always wanted to be. I was taken aback at first but took great joy in the thought of having a baby in my arms to care for. In high school I lived with my brother and took care of his baby girl while they worked so I already knew the ropes. I already knew what I was getting into. I was used to caring for someone other than myself, yet again. I took turns living between my two brothers and while staying with them I made sure their houses were always clean. If I could not pay rent then cleaning was the very least I could do for them for allowing me to be their tenant. Was this wrong too?
Anyway, once my son was born I was back in the selfless shoes. My son took me away from a drug and alcohol-laden hell quite literally. The very second I had a positive result on that pregnancy test I vowed to give up drugs and drinking. He saved my life. I then had the daunting task of being a mother and devoting every second of every day of my life to taking care of him. It was nothing really. Mothers are supposed to take care of their children, its a no-brainer. After getting married I then took on the job of taking care of my husband and then my second son. These are all natural things to do and I don’t expect a round of applause for doing it and not complaining about it. This is how life is supposed to be. Is that wrong?
I guess Im a little lost now as to why I need to put myself first in life. I don’t feel like I need to do that, nor do I want to. I still have a family to take care of and they will ALWAYS come first. I still have a job that has to take precedence. I still have friends to help. And lets not forget my church family and even the random person in need. I don’t like the yucky feeling in my stomach when I do something that falls into the selfish category. I will avoid that feeling at all costs.
I LIKE DOING THINGS FOR OTHERS. I like helping. I enjoy giving. I don’t know how to do things for myself or to put myself first and Im not really sure I want to. Why is this wrong?
The world is crumbling right in front of our eyes and no one sees it. Are you hearing me?
Marijuana is becoming legal in the US at a rapid pace; storms are increasing in intensity and in numbers; shootings, stabbings and rape are happening at such an alarming rate that we don’t even blink an eye at it anymore; people are being brutally slaughtered for their beliefs; gay and lesbian marriages are accepted as commonplace; animals are being pushed out of their natural habits and therefore attacking people; children are being neglected and worse yet, killed; the list goes on and on. America becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrha. The Devil is winning. Prophecy is ringing true. Do you hear it? The cries, the slaughter and the trumpets? Jesus is coming. Are you hearing me?
Here in America we are spoiled rotten, and when I say “we” Im including myself in that. Just yesterday morning I was cleaning my bathrooms before work. I mean who really wants to clean bathrooms let alone do it before work right? Well while I was scrubbing the sink I was complaining in my head about my husband and kids being so sloppy – “why cant they get the toothpaste down the drain”; “is it so hard to hang a towel back up” – you know the routine. But just as quickly as I started complaining God put me in check… “At least you have a sink to clean and a husband and children to mess them up. You have running, clean water, a shower, a toilet, body wash, and look! Go outside your bathroom and look what I gave you! A house with bedrooms, food, clothing and most importantly I gave you freedom!” Ooooooooooo how painful being corrected by our Maker can be sometimes but how right He always is. I as so very wrong to be complaining about toothpaste messes while many people in this world have never even used a toothbrush or had a shower with clean water or even flushed a toilet! WOW!! Are you hearing me?
We neglect to appreciate our freedoms. We don’t appreciate what we have and instead continue to grieve over what we don’t have. We neglect our Father by not taking time each and every day to thank him for our blessings and our miseries. Yes even for our miseries. We are busy and preoccupied with tv, internet, phones, games. We miss our turns because we arent paying attention to He who is desperate to he heard! Are you hearing me?
Im getting angry just writing this thinking about how spoiled rotten “we” all are. I am Mad at the evil in this world for winning. I am Mad that innocent lives are being taken or sacrificed every day for satan. I amMad that thousands are still far from Jesus and many more will continue to turn away. I am Mad in knowing that one day, not so far away, that death and that hate will be on US soil and it will be in the faces of our blessed innocent children. OUR CHILDREN!!! Are you hearing me?
If you had death and hate in your face right this very second…or if you saw that same death and hate pointed in the face of your child or loved one…who would you pray to? What would your faith be in? Our lives here in this world are limited but eternity is forever. Where do you want to be for eternity? Heaven is real and so is hell. VERY real. If you haven’t thought about that…maybe you should. RIGHT NOW.
Yeah I see him – the boss man, dressed in Armani, driving the Lexus he paid for with cash. Living in the huge brick house with top of the line furniture. Married to the wife who worships the ground the walks on and takes care of him like a child. Father to 3 kids that are all nothing short of perfect. The man who doesn’t have to work too hard for the fat paycheck he gets twice a month. Yep life is good for this guy. He can buy whatever he wants, travel wherever and whenever he wants, and all his bills are paid with lots of money to spare each and every month. Bet he sleeps really good at night…..until I find out from a friend that he messaging someone asking them “do you ever wake up and feel like running away?”
I see her too – that beautiful girl standing by her locker with hordes of pretty girls and hunky guys around her trying to get her attention. Her blonde wavy hair blowing commercial-like in the breeze, brand name clothes and shoes to match. Carrying the most expensive phone her daddy can buy. Dating the cutest guy on the football team. Scoring A’s on each and every one of her tests (even calculus). Driving the prettiest little car on the lot. She doesn’t even break a sweat. Everyone bows to her and adores her. She wants for nothing….but it all comes crashing down when her bestie sees marks on her legs from her cutting herself to escape the pain she feels deep in her soul every single day.
Then theres that woman over there – We all know her, prancing through the supermarket in 6 inch high heels, dressed to the 9’s in Banana Republic. Carrying the Burberry purse. Rocking the freshly polished blood red fingernails. Chatting away on her celly while filling up her cart with sugar infused goodies for her kiddos. Picking up a sixer for her hubby on her way out for when he is done coaching their son’s baseball game. Blonde hair sprayed so heavily a tornado wouldn’t budge it. Sure shes ok. She has lots of fake friends. She has a maid and sits in the sun all day drinking mojitos. Shopping is her hobby. Her life rocks….but then she checks out, drives behind the store and scores her 4th fix of heroine for the day just to make it through until bedtime.
All of these books have perfect covers, or so it seems. They all look like something we admire or maybe even dispise, but theyre just that… covers. So many of us appear to be “perfect”. So many of us appear to “have it all together”. So many of us are envied or disliked for our “status quo”. We don’t ever really know what goes on behind the scenes, inside their homes or inside their hearts. We continually, daily judge others by what we see, by what they allow us to see of them on the outside. But do we really ever stop to think about whats going on in their insides? Im guilty too – I walk by each of these people and think the same things – yep they’ve got the life. But do they really? Judging others is so easy to do and so easy to become iniquity. Instead of judging, we all should start caring a little more. We all should start loving and encouraging a little bit more. We all should start being the light a little bit more. Its astounding to see what showing someone a little love can do to change a persons life.
Who will you be the light for today?
Throughout my life, I have always been the encourager, the listener, the helper, the giver. I have always been ok with that role. God gave me those gifts and I used them to the best of my ability. I like helping people. I like being there when someone needs me. So in every relationship I ever had I was one of those things. In my family, at my job, with my friends, in my marriage. Yep I was the do’er….until March of this year. God decided to introduce a person to me who ended up changing my life. Literally.
Through a mutual friend, God brought a friend into my life who comes from a very dark and difficult past. A past that is so painful its not discussed often. But its that past and that pain where we are connected, among hundreds of other ways. Each and every day we find something new that we have in common. Each and every day we share in each other’s pain and victories. Each and every day we grow together spiritually. Each and every day we connect in ways I have never connected with another human being….because our connection is spiritual and ordained by God. If I told you all the ways we relate and are similar you would call me a liar. Yet its true. Its almost as if I am talking to myself some days. I can feel her praying for me even when she hasn’t told me she is. I can pray for her with my heart, not always with my mind. Our prayer is powerful. That’s our ultimate connection. We were destined to be friends.
Truth be told. I did not even know I needed this person in my life until God gave her to me. I didn’t know I needed someone to listen to me. I didn’t know I needed advice. I didn’t know I needed someone to be the friend to me that I am to everyone else. But God did.
Now I not only have a new awesome friend…I have a prayer partner, a fellow intercessor, an encourager, a listener, a helper and a giver. Thank you Jesus for knowing what I need even when I don’t.
After consideration I have decided to close out this blog. I think I started doing it for the wrong reasons and it hasn’t flourished like I hoped it would. I wanted to reach many and teach many more about the love and benefits of the long suffering of following Jesus but, sadly, it isn’t happening that way. I thank those of you who did read and appreciate my stories and I thank many of you for writing and touching my own life. Keep praying and keep seeking!