Filling In The Gaps

It’s been amazing to me how God’s goodness has just followed me throughout my whole life. This doesn’t mean my life has been perfect, nor does it mean that it’s been devoid of pain and sorrow. That’s actually very far from the truth. However, looking back through the years, and even at the very beginning, His goodness was there, almost lurking in the shadows at times.

I can see His hand at work so many times, comforting me, shielding me, overshadowing me and even uplifting me to be encouraged and reminded of this. I hear often, from people who want to reject Him, ask the question, “If He’s so good, why do bad things happen? Why do people get hurt? Why doesn’t He rescue all from evil?” To completely, and theologically, try to explain the answers to these questions, it would take too long for this blog, and it might be too deep or too boring for some.

Yet, I will say this much, typically, these questions aren’t from true searchers who would actually accept God if they found Him. These questions are designed to set up rebellion in a heart and argument in a mind to the point of stubborn resolution that either there is no God or He’s just a deity that is too lofty for our minuscule life, and He never cared anyway. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’d have to contend that you are not a true seeker nor a very good reader. You don’t do any research or read anything to truly help you find the answers to the questions you ask. But I digress. That will be another post for another day.

We live in a fallen world, and just as a person being sick doesn’t make the doctor less of a doctor, dealing with the evil of a fallen world doesn’t make God any less God. Having bad things happen in my past doesn’t nullify the Sovereignty of my God nor does it mean He loves me any less. There are a ton of reasons bad things can happen, and I won’t try to pretend to have all the answers for the Whys. I will say, the more I focus on Him and on His goodness, I see more and more of Him intricately intertwined into every piece of my life’s tapestry, and for this, I am eternally grateful!

I see the godly men He brought into my life when my own father abandoned me time and again. I see the godly women He brought into my life when my own mother and I could never see eye to eye. I see the friends He brought in when another would wound and scar my tender heart. He has always filled in the gaps when the entities of this world left my soul wrenching in pain and agony.

God places specific people in your life to fill in those voids that others leave, those gaps where others have failed their purpose. Sometimes, we are too fixated on what was lost that we fail to see the refreshing fulfillment He places right before us. We have to get our eyes focused back on Him, and He will give us sight to see what we could never have imagined possible.

“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 1 Samuel 16:1

Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:11

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The Pale Moon Rises

You said you loved me to the moon

I was your sunshine

I was your baby love

Then I began to shine

I searched to grow beyond

You grasped for the reason

You clung to the control

Then I moved into another season

You and I would never be the same

I walked away from your consuming flood

You sought love from so many facades

I could not remain as you drained the blood

You said you loved me to the moon

You told them I was your jewel

You made the endless promises

Then I realized you only wanted the moon to rule

Penned – MG – 7/15/19

To Nullify or to Rectify

To nullify or rectify, that is the question.

Sometimes, we are faced with the choice to swallow our fears and face our purpose and march on resiliently. Other times, we are faced with the temptation to embrace those fears, learn from them, process them and grow through them. Because, “after all they’re a feeling, and feelings are real,” aren’t they?

We are faced with the choice to nullify our fears in order to grasp our future purpose or nullify our future purpose by embracing our fears when those fears are all too overwhelming, all-consuming, and debilitating. Which should it be?

If this is your only crossroad of decision, then, you’re not asking me for a real change, but rather a shallow answer that you can simply follow for the moment and move on. No, if you truly want difference in your life when face with a deep rooted fear that threatens to take over, you’ll realize there’s another option than just nullifying the fear or embracing your purpose.

One definition of rectify is “to make a substance pure.” (Cambridge) I love this description, because it perfectly describes what must be done if you want to get rid of a confining fear that threatens your very hope of purpose and livelihood. Scripture tells us, “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) It’s not that you have to push out the fear, deny the fear, ignore the fear or even pretend it isn’t real. You just have to love something greater than the fear!

In other words, i may be scared of being shot; however, if someone breaks into my home and threatens my babies, you better believe I’ll do everything within my power to protect those boys…even if it means stepping in the way of that bullet being fired. It’s not that my love for them is “perfect,” but my love for them is perfected in my desire to keep them safe, and my fear of that gunman is cast out because of my love for them.

You may be scared to death for the things you need to accomplish, the decisions you may have to make, the person you must confront or the new endeavors you have to face, but if your “love” is greater for the purpose you have, the hope that is coming or the God whom you serve, this love will cast out any and all fears you may have! You must carry within you a desire for something greater than that fear. You must hold within your soul a resolution of the hope for a better tomorrow, a purpose in the future, and this will rectify those fears of today!

Being truthful about your fears never nullifies your purpose. Recognition is the first step toward healing and personal victory! Once you recognize the hindrance, that hindrance can be moved. Once you recognize the roadblock, you can devise a strategy to get around it, over it or through it. Once you recognize a fear, you can rectify the problem and work to conquer it!

It is only when you recognize, embrace and refuse to take action against a given fear that you begin losing ground and take steps away from your future hope.

Your future purpose doesn’t not nullify your fears for today; however, if you dwell in them, those fears can nullify your future purpose!

So, face that giant today! Fully embrace and love your purpose more than that wimpy, gimpy fear. Realize it IS conquerable, and charge it! Nullify those fears by rectifying your purpose!

Fight. Win. Share Your Story.

I found this pictured quote posted the other day, and it seems I’ve shared it a gazillion times this week. It’s such a simple statement; yet, it seems so profound. Everyone of us, whether you’d like to admit it or not, has someone within reach who has walked the new and painful paths we must face throughout life, often times, that person is even within your orbit of living.

Whether it be sickness, terminal illness, relationship heartbreak, job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, tragedy, or whatever, there is someone out there who can relate. Especially now, with as much access we all have in cyberspace, the ability to reach out to someone who at the very least has a slight understanding, is exponential. There are resources upon resources to find knowledge, personal experience testimonies and short groups for any every dilemma one might face.

In many ways, it seems to be easier now than any other time in history to overcome what dilemmas and trials might come. Yet, our suicide and trauma rates seem to be higher than any other time in history. I have a theory to this, and please forgive me, I’m not an expert, and I’m definitely not trying to trivialize any pain or conflict you may have experienced in a particular scenario. However, I do hope this theory will resonate: more often than not, we hav become a society that focuses too much on “me and mine,” rather than, realizing there is a whole new generation coming behind us who need the wisdom, the testimonies, the experience and the legacy of both failures and achievements that we can give.

Understand, I am not stating this from of “high and mighty judgment,” never realizing the pain of depression, sorrow or suicidal thoughts or tendencies. I have been to low points in my life that I’d rather not share in this current post. I have

If it had not been for the grace of God, the prayers of those who knew and loved me, and the self-fortitude and remembrance in my own heart and mind of my higher calling and purpose, I assure you, I wouldn’t be writing this today, and you could be visiting me in the cemetery on a sunny day.

I can attest to the truth of this quote. You come through those hellish nights, and you persevere through those grueling, sun-scorched days of pain in order to help someone else along the way. Or at least, you should, because it is through your testimony of grace and endurance that someone else can find their strength to hope for a brighter tomorrow.

So, push on, broken one. Hum until you sing again. Struggle until you find your fight. Strive until you thrive. For there is some lost soul searching in the dark for just one clear footstep to help lead them out beyond the storm.

Good Friday or Bad?

Today, many of us celebrate what we call, Good Friday. The day Christ died on the cross with the promise of rising in three days. The day the earth shook, the sun darkened, the veil was torn, and the believers were scattered with their dreams of majesty shattered. The day the Holy Lamb of God was beaten, bruised, pierced by those who hated Him and forsaken by the very Father God who claimed to love Him.

So, if all this bad happened on this day, how can we call it Good Friday? How can we join together to celebrate such a horrific, gruesome, unimaginable death? How can anything good be taken from such a terrible day that is forever written in the annals of time?

If you don’t know Him, I can understand why you’d wonder. If you’ve never realized His love for you, I can believe your confusion and doubt. If you’ve only heard of Him in storybooks and seen Him portrayed as “just a man” in cults and Hollywood box office hits, I can comprehend your skepticism, ridicule and even rejection.

But for me, I know Him on a personal level…

He was there before I even took a breath. He was there when I was in my mother’s womb, and her guidance counselor tried to convince her to “get rid of the dilemma,” because, after all, she was just 16. He was there when I was born six weeks (8 wks to today’s standards) too early and fought for life for those 10 days in that tiny incubator.

He was there when I was six months old, and my alcoholic parents split up. He was there when my four year old self waited by the door with packed bags for a father who never showed up. He was there when my twelve year old self received a “new daddy” who took us away from a comfortable, small town to a great big city with so many unknowns.

He was there when I met the man of my dreams and said, “I do.” He was there when our first child never grew in the womb, and we buried him under those great big oaks at my childhood home. He was there when our firstborn aspirated meconium, and we were told by a young nurse that it could be fatal. He was there when our second son fell off the changing table onto a tile floor while being babysat. He was there when I lost my precious grandfather to cancer, the man who had protected me, loved me and cherished me, the man who been my “Daddy” for so many years. He was there through all of the grief and sorrow.

The stories could go on and on with so much more detail, but I won’t bore you with my life story. I can just say, with 100% confidence, He was there. In my darkest days and in my happiest hours, in my finest moments and in those times that I wish to never be repeated, He was there.

He has always been there.

So, I call it Good Friday, because I know He was there hanging on the cross pouring out His blood for me for redemption. I call it Good Friday, because I know He rose just a few days later with the promise of victory, and heaven and eternity for my soul if I just believe. I call it Good Friday, because I am a witness to all that has come from His sacrifice, His love and His grace just in my own life.

I call it Good Friday, because often times, out of the bad, the horrific, the most unimaginable things comes such beauty and goodness and promise that you can’t call it anything but GOOD!

Watch and listen…

https://youtu.be/Is6weMrenls

Grief: It is a Process of Pain

One of the best articles I’ve read lately in grief is this one. If you are grieving due to anything other than a physical loss, such as divorce, abuse, neglect or estrangement, this article may not bring much healing to you, because your circumstances yield a much different needed response. However, if you’ve lost a loved one, and you’re walking through this painful journey, you may find some comfort and encouragement as you read through this widow’s pages.

Grief: Authenticity is Healing

Be real while you grieve. Let the tears flow. Let the thoughts ponder. Let the grief run through your veins like a cold hard rain that just won’t stop.

Grief is never easy. It is never fun, or full of laughter or delightful. Honestly, grief sucks. Grief can make you feel like running far, far away or hiding in a corner until everyone is gone. Grief can even make you feel like crawling into that casket and being buried right alongside that person you’ve lost.

All those emotions, fears, anger, doubt and pain, it all comes with the territory of grief. It’s not a joy-ride, and it’s really not for the weak and whiny. Those who succeed best through the traumas of grief are those who allow those feelings to glow like rain. Those who live through grief and are able to help someone else through the same storm are those who allow themselves to be real and never try to live up to someone else’s expectations or demands on the grief.

Those who become stronger because of the grief are those who, while their hearts are being ripped from their very being, extend a look of compassion to someone else who is hurting, reach out with a gentle hand to wipe away a tear from someone else’s cheek whose heart is ripped out, too.

These are the heroes of grief. They are not mighty pillars of stoic strength, never shedding a tear. They are not mindless minions, never feeling, never crying, never screaming from the pain. They are simply common, ordinary people who have chosen not to cause someone else pain because of their own, but rather, they have chosen to be a wounded warrior, linking arms with the fallen and helping him to safety while their own body is ravished from the bullet wounds of agony and pain.

Only One

I wonder how it feels to walk without shame. I wonder how it feels to run without guilt. I wonder how it feels to fly without regret and remorse as your wings.

Some seek solace in a bottle. Some seek refuge in a friend. Still others seek redemption in work ethics, rule setting or a religious embrace.

Tears shed for the years lost. Weeping is heard for the innocence stolen. Wailing is released for the lives bound by sin and disgrace.

Peace cannot be found in the chaos. Rest cannot be found in the confusion. Silence cannot be found in the clamor of opinions and directives.

Only One can bring Truth to shatter the veil. Only One can bring mercy to crumble the chains. Only One can bring justice to destroy the bondage.

One Name is Truth. One Life is Mercy. One look is Grace. One breath is Freedom.

Jesus.

Do you know Him?

For He Is Your Cause

I see you standing there as you patiently wait for the end of his game.

You have things to do, responsibilities to fulfill; yet, you wait to show you care.

You and he are alone in this world, but you fight to make it a good one for him to grow, to succeed.

You have no promise of another to join you in this cause, but that is no matter.

For he is your cause and your reason for this time.

I see you crying in the shadows as you receive another blow that knocks you to your knees.

You never scream. You never retaliate. You simply take what life might give. You make it the best you can, and you smile…for him.

The love from those who birthed you strengthens your resolve, but this fight is yours alone to consume.

You win it for him, to impress upon his memory the reward of dedication, faith, and love.

For he is your cause and your reason for this time.

I see you resting there in the Father’s arms as you gain purpose for the journey.

You will soon soar with the eagles as he begins to find his wings and fly.

You will soon, once again, charge the enemy and slay the dragons for the victory of your own dreams.

Yet, for now, you patiently wait as his game grows momentum, knowing one day, it will come to a close.

For He is your cause and your reason for this time.

Penned MG 6/4/16

*I wrote this for a friend a few years ago when she was going through a difficult divorce. She became a hero in my book, as I watched her deal with her own pain privately as she fought and clawed for the protection of her child and for the protection of her own sanity through the storm, all the while holding steadfast to the only anchor that holds: Jesus. ❤️

No matter what storm of life you may be walking through, He is the anchor that holds. He is the refuge and solace for your soul. He will walk with you through the fire, and He will hold your hand through the deepest, darkest of nights.

Not Meant for You

This might seem a little strange to have as a post for Valentine’s Day, and I almost scheduled for Friday instead of today. Then, as I thought about it, I decided what a great post for such a day as the celebrated “Love Day.” I’ll tell you why…

Sometimes, we have to realize another person’s rejection isn’t because of us, but rather, because of them, Not because of who we are, but rather because of whom they are… Or maybe, whom they cannot be… Because he/she wasn’t meant to be in our future. I saw this image posted one day and thought this one tiny sentence says so much! Someone out there needs to hear this today…

Yes, sometimes, the removal of a person in our lives is because of a stupid action or dumb choice that we have made, and that will be another blog for another day. Right now, I want to take a minute to speak into someone’s life who is hurting, and you’re wondering how in the world it could have come to this. You are wondering how could that person have rejected you after you worked so hard, you loved so deeply, and you gave so much.

You keep rolling the memories back through your mind. You remember the sacrifices you made. You recall the smiles you offered to cheer their rainy days. You recollect the extra miles you walked just so they wouldn’t be alone. You reminisce the hurdles you jumped and the mountains you climbed just to remain faithful and true to the love you believed the two of you shared.

This brokenness you are experiencing, I cannot claim to feel as deeply. This betrayal and rejection that cuts like a knife, I cannot pretend to completely comprehend. I am not there, living in your shoes.

Yet, I can tell you, this season will bring more growth and more wisdom than you could ever imagine. I can share with you, there will come a moment when the breathing doesn’t feel like suffocation within your bones. I can say to you, there will come a day when the sun will shine again.

It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, or next week, or even six months from now, but if you are able to find the Hope that I have found, His grace can and will be sufficient. He can bring beauty for ashes. He can bring joy for mourning. He can turn your gray skies to a brighter day and work all things for your good…the good, the bad and the ugly!

He can show you that the person who brought all this pain wasn’t rejecting you, he or she just wasn’t meant to be a part of your destiny. They weren’t meant to share the precious love you have to give. They weren’t meant to be there when you accomplish those life long goals. They weren’t meant to be a part of the rejoicing and celebration. They weren’t meant to take part in your eternal joy.

So, let them go.

It is not as much your loss as much as it is theirs.

As they walk away, take a deep breath and realize, your future is brighter without their shadow. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Go out and celebrate! ❤️