A Note To My Children – About Persevering

[Yes, this is an actual note I sent to my kids. I never know if they will actually read my notes (smile) but I send them occasionally anyway. Maybe they will read this when they need it most.]

Every wall is a door” (Emerson)

I remember when I first saw this quote a few years ago, it gave me hope. It reminded me to alter my perspective when I faced difficulties. Maybe the “wall” or the road block was really leading me to where I was supposed to be.

And I remember years ago hearing a preacher talk about being in a meeting with Japanese businessmen. They told him that have no word for “crisis”. Instead their word is “opportunity”. I never forgot that. Actually more accurately the first character of the Japanese word for crisis means ‘dangerous’ and the second character of the word means ‘opportunity’ (according to a little research).

To me, it makes sense. When we’re in crisis, sometimes it’s daunting, scary, unpleasant (and maybe dangerous but not always). And in trying times, there is always “opportunity”. The opportunity to go a new direction, to create a new solution, to find maybe an unexpected answer. The opportunity to change our perspective on the matter. 

I once saw a commercial years ago about a GPS system in some vehicle. And every time the driver would go to an unexpected location, the GPS would say “rerouting” in that Siri voice. And BOOM I had a personal revelation… Isn’t that how it is with my walk with God. Every time I get off track, or face a “crisis” or hit a proverbial wall, I feel like God has said to me, “rerouting”. And I had the ‘opportunity’ to get back on track OR maybe had to take a detoured route to get back to my path. 

Sometimes I’d be routed to an entirely new path. A beautiful thing (even if initially it didn’t seem beautiful).

Sometimes we travel along and try our plans and face crises, which lead to opportunities. Sometimes we must be rerouted and that’s totally okay.  Life is not linear. What I mean is that very rarely do things go in a straight line or according to plan. It’s often a zig zag or loopy pattern. Lots of edges, twists and turns along the way. But if we allow ourselves the opportunity, we can learn and grow and dare to find beauty on the journey. 

Love, mom 

© 2021 I AM KAYDEE “A Note To My Children – About Persevering”

image credit: istock photos / google images

God’s Painful Grace

There was a time when I believed God’s grace to be something that was always comforting, always miraculous, always a blissfully joyful thing to experience. And it IS all of those things, but not always. Yes, God’s grace has brought me to thankful tears. God’s grace has brought relief and happiness to my heart. God’s grace has overwhelmed me as a loving force that cannot quite be put into words, where I’ve simply felt waves of love washing over me.

But, recently, as I have reflected on some very pivotal moments in my life, I’ve come to also notice a pattern of what I’ll call “painful grace”. This often comes in the form of shattered dreams, a broken heart, a lost job and the like. And it’s not until you’ve come completely out of the situation and (significant) time has passed, and the heart is open for lessons to be gleaned from the experience, that you realize that it was God’s grace at work in those difficult moments also.

At the time, we can rarely see it as grace, because we’re in the throes of pain and disappointment. We’re grieving, lamenting, mourning. It’s difficult to see clearly when we’re in the middle of grappling with the “why” and “how” of our agonizing experiences. But, in hindsight, we can see God’s hand of grace in those very situations.

Later, after the fact, we see that God’s grace in our losing that job was that He was moving us out of our comfort zone, or perhaps removing us from a place with no growth opportunity, or maybe removing us from a toxic work environment so that we could move onto the next opportunity that He had for us. If we’d not have been ‘moved’ from that position, we might have remained in a place of stagnancy and/or missed out on the next chapter God had for us for career growth and change.

After the fact, we see that God’s grace in that failed relationship was Him moving us out of an unhealthy situation, or saving us from a lifetime commitment with a toxic person, or saving us from a situation were we’d have been ill-matched or not truly valued.  However, by His grace, He ‘moved’ us out of that situation so that we could be free to move into a place of self-growth and healing, and/or into a place of preparation for a better future relationship.

After the fact, we can see that God’s grace in that failed business or shattered dream was Him repositioning us. He was re-routing us to an even greater purpose and more fulfilling dream. That ‘failure’ caused us to rethink life, upgrade our perspective, and brainstorm a new, more innovative plan or idea than we would’ve thought of if we’d have not experienced that failure. I once heard Bishop TD Jakes saying something to the effect of – ‘what if our failures are really our gateways to the next phase of our purpose?!’ [paraphrased]

Ohhh, God’s painful grace! We do not readily embrace it. We fight it. We even hate it, because at the time it does not seem like grace… It only feels like pain. But, if our hand is in God’s hand, shouldn’t we trust Him to lead us through this process? To refine us? To grow us? Even if at times His grace is painful?

©2019 Life Together with Kay Dee, “God’s Painful Grace”

photo credit: morguefile.com

Random Bits of Wisdom

Random Thoughts:

  • If you don’t deal with your own stuff/issues & keep ignoring them, they’ll seep into every other area of your life.
  • Sometimes you have to be alone to figure out WHO you are, what you want & what’s important to you. It’s in that alone time where you get to know yourself best, because there are no other distractions.
  • Waiting is not fun, but, sometimes it’s the best option. We tend to want everything immediately & immediate gratification is not always best. If we got everything we wanted immediately, (1) we might not be able to handle it all (2) we might not fully appreciate it or know how to take care of it properly (3) we might mess it up.
  • Sometimes when you get back what you lost, you realize that it needed to stay lost.
  • Sometimes lessons learned the hard way are the most lasting & life changing.
  • You have to purposely decide to work on yourself, improve yourself, be your best self. No one can do that for you.
  • You can want the best for someone, but, THEY have to decide to want the best for themselves. You cannot change them.
  • Don’t you love when you finally “get” something you’ve been trying to learn or understand? It’s the best feeling!
  • Oftentimes, it’s not until later in life that you can look back and understand WHY something happened the way it did (or didn’t).
  • Some things we will not understand on this side of heaven.
  • Learning to love yourself and accept yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
  • Truly experiencing the love of God is life altering and life-elevating.
  • Stop boxing yourself in. Stop putting limitations on your capabilities and dreams.  You can do infinitely more than you can imagine.
  • When you get knocked down, get back up, dust yourself off, learn the lesson & keep going!
  • When you’re going for your dreams and goals, you may face many hardships & failures along the way. Remember it’s all part of the process & don’t give up.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • Some friendships are seasonal. They’re not meant to last forever.  And that’s okay.  Thank God for the blessing of that friendship at the time you needed it.

That’s it for today.  Be blessed folks.

@KayDeeSpeaks on FB, IG, Twitter & YouTube & WordPress

©2017 Kay Dee Speaks “Random Bits of Wisdom”

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com