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

Though Life Can Be Troubling

Tear

Though Life Can Be Troubling – by K.D.

Though life can be troubling
And sometimes it breaks your heart
Know that it’s a journey
From the very start

It weaves and it winds
Sometimes you get off course
And you may begin to wonder
“What is all of this for?”

Know that you are growing
Progressing day by day
Though the road at times is tough
And you feel you’ve lost your way

Remember who you are, dear one
Fearfully and wonderfully made
You are watched over and cared for
And guided through each day

You will see the other side of this
And look back and say, “Ah hah!”
The trials you’ve endured
Have brought you very far

You now have compassion
Where you lacked it before
You now have the strength
To help someone else endure

You now understand
Someone else’s broken heart
And you have life-lessons learned
And wisdom to impart

There is HOPE
On the other side of this storm
Hold on to your Maker
He will guide you safely to shore

Don’t lose sight dear friend
You are not alone
Have hope, keep the faith
The best is yet to come!

Amen.

© 2013 K.D. Corner “Though Life Can Be Troubling”/ iamkaydee1.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: here

One Thing Remains

candy heart

I was going to write a long commentary about love, God & and Valentine’s Day and being single vs. married, etc.  Believe me, I could say a LOT on the subject.  But, I changed my mind about that.  Instead, I just want to do this.  I want to encourage you today if Valentine’s Day is difficult for you.  I’m here for you as a virtual friend to “hold your hand” so to speak, and tell you that even though today is hard, you will make it through.  How do I know?  I have faith in you.

God loves you.  And believe me, I understand if you’re tired of hearing all of the Christian-isms about God & love on Valentine’s Day, so I won’t preach to you. Know that most people (including me) are well-meaning and only seek to encourage you.  And you may need that encouragement.  But, I understand that even though you know that God loves you and you walk in faith daily, sometimes it can still be difficult.  You may long for someone to just … understand.  And if you’re not a Christian, I know that believing in a God that loves you while you feel miserable inside may provide little comfort for you.  You don’t have to…but take my word for it, God does exist and he made you to exist because you’re special, you have purpose, and He adores you.  Even if a lot of awful things have happened to you at the hands of people who were hurtful and abusive and hateful…you’re still here because you have purpose.  And God kept you sane through all of the madness. God kept you alive through all of the craziness because God has a purpose for your life!  You matter!  Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t.

Today, I have resolved to bless others.  Why? Because it’s better than feeling sorry for myself, that’s why :).  There are so many people in the world and in our circle of influence who may need some cheer today.  Maybe you’ve never paid attention before to that co-worker or neighbor or store vendor who could possibly use a bright smile from YOU and a,  “How are you today?” while actually looking into their eyes and really caring about how they’re doing.  Find a way to reach out to others today, even the grumpy ones, if you feel led to.  They may stay grumpy outwardly (but you never know how your act of kindness my have affected them inwardly).

I also wanted to also share this song in hopes of encouraging you.  God’s love is the One Thing that is consistent in my life, the One Thing that Remains:

Words and Video below:
VIDEO LINK (music with lyrics) –> HERE!!! (skip the ad)

One Thing Remains – Kristian Stanfill
Lyrics:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
This one thing remains
This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I’ll never ever have to be afraid
‘Cause this one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love

In death, in life
I’m confident and covered
By the power of Your great love

My debt is paid
There’s nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x2]

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I’ll never ever have to be afraid
‘Cause this one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love
It’s Your love
God I know Your love is never-ending
Your love is never-failing
It’s Your love, Your love, Your love ♥

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

© “One Thing Remains (blog)” by KD Corner 2013

Life Unexpected

white rose

 

The other day, word spread throughout the office fast, that a former coworker had passed away. The age…26 years young. Shock and disbelief permeated the office. Those of us who knew him shared and discussed it amongst ourselves. This young man had recently moved out-of-state to pursue another venture. It was said that no one had heard from him for a few days and when someone checked on him, they found that he was…gone. I don’t want to share any more detail to protect his family’s privacy. But, wow. I wasn’t very close with him, but, I knew him and we’d chat sometimes. He was a pretty well-known figure among many of us. And really, it’s something you don’t expect to happen. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. But it did.

Unexpected death brings about varied reactions. But those that are common are reactions of shock and sadness. Immediately my heart broke for his family and very close friends. To lose a son so young….to lose a child at all…is devastating. Immediately I set about the task of praying for God’s provision and comfort for this family. As a bystander, you feel so helpless. You want to rush in and comfort those loved ones left behind, only to realize that you cannot fix it. You cannot lessen their pain. You can only support and help where needed, which can be a blessing to the family.

I apologize if this blog entry seems all over the place or disjointed. I’m still grappling with this news. Immediately I thought of the brevity of life. I thought of my own children. I thought of how precious life is and how this young man likely had no clue that his would end so suddenly. It made me want to scoop up all of my kids and protect them. It made me want to take more time to treasure them. It made my heart break for those parents of that young man. It made me think of how none of us really know how long we have, and how we should make the most of it. It made me think, personally, of my relationship with God, my creator. It made me think – am I living to the fullest? Am I reaching my potential? Am I sharing my faith effectively? Am I doing everything I should be doing? Am I trying to live a healthy and robust life? Am I taking proper care of myself and my family’s health and well-being? So many questions and thoughts swirling around. Events like this have a way of making you STOP. THINK. REFLECT. As much as it lies within me, I want to treasure this gift of life and my children and family and friends. I will attempt to live my life, this gift of life from God, to the fullest and to make it one that pleases Him. That’s my personal goal. What will you do with yours?

I pray that you live to the fullest and make a positive difference in this world.
I pray that you take the time to treasure your loved ones – your family and friends.
I pray that you let go of grudges and live!
I pray that you forgive those who have wronged you and choose to live with joy and peace and laughter and love.
I pray that you don’t let anyone rob you of who you are. God created you uniquely special.
I pray that you comfort and help others and take every chance to “pay it forward”.
I pray that you realize how beautiful and wonderful you are and that you can reach the stars!
I pray that you can be that shoulder for someone to cry on, or that listening ear, or that word of wisdom, or that hug or smile.
I pray that you know how much God loves and adores you and that you get to experience Him in your life.
And I pray that you know that… just as “bad” unexpected things can happen, so can “good” ones. Never give up!

Blessings ♥

© “Life Unexpected” by KD Corner 2012

Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dealing With Grief

We all experience loss in life.  It can range from experiencing the death of a loved one, to the death of a relationship/friendship, or ‘death’ of a certain season in life (ex. job loss, a child growing up and leaving, etc.). And because of experiencing loss, whether the loss is expected or unexpected, we go through stages of grief.  It’s completely normal.  While experiencing the grief process, you may sometimes feel as though you’ve gone “loopy”.  But if you become knowledgeable (or remind yourself) of the stages of the grief cycle, then it tends to be easier to recognize which stage you’re in and helps you to realize that what you’re going through is okay. 

Sometimes when loss happens, well-meaning family or friends will tell you to “get over it” or “get on with life” or “you shouldn’t still feel that”.  They really do mean well.  They just want you to “snap out of it” and get back to your “normal” self.  The trouble is, when loss happens, you don’t go back to how you were before the incident.  But, you create a “new normal” that takes into account your experience of loss.  Yes, there are extremes on both sides. People can “stuff” grief down inside and decide to never fully deal with it.  Or sometimes people can stay stuck in a lifetime of misery, never allowing themselves to fully go through their cycle of grief and come out on the other side of it. 

Let’s briefly go through the stages of grief here:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

The important thing to know is that it does NOT always happen in linear order.  You may not go through certain stages. Or you may experiences some stages simultaneously.  Or you may even circle back around to certain stages you already have been through. But, let yourself go through the stages at your own pace.  Also, if you need to, reach out to certain family or friends who will be supportive as you go through this process, and not try to rush you through it.  You may also choose to seek out a professional counselor. That is nothing to be ashamed of.  Take your time to find the right counselor for you.  You may also try talking about things with your family doctor.

Please visit this link which goes through each stage of grief in-depth.  Take the time to really read through and understand each stage.  Link:  http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/ .

One last thing…IF you are experiencing grief and feel at all suicidal please DO NOT end your life!  You are meant to be here.  You are beautiful and special and precious & God loves you!!!  You matter to me!  Please call the suicide hotline so that you can talk to someone to help you through this.  They have resources that will help you with your individual situation.  
SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255.  

Sidebar: I even heard on the radio the other day that for soldiers suffering from PTSD and battle depression and/or suicidal thoughts consistently, there are breakthrough procedures and medications available.  But you don’t have to be suffering from PTSD.  You can any person who suffers from depression.  Depression is a very real thing that people go through and you don’t have to feel ashamed. For help, encouragement, information & suggestions please listen to this radio show. Here’s the link to the radio show: http://www.moodyradio.org/radioplayer.aspx?episode=91779&hour=2  (the show is a Christian show, but, even if you’re not a Christian don’t let that deter you from listening.)  There is LOTS of good information shared that will help you with depression and bipolar disorder and other areas.  Also if you would like to visit the radio guest’s website, it is here:  http://drlindamintle.com/?s=depression .

God bless you! ♥

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net