Open The Book

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You can look at people every day and you don’t know their story. You can look at people and assume things about them from the way they look, dress, talk…but you really know nothing about them. At some time or another, we all have probably been guilty of judging a book by its cover instead of opening the book to get to know the person as they actually are.

Today, as I went to the break room at my job to get some hot water for tea, there was another young lady getting her morning beverage as well. She always has a friendly smile and we always say ‘hello’ to each other whenever we see one another. What did I assume about her? Just that she was another person who works in Customer Service and makes an average living, etc. What didn’t I know? She’s has an incredible story! Let me explain.

We exchanged pleasantries, each asking how the other was doing. She said, “Could be better, but God is good.” To which I replied, “Amen,” and said a few other words, then I proceeded to leave the break room. Upon my exit, I felt the urge from God to go back in. Why had she said, “Could be better”? God impressed upon me to inquire. I had felt such urges before, and I’m not happy to report that although sometimes I have obeyed, sometimes I have made excuses to avoid such interactions (telling myself maybe God isn’t nudging me, and maybe I’m just making this up, or…’eh, it won’t be a big deal, I’ll see her again later’). Today, thankfully, I obeyed and went back into the break room under the guise of getting something from the cupboard that I had forgotten. I asked her, “You said ‘could be better’, how come?”. She informed me that she had a cold, but, also that she had been going through some major things in her personal life over the last few months. Her daughter had been in a car crash with one fatality. The other girl in the vehicle was thrown from the car upon impact and died. Her daughter, however, came through the ordeal only having to have some plates inserted in her ankle, but, otherwise she is fine and back to work. Her son recently got robbed, stabbed seven times and shot. He survived. He’s doing well now. However, a friend of her son’s recently got shot in the head and died. She said, every time something happened she PRAYED. And whenever she feels the unction or urge, she prays and “God is faithful.” She said that she didn’t understand how people could be without a relationship with God today’s day and age. She reiterated that every time she prayed, God was faithful to hear and answer her prayers. And that He never allows more testing or trials in our lives than we are able to bear at that time. If it weren’t for the trying times, she said, how could we fully appreciate the good times. And she mentioned that though her job was very stressful, how much of a blessing it is to even have a job in these economic times. She concluded, “Since you asked how I was, I just wanted to share that testimony with you.”

Wow! Wow! Wow! She didn’t know how much she was speaking to me. Though I have not been going through physical trials so much as relational and emotional trials involving family and other life situations, I could totally relate. I was immediately ashamed of the complaining that I’d been doing. She touched on everything I feel that God has really been trying to get through to me recently. TRUSTING that He’s in control and knows what he’s doing. Though difficult times come, and they do, He will not allow more upon me than I am able to bear, with His help. And even regarding my job (I’d prefer a new one), at least I HAVE A JOB in these times. Many people do not. I am able to provide for my family. I have everything I NEED. Notice I said “need” not “want”. God provides some “wants” as well, but, always makes sure, when we are in relationship with Him and trust Him, that we have everything we need. And sometimes, He even blesses us BEFORE we get to know who He (God) really is…or even BEFORE we believe in Him. And He really does know the best TIMING for things we’re asking and waiting for. He IS faithful. Completely and utterly. Amen.

If you don’t believe in God, I’m not trying to make you. You are allowed to believe as you desire. But, I will tell you from my own personal experience…He’s real. And I pray that one day you get to know and love Him. It’s worth it.

Toodles! 🙂 ♥

“Open The Book” © KD Corner 2013 – All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit – HERE

Being Human

Isn’t being human fun? Haha. I know some of you rolled your eyes…and others laughed. Define “fun” you say. Well, let’s just say that being human is definitely an adventure. We are unique and complex beings.  We are able to experience the world physically and emotionally.  We’re able to interact with others and express thoughts, ideas and feelings in various formats.  We’re able to create things.  It’s really quite amazing! What’s not fun about being human?  Disappointments, death, hurt/pain, sadness.  But, without the yucky parts of life, it’s harder to truly appreciate when things are really good.  When something good happens, you feel joy, relief, elation, etc.  Whether  you realize it or not, you mentally compare the good moment/experience/event to the bad one(s), and you’re extra thankful for the good.  Life is full of challenges.  Situations are challenging.  People are challenging.  Sometimes there are misunderstandings. Sometimes there is blatant harm.  But, whatever you’re going through or whatever you’ve been through, please oh please, allow it to make you better, stronger, more patient, more loving, more COMPASSIONATE, a better listener, a better giver, etc.  Bless others. 
 
To inspire you, I recently saw Alicia Keys perform a song on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show (I couldn’t find this clip but I found another performance).  The song is called “Brand New Me”.  It’s on  her new album “Girl On Fire”.  The song stopped me in my tracks.  This melancholy melody blossomed into a chorus of strength.  It seems to be about coming out of an unhealthy relationship, but, can be related to other things as well.  Please take the time to read the lyrics below and listen to the song here –> “BRAND NEW ME” (note: She does a piano solo at beginning.  If you want to skip this, the singing starts at approximately 2:50 minutes)
 
Brand New Me – by Alicia Keys
 
It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before
You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free
 
Careful with your ego, he’s the one that we should blame
Had to grab my heart back
God know something had to change
I thought that you’d be happy
I found the one thing I need, why you mad
It’s just the brand new kind of me
 
It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised
If I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’ve been on to you too long
If you noticed that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
And it ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of free
 
Oh, it took a long long road to get here
It took a brave brave girl to try
I’ve taken one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, oh see you look surprised
Hey, if you were a friend, you want to get know me again
If you were worth a while
You’d be happy to see me smile
I’m not expecting sorry
I’m too busy finding myself
I got this
I found me, I found me, yeah
I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your ok
I’ll never be perfect, but at least now i’m brave
Now, my heart is open
And I can finally breathe
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of free
That ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of me
Don’t be mad, it’s a brand new time for me, yeah
 
Toodles ♥
 
 Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
© “Being Human” by KD Corner 2012

C’mon Trust Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

Let’s talk about TRUST today. Ooh, fun subject I know!  Wait, wait please keep reading. I know just the word “trust” strikes a negative chord with many people. Immediately there comes to mind that woman, man, friend, foe, coach, teacher, family member that was supposed to be trustworthy and they betrayed your trust. It brings a bitter taste to your mouth. Believe me, though I may not be able to relate with your specific situation, I do know what it’s like to have trust betrayed. We live in an imperfect world, full of imperfect people. When someone who we deem trustworthy betrays our trust, it’s a BIG deal! Scars are left. Walls go up. Hurt & wounded feelings remain and it can take years to heal, depending on the situation and our willingness to go through the healing process.

Mad at God

Bad experiences may negative impact on belief in or trust in God. Because our world is imperfect, when we experience the death of someone close to us or perhaps a situation we were praying about that did not turn out like we thought it should, we blame God and cannot trust Him. We feel He let us down. I don’t pretend to be a theologian and I most definitely do NOT hold all of the answers. I can only speak from my own experience. A couple of times, even as a Christian, I felt as though God totally failed me. I didn’t understand WHY those things happened and WHY He hadn’t answered my prayers and WHY didn’t He step in and save the day, and WHY bother having faith if bad things were going to happen anyway, etc. I had a lot of anger and a lot of questions. I still don’t know all of the answers, but, here are a few things I have learned and re-learned. (1) However you want to say it, we live in an imperfect/sinful/fallen world. And because people aren’t perfect (and unfortunately some people are twisted or have major issues) they choose to do bad things to other people. (2) I cannot control another person’s choices or behavior. Pray as I might that God would intervene and make that person do what’s right… God gave that person a free will, and they can decide to do the opposite of what is good or right, even if the right choice smacks them in the face time & time again. (3) For those of you who aren’t Christian, this may not hold much water, but, I’ll share it nonetheless: In the Bible, God never promises that we will not go through troubling times. In fact, He tells us the opposite. He promises that we WILL go through hard times, but that He will be there WITH us to help us through the difficult times.

I can attest to one particularly heart wrenching situation. I received some bad news about a medical situation. Right in the midst of receiving the news, the strangest and most powerful calm and peace came over me. When by all accounts I should’ve been freaking out, I was enveloped in peace. I had always read the scripture that the “Peace of God which surpasses our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” But that was the first time I had truly experienced it. Was that situation automatically fixed? No. In fact, more troubling related incidences occurred afterward. I personally went through a time of anger, frustration, grief and questioning. But, through my lament, I remembered that peace and held on to the promise that one day I would come through this trying time. I did come through it. But it took quite a bit of time. I know that if God had not been there, not to mention supportive friends and family, I would not have come through the situation nearly as well, nor with my faith in tact.

Trusting People Again

Trust is a very difficult thing, especially when it’s been betrayed. And whether your trust issue is with a person or with God (or both), it takes time for trust to be built back up. That person who betrayed your trust will have to work hard to build it back up. They will have to be consistent and patient and understanding. The sad thing is that the person may choose NOT to build that trust again. But, that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to ruin forever your ability to trust anyone. Maybe you’re extremely guarded. Maybe you’re unable to trust right now, and that is okay. It takes time. But, there ARE trustworthy people out there. Just be careful not to equate trustworthiness with perfection…because there are NO perfect people. We all make mistakes. But, there are people, who are indeed good, quality people full of integrity who will exemplify their trustworthiness consistently. The thing that’s hardest to do after betrayal is trust again. Take baby steps. But don’t close yourself off completely from the idea of trusting anyone. You could be missing out on some really great friendships / relationships. If you’ve endured traumatic experiences, it may take a lot of time to heal and even some good quality counseling or support groups to help you work through what you’ve experienced. There is no shame in that. And, if you’ve been hurt by church people let me say that I am so, so sorry! All Christians and churches aren’t bad, I promise. Please remember not to let a few rotten eggs spoil your view of Christianity or church.

Forgiving God?

If you feel as though God has let you down, there’s no easy answer. For ourselves and our inner peace, we may have to go through the process of forgiving God. Yes, I said it.  For all of my Christian friends, yes, God is unfailing and without sin.  But, if we’ve felt let down or betrayed by him, we have to do a work in our own hearts and go through the process to forgive God for wherever we feel He’s let us down.  We have to cleanse our hearts of bitterness.  For everyone,  I’d say to pray sincerely (your prayers matter and God hears them) and read the Bible for yourself. God truly loves you, more than you can imagine. There ARE credible and reliable teachers of the Bible out there. There are radio and TV ministries as well…find the good ones. The more CORRECT teaching you can get about God and the Bible, the better your understanding will be. If you still decide that you hate God and will never trust Him or you just don’t care for Him very much. Okay. But I pray that one day you’ll come to know His immense, intense and unending love for you.

You are loved.
Toodles ♥

Just a few supporting scriptures: John 16:33 and Psalm 34:18 and Philippians 4:7

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

God’s Got People

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Do you remember the H & R Block commercials that had the ad campaign slogan “You got people”? Ok, so for all of you grammatically correct folks out there, I know that this is not correct English. But, the point of the ad campaign was that if you used their services, basically, you had someone in your corner.  I’m continually amazed how God’s “got people” everywhere.  I call them secret agents. These are people you might otherwise overlook or perhaps not even realize that they are people who love God until you encounter them in a special situation.  They seem to reveal themselves at the ideal time to give you a word of encouragement or strength to go on.

Prime example, the cleaning lady at my job is one such person.  She’s as sweet as she can be….very humble and always has a kind greeting for people. You might dismiss her as just a little ol’ cleaning lady, but, I suspect she’s on a “secret mission” to show God’s love to others. Today, when I went in the break room for a snack, she was sitting there resting before she moved on to her next task.  We exchanged greetings and I shared some of my frustrations with her about my day. I expected her to laugh with me and jump on my grumpy bandwagon. Instead she listened intently, took a moment to give some thought to what I was saying, then proceeded to give me some wise words and shared with me how God can change things through prayer.  Wow!  I needed that!  At the end of our conversation, she said, “I don’t know why I was sitting here so long…I guess I was waiting for you and didn’t know it.”  I smiled and totally agreed.

Isn’t it funny how at just the right moment, God brings different people across our paths unexpectedly, to share his love and encouragement with us? He uses His people, His secret agents, to help us make it through our day or our difficult moment. I could fill this page with stories of such moments.  God definitely has people in the most unusual places with unpredictable faces as His messengers in disguise. Be blessed today. 🙂