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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Growth’

Begin

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it now. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Goethe 

The farther I progress into my transformative process, I understand the jargon of the program better – like doing the same thing over and over again; expecting different results. My experience was very limited (partying and making up my own rules as I went along) and I was absolutely unwilling to do anything that I couldn’t be a know-it-all at. That didn’t leave much room for growth.

When I came to the program, my only goal was to clean up the mess that was my life. As I worked the Steps, the debris was cleared and power became available to actually build something; a real life!

Unmasked Excerpt

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“In my Father’s house, there are many mansions.” – Jesus

I have been having a recurring dream that I live in a house and realize that there is a whole wing of the house that is uninhabited. At one point in the dream, it occurs to me that I should start using the extra rooms. I finally figured out what the dream meant and then I quit having it.

Anyway, to me the dream is saying that I am my house and the uninhabited wings are the parts of me that are yet to be discovered. They are the possibilities for me if I dare to cross my comfortable thresholds and explore beyond the present boundaries of where I live and move and have my being.  

Unmasked Excerpt

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“This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Deepak Chopra

Sometimes I have such bittersweet feelings because I know that this precious time when Hope is my little baby is so fleeting. However, how do I know that there aren’t more precious times ahead with all of the children? 

Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been all of my life. I guess looking forward to the best that was yet to come. I realize that better things may very well be coming, but that the best, so far, is right here and right now. Who cares if this great and poignant beauty of life is not forever? It’s here and I see it. I am experiencing it.

Sometimes I just hate the way that joy and sorrow are so similar. I guess the seeming polarity is what keeps it all in balance, in perspective; what keeps it all from becoming mundane and keeps me from becoming complacent.

I am enjoying motherhood so immensely. I am so blessed to have such precious children; and to have such a gentle and loving husband. We have come such a long way together; I don’t even recognize us anymore yet the peace between us is so anciently familiar. We are truly learning to live and let live. 

I have a wonderful life! I just need to quit being so dramatic and not let the fact that it’s transitory get me down. I have no cares for tomorrow for my present moment is well lived.

Thank You, God!

Unmasked Excerpt

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Home Within

Help me, Father. Fear of success breeds sabotage and I know it. Hold my hand, sweet Lord. Please, calm my storm and assure me that all is well. I need You so much as I unravel even more confusion within myself. Bring me home to You within myself.

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And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; and you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. – Kahlil Gibran

I have been experiencing intense emotion over Hope’s shooting and recovery. In many ways, I feel emotionally devastated. However, this experience has shone a great light on the magnitude of God’s Grace.

When Hope was in the ICU in critical condition, our visitors would ask me, “How are you doing this?” I would reply that I did not know. All I did know was that my daughter needed me and that my mission in life at that time was to be there; to cut the remaining acrylic nails off of her fingers, to clean the blood from underneath her real nails, to wipe the drool from her face and throat, to clean her body when her bodily functions were uncontrollable – to simply do whatever needed to be done and to be present for her. What I saw was a broken child who was on her road to recovery.

Now that we are home, many of my friends have admitted that they did not believe that Hope would survive. I can honestly say that there was only one brief moment that I did not believe that she would recover. Three days after the shooting, we were told that it was unlikely that Hope would survive the day. In a solemn moment in the waiting room, the entire family was gathered in utter silence and despair. The hospital staff averted our glances in sadness. My husband was seated in a chair; stunned, with tears flowing down his face. I searched my mind to remember the date; the date of Hope’s death. But then something amazing happened; I felt led to approach my husband and to encourage him. “We can do this,” I said. “As long as we stick together, we can get through this.” Then the Spirit of the Risen Jesus spoke to me, “Only supernatural grace can make a grieving mother a comfort to others.” In that moment, I knew that Hope would not die on August 6th, 2015. In that moment, I knew that God’s Grace is sufficient in all circumstances.

However, today I see that God’s Grace carried me not only through that moment, but through the entire experience because, today, I can feel the emotions that were not available to me at the time of her hospitalization. Yesterday, I watched the video of Hope’s first steps after the shooting. She was fragile and unsteady. She could not balance her gravely injured head. She could only take a few steps before needing to sit down. She had minimal understanding of what was happening. As I watched the video, I broke into tears that have flowed for the last 24 hours. The reality of the devastation of her injury crashed into my awareness; along with the awareness of the magnitude of God’s supernatural Grace. These sorrowful tears are also tears of gratitude. I give thanks to God for a brokenness that creates more space for Himself. I give thanks to God for His Power that can transform horror into holiness. I give thanks to God for making a grieving mother a comfort to others. And may the God of Love bring comfort, power, and peace to you. Namaste.

The Journey Continues

September 17, 2015

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My eve was in truth my dawn. – Kahlil Gibran

Yesterday as I was driving home, I saw a young woman walking down the side of the busy street. My heart immediately sank as I was reminded of the pain and fear that I experienced last year when my daughter, Hope, was living on the streets and using methamphetamine. I can honestly say that the seven months that my daughter was using in 2014 were the most devastating days of my life. I lived in constant fear of receiving a phone call or a knock on the door; informing me that my daughter was either dead or seriously injured.

Ironically, on August 3rd of this year, I received a phone call from John Peter Smith Hospital’s ICU notifying me that my daughter was there; that I needed to come to the hospital as soon as possible. When I arrived, I was informed that my daughter was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. The doctor told me that he was “not optimistic” about her recovery. Miraculously, my daughter did recover and is now at home with me; sleeping peacefully in the other room.

The reason that I am contrasting these two events is because I am overwhelmed by the “peace that passes understanding” available through the Spirit of the Risen Jesus. As I said, when I lived in fear of that phone call, my life was overcome by despair. However, when the circumstances actually came to pass, I was able to walk through the situation with an uncanny sense of serenity. I believe that this dichotomy occurred because God cannot be present in my fears of the uncertain future; whereas He is wholly present in the “now” moments of my life.

Similarly, in the early days following Hope’s shooting, I would torture myself envisioning the horror that Hope had endured. In the midst of one of my morning imaginings, the spirit spoke to me clearly, “Don’t worry about what Hope endured; because I carried the burden of the experience for her; just as I am carrying the burden of this experience for you.” In than moment, I clearly understood that the past had no power over my present moment. I realized that “now” is the only true reality and that God is sovereign in every “now” moment; not just for me, but for anyone who seeks Him.

The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But in the reality of God, there is only “now,” as time gives way to eternity. I thank God that His promises are true; that He will never leave me or forsake me. And I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you; and that, as you turn your face toward Him, He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. Namaste, friends.

 

The Journey Continues

September 3, 2015

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Nobody ever wanted anything as much as God wants to bring people to know him. – Meister Eckhart 

I haven’t written for a while because my life was shattered on August 3rd, but there is something deep within me that is welling its way toward expression.

My daughter, Hope, was shot in the head on August 3rd; exactly four weeks ago to date. She was left for dead on a dead-end street. When she was found, homicide detectives were called because it seemed unlikely that she would survive. She survived emergency brain surgery, but took a turn for the worse on August 6th. We were told that we “needed a miracle” to save her. We asked for one – and we got it. We brought Hope home from the hospital yesterday and she has already been to church and to I-Hop. And that’s all I have to say about these circumstances because the news media is already doing the job of spreading “Hope’s Miracle.”

The thing that I feel compelled to share is the “backstory” of the miracle. On the morning of August 6th, I cried out to God; vacillating between begging for the life of my youngest child and cursing the people who hurt her. In the midst of my pleas for God to let her live, I heard so clearly within my spirit, “That is up to you; how much are you willing to forgive and how much are you willing to believe?” In that moment, something truly supernatural occurred within me. Not only did my malice towards her offenders leave me, but I actually experienced compassion for them. As the fog of negativity lifted, I once again heard that inaudible voice whose counsel has led me for so many years, “Don’t fall for this. Don’t believe what you see; believe what you KNOW.”

And this is what I know: God loves each of us as a mother loves her only child. But most of us do not experience that love because we have bought into the belief that Love could turn her back on seeming imperfection. Love takes our “sins” no more seriously than a mother watching her child play make-believe. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God; except the belief that we are separate from each other and from God.

Everyone says that Hope’s Miracle is the proof that God is real. This experience is that and so much more for me. Hope’s Miracle is proof that even a willingness to forgive makes room for abounding grace. Hope’s Miracle is proof that when two or more are gathered, the Spirit of the Risen Jesus is in the midst. Hope’s Miracle is proof that if I earnestly take one step towards God, Love will take a million steps towards me.

Hope’s Miracle IS proof that God is real; so how much are YOU willing to forgive and how much are YOU willing to believe?

The Journey Continues

August 31, 2015

 

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