The Process

Photo taken Mt.Ninham

Recollecting memories from 2013 into 2014, many are painful reminders of how fast life passes by. Others were glimpses into what the future could be. 2013 was a year of unexpected laughs with a companion who simply enjoyed my company without expectations and a respectability to the boundaries I’d placed along my healing journey.

We’d find humor in the most mundane, silliness in the not so funny paths called life’s roads and appreciation for the beauty revealed throughout each day. My excitement on windy days meant getting my kite and finding a place to fly it, his was having a breeze free day to go para gliding. Going on road trips were filled with conversation, giggles and sarcastic truth telling. Very rarely did we not have anything to discuss, or laugh about. Even in recognizing the depths of our individual flaws, somehow there was balance in the adventure of separate togetherness, where laughter pulled us both out of our soloist tendencies.

It was light-hardheartedness, with gentleness and an unspoken understanding of past hurts that lifted the trust factors of being in a relationship. We did not call it that. We called it a friendship where hugs were enough, nothing more, nothing less than two people enjoying whatever each moment had to bring. It was nice yet still was not the ‘it’ or the ‘could be more’ that would have defined a long term thing. Nonetheless, it was nearly a year of a committed friendship with memories that will last a life time. Where supportive connection was a bond offered to each other without motives to obtain more than was given. By November 2013 my PTSD was in full swing and a mini breakdown ensued, that ended our potential for anything other than what was.

Fast forward to January 2014. Several days before my eldest child’s 24th birthday I got out of my chair and broke my foot and ankle, on absolutely nothing but a rug. It conveniently was a weekend and we didn’t have a car let alone someone to drive it. Waiting to go for medical attention since my life up until that point was a consistent drama revolving around health or lack of health was a reprieve. Medical bills piling up and only 6 months to find another place to live, no car, no job, and nearly no hope for getting out of the mire of the life that kept me in constant oppression. Now there’s a broken ankle and foot, a huge boot up to my knee, crutches, walker and snow outside. Food stamps, food pantries, housing assistance, disability, doctor appointments, papers and more papers that increased my PTSD symptoms. To say that being beside myself would be an understatement. Praying throughout every day holding onto the faith of which I profess also would be another understatement. Surely God was in these situations, surely Jesus would not want to see me or my youngest child suffer anymore. Surely this could not be the life of abundance the bible repeatedly told me about. Sowing with tears seemed to be all I knew, and in questioning where the joy actually was the more the tears came.

Not seeing a way out of a dark place is no place to be at all. Then I got the call. My only surviving parent was found dead in his apartment 1 day after valentines day and 2 days before my birthday. Survival mode still in tact time to suck it up, gather some strength, and push forward with little time to process any of it. It was surreal. It was awful. It still is to some degree. Gratitude to those who were there to pick up the pieces for funeral and other related expenses, included family, neighbors, friends, and numerous church friends came out to support me and my immediate family members. There were also neighbors of my dad’s residence who came to pay respects. The display of love was obvious, still my emptiness hovered over me like a cloud.

Then our cat had to be put down. It was the end of March. Less than 90 days to find a place to live. My hope was decreasing little by little, and my faith tested beyond human comprehension. Being humbled was the very ground upon which was falling apart. Prayers, temper tantrums, anger, hurt, feeling alone in the loneliness became a training exercise of what it means to take up one’s cross and walk courageously into the unknown. Still, holding onto the Lord to guide my steps and grant me strength to endure the adversity.

The more faith that was proclaimed, the more opposition kept on coming. Determined to not let the darkness swallow me whole, pressing in with constant communication with my maker, calling out regularly to the Lord who saved me over and over and over again, more testing was required while losing more and more entered into the daily grind. The process was a process alright, knowingly so, breakthrough would not come so easily. By the end of May accepting that we might end up homeless, the fear attempted to break me far away from where hope lives. Within myself the light that still shined, was a mere spark that somehow had to stay lit. So as each box got packed, items thrown away, or things marked for storage; every step taken was preparing me to turn a corner that had its own corners.

By the end of June a new chapter or a revisiting of an older chapter showed up. The pages were torn, the cover newly created from an older version of what used to be. My new mantra became what would later turn into an unexpected vision, with a name and a title of something that could turn an upside down life into a life that finds a way to turn negatives into positives. The unofficial concept came in July of 2013 with the companion friend the beginning of this post is about, with whom often the mantra was the idea that later gets developed into a sole proprietorship by the end of 2014.

I’m just another Survivor sharing strength by being open and honest about my life as it goes through transformation. There are some really awesome people in my life taking the same road out of darkness while supporting each other as they find the light. This adventure is one that hopefully points others in the direction of knowing that having faith in God, calling upon Jesus through all times, and embracing prayer as a lifeline, is a crucial part of manifesting the power of the Holy Spirit. Using all the gifts, talents and abilities that He provides is not for myself alone. They are all meant to be shared to inspire, encourage and motivate others to believe in who they are, with what they have, while becoming who it is they were always meant to be. To God be all the glory!

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Stay tuned for more info about the last 6 months of 2014, with upcoming announcements for new website, videos, and e-book!
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The Hand of God

hope
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 NIV

This afternoon went to see “Heaven is for Real”, a movie based upon a true story of a four year old boy’s recollection of what he saw up above in the heavenly realm. It was a thought provoking film that certainly touched the viewers hearts, perhaps answering some questions we all have. The best line in the movie was “some people are afraid that Heaven doesn’t exist and some people are afraid that it does”. It was indeed an inspirational film that brought both tears and joy. Then….

We made a couple of store stops along the way on Route 9 in Fishkill,just a bit after 5:00 p.m. suddenly I felt faint, and shaken on the inside. Making our way to our next destination I was eerily and inexplicably quiet. We passed the Domino’s Pizzeria on Route 9 where several days earlier a 19 year old boy perished in a fire. There were teenagers gathered outside the location, that had posters, flowers, candles, and cards on the fence in front of the charred building. Sadness tugged at my heartstrings and prayers silently invoked within me. Then…

Just a bit longer down the road on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, we saw the Hand of God invisibly save the life of a young man named Mike. It was approximately 5:20 p.m., we were in the 2nd lane, and 5 cars ahead of us in the 3rd lane was the vehicle that Mike drove. Out of nowhere we saw a street sign fly up like an arrow landing directly into Mike’s windshield. It was both quick yet seemed to be movie-like in slow motion effect. All the other cars were coming to a halt. People were getting out of their cars and running to the blue car, expecting to see what no body wanted to see. By the time I got to them, the young man in purple, was no longer inside the car. He was standing unharmed as people were praising the Lord for saving him. Looking inside the car I saw the shattered windshield with the metal sign post at an angle over the steering wheel. It literally missed Mike’s head by perhaps 8 to 10 inches and landed over the middle part of the car seats.

The young man was somewhat in shock. People were all concerned and amazed, saying things like: “there was an angel looking out for you” someone up there was with you today” “You have to go to church tomorrow”, all of us were asking if he was okay or hurt. After I looked inside the car, I realized immediately it was the Hand of God that was between that road sign and Mike’s life at the precise moment the accident occurred. I asked him his name and told him mine, why I told him I was a deacon I don’t know, and I took his hand. These words came out without a thought: “Well Brother Mike, you definitely had an angel looking over you today. I don’t know what it is you needed to know, but on this day, the day before Easter; God is trying to tell you something, and it was the Hand of God that stopped that sign from hitting you. He saved you for a reason”. Mike’s big brown eyes, connected with mine and he replied, “Yes, I know.”

The sirens were getting closer now, so everyone was getting back into their vehicles. We were all talking through our windows, about what happened, what we saw, and how God was there. Many of us were in disbelief of the miracle we witnessed. There was a good Samaritan woman directing the traffic while the other drivers were making a path for the emergency vehicles. As we passed the accident, on the left we saw either 3 or 4 other vehicles that looked empty, with many people standing around. Bumpers, glass, and shaken individuals waited for the emergency teams. Apparently whatever happened with those vehicles must have included the hitting of the road sign that flew into the air directly into Mike’s windshield.

There really are no words to describe the feelings that unite strangers or how. Only that in those moments, the thought of another being hurt or worse made us all want to help in some way. There was a movie that conveyed a message that Heaven is Real. There is earth where sometimes, Heaven meets it and shows us just how much. Believing that is our hope. Our hope in everyday inspired by life, questioning the unknown, looking to the invisible made visible. The hand of God spoke to many of us…without words today. May all who were there remember and rejoice tonight into tomorrow, celebrating Resurrection Sunday with new found sight into the meaning of Easter.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

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