Reblog: Faith Doubters

Recently I heard a friend say to me that “God must truly hate him.”  I was taken aback by his statement and wondered why he would say something like that. Why did he believe that God had singled him out and decided that he hated him because he had to go through trials and tribulations?

Sometimes when we are in the midst of our storm, we can’t see the goodness of God’s grace because we keep trying to get out of the valley.  I explained to him that God doesn’t hate you and that if He did, I wouldn’t be here. Because as a child of God, I believe that he sometimes uses ordinary people like me to minister to those who may be down on their faith sometimes.  I told him he was being a faith doubter. Someone who has doubts that their faith in God is genuine.  I explained to him that what he needed was to develop an authentic relationship (as spoken by my wonderful Pastor) with God and understand that having faith doesn’t mean that you are immune to trials and tribulations.  Your faith will always be attacked and tested, but you can’t let that stop your praise.  Praise must continually be in your mouth when your faith is being tested.  I told him that our God is a God of second and third chances and that if he truly knew my story, he would know why I continually say thank you.  So, I surrounded him in love and prayer and lifted up his name in prayer.  I reminded him how awesome our God is.  Our God is great!

Sometimes when you doubt your faith, it helps to have a friend or friends that are praying for you to get through your storm so you will learn the lesson and know that God never gives you more than you can bear.  I’m thankful that I have had many folks do that for me and blessed that God allowed me to do that for someone else.  I found these great Do’s & Dont’s about getting through difficult times that I shared with him and I want to share with you when you are doubting your faith.  These are from one of my favorite websites, www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com.

Dos

Be Vigilant – don’t hide under a rock when life gets tough. This is the time to Courage UP; face it, and learn whatever you must to DO what’s necessary.

Be Wise -never stop learning and applying what you know. There’s a huge difference between awareness and application. The difference in how your circumstances turn out is hugely based on what you do, not what you know to do.

Be Set Apart – When you’re thinking like the herd it’s a good sign that you’re in deep doodoo. The herd takes the path of least resistance. You have to be willing to stand alone – to separate yourself from the chaos – from the company you keep to the noise in your head. You can’t think average or behave according to what’s expected by the herd.

Don’ts

Be not distracted – whatever has happened is to coexist with as much normalcy as you can muster. Whatever predominates your mind, reigns. Practice peace; it’s king.

Be not dismayed – after the initial hurt, even shock which you have to sit with in order to become present with your new reality, you must not lose faith in rebounding; resilience is built here. Courage UP: verbally reassure yourself that “this too shall pass” and “I can handle this” because it will and you can.

Be not discouraged – when it’s over don’t argue with the results. Accept them. That includes whatever your new reality is. The life ahead of you with your new conditions will draw you like a magnet if you’ll embrace it. There’s always a beautiful “life after”, regardless of the storm you’re currently facing.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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It’s Not Really Free

Last week I’m sitting in this dang timeshare presentation in Alexandria, VA. I was lured by the 4 free airline tickets that I was offered. Oh, yeah I wasn’t under any obligation to buy. It’s a couple of days before the 4th and I’m just trying to save money wherever I can so it seemed like a good idea in the beginning.

Here’s what happened, so I filled out to win some free crap like $25,000 or a free car because I’m a sucker for a sweepstakes and they called to offer for me to attend this dang presentation. They stressed I’m under no obligation to buy. Um, sure why not?

Now for my confession. I have been in a perpetual funk for the last couple of weeks. Dealing with my ex and co-parenting drama were overwhelming me. I felt as though I was drowning. It didn’t help that I had a funeral in the midst of this and a crying munch who was upset that he was going back to his dad who felt he was strong enough to resume visitation. That’s another story that I will share later.

So, as you can see I was going through it. I cried every night. Felt overwhelmed by the thought that I was just like I was two years ago. Depressed and wanting this nightmare to end because I didn’t deserve it. I was praying constantly and telling my close friends and family that I wasn’t strong enough. That I wasn’t prepared for this battle. They would say, “Yes, you are. You’re stronger than you think.” What did they know right?

I would pray to God why me? Why do I have to keep enduring? Why do I have to keep pushing on? I needed help. As you can see, I was going through a rough storm on a billowy sea in a sinking ship and I felt as though no one could help me. I mean God was ignoring me right?

Wrong!

I attended the timeshare presentation amidst torrential rains and I invited my best friend  along to stop me from doing anything foolish. Like buying something I can’t afford at the moment. She of course came with me. The man who did my presentation introduced himself as Troy and started to sell me on the plan. He was different though. I had been in timeshare presentations before, but he was personable and engaging and not pushy. Uh oh. I’m in trouble I thought.

We talked about the money and he kept presenting lower options. He asked, “What can I do to get you into one?” “Nothing right now” was my reply. I explained that I don’t want to get too personal, but some things I can foresee are coming down the pike and I need to prepare for the inevitable and can’t afford to buy a timeshare.” I explained I was there for the free gifts only. I told him how this is so hard and I feel like I’m not strong enough to navigate some of my issues when it comes to my co-parenting struggles. He looked at me and said, “You are strong enough. Let me tell you why.” He then explains that his children have been missing since September of last year and he gets up everyday to go to work because he has to provide for his other child and pay investigators to find his children. He said he believes they will be found.

With tears in my eyes I said “I’m trying not to cry. But, I am a woman of faith. I believe that God put me here in this place tonight to hear your testimony. To see your strength. To know that even though the road seems rocky I can do it.” I thanked him and admired his strength because I wouldn’t be able to move if my munch were missing. I told him that I would pray and share the kids information. I did pray. I am praying and I thank God for bringing this stranger in my life to remind me that he has not forgotten me. That he can see the pain that I am in and hear the despair in my weary cries but he’s not forgotten. He sent me a witness to remind me that I can go through it because this man is going through it.

And you know what? I can. This presentation wasn’t really free because I received so much by sitting in this man’s presence. To realize that he wakes up everyday not seeing his children in their beds. He has God’s grace and mercy all over him. His testimony reminds us that God is still in the blessing business. He blessed me. So, please pass and share the message of #FindSarahFindJacob with everyone. This wonderful father, Troy, and the children’s family need them home. He hasn’t given up hope that his children are alive and neither should we. Let’s be a blessing to him by sharing the message and getting the word out. Police believe the children are dead. But, I ask you this…would you give up on finding your missing children? Would you want me to share information about them?

Please re-blog, repost and share on Facebook. Let’s find his children.

Here’s the story that ran locally about the missing children: FindSarahFindJacob

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Don’t Let Go

For those of you who may be going through it, I wanted to encourage you today. I have to tell you that I feel your pain. As I was listening to Pandora earlier this week, Kurt Carr’s “I Almost Let Go” came on and I started to cry. I was having a come to Jesus, full on testimony experience. I’ve been going through some things and I tell you when God is working on me and through me HE gets inside of my spirit and I am transformed and renewed knowing that HE knows what is going on with me. How wonderful is that?

I Almost let go
I felt like I just couldn’t take life any more
My problems had me bound
Depression weighed me down
But God held me close
So I wouldn’t let go
God’s mercy kept me
So I wouldn’t let go

– Kurt Carr “I Almost Let Go”

Kurt’s words above are simple yet poignant. Depression weighs you down. I’ve been there. Heck, sometimes I feel like I’m still there, but you know what? This too shall pass. God’s mercy will keep you when you feel that there is no way out. When your back is against the wall and you feel like everything you touch is crumbling and you can’t see through pain, trust me that God’s got you.

I have to remind myself of this and I want to remind you to be encouraged because it could be worse. WE WILL OVERCOME. There is strength in numbers and you need to remember that we serve a faithful God. Always.

Proverbs 4:25 (MSG)

23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust.

Be blessed loves!