Tag Archive | God

Why Not Me?

We were sitting at the table with my Uncle George during our annual family picnic and he says “I miss my Sis.” He said during his last conversation with Mom before she passed he asked her “Sis, have you ever asked God “Why me?”” and she said to him “Why not me?” At that moment I was speechless. It was such a profound statement from such a profound woman. We will never know how and what Mom was feeling leading up to her transition but one thing we DO know is, that she accepted whatever God had in store for her.

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How many times have you questioned God and asked why something was happening to you? Better yet, how many times have you thought that God was punishing you? I know I have. I used to think that God was mad at me. He was mad at me for not going to church, not praying, reading the Bible and tithing like I was supposed to. I was in a dark place, depressed and very unhappy for more than a year. I felt like God didn’t love me anymore. He had taken my Mother and other things away from me. I couldn’t see the light or find my way through. It was a dear friend of Mom’s who spoke new life into me. She reminded me that God didn’t DO anything to me, He didn’t take anything away. God was simply preparing me for a new harvest in my life. He will never take anything from you that won’t be replaced with something better. When I look back at the times I questioned God, I can hear Mom’s voice saying “Why not me?” and am reminded that God gives his battles to his strongest soldiers.  Those three words are an affirmation that I had to go through some heartaches, heart breaks, some losses, and tears to be able to appreciate God’s love for me. Right now I can appreciate my life, job, finances and relationships more. I can truly understand that all things happen in divine order according to God’s will. We are exactly where He wants us to be in our lives.

In Loving Memory of Patricia Thomas

Dear “Momma Pat”,

Thank you for your life, love and laughter. You were the ultimate role model for your daughter Chanta, anchor for your family, and the life of the party for your friends.

As I sat during your service and listened to the wonderful things people said about you, I began to understand more and more why it was so hard for Chanta to let you go. “Pat had a light and a smile about her that was known wherever she went.” You were an incredible woman. A woman after God’s own heart, just like my mother.

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Rev. Carl Hardy said something that really spoke to me, “Things happen in a person’s death for things to happen in another person’s life.” When someone close to us dies, we question and sometimes even deny it. As much as we try believe that it is all in God’s ultimate plan for that person to leave us, we have a hard time believing that there is an even better plan for us. The only thing we see is the cloud of grief and the pain of the loss. Until the clouds pass away and the pain hurts less, I will have to remind myself of the “Pat Lessons” that you lived by and left for others to follow.

1. Be true to your commitments. (Family, Friends)
2. Bounce back from setbacks. (Through it all enjoy life. Life must go on.)
3. Love on family and friends (A hug, kiss, phone call and visit go a long way.)
4. Keep God in the center. (All things happen in God’s time.)

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it. ~Mother Teresa~

I promise to look out for Chan for you. It’s unfortunate that our losses brought us closer together but it is a bond that can never be broken. “All things happen in God’s time.”

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Love,
Merical

Happiness

Always on my mind; forever in my heart.

April is approaching and it is the cruelest month ever. While others are basking in the introduction of spring and all things blossoming and beautiful. My family is dreading the anniversary of my moms passing.

Life is never the same after losing a parent even as an adult. For the first time, the person who knew us best, loved us unconditionally and who from the moment of our birth had always been an integral part of our life is no longer alive.

Gone are the expectations of my mother seeing my son grow up, sharing his achievements and his joys, and him sharing in her abundant love, kindness and wisdom. Everything just ceased to exist on the afternoon of Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Life will never be the same.

Eventually, I believe it’s possible to be happy again, or so I’ve been told. Im trying to find happiness through my relationship with God, my son, family and friends in my life. The love and kindness my mother so generously gave to me, is hard to share with others. It’s hard to give something that is so cherished to me that originated with her.

While, I graciously accept the gift of my mom’s life. I also accept that our greatest gifts are not ours to hold forever – but to appreciate and give back to God. But death leaves a heartache that’s often times unbearable therefore, how can happiness be apart of that equation? I try to think of ways to help others as a means to feel better to help my own healing process. Encouraging others, encourages me. When I give back, I’m honoring moms missionary legacy. When I find myself thinking of the time she is having in heaven, I smile and that gives me a small piece of happiness.

As the days go by and I allow God’s healing to take place, I pray daily that the emptiness and unhappiness I feel sometimes will be filled with the reminder of God’s promise to never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6) and to be with me always (Matthew 28:20). Mom is not here anymore, but God is. He has and will always be there.

God called and Mom answered. Who am I to question or be angry at God? Who am I to want to deny mom a better life worth living?

Philippians 1:21-26 (NIV)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

I should bask in the life she had and enjoyed here and how happy she is in heaven. My happiness should merely come from the fact that she is happy and sitting with God. She’s not suffering, she is having the time of her eternal life the way we remember her. Mom was taken well care of, loved and cherished when while she was here. She’s getting the royal treatment now! Its not fair to be selfish but I’m human and it DOES hurt to not have her here. The daily struggle is finding the balance, can I be happy in my life without my mom? Will what should be my happy moments be overshadowed by her absence?

Everyone’s journey to happiness isn’t the same. The distance between the depths of our sadness and road traveled in order to find happiness is different. The best way to honor her would be to not just find individual happiness but to make sure that the rest of the family is happy and cared for as well.

The reality is that being happy doesn’t mean that mom is loved less or forgotten. It just means that we stop allowing the grief to consume our lives. What will honor her memory is for us to live, love, laugh and enjoy the life she helped give us.

Release

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On Sunday, January 20, 2013 130pm at Kennedy Memorial Gardens. My siblings and I RELEASED 74 balloons in honor of moms upcoming birthday Thursday, January 24, 2013.

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As we try to put the pieces of our lives back together after our lost, it is always something. When there is disharmony, it makes the continued grieving and healing process even harder. It is my understanding that all of the things that has transpired since mom’s passing is “normal” or that “it happens in every family “. What disturbs my spirit the most is that, normal or not certain things simply should not be. Seeing a person with a sorrowful heart and allowing it to fester is worse than seeing a loved one’s body committed to the ground. They have no clue, knowledge or understanding that having a heart like that can break their spirit. I understand people grieve and deal with loss differently. I however pose the question

“Should someone else’s grieving process affect the healing process of another?”

Proverbs 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

If we have God’s understanding, we can ask Him for the knowledge to overcome every trial and situation. God is bigger than our grief, sorrow, pain and every problem that any of us face. We shouldn’t be like the fool who feeds on his folly. This is a person who is continually mouthing their troubles, blaming others including God. They blame Him (God) for their circumstances and even for taking their loved one away. They fed on self-pity and rehearse their problems to all who will listen. We must give our heartaches and troubles to God and keep a cheerful attitude no matter what is going on in our lives. We need to remember, “this too, shall pass” as God is eternal and has a good plan for our future.

We must find a way to give mom back to the Lord (She belonged to Him first, anyways.) and ask Him to remove the sorrow and grief from our hearts. We can keep the good memories, but we must not allow the enemy to torment us with the bad memories. God will replace the emptiness we feel, if we ask Him to. Jesus died on the cross, not only to give us eternal life, but He also died to take our grief and sorrows. Since He took them, we do not have to take these things into ourselves, but receive healing, and peace by faith. Faith that mom had and displayed everyday prior to her transition.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV) Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Tormenting grief is of the devil, that torment can make you want hold on to things that should not be held on to, like worldly possessions. That negative emotion can cause you to live in the past, ignore your present and void your future. The devil uses bad memories to keep you in bondage and make you hurt people around you. Unknowingly or even knowingly you are hurting family and friends who are trying to transition from grieving to healing. Not caring or being aware and conscious of the fact that they suffered the same loss as you.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 3:13-14 to forget those things behind us, and reach forth to the things in front of us in Christ Jesus. The devil uses grief as way to keep you from remembering God’s Word and promise to us.

I am in no way shape or form an expert and I don’t have all the answers. This journey without mom is new for me and I am learning this process as I go along. I can’t quote hundreds of scriptures. I still have to go to the table of contents to find certain books of the Bible. Im not trying to be preachy or holier than thou, just stating how I feel and know for myself. I know is what I was taught and instilled in me.

I remember how hard it was for my mother to eulogize her own mother years prior to her own passing. Mom did not allow the grief of loosing her own mother to consume her. She didn’t harbor my grandmother’s possessions. She knew the true value of her mother and it wasn’t defined by material things. She continued to live even through her moments of sadness because she was human. She didn’t stop taking care of herself, working, going to church, ministering, and teaching. I know the kind of woman my mother was and not because she was “mom” but because she was a living testimony, inspiration and example.

The best way to honor mom’s life and legacy is to not allow the devil to bind us in so much grief and darkness that we can’t see the light. Mom would want us to be free and release but remember her. Jesus died so that we may live so that we can be blessed and a blessing to others. If we submit to God and resist the devil, then the tormenting grief and pain caused by the devil, will have to flee. (James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.)

With mom’s birthday, the first anniversary of her death and Mother’s Day approaching we have to remember it was God’s voice we heard through her. It was God’s light that we saw in her and it was God’s light that she went into when she passed. We wanted the best for her and she is receiving the best right now, in heaven. How could we not be joyous in that? There is nothing on this side of the world to hold on to but memories of and being there for mom when she needed us the most. My vow is to RELEASE tormented grieving and allow God to heal my heart and fill the void. I want to live the life that God has for me with a “cheerful attitude” and make my mother proud.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

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Helping Hands and Understanding the M.A.P

My church (The Greater Piney Grove Baptist) prides itself on being “The Church With Helping Hands”. Mom explained to me as a young child that “Humans have hands for a reason, to reach out and help one another.”

Last week I had a former classmate of mine reach out to me via Facebook. She’s a very sweet young lady and I have fond memories of her smile and laughter. Knowing very little of her life post high school, I did find out through a mutual dear friend that her Mom was ill and not doing well. Anyway, she reached out to me seeking a lil encouragement. At the time I was in my own feelings because the 7th approaching. The 7th of every month is a constant reminder of my own loss. I told her that I would be in contact later on that day. We didn’t get a chance to catch up. I found out a couple of days later on September 11, 2012 at 3:20pm that her Mom had passed.

My heart broke all over again as I began to feel the familiar flood of emotions that I felt the day that my Mom passed. It is a feeling that I don’t wish on anyone. As a child we think, want, and even expect our parents to live forever but that is far from God’s plan. Otherwise our patents would literally be “old as Methuselah”. As much as we hate the idea of death, it is a natural part of life.

The support system of family and true friends is nothing short of amazing. It was their hands that rubbed my back when I was in tears. It was their hands that prepared food, that mailed cards, texted, called visited and stood by and held me up when I felt I couldn’t stand. The Helping Hands…

One of the most important, loved and well memorized scriptures in the Bible is…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I believe that death is the gateway to “eternal life”. God doesn’t want us to suffer, He doesn’t want us to hurt but because we’re human we do. What happens when the pain subsides, (does it ever) and tears run dry? We have to recall to our remembrance of God’s motive, His action, and His promise (Or as I love to call God’s M.A.P) to us. His motive is His love, His action was He gave His Son and His promise is eternal life for those who believes in Him. “Everything happens in life for a reason, according to God’s M.A.P”

Through the grieving process we sometimes forget about God. We become extra sensitive and maybe even offended by the cliche of textbook words of encouragement that people tend to offer. Even though they may mean well and genuinely care, it does absolutely nothing (at the time) to the person who is suffering a tremendous loss, especially that of a Mother. As time passes by, everyone goes on about their life as usual while we are left trying to mend the pieces of our broken hearts together. The loss leaves you lost. No where to go, no where to turn and at some point you find yourself going in circles.

When things settled and I was all alone to my thoughts and in reflection, I had totally forgot about God. I was grieving, hurt, angry, and a lot of other things. What is so wonderful is, He didn’t forget about me. God was there, like always. Wanting and waiting for me to come to Him to give me the “… peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) that He promised.

I pray constantly for the young lady that lost her Mother and I pray for her family. I don’t pray because its the “textbook cliche of encouraging words” but because someone did it for me. Someone reached out with their hands in prayer to help my family and I continue to get through the daily struggle and reminder of our own loss.

It’s been five months and I still can’t believe and it still hurts but I know Mom is wrapped in God arms and is reaping the eternal benefits of following God’s M.A.P.

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Don’t allow your loss to keep you lost, when God’s M.A.P is already laid before you.

Dedicated to B.H. Xoxo