Is Your Vision 2021?

Hello everyone! How are you? Happy New Year! I am so grateful to be in the land of the living and I hope you are too. Isn’t Jesus wonderful! I am grateful that in times of uncertainty, He is still faithful.

Last year was difficult, right? Full of uncertainty, pain, sorrow, and death, but in spite of it all, God still sits on the throne. Since the beginning of the pandemic and for the better half of last year, the one narrative I continued to hear from several people was they couldn’t wait for 2020 to be over. I totally understand the reasoning for this, however, it reminded me of where our focus should be as Christians and that’s on Christ and his mission. 

It is so easy to forget what our focus is when we don’t keep God first – And I know this from my personal walk with God. I’ve had moments when I strayed in my thoughts and plans. I became focused on the things I desired for my life; which weren’t bad, but my desire began to lead me in a direction that put God second. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit that showed me the direction I was going and to be honest, it scared me. It was a reminder that none of us are too far from falling.

Of course it’s okay to have desires, but they must line up to God’s will and plan for our lives.
Ephesians 5:15-17Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” ESV

While many of us desire for the year to be over, what makes you think next year will be better? You have to admit, we are living in a different time – different from any other time in history and as Christians we should be in tune with what the Spirit is telling us according to the Word of God. 

Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ESV Remember this world is our temporary home. There is a bigger picture. 

Have you considered that our country may be dealt another blow that we didn’t see coming? The bible tells us in II Timothy 3:15 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”  ESV

I am not trying to be dark, but it’s the truth… we don’t know what 2021 will bring. But what I do know is as long as we walk in holiness, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and keep our focus on things above, all things work out for our good according to Romans 8:28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” NLT

I encourage you to make your Vision God focused and not 2021 focused.

Father in the name of Jesus, please forgive us for times we lose focus….we repent to you. Help us to remember, no matter what life throws our way, you are faithful. Give us the strength and wisdom to follow you always, because you have great plans for our lives. We know there is no greater place to be than in your perfect will, because there is safety there.  We love you and thank you. In Jesus name…Amen.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is bornunto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”
(Isaiah 9:6)

I believe this Christmas has more meaning than ever. I hope we are aware that life can change in the blink of an eye and we have to be grateful for every moment.

As I encourage myself, I also want to encourage you to be thankful for the natural gifts you received, and to be humbled by the gift we never deserved, which is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Whereever you find yourself this Christmas, I want you to know that God is with you.

Have a Merry Christmas!! And remember…Jesus loves you and SO DO I!

Blessings,
Darlene @HealedtoSpeak

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

I Knew The Day Would Come…

Hello everyone! I missed you all. I know I haven’t written in a while and that’s a long story that I will share in an upcoming blog post. So much has changed since the last time I’ve written to you. We certainly weren’t dealing with Covid-19 nor the social unjust issues that have erupted in our country. Overall, I hope you are well and had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Back in August, I spent some time in my hometown of Philadelphia. My two youngest sons went with me, but my oldest son David (22) stayed behind. I wasn’t necessarily worried about leaving him as he’s an adult, but what I’ve come to learn about having adult children is that they’re still your babies. So… while I was in Philly I talked to him to make sure he was okay. He was fine except he realized I wouldn’t be there to cook…  🙂

It has been three months since I returned from Philadelphia, and two weeks ago my son told me what happened while I was gone. I could tell he was hesitant, but he told me anyway. 

The area we live in is beautiful and for the most part safe. We enjoy the quiet and taking walks in the neighborhood. My son LOVES walking and does it often. For most people in the area, walking is a strange activity because most people drive. On several occasions, I have taken walks by myself and with my husband and each walk has been accompanied by strange stares or the question why are you walking?

A few months back, my son decided to take a walk to our local Dollar Tree, something that he does often. When he arrived he realized he left too early and the store wasn’t open yet. He decided to find somewhere to sit and wait until they opened. Before completing his sentence, I looked at him and gave a long stare because I knew where the conversation was going. He said “I just didn’t think about it mom.” I knew he knew I may be upset by what he was going to say…then he said I decided to sit over where the bank is…my eyes widened.
He looked at my face and said “Mom, I know.” 

He walked over to the bank and sat down on the curb and was on his phone. Within five minutes two police officers approached him. He told me he wasn’t scared, but he immediately knew why they were approaching; because although he was just sitting there, he is a young black male sitting in front of a bank with a hoodie on. And whether you agree or not, that’s a bad move if you’re a young black male. He said they approached and asked why he was there, he explained why, and then they asked for ID. He produced his ID, one of the officers took it and stood with him. The other officer called on his radio to check his ID. A little while after, they gave him his ID back. He told them he would go someplace else to wait for the store to open – they told him he didn’t have to then got in their car and drove away. My son told me as they pulled off he walked away.
I’m glad he did because he said another cop car drove by.

People, prayer works! While I was gone, the Holy Spirit told me to pray for my son. To specifically pray for his wisdom. God protected him. But it doesn’t change the fact that it scared me and made me sad. 

Interestingly…about a month ago, my husband and I drove past that same bank and saw a young Caucasian male sitting in front of the doors with a blanket and his phone charging. We thought it looked strange, but just kept driving. There was not one cop car in sight!

I’ve been pretty quiet about everything that’s been happening in our world, because to be honest, I was afraid of what might come out once I started writing. My anger, fear, frustration, and sadness. 

As much as I’ve prayed and trusted God with the safety of my children, I knew in my heart this would happen. And what’s worse is that it will eventually happen to my two youngest sons, who are twelve and ten. Sadly, my husband and I are preparing them for it. 

A week ago, my twelve year old, who plays basketball, wanted to take a walk with his older brother. As my son was preparing to leave, he noticed his cell phone was dead, which meant I wouldn’t be able to reach him if something went wrong. Can I tell you how fearful I was? I just shrugged it off and they left. David (oldest son) came back five minutes later and said, “Daniel wants to run instead of walk.” I said, take my phone and my son Daniel (12) said, “we don’t want people or the cops to see us and think we’re running away from something.” 😦 

And this is where we are as a country that’s supposedly based on Christian values?? Why are we lying to ourselves? 

The Bible tells us in John 13:34 as believers to love one another, yet some of us place stipulations on that scripture. No where in the Word of God, does it tell us to love only those who are like us.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.|

For those of you who are Black, pray, for those of you who are White, pray. The bottom line is we need to pray and have understanding of each other. We need to talk and be honest about our fears, hang ups, and stereotypes. We need to allow God to show us the dark places in our hearts so we can be honest with ourselves so change and healing can begin. It CANNOT happen without God and without acknowledging the wickedness in us.

Sure there will always be people who chose to be ignorant and remain that way. But each of us has a responsibility to change and continue to pray for those who chose not to. 

Blessing to you.

Ephesians 5:-1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Darlene
Healed to Speak

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash