One Word…

Hello everyone! How are you? I pray you are safe and healthy. Are you making plans for Spring break? If so, I hope you do something that brings you joy, gives God glory, and makes you happy. 

May I ask you a question? I hope the answer is YES. When was the last time you encouraged someone? Whether it was a word, prayer, deed, or a friendly smile, do you remember the last time you blessed someone in this way? Sometimes we get so focused on our issues that we forget other people have issues too. 

When I’m out and about, I ask the Holy Spirit to direct me to anyone who needs prayer, encouragement, or simply a smile – and He always does. It surprises how a smile can make someone feel better. 

For many years, I have battled terrible sinus issues. And unfortunately, it got to a point that I wasn’t able to breathe properly. In my twenties, I met with an ENT doctor who suggested surgery, but I wasn’t interested in another surgery. At that point I had already had five surgeries and I wasn’t interested in another one. So I prayed and decided to trust God for my healing. Unfortunately, over the years, my condition worsened. Late last year, I decided to visit a new ENT doctor, and after my initial visit and a CT scan, she also suggested surgery. It was not the answer I wanted but, at this point, I was tired of feeling unwell and not sleeping correctly. So I scheduled the surgery. 

The surgery was scheduled for Feb.19 of this year. But I was so nervous I canceled and rescheduled it for March 19th. The entire time, I prayed, and thought about not having the surgery. My husband and family encouraged me almost weekly not to change my mind and cancel the surgery. I shared with my doctor my concerns and she understood, but told me I would feel so much after it was done. I did trust her, but couldnt shake the nervousness. I believed I was going to be okay, but those pesky thoughts of something going wrong kept clouding my mind.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
II Timothy 1:7

Well…the day finally arrived for me to have my surgery. I woke up ready to get it over with. I remember most of the ride to the hospital was in silence. When we arrived, I sat in the car for about 30 minutes and then prayed for the nerve to walk in. From the moment, I walked in, God encouraged me. 

From the moment I stepped in, I began to feel comfortable. The front desk receptionist was hilarious and made me laugh the entire time she was checking me in. When the nurse took me back to get things started, she asked me how I was feeling, I told her “nervous, but ready.” As soon as I told her that, she began making jokes and – this went on for about 30 minutes and it blessed me.

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired” Proverbs 17:22

 

BUT THEN, Stephanie, my nurse walked in. She asked if I was fine, I said yes and at that point I was. She made sure I was comfortable in every way and it helped because my surgery was delayed for a few hours. While she was in my room, I felt peace, and before she walked out she touched my shoulder and began praying over me. When she left, I just cried and worshipped the Father. Right before my surgery, I saw Stephanie again, and I said thank you. She said, “when you walked in, we all felt joy.” So little did I know, I was encouraging them too. Look at God! 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 

Wasn’t that a long way to tell a story of encouragement! 😉 

So today, I encourage you to keep fighting the good fight of faith. Don’t give up! Trust God’s process. Wherever you are in your walk with God, know that he is perfecting you daily. If you have fallen, get up, God is waiting for you. He already knows your weaknesses. Repent and be free. You are closer today than you were yesterday. God has great plans for you! He loves you and you are the apple of his eye. 

I love you….be encouraged.

Darlene @Healed to Speak

Just in case you were wondering…

My surgery went extremely well. The healing process is still going on. BUT I can breathe like never before and I’m sleeping very well. 🙂 Thank you Lord and Dr. Kansal and her team!

Resolutions No…Living Yes

Hi there. Happy New Year! I hope you are still celebrating. Praise God for another year to be in the land of the living. I enjoyed my New Year’s. I spent most of my time being with my family while watching A LOT of movies!

One of the movies I watched was called, Me Before You. It was FANTASTIC and I believe confirmed my post, which I wrote over three weeks ago. Sidebar, it is so important to understand the timing of God in everything. 😊

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I learned years ago that most resolutions fail. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but resolutions, no thanks!

As each year passes, my greatest desire is to continuously deepen my relationship with Christ. I want to please the Lord by being the best Christian, wife, mother, and friend he created me to be; by his grace. My other desire is to enjoy my life. To enjoy the one life God has given me. I know that seems like a given, but for many years, I did not know I could enjoy my life.

I had a difficult upbringing filled with a lot of pain and sorrow. For a long time, I believed my life was destined to be full of pain and nothing more. At one time, I believed the lies of the enemy and thought my life would always be full of defeat. As I grew in Christ and began my healing process, I learned he wanted more for my life. I learned he wants me to have an abundant life and he wanted me to enjoy it.

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (KJV).

Ecclesiastes 2:24 – “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God” (KJV).

When I learned God wanted me to have a joyful and abundant life, my mindset changed, and I began to desire much more. There are so many things I have not done, all because I believed I could not do them, but now…

I want to visit Japan, go horseback riding, go ice skating, stay at an eight-star resort and order room service (with my hubby). Go to my first concert EVER! I want to see my favorite Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. I want to go to the Opera, go camping (in a cabin, not the woods). I desire to go on an African safari, and the list truly goes on and on 😊.

I probably won’t be able to do all these things this year! I still have young children. But I have placed my prayer requests before God, and I have faith that at the right time, he will give me the desires of my heart according to his will.

Now, please hear me. God is not a genie. We don’t just go to him when we want something. Our primary goal should be to glorify God always. But God enjoys seeing his children blessed and prosperous. And he wants us to come to him about EVERYTHING.

I’ve been through so much in my life, and know I will face additional circumstances, because that’s life. But regardless of the obstacles I will face, God still wants me (AND YOU) to have an abundant life.

Do you have any desires, dreams or long-terms goals? I am sure you do! Tell God about it. He already knows what is in your heart. God desires to give us what we want according to his will. All we have to do is ask.

I John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (KJV).

Psalm 20:4 – “May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed” (NLT).

You only get one life, it is your responsibility to live it as fully as possible.” –
From the movie Me Before You. I think you should watch the movie, it was in my opinion, beautiful and funny too.

 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I will never forget my first or my second

Hello everyone. I hope you had a great weekend! Can you believe it’s December? Twenty-two days until Christmas. It is unbelievable how fast the year went by. Are you looking forward to the new year? I am excited for the opportunity to start over. I am ready to accomplish the natural and spiritual goals I’ve set for myself. I am also looking forward to my 13th wedding anniversary. Lord, thank you.

As a ponder over the past twelve years, I am in awe of God’s grace. My husband and I have experienced extreme highs and unbelievable lows, but we did it and stayed together. My marriage was the first positive relationship in my life. Actually, my husband was my first in many ways.

Let me backtrack a bit. God was my first. He was the first person I learned loved me exactly the way I was. As a child, I never had anyone love me that way. Whenever I made a mistake I trembled with fear of harsh reprimand. When it came to God, I was also fearful because I thought if I messed up, he would turn his back on me. However, the day I came into the realization of God’s love for me, it changed my life. I finally understood there was nothing I could do to get God to stop loving me.

After walking with God for several years, I was very secure in his love for me, but I struggled with believing he could send me someone who could love me just the same. I never expressed those feelings to God, but I am so glad he knows the secrets and desires of our hearts.

Psalms 139: 1-2 “Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.”

Years later, God answered my heart’s desire and sent me a physical example of unconditional love when he brought my husband into my life. I had been healed from so much pain, but there was still some unresolved trauma I was not aware of. It was not until after I married, that those issues resurfaced.  My husband loved me through it all.

The Lord was my first spiritual example of true love and my husband was my spiritual and physical example! Through all of my ups and downs, my husband loved me as Christ loved the church…unconditionally. Sure, we had other issues that had nothing to do with my trauma, but we learned to work through all of it, allowing God to be the third cord in our marriage.

Ecclesiastes 4:12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (NLT).

The relationship with my husband taught me how to persevere, sacrifice, and endure; especially when things did not go my way. When you think about it, it is similar to the relationship we have with the Father. We endure trials, tests and hardship, but at the end of it all, we win.

James 2:12 – “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (ESV).

God was my first. He loved me, healed me and set me free. My husband was my second. The person God sent to aid in my remaining healing process.

Before dating and most certainly before we wed, it is important we are healed from past issues, otherwise, we will bring those issues into your relationship as I did. However, God is so merciful and full of wisdom that He knew who to send to aid in my healing process. That is His unconditional love. My FIRST love, before I knew that HE was.

God bless you.

 

Photo by Asaf R on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Secret…

To Forgiveness?

I have written on this subject before, but I believe as Christians it is a subject we need to discuss more often.

When I think back on all the pain I endured as a child, it is still horrifying. I am grateful to God that I have been healed. However, every now and then when I think about it, I am saddened by the childhood I lost. And I am saddened because it was lost by the hands of my mother; the person who was supposed to love me more than any person, the person who carried and birthed me, the one person you can never replace. She hurt me time and time again.

I can recall so clearly, the night my mother made me sleep outside. My mother, brother, and I were playing around. As she tickled me, she thought she heard me say she was nothing. She asked me to repeat what I said, and I said “nothing.” She said, “What did you say?” I said, “nothing.” She said, “So you’re calling me nothing?” I said, “No.” In a moment, things went from happy to sad to terrifying.

She told me to get out! I was bewildered because I did not understand what just happened. It was cold that night. I remember crying and asking God…why but, no answer. Sometime later, she came outside and said, “You can come in, but you have to sleep on the floor.” I was terrified to come in but grateful to get out of the cold. I reluctantly went upstairs and laid on the floor next to my brother’s bed. He held my hand that night. I thank God he held my hand. I don’t remember going to sleep, but I am sure I did.

Over 20 years later, my mother and I were speaking on the phone and she poured out her heart to me in repentance. As she spoke, I heard the deep ocean of her heart. Before she could finish her sentence, I stopped her and said, “Mom, I forgave you a long time ago.” There was silence.

When my mother passed away, my heart was so full. Sure, I was disappointed that I never had a chance to have the relationship I desired to have with her, but my heart was free because before she closed her eyes in death, I had already forgiven her; and she knew it.

The day she died, I stood next to her hospital bed and whispered in her ear, “I love you, I don’t hold anything against you.” I had forgiven her years before, but I felt the need to say it again. One hour after I left the hospital, I received the call from the doctors. My heart broke, and I cried, but deep down I had peace. And I still do.

So…what’s my secret to forgiveness? Just do it! Forgive. I know it seems easier said than done, but forgiveness is a decision. It’s for you, not for the other person. Ask yourself, have you gained anything by holding unforgiveness in your heart? Has your life improved? Do you feel better? I doubt it! As a child, I could not understand why certain things happened to me. But as a saved adult, I chose to simply forgive; to love her and let it go.

I know you are hurt, and I understand. Perhaps we don’t share the same reasons why, but pain is pain. And remember Jesus, died to deliver you from that pain. He desires that you be healed and free.

Be honest with God; tell him it’s hard to forgive but forgive anyway. Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Unforgiveness causes distress of the soul, and that is not God’s will for our lives. Psalm, 118:5 says, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Call on him, so he can set you free.

 

 

Photo credit by Alice NG on Unsplash

Anxious?

Hello everyone! I hope each of you are well and had a blessed weekend. I pray you are refreshed and ready for the week.

I love the Bible. It is full of stories filled with instruction and wisdom. And for the believer, victory. Several scriptures are my favorite, and many I hold close to my heart. The scriptures that have blessed me most are the ones that have walked me through my deepest valley’s. One of my absolute favorites is found in Philippians 4:6-8.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (NIV).

This scripture is packed with wisdom and instruction concerning how we are to handle our emotions and life’s circumstances.

God tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING. Seems easier said than done, right? How do I remain calm when everything around me is in total chaos? Well, according to the scripture, we start with prayer. God says, “pray and petition Him with thanksgiving.” Go ahead and tell God why you are anxious. He knows anyway. After you tell him, tell him you trust Him for the answer as you give Him praise.

After obeying the first instruction, God says, “He will give us His peace which transcends ALL understanding and will guard our heart and mind.” As you stand in faith and continue to pray, he will give you peace about the situation.

Finally, God says, “think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.”  When thoughts come that try to make you anxious, remember to think of what is true and nothing else. As you do this, you will continue to experience God’s peace. As we follow God at His word, He will give us exactly what we need in His perfect timing.

In those moments when I find myself feeling anxious about a situation or circumstance, or when the enemy tries to convince me of anything contrary to God’s word, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit to pray and give thanksgiving to God.

Today I encourage you, that instead of allowing the feelings of anxiousness to weigh you down, do what God says. Pray, give thanks, and think on these things according to Philippians 4:8.

Scriptures
Philippians 4:6-8