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!

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

Seek, Wait, Receive and Repeat

Hello everyone. I hope you are well and enjoying your long weekend.

Last Monday was my 13th wedding anniversary! My husband and I enjoyed our time together. We didn’t do a lot, but what we did was meaningful to us. What a blessed day. I am grateful to God for ordaining our marriage before the foundation of the world. Praise the Lord.

We are twenty-one days into the new year. There have been triumphs and challenges and through it all, I have been praising God. It has been my desire to grow in my walk with Christ as well as live the life he has given me. To be more like Him in every aspect of my life. I am learning to continually seek him first in all things big and small.

Jeremiah 29:11“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV).

In July, I will turn forty. I am looking forward to it. I have been making all kinds of plans for the things I desire to do. While making my plans, I was reminded to keep God at the forefront of everything. God wants me to have an abundant life, but he also wants me to keep him first.

Matthew 6:33 – “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (KJV).

We must learn to take the scripture literally. We have to consistently seek God’s kingdom first so the things we desire can be added unto us, not the other way around.

I was recently reminded of this lesson a couple of weeks ago. In 2017 my family and I moved from Philadelphia to Georgia. One of the first visits we wanted to make was to the Georgia Aquarium. I heard such great things about it and could not wait to take my family. When I began planning it (I LOVE planning things), I looked online to get an idea of the pricing and boy was I shocked! For a family of five, the tickets including parking was about $170! Well…we just could not do that. My finances had drastically changed as a result of our move. I was no longer working, and my husband was the primary breadwinner. In my prayer time, I expressed my feelings to God and asked if he could open the door for my family to visit the aquarium. Six months went by and I could not find a coupon or discount code anywhere. All the while, my children were asking when we would go, and all I said was, “When the time is right.”

It was now 2019 and we still had not visited the aquarium. We visited other great places in Georgia, but not the aquarium. During the first week of January, my husband was out and about in Atlanta, and came across a group that was advertising a festival. The festival would take place the entire weekend and it included tickets to…you guessed it, Georgia State Aquarium.

For two adults and up to four children the tickets were a GRAND total of $54!! When I read the flyer, I lifted my hands in praise to God, because I knew this was the answer to my prayer. Not only did we get the tickets for $54, but we did not have to pay for the other sights within the aquarium that range from $25 pp to $75 pp. We did everything and it was FREE!!

On January 13th, the day before my wedding anniversary we visited the aquarium and had a wonderful time and a great family outing. I know it may seem small, but it was not small to me. God answered my prayer specifically and gave me more than what I asked for.

This is why we seek God in everything. He has perfect timing and he knows what’s best in all things. We must be careful not to go about life making our own plans while leaving God out. Sure, I could have saved up the $170, but look at what I would have missed out on if I had my own plan. My God gave me something better, and that is exactly what he wanted all along. This is why I trust him. He sees the end from the beginning. He knew, before I prayed, there would be a blessing bigger than what I requested.

There have been times God has answered my prayers immediately. And there are prayers I’ve been praying since I was ten years old that I am waiting to manifest. No matter how long, I will trust the process and continually seek his kingdom first. The longer the wait the bigger the blessing.

As children of God, we must remember God has our very best interest in heart. However, to get God’s best, there is a waiting process. The waiting process involves God working on our heart so we can be ready for the blessing.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (NLT).

With all the places I desire to go and things I desire to do, I am going to seek Him first. He knows the way that I take. He knows what’s best for me. I trusted Him with my life this far and I plan on going all the way.

Will you trust Him with the plans for your life?

Blessings.

Please enjoy the video below. It was pretty cool!

 

 

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

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