Stardust

 

 

Recall your darkest moment. One of the bleakest periods in your life that you feel define the brokenness inside you that is really hard to heal.

Those moments may come in flashes like a cool April thunderstorm. Wakes you up in the middle of the night like a boom of reality when you least expect it. Brilliant light against the wall, a commanding crescendo fighting the perfections of everything that tells you “all is well.”   You fall awake to realize that, “all that is well isn’t so well…”
When we keep it all together due to a fight inside of us to prove to the world that we are in fact “okay” despite the sorrow and hurt that has fought so hard to break us, there are going to be those times. The essence of darkness where bolts of light will make us shudder at the fact that we are not okay. People that who shouldn’t have failed us.

Sickness has come overtaken our bodies.

Hands have been put on us that should have never been there.

Words have fallen on our ears that should only exist in the pit of fire and brimstone.

Yet, somehow we have borne it all, we’ve taken it in and become the best part of us that we could have become.  Come what may…and we have risen above!  We’ve gone through the fire and materialized into something deeper than the hurt…past the agony and into what wasn’t able to be done right by us.

Life wasn’t good enough for us, as we bleed a broken heart in front of God.  He didn’t take it away because He needed us to be able and ready to be here in this moment. To answer the call…

A woman cries with a moaning sound that only a woman who has lost can understand. You are able to comfort her because you’ve buried a baby.

A young man in anger lashes out because his father has left not only him but his mother and younger brother. His fist becomes his only redemption leaving blood at every turn. Yet, you see it and know his pain because your dad wasn’t enough either, and after the lashing, he has on your face your cry with his tears he hasn’t been able to release.  After that he see’s the love of God and enters into a union with you that will continue into eternity.

Dark circles fill her crystal blue eyes as she puts on a pretty face, yet you can see through it.  Prisms of light shine in you that she is drawn to even though she has no idea why.  In that, she lets you in one dark night where she has a gun by her bedside that was her last call. But you were there because you have had hands on you too, that should have never been there. What was supposed to be enough wasn’t, but because of that you were able to hold her still and share the healing hands of Jesus that save her that night from the shame, disparage, and the fate she had proclaimed on her life.  

God can move any mountain in front of us. He really can.

But sometimes He doesn’t for a reason, and I can resonate with that throughout the decade plus three I’ve been on this earth… (you do the math…)  I have experienced…

Parents divorced

Sexually abused

Beaten

Left alone

Accused

Emotionally allocated for things I didn’t do

Depression

Anxiety

Anorexia

OCD

Fear

Failure

Success

Divorce of my own

Faith

Turned my back on God

A sick child I almost lost

Buried two infant babies

Anger

Substance Abuse

Anger

Fear

Failure

Success

….

Tonight I found myself on my knees. Not like the usual, “God. Help me I’m struggling….”. No, it was different. It was a bleeding of my soul…a reckoning of why? And He told me,
I am able, I was able.

But I needed you. To go through this.

Life couldn’t be what you needed.

So you could be enough for Me to use you.

Colors flooded my tears in the form of a rainbow and I saw my children. They haven’t felt the sorrow and hurt that I have because I did.

I held a child on Wednesday night who has been abandoned by her father. Words were able to flood from me like a tsunami because I knew her hurt.

A girl I know admited recently, she throws up after she eats, I listen, hug her, then tell her she is good enough. The food she is purging from her body has nothing to do with being “thin”. It’s about control. We talk, she opens up, and the dialogue leads us to a place of neglect. I hold her as her tears flood with absence of her mother.

I know He is able.

I know He is strong.

Yet, it doesn’t always work that way. Our darkness isn’t always healed so that the residue can drift off of us into a beautiful array of stardust to bless the next.

Two Seconds From Grace

Mental illness affects us all. Especially those of us who have a chance to make a difference at the moment before a fall from grace.

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Definition: Grace/  simple elegance or refinement of movement.

(In Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

 

My letter to the church leaders of the world,

I know why you serve the way you do with such reckless abandon coupled with intense fervor.

It is found in the knowledge and emotion that you love God and have a passion for people that very few in this life possess, wanting to spread a rare never ending beautiful bleeding heart upon the needy and hurting people of the world. That in itself holds value; people today desperately lack yet deeply crave to be helped when they cannot help themselves.  It can be a catapult to distinguish the true servants of God and the false chasers of self-glorification.

If you expedite an intense yet sincere passion for serving the God you praise more dutiful than the god within yourself we all fight, you have won a battle most will lose. 

You can have victory over the dark one that creeps up deep inside of us all that will find you and beg to be noticed no matter how hard we try to shove down the cornerstone of true humanity.

I’ll be quick because I realize we are all in a huge hurry.

I know this to be true as I too live in the fast paced social media era of reckoning as we find ourselves completely submerged in a lack of presence with the moment we are in. In fact, research states that the dopamine released in the brain is equivalent to heroin during times distracted on social media.  Today such distractions consume us, transporting even the most faithful of leaders to a far away land providing a high that we can’t feel simply by being present in the moment.  The intoxication feeds us, propels and catapults into a greatness we cannot taste alone.  Yet our “real” friends do the same for us, the ones we see after serving a long day wanting to congratulate us on a great sermon delivered, or an amazing set of music at worship.  Connecting with those real time friends is essential to our walk of life no matter our focus, yet losing peripheral vision in the ministry can be catastrophic

Think of a stranger who may be approaching you in their darkest hour?  Will you find time for compassion, fluidity, and what we are called to administer like no other upon one another…grace?

Having lived two amazingly diverse double decades of life, I have derived more wisdom through the badges of honor and the pitfalls presented my way and I’d like to share.  For I have a powerful observation, and that is, ultimately we all crave the  innate need to be seen.

We simply need to feel loved where we are in the moment of truth that life can poignantly present.  The insides of us that we cultivate deep into the throws of our true identity need acknowledgment.  Those of us that get up early and go to bed late fighting hard to be the best we can be are known as a special breed in the eyes of our Creator, or the church, and can find a remarkable place that can meet the need of acceptance.

There is a special commodity where our gifts can be used to help others find the principle belief that Jesus will fight their battles and WIN!

In the ministry, we feel blessed if a person in the congregation waits to speak to us after God delivered hope through our words. But what if they happen to be at the end of their rope, feeling lost and hopeless, are you truly prepared for such an encounter?  Are you in tune with the holy spirit for such an acquisition but mostly are you on standby to provide the need for them to be seen?

Pay close attention…Because what if…a hypothetical story is truth week after week in a large body of christ.

They find hope and acceptance because they found power, of Jesus’ grace through your words.

They sought the promise to end earth deafening loneliness through the cry out for a better life.

Then they wander home wanting to find a more fruitful life.

And sit at their bedside-more lost than when they left your congregation hours before.

The darkness comes in a wave of unthinkable sorrow because they sought out love yet received a standoff.

Feeling loneliness and exile from you.

They recall your~

Distracted eyes on as they shook your hand.

As you looked for someone more important approaching in the distance.

Turmoil overtakes them.  The inability to be seen leaves them hopeless with a small bottle quickly emptying its numbing liquid effect and making the sorrow of life’s war more real.

Then they reach for the steel cold barrel by their bedside

Lifting it to their mouth, they see no other way out.

A thousand decibels of anguish quake the earth and the heavens leaving nothing but sorrow and exile behind.

Don’t blame them;  their face you cannot recall as they couldn’t state the obvious dread inside their heart when they shook your distracted hand.

They couldn’t voice the ache in their heart,

“I’m struggling with depression.  I am having suicidal thoughts, and I’m about two seconds from grace yet a thousand miles away because I feel alone.”  They won’t say it because they didn’t feel  important enough in your shifting eyes.  And even if they were, they didn’t see it because you were too concerned with the need to be seen yourself.

Sincerely,

A once church leader turned church goer searching love and the need to be seen…  One who has traveled many years of love, loss and service to find herself needing an eye on hers, a handshake, or an extended listening ear, yet found disengaged leaders who were waiting for the next great moment to come their way.  I’m lucky to say that I’m still here today to write about it, but so many aren’t.   Please find  Jesus’ grace deep inside the gifts you have and never deny to show it to a beating heart that desperately may need you for the very reason you serve with such reckless abandon.