One of my favorite childhood games was playing hide and seek. As an only child, I typically could not play unless we were visiting one of my mother’s friends or extended family. My friend's daughter likes playing hide and seek, but tends to hide in highly visible locations. I think that most of us don’t like the idea of having to seek anything. We prefere to find things in highly visible locations. We have been conditioned for comfort. We want everything in its designated place in our designated time. Life doesn’t work like that. Usually, we have to wait. We have to pursue. We have to earn. We have to seek. God requires us to seek his face. Love requires us to seek a mate. Dreams require us to seek out opportunities. Destiny requires us to seek out a path. Everything we value requires us to seek. Find comfort in knowing that those who seek, shall find.
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To believe is to accept something as true. If I am completely honest, there a few things I just don’t believe in anymore because my experience says otherwise. I no longer believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy because I discovered they weren’t real. They were fantasies that my mother perpetuated to keep hope alive. If we’re completely honest, there are people and things we still believe in because of our desire to keep hope alive. Hope is such a strong emotion. It is the substance of faith. It is the foundation for our belief system. Ask yourself, “What do you believe? Who do you believe? Have you given up hope? Why?” For those of you who no longer have faith in people, or even yourself, maybe you should try believing in something bigger than you. Believe that there is more. Believe that trouble don’t last always. Believe it does get better. Believe that things will work out for your benefit. Believe that you are enough. Just believe!
Mary J. Blige is like the Aretha of my generation. She has been credited with being the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul.” Her song, Love No Limit debuted in 1993. I was all of eleven and a half years old belting out the lyrics as if I had any clue of what love with no limit really meant. Funny thing is I’m on the verge of being thirty-eight and love still has limitations for some. We love with conditions. We love based on contractual agreements. We love based on arrangements. We love based on feelings. We love based on convenience. However, God’s love is our example of what real love should look like in our lives. God’s love is beyond limits.
The Book of Psalms references not being moved or shaken. It describes a tree planted by rivers, and God being a rock and salvation. We live in a world that promotes fleeting emotions, and we find ourselves rooted in nothing. Our foundations are unsure because we don’t believe in anything. What was the last thing you felt so strongly about that you could not be moved or shaken? How grounded are you? What do you believe? Are you planted or placed? Is God really your rock and salvation? Be strong and of courage. Don’t be moved.
I’m literally waiting with bated breath for the arrival of our daughter. This pregnancy has taught me that we are not in control. We have a sense of control, but not really. We can’t make ourselves breathe. We can’t make our heart pump. We can’t cause the sun to shine or the Earth to move. We can’t stop all nuisances in our life even if we wanted. Life is unpredictable. We can pray and try to move God. We can stomp our feet and have a tantrum. We can give up or we can choose to move forward. Still, we can’t control all the moving pieces of our lives. Woosah. Take a deep breath. Accept that life is unpredictable and that’s ok.
I don't think things catch me by surprise. I'm just disappointed when people do certain things, because I expect better. I want people to be better. I want people to do better. I asked God a long time ago to help me with this journey because for several seasons I had to walk alone. I experienced loss of relationships.
People I trusted, people I confided in turned their backs on me....because they were supposed to..they served their purpose. They were supposed to leave. They were supposed to hurt me. They were supposed to disappoint me. I would have never grown. I would have never left. I would have never taken the first step. I would have never moved. I would have never started this journey.
We all play our parts. Every good story has a villain. To be honest, I'm sure I have been a villain in someone else's story. I hurt people. I disappointed them. I did not live up to their expectations. Being both a victim and victor gives you divine perspective. You are but a prayer away from being on either side of the spectrum. It's the grace of God that keeps you.
There has been a new trend of telling stories from the villain's perspective. In most of these stories, the villains are humanized. Their actions are justifiable. We are able to empathize with them. So, if by chance you feel attacked or maybe you're the one doing the attacking recognize the motive. Sometimes, we act out of character when our motives shift. Motives are the underlying reason for our behavior...good or bad.
We can never give enough, do enough good, help enough people to deserve God’s grace and favor. Every day we wake up is blessing. We can not do anything in our own strength. We have no control over our heart pumping blood through our body. We can’t control the air in our lungs. We exist because God allows it. Every day we experience God’s unmerited and undeserved favor, let’s not take it for granted.