HARD PLACES, MAKE SMOOTH LANDINGS…

hudson river miracle

When I moved to North Carolina about 10yrs ago, I came with basically the shoes and clothes on my back; a sick baby whom had just got cleared by Doctors to be removed from her portable oxygen tank, on the brink of a divorce with a one way ticket of not ever returning from where I came from. North Carolina was the new start that I had been looking for, it was the start that I needed in order to save my life.

When I came I was living off of my daughters Social Security check – no job and relying on the system for help with food, medical expenses and so forth…..I was beginning to think if I had made the right moves, praying to God and going to church every Sunday was a hope, but was God really listening to me? Maybe I made a mistake, what about my daughter – She didn’t need an unstable mother and with her medical history I couldn’t afford to drag her from this place to that place. I had to stand still in the Hard Place that was so unbearable to stand….

Months without a job, I started taking some classes at the local college to re-vamp my computer skills; being out for a while with a sick daughter – you kind of lose your career mojo. Upon leaving the class I had applied for a job and got an interview, Thank God; things were about to look up…

I prayed and went to the job interview, a couple of days later – They called me and told me that I had gotten the job…November 1st was my start date, I was excited and overjoyed because now I could provide for my daughter, the $383.00 a month that we were living off of – was not cutting it, PERIOD!

I was on that same job for 7½ years until I moved in to the position that I am in right now. Sometimes Life has a way of presenting HARD PLACES before we can experience a SMOOTH LANDING. All the Hard places in our life are not just for us to go through because we have nothing else to do, but they come to build endurance which make us stronger in the end. I truly believe that God allows us to go through hard places to prepare us for what’s to come, what’s coming won’t be as Hard or Heavy as what you went through but will be smooth, WHY? Because you endured the heavy stuff first, which put you in position to handle your landing.

The 7½ years I endured on that job was pure Hades and there were times when I wondered if the job was from the Lord or was I being punished for moving and if I could tell the truth about it, that SSI money that I was receiving sure looked good compared to the circumstances that I faced on a day to day basis going to work. Ever felt like the things you so earnestly prayed for was a mistake? We tend to complain when we are in Hard places because we either don’t understand why we’re there or complain because we know how we got there but looking for a quick escape to get out. I can’t tell you how many times I complained about that job or how many attempts I made to get out of the job by putting in applications to other job openings, because things according to my plans were just not moving along as quick as I wanted them too; in which, only led me into other places that made my process of wanting to be rid of that hard place just that much more longer to escape. I cried everyday going to work as if my tears were going to move my process along quicker, but it wasn’t in my tears that moved God……it was in that hard place that I learned to be content, accept what God had put in front of me and ride the storm; when I learned to do that, that’s when God moved on my behalf.

It was definitely God that took me through that period of time, I learned so much about myself and about others during that process, which has helped me in how to deal with different personalities that I encounter daily –  I also learned how to smile in the midst of adversity – which was the greatest lesson of all. That Hard place of that job led me right into the doors of my current job in which starting out I felt just like the Hard Place I had just got freed from, But God had a plan as everything I went through during the beginning phase of my current job for almost two years, put me into a leadership role that I would have never thought I would be doing today. So trust me when I say, all of your Hard Places are just stepping stones to the PLACE where you need to be. The processes and things you will learn or are learning now in your Hard Place is just getting you ready and preparing you for your smooth landing.

Be Patient & Learn from the Hard Places in your Life – there are lessons there and if they are learned well, not to say that your smooth place will not have a little turbulence, but because you gained knowledge & learned practical tools within your Hard Place, you can handle and iron out the turbulence that come your way withe ease and little effort.

Although I still face Hard Places even now (and will continue too because life is one big experience wheel), weather on my job or in my personal life – I take great comfort in knowing that everything I went through, everything I endured and everything that was disturbing in that Hard Place, was just preparing me for “Smooth Landings” ahead…I rejoice because I know that God has my best interest at heart and he promises not to put no more on us than we can bear, so therefore that Hard, Solid place was just a thorn to push me into the PURPOSE that God has already pre-planned to happen in my life.

So enjoy the ride – no matter how hard it may be for Weeping may endure but a night, But JOY comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5) Believe That!!

Hard Places

The Ugly Duckling Experience…..

This post is for our sons, daughters, nieces & nephews whom may be experiencing problems with self-image & suicide, this post is also for every grown man and woman who are still experiencing the pain of self-image past childhood….this post is for all races, creeds and nationalities; for suicide, acceptance and self-image issues, see’s not these characteristics and play a very vital and important part in everyone’s life now and/or at one time or another…

Please pass this on to others whom you think might need some encouragement in this area…We’ve all been here, We’ve all experienced it, How do we help others dealing with it..

duckling

STOP!!!!! BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE YOUR LIFE, BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO QUIT, BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO GIVE UP ON YOU!!! THERE’S HOPE…just take a few seconds and read…

I was raised by a single mom, she had me when she was just entering the 10th grade – she herself was not raised in the most loving home; she was considered the black sheep of the family, for she was conceived by a married man; a man in which my mom would never get to know because his wife didn’t know that he had cheated on her with my grandmother. A man who raised his other children so they had daddy around, they knew him and experienced his presence, my mom on the other hand was left in the cold alone with no visible person to call dad, because she was now considered not only a bastard child, but a child whom had to suffer not having a dad around all because of the sins her mother created in secret. He was a man whom made many promises to her over the years and never kept them, a man whom she had to see behind closed doors because no one couldn’t know that she was his biological child, a man whom couldn’t tell her he loved her, even on his death bed – he went to his death with a secret that my mom had to forever pay for, for the duration of her entire life.

Love was all she ever wanted, her mother ended up putting her out on the streets when she was 12yrs old because her step father molested and raped her…she was then asked to go, for her mother chose her husband over her, she was given a bus ticket and sent on her way…to live elsewhere. Life wasn’t easy and living with others was not easy either, she eventually was shuffled around and around again to this family and that family…until she got to someone that would let her in. My Aunt Sally was a good woman – she had one child, a son…no girls to call her own. My mom stayed with her, she kept me while mama went to school, I stayed with her until I was two years old which is when my mama graduated high school. I didn’t know my dad and mama didn’t talk of him much, she just said that he was her first and that while she was pregnant with me, he also had another girl pregnant too…Wow, he sure got around.

I felt as if I grew up with no identity, I didn’t know who I was – I didn’t know my dad’s family and had never met them, so it was hard to compare characteristics of who I looked like, talked like, acted like – who’s eyes did I have, who’s nose did I inherit, who’s feet – legs – mouth and hands did I have. Why was my hair so nappy, I couldn’t get a comb through it if I tried. Why was I so soft spoken and temperamental, why, why, why, why was all I ever wondered. I was not the prettiest girl, my hair was short, my feet were long, my nose was wide, my ears were small, I was not of light complexion but rather dark, my legs were scrawny, I was bow-legged and my teeth were bucked. I didn’t like who I was at all, I was made fun of at school on many occasions for all sorts of reasons – most of them were for the things I just named. I was made fun of even the more when my mom had to cut my hair off due to a bad perm and I had to wear it in a boy’s cut all while attending school, that was treacherous for me during that time; leaving school running home every day because I was bullied, I had rocks thrown at me and was even attacked by two boys from my class, I couldn’t leave school – I had to return to face the bullies the following day.

Many times I would think to myself if I would just die, I would pray and wish that the Lord wouldn’t wake me up in the morning – just let me die………I wanted to die right away, as the torture I felt followed me all the way to high school, I tried to fit in, I wanted to look like the prettiest girl in school and/or be as cool and looked upon like them. Boys thought I was weird and girls, because I was weak – seen me as just that and picked fights with me after school because they knew they would win.

Weeping may endure for a night but Joy comes in the morning…your morning may be the next day, it might be the next week or a year or two from now – but if I had given up and gave into the pressure, I would not be writing this post today. You see my friend; what I shared with you were the beginnings and hard times of my life and while there are many, many more, this is just a glimpse of my Ugly Duckling Experiences….

You might were born looking one way, but just as it was with the Ugly Duckling things do and will change. You see the ugly duckling was so ugly; some didn’t think he deserved a proper name and therefore called him Ugly, but his mother despite his differences, loved him anyway. You see we all come from different beginnings but it’s not your beginning that determines your outcome (for it can change) – But it’s what your ending will become which will be determined how you handle your beginning. Don’t give up on life, you have so much to live for and God has so much in store for you. I’m living proof that it will and it shall get better. The enemy wants you to do away with yourself because he doesn’t want you to live up to the full potential that God has placed in you, but I challenge you today to become and advocate instead of a victim to suicide’s or self-images list. You have a dream that’s filled with so many promises ahead of you.

My transformation came when I took notice to a young lady in my 10th grade drama class, to some she did not look like a model, she did not dress like a model, she wore braces and wore her hair in many different styles that I would not even have attempted to wear and even though she got talked about and shunned, she still was herself and she let no one determine whom she was going to become. I was afraid of who I was, I was afraid of my own identity…but she changed that. God allowed me to view her because in viewing her he began to show me myself. I always noticed that people said I had a beautiful smile, so I worked with that first and began to smile, no matter what. I still had a long way to go to fully come into the person that God has allowed me to become today, but that was the first start in me recognizing that I really did have something special about me, something so simple as – my smile, changed my life.

So you have a choice and no excuses – Why?

  • Because you say nobody loves you       —–      But God loves all & cares for all. Even You!
  • You say you will never get over this        —–      But time brings about change as well as healing.
  • You say, nobody understands your pain —–      But God understands your pain for his son was killed by people whom did not understand him, by people who mocked him, by people who hated him, was disgusted with him, misused him, abused him, lied on him and sought to do him no good and even though his son died, the great news is HE ROSE! And just as he had strength to rise from the grave that “people” put him in, he lead a perfect example of what the true strength of “rising from adversity” is truly all about. If he did it, SO CAN YOU! He proved that you can live through pain and suffering, shame and defeat and still rise up to live through it all.

I don’t know what road you are on right now, I don’t know what you may be going through, I don’t know which end of the rope you are holding on too; but I know this, God is Able – He did it for me, I’m still living today and yes, I’ve attempted quite a few suicide attempts – you see I had reached a place in my life to where I felt like I made some very bad decisions that were unforgivable and I honestly thought that by ending my life that would make things better, that I wouldn’t feel any more pain but that would have been a terrible mistake for God has got me in a place now in my life to share my story, I’m a firm believer that all of our life’s trials and tribulations are just a testimony of survival for someone else whom feel like they are on the edge of life.

The Ugly Duckling triumphed in the end, when he came out of the dark shadows after being away for quite some time, he came out of the shadows and seen that he had been transformed into something so beautiful, so lovely, so bright – he finally got a chance to fly with the swans as he had always wanted to do for now he too was one of those beautiful swans, if not even more beautiful – his life changed right before his eyes, if you give it a chance; your life too will change and your situation will get better….I promise, just trust God.

The world’s viewpoint of UGLY is something grotesque, disgusting, sickening and any negative word you can think of, but to God his view of U.G.L.Y for you is this:

Uniquely made…

Gorgeous, Genuine, Glorious, Graceful, Good

Looking, Lovely

You.

You have more to offer than you can only imagine. The only thing you have to do is LIVE.

GOD LOVES YOU; KNOW THAT YOU WERE CREATED “ON PURPOSE” YOU ARE MEANT TO SUCCEED! THERE’S SOMETHING GREAT ON THE INSIDE OF YOU – DON’T KILL IT, LET IT BLOOM!!

Ugly Duck Quote BECOME AN ADVOCATE, NOT A VICTIM…

Are you Memorizing or Learning

memory vs. learningI was talking to a professor a couple of weeks ago, he suddenly began to talk about the difference between Biology and Chemistry, Biology he stated can be memorized; it’s easy to adapt. Chemistry he stated cannot be memorized, it has to be learned. He went on to talk about a particular student he once had in his class, he stated that he noticed the student always looked angry, no matter what he taught; said or did; she always had a look of disgust on her face. She always left the class without asking questions or speaking with him, she hurriedly grab her books and stormed out every day. At this time he began to think that maybe he was either doing something wrong or this student just didn’t like him “AT ALL”.

As the last semester came to an end, he begin to ask the students to write a paper describing their year in the class, when he got this particular students paper – he then found out why she had a disgruntled look on her face for the whole semester. Her paper said. “Dr. Hobbs, I became frustrated and disgusted with your class for the entire school semester – I was angry because for the better part of my life, I sailed through classes based on my memorization which helped me to excel and succeed, it wasn’t until I came to your class that I realized that memorization would not work, I actually had to learn, study and challenge myself, something I was simply not good at. But by doing so I was able to open up a whole new world that has changed my life forever”

Sometimes in life we look to the Word of God as a memory course, we memorize certain scriptures and might breeze through others, we then use those scriptures to influence people that we are spiritual or know and/or read Gods word, It’s easy to dress up a memory verse as you can take it and use it so many ways. There was a preacher who taught on the scripture John 3:16 for 20yrs, he never reverted to any other scripture outside of this one, he used that passage of scripture in so many ways, versions and techniques. He definitely had it memorized….

Timothy 2:15 says – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In order to get the fullness of God and learn ALL of him, we have to buckle down and truly study the word, memorizing a scripture is Good because we can’t always take our bibles now in the workplace or other places…..but what about the alone time that we have, that could be time to truly study the Word of God, a lot of people say they fall asleep when they read the bible and trust me; it has happened to me on several occasions, I often tell people if you’re restless at night…..forget the Ambien or some other sleep aid, just read the bible; you’ll go to sleep every time…it’s proven to work.

If this happens to you, maybe you should change the time in which you actually spend time in the WORD, like maybe a lunch break or sometime during the day. God wants you to get to know him, not just some of him or a part of him but all of him, he wants to reveal things to you and about you concerning your present and your future, He died on the Cross for your Past so no need to worry about that. You know when we get into relationships weather it’s a friendship or dating and so forth, we long to get to know that individual; not just a piece of them but we want to know everything about them, so we take out time to study things about them like what makes them sad or happy, what’s their favorite food and/or color and the list goes on and on. Do you not think that’s what LEARNING the word will do for you and your relationship with God? He wants you to LEARN him, not memorize him and his works….But Learn his ways, learn to feel his presence, learn when it’s him that’s really talking to you, in this you will not only learn of him – but you might be surprised what you really begin to learn of yourself.

Learning opens up more understanding – As you learn you are able to find out better ways to perform better, talk better, listen better and treat others better. A memory can fade away, learning; can and will as the student said “Change your life Forever”

Memorization is good, but what would you rather have – Someone that has a MEMORY of you or someone that has LEARNED you.

learnA man of great memory without learning hath a rock and a spindle and no staff to spin.

George Herbert

Your Faith is in What??

faith1

When I was 12yrs old, I had a pair of shoes called Kangaroo’s; you wouldn’t remember them unless your parent or parents shopped at Payless in whom back then did not have a very nice selection of shoes, but growing up to a newly divorced/single mom – It was all she could afford, so a lot of times she wouldn’t have the funds to be able to purchase us a new pair, so we would wash up the one’s we had really good and go over them perfectly with white shoe polish. No one ever knew that they were shoes from the previous year that had just been given a new look and because she couldn’t afford us a new pair, we passed our old shoes down to the sister who’s feet was growing or had grown into that size….

My kangaroo shoes were awesome to me, I actually thought I was a real kangaroo when I wore them; I could see myself leaping like the kangaroo, leaping over objects and things that came in my path. One day my mom, her sister, myself and my other two sisters and cousins went for a ride, it wasn’t unusual for us all to be squeezed up in the back seat. My mom had some very important food stamp papers that needed to get to the welfare office before she got cut off, the place was always crowded so mama had to park across the street from the office in which had a very busy highway in between it, she asked me if I could take the papers in the office for her and give it to the receptionist. I said YES! It was an opportunity to get out of the car from the wolf pack and it would be nice to stretch my legs…

My mom gave me the paper and told me to be careful as I had to go across this big highway, in which was extremely busy that day. As I leaned against the car – I counted on my Kangaroo shoes to get me across the street – I imagined me leaping from the car to the sidewalk of the building. GO KANGAROO!! I said as I leaped across the highway really fast, I surprised myself with how quickly I ran. YESSS!! I said, Thanks Kangaroo, I uttered as I went inside the building.

As I dropped the letter off at the receptionist desk, I walked back outside to make it back across the busy highway, the traffic was heavier than it was when I went inside; as I looked back and forward to check the traffic I remember saying to myself “Okay, Kangaroo’s we’re going to have to get across this street” – Just when I thought the traffic was clear, I said “GO KANGAROO!” as I ran across the busy highway to get to my mama on the other side, the only thing I remember seeing next was the front of a car’s headlight that I had just gotten hit by; at that moment, I was knocked unconscious as I laid there in the middle of the highway..

How many times do we put our trust, hope and faith into objects, things or people? Most of us trust the alarm system to wake us up in the morning, We put faith in crosses, shamrocks, lucky rabbit feet, cars, boyfriends, girlfriends and the list goes on and on; we trust and put our faith in these things because we can touch and see those things and if we can touch and see it, there goes our attention; there goes our FAITH! But we dare not put our trust and faith in Jesus because we can’t see him, touch him and to some they feel like they can’t talk to him (because he’s not with us “physically”) some people have lost their faith in God because maybe they feel like he let them down when he didn’t come through for them, or they feel like God is responsible for all the hurt, sorrow and sadness in the world – so why should they put their faith in him. People have many reasons as to why they don’t put their Faith and trust in God….

The bible says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” – Hebrews 11:1. So even though we may not see it, but we “hope” and “believe” that what we are praying, seeking and asking God for he will give it to us….at his appropriate time.

When we put our Faith in other things outside of God, that thing becomes our God; that means that we are putting our trust into that object, person or thing…we trust that they will provide for us, take care of us and ultimately soon they began to take the place that God so desires…

The bible says that “God is a Jealous God” (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), Exodus 34:14 – notice the little “g” that means idol, anyone celebrated or loved more than the big “G” is considered an idol and a threat to God.

God blessed me that day to live through being hit by that car, the whole bottom of my chin was completely torn off and I was banged up a little, but God suffered me not to die nor did he suffer me to have any broken bones as I didn’t go to the hospital because we didn’t have health insurance and my mom couldn’t afford the hospital bill that was going to come afterwards so…I got back into the same car that I got out of and went home, my mom put anointing oil on my wound and my whole body, prayed for me and we went on by our day as if nothing happened, but something did happen as I learned a valuable lesson that day and that was to not put my FAITH nor TRUST into anything else but GOD almighty……I wore my Kangaroo shoes again after that day, but they were just shoes as I learned that they could no longer hold any value over the real person whom could get me in and out of situations without hurt, harm or danger. (I just want to clarify that just because God is a jealous God doesn’t mean that he causes things to happen to us, remember when we put our faith and trust into anything other than the almighty we suffer our OWN consequences behind whatever that something or thing brings because anytime you step outside of God’s will, you become a magnet for the enemy who is deceitful, conniving, cunning, a manipulator, liar and a thief and he’s waiting on you)

So who has your TRUST and where does your FAITH reside…..if it’s in any other thing outside of God then you might want to reconsider where you have it. God is the only one in whom we can put our FAITH as he won’t let us down.

faithPut your Faith in God, Not Objects….Faith in God keeps you, Faith in Objects Destroy you.

THE RAIN OF LIFE

DancingInTheRain

“Life is not about bracing for the storm, but learning how to dance in the rain”

Yesterday once I got off of work, it had begun to sprinkle a little. I was beginning to Thank God that I had gotten off early enough to beat the rain, but as I made it into town I realized that I needed to stop by the store to pick up a couple of items and by this time it had done begun to rain extremely hard, as I sat in the parking lot awaiting for the rain to ease up, I noticed other people either sitting in their cars, standing by the grocery store door and/or running out to their parked cars.

I began to ask the Lord to please slow the rain down so that I can get my umbrella out of the trunk and make it into the store, when I said that it seemed to rain even harder – needless to say the rain never let up, I finally braced myself, got out of the car, got the umbrella and rushed into the store. As I got into the store and began to walk around, I suddenly thought about how the rain plays a major part in our spiritual lives, for we like to wait on the storms of life to do what it needs to do before we deal with it, we’re idle and sit in one place until it passes. But what if the rain of life didn’t stop – do we sit and wait? A lot of times God does not allow the rain in our lives to stop when we ask for it too, this is his way of building our faith and our spiritual resume – The bible says “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience and experience, hope. Romans 5: 3-4

The adversary wanted me to get sad because God did not do as I asked, most people would have gotten discouraged and began to think that God is not listening to them, this tends to make people question their spiritual walk because in their minds they think they did something wrong and God is now punishing them for it (just because he didn’t honor and/or answer their request when they felt like he should)……this is not so as God does not punish us “just because” he wants too, our own choices causes us to get in the predicaments that we do get into and we then suffer the consequences of our own choices. God is a God of FREEWILL (He allows you to make up your own mind)…..Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers right away because he wants us to become strong and move off of the milk and onto the solids…just like a baby, if it never advances to solid foods and continue to drink milk until it’s 5yrs of age, that baby will be very weak; it will not have any nourishment or sustenance to keep it going and eventually it will die, if God said YES to everything we asked him for, it would make us weak and we would never know how to do things on our own and we would not know the true meaning of FAITH. (think about it)

So the storms of life are not the end, they are just the beginning of God taking you through a trial so that you may have patience, experience and hope in the midst of your situation. All of life’s experiences are to build us, so we can turn around and build others. The bible also says “We overcome by the words of our Testimony” so all of our “rain” is actually not just for us alone, but it’s for others who may be going through the same “rain” as you and are just about to give up…until you let them know that there is HOPE!

The next time it rains, instead of waiting for it to pass or asking God to allow it to stop for you, ask him to bless you to go through it, for only then will you completely understand how to DANCE in it…

RainI HOPE YOU DANCE……