I’ve Seen Him Do It

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I’ve been “writing” this post for going on 6 months now.  I don’t say much about it, but on November 30, 2013 life changed in a way I would have NEVER expected.  My Uncle, Minister Clyde Richard “Ricky” Williams, lost his life doing what he loved, fishing.  The reports said that his boat capsized and tossed him into freezing cold water….  It felt as if my heart was ripped from my chest.  It was, and still is, unbelievable.  I sit here blinded by tears as I think about that day and the days that have led to the ability to FINALLY share my testimony with you.

In the weeks prior to losing him several people in my immediate circles experienced loss.  Two collegiate friends lost their 3-year old son in a drowning, a childhood friend was killed in a single-car accident while driving home from work, a sister in the ministry lost her mother……  it was just a tough time in the earth for SEVERAL people connected to me during the 2013 Lenten season.  In the midst of praying for and mourning with my friends, our family met our own struggle.  Walking around like zombies, in pure disbelief…. waking up each day PRAYING it was a bad dream.  I remember begging God to let them find him alive…. let him find his way home through the woods by the lake… or either be there, shivering from the cold, but be alive… be there….., but he wasn’t.  He wasn’t.  He wasn’t.  One of the most important and influential people in my life had been raptured before we could talk about my next career and life moves…. before he could grill my boyfriend/fiance…. before he could dance with me at my wedding; before he could grow old and wise.  He was gone and I was angry.

Yes, I’m admitting that I was angry with God.  The one thing I wanted from this situation…. the one thing I PRAYED HARD for him to “work out” didn’t “play out” the way I wanted it to.  I was angry.  Hurt and angry.  Outlining a program and making funeral arrangements…. hurt and angry.  Greeting visitors and planning service selections…. hurt and angry.  Praying and worshiping my way through, because it was ALL I knew to do…. hurt and angry.  Consoling and counseling…. hurt and angry.  In the midst of all of this I receive a text from my Minister of Music to “listen to and learn a song:  Kurt Carr’s, “I’ve Seen Him Do It”.  I put it off for a day or two, but when I finally listened to it and heard the words I was like, “really, God?  Really?”….. One time through, that’s all I could take.

“I’ve Seen Him Do It”

 

[Spoken Intro]

For someone facing incredible obstacles in your life:
I want you to lean on God and trust his flawless record.
He never fails; He can do the impossible.
How do I know? I’ve seen him do it!
[Verse 1:]
I have no doubt my God can do the impossible.
I know he can; I’ve seen him do it.
He can turn the mess you’re in to an awesome miracle.
I know he can; I’ve seen him do it.
Whatever problem you’ve got,
If you just give it to God, He’ll work it out.
How do I know?
[Chorus:]
I’ve seen him do it. I’ve seen him do it. [x4]
One time through is all I could take…..
My Angel was laid to rest on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.  I returned to Nashville after the funeral and tried to get back into the swing of things, starting with rehearsal on the following Tuesday.  Well, what do we rehearse….. the song.  Did I want to hear it…. NO.  Luckily we didn’t sing it the following Sunday because I hadn’t been interested in learning the words (that would have been EMBARASSING!!!!), but rehearsing it FORCED me to listen to it.  Every day, ALL day for a week straight I listened to that song.  At the gym, at work, in the car…. I listened to the choir and soloist go on and on about how they’d “seen God do it”, but all I could think about was what He didn’t do for me just weeks before.
The following Tuesday, after sitting through another rehearsal where we’d reviewed the song, I decided it was time for me to chat with God.  I made my way down Briley Parkway crying and verbally sharing with God EVERYTHING I’ve shared with you.  I told Him I was angry.  I told Him I didn’t understand, and I told him He’d “better have something HUGE up his sleeve with this one” because it hurt sooooooo bad.  Twenty minutes of being purely open and honest with my creator, completely vulnerable.  Well, I was mid-rant when this car came out of nowhere and just cut me off!  Yes, I stopped ranting IMMEDIATELY and went to blow my horn, but when I looked at the license plate I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…..
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Yep, you see it just as clear as me…. the thing said “Miracle”!  The car literally came out of NOWHERE.  I was two stop-lights away from my house and it cut me off.  I couldn’t believe it!  I was upset, fussing at God about what I was feeling inside… how much I didn’t like it… and the Man sent a “Miracle” out of NOWHERE!  I said, “Lord, PLEASE let us get caught by this light cause I need to get a picture of this!  Are you SERIOUS!?”  Sure enough, not even 50 feet down the road we got stopped at the next light and I snapped a pic!!! (Also, I haven’t seen this car since that night….  I look for it EVERY night on my way home.)
I went through ALL that to say that even in hurtful situations; when we experience the loss of a loved one, job, relationship, etc., He has a plan.  We don’t see it at first…. often times we can’t see it AT ALL, but we have to remember that God IS and he’s NEVER failed.  It’s a hard thing to grasp when you’re hurting and torn.  Even men and women of faith HURT.  We are all HUMAN…. perfectly imperfect.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So, we have to heal and pray for restoration…we have to have faith in His plan…  Yes, it’s difficult, but CLEARLY He shut me down and shut me up on purpose.  Yes, I still cry…  the pain has not gone away, but I believe that WHATEVER He is working out through this situation shall be revealed in due season.  Romans 8:18 says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Our God is capable of the impossible.  There is purpose in the pain. He can create a miracle from our mess, do supernatural things in the midst of sorrow, comfort us in our confusion, and provide peace in painful situations.  He can make something from nothing, heal broken hearts, calm raging seas, and bid us to “step out of the boat” in the midst of the storm.
There were sooooo many people experiencing loss around the same time frame.  So many of us were praying for one another and mourning with one another.  Even now there are several friends who have recently experienced loss or are in the midst of painful transition.  Just because God didn’t do what we wanted him to do in this situation DOES NOT mean that He HAS NOT and WILL NOT keep his promises to us.  We are limited in our humanity… only so much makes sense, but in cases where life turns in unexpected ways we have to stay prayerful and faithful.  People came from FAR and WIDE for my Uncle’s service.  He was TRULY a great man!  He worked for UPS FOR-EVER and had just become an ordained and licensed Minister.  He touched the lives of MANY and truly let the light of God shine through him.  His physical absence has truly left a void.  A great example of unconditional love.  He gave his life to helping his family and others.  He was always kind and had the best advice.  So, from the loss of his life God HAS to get the glory!  I am unsure how far his waves/ripples reached, but I do know he was a man of great faith.  This is and has undoubtedly been a HARD experience for my family, but we have to remember…. God never fails.
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So, whatever you’re going though, whatever loss you’ve experience, whatever transition you’re working through…. don’t give up on God.  He’s still faithful.  He’s still sovereign….even in the midst of your pain.  I encourage you to listen to the song, pick up your broken pieces, go to God to help put you and things back together again.  I’m not saying every day will be easy, but He’ll keep you like only He can.
Rest on, Uncle Ricky.  Rest on….. love you, always.
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Total Surrender: My Utmost for His Highest

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Before resting this weekend I FINALLY had the guts to reach out to a friend and sister in the ministry for support and advice. I woke up the next morning driven and determined to begin preparing for a “life shift”. I grabbed my devotional and this was the next lesson…. talk about TIMING!

Total Surrender – Mark 10:23-31 MSG

Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”

That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked. Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

Peter tried another angle: “We left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life!

This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.”

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Devotional Content…..

Total Surrender

Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like saying, “No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done for me.’” Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.

Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse—“Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57–62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ‘cannot be My disciple’” (see Luke 14:26–33).

True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God. Most of us have only a vision of what this really means, but have never truly experienced it.

O Lord, cause my intellect to glow with Your Holy Spirit’s teaching.

10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

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This is a GREAT read! As a woman who’d like to be a wife and mother, you can’t wait to prepare….. #ijs🙂

Eighth Rising Blog

eighthrising.com

There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if…

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13 Ways You Know You’re Dating A High-Quality Woman

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We do exist…..

Thought Catalog

Forgetting Sarah MarshallForgetting Sarah Marshall

1. She encourages you to pursue your goals, but she doesn’t micromanage. She trusts you to make the right decisions in your own life. She’s the cheerleader, not the coach.

2. She doesn’t try to make you jealous. She’s secure in her worth, and your ability to recognize how valuable she is. She doesn’t need to play games to “trick” you into seeing her her for what she is.

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3. She doesn’t have a princess complex. She demands that you treat her with respect — but because she is a person you love, not because she is a woman and therefore magically entitled to something. Just as she would expect you to treat your friends and family with respect, she knows you wouldn’t treat her any other way. A high-quality woman wouldn’t be with a man who was disrespectful to the people he is…

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Regret, not Defeat!

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Sooooo, I was sitting here taking a mini-“break” at work (meetings ALL MORNING and my brain was FRIED) debating fear, regret, and success. I kept repeating….,

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated…it’s okay!”

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated… it was a decision!”

“You’re feeling regret, but YOU AREN’T DEFEATED!”

Somehow I stumbled upon this article “Iconic Roles and the Stars Who Regret Turning Them Down” … talk about immediate consolation and confirmation that IT’S OKAY…. In short, you can’t avoid making decisions! You never know what the outcome will be, but make the best decision you can using the information and reasoning you have and stand on it.  Yes, you may want to kick yourself in the left (and right) butt-cheek afterwards, but YOU MADE A CALL… you were able to do what so many people struggle with…. make a decision!  Now, the outcome may not have gotten you the results you desired, but you still stood the course and followed through with the consequences.

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No, life isn’t perfect (and neither are our decision making skills… at times), but we can only move forward and take charge of the things that are meant for us if we make the decision to let go and prepare to take hold of whatever’s next (thus the monkey-bars ;)… #Method2MyMADDNESS).  Will every decision bring you joy… NOPE!  Will you look back and think, “What the HELL was I thinking?!” …..MAYBE🙂.  I’ll be transparent and admit that I should have trusted God A LOT more than I did during one particular decision making process — told myself to “get my faith up!”, lol — but this has been one hell of a learning experience!!!!  What touched me most about the article is that the people who passed up great opportunities were still given new opportunities and are still successful.

Some doors only open once…  If you miss your chance don’t beat yourself up FOREVER!  Count your losses, thank God for the experience, and pray that He will make another way for you to achieve the same goal (#SelfMinistry).  My friend, David Mak Thompson, Jr, posted something I know as a Christian woman…but CLEARLY I needed a reminder….

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Heck, I wear a ring EVERY DAY that says the SAME THING…. that’s why I bought the darned thing!!!  Yes, I have to be ALL IN!  No matter what, trust God and move forward standing on his promises.

Proverbs 3:5-6

New King James Version (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

I will NEVER forget what this feels like…. this heart-ache from a place so deep down I NEVER knew it existed.  I went in, guns blazing, somehow got distracted… started stressing, worrying, doubting… and now I’m praying that He’ll trust me again!!!  I often choose “the scenic route” first….it comes with some LIFE-LONG lessons, but I’ll get there.  There may be a delay, but our destinies haven’t been denied.  Sometimes we leap… sometimes we crawl…. other times we pat around in the dark until we find the switch (#random).  Never-the-less, every time our name graces the “wake-up” list we’ve been given another chance to get it right.  EVERYONE experiences regret, but we haven’t been defeated.  So, exhale and repeat to yourself…..

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated…it’s okay!”

“You’re feeling regret, but you aren’t defeated… it was a decision!  Let’s go back to the drawing board”

“You’re feeling regret,…………………… but YOU HAVEN’T BEEN DEFEATED!”

4 Ways to Summon Your Purpose In Life

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Some lucky people seem to have been born with a greater purpose in life while the rest of us are left to search for ours.  Umair Haque, director of Havas Media Labs, thinks the problem may be that we’re looking so hard. Instead, he suggests four ways we can approach the world.

Ditch the cool facade and feel the love. Instead of feeling and expressing real love, we use weaker substitutes such as “passion,” “dreams” or “bucket lists.” These days, we’re more likely to feel the opposite of love—hate, anger, fear and envy—but purpose is a form of love, real love.

Feel the pain of heartbreak. Part of our modern-day cool facade involves insulating ourselves against everything that could cause an emotional ache or pain. To open yourself back up to feeling, you need to immerse yourself in some things that make you ache and maybe break your heart.

Drive through life NASCAR style. Most people approach life like a Formula One race, trying to drive the cleanest laps to achieve the fastest time. People who find true purpose and fulfillment, though, take a NASCAR approach, where hits and scrapes are part of the experience. You have to be willing to take hits, fail, start over and keep going.

Seek forests, not fireworks. Fireworks are exciting, but they just spark, flare and fizzle in a matter of seconds. Purpose and the love it takes to achieve it come from a calmer, slower process akin to the growth of a great forest. As you go through that life, you will be bruised, scarred and hurt, but if you’re lucky, purpose will find you and redeem you from the void of an empty and unfulfilling life.

— Adapted from “How to Let Your Purpose Find You,” Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review.

Unlocking Your Full Potential

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An AWESOME post by a GREAT friend!!! Read. Enjoy.🙂

ruHRelevant?

I look for analogies and learning opportunities in everything. And while making sure not to miss any teachable moments with my children, I often find myself over-analyzing the shows they watch on television and pointing out the life and work lessons in them. I’m actually amazed that my son is still willing to watch his shows with me.

Saying that, one of my son’s favorite toys/shows is Lego Ninjago. Short synopsis, the four main characters are young ninjas that are charged with battling evil doers trying to take over the city of Ninjago and surrounding areas. Early in their development, their Sensei (Wu) taught that each of them had special and unique powers/abilities that they must find within themselves and tap into. This process was often referred to as “Unlocking Their Full Potential”.

Throughout the season, the four ninjas competed with one another, fought alongside one another, trained and eventually…

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