Monday Motivation: He’ll Take The Pain Away…

Monday Motivation: He’ll Take The Pain Away…

Hi guys!

I must apologize for being so missing in action this past week. I have had some health issues that have kept me away from this blogging journey but I am on the mend and ready to share some awesome content with you! 🙂

The month of February is a month usually associated with love. However, the month of February is often a tough one for me.  Ten years ago, a dear friend of mine became a victim of a senseless crime. A beautiful girl who had her life cut short in a hail of bullets that weren’t intended for her…. . Rarely a day goes by that I don’t think of her and what she could’ve ( and would’ve) become. Her name was Chantel Dunn, and I miss her.

So while I was thinking about her a song dropped into my spirit. It’s a song that spoke to my spirit long before I knew what It would mean to me.

Let me set the stage: Sir Allan MacNab High school: 2001: Basketball Game.  Game was super boring so I whipped out my good old trusty Walkman! (For all you millennials out there a “Walkman” is the late 90’s to mid 2000’s version of a mp3 player! ) I popped in my good old Kirk Franklin cassette tape and the song that I fast forwarded it to was “He’ll Take The Pain Away”. I really loved the simple arrangement of this song and so I passed one part of my headphones to my bestie Slim and we began to sing! Now, we grew up singing together as children in church, but I actually think that was the first time we actually sang in harmony together.

It was a beautiful moment… one I hadn’t thought about in over a decade… until this February as the anniversary of Chan’s passing approached. I really began to take in the lyrics of the song. Read the lyrics down below:

He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away
He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away

Though you’ve been searchin’ for such a long time
Searchin’ for hope and some peace of mind
There’s a friend who would step in on time
He’ll take the pain away, He’ll take the pain away

He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away
He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away

You’ve been searching all of here and all of there
And all God can take the pain away
And I tried him for my self and
Oh, I’m a living witness that God will take the pain away

Though you’ve been searchin’ for such a long time
Searchin’ for hope and some peace of mind
There’s a friend who would step in on time
He’ll take the pain away, He’ll take the pain away

He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away
He’ll take the pain away, I know
He’ll take the pain away

Hold on, don’t give up

If any man be in Jesus
He’ll take the pain away
If any man be in Jesus brand new
He’ll take the pain away

Years ago, when this tragedy occurred,  I would have said that It would be impossible for these wounds to heal. I found this quote that really resonated with me. It reads:

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

Although my heart has never really recovered from this loss ( along with loss of many others) , I am so blessed to serve a God who steps in as a comforter!  One line of the song reads: “There’s a friend who would step in on time He’ll take the pain away” .

What an awesome God I serve! One that can take what looks like the bleakest of situations and bring some sunshine to the grayest of days! If you are hurting put your trust in Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for us, and along with Him comes the Holy Spirit the comforter. He can take the broken pieces of your heart and mend them, just like He has done with mine! It’s not easy getting over a loss, but with Jesus it is easier

Psalm 55:22 (NLT) reads

22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
    and he will take care of you.
    He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

“I’m a living witness that God can take the pain away!”

Have a blessed Monday folks!!

xoxo

Grieving yet still Grateful….

Grieving yet still Grateful….

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
Anne Lamott ( Goodreads.com) ( i love this quote, It puts into words exactly how I feel right now)

 I  know this blog is kind of repetitive as I did a similar blog topic last week, but its been on my heart again 😦

It’s been a crazy two weeks y’all. Losing two family members within ONE DAY of each other has probably been one of the hardest situations I have ever been through in life. But what made this situation even harder to deal with, was with the fact that I had to step into the role of “the strong one”. Each one of my parents lost a sibling, and not only a sibling, they lost their closest sibling. So naturally they are hurting. Also what makes this situation so hard, is that they don’t even really have each other to lean on right because each one is grieving the loss of their own.

So that leaves me. The most accessible child caught in the middle of two grieving parents. It’s been hard guys. I’ve been doing my best to be supportive to both parents, but it can really take a toll on you especially as you yourself are grieving. I think this past Sunday as we laid my Aunt to rest, It really hit me that she’s really gone 😦  She is the aunt that I take after the most. I get my attitude from her, my temper from her and my awesome skin from her ( thanks to all the nights of her coating me in baby lotion and Vaseline 😛 ) and to even imagine that I can’t pick up the phone and hear her cuss me again is so hard. The way that she took care of my father as a young boy( and even as an adult) always resonated with me. As a self-proclaimed “daddy’s girl” ( lol) It always warmed my heart to see their relationship, and because she loved my dad so much, that automatically made me her favorite 😛 ( sorry guys they said it at the funeral: it’s confirmed lol 🙂 ) Then there’s my uncle.. such a kind-hearted man. My mom’s number one fan and her fiercest protector growing up. My mom is shattered and that just breaks me  😦

But I am so glad that I have had an amazing support system. I can’t even stress the amount of love I have for my friends. They have truly rallied around my family and I during this time. The calls the texts,the social media check ins, the visits, the food,the laughs and cheering up has been absolutely my rock during this time. My amazing co- workers ( who are friends like family) have made it possible for me to be accessible for my family, picking up my slack at work, literally feeding me ( thanks Mina 🙂 ) and just being as supportive as can be…. words can’t even express my gratitude. My church family… man… words can’t even express how supportive they have been. Right from day one they stood by our side and filled our home with prayers, company and  groceries. No church is perfect but my church has certainly set the bar high when it comes to genuine compassion and love.Hamilton Church of God of Prophecy, you are loved.I’m forever grateful.

Now I’m not the type of person who grieves openly. I’m more of the “keep it bottled in”  kind of girl . It’s actually really hard for me to express my emotion. I guess it’s because I’m pretty tough and resilient I sometimes forget that “tough girls” need to cry sometimes too. While it’s hard for me to express my emotion, I know that it’s not healthy to keep everything bottled up. I have my “true few” who have seen me break down and have been a great support but I am so glad that I serve a God that I can come to with my grief and lay it right at His feet. If there is anyone I can be completely transparent with its God. He has been there through the darkest of times and I know He will continue to see me through.

Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

All I can say is that if you are grieving please reach out to someone. I understand not everyone shares the type of relationship with God that I do ( although you should try it, its honestly amazing! 🙂 ❤ )  But please talk to someone. A friend,a coach, a parent, a teacher… anyone. It’s much harder to “recover” from grief by yourself. Put your trust in someone.

Keep me in your thoughts y’all! Now that things have calmed down a tad, I’ll be right back on to my regularly scheduled blogging!!!

IMG_6593

xoxo

Monday Motivation: It Is Well With My Soul…

Monday Motivation: It Is Well With My Soul…

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,It is well, it is well with my soul…..

Psalms 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Yes. Yes I know its Tuesday. Forgive me please 😦  It has been probably one of the toughest weeks of my life this  past week. On Wednesday of last week my aunt on my dads side passed away and on Thursday of the very same week  my uncle on my moms side passed away…. Yes you read this right. Last week I lost and aunt and an uncle less than 36 hours apart… Its been a rough week. Needless to say I experienced the emotion of grief this week. Not only grieving for myself but for my parents as well.

What is grief? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary,grief is described as deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement;  a cause of such suffering.

However, even in the midst of my grief, I never experienced the despair and depression that comes along with it. I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends and church family that have truly outdone themselves when it comes to the gift of compassion. From my friends who came to see my parents and brought them dinner, the text messages and endless phone calls and social media words of encouragement; to those wonderful co-worker friends sending a care package to my house and physically kept me going ( literally fed me and took over my role at work without me even asking) and most importantly the prayers of those who know and serve the God I serve, conveyed a source of comfort.

I don’t know how people deal with such hard circumstances without a strong support system.Please, whatever you are going through , talk to somebody! I’m not one to really show my emotions not even to my family. I don’t like to have people fuss over me. I always have to be the one who is the comforter. But a person can only take so much and there is a small handful of people who have seen me get there. But this time, even though my heart was breaking for myself and was absolutely shattered for my parents, I was overcome with such peace. A peace that could only come from my God.  A ” peace that transcends all understanding”, ( Philippians 4:7)

The song, It is well with my soul just kept me repeating over and over in my head. Especially the part of the song that says, “whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.”

I know that no matter the circumstances, how grim the situation may look, that I have a heavenly father right beside me mending the pieces of my grieving heart. I know that He has put people in place to stand in the midst and lift me up and that he has enabled me with strength I didn’t even know I could possess. I stand in awe of a God who loves me that much to ensure that even when life looks bleak I am able to see light at the end of a dark tunnel. I don’t ( and never will) understand Gods plan, but I do understand that God has A PLAN.

So rest on in paradise Aunt Lynn and Uncle Ken. Your service here on earth is complete. Rest on in the arms of our savior and I will work hard to see you again….. Sleep well

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: March 4, 2015

Wednesday Weekly Reads: March 4, 2015

Hey everyone,

It was a pretty successful reading week for me.:)  I managed to finish 2 books ; “Dorothy Must Die” by Danielle Paige and ” The 72 Hour Hold” by Bebe Moore Campbell. I also was able to get half way through my third book, which was on last weeks reading goals, “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. ( I will finish this by Friday)

girl train bebemoore dorothy

Let’s start with Dorothy Must Die, a dystopian spin on the classic tale of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz…… sooooooo  boring! I must admit it lured me in with an alternate approach with Dorothy in fact is the villain. You discover this within the  first twenty pages or so but then the plot just dragged on and on…**spoiler alert** In fact the story drags on so long that it makes a mockery of the title…Dorothy does NOT die….

I just found out that this is not a one-off book, it is actually a series that continues with, “The Wicked Will Rise” and a yet untitled third part to be released in 2017. I will not be continuing this series. I’m just grateful I borrowed this book from the library. 1.5 out of 5 stars and that’s being generous. 😦

Next, I completed the “72 Hour Hold” by Bebe Moore Campbell. (1950-2006) This book shines light on the face of mental illness. The main protagonist of this story is a mother whose 18-year-old daughter Trina is battling bipolar disorder. This story takes you on a mothers journey on getting help for her child by any means necessary. I find Bebe Moore Campbell was able to the skillfully compose this manuscript because she actually was a mother who had to help her daughter through her ongoing battle with mental illness. ( Her daughter is 90’s sitcom star Maia Campbell of the hit show “In The House” with LL Cool J”.) I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book for everyone to read. It truly made me even more empathetic towards those who are battling this disease.

Finally, I am currently reading “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. It has many similar plot lines as “Gone Girl” however the writing is very different. The protagonist of this story has a bit of a love affair with alcohol which makes interesting storytelling as she tries to piece together what she did while in a drunken stupor. It’s a quick read and I look forward to seeing how this story pans out

Along with these books, I also continued with my daily devotional, “Lent for Everyone“and am still maintaining my “no carbonated beverages” goal!! ( YAY me 🙂 )

This week I am going to finish The Girl on the Train and finish a e-book ” The Playboy’s Fugitive Bride by Ana. E. Ross(  Book Three in the Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls series. I have also read the first two books and they were excellent. )  I also want to start, ” The Pearl Who Broke It’s Shell” by Nadia Hashimi. ( Check out its plot line in my 2015 TBR blog )

ana pearl

Well, those are my reading goals for this week. What are yours? Happy Reading!

xoxo

Really… What is man…. RIP

Really… What is man…. RIP

Just heard some pretty devastating news… another young life cut short. Another mother without her child tonight….

It is so sad that in my short time on this earth (I’m in my late twenties) I’ve had to bury so many friends, acquaintances and family members. It would be one thing If these young people were passing away from terminal illnesses or freak accidents… But no, they are dying because of senseless acts of violence or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My heart is broken thinking about these young people my friends: Chantel Dunn; a York University student hit by a bullet while picking up a friend from a community center.( 1986-2006) My friend Niala, murdered by a jealous boyfriend ( who then later killed himself)( 2002) Jonathan Romero, murdered in an unprovoked fight ( 2003) Xavier,(murder: 2007)  Jason (murder: 2009), Polo ( murder: 2008), Devon (murder: 2010),Ricky( murder: 2013), Brandon ( murder 2010) Kesean ( a little 9-year-old boy struck by a bullet while sitting in his living room) Marley( murder 2014) Aaron ( murder 2015)

Of all those names, six of those young men were fathers, present and active. Now their children will never get the chance to really know and remember them. It’s so sad. Justice has been served in only half of these cases.

Forgive me, I’m not saying this to be blasphemous or disrespectful, but what kind of society do we live in where people feel like It’s okay to take another man or woman’s life over some foolishness?? Like, where are you getting these guns and weapons and why is it normal for that to be the acceptable  way to settle a dispute? Why is okay to put your hands on person to the point where their heart can no longer stand the trauma.. What kind of world is this?Why are parents burying their children? I’m not yet a mother, but is this a world that I really want to bring life into? Lord have mercy… and what makes it worse all of the people on this list are of Caribbean/Canadian or Hispanic descent…. lives cut short by people of Caribbean/Canadian descent…. makes no sense to me. Ignorance at its finest…

I pray that these families find peace. I know I think of Chantel all the time and all the times we’ve missed out on as friends. She will never hold my children, she won’t stand up beside me on my wedding day.Nothing! It still burns me 9 years later. They say time heals all wounds? Yeah right! It merely softens the blow and makes it easier to bear. But this wound is still very much tender.

I’m one of the lucky ones because I know a peace that surpasses all understanding.( Philippians 4:7) I may never understand God’s plan, but I have peace because I trust His plan..

So’s here’s my Public service announcement:

Put down the weapons and pick up a book

Put down your fists and pick up a book

Get out of the “traphouses” and get into the school houses!

Make something of yourselves! Don’t become a victim to this  society. Prove them wrong. Be the person you were created to be…

Lastly, Love on those around while they are here. Time is not promised to anyone. Life is too short to waste… So to all my friends out there.. I LOVE YOU

Though I’m missing you
(Although I’m missing you)
I’ll find a way to get through
(I’ll find a way to get through)
Living without you
‘Cause you were my sister ( brother), my strength and my pride
Only God may know why, still I will get by

Oh, there were so many things
That we could have shared
(uh-huh)
If time was on our side, ooh yeah
(Time was on our side)
Now that you’re gone, I can still feel you near
So I’ll smile with every tear I cryHow sweet were the closest of friends

But I’ll wait for the day when I’ll see you again
I’ll see you again….

lyrics that read so true….

xoxo