Today was one of those days.

Today was one of those days.

I felt like I kept getting one customer after another that wasn’t very happy about things that needed to be done in order for me to properly help them. I began to get frustrated and defeated for the day. I wanted nothing more than to lash back, to defend myself. But, I didn’t. I tried my hardest to keep smiling and to not let them see me affected by their words. I found myself thinking, “How can someone continue to be so ugly to someone who is only trying to do their job? How can someone continue to act that way, when the person in front of them is smiling throughout the whole interaction? How, how, how? Can you not see the desperation in my eyes, pleading for you to ease up on me, even just a little?” I do this thing where I count to 3 silently, clear my head, and start again. Because sometimes I am too quick with my reactions. I have had to teach myself not to be so temperamental.

I suddenly found myself thinking about what would Jesus do?

How would He react to those who weren’t treating him just?

What would be going through His mind?

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•Philippians 2:12-13•

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

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•Matthew 5:14-16•

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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Be kind. Be patient. Be understanding. Do not be quick to judge.

You do not know where their frustration is coming from, my child.” It was like a faint echo in my mind. Maybe he was working through me, seeing as he knows this is something I have trouble with on a day to day basis. I just couldn’t shake this thought.

Sometimes it’s difficult to not let others affect how you react to their actions. It’s hard to “do what Jesus would do.” But that’s how we grow as children of Christ, right?

So for anyone who is reading this, I hope you take the time to think about what would Jesus do. I hope that for a mere second you catch yourself thinking twice before responding to someone in an ugly way, even if they do deserve it. Think about all of the times you were acting out of line.. and all you needed was a smile. Then think about how good it will feel to not let the world around you change your heart and soul. Even if you aren’t a believer of Christ, try to be the bigger/better person. It’s my mantra and it’s actually very simple, “be the change in the world that you want to see.” 🌻

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Losing a loved one.

It’s something nobody wants to hear.

“Your loved one is sick. Extremely sick. Count each day as a blessing, for they are now numbered.”

We all know death is inevitable. We all know that day by day, we are losing time. We just don’t know when the time will run out.

As I sit here writing this, I almost feel numb. I remember thinking, “when the time comes for you to go, my heart will be broken. It will hurt like hell.” But you can’t really prepare yourself for how it will actually feel. You can’t prepare yourself for the gut wrenching pain. You can’t prepare yourself for the heartache that is to come. You can’t prepare yourself for the sleepless nights and many tears you will weep. You can’t prepare yourself for the sight you’ll see when you walk into that hospital room, watching your loved one suffering, hurting; withering away. You can’t prepare yourself begging God not to take them, not just yet. You cannot prepare yourself for this.

The selfish part of you wants them to live. The selfish part of you wants them to be able to come home, like nothing ever happened. You want to pretend that things are okay and that the inevitable isn’t happening. Part of you wants the pain to end for them. The other part of you wants them to be free. You know though, when that happens, they’re gone. Maybe not forever, because if you’re a believer in Christ, you know deep down you will see them again, even if that means goodbye for now. But the thought of you not being able to wrap your arms around them when things are tough breaks you inside. The thought of not being able to call them when you need their wisdom is almost too much to bare. The thought of them not physically being here on this earth anymore is a tough pill to swallow.

Watching your loved one slowly drift away is antagonizing. Heartbreaking, even. You find yourself on your knees praying to God to take their pain away, to heal them.

Then God answers your prayers. He brings your loved one home. He frees them of their aches and pains. He frees them of their suffering and troubles. What you and God had in mind were two different things; you wanted to bring your loved one home, but he brought them home home.

Now you have a guardian angel.

Your loved one is now walking with Jesus. They are one of the angels in heaven looking down on you, looking after you. Being able to do all of the things they once weren’t able to do.

Many things will go through your mind. Many emotions will fill your soul. And it will be a pain like no other; it will shatter your world like never before.

But you have to remind yourself that they’re really at home this time. They are in a place we only hope and pray to be someday. They’ve lived their life, they’ve served their God, and then they were called home.

Your natural reaction will be to long for them. You will miss their presence and wish for just one more moment, just one more chance to say all the things you never got to say. To thank them for everything they’ve sacrificed for you, for everyone; for your family.

You have to remind yourself though, that God answered your prayers. He lifted your loved one from the evils of this world and brought them to where they were always intended to be; in heaven.

Now you’re left with memories. You’re left with wisdom. You are left all of the things your loved one taught you, instilled in you, and helped you with. God blessed you with this amazing person to teach you things nobody else could. He gave you someone you will never forget, someone you will always will remember, and someone you will one day be with again.

When the sun shines and the wind blows, they’ll be with you. When your world feels like it’s crumbling, they’ll be with you. Your loved one will be right there beside you through it all. Although not physically, but spiritually.

You will always have their protection. When you need them, just look around. Pray. Shout to the sky if you have to. But just know, they are there. They are everywhere. 💛

October 6, 2016.

“Our backs tells stories no books have the spine to carry.”

2 years ago today.

It was like any other morning.

Until it wasn’t.

For a second, I lost track of all time.

Everything went black.

I didn’t feel anything. I can’t recall much of the wreck while it was happening because I was so mesmerized by the angel that was sitting in the front seat of my car beside me with their hand on mine. I remember feeling my car leave the ground; the jolt that threw my head against the top of my car, but that’s about it. And then I remember coming too; smoke circling the space around me from the air bag exploding, high pitched ringing in my ears, the feeling of blood dripping from my nose, and me being absolutely dismayed.

Shattered glass surrounded me. My windshield was basically gone. There was only one layer of my driver side door protecting me from the outside. My sunroof was caved in and half of my trunk was in the back seat.

“Hello, ma’am, are you there?”

My car automatically called 911 when the air bags deployed. Still in shock, I remember replying “I’ve been in a wreck,” and her saying “someone is on the way,”. I look down and somehow, my phone is in my lap. With trembling hands, I managed to text my mom the same words: I’ve been in a wreck.

My logic was out the window and calling wasn’t really an option as I couldn’t muster up the willpower to speak.

I pulled my mirror down to examine my face.

My cheek was already starting to swell. My eye was bruising quickly. My lip was busted and I could taste salty blood on my tongue. Over-all though, I didn’t look THAT bad.

And then I remembered I shouldn’t move. Something could be broke or on the verge of breaking and I didn’t want to potentially paralyze myself. I did however try and wiggle my toes. I prayed before I did so. I was sure I wouldn’t be able too. But I did. That’s when I felt a stabbing pain in my back and it hurt to breathe… panic was setting.

My back. My back. My back. Is it broken?

The man I got in the wreck with quickly came to my side. He managed to maneuver himself in the back seat behind me. All I could do was apologize over and over and over again.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

Despite me being the one who caused the wreck, he held my hand and told me it was going to be okay. He did not leave my side until the ambulance got there.

They thought my Ford Focus was a hatchback. It wasn’t.

They weren’t even sure how I was alive. Conscious. Aware and awake.

How did my 104 pound body survive a car flipping and rolling 6 times? My body may have been little and fragile, but my God is not. That’s when I knew that the angel I had witness during my blackout was real. I truly believe it was not a figment of my imagination.

The ride to the hospital was fuzzy. I was still in panic mode and the anxiety was starting to show, so they pumped me with medicine that made me feel numb, but also really sick to my stomach.

By this time, I was in a neck brace and they had me strapped down flat on my back on a gurney.

She has a fractured L1 and slight fracture on L2,”.

My back isn’t broken, but damaged. I could live with that, I thought.

Nobody could have ever prepared me for the months that followed this day. I was forced to realize how important it is to appreciate the little things; like having a non fracture spine.

It hurt to walk.

It hurt to breathe.

It REALLY hurt to sneeze.

I couldn’t walk up steps by myself.

I couldn’t shower alone because the moment my hands went over my head a searing pain would shoot throughout my entire back.

I couldn’t sleep because of the pressure.

I couldn’t even brush my own hair.

And let’s not forget my lovely back brace.

I could go on and on about how hard I struggled. About how many nights I spent crying and asking God “why?”.

And the truth is:

I lost myself for a while. I lost friends. I lost my confidence. I lost a lot of my faith. I felt like the world was out to get me and that I wasn’t strong enough mentally to get myself through this. There was so much pain I’d have to endure to get back to how I partially was before.

But giving up and throwing myself a pity party was not an option. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I fought. Everyday I fought to walk. To do my hair. To step up steps. To sleep the way I use to. To pick things up. To shower alone.

I wasn’t happy and I felt weak, but I fought.

And only now do I realize how strong I truly was/am.

Every day I thank God for flipping my world upside down. If not for that, I don’t think I’d be who I am today. I appreciate the little things more than I ever did before. My faith is bigger than it was. And now I know I am capable of fighting a fight, no matter how big and scary it may seem.

I still have my days. Some days I curse and scream and get beyond frustrated with myself. Some days I push my body to hard, forgetting I am a little bit more fragile than I was once before. And of course having to really understand and process the fact that my back will NEVER be the same was a challenge itself.

I can’t ride roller coasters. I can’t lift up heavy things like I use too. Running too much will make it hurt, but I’ve learned to work around these things.

Everyday is a new day.

Everyday is a new day to fight a fight that you’re scared you can’t win.

Believe you can, and you will.

I did. So can you.

I can hands down say that that was probably one of the worst years of my life, but also the most humbling. I’ve learned so much about just life in general and personal strength; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m a firm believer that our experiences make us into who we are, and you have the choice to either let it mold you in a positive or negative way.

Half of your battle will always be in your head, the other half will always be how hard you are willing to try.

Now mentally, I’m stronger than I ever have been. I have conditioned myself to treat hard situations as learning lessons. And I know I have the will power to handle anything that comes my way.

October 6, 2016 will forever be engraved in brain.

The fact that I got through it though, is too.

I am a fighter.

There is beauty in pain.

Because once one fights through the pain, they shine. They shine a light so bright that it is infectious.

And what a lovely site it is to see; to watch someone piece themselves back together after they’ve fallen apart.

It is a reminder that no matter what one may go through, we have the ability to lift ourselves out of the darkness we’ve fallen into.

The most beautiful people are normally the most broken ones; they know how to survive.

They know what it takes to fight through the pain.

And you can too, you just have to muster of the strength and courage to choose to not let the worst things in life get the best of you.

You can be one of the beautifully broken ones; the fighter that did, the fighter that survived.

addiction

With all of the talk about drug addiction and everything that has been going on lately in the world, I’d like to take some time to write about what I personally think.

Drug addiction.

Is it a disease or a choice that one makes?

Science says that addiction is in fact a disease. This is not something that a good bit of the public agrees with. Despite the fact that doctors and scientific studies have confirmed it, people still challenge the idea that addiction is a disease.

I see where both sides come from.

I understand that a lot of you all will say it started off as a choice. And, you all would be correct.

But did you ever stop to think about how they got there?

About what pushed them to become addicted in the first place?

And did you ever think about all of the potentially addictive products you’ve tried/consumed, but did not get addicted too?

This is what makes the most sense to me.

Some of us can drink alcohol socially and not think about it twice. We can go out and have a few drinks (or 12) with our friends, family, and loved ones, and not crave it afterwards.

Some of us can smoke a joint, let it ease our minds, and be done with it.

One can play around with cocaine and not ever desire to do it again.

I could be prescribed pain killers for an injury, take them as needed, and when I’m healed and well, I will have no reason to pick them up again nor will I have an uncontrollable desire for them.

This is where the disease comes in.

All of our brains are wired differently. Hence, why some people are depressed, have anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.

Just like some of us have the ability to stop, some of us don’t.

I’m by no means making excuses for addicts, but try seeing it from someone else’s shoes.

You don’t live the reality others do.

All we can do is be compassionate. Understanding. Thoughtful.

Instead of judging, try to help. Be encouraging. Try to make a change in the life of those around you. Some are not as fortunate as others.

Be mindful of that.

Addictions affects each and every one of us in ways that nobody else will ever be able to understand or comprehend. Think twice before spewing hate and negativity. That could be you.

You are just one of the lucky ones.

Not everybody is.