Daily Devotional – 3/7/19 “Keep them, God!”

Some days she’d get up and be happy. She’d comb her hair, apply some make-up, get dressed in her good clothes and go to work. Some days, he’d be laughing and playing with the children. He’d go on a date with his wife and even cuddle close to her, that night. She/he would be on social media posting happy meme’s and sharing thoughts of looking forward to the future. He/she may even post a selfie that’ll get a few likes and “you’re looking good,” comments but reality is … they aren’t. That day, described above, is the day depression wasn’t so bad. That day, described above, is the day pain didn’t cripple them. That day, described above, is the day the voices were silent and they didn’t relive the nightmares of taking advantage of, hurt, abuse and molestation. That day, described above, is few and far between yet nobody knows because he or she has become good at faking it. He or she has gotten good at covering because they know the right amount of medicine to take, alcohol to drink or drugs to snort, swallow or shoot; to appear functioning. Reality is, they are living in a prison within their own mind. And things posted on social media is a trigger but they won’t say anything. Listening to folk joke and laugh about RKelly is a trigger but they won’t say nothing. Let me be clear, they have the status already typed out, in the notes on their phone, and it ends in #metoo but they won’t share it.

You want to know why? They don’t want the look of pity. They don’t want the insensitive question of, “why did you wait so long to tell it?” They don’t want their post to go viral with all the negative comments people, who’ve never gone through their pain, will make. So, they suffer alone. They get up and preach, while suffering alone. They pray for folk, while suffering alone. They come when you call but suffer alone. They honor your cash app for $8, while suffering alone. They teach your children, they handle your finances, they clean your house, they change the oil in your car, they run business meetings, launch small businesses, post happy selfies and congratulate you on your success … while they suffer alone. I don’t know who you are, ma’am or sir and neither do I know what you’re suffering with but I’m praying for you. I’ve never been the victim of abuse but I’m praying for you. I’m praying for your release. I’m praying to God, who is mighty to heal you, if you’ll let Him because I know, it isn’t your time to die. God allowed you to sleep off the effects of the sleeping pills, when they should have killed you, because it wasn’t your time. The gun jammed because it wasn’t your time to die. And now, I’m praying for you. Jesus, before His time on earth had come, He prayed to God for those He was sent to save. His prayer is now my prayer, to God, for you. Dear God, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” Amen. – John 17:15

Daily Devotional – 11/15/16 “May the God of hope …”

As the holidays approach, a time when families should be happy, there are a lot of you who are anything but. The majority of you are stressed, overworked, underappreciated, depressed, suicidal and on the verge of throwing in the towel. Some of you are grieving and have been for so long that you don’t even know how else to be. Some of you are still trying to figure out how you ended up here, again. You’re looking for a way out yet you’re fearful of trying the way maker. You’re trying to make ends meet and they aren’t even close. And still thinking of a way to tell the children they can’t get what they want this year either. Contemplating check advances and title loans when you’re already in over your head. And for what? To cut thanksgiving dinner short to stand in a line to buy something your children probably won’t appreciate and you don’t need. Yes, this may be the first or tenth holiday without your loved one but in the midst of grieving, don’t forget to live.

Listen, I don’t know what you’re dealing with ma’am. I don’t know what you’re toiling with sir. I don’t know what you’re fighting about or why you’re crying. I don’t know what’s causing your sleepless nights or your dark days. However, I do know that better days are possible. I don’t have to quote scriptures because you can probably recite them all but when will you start believing in them. I don’t have to tell you that God is right there, you know this but when will you start to trust Him? Yes, I get it because I, too, used to dread the holidays. It seemed like every black Friday I would be temporarily out of funds while trying to scrape together enough money to get the children something but I’ve lived long enough now to realize, just waking up is enough for me and if I put my hands in God’s hands, He’ll blow my mind. And get this, I don’t need the details, I simply need the blessing. So to you, whomever you are, who are in the dark place of life right now, I need you to know this … “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” —Romans 15:13