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Be Still…

Yesterday had to be one of the roughest days I’ve had in quite a while. Usually I like to write blogs that will encourage and be uplifting. As I spoke with my pastor yesterday he recommended that I blog. I would love it if my life was always rosy and I never had any dark moments; that just isn’t reality. We all have those from time to time, no matter how strong we are.

 As we have all experienced with relationships, there tends to be seasons as well. Recently, it has just felt like a cold, bitter winter at home. Realize the key word is “felt”. The problem was the actions because of the feeling. Another big part of my life ~ my book. The enemy is doing everything possible to discourage me and yesterday I reached the point of ‘why try?’. Yes, your uplifting blogger/author who has written about these times forgot her own words she wrote in her book and previous blogs. Then there’s the J-O-B. There is new management there and going back after being out for a while with a pinched nerve ~ it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right to me anymore. Again, the word ‘feel’ comes into play. On top of all of this my back is keeping me from taking care of a lot of things that need my attention!

Needless to say by the end of the day I was in tears and a wreck. I called Bob Stacy (my pastor) and we spoke. I told him how hard it is for me when I’m doing everything I can and it seems like no one else is doing their part (at least what I think they should be doing). I followed up saying “I don’t know what to do.” Bob replied, “Yeah, what can you do?” The words immediately went through every fiber of my being and out of my mouth ~ “Be Still…”

I seem to constantly be getting this reminder from God through every day trials. When I speak to others I always say “God’s got this!” and it’s repeated back to me over and over. Practice what you preach ~ that’s the lesson. As I continue to write and talk with others about having faith in God more trials come my way testing my own faith. Do I fail? I’m human ~ that’s why I hit the dark spots. That’s also why God puts others around us to help us up when we fall and need that encouragement, compassion, prayer, and even phone hugs. I remembered in James 1:1-2 we’re told to be happy and thankful for the trials. Through the tears I thanked God for the words He sent to me.

 How is everything today? I am much better! I listened when the Holy Spirit gave me the words ~ “Be still…” When things are chaotic, you’re trying your hardest, nothing is turning out as you need/want it to….just be still… You see, after you’ve done everything you can, just be still…leaving the rest up to God and watch what He does.

 I will close by dramatically quoting Psalm 46:10

 “Be still, and know that I…..AM…..GOD;”

 This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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Bumps and Bruises

Growing up as a child my parents found it easier, and cheaper, to buy a pair of crutches for me. If anyone was going to get a broken ankle, sprains, stitches, etc. ~ I’m the one. Actually, Peter has informed me that shins were created to find furniture. So, I can honestly say at my house there are always a lot of bumps and bruises between Peter and myself; not to mention when the grandkids are here! We both have scars from everything from stitches, broken bones and again ~ finding furniture. Luckily, not every scrape has left a scar and not every bump caused bruising; just most of them did.

This reminds me a lot about life itself. Most of the time, the bumps and bruises we have as kids are from playing; there is always a little doctoring and most of them go away. Later in life, we realize that not all bumps and bruises are physical ~ the ones that linger are the ones that hurt the most. These scars are left from words and actions of others. Emotional bruising and scarring, no matter what happened, is the hardest to deal with. Many times because we have survived something we think we’re fine; only to realize years later how these scars have affected our lives many times over. As a survivor of rape and abuse I speak from experience. It wasn’t until I realized I haven’t dealt with it did the healing begin.

Now the question, how do we heal from deep emotional scarring? Step #1 ~ forgive. What? Forgive someone who did that/said that to me? Yes. Forgive. Read in the Bible and you will see over and over where Jesus tells us to forgive. It’s not an option. You need to realize that when you hold onto anger, bitterness, etc. the damage that it does to you physically as well  can be devastating. Forgiveness is for us, not the ones who caused the damage. They go about their everyday life while you sit around hurt as a ‘victim’. Once you have forgiven your status will change from ‘victim’ to ‘VICTOR’!

Also, remember that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. That’s what He’s there for; for you. Step #2 ~ pray. (Ok, so step #1 and 2 are linked together.) Ask Jesus to help you forgive and give this battle to Him. Paraphrasing here, but in Matthew Jesus tells us to come to Him and he will give us rest. As a child, the most comforting feeling was in Mama’s arms. We’ve all experienced that. As a child of God, the time you feel that same peace is when you go to Him, cry on His shoulder, and let Him do the healing.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

The Bed Went Boom

Not too long ago my husband and I decided it was time for a new bed since we were both getting backaches from the old one. I found a beautiful bed on Craigslist for a decent price and the individual said she would include the mattress which wasn’t that old either. Wow, I thought I struck gold! Needless to say, the mattress wasn’t going to be around long after seeing it. The headboard and footboard though, they were absolutely gorgeous! As we were putting the bed together my husband informed me that the small boards on the side were NOT going to hold the weight. After deliberation we decided to try it out. After it was all put together with the mattress he sat down on it….all was well and looking good. Wait for it….yes, you guessed right. I decided to join him and sat on it and the bed went boom!!! He looked at me and smiled and said “Exactly when are you starting at the gym?” A few slaps later we turned and looked around and the bed was literally falling apart. The sides had come out of their groove and the headboard was leaning in and one of the posts looked as if it was going to fall any moment. We immediately got up and fixed the frame and proceeded to sleep in the living room that night.

The next day we headed out to get a new mattress set. Peter had mentioned building a frame for it to go inside of the bed frame. I then told him we were going to get a metal king size mattress frame meant to hold the mattresses and not take another chance. A few hours later the new mattress set and metal frame was delivered to the house. Peter used some L brackets and screwed the sideboards into the headboard and footboard of the bed for extra security. Once the bed frame was secured we put in the metal frame and mattresses and enjoyed a wonderful night of rest.

It reminded me a lot of our lives and how weak we are without God. Our lives are like the bed frame, looks beautiful other than minor scratches here and there and we think we’re doing well. Add some weight on and we’re still standing; a little more, yes we’re good because we’re still standing what we think as strong. I mean, if we haven’t fallen we must be ok. Then just one more thing and we break and fall to pieces. We look around and somehow our life has fallen apart.

It is at this point that most people realize they can’t do it on their own ~ they need God. That strength that comes with a guarantee like the mattress metal frame. So, we have what is needed to become strong in this whirlwind of life. With each trial we go through that we continue to have faith in Him throughout each storm, it’s another screw tightened in to increase the strength.

If life was as easy as to become saved and live happily ever after we wouldn’t see our need to have faith in Him. Throughout our trials we are blessed to experience His hand in our lives and we realize that alone we aren’t strong at all ~ but with Jesus at our side we have the strength to endure and He will be there for us ~ we just have to ask.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Casualties of War

Where do I begin with this one… I was sitting at my computer with my grandchildren in the living room watching TV. I heard my son come in and ask “Where is Mama? Where is Grandma?” I told him I was in the office. He came in and said “Can I have a hug?” in a whispery tone that was hard to understand him and I looked up and saw my son with tears streaming down his face as he was reaching for me. I stood up and held him as he cried telling me he didn’t know if he could take anymore. As a mother my instinct was to hold on and not let go ~ and we didn’t for a brief while. We then stepped out onto the back porch and talked. His heart was breaking due to his separation and upcoming divorce. There is no greater pain than to see your child in pain, no matter how old they are, and yet there’s nothing you can do or say that will make it better.

My son is an Iraq Veteran and I’m proud of him. I am blessed and grateful that he did come home; but, he didn’t come home the same. The issues he had from what he had gone through has taken his life and turned it upside down. He used to be real outgoing and love crowds whereas now, he can’t be in a large crowd without an anxiety attack. As his marriage was falling apart he finally went for some counseling and was diagnosed with PTSD, and praise God they gave him some medication that allows him to stay calmer.

 When he came to me the other day it took every ounce of strength I had to hold it together until after he left. I truly broke down myself and thought back to when I had reached that breaking point. On September 7, 2008, I had a seizure and fell down the stairs resulting in a compound and burst fracture of L5. After the results of an MRI telling me I couldn’t have back surgery because it was too dangerous I left a message for Rick Curren, III. I had worked for him in the medical field and knew his knowledge was vast and trusted his advice. What this meant was that I would be off of work for 2 months at least. I remember crying telling Rick that I was scared of losing my house. It was his response that made the impact. Not only did Rick remind me it was just a house and this was my health but the vital part was reciting the 23rd Psalm and going over the meaning of every line in it. I then felt a sense of peace.

 About 5 years earlier my mother’s Pastor told us that if you’re ever scared recite the 23rd Psalm 5 times a day. I went home that night and realized I couldn’t remember it after all these years. I took out my Bible and started reading it out loud. The first time was to remind myself of the words, I made it through the second time; but, about halfway through the third time I broke down crying turning to Jesus the way my son turned to me. I must add, I have never been the same since for it was at that very moment I felt His presence and went from being just a believer to having a relationship with Him.

 You see, even though my son made it home he still fights battles every day ~ we all do. Whether as a Veteran, survivor of rape and/or abuse, addiction, the list goes on and on. We all are casualties of some kind of war or another. When my son came to me for comfort after all of these years it gave me a glimpse into how Jesus felt when I came home to him that night. No matter what war you are facing ~ Jesus is waiting to give you His sense of peace ~ all you have to do is ask.

 

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Rise Up!

Demons ~ we all have them ~ memories of the past that tend to resurface themselves every now and then without notice or probable cause. There’s no logical reason that these ghosts tend to bury themselves in the subconscious and show their ugly faces. On the other hand, spiritually speaking it makes total sense. The enemy attacks each of us through our thoughts, especially when it’s time to do God’s work. The last couple of days I found myself in a deep, dark place emotionally. Something happened within the last few months that also caused old demons to resurface. It was within family so the hurt was intense, just as it was a long time ago. When someone you trust betrays you, considering the source doesn’t make it hurt any less. Others see it going on and you wonder why no one stands up and defends you, leaving you feeling alone. Now that Mama’s passed away I don’t have that rock to talk to which gave me comfort; making the emptiness inside overwhelming.

 

Throughout these last two months there have been a few family members who have talked with me and guided me. At one point someone said “It’s not my fight.” True, it wasn’t, but I didn’t have what it took this time. This comment came to mind the other night and my feelings went from feeling alone to the question “Whose fight is it?” Conclusion: God’s. See, I didn’t ask for all of this to happen and am a firm believer that God has directed my life. In fact, the other day there was a girl at work that shared a traumatic event in her younger years and how it affects her still. My first question was “Have you forgiven this person?” Oh my, these words rung out loud last night as I was sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee and watching the thunderstorm.

 

As I sat there I started talking with God for the first time within these dark hours. I told Him that I do forgive them for what they did but it still hurts. I also told Him I was giving these battles to Him to fight. A few tears and a few hours later I felt peace for the first time in 48 hours. Before the night was over I went back on the porch and the first four lines of a poem came to me. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that was God talking so I grabbed pen and paper. He always tends to talk to me when I’m finally silent; it was 3:30 a.m. and my world was still. This was more confirmation of the verse Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…” I consider this poem as a letter from God, not just to me but for anyone who has and still is dealing with these demons. May if give you a sense of peace and comfort.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

The day is not yet done,

You’re not defeated, just feeling weak,

There’s a battle to be won!

The scars will heal and remind you

How strong you were this day,

Overcoming trials against all odds,

Nothing gets in your way.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

These nightmares of your past

Haunt you, scare you, but never forget

Nothing is meant to last.

The pain is felt and your heart pounds hard,

Caught up in the waves of the storm.

Hold on with might, hold one with hope,

For tomorrow comes a new morn.

 

Rise up and claim your victory!

Claim it in His name!

Open yourself to feel the wings of His angels,

Watch the raging sea become tame.

Quit fighting your battles all alone,

Let Him fight these demons for you.

Lie down and rest, give it all to Him,

This simple task is by far the hardest to do.

 

Rise up and claim His victory!

When you called He calmed the seas.

He healed the scars and dried the tears,

Humbly thank Him while on your knees.

Life goes on, today will be forgotten,

You’ll live each day doing what you will.

Remember He is always there for you.

He claimed victory when crucified on that hill.

 

DeVaughn Rosendahl

9/4/2014

 

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

 

 

 

You Wouldn’t Understand!!!

“You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said or heard this? If I had a dollar for each time I’d be retired instead of tired. 🙂 Then again, there are those who say “I understand…” and have no clue because they have never experienced what you’re going through. I know after living with ‘invisible’ disabilities I have found myself in positions that I have to attempt to explain a lot and still others just can’t understand.

You see, we can all understand what it’s like to have a headache, the loss of a loved one, etc. but there are a lot of things we can ‘think’ we understand and truly don’t. Talk to a former war veteran and say you understand what they’re feeling and look at the expression they have then. If you’ve never been to war you couldn’t grasp the slightest clue to what it’s like and the nightmares they will live with. Rape, abuse, neglect ~ these are other categories that unless you’ve been there don’t say you understand. With that being said we all need to remember that everything is said in context. For example, there are those who think they have been neglected vs. those who truly have been.

Throughout the Holidays many people feel alone and get truly depressed. They are by themselves or possibly family issues from the past so holidays are hard. For some it’s going through another holiday season without someone they love. Many times we try to be encouraging to others when we see their pain and then go to enjoy a feast with our own loved ones. I know I can relate to this when my son was in Iraq, my family in Florida and me on top of a mountain in western North Carolina and I was single. I finally found that if I went ahead and put up a Christmas tree and played my Christmas music I felt better even though I was alone.

There is one person who does understand the feeling of being alone ~ Jesus. Yes, the Son of God truly understands that feeling. Think about it. Even though He had many followers He had only a few close friends, and even one of those betrayed Him and gave Him to the Roman soldiers for money. His ‘friends’ were nowhere to be found through His worst time and his closest friend denied even knowing him. So when you feel like no one understands ~ Jesus does. He understands feeling alone, being abandoned and mocked and ridiculed as well!

If you are someone who can help someone feel less alone, take that step. Trust me, the Holidays can be hard and I know what it’s like to wish someone would ask you over just so you wouldn’t have to be alone again. If you are someone who is alone ~ I do understand. Not that that helps you feel any better but I can tell you what will. Talk with Jesus. Spend your alone time with Him and getting to know Him better ~ for not only is He listening to you and will help you through ~ but He does understand.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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