a long time coming

God breaks you before he can use your greatly. it took me so much time to see the truth to that. here is a little background on what i am about to say.

my mom passed away in 2006 of cancer. she was a woman of complete faith and trust in the Lord.

i remember it like it was yesterday.

Florida. it was december. chilly. raining. nightime. we were going to be meeting up with some people from our church in a couple of hours to go prepare some bag lunches so we could take them downtown and pass them out to the homeless men, women, and children. before we left, i thought it would be a good idea to take some jackets that i didnt wear. i found about 3 or 4 of them. i put them in the car and off we went to meet up with the other church members. after getting all of the bags in order, we headed downtown. we pulled up by 4 or 5 more vans and got out. opened up the trunk that had blankets, the trunk that had clothing, and the trunk that had bath supplies. i was in the car that had the lunches. it was still raining and cold so we stood underneath the nearest backdoor or umbrella that we could find. the men and women started showing up with some kids, and we began to do what we were there to do. “I thank God for people like you and hope to turn my life around so that I may return the favor to other people,” a man said to me. i didnt know what to say. I think i said the typical, “I will pray for you, and bless you,” which had no follow through on my part. As i was standing there, i noticed my mom who was over by the trunk with the clothing. in my excitement i saw a man trying on one of the jackets that i brought. i stayed where i was and just watched. it made me sad to see that the jacket didnt fit the man. my mom was still talking with him. it was in one moment that my life would be changed forever, and the reason being wouldnt be revealed until later on down the road. noticing that the jacket didnt fit him, she took off her jacket and gave it to him. selflessly, she gave him her jacket knowing that she would be freezing cold, but would soon return to a warm home.

i say all of this because she – even though she is no longer present – had the faith that i want to wholeheartedly live out. she knew that she was dying and yet she was at peace with God. she had faith in Him. her love reflected in countless ways. she submissively gave herself to God. “Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that God will.”

why did it take something so hard, and so sad as losing my mother for me to find my faith? i think that God was preparing me for His future plan which He is still doing on a daily basis with each of our lives.

wherever you are in your life, there is a God that loves you, and a God that will do anything for you, and has done one of the most selfless things for us. we must not lose sight that the same God that clothed Adam and Eve in their sin and vulnerability, clothed us in our nakedness.

we were created to love and to be loved. show love to those around you today. it could be in a letter, or a phonecall, or a conversation. you may not like that person, or completely agree with that person. but we are called to love everyone with all of our hearts. we were created to be in communion with one another hourly. daily. weekly. monthly. yearly. if we want to be unified in Christ, it must first start with our family. if you are at school, and your family is far away, join together with your church family. we must build one another up in encouragement and in an understanding. we are all on the same path to try and find our way back to God. we need to meet each other where we are and work towards allowing God’s kingdom to grow. it is then that we can begin to work out of love and service to those outside of the church. we can have all of the greatest ideas of how to build a better community, but if we dont do anything about it, nothing will come out of it. we must put our ideas to action, even if they fail. if they fail, try again. fix it. i get so tired of talking about living out my faith. i must go and do. actions speak louder than words. St. Francis of Assisi says “Preach often, and when necessary, use words.” and that is where i am going to leave off. it is not about me. it isn’t even about you truthfully. it is about God.

You are loved. and you are not alone.

Shalom.

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