Rest But No Sleep

How many of us have had times when we could not sleep. Sometimes it was because of stress, worry, or pain. Many times it may be because of resentment, lack of forgiveness, and discontentment with our situation of life.

God can give us rest without sleep because sometimes sleep will be withheld to give us a quiet time with God. Scripture says in Matthew 11 28–30

“Come unto me all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke and learn from me. I am gentle and humble and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy to bear and my burden is light”

When reading this passage, I see that Jesus is not offering rest to everyone. He is telling us specifically who he is talking to. He did not say come rich, come powerful people, come wise, or come fools. This was a special offer to the weary. I think Jesus knew the circumstances where we would seek rest. He knew he needed words of life for those who are in the struggle

Rest  is a spiritual gift whereas  sleep is a physical condition. God gives us rest when we come to him and give him our burdens. It seems such an uneven exchange – Burdens for rest. But he is accustomed to uneven exchanges for he exchanged our sin for the gift of  eternal life. Also in the scripture, he is asking that we learn of him. Then he tells us what we will learn. How many teachers give us a test and then tell us the answer. But in the passage, Jesus does just that. He said exactly what you will learn ” I am gentle and humble and you will find rest for yourself” Jesus offers us rest but we must seek it with open eyes. He will not show it. It is up to us to find it. We can find it in the beautiful sunrise and sunset, in the quiet sounds of the night, and in the chirping of the birds. When we acknowledge all of creation and see it as our gift from God, we experience rest. In verse 30 it says ” my yoke is easy and my burden is light” The dictionary defines yoke as a wooden cross piece that is fastened over the neck of two animals and attached to the plow. When I read this Jesus is saying as long as you are attached(yoked) to me, I will pull you along with virtually no effort from you. It is the attachment (yoke) to him that gives rest.

It says “my yoke is easy my burden is light. Look at the word light. When Jesus said my burden is light it did not refer to the extent or weight of the burden but that Jesus burden gives us light because he exchanges our burdens for his light.

Jesus had no burdens because he had no sin!  He bore our burdens to give us light and with light we can experience rest!

Yes rest might not  always brings sleep but rest will give us a spiritual experience that will usher in the peace that goes beyond understanding

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New Love-New Season

Wedding Day!! Cake was great!!
First date, July 25, 2016
Thanksgiving 2016

Well it is difficult to belief but on January 22nd, 2017 I was married!! I don’t know how things happened so swiftly but I somehow think Scott’s prayers had a part in this occurrence.  His name is Mike and he and I went to high school together.  One day out of the blue, I messaged his brother on Facebook asking about him. Eventually, we got together and went on our first date July 25th, 2016. This was exactly one year after Scott passed away. Our relationship has been going full speed ever since we met. He too is my best friend and we have great times together. God has opened many doors for us that is amazing to me. He is a counselor and minister–Yes, Scott was too. He is loving and fun. Many times in living with him, I see so many similarities as to Scott–especially how he loves me!! No I am not trying to replace Scott with Mike because they are soo different, but I am enjoying this season just as much as I enjoyed the season with Scott.

I remember, right after Scott’s transition, I would thank God every day for allowing me to minister to His man of God. I was grateful to God for the opportunities he gave me to serve Scott–even through his sickness. I found a greater appreciation for life and a greater hope for future. I had accepted that Scott was gone and I would possibly be without a husband for the the rest of my life. Then I prayed and asked God for another opportunity at love, and God gave it to me and I am ever so grateful. I believe the key to getting our prayers answered with our hearts desires is to be grateful and thankful for how things are at the moment.  Yes I did miss Scott and was sad because he died and left me alone but I never ceased from being grateful for having that opportunity to live with him and enjoy him for 14 years of his life. I still think of Scott today but they are thoughts of love and appreciation. I realize God had an appointed time for him to transition to heaven and for me to start anew with Mike. I believe if you are God’s child, you cannot stop His plan for your life. As you submit to God, it will be revealed that God”s ways will, in the long run, be better than yours. In the mist of grief, we sometimes don’t see it, but just keep living and when you occasionally look back, you will see that everything is exactly the way it is suppose to be at that moment in time.

Yes, I have a second chance at love!! I appreciate the journey and embrace my new season!!

My Journey Podcast

A few months ago, I was asked to share my journey through grief and loss with a podcast sponsored by Colon Cancer Alliance. It was an honor to preserve Scott’s memory online. I believe my journey is purposeful and I believe I am used by God to fulfill purpose. As we travel the journey of life we must look to each situation as if it was “school”. reflecting on  what am I learning today and how can I use the experience to help others.

Fill free to share!

My Journey

A Special Date

November 17th  would have been Scott’s birthday. As I reflect on the past year and a half that he has been gone I can see God has done amazing things in my life. I am able to move forward in another relationship that is quite fulfilling however there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Scott. The time we were together was amazing. I am sure that God placed us together for that season and I realize that there is no season that does not end.

Yes I am human and sometimes I wonder why so much sickness -why so much pain-Then I am reminded that life for all of us consists of things we don’t understand and experiences we don’t like however when we are grateful for the experiences we do like and place all the other experiences in God’s hands it makes for smooth sailing in life. Yes I do miss Scott but I do understand that the transition was needed to move me forward to the next level. I know Scott is in a much better place with no pain and suffering. He is at home with the Lord and today I am OK with that.

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Moving Forward

As I get my luggage out to pack for my week of training next week, I come across some memories of when I was caring for Scott before he passed on July 28,2015. Memories over flood me and I become a bit teary-eyed amid my reflections. One thing I know about Scott was that he loved me very much. Even through his sickness he showed much love, patience and strength. He had a relationship with God like none other. He was strong in his belief and he never complained about his circumstance. I loved having the opportunity to take care of him. To take him to the doctor, to make the appointments, to just do everything I could to make sure he was comfortable. I know in my heart that was what my purpose was at that time. And I am so grateful to have been chosen for that purpose.

Today,  I am starting a new season with new goals and new purpose. I will always have a place for Scott in my heart and I am grateful to God to be able to love again. The person in my life now loves me and it feels so good to be truly loved again. It is my prayer to continue to walk in God’s purpose and to do his will as I travel this winding road of life.img_3045

Grateful

Grateful! I am ever so grateful today!  Grateful for what I’ve been through where I am now and grateful for where I am going. God has given me a vision and the ability to take a sneak peek into what he has in store for me. The things God has for us is more than we imagine but those things will manifest  in the spiritual ream before appearing in the physical. The past season has taught me many things. It’s taught me love, patience, how to be connected spiritually to another, the joy of life and living, and the depth of prayer.  This season is all about an attitude of gratitude and the power of faith. Yes faith brings into existence what you were dreaming and faith can be the evidence of powerful actions or events to come. When faith is fully ignited,  challenges and uncertainty will appear and that is expected.  Because without challenges,  we would not recognize the miracles.

Yes my past season was great however this season is powerful. In this season I see through the eyes of faith and choose to experience the divine will of God.

Couples

Oh I just love couples. To see them out and about in daily life. Holding hands, gazing in each other’s eyes, having conversation, smiling and having fun. There is nothing like it. Many have not experienced the genuine love of another as a spouse, husband, wife or lover. The connection is like none other. Yes, there are disagreements and conflict, but when you are truly connected that is quickly forgotten and you move on to the next thing to be experienced together. That is the way it was with my husband, Scott, and the way it is with many of you and your mate. The difficulty is when that person is removed from you through death that you not only feel a longing for your mate, but a connection to others that are in a similar situation. The connection with your spouse has ended and you feel so alone but are we really alone? No, we have each other to lean on – the ones who are left behind to carry the torch of hope to those experiencing this disconnect afresh. Yes, I just love couples—however, I am ever reminded that one day the two will suddenly become one and that one will need a friend that fully understands the pain!

Year One-Reflection

A year ago today Scott was getting out of the hospital and going to a rehab center. They had told him at the hospital that there was nothing they could do about his condition. We did not accept that so I got him in a rehab center believing that he would get stronger so he could have the surgery he needed to recover. I remember his therapist Jason would come get him and take him to do his therapy.
He was so frail but he still tried so hard. I remember watching him go through the therapy and a few times he was able to take steps of course with the assistance of the rail and Jason. I was so proud. I remember once he was telling one of the therapist how I was pushing him too hard and I needed to back off. Which I did. He was there for about two weeks before I finally accepted that he may need to go into hospice care. I remember when the hospice nurse and I came to speak to him and he told me to leave the room so he could speak to the nurse alone. She stayed in there with him for about 30 minutes explaining the process and answering his questions. When she came out of the room to speak to me she shared with me that he said to her ” does she really need to know what was going on?” He was trying to protect me. I told him that I knew what was going on and my strength came from all the prayers that he prayed for our peace. Then he said something that I thought was really sweet. He said “Renee you really surprise me”
I will never forget those two weeks in rehab. He was unable to do anything for himself but when the nurse aide would change the bed and clean him up he would give his favorite nurse aide a “high five “-raising hands and touching as if to say “you did good !
I remember one day A lady was in the room cleaning and I walked in and as usual I greeted him and said cheerfully “hey baby “. He immediately looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and said in a whisper because at this time he did not have a lot of strength, “Renee you did not speak to her?’ at that point I smiled and said hello to the lady cleaning the room. Scott always considered others and I learned a lot from him during the time we had together.
He was my teacher, my companion, my spiritual advisor, my husband, and friend .
If he was here right now and speaking to us at this moment he would say do not be sad for he has completed his journey and is experiencing life with the Father!

The Blind Date

Today was my first blind date. We had conversation and lunch that lasted from 11 AM to 4 PM. I was not even thinking about how or what it would lead to until three hours into the encounter he said that I would be placed on the friends because I was not “obedient” enough in that I did not allow him to take the lead . You see I made a decision about whether to sit in the wheel chair or the chair in the restaurant .
He indicated it was ok about switching chairs since I did not want to do it initially . But I changed the seat because I recognized it was a better choice. Because he said it was ok and I decided to move anyway .. I guess that was not obeying. Strange … Another example is that he wanted me to wait in front of the store while he went to his vehicle to pick me up. I told him I would rather row through the parking lot with him because I like wheeling around and getting exercise with my arms. I rolled quite a distance to the vehicle and he never offered to push me. That was ok and we still had good conversation but I found out that was another way I did not follow his lead .

So after three hours he told me I was on his friends list because he wants a women to follow his lead. But for me I knew he was on my friends list after 30 minutes. Let me tell you how I knew.
1. When he saw me he did not reference my appearance by saying I looked nice
( I know I looked nice– I will attach a pic)
2. We sat in Barnes & Noble for two hours right in front of the café and he never asked me if I wanted anything to drink
3. He talk more about himself and did not appear to be interested in learning anything about me
4. He did not offer to pay for my meal.

To be honest I enjoyed the experience and I would not change anything. If he calls, I will talk with him because of course I am on his friends list. 😀Really, I do consider anyone a friend that respects me and can share conversation even when we disagree. I probably won’t bore you with the details of all my dates but it did indeed serve as a distraction from thinking about Scott. I know his spirit was with me all the way. I do understand that I will never find anyone that will live up to the way I was treated by Scott … But I don’t think it too much to expect a genuine compliment and an offer of a glass of water. I’m just saying😀

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I Want to be Free!

Well it is coming up to one year since Scott’s transition and I can honestly say my sadness comes more now than before . I am getting lonely and talking to a guy for companionship and this is soo scary to me. Before I met Scott I was lonely and really desperate for love. Would have never dream it would work out that we grew as lovers and friends . Funny, we never know the end from the beginning. And if we could see the end , we would not have to exercise faith and we probably would not grow. Today I asked God to make me free.
Free from wondering if there is a relationship on the horizon. Free from the desire to talk with someone of the opposite sex and they tell me I am beautiful … Free to just accept the men God puts in my life with no expectation and no comparisons .. Free to accept intimacy without guilt. God today I just want to be free!! As I pin these words I feel and see the chains of bondage release me to walk in the sunlight of the spirit!!