Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let it be revisited...

Every time I write a post, I sit down at the computer and pray for two things. First, that God will give me the words to type so that this will be of Him and not me. And second, that if this is truly what He wants me to be doing he will provide confirmation. The confirmation has been overwhelming. Not only has this been an excellent outlet to release emotional frustrations for me, but I have received so many encouraging words from readers, that it seems that this is actually worth while. At the very least, I am thrilled to have readers that are not listed as my next of kin on medical forms.

This morning, I received a comment from a friend on last night’s post. She suggested that I take a listen to Kris Allen’s version of “Let It Be.” Not being an American Idol fan, I had never heard of Kris Allen (my apologies). It is well done and worth a listen. But, while watching, what struck me were the images of Haiti in the background. I think that this just brings the idea of turmoil in our lives back to the forefront. However, this time the turmoil is not internal but external.

So often we focus on the negatives within our own lives. I am the first to admit guilt. After all, I am the one who has spent the last six months writing blog posts about getting over those negatives. But when we turn to look at the turmoil in other’s lives, that which is internal seems rather microscopic.I mean, I was not personally affected by an earthquake on January 13th, or even on February 28 in Chili. I am not busy trying to figure out how to get out of the tent and into sturdier living arrangements before the flood season and hurricanes arrive. I did not have to jump ten stories off a burning oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Nor, has my lively hood been affected by the oil spill.My home was not destroyed by the Yazoo, Mississippi tornado or the Nashville, Tennessee floods. Some of these tragedies seem so distant because they occurred on foreign soil. But, some of these happened very close to home, perhaps even affecting loved ones. The point is, that regardless of our situation, I am willing to bet that you can always find someone more desperate than yourself. When you view that turmoil from an external point of view, it diminishes the internal anguish.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stated, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”Now, obviously, I am not saying the victims of the disasters I have listed are enemies. But, you can list a few people who you might think of as enemies. Have you ever considered the hardship they have faced within their lives? Is it possible that some of that hardship could have influenced the situation that began your anger toward them? Have you ever examined the life of that ex-spouse and realized that rather than you being the one in need of empathy, compassion or perhaps even pity, it is actually them?

For me, this focus on the external is causing a great need to go help someone else. For several weeks, I have been feeling this need. It started with going to volunteer with the clean up in Gulf Shores. I am currently Google-ing mission trips to Haiti. We will see where this leads. Perhaps, this is something that you may consider. While we can’t be personally responsible for the turmoil – we do need to “let it be”. We can offer support in various forms to those who suffer far more than we do.

The comment and Kris Allen suggestion were made by Lucia Craven via Facebook.

The picture of the Haitian Tent City may be found at Grassrooty is a non-profit organization with the intention of collecting tents for use by earthquake victims.

The picture of the baby is three-day-old premature baby Jessica Thelusma. She rests in a bed made from a cardboard box in the emergency room at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince. You may find the picture and corresponding article at,29409,1989214_2137688,00.html#ixzz0oOPs3BPP

The shrimp boat is taking part in a cleaning operation for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. This picture and article can be viewed at,29409,1987647,00.html#ixzz0oOQ8sHla

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let it Be

I am writing this the night before yet another anniversary. Tomorrow will be two years to the day that my ex-husband and I separated. Six months ago, about the time I began this blog, I would have thought that tomorrow would leave me depressed and longing for some kind of hope. To my utter surprise, I am writing this post with a much different attitude. I now have a spirit of peace about me. As I look to the future, I know it is bright for both me and the toddler. Two years later, with a very peculiar change of thought, I can honestly say that I feel blessed to be divorced.

You see, I have had the opportunity to experience true love and then to have lost it. Because of this, I now have a far better understanding of what it takes to make love last. I look forward to the day that I am again blessed with love as I know that I will offer that love a better home. I have the opportunity to go back and make good on the hope, ambitions and dreams that I “gave up” when I married right out of college. My master’s program is going well (I have a 3.5 GPA). Graduation is still sometime away in December of 2011, but there is a light at the end of that tunnel. There are numerous other “blessings” that have come about because of this divorce. My parents are watching the toddler grow on a daily basis rather than being long distance grandparents. I have made new friends and reunited with old ones which has allowed me to feel God’s presence through caring relationships. I have matured mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The list goes on and on.

Most important, though, I have learned that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. For so long, I had felt as though I could only do things if there was someone else to support me. At first, it was a parent, then friends and finally a husband that I clung to for approval. I now know that the only approval I need is His. With that knowledge, I feel almost invincible. And, truth be told, as long as what I am doing is for Him, I am invincible. No… really… I am. That is what Philippians 4:13 means.

To HIM be the Glory!!

With all that said, when thinking about this post, I kept thinking of a Beatles song. I know, what you are thinking…this is a devotion that is supposed to be related to God and I am using a song by the Beatles. I am well aware the life choices that were / are made by the members of the group and that a lot of those decisions are not in keeping with what one might term a “Christian Lifestyle.” I even know that in an interview John Lennon actually stated that Christianity is dying and that “the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” I am also aware that they were arguably the best musical group to ever exist and it just so happens that they wrote a song that fits perfectly with today’s post. So here goes…

The year was 1968. Johnson was serving his last year as president. The Tet Offensive began in January. On April 4th, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Then on June 5th in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. The Civil Rights Movement and Anti-War demonstrations had reached a fevered pitch. Students were rioting in France. Greece had just experienced a military coup. Israel and all the surrounding countries were trying to blow one another off the planet. Nixon was narrowly elected president in November. It was a rough year. On a slightly lesser historical note, the Beatles were on the verge of breaking up. The group was weathering public divorces, drug charges and arrests, failed movies, and record deals gone bad. Paul McCartney composed “Let It Be” late in 1968 after having a dream of his late mother, Mary. In the dream his mother, who had died when he was just 14, had advised him to let the turmoil go.

The lyrics to "Let it Be:"
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

McCartney was unable to be responsible for all the turmoil of that year both in the world, his band or his life. Ultimately, at some point, we have to “let it be,” too. At some point, we have to relinquish the turmoil that is in our lives. God knew that Paul McCartney, The Beatles, President Johnson, you and I would be unable to bear the burden of turbulence in our lives. That is why He gave us the following:

"Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7

Psalm 46:10 as translated by me, says, “relax and know that God can take care of all the stuff I can’t.” 1 Peter 5:7 as translated by me states “Don’t worry, be happy ‘cuz God loves you a lot.” (That one should be read with a Jamaican accent.) And Psalm 116:7 says, “no matter what you have experienced, or will experience you can rest and find peace in the goodness that is God.” This all may seem a little simplistic, but for me, the only thing left to do is let it – whatever it is – just let it be.