Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little Encouragement...

There are times when things in life become so hard, that it seems not even God can help you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, because there is absolutely nothing too hard for God, and His Word promises that He will deliver the righteous from all of their afflictions. (Psalm 34:19) I don’t know what hardships you may be facing today, but I do know that God’s strength, grace, mercy, and power will help you overcome. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve suffered, how low you may be, how intense the struggle, or what the enemy is whispering in your mind, God will bring you through.

The very same God who parted the Red Sea to rescue the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army, will make a way for you to overcome the enemy (Exodus 14).

Jesus Christ, who abundantly fed the multitude with two fish and five loaves, will abundantly provide for you and your family (Mark 6:35-44).

Our powerful Savior, who raised Lazarus from the dead, will resurrect those areas within you that are lifeless (John 11:1-40).

Our merciful Lord, who graciously forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery, will pardon you of your sins and wipe your slate clean (John 8:1-11).

He is the same, yesterday, today, and forevermore. If He did it back then, He can surely do it again. God has the solution to any problem you’re facing right now. All is not lost; God will help you overcome. Trust His strength; trust His wisdom; trust His timing; obey His word; keep the faith, and watch Him bring you through.

Be encouraged, my sweet friends! ♥

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Tuesday: My Personal Gratitude

I love the Thanksgiving Holiday!  It always puts me in a mindset of extreme gratefulness, and my heart has been bubbling over with gratitude these past few days.  I am especially appreciative this Thanksgiving, because the current season of my life has been quite difficult.

When my husband and I lost our baby at 14 weeks pregnant on September 11th, I thought there was no way I'd recover from such a trauma. I remember the numbness I felt while sitting in the examination room after seeing my sweet baby lying lifeless inside my womb.  I'll never forget that tormented me in my sleep.  Every time I closed my eyes, it was only thing I sweet baby baby just lying there. The pain from such loss, the depression, and anxiety took me to such a low place that for weeks, most of my days were spent drowning in tears.

I felt helpless.

I felt hopeless.

I felt forsaken.

I felt weak.

I felt deep sorrow.

I felt empty.

I felt broken.

I couldn't eat.

I couldn't sleep.

I couldn't speak.

I couldn't pray.

I couldn't write.

I couldn't smile.

I couldn't interact with my family.

I descended deep into a pit of despair, and honestly began to believe that it was over for me.  Of all of the challenging situations I'd overcome, this one had knocked me completely off my feet.  My internal world was upside down...chaotic...nothing made sense.  If I'm truly honest, for a moment, I was angry with God.  I couldn't understand why He'd allow something so heartbreaking to happen.  I couldn't figure out what I'd done to deserve such pain.

No one knew my raw one saw my inner one witnessed my emotional breakdown.  No one.  But God.

When I hid the true depths of my pain from those who came to comfort and console me, He saw it all.  He felt it all.  He understood it all.

He took the mess that I'd become and cleaned it up.  He wiped my tears.  He calmed my fears.  He broke the forming chains of mental and emotional turmoil, and commanded me, His daughter, to rise up from the ashes.  He breathed breath into my lifeless soul, strengthened my buckling knees, mended my shattered heart, and rescued my crushed spirit.   He. Healed. Me.




I stand today immeasurably stronger than I was almost three months ago. The pain did not destroy me, but it has propelled me further into my destiny.

I could have drowned.

I could have been consumed.

I could have lost my mind.

I could have...I should have...I would have...but because of God's grace, I didn't.  Praise God!

This is my personal gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for?

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT~

Monday, November 19, 2012

Find the Lessons in the Pain

A few days ago, I took to my Facebook page to share my heart with my friends in regards to how I was feeling, as that particular day marked eight weeks after experiencing one of the most traumatic situations I’ve ever encountered.
Here’s what I posted:
It's been 2 months since the devastating loss of our sweet pea, and what a journey to restoration and healing it has been. I am grateful that the Lord's grace has sustained us through it all, and continues to be the glue that holds us together through all of life's unexpected changes. Though this has been a tough season for me, I would not trade it for the way I've grown closer to the Lord and increased in faith, strength, wisdom, and prayer. I've learned so much over the past two months - about life, God, myself, my marriage, purpose, grace, and the list goes on. I'll share a few with you...
1. There is no pain deeper than the power of God's ability to heal.
2. I am much stronger than I think.
3. Broken does not mean destroyed.
4. Struggle reveals the strength of a marriage.
5. I have an extremely amazing husband who adores me and deeply cares about my well-being.
6. Living in obedience to God's plan of purpose will sometimes lead you through the valley of the shadow of death, but you will not die. It's only a shadow, and is cast away by the light of God's love. His light will lead you through the valley.
7. The glory will far exceed the grief.
8. The Word of the Lord is a refreshing spring of living water that revitalizes a thirsting soul.
9. Though life may knock you down, with God, you'll rise again.
10. Your despair does not discount your destiny.
I continue to heal. God continues to shower me with grace. I continue to trust in Him. He continues to prove His faithfulness. The journey continues...
God is steadily restoring, rebuilding, and refreshing me as I journey on in recovering from the pain, loss, and heartache this season has brought upon my life.  Though I could’ve allowed myself to become bitter and angry with God, I choose to be brave and look deep into the pain to find the lessons and wisdom I can gain.  Furthermore, I’ve made the choice to apply those lessons to my life as I continue to move forward in fulfilling God’s purpose for me, and to share the wisdom I gain along the way with others.  For me, that’s what the current challenges of my life inspire me to do.  Click here to read the rest.
Follow this link to read my latest contribution to Womanhood With Purpose blog.
Grace & Peace!

Friday, November 16, 2012

God Loves YOU

It's been a couple of months since I've blogged, but tonight I feel compelled to revisit and revise an old blog post to share with you.  It's a message about how God loves us so unconditionally, that even though He already knew we'd be imperfect people, He still chose us to be His children...His daughters.  Isn't it so comforting and refreshing to know that in spite of how flawed we may be, our Heavenly Father sees us as His perfect creation and loves us with an everlasting, ever-increasing, ever-faithful love?  I can't explain why He loves us so, but I'm mighty grateful that He does.  I pray that this ministers to your heart, and reminds you that despite your shortcomings, you are loved and chosen by God.

"Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."  

Long before the creation of the world, God knew you, He loved you, and He chose you.  Long before you were ever conceived in your mother's womb, the Lord loved you and chose you as His own.  He already knew about the mistakes you'd make, yet He loved you.  He already knew about the struggles you'd have, yet He still chose you. He already knew you'd slip up and fall down, yet it still gave Him great pleasure to love you and have you as His child.

I don't know who this is for, but know that God's love for you is not contingent upon how good you are, how pretty you are, how educated you are, how wealthy you are, or any other quality you may or may not is an unconditional, uncircumstantial, untainted, perfect love.  There's nothing you can do to gain it, and there's nothing you can do to lose it, because nothing can separate you from His love.  God loves you; in all of your imperfection, He chose you.  Why?  Simply because that's what He wanted to do.

Through the blood of His son Jesus Christ, He sees you faultless...a perfect reflection of Himself.  He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

In your pain...God loves you.

In your shame...God loves you.

In your insecurities...God loves you.

In your guilt...God loves you.

In your mistakes...God loves you.

In your brokenness...God loves you.

Embrace the Father's love for you. Enjoy the song posted below...

~May you live in His love.~

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Get Daily Inspiration from LaKeisha Rainey-Collins

Need a little "Beauty In Your Day"?  I will deliver it straight to your email!  Day-to-day life can get a bit ugly at times, and it can be a challenge to really see the beauty of it all.  Well, my friends, I am here to help you focus on the goodness that each day to add a little sunshine to your day.  Would you like that?  If so, click the link below to subscribe to my daily newsletter.  I know it will be a blessing to your life!

Looking forward to sharing with you!

-LaKeisha Rainey-Collins

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