Our Suffering Is Not In Vain

Philippians 3:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;


I have lived in poor neighborhoods infested with crime in inner city Philadelphia among drugs, gangs, and violence. I have lived next door to a meth lab while rearing my four babies. I have also lived next door to a violent cocaine addict who beat his girlfriend. However, I have learned that the scariest place to dwell in is the broken, shattered, human body.

Nothing compares to the fear one feels when the body spins out of control and symptoms seem to play first fiddle in the symphony of every day life. Sometimes the simplest tasks like turning your head to roll out of bed become a dreaded nightmare because the room starts swaying and spinning with you stuck inside a broken brain. Even the easiest tasks become so scary because even if you are mentally fit, physically you are as weak as a newborn kitten, and those tasks become obstacles that seem insurmountable. The physical overrides the mental and you become captive inside the bars of this broken body, willing and trying to break out but stuck and trapped instead.

But, the reality of this is, it’s your own reality. No one else can enter into this prison because they are locked out. Here’s what I said to my friend one day regarding this:

“I think they’ve given up on me as many others have too. It’s hard when we know the reality of our condition but others disregard this reality and make our health a reality that they don’t believe. Therefore, it’s in their thinking not a reality at all but only in our minds. It feels like a nightmare sometimes…..”

Image by Todd Trapani on pexels

I’m well aware that these words feel weighty at the moment but I hope that others who struggle with the VERY real reality of living inside a broken body can relate and know they are not alone.

We are loved by the One who fearfully and wonderfully made us.

He is always with us in every challenge we face.

Nothing is impossible with Him.

Wonderful things await those who love Him.

One day we will be rid of our broken bodies and that means being in the presence of Jesus.

Never ever give up.

Never lose hope.

Jesus cares always and forever.

He gets it.

By His strength and grace we will be set free from these bodies and given new ones in glory.

As believers in Jesus his Spirit dwells inside of us and in our suffering we find true comfort in him. It’s because He suffered so much while here, we too gain deep fellowship with him that nothing but in our suffering can come even close. So really, our suffering is a gift. Simply put; it’s a unique way to have intimate communion with God. It’s hard, yes, but what it’s accomplishing in us is priceless because in our refining we are becoming more like Christ as we grow in faith.

Much love,

Viv 🙏❤

Good News! We Found Work!

Dear readers, my husband secured a job this week at a company close to our home. We praise God for this blessing and for easily opening up this door for our family. We only went without income for seven weeks and yet, so many of you loved on us tangibly which warmed my heart, and helped greatly. I’m blessed beyond words to have such a supportive community here on WordPress……who are my family of brothers and sisters in the Lord.

The last seven weeks have had spiritual ups and downs for sure. While I remained hopeful, I do admit at times I pretended to be okay when I wasn’t. I didn’t want to depress my dear readers or show the community a lack of stability. Maybe I should have been more real as I’ve always been when writing of my brain injury but I felt myself closing up and going into survival mode once again. It’s a bad habit of mine……pretending to be okay while probably obvious to others that I am not. God’s working on me here. I want to be a blessing to this blogging community and not scare anyone away with my messy existence. Yet, I’m learning that showing our weakness always reflects how strong Jesus is and ultimately brings glory unto His name. He is teaching me daily through His word how to remain faithful to Him through not just what I say or do but also in how I think. Our thoughts are important because they reflect what’s in our hearts and consequently directs our actions. I’m learning to seek His face first when troubles hit me and lay my burdens down at His feet. Running to Him when the negative thought processes slam me and drag me down has been such a beautiful comfort and spares others from the domino effects of my venting.

Thank you for prayers on behalf of my family and for the beautiful ones who donated to my blog. You know who you are and I praise God for your love.

Much love,

Viv 💞

With All Your Heart

God’s timing…….why am I always amazed at how the Lord gives my soul comfort at precisely the moment I need it? Sitting in the van today, TBI symptoms flaring and tears starting, the Lord directed me to my favorite bible verse via brother Ryan’s post, ‘In All Your Ways.

Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I was instantly quieted and comforted as I struggled to fight the intense nausea due to an overloaded brain. I went back over twenty years to my grocery store job at Winn Dixie. I remember cutting out of construction paper a red heart and writing out that verse (Proverbs 3:5) on it then taping it up on the glass partition separating me from my customers. My eyes often fell on those words over the long hours while I iced and decorated cakes. I used it to comfort myself in the early days of marriage, growing up in the marriage, and learning the ropes of life. But then, God used my red heart bible verse to encourage others…….others came and told me how it blessed them and gave them hope.

And that verse came back to me again today! Today God whispered to my heart lean not on your OWN understanding. How freeing is this? So completely freeing since I really don’t understand what’s going on in my life or why. I’m free to just trust that God knows and understands not me. His guidance and knowledge is the light that lights my path ahead. I can rest fully in His sovereign care while I have no answers.

He also whispered to my heart in ALL your ways. Not 50%, 75% or even 99%…….ALL of my heart given to the Lord in full surrender and trust. Trusting in His guidance and direction. Trusting in His provision and timing. Trusting that He will guide and direct me as I cry out to Him in a posture of full submission.

These verses from Proverbs are so very uplifting! I praise God for the blessing and gift of His word as He uses it to quiet my heart.

Much love,

Viv ❤

He Knows

The Holy Spirit is always so faithful in comforting my soul when I am struggling against unchecked thoughts that rear their ugly heads from time to time. He reminds me to look upward to my heavenly Father and faithfully gives these two words to quiet my mind; “He Knows.”

He knows what it feels like to be alone (Luke 4:2).

He knows what it feels to be unwanted (1 Peter 2:4).

He knows what it feels like to be forsaken (Psalm 22:11) (Mark 14:50).

He knows what it feels like to be rejected and dispised (Isaiah 53:3).

He knows what it feels like to be misunderstood (Luke 2:50).

He knows what it feels like to be tempted (Luke 4:2).

He knows what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty (Matt. 4:2, John 19:28).

He knows what it feels like to be broken (Luke 23:33).

He knows what it feels like to be betrayed (Luke 22:47-48).

He knows what it feels like when people closest to you go away (Mark 14:50).

He knows what it feels like to endure physical pain (Matt. 26-50).

He knows what it’s like to have others try to hurt you (Matt. 12:14).

He knows what it feels like to be poor (Matt. 8:20).

In all my struggles and sorrows my comfort is in knowing Jesus, our sympathizing High Priest, understands and feels for me when I am at my lowest.

He is our only true source of comfort because He is the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3).

He sympathizes with us because He endured the same things we endure yet even more fully than we can ever know. He loves us so much he endured coming to earth, suffering and dying for our sins so we could be reconciled to full fellowship with God. To know He would have to face what He endured and then intentionally go through with it out of love for us is mindblowing. He manifested His love by giving us Himself and taking on the full penalty for our sins willingly. The grace He bestowed on us is undeserved yet given out of the deepest, widest, truest love we can’t even begin to wrap our minds around.

Has anyone ever loved you so much that they allowed themself to be killed in your place?

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforter us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort then which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewithal ourselves are comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

What Jesus did for you when he lived here on earth and continues to do for you in innumerable ways every day, no one else can ever do for you. He alone understands, cares, loves, feels, and sympathizes with your every woe.

Much love,

Viv 🍁🍂🍄

For prayer requests please visit my page Come Pray With Me. I’d love to pray with you. ❤

We Will Praise Him!

My heart has felt heavy lately. I’ve felt like my dog Molly’s stuffed moose “Gregory” with all the stuffing ripped out of him, one eye missing, and half of one antler gone, leaving nothing but a rag. Head injury and job loss just seem like too much.

But, after reading a chapter in Martha Peace’s book Damsels In Distress I was hit by so much conviction. Do I praise Him in the good times AND in the bad? Or just praise Him when all is well like my wayward heart was doing the last few days. She went on to mention how praising God in our trials because He is working them out for our good is something we can do as believers to glorify His name. If we go around all down in the mouth and slump shouldered that brings shame to our testimony as believers in Jesus. He deserves our praise in every storm we face no matter how hard or how scary or real they are. When we praise God, the world looks at us in wonder, and marvels at our faith in our Savior as we journey these valleys keeping our eyes on Him. They observe us steadfastly holding onto and clinging to Him while we sit at the foot of the cross in full surrender to His will. This brings glory, honor and praise to His awesome and majestic name.

Exodus 15:2 King James Version (KJV)

2 The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Jesus is with us in every storm. Every test or trial is from His loving hand and He carries us through them to refine us bringing forth gold. He could give us nothing but sunshine and lollipops but then we wouldn’t need Him and we wouldn’t mature. These trials give us the opportunity to showcase His grace, mercy, love, and strength.

Will you praise Him with me?

In the darkest hardest times, let us continue to praise Him with a thankful heart.

Much love,

Viv ❤🙌

Molly

Prayer Request

Beloved friends, some of you from the prayer group already know that my husband lost his job last week and I greatly appreciate the love and prayers being sent.

The company eliminated his entire team due to company cuts from low production. This news came as a shock to us and now we are dealing with job loss including the loss of medical insurance at the end of this month.

We have gone through this before in 2012. At that time, I had a few toddlers and a baby in diapers. Although my health was still good at that point (and I could just eat junk), I’m currently healing from a hard time of TBI and fatigue which requires more intentional care.

Please pray for my family as we face this new trial. Especially for wisdom and guidance which my husband needs as we seek God for His leading and direction.

God got us through seven months of unemployment before and I know He will get us through this again a second time around. (May I just say I wish we didn’t have to face this again?)😭

Nothing happens outside of God’s will and I’m trusting in His goodness, faithfulness and perfect plan for our lives. I do know that He will work all things together for our good because He promises so to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) During the seven month interim of unemployment we never went without food and God took care of our bills. Sometimes it was a friend pitching in or neighbor bringing groceries and quietly leaving canned goods on our deck. Sometimes it was people giving us odd jobs of chopping wood or farming that got us through. God provided for us then and I’m eager to watch Him at work again.

This past week we emptied out all our change and discovered we had over $80 in quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies! And I sold a pair of sneakers on Facebook Marketplace and got $20. It was amazing! 😃 He is working already. Actually, He’s never not working.

I’m reminding myself of my mama’s words to me, “One day at a time, Viv, one day at a time.”

Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Much love,

Viv ❤🙏

Soft Hearted

“A soft heart in a cruel world is not a sign of weakness but courage.”

This encouraging quote was on a church sign that we passed today and I just had to share. May we keep on loving like Jesus loved with a tender heart that is unafraid to show His love in a broken and fallen world.

Much love,

Viv 🤗

1 John 4:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.