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 πŸπŸ‚πŸ„

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

The Word On Monday: I Will Love Thee❣

Psalm 18:1 I will Love thee O Lord my strength.

Dear God,

Thank you for loving me. Please give me a contented heart that loves you. A heart that knows you and loves your will even if I don’t understand it. Please, dear Father, don’t let me covet better health or riches if they become idols that rob my love for you. Instead, give me peace to rest content in your loving and sovereign will. If I never heal physically, then please give me the strength to accept that your will for my life is far superior than mine, and that I am made more perfect in Christ Jesus by uniting my heart to His. Please give me more love to you!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen


Much love,

Viv πŸ’š

This is going to be my last post for awhile as my eyes need rest. It’s so very hard to keep up and I am struggling. My eye appointment is in a few weeks and hopefully the specialist can help me. I needed to see him months ago but Providence worked it out for me to go the end of May. I don’t drive and need rides, plus my husband’s schedule is very hard to work around and the specialist is hard to get in with. Please pray for me! My eyes bother me greatly and pray for wisdom, guidance and healing. Feel free to read my other posts. I pray they offer hope and encouragement to you. I regret needing a blogging break but after prayer I believe this is God’s will. I will continue to pray for you!

Much love,

Viv πŸ’š

The Word On Monday: Together For Good πŸŒΌ

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 KJV

When I need help making homemade mashed potatoes, my kids pitch in and we all work together as a team. My youngest son does the peeling, my littlest girl handles the washing, my oldest son works on the chopping and after I cook them, my oldest daughter does the mashing.

We work together. If we left the potatoes unchopped or unpeeled, sitting out in its own entity, untended to, there would not be a bringing together of each separate task to complete the finished project: our supper!

It’s a process. Our lives are a process too.

And that’s God’s promise to those who LOVE Him.

He will work together all the trials, problems and challenges in life for our good.

It may be immediate but a lot of the time it may not right away or ever in this lifetime. The hardest part of being transformed into Christlike person is that the peeling, washing, chopping, cooking, and mashing may not feel so great at the time. But God promises to work it out for our good. To put those separate endevours into a beautiful specialty. Namely, our souls. He promises to bring spiritual good out of all things. Our souls are everything to God, in fact, that’s why He sent Jesus to die for them.

Here’s what Joni Eareckson Tada says about how good can come from suffering:

* Suffering can cultivate a proper reverence and respect for God in our hearts.

* It helps us appreciate the sacrifice Christ made to rescue us from hell.

* It fills our hearts with gratitude to Jesus who bore our sins and who will ultimately put an end one day to sin, suffering, and sorrow.

* Suffering is the textbook that teaches us about our true selves and what is hidden in our hearts.

* Hardships increase our empathy towards others who face similar problems.

My friend, this is how God uses all things for good. It may be hard to see it as good right now but trusting that God will work good in us and bring good out of hardships can be done if we believe His word and what He promises to us.

It may look like rain clouds now but there is sunshine and growth to those who LOVE God.

Much love,

Viv 🌼🌹

The Accident That Took Home My Friend Herm.

On March 7, 2010, my friend, mentor, and neighbor of eight years, Hermione Joy Wommack, was killed by a drunk driver slamming into her SUV head-on at 80 miles per hour. Reports say his blood alcohol levels were 2x over the legal limit and he was driving without a license.

Let me take you back to that day.

On March 6, 2010, I gave birth to my youngest daughter and final baby. I telephoned Herm later that day to tell her the good news and see if she could come take a peek at my new bundle of joy at the hospital. I was greatly looking forward to her visit because she and I had both recently moved miles apart and hadn’t seen each other in months. She told me she could visit the next day since it was Sunday and a bit less hectic for her. I was due to return home Monday, so I assured her Sunday was perfect and couldn’t wait to see her again.

Herm, an Argentinean high school Spanish teacher, had always been a precious friend and neighbor to me. Going through difficult times in the early days of marriage and job loss was made easier by her wisdom, counsel, and prayers. There wasn’t much I didn’t tell Herm and her presence in my life was constant.

There would be times when I would open up my front door to find bags of gifts awaiting me that she cleverly sneaked there. Generosity was always nothing but second nature to Herm.

I vividly remember watching my oldest daughter, who was three at that time, putting on the gorgeous Sunday dress Herm had given her and walking next door to show it off to Herm before church. I can still see Herm’s smile as she knelt down to admire the dress, and my daughter trotting proudly back across the lawn towards me.

Sunday evening March 7, 2010 at around dinner time, Herm came into my hospital room, and immediately took my newest baby in her arms. It was so good to see her again. She and I caught up a bit and I promised her I would come visit her at her new farm they had just bought in the country. I grabbed my digital camera and asked for a picture. She said she looked awful since her grandkids had been with her all day and they’d been gardening together. I assured her she looked great as always and began snapping away.

Herm holding my youngest just moments before her death.

I’m so glad I did. Those were the last pictures ever taken of Herm, for only an hour later she was taken to heaven.

She was on the phone counseling another friend when the drunk driver, a man named Mark Elliot, slammed his vehicle into her Honda SUV.

Her husband later told me she had the presence of mind to tell the police officer his phone number and he arrived at the scene to be with her in her final moments.

The news of Herm’s death hit me very hard. One friend tried to comfort me by telling me that Herm could have been killed before she saw me and then I would have never seen her, visited, and gotten photos of her. For years I felt guilty for asking her to visit me and experienced severe grief and remorse. Knowing Herm, she would have told me to stop.

“STOP CHICA” is what she would have said. Herm never let me wallow!

Whenever I start missing her and feeling remorse, I’m reminded that God is still in control, even in this crazy out-of-control world. He was with Herm in her final moments comforting and ministering to her. He came to her that night with His hands outstretched towards her saying, “Come Home Child”. She was driving along Leesville road that night journeying towards her true Home in heaven.

She was never alone in death. Knowing Herm, she was praying hard as her body breathed it’s last and God answered by giving her peace and everlasting happiness in heaven with Jesus her Lord.

1 Corinthians 2:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

This verse gives me comfort knowing that right now Herm is experiencing delights unimaginable in heaven that await those who love Him.

Several years before her death, Herm shared this scripture verse with me from 2 Samuel 15:26. ‘But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.’ I’ve highlighted that verse in my bible with her name marked beside it. It encourages me to surrender to God’s will for my life and to hand over everything to Him saying, ‘here I am’. Whatever seems good to God is what’s best for me. It may not always look like it at the time but I’m trusting, as my Herm did, that He always knows what’s best. Always.

So many have been killed or severely disabled by drunk drivers. Although my brain injury is not from drunk driving, I’m still heartbroken when I find other TBI survivors (there are many) robbed of their happy lives by the carelessness and selfishness of others. It needs to STOP.

In honor of my friend Herm, please share this post with others.

Herm and my two oldest making Christmas cookies together Christmas 2008.

The article that explains the accident and sentencing of Mark Elliot.

http://www.newsadvance.com/go_dan_river/news/man-pleads-guilty-in-wreck-that-killed-campbell-county-teacher/article_818e9b0a-2f8d-5be4-9dde-d98c7886015e.html

Everyone’s Broken

Last spring when things got hard with my TBI journey, I was crying to my best friend saying, “I feel so broken!” Her response to me was, “Everyone’s broken.”

It’s amazing how God can use the honest words of a friend to wake us up.

Yet, it was not the response I was hoping for just then. I yearned for words of comfort, instead I felt like my brain injury was being undermined. Of course she didn’t mean to hurt me, it was my emotional state of brokenness at that time.

Then God did something in my thought process and heart that only He can do. He showed me that even though what she said to me came at a difficult time in my life, those two words are 100% true and I needed to hear them.

The problem with chronic pain, illness, or severe bodily injuries is that they can make a person extremely self absorbed. It’s impossible to not be so fully caught up in the pain and suffering that scream for our attention 24/7. We can’t help but forget that others we love have issues of brokenness in their lives and are just as broken. They may not be broken physically, yet in some way they’re broken emotionally or spiritually. Everyone’s broken.

In Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way, she writes on how Jesus was broken first, so that we can be healed by His brokenness. She writes, ‘Could all brokenness meet in the mystery of Christ’s brokenness and givenness and become a miracle of abundance?’ I’ve often dwelled upon these beautiful words. Everyone’s broken, yet Jesus meets us in our pain and since He overcame all brokenness we are made whole by His broken body on the cross.

I’m so blessed to have a wonderful friend and sister in Christ who understands the big picture here. Her words have stayed with me and kept me from throwing myself a huge pity party or turning into “Debbie Downer” on tougher days of dizziness, nausea, pain, fatigue etc. and staying there. I still struggle with negative thinking, but those two words keep reminding me, that even though there’s a big, sad world of suffering, there’s a bigger God who meets us in our suffering and brokenness and gives us hope to keep fighting.

Don’t Believe The Lie

Don’t believe the lie

That you’re not good enough

That you’re not smart enough

That you don’t give enough

That you don’t try enough

Don’t believe the lie

That no one cares enough

That your heart feels too much

That you aren’t worth enough

That you are not enough

These lies don’t stem from truth

They come from doubts and fears

These lies will hold you back

Ripping away years

Evil One would have you think

Lies are really truth

He hisses lies in ears

Early from one’s youth

Grab onto Word of God

He speaks truth and thus

Read His book and find

With Jesus you’re enough!

Jesus says you are

Priceless, treasured, loved

Feed your mind these thoughts

Truth from God above

Thank you to coolncreative for reminding me it was national poetry day yesterday!! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should treat yourself to visiting it today!

Much love,

Viv πŸ€—


John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Philippians 4:13 KJV

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Keep smiling

“Why can’t I smile?” This is the question I asked my doctor late last year thinking she would have a medical explanation. I supposed that the reason was just facial muscles or something.

When doing tests on me early in the process, she discovered I was not able to properly raise my eyebrows due to cranial nerves that control my forehead being impaired. I’d try to raise them but they wouldn’t go up, just kind of flickered up and down like a person doing google eyes at someone. It was one of the first indications she had that there was a problem…..a big problem.

Months into my challenging journey, I literally couldn’t smile. I looked like an exhausted four-year-old at Disneyland who’s had enough of pictures and is just smiling with their teeth and not their whole face. I couldn’t smile because…

A smile comes from within. It’s not something intense suffering produces. I couldn’t! Yes, I could show my teeth but my eyes stayed hollow and the sparkle was gone.

I thought maybe, just maybe my smile muscles weren’t working and my doctor needed to know this but really it was my emotional muscles that were broken. Not physical.

On some of my most difficult TBI days, my beautiful daughter would walk through the room and flash me her dazzling smile, lighting up my soul with rays of hope.

She said nothing.

But she smiled!

Her smile cheered me on. It was her way of saying “I love you mom, keep fighting, you’re doing good!”

Those smiles cost nothing but were everything to me.

They reflected God’s love.

I knew then, I was indeed going to be okay. I could feel His smile through her.

In a world of frowns…we as believers in Jesus can smile. It’s a powerful way of witnessing as to where our joy comes from. Our joy comes not from outward circumstances but from knowing His love, hope and peace.

A few months ago, I told the receptionist at my doctor’s office how much I appreciate her sweet smile every time I’m being checked in. It gives me something to look forward to and she has such a sweetness in her face that makes me smile back and fills my day with hopeful gladness.

Every time I see a stranger I give them a smile…and you know what? They always smile back and then the room fills with an atmosphere of light, love and happiness.

I don’t remember when I didn’t feel pain in my head and it’s not easy to keep smiling, but I still force myself to smile, through the pain. I smile so my family feels happier. I smile because God is so good. I smile because I’m grateful and learning to find happiness in the little things. I smile because I’m happy!

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing today, smile and spread the light, joy and happiness of God to everyone you meet. It just may happen to be the only smile they receive today. It could be they needed that smile more than you can ever possibly know.

My beautiful girl flashing her sweet smile