Monday, December 30, 2013

You are not alone on your journey!

I believe wholeheartedly that God speaks to us in many ways throughout the day. Some like to think we have angels around us; others like to think it’s our deceased loved ones sending us messages; some like to call it a coincidence, but for me, I believe that it is God’s way of making me aware of His presence at all times. I’m just not always open to it, nor do I recognize it.
Did you ever notice that after you buy a new or (new to you) car that you suddenly begin to see them everywhere? Likely you never noticed all the blue sedans on the road until you had one. Then, you see them everywhere. We all know that those other vehicles were there all along, you just didn’t notice them.  I think it’s like that with God too. I think that He is always with us every step of our journey, but it takes effort to recognize Him.
I’ve shared many times before in various venues that I pray each day that my eyes, ears, mind, heart, etc. will be open to the presence of God in all things and all circumstances, good and bad. This truly is my prayer, and it’s amazing that once I began to “look” “listen”….to attempt to “recognize”   Him in all I meet, hear, read, all the ways in which he makes himself known to me. Likely, He is speaking to you as well throughout the course of the day.  It may simply be a couple of words that catch your eye and leap off a page in the newspaper or magazine. It might be a phrase or a post you see on Facebook or a song you hear on the radio or bits and pieces of a conversation you overhear in the store. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing the smile of a stranger or the kindness of someone you meet throughout the day. When you make an honest attempt to recognize God in all things, you will be amazed at all the ways in which He lets you know that you are not alone.
Earlier this week I had one of those moments where I know that God was speaking to me, but I’ve yet to fully understand what He is trying to tell me. At this point, I don’t need to know exactly what it means, I just need to recognize that I am not alone on this journey.  While on vacation downstate this week, I was driving along I-94 on my way to a friend’s house. I don’t typically drive that freeway, but I was going to stop to a store (yes, a new Salvation Army thrift store that opened up  J where I ended up meeting a woman who is now a member of this group…coincidence, I don’t think so!) I had been driving along, deep in thought and watching the road because there was a lot of traffic and I’m not fond of highway traffic. I wasn’t really thinking about anything in particular but just reflecting on the many things that had occurred over the previous few days and the conversations that I was privileged to have with friends and family. I wasn’t even really aware of anything around me, until I happened to glance up and a billboard caught my eye. Now, I had been on the road for about ½ hour at that point and had not noticed any of the dozens of billboards lining the highway, but at that moment, I happened to glance up at one and the words, “I am an agent for change” just jumped out at me. I think it was for some sort of college or something…I don’t even know.  But I saw those words and went, Hmm…Yes, I am an agent of change…in my own life and that of others. Immediately I looked across to the other side of the road and there was another board that said, “Sometimes you just need a little more” from McDonalds, I think. This was followed immediately by “Trust me with your heart”…..with the picture of some cardiologist or something from a hospital. I don’t even know. All I know is that I was driving along, not paying attention to anything, and then boom, boom, boom…in a matter of 15 seconds or so, I see these three messages out of the blue.  What it means is yet to be revealed fully; that doesn’t matter to me as much as knowing and believing that God was communicating to me. I was overcome with a sense of peace that regardless of what happens to me…of the struggles, temptations, emotions, joys and triumphs that comes….I know…and believe that I am not alone, but I need to Trust God and others with  my HEART…I need MORE… more peace; more love; more quiet time; more faith; more (the list is endless)….so that I can be open to the ways God wants to CHANGE me…and the ways that God wants to use me as an AGENT to inspire others to change as well.
I am by no means trying to force any religious anything on you. I am simply sharing with you the source of my strength for this journey. This is the type of thing that gives me strength; that gives me hope; that keeps me motivated; and has helped me to stay focused. I cannot do this alone. I did not lose the weight on my own power, nor can I keep it off on my own. I need God…and I need others.  Whether or not you have a relationship with a higher power, I encourage you to be open to the ways in which God does and will communicate to you that you are NEVER alone in this journey called LIFE.  Changing your life….trying to be a healthier, better, kinder person is not easy, but it is much easier when you have friends to support you along the way. Remember, You are not alone…..I am here…God is here…and there are a lot of people in this group that are here to support, encourage, cheer you on, and pick you up.  Keep an open mind and an open heart, and don’t be surprised at the ways God speaks to you.