Grief

Rejected, Disappointed, yet deeply loved

Rejection is God’s protection for me and God’s provision for them – Lysa Terkeurst.

I can remember at age 7 when my family moved from Haiti to America and the struggles that came with that change early on. I desperately desired to be accepted to this new environment, and yet due to a language barrier and culture differences, my peers quickly rejected me. Until now, I never really thought through how rejection impairs my thinking about my relationship with others and with God.

So from that point on, I found myself on a journey seeking acceptance from others. Each time, I was rejected I shut down and I thought my self-worth was devalued. I was reminded just how good I wasn’t or how I would never belong. I thought that if I gave more of myself to others and just accept whatever they give me it would be okay. I learn that it was better for me to conceal my feelings and the truth from others on how they would treat me or make me feel so that I could be like and accepted. Cause rejection for me was just too hard to process and accept. I did not know it, but I had become a people-pleaser and was sure that if I please everyone then I would be liked.

What I failed to realize is that pleasing people is impossible because with every demand from them either intentionally or unintentionally, I had to sacrifice my wants and myself so that I would be loved and wanted by them.

Then grief entered my life and it led me to depend on my Heavenly Father, God.  I was reminded how Jesus was rejected time and time by his own people. In John 1:11, it states that He came to his own, and his own people did not receive Him.  In Isaiah 53:3, He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not so. Jesus knew how it felt like to be rejected by men. However, because Jesus hope and purpose was to fulfill His Father’s will. He was able to overcome men’s rejection, be content with His Father’s love, and complete acceptance of him.

Lately, I find myself in that same place of contentment. I went back and look at how God’s love for me and acceptance of me never change. He said I was the apple of His eyes. He created me in His image. He tells me in Psalm 139:14, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. I am learning that rejection by men is not as unbearable anymore because the reassurance of knowing that my love and acceptance by God was accomplished through Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross is real to me even more in my times of rejection as it was the day He completed it. Is it hard? Of course, it is.  However, like Jesus, I have to be committed to moving forward in the pursuant of my intimacy with God more than I am willing to hold on to the opinion and validation of men.

 

devotions

I don’t mind waiting!!!

The process of waiting on God has developed me in so many ways. I have learned that God’s timing for my life is perfect. When I wait on Him, my strength is renewed. In the book of Isaiah 40:31 (KJV), states that “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” My strength is renew because I am hopeful and not hopeless. I am able to accept my circumstances even though nothing about it has changed. His strength renews and changes my attitude towards my circumstances. I am now able to be content in my waiting and accepting of His plans for my life.

He also gives me enough grace to sustain me and to build my endurance. I can wait on God patiently without giving up or giving in. My focus is switch from trying to change my circumstances to placing my trust in the capabilities of God. James1:4 states that And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Waiting teaches me that Christ is enough for me. In Him, I truly have everything I need.

Lastly, waiting teaches me to appreciate the gifts and opportunities He blessed me with. For example, my husband is one of Gods greatest gift to me. When I find myself complaining about how he could be doing this and other things, the Lord quickly reminds on how I waited and prayed for him. The Word of God helps me to appreciate the good and the not so good part of him. When we wait on God and He does grant us what we were waiting for, it truly teaches us to be grateful for it, and appreciate it. So let us all “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and do not lose hope. Wait for the Lord.” If you have not received what you have been waiting for, it does not mean that you are less than perfect. It means God’s know what is best for you and His timing is perfect. You are perfect in Him only.

Psalm 27:14

devotions

Waiting and fighting distractions

Today is my youngest daughter birthday, and I want to dedicate this to her. Happy birthday my sweet Julieanna..

In 2006, I could remember being frustrated because my current realities did not match up to where I desired to be. I was single, not in my career job environment, experiencing homeownership challenges, in debt with student loans, not sure of who I was, lost, and etc. I thought earthly things would bring me happiness and purpose. Yet, I forgot Ecclesiastes 1:14 that read – I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. The hard part was trying to trust in God, in my singleness, that He was sovereign and in control of my life. While everything around me felt like it was crumbling down, my personal morning devotion with God was the only thing that sustained me. It was as if God became my very best friend. I had to resist the temptation to believe that people’s opinion and culture define who I was and where I needed to be. My value was not in my current status. My worth and purpose were in Christ.

What I learned was that God allowed me to go through these pains and setbacks to connect with Him in a deeper level. There were many distractions that were trying to get me off course. How do I get back on course? One step was not to compare my current situations to others. There is a reason where you are at. If someone is further along, don’t believe that God has forgotten about you. Trust Him. Psalm 33:4 says that God is faithful in all He does. If He is faithful, He will surely guide you to where you need to be.

Today, my desire is that my daughter will soon learn her joy is not what she has around her, but Who she has within her (Christ).

devotions

Three ways I can prioritize my relationship with God!

Today, I could remember when I was single, I had more free time to spend with God. So I would wake up an hour or two before work and worship him through songs, prayer, and journalizing. Honestly to prioritize Christ in your life will require you to make a sacrifice. So the question to ask ourselves is what are we willing to sacrifice to truly cultivate an authentic relationship and attitude towards our King of kings and Lord of lords.

Here are three ways that helps me prioritize my relationships with Christ

1. Daily worship and prayer,

2. Daily reading of His word, and

3. Practical application of his Word

Daily devotional can look differently based on the season of life you are in. The goal of daily devotion should be a desire to prioritize your relationship with your Savior Jesus Christ through worship and prayer. Like every relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the more you will know the person’s heart and his/ her love for you. Throughout the Bible, we noticed just how prevalent it is for God’s people to worship Him and be devoted to Him.  Worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. In Philippians 2:10-11, it states that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father. As a believer of Jesus Christ, it is truly a privilege for us to worship and pray to Him. The best thing about worship is it help us to focus on God and God alone.

Honestly, in the beginning of marriage and motherhood, I could admit that I struggled to find consistency in my daily devotional time with Him. Most of my devotional would be in the shower or whenever I could find some alone time. One of the advice I remembered receiving from one of the woman who I consider a role model was not to focus on the time but enjoy the moments in His presence. She told me to focus more on the quality of the time vs. the quantity of time.  We cannot prioritize God without reading and meditating on His word daily. In John 1:1, it states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So there you have it we cannot love God and prioritize Him without reading His word and obeying what His word tell us to do. In addition, in the book of Joshua 1:8, it states to Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

In my own personal life, I noticed that the only way I can truly live out God’s word in my life is when it truly takes residence in my heart. The knowledge of God’s Word is not enough to move me to make it a daily practice in my behavior or in my speech. For true repentance and change to occur in our lifetime, the word of God must be deeply rooted in our hearts. In Hebrews 4:12, states, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” See God desire is to change the innermost of our being because that’s were true transformation can take place. In Psalm 51:6 reads, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being. And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”

To conclude, I have been doing a 40-day devotional in the books of Psalms that has truly help me in drawing closer to Him. This is my third time around going through the books of Psalms. I pray it will be a blessing to you too. Heres the links to it.

http://s7d9.scene7.com/is/content/LifeWayChristianResources/40DaysOfPrayer_final.pdf

Grief

How to comfort a grieving family or friend? (Post 3)

Today, I know now, more than ever before, how grief can make love ones and people in general that sincerely care about you very uncomfortable. My desire is to take this time to share with others who know and care for someone that is in the midst of grief. I pray that these tips would be a guide for us to walk this journey of grief with others.

First and foremost, it is very important to understand that everyone grieving process is not the same and it belongs to the griever. Therefore, it is essential for others to try to understand, respect, and honor that the best way they can.

For me personally, three ways I learned that I desired to be comforted by families and friends were:1) to acknowledge that my love one just passed away, 2) to be physically present, 3) and to listen more than talking.

First – most of us mean well and we are truly uncomfortable when we know someone we care about is experiencing a great amount of pain. Most people don’t know what to say or do. However, avoiding the person and remaining quiet is not helpful at all. When you see your hurting loved one, acknowledge the death of the loss one. One struggled or fear of the bereaved is the thought of losing all connection and memory with our love one since he or she is no longer here with us. Saying, “I am so sorry for your loss (by name),” means the world to the griever. Also remembering the death of the anniversary/special holidays and reaching out to the griever is very thoughtful.

Second – Your presence means so much to the bereaved. Your presence demonstrates that you care enough to come in to be with them in their grief during the most devastating life changing experience one will ever face on this earth. Galatians 6:2 commands us to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ. We do that by making ourselves available to the griever. A helpful way is to show up without being asked. Show random acts of kindness towards them without being asked. For example, bringing over a meal, cleaning up the yard, or picking up a basic item of groceries that we normally used. It will ensure them that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.

Third –In a time of grief, it is better to listen than to speak. I know we mean well by speaking. Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will break our heart. There is so much truth to this quote by Robert Fulghum. James 1:19 states “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” I personally agree with James for saying this especially when one is grieving they just want you to listen? I know you want to help but this person is in so much pain that your good intentional advice or unthinkable words can cause much more damage than good. The honest truth is you don’t understand, so be okay with that and just listen.

My prayer is that family and friends will be more sensitive to the person that’s grieving and be more intentional to love, support, encourage, and give grace in abundance to them. Also, pray for your friends and family. Remember it is not about you. The reality is we all at one point or another on this side of the earth will have to walk through this path too.

1 John 3:18 states, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

RIP to all the love ones that recently passed.

Sincerely,
Julie Merzius

Grief

When Grief interrupted my life

On March 12, 2016, my world changed forever. The unexpected happened. My beloved father, Yves Desvarieux passed away from the curse of cancer. My world was shattered and I was devastated. I just couldn’t believe that this was my story now and I had to now live it out. I never planned this part of my story with God, and He knew that my parents, husband, and children were off limit to me. I thought He understood the unspoken agreement we had. What was I going to do? My world was spinning out of control and I had no ideal where I was to picked life back up. One thing I knew for sure I was no longer the person I once was. I had to learned how to redefined my life because a part of my heart no longer existed in my world any more.  In my despair, the spirit of darkness came in and took over me. I was hopeless. I turned inwardly and my thoughts were the only voices that spoke. I began to ask the same question that John the Baptiste asked when he was sent to prison and experienced doubt. In Matthew 11:2-3, John was in prison. When he heard what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to Him. They asked Jesus, “Are you the one who was supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?”. Like John, I was confined in my own imprisonment. I started to doubt God goodness in my life. I knew He could’ve healed my father if He chose too, but He didn’t. I was all torn up in the inside. For 9 months since the diagnosis, and up until my daddy took his last breath, the family prayed. We rally up friends and church members to petition God for a miracle.  We knew that the God we served could do all things. I mean all through scriptures, we read how He healed the sick, raised the dead, and opened up the eyes of the blinds. So why couldn’t He just healed my father. I wrestled with God and wanted to know just like John – Are you really God, the all-powerful one? Do You really care about me like You said in Your word? Is the bible really the blueprint to life? To my surprise, I didn’t get any of my questions answered. What I did experienced was the God of suffering and grace. In 2 Corn 1:3-5, it says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. I was overwhelmingly showered with God’s comfort. The more severe the pain became, the more comfort I received from Him. Although I didn’t get my questions answered, I did gain the love, peace, and complete acceptance of my Heavenly Father. His grace was more than enough for me to trust Him with my grief. So my beloved friend, if the pain right now is unbearable and your heart is broken beyond pieces, I want you to know that Christ’s comfort is overflowing to you to received right now in the mist of your pain.

Second post..

Grief

How Grief became my friend

To be honest, I’ve never thought that I would have learned to embrace grief because (on 3/12/16) death stole away one of God’s greatest gift from me on this side of earth – my father Yves Desvarieux. As Father’s Day is slowly approaching, I can truly see the lessons I’ve learn from grieving this past year. I have learned that God’s grace is truly sufficient for me in spite of my physical, spiritual, and emotional pain as echoed in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness). In the first few months after my father was no longer here, I was numb, speechless, fragile, vulnerable, and absolutely broken. I could not possibly see my way out of this deep, intense, and burning pain that took residence inside of my heart. I felt like I was experiencing abandonment from God because I knew He could’ve healed my father if He wanted too, but He chose not too.  So day after day, I cried out to God and His grace would meet me in my pain. His Living Word was slowly becoming alive in my bones. In my weakness, I began to experience His strength.  In Isaiah 40:29, it states, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” He would strengthen me in my pain and slowly began lifting up the heavy weight that was oppressing me deep down inside the core of my soul. I was at a place where no man could reached me and  be a comfort to me, but my beloved Savior (Jesus) reached down to me like He did with the man with leprosy in Mark 1:40-41. The man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him while on his knees to heal him.  Jesus, being filled with compassion for him, reached out His hand to him, lifted him off his knees, touched the man, and said to him that He was willing to heal him. In my grieving that is exactly what Christ did for me. He let me know how He was filled with compassion for me because I am His daughter.  Christ knew how much I loved my earthly father and how hard and difficult it was for me to process  all the emotions that I was feeling. Also, He knew how difficult it was for me to accept that I had no choice but to now face my new reality of moving forward without my daddy being part of my world anymore. He didn’t judge the many anger outburst I had towards Him.  Instead He reached down to me and met me in my pain as I begged Him and cried out to Him to take away the pain from me. He touched me, held me, and wiped every tears that continuously fell down liked the pouring rain dropping on my face. He comforted my soul as I pursued after Him through worship and prayer. He reassured me that He was willing to heal me, but I had to trust Him and give myself permission to grieve the first man I have ever loved and continue to love. So today if you are like me who is struggling because you have loss a love one that was special to you or you are facing difficult challenges in your life. I want you to know that grief or suffering of any kind is your friend and not your enemy. Run to Jesus and allow Him to shower you with His compassion and His comfort. Trust Him to walk with you through the process. I guarantee you will not regret it. You will gain a deeper intimacy with Him and He will become more real and nearer to you. Out of this process, you will gain a true authentic relationship with Jesus. So be encouraged on this Father’s day and understand that you are not alone.