~James 4:14…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
If you think of an aerosol can and how at the initial pump mists shots out, very similar to the way infants at birth shot from the womb. That mist, which is like our lives, then spreads out and often lands on objects or people that are in its path. In the same way our life should spread out and leave a lasting impression on those who are in our sphere of influence.
Laker fan or not, Kobe fan or not, you cannot mention the game of basketball without mentioning Kobe Bryant and the impact he had, not only on the court as a dynamic player but also the man he evolved into off the court. Like the mist, Kobe took full advantage of the opportunities he encountered to leave an impression that will live on long after January 26, 2020.
So, as we process the news of the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other passengers who were aboard the helicopter, let us pray for the families, shed our tears and then move forward with a determination that will allow us to take the best parts of Kobe the man and embody them within ourselves to enhance our own greatness. Using the talents and skills that we have been gifted with to impact in a positive way the lives of those we encounter. Becoming as 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, “the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing”.
However, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or saddened by the events surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant and the other passengers or if you are just overwhelmed by life in general keep in mind the acronym P.A.D.S. Pads are defined as a guard worn to shield body parts (in this case your heart and emotions) against impact.
P – Pray
A – Allow yourself to feel and not attempt to suppress your emotions
D – Disconnect from the news and social media
S – Seek help from a trained professional
It’s 1:44 am and I can’t sleep. The words of a devotional I read early keep replaying themselves in my head. It was a passage from Judges 6:23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” You are not going to die. Those words jolted me from a place I hadn’t realized I had traveled to. It was like an electric shock shooting straight up my body. Even now some almost 24 hours later I am still feeling that surge of energy that comes with a new enlightenment.
I realize that like Gideon I had become timid, almost afraid to move forward in certain areas of my life. While I love counseling and being able to help those who are hurting, I have often felt God has placed a larger calling on my life. A calling that I have been running from or rather using my counseling practice to escape from. After all, it’s easy to hide behind appointments and meetings. It’s safe!
Safe! So here I sit at almost 2 am coming to grips with the fact that God did not call me to play it safe. 2 Timothy 1 versus 6 – 7 instruct me to fan into flame the Gift of God, which for me is to use my speaking and teaching abilities to reach the multitudes of those who are hurting. Women who like me have battled with feelings of not being good enough, not being pretty enough, not being smart enough. Women who have, out of fear, sat on the sidelines under the guise of being a background player while silently attempting to quench a raging fire bursting to be allowed to expand and roar. It also tells me that God did not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power, love and self-discipline. The power to boldly step forward and embrace the woman he has called me to me. The ability to love beyond limits and meet the needs of those who are hurting and in need of guidance by sharing my experiences, the good, the bad and the in between. Most importantly, he gave me a spirit of self-discipline, which enables me to stand firm in my faith even when things are though and it seems as if there is no way to overcome the confusion, hurt and pain I may be feeling.
Now, here I sit reflecting on my life and the things that I have been through. The loss of two children, one to an ectopic pregnancy and the other to a miscarriage, the deaths of family members and close friends, the loss of friendships and the general ups and downs of life, I ask myself, “did I die?” and the answer is a faint but firm NO! No, I did not die. I am here to tell the story, my story in the hopes that the things that I have experienced throughout this journey I call life will in some way help another along the way.
So, stay tuned. There is more to come!