From the first time I heard her song, One and Only, I envisioned Jesus serenading me – serenading us all, actually: Come on, let Me be your one and only. I promise I’m worthy to hold in your heart. I know it ain’t easy giving up your heart… but you’ll get all of Me in return – so come on and give me a chance….
Love evolves. Love stretches us. It grows us. It teaches us. Love is more than an emotion and a feeling – it’s a way of life. Where would I be today without love? Without learning that love lives in me? Without learning that I can offer love as a gift? Without learning that I can accept love as a peace offering to heal a relationship? Where would any of us be without love?
The life of Jesus is by far the greatest example of the process of love and its evolutionary results. Jesus was given to the world first as a seed in a young woman’s womb. He was nurtured as a child and educated as a disciple of the One True God, who made Him a leader to the masses. In the process of His physical death, Jesus provided the opportunity for eternal life for every human being. Jesus came for a purpose. He died for a purpose. He rose for a purpose. Jesus was given for a purpose.
Take a listen to recordings of LaShawnda Jones discussing her book, The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness. The author speaks about the purpose of the book, what she hopes readers get from it. There is also a “When Your Love is Rejected.”
Yes, these thoughts were swirling around disjointedly in my head while I was trying on dresses and listening to my shopping buddy squeal in delight at her royal finds. And yes, I do admit to an initial twinge of feminine jealousy. I want to look like a royal too. I want my majestic and regal bearing to show through whatever I wear. And I wasn’t seeing that in the selections I tried on… until the very last dress. The most plain and unadorned dress. It was colorless and very, very simple compared to the other nine indulgent, scrumptiously succulent creations I had dragged into the dressing room. Yes, the part of me that is all worldly woman wanted grandeur. But with all my heart, I thank God for simplicity.
I’m going to speak to those who have been abused, mistreated or violated in any way because my old way of thinking came from the mindset of a victim – a captive. I was thinking and acting like someone in bondage who was desperately seeking freedom. All I could recognize was that I needed to reclaim what was taken from me. In my simplicity, I sought to redeem myself by casting what is sacred (my body) before swine (any man who is not my husband). However, the only way to keep the sacred holy is to set it apart. The sacred must remain clean and untouched by that which is unholy (anything not sanctioned by God). [follow the link to read the full article]
I was changing. As we all do. Not only was God reworking me in a major way, I knew it was time for me go to another level. I was ready for a change, however I had no idea how monumentally drastic it would be. In 2005, when I decided to move to New York, I told my family and friends I would not be in contact for at least six months. I thought that was all the time I needed for my personal evolution. My knowledge then only scratched the surface, and it’s not much deeper now. However, after my visit to Riverside Church, I became more accepting of whatever changes were to come in my life.
, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said.”
Appreciation – such a life-giving disposition. I would fly a thousand miles and back again for anyone who could so appreciate a hug. Validation – what a life-affirming response. I will be more intentional about letting loved ones know how much they matter to me.
My main goal for my visit was to sit and speak to my grandmother. And to pray over her. I wanted to hear in her own words what was going on with her. During the thirty-six hours between hearing of this traumatic incident and getting to her bedside, all I could think of was her life and the very real possibility of her death. What type of eulogy could she honestly receive? My heart grew heavier by the moment, not because of the circumstances leading to her hospital stay this time. No, what weighed on my heart like a stone and dragged me down into a sadness that was incredibly difficult to face is the knowledge that my Grandma Bessie has not enjoyed her life. There is no joy to be found in her.