What is Religion? What is Spirituality?
Everyone knows the term/colloquialism: “if you’re not careful, too much of a good thing can become bad.” People say it all the time to children as a way of making them think twice before recklessly indulging in something that seems good but in actuality may not good for them when consumed recklessly, -but is it also a warning we should give to ourselves, when it comes to inviting religion, and certain religious beliefs, traditions and/or practices in our lives?
This post takes a glimpse at both religion, and spirituality – the dangers, pros, and consequences of both. But first we’ll start by answering the question:
Exactly, what is religion?
According to Webster, Religion has several interpretations (all listed here ) But for the context of this post I’d like to focus on the definition of religion stated in examples 2 and 4:
– An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods and 4: the service and worship of God or the supernatural: commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.-Webster
More specifically I’d like to focus on the institutionalized, systemic beliefs, attitudes, rules, and practices in the Christian community, and Christian churches that has allowed it to become a weapon and a tool of: hate, manipulation, greed, segregation, power, control, and destruction of others.
God provided us the bible; inclusive of scriptures, manuscripts, and inscriptions of others who came before us, as a means of guidance, lessons, morals, and guidelines, that we as human beings should follow, learn from, emulate and imitate. It was written so that we may not only lead good, Christian lives, but to also be a living breathing reflection of God, and witness of the holy spirit to others.
Yet somehow it’s words has become a tool of manipulation and evil. There are many examples throughout history, both past and present of how the bible has been used to justify the revolting actions, thoughts, and ideas of leaders, authorities, and rulers of power, including but not limited to the justification of slavery, the mistreatment and sexual abuse of women, and children of the faith, etc..
From my personal experience, I can attest to the dangerous destruction, and harmful impact that unsolicited, and rampant religion has had on my family- the suffering, loss, humiliation, separation, psychological damage and dissonance, but the huge gaping rift it has torn in my family.
Rampant religious beliefs, thoughts, and ideologies in most instances have been more harmful, oppressing, belittling, and unpleasant to say the least.
Before we assume I hate religion or that I am a nonbeliever that is simply not the case. I love God and I’m thankful for all the lessons and experiences he’s taught and shown me, and the things he does for me every single day. I know I need God to be in my life both now, in the past, and in the future.
The problem with certain religious ideology is that many believe you have to sustain a certain appearance, always behave in a certain manner, or relentlessly follow a set of rules, in order to be accepted and loved by God, which our bible states is simply not the case.
There is nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves more pure, or more right, or more “perfect”, with God than any human being on this planet. God himself says he sees us as all the same, but yet there are some excited to condemn others based on faulty beliefs, and then use these same beliefs as excuse to hurt, manipulate, control, and cause harm to others.
My sincerest question is; whether they believe these things or not?
I’m writing this because it’s imperative to know that while religion and it rules and practices can be beneficial, it can also be detrimental to oneself or masses when used incorrectly. When used incorrectly Religion can become both a dangerous tool and weapon, that can cause harmful and irreversible damage. It’s important to use discernment, and prioritize having your own personal relationship with God.
Example: You are on trial, for a crime you didn’t commit. While it may be beneficial for an attorney to speak on our behalf, would you suggest a stranger who doesn’t know you, or why you’re on trial plead your case on your behalf? -No right, me either. The point is; there’s nothing like being able to speak to God directly; for yourself.
And that leads to our next point, which is:
What Is Spirituality & why is it Important?
The act of being spiritual which Webster defines in several ways here But for the context of this post I will refer to definition 4; being related and or joined in spirit.
God created us, gave us breath, and a part of his spirit. We were made to have a connection with him because essentially; we are him. We are born of him, and when we die we return unto him.
Just as you would speak to your own mother and father, we were meant to talk to God, to ask for guidance, and help.
We come into the world knowing nothing, and it is our parents duty to show us the way. Our parents nurture, provide, and protect, and should we have our own children, this cycle continues on.
God our heavenly father is the one who oversees us all. he is the source of our light, our hope, and our life, and when humans fail you, leave you, or let you down, God is there to nurture, guide and protect you.
That is why it’s so important for you to have a direct line of communication with Elohim. How can you receive if you don’t ask, and how can you receive something from someone you don’t know or never talk to?
God is a provider, and even though he doesn’t always provide us with what we want – (because he knows better) he provides us with what we need, if we trust in him.
When you start walking in the spirit and stepping out on faith you start becoming exactly who and what you’re supposed to be.
So, start nurturing YOUR spiritual relationship and connection with God. He does not just belong to the “righteous” all are his children and he esteems none above the other.
Stop living under bondage and oppression. You have been called to live by a higher standard according to the law, but following God’s laws is not what saves you. It is God alone.
The Bible speaks extensively on the subject of all for one and one for all. For by one man we are/were condemned for sin, and by one man we are saved.
God sent the son of man to cleanse us of our sins and give us life by the spirit which we are called to live by. Therefore we are not saved by our own “righteousness” but by God’s loving grace, mercy and kindness. And his gift and love is free. It’s not something you have to work for, but rather by believing. (Galations 5:1-5 Romans 4:5 – 14-16 Romans 7:6 Romans 9:31-33)
WHY Corruption happens in Religion.
Humans flawed perception of self righteousness (right or wrong, whose better, whose not, whose good, whose evil…) self promoting profiting agendas, learned habits and behaviors passed down from generation to generation. Having a fixed Mindset or being unable to accept/adapt, change or grow- are all reasons why corruption is able to infiltrate religion where it should not.
The bible teaches that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, freedom and self control. Will we always feel or be happy, joyful, loving, and free, of course not– but we know when we are in alignment when we have these things and MOST IMPORTANTLY are able to share them with others, not just with those we love or who we know, but with anyone and everyone.
God’s greatest commandment is to love one another. The scriptures state that the gift of loving Is the greatest gift of all and trumps any other spiritual talent or gift…. (1st Corinthians 13 1-13)
God in his spirit and essence is love. Creation is love, God’s creation, YOUR creation and the creation’s you birth are/is Love – especially when done for the good and benefit of others! You glorify God when you take care of what you’ve been given, nourish it and grow it into something bigger and better, something fruitful that creates more life, true life which is love and light.
Final Thoughts: Message Takeaways
Like trees we start off seeds planted and when watered become sprouts. Over time we should mature and strive to produce more fruit. If you think of it in Earthly terms, you might consider wealth and riches to be good fruit which is true indeed! But the silver lining or the best fruit (spiritual fruit) is grown in heaven! Not just saving it all for yourself either, but also Sharing it too, (sharing the things of the spirit: love, peace etc)
What good is having a tree full of fruit just for you? Give some of that fruit and give some of that love away!
We (my family and I) were cleaning out our old house recently and came across a decorative item of my mother who passed 15 years ago. It had a short verse that read like this:
“A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it, A song’s not a song ’til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”Oscar Hammerstein II
Essentially that is the whole duty of man, fear God and Keep his commandments. Live your life, do the things you were called to do, respect God, Love one another.
All life stems and grows from love and care. Whatever seeds you plant and nourish daily are the ones that grow. So plant seeds of love, and seeds of hope and seeds of faith (1st Corinthians 13:13 now these 3 things will last forever: faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love.
Step into who you need to be go in peace and be free!
Check out this blog post and other related thought provoking articles of the “THE GOD SERIES” HERE
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— The Faith Mentor🕊 (@marleana_bryant) October 20, 2021
There’s Fun Things To Do In Vegas For Everyone!
Everyone knows the city of Las Vegas as the epicenter of the world’s destination for partying. gambling, and other unsolicited adult fun, but did you know there are other exciting attractions, and exhibits to visit, than the slew of popular night clubs, strip clubs, and casinos sprinkled throughout the strip?! Read on for some fun trip ideas for you and the whole family!
13 Fun Things To Do In Vegas That Don’t Involve Gambling
1. Go to a live show, performance and/or concert.
There is always a show happening in Vegas! Whether it’s a band, a play, talent/comedy show, or a performance by your favorite artist, there’s always a show to see! Vegas is a popular tour site for many performers, depending on which time of the year you go there’s always an exciting event to see. So make sure you plan ahead by booking your tickets before you go!
2. Ride the Big Apple Coaster of New York New York.
Got a love for thrills, and heights, then you’ll love the “Big Apple Coaster”, a roller coaster located in one of Las Vegas’s popular Hotel Attractions titled and themed after; New York New York. Take the whole family for a joy ride day or night for a fairly inexpensive price Afterward play some games in the hotel’s very own arcade.
3. Take a Romantic Ride on the High Roller.
Looking to spend some quiet time with your date while enjoying panoramic views of the strip. Look no further than the “High Roller” essentially a mega adult sized Ferris wheel with large enclosed cabins. Enjoy a 30 minute ride (day or night ) reaching heights over 500 ft while taking in the surrounding view. (Located along the strip behind THE LINQ)
4. Take A Gondola Ride at The Venetian.
Can’t afford a trip to Italy, that’s OK! The Sin City has it’s very own piece of Italy located along the Strip! Located inside one of many of Vegas’s popular resorts “The Venetian“. The ride is one you can take through the canals and shops of the resort, an impressive replica of the timeless waterways in Venice. Sit back, enjoy the ride as you’re serenaded and ferried through the Venetian’s passageways.
5. Shop Till You Drop.
If your need a little retail therapy, Las Vegas has several unique Malls located in just about every resort located on the strip. Whether you’re looking for upscale shops, or looking to stay within your means, Vegas has plenty of options to choose from. Purchase a new outfit or a memorable keepsake to remind you of your trip, and enjoy the unique design and architecture of each mall. You never know what you might discover!
6. Go Zip lining.
Feeling adventurous, go for a ride on one of Vegas’s Zip lines, ranging from 77 to over 100 feet above the ground. Cross zip lining off your bucket list, and close your eyes (or don’t) as you fly a length of over 800 ft while taking in the teeming crowds from below!
7. Have Brunch at one of the many 5 star Restaurants.
Las Vegas has tons of dining options up and down the strip, from 5 star resort restaurants to bars and sidewalk kitchens, storefront vendors along the street. If you’re hungry, there’s always something tasty and good to eat! and or drink! No matter what you’re hungry for, the strip has it all.
Restaurants listed in order from left to right.“The Henry” located in the Cosmopolitan, “Mon Ami Gabi” located in Paris Las Vegas Resorts, “Hexx Kitchen and Bar” located in the heart of the strip adjacent to “Paris Las Vegas”
8. Get Lost In An Escape Room.
Las Vegas is home to several fun, and uniquely designed Escape rooms, ranging from mysterious, scary, to whimsical and fun. Grab your closet friends, get lost for hours, following clues, solving mysteries, and finding your way out!
9. Experience “The Freemont Street Experience.“
Travel further North up the strip along Las Vegas Boulevard to reach old Las Vegas, (downtown Vegas) where you’ll discover the brightly illuminated canopies overhead, and a bustling strip mall where you can catch music from live performances, eat, drink, and have a good time (and gamble or don’t)!
10. Visit the Viewing Deck of the Eiffel Tower.
Capture breathtaking views of the Vegas Strip from over 500 ft in the air when you reach the very top of the Eiffel Tower of the Paris Las Vegas resort located along the heart of the strip. You can also catch a great view of the Bellagio fountain’s water show from down below which put on a display every 15 to 30 minutes.
11. Grab A Drink By The Pool.
Got time to chill? Take a break from the bustling nightlife, crowds and casinos by taking a refreshing dip; or chill pool side -drink in hand from the comfort of your very own resort or hotel. Vegas may be surrounded by desserts but there are plenty of places to get wet!
12. Take A Helicopter Tour Over The Grand Canyon.
See one of the most stunning wonders of the world, when you take a helicopter ride over the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Enjoy stunning aerial views during the approximately 45-50 minute flight to the west rim!
13. Enjoy the Moment! Capture Everything!
One of the best things about traveling is the awesome memories you’ll make and want to relive and revisit over and over! Vegas has so many amazing iconic and historic structures! Do your best to make your trip memorable and photograph as much as you can, you’ll thank yourself weeks, months, or even years later!
You’ve reached the end of this post! My hope is that this blog has given you a few ideas of exciting and fun things to do in Vegas on your next trip. Happy Traveling!
Ready to book your trip? or looking for more events and fun things to do in Vegas? Click this link HERE.
Thanks for visiting this blog and reading 13 Fun Things To Do In Vegas, stick around for more blogs like this by subscribing here or check out another one of my favorite posts! 5 Amazing Ways To Experience Growth This Year!
Meet the Author
Marleana, Writer, Author, Mother, Blogger, Creator.
Fun things to Do in Vegas
Overview/ synopsis – A brief, uplifting, yet realistic perspective on life after experiencing disappointments, failures, and loss. A reminder of our source of hope.
“Sometimes you can try as hard as you can, position yourself up to win, do all the right things, play the right cards and still lose.”
This truth in itself can be very discouraging, and can definitely cause many to ponder: what is the benefit of attempting a great feat, if there’s a small chance you’ll walk away successful, and a greater chance your time and efforts will be either lost or wasted.
The latter is indeed a logical response to life’s challenges, because in life there are no guarantees! But here’s why you should try anyways and the answer is:
There is always HOPE!
Life is full of trials and obstacles, and all of them are placed in our path so that we may overcome: (ROMANS 8:37: Now we are more than conquerors through him who loved us) . We go through trials that are meant to teach us and refine us.
As a believer, we know that there is always hope, joy and beauty to be found, and important lessons to be learned from every mistake, setback, trial, fail, fall, win, and every loss.
So what do we do when we experience failure and loss?…
As a person of faith your job is to trust God, and understand that his plans and ideas are way bigger and better than your own. As our loving father and creator, he only wants the best for us, he sees us, and knows us better than we could ever see ourselves.
Oftentimes our value gets misconstrued by the thoughts and perceptions and the values of men, but a man can not give you value, nor can he take it away. God saw that you were valuable so he put you here, gave you grace, knowledge and, wisdom, and your worth comes from him alone.
Just know that if you’re here, he put you here for a reason, and all that you are going through is not a mere coincidence, he wants you to come to a better understanding and knowledge of him, yourself and the world around you.
So stop forcing things and relax, God is the author and he is always in control. Your healing, your elevation, and restoration will happen exactly when they’re meant to.
Whatever troubles you’re going through don’t give up. Find comfort in God’s promises and his word. If you remain in him, and he in you, then no matter the troubles or how high the tide God will see you through.
Remember: this is not even your final destination, there’s a place in heaven set on high just waiting for you, that no man can touch or tarnish or take away, where there’s no darkness, and no pain, or suffering.
And here on Earth we only see pieces and glimpses of it. The good or the light we see in others, the potential we see in ourselves, the love we have for one another, the joy, and laughter, comfort and rest, God too has this abundantly for us, if we stand fast in what we believe.
So take hope, if you suffer, have faith, and believe in him, when facing obstacles and trials. No matter what your enemy does, or tries to do, your victory lies in God and you have already won, and if you haven’t won yet then it isn’t the end!
1 John 4:4 But you belong to God my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
Your value and worth comes from God alone, you are his child, you belong to him, and that is all that MATTERS!!
If you found this Blog post helpful or enjoyable please like, comment and share!
And take a look at some other encouraging scriptures, about Victory straight from the source:
1st John 5:4
1 Corinthians 15:54
— The Faith Mentor🕊 (@marleana_bryant) September 21, 2021
ABSOLUTELY NO ONE enjoys feeling fatigued, hungry, unsatisfied, or malnourished when trying to lose weight, but at the end of the day, that’s the way most starvation, and calorie counting diets leave you feeling.
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Try New Things.
One of the best ways to experience growth is by getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things! There is something so exhilarating, scary, YET rewarding about attempting something you’ve never done before. Take a new class, learn a new skill, try out a sport or hobby you’d normally pass on. No one’s saying you’re going to be great at it, but trying and failing at something new is better than not having tried anything at all.
So it’s time to pull out that notebook and start drafting that bucket list!
Travel. See New Places.
Travel, travel, travel. Although Covid 19 is imposing new restrictions on us. You can still get where you need to go as long as you do it safely.
Now of course everyone isn’t able to drop everything and hop on a flight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and do some exploring locally in your city, town or neighborhood! The point is, you need to get out more, make time for a walk or even a road trip, just make sure you get out and explore, meet new people, see new things and most importantly discover, make new memories, and enjoy!
Set Goals. Stick To Them.
Everyone has heard of having New Year’s resolutions, but let;s be honest; how many of us actually stick with them after the first few weeks of January. (Not many, right, I know ) But this time around you have a chance to change that narrative. Set goals, make a plan, and actually stick to it!
Obviously you had those New Year resolutions for a reason, perhaps you wanted to lose those extra pounds or put some extra cash towards your summer getaway. The point is, if you make a plan and stick to it, you will be happier, and thank yourself in the long run! So no matter what it is, whether big or small. Set your goals and intentions for the year and promise to see them through.
Invest In Yourself, Invest Your Money.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to INVEST. A super huge and awesome way you can experience growth this year is by making yourself a priority. Invest in yourself, invest in your health, invest in your dreams and goals, invest in your future and most certainly INVEST your money! Start making smart investments now that will pay off in the future! Get educated and knowledgeable about various investment opportunities available to you. Take a class or course, or get a coach!
The best part is you don’t have to invest your life’s savings, but with all the services and apps available today, it’s never been easier to grow your assets and become an investor, (the most important part is to do your research first! Find out what’s comfortable and what works for you.
Forgive Yourself and Others.
As the saying goes. Yesterday is gone, the future is uncertain, and tomorrow is not promised. Stop holding onto grudges and mistakes from your past, that time is gone and you will never get it back. It’s time to LET IT GO! It’s time to start looking towards the future with new found focus and intentions, but in order to do so, you have to learn how to forgive yourself and others.
Sometimes we inhibit our growth by hanging onto things we cannot change. It’s time to forgive yourself, move on, let the past stay in the past and be free!
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Less than a week into the anticipated New Year, and already we have experienced yet another historical event.
The attack lead by Far Right Trump Supporters on Capital Hill; home of US House Representatives, and US Senate, and one of the most prestigious locations in the US; has left the nation, and those around the globe speechless.
The attempted coup, who’s motives were unclear, ended in complete chaos, with the untimely deaths of 4 people including an officer on duty amidst the riot.
It is most certainly not the Fresh start to the New year we were hoping or expecting.
With only 12 days left to the official inauguration of President Biden one only wonders if this transfer of power will be a peaceful moment of change, or another moment of utter chaos.
The US is already in a major rut after last years uncontrollable spread of the novel CORONA VIRUS, claiming an estimated total close to 300,000 American lives.
All Americans, and most people around the world would like, is for some sense of normality to return, and so far this tragic incident isn’t the peaceful form of democracy to reassure Americans going forward that there will be any type of return to normality or positive change.
I’m sure we all felt it would be a golden year. A year for achieving goals, and going after whatever it is that we want..
Instead 2020 has humbled us and changed us in more ways than one. It will indeed be a year that many of us will never forget.
Kobe Bryant’s sudden death in a helicopter crash in January, along with the deaths of his 13 year old daughter and everyone else on board, set the shocking and somber tone of tragedy and despair for the year to come.
So much has happened since then, with the surge of Covid, the mysterious, contagious respiratory illness sweeping in and claiming the lives of more than 200,000 Americans, and millions more around the Globe;
Along with an explosion of civil unrest throughout the nation brought on by unjust killings of unarmed persons of color, ie. George FLoyd, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her own home, and countless others who were slain without receiving justice: sparked thick tension, marches, riots, protests and violence, not only in the US, but all around the world.
Our sense of normality is gone. People are ordered to stay home, social distance, quarantine, wear masks, and look at the media, which seems to be all we are allowed to do. A media whose only goal is for you to see what only the Elites of our world would like you to see.
Capitalizing on the effects and death rates of Covid, spreading fear, panic and hopelessness throughout the nation and around the World . All for what. A plan? An Agenda? A master reset?
I sincerely hope whatever plans they had hoped to accomplish fails.
And while we all had plans of some sort, 2020 was the year that showed us that: we may plan, but God decides.
It has been a historical year indeed with the biggest and most controversial election to date. A country divided right down the middle between Black and White, & Blue and Red. -And while the tragedy, and the animosity of this year has been magnified like bacteria under a microscope. 2020 has brought many things into perspective for most people.
It has stripped many of us, from homes, jobs, people, loved ones, normality, and at times even our own sanity. Like a harsh slap in the face, this year has brought to our attention, many of the things that are most important in life like; God, our faith, ourselves, and the people we love.
It has also been a constant and consistent reminder that although the life we live is short, God is always in control.
Treat yourself good, live in the moment, value the time you have with the ones you love and drop the ones that don’t.
Whatever you are going to do, do it. Don’t wait, stop living in fear, live life with no regrets, tell people you love them, and be thankful for everything you have. 2020 has been rough for all of us but I dare you to focus on the good. (Try this Exercise: make a collage or a board with the good things or the blessings you have received this year, use pictures, use words, but gather them up and see just how good God has been, and don’t forget the fact that you are able to read this is a blessing too!)
Go forward in God, peace, love, and victory! Love and light – Marleana B.
Enjoyed this post check out my previous post 7 Signs You May Be Experiencing Spiritual Warfare Here
There is a war going on around you each moment, and you don’t even know it. Every single day you wake up, you open your eyes, and place your feet on the floor, you are entering a warzone, and the spoil is your soul.
The fact is your smack dab in the middle two opposing forces. Good, and Evil.
Sounds like a line from a flick; But if you are a believer of God, and his greatness, then you are also aware that evil does exist.
It’s not something that most people talk about or even understand, but yet it is there.
We think we simply create our own lives, make our choices, do the best we can and when we die it’s over… Well that’s not exactly true. In some way yes we do have control over lives, we do make our own choices that leads us to our desires and where we want to be.
The more interesting part is your in the middle of a race, or game between good and evil, and everyday they are at war for your soul.
The game starts a new each day, and you ultimately make the choice to be ruled by Good (God), or Evil ( the Devil)
There are spirits everywhere, going about seeking to see whom they can devour, and if you’re not carefully watching, you’ll be doing exactly what they want you to do.
Here are several signs that you may be experiencing spiritual warfare:
- Addiction/habits detrimental to your health
- Sudden Depression/sadness
- Feeling constantly Angry/Violent
- Fear and Anxiety
- Lewd Desires/ Behavior
- Uncleanliness/ Chaos
Now you may be saying that these are either the symptoms of an unwell person, or the characteristics of the average human being. But
If all these things then are natural, then why are we not born with them?
All these traits are learned and influenced by the spirits around us .The goal is simple: corrupt as many souls as possible, and hide them from enlightenment, and salvation, which is God.
There are always a million things going on around us, whether we know it or not we are being trained and coerced by unseen spirits. Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Believers of God ought to be vigilant and mindful, that their mind is always on the prize, which is eternal life with God. You need to always be on watch, not necessarily watching against others, but keeping a close eye on yourself so that you are not accidentally lending your soul, and or doing works for the devil.
While you might not be out here looking for trouble, do not be naive in thinking that trouble is not out here looking for you.
While we may do many great and wondrous things down here on Earth, our main mission is to please God, which is why it’s SO important to be mindful of our spirits.
Man who is evil and will perish says: Go do whatever you want. Eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want, party as much as you want, Make however much money you want, doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you have it. Man also says your worth comes from wealth, money, materials, and status.
We’ve all been programmed the same values at a young age. Your job as a member of society, is to be controlled by your government. Go to school, learn what they want you to learn, focus on your role, and what you will do after school to fit into their system.
God who is eternal says: Fear me and obey my commandments, (things God considers a sin) seek me continuously. Your worth, or any glory you may receive comes from God only.
If we are not seeking God’s face, God’s strength continuously, in effect allowing ourselves to become distracted by what’s going on around us, and drawing inward to ourselves and the world, instead of inward to God, then we are setting ourselves up to welcome in countless sinful spirits.
Consider this the next time, you feel stress, anxiety, fear, depression, or lust. God didn’t send those things, you allowed it in. 2nd Timothy 1:7 : For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We all know everyday is a day is a day to be thankful, but ESPECIALLY on holidays like Thanksgiving. It’s a designated time of year, for family, good food, laughter, and cheer, but unbeknownst to some the holiday season can be one of the lonliest times of the year.
2020 has been something of a disaster for most, everyone has been affected by COVID 19, in some way shape or form, whether it’s been the lost of a family member, friend, job, certain freedoms, or faith in a brighter future.
The tragedy is there. The sadness is there, the depression, and the stress is there, and it’s not just going to go away because of our regularly scheduled holiday programming.
For many, the holidays are a great time for families to travel, gather, and reunite, but there are some of us, who simply just can’t relate, and instead it becomes a large mirror forcing you to reflect on what you don’t or didn’t have.
Growing up, even before my mother passed, we didn’t celebrate holidays or have large gatherings. Everyday was the same, there was no holiday spirit or Christmas cheer, it just wasn’t in our system of beliefs; but there was church, it seems like there was always time for that…
It’s no wonder that after she died, what was “left” of the family fell apart.
I don’t blame my brother and sister who were young adults at the time of her passing, so many years living under strict rule, going to a place of worship your mom devoted her time and life to, but yet it didn’t save hers.
My mother passed a month after I turned 11. I have no idea what the last words I ever said to her, I don’t think at the time I realized that she wouldn’t be coming back. Things were very lonely after that.
There was no one there to build or lift me up, or teach me how to be a respectable lady, and warn me not to rush. I mean there again was always church, which seemed a blessing and a curse. Now there was no mom, no sister, no brother, but there was dad who had to sit all the way on the other side of the church
At a young age it taught me that in short amounts of time anything could change, and that sitting down, and being quiet was possibly the best or only thing I could do in life.
I guess that’s why I was in such a rush to grow up. I wanted love and affection from someone else.
I did not love myself and because of it, it vastly changed the direction of my life. With someone, just to be with them, no matter the outcome or cost, and it certainly did cost me lot, my livelihood, my mental, emotional health, the list goes on… it’s a price I’m still paying, a deep wound that’s still healing, a massive dark hole that I am still digging, and climbing out.
On some days it’s easier, on days like thanksgiving, birthdays, and Christmas it’s not. While everyone is coming together to take part in the holiday cheer, laugh, eat, and smile, it’s a reminder of what I failed to produce, and the cozy childhood I never got.
But I am grateful, and thankful, nonetheless.
It reminds me to cherish the moments with the little ones who are dear to my heart. If you’re feeling down in the dumps this holiday, just know you aren’t alone. Everyone is going through something. This year, has been a year like no other. Remember to be gentle with yourself.