Hello!~~~

Welcome!~

It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~



I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.

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May 22, 2015

The Pathway - Stormy Weather

She had made it through the storm.
And oh what a storm it had been!  Although she had naively stepped right into the heart of the storm, it had caught her by surprise.  She hadn’t expected it, hadn’t been prepared for the unforgiving onslaught.  It wasn’t as if it had started as a trickling slow steady rain, it had been a downpour that refused to stop.  The pouring so hard she couldn’t see two steps ahead of where she was going.  She had felt beaten down by it, drenched by it, exhausted by it. There were times when she didn’t think she’d be able to continue forward.   Where she felt as though she was going against the wind and her efforts had felt fruitless.  It had been an unforgiving storm, harsh and abusive.  Still, even staggeringly she had continued forward.  There were times when all she could focus on was lifting her foot to take the next step, and the next, and the next.   It had felt unending, yet still she kept on the path.  She had wanted to give up, yet still she continued on.  This journey wasn’t as she had expected.  Her encounters made her realize how very vulnerable she was.  Yet there was something deep within her that prompted her to continue forward and to not give up.

The storm was over.  She was still on the path.  She allowed herself a moment to stop and look behind her at how far she had journeyed.  How many things she had learned on the way, yet when she turned around and continued forward she could not tell how far a journey she still had to venture or what the future held in store, the one thing she knew as that she had to continue on.  There was no other choice.  She had come too far.
The sun peeked almost shyly out from between the density of the trees that lined the pathway, its rays drying up the dew on the green grass which lined each side of the way.

Her clothes were damp, her hair tousled.  Her heart and been beaten down – yet seven months had gone by.  The storm had not succeeded.  It had beaten her down but she had risen up and survived the beating.  Her back was straight, her chin was raised high.  Her damp curls framed her face as she continued to look ahead – no longer thinking of what was behind.  The storm was over.
The fact that the storm was over was confirmed by the singing of birds which had returned from wherever they seek shelter from a storm.  It was a welcome sound after only hearing the onrushing of rain.  They seemed to have much to say as if to make up for lost time.  It renewed her.  It encouraged her.  It prompted her forward.

As she ventured on she came to a clearing and the splendid sight she saw took her breath away.
There before the expanse of sky arched a brilliant rainbow.  Its colors fused together like a splendid water colored picture.  Bold, bright and glorious, framed against the expanse of a blue cloudless sky.

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:13)
God’s promise.  A reminder of His faithfulness.  She had been tossed to and fro and God had allowed the storm to occur.  What had she learned during the storm as she had ventured forward?  She had learned that she was more vulnerable than she had ever imagined.  She had learned that it was only due to the grace and forgiveness of God and through His strength that she could proceed.  She had learned that she needed to learn how to cover all her vulnerable areas in case another storm should arise in the future.  This was something that she was still trying to figure out, guarding one’s heart is not an easy thing to do for one who feels things so deeply.  Yet the journey was about learning, wasn’t it?  It was about growing and changing and sharing what one had learned should one encounter another on the pathway.

As she continued to admire the intricate grandeur before her, she was filled with appreciation and awe for a God who continued to care even when it was her own fault for walking right into a storm.  Surely there had been signs and warnings that she had naively not paid heed to.  Yet still He had brought her through on the other side.
God’s promise.

Her lips moved up in a smile, her heart filled with joy and she knew that with that rainbow and God’s promise the best was yet to come.  Not what she had thought was the best – but what God knew WAS the best.  Perhaps it was just around the next bend?  The only way to find out, was to proceed.
And so, she did...   

May 18, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are?





Who Are You? Do You Even Know?
Have you ever had an epiphany before?  You know, when you are in the middle of doing something and you have a realization that makes so much sense to you?  Maybe it's something about yourself or about a situation...  But it is what I call an "Oh Yes!" Moment.  A moment of realization.  A moment of understanding.  A moment of clarity.  An actual turning point.  Let me share because perhaps you can relate...  Actually I know you can - whoever you may be, reading this.
We are born - our lives are like blank sheets of paper.  I actually believe the writing occurs at our conception.  The beginning of my story, the beginning of  yours.  Like a pen dipped in fresh ink the writing begins.  It begins with every event that happens in our lives, creating the foundation of what we believe, who we become, how we perceive things, how we handle whatever comes our way; what we believe about others and more importantly about ourselves.  These perceptions become a part of who we are and goes with us through all the stages of our lives, right up to the very end.

What do you believe about yourself?  You know, the stuff you don't share with anyone (and maybe not even want to admit to yourself because some of it isn't so pretty).  Some of it is hard to accept.  When you look in the mirror at your reflection what and who do you see?

Maybe you might even want to try this - go ahead, walk away from this post for a moment, take a good look at yourself in the mirror.  What is the first thing that comes into your head?  Are you overly critical of you?  Is the first thing you see something about yourself that needs changing? Don't over think - what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Whatever it is - it is part of the foundation of what made you you and sometimes whatever that is that you perceive to see - is wrong.

Our experiences and how we deal with them and how we view them are a big part of our lives.  I will get personal here, because I feel like God wants me to share this and it is hard for me to write because the epiphany is fresh in my head and I'm trying to digest it.  But I know that I'm not the only one who the epiphany is for, so let me share.

There have been many times when I have felt alone.  The beginning of my blog starts out with "it is easy for a person to feel alone in a room crowded with people."  There are significant times in my life especially during the period of my childhood where I felt alone.  The truth is, for the first 40 days of my life, I WAS alone. 

You see, I was born 3 months premature in a time when most hospitals did not have the knowledge or the know how in dealing with premature infants.  I weighed in at 3 lbs 4 oz. I was tiny.  They told my mother that the first 40 days of my life would be critical and that I would probably die...  Imagine that?  The first moments of my life and a declaration that I would probably die was verbalized and made.   This is where I want to stop for a moment, and I want to ask - is there someone reading this who has cancer or a life threatening illness?  Have you been told that you are (like it had been declared over me when I was an infant) "probably going to die?" Words are very powerful - they set a tone.  One can either believe them or not believe them.  Here is what I want you - if you are in that situation to know. GOD IS IN CONTROL OF YOUR DAYS.  Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a hospital, not a family member, but GOD. 

"I will fulfill the number of your days." (Exodus 23:26)

He is only the only one who determines when  you are born and when you  will die. NO ONE ELSE.  What you choose to believe about yourself and about what other people say to you is crucial and can make a big difference.  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Even when it feels like He's not.  HE IS.

I had to stay without my parents in the hospital, alone for 40 days and 40 nights.  No bonding, just me and the medical staff, my first experience outside of the womb, the first pages of my life.  What did I get from that?  From a baby's perspective, I don't remember, I can't consciously recall. I do know that there have been studies done on babies with regards to how important touch and love and bonding are in the beginning stages of a child's life.  What I DO know now as  an adult,  is how that being alone affected me.  I know because I can see how it has played out in the ways I have handled or reacted to situations in my life.  I can tell that the first ink written on the pages of my life indicated that I felt VERY alone.

My mother named me, "Kelly" which means "fighter" because I had to fight to live.  And I did.  Hardly did I know 43 years later on as an adult, I would have to "fight to live" again.

What is written on the pages of your life sets the tone for how you internalize things.  How you associate with other people; how you view yourself and even what you become.  It's called "perception."  What do you believe about you?  Whatever you believe becomes who you are. It becomes a reality.

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

Maybe its time you "rethink" you.  Maybe what you have believed has been a lie.  Maybe its time YOU reinvented yourself according to what God has said about you and not what has occurred in your life.  I know this, because I realized it about ME.

Growing up many of us  were taught a saying, "you are what you eat."  What beliefs about yourself have you been eating?  How has it affected your life?  Your relationships?  Your self image?

For me, I must have believed that I was alone.  That I could only rely upon myself.  That I couldn't be dependent upon anyone else. That people simply could not be relied upon.  I think I believed that "if you wanted to have something done right, you needed to do it yourself."  Which is crazy, because I am probably the most 1/2 cup full, sunshiney type of person you would ever meet!  I've never been pessimistic - always the optimist. But I think due to life situations that occurred within my childhood - the message of being alone (which began at birth) was reiterated over and over again and subconsciously I just got use to relying upon myself.  I didn't realize I had felt that way, until I grew up.  If there is something that is a negative message occurring in your head (or one of your first life experiences), you can bet that the enemy of your soul - ol' slewfoot is going to take it and run with it. And reconfirm it through life situations over and over again because he HATES you.  He doesn't want you to succeed in whatever it is that God has created you to become. He wants you to believe you have NO worth.  That you are no good, that God does not have a purpose for your life.  If he lied to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden back in the book of Genesis - what makes you think he won't lie to you???)

"Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10)

There is a spiritual realm, whether you believe it or not, it does exist; and there IS a war going on.  A war for your soul.  It doesn't matter whether or not  you choose to acknowledge it or believe it.  It is REAL.  So many people are walking around spiritually blinded and they don't even know that they are blind.  Hence, they don't even know that a war is raging on.  But just as the wars that rage around us now in different parts of the world are happening in the actual world, so is a spiritual battle (one that began at the beginning of time) taking place, viciously; and YOU are an active participant in that war - just because you were born, and what goes on supernaturally DOES affect your life.  Acknowledged or unacknowledged, it is the truth.  The only difference is that when you become a Christian, God opens your eyes to see things about yourself that needs changing and makes you aware that you are in the midst of a very serious, definite battle. 

My epiphany today happened in the middle of watching a movie.  How crazy is that?  God can use anything to show us what He wants to show us. It was a very simple realization, very basic, I realized that we are not called to be alone or to be an "island."  Even back in the beginning in the book of Genesis when God had created Adam, He said:

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18)

We were not made to be alone.  Honestly, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone.  And in the body of Christ - none of us were made by God to feel that way:

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.  Now if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." (1 Corinthians 12:14-27)

It's not easy to open up yourself and be transparent or vulnerable before people.  Quite honestly, I have never really cared what people thought of me (although I have cared what God thought of me) so I never lived for people's approval before.  However, the fact is - we need each other and there is no shame or dishonor in admitting that.  I think it is one of the many lessons that God teaches us at some point in our walks.  And for me, it has been one of the hardest to accept.  Not the being around people or the socializing, but allowing people to be there for ME.  I am a "giver" and have had to learn how to be receptive and on the "receiving" end.  There is no shame in realizing that you need people. 


"We are many members, but we are one in the body of Christ." (Romans 12:5)

You were not meant to "feel" or be alone.  Truth be said, you are not alone.  Jesus said:

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

What is the song of you that plays around and around in your head?  Maybe it is time to "change that song."  Maybe its time to re-invent your perception of who you are.  God has created you for a purpose.  A purpose that is just as special as your fingerprints, part of your life's journey is discovering what that purpose is.

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity the one who falls who has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? The one can be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Again I ask, how do you perceive yourself? What has your own life song been?  Compare that to what God says about you and see if the two are in harmony with each other.  If they aren't - it may be time for you to re-evaluate and see yourself as God sees you.  After all - HE is the One who created you in the first place, so He should know.  I say this not only to you blog reader - but to myself.  Stop listening to the lies of the enemy and listen to the truth of the Creator, for no one knows better than He - who YOU really are...

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." (Jeremiah 1:5)

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean NOT to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5)

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." (Psalm 139:1-12)

We can't re-write the pages of our lives, but we can think about what we choose to write on those future pages, no matter what life throws our way.  Only God knows the future, but He tells us:


 "For I know the plans I have for you, I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you don't know who you are, then isn't it time you discover who that is?  You just might be pleasantly surprised...

May 10, 2015

When It Is All Said and Done...

“In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Ps. 139:16). 
 

When it is all said and done, I will feel as though I did the best I could.
I say that with certainty, mistakes and all...
Oh how I wish that I would hear a rhema word from you like the prophets in the Old Testament did, but I guess then we would be under the law instead of Your splendid merciful grace.

When it is said and done, perhaps You will sit me down and put the "movie reel" of my life on.  Before I could only see it in part - but then I shall see it in full and perhaps it will all make sense to me... The parts I am most ashamed of will have been blotted out with the blood of Jesus, because I made Him my Lord and Savior.

When it is all said and done,  I will probably wish I had been wiser and not as hard headed as I was, I will wonder WHY you put up with me. WHY you love me? I will wonder why it took me so long to learn things that should have been so completely obvious.

Maybe I will be amazed by seeing that all the times I felt rejected and alone You were right there by my side.

Maybe I will be astonished by all the people You used through my love for You to come to Christ. Amazed by how far reaching You allowed this blog to go throughout the world... When all is said and done.

Maybe my life will have counted for something - "Only those things you do in Christ shall last." I pray there will be many things that remain for, through and in You.

When it is all said and done, it doesn't matter if my life was lived the way I planned, because when I stand before You, it will only be Your plans that matter.  When you love someone you long to delight and show them.  I pray there are many moments when you see I tried...

When it is all said and done I will understand.  I'm quite sure I will feel humbled by it all, sad by the opportunities I missed and grateful for your grace and mercy which have been mainstays throughout my walk.

I'm quite sure I will fall in love with You a new, filled with complete understanding and wisdom and knowledge of things I didn't know or understand previously.

When it is all said and done, I will love You, Lord for all eternity and be forever grateful that you removed the blinders from eyes so that even if in life I could only understand or see You in part, You gave me the hope and understanding that I would love You for ALL eternity.

When it is said and done...

In spite of all of my imperfections (which are forever before me), but of which You are and have been aware of, since You are my Creator... I love You Lord.  Forgive the times I've missed the mark due to my own insecurities or stupidity.  I hope you know that for all eternity I will be forever grateful that YOU are my God. 

I pray that before it is said and done, I will have accomplished all that You have made me to do.  So that I can hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  When all is said and done...

May 6, 2015

David Crowder Band - How He Loves Us (Slideshow Lyrics)


Do You Have a Thistle?

 
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the Apostle Paul…  

"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

I’ve also been thinking about the story about the lion that had a thistle in his paw…
How about you?  Is there anything in your life that has been a “thistle”?  I have one…  Oh yes…  And as many times that I have desperately prayed that God would remove it, there it remains…  (It is not a health issue, as some might have), but it is an area in my life that is a constant source of aggravation.  One that I have brought before God many times in prayer – yet still it remains…  If God wanted to, He could rectify it and alleviate my aggravation by making it disappear!  I have a hard time picturing life without this one annoying area of my life constantly hindering me and affecting all other areas of my life, yet there it is…

This afternoon I found myself wondering what my life would be like without this “thistle.”  Perhaps it is there to remind me that I am dependent and reliant upon God and God alone.  Perhaps it is there to keep me humble… Perhaps it is there because we are told to “walk by faith and not by sight.” 
It is the one area of my life that I continually trip over, despair of and struggle against.  Is there any thistle in your life that you can think of that affects you the same? Have you ever pictured what your life would be like, if the thistle was alleviated?  Or have you wondered why God has not taken it away?

This doesn’t mean I will stop praying that God will remove it. Perhaps there are still lessons that I need to learn before it can be removed…  Perhaps once I have learned all that God would have me learn from it being there, it will gone or maybe it is something He has chosen I have to live with and combat all the days of my life.  I certainly hope not, but if so I will STILL praise Him.  I will STILL believe that God is good.  I will STILL strive to be all that He wants me to be.  I know that no matter the size that “thistle” sometimes feels in my life, I serve a God who is GREATER.
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…” (Job 13:15)

If you are living with a “thistle” in your life – you should know that it is only there because God allows it to be so.  You should know that He says:
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Although at times this thistle has made my life difficult and filled it with much aggravation, I have also gained and grown enormously because if it. And can sing out truly the words of the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” (Lyrics Written by Edward Mote)

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand all other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand
When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood supports me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”
 
 And so I sit with my back a little straighter, I raise my chin a little higher, I am more determined that no matter what – I will still praise and rejoice in God who is my all in all.  This does not mean that I have stopped believing that God will remove the “thistle” from my life, but whether or not He chooses to change my circumstances, I will love Him regardless, because of Who He is and because of the price He has paid for me.  My love for Him is not built upon what He does - it is built upon what He did...

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
(John 3:16)

May 5, 2015

Monsters Under the Bed And in My Head


“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

(1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
“Good night sweetheart, no bad dreams allowed,” My mother said as she kissed me on the forehead, shut out my light and headed out my bedroom door.  I lay there in the dark, clutching my stuffed Snoopy.  “There are no monsters, there are no monsters, there are no monsters…” I whispered quietly over and over again… My heart beating really fast.  I threw a quick glance to my closet door which I could just make out in the dark.  Mom had closed it for me prior to giving me a good night kiss.

“I won’t be afraid… I won’t be afraid… I won’t be afraid…”   I heard a noise, and gasped pulling the covers up over my head… For about five minutes…  It was my calico cat, Crazy Cat jumping up on my bed.  Her green eyes glowed in the dark and as I peeked out from under the covers I scolded her for scaring me.
My eyes felt heavy, I clutched my Snoopy tighter to me as Crazy Cat circled on my comforter and purring, lay down.  Then I jumped and my eyes open wide as I heard another noise.  I leaned over my bed and knocked on the hard wood floor.  My parents bedroom was right below mine, this was standard bad dream procedure in our household.  I knocked, they came and I could hear footsteps coming up the stairs to my room.  My mom opened the door and flicked on the light.  I blinked as my eyes tried to make the adjustment from dark to light.

“What is it, Casey?” She said sounding a bit annoyed.
“There is a monster under my bed or in my closet.  I heard some noise…” I whispered fearfully…

Mom sighed.  She moved from the door over to my bed and dropped down to her knees, peered under my bed.  “No monsters down here…” She responded.  Then she got up and walked over to my closet door.  Opened the closet door, stuck her arm in between the hanging dresses and clothes, poked her head in and said, “Nope, no monsters in here either.”  She walked back over to me, sat down on my bed and smoothed my hair off my forehead.  “There is nothing for you to be afraid of.  There is nothing that will harm you, I’m here.  Now go to sleep.”  She leaned over and kissed me on the tip of my nose. “Sleep sweet now.”
She had checked, all was well; there were no monsters under my bed after all… I could go to sleep. Clutching my Snoopy to my chest, I rolled over and went off to sleep…

40 years later

It’s two o’clock in the morning, I’m in bed… All of a sudden I’m wide awake… Eyes wide open. I’m feeling anxious and worried. It’s not the childhood monsters that are harassing me as I thought they had as a child, it’s the grown up monsters that go by the names of “Worry” and “Concern” and “Uncertainty” that have shown up on the floor of my mind, stealing ground as an invader would steal territory. There are no beds to check under for the adult anxieties that race through my head or closet doors to open and examine for monsters. And my mother is a few towns away.
I turn on my other side punching my pillow, trying to scatter the worries from my mind.
“I won’t be afraid, I won’t be afraid, I won’t be afraid…” I whisper with determination as all the things I need to do, wonder how I will do or figure out to do flood my mind robbing me of my peace.
And then I hear it... Soft, yet direct, matter of fact and firm.
“Pray…”
“I don’t know what to pray or how to pray there are so many things going through my mind.” I respond.
“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28)

“For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Okay, Okay…" I sigh, sitting up in bed, closing my eyes I begin to pray, " Lord, I need your help… Thank you that just as my mother would come in at night and soothe me and comfort me as a child, I can come to you for advice and guidance and help. " I paused for a moment trying to find an appropriate way to express my feelings. "I feel overwhelmed Father, I feel like there is so much going on in my mind I can’t sort out my thoughts.  You know my heart, you know my situation, you know my life.  Please help me… I thank you that I can enter into a time of prayer knowing fully well that you promised me that you would ‘never leave nor forsake me’ (Deuteronomy 31:6) and that I can bring my problems to you because  ‘Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.’       (1 John 4:4) So I give You this “Worry” Lord, I give you this “Fear” i give you this "concern" and I thank you for chasing all the monsters that lay within my mind away and covering me with the precious blood of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
“Feel better?”
“Yes…”
“Good… Now Sleep Sweet…”
“Ummmm…. Holy Spirit?”
“Yes?”

“Thank You...”

Peace radiates my room like a light invading darkness, my problems individually dropped at the foot of the cross with the expectation that God (being my Heavenly Father and an ever present help in time of trouble) will work things out, according to His purpose and His will, after all He is my Father, my Provider an "ever present help in time of trouble."  It is not up to me to figure out the "how" of it, but to trust that if I have given it to Him, I can trust that whatever the situation, He is in control.  There are problems that are bigger than us, there is more that is going on behind the scenes then we can see, which is why the Bible tells us to bring all things to Him in prayer.  In praying, I have served notice on those problems, kicked them out of my mind and into His capable hands.  My trust in Him fills me with an abundant amount of peace, similar to the safety and security I felt as a child clutching Snoopy in my arms and having Crazy Cat at the foot of my bed and knowing that my parents were tucked in bed a floor down from my room. 

The monsters are gone, my peace restored.  Glancing one more time at the clock and gratefully realizing I still have a few more hours until I have to get up, I roll over and peacefully drifted back to sleep…

I could not see it (because it is in the spiritual realm), but on each side of me was encamped an angel who God has assigned to see to my well being, to protect me and guide me.  Nothing that God does not allow shall ever affect my life because I belong to Him.  If I could see in the spiritual realm, I would have seen my Heavenly Father leaning over me and giving me a kiss on my forehead saying:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)