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Archive for June, 2016

Is It Ok to Cry?

Dear Friends,

Yes, it is. It is perfectly okay to cry for many reasons. It is a human expression we all need to do from time to time. The last four weeks were some of the most stressful and sad weeks I’ve had in my life. All during the same time that I had to give eleven presentations to different audiences on eight different topics (four were brand new) and also included going away from home four times. As a speaker, I needed to be “on my game” and “entertain the audience” without them knowing what I was going through inside. They don’t need to know. They may not care either. People attend conferences and seminars to learn and to be entertained and don’t need to or care to listen to what’s going on in the speaker’s life.

So this morning, during my prayer time I cried for hours. Couldn’t stop. It was like a river that had been stopped and the dam overflowed. I cried because I lost a first cousin and missed having him in my life for the last thirty years. He was one of the cousins I grew up with as a child and the Nicaragua war separated us and we all continued to grow up in different places. I cried because my aunt is suffering to see her only son die in front of her eyes. I cried because I felt the suffering of all the people who loved him. He died two days before my first speech so I started this speaking marathon already distracted and hurting inside.

During the next two weeks, my father-in-law’s health deteriorated quickly from heart disease and we heard the news that he only had six months to live. A week later, the doctors said he only had two weeks. And by the end of the first week, they told us he only had two days! My husband and his sister flew to Missouri where he lived his last years with his wife. I had to stay behind because I had an all-day bank seminar to teach on Tuesday, June 7th. I called my father-in-law that Saturday and said my goodbyes. I’m glad I did. I told him I would see him on Wednesday but I never did. The very morning of the 7th at 3 a.m. I got the text from my husband saying his dad had passed away at 2:53 a.m. I didn’t cry then but I couldn’t fall back to sleep for hours and when I finally did, the alarm went off. I was to go teach the whole day. I was in agony suffering because I wasn’t there with my husband when his dad passed away. The guilt was consuming me but I had to follow the plan to get through the seminar and leave to MO on Wednesday.

Only God could help me teach the entire day without falling apart. I had an army of Christian brothers and sisters praying for me—for strength, for grace, for peace. The seminar was a success and no one knew what I was going through inside, which was not only the grief that I couldn’t say my goodbyes in person but that I was not there for my husband for such a time as this. Wednesday came and I left to join my husband, his sister, and my father-in-law’s wife. My husband told me the story of his dad’s last minutes on earth. After they took the oxygen off because that’s what was keeping him alive the last few hours, he took his last breath and his eyes opened. Then my husband said to his dad as he closed his eyes, “I’ll see you in heaven dad!” I cried when he told me that because it’s a beautiful thing to have done and have said to his dad. I know his dad heard him as he smiled on his way to heaven. It’s also the only hope we all have to see our loved ones in heaven when our turn comes.

While in Missouri when my husband and I were going through his dad’s things in the garage (which was very sad and emotional), I received an email from a very close friend saying she was separated and was thinking of divorcing her husband because he “started drinking again.” This was devastating to me because I love both of them but at the same time, I was angry at him for allowing his addiction to take over and hurting my friend in such a way. Now their marriage is in God’s hands and only with His help it will be restored. I also told my friend it would be hard for me to forgive him this time.

Yesterday, my friend told me her husband needed a place to stay and my heart broke. I felt an overwhelming love in my heart for her husband. The love of God watching His little child struggling with addiction. It was a supernatural love that only God could put in my heart and I was able to forgive him and pray from my heart for his restoration and healing. I don’t understand addictions and I don’t have the training or education to deal with them or their behavior. But I do understand the love of God and His supernatural power to heal us and give us the opportunity to start over and over again. I feel now free of anger and resentment toward him. I feel free to love him as a child of God and not as a broken human being with all the dirt that sin brings into our lives. I’m sure there will be consequences to his behavior that will take years to heal and repair but God is powerful, faithful, and loving. I’m now believing for the best for both my friend and her husband.

So today, I cried for hours… I cried because I felt the love of God in my heart loving all of those who are suffering. I cried because I couldn’t do it before and I had a river of tears that needed to come out. I asked God again to forgive me for my sins and now I feel good, relieved, and cleansed from my own sins.

So if you ever wonder if crying is okay or not. Yes, it is. Cry and let it out. You’ll feel relieved and ready to continue the fight. Next Tuesday, June 21st I have my eleventh presentation and then I have a month until the next one. God is good. He is faithful and loves us very much!

 

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Dear Friends,

I am in the midst of a “speaking marathon” with eleven speaking engagements within four weeks. Of those, eight are different topics and four are brand new presentations. Those of you who speak know that it takes hours to prepare for just one hour presentation so I’ve been very busy but truly loving what I’m doing.

This past week I had the privilege to visit a ladies Book Club in Montevideo, MN, which is about two and a half hours from home. One of my great friends took me there to visit her friend who belongs to this book club. They all read my book, The Fire Within – Connect Your Gifts with Your Calling and the purpose of my visit was to share and have a discussion about the book. As we were driving to the hostess’ home, we found ourselves driving through corn fields and I told my friend, “I finally found ‘the middle of nowhere in America!’” After a good laugh, we finally arrived to the lady’s home who received us with open arms and lots of hugs.

Today, I want to share with you two major things that I realized through this experience. The first one, right in the “middle of nowhere” I found the love of God—in the country, the heart of America! It reminded me how this country was founded on Christian principles and about God’s love. I remembered how blessed we are to live in this beautiful, amazing, free country.

The second realization I had is a confirmation in my heart that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing during this time in my life. This past week I had the opportunity to pursue going back to a regular job, as an employee of a big consulting firm working with banks. The idea intrigued me because they do exactly what I do. In a way, I could be their competitor although I don’t consider myself one because they are a big company and I’m just me. However, they see me as a competitor. Interesting! The more I considered the possibilities of dropping my own consulting firm, not being able to speak anymore, and no longer having the time to continue to write my books… the more I realized it’s not the right opportunity for me.

I wrote a while back another blog called, “A New Door: Is it an Opportunity or a Distraction?” This is the fourth door that opens up for me since I started pursuing my calling almost two years ago. I have to have long conversations with my husband who helps me stay focused. He sees how happy I am now and he allows me the opportunity to pursue my dreams—which is precisely my calling! Consulting, speaking, and writing—that is what God wants me to do at this time in my life, and maybe for the rest of my life.

These loving, amazing ladies made feel so welcomed, so loved, so appreciated. It brought tears to my eyes (and I did cry while sharing with them). The entire experience confirmed in my heart that God wants me to continue sharing my life’s experiences with the world. God confirmed that the books I’m writing are His gifts to me that I must share with the world because they are helping others find their own calling in life—pursuing the purpose that God intended for their individual lives. As each person finds their unique calling, many others will benefit from their gifts and will be blessed. They will feel the love of God through each person who follows their mission in life.

Even though the ladies who were there told me they were blessed to have me there and that I helped them by sharing about my life with them, they are the ones who helped me and blessed me beyond measure. I thank God for this opportunity and this special experience. I will never forget it.

To all my new lady friends from the Montevideo Book Club—I love you and you will be in my heart forever. God used you that night to keep me focused on Him!!

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