Sunday, April 21, 2019

Resurrected



Res·ur·rect
/ˌrezəˈrekt/
restore (a dead person) to life

Today, in the middle of a cemetery, I was resurrected once again. 



In the past few weeks, 
I have been battling in a deep deep valley of one’s soul.

Where did it start? I didn’t really know.

It was one thing after another, it was one disappointment after another, it was one doubt after another. It was one fear after another. It was me searching for answers and struggling to figure out how to pursue a calling, to run the race, to keep the hope up, to solve problems, and to balance the plate on my hand. It was me trying to find out what went wrong in the process, what could’ve been done, what should’ve been done. It was me looking in the mirror and realized the nothingness in me. It was me gazing beyond present time and saw the impossibles. It was me feeling alone, abandoned, and left behind.

This kind of battle was not unfamiliar to me. I’ve been in several before, but just like any other battle, we feel powerless. There were days when I had to drag myself out of the bed, out of my room, out of my office room, and faced things I tried to avoid. There were days when I shut down communication with the outside world. There were days when I felt like dropping my plate and hide.

Overwhelmed.
I was drowned in the sea of feelings and thoughts.

Even when I knew God was always near. Even when I knew His presence was always with me. Even when I knew I am His beloved. I just couldn’t see anything pass the valley.

Until the day I visited the cemetery.

It was the day before Good Friday. We decided to visit the graveyard sites of my grandparents and aunt. Since the passing of my late husband, graveyard is no longer a strange place for us, for me, at least. Walking along the crowded site, my eyes scanned through each tombstone. I tried to look into the names, the dates of their birth and death. My heart was broken whenever I saw small tombstones where babies were buried. Yet it warmed my heart when I saw husband & wife being buried together as they died in their old age.

It took us some time to finally locate the tombstones. We laid some flowers, we remembered them and gave thanks to God for their lives. And as we were about to depart, I somehow turned my eyes once again on my aunt’s tombstone to read the bible verse written on it ...

You don’t have to wait for the End. 
I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. 
The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. 
And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. 
Do you believe this? 
John 11:25-26 (MSG)

And right there, at that moment, the word “resurrection” jumped out and snapped me out of my misery.

God whispered “I am right now, the resurrection and the life” I have died and resurrected for you to know and believe that I am for you and I have won every battle for you!

Between now and then lay the hard stuffs, but again, this life on earth is only temporary. Why do I have to be so burdened by it? Why do I have to be so consumed by it? In my beginning, God was there, He was the One who knitted me in my mother’s womb, He wrote the story of my life. In my middle, God is here, walking with me in every step of the way and making sure I am protected, provided, and loved. In the end, God has already been in the last of my days, He has seen the end of my story, He has won the battle, and He will welcome me with delight on that glorious day.





Yes, in this middle, is the hard stuffs, the process, the waiting, the hard work, where strength, perseverance and courage is required, where faith and trust collides, where God shows up every single time.

So, right in the middle of the cemetery, I was resurrected again.

So death, tell me, where is your victory?
Tell me death, where is your sting?
It is sin that gives death its sting and the law that gives sin its power.
But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (TPT)

Friends, you may be currently in the middle of a deep dark valley. You may just arrived or have been in the battle for so long. You may be overwhelmed with worry, fear, and feeling of hopelessness. You can't see the light on the other side. Everything has been spent to find a way out. Your soul is tired of waiting, hoping and believing. The disappointment is too much to bear. Running away seems like a good idea. And you are at the end of the rope.

Friends, please allow me to speak life upon you and your situation. I pray that you will be resurrected TODAY from all the things that have been consuming your mind, heart and soul. I pray that you will have the courage to reach the hands of your Savior. I pray that hope will overwhelm your sorrow and bind your confusion. May you rise up and believe once again that your days ahead will be better that yesterdays because your battle has transformed you into a mightier warrior.




Don’t give up. There is more to your story.


Love,
Felecia



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Will You?



A dear friend recently asked me, 
“What would be your best advice for your married friends?” 

It has been eight years since the passing of my late husband. It has been eight years since I knew how it feels to be married. It was quite painful to think about marriage during the first few years after losing him because I’ve always dreamed to be married and to raise my children in a healthy and happy family. So when the dream was shattered, every thought about it came with a deep pain.

But surprisingly, as my heart was being healed, God started to send people who need direction in their current and future marriage. It was not easy in the beginning because every marriage advice I got asked has a memory and somewhat a degree of woulda, shoulda, and coulda attach to it.

I still remember that day when I asked God to give me another chance to be with my late husband. I told myself, I don’t care if he’s annoying and can be irritating at times, I don’t care if there is a lot of differences and disagreement between us, I don’t care if he’s wrong or I’m wrong, I don’t care who wins the argument, I don't care if we have enough money or not, I don’t care about whose turn to do the laundry, run the errands, clean the house and those tiny issues between us. I remember to beg God with one request, “Can I just have another chance?”

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, 
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. 
They’re created new every morning
How great your faithfulness! 
Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG) 


So what if I were given a second chance? 
The first thing I would tell him “Let’s start all over again”. 

Let’s forget our differences.
Let’s set aside those disagreement.
Let’s come back to point 0, where it was just you, me and God.
Let’s erase those scores on the board.
Let’s walk side by side again.
Let’s trust each other again.
Let’s have faith toward each other again.
Let’s dream big and bigger again.
Let’s laugh at those silly & stupid mistakes.
Let’s cover each other’s flaws.
Let’s talk about it.
Let’s see each other again.
Let’s surprise each other again.
Let’s sit next to each other again.
Let's admit our mistakes.
Let's embrace our journey.
Let’s sing together again.
Let’s live. Let’s love. Let’s give. Let’s serve.
Let’s forgive. Let’s forget.
Let's lean on grace.
Let’s start again.




A dear friend recently asked me, 
“What would be your best advice for your married friends?” 

Have the courage to start all over again.

I don't know about your situation. You might be newlyweds. You might have just taken a new role as parents and somehow your marriage is a little bit unnourished. You might be in a bad place right now and simply don't know what else to do with your marriage. You might be praying for a way out or for a second chance.

Friends, have the courage. It might feel scary but I think it worths the try. Remember the reason why you chose to be together in the first place. Remember the dreams you envision together a while ago.

Friends, there is hope. I believe you are courageous and your marriage worths fighting for.
Will you start all over again?



Love,
Felecia


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ten Years from Today



In the midst of #10YearChallenge hype, I found myself drowning in mixed feelings of brokenness and gratitude. The other night, the kids and I went through old photo albums on facebook (yup, most of them were switched to private since 2011), and we couldn’t help but shed some tears and shared laughters as we scrolled down those good ol’ days.

So, where was I ten years ago?

I was a thirty-year-old mom with three children under 10. My youngest child was only six months old and I still had a lot of baby weight stuck to my body. I was a full time mom living a simple life in a small city of California, running an online business with my late husband, and serving together as a family in our local church. My day consisted of getting the kids ready for school, dropping them off, getting groceries, feeding the baby, preparing lunch & dinner, tackling an everest-high of laundry weekly, cleaning the house, and millions other chores in between. My simple dream was to raise my family well and have more than enough resources to bless more lives.

Where was I ten years ago?

Writing, speaking, leading people, movements and institutions never crossed my mind.
Cooking, changing diapers, folding laundry, chasing little ones were my familiar.

Little did I know two years later, my world was taken apart and flipped upside down.
Little did I know two years later, my dream was shattered into millions of tiny pieces.
Little did I know three years later, we left our familiar to walk on water.
Little did I know ten years later, we are exactly where we're supposed to be.
Saved by grace, sustained by grace.



Friends, maybe you’re like me. Instead of getting excited with #10yearchallenge, you found yourself in between sadness and joy, brokenness and gratitude.

You’re happy to watch the children grow but wish to share the joy with your late spouse.
You’re thankful for good opportunities in the past years but still long to spend those days with a soul-mate.
You’re happy for all the memories made with your spouse but still wish to hold that baby of your dream.
You’re thankful for years of bountiful life but wish you didn’t have to go through those chemotherapies and medications.
You’re happy with your weight-loss victory but wish to have a better relationship with your parents.
You're thankful for these years but wish to at least see one of your dreams come through.

Friends, the past ten years may not be easy for you and we may share a similar story but we need to remind ourselves that we wouldn’t be here today if it’s not for God’s grace. Yes, we have so many reasons to throw ourselves a pity party but we also have a lot more reasons to trust God. My God, your God is someone who can be trusted all the way.

You keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, 
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
 Isaiah 26:3 

Friends, no matter how hard it is and how stormy the future looks like from here, we have to keep the posture of gratitude and good expectation. Let us live, love, work, create, serve from the position of trusting the One who is in control, who is never confused, who is never surprised, who never walks away, who is never too busy, who always remembers, who always understands, who always cares enough to give His best to each one of us. And therefore we must stay grateful and push ourselves to find joy even in the midst of a mess.

So, where are we today? 
We are right in the middle of His loving hands, tenderly cared for.

Where will we be 10 years from today?
We will be in the center of His plan, soaring like eagles, living lives beyond our desires, petitions and imaginations, carrying hearts that overflow with gratitude.

Friends, have hope, find joy and enjoy this gift called life




With love, 

Felecia




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