Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blessing in Disguise

It isn’t about what we want. It isn’t about what the world tells us we should or shouldn’t do…..it isn’t about “do what makes you happy” or “follow your heart” No….No….No….that’s selfish and that is exactly how I lived my life for a very long time.  It’s what  the world tells us to do but to me it’s wrong but I used to believe all that….it was ALL about me and MY happiness.
Now I believe It’s about doing things for others, bringing light to a world that is pretty dark. It’s about smiling, laughing and loving. It’s about being there for people, even when you don’t want to or feel like it wouldn’t matter. It’s about living for someone or something other than yourself….everyday, being intentional and thinking of others. Now I believe it’s living my life for Christ and no one else….regardless of what others might say or do, their opinions of me are pointless.
Philippians 2: 3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
I didn’t do this for a great part of my life……I really didn’t even think of doing this until I realized just what Jesus has done for me.  He keeps reminding me every day, too.  In little things people ask me to do and in my head I’m thinking “I really don’t want to do that but I know I should” so I do it and it brings them joy.  Just that one small gesture, it brings THEM joy, which then in turn gives me the joy – so who am I really doing it for? Them or me?  I don’t mean for this to be facetious I mean it realistically.  I never really think of the other person when I say “yes” to something, I just think it’s probably something I should do and then I do it never thinking I might just get something good out of this as well.
In turning your mind to someone other than yourself, it takes the light off your problems, your depression, your issues and to give or help someone else – FEELS AMAZING! I know we walk a fine line with this because I know God wants us healthy and we can actually give too much of ourselves but gosh, I've got some making up of time to do here after all these years of focusing on myself and my own issues, I’m done. I want to be happy and this is one of those ways to help me be a blessing to someone else!

Acts 20:35 ESV

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’
I’ve heard my friend Amy talk about her Doula friend Patti. She’s always said such wonderful things about this woman I started following her on social media. Her heart is in the right place, it’s obvious because this woman…..you just have to see her for yourself.
Well, I saw she started a new page called, “Homeless Humans of Tacoma”. So, I started following her page. She takes blessing bags out to the homeless. I let her know I wanted to help and could do 5 bags. I haven’t done this sort of thing before so I wasn’t certain of the cost and what I would put in the bags. She has a picture of a list on her FB page and I just printed out and checked off things I found at the dollar store. I did 5 bags and it cost me $90.00! That was it.
Not once did I think I would get anything out of this, I was honestly just trying to help other people.

Fast forward a few days.
You all know I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety since my Dad passed away 14 years ago. I was 30 years old and had ZERO coping skills and was SO VERY angry with God for not saving his life for me.  I wanted him to see my kids grow up and grow old along with us all. Even though he was sick, his death was still unexpected and really threw me for a loop. I was in a really dark place for a really long time.  
I just recently went off my anti-depressant medication because my thyroid levels are finally optimal after having my thyroid removed in 2013 and I thought, “OK, now I need to start dealing with some other things” So I’ve been off of it several weeks and I’m starting to “feel” things more and some things are not too good but some things are really great, so I’m focusing on the really great things, or I should say I’m trying to focus on the great things.

I was having a really bad day at work and I was going down quick. I was tired and feeling sick which makes things worse. I heard from one friend whose son just relapsed after being home for 1 week from recovery. Then I had heard from another friend and her husband had just committed suicide and my thoughts immediately turned to, “OK Satan, when are you gonna get me next? I’m sure it’s right around the corner since I just went off my medication. I’m sure of it” After several conversations like this one with myself I had to leave work, I had to just get out of there and try to focus on something else.  So I decided I would travel to the dollar store to purchase the items for the blessing bags. Then my conversation with myself went like this:
Why are you even doing this?
This isn’t going to make anyone happy, for crying out loud you are buying these things at the dollar store - it’s not like they are “nice” things.
These blessing bags will not really bless anyone, just turn the car around and go get some lunch this is just stupid.
I walk into the dollar store. The entire time I’m in the store I can hear this woman’s very happy and loud voice being kind to everyone she came into contact with. She was obviously very good at her job of customer service, people were laughing and when people would come into the store she seemed to know them by name. She was great. I could tell. I wanted to be her friend and I didn’t even know her. I love people like that.
So I gather all my stuff and start checking out with that same lady.
I had a ton of items and she said “Oh my gosh you are buying a lot of stuff.” And I proceeded to tell her it’s for several people and I’m going to do some blessing bags for some homeless people but I did not tell her where I was going or any of this back story.  

She proceeded to tell me she was homeless just a few years ago and was walking the streets of TACOMA and if someone gave her any of these items she would have been so happy. She was picking up the smarties candy and just going, “oh my gosh, all these things are so amazing the homeless people are going to love all these things. Oh my gosh, deodorant, dry shampoo, what?” And each thing she picked up and said something about was like a kid at Christmas. She said, “Girl you are blessing these people you don’t have any idea how happy you are going to make them.” I said, “Well, it isn’t really me, I feel as though God has put this on my heart to help someone” and she said, “OK well you are doing the Lord’s work right here.  YOU are doing the Lord’s work” (yes she said it twice to me, how did she know I wasn’t believing?)
Mind you this entire time she is being loud, I felt embarrassed as I’m sure people heard me and what if they were offended and then I quickly turned that thought into, WHO CARES! This is the Lord’s work and He is telling me exactly that through this recovering addict, ex-homeless, kind and loving, beautiful woman of God.
My day was changed. I walked out of there feeling humbled and so very blessed and all along, I never thought this action would bless me!
So, who wants to bless some people in Tacoma with us? If you are interested check out Patti’s facebook page and let her know.
I felt like God spoke straight to me on this day.
“Delinda, quit it. You have so much to be thankful for and so many people do not, so get out there, love and help them. Laugh and smile at  them because you know how it makes you feel when someone smiles and laughs with you!”

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