What’s next?


big bubble Some people can smoke Lucky Strikes for their entire life and live to be ninety, while others can take all kinds of vitamins and eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, go to their annual check ups and then die before forty. And when children are involved, well, I want to cry out “Why?!” I know we live in a fallen world. I know, I know, I know! But it’s not fair. How fast do we all change the channel when we see a commercial for funding the cancer hospitals as they use bald little babies to inspire giving.  I have given before to help of course but also as if to buy insurance. Though I know in my head that God is not counting who gives and saying “Okay not her kids.”  Just to move on to someone else’s who have not given.

I view it much more differently.

I have always imagined God’s face as He releases our souls almost like blowing bubbles from heaven. It is filled with Love and Kindness and His eyes are filled with Hope and expectation much like a parent sending their offspring out into the world. He only is expecting the best for us. There is no awareness of grief or sin or tragedies in HIS presence, for He is on the other side, handing us over, giving us a chance at life. The side He is on can’t be described in human terms really, though I guess, we call it heaven. Everything is pure there. Even the hope that the life that we are passing through to… will have opportunities and chances at all the best possibilities the world offers.

baby in a hand

I truly feel that the instant we pass through that Heavenly Veil He is truly gifting us new life with all of His love. He does not send us out to hurt us. But it is different. Our world here. Much different than the heaven we came from. I am not saying that he is not aware of the state of the world. I am just saying that HIS hope for us is pure.  I picture our souls hitting this side and in a second, our bubble is covered with debris and dirt. Sticking to us as soon as we hit the air.

I am offended when people talk about God but can’t give Him a name other than “Universe” perhaps they don’t want to commit or maybe even offend those who don’t believe in something other than “air” and  gravity.  As for me, I  believe that God is my Creator. I am not ashamed to say it nor to defend His right to be recognized. He is not the author of pain or illness or sin. He had a better plan for us. We were the ones that screwed that one up. I look at my own life and realize that many of my own choices have put me in some of  the less than positive  places that I’ve been or am right now. I also see that sometimes when I am in pain, (though I don’t believe that God causes any of it…) He will use it for me to draw closer to Him.

A wise young woman who I knew as a little girl, not too long ago…… (seems like just a moment~ she caught my bouquet!)

Wedding Jim and I with Jenny who caught the bouqet!

 

lost her sister in a car accident she was also in…( when they were in college) wrote:

What’s important is what we do NEXT!!!!

That was powerful for me! Just that one sentence made me think hard. She now is married with a family of her own… and recently  posted a picture of her family now with her parents (my sweet friends who inspire me with their spirit daily!) sitting near her sister’s grave and wrote:          “Of course we know~ she’s not here!” She may never know the impact that had on me. No long paragraphs… just the hope of what was next for all of us who believe. Her sister is there now! And that is her hope. Such an amazing message…

Stowes

I have decided to embrace her quote…..  “What’s important… is what we do next!!”

To not constantly look back in regret or mourn what was, to not be the victim, standing knee deep in our own trials, mistakes or problems but to move forward in whatever situation we are in. I have lost loved ones, dealt with illness and basically found debris stuck all over my bubble over and over again… but I have also watched bubbles soar high! And I know my soul is capable of soaring! Maybe not without a little debris, but it is my goal to live the kind of life God intended me to have when He gave it to me!

We may never know why bad things happen to good people. But I believe with all my heart that God does want the best for us. Today I am going to find the best, next! I am going to walk right into it and believe! God is good. He wants the best for us. But that is not always part of the deal while we are here. I remember when my store crumbled around me and my daughter asked “Why us?” Why did God allow this?” And she said that without missing a beat, that I replied “He didn’t cause this, He saved us.” I don’t remember that conversation or how my faith came so naturally back then and I wonder now… how to get that back. I have been so angry lately. So critical. And kind of stuck in a place wondering… Why? Instead, today, I am going to ask: “What’s next?”

bubbly pic

The world is full of debris that attaches to my soul

sucked into it’s pit, in the darkness of it’s hole-

Fighting to survive in a place where sin has found a name

We’ve confused the way it’s fallen  and WHO it is we blame

We ignore the love that’s brought us here, falling into place

Forgetting about the kindness and the look upon HIS face

There is a war in each of us, struggling with love and hate

to remember where we’ve come from before it is too late!

Diane Reed

2013

43 thoughts on “What’s next?

  1. Diane—I was so sad to hear about those dirty bubbles, but thank the good Lord he has the perfect bubble cleanser, his own shed blood. Your mother and I read this together, and were so proud we almost burst our bubble!!!!!
    Daddy

  2. Forgive me if I take the liberty to call you “Mom”… I read your Ecclesiastical post filled with Wisdom & inspiration & personal understanding with clusters of experience, insights and HEART ~ I was humbled & bowed my soul in gratitude for godly souls like yours; souls that see, listen to, and love Heavenly Father with complete trust in his will, his timing, his plans for us. I agree that the “Whys” aren’t as important as “How can I handle this circumstance or uphill struggle that would prepare me for whatever else He may need from me around the corner.” Magnificent post! Thank you sincerely for choosing to read my blog & for your brilliant writing ! Sincerely Debbie

    1. Oh Debbie!
      Thank YOU!!!! What a humbling comment! Yes please call me mom! I would be honored! I found your comment through another blog and had to go and read where your wise words came from and have learned to believe that God leads me where He wants me and today it was to you!
      Thank you for blessing me! Hope to get to know you more!
      xoxo
      Mom😉

      1. Thank you thank you thank you Mom, I too believe we are always being led by the Lord to those that will teach us how to carry our cross better & never alone. Blessings to you Mom…
        Faithfully Debbie

    1. Ellie,
      Thank you for coming and checking me out! I am always happy to find people that I connect with and find it cool how even cyberly there is a bond that builds with certain people!
      Thank you for your time! Hope to keep running in to each other!
      xoxo
      di

  3. Like I blogged recently, paraphrasing because I’m too lazy to look it up, ‘Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.’ I’ll add that we all have a present that we shouldn’t waste.

  4. Hi Diane! It’s funny that my own story even inspires me! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words as a testimony for all of us to witness. I love you dearly and am thrilled to be a part of all who read your precious blog! You are such a sweet and spiritual woman who I can aspire to be like one day. Thank you for your excellent Christian example! Love you so much!
    -Jenny

    1. Oh Jenny,
      You guys are the examples!You never sieze to amaze me! ALL of you! You are such an old soul and so wise beyond your years. It is so funny to think that I was just a little older than you when I met you!
      It’s hard to believe that THAT pic was taken 20 years ago this December!
      Love you!
      Diane

    1. Ahhh ((((Leslie)))) BIG hugs!I miss you guys so much! Wish we lived next door and I could just walk over for a long heart to heart! (who knows… maybe someday!) Your daughter is wonderful! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!😉 I love you back!

  5. You are one of the most inspiring bloggers and people I have been in touch so far. You get it from your life experiences or where ever. It is indeed incredible. Another nice write-up. I love your writings!

    1. WOW! You couldn’t possibly know how much I needed to hear that this morning! YOU my friend said way more than I deserve… but the exact words that I needed to read… before I really started feeling sorry for myself.
      xoxo
      Thank you!

  6. Your faith, no matter where it comes from is unshakable. You have listened when life spoke and these words tell us that. So many never do, they like to blame … They like to ask “where was God”, and I say, right here. God never leaves us, we leave Her. I learned something recently about purpose I would like to share; Our life’s purpose in not about or found in action. It is found in meaning. The only thing we keep when we pass from this world is character, that is written on our soul.
    We really should never take any breath for granted. You are only angry at yourself, let go of your attachment to the feeling. It’s easy when you realize you can have it back any time you want!
    May God bless you and keep you always …
    Peter

    1. Peter,
      Ya know… you are right. I am only angry at myself. I was sitting here pretty angry. Trying to re-read my own sermon and my friends… the ones who have taken the time to read here are boomaranging my own message right back to me! God is so good!
      Thank you!!!!
      xoxo!

  7. This post is EXCELLENT, Diane; it’s one of my favorites of yours! I can so relate to everything you said.
    When I was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 36, I didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs etc. I was in pretty good shape and leading an active lifestyle. I would be lying if I said that I never wondered why this didn’t happen to “the bad guy” instead of me; the rapist, murderer or pedophile… I no longer ask questions like that because they lead you into a dark place. As your friend who lost her sister to a car accident wrote – it’s not about the past or present, it’s about what’s next!
    No one, not even the best of men or even an innocent child, is exempt from the troubles and heartaches of this world. But God is good! To the unbeliever, this is a contradiction, but to those who Christ has led through hell, they cannot be convinced otherwise!

    1. Bill,
      I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself this morning and once again you gave me perspective. Your joy is contagious. Your hope is my inspiration! It makes me happy and gives me hope too!
      Thanks for always reading and commenting. You make me feel important. Your voice is amazing… even though I’ve never heard it! Your heart is loud enough for all the words to find me and shake me up a bit!
      xoxo

  8. Another excellent post, Diane; full of wisdom and encouragement. I talk about many of the same things in my daily encouragements, and the especially the thing about “What’s important is what we do next.” I contend we can start fresh each and every minute we live, and if we grasp the enormity of God’s love for us, His blessings will overwhelm us. Life is as good as we perceive it to be, and we have the means to make it as good–better–than we ever dreamed it could be. By simply focusing on God and accepting the gifts He freely gives us, we can live in what I like to call “the state of wow!”.
    Keep up the good work! I love reading what you have to share!

  9. I have lost track of your email address. Could you re-send it to stevesawforhim@gmail.com? I spent most of the night reading your posts. I had forgotten how creative and transparent and thoughtful your writing is. Now that my sabbatical is drawing to a close I can’t wait to get back to my normal writing and reading routine, of which The One Thing I Know will remain one of my regular stops. God bless. I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

    1. Wow what an amazing compliment! As I am soon about to reach my 250th post, I sometimes wonder if all those first posts have been lost in my archives. When someone takes the time to read more than one at a time… it means a lot to me!
      Thank you!

      1. I’m going back to read more when I get some time today or tomorrow. And I may ask you during this season if I can reblog some of your posts on my blog.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I know they can get long sometimes (most times…lol) and I always appreciate someone who hangs in there! You are like blessings to me and I thank you!
      xoxo

  10. Very positive but since God wishes the best for us I just could never congruentize that with all the unmerited suffering in this world. We keep our faith in this high standard of living USA and can manufacture that our misfortunes are growth opportunities but I don’t think the world’s starving in misery see it that way.

    1. There is one good reason for not believing in God: evil. And God himself has answered this objection not in words but in deeds and in tears. Jesus is the tears of God. He came here to this world and gave His life. He lived it all… even asking His Father why he’d forsaken Him, dying on a cross and being resurrected to give us hope. Evil does not trump God’s love. He just allows it in this world which is just a speck in the realm of things.
      Carl, I have my days of questioning. Believe me. I see the children, starving, sick and the accidents and illnesses. But that cross says it all for me. We have the choice to believe or not to believe. God had a great plan for us in the very beginning. But He gave us free will. I know it is hard to understand because I “GET” it when you wonder… well what about the babies that have no choice? And you could go on and on with your argument. All I know is God sent His Son to live as a humble Carpenter, not as a rich King and in the end to die for all that sadness and pain out there that you talk about. My faith may not be just in this lifetime but in the one I will live with the ONE forever, who rolled that stone away!
      Here is a good link if you want to take the time to read….

      http://www.alwaysbeready.com/index.php/evil-and-suffering/181
      Thank you for reading
      xoxo

  11. Oh you are so right Diane. It is sad when any of us have, even on rare occasions, within communications feeling hesitant to use God’s name, or His son’s name Jesus. It is freeing and powerful when we proudly talk about God and Jesus, or use the names in written and oral communication.

    And, why are we afraid to admit that Satan works at pushing us into negative thoughts and actions. We have to work at pushing that bully away from our lives.

    Have you ever read The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron? It is powerful and profound.

    1. Ann,
      Argh… I just lost what I wrote to you.
      Anyway, I said thank you for taking the time to read and as always thank you for always leaving the BEST comments!
      I wll go look up that book right now!
      xoxo
      Diane

      1. Strange, but your original reply came through as well as this one!! Technology is great when it works huh?!:-)
        Satan does try to get to us. With God’s help I send him back to where he belongs:-)
        At the beginning of The Prosperous Heart book is this…

        Prosperity Prayer

        Oh, Great Creator,
        I prosper through you, drawing my abundance from your infinite stores.
        You know my needs and you provide for them.
        You know my dreams, and you bring me their fulfillment.
        I rely on you as my source.
        You are the rock on which I build my life.
        I trust you to supply me with all things necessary to my happiness.
        You are my security. I turn to you always.
        Guard and guide me.
        Amen

    2. Weird this popped up after you said you received it and I thought I’d lost it!

      Ann,
      You are right. Satan is working hard to push everything negative in our hearts and minds all our lives. Even when we are in the greatest of places!
      I will look up that book! Thank you so much! And as always thank you for reading and always making the BEST comments!
      xoxo

  12. I absolutely love this post and ALL that it talks about. You are so right, God works all things for good. My life verse- Romans 8:28- 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.
    ” to not look constantly back with regret…” Why is that so difficult to do? You’ve given me a lot to think about and reminded me that I have a God to hang onto who will help me…all I need to do is trust Him and look UP and not BACK. xo

    1. Barb,
      I think that if we are honest, we all have our times of asking “Why?” And looking back in regret. I know that I do it too much. And that is why I wrote this. To preach to me! If in the course of trying to shake myself up… I can in turn help others realize that God really is on our side regardless of the pain in the world then I am thrilled. Thank you for reading and your wonderful comment!
      xoxo

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