I know that situations are constantly hitting us right and left like a boxer throwing punches. Bam to the finances, wham to our health, jab to our mental health and the blows go on and on……. Do you currently look like a prizefighter with swollen eyes, blood dripping down your lip, staggering and trying to stand up?
As beat up as we may seem, God is delivering blessings constantly to all of us. I will say that I know it is easier to recognize trauma or defeat than to look for something good in every situations. I am going to share some things that have happened to me this year that made me initially feel like a death blow that I found growth and gratitude in.
I will never forget March 16th of this year. I had around $10,000 in orders for my biggest client than suddenly were cancelled. There was a multitude of orders from this client for big events they had planned for the summer. The events were halted and budgets frozen because of COVID. It was one email after another. Please cancel my order, please cancel my order, please cancel my order. Budgets are frozen and no payments will be made began ringing in my ears. It was like looking at a bathtub drain and the water swirling down the drain was my commissions on $10,000.
Initially I lost my breath. All this work and money gone on the first day of many more days to follow in COVID lockdown. I had worked hard the two weeks before the cancellations to secure and write these order and now it looked like wasted time. After the orders were cancelled, my email inbox sat empty. There was nothing I could do so I prayed.
“Heavenly Father, ” I started feeling like that prizefighter,” I am so unsure of what is happening. Everyone cancelled every order Father. There is a virus brewing that we know nothing about but we are all fearful. I am so confused but I will stand in trust and faith that You are handling this God. I will sit quietly and patiently. Please help me to understand if I am meant to Father. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen” I felt a bit of peace but I felt anxiety begin to swell in my gut like I was just punched again. “I have to be faithful” I thought to myself. Tomorrow is another day.
Well tomorrow was another day. Another day of no emails, no phone calls, nothing. Silence. I had to say this verse over and over.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Yes Lord, my heart trusts in You and I will see what you are leading me to. Well it turned out with all that down time from my promotional products job it freed up time for me to reevaluate my ministry. If you are unfamiliar with my ministry, I anchor people to God’s love by holding a gratitude heart. http://www.gratefulgratitude11.com
I also had events cancelled that I was to meet with single moms and gift them and their kids gratitude hearts and pray for them. I had assisted living communities I was scheduled to speak at and these too were cancelled. All this time on my hands yet no one to gift hearts to. No holding hands, no hugs, no face to face praying. Where was the golden blessing?
The golden blessing came when I had an offer to hand out hearts at a countywide food distribution. This particular Saturday morning anyone in need of food that lived in our county would receive food, no questions asked with proof of residency. They told me 600 families has registered but more were expected. I recruited three of my friends to help me that day. We were able to come early and hand out hearts to each car if we wore masks, gloves and kept our distance.
We arrived at 6:45 am because we were told cars would begin lining up at 7am even through the distribution would begin until 10am. My friends and I said a quick prayer, posted a Facebook Live and moved towards the cars.
I approached the first car, “Hi, I am LoLo and I have a nonprofit ministry that anchors others to God’s love by gifting gratitude hearts. May I give each of you a heart?” It always amazes me that when I hand someone a heart that they immediate are surprised at the weight of each heart. They are solid soapstone.
That opportunity to gift hearts turned into over three solid hours and handing hearts to people I did not know, praying over them and literally losing my voice. When I got back home, I counted the leftover hearts in my trunk. I took 1,204 hearts with me that morning and I returned home with 239 hearts. My math says that we shared 965 hearts in that short period of time. We had to split into two teams of two to make better time and share more hearts and unfortunately, we only made it to half the people receiving food boxes that day.
Matthew5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
If my business were still booming, I would not have had the time to hand out these hearts. I would have never seen the many eyes that brightened that day as I gave them a heart. I would have never been able to pray for multiple people and assure them that Jesus loves them and is with them always. I would have never seen my friends serve the way they did that day. My heart would have never known how special all of God’s children are and how diverse yet united we are. Most of all, I would have never known how much this ministry means to me. It was not about the money; it was about sharing love with others.
My friends, if you feel like that boxer taking blow after blow, know that God will heal and soften those hits and bring you out better according to His will. No one or nothing can beat you down when you have our Almighty Father fighting you battles. May God bless you. My love and gratitude for each of you. LoLo
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.