COMMUNITY

woman near window
Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

I have been in personal hiatus lately, meaning, I’ve spent lots of time alone. There are a few reasons for this need at this moment. Life has been a little topsy-turvy and cumbersome over the last few years. Trying to find my footing through events, circumstances, hills, and valleys requires personal reflection. I am grateful for the journey, and the lessons being learned. For times such as these, the growth and outcomes generated are profitable, leading to the place of much-needed serenity and peace.

Some people look at being alone as something taboo. For me, it’s one side of my personality I have to indulge in and balance. I’m an introvert who has learned to socialize like an extrovert in various settings. Being quite reticent, I spend time internalizing life (mine, others, the world we live in, etc., etc., etc.). Summoning memories of my youth confirm writing as a natural place to dispose of my uncomfortable thoughts. Writing has become my road to sanity; a place I can’t deny to extinguish the ugliness of negative emotions. I chose to empty my thoughts on paper rather than wreck my limited relationships through verbal carnage.

This weekend I learned something in my hiatus important to me as an individual. As much as I enjoy my alone time, I still need my community! I googled the word community for the relevant definition and found it – the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common [1] Although I enjoy my periods of alone time, I don’t want to be alone all the time. Socializing provides laughter and deep conversations about God, family, and all things life-related. In those times, I feel a part of something intensely gratifying. My heart warmly enthralled with God in knowing I am alone only when I choose to be.

grayscale photography of people worshiping
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Being a part of a community of like-minded people who care for you creates a sense of connection. A church community joins like-minded believers into a body that guides and cares for your salvation, spiritual growth, and servanthood. In a job community, some people help you develop skill sets for career elevation. The community of family fosters a place of unconditional love, encouragement, protection, and treasured examples of leadership.

This weekend I joined another community. An affinity of writers and would-be writers called to tell their stories. Memoirs, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, devotionals, bible studies, etc., an amazing expanse of creativity. I needed this community with whom I could share this part of my life. They host my passion to share and enthusiastically celebrate life on its terms. In this place, encouragement and support abound. Without hesitation, it is the solid ground upon which to plant my author’s feet as I grow into the writer I am destined to become.

At the end of the day, we all need COMMUNITY.

[1] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/community; 2 [mass noun]

Dear Dad…

Life will end one day, so I just want to say…

Dear Dad,

I can’t help but love you because I am a part of you. Your DNA courses through my veins until my flesh returns to the dust. See, even though I never had your name, I had your blood. Yet, I hate that you chose to be absent from my life for so very long.

As a kid growing up, ease dropping on adult conversations, I couldn’t help but wonder who I looked like. I knew that my sister looked like her dad; that my cousins looked like their moms and dads; and, that I looked like you. Only problem was – I’d never seen you, let alone spoken to you. You were the unspoken half of me.

I don’t know if you ever realized how affected I was as a child, growing up unable to connect with the missing part of me. My identity was tied to you, and I was left feeling incomplete without you. You were the idol of my childhood dreams; a combination of nightmares and wonderful daydreams.

I guess the hardest part is that I just didn’t understand. How could I; I was just a child. But as I grew up, what separated us could never be reconciled in my heart as justified. See, AT&T was a norm when I was born; and the services only got better with time.

I wanted someone to blame, but they were non-existent. Mom didn’t bad mouth you to me; she just never talked about you to me. Then, when the silence was finally broken … I had already tossed you out into the sea of emotions and allowed you to drift outside my care. Maybe I was too good at hiding how much I cared or maybe, after 11 years, she didn’t know where/how to start that conversation. But to be fair, you could have started that conversation on your own.

Be honest with me? Did you ever think of me once the dye had been cast? I was the fruit of your loins, borne of your passion. Did I cease to be of interest so soon after the demise of what was? I was made to choose one parent when I would have chosen you both regardless of the relationship’s death. I had enough in me to love you both equally.

It’s too sad we wasted so much of the little time we were given. I can think of a thousand and one things I would have loved to have filed away in my memory chest. Unfortunately, I have to settle for the small parts I was given because they are priceless when compared to having nothing.

I could spend a lifetime crying over what could have been. Instead, I’ve chosen to cherish the minuscule discovery moments of the you I came to realize in me. Holding your hand, laughing at your jokes, looking into your beautiful brown eyes, relishing the memories of time spent in your presence. I can hear you now, whispering about things you thought I was too innocent to understand, wanting to protect my tender soul from the realities of your world.

There is no longer an identity hole in my life. It had long since been covered over by time. In the end, my prayers were answered. As I sat beside you, the knowledge of your final search for me was an overwhelmingly mix of both joy and sadness. I know you loved me the best way you knew how; the best way you could.

Now, like you, I am at peace with your absence. For my hope is fulfilled in believing we will share in eternity what we were never able to share here on earth … unity, as one, in Christ.

In the end, I still loved you, Chico…

Excerpt from “I Just Want to Say…” by Wanda Murry © July 24, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Cry Not, My Sistah

Some wonder…

When does the bleeding stop?

When does the ache fade?

When does the memory disappear into oblivion?

I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. All I have is a heart that prays, and a pen that showers words upon pages … waxing poetic upon the mind … and Emotionally Charged:

 CRY NOT, MY SISTAH!

Cry not my Sistah, for you are not alone.

The hardships in this life were not made for you to own.

Cry not my Sistah, for I’ve seen your many tears.

I know your weeping in the night has been for many years.

Cry not my Sistah, for I know how hard you continually try.

Yet, no matter your will, some things still pass you by.

Cry not my Sistah, for your inner strength remains.

The broken dreams cannot deny what you have gained.

Cry not my Sistah, for I also hear your prayers.

How I wish to convince you that somebody out here cares.

Cry not my Sistah, for the burdens that weigh you down.

A beautiful smile is waiting, in time, to replace your frown.

Cry not my Sistah, for your best is never in vain.

Our God is a witness to the scars of your pain.

I tell you to cry not my Sistah, for it will be okay.

A time will come when all your misery will wash away.

The strength of your character will provide all you need.

Time will come be the rewarder for all your good deeds.

And all your troubles will vaporize into the distant past.

Just continue with faith in the Lord; remaining steadfast.

The JourneyWomen are expected to multi-task (family, work, & more). Though equipped helpers, remember, even God rested from his labors.

~page 16, from my book, “Emotionally Charged“~

 

Sisters, in those moments when you feel most unloved, alone, or afraid, encourage yourself with the words of this song by Switch, and KNOW that you are GOD’S:

SYMPHONY

Silly Women

Excerpt from “Silly Women, Foolish Men” © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, May 8, 2019

Chapter 1

woman wearing skeleton costume

 

The problem most silly women face is that we are willing to be test-driven by men who, from the beginning, pitch the dream without ever following through on the promise to secure the total package.  ~ Wanda J. Murry ~

 

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (2 Timothy 3:6)

What does this woman look like today?

First, she’d be a slave in bondage to something or someone that uses her unashamedly and tosses her aside once she’s been used up and has nothing left to give. 

Secondly, she’s young, in mind, if not in age.  From a young age, she’s been tossed aside as unimportant and no one’s priority.  Not knowing her value and or pricelessness as a human being, she starts early seeking validation for her existence.

Boys, Gangs, Girls; Father-figures in sugar daddy garb; Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Videos, Stealing; Booty shaking, Pole twirling, Exotic-Erotic dancing, Reckless grouping groping; Exposing the skin she’s in, begging for attention from within.

Somewhere in the maze of enticing entrapment’s she finds her niche.  She boasts in it, relishes the feeling of being seen, heard, discussed, wanted, noticed, talked about even when she realizes that everyone is taking, using, extracting, dismissing, pulling, yanking and wringing dry every measure of her being.

Thirdly, she’s not a hot mess; she’s just an emotional, spiritual mass of brokenness. She realizes too late that she’s dying, numbing, retreating and trying to find a hiding place in her mind for her soul. There’s no cover or bandage for the wounds inflicted by those with lying lips and heavy hands; they, too, are caught in a trap of self-denial.

How? How did I get here? Feeling trapped, ping-ponged into wanting to be free and afraid to leave. She seeks to find the lesser evil of the two but both leave her feeling alone, abused, scarred with residue that cannot be washed away or hidden. Trading one taskmaster of bondage for a multitude of others so intricately entwined, creating a spider web of strongholds.

brown and white bear plush toy

Her only solace is the fruit of her womb or a bitter retreat into solitude. Without the intervention of a godly sisterhood, and the love of godly survivors who overcame, the cycle repeats itself like a wound that never heals.

 

Excerpt from “Silly Women, Foolish Men” by Wanda Murry

 

Take My Hand

from new book “My Soul Cries… Glory, Glory, Glory” (2019). Copyright © Wanda J. Murry.  All rights reserved.

Matthew 18:19-20
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Although it is a story of rebellion, the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) gives an example of what can be accomplished when people stand together to work toward a common goal. Likewise, in the book of Nehemiah we find the story of the citizens of Jerusalem banding together to rebuild the wall around the city (Nehemiah 4) while warding off the naysayers and enemies that taunted them.

These stories give credence to Jesus’ statement wherein he says, “He that is not with me is against me…” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). This truth flows into every part of life, and is most likely at the heart of everything that is broken. When people are not joined together, touching and agreeing, there is division.  A small breach left unattended in a structure, with enough pressure, becomes a gaping hole in that structure that eventually crumbles into a heap of nothingness.

We see this in companies. Staffs flourish in a company where management exhibits and demonstrates care for their well-being, praises them, and shows appreciation for their contributions.  You find the opposite in a company where management has tyrants who micromanage, criticize, and show little respect for the employee or their work. These companies will usually have a high turnover rate.

affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We see this in marriages. When a husband thrives at demonstrating and living the biblical command to love his wife as Christ loved the church, he lives with her according to knowledge.  A wife under such authority willfully submits to his leadership authority, and you often find a couple who genuinely adore and respect each other … they have become “one.”  But let the husband be an insensitive bully or the wife an odious (hateful) woman, and you may find a drifting apart that creates a gulf impassable, fostering outside alternatives that choke out the hope of reconciliation.

white concrete structure
Photo by Arantxa Treva on Pexels.com

We see this in churches. Where there is a stronger presence of believers who are solely focused on giving their all to the vision and work of the ministries of their church body, there will be little posturing for position or title.  This church body is grounded and fortified for the service of God with servants able to withstand the attacks of the enemies. The flip side of this is a cluttered mess of individualized, spiritual separatists vying for dominance and recognition while the work of the ministry falls into stagnation and apostasy.

What is your point,” you may ask?  It’s simple … don’t aspire to join the Tower of Babel!  Look to your left, look to your right, look in front of you and look behind you, then look within/without the body of Christ…

Take A Hand–Walk beside each other so we can hold each other up in the times when the battle and weight of our trials are too much to bear…even for the strong.
Take A Hand–She’s young and without knowledge of her virtuous treasures which have been soiled by the world; help her exchange the ashes of her life for beauty…and love.
Take A Hand–He wants to be a man but all he knows about manhood has been derived from his dysfunctional environment absent of leadership; he’s silently afraid of the dying around him, but you can introduce him to a New Life.
Take A Hand–Whether old or young, they have been striped of human dignity at a  price of civil rights, abusive nights, or rejected by sight; rebuke them not, but in gentleness and respect teach them the ways of God’s holiness and sanctification.

Let us now agree as touching on that which is most needful for the expansion of the Kingdom of God — the gathering together in His name, the sharing of the gospel message, and the edifying of each soul through the power of the Word of God.

Take My Hand.

From the Outside (A Poem)

Leave judgment where it belongs – in God’s hands

Copyright © Wanda Murry, August 7, 2018

It’s been a while since I shared a poem from my latest book, Emotionally Charged (Amazon, 2016)This poem came to mind as I listened to the words from King & Country’s “God Only Knows” official music video (below).  It made me think of the countless young women and young men who are wandering through life — hopeless, wounded, afraid, and ready to give up on life.

I can so relate to those feelings.  As I’ve mentioned before, I personally dealt with suicidal thoughts as a teen and young adult.  I know what it’s like to feel so alone and/or hurt that you don’t think life is worth living. God brought me back from the brink many, many times!  God wants to impart His love to the lost and the hurting; He just needs them to reach out and take hold of His hand.

If you have an experience or encouraging word you can share with those who will read this post, please do.  Someone may need to hear your testimony to starve off the hopelessness nipping at their heart.

Enjoy the Poem and the Song below.

080718-POEM-From-the-Outside

 

 

My Soul Cries… S-t-r-e-t-c-h

Let me ask you; “Have you ever felt an inner unease or restlessness in your spirit where you can’t quite pinpoint the source of the feeling?” I’m sure this sounds eerie to some, but I’ve learned to pay attention to this feeling because my past has proven that it is seldom without merit.

I don’t watch the news or keep up with current events, politics or the such so I can’t pin it on those outside factors. Yet, I know something is in the wind, heading my way, and experience has shown it will become an exercise in spiritual and mental stretching. This I know: I must prepare myself for whatever is coming by praying in earnest.

Needing encouragement, I grab my first book, and find these words:

Philippians 3:13-15 – Page 37

In order to press forward to do that which we are called to do, we must make peace with the past! God has brought us this far for a reason and the past has already played its part in developing a part of our character.

Aim to do better, and be better for Christ with each new day. Do you want what God has for you? Then, press for excellence in the call God has placed upon your life. If anyone deserves the efforts of our very best it is Christ who gave His very best unto death!  Maybe you are facing something that is trying your patience or endurance.  Like me, you can probably use a little encouragement, so for all who may need a dose of uplifting, here’s a few words of comforting encouragement to help you along the way.

Matthew 7:12-20 Page 62

“The fruit of Love is an action word best confirmed by attitude and deed. The real thing shouldn’t be hard to see or feel. It will be sacrificial and compassionate in spirit, just as Jesus was. However, rotten fruit may still appear to be usable until you draw near and are met with a horrible smell that repels. For that reason, it is better to cut off anything that corrupts to keep from ruining the testimony of the Christian faith.

Psalm 22:22, 25 – Page 63

When we are knowledgeable about both our enemy and our Savior, there is little that should surprise us or catch us off guard. When you know that you are the prize in a spiritual tug-of-war, wisdom dictates that you prepare for the battle, that you stay alert, and that you map out your strategy for a sure victory.

Zephaniah 3:12 – Page 46

When there are no problems in our lives we tend to get lazy in our daily communion with God. We kind of get a faulty way of thinking toward God that says, “out of trouble, out of mind.” We mistakenly forget that troubles don’t last always, but neither will the calm days. Satan never, ever rests; he just changes tactics and disguises.

When my soul cries, “Prepare Arms,” my spirit says, “STRETCH”

to meet the unknown encounters that are ahead.

All Talk …

Every word matters & leaves a mark.

I may have said it before, but I love words!  Words hold so much power.  We’ve probably all heard the saying, “all talk and no action!”  Sad to say, but I’ve been on both sides of that saying more times than I care to admit.  Words leave impressions, like footprints in the sand.  People struggle to overcome words spoken to them as children.  Relationships are broken or destroyed by unfulfilled spoken promises (Christopher Williams‘ hit comes to mind).  Words can strike blows to the spirit like gunfire, or be as medicinal as an antibiotic. Words set the stage for communication, depending on the tone used, and determine whether the message will be received or rejected.

But … what if we said what we meant, and meant what we said?  What kind of life could we build not just speaking words, but living by the words we speak?  What if misuse and disregard for the potency of words plays a part in how we regard the Word of God?  I mean, if Psalm 119:160 says that God’s word is true from the beginning then surely we must realize that the prophecies, judgments and promises given from Genesis to Revelation are true as well, right?  When God said, “thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17), was he lying?  Did he go back on his word?

As these thoughts came to mind on my ride in to work today, I recalled a poem from my book titled, “What If.”  Being privy to hidden words can stain the soul.  That in itself is food for thought, and definitely worth pondering in the heart!  We all talk … but, the question becomes how have my words affected my life?

PS:  Enjoy the Poem!  And, I always love hearing from you so comments definitely WELCOME!

What-If

They Don’t Know You!

The Issue: When someone has been in your life for a long time and, yet, has no clue about your character or value as a person, either you’ve pretended to be someone you are not for too long, or they totally ignored the real you that was always present.

 

From my new book: Emotionally Charged: A Poetic Journey in the Issues of Life

♦   ♥   ♦   ♥

Today, I want to applaud the mothers who train up their daughters, and the daughters who listen and take heed, to know that their value as a person is reflected, not in the words they speak, but as a reality… 

  • In the character they exhibit
  • In the principles they stand on, and
  • In demonstration of their walk (biblically speaking)…

 These are they who will shine as the brightest DIAMONDS, even as they are ridiculed for holding firm to their virtue.

 VIRTUE is nothing but voluntary obedience to truth.

Poem-You Dont Know (Insert) 051217

 

It Is Written: My Soul Cries “A Tribute”

I have some friends who are dealing with deaths in their family—some of them, multiple.  Death hit close to home this year. I lost an uncle who was the pillar of our “Pender” family based in Kansas City.  In the past, I greatly feared death. In 2006, the loss of a young man I knew in passing tore through my fears like a hurricane. I mourned the death of this child as if he were my very own.  Baffled by the depth of my tears and depression for weeks on end, I cried myself to sleep each night asking, “Lord, why—why him—why this son?”

The weight of my grief drove me into depression. I asked others to pray for me.  My breakthrough came as I lay silently crying one night:  Death is a Given—Accept it & Make Peace with it. God is the only one with power over it!  And, BOOM, there it was! Yet, to totally break the yoke of the fear these words followed:  God gave you children for a time and a purpose, just as He gave HIS SON for a time and a purpose?

My peace with death doesn’t mean I don’t sorrow for the lost. It means I take comfort in God’s arms and acknowledge this truth:  “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8); and it will play out to the very end.

Today, I am sharing an excerpt from my first book, My Soul Cries… Holy, Holy, Holy, that I hope will give a new perspective on dealing with death.

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