Jewel’s book “Thank You Lord I Don’t Look Like What I Have Been Through”

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EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Helplessly watching my son fade away in pain from cancer so quickly, I know we were all in a battle to save his life. We were stressed, weary, in shock, sad and felt helpless and disoriented. These are the same symptoms that describe what military soldiers feel when they return home from battle, especially when the events felt unpredictable and uncontrollable. Their anxiety is called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  I don’t look like what I have been through.  Because of God’s grace I have “post-traumatic strength.”

The amazing gift of grace that I have experienced and want to share with you is that…even though I went through the most stressful and painful battle in my life (my son dying from cancer), I have not experienced post-traumatic stress. God has given me post-traumatic strength! I am resilient. I’ve been able to remain productive through my tears. Yes, there are overwhelming moments of feeling empty, nauseous, sad or bewildered… but I’m still standing. My faith was not robbed. I realized that the Lord can be with us where family and friends cannot. When you have grown in God’s grace through a spiritual battle you receive the gift of spiritual transformation. You begin to realize bad things do happen to good people. We will suffer in life. Strength comes from realizing you don’t have to suffer from your suffering. My spiritual transformation and feeling raw in my vulnerability revealed some insights which gave me strength instead of stress.

Through the bitter and sweet, the joy and pain, the bad and the good… we must learn how to ACTIVATE our faith in and out of season. We must learn how to MOTIVATE ourselves so the enemy does not overtake our gratitude, joy, health, peace, faith, hope, praise and trust in God. We must learn how CELEBRATE each day with thanksgiving, love, service to mankind and forgiveness. ”
Each time that I’ve been stretched to grow beyond my comfort zone, God was there. Each time I was stretched; I tapped into my power of creative problem solving, my flexibility, my sense of humor, my intelligence, my ability to let go, my inner strength and yes, stretched to give, be and do more than I ever knew was possible. I don’t look like what I have been through. And you don’t have to look like the abuse, dysfunction, grief, stress, sickness, struggle or heartache you have been through.

Life circumstances may be pressing you right now. Are you going to allow your challenges to stop you, stress you, strengthen you or stretch you?

Life circumstances may be pressing you right now. Are you going to allow your challenges to stop you, stress you, strengthen you or stretch you?
Miracles happen every day. Don’t let the spirit of defeat, depression and disappointment rob you of the wonder, blessings, favor, love and supernatural breakthroughs God can bring. God has given us the divine power to demolish strongholds. He is Baal-Perazim. He is the God of Breakthroughs. He wants to see us free. He wants to see us victorious, but we have to “grow” through the process.

I have been a Life Coach to hundreds of women over the years. I have heard painful stories of dysfunction, divorce, debt, disappointments and dreams deferred. Some of their stories sounded like mine. So many women, including myself, became burned out and had to WAKE UP to sadly realize we have been; asleep… living on auto-pilot… sleep walking through love-less marriages… struggling with child-rearing… grieving the loss of a parent child or friend… being silent suffers never speaking up… settling for a part-time relationship… tolerating selfish friends/relatives… walking on eggshells people-pleasing and just getting by hoping our man would change, our job would get better or our lives would just magically get better. Waking up and recovering from an emotional hangover is bitter and sweet. You can feel shocked and ashamed. But you also will feel free and finally exhale. You begin to breathe new oxygen. You begin to create a new normal for yourself.

Spiritual Mood Swings

At some time in all of our lives, we will experience suffering, inconveniences, heart ache and stress. If our faith is not built up, we can find ourselves bi-polar in our faith.
I admit there are times when my faith is extremely strong and unwavering. There have been times when my faith swung to the extreme and doubt, fear and worry crept into my soul and attitude.
I can relate to the apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 7:19 how he felt confused and double minded about his actions and faith. Do you ever go from one extreme to another extreme in your moods, feelings, beliefs and faith? Have you ever gone from peace to stress in 0 – 60 seconds? Have you ever said you were going to forgive someone, stop feeling angry or stop worrying about your children, health, finances or job? Have you ever thought that because you were in a season of suffering that God had forsaken you? Has trouble ever knocked on your door but your faith did not open the door? Have you ever started the day off in peace and then something happens on your job that causes your mood and faith to swing to the extreme? Do you only have faith and peace when everything is going well in your life? When “shift happens” in your life, does your faith shift to doubt, anger and worry? Does your “pendulum of thought” swing back and forth exhausting you and robbing you of rest, peace and faith in the Lord?

James 1:8 reminds us that being double minded and indecisive makes us unstable.
As I encourage myself each day…I want to encourage you also to avoid being bi-polar in your faith. If someone is diagnosed as mentally bi-polar they are usually given some medication (which has side effects). However, to be spiritually bi-polar I prescribe meditation, not medication. When we meditate and pray, the only side effect is that our peace, rest, joy and faith are restored. We must practice this daily not just when we are in a storm or on Sunday at church. Daniel prayed three times a day and was delivered from the lion’s den.

The benefits of prayerful meditation are many;
. Strengthens your relationship with the Lord
. Deepens your faith and ability to surrender to the flow of life
. Increases gratitude and strength to endure difficult times
. Gives you insight and clarity to see purpose through your pain
. You are able to hear from clearly from God what should be your next step.
. You are able to self-correct any negative thoughts or feelings
. Lowers high blood pressure.
. Relieves stress and anger.
. Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks.
. Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems.
. Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior.
Improves the immune system.
by JewelDiamond Taylor, author of “Shift Happens“, conference keynote speaker, women’s retreat leader, women’s life coach “The Self-esteem Dr.

Still Standing In Spite of It All

When you feel at your wits end with stress, pain and a world that seems to be falling apart…remember only the strong survive.

You may feel forsaken, overwhelmed, exhausted and afraid.

Maybe your finances, relationships, health, doubt and hard circumstances make you feel like your world has turned upside down.  Maybe you feel like there is no secure ground to stand on to support you.

For those in grief, Christ offers comfort.  For those full of heartache or physical pain, He offers hope and healing. To those who carry emotional burdens and broken dreams, Christ offers His strength.  For those who struggle, He offers rest.

After the dust clears from dreams dropped, a job shattered, falling finances or the banging sound of change, you can still find a place of inner peace.  The Lord changes not and stands ready to guide and provide for you and your family.  Seek His comfort.  Study His word.  Surrender to His way.  Keep your hope and trust in the Lord even when everything around you seems hopeless.   Believe in God’s restoration and resurrection power for your life.  You can rise again.

Even during life’s darkest hours, confidently speak these words from Romans, “nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Wednesday Word written by Minister Jewel Diamond Taylor, author, Conference Keynote Speaker, Women’s Retreat Leader, www.DoNotGiveUp.net – to book speaker call 323.964.1736 or email JewelMotivates@gmail.com