LOVE NEVER FAILS: Written By: Brandi Spyies

I don’t have any regrets in life. My perspective is:

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON!

Most of those reasons are to become better individuals in a corrupted world. More recently, thoughts of a dissolved relationship have been flooding my mind. My last exclusive relationship was in about 2004 and then the gentleman reappeared in 2006. In total, I would say we were together for 4.5 years–my longest relationship to date. We met in graduate school as I was working on my doctorate, he was finishing up his Pre-Med degree and getting ready to take the MCAT for medical school. We hoped together and dreamed together. Nothing could tell me that he was not my husband. It was one of the purest relationships I have ever experienced in my adulthood. He was celibate, I was celibate. The love that we had was based off of the pure fact of, I see your potential and I want to be apart of it. It wasn’t an easy relationship for me, because it wasn’t what I depicted my relationship would be however, he treated me like a queen. Despite the fact that I didn’t deserve the love and respect that he poured out at times–he gave it to me unconditionally and I learned to reciprocate.

Out of all of the memories that we shared, the one that showed me how much I was indeed loved occurred when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. It was my 27th birthday, and my mother and I had just received the news from the doctor. When we got back home to my apartment–everything was a blur. Though I was appreciative for my family being near–I needed a comfort that only God could bring. It was an unspoken comfort that I needed and I silently kept it to myself. My mother told me to get my journal and pray to God and write down what He said to me. I wrote down a prayer for me, and a few simple words, “He will return, but will leave again”. Not knowing what I had written, my mom looked at me and said, “He’s going to call”. I thought she had absolutely lost her mind. My relationship had dissolved a little over 2 years prior and all I knew was that he had transferred to a medical program in Grenada. I didn’t know how to get in touch with him, but all I knew, was I needed him. About 30 minutes later, my phone rang, and it was his mother. ‘Til this day, I am convinced my mother somehow found his mother and told her the story. I mean God can work in mysterious ways, but so can protective mothers :). His mother said, I have someone that wants to talk to you. Tears streamed down my face, because I knew. His voice sounded like the sweetest sound one could ever imagine. My best friend had returned. He let me know that he was home on break for a few weeks and would be coming to Maryland to help my mother take care of me. Thoughts swarmed my mind about how our reunion would be.

He made it just in time for my first chemo treatment. When he walked in the room, all I could do was grab him and kiss him. It didn’t matter why we broke up, it didn’t matter what had gone on in his world or mine–all I knew at that moment, no matter what I was about to go through, I knew I wasn’t alone.

After my first week in the hospital and my first round of chemotherapy, we drove to a remote location in Maryland and had breakfast at The Waffle House. I will never forget going down the road and seeing mountains off in the distance. I was coughing terribly, to the point where he had to pull over. I vomited in his car. Not feeling embarrassed but horrible for messing up his leather seats, he simply popped the trunk, pulled out a towel and cleaned up my vomit. He opened up to me and told me how he prayed that God would remove this obstacle from me and allow him to bear it, because he couldn’t imagine losing me. I looked at him, because I couldn’t believe someone loved me that much. I wanted to fight and live not just for me and my family, but also so I could be with him.

For about a week and a half, he stayed by my side. Things became a little complicated because he began to get into “DOCTOR MODE” and I despised it. He began telling me what I could not eat, how I needed to rest–repeating all of the things I constantly heard from the doctors. All I remember was I was at wit’s end, because all I needed from him was to love me and be present, not be another reminder that I had advanced cancer. With his feelings hurt and ego bruised, he uttered the words, “I think I should leave”. Fed up with cancer, fed up with no one understanding how I was feeling, all I remember was that I told him “fine, leave”. Not understanding that the only reason He wanted to leave was because he felt like a burden and he not knowing the only reason I wanted him to go, was because I felt like he didn’t want to be there with me anymore.

COMMUNICATION CAN BRING LIFE INTO A RELATIONSHIP OR IT CAN KILL IT.

I really haven’t spoken with him since that moment–about 6 years now. Though numerous times I’ve tried to reach out via email, not to revitalize the relationship, but just to simply say “thank you. It just hasn’t happened and I’m at peace about it, because at least I tried.

This is actually the first time I’m writing about it, and felt so compelled to write, I am recognizing that maybe I wasn’t as healed as I thought and this may be my last step to completely healing. Ironically, nearing 7 years later.

During one of my most difficult battles in life, the one person I have truly ever loved, left me and truthfully, I’ve been devastated about it. Sometimes we subconsciously hold on to old hurt that may hinder someone else from getting close. What hurt are you holding on to that is hindering you from letting someone else into your heart?

I am not casting blame on him by any means because I am just as guilty of ineffective communication, but this experience just makes me recognize that in EVERYTHING my trust should never be completely be in man (male/female) but be in God.

I know this isn’t just for me though. So many women are serial daters, going from situation to situation yearning for love, praying for love but not understanding what it truly takes to be a recipient of that type of love:

1) You must come to terms with YOUR past faults and correct them (TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY)

2) You must be ready to accept it (BE OPEN)

3) Truly understand what true love looks like (RECOGNIZE REAL LOVE)

4) You can’t be afraid of past experiences. Though one relationship
may fail, the ability to love does not. (LEARN FROM THE HURT)

5) Understand that without loving God, loving yourself and loving
others as yourself, you will never be able to tap into true
unconditional love. (BE LOVE SO YOU CAN RECEIVE LOVE)

6) Anything that you love more than God, give more attention to more
than God, WILL FAIL. You may not say it, but actions speak louder
than words. Idols are formed daily–and God is the master of
bringing them down.

HURT, HEAL, AND HOPE AGAIN
LOVE, LOSE, AND LOVE AGAIN

Written By: Brandi Spyies
10/26/12

STUCK IN NEUTRAL–THE NEW STATE OF THE CHURCH?

This probably won’t be one of my most popular blogs, and it’s okay, but it’s my duty to share, what God is revealing to me, through my studies. 

I’m so sad to hear about the man who was shot at Creflo Dollar’s church today. Hearing things like this going on in churches has taken me to a level of prayer for not only believers but non-believers as well.  

Last night during my small group class, the question was asked–IS THE CHURCH WINNING? From the inside the average “church-goer” would assume that the church is indeed winning. Let see–just using my own experiences as an example–you have packed out ministries, packed out services at various times during the weeks, especially Sundays, people praying in the most eloquent ways that one has ever heard, so seemingly it looks as if we are in fact winning; however, winning isn’t defined by your enrollment of members in classes, number of members on your rosters, amount in the building fund or tithing envelopes, or the activities I stated above.  You can have all of that and still far way from the mission of Christ. Believe it or not this is what is seen from the outside. Judgement, manipulation, hypocrisy, backbiting, pretense, people out for quickie feel good messages treating their relationshp with God like any other casual relationship–feels good for the moment, but doesn’t add any long-term quality to your life because you haven’t taken that relationship with him to that deeper level. It’s sad because though this is a partial representation of what’s in the church–it is far from what the original state of the church was designed to be. IS THIS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF CHRISTLIKE LIVING?  Matthew 28:19-20 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. So if this is the goal of disciples (Followers of Christ <—what “church-goers should be”–the question still lies, IS THE CHURCH WINNING

Being a winning Church begins with being a winning individual for Christ.  It starts at the head level. We must first accept Christ as Lord (person of deity, control and power) of our life. As our mind shifts, changes within our heart are made–our actions and priorities began to line up with what we already know…and as our heart changes, our behavior changes–we become more intentional about the work of Christ. 

With the new perspective God has given me on why I have a second chance at life, I am constantly checking myself and asked myself this very question: If I weren’t a Christian, and someone introduced me to myself–would I want to follow my own lifestyle? Weirdly worded question I know, but a serious self reflection for me.  It made me examine my life more closely to see if what I really “preaching” I’m truly practicing–because it’s not only by our words, but also our actions that will either repel people away from the life of Christ or draw them near. 

So it doesn’t surprise me that we see all of this activity that is disconnected from the mission of Christ (Shootings, accusations of homosexuality from leadership, men spreading HIV to single women in the church, married pastors having affairs and getting women pregnant out of wed-lock). SIN is SIN; however, my Pastor described sin perfectly last Sunday–STUCK IN NEUTRAL…Until we get out of our own selfish desires and in tune with what we were designed for as individuals–the vehicle to winning souls  (THE CHURCH)  in the Kingdom of God will be in this exact position STUCK IN NEUTRAL and in this position, we as a body will never be driven to go the distance in discipleship as God has so commanded.