God’s Barrier of Protection

Brandi’s Nighttime Reflection

Written by Brandi Spyies and my 13 year old nephew Hunter Hernandez

Today my little doggie got spayed. When I picked her up from the veterinarian she had an Elizabethian collar around her neck and boy was she unhappy about that.  Everytime she wanting to go into on particular direction that may have been dangerous for her, the collar prevented her from sudden and potentially dangerous actions. Sometimes this would make her really impatient, anxious and upset. She realized that she was not longer in control of particular movements. She didn’t realize that the purpose of the collar is to prevent her from licking, biting or opening her surgical wound. Many times in our lives, God will use protective barriers to prevent us from reopening wounds that need time to heal. Like Bailey, it can cause us to become impatient not understanding why we can’t progress in a certain direction, but it is all for our protection. So the next time you are wanting to re-open doors that have clearly been closed, wounds that have clearly be sutured, remember Bailey and her E-Collar–IT IS ALL FOR YOUR PROTECTION.

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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

New Shoes for a New Journey

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If the shoe fits, wear it, right? That’s what I’ve personally thought for the longest time. Finding athletic shoes was more about fashion rather than function–style rather than substance. All that mattered was that which was only appealing to the eye and the cost factor. After all, I just needed to make sure my shoes looked right with my outfit and didn’t break the bank. As I matured, I realized the importance of having just the right fit–not just in my athletic wear, but also in my relationships.

I’ve had a pair of red New Balance tennis shoes for about 10 years. They typically looked brand new, because I have never had an athletic bone in my body, so they’ve never been exposed to any real physical impact. When I decided that I wanted put forth more energy in becoming physically fit, I soon began to realize that what was once stylish, inexpensive and comfortable was no longer appropriate for the goals that I wished to achieve. I realized that exercising in the “comfort” of my own home in those “comfortable”shoes had a completely different feel when the environment changed and the conditions became more taxing. My comfort had suddenly transformed into discomfort. Aches and pains that didn’t exists previously, began to emerge. “Oh, I’m just out of shape”, I’d think to myself. Though that was true indeed, the pains felt thoughout out my body boiled down to one specific thing–my shoes.

Talking to one of my friends who had avidly taken up running, she mentioned that she was going to get her feet measured for new running shoes, after she sustained a runner’s injury. A bit ignorant to the entire idea of getting feet measured, “Couldn’t you just pick some shoes off of the rack?”, I thought to myself. She began to educate me on various orthopedic disorders one could encounter, all from participating in various activities and not having shoes that were properly fit.

After talking to her, I realized, having the fit for my new journey is so key on so many different levels. Little did I know that it would speak volumes into me examining my relationships.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS TO A PROPER FITTING?

1) BALANCE: Having the proper fit, will help yield the maintaining of balance. It ensures evenly distributed weight, so that you can feel the contact of the surface that you are walking on. When your sole (souls) are off-balance, it breeds more difficulty recognizing the surface changes. You began to become more susceptible to stumbling and perhaps falling when encountering challenging terrain.

2) FLEXIBILITY: Like properly fit shoes, a relationship should be flexible. A shoe properly designed to the anatomy of an individual’s foot, BENDS in the RIGHT places. If your shoes are not flexible enough, the muscles and other components of your body begin to fight against the improperly fit shoe, making the wearer more prone to injury. So it is with relationships. If you are connected to an individual not properly fit for you, you may find yourself making compromises that may subject you to more harm rather than good.

3) CORE STRENGTH: Another common thread of properly fit shoes and relationships is the condition of the middle sole. Like the middle sole of a good athletic shoe should be, the soul/heart of the properly fit individual should be as firm. If both soles/souls are too cushioned, it causes instability and causes one to sway from side to side. It’s the core that makes all the difference.

HOW DO I GET IT?

1) YOU MUST TRUST THE SPECIALIST

As a runner entrusts the specialist to adequately measure, diagnose and figure out the proper design for their foot, so is it when it comes to our trust in God relating to our mate. We must trust that because He designed us, and knows the innermost parts of our anatomy, that maybe, just maybe He has the knowledge regarding the appropriate fit for our mate. TRUST HIM!

2) ALLOW THE APPROPRIATE BREAK-IN PERIOD

Though there are varying opinions regarding if properly fit shoes require a break in period, understand that though one individual could wear new shoes right out of the box and be completely comfortable with those shoes, some break-in periods take a little longer. Similarly to relationships–just because one person’s relationship was comfortable and felt like “the one” right from the start doesn’t mean that because your relationship isn’t suitable for you, just because it is taking some time to get adjusted to. GIVE IT TIME.

Conversely, one may find that in the midst of wearing properly fitted shoes that after a few days and a few miles, something just doesn’t feel right. As I have learned from my friend, even some of the “specialist” can miss the mark at times. However, when it comes to relationships, if we continue to place our trust in He who SPECIALIZES in the creation–like Him,the relationship perfectly fit for you will never fail.

So, in closing,

There’s a common cliche that says, “EVERYONE CAN’T GO WITH YOU WHERE YOU ARE GOING”. So it was with these New Balance shoes and perhaps some shoes you own. Sometimes we need new shoes for a new journey and only God knows where this new journey may lead…

BLESSINGS ON THE JOURNEY WHEREEVER GOD MAY LEAD–YOU AND YOUR HEART.

HAS REAL LOVE BECOME PREHISTORIC?

Today, my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. As I celebrated this occasion of love and longevity in marriage, I began to ponder how one can grow up in a household filled with so much devotion, loyalty, and commitment, yet still not be able to stumble across real, mutual love, as if this type of love has come prehistoric to my generation?

IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE HOW THIS COULD HAPPEN ACTUALLY…

THE HISTORY OF MY PARENTS

My dad had been previously married–the details of that marriage shall remain family information only; however, it unfortunately lead to the dissolving of that marriage. That marriage, birthed my brother. As a single father {TAKING CARE OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY}, my father didn’t give up hope on finding the love that he desired. Like a true man, when he stumbled across that which he knew he wouldn’t find again–he didn’t hesitate, regardless of the parts of his past that remained. He would soon find that a blessing that occurred in his past, would graciously be accepted into his future.

My parents met at  funeral some time in about 1977. My mother wasn’t really feeling my daddy at first. She wasn’t really excited about him, but yet, he didn’t give up–he persevered. After about 3 months of dating, he experienced enough of what he desired to make a SOUND decision to spend the rest of his life with her. By month 6, they were married.  Truth be told, he actually knew before he asked her to marry him that she was THE ONE. 

ONE BEING THE OPERATIVE WORD

It didn’t really take long. I always wondered how did he know so suddenly?

After studying the history of my dad’s relationship, I finally got it. He experienced so much of what he did not desire in his previous marriage, that it was easy to recognize not only exactly what he wanted, but exactly what he needed.

The problem in society today is that we are so OVERINDULGENT. There are so many options available, I had quite a selection of synonyms I could have used for that very word!

It’s hard to tap into what we really desire, because it’s so simple to appease our appetite settling for the things that birth momentary gratification. Everything is so easily accessible these days. If you don’t feel like cooking, all you have to do is step outside of your yard into any main road and have access to a plethora of dining facilities that will surely meet the needs of your hunger. Technology is ever-changing. A cellphone or computer that you obtain one month ago, pretty much becomes obsolete after a few months–no longer satisfying the need you had when originally purchased. Can’t find a man/woman in the “real world”?  DON’T FRET!  There are a plethora of dating sites available to meet the needs of what you most desire–interracial dating, single mom, black men who love white women, white men who love black women, bromance…

YOU NAME IT–IT’S AVAILABLE!

Dating has birthed a buffet mentality–having access to a smorgasbord of “goodies” without investing much to get it. Golden Corral Relationships-For a little of nothing, you can have ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT!

SO WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SETTLE DOWN THESE DAYS WITH SO MUCH ACCESS TO TEMPORARY FIXES?

I reminiscence on the many times I’ve gone to buffets of the sorts, and typically my eyes are way bigger than my stomach; however, just because I have access to it–I continue eating. Finally, which satisfaction hits, I’m stuffed, not wanting to look at food again for a good while. Actually the sight of food sickens me when I’m stuffed at that level.

Dating, has become like this. We overindulge in the variety that is available, that the simple pleasure of sitting back and savoring a five-star opportunity that is palatable and just enough to satisfy that hunger is non-existent.

I received a text message from a close guy friend today, who sent encouragement, not even understanding the season I was in–a season of deciding not to date casually–almost nearing giving up the hope of the possibility of something fruitful. I share this to encourage someone who feels like, what they have inside of them is constantly over looked for “situations” of momentary gratification.

“Ms. Spyies, you have the spirit of pouring into a man and don’t ever take it lightly. I know we’ve had many discussions about you being tired of pouring into someone and it not being reciprocated, but please believe that at the end of the day someone will catch on. Better than the fliest outfit, the fliest makeup, the best smelling perfume, the greatest cooking, or the most mind-blowing sex, the greatest gift I believe a woman gives a man, is in the way she ministers/prays with him through his stormy seasons and her undying loyalty to him–but ONLY a “MAN” will recognize this! BE ENCOURAGED”.

SO, HAS REAL LOVE BECOME PREHISTORIC?

I truly don’t think so. You can’t expect a man/woman with a “buffet” mentality to be able to appreciate the investment in a “five-star” man/woman. That’s just the truth!

What’s written above by a man  is highlighting the character of a five-star woman. Many of your are that FIVE-STAR PERSON!

At times, I truly believed that the ability to obtain such a pure relationship such as my parent’s marriage had become ancient history. But then an unlikely source pours into my spirit–MY HOPE IS RESTORED.  I look at my parents marriage and MY HOPE IS RESTORED. I return to the Word of God and review His promises unto me and again, MY HOPE IS RESTORED.

My parents marriage is a ministry to me and to many others. It’s like opening a history book, just to remember-how everything begin. Their wedding album like historical artifact–evidence that true love can happen and is still alive and well to date. It’s not prehistoric…real love is historic! I BELIEVE IT! #readytomakehistory

My Encounter with God: 5/16/12- God’s Novocaine for Heartache

Today’s word of the day for me is \numb\:

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To deaden or place in a state of sleep, whereas to be conscious about what is going on around you, yet not feel pain.

Not necessarily a Webster’s Dictionary definition, but as I began to ponder on this word and definition that was placed in my spirit today, I began to see more and more of the character of God.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think this was the greatest place to be. For about a week now, my tolerance has gotten REALLY low. The things that used to make me sorrowful, I began to take on the feeling of “it is what it is”. I began to clean out my address book, delete old emails/texts, just rid myself of all of the non-productive interactions that I’ve accumulated over many years.  God began to reveal to me this morning that I’m not necessarily going into a place of where I don’t care, but instead going into a place where I place the burden upon him.

He gave me this vision of my cousin who is a dental surgeon.  For the longest time, I hated going to the dentist, because I was mistreated by one in the past. I went in to this dentist when I was about 21 years old to have a cavity filled. The dentist began to start the procedure and did not numb me all of the way. I told him that I felt the pain. He didn’t care and kept on drilling. Tears streamed down my face. I felt violated in some way, as if what I felt didn’t matter. Shortly after the procedure started, the secretary came in and told the dentist that I was no longer covered under my father’s dental insurance. When the dentist found this out, He told me that unless I could pay for the charges out of pocket, he would not be able to complete the procedure. Here I was, this 21 year-old, completing college, not making much money on the little full time job I had. Here I was vulnerable, trusting this professional to take care of a problem that was causing me pain. He started the job, only not to finish but leaving me in more pain. It took me a very long time to trust a dentist again.

Ironically, I’ve been to this dentist over and over again in my relational life. Meeting individuals who say they are qualified for the job, but only to leave me hanging in deeper pain than I was before I encountered them. BIG WOW MOMENT!

As time went on, my cousin had now became a dental surgeon. My problem had gotten so bad that I couldn’t go on anymore without assistance. I had to get the source of the problem examined. When I went to my cousin, he had a still calm voice that relaxed me. He explained to me what was going on and proceeded with the procedure. He numbed the general area in which he was going to work and said, “okay, you’re going to feel a little prick”. I jumped just a little, but after a while, I said to myself “was that all”. “Okay, you’re going to hear and see some things going on around you, but don’t be alarmed”. I sat there calm, conscious of all that was going on around me, even felt a little pressure. As he injected the novocaine my heart raced and I became a little anxious about what was going on, but I understood that I was in the hands of a person who loved me, who cared about me, and who was going to do everything in his power to help me not to feel anymore pain. As I relaxed and placed the burden of my toothache in the hands of someone I trusted–all went well, he was able to start and COMPLETE the work left by someone else.

Eventually, I no longer felt pain.

God reminded me of this very thing experience this morning. I had been feeling as if I was becoming numb to the thought of a relationship. I’ve had really no huge yearning to spend my time meeting someone new. Had no tolerance for starting something only for it to leave me into disappointment. I haven’t really felt bitter, but more so, “I just don’t care anymore”. As I stated before, I thought this was a bad place, but now that I’m writing, I am understanding that this is such a great place to be.

When God numbs your heart and mind–he’s not numbing your emotional entities to cause you to become nonchalant or indifferent or closed to possibility of falling in love one day.  He does it so that He can have the ultimate control to do what he needs to do to fix them from the aftermath of life. Life hurts. Our interactions with people can sometimes hurt. THIS IS A REALITY.

Though we are aware of what is going on around us, his spiritual novocaine shields us from feeling the things that would cause even more pain. It places our heart in a state of numbness, so God can go in a clean out all of the sources of heart, betrayal, aggravation/irritation <—all the things that if not handled can be responsible for making us irritable and bitter individuals.

So today, I’m embracing the numbness. It’s just a reminder that I’ve placed my cares upon God. Though I’m well aware of what’s going on around me–people developing new relationships, transitioning to new stages in life, getting married, having children–all the things that I do desire, there’s great comfort in knowing that everything is taken care of because He really does cares about me and everything concerning me.

There are some other people out there experiencing this very numbness. Understand that this is a GREAT place!  Embrace it!

Love, peace and many blessings,

B.

Cast all your cares {burdens, desires, anxiety, thoughts, behaviors} upon God, because He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

EMOTIONAL FLOODING

Okay, here I go…being way more transparent that I wish on FB, but I KNOW it’s not just for me.

Tony Robbins did a session on Oprah’s Life Class last night called Emotional Flooding. It’s an exercise where instead of you thinking about the negatives, you flood your emotions with the things that you are grateful for. This exercise changed my life. Here I was having a great morning and one song, threw me into an emotional frenzy, making me get all emotional about what is seemingly a hedge of thorns around me-keeping me from finding true love. I didn’t understand why I’ve been hurt so much or why meeting someone of like mind, like faith where there is a mutual attraction in most areas is soooo difficult of me.

Perhaps you may be experiencing something similar where you don’t quite understand why things are at a stand still–perhaps not in the area of love, but perhaps finances, career, whatever, may these words bless you.

God showed me 1) be grateful that I have kept you despite the many times you’ve tried to work your way out of my protection. 2) Be grateful that what I kept you were from situations you were not even aware 3) Be grateful that my no is not never, but it’s a not right now, only to ensure you be in a situation that will produce fruit 4) Be grateful that you have this time to learn more about yourself and grow 5) be grateful that you have time to learn about Me and Grow 6) Be grateful that you have had personal encounters with patience, faith, trust–you will need these things in the future. 7) be grateful that you have such a big heart and have the time that you can pour love into the lives of people who have no access to it. That’s the epitome of My love.

When I tell you that exercise brought me to my knees in thanks. I’ve never been so grateful for this season. In every difficult situation in life, I urge you to take 4 minutes out of your day to do this exercise. Have a box of Kleenex near by too! ♥ Hope this helped someone!