The Lost Boy and the Treasure

Amidst the clouds, a boy and his mother sat on board a plane that was moments away from taking a turn for the worst. Wayne and his mother were destined for a week-long vacation, escaping the world for a week to enjoy some time of peace and fun. Wayne was a passionate and curious young man, he always desired to live his life to the fullest. He was always intrigued by new things and new ideas, Wayne always thought that there was so much more to the meaning of life but he never exactly knew what the “much more” was. Wayne was hoping that this week-long trip with his mother would provide some answers. He was looking forward to sitting by the beach and pondering the meaning of life as the waves crashed against the shore and the cool sea breeze brushed against his face. Everything Wayne was waiting and hoping for was within reach…and then his life was turned upside down. In the weeks that followed Wayne would learn much more about life than he could have ever imagined. Wayne could never fathom a life without his mother; little did he know that losing his mother could be the beginning of gaining the very thing his soul longed for. Wayne was an ordinary boy with an extraordinary desire to be a part of something greater than himself.

    The plane ride became very turbulent and the flight attendants began to instruct everyone to stay in their seats and remain calm. The plane was malfunctioning now and seemed to be losing control; this was a much bigger problem than some turbulent air. The pilot began instructing everyone to prepare for an emergency landing as the plane began heading full force towards the ground. Wayne and his mother held tight to one another and began to pray. They did not have a close relationship with God but at this moment they were pleading for their lives. Moments later the plane impacted the ground at a high rate of speed…black…everything was black.

    When Wayne opened his eyes he saw the plane he once sat in yards away, enthroned in flames. It was a miracle that Wayne was left with only cuts and bruises. He ran towards the plane screaming for his mother over and over again but he heard nothing. Eventually, he found his mothers lifeless body upon the rubble and he broke down in tears asking “why?” over and over again. His best friend, his mother was gone, lying lifeless before his eyes. Wayne would now be challenged from this day forward to live a life without his mother, a life he could have never imagined having to live. Days passed and Wayne continued to grieve the loss of his mother. He would wonder miles deep into the unknown island that he was now stranded on. Miles into the island he found a small town where there were men, and women and families. A sigh of relief came from within Wayne as he had a new hope for life inside him. He was in need of food, and water, and most importantly love. Wayne had been lost for days and he so desperately desired to be found.

    The first man that Wayne met on the island was very kind to him. This man’s name was Evangelist. Evangelist was a loving and caring man; he took Wayne into his home and gave him food and drink. He told him that he could stay as long as he needed. The boy and the man shared stories back and forth for hours. Wayne shared about his loss and was comforted by his new friend. He shared about his childhood and how he was always a curious boy who wanted to know the meaning of life. Evangelist began to tell Wayne about a treasure at the center of the island. This treasure was everything a man could ever need and so much more. He told him that this treasure could provide him with comfort, peace, joy, love and so much more. This treasure was worth far more than what Wayne had lost. After the loss of his mother Wayne was willing to try anything to heal his heart and find peace once again. Evangelist gave Wayne a book, he instructed him that this book would lead him closer to the treasure at the center of the island and the book would give him instruction on how to live as he grew closer to the treasure. Wayne took this gift and thanked the man for his time and love, and then he set out to find the treasure. Wayne began reading the book and it changed his life. Every day was a new adventure and the more he read the book, the closer he got to the treasure and the more peace and joy fell upon him. Several towns away now Wayne decided to stop to stay for the night. This town was not as friendly and comforting as the first town that Wayne had stopped in. Wayne was getting closer to finding the treasure and he began to feel the healing of his heart. Little did he know, he was about to take what would appear to be two steps forward and three steps backward. He met many different individuals during his short stay in the town called Sin. In this town, he met Greed, and Pride, Lust and anger, fear and doubt. All of these men appeared want what was best for Wayne but Wayne as a smart and curious young man quickly realized this was not the case. He stayed in the town for a few days and faced tension and struggle with these men before finally deciding that he needed to upon up his book and begins onward towards the treasure again.

    As Wayne drew closer to the treasure he found a place a few towns over called the church. The church was a wonderful place filled with encouragers and loving individuals. In the church, Wayne met another man named Accountability. Accountability befriended Wayne. The shared stories of their lives and they encouraged, laughed and cried with one another. After Wayne decided it was time to leave the town Accountability decided that he would join Wayne on his journey closer to the treasure. The next morning the men started their day by reading the Wayne had memories of the horrible men that he met several weeks earlier. These men began to pop back into his mind and attempt to draw him off course and further away from the treasure. This time was different though. Wayne now had his friend Accountability there to steer him back on course and remind him of the purpose of their journey together. During the coming weeks the two men faced numerous trials together, these trials would set them back a few days but every day following the trials the men seemed to get back on course stronger and more determined than ever. The closer the men got to the center of the island the more tension and resistance they felt. They met more difficult people and had stronger temptations that they helped one another resist. The days seemed the darkest right before the dawn. Wayne and his friend knew they were getting closer than ever before to the center of the island and the treasure.

    Finally, after a long journey, the men arrived at the center of the island and found the treasure chest. Written on the chest were these two words, “Jehovah Jireh.” The men could not open the treasure so they continued to read the book of instruction they were given. The book instructed them that the chest could not be opened until the end of days but that they could meditate upon the chest, pray the treasure into their lives and surrender their own selfish ways. If they did this they could take the treasure with them wherever they went. The men felt peace, joy, love, and hope life never before and they decided they wanted to bring this treasure and these feelings with them wherever they traveled. Wayne was so inspired by the treasure he found and the miracle that his heart was healed of his grief and sorrow that he wanted to tell the whole island about the treasure. 

Wayne decided from that day forward that he was going to take his treasure and his book with him everywhere he went, and he was going to share his treasure with everyone he met. Accountability continued to travel with him and together they called themselves “Disciples” they decided to dedicate their lives to sharing this good treasure with everyone they could.

    Years began to past by and Wayne continued to grow older and wiser. In time Wayne met a girl on the island from one of the churches he stopped by on his journey to share his treasure. Her name was Love and she was the most beautiful woman that Wayne had ever seen. They began to talk and share stories. They shared a strong love for the treasure that they both carried within their hearts. They later fell in love and decided to get married. They knew that getting married they would be able to share the treasure with more people all over the island. Wayne had found his very best friend and a woman who encouraged him every day to be the best man he could be. Occasionally Wayne thought about that time long ago when he lost his mother and seemed to lose all hope, but now he was constantly reminded of all that he has been given and the treasure that he holds dear to his heart. Every trial gave him more love and more wisdom. Wayne and Love couldn’t get enough of Jehovah Jireh and they decided that they would start a church that would invite people from all over the island to come and experience the treasure they each loved so dearly. Wayne and Love were married for many; many years and they serve and cared for others all along the way. They rose up a family that dedicated their lives to sharing the treasure with everyone they met. They faced many trials and many triumphs but all along the way they never took for granted the treasure they had within them. Wayne was a lost boy in search of the meaning of life. In the end, Wayne found a treasure that was worth everything. He realized that sometimes you must get lost in order to be found. He never really knew if he found the treasure or if the treasure found him but every day he was thankful for the treasure that now lived within him.

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When Did I Fall In Love?

When did you fall in love? How did you fall in love? In my life, I have heard this questions posed all around me. Lately out of curiosity I have even been asking these questions to myself on occasion. After deeper thought about this question, I have reached an understanding. There is no single moment in time or specific activity in which I can pinpoint as “the moment I fell in love.” In society we often view love as an emotion that can come and go at the snap of our fingers, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Love is a choice and every day I choose love. When I think about my girlfriend and the love I have for her I think of an unending amount of moments and memories that will last a lifetime. The love for her that blossomed in my heart was nothing less than a culmination of treasured moments, conversations, laughs, tears, butterflies, and vulnerability. I fell in love because of the months of prayer I have dedicated to our relationship. I fell in love because of waking up every single morning thanking God for the treasure he has given me. While there is not a single moment in which I fell in love, there most definitely is a magnitude of singular moments that have brought me to the place in which I am today. If you are reading this I challenge you to think about love a little bit differently from this day forward. First and foremost give it to God. Next, wake up everyday right from the start choosing love in your heart. If you do this I believe that every moment from the trials to the triumphs will develop in you a love that can’t be broken. After all, what God has brought together, let no man separate. I want to thank my wonderful, patient, and kind girlfriend for choosing love with me. Aside from choosing Jesus as my Lord and Savior, YOU are the single most wonderful choice I have ever made. Let us go fourth remembering that true love doesn’t happen in a moment but it blossoms over a lifetime.

Continuing Without

Tomorrow November 22nd, 2017 marks the nine-year anniversary since I lost my mother to an accidental overdose. The word “accidental” means that she should still be here today, she could still be here today but she is not. She is gone and I will never hug her again, never utter the words I love you to her or sit down at the dinner table with her again. Memories of her are all that remain. Nine years later I still get the question, “How did you move on” or “How have you gotten over losing your mom.” The answer is simple, you don’t get over it and I haven’t moved on. You never really “move on” after the loss of a loved one, you simply learn to continue this beautiful, yet heartbreaking life without them. I remember when my mom promised me that she wouldn’t leave me until she was 100 years old. I remember being a 14-year-old kid who thought his mom would be there forever and the next day she was gone in the blink of an eye. I remember the heartbreak. I remember the devastation and the sorrow. I remember it like it was yesterday…that’s because it was yesterday, 9 years later but it was yesterday that I missed you, it was yesterday that I felt the pain. Yesterday I continued without you but not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.
I asked myself this question, “If you never move on after the loss of a loved one what does it look like to continue without them?” God gave me a new normal and that was a normal without my childhood hero. The internal battle is learning to allow God to be greater than my grief. Going from grief to greater doesn’t happen overnight, I have come to realize that grief to greater is a lifetime journey. Some days the pain feels like a prison. How could I ever love again when the person I loved most left me even though they promised they never would? How can I break the chains of anxiety, depression, grief, and heartbreak? The easy answer is Jesus and utilizing the encouragers in my life. Jesus is the answer but a life with Jesus is also a journey. As I begin to shift my focus to what I have gained from the loss of my mother rather than what I lost I begin to find healing. Some days are more exhausting than others but I know I am getting stronger every day, I know there is light at the end of the tunnel even though some days the darkness seems suffocating. Mom if you’re reading this I want you to know that I forgive you for leaving me when I needed you the most. I love you. I miss you. I want you to know that I am on a journey from grief to greater and I promise you that I will be greater than my grief. I am learning to continue without you in my life even when it hurts. For all others who have taken the time to read this, I want you to know that you are NEVER alone in your pain. Grief is a mountain. Let’s take a hike together.

NO PERFECT PEOPLE ALLOWED!

Have you walked into a church, or another environment full of Christians and thought, “Wow I really don’t fit in here”, or “These people have it all together and my life is just a mess!?” If you have I assure you that you are not alone, many people feel this way everyday. The truth is that having a relationship with God and going to church is even more critical for those of us who are broken or struggling. Many people in society today have this illusion that church is a place where everyone has it together and no one is going through any major struggles. This illusion is just that…an illusion and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of us will come across hypocritical Christians who like to pretend everything is perfect. Many people live a life that is similar to a Facebook page that shares nothing but good news.. We post all of our victory and triumph but we never share our struggle, depression, or weakness. I believe Church is a place where NO PERFECT PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED! Quite frankly if you believe that you are perfect or have it all together then you are doing everything wrong. We are ALL broken and in need of a Lord and Savior. Accepting Jesus into our hearts doesn’t make life easier, it doesn’t make things perfect. Having Jesus in our lives does mean that we don’t have to struggle alone, having him in our hearts means that we have a Savior who was tempted like we are tempted and struggled that way we struggle and that is a simply beautiful truth. Jesus invites ALL the poor and powerless and ALL the lost and lonely into a relationship with him. Amazing doors will begin to open up when we push our pride aside and admit that we are struggling. Look around and realize that every smile has a story of pain underneath it. Every life has ups and downs and NO ONE “has it all together.” Next time you are feeling like the odd man/women out remember that our imperfections are what make us beautiful. We are all children of God and he wants to take us as we are. Nothing more and Nothing left. I used to think that I needed to have my life “on fleek” before I could come to Jesus and develop a relationship, then I realized if I wait for that time my whole life would slip by and I could have never gotten to know how amazing that relationship with Jesus could be. Remember that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of the Lord. No one should feel left out, no one should feel ashamed, and no one should make the mistake of thinking they are not good enough to have a relationship with God. Jesus died on the cross so that we could bring all of our imperfections to God and he could make us whole. Please comment with feedback or any prayer request but please remember, NO PERFECT PEOPLE ALLOWED!

Life After the Loss of a Loved One

If you have ever lost a loved one then you know how hard life can be moving forward. I lost my Mother at 14 years old and now at 21 there are still struggles that I face, but I certainly am able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, however that light comes only after the darkness. The most important thing to realize after the death of a loved one is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! Thousands upon thousands are going through the grieving process everyday! Mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice! As a child I foolishly thought that my mother would be in my life forever, taking many of the moments we spent together for granted. Every moment spent with those you love are precious because you never know when they may be gone in the blink of an eye. After the death there is a hole in your heart, an empty space that will forever sit void. No one can replace that would but it can be filled with all of the wonderful memories. While grieving it can be hard to reminisce. Sometimes those memories only bring more tears and pain, but remember it is all a part of the process. There were many days where I hid my internal struggles very well, I always tried to keep busy, and remain in a state of denial rather than face my grief and let the process flow like a river. Don’t be afraid to grieve, Don’t be afraid to cry, and above all don’t be afraid to ask for help! In a world of millions of people you may feel so alone. I always had a fear of being alone. I realize now that F.E.A.R is simply False Evidence Appearing Real. The fact that you are alone is false, simply not true! So many people are struggling and feeling alone, if we all had the courage to speak up and be vocal with our grief then so many of us would know that we in fact are not alone…not even close. Losing someone very near and dear to your heart is a reality check, it is a major jolt back into the real world. We come to understand that nothing lasts forever and that everyone’s time on this earth is certainly temporary. That being said, through grieving we also learn how to heal. We learn that we are not alone in this world, and above all we learn to treasure every moment in this life like it is our last. Don’t be alone in your grief any longer. Speak up and reach out! Please leave some comments or message me directly if you need a friend or just a listening ear! Share this for anyone who is struggling with the loss of a loved one today! Blessings to all!