Life Lesson 10: I prayed for strength and The Almighty made me weak to know my strength is His and not my own.
I prayed for wealth and The Almighty sent me poverty so that I would understand that money is a tool to be utilized for His kingdom and not for earthly pleasures.
I prayed for health and The Almighty made me ill so that I would know that my body is His temple and His alone.
I prayed for a relationship and The Almighty brought me a broken heart so that I would understand the NEED to love unconditionally and that a relationship is about selflessness and that a selfish man is barely a man at all.
Lastly, I prayed for wisdom. And at the end of it all, The Almighty granted it.
“General conference this week: aka please don’t make me weight 200 years of family history in a church against 200 years of family history of a belief in justice.” Leading thought in prayer this week: the UMC special general conference. This is when we (theoretically) settle the question of whether or not we will be a church the teaches that God loves ALL their children, or whether we will continue to single out one group for exclusion.
My family has been Methodist over the course of three centuries. We have been pastors, leaders, and abolitionists. We have ferried the enslaved to freedom on the Underground Railroad and we fought and died to make that freedom the law of the land. Today I listened to our Bishop talk about how his church in Chicago gave a woman sanctuary from deportation for a year, in spite of enormous pressure to turn her over. I know that this church loves God. I know that we love justice. I know that we LOVE. So now I pray that we have the courage and the faith to take that next step. To allow full inclusion and affirmation of the full spectrum of human love and family.
I know where my heart calls. I know that as much as I love an institution it is nothing compared to the calling to higher things. I also know that as deeply as I love history, it is a kind of vanity. It is nothing compared to my love and commitment to my friends and my family (blood and chosen) in the LGBTQ community.
I pray that God will speak. I pray we will hear her voice. I pray I will not have to make a choice. And above all I pray that this conference has the courage to make a choice. Because we can no longer sit on a fence that divides the love of God from the ENTIRE family of humanity.
After all, I’m quite comfortable on the far side of the hedge.
#umc #umcgeneralconference2019 #generalconference #lgbtqia #faith #prayer #hope
When this day arrives, it’s always hard to know how much I want to share with people. I struggle with new people in my life knowing about me, truly and deeply. Because of the stigmas our society holds onto about alcohol and drug addiction, it’s nerve wracking to open up. When people find out about this part of my life, they usually are very surprised. “Wait, YOU are an alcoholic, and now you don’t drink and are completely sober?” It’s usually the same response, which is totally human & okay. I expect and welcome people to ask me questions since I know this is usually a surprise.
After that, either the same people are super supportive and don’t treat me any differently, or they start to change. And the latter is a big reason why I don’t talk about my sobriety publicly. It’s not that it’s a secret, it’s just that it is such a sacred part of who I am, and I dread people treating me differently because of it. But truly, the stigma will stay around if we don’t begin to speak up.
So... Hi, I’m Alaxandra, I’m 12 years sober today. Yes, it’s possible to look “normal” on the outside and still be an alcoholic and/or addict. We come in many different packages. We are every ethnicity, social background, income, upbringing, and career. We are the mom with 4 children who couldn’t stop using no matter how much she loved her family. We are the doctor who is highly educated. We are the person on food stamps. We are the teenage daughter who told herself she drinks like her peers. We are everywhere! We are your banker, your friend, your parent. We don’t have a special label stamped on our forehead.
When I was 19 years old, I had hit rock bottom. In fact, my emotional bottom was so low, the bottom felt like it fell out from beneath me. If I continued on the dark and lonely path I was on, I know in my heart I would be dead in a short few years more. To keep the story really simple, my drinking was never normal. I drank hard and for affect. I drank, I mixed pills and smoked weed. I didn’t care to just get buzzed, I didn’t want to just have a good time, I wanted out. Period. I wanted black out. I wanted to not be present. (Continued in comments-also on the blog)
Sura An-Nur - Verse 24
يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
24. “On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do.” The issue of testimony of body’s limbs is many times brought up in the Qur’an. Therefore in this verse it specifies how this group of calumniators will appear in Allah’s great court.
It denotes that they will have an awful chastisement in Hereafter, when it says: “On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do.” Their tongues will move, in spite of their reluctance, and they express the truth. These wrongdoers will confess their sin in spite of their willing when they see all Divine unquestionable evidences and reasons.
In spite of their inner willing, they will explicitly reveal everything, because they will see they can no longer disclaim. Their own hands and feet will also speak.
According to the verses of the holy Qur’an, even their body’s skin will start talking. It seems that they have been voice recorders that have recorded man’s voices, and signs of sins are stored on them during lifetime.
Yes, on the Day of manifestation, all of these things will appear.
If we see that some of the verses of the holy Qur’an refer to the Day of Judgment and say, “This day We seal up mouths, and hands speak out and feet bear witness as to what they used to earn”, there will be no inconsistency with the concerned verse, because it is possible of first that tongues get disabled and other limbs testify and when testimony of hand and foot discovers truths and they say what they must say, then tongue moves and confesses the sins.
Imam Baqir (as) said:
“This testimony of the limbs is not against the believers, but it is against someone whose punishment is inevitable.”
Repost from @wordofquran