When a Heart Breaks…

First off, we must thank Ashley Abercrombie (you seriously MUST check out her blog https://ashabercrombie.wordpress.com/) for encouraging me to write this as a blog… I threw a quick post up on Facebook about a moment I was experiencing and her comment was “next blog post!!!… With that many exclamation marks, how could I not write this up…

While sitting in my car this afternoon, on my lunch break, listening to music, the song “When a Heart Breaks” came on… My mind immediately went from daydreaming about the amazing weekend ahead to thoughts of this time two years ago.

This time, two years ago I suffered an immense heartbreak. My world was flooded with darkness and hope seemed to no longer exist in the world. There were 2 people who knew about the pain and one of them literally carried me through. There were times when I didn’t have the strength to eat or get off my couch. My one friend would come to my house and make me a meal just to be sure I ate something for the day…. Despite the pain I was experiencing, I continued to live life as normal as possible. I worked a full time job and led in several areas of a local church. On the outside I appeared to be thriving… but internally I was dying. I specifically remember one evening, going into my kitchen to get some water and feeling so weak from the pain, I fell to the floor and laid there crying… All I wanted was for God to take the pain away. 68cbe474845ea21101699a244419bfb2

The pain began in May of 2013 and it wasn’t until September of 2013 that light began to break through the darkness… I was tired of feeling empty Monday through Saturday only to feel a brush of God on Sunday…. I told God that if He gave me another day that I would be different. I would start my day differently and although I had no clue what it would look like, I would live differently for that day. The next morning I woke up and I spent the entire day encouraging and praying for everyone I could think of…. by the end of the day I had a glimpse of hope. Shortly after that I decided it was time to find a new church… so I did and then I discovered the Single Parents Ministry at my new church. The first night of meeting together, I walked in feeling like I had just been in a fight for my life… I remember telling my one friend, on the way there, that I was too tired and I just wanted to go home… She insisted I go to meet these people and because of her faithfulness and genuine love for me, I went.

Two years later and I am living out my dreams… I have had the honor and privilege to lead groups in our Single Parents Ministry, record video blogs on parenting and being a woman after Gods heart, watch preschoolers unwrap the wonders of God, study and serve under some of the most amazing disciples of Christ and share my story with people who, like me, may be in need of a glimpse of hope. I am known as the woman who is ALWAYS smiling… not because of the mask I used to wear but because God has filled me with so much joy that it just flows out of me. I am excited about everyday that I am given and I am so full of the hope of Christ.

No matter what you are going through in this moment… please know that it is only temporary. God has a plan and a purpose for you and although you may not be able to see outside of the darkness… His plan is good! Never let anyone tell you that you need to “get over it” but surround yourself with people who love God and who can see the most beautiful parts of you… the parts you struggle to see. Get plugged into a church that breaths life and know that you are not alone.

~DeShawne Coleman

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit ~ Psalm 34:18

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It Gets Better

Last week I experienced the most difficult moment in parenting, to date… My children experienced their first loss. Their dog that their father got them when they were babies was hit by a car and died. When I learned of the news I sat on my sofa for a while, contemplating whether I should tell them or let their father tell them. After about 10 minutes I decided that I would tell them. I wanted to be able to console and nurture them through the pain.

Having one hour to be dressed and out the house in time for church, I walked into their room and sat them down. “Guys, I have some bad news”… “Scooby was hit by a car”… Now I expected sadness and a few tears but I would have never expected the reaction my children had. My 9 year old daughter fell to the ground, crying out “no, no, no… not my dog” and my son burst into tears, exclaiming that his first best friend is now gone. My daughter kept repeating, with tears running down her face, ” I will never see him again”… “I knew pets and people die, I just didn’t know it would be this hard”.  I just sat there, quietly, holding them as they expressed their pain. Once the crying subsided I explained to them that Scooby is now in heaven, barking at the feet of Jesus and that he will be well taken care of…. They pulled themselves together enough to get dressed.

Moments later I received a text from my 9 year old (yes, she was in the living room)… She was too sad to do anything and wasn’t sure she was going to make it through the day…. My response…. Jesus is sad too…

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I went into the living room and sat on the sofa with her and read her the story of Lazarus. We talked about how sad Jesus was when He lost His best friend and the fact that Jesus cried too. We then prayed for the Holy Spirit to bring comfort and joy and I encouraged them to share their emotions with their friends and mentors, people who could come along side of them and pray for them… In that moment, my 9 year old decided she was ready to get to church… so we were on our way.

I am currently interning with my church so that requires me to be there literally ALL day… My babies joyfully went through 3 services, smiling and playing as if that morning had never happened. They shared their pain with a few of their friends who were kind enough to share their own experiences with loss. They were loved on and reminded that they are not alone. I was in awe of the faithfulness of God… he was truly their comforter during their time of pain.

That night, when we were home and the silence set in, sadness began to creep back in. On the drive home from church, she let me know that she is still hurting. I let her know that it is ok to hurt, she isn’t expected to get over it… I promised her that while she will always miss Scooby, the pain will fade and everything will get better… She shared that while she knows he is in a better place and that he is happy and well taken care of in heaven, it doesn’t make living without him any easier. I told her about losing my Aunt ( more like my mom) and how even today, I talk with her, telling her how much I miss her, praying that she is proud of me… I explained that losing someone doesn’t remove them from your heart.

While tucking her into bed we prayed that God would replace the pain with joy and that He would restore everything that has been taken…. before falling asleep, my daughter thanked me for telling her… “It would have been harder if you hadn’t been the one to tell me”…

The next few days were a bit of a challenge but they got better… Then this happened… IMG_1965

Their dad brought them home a new best friend to love…

Isn’t that just like the Character of God? He understands our loss and is sympathetic and compassionate towards us…  and will always repay us for our loss.

This was a challenge on so many levels… I am soooo grateful for the relationship I have with Jesus… it was Him who guided me through this parenting moment and allowed me to be used by Him to show is perfect love for His children.

No matter what type of loss you are going through today, I encourage you to look to Jesus… He feels your pain and His desire is to replace that pain with His presence, His joy, His comfort and His plan.

I love you all… God Bless ~ DeShawne Coleman

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Rule Your Kingdom

This week I saw a documentary entitles Monkey Kingdom and it amazes me how similar they are to humans. The main monkey, Mya, was in the lowest tribe of the class and was looked down upon by everyone. At one point in the movie a male comes into her life and they mate. The alpha male runs him out of the kingdom in attempt to try to claim Mya as his girl (I’ll tell you about men now-a-days lol). Mya then becomes pregnant and a single parent. While the father is gone Mya goes through more than her share of trouble, doing everything she can to protect her baby boy. It reminds me of how much single human parents go through to protect us. Mya didn’t sit around waiting for someone to help her take care of Kip; she got up and made moves to attempt to get to the top of the kingdom to make a better life for her children.

As the oldest child of a single parent, like Kip (Mya’s son), I see and live the struggle with my mother all the time. But also like Kip, because of the strong and powerful woman I saw my mother to be, it only makes my want to push myself to do better.

Eventually Kips father comes back and with their strength as a family they end up leading the kingdom together as a family. If the father hadn’t left Mya would’ve never learned how to be as independent and strong as she is, and she would’ve solely leaned on her man. With the independence she found, she was able to accomplish so much. And when her family fully came back together, they were more powerful than ever.

Remember that God has the power to turn any challenge into a character building, life transforming event. I encourage you all to keep going, no matter what things look like right now. Eventually you will be ruling your kingdom. ~ Taylor Simsrafiki