Mountain Top

Commitment: Dealing with Broken Promises

 

People are imperfect by nature. Allowances can be made whenever we encounter a new person or someone who really means well, but falls short of his or her word.

I have found people get really excited when amazing things are happening and seem to think,”How can I be involved (in this amazing happening)?” Typically, if they feel so inclined, they may make a commitment, of some sort. Time, ability, and finance are all types of commitments people regularly make to whatever cause they deem “worthy.” That’s all fine and dandy. It’s all gravy when those committed individuals fulfill their promises. The challenge lies in the unfulfilled promise. What are we to do when people break promises to us?

Recently, having encountered the latter matter, I felt I should assist those who lean towards being disappointed, condemning, and hater-like.

Forgive the person who broke the vow. Often times, people are overextended in some other ways and simply didn’t account well for whatever commitment they made. I know it sounds simple, but that’s typically what happens. Don’t hold it against them. All types of things happen in people’s lives. I know this can take time, but being willing to forgive helps. You never know when you may need a measure of the same grace.

Never bring it up again (if it can be avoided) after forgiving them. When we forgive someone, we restore the standard to whatever it was before the commitment was broken. Now, I’m not saying we blindly trust the person again if we endure significant hardship or loss because of their unfaithfulness. Nor am I suggesting we forget. However, if we really forgive, we release them from all consequence of their poor judgment. (Please use your discretion as to whether or not they can be trusted again). Most people aren’t out for our lights.

Set boundaries. We have to be responsible for our own emotions. We own them, so no one can “make us feel” any particular way. We have responsibility, authority and power over every emotion we feel, so let us not unscrupulously give our power away. Understanding that whatever is going on with the unfaithful individual, is going on with him or her. Not you; and makes no mark against how awesome you are. You are still awesome! Don’t forget it.

Judge Character. Often times, people tell us exactly who they are through word and action. If we are objective, deliberate, quiet and employ the skill of observation, we can often avoid situations with the unfaithful. Not always, but frequently enough.

When all else fails, ask God what to do. He always knows. Sometimes, the commitment breakers are in our lives to teach us important spiritual lessons and sharpen us in ways we would not have otherwise been sharpened, so trust God. Always ask Him.

He’s always able to heal and recover whatever was broken by the careless or unfaithful people passing through our lives. With Him, anything we lose was never worth keeping.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Busting Stuff Up

 

I’ve entered a two-stage housing remodel and working with a lean budget. A few rooms, floors, walls, fixtures, foundation repair, contractors and plumbing issues quickly run the register tape into the +$20,000. What’s fun about this project is I don’t have that kind of money! It could come. But I’m feeling like I am learning to be resourceful and I am stretching my faith in a whole new arena. Water walking starts in…3-2-1.

I held a yard sale a couple weeks back to clear my spaces of clutter, in preparation for the changes abreast. Only four people came over the three days. . . maybe six, if I count the Craigslist shoppers who answered ads in the days leading up to the event. Of those six people, four have become significant resources: labor, talent, time, and knowledge. I have seemingly amassed a ragtag crew of able-bodied, willing people to come into my home and bust up stuff and refurbish my spaces.

I have decided to release the general contractor and enter negotiation with the foundation repair company. I have become a general contractor over my project. Granted, my father is a general contractor and artist, and I am good with my hands (so I know the juice is in me somewhere). But I have never handled a scope of work of this magnitude. This house is big. To my benefit, I have nothing but time and a generous timeline with which to work. I’ve been spending lots of time in quiet, peaceful rest to combat fear and the feeling of being overwhelmed. In theory, I have squinched a $25,000 job down to $7,500. Nothing the Holy Spirit, YouTube and a ragtag crew of creative DIYers can’t handle.

I’m excited to tabulate the final numbers and see how we fair in actuality with our theoretical budget. From my perspective, an entire elephant can be eaten one bite at a time with a tasty sauce.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Faith: An Anecdote

During this time in 2012, my sister informed me she was going to Vancouver, British Columbia to graduate school. A few months later, she boarded a plane to move to the city she had never visited and entered an academic program. In a couple of months, she will be graduating, with honors, from that same program.

This anecdote comes to mind because, like her, I am facing a big move, one that will define my destiny.

When she boarded the plane to leave, only twelve hours prior, we had no money ($0.00). All she had was an agreement to live with some strangers and some scholarship money. No plane fare, no ticket, no rent money or deposit, only a dream, and the reality―a portion of the tuition was better than none. She literally took flight on that. We went to dinner to celebrate with family and neither she nor I could afford our meals. I actually did not eat. Twelve hours later, she was on a plane flying to Vancouver, BC.

Faith. Faith. Faith. It is defined in the bible as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” I like the definition, “the stuff dreams are made of.” Whichever definition you prefer, I think we can all agree faith is invisible. It is a belief in what does not exist. I have met many people in my life over the years who do not believe in what cannot be calculated, seen or held. They need explanations for everything. If someone mentions God, Jesus, or Holy Spirit, they may become violent or abusive. That’s their issue. I love them no less; many of those I am mentioning are people who I have called friends. However, the fact remains, if you want to believe, you don’t lose.

At 7am the next morning, my sister came to my room to say her flight left at 11am. I needed to begin to rise to send her off. When we went to bed, all she had was a promise and resolve! I am still not quite sure how all the money got into her bank account. I remember telling her she needed to tell our family she was without a ticket. The image that sticks out most in my mind was the “faith initiative.” She had a portion of a scholarship, housing lined up had been accepted into the university, she was helped. However, if she had not moved forward on those things and merely asked for the fare, her request would have most likely been denied.

Really, I am just encouraging myself here. If you get encouraged, that’s fantastic! Ask God what He has for you and believe whatever He says. Go out and believe for something! Sometimes we all need a boost of faith, I have been called faithful, so, what I have, I give it freely.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Mountaintop Experiences – New Season: Spiritual Warfare

 

Part III New Season: Spiritual Warfare by Kwjuana Thomas

It is summertime! The change in season has already introduced the first, tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic and I am in great anticipation of what is in store! I am looking forward to swimming in fresh water, fishing, boating, viewing natural sites; BBQ’s and drinking very cold, specialty beer, near natural bodies of water. Specific, huh?

These comforts will be greatly appreciated because this is a season of great transition, change and moves. It is of great importance that my hope and security is not placed in the natural comforts. Though sufficient as means of recreation and refreshment, I sense much of what has been working over the past two years will begin to manifest this season. The road blocks are lifted. Recently faced with opportunities to concede that I can never have what has been promised to me, I choose to persevere. Again, I refused to I believe the lies.

Unlike seasons past, the time is appointed for the things I have been waiting for to come into being. Much of what I believe and wait for is available, now! Yet, there will be great battles of opposition which are in place to create the illusion that what I believe is not available. Contrition. It has been my experience that in times of heaviness, grief, depression and the like, perspective gets clouded and reality gets distorted. I must determine to stay focused in truth and not allow myself to get carried away by emotional feelings.

In this time, it is important to understand who I am, what I am, and to whom I belong. This is a time to gird up and get ready to stand and fight for what is rightfully mine! The beauty of this reality is: what is mine is rightfully mine. I have had two years to get that from my head to my heart, so the truth of that reality is actually a part of me now. It is like a baby in my womb: its life only exists because it is inside of me, and cannot be aborted. Such is my inheritance.

The battles of this season are in words and actions. My challenge here will be to remain in faith and love despite how things may seem. I have to launch into the spirit and lay hold of the wisdom, comfort, and peace available there. I have recently learned in times of spiritual conflict, the mental perception of what could happen is far more dramatic than what actually does happen. I am very grateful for those lessons.

The time is at hand to put into action the training I have experienced over the last two years. Despite the odds, the fight is fixed, and I stand victorious.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Motives of the Heart

 

Growing up, I hated children, was bitterly angry and without patience. Anything which stood against what I intended for myself immediately became an enemy I sought to shame and assault. Maturing into womanhood, those characteristics posed significant challenges in dating, the workplace and interpersonal relationships. They also bound my spirit and stifled my ability to understand things of the spirit.

Undergoing healing, deliverance and conversion of heart has drawn out a more patient person; I have peacefully tolerated children and the childlike and have begun to consider others: positive change in my life can positively affect and influence those around me. I have expanded my borders to help people in need; I even have a dog. Overall, I believe I have become a kinder, gentler more loving version of myself. I am by no means perfect. And I don’t help because I am great, but because I can. I go beyond because those I am assisting are worthy of love.

All of these changes are great! I like the way I feel about myself and others and am far more accepting of people, positive or negative. I can honestly say, “I love God and I love myself,” I love myself because He loves me. It has not been difficult for me to transition into these changes. My behavior has not been modified, nor have I been beaten with rods. I simply decided I no longer wanted to be in pain and I needed love. So, I made it my business to find, receive and bring love and healing to myself and others. As a result of choosing love things about me changed, effortlessly. What I am learning is though I made a conscious decision to trade: sorrow, pain, mourning, rejection, abandonment, isolation and hatred – and suddenly had room for love, life, joy and self-acceptance. Others are still learning to do this.

The challenge with great change and progression is although I have chosen to walk in the light and be salt; there will always be those around who have not chosen to do so. Therein lays a definite battle. The old saying, “Misery loves company,” applies here. Of late, my greatest opposition has been those who are being healed, are not aware of areas of hidden pain and are acting from those places. They seem to be the proverbial red spot on my white cashmere. As a result, I have received additional healing to be able to function in an environment where others are in pain and miserable. So I have chosen to receive, additional measures of healing in order to walk in a loving manner with those who are not experiencing liberty.

I have resolved to continue in the way of love and not introduce shame into these situations. Although my feelings have been hurt at times, I get it. There is no need to fight or argue. The way of love can only be caught, not taught.

Kwjuana Thomas

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