A Mission of Love and Literally Dreaming the Future

As I was writing, my mind flashed back to a couple of Kathy Troccoli songs. I think they were among the first songs of hers that I heard, but I loved the message the songs proclaim. I still do. So, I've included them. "Because You Love Me" is another song I relate to on a personal level. I do believe in the message of a dream, as you'll read - if you get that far (haha, it's a long one). More importantly, these songs are about love of life and others.


Kathy Troccoli ~ Mission of Love

Reach Out to Have a Purpose

Faith Reaper encouraged me to open up a bit for a hub of this nature. I will say that it seems a bit strange and unnatural to sit here writing this, especially since I am at this moment truly content, and the past is the past - right? Once the past is the past, it has a way of seeming less dramatic, traumatic, or whatever other adjective might seem to fit. Shoot, even after I finally allow myself to have a good cry, it seems pointless to have been that upset. Why? Because life is what I make of it. I made all the decisions that put me on the path I'm on, and when some things are even beyond my control, they always have a way of working out. I have faith about that and I always will.

Also, it is only when I am feeling alone, worried, or upset that I might even seek out someone to share my feelings with, otherwise I keep my feelings and the nitty gritty of my situations to myself as much as possible, and when I do share, I prefer it to be with someone that can empathize because of similar experiences or that is able to share concerns with me in return. Because people are often too busy with their own worries and concerns to think about someone else's and I don't want to be a burden on someone else for mine when they arise. Therefore, I generally instead choose to seek people to talk to when I feel discouraged more for the purpose of having a purpose. See, it is during these times that I can listen to someone else in need of a sounding board or that simply wants to know someone else cares. And the bonus for me is two-fold: I feel like I am possibly making a small difference for someone else and I don't have to focus or worry about whatever had me upset in the first place.

Kathy Troccoli ~ Go Light Your World

There's Always Hope

All that said, I am going to briefly share a bit about what I've been through. Yes, I know others have had it much worse than I ever or have or ever will. I'm not seeking pity or even compassion. My hope in sharing is that others feeling lost, afraid, alone, or otherwise depressed and discouraged by circumstances might realize that there is always hope.

I'm fully aware that my choices and my actions largely led to the things that have happened in my life, but that is what life is; a serious of choices. Choose to be happy, choose to cling to worry. Choose to dwell on mistakes, choose to forgive yourself. Choose to trust your intuition, choose to ignore it. Choose to listen to the voice inside that says it's not worth it, choose to know that isn't truth. So on and so forth.. .it's always a choice. And I have a choice to control how I react to both circumstances and to how I react to those around me that may judge me, criticize me, or attempt discourage me. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters, especially when going through trials and tribulations, is that there is always hope. Hope lies within my mind, within my heart, and within my faith.

A Bit of Background

As one of the youngest in my class, I graduated high school at the age of 17. I was only a week or two past turning 18 before I moved off about 14 hours from where I grew up to attend college in Texas. I didn't know a single soul and I was alone and somewhat anxious, but also excited. That's the adventurous side of me, I suppose, yet somehow it all felt right. However, things happened, choices were made, and I ended up not finishing my last year. If I could do a few things differently and make a few different choices. . .well, let's just say I might say I would, except that some of the blessings I have in my life today would not exist, so there is really no point in regretting anything.

Fast forward nearly ten years after that, I have a husband and three beautiful children. I have my health, my love of life, my faith in God, and dreams that may or may not come true. I also have struggles and worries just as everyone else does, and choices to make. Some of the hardest choices to make are the ones that involve hanging onto myself and my own inner peace despite other factors I can't always control and despite not being able to control the reactions of others involved. Somehow, though, I think I've managed fairly well, especially considering that through most of these times I did not share my pain with others, even those that knew the circumstances. And then after the fact, it hardly seems to matter one way or another, because the only point in time talking to someone about it really matters is in the moment when just expressing a thought or emotion is a relief. Generally, though, a person I trust is not available or I choose to write instead. Often, writing seems to be the better option anyway. No one judges that unless I choose to share it, and if i do, not many know how much of it may be reflective of circumstances and how much of it may just be an idea expressed.

Anyway, I've had points in time where things seemed to be going fairly well. You know - a roof over my head, steady income, and a future to plan. Of course there is always a future to plan, but there have also been times when a better future seemed distant and maybe non-existent. I've been practically homeless, living in motel rooms with children and isolated without a vehicle or much access to anyone that really cared about me as a person, for me as I am and not for what someone judged me to be instead. I know what it is like to be looked down upon for being "poor" (which is really a word I've never at any point in time labeled myself with). I've lived without lights or water for points in time and, even knowing that we were doing our best and trying to do better, felt as if I had nothing much to offer anyone else because they were too busy looking down on me to really see me, to really see it was an effort at times to stay positive. It's frustrating when others assume you are taking money your husband made that day for doing yard work and handyman work for someone else and using it to eat out on (which of course is deemed irresponsible when it is cheaper to buy more groceries with that money) when we were actually using it to buy food from a grocery store for that day because we had to keep food in a cooler and couldn't think about saving money by buying in bulk. We had to worry about everyday necessities that also cost money and could not even consider eating at a restaurant if we wanted to.

At the same time, during times like these I learned to abhor the phrase "it's the Christian thing to do." The Christian thing to do is to give and to love for the sake of doing so, not for the sake of drawing attention to oneself for good deeds done. To me, the Christian thing to do is to give selflessly, and that includes not drawing attention to myself for doing something for someone else and it includes not reminding someone of that "good deed" at a later point in time when it might benefit me to do so. I don't even put my name on an envelope for offering plates in churches that use them. Yet, I've had people do things for me in the name of wanting to do the right thing and then barely hide how much of an inconvenience it was to do these things, and I'm left wondering why in the world anyone would want to offer me assistance I didn't even ask for if it was such a hassle.

Then there were a few that I knew were just blessings from God. These people reinforced my reasons for wanting to do for others without complaint or even without the possible personal gain of others knowing I'd been kind to someone else. They inspired my hub "Angels of the Earthly Kind," with a couple of poems about it. Some of these angels I think were literally Heaven sent, there to fulfill a particular need and nothing more. Yet these people acted with such unconditional love that I'll never forget them even though I've not talked to them since, and a few of them not even learned a name or what their faces even looked like.

Giving Back

I don't have much to offer right now. Things are much better than they have been in the past, but still rough. There was a fire and we lost everything, which also involves a complicated story and weaving of events. But, here we are, now living in a different town, because it was a necessary move, overcoming other challenges as they come at us There are even other complications to the bit of background that I did not mention. Many of these things, if they had not happened tome, might seem far fetched. The thing is, this time I know things have been worse and could always be worse. And when I realize I am starting to worry about how things can get worse, I also remember that God is always there and does provide for all needs.

As for giving back, I try to be there for others whenever, however I can in hopes of maybe making a difference, if only a small one. I may not look like much, I may not have much to offer, and I'm far from perfect, but I care. I have love and prayer to offer. I have an ear willing to listen when needed. I will also share one specific example of faith and the power of prayer.

Because You Love Me ~ Jo Dee Messina

The Dream

There was a point in time when my husband worked two jobs and I was home taking care of one child under two and about to give birth to another one. We lived in a reasonably priced apartment, yet we still could not meet the bills because the state saw fit to take child support out of both of his checks, nearly fifty percent no less. The mother didn't even want the case open. . .but anyway. . .that's another story altogether and another thing I know not to judge a person for without knowing the facts.

My point is that, shortly after my daughter was born, we were going to be evicted from the apartment, and I knew it. She was only a month or two old and i couldn't work because it would've all gone to pay for daycare anyway. Besides, jobs were scarce in that area. Unless a person has a car to work in another county, life is pretty much paycheck to paycheck for those not living on alternative sources of income in that area.

So. . .one night, I'm waiting for my husband to get home from work. We had a couch for furniture and a kitchen table. My daughter had a crib, but she rarely used it. I think this time she was in it, though, and my son and I were on the floor. He was asleep beside me and I remember lying flat on my back praying until I fell asleep, exhausted. Recovering from a c-section and trying to keep a jealous 20 month old from hurting his sister, taking care of a newborn baby in general, that's just plain tiring, so there I was asleep on the floor. It's not as if I had a bed anyway, but this time, i didn't notice the discomfort of the hard floor. I was dreaming.

I woke up with this strange feeling upon me. The only way I can describe it is kind of like the buzzed feeling received when the dentist pumps you full of laughing gas (I had a ton of dental work growing up). Or maybe like that sensation when a limb you've slept on or sat on wrong falls asleep. Anyway, I also had vague images in my mind of a dream. Somehow, I just knew this was a message from God. I knew things would be alright, though I didn't know how yet. I knew that we were all going somewhere and that the time there would be temporary, which frankly, was not what we desired, but it helped me to cope when the time did come to leave. I was reminded that I "had a feeling" it was only a temporary thing.

It was a day or so later when my husband came to tell me about a place we were moving to. This lady had land for sale with a mobile home on it that needed work. There was an old, half finished building on the property as well that could be turned into a one bedroom home. We went to the home of someone that is a family friend going back a couple of generations, and is like a grandmother to my husband, and as we sat there conversing with her and her husband, I knew. . .I mean I literally knew what was going to be said next. It's such a strange sensation to know what someone else is going to say before they utter the words. This was different than deja vu, too. It was my dream! I had dreamt the future! Sitting there was when it fully hit me. That feeling of knowing it was going to be alright was because it truly was going to be alright.

With God, things are always alright. I've had similar experiences to that in which I've been awakened in the middle of the night with a sense of urgency to pray for someone, only to later find out why. But these experiences are usually in regards to others. That was the first time I really clearly had a sense of waking up knowing I just knew what was going to happen next and that I did not need to be afraid.

Prayer is a powerful thing. Faith is equally as powerful and I would challenge anyone going through hard times to remember that. Also remember that there is ALWAYS someone, somewhere that cares enough to offer love and compassion, if only in the form of prayer.

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my goodness, dearest Shanmarie,

This is such a profound share straight from your loving heart! I am so thrilled that you were inspired to write such and it will bless many. I just know that is will do so.

This piece is phenomenal, just as you are. All of the videos you have included are just perfect, especially that first one. Wow! I will have a big smile on my face all day, for you have let your light so shine before men here!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you precious heart. In His Love Always,

Faith Reaper

(well, I don't see the share buttons at the moment, shall return! : )


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

I love you Shan! I read this with a tears in my eyes. I've always known you're a beautiful person, but now you're sharing with the world just how beautiful you are. Not everyone is built with a heart like yours and you have such a good head, firmly planted on your shoulders.

I'm so glad you found inspiration in Faith Reaper; she is one of those special people that don't come along very often either.

I liked all of the songs, but I read most of this to 'Go Light Your World' and it really touched me and made the read even more emotional.

You may not see it Shan, but you have SO much to offer right now and you've been such a good friend to me! I wish I could be more like you and accept the things I cannot change, let the past go and be grateful for the present. You're an inspiration to me!

Love you, sis!

Cat


Vickiw 3 years ago

Dear Shanmarie, I have noticed your comments many times, but not felt that we had enough in common for us to follow. I feel differently now, after this Hub. I think of you as a very strong, level-headed woman, who has known a lot of hard times, stuck faithfully by the people she loves, and will come out of it all with flying colours. Great Hub, and my kindest thoughts and goodwill to you, special lady!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Faith Reaper, I certainly hope it is a blessing to someone, otherwise there's really no point in sharing any of it. I'm not even sure it makes sense with so many details missing, but then again, details aren't the point. Haha And thank you for being a blessing to so many around you!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw, Cat. I hope you weren't crying for me. Honestly, sometimes I do feel like I don't have much to offer, but I suppose it is human nature to sometimes wonder what the point of it all is. As for accepting what cannot be changed, that's not always easy to do, but it just means not accepting defeat when something beyond my control happens and can't be changed. Life goes on, right. ;) (We've gotta finish that sometime soon.) Anyway, it's a choice and you can be like that, Cat. When you find yourself thinking otherwise, remind yourself that you are worthy and loved. You don't have to be perfect and there are people that care. If you don't see it in those around you, look into the eyes of your children. :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Vickiw. What kind things you say, but I'm not so special, I don 't think. I would like to think that I am level-headed and strong for the most part, though. :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi sweetie,

I came back to share, as I promised. The buttons are now showing up on my end! You are truly a special person, and I know who ever reads will without a doubt receive a blessing.

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hugs and love to you, Faith Reaper! Truth be told, this one actually makes me a bit self conscious, but it's out there now! haha


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up. A truly wonderful and inspirational story. Yes, with God by your side things always go right. Keep the faith and glad to hear things are going alright. God bless.


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Shan,

That's only one of the reasons I love you so much. No doubt you've added to my life and helped me in many ways... I'm sure I am a better person because of you and you should take that as quite a compliment... 'cause I've got some problems! lol

Yes... we have to catch up, on so many levels... I just might have to make a trip down to Texas... and stay for a week! :D


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

When one shares what God has done in one's life, as you have done here, and then further takes that step of faith, He will use it in the most powerful of ways that you may have never even imagined, and may not know of in this lifetime, but you will one day sweetie! : ) You have caught His eye and He is well pleased by you sharing here, and when God is pleased what else matters! That is what His Word tells us , that His eye roams to and fro across the earth for someone doing just as you have. I bet if you listened very carefully precious heart when you get ready to sleep, you may hear angels singly sweetly over you, rejoicing. He tells us that too in His Word that they sing your praises when you glorify Him while you sleep.

God bless you sweetie. You're the best. I pray you share more of your power testimony in future writings.

Hugs, Faith Reaper


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Gypsy. If God is for us, who can be against us? :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Ha ha, Cat! Thank you, sis. Love ya, too. Come for a week or move on down. ;)

As for your problems, we've all got some. . . "issues". hehe


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Faith Reaper, what do I say to that? You are surely one of the sweetest people I've ever met, and it's so genuine and sincere! I believe in testimonies and what they accomplish, and I've been pleasantly surprised in the past to find out something I said or did made a difference for someone else spiritually, though I had no clue at the time such a seed was being planted. I don't know what it is that makes me feel that way. It's not as if I owe anyone an explanation that's ever judged me or that I feel ashamed. I just don't like being the center of attention, especially for the wrong reasons. Haha. . .I'm a walking contradiction and I probably couldn't explain what I mean if I tried! My point is that, yes, it is good to share the things God has done in one's life with others, but I hope that it comes across as more about God than about me, if that makes any sense.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Hello and good afternoon my most esteemed colleague and respected friend Shan Marie from Colin and his cat crew Tiffy and Gabriel - thank you for writing my favorite hub from this sacred page of yours - I was quite moved and touched by your honesty and sincere words.

It's quite a heat wave here as Cat and I lay on the nudist section of my private beach and what I mean by the heat wave I ain't talkin' about no weather, lol lol

It's a joy to see you back - and I am sending good thoughts and energy from lake erie time ontario canada 2:54pm


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Oh my, Epi. That was a mental image I didn't need. haha However, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I sincerely hope that you and your furry feline friends are doing well. I think Stormy found some catnip hidden somewhere.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

So nice to see you back my friend and I just want you to be happy in your life and I am always happy to read your life affirming writing and we share a bond in our love of country music. amen.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Epi. I'll try to stay around more, but I can't make promises. Lot's of changes going on right now. However, I am touched that you missed me enough to check on my well being. Very sweet of you to care for so many others the way that you do.


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Well Shan, I have to say... the turd of a dad my kids are stuck with is on quite a roll... if he keeps it up much longer I'll be buying a one way ticket to Texas... where I know I'm loved... lol. But have no fear, he isn't stressing me out, he's just down a few brain cells and I'm not qualified to deal with people like him :D

Oh, that Epi... he's a one of a kind in't he? HA!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw, Cat. :/


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with me. If you read how Arlene and I became a couple... love can be... Well.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for reading, Martin. Actually, no, I haven't seen that hub. But, you have so many. . .I'll see if I can find it, though, because I am curious now. :)


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

While HP is a virtual space, it is also a special place where (I can only speak for me) I have made contact with people who are not just pictures, but good-hearted individuals. You are one of those people.

Thank you for being you.

Best Always and Forever,

Kim


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Hi Shanmarie, a very interesting read, we are all destined for a particular life, but the decisions we take can always alter that destiny. You are a beautiful strong and capable woman, thank you for this insight into you world, your story will certainly help others in similar situation.

Take care, and my very best to you always.


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Shannon, I loved this piece so much. You have so very much to offer because your heart has the kind of spiritual abundance that makes life worth living. Thank you for sharing your story and your perspective; it is so valuable. You model hope and gratitude and humility and authenticity. You are inspiring! :-) ~Lurana


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

I agree with you about people being more than just pictures here, Kim. What a kind thing for you to say about me. Your words are very much appreciated. :) Hugs.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for your kind words, tobusiness. Best wishes to you as well. :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much, Lurana. I'm about to be away for a week, I think. Just can't seem to catch a break and things keep coming at me. If I'm inspiring, I'll take that as motivation to not let myself get too frustrated. Thanks again for your kind words. Hugs. I hope that you, your Shannon, and your kids are doing well. One of these days I'll be able to really chat with you and we can finish that song! :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Such a poignant account, and the comments are quite wonderful, too.

I'm surprised I've not visited this hub of yours before!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Nellieanna. This hub is so personal that I have not even reread it myself since I wrote it, which I believe was around last October. It is full of things I rarely talk about. I just really recall the music I used. Haha


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

As I've mentioned variously from my own experience, there is a special personal value in rereading what one's written. It's a little like 2-way self-talk! ;-)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

In some instances, I agree. In this case, I don't need this hub to relive things I already relive without reading about it.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Fortunately, it's up to each person to know what works best and to each, his/her own.

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