Author Archives: SharonBrani

Those Left Behind

It seems like yesterday that I traveled home with my youngest daughter.

From time to time as we flew high above the earth

I glanced at her.

Tiny little two year old. Dimpled darling with deep, penetrating eyes.

And I wondered.

How would I manage to parent two daughters

along with having a counseling practice?

But when the fears loomed

my thoughts went back to my many prayers.

That long walk on the beach

seeking God’s Will…

Wanting to be sure.

From the beginning her adoption was difficult.

A failed adoption in Ukraine.

House arrest.

Fears galore.

Endless visits to orphanages.

Seeking.

Praying.

Quietly wondering.

Then arriving in Russia and seeing her for the first time.

Moments that I cherish in my heart.

So small. So serious. Soooooo …..to this day there are no words.

Suddenly having to leave her without an explanation

that I would be back.

Yes I would be back.

Asking to go to a store to purchase a stuffed bear

and running up the orphanage steps, opening the heavy doors,

and giving it to the orphanage worker.

“Please, please give this to her,” Tears filled my eyes.

“Tell her I will be back.” It was so important that she knew.

The worker nodded and I turned to leave.

A question remained in my heart.

Would she possibly remember to tell my little one.

How would I ever know?

But leave I must.

With a heavy heart I walked out that day

And was driven away.

So long ago.

So long ago.

A lump grow in my throat whenever I begin to think

To remember the journey of bringing  her home.

Love keeps giving and giving and giving.

Love seeks – pursues- wanting the best for the one loved.

But today as I pause to remember

my heart is turned to the ones I left.

Behind those orphanage doors I had to leave so many children.

Before I traveled and saw the need my heart was at peace.

But now I know the truth.

There are millions of orphaned children around the world.

Millions.

Lord, free me from indifference and help do what I can with what I have.

My heart easily stretches around the world.

My heart aches to fill the overwhelming need

of children needing loving parents of their own.

Free me, Lord, from a desire to be comfortable while others

weep tears of loneliness and pain.

Yes,  it’s too easy to forget when you don’t see the need.

But I remember and still hear the cries of little children

who deserve their own parents.

Maybe you feel you don’t have what it takes.

I understand. Neither do I.

But God has an amazing way of helping us do what might seem impossible.

And He still does.

Yes, He does.

 

 

Together We Can Change Our World

People matter.

Yes, in a world where many feel worthless and not good enough I long to live out loud the truth that people matter.

It was an ordinary day a few weeks ago.

While standing at the checkout counter, the gal in front of me began to talk.

“What are you two?” she asked pointing to my daughter and me.

“You always seem to enjoy yourselves.”

“She’s my daughter,” I explained “And yes we do enjoy each other.”

She shook her head and sighed.

“Not my mother and I.” Her voice dropped low so that I could hardly hear her.

Words of conflict and pain. Deep hurt and shame.

My heart leaped out to her

And in that moment I wanted to reach across and give her an ocean-size hug.

Instead I lingered expressing care.

At that moment is was as if she was the most important person in the world.

I would have done anything to have lifted her heavy burden

and given her the support that she needed.

Life can be so hard.

For days after I have remembered her.

Prayed for her.

Asking the Lord to send an awareness of His Comfort and Grace.

Praying that there would be healing in their relationship.

Thanking the Lord that He had me there at just that moment to care

And to feel her pain.

Life is so short.

All around are folks who desperately need a word of hope

And who, most of all, need to be introduced to the Lord.

The One Who will comfort and give guidance no matter how impossible

their situation seems.

Wherever you are today

please know that you matter.

The One Who knows the very number of the hairs on your head,

the One Who left heavens Glory to die for you

to give you eternal Life

is calling you to come to Him.

And around you and I are scores of others who need a word of encouragement

and hope

Take time –

Make time to meet their eyes and to listen and to care.

You have no idea the difference that will make.

Me?

I’m asking the Lord to intersect my life with the lonely, the hurting, the lost.

So I can point them to the Lord of love.

Together we can change our world.

 

 

 

The Trap That Gets You Every Time

It can paralyze you in minutes.

It can render you helpless, weak and confused.

It can steal the good and leave you with bad.

What am I talking about?

Worrying about what others are thinking.

I’ve been there and quite honestly

 I still need to deal with this at times.

It doesn’t matter what we do….

   or what we say…..

someone might criticize us.

That’s just life on planet earth.

Growing up many, many years ago I tended to be shy

and fearful.

I scrutinized the faces of people- family members, teachers, acquaintances etc

trying to see if they approved of me. What they were thinking.

Round and round my thoughts would go.

Always worried. Always uneasy. Always wrong in my thinking.

Because the truth is

   God knows us deeply – through and through –

Only He is worthy of our trust and adoration.

Only He knows us well enough.

People have their own issues. 

They struggle with their own insecurities but as long as

we put our confidence in them and how they see us

we will always be weak and confused.

Yes, it’s a futile battle, isn’t it?

But as we learn to live for the applause of One

 we will experience a peace that does pass understanding.

We can learn from the comments of others but live our lives for His approval.

Refuse to worry about the thoughts of others.

Stand tall. Stoop low as you serve. And give thanks for all.

So are you looking for ways to build more peace in your life?

Here it is.

Stop worrying about what others are thinking.

 And, I, for one, need the Lord to help me do this.

“The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.”

Proverbs 29:25 It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.