Please believe: The best is yet to come

God has a way of putting us where we need to be to receive the message we need to hear exactly when we need to hear it.

That’s what happened this morning when my husband and I decided to worship at Ebenezer Baptist Church instead of attending our own church.  Rev. Natosha Rice delivered a word from the Lord that encouraged us to keep pressing forward in the midst of what has been a Job-like season for our family and friends: lung cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer.

And just as one friend was recovering from surgery for prostate cancer, he was hit last weekend by a tow truck driver while riding his bicycle.

In the midst of it all, we know in our hearts that God is in control. Yet in those quiet times — often in the midnight hour — fear and profound sadness creep in.

Rev. Rice shared with us the beautiful story of the devotion and faithfulness of Ruth toward her mother-in- law Naomi. When Naomi’s husband died, this woman who was admired by many lost her identity and became mired in depression. Later, her two sons — who were married to Ruth and Orpah — died; leaving the three women alone. Naomi told the younger women to return to their homelands because she had been foresaken for God.

Orpah left but Ruth stayed with her mother-in-law. She reminded Naomi of the woman she used to be and encouraged her to work through her pain and get back to her old self.

Rev. Rice talked about the power of their relationship to make the point that we need to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.  Yesterday I was blessed to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. For the last five years this friend has been faced with a huge test.   In the midst of her husband’s health crisis, which has forever altered their life together, she has remained steadfast in her faith. God has allowed her to retire from her job, care for her husband and see her daughters marry the men of their dreams. She has watched her husband undergo a bone marrow transplant with cells donated by his eldest daughter.

My friend has been faithful in her Job season. She truly believes that the best is yet to come because of her relationship with God. Her children have risen up and called her blessed. Her friends and family marvel at her resilience. Her husband adores her.

Best of all, God is well pleased, as he was with Ruth — who was blessed with another husband, her Boaz.

Change comes to all of us. As I reflect on the valley my family finds itself in I am encouraged that my father is facing cancer with peace and clarity. I am thankful that he is free of pain. In our seasons of change we must hold fast to God’s unchanging hands and trust his will for our lives.

We must trust and believe that our best days are yet to come.

If you don’t want to be a parent, please tell someone

In case

LOVE MY PEOPLE

Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died. Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died.

Eman Moss appeared in a Gwinnett County courtroom a week ago to apologize to his “beautiful princess.” He left facing life without parole for starving Emani Moss to death at the tender age of 10. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 starvation death of his daughter.

Prosecutors gave Eman Moss a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Tiffany Moss, his wife and Emani’s stepmother. Authorities believe Tiffany Moss was responsible for the majority of the abuse and neglect Emani suffered. She could get the death penalty.

Authorities found Emani’s burned body in the garbage. She weighed 32 pounds.

My heart breaks just thinking about the pain and suffering that beautiful child endured throughout her life. What were her parents thinking, trying to hide her body by burning it? …

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If you don’t want to be a parent, please tell someone

Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died.

Emani Moss was 10 years old when she died.

Eman Moss appeared in a Gwinnett County courtroom a week ago to apologize to his “beautiful princess.” He left facing life without parole for starving Emani Moss to death at the tender age of 10. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 starvation death of his daughter.

Prosecutors gave Eman Moss a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Tiffany Moss, his wife and Emani’s stepmother. Authorities believe Tiffany Moss was responsible for the majority of the abuse and neglect Emani suffered. She could get the death penalty.

Authorities found Emani’s burned body in the garbage. She weighed 32 pounds.

My heart breaks just thinking about the pain and suffering that beautiful child endured throughout her life. What were her parents thinking, trying to hide her body by burning it?  Did they honestly think no one would wonder where she  was?

Any fool can have a baby. but it takes a caring and attentive adult to raise a child.

If you’re too drugged out, irresponsible or just plain uncaring to raise the child you brought into this world, please turn that child over to someone who will love and care for him or her.

Indeed, our foster care system is overburdened and in need of more adults to care for children. Those of us who can, should step in and take a child who needs a home.  Over the years I’ve thought seriously about becoming a foster parent. I’ve  considered my spouse’s views, as well as my age, work load and other factors.

Ideally, a child should be placed with a relative until their parents are willing and able to care for them. But sadly, that is not an always an option. Back in the day, extended families often stood in the gap for loved ones who didn’t quite have it together but had a desire to be in their child’s life. That still happens today, but with families scattered about it seems to happen less frequently.

Tiffany Moss had been arrested previously for abusing Emani.  Sadly, the child was allowed to return to her care.  Her grandmother, the mother of Eman Moss, tried to help the child on several occasions. The couple’s two younger children were placed in state custody after Emani was found murdered.

Emani’s murder should prompt serious soul-searching in all of us. When we see a family in crisis, let’s do something, even if it means reporting them to the authorities.

This is how we will begin to save our abused and neglected children.