Monday, May 8, 2017

Overcoming the storms of life

Toronto native, Cheryl Nembhard is an award winning Filmmaker, Playwright and Director who continues to make her mark in the Arts & Entertainment Industry. On Saturday I had the privilege to listen to Cheryl Nembhard speak at the Women's Conference at my church. Cheryl has an amazing story about overcoming pain and hurt in her life and finding freedom and healing through God. Cheryl Nembhard had a very difficult childhood. She was sexually molested by a family friend from the age of 5-12 and as a teenager she had become a very angry and bitter young woman because of all the pain she had gone through. Cheryl joined a criminal gang as a teenger which became a place for her to express her anger.

One day Cheryl was brutally raped by a group of young men and this experience left her completely broken. Cheryl later ended up living on the streets for periods of time and was rescued by the love of God through a street evangelist. The street evangelist would talk to Cheryl as she was living on the street and although Cheryl found him annoying he always reminded her of one thing: " You can run but you can't hide, from God's love for you."

Cheryl eventually decided to visit a church and when she became a Christ-follower she was able to heal from all the pain and hurt she had been carrying around for years. Today Cheryl is very successful in the Entertainment Industry, she is married and has three children. Cheryl is now using her story and her painful past to bring help, hope and healing to other people through her films and musicals and through speaking about God's love at different events.

Cheryl Nembhard talked about how we can overcome the storms in our life at the Women's Conference and I will share some of her tips in this post. Here's two of my favorite quotes by Cheryl:
"Hurt and pain unchecked will manifest into anger and bitterness."

"Do not mistake the presence of a storm in life for the absence of God in your life. He is with you and he will guide you through it."

Cheryl Nembhard talked about how each one of us will face many different types of storms during a lifetime. A life without hardships is a fairytale, it doesn't exist in this world. Storms will come but our God promises that He will be with us in the storm. The book of Isaiah talks about how much we mean to God and how much he loves us.

Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.

When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you."

Isaiah 43:2-4 (The Message)

Cheryl Nembhard also talked about how important it is that we check our posture in the midst of a storm. The "Why me"-posture will never lead to flourishing or to freedom in our lives. Instead we can ask God: "What would you have me learn through this storm?" Storms make great teachers. There is a lesson in every storm. Storms teach us about God, about ourselves and about other people. You will learn more about God than you ever did before during a storm. Storms can tell you what needs to be removed from your life and what areas you need to work on. Storms will show you who your friends are, you will notice who is for you and who disappears when your life gets difficult.

Storms will teach you valuable lessons about life but they will also make you a teacher to others. Once God has brought you through something very difficult you can use your story to help and encourage other people. You can now become "a lighthouse" to others.

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