I woke Sunday, February 12, 2012 to the shocking news that Whitney Houston had died in her Beverly Hills Hotel room. I’ve never been one to feel emotional when the famous die but today, I was. I burst into tears as I read the headlines. How could this be true? Why on this earth had she not been able to overcome the demons that haunted her and ultimately stolen her life? Not only had they stolen her life but I believe they stole something very special from each of us. She had unkowingly touched my life many times and in many ways as she had millions.
Whitney was blessed with a powerful gift; one that echoed around the world. But with the power of her gift had come much struggle. As it is said, “To whom much is given much is required.” Sadly, the struggles of her life played out in a public arena where many whom she had blessed would became her judge. I wondered if the judgement had ultimately been her demise. Had she simply not been able to satisfy the requirements placed on her,not just by her own hand, but the hand of the world she served? I’ll never know. But my prayer as the news sank in was that she, in spite of her demons, was singing with the Father; the One who had given her to us.
I want to be very clear today. The truth is, we all have gifts, given by the Father Himself. Each and every one is special; none more so than the other. Some are private, some to reach hundreds, others million and once in a while the entire world. Whitney had been the latter but the frailty of her hope had succumbed to death.
“Though Hope is frail, It’s Hard to Kill” are words she sang in When You Believe. Those words jumped out at me today. Honestly, they always have but today, there was a little extra special meaning in them. Surely she knew well the frailty of her hope. I believe she had fought the demons, railed against them and even at times since their assualt on her life, had gained the upper hand. But something deep in her spirit, something none of us can truly understand and should not dare to judge, had kept her from living in the truth of her hope; her birthright and ours.
And so as I listened to her songs, celebrating her angelic voice but greater still the beauty of who she truly was, I recognized a common thread in her message. It was itself one of hope, accepetance, love. One that shared the story of her struggles had we only listened beyond the voice; one in which the cry of her heart was clear all the while inspiring us to hold on and believe for our own lives. Funny how it is that our message often mirrors the very elements of what we seek and what she so desperately sought in her own life.
From this I realized that as long as we have breath, we have hope! Unfortunately, hope died for Whitney. As her last breath was expended, hope for her healingand restoration dies alongside her. But for each of us, hope remains.
What demons do you face today? Obesity, illness, disease? What about financial? Maybe rejection, abandonment, fear? I’m here today to tell you, there is HOPE, no matter the circumstances you face. There is hope for a better life. In fact, it is your birthright, just waiting for you to lay hold of it and live it. The keys? A few come quickly to mind…
1. Know Who You Are- Your Gifts are God’s call on your life. Know them, own them and NEVER let them go for any reason. They are irrevocably yours to use to transform the world.
2. Know Whose You Are- You are your Heavenly Father’s child. No matter who else in this world accepts or rejects you, YOU are always HIS and at the end of it all, He is all that matters.
3. Surround Yourself with LOVE- There really is no room in your life for anything but authentic love. Make sure those around you are those who love you for you, not what you can do for them but for the beauty of who God created you to be.
4. Believe- Never stop believing. Life will bring trials and tribulations but there is always hope for a better tomorrow if only you believe.
5. Never Lose Sight of the Call- Your gift is your calling. Yes, it may make you money. It may bring fame. But the truth of your gift is to bless, empower and transform the world around you for the better. Never forget that truth.
6. Love Yourself – You are not perfect and you never will be. But you are uniquely and beautifully you. Own it, not in arrogance but in knowing that there is no one else like you.
7. Accept Help When You Need It- No matter your gift, you cannot live this life alone. We are each unique and those in our lives have gifts we need. But it is up to us to receive. Don’t hold back in pride but instead allow those you love to speak into your life and offer their gifts to transform you.
8. Lay It On The Line- Be honest, with yourself and your world. No shame, no guilt, no condemnation or fear. The good, the bad, the ugly can never be healed, transformed or even hidden behind dishonesty.
Sadly we lost a treasure. But you too are a treasure and let’s please not lose another unnecessarily to hopelessness. Let’s not lose you. There is hope for any goal, dream, passion or need you have and the truth is that we need you. Your frineds, family and the strangers whom you will encounter every day, need you. So don’t forget it!
I hope you know that I am here for you and that I will do anything within my gifts in order to help you achieve success in your life. My mission is to empower you to overcome, so speak up and let me know what you need! Deal?