Joy Comes In The Little Things

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Since my near death experience I have learned that Joy comes in the little things. And small acts of love and compassion can bring great joy. I have also learned that it is important to share joy and happiness with others. These gifts are not meant to be held onto selfishly. But, in order to share them with others, you must find them within yourself first. You cannot share something that you, yourself do not feel. I have learned that for me, joy comes in the little things. Joy comes in the quiet moments… seeing the first rays of the dawn, hearing the sweet song of a bird or listening to the sound of the water as it plays over the rocks in a quiet little stream.

These are the things that I notice as I take just a few minutes each day to sit with God and allow it to be, just God and me. These aren’t big things, they are small and simple; yet, they bring such joy to my heart and with joy comes great peace and peace brings harmony to my soul. Joy can be found in the little things.

I have found that when you experience joy, happiness follows and it radiates out of you like the rays of the sun, touching all those whose lives you touch… and it spreads. Spreading joy isn’t hard, because all it takes is truly caring about someone else. It is found in a smile, a kind word, a good deed, by showing love and compassion. That’s it. That is all it takes. Where there is love, you will find joy.

I was sitting outside one morning, drinking my coffee and enjoying the early morning sun. The winds were soft as silk against my skin and the birds were singing so happily. The flowers smelled sweet as their fragrance drifted along with the silken breeze. It reminded me of that day in Heaven. It was such a relaxing, peaceful time before I had to start my day.

Later that morning I had gone to do some errands. One of the places I needed to go was the doctor’s office to pick up a paper I needed and while I was waiting for it to be signed, I noticed a man standing in line waiting to sign in for his appointment. He had this look about him that I recognized, although I wasn’t sure why I had recognized it. He seemed to have such pain in his eyes and I could feel the brokenness of his spirit. Then, I heard Jesus’ voice saying “tell him”. When I walked up to the man I had no idea exactly what I was going to say but because of my relationship with Jesus ,which is that of a brother and there is deep trust and love, which enables me to step out and say “yes Lord , I will do as you ask with no question”. It was through my “yes” that Jesus had given me the right words to say. They were His words, not mine. Jesus knows hearts. He knew the heart of the man before he ever entered the building that day and He knew my heart as well. Jesus put us in the same place at the same time so this man could be given the message God wanted him to have.

I walked up to the man and began to speak to him… I asked him if he was a Vietnam Veteran and He said that he was, I then asked him if he had a moment because I had something very important that I needed to tell him. He nodded and we stepped aside. Then I began to tell him that all the servicemen involved with the war that we are now in always get a hero’s welcome when they come home and are treated so well, and when 9/11 happened, the police and the fireman and all who were involved with that, were heroes and were treated as such… I wanted him to understand that in my heart he was every bit as much a Hero. I thanked him for fighting, for doing what he did and for making all the sacrifices he made. I told him that I understood his pain and that I knew he didn’t understand why things went the way they did, that he was just doing what he was ordered to do by his commanding officer. I told him I understood that he had no choice, that he had been so very young, and scared, and that he didn’t even know why he was there fighting in that war half the time, just that he was told to be there, so he went.

After saying all that, I said it to him again “You are my hero, thank you so much for what you did for all of us.” At this point tears were streaming down his face and mine too. He hugged me and said thank you. He got back in line and I sat down. A little while later, as I was ready to leave, He was also leaving his appointment, how amazing the way things work out, he walked up to me and said,” I wanted to thank you for all that you said to me in there. Today, I had planned to end my life but you changed that for me, I am not going to do that now. I am going to stay now. So, thank you”. He had such a sparkle in his eyes and a smile on his face that wasn’t there before and when he told me that, I felt such joy and happiness like I had never felt before. We hugged each other again and as I was leaving to head to my car I heard him whistling a song as he walked to his car. Thank God.

Whenever I think of him, and I do from time to time, I offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for him and for all who have ever served in any of the conflicts, battles, wars or disasters, throughout history. They are the heroes, all of them! If any of you are reading this book, you all are my heroes!!

Whether you have ever been recognized or not, I am recognizing you now and saying thank you.

I have learned over the years that when I have said “Yes” to Jesus no matter the outcome, Joy and peace always come.
“Joy does come in the little things and it comes in acts of love towards others.

That man gave me the most beautiful gift one could give. He gave me joy. For his joy became my joy. When I have said “Yes” to Jesus no matter the outcome, joy and peace always come.

Sharon Milliman (c) 2016

Forgiveness

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My meeting with God taught me that with God everything is Grace. Our very existence is by His Grace. If He stopped thinking about us for one second, we would cease to exist. He is constantly pouring out His love and grace upon us. There is a saying “There but for the grace of God go any one of us”. Truly, it is by His grace that we are where we are in life. When I had my life review, I never felt as though I was being judged. God does not judge us, we judge ourselves standing before Him. But, as I watched my life passing before me, in my life review, I saw everything I ever said or did and there was no sense of remorse or guilt. All I felt was complete love and total acceptance. There was no sense of being held bound by any past events nor were there any feelings of anger or resentment or any unresolved issues tying me down and keeping me trapped in time. All had been forgiven. I had let go of everything. I had been forgiven. I learned that forgiveness is the freedom of letting go, that the “letting go”, was a journey of healing for my body and for my soul. It’s a journey because some hurts take a lifetime to forgive and we just can’t do it on our own.
We need God to help us. But the WILL to forgive is the first step. Forgiveness is a process and it takes time, sometimes it takes years, and in some cases a lifetime. I learned that forgiveness is a creative act that takes us from prisoners of the past with hurtful memories, to strong, loving people living in the present who are free of the chains that kept us bound, and are now at peace. There is peace because all of the unresolved issues, and the hurt, and bitterness are gone which brings peace to the soul and harmony to one’s life. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the wrong that was done to us; it means no longer feeling the pain that was done. If we hold on to the bitterness and the hurt and the unforgiveness, it becomes a chain that keeps us held bound. We don’t have to forgive others. It is not a requirement. But if we want to be free and we want to heal from the hurts of life, then it is something that we need. Normally, the other party, or parties involved really don’t care if they are forgiven, especially if they haven’t asked for forgiveness. In most cases, they have gone on with their lives, completely oblivious to the devastation, and the hurt still left in our heart. That’s why forgiveness is important; it breaks those chains and frees our heart. We need it in order to grow, otherwise we become stuck. When we become stuck we no longer feel God’s grace. Of course, His Grace is always there, it is constant, it is unending, it is eternal, and it is for everyone, but because we have become stuck, we just don’t feel it anymore. And then, we begin feeling the illusion that God has abandoned us.
We need to allow forgiveness to flow through us and around us; and when we are aware that we are now free from those chains that held us bound, we are free to love unconditionally and we can send that unconditional love out into the world around us. Then, the natural flow of God’s divine love dissolves all the hurt, all the bitterness, all the pain and the sense of being wronged. Then, we can allow His grace to come to us and flow through us, to forgive through us. Then, there is no more of the illusion of separation, no more feelings of abandonment.
Forgiveness is the greatest form of love. Love is an act of endless forgiveness. It is a gift that God gives us and it is through His grace that we experience this gift.
Sharon Milliman (c) 2016

Finding the Beauty

During my Near Death Experience I learned that, I can see the beauty of God so easily in others all around me but it is much more difficult to see God’s beauty in myself. I find, even now, I have to remind myself that I am special and I am beautiful.

Each and every one of us is special to God. He made us, He is in us. He doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t make junk. To Him we are all important, we are all beautiful. He sees us with perfect love. He loves me and he loves you – completely. We are imperfect beings who He loves perfectly. Perfect love makes our souls shine so beautifully.
What I had to learn was that real beauty shines from deep within the soul. External beauty fades with time; it does with all of us; but real beauty comes from inside and never fades. It is internal and eternal.

I had to learn that my worth as a human being isn’t dependent on what others think of me, or whether they were happy with me or not. I also needed to learn that happiness doesn’t come from an external source, in order to be truly happy, it has to come from inside my own heart. To God, I am me. That’s all, just me and in His eyes, I am perfect being “just me”. My worth is in being who God made me to be.

I don’t have to make everyone else happy. What God wanted me to know when I was there with Him in heaven, was that He is always happy with me. What I have to do is be happy with myself and find Joy in my life. I have to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. I need to see His beauty in myself. This is something I know I am here to learn. Maybe others have to learn this lesson for themselves too.

Sharon Milliman

The Visit

Just two years after my first NDE, when I was 15, my innocence had been shattered by predatory people intruding into my life and when I sought the aide of adult intervention, it didn’t work, they didn’t believe me. I was told that what was happening to me wasn’t really happening, that it was all in my head. So I began questioning my own sanity. I became withdrawn and afraid. I considered taking my own life. As a quiet child anyway, I felt isolated and alone.

On Good Friday, our youth choir was invited to sing at a neighboring church for the afternoon service. We had all gotten there early so we could practice before the service. We gathered in the basement area waiting to go upstairs into the main part of the church. I was sitting in the back part of this very large room while we were waiting for our turn to sing.

A man came into the room and when I saw this man, I knew immediately that I was in the presence of great holiness. My initial thought was that he was an apostle, but as he walked closer and I could see more clearly, I knew who he was. It was Jesus. He was so beautiful that I was speechless. My mouth went so dry that I could not speak a word. I just sat there staring at Him as he walked closer. Then; Jesus walked up to me and asked “where do I go to sit?” When I looked up at Him, He was smiling at me. My heart was hammering in my chest and I could feel my face turning a beat red. He then sat down next to me. I couldn’t answer Him, my mouth was so dry and my brain just couldn’t form the words to answer his question. I just sat there looking at Him. I was amazed that Jesus would choose to sit next to me, of all the people He could have sat next to, He chose me. And now, here was my chance to ask the Lord all the questions I have ever wanted to ask Him and not a word would come out of my mouth. I just sat there, with my eyes as big as saucers; all I could do was stare at Him, my mouth hanging open, I couldn’t get a word to come out of my throat.

The two women sitting in front of me heard His question; they turned around and began telling Him where to sit in the main church. There were two younger women in front of them, who also saw Him. As the two older women were speaking to Him about where He was to sit, Jesus was looking at me. At the same time that He was speaking to the other women, He also spoke to me. He said to me “what is happening to you is happening. You are not crazy. I love you. I will always love you. I will never leave you. You are not alone. Don’t be scared.” Then He got up and went upstairs to sit in the main church where we were going to sing.

He was tall with a slim build. He had long, very dark wavy hair that fell down to his waist, olive skin; dark brown eyes, short neatly trimmed beard, a beautiful smile and He even had a dimple when He smiled. He was dressed just like the rest of us, with jeans, a white button down shirt and boots. This struck me as something Jesus would do. He didn’t appear all dressed in white robes as one would expect but He came and he comforted and he saved my life. He was humble, kind, gentle, and approachable, just like He had been 2000 years ago when He had lived on the earth.

As He stood to go upstairs to the main church, he touched the elbow of the woman in front of him. The woman had suffered from arthritis in her elbow so severely that she couldn’t bend her arm. But as Jesus touched it on that day, it was healed. To this day, we still talk about the day we saw Jesus. No one else saw Him, just the four women and me.

What Jesus said to me that day was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. Because He also allowed others to see Him, there has always been that validation for me. This was also exactly what I needed. It was all so perfectly orchestrated. Everything He does, He does so perfectly.

Sharon Milliman (c) 2016

When the weeping willow weeps

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When the weeping willow weeps God will wipe away the tears and lift your sorrows for, if He is in every flower that blossoms forth and in every little bird that dares to fly, how much more does He care for you? He is love and love cannot be measured by moments of time but in timeless moments. Feel His Spirit engulf you and allow yourself to be filled with the glowing embers of joy and peace. Allow His light to shine from within you, so beautiful and bright. And as the breeze wraps around you like a silken cloak, feel it’s warm and soothing embrace, rejoice in it. Let your spirit ride on the wind with joy and promise, as you walk in these green rolling hills full of sweet violets and daffodils. Feel the freshness of freedom as you fully awaken to the majesty that surrounds you. Smell the sweetness of truth and love while dancing in the open fields of grace. And know that our love of God, our love for self, and our love for life, is always the foundation of the deepest truth. God is love and you are His love brought forth in the most perfect way.
Sharon Milliman (c) 2009

Like the Butterfly

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Like the butterfly cannot see the beauty of its own wings, sometimes we do not see the beauty of our own light that shines so brightly and touches so many other lives without us even being aware.
The fact that God places you here and now makes you a person of great worth. God loves you as if you were the only one He ever created.

He made all of this for you.

Now you be God’s light. He made you. He is in you. So, when you look in the mirror, you see Him.

You be His light that shines in the world for others to see. You be His hands and His feet and His voice in the world.

Where there is light, darkness cannot be.

Sharon Milliman (c) 2016

Love is all there is

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It was after my NDE that I learned this very valuable lesson in that, whatever we do in our lives, however big or small the act may be, if it is done out of love, that is what pleases God. Because in the twilight of life, there is only one question that will be asked, “How much did you love?” Truly, in the end, love is all there is. There are people who will do great big things during their lives, touching many hundreds of lives and literally moving mountains, but if it is not done in love, it all means nothing. If it is done in love, it means everything. And then there are those people, who do small, ordinary things, things that seem insignificant, like doing things around the home, fixing dinner, doing laundry, or picking up trash alongside the road, caring for an injured bird, planting flowers in the garden or giving money to someone who needs to get medicine and doesn’t have the money to buy it, caring for children or talking to a friend who is sad or caring for aged parents, or sitting with someone who is sick or dying. These are not huge, monumental, or world changing events. They will not touch hundreds or thousands of lives, nor will they move mountains, but they are acts done out of love. I have learned that, to God these acts are just as important. These small acts of love are huge. They are monumental to God. And to Him they are not insignificant, they are world changing events. These small acts, done in love can change the world one little bit at a time. To God big things or small things, whatever we do, if done out of love and with a selfless attitude pleases Him. And pretty much, that is the purpose of our lives here on earth, to Love, to Love one another. To lay down our lives for each other, die to ourselves in love for each other. God does not differentiate in acts of love. Whatever we do though, however big or small, must be done with love or it has no value. In his first letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul said, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

One day I was mopping the floor in the kitchen. I remember that it had been a particularly difficult day taking care of my mother who had Alzheimer’s. I know I made a promise to God when I was a little girl that I would take care of my parents when they were in their older years and I intended to keep that promise, which I took it very seriously. But some days I felt as if I failed in some way. Some days the burden could be very overwhelming and some days were much harder than other days to watch my own mother disappearing right before my own eyes knowing that there is nothing I could do to help her – and I felt helpless. I guess we are always hardest on ourselves and this was one of those days. I was very tired and I felt overwhelmed. Mom was napping so I took that opportunity to clean the kitchen. I was not really thinking of anything, just mopping away and trying to decompress. Then I heard a familiar male voice in the room. It’s a voice I will never forget as long as I live. It was a smooth, calming sound that made my heart sing and my soul soar. It was Jesus. I turned around and looked and He was there standing in the kitchen, leaning against the counter with his arms crossed over his chest and his feet crossed at the ankles and, as always, He was smiling at me. I stood there with the mop in my hand, and I could feel His love so deeply. Then suddenly, I dropped the mop and I said to him “don’t move, don’t say another word, I have to get some paper and a pen to write down every word you say”. He openly chuckled at me as I ran to the kitchen desk to retrieve the paper and pen. When I came back and stood in front of Him, He was just looking at me and smiling. He was looking deeply into my heart and soul. I could feel His love just fill my entire being. I didn’t have to say a word because Jesus already knew my heart. He knew what I was feeling and thinking. He always does. Tears streamed down my face as He reached out his hand and He gently wiped the tears from my face as He said ”Oh my precious Dove, You cry because you think I cast you away when you were with me and that is so far from the truth, I hold you so dear. It simply wasn’t your time. I have a job for you to do. My beautiful little one, you know that I love you. You know that I am with you. I always am. You are here because your life has meaning. You have to step aside and take the “you” out of the equation. Just let me do all the work. You are doing just fine in what you are doing. Because what you do, you do out of love. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just let me do the work. I will handle it. I am capable. Just be present and be at peace. You just love, the way you always do. All that has happened to you in your life has happened to prepare you for this moment, to make you strong enough for this very important job I have asked you to do for me. I am with you to give you my strength. I love you. Lean on me when you are weak and scared. Do not be afraid. Just love, that’s all. It’s that simple. That is the purpose of your life, my beautiful Dove. When you feel torn and weary, give it to me; remember I am strongest when you are at your weakest. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you stranded. I am right here with you always. I will love you until beyond the end of time “

Sharon Milliman