About Over the Hill 242

Hi. My name is Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall). I am a writer. I am a storyteller. Here, you will find no dead bodies, no blood, no gun cartridges in the road, no body bags, no hearses, no handcuffs…Here, the photographs are different….the stories are different. Quite frankly, I am tired of seeing so much negative news about those in the inner city. There is another side. Therefore, it is my mission to do what I can to shine the light on the positive people this community has, and continues to produce. Welcome to ‘Over the Hill…The Other Side.’

Lessons from the Rain

4866e12ce44dd3ffa4a20140ecb5c5d3

To hear the rumble of thunder in the sky above and the drumming of rain against the windows was so refreshing! I looked through windows around me and the skies were dreary this morning. As I chilled on the couch, I felt a calming coolness in the air. It was definitely an overcast morning, but even in that moment when it was wet and dark, I found beauty.

It’s really been hot lately. The humidity drenching this island nation has been stifling! I remember about a year ago, my one goddaughter said, “This heat is disrespectful!” In fact, for a few years, I’ve noticed it has been feeling like summer from about April.

But despite the darkness which enveloped what may otherwise have been a bright morning, I took it all in with pleasure. The rain drops falling from the roof and splashing onto the grass and porch were music to my ears. Once the downpour had come to a crawl, I heard the beautiful singing of birds. Meantime overhead, a softer rumble of thunder, as a cool whiff of breeze flowed through the window, fanning my skin.

Then it happened. Suddenly. Just as I thought it was coming to an end, there was another steady downpour. I honestly welcomed it for the sake of the brittle, brown grass which seemingly has no life, but also because I needed this natural air conditioning system.

I was certain that at some point in the day, the sun would raise its head and its rays would return to scorching this part of the earth and its inhabitants. There is always sun after the rain.

I began to think of the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco who have literally just weathered the storm. Hurricane Dorian was torrential in every sense of the word. It was a downpour like none other. It rummaged through the islands like a drunken sailor.

download

Photo:Reuters

 

Now here comes COVID-19 with its slippery, slick self – spreading its infected wings among our people, resulting in sickness, death, joblessness and throwing us into the economic doldrums.

It’s raining my people. For some, the rain is heavier than for others. So many people are struggling, hurting…wondering how bills will be paid and how food will get on the table. You see how easy it is to have a job today and lose that job today? You see how bills can be paid in full month after month and now there be a struggle to even give a down payment?

This is the time to trust God to provide ALL of your needs (Philippians 4:19). This is the same God who provided manna from heaven in the desert (Exodus 16:12-15). This is the same God who instructed the birds to feed Elijah during a famine (1 Kings 17:1-6). During this rain, let us draw closer to God, recognizing our dependence upon Him. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. He is not like man. He cannot lie.

aa49f5a26aa81e5ebe092c54f7ebcb7e

 

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

When Last You Made a Mistake?

yikes-clipart

Have you ever been wrong? I”m talking about embarrassingly wrong where you are ashamed to even approach the person? But of course the God in you would have it no other way.

This was me just two days ago. What made it worse was I had literally just finished praying, asking God to help me to be, “Quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath” (James 1: 19). When I said egg was all over my face, look here, I wanted to bury my head in the sand!!!!

emoji14

At first, I was so shame, I couldn’t open my mouth and speak. I had to pray within my spirit, asking God to forgive me. I figured the enemy was having a field day, laughing at how I had fallen but the scripture which came to mind was, “A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Proverbs 24:16). I won’t go into details about the situation, but I didn’t do due diligence and jumped to conclusions. I was professional in my approach, BUT I was wrong. Dead wrong. I had read wrong…made a mistake. When it was brought to my attention, I had to apologize.  I do thank God my apology was quickly accepted. I am certainly reminded of the importance of crossing all t’s and dotting all i’s – basically doing my research before I approach someone on a matter.

maxresdefault (1)

So have you ever been in such a situation where you’ve made a mistake? Haven’t we all?  The important thing is to not stay in mistake mode. We could beat ourselves up to the point that we carry that weight around and it’s not worth it. We are admonished in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I must admit that the incident was humbling and showed me I still have some growing to do. Sometimes, I experience a victory and other times…defeat. In any case, I thank God that according to Psalm 138:8, He will perfect that which concerneth me. He will NOT forsake the works of His own hands. THANK YOU JESUS!

I’ve confessed to God, apologized to the person, got up, dusted myself off and am back on track. The race is not to the fastest runner, but he who endures to the end. See you at the finish line – even if you have to dive across the line! Go Shaunae!!! 🙂

Crouch-TheBeautyofShaunaeMillersUglyFinishinRio

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

 

 

Should I Blame COVID19?

91ImUs819QL._SL1500_

I have a confession. I ate a family size box of Fruit Loops over a three-day period – by myself!

Terrible! I know!

I must say, I have not exercised self control as I sit under this curfew due to COVID19 – the pandemic which has nearly brought the world to its knees. This Fruit Loops snack attack is not good for my health (loads of sugar) nor for my waistline (I hope I can fit in my clothes when it’s time to return to work)!

I also recognize the reason I kept going back to what really amounts to empty calories, was because I wasn’t full, but also because sugar is addictive.

It made me think: What else in your life amounts to empty calories?

cinderella-castle

At this moment, everyone simply wants the basic necessities of life, chiefly, food and water. Who cares about missing a New York & Co spring sale? Who cares about paying $80 for a makeover, when that could go towards grocery?  And is that planned trip to Disney more important than keeping a roof over your family’s head when both parents have been laid off? The $200 you might have been saving for dinner with a friend, now needs to help your grammy stock up in these uncertain times.

DzaUq78W0AAg3WS

The trappings of this life perhaps matter less to you by now. You may now realize that a lot of things we do are not necessary. They’re luxuries. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself. Don’t get me wrong. But in the grand scheme of things, if COVID19 hasn’t opened your eyes to the fragility of life and how it can be toppled over with little or no notice, I pray the scales be removed really soon.

be-thankful-rustic-thanksgiving

Today, I hope you are a bit more thankful for the things which matter. Interacting with the talkative old lady in the pew behind you. Sharing a meal with a colleague. That hug from your gregarious nephew. Let’s thank God for the little things – the things often taken for granted!

May this lockdown be a time of reflection. And when it is over, may we emerge as a more loving, thoughtful, compassionate people.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

COVID-19: God is STILL in Control!

coronavirus+mgn10
In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other thing which has caught the world’s attention like COVID-19 (coronavirus). This virus almost has a personality of its own. It slithers its way into airports and palaces, hopping onto buses and trains, waits in line at the mom and pop store on the corner, flys to every continent – except Antarctica – and makes its way into homes, from celebrities to the common man.

It seems to have one mission: Steal. Kill. Destroy.

In fact, today, I visited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and saw the figure. An astonishing 23,495. That’s how many confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were recorded after 5 pm. At that hour, there was an overall 512,701 confirmed cases. From actor Tom Hanks and athletes to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Britain’s Prince Charles, this virus does not discriminate. Nationality, gender, colour, social standing, education…none of this matters to the coronavirus.

More than ever before, people are exercising cleanliness. And I believe using hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and infusing the atmosphere with Lysol are so embedded in our psyches that long after we have seen the coniving back of the coronavirus, many will still be exercising caution.

UNI287422

I can’t help but think though that the God whom we serve is BIGGER than COVID-19. We are reminded in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

And certainly these are times of concern. I won’t attempt to downplay that fact, as so many people are affected in many ways. In fact, someone recently said on social media, “Can we start 2020 over?”

This pandemic though is cause for us to pause and think of how unpredictable life is. When the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1st and fireworks lit up the skyline over a river in Frankfurt, Germany…when we were sending “Happy New Year” greetings via WhatsApp, who really was thinking about COVID-19? Who thought nations’ health care personnel and resources would be so stretched? Who dreamed we would be standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and not be able to hug a friend or relative? It is proof that in one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour…within one minute or even the next second, life could take an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented turn that’s unpleasant.

28WGT-newyearseve-1-articleLarge

But through it all, God is still in control. Psalm 107:29 says, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” He is the SAME God and through all of the panic, uncertainty and mounting deaths, he is saying to you…to me, the same three words recorded in Mark 9:39 – “Peace be still.”

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah