The Other Side of the Coin

Who am I? When this question was posed to me many years ago, it seemed redundant to me. I am an only child, I am a wife and mother, and now in my most recent years a grandmother, I am an author, writer and blogger, I am retired from administrative responsibilities, I am a knitter, crocheter and crafter, I am a creative cook, caregiver, and listener, I am a book-taught student of theology and philosophy and psychology dialoguing with many learned graduated students and professors, and I am a child of God.

Take notice that I put the most important facet of myself in the final position. I understand that this is normal in our society presented almost as an after-thought. Most of us keep this facet as a secret from the world. I believe that I do this because being a child of God is the most deep and intimate part of me and I want to protect myself and not feel vulnerable.

Recently I attended a Lenten retreat where there was a presentation on “God is with us but are you with Him?” The presentation encouraged all who were present to check out the other side of the coin, that is “are you with Him?”

In my church tradition at Christmas we have a beautiful hymn “Znameh Boh” which is translated from Ukrainian to English, as “God is With Us.” This hymn stirred my soul as a small child and still causes my heart to react and I will have tears overflow. The truth of the message comforts me and encourages me to reach higher for the holy things of God and God Himself.

St. Lawrence wrote a book “Practicing the Presence of God” which encourages the reader to decide to live each moment with a recognition that God is present and working on our behalf. I read this book a long time ago and have since worked at recognizing God’s tender nearness and support. I sense a love and peace that I would have missed without this endeavor to recognized God’s wonderful holy presence.

Now, to get to the other side of the coin! Am I with Him?

I have had years in my life where I would have said yes with hesitation. I was angry with God and did not seek being with Him. Only when I reached for God and all that He had for me, and received Him into my heart did my attitude change and I embraced Him. He did not disappoint me!

Today I have made this decision. Oh, yes! I say this with a broad smile and heart filled with His grace of love and peace. This is my daily decision. I have found that I am very weak and can forget or be easily distracted regarding making this daily pronouncement. I choose being with God and all that He has for me. When I have been distracted and forgotten to do this, I have found that my day may have many bumps that are uncomfortable. I have a very simple example. The first explanation is revealing my reaction when I have forgotten to decide to choose to be with My God!

When I am driving my car, especially on the freeway to go shopping, or I am in bogged-down going to work traffic, often another driver will cut me off without warning. I normally would get to a level of anger where I am calling him or her a name. This anger can fester in me with unforgiveness towards the other driver and keep me locked up for the day -unconsciously!

However, if I have made the decision to choose that I be with God for the day, then when I awake and pray for God’s peace, wisdom and guidance for my day, I have a different reaction. Here is the difference. When the other driver would cut me off without warning, I have found my reaction is to thank God for bring that person’s need to me and to pray for them to be safe and to have a good day in God’s love. I continue in God’s peace for the rest of the day.

This has taken me a while to get the hang of it because I am such a weak human. God has not left me ever because of my weak ways, which I call sin. My God, the Holy Trinity, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, is always with me! I have the freedom to choose of whether I want to be with Him. I choose My God!

John 14: 15-21 RSV: Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

author: Tears (available on amazon)
writer: pen name: Irina Demkiw:


About gloriawinn

Gloria Winn is an author and speaker/presenter. She has written a book Tears which was released in 2012 and is now available on and Also, she has has a column for a national community newspaper where she writes under a pen name. Gloria has several other blogs, one of which is "Small Things with Great Love" where she shares her spiritual insights. and another which is "For His Glory" where she shares personal life experiences. Check out her website also - "" Gloria is a mother of three sons and a grandmother to nine grandchildren. Gloria is a wife to her husband of many years and they have together been speakers/presenters to young people and particularly married couples.
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