This year has been beautiful. As an individual and family, we have gone through life in its extremes, a little bit of the terrible, but so much to be thankful for. Its true we have had reasons to weep, but many of those tears have been changed into powerful lessons and foundations for unending tears of joy. As the world gears to again celebrate my Lord and Savior, I do not want to be left behind. I want to be the one that came back to say “thank You.”
This is the year, that my pillars fell off. I realize that there was much that I was holding onto, in terms of relationships, strengths, giftings and abilities, experience that I believed would carry me through the next 45 years of my life. But because I call Jesus Lord, I needed to be true to that. I can not have other things share His Throne in my life. And He helped with that, by allowing things that I thought myself immune to, to catch up with me. I am grateful for that. Those were times of terror, helplessness and such deep dark silence that I wondered at His ability to keep His promise to me ‘and lo, I Am with you, till the very end of ages.’I held on to His word, though, to be honest, most of the time it felt as though I was lying to myself. I felt abandoned by The Greatest Love of my life, and nothing else mattered. He seemed to have led me on…into the wilderness, not to woe me back into loving Him fully, but to abandon me there.
Then came the stroke…and I realized that even though I felt more alone and abandoned by God, He had left me with too much to loose. My inability to speak went for a day…and my loved ones, who I thought I had lost forever, stood with and around me, willing me to come back to life. People I don’t know and some of those I know, prayed for my family and I, and though many had no clue, they fed us in the days to come. [for in the day before the stroke, our house had been the barest I had ever seen it in my entire life].
I asked God to give me back my ability to speak, to say more than ‘Why?’ which I did with great difficulty. By the time I went to sleep that night, I was able to say ‘Thank you’ with difficulty to the hospital staff, and then ‘Jesus’ :). I was not even aware at that time that I had lost a lot of mobility on the right side of my body…it seems that though my heart had filled with fear – that God had packed up and left, He had in truth bunched me gently in His Hand and Held me in His Heart…cushioning me from what was factually happening to me. In the ambulance I tried to talk to the staff, as in the place for the scan, to the doctors, my cousin Dennis and his wife, my brothers Richard and Spencer, my sisters Galaxy and Irene, my daughter Shukurani, and to the love of my life, my best friend this side of Heaven, and my eternal life-mate who stood around my bed that first night [and has been responsible for the initially painful job of getting back full use of my right side and keeping me fit].
Waking up to find my auntie Mama Greg and my uncle Baba Greg by my bed in the morning reminded me that they had always been my parents too, then there was our bff Manyara who sat by my bed until I got up and then fed me while encouraging me and making me laugh…then my aunties Mama Irene and Mama Lily, my Mum Cucu Rose, Sisters Jackie, Carole, Trudy, Millie, Susan, Michelle, Grace, Jane, Caren…so much of God around my bed. Then auntie gave me the phone to talk to my Mum who was upcountry taking care of my Dadi who was also bed-ridden…she had been crying I could tell…I have lost two aunties to a stroke in the recent past…and when I said ‘Mamana’ she cried and cried and told me to rest that all was going to be well. So much of God around my life…so much more came…God was there.
We went back home to a house that was full of food. We had no fridge so we dispensed of so much of it, and stood in awe of God Who is True – in lack and in plenty. I cannot say we have not struggled since then, I would be lying. But God has been with us. He has come through for us. There was the time we lost the house that was literally killing my neighbors and I…and God made sure that He had a place for us to run to. And not just any other place. But a place twice as big, for the same price…a price that He paid through His chosen agent. I face the end of this year, with similar challenges, new friends, lost friends, but God has come through for me.
This praise session has been inspired mainly by the three supervisors I have had for the work God has allowed me to do in November and December. They have been my answered prayers. Two of those jobs have had challenges, and I can not complete the last one at the moment due to cash flow and logistical issues…but it is for that that I am grateful. This morning, my supervisor called me and encouraged me to keep believing. He reminded me of the giftings that God had placed in my life, told me that he valued my dedication to excellence and my overall attitude to work despite the challenges that had arisen in funding both on his end, and in mine. He reminded me, knowing that I had hoped that this particular work would provide fees for my son and daughters college in January, that even if this did not turn out the way we both hoped, that it is to God that we look to for provision. He said that we, he and I, would continue to do what God allowed us to do, and do our best at that, and wait for Him- our Eternal Father to provide the rest, when He chose to. I was awed at this unexpected beginning to this week. And especially from him. But in his voice, I heard God. God has given me the ability to see Him, hear Him even in the darkest of times. He has revealed Himself to me ‘in a dark cloud’ and I am truly grateful. I share this, that He may be exalted. That someone He loves, who is feeling a lot like I have known to feel, may know the truth…That God is Faithful, He never leaves when someone/people or something/s do…He IS Faithful.
“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the DARK THICK CLOUD WHERE GOD WAS.” Genesis 20:20-21
“…The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.” 1 Kings 8:12
“The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad. Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” Psalm 97:1-2