Rested in His Peace

Recently, while going through a fiery season, I got a call from a much loved sister. She had heard and was reaching out to share her strength with me. In that long conversation one thing stood out for me: “Do not reach out for anything from those to whom you are dead.”

As occasion has afforded, I have considered this a lot. It locked with an echo from my past, to a time when I raised my children as an unwed mother. A friend of God had given this advise to a group of us, “…when a man sleeps with you and then discards you, he widows you in the spirit. The grief you go through is akin to mourning a spouse. When in need, going to him for help, especially when you have children, is like going to a graveyard to seek substance from the departed. God is Father to the fatherless and Husband to the widow. He will take care of you and the children that have been abandoned by their fathers.”

My testimony is that God has been both Father and Husband to me. Most times I have walked like one walking on burning coals as I raised my children even in God’s counsel and help. I confess too to have visited some graveyards for help in my time and came out empty handed – thankfully. I was tempted because ‘they’ seem to have it all figured out. But seasons and doors closed by God are just that – CLOSED.

People try (still) to nullify or even dim your significance for walking that walk, criticising you for failing or succeeding sometimes/often even more than than they would the espoused. Sometimes the worst stabs come from those that have walked the same path who attribute their success to their own efforts and never to God: and kick at your valley experiences incessantly because you haven’t conformed to a template or creed that they have developed and secretly suspect will crumble beneath them some day.

At the time of this current situation, I reached out to people -as I have in times past. To nullify the impact of my own life and elevate theirs over mine as they had; to try conform to their way of thinking – to fight for their love, their applause… to fight to belong. But I realised this, they made up their minds long ago that I was dead to them. I was not worth even a little grief…and now, I am not worth a second thought. My friend, perhaps unknowingly, had given me the one lifeline I needed – TO LET GO AND LET GOD. Life.

I have seen my feet get burnt but gain strength in this fire – BECAUSE GOD. I have fallen in the mire because my eyes were blinded by tears but seen The Kingdom – BECAUSE GOD; God has steadily strengthened me in Him, to behold the wonder of Him and His Kingdom and readily as did Stephen, fix my focus on Him even as my flesh is stripped off, because He and His Kingdom have become Who I would rather die than spend the next second or eternity without. He knows I need what I need to walk this earth, but He keeps my head and eyes lifted Him-ward, for He is The Life I now Live.

Shalom.

“Even so, Come Lord Jesus, come.”

Mud in the House of God

Its been weeks of this…pain…increasing pain, escalating pain –  and then its been a week of intense pain.  I am sitting at a women’s meeting in a church near where I have walked my walk of faith for the last seven years. The worship has bought me peace but the pain, the darkness that clings tenaciously around my heart and head. I deny the weariness I have felt. The onset of my menses come with the call from God and His chosen servant to go in a fast, for this in indeed the gong of a new season. I have danced this morning, for the songs God chose for His daughters this day, resonate with the balm my entire life craves. I am not trying to impress God, nor any of His daughters…am fighting to find Him in this situation. I want to see my Daddy Eternal.

You see, with the silence of family- of friends, with the advice that I have received that points more to the grave…echoes the hollow taste of being useless to the world because you have measured your life by the standards of a system under which you no longer operate. I hear in my mind – a lot – “Did God really say that to you?” “But that is not really God’s MO.” “If this is how God treats you, then I would not follow Him.” “You are foolish to throw your entire lot with Him – you must leave Him just a little and throw your whole lot into surviving this world.” And the ache of hearing the comforted comfortable with whom I have stood saying to me “Your life is worth nothing without money – now look, where will you and your family live.”

I look down at my shoes, cheap rubber shoes, precious to me for they are a sign of a walk I have taken with my God. They remind me of the day God took me to view a house in an area I would never have afforded,even if i had turned my back to Him when He took me on this beloved stroll. They remind me of the many places, the many gates I have knocked, the many doors slammed on my face, the trips to my ATM – hoping and them weeping. They remind me of the morning, earlier this week, when I dared try take a step without them and ended up back home in less than five minutes with muddy sewage clinging on my sandled feet, all the way up my thighs, and up my beautiful orange dress and my sleeveless arms after falling into a pool that stood between me and the place I needed to get to. They remind me of both my yielded obedience, and my attempts at rebellion. They have dust atop and mud on their soles. I look at the floor around my feet and the black sooty mud particles that have soiled the portion around where I danced before weariness took over.

I look at the room full of women, and the aches of their journeys, their triumphs and their defeats crowd in on me. I begin to pray for them. I talk to their Father and mine, I ask Him to meet them here, because they woke up this cold morning to meet Him. I join in to their ululations, their worship of The King of kings, I sit down to listen to the woman of God. Then my phone rings and I see that its Daddy calling and the dams break for me. For the last eight weeks since this orgy of pain begun, i have longed to see his name on my ringing phone – I have longed for his voice telling me that it would be well…but there has been silence. And now I am not able to take his call. The tears escape and flow fast onto my dark blue skirt as I disconnect and text him a short message “I am in church.” I find out later, that he had not really called – his android reached out to me in error. But by then, I am frozen from all the weeping I  have done before The Throne of my Eternal Daddy. Why hasn’t He come? Why is my rescue and that of my family taking so long?

I look to my feet…there is sooty mud under my cheap but faithful rubber shoes…and I have caught the eyes of those that try not to stare at them – the combined dust and mud that have encased my feet. I have a race to run. I rest.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

My One Time at a Time

Many times, you cannot imagine it getting to where you hope it will not: then it does, and God Alone holds you as you take a step at a time. A breath at a time. A word at a time. A tear at a time. A smile at a time. An ache at a time. A lifetime at a time. Sometimes a kick at a time, a setback at a time, an insult at a time, then back to a breath at a time, and His Embraces – one at a time.
Hope has endured. I look at another sunset, and the horrors of the night it heralds, but also the amazing view of what God’s words alone can create and sustain as I look at the moon, the stars, the clouds and sometimes encounter creatures that He made to conquer the nights.
So its gotten here, excruciatingly so, but how else would I have known His enduring Love, Might and Friendship here, if I hadn’t walked this night with Him? So I take another step, another breath, take in another bout of pain, block another onslaught of fear in His Might and allow His Word to take me in and hold me and mine within His Promise, Himself. I rest. I rest. In His Everlasting Arms. I rest.
vipslit@yahoo.ca
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