This is a time of reflection.
What is God teaching you this year?
What has God taught you this year?
The turn of events for this year was NOT what I had expected. One week before our birthday, (February 2.) our father went home to be with our Heavenly Father on January 26, 2013. I struggled so hard with our Daddy’s death.
Standing on faith and by faith, we prayed for months while Daddy remained from one intensive care unit hospital room to another. A total of three different hospitals within four months from October 2012 to the end of December 2012. We traveled 6 hours a day, four to six times a week, to visit with our father. Many times, we did not know if Daddy would live or die, so I was so hurt that our father spent his last hours in a nursing home. It is especially hard when one is told that your love one is doing fine and smiling one moment and within hours he or she is no longer alive, and when one finds that it was due to some type of neglect.
I do not care how strong one’s faith may be, we are still vulnerable as human beings.
After several years struggling to pray and believe again, I finally began to stand alone in prayer for our father. In the past, I would call on the few saints- the righteousness of God – who I knew were anointed as prayer warriors.
Yes. The righteousness of God has a direct prayer link to the Master Healer and Provider of all things – our Heavenly Father – Yahweh Jehovah Rophi. The righteousness of God – anointed prayer warriors are the ones you can call when you cannot pray for yourself or anyone else for that matter – all you can do is cry. Thank God that He knows every tear (Psalm 56:8).
My faith was shattered among Christians in 2001, so I eventually end-up walking away from the church, BUT NOT FROM GOD. As with many thousands of true believers, I thought that I could worship on my own – in my own way without the gathering of the “brethren.” My sassy self would say, “Who said that they are my brethren just because we are inside the same building” in order for me to justify staying away from the church. When, I was really building a wall of “protection” from church hurt that really went to the bone of my faith.
I have learned much since then.
To make a very long story short for this year, after the death of our father, we went from having a livable income to now having our income cut by 60%, so I thought, no big deal. I got skills! There has never been a problem for me to find a good paying job. (I had to quit my job in 2008 to take care of my father and disabled twin brother 24/7.) In the past, I was always able to find a good paying job. Thanks to God’s grace and favor. Well, we not only lost income, but I have been unable to find employment. If that was not bad enough, we became evicted. We became homeless. I was already hurting that God allowed our father to die at the hands of others. Now, God has allowed us to become homeless too.
“GOD GIVE ME A BREAK – PLEASE!”
“Wait! This is not supposed to happen! I am the righteousness of God! I walk upright before God!”
“What the what – God, I allowed homeless strangers to reside with me – I help the homeless. I am NOT supposed to be homeless too!”
Furthermore, I am pooped! It was a very hard 13 years of tribulations, one after another – back to back, taking care of our father and my disabled twin brother and other life events, without any support system, but God. I thought that I was coming out of my supposed “sabbatical.” I thought that now I could finally get my life back. Whatever I thought was to be. God, where do I begin – begin to get my life back? Instead, we are homeless – literally. I did not want to go through numerous bad landlords again. We have tons of “relatives” but no family.
Relatives are those one is linked to you by blood. Family is those who are there for you – to support you through the good and bad times – they should have your back and toes need be. Our relatives were not there for our father or for us. Yet, our father was ALWAYS there for his relatives – family. When our mother died, the relatives walked away in our father’s need because they could not do to him what they wanted to do. I would not allow it, for there was always some type of selfish motive behind their “love.”
As we began another tribulation “wilderness” experience, we begin to reside in a motel in the south suburbs of Chicago. I have been seeking employment. Yet, no doors would open. Instead of me becoming humble, I was still hurt, stubborn, and angry for reasons, at that time, to understand only that I felt that God had betrayed me. (I know that I got my nerves.) Hoping that God does not “slap me” from the universe.
I had felt that God owns me an explanation. “God, you got to talk to me.” I wanted to know why we were going through this. I begin to cry out to God. “What did I do to deserve this? “God, please reveal to me what I have done, so I can repent. God, I repent anyway. Please show me what to do. Please show me where to go. God, I need to know what to do.” Constantly, I would pray this to God.
Because the tribulation period of our father’s sufferings were over, and I thought that I have been obedient to God in every way possible, (How arrogant of me.) I assume that I would be walking into more blessings – unexpected over flowing blessings. (I was being blessed but not in the way I thought.) I always been a cheerful giver. I would sacrifice what little I had to help others. There were times that I would do nothing for myself to help strangers. I could not understand why God was allowing all this craziness to happen to me – to us. God being who He Is began to open my eyes as I continue to cry out to Him. What I had learnt was that I was not only stubborn, which I already know, but I had a very strong spirit of p-p-ride.
You see, God took me back of when I had sworn, “I WOULD NEVER WORK WITH ANOTHER CHURCH AGAIN! I AM NOT GOING TO ASK FOR HELP ANYMORE. THOSE CHURCH FOLKS OR NO ONE ELSE WILL NOT HURT ME ANYMORE! I AM GOING TO DO THE MINISTRY ON MY OWN!” I gave God my list of the things I want and how I want them. I trusted God for the things on my list. I kept telling God how I was going to do the ministry He anointed me to do. Then I had the nerves to decree and declare. I had the nerves to think that I was right in my thinking. Oh! How I had the nerves! How could I have been so blinded. (After my faith was destroyed in 2001 from the persecution of the church, that left me so deeply wounded, I was hurt for so long that I no longer knew how to pray effectively. I no longer was hearing from God. I became dependent upon hearing from God from others. I let them do my praying for me. At the time, I no longer had the faith that God would answer my prayers.)
You see, when we are disobedient in an area(s) of our lives, not knowing that we are being disobedient, and not make amends to the hurt we have inflicted, that hurt becomes unforgiveness. The hurts becomes fears of not trusting others. The hurts become pride and unforgiveness. We put our self in the position that our faith goes into “spiritual intensive care” and our hearing goes “flat line” from God.
GOD ORDERS OUR STEPS!
A brief history of events…In 1996, I had a head tumor. Already, I have had three surgeries. I began to have increasing health problems while diligently doing hardcore outreach ministry with over 500 violent and troubled youth and young adults, whom were mostly gang members and drug dealers. After being given over 12 various medications, and side effects, to shrink the head tumor for one year, I went from a size 10-12 to size 24 within one year. The tumor was removed in 1997. In the same year 1997, God told me to go to Third Baptist Church of Chicago. I did not go. First, I thought God had delivered me out of Christian doctrines to non-denomination. So, I felt that it might have been me talking, and not God’s voice that I was hearing. As well as, I have other personal reasons for not attending that I rather not mention. By the way, God told several times to go to Third Baptist Church of Chicago, but I would not go. Then, our mother died in September 1999. Then our father became sicker. Then we lost our home of 38 years in 2004 and we became homeless residing with friends. Then, we have had numerous bad landlords back to back. In July 2008, our father was misdiagnosed; later, he went into a coma, and he went to various hospitals until July 31, 2009. Then, I had several surgeries and a cancer scare – all at the same period. Since the death of our mother in 1999 to late December 2012, it was countless life and death occurrences of rather or not our father would live or die, as well as the horrible nursing homes, as I fought hard to bring our father home to no avail.
We not only hinder our self not being obedient when God has already order our steps, but we hinder the will and purpose of God in our lives, and we hinder God’s purpose for others too. WE ARE CONNECTED RATHER WE WANT TO BE OR NOT. It was a purpose at that time for me to attend Third Baptist Church of Chicago. I thought of it of non-importance because I was not thinking of God’s will but my own self of what I thought was best to avoid more hurt and persecution.
In early June 2013, finally I did attend Third Baptist Church of Chicago a few times before the eviction. After the eviction, our car was repossessed, so I no longer attended due to transportation. Discourage, my best friend Regina took me to another church in Matteson, Illinois. I really like the atmosphere at this church and the sermons were on target. “Yes. This is the church for me.” After I had joined, I found out things about the that church that I totally disagree with.
“I told God that if Third Baptist Church of Chicago is where You want me to be then You must make and show me the way to get there.” Through a friend, an associate stated that we could reside with her until we find a decent place to live. We did not know her address at the time. Her residence is only 10 minutes away to Third Baptist Church of Chicago. I only have to walk one block and take one bus. I had no more excuses.
Faithfully, I have been attending Third Baptist Church of Chicago for about a month now. I found myself letting down my guards and sharing what the Holy Spirit has taught me about being the righteousness of God, thus becoming one with God’s Word that we literally become One with God. Third Baptist Church of Chicago, thus far, has been encouraging. I really enjoy Sunday school. I found a sincere bunch of Christians. The clerical administration is kind and professional. The clerical staff will call you back and give you the information and contact resources one needs. Third Baptist Church of Chicago is not just a show on Sundays – They really do care! I have been experiencing a kindness and generosity that I have not experience in decades.
The best part of my experience with Third Baptist Church of Chicago is that each sermon that Dr. Alan V. Ragland, Senior Pastor has preached and other sermons from other ministers, God has spoken to me. Each time, I had to repent. Each time, God had shown me myself. Lessons that I needed to see and hear. Because I did not trust others to help me, I was stopping God from helping me too. I learned that I really did not forgive as I thought I have done, for I did not allow myself to trust those again who had hurt me. Those deep hurts, and because he or she never apologized to me, became fears, and those fears became pride. Therefore, I really did not forgive as I thought I have done. You see, I had been hurt so many times from the times of when I did ask for help that I vowed that I would no longer ask for help from others, if I could help it. I especially did not want to work with the church again.
Literally, God is blessing me and has blessed me through the turn of events of this year. God had to allow me to go through these experiences to reveal to me that I had a spirit of pride, spirit of fear, and unforgiveness too. All three of these oppressions kept me from one door being open – not trusting others to help me. It kept me from hearing from God and I did not know it. Yes. I live each day of my life in obedience to the knowledge of God because I really love the Lord. I thought I was doing everything right. I thought I had the right to protect myself from past hurts. I thought that I had the right not to ask for help but to become self-sufficient, so I could not rely on others. I did not know until now that I was being, in some ways, my own god.
God have mercy on me! God, have mercy upon us when we are blinded to our own ways of “protecting” our selves that we become our own god. God did despite of myself. God still used me throughout the years to prophesy to others, which came to past in their lives, and I got a chance to see it. God still uses me to preach and teach the Gospel. God still uses me.
I never thought that my fears of not trusting others were hindering my relationship with God – my hearing from God – the anointing on my life is to fulfill God’s purpose and not my own. Furthermore, that my fears of not trusting others to help me have developed a strong spirit of pride, and I did not forgive as I thought I had done.
I was headed to hell and did not know it.
Therefore, I have learned, once more, that we are being blessed through our “tribulations.” Our blessings are not always forms of wealth, nice material things, blessed loves, or good health. The most important blessings is when we are being delivered from our selves.
It is so important that churches have pastors like Dr. Pastor Ragland that are examples of excellent leadership for teaching their members and others how God wants us to love one another. This type of Christian love cannot be taught just by standing in a pulpit. This type of true Christian love must be seen and done by the pastors and by the pastor’s leadership. Because of this, I am beginning to become comfortable that I can enjoy worshipping within the church walls again. I am beginning to feel safe again within the church.
One needs to feel safe whereby he or she worships.
Most importantly, I’m back on the road to enjoying my salvation. Life can deliver some very hard punches and can literally knock us off the pathway of the joy and peace of our salvation. Satan will use whatever he can to blind us from our selves through those very hard tribulation periods. We can open doors through our hurts, distrust of others, our own shame, pride, fears, and stubbornness. Although, I still say that my stubbornness is one of my weapons of spiritual warfare, I have ask God to use my stubbornness that it will ONLY glorify him when I have to do spiritual warfare. Many will disagree and that is okay, for I have ask God to teach me that too.
Praises be unto God for my wonderful Third Baptist Church of Chicago’s Sunday school teachers, the entire class, church leadership, and for Dr. Alan V. Ragland, Senior Pastor.
Earlier, I told you how I told God how I wanted to do the ministry. This time, I heard very clear from God, and God told me to put the entire vision, He has taught me and shown me, through out years of ministry, into a proposal and to submit to Third Baptist Church of Chicago leadership. Out of the over 800 high-risk youth and families that God used me to mentored and “plant,” 500 souls gave their lives to Christ within two years. Ninety seven percent changed their behaviors. God anointed and gave me the visions to stop violence among our youth and economically rebuild our trouble communities. I tried to fulfill the visions on my own to no avail. God told me to write down each vision and I did. Still, I had refused to work with the church or organizations because most become competitive, void, selfish, and greedy. I did not want to go through that!
However, I now realize that God may have wanted me to simply share and or give the millions of dollars vision to Third Baptist Church of Chicago in 1997. Now, I can see that these visions are just too much for me to handle alone. The hundreds of thousands of souls that will give their lives to Christ is so amazing. Now that I can see. I can see clearly how the Leadership of Third Baptist Church of Chicago can and will succeed in accomplishing what God wants for His people. Now, I know that I can forget seeking employment until I do what God wants me to do. Meanwhile, I am learning to trust in others again and to allow God to use them for His glory in helping us.
Many times, we ask God to bless us, but we denied how God wants to do it. In addition, God pushes out of us what He has already placed within us. Always, remember God HAS ALREADY done what is needed in and for our lives and within the lives of others. Do not hinder what God has for you by the help of others and do not hinder others from what God had for you to give unto them.
I know what God did in the past through the ministry. The hundreds of souls that received the “planting” of seeds of salvation. I know what God anointed me to do then and how God used me. I know what God is going to do now. Now that I can see clearly. God could not move me forward this year until I learn how to trust others again, so I can be completely healed, so I can succeed in the visions. God had to clean my big eye balls out, so I can see and my ears, so I can hear clearly. I have repented. The healing process has taken place thanks to Third Baptist Church of Chicago.
My mistrust of others had opened the doors to unforgiveness, fear, and pride. I thought that I was sincerely “walking upright” before God. Actually, I was rebelling too, and I WAS STOPPING the blessings that God has for me. (ARE YOU DOING THE SAME?) Again, I did not know it. Therefore, I thought I was protecting my self – my anointing. I was not. I did not know that I was “protecting” myself from God too becoming my own little god, for I was not trusting God in EVERYTHING.
One must be able to trust again because trust restores and destroys fears while empowering and increasing the healing process. The healing process does work through others because that is God’s love, grace, and mercy. Attending Third Baptist Church of Chicago has help me. First, it started with my being obedient.
Therefore, do not hinder the voice of God by what others have done to you. do not become your own little god thinking that you are protecting yourself. Be wise and not foolish.
Finally, the most powerful healing for our self and for others is forgiveness.