“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 NLT
Last night as I spoke with my “adopted” mom, she shared with me how 2019 was a rough year for me. She reminded me of the various things I have been through that have been heart-wrenching for her to witness. The roof of my home suddenly caving in. The sudden hospitalization and immediate surgery my biological mom needed. The cancer my grandmother who lives with me is still fighting. The shortage of financial resources each month and the proverbial hole which has been dug. The numerous disappointments with the immigration court system. The lethargic nature of the attorneys my family has had to deal with. The many other midnights that left me fumbling around trying to find my way to the Light.
As she shared with me how rough my year was, my heart was moved with sincere gratitude to Abba. When she looked comprehensively at all I went through, it made me pause in that conversation and see that truly, it was a rough year. You see, living through each trial and obstacle was hard. There were days I just went through unable to articulate how I felt. I could simply sigh and smile. There were days I was forced to compartmentalize the old issue so that I could focus on the new issue and not have a nervous breakdown. Have you ever been there, friend?
What she said to me after she listed the hard stuff nearly caused me to cry though. She said, “Dee, I’m so proud of you. You never once gave up on God.”
Without any hesitation Holy Spirit took over my lips and responded to her the paraphrased words of Simon Peter after Jesus told the people that they would need to eat His body, the bread of life.
To whom would I go? (John 6:68)
By nature, I am not competitive. If there was an option for me to lose a game, do not think I would be signing up. Growing up, I remember avoiding any games that I could not master. I stayed in my lane and only did challenges that I was guaranteed to win.
As I began devoting my life to Christ, my mindset did not change much. I would enter different situations scoping out where I would come out looking good, and participate in those. Abba however, had other plans.
You see, I’ve acted self-sufficient nearly all my life. I would ensure that I was needed more I would need others. I walked around with an air of independence, that sure I was a professed Christian, but I made sure I was able to at least control my life and the outcome to many degrees. What a laugh, I know!
I’ve shared in a previous post this all changed when I prayed a dangerous prayer. “Lord, I surrender my will. Do what you desire. Have your way.”
Boy…did He answer that prayer over the next two to three years. It was as if He was waiting and as soon as the words left my heart, BAM, it went down 🤣
I want to make this next part very clear to all of us. It is not me who chose to follow Christ of my own volition. It was His beckoning to me. It was He who constantly revealed Himself. It was He who patiently pursued me. It was His deposit of Holy Spirit that has and continues to draw me to Himself. Deandra is a nobody, a filthy wretch without Jesus. She can be proud, arrogant and conceited. But when Jesus stepped in, He began tearing those layers down. He began breaking those self righteous barriers down. He robed her in His righteousness. He gave her His gentleness. He gave her His humility. He gave her – Himself.
When Jesus came on the scene, He made Deandra weak!! He took away from her things that she loved and held dear. The friendship she held dearest with her very best friend of nearly a decade abruptly ended. Her mother ended up being taken away from her life indefinitely. The financial stability she relied on crumbled. Sickness of various kinds entered her home. Physical structures in her home literally fell apart. Challenges upon challenges upon challenges arose. But oh how good God has been through it all.
As I sit here reflecting, I am thankful. I am thankful to be acquainted with all those who can say that they have been bruised, made weak, suffered brokenness, and yes, even have been crushed. A friend of mine early last year said as she prayed for me (and my spouse) Holy Spirit gave her the song “New Wine” by Hillsong. As I meditated on this song I realized how it mirrored my life to the degree that in order for wine to be made, grapes have to be crushed. Get where I’m going…is there anyone who wants to be a new wine for Christ?
““But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT
After all that though, I want us to be encouraged with the above passage. Abba is doing a new thing in our lives. He is creating rivers (plural) in our wastelands. He is making a pathway in our wildernesses. Hallelujah! There is about to be new wine all over for the people of Yah. For those who put their trust in Him, shall never be put to shame.
Until next time, I love you, I am praying for you.
Remember, His Promises are our Guarantee…🙌🏽