After the weeks, months, year I have been having this past weekend was refreshing. I definitely would not have made it through the unforeseen obstacles of yesterday had I not been rejuvenated and reminded of the many promises of God.
If you read my post from last Thursday, you know that my family is facing quite a few challenges right now. I felt as though my world was imploding around me. Medical issues, depression, and a weight loss journey are adding weight. The loads I carry aren't new, but the new bags that I have picked up over the past couple of months are very hard to put down. That was until Friday.
Friday evening I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by one of my mentors. This woman, I tell you, is pure inspiration. Not only is she an extraordinary mentor to a host of women, she possesses a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that is not clouded by judgement. She is a homeschooling extraordinaire on a mission to encourage people to live better through changing their lifestyle and incorporating Christ in every component of their diet.
When I walked into her home, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure the who or the what, but I came with great expectations. I am pretty comfortable in new environments, but sometimes I retreat. I shrink in a larger groups and my normally vibrant personality turns grey. I become stationary. I scope out my surroundings, find my place and stay there until I leave. I am ashamed to say that I was still quite stationary even though there were quite a few women that knew.
My expectations we exceeded.There was so much comfort, joy, and peace in the building. Though we all had our own personal struggles, we "removed the mask," and were real about who we are? why we are? whose we are? and where we wanted to be. And the answer to the question that I posed in Thursdays post was clearly answered "Are we each writing our own novel?"
Every person has a life story on our journey to understanding Christ. Sometimes we have more valleys than peaks, but it is the overcoming that makes us and our faith stronger.
There were several things that stuck out to me as we went around the sisterhood circle (not like the divided Sisterhood on TLC. ) Of course in normal Najeema fashion, I whipped out the notebook that was hanging out in my purse and took notes. I won't go into all of what I learned, but there is one statement mad by one of the sisters that really stuck with me. She said, "He knows all. Either he caused it or He allowed it for His good." That is definitely a hard pill to swallow, considering the life altering obstacles that I have been facing lately, but I their the doctors orders. As a Christian it is so easy to love God when he blesses, but can you trust him when you are in the pit? Can we trust God enough to believe that He knows all things?
Honestly I don't know how Daniel did it, cause' if somebody threw me in a pit full of ravenous lion I would have entered full fledged panic mode, which would have included some negotiating tactics. "So about that throwing me in the lion den thing, how about we talk about it. Want some gold? How about a few pieces of silver?" I'm still growing yall.
God knows who you are and whose you are. He knew the faithfulness of Daniel, and He knows what obstacles you need to face in order to become better. He knows the loads you are carrying. He knows ALL. It is not easy to bear the weight, but we trust and believe that even in hardship He has greater plans.
On Sunday I got further confirmation that through my mess God "Got me." We went to two services, which is unheard of for our family as getting two toddlers feed and dressed is still as challenge. At the first service it was all about prayer and intercession. The pastor referenced James 5:13 which simply says "Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise." ASV
The immediate response to obstacles, disease, conflict, should be prayer. The immediate response to good, overcoming, blessing should be praise. This is the second part to the lesson. If you didn't catch it the first is to seek in the pit, the second it to remain focused and keep praising and praying when your life is filled with sunshine. When we are sad we have a tendency to want to leave him, when we are happy we forget to seek him, but we must do both in order to make it through life.
The second service was awesome, not only was it filled with worship and reverance to God, but I truly believe that I got my break through. In the midst of the aisle at church God said, "Bow, Surrender, praise me." So in the midst of a crowd a people I got before God for myself. I had to pray and praise my way through cause' life wanted to tear me down. I now have a better response to the question that was posed Friday "What season are you in your life right now?" My immediate response was "I'm in survival mode," but I realize that I AM OVERCOMING. I am coming out of the bunker and picking up the tools I need to succeed. Like the movie title says, I Won't Back Down . My life is not over. God is allowing me to go through some things so that on the other side of this pain I find a greater promise.
Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks (Growing)