Monthly Archives: January 2011
In a discussion with my siblings about my Sunshine Band experience, it was brought to my attention that although I made it appear as though I had control over the situation as an adult I went through the same abusive treatment all over again. As a young teenager I faithfully attended church, but it had to do more with my adoration of my pastor than anything else.
At that tender age, I was not really aware that God had something for me to do. Over the course of time, I decided I was no longer going to be faithful in going to church because of how the pastor treated me.
Gradually I stopped going except on Sundays. According to my mother, as long as I lived in her house I had to go to church on Sunday. That was a given regardless of how old you were. Yet the commitment and passion I once had no longer existed.
More than seven years ago as I was preparing to move back home I had my sights set on attending another church. But God sent me back to the church of my childhood. The first year was a great year. As time passed the same behavior my pastor exhibited towards me when I was a young teenager reared its ugly head.
During the discussion it was pointed out to me that I couldn’t have that much control, if I went back and underwent the same thing. Yes, I did. There was one difference. I understood it. I didn’t like it, but I knew that in order for me to go forward I had to endure through it.
You see, when I was younger I thought I was hurting the pastor, but it caused me to turn away from God as well and go off course of the destiny God had for me. So many things of God was so closely tied to the pastor’s actions that you steered clear of becoming too entrenched in anyone’s church.
I did go through the same thing. This time, my commitment was not to the man, but to God. Sometimes God sends us back for us to overcome some unresolved issues. We may not understand why we have to revisit those unpleasant things of our past, but we do. You see, you will never be able to go forward, if you are not willing to go back and confront the thing that has held you in captivity.
This backward motion that appears to prevent you from moving forward is actually breaking down barriers so you can move confidently in the direction God has for you. It is the past that prevents us from moving into our future. Our past holds us back. It is like a harness that won’t let loose when God has said ready, set, go.
If you never confront the issues of your past they are not really dead issues. They lie in a comatose state, yet they require your attention. Although they appear lifeless, they are not lifeless because they have a grip on you. It is this grip that prevents you from truly living. It is this grip where bitterness deceptively lies causing you to think that you have been healed when in actuality you are simply in a comatose state.
A comatose person cannot experience the fullness of life. They exist, but at the moment they went into a coma they stopped experiencing life to its fullest. Our past can cause us to go into a comatose existence and never realize that we are gripped by the thing that put us in bondage in the first place. It appears as though we are alive when in actuality there is a void that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of life.
Yes, I had to go back to that place of abuse in order to be propelled forward. I could say that it was easy, it was not. Oh, but it was necessary. It is these necessary encounters in our life that propels us from just existing to truly walking in our destiny and fulfilling our purpose. In essence, wake up out of the coma, let go and do more than just live…thrive!
And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. Ex 4:20 (KJV)
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. Gen 16:9-10 (KJV)
Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? John 11:7-8 (KJV)
Father, Sometimes going back where it all started is so necessary. I may not always have clear understanding why I need to go back, but I know that You will reveal it to me. In most instances, it is because I have entered into a comatose state where I’m not truly living just existing; and it is Your desire for me to have an abundant life. In doing so, I can’t fully comprehend how pervasive the bitterness of the incidents permeates my mindset and the decisions I make. Although I appear to have forgotten them, there is the lingering residue that prevents me from moving forward. In going back to confront the incident, I’m actually propelled into a success unimaginable in common hours and You will be glorified. Amen
Have you ever had someone snatch something away from you for no apparent reason except that they felt they had the power to do it? Although they felt their actions were justified they were clueless about the effects of their actions.
When I was young girl I remember going through the ceremonial exercise to pass from the Sunshine Band to the Purity Class. I went through the whole nine yards and attended the state ceremony and received my certificate with hundreds of other kids from churches across the state. It was somewhat of an honor because it also represented that you were growing up and ready for a new challenge. The primary requisite to obtain the certificate were your age. You see, once you became 12-years old you automatically were in the Purity Class, but you went through a symbolic ceremony to highlight that point.
At a later date, just like the other kids my age I came with my certificate in tow to be recognized at our home church. I can’t recall what actually happened, but like in so many instances the pastor singled me out as the “worse kid in church.” Did I rightfully deserve that label? Absolutely not! But for some reason he felt the need to place it on me.
In doing so it also meant I was going to be humiliated in front of the entire church. So, just as they were recognizing those who had received their certificates he arbitrarily decided to tell the entire congregation that he was taking my certificate back because I was not deserving. Right there he snatched that certificate out of my hands and made the declaration that I would remain in the Sunshine Band. I was horrified!
As I stood there I made a decision that for the rest of my life I would remain in the Sunshine Band. In essence, as I pondered the situation I realized that I wasn’t going to relinquish the power of my destiny to someone else. So I made the decision that what he felt was going to be a humiliating act for me, I was going to take control of my own destiny.
I never went to the Purity Class. I never received that certificate either. Yet, on that day I made the decision not to allow anyone to determine who I was and what I could be. I also made the decision that I wasn’t going to be some pathetic rabbit where someone could dangle a carrot in my face as a means of control and manipulation.
Early on I realized there are people, whether they are in positions of power or not, whose express intent is to keep you from becoming the person God created you to be. It is so important to know who you are and whose you are. At the tender age of 12, I can’t say I was in tuned with whose I was, but I surely had a clear idea about who I was. And I wasn’t going to allow negative words spoken over me chart my course.
Others’ opinions may matter, but when there is no basis don’t place a whole lot of credence in them. All they do is chip away at your self-esteem while tearing you down to prevent you from walking in your destiny. It is unfortunate that people feel the need to place these negative labels on others. Sure, I could have accepted that label as the “worse child in the church.” In my reasoning it could not have been true since I was the only child that attended church every time the door opened. So, I could not have been all that bad.
Had I accepted that negative connotation attached to my character I would have begun to believe it. Over the years it became a joke for me and I can even laugh about it with that very pastor. If I had embraced it as truth my destiny I would have been altered and my perception of who God created me to be would have been skewed. I would have relinquished my identity into the control of someone else.
God is the only one who truly knows you and who He created you to be. He is the only one who is truly in control of your destiny. The next time someone feels the need to negatively label you, remember who you are and most importantly whose you are. I did and I know I’m the better for it.
I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jer 29:11 (GW)
So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. Gen 1:27 (GW)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14 (KJV)
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:Psalms 8:4-6 (KJV)
Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Sam 16:7 (KJV)prayer
Father, I realize people feel the need to say unkind things. In many instances, there may not be a basis for them. Bless me to rise above these negative words spoken over my life and realize that You alone know who I am and who You created me to be. Bless me not to allow these negative words to determine my destiny and cause me not to fulfill the purpose You have for me. Bless me to rise above them as I become all You envisioned before the foundation of the earth. In doing so, I also forgive those who felt the need to speak venom and not life about me; and I ask you to bless them as well. Amen
Recently in a discussion with a close friend he expounded on his childhood pastor. He stated how much he admired and respected him. This man of God was like no one he had ever met. He spent time with the youth. He took him places. He played games with him. He made serving God fun.
Then one day while on an excursion with the Pastor something happened. The young man requested permission to do something and was granted that permission. He went off to do what he had been granted only to return and realize he had been left to walk home alone. He had no clue as to why he was left when he had been granted permission. It was a long walk home. With every step the admiration and respect eroded. Unfortunately, the pastor never acknowledged, explained or asked for the young man’s forgiveness. Even more unfortunate, the young man allowed the cancerous feelings towards the pastor to fester and grow.
We have to be careful when God has placed others in our lives not to offend. When we do so, we have to be willing to go to that person (especially a child) and ask for forgiveness. You see, we don’t know the greatness that lies within them. As leaders we have a responsibility to nurture them. It is a travesty the number of gifts and talents that are not being utilized because someone destroyed the seed before it could truly take root. It is as though you have snatched their future away from them.
It is also a travesty that there are so many people meandering through life in search of God’s glory light because they were wounded. Oftentimes these wounds take place at an early age and are buried in the crevices of our soul and mind. Unbeknownst to us, these wounds still causes the pain and anguish they did initially. Howbeit more sublimely because they are masked and deceive us into thinking that it no longer plays an integral part in our maturation process. This deception follows us throughout life and can prevent us from discovering our true purpose and following the road to our destiny.
In order to overcome the debilitating effects of the wound, you have to be willing to go back to the place when it all started. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and to allow God to show you how it has adversely impacted you. Yet, in doing so, God in turn begins the healing process as He also reveals to you who He created you to be.
You see, if we don’t the incident will have an adverse effect on us. It may elude you why you are meandering without focus. It may elude you why you are not using your God given talents and gifts. It may elude you why it seems that you are in a vicious cycle and can’t seem to even operate in those areas where you once was confident in doing so. It may elude you why your marriage doesn’t work and you have difficulty with other relationships.
Wounds are encapsulated in fear. The longer you go without addressing the issue the more the fear mounts. It is in this process where the very things that you love to do you find yourself unable to do them. Now some may think that these are the derelicts that we ride or walk by everyday as though we don’t see them. Yes, they are the extreme cases in our society.
However, there are those of us who are the walking wounded. We are the ones who appear to be all right when in actuality we are not. Many are in leadership roles and inflicting that same pain on others. Just like that pastor did to that young man because of his own unresolved conflicts and pain. Unable to reach back and ask for forgiveness of the young man, the wounded is left to nurse himself.
There comes a time when you look at the very thing or person that has caused you pain and say, “No more.” You scream these words as loudly as you can in order to obliterate the tactics of the enemy. You no longer allow those incidents and people of your past to hold you in bondage from realizing the abundant life God has for you.
Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14 (ASV)
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Col 3:21 (KJV)
Then Peter came and said to him, Lord, what number of times may my brother do wrong against me, and I give him forgiveness? till seven times? Jesus says to him, I say not to you, Till seven times; but, Till seventy times seven. Matt 18:21-22 (BBE)
Give no thought to the things which are past; let the early times go out of your minds. See, I am doing a new thing; now it is starting; will you not take note of it? I will even make a way in the waste land, and rivers in the dry country. Isaiah 43:18-19 (BBE)
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 1 Cor 8:9 (KJV)
I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, I will let you find me, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from captivity. Jer 29:11-14a (GW)
Father, Years ago there were things that happened in my life that caused me anguish. Although I have felt I have overcome them, please reveal them to me and those that have been buried so deep I no longer realize the effect they are having on my life. In doing so, show me how they have prevented me from living the abundant life you envisioned for me. Teach me how to forgive those who inflicted the pain. I know that you have great things for me to do and don’t want to leave this earth without fully completing the assignment You have for me. In some instances, these very things have prohibited me from cultivating a relationship with You. In order for me to become all you envisioned, I must release the power they may have over me and open my heart, mind and soul to receive Your glory in overcoming these aged-old hurts., Amen