Too Big For My Boots

 

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I sometimes forget that my relationship with God is that of a Parent –child and not parent – I. I have been encouraged over the years to have a personal relationship with God, He is my heavenly father and I should speak to Him as I would speak to my own father. This made sense, I would confide in Him and praise and worship Him and all was well.

 As the years progressed and I became more settled in my relationship with God, I became comfortable, comfortable to tell Him all of my worries, comfortable to share my insecurities with Him, comfortable to praise Him and magnify His name, comfortable to leash out in anger at Him, comfortable to tell Him when I don’t like something and comfortable to be mad at Him. Comfortable to give Him the silent treatment.

Today I realize , I sometimes get too big for my boots , May I never forget who the sovereign God is , I mean for heavens sake He can just speak the word and people could drop dead like flies .So my stand on this, its better to fear God and know exactly who it is that you are worshiping.  For crying out loud , imagine someone asks me who I was and I just reply “IAM”…like I am who I am , don’t you be questioning me !  

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How awesome is God?

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How awesome is God?  I had this dream and in this dream I see my husband. The dream disturbed me so much that I confronted my husband. It turns out he had an affair with a married woman and she now claims to be pregnant with his child.

In this dream I see her so clearly, and when I met her she looked just like the woman I saw in my dream. I had never seen her previously and she lives on the other side of town which I have never ever visited. They met on a dating site and the first day he met her they slept together.

What a perfect way to hurt me. First I was mad at him, then at her, then myself and yesterday I was mad at God, today I just feel nothing.

Looks like I will be single soon, I have no interest in marriage restoration. In fact I have no interest in anything anymore.

Life, as they say, it goes on. 

How much more ?

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How much more pain and struggling would You have me go through Lord ?

Did You not say You will not let me stand ashamed ? 

How easy it is to blame You for everything that’s gone wrong in my life , You are ultimately my hero , my Savior , the person I look to for love , comfort , wisdom , for help for everything . Did I somehow fail You ?  Was I disobedient ? 

They say everything happens for a reason , but surely You had to know this would hurt me more than anything else . 

Have You not seen my tears , or heard me cry myself to sleep ? Did it not move Your heart well I fell down to the ground and begged You  for help ? How do I interpret Your silence , when You know my soul longs for answers ?

 Every morning this is the song I sing to You Lord and only to You :

My soul desire is to serve You Lord , To do Your perfect will , To work each day and build , You Kingdom, this is my soul desire

 

I feel convicted to ask forgiveness for questioning you and for feeling you let me down, but it’s genuinely how I feel and You already know that.

Ashamed to serve God

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My eldest sister called me on Friday evening asking me if I could make some cupcakes and lasagna for her, she was having friends over on Sunday and her son loves my cupcakes. Not a usual request, we are always baking in my family, each of my sisters is known to have specialty dishes, and so if I wanted chocolate cake or chicken pie or what ever, I knew which sister to ask.

When I arrived yesterday afternoon, I was greeted by her husband, the men were in the living room watching some game on television and the women and kids were outside by the swimming pool. This sister of mine loves to entertain. I went outside to greet my sister , I wasn’t planning on staying long when a lady walks up to me , kisses me on both cheeks , calls me by my name , telling me I still look the same , I haven’t changed one bit. Flattered but puzzled I had no idea who she was or from what stone she crawled out of. I joined the ladies at the table, they offered me some ice tea and I continued listening to their conversation bashing my brains hoping that something this woman said would ignite my memory and I would remember her, but I came up with nothing. My sister makes friends so easily, she knows so much people, but this woman seemed to know me.

I kicked off my heels and went over to the swimming pool to dip my feet in the water and enjoy a few minutes with the kids. I knelt over to kiss me nephew and my sunglasses fell in the water, with all this drama of the kids rushing to get my sunglasses out of the water and splashing me wet, I didn’t notice this woman was standing next to me. “Do you remember me?” She asked with a smile. Embarrassed I admitted that I couldn’t remember where I knew her from, so she told me.

My eldest sister went through a tough time with the father of her children, she had her first child out of wedlock and at one stage, she faced a financial crisis and moved into a neighborhood where there lived majority Moslem people. The houses were spaced very close to each other and there was a Moslem family on each side of the house, in front and behind. Since she was unmarried and battling financially she asked me to come live with her for a few months. Each Saturday when she went to work, I would be home and I got into this habit of playing gospel music while cleaning up. On this one particular day, I turned up the music really loud and was dancing with the feather duster and vacuum cleaner, just praising God, dancing and singing loudly forgetting my surroundings. At one stage I was upstairs , dancing and carrying on in my own little world when something made me turn to the window and I saw this Moslem woman and girl standing there watching me . I am a very private person and I went into shock knowing they saw me dancing and carrying on like that.

 I dove into the carpet, rolled on the ground, yanked the hem of the curtain until it was closed, stuck my hand through the curtain and closed the window, shut off the music. I don’t know where I got those army moves; I was never in the military.  I was so shy. Immediately my mind attacked me and won. If you are going to be embarrassed to serve God, He is going to be embarrassed to acknowledge you one day, I kept telling myself. For days I had this debate with myself , I was shocked that I felt embarrassed but because I didn’t want to offend my sisters neighbors or seem like a religious nut case , I just decided to listen to my music through my earphones instead.

That girl in the window was this woman standing next to me, and that was the summer her grandmother passed away, she was battling stomach cancer. She went on to tell me that, her grandmother was a Christian lady, who embraced another religion because of a pregnancy. I don’t remember her grandmother; I just remember the vision of this lady standing in the window with most of her face closed with a scarf. I was uncomfortable.

She went on to tell me that her ailing grandmother heard the music, got out of bed, stood by the window smiling and called her to come see me enjoy my Christian music. The old woman told her grand daughter, “look how free she is” and smiled.

I was on the other side of the fence, embarrassed and full of shame and going through a mind battle and beating myself up because now I probably look silly in their eyes, while someone else thought I was free. Everyday when I went to work I remember seeing this girl and she would wave to me, I just smiled and kept walking, it took me a while to get over my embarrassment.  Sometimes we create drama that’s completely uncalled for, I remember this incident so specifically because it was such an embarrassing moment for me, how people view me was so important. Now years later, I am seeing the situation through the eyes of someone else and it’s surprising. I sometimes wish I knew then, what I know now, I am sure my life would be so much different, but I had to go through the things I did in order to learn, it was the only way.

The Story of Joshua

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When I was a little girl, my mother told me the story of my name. I came home from school one day and I was mad that she named me Bernadette. It was such a long and difficult name to write and I wanted a short funky name like Lisa or Amy. So she told me the story of my name and I am not sure how true the story is, but I believed her when she told me.

My mother was pregnant and expecting me when she went to a cinema to watch a movie with a friend.  The movie was a about a NUN called Bernadette.  This nun would visit the local prisons and sneak food in her basket to help feed the starving prisoners. She took a huge risk in doing this because if she was ever exposed to the prison guards, it would cost her, her life for this treachery. One day, someone had tipped off the prison guards and for the first time in all the time has was visiting the prison – they stopped her at the gate, asking to search her belongings.  She had a basket which was filled with food, and she knew if they discovered the food in the basket she would be killed. She couldn’t protest and they proceeded to search her belongings and when they lifted the cloth covering her basket, the food had disappeared and basket was filled with flowers. The story inspired my mother so much that when she gave birth to me she named me Bernadette.

Now many years later, I am battling to conceiving a child , I had tried so many things , prayed and prayed and eventually  one  day I said to the Lord that  I am going to choose a name for my unborn son. It wasn’t a hard choice , I simply went on the internet  and downloaded a list of names and when I saw the name Joshua , I said “ Lord , I will call my son Joshua and I will honor You with his life . I will raise him up to know who the Lord and savior of my life is, I will take him to Sunday school, to church and I will teach him to pray etc, etc.

That night when my husband got home, I told him that I decided on a name and we were both in agreement, he loved the name and we would mention Joshua to God when we prayed. A year passed and nothing happened, we were still praying for this child and it was hard but we still hoped. One day I was downcast and depressed and I picked up my bible, I needed some sort of hope from God. The source of my despair was the empty cradle and the vacant space in my heart. Time and my age was against me, I needed my miracle, but it simply wasn’t coming.  

I sat in silence , not sure how to  pray , what to say to God , I felt disappointed and let down , I  decided to read the book of Joshua in the bible, I had never read it before. I thought reading this book might give me some comfort and it certainly did.

CHAPTER 1

1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun,….

Those were the first words I read and I stopped reading there and never read it again. Immediately I had a smile on my face! The son of NUN!  Granted I am no NUN, but my name was inspired by this woman Bernadette who was a Nun and now I would be Joshua’s mom and in the bible Joshua’s mom’s name was Nun. Oh I had a feast with this name play. I couldn’t believe of all the names the world – Bernadette, Joshua and Nun was tied in somehow. It just made me laugh with amazement at how awesome and how great God is.

Two more years have now passed , still no sign of Joshua , still no baby in my crib , still no child to love , I cannot tell you how many times I have  wanted to give up , but the desire is so strong that I keep on hoping and asking God and I pray someday soon He will bless me with a child.  

 

The things people say…

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Sometimes it’s better to just keep quiet than to say anything at all. A few months ago I hosted a cupcake party; I invited a few ladies I know to enjoy an afternoon of relaxation, fun and a time for sharing and encouraging one another. We were about twenty five ladies and each woman had a chance to inspire or reach out for prayer. I was last to speak, as the hostess I offered my guests the opportunity to speak before I did and I enjoyed their stories about their husbands, their children or whatever they joked about.

I got up, made one or two jokes and thanked them all for coming and a friend of mine interrupted me, “Aren’t you going to talk about Joshua?” She yelled from the back of the room. I couldn’t decipher if she was mocking me or showing off. Joshua is the name I selected ‘in faith’ for my unborn child, my entire family and everyone who knows me, knows about Joshua or rather that I am waiting on God to bless me with my son. I was stunned and offered her an uncomfortable smile, she caught me off guard. One of my sisters’s then said, “Yes, let’s address that issue.” Issue? I didn’t know it was an issue and if it was an issue then it’s my issue.

Like wild fire the ladies got involved in the discussion.  One of the ladies from my church said, there are so many unwanted children, why don’t I  just pick one and adopt it and save myself a lot of trouble and torment but that wasn’t what I asked of God, I specifically asked Him for my own child.

One of my younger sister’s has five children, we are always joking about the stuff they do and say, she got up and said “Get a puppy”. I promise you I had a smile on my face but it felt as if someone just crushed my spirit like a soft grape. She is younger than me , out of respect for her , I would never yell at her or pass any snide remarks towards her , I just raised my eyebrows and  allowed everyone else to chip into the conversation .  In my heart I felt like screaming at her and asking her why doesn’t  she trade in her five bright, funny, cute kids for 5 dogs and tell me how that feels.

Long story short I got the dog, as recommended and you know what, I am never going to hear the dog call me mommy now am I? He just barks and bites things and digs up my neighbors gardens and why not, it is a dog, not a child.

It felt as if I was in a trance of some sort, present in the physical but absent in the spirit. I could hear people rambling on that God has a reason for everything and maybe it’s not in God’s plan for my life and maybe God has something better in store for me. I know those comment were meant to be positive and encouraging but it was everything except that.  I  know they meant well , but this is my desire , my miracle that I am waiting for , if you haven’t walked the road I have , you would never understand.

The rest of the afternoon, I kept myself extremely busy serving tea and cup cakes , pretended to listen to their jokes , forced a fake smile on my face, I couldn’t wait for them all to just leave , I cried in the shower , went out the next day and got the dog . Everyone seems to know what’s best for me, and apparently the dog could fill the void of not having a child. I am glad I kept quiet and said nothing; surely I would have a ton of enemies today if I told them exactly what I thought – God knows my heart.

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An empty cradle = an empty heart

 

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An empty cradle equals an empty heart; and indeed I tell you those words are so true! You see its OK to be the favorite aunt or the hotshot baby sitter, at the end of the day – you have to hand back what is not yours and that hurts.

I grew up in a large family, I have always loved children, I have 9 siblings, it became part my responsibility to help care for some of them. In doing so, I always dreamed of the day, I would meet my husband, have a family, live in a house somewhere and just be normal and happy like everyone else. I look normal, I live what appears to be a normal life, but it’s so empty. I go around spoiling other people’s children and instead of feeling fulfilled and happy, I end up feeling empty and sad.

I recently reconnected with a woman I met years ago; she was a prostitute from the tender age of thirteen years old.  We met for coffee the other day and when I arrived I saw these two blonde headed toddlers, they were insanely cute, I had no idea they were her children, I thought she was a nanny now.  They say Children are a reward from Lord and we all know that God is no respecter of persons, so here was this woman who used to sleep with men for money, abused drugs and alcohol for years and God saw it fit to bless her with two children and another baby on the way. What about me? Miss goodie two shoes, always too scared to step out of line; I was the one with the empty cradle. I sat back in my chair and listened as she told me about her wealthy husband , their massive home , the fact that she is expecting another child , the cute things her children say when they try to pray and all I could think was , Lord where did I fail you ?

When do I give up? It’s been so many years now and still nothing.

I am unable to explain how I feel, although I was genuinely happy for her new life, and the fact that she found the Lord, I had suffered throughout my life with many stumbling blocks and have been basically begging God for a family of my own for years and the reward went to a prostitute instead. I cannot fathom God’s reasoning. All my cousins, my sisters and high school friends, are all mothers; I am the only odd one out, once again. I never get invited to anything anymore unless I am making the birthday cake or helping with the decorations or the party games.

Am I selfish? Am I not worthy? Perhaps I am impatient? I don’t have any answers I just know that for now I still hope and have a little bit of faith left in me to keep on waiting on the Lord.

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