Search

Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

Month

September 2014

It’s on His Calendar so I’m Available

Today one our constituents called in a panic.  She and her husband were hosting one of our Art of Marriage Events in about 2 weeks and had not done anything to prepare.

  • Yes, they were the marriage ministry leaders for their church!
  • Yes they specifically knew of several couples who would benefit from it’s content
  • Yes, they bought the kit in April!

Of course, we’ve seen it all so I’ll admit, I almost got a little judgmental.  Yep, I know that’s kind of wrong, but in my mind…I thought…

“You bought the kit in April and now you’re calling for help?”

Well, I guess she sensed how ill-prepared she’d sounded so she began to further explain her dilemma…

She went on to say that she and her husband tried to schedule their event back in April for October, but at the time was told that the calendar was closed.  So she and her husband held onto the kit and did nothing further.

I guess you’re wondering why they didn’t just ask to be scheduled for the next open date? It’s easy to say that from the outside, but I can attest to the fact that when you’re already a little nervous about being put in the spotlight, sometimes you gladly accept any set back as a “get out of jail” free card and get on down instead of relying on God’s direction and pressing on.

So yes, they had the kit, the flyers, and posters (everything they needed), they sat idly by watching marriages fall apart holding on to that excuse that the calendar was full.  Well, sometimes folks, God’s got another plan!

Well, usually God has another plan and because He grants us free will, He allows us to only go so far before we’re obligated to do things His way. Well super long story short…the couple found out about the event “they” were hosting the same way the rest of the congregation did…Sunday morning announcements.

images (28)

Now if her church is as technologically savvy as most are these days, the announcement was displayed on some huge screen for all to see…And yep..that’s what happened.

Now I understood her panic and I was immediately able to reassure her that we can help her…I submitted an urgent request for one of our ministry advisers to contact her immediately and when I asked her when she would be available, her reply comforted and convicted me in succession.

“I’ve cleared my schedule for the next two weeks because we’ve got to get this together.  I’m available anytime. Just call.”

The words she stated reminded me of the words I’d uttered not long ago to my Father.  I’d embarked on a mission to complete my memoir several years ago…got with a publisher…paid…and yet sent nothing…I could say that it was writer’s block, but that’s a lie…it was fear…fear of the questions…fear of the answers…fear of rejection…fear of acceptance…fear of memories…fear of the need to forget…I understand now how I’ve allowed that fear cripple me.

A few months ago, a co-worker handed me a book that changed my life…I know that sounds so cliche…but it did nonetheless…I started writing again…I started remembering again…I cried tears that had been buried in a facade for over 3 decades, but even half way through that journey I stopped…overcome by the “what ifs.”  But today, God not only allowed me to remember my vow this evening as I attempted to reassure that customer.  But early this morning, he reminded me with a message from Joyce Meyer…the words…”It’s time” has been ringing in my head all day…I’ve had friends lined up for months to offer assistance to review my pain on paper, but shame preferred it be kept hidden…

But something else spectacular happened on that call…something God always has a knack of allowing in my life…He allowed me to minister to myself.

God-Are-You-Listening-194x300

You see the past two days, I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and I’ve gotten pretty good at hitting my mute button just before that sneeze…I’d begun telling the young lady this: (mind you this isn’t verbatim-going by memory here)

After she mentioned that she and her husband prayed about it and she couldn’t back out because she felt like God’s hand was on it…I agreed with her and recalled the time when I’d been co-chair over Women’s Day at my church one year…how I’d made all these new plans and when I went to the planner and even to the pastor to offer my input, I was completely rejected.

All I could think of was, “Why in the world was I selected if they weren’t interested in anything I had to offer?” I was sick because my naivety had me so geeked that I’d called vendors and made all these plans to make the Women’s Fun Day a Spa Day…

Well of course I prayed…God reminded me of Nehemiah and the wall…how he was constantly met with opposition but how he was able to complete it anyway…not by his own effort, but by his faith in God’s power to help him finish the task…In the end, the pastor’s heart softened, but two days prior…every vendor cancelled at the last minute.

I arrived at the site on the day of distraught, but slowly as I tried to get things together by myself…one by one God provided people who had everything I needed.

By the end of that night, the ladies were given makeovers (Maybeline donated boo-koos), manicures were done by volunteers, massages were given, pictures were taken…all because I relied on God and refused to take the glory for myself…I smiled as I reminisced in that moment…

And I simply told her that it wouldn’t be a miracle if “you could get it together in 4 months.” 

So with that, I’m no longer stressing about how I can get this and that together and what if this person says this or that…I’m going with what I’d decided before…to allow God arrange my calendar!

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

No Request=No Response

“You’re not gonna help!”

Those were the slightly irritated, pre-teen attitude-laden words my daughter spouted the other morning as she wrestled with her braids in attempt to tame them the way I’d done so many times before.  I had been standing beside her applying my makeup when I noticed her frustration. I paused and calmly responded, “You didn’t ask me for help so I didn’t respond.” That’s when I knew what I was attempting to teach my daughter was the exact lesson I needed to learn myself.

Still, I listened to her minor rant.

kaylahair

Her reply was, “I was asking you…I wasn’t being sarcastic. I was asking you for help.” I noticed even when she uttered those words she continued to wrangle her tresses…her goal was a simple pony tail, but with braids she had a bigger challenge.  It would seem that her hands were just not big enough to handle the task.  As I observed her struggle,  I told her that I would help her, but she needed to wait until I was finished doing what I was doing.

No more than two minutes passed…I just needed to wash and dry my hands, but when I returned from the bathroom, I noted something familiar.  My daughter’s frustration had grown while she waited for my assistance and she hadn’t once stopped gathering, tugging, and sighing.  She kept trying to get it done herself.

I saw myself.

EmilysQuotes.Com-unknown-fear-sad-negative

I saw how I’d been trying to handle things that were entirely too big for my hands and heart to carry.  Yet, I, like my daughter, assumed that because I was struggling that God would automatically respond to my desires because I’m His daughter.

I mean isn’t that what His word says?

To put it plainly…Yes, and no….Yes, indeed God’s word is truth and it does state that He will grant my heart’s desire, but even that wonderful promise is conditional. There’s an inevitable prerequisite:  I must delight myself in Him.

Now last week, the Lord placed on my heart to meditate on Psalm 37 when I was in a particularly messed up mood….I’m so thankful for His comfort.  I admit that while I smiled at this revelation then, I was soon confronted with the reality that I was still trying to do things myself.  I hadn’t taken the time I should have to digest His word as my daughter so eloquently suggested the other day.

Well, after my little encounter with the little pre-teen that could, I decided to revisit that scripture:  Psalm 37

I’ve paid particular attention to that 4th and 5th verses:

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Though I’d quoted these verses and used the words delight and commit in one way or another countless times, I realized that morning I had long since forgotten how to do either of those things with regard to God’s will.

Delight 

1. to please greatly
2. to take great pleasure (in)
Commit
 
  1. transfer something to (a state or place)
  2. carry out
  3. pledge or bind

After allowing these verses to simmer in my heart a while, last night, I accepted that there was no amount of “work” I could do to make what I desired  occur if it was not in line with God’s will… so even with regard to a few recent relationship woes, I finally gave it up.

I released every anxious thought, attempt at self-help, and trivial pursuit of relational joy to my Father…I shed tears and was transparent. I needed His help. I no longer tried to fake it as if my heart had been bullet proof…I willingly tore down the walls built by pain brick by brick and revealed that I still longed for that special person’s attention…I admitted that I just didn’t understand how to “get it right” without Divine intervention. I repented for the times I’d compromised and tried to help fulfill the promise He’d already made to me long ago.  Instead of impatience, I offered gratitude for His timing. I acknowledged that my lack of readiness was unfair to him. God’s grace reminded me that He loves him just as much as He loves me…that yes, I’m His daughter, but he too is His son.  With that, I accepted God’s grace, granted the same to my future, and for the first time in months, I rested.

You Are What You Eat…Choose Wisely

Okay I admit….I’ve been still struggling with road rage….the last few weeks hasn’t been easy and the other day, I went off….The ironic thing is that earlier that day, I’d read the passage from Our Daily Bread about how a “so-called” courteous driver allowed another driver in front of him and because the receiving driver didn’t nod or wave, the other one kind of went berserk!  When I finished reading it, I remember thinking how completely unnecessary his actions were.  Yet, I succumbed to the same idiocy not an hour later!  What’s worse is that my 11 year old daughter bore witness to my antics…

Epic_f79c29_353463

So…if I may explain...

I was attempting to exit I-630 right in the middle of a hard-hat war zone…the woman in the car to my right was cruising in my blind spot and was attempting to do the opposite.  I saw her so I guess she wasn’t really in my blind spot, but she was obviously not paying attention to me.  Anyway…she nearly side-swiped me with a quick left and my mouth followed suit…let’s just say I had a moment…

images2

…Not a good one, but still a moment.  Immediately I said, ” I need to get in the word” My daughter responded, almost sighing, “We all do, but I think you need to eat the whole bible!”  She was laughing when she said it, but clearly the last few minutes had been no laughing matter.

Years ago, the Lord showed me that cursing was beneath me and as if some light bulb was ignited, I just sort of stopped doing it.  Along with the urge to curse, went my tendency to gossip (yes people, listening to it counts too), and my desire to argue.  I also no longer cared for the “liquid courage” that held me captive for years either so what happened?  As soon as I thought the question, the answer came to mind…

… I knew that James said it but didn’t know where.  Arriving home, I felt horrible for two reasons.

#1 I felt like I’d failed God. 

#2 I felt like I’d failed my daughter.

So reluctantly I peeled back the pages to reveal the truth I avoided for so long…

James 3:9-11(NLV)

Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?

You see, I started writing this post early last week but I filed it away half-finished…
 
images (21)
 
I’ve done that a lot lately.
 
 
When that pinch of conviction hurt too much or when I realized I didn’t have it all together, I voluntarily pushed the words God put in my mouth aside because I didn’t like the taste of them.
 
Well yesterday at work I was forced to eat those words anyway…call after call…I was reminded of what I needed to do.  At least 4 calls in a row were prayer requests.
 
  • One guy called saying that he and his wife struggled with prioritizing and that he seemed too busy for regular time with God…my prayer for him included a reminder that prayer is merely a conversation with God…that we should MAKE the time for Him…
  • A mother wanted her relationship with her son and her mother to improve…she was seeking approval for the way she’d been handling things.
  • A wife called pleading for improved communication with her husband…
  • Still another woman mentioned a portion of a verse that hit home…She said she knows the enemy must flee if she resists him.  Immediately I corrected her stating, “so many of us get that verse wrong.  It says that we are first to submit to God, resist the devil, and he must flee!”

I know now that I was not speaking on my own authority or my own thoughts. Who was I to judge?  I know now that the Holy Spirit was leading me to assist them while assisting myself.

 
 
By the end of the day I was humbled.  I realized my prayers for those anonymous callers had become my own.
 
 
So yes, I’ve been hesitant lately.  I’ve not posted as often because of my “own issues” but God again reassured that my transparency sets others free too.  Despite cringing under the conviction that I too had some adjustments to make,
I’m grateful for His reminder that over time I’d been taking in too much “junk” and not feasting on His word like I used to…He graciously pointed out that the difference between me and a none believer SHOULD be evident…that my spiritual physique should be void of bitterness, cursing,  and doubt.
 

John 16:13 (NLT)

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

I’ve always known that too much junk food negatively affects the physical body, but, now I also know the same is true for my spiritual body.  So the past aside, I’m re-learning to be a picky eater.

 
 ©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 
 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: