Un-Arrest Your Development

I suppose I have resisted this place for some time now….but I cannot continue to run away from the inner most parts of myself a moment longer. So I thought to myself yesterday that yes, perhaps I should have my head examined after all….everyone seems to think they know me…I consider the shear ignorance of it all and I’m baffled and drained in an instant. I recall all too vividly the moment I decided my fascination with the recluse…yes, I’m speaking of the spider…once I wasn’t afraid of them…once I was so fascinated with these critters that I simply observed one meandering across my foot as a child. I had no fear…I distinctly recall thinking, wow, a violin shape on its back so I didn’t move…again, not from fear but wonder that it thought my brown skin just an extension of the dark carpet it sought to camouflage its movement…

Have I too found a means of camouflaging my movement by blending in with a society still so foreign to my thinking? With my being? And after this morning’s devotional, the face in the mirror staring at me had something else in common with what I now know is absolutely toxic when threatened…over the years I learned to do one of two things when bothered…hide or attack with a most treacherous bite…one that might merely sting initially, but later is evidence of the tragic encounter…it has been a while since I dared to inflict such pain on an innocent bystander…it seems instead my thoughts at times have taken a liking to my own flesh instead…I consider this sort of cannibalism not a bad thing because piece by piece my purpose requires the old me to methodically die…to bleed out and breathe her last…the she I once was is and has always been an unnecessary shell…so with silence and time I have been forced into a molting process…so as my purpose expands and my hunger grows more insatiable, the case that once housed me with fears and procrastination no longer fits this body…so I peel the layers as the decaying flesh with every step forward…still there is pain within this process….it has been an ugly transition so far…so much care must be administered…the wound must be covered but the wrong covering only leads to festering…so my heart longs for a covering that allows me to breathe…one who like me has endured the growing pains with resistance….a most horrible season of selfish discovery…so I found my eyes begging for the strength to allow my wounds to be uncovered…for my being to be unashamed…for my mind to be in agreement…with what my heart already knew…and the layer of resistance fades with every step…

Release is the necessary conclusion in wholeness…Still detoxification drains…purpose requires effort I had not always been willing to surrender…the face confronted in the mirror of God’s word wasn’t the same one reflected in my bathroom this morning…the latter “she” was a discontent soul…but she’s no longer allowed in my sphere of influence…

And my heart’s anthem shook me out of my stupor with a command,

“UN-ARREST YOUR DEVELOPMENT!” 

So I combed through the manual until my eyes met a familiar yet necessary venue: Father, please teach me how…

 

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

What’s Your Response to God’s Ability?

Two years ago, I lost my job.  I thought I had faith then, but what I really had was a nice little 401K cushion so I wasn’t worried about losing my home or whether I’d be able to keep the lights on…I was okay when that very month, the child support that I’d been receiving faithfully for over 8 years stopped…I assumed it was God trying to tell me something.  He was.

I had the opportunity to track down and pursue the matter, but when the letter arrived to report address and phone number information about the missing link in my son’s life, I had an overwhelming urge to discard it. God then placed it on my heart to not worry about the “child support.” I was obedient then and in the trash went the letter.

Since that time, my world has changed tremendously with regard to my finances…I refused to worry about the “child support” because I’d gotten pretty good at this “single-parent” thing over the years…including those when I was married…things were okay, but struggles of which bill I’d skip to pay for this and that has taken its toll in the past few months…before I’d learned to be resourceful…at times even making bread from scratch to save a buck…at the time, I figured that was what I had to do so I did. I learned to get more comfortable with eating less or some days not at all to ensure my children didn’t have to do the same. The benefit then was weight-loss though ill-gotten…I could fit in clothes I hadn’t been able to before so I was again okay.

Later that year, I decided to enroll in school…yet again…With a Master’s degree…you’d think I’d be tired of school, but I guess I liked the idea of being a permanent student or something….Though I had time on my hands to pay full attention to what God had planned for me without distractions (my writing), I decided to do other things. I had the time to attend my children’s events when school started and I enjoyed the freedom to come and go as I pleased without the hammer of Corporate America badgering me into submission to “their” rules. I still had some money available so I really didn’t spend my days like I’ve been trying to juggle them now.

Yet, somewhere between the day I lost my job and the day God blessed me with this one, I discovered that my faith hadn’t actually been in God as much as thought ….I’m sick with conviction now to admit that…but given all I’ve faced since that time, I realized that God had been weening me from myself!

In retrospect, I suppose he’d been doing that well before I lost my job because when I got sick, I wasn’t able to work as much so my funds were chopped anyway….

I digress…Well, this morning after I finished writing checks to various utilities, I almost forgot to listen to what He’d told me a couple years before…

…I’d seen the text from my son’s dad two days ago, told my son about it…yet Recco never asked for my phone to return the favor…I looked at it this morning a bit “pissed” for lack of a better word.

School started this week and all week my son was pretty bummed. My daughter’s school thankfully were required to wear uniforms. So when I could, I snagged one and had a couple shirts that would suffice until today, I’d supposed….but as I calculated and deducted, the others in layaway would have to wait yet another 2 weeks….but this week I’d gotten used to the wash, wear, and repeat routine so to do it another few weeks would again be okay for me I suppose….It didn’t really dawn on me if it would be okay with her though….well, not until I finished balancing the remnants of my funds…I didn’t want her to see me “have to do that.”

Kayla hit a growth spurt far sooner than my son so I suppose that’s why I hadn’t paid much attention to the changes he’d undergone in what seemed like overnight.

I’d been praying for him to grow for years along with him I’m sure.  He been so self conscious about his height…so tiny even at birth, the nickname, Lil’ Recco, sort of stuck in more ways than one I guess.

It was okay for a while in our favor since he’d been able to wear many of his clothes for a few years without them fraying…only last night…when he came to me excited about the prospect of going shopping this weekend, I could only grimace at the reality that was in front of us. My frown then matched his silence this morning. As I went through his closet of what seemed like so many items, I realized now the reason he’d been “choosing” to wear the same things over and over.  He hadn’t made the choice at all.  Those supposedly “favorite” pieces were the only things that fit him now.

I bagged them this morning and the trunk was full…All the while, I’d assumed that he’d just been set in his ways and didn’t want to wear certain things because just a year before the same shirts, jeans, sweaters, and even dress shirts had been too big.  I tried to justify my decision to wait to shop a little longer with this assumption, but the imploding trunk of clothes I’d noticed he’d modified in various ways over the passed few months wasn’t done so out of preference, but one of necessity.

I now understood his tears when Tuesday night youth choir rehearsal turned into a praise and worship session…why as I corralled my tears with my hands I felt his arm around me beckoning me to stand up and walk the pews with him as he proclaimed, “Lord, you know what we need!”

At least then, I was sure that my son hadn’t fully abandoned his relationship with our Father as his behavior sometimes made me assume.

His words, “Lord, help me to put a smile on my mother’s face!” stung.

First, because I didn’t want him to feel like he alone had to shoulder that burden. Second, no child should feel like they are responsible for another person’s happiness like that…I couldn’t help but wonder how he felt when he knew he’d disappointed me.

Did he think I loved him any less?

As I finished the bills, I was bombarded with a similar accusation, Does he think I love him less because I haven’t bought him new clothes…because I’m asking him to wait…to understand…to be patient again?

Even in writing this I know the answer…worse yet…I know who really was asking the question…it wasn’t my son…it wasn’t me…it wasn’t even the Lord…you see because God doesn’t accuse…there is but one accuser and his name is satan…He would love for me to break down and forfeit the blessings God has already shown me that are in store for us.

Right now, God is working behind the scenes to provide more than enough….I know because He alone gave me this reminder right before I almost responded to my son’s dad’s text.  I almost typed the words, “Hey this is Nadia, Recco needs some school clothes, can you wire a couple hundred?”

Thankfully, I stopped before I typed my name and asked God to show me His will…I vaguely remembered the ” You have not because you ask not scripture, but in my heart…I knew that wasn’t it…So I opened my bible and the scripture unintentionally highlighted was Isaiah 8:11-14a…

Isaiah 8:11-14 New Living Translation 

A Call to Trust the Lord

11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,

12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
    and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
    He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14     He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
    he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
    he will be a trap and a snare.

Since this was my study bible…there were some little symbols alerting me to additional info…to the next section I needed…The footnote stated that “The Lord warned the people to not rely on Assyria(see 7:1) So that’s what I did…I flipped the page over and realized what I actually had highlighted instead of the first verse.

I said, “unintentionally” earlier because I’d never read that passage before…yet, I’d highlighted the passage on the opposite page a while ago…it bled through and showed what I needed in that moment of doubt…I turned the page to reveal the rest of God’s letter to me…three separate passages in this order…Isaiah 7:4, 9b, 12…

Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.

Isaiah 7:9-12 New Living Translation

Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
    and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
    I cannot make you stand firm.”

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.[a]

12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”

I realize now that in this scripture, God was requesting that Ahaz ask Him for a sign and he refused…but God had been willing to strengthen his faith through a sign so I’m not doing like old Ahaz….

Dear Lord,

I know that You are able to provide as You have over and over again so at Your request, I request You provide that sign for my son to see Your glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray Amen!

Your Daughter

So with that…I’m thanked God for His intervention…erased the message I started…recalled the many times the Lord had provided exactly what I needed when I needed it before and renewed my faith in the God of everything for allowing me to abundantly lack nothing!

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.