Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Process of Elimination

I noticed that in the past posts I made mention of much applicable scripture and even used hypothetical scenarios to make the scripture more plausible. I try to keep my business my own but when  you have your own testimonial, its when the Word really becomes real for some people.

I woke up this morning thinking of you and those that read this wondering about the faith by which believers live and the faith that is necessary to be obtained (Hebrews 11:6 AMP). For many of us faith is faith... either you have it or you don't. Yeah, I thought that too. Like I wrote, I woke up with this on my mind.

Some years ago, I attended ministerial school where the appointed minister teaching a faith class had said something that wrinkled my brow from the moment he said it. He spoke about all he wanted to do and actually mentioned a few things that he desired to give to the pastor of the church as a gift. One of those things was a Lear Jet. He said he had to grow up into that though, he just doesn't have the faith to do it yet. Why not, I thought. Why wouldn't he have the faith to believe that God would give him something that was so self-less to give to the pastor? So after class, I asked him. He said, "I just don't have the faith for that yet. You might, but I am not there yet." What did that mean? After all, he was the one sitting in the teacher's chair. How can he sit there to teach me something that he didn't have?

When my husband and I separated, there was such a transition to be single again and with children, I knew I couldn't do it without the support of family, friends, and the church. I leaned on all of them when  times got really hard and all of them were not so supportive when I had to go to court, go back to school, get a job, minister to my children what they needed - so forth and so on. These people have lives of their own and was hoping I could bounce back quicker then I did. I can see that now. Then, I thought I had to learn to choose better friends. In that bouncing back process, I also had to learn to separate myself from those that didn't understand the complexities of raising children, didn't see the vision God gave me, and couldn't keep a positive word in their mouths. Once I did, my faith increased to do what was necessary and to lean more on God, the only one that changes not (Hebrews 13:8-9 AMP).

Trying to get a degree with children wasn't a part of my plan originally, but I had to go back to where my peace wasn't troubled and work it out from that point. It was when I was in school. As I dealt with the egos of the professors, I also had calls from the schools my children attended. There were teachers making accusations about my children that had no foundation. I don't mean my children are the best and would never get in trouble. I mean teachers out of the nowhere deciding to suspended my daughter, for instance, because she defended herself from a boy's constant attacks on her. Upon my own investigation, the very teacher supervising the class admitted in front of her own administrator that she saw the whole thing. She saw the boy attack my daughter and by all accounts they both should be suspended, she said. Never mind the language I used and my actions upon that discovery. Just know I had to shake those experiences off to get my mind focused in obtaining the goal. It seemed one thing right after the other happened, and then after all of it... no more classes... I received in the mail, a bill for some fees at the college and could not get my degree until those fees were paid. I used a student loan! What fees? Once that was sorted, I received a call from my academic adviser. She said I had a withdrawal on my record that needed a grade before I could get my degree. I cannot put into words the frustration I felt trying to finally finish what I kept my focus on for so many years and all of these obstacles appearing out of nowhere. I went to clear up that misunderstanding as well. When it was all finished and I could make arrangements to walk the aisle in cap and gown along with my fellow colleagues, I opted not to. I couldn't be pleased smiling with the scholars that put me through so much. I waited to get my papers through the mail. It was a long wait. So long that by the time I received that white package, I wondered why would anyone be sending me anything. Yet the dance I never had the steps to do before, was exhilarating and worth every drop of sweat and aggravation. I am reaping the benefits of all of that hard work now as I see my children having the drive to get their degrees.

Had I known that what I need to do was go through all of it to get a piece of paper in order for me to establish my career, would I have done it? Honestly, I don't think so. Would I clearly see the joy I am experiencing now to give me the drive to continue on? No, it would take faith and it is the things we hope for and the evidence not seen (Hebrews 11:1 AMP). I went through it because the choice I had not to do it was worse. I had to do it for me and to be able to make a living to keep my children. If I hadn't, they would have done what they needed to to survive and for children to make their own way, is never good (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). I had to use faith, I got angry with God, I made demands, I had to forgive myself and ask for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32 AMP). I had do without and eat many plates of dry and tasteless humble pie. But I did it! I acknowledged God in the paths I took and there were times I didn't stay quiet when the path taken wasn't as leisurely as I would have hoped. Maybe all of those things were means of punishment for not listening in the first place. The journey was, to say the least, very interesting.

Was that the faith that the minister was talking about that he didn't have? He is a minister! He had to go through something too! So what was he thinking? In order to do something for someone else, you really had to go through something? The Word does say, to much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48 AMP). Look what Jesus did for the world (John 3:16 KJV). Would it then be the same for us to do something for someone else? Would it take much from ourselves to do? Is it worth it? How renewed is your mind (Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP)? If you knew that the road ahead would be a jagged one but at the end of it was a sure treasure, would you travel the road? Where is your faith?

When asking is that all there is to life, why not make an assessment of the decisions that you made in yours? Were all of your decisions to only benefit yourself and no one else? I recall a pastor of a church making a statement I know I have written about before, he literally said to his congregants, "new level, new devil. That's okay. I am happy right where I am. I have the right sized house. My children are happy and healthy. My wife is good. I don't need anything else." I saw that video of him stating this some years ago. I wonder how his faith fared him? Yes, I prayed for him because he still has to live in this world, if he wasn't called home. He has those children and wife of whom has a mind all of their own and will not be still to do nothing. They will make decisions that will affect him. If he thinks that sitting still doing nothing will keep his world like it is, he is mistaken. Naturally, that way of thinking doesn't happen. Scientifically, that way of thinking doesn't happen. And God... hah, if you call yourself a Christian, that definitely will never happen or don't you recall the parable of talents (Matthew 25:15-30 AMP)?

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