I remember going to church faithfully with my grandmother. Every Sunday and Wednesday and Friday night choir rehearsal. I sat through 2-5 hour long services, with various Bible verses being repeated to the point of memorization. One piece of wisdom my grandmother said was I will be able to apply the sermon teachings and Bible verses as I lived life. I often agreed and would recite various verses as I thought they applied to my life. It was not until I really experienced the trials and tribulations of life that those teachings resonated.
I found myself in a state of confusion, darkness…in the wilderness, as I battled through the ups and downs of my (then) reality for over a year. It seemed as if everything around me was going downhill fast. Those close to me reminded me to stay encouraged, to keep praying and fasting, to recognize and acknowledge my own strength. Some days were good and I felt like I could conquer the world, while others were full of misery, to the point thoughts and feelings of wanting to leave the earth to just escape flooded my mind. I kept encouraging myself, even when I saw no way out. I reminded myself that God had not brought me this far to leave me, in fact I was being guided and protected throughout it all. I was reminded that I agreed to these circumstances of life and there was a lesson, generational lesson(s), that needed to be processed through and learned so the cycles that perpetuated the lineage of my maternal and paternal genes could finally cease. It was in these dark times that I remembered, God promised me that I will be brought out of the wilderness, that everything around me will be restored as new. New beginnings will happen, but I had to go through this process and be pressed. I had to amplify my faith that was being tested through and through.
As seasons changed and months passed by, I finally began to get out of a state of victimhood and began to accept my reality. Was it comfortable? NO! Did I want to rush the process? YES! Did I try to take shortcuts only to end up right back at point A? Of course! I prayed and journaled and processed the ups and downs of my feelings as they changed from day to day. Once I accepted the circumstances and got out of the way of what God was doing and let my ancestors fully take the wheel, my path began to brighten up (from a human point of view), and fast. Some things that were happening were nothing short of a miracle. Eyes widening, head spinning, in shock, about to start shouting, type of miracles. God began to restore everything that I thought was lost…but I needed to trust the process and surrender. I was literally delaying my blessings. I was the only obstacle in my way! I had to release fear that tried to control me. I had to speak to doubt and remember what God had brought me from. I had to stand up to worry with a shield of faith covering me.
As our physical weather seasons began to suddenly and rapidly change in New Jersey my physical reality of life changed too. As I walked my daughter into school I stopped and looked up to admire the sky. To speak gratitude and appreciation for life as it currently is. I looked around and saw the trees. They bloomed right before my eyes. Just 3 weeks ago they were bare, dry, and looked like death. But behold! God IS doing a new thing. Not only on the Earth as life breathes through nature, the sun continues to shine day after day and flowers bloom on trees and break through the darkness of the dirt, but also in my life and hopefully, prayerfully, yours too. There’s a verse that I remember clearly from various sermons at church. “Behold, I (God) am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Spring has come forth on Earth and in me.