So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 1 Peter 1:6
I pray you are well and these words give you some encouragement. These last three months have been eventful to say the least. My time is nearing its end here in New Orleans and I’m grateful. I’ve learned the lessons (I hope) that I was supposed to learn, lightened my load and am leaving a lot behind here…physically, spiritually, and mentally. I’m grateful because God has kept me through it all.
I wanted to share this past Saturday how God has demonstrated His unfailing love for me time and time again, but especially in these months. This past Saturday was 4 years since my daddy went home to be with the Lord, and God kept me so busy with school and work that I could not get sad because I was alone. In fact, I was glad because my daddy wasn’t suffering anymore and how God has used it to heal me and my family. I was especially glad because God showed me that He wanted to hand-handle my healing process by keeping me alone. In that, I was able to press through the challenge of rewriting a significant part of that 30 page brief (in total 42 pages of blood, sweat, tears and a lack of sleep ) and also overcome my fear of speaking in front of others to give my oral argument. Focusing on that alone has kept me in a place that I had to trust God and overcome myself to get through. And all I could do is cry at the revelation of it.
I also now see that my medicines needed to be increased because of the great amount of physical stress I would be under from being sick and stressed with the demands of work and school. The more suppressed my immune system was, the less likely I would reject the kidney. I figured that out one day when I realized the effects all of this had on me. Stress and illness does the opposite. I wasn’t eating like I should, I wasn’t sleeping enough, and I was just worn down. I was sick a great portion of February, stressing out because I was sick and had gotten behind in the class that I had to write the brief and do the oral argument for…just plain tired and discouraged. Of course those medicines played a part in me being more susceptible to getting sick, but of course these things are sometimes counterintuitive.
So I had to learn to trust God in a new way…and like never before. I had to surrender to Him, and even now I’m having to surrender to some things I don’t particularly feel like doing or feel comfortable in doing. But its all for God’s glory. He showed me things about myself, mistakes I made in the past, that kept me from fully moving forward. And its beautiful because I feel like I’ve come full circle in such a short amount of time…now I can move forward and leave the baggage behind.
Well now I’m counting down, and the pressure has been on me these last few days to give up and question God because its out of my control. I’m in a place I have never been, and it honestly scared me. I’ll be quitting my job in May to move back to SC, and right now I don’t have anything to go back to. I don’t have an apartment located yet, I don’t have a job, and I haven’t been accepted to Charleston School of Law yet (haven’t submitted the application yet). I know I can’t doubt God because He has done too much for me. I was in a similar situation when I moved here, and He worked everything out that I had somewhere to go stay and worked it out that my job transferred me here.
I’ll admit, it has been rough at times here. Work issues took the cake, coupled with a difficult first year of law school, a mediocre first semester this second year (well mediocre to me), to now being told twice that I can’t come back to my job in Charleston. If you ask the faithless Marquita how she feels, she would say I’m losing it over here (lol). Yet, I’m not. I have my moments of fear rising, but they are quickly quelled by all the word of God in my heart. I see I had to spend the time teaching bible study before I left and my first year here so I could study the word for myself to teach others. Now I am relying on that same word to get me through.
God has His way of reassuring me, a whimsical way of leading me to the scriptures He wants me to see. Last mini testimony for this one, I promise. I was up watching movies on Saturday after hanging with my linesister (I love you Ashley!). So I watched The Wood, Being Mary Jane (the movie–I don’t watch TV so I decided I’d see what it was all about), and Turbo. After watching The Wood and seeing how Omar Epps’ character Mike still loved Alicia, I shed some tears for my own hopes of marriage some day. (I’m a self-professed crybaby so leave me be!) Then, in watching Being Mary Jane and her dissolute, hopeless story, I cried even more, having almost lost hope for a future of happiness with someone…because as life would paint it, successful black women don’t get married or they get taken advantage of in some way. Let’s not even approach the topic of women in ministry (tuh). I cried and wondered in my mind if that would be my fate. True enough, my family is no where like hers nor are my circumstances hers…so I know it was the enemy. Since I hate going to sleep sad, I decided to watch something else. I ended up watching Turbo. It was like God was speaking directly to me, showing me numbers (I checked the clock and randomly my account balances, don’t judge me, insomnia induced ADD) to get me to check certain scriptures…but I’m certain He had me watch that movie. Little Turbo the snail never gave up on his dreams, even when the person he loved the most discouraged him. So clear as day, I heard "don’t give up on your dreams. Keep your foundation in me. I love you. You will have those things that I promised you." Then I cried some more because I realized that the enemy was trying in whatever way he could to get me to doubt God. It also reminded me why I’m careful what I listen to and why I don’t watch TV–you have to protect your gates from the enemy!! But it encouraged me, that God would go to such a great length to reassure me. He even did the same for me yesterday with this stuff with work.
I guess I’m sharing all of this to encourage you. Don’t give up. Times may feel difficult right now, things may have you cornered, but God is still God. If He can be concerned about everything about little ole me, I know He has to love you the same. Luke 12:7– Why, even all the hairs on your head have been counted! Stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows." So don’t give up! If God knows how many hairs we have–something so minute–He must be concerned with the greater issues we face. He is there, waiting for you to turn to Him and reach for Him. These things you are facing are temporary, and will soon end. Then you will celebrate. With that, I love you all. Be encouraged!
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:12-13
Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5:10