I have sat down to write this post with both sadness and rejoicing in my heart. I do not make a habit of pushing my religious beliefs on you guys but, today a message has been put on my heart that I need to share. As some of you know, my life the past few years has been quite the challenge and, on many occasions, I lost the battle; but, from where I stand today, I have won the war.
I was reminded today about a time in my life when all was right with the world. This was one of the rare times when I was sure of myself, I knew who I was and what I stood for. I was a child that attended church anytime the doors were open with my parents and sister, I was an active participant in Bible Drill and often received recognition at the state level for my achievements (along with many other children and youth at our church), my father played guitar with the worship team, my mother (with the help of “Aunt” Rachel) was in charge of the children’s church and all the events that tied to it from VBS to the Christmas program, she and our cousin Kay (sister to the pastor) taught the youth bible drill (boy, I couldn’t wait to be with them), this church was pastored by our cousin Robert Toney, “Aunt” Ann played the piano and “Uncle” Charlie played the bass, Cody was on drums, and every pew was filled with family (some blood and some not) but, we were all one giant family. This little church that sat on a hilltop, Zion Hill Baptist Church, was HOME.
To this day I don’t think that I have felt God as closely as I did on those church grounds; it had nothing to do with the size of the building, the color of the walls, or the size of the steeple, people are who make the church.
Some days that I feel hopeless like I am not worthy of even speaking the name of God. Today, was one of those days. I was angry with my daughter, overwhelmed with housework, my youngest is not feeling well, the oldest had homework and I was not handling any of it with grace. I felt unworthy of love, I felt useless, I felt lonely and powerless. I was talking to mom who is having roughly the same sort of kick the life out of you kind of day, we talked for a while and she told me about a show she had watched where a church was singing “Victory Is Mine” and we began to reminisce on the days when WE sang those hymns at Zion Hill. Pretty soon, even the baby was singing along!
Robert and Aunt Ann are both enjoying their Mansions on the Hilltop and taking A Walk with Jesus, they are both in rejoicing with the Savior but, are still missed very much! The sadness that was on my heart was not for them, it was for me missing them. There have been plenty of times that I wanted to call Robert and ask advice or just talk about things (he usually gave advice whether you asked or not HA!) As much as I miss him and Aunt Ann (who would beat my tail if she could) I know that I will see them again one day.
I truly believe that God put these memories on my heart today to remind of something.That something is the message that I wish to share with you all.
That message is this,
No matter how lonely or beaten you may feel, no matter what you have done or how far you have strayed, YOU are ALWAYS worthy of God’s love. God sent His Son to die for each one of us so that WE may sit beside Him one day.
If Robert could share the gospel to inmates at Angola that sat on death row and give THEM hope, who am I to feel hopeless?! I have my family, my children and MY LIFE to be thankful for, it took reminiscing on days past and singing songs of praise for me to feel the Spirit move through me again–a feeling that I haven’t felt in a long-long while.
Like Adam in the Garden, who was ashamed, I cannot hide from God. He knew exactly how and when to touch my heart. I want you to know that God sees you and He sees your heart, He knows what you have done and where you have been, but, most of all He knows what you WILL do and where you WILL go all you have to do is open your heart to Him; He wants to see you succeed, He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you; just listen.
God is knocking, will you open the door?