Thank YOU, ABBA FATHER for another chance; for the opportunity to reach another. Thank YOU for growing me through and never letting me go! Speak LORD – YOUR servant -daughter is listening! Please use this pen to grow, edify and strengthen another as YOU grow, edify and strengthen me. And we will continue to give YOU all the Glory, all the Honour, and all the Praise, In the Mighty Name LORD JESUS!
In all honesty, I have been a little apprehensive about this week’s submission. When I accepted this assignment from GOD through Cindy, my greatest concern was that I didn’t want to ‘get in the way’ of the message. Another was that ‘my’ feelings of the moment might not let me see that I am (standing in the way of the message). Then GOD reminded me that HE is using my story to assist in pulling someone else forward. That did not actually relieve my anxiety. But it did bring me face-to-face with the root of my ‘issue.’ My Fear.
Marianne Williamson addresses that topic with decisive firmness in the first lines of her poem entitled “Our Deepest Fear.” The first time I heard the poem was not when Nelson Mandela recited it at his inaugural address in 1994, but in a movie about a little girl winning a bunch of spelling bees. In the poem, Ms. Williamson identifies first, what our greatest fear is not. And for me she is correct. I don’t feel ‘in”-adequate. My son (and several others) can attest to that. When someone has said to me, “You’re a great mom,” I will quickly correct them with, “No – I’m just adequate.” But then I read the “Our Deepest Fear.” And it begs the question, “who am I NOT to be Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous? I read those words and I had to check myself, “As a matter of fact, Valerie – who are you NOT to be!?” I remind people every day that we are, according to 1Peter 2:9, a Royal Priesthood, a Chosen Generation. I am set apart for greatness and great things! Not by my power or my strength but by GOD’s Spirit! HE said so and I believe that! HE Promised!
Recently I was on my way home from work and this man randomly glanced back at me and said, “Hello Black woman.” I smiled because I like the way he called me what I am. But then he stopped and turned to me again and said, “Do not ever lose that strength I see in your eyes.” Then he crossed the street and walked away. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “Strength? In my eyes?” That comment gelled in my heart and mind with the words of the poem and another reading from ‘The Anointing of a Virtuous Woman’ – by Rev. Dr. Haile Lindsay. It is based on Proverbs 31 and inspired by the lives of the most significant women in his life. Day 6 talks about ‘What a Virtuous Woman Wears.’ Verse 25 of Proverbs 31 says that “…Strength and Honor are her clothing…”
Now - I am 99 & ¾ percent certain that I have never seen that gentleman before. Neither have I had the pleasure of meeting Marianne Williamson. But I am grateful to GOD the FATHER that HE took the words of Mr. Random-Guy-on-the-Street, Ms. Williamson, and Rev. Lindsay, bound them together with HIS WORD and used it to remind me that I have NOTHING to fear.
Even, as the Apostle James describes in James 1:4, when I “…fall into various trials…” Broken promises? Count it Joy! You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting Stronger! Broken Relationship? Count it Joy – You’re getting Wiser!
I know that while you are going through the pain of your current ‘issue,’ it doesn’t feel good, but this is when Patience is having “her perfect work.” You will discover that as Patience is working in and on you, your faith muscles are growing. And as you (we) are being perfected, strengthened and restored, you will begin, again, to “… like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m looking in the mirror!” (thank you Mary J.)!!
As I am growing and with each new victory won, I am recognizing the Light, the Power, the Strength that HE is revealing in me and through my testimony! Come grow with me! We are, after All, MORE than Conquerors! And the only fearful thing about us is that we are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!”
And by the way – We don’t look Nothin’ like what we’ve been through!
Humbly Yours by Valerie Crawford