emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “Mark”

Can You See me Now?

Isn’t it strange when people appreciate you more when you are no longer around?  Really, what is that about?

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw he had died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”  —Mark 15:38-39

Sometime last year I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine.  In that conversation she said, “But, they see you now.”  They see me now?  Nah!  Really?  Although generally speaking I am not always convinced, I have not forgotten those words.  People see what they want to see and that is not always Truth, in fact.  Because of this, I have learned to find satisfaction in God’s provided peace.

After some heartbreak, disappointment, and frustration, I eventually surrendered to a Will much greater than mine in a way much deeper than before.  Initially, I was so exhausted that I just rested there, in that place of peace…for weeks.  I was healing, being rejuvenated, growing stronger; gaining clarity, increased discernment and wisdom.  During this time, I began to do more things that makes me smile, with people who makes me laugh.  I began dreaming again, meeting more people, and trying new things.  I began having fun again.  Even in the midst of storms, I have been at peace.  It felt similar to the feeling of getting a massage after running for miles.  At some point, I knew I had to get up from “the table”.  People were reminding me.  Then, His Spirit inspired me.

Woman Standing On Rock

Through it all, I have learned that it is at that place of surrender (which is a constant occurrence) where more people can see me as a Child of God.  His Light shines bright.  Some will appreciate that.  Some will not.  Some will want me to leave. (LOL!)  Others will find value in my stay.  I understand this better now.  I understand it without being influenced by an emotional attachment.

It is not important for me to be seen, but instead He who lives in me.  So, when people tell me, “You are different,” I understand what they may not.  I am resembling my Father.  Sometimes His image is seen when I am present.  At times, it is seen once I have left.  As long as He is seen, that is what is important.  I have grown.

The Silent Response

Have you ever been accused of something that you did not do?  Has there ever been a time in your life when it seemed like the masses perceived you in a way that was so far removed from your truth?  How do you handle such situations?  How have you handled them in the past?

So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer?  See how many things they are accusing you of.”  But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed—Mark 15:4-5

Women Sitting Across From Each OtherAs I type this, a memory comes to mind.  I was sitting in a restaurant with someone who presented herself to be a friend.  There I sat listening to her description of me.  I listened in silence with interest, wondering who was this person she was describing with my name.  To prove her point, she noted a text conversation she said we had.  I had no memory of our conversation happening the way she described, so as she pulled out her phone I retrieved mine.  We read through the conversation—she did so aloud, me silently.  At the end, she looked at me.  Like I said, her memory of my words simply did not happen.

In truth, I was disappointed.  There we sat across from each other with me realizing the symbolism of our antipodean seating.  I can only imagine her surprise that I sat through her accusations in silence, but when you know your Truth you understand that it is its own defense.  Needless to say, a few minutes later I was in my car driving home.

That night I realized that people will boldly try to project their insecurities and weaknesses unto you and how such distortions have the potential of destroying that very thing sent to bless them.  Have you ever wondered how many misunderstandings happen because of this?

Sacrificial Giving

Have you ever given out of poverty?  I have.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)

girl giving money

Will you allow me to be honest without judgment?  (I hope so.)  In truth, I prefer to give out of wealth.  I continuously pray that God’s allowance for me includes me giving out of wealth.  I believe His manifestations for my life consist of me being wealthy, healthy, and wise.  There was a time, however, when I was not as bold about the wealthy part.  I have evolved.

In hindsight, I am able to appreciate the experience of giving out of poverty.  I am not only talking financially.  I am reflecting on times of being exhausted time-wise, talent-wise, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I was so fatigued, so poor, yet I gave until I could not give anymore.  Well, actually I had a little more to give, but it was miniscule.  Right there, nevertheless, in that place of having a feeling like I had no more to give was where I turned my attention to the Lord and gave to Him out of my poverty.  Have you ever been at that place?  If so, then you know this place can be hard, especially at first.  Yet, there I was with my Bible, my listening ears, and hope.  (Thank God for hope!) 

As I deepened my relationship with God, the act of dropping money in a church’s collection plate and feeling satisfied had taken a deeper meaning.  My acts of giving, in any way, had become sacrificial.  At first, I was weary.  I was agitated.  Later I understood, I was being cleansed.  I was being prepared to give out of wealth in accordance to God’s vision for my life.  (What a lesson!)

You know, one of the things that I enjoy is learning of people’s success stories, particularly the parts of how they have overcome obstacles.  Their seasons of poverty are inspirational.  Share your triumphs.  Remind someone of THIS:  Sacrificial giving today births faith-founded manifestations tomorrow.  God’s eyes are supernatural, as are His scales.

Talk Too Much

Believe it or not, there are times when I can talk too much.  I have always loved words, though not wordiness.  (I just have a lot to say.) 

One Sunday many years ago, I was addressing a congregation.  Afterwards, the Pastor said, “Now we know who the talker of the family is.”  (Funny how you remember things.)  It seemed like everyone laughed, everyone but me.  My family and others reassured me that I had done well.  Likewise, the Pastor complimented me.  Still, I was confused by his remark although I did not linger long on it.  I knew I said what was on my heart and the people expressed appreciation.  This was symbolic of the season of growth I was in.  At that time, if I had something to say, my belief in its truth would result in a high probability that I would say it and move on without much thought.  Times have changed.

Over the course of my life, I have learned the importance of being discerning in speech.  The more I deepened my personal relationship with God, the more I began to understand that sometimes He will show me things for me to know and not to share, at least not immediately.  YES!  I had to learn to keep my mouth shut until the appointed time.  (LOL.)  That was hard.  I have grown.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.  (Mark 9:9-10)

Shh

What I learned was to appreciate the blessing of possessing knowledge.  I regularly pray for greater wisdom and increased discernment.  There is a responsibility that comes with these three spiritual gifts.  Many avoid conversations.  That in itself could require a lot of discipline, not to be confused with fear.  For me, the bigger test was learning when not to speak.  The more I worked on controlling my tongue, the more I was able to identify frivolous conversations.  In doing so, discovering the purpose of my conversations became increasingly important.  I gained greater respect for the power of words and for the season for their expressions.

Truthfully, I value when God shows me things.  I am still learning when and how to speak on those things I share.  After all, there is a time for all things…and an audience for everything.  I have not mastered it yet, but I like the growth I see.  Now, when sharing information I try to let the Holy Spirit guide my tongue, not my ego.

Where Have You Been?

Have you noticed that people will ask you, “Where have you been,” before asking you, “How are you doing”?  What an interesting question.  Still, I wonder what it really means.  Clearly there is an expectation that you were supposed to be somewhere and was not.  Where is this place which prompts more concern regarding one’s whereabouts than of a person’s wellbeing?

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  (Mark 6:31-32)

Rest

About a year ago, I consciously learned a hard lesson about the importance of making time to rest.  A few years ago, I was exhausted.  Physically I was tired.  Emotionally I was drained.  Spiritually I was fatigued.  Even still, I discovered that people continued to expect me to be certain places and do certain things.  It felt like if I could breathe, they wanted the breath.  Can anyone relate to this?  For my survival, I knew that I needed to take a break.  I needed to rest which I did out of necessity.

Fortunately for me, during my time of rest I was surrounded by a wealth of love.  (Make sure you have people in your life who love you.)  I was able to re-establish balance, revisit things that makes me happy, sharpen my focus and strengthen my self.  For me, studying my Bible and numerous biblical principles—deepening my awareness of what I believe for me—laid the foundation for these things and more.

There have been times when I would shake my head at the fact that I had to get to a point of being worn down in order to make resting a priority.  Thankfully I have learned my lesson, however.  As a result, I am able to see the blessings that come along with getting and maintaining proper rest—not just for myself, but for others.

It is alright to say, “No,” to invitations.  Enjoy the ones you say, “Yes,” to though.

Drawing boundaries is a must.  If you do not, the boundaries will draw upon you.

Finding a safe, quiet place to rest so that you will not become so overwhelmed by the expectations, chaos, and chatter of the world surrounding you, to the point that you can no longer hear from God is vital to your spiritual growth.  Rest will point out to you that the asking of, “Where have you been,” has little to do with you.  Rest will keep you humble.  It will remind you from where your strength comes.  It will elicit truth when asked, “How are you doing”.

Don’t Get Stuck

Have you ever felt like your community—however you relate that word to yourself—had betrayed you?  A few months ago, I had my most recent conversation with an artist in which she expressed to me how she handles the feeling of being rejected by many of her friends and associates who only seem to find worth in her talents after learning others in other cities and States appreciate her work.  This was not the first time I had heard this expressed, but it was the first time I consciously searched for understanding how others handle it.  You see, I have experienced this too.  At first, its hurt was like a stringer of a bee.  Over the years, I have learned that this seems to be a common sentiment of those of us with this experience.  Not wanting to become emotionally blocked, I searched and found a perspective that propels my advancement.

Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”  He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And he was amazed at their lack of faith.  Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.  Mark 6:4-6

There came a time when I had to consciously ask myself, “Do you want God’s best for your life or don’t you?”  Once I aligned myself to, “YES”, an internal shift happened.  As a result, I began to step away from those things that do not support my offering, not with a feeling of bitterness but with the certainty of knowing that I have work to do.

1 woman walking away

Sure, being rejected is painful but don’t let it make you stuck—mentally, physically, or spiritually.  Go into your destiny, in faith, knowing that God has the resources to get you there.  Pray for God’s protection and if you meet a “closed door” (however that may manifest), believe that God will open another one.  After all, God wants you to reach your destiny and what He has for you is greater than what you can see, think, or imagine.  You have to be willing to go through the process to get there.

Focus.

Don’t get stuck.  God loves you too much to let you remain average.  We were uniquely made, designed to stick out, instructed to shine.  Some will support that.  Others will not.  Do not become distracted.  Do not complain.  Do not stop working, but take note.

Go forth, in new territory, in expectation. Your blessings are waiting.  Enjoy them.  …and remember, bless others.

We Are Family

Remember when Sister Sledge sang, “We Are Family”?  That song always made me happy because I had an idea of what family meant and that mental association filled my spirit with joy.  Like so many others, as I grew older I expanded my definition of family to include friends.  Friends disappointed me though.  Such disappointment reminded me that family is family in fact, not contingent on how I may feel.

One day, I found myself in another environment which challenged me to redefine my concept of family.  Yes, one day I was entering a church building and someone referenced me as a Sister.  Up until that point, I was not in the practice of identifying other Christians as my Brother or Sister.  Initially, I frowned by these labels because outside of Sunday sanctuaries, these same people fell significantly short when compared to the behavior of my biological family and really close friends, who were my family.  It took some time, but I began to understand what Jesus meant.

Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. “  —Mark 3:35

Friends

These days, if someone identifies themselves as a Christian I take notice.  I want to know if we are Family, so I pay attention to their traits.  Truth is, for me being around family is fun and I am always open to meeting new relatives.  It makes no difference if I see my family members often or not, the love that exists in the security of knowing that we are bonded through blood creates an unspoken fort of protection.  It creates an environment where we can relax, be vulnerable, and love without fear of being taken advantage of or of rejection.  We cheer, challenge, and assist each other to higher heights.  Jealousy does not exist amongst Family.  We understand the concept of being blessed by association.  The unity we have is reflected in the verses Sister Sledge sang:

Ev’ryone can see we’re together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won’t tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We’re giving love in a family dose

What a powerful image: FAMILY.  Either we are, or we are not.  Differences in our denominations, our complexions, our languages keep many sanctuaries segregated.  These things become distractions, keeping many Relatives apart and diverting many away from one crucial question, “Are you doing God’s will?”

Post Navigation