Day 3: How Do You Remember God’s Personal Promises?
Well, it is Countdown Day-3! Wow! 3, 2, 1; so close to the finish line. Why the oxymoronic feeling? There’s uneasiness about finishing something you’ve become accustomed to doing. Yet; there’s a good feeling about the prospect of stepping into the, “New.” These mixed emotions spark lopsided anticipation of the last day of this 40-day journey.
I guess you’re saying, “What?” Did you discover what you set out to find? At this place in your journey; have you peeled back enough layers to uncover you? Do you have an inkling of what your, “New,” entails?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Yesterday, I watched the Dr. Oz show. His guest was Oprah Winfrey. She quoted the late Maya Angelou as telling her, “Your legacy is every life you touch. It’s the impact you’ve made on lives you’ve touched!” What she said, made something leap in my spirit. Just before I heard those words; one of my ministerial students texted me.
She wrote, “Hello Sis, I was looking at my words today and I just had to drop a text to you. I felt something yesterday that uplifted my spirit to press on. I was texting you last week but God showed me in the class. I had to share my feelings and give you the prompt of how a great teaching leader you are. You have many gifts. That’s why I mentioned I talked about you. I look forward to carrying out this mission. Thank you for staying with me. I won’t quit. I love you and God Bless You. Be Blessed!”
Wow! Much confirmation will flow your way, when you least expect it.
Sunday after service, I went to a restaurant with our church for our annual, “Dinner with the Pastor. I sat with a group of fun-loving brothers and sisters. When we returned to the church; 5 of us sat in a conference room talking. 4 of us are over 50 years old. 1 is a millennial. We enjoyed laughing, talking, and debating, with each other; while waiting on evening church service to start.
As we talked; somehow, the conversation developed into, what I interpreted as a, “Let’s fix Rochelle,” session. It began through a lack of listening. Our discussion proved one of the mandatory leadership training classes I took when I was working as, accurate. The class on “Effective Listening Skills,” was very informative. One thing we learned: In order to effectively listen; the person being talked to must not form a mental response while the other person is talking. Because; when that happens, you don’t hear what the person speaking is saying.
Here’s an example:
We all shared different opinions about various topics. I shared with the group, that I mentor three people. I told them, that, years ago, when a person I now mentor, asked me to mentor them; I told the person, I would have to pray about it. But, I wondered, why the person wanted “ME” as their mentor.
For some reason, three of the four in the group thought I asked the person, “Why they wanted me to mentor them.” They also thought it was recent. Then the three said that I was insecure. One asked me, “Why did you tell the person who asked you to mentor them; how you felt? They felt your insecurity?”
I asked, “Where did you get that from? I never said that I told the person how I felt. I told you guys, ‘It was a thought.’ I told the person I would pray about it. AND, that was YEARS ago when that happened. I mentor that person today.”
Then one person said, “People know when you are insecure about who you are. Especially those you mentor.” I responded, “That’s true. You’re absolutely correct. BUT, I am one-hundred percent certain of who I am in God; and the gifts God has blessed me with.
I am a midwife. My assignment is to help God’s people give birth to their ministry. One of my gifts is, “teacher.” There’s no fear in that. Yet, we all will experience slight fears when we minister; especially in new areas. It’s normal. But, it doesn’t stop us from pushing past fear; having faith; and obeying God.”
Wow! Their words made me think. Was I experiencing a misunderstanding; or an attack?
We started talking about the national conventions. One person asked, “What would stop you from going to the meeting in November.” I replied, “Finances!” He responded, “You need to stop making excuses!” WHAT? How is a valid reason an excuse? AND, who accuses someone and doesn’t expect them to become defensive?
Aren’t accusations attacks?
Check out the tag team. Another person said, “I feel bad, when I can’t afford to go; or can’t get off of work to go. People should feel bad when they don’t go.” Wow! Their words made me think, “Was I experiencing a misunderstanding; or an attack?”
The first person agreed; and stated, “You should try to go; even when it causes you to have financial woes!” I ignored that comment, and replied to the remark about a person feeling bad when they don’t go.
My response: “I’ve gone to national meetings. I just have a different view than you do on how attending, or not attending meetings affect me. That doesn’t make me better than you. Nor does it make you better than me. We both just have different opinions on the subject.
When I go; I love to go to the early morning prayer; workshops; and evening services. I also love to talk to saints from all over the world. However, if it’s not financially feasible for me to go; I don’t feel bad.”
Tension filled conversations often lead to learning moments.
Today, as I think about that conversation, I hear the Lord saying, “Rochelle, they meant well. They just haven’t been through what you have. People who haven’t had a brain aneurysm and four brain surgeries don’t understand your need to limit stress.”
The Elder started fussing. But, his words touched my heart. He said, “Rochelle you have so many gifts; you are highly anointed! You have the education. You have so much to offer the body of Christ. You need to get rid of that fear; and attend national meetings! Your ministry is too great to just be within your local church’s walls and your jurisdiction’s meetings! The national church needs to know about you! You can meet people at the meetings!”
He didn’t know it; but it really surprised me to hear what he felt about the ministry God has given to me. Even though, he was getting on my nerves saying, that I was just scared; and making excuses; I heard him.
Sometimes God will speak to you through His Holy Word; through His preached word; and through people in general.
The words Oprah spoke on the Dr. Oz show; the student’s text; and the Elder’s rant; all helped me. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Rochelle, you have created a legacy with the lives you’ve touched over the years.” This also reminds me of something the late Mother Iola Williams said to me years ago. She often encouraged me, when I became overwhelmed while coordinating the MNCJ Women’s Leadership Conferences.
Mother Williams told me, “Baby, God is going to give you many, children and grandchildren.” At the time, I didn’t understand. But now; I hear the Lord saying; “Rochelle you’ve trained so many women and men in ministry. You’ve influenced young people; and ministered in diverse environments. Your life has created a legacy.” Praise God!
This concept of, “Legacy,” reminds me of scriptures.
As I live out this command; it speaks to God’s personal promise to me. This text is in my formation covenant; and represents my call to ministry. I wrote the paper for a class; while studying for the Masters of Divinity.
The text says; “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 KJV
My dear friends; what about you? Are you creating a legacy through the lives you touch? I’m sure you are.
Thank you for joining me today. We will talk in Countdown Day-2.