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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unusual Influences in My Spiritual Walk - Part II

There have been far more unintentional influences to my spiritual walk than intentional...

My brothers Jermaine and Selek. (RIP)
I must share with you the season of loss I experienced that resulted in the tragic death of both my young brothers. Up to that point these two guys were the most consistent loving male figures in my life.

From these two relationships (that are no more) I learned two things. The first thing is, I want to accomplish the "even greater miracles" that Jesus advised we would do in faith according to (John 14:12).

Secondly, I learned I cannot love anyone or thing more than my God. (Matthew 10:37) There are many more stories of the relationships that have affected my spiritual walk.

For instance my sister Juwanna joined the Marines, got married, had a tumultuous period in her life, later decided to live in Germany and now whether she knows it or not is this dynamic woman of God.

I was and am profoundly influenced by her testimony to get my lackadaisical bones up at 5am and partake of manna from heaven as a lifestyle. God is good.

However the primary plot of my story is about a girl that never knew her birth father. Certain times in my life I complained about missing out on a father daughter relationship and how because of this I didn't know how to be a daughter.

I even mentioned this to God... "look at all the other girls with their dads - my sisters, friends etc. What's going to happen to me a fatherless child? Who is going to protect me?"

Top -Andre, Juwana Marine
Below Mommie, Kenya, Juwanna, Me

Heaven was quiet on a subject I considered paramount or so it seemed. Nevertheless, I continued asking to know my father.

In 2011 my birth father passed away. He spent a few weeks with me and my family just before his passing. It was awkward and at times a bit painful. Granted it was the thing for which I'd been asking. Here is what I learned.

During this time, for some reason, in my Bible readings I was being led repeatedly to I Samuel 8 the story of the children of Israel demanding a king. I wondered about them and why they couldn't see they had a king.

They had The King. Finally I realized what Father, God had been trying to show me all along. Why was I asking the King for a king? My spiritual eyes were opened.

All this time I had been asking my Father, God for a father! Even now I have to shake my head.

pic c/o Fotosearch.com

As I looked back over the years it is abundantly clear that the great I AM had been busy being the best father I could ever need or want.

I tell you what... I stopped right there, fell to my knees and repented of my selfishness. There I was at the foot a cross that was mine while my KING, from up there on that tree, covered me with His precious blood.

Every person I come in contact with has in some way been used by God to influence my spiritual life directly or indirectly. Do you recall when you were a child? The adults would say "don't point; it's not good manners."

Well I want to kick that notion to the curb for a quick minute and just... (pointing at each scenario I've mentioned in post I & II) look at GOD! (still pointng) Look at my Father, GOD! Praise His HOLY name. He is the only wise GOD.

pray without ceasing.
Read your Bible everyday and apply it till the Bridegroom comes!


Your sister in Christ

Monday, December 5, 2011

Unusual influences in my spiritual walk- Part I

          There have been far more unintentional influences in my spiritual walk than intentional. For example, my mother influenced me spiritually the day she came home and told her live in boyfriend that she had accepted Christ as her personal savior and he would have to leave.

Andre(left) - sister Juwanna Marine(right) -
bottom pic mother, baby sister Kenya,
 Juwanna and Monica

          The boyfriend had been molesting me since around the age of 8. So when the LORD saved her he was really saving me. (Matthew 18:6)

           A few years later I spent a glorious summer learning proper female etiquette with my absolute favorite aunt Phyllis. And after she had me iron just about all her sheets and pillow cases (a gratuitous task in my opinion) I got a chance to learn how much we had in common.

           My auntie shared with me one of the best books I have ever read in my life outside of the Bible. Hinds Feet on High Places was the story that rang a warning trumpet to the fear in me. Like the book's main character I was Much-Afraid. There began my cognizant journey with the LORD. (Psalm 18:33)

           How about when I was pregnant with my son the doctors told me - because I had been diagnosed with cancer a year prior, and was still taking Chemo - there was a huge chance he wouldn't make it here safely. That little inspiration is now in college @ Robert Morris University on a partial academic scholarship.

Monica and son - Andre
           I have to tell you when my son first left it was bitter sweet. We were going to get him checked in on the flight and then grab a quick bite. So when the airport security informed me that I couldn't go any further with him because of the new check points at the terminal I just helplessly watched him from the other side of the barrier, a young man,  as he put his things into the baskets to be run through the detector and my tears flooded to the surface.

          We hadn't had lunch like we planned...and I didn't even get my hug and a sugar for my cheek.   I walked away from him at Reagan National Airport. I heard him in the background trying to console me. "Don't cry mom; It's okay; I'll call you on your cell."

(Top) Monica- (Bottom) Great Grandma nannie
Andre and grandma Monica's mother.
          Despite the crying I made it to my car.  The uncontrollable tears did eventually stop a few weeks later. But from this experience I learned to appreciate the moments you have with folks. We can't take people for granted. Somehow I learn to cling to God more through all my relationships good or bad.  

There is more to this story. Check out Part 2 of this article in the next CBM post.


pray without ceasing.
Read your Bible everyday and apply it till the Bridegroom comes!

Your sister in Christ,