Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “Tears”

Would You Love Me More?

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Would You love me more if I said more?  No daughter, just say yes to Me

Would You love me more if I did more?  No daughter, just serve Me

Would you love Me more if I tried harder?  No daughter, just believe

This dropped into my spirit today as I thought of conversation shared with a few of my sisters in Christ around a planning table.  Casual conversation in between our thoughts and plans for an upcoming gathering.  Conversations which went from funny to serious in a blink…comments which exposed hearts unearthing the possibility of healing, revealing the importance of sharing, releasing, trusting, believing.  Believing that we were safe to share.  Trusting that someone may have an answer or would agree in prayer.  Grateful that God who in His love and grace has the ability and the desire to bring people into our circles who have been there, are currently there, may be drowning there, wanna be heard from there, need to get outta there.  I love that God meets us right there and doesn’t leave us there.

Can’t wait for our next planning meeting.

My Friend Ruth

I was blessed with an opportunity to teach at our church’s school of ministry on the subject of prayer, one of my favorite subjects ever!

Pause for a bunny trail…you know if you ever wonder what your strength is or what your calling is, take a look at your book shelf for a hint.  If you were to take a peek at mine, you’d see mostly books on prayer.  I love prayer…I see my prayers…I see myself in the throne room; I see myself seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.  I love prayer…I’ll probably touch that subject another time…back on track now.

Towards the end of the class I was sharing about prayer hindrances, unforgiveness being one such hindrance.  I told a story of a friend who had called me for prayer.  I knew that she and another friend of ours were involved in a scrape of some sort and I listened as she shared her prayer request, noticing that it was something that she had been anguishing over for some time.  I told her to get her bible and turn to Mark 11:23-24 “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  She was squealing with delight as she read these scriptures aloud and I could hear her highlighter screeching across the page.  I then asked her to read the next verse...”And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  “Hello, hello, are you still there?”  <silence>.  Exactly!!!  I shared with the class that I didn’t know if she ever “got it.”  She claimed she and our friend had settled their differences…I knew they hadn’t at the time.  I encouraged my class to pursue peace, seek forgiveness early…release in order to receive.

After class, there were people who stayed behind for prayer mostly and I noticed a woman in her seat watching me.  She got up from her seat when everyone else had left and asked me if she could speak to me.  She told me her name was Ruth.  She was a petite woman and I towered over her in my heels and my instinct was to remove my heels to come down a little closer to her.  She was crying as she asked me to forgive her.  Huh?  I asked her whether we knew each other.  No, she said, but I have talked about you, I’ve said mean things about you.  I was a bit surprised.  This was a first for me.  “Have we met?  Have I been mean to you?”  She said, “No, you asked me to move over a seat in church.”  I asked her if I was rude and she said I was not and she realized it was her…all her.  I just melted as I listened to her ask for forgiveness as she tried to make sense out of something so senseless.  We embraced and I took her hands and we prayed and of course I released her.  That took some boldness.  Ruth is my hero!!  I have made it a point to look for her at church to squeeze her.  Ruth has become one of my greatest encouragers.  She has no idea, unless she reads this, that the Lord used her in a mighty way to encourage me.  She had grown accustomed to seeing me in a particular seat during a particular service.  She had not seen me and reached out on more than one occasion to encourage me and to reiterate how much she missed seeing me in my normal spot.  She was looking for me…she was missing me.  I’ll not forget that!  Thank you Ruth, mi hermana!!  Te quiero mucho!!! ❤

And when you least expect it, you find yourself forgiving someone for something only they were being tormented over; and when you least expect it, you release and encourage a new friend; and when you least expect it your new friend becomes one of your biggest blessings.

Forgiveness….necessary…empowering…strengthening…healing…building.

“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” James 5:16 The Message Bible

“Be…quick to forgive an offense.  Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 The Message Bible

Me and my friend and sister, Ruth

Me and my friend and sister, Ruth

Remembering Miss Mary

I love a good prophecy…love a good word.  I don’t chase after them though.  We’ve all heard of folks who run from meeting to meeting hoping to be spotted and called out and given a word.  I learned early on to file those away.  I don’t disregard them…no, not at all.  I’m just really careful not to adjust my life or position myself in such a way to force a word given to come to pass.  I figure, if it’s God, it’ll be good and in time it will come to pass without my assistance.  I learned that long ago from Miss Mary and so today I’m remembering Miss Mary.

One of my first spiritual mothers was Mrs. Hopkings.  She was quiet and strong, full of wisdom and she could lift the roof off with her prayers.  I called her one day for prayer.  I was due to return to work after maternity leave and I was sad and broken at the prospect of leaving my son.  I was a mess and needed some encouragement.  After we spoke for a while, she asked me to hold on while she added her prayer partner, Miss Mary to the call.  They prayed for and encouraged me tag team style and at the end of the conversation, Miss Mary told me that soon I would be home for good to care for my son.  I hung up from that conversation filled with peace, strengthened and encouraged.

I returned to work just fine and 16 months later I was on maternity leave again and this time, just as Miss Mary had said, I did not return to work.  Months later I was at Miss Hopkings’ birthday party and seated behind me was a beautiful older woman dressed in african garb.  I was instantly attracted to her.  We spoke for a long time until dinner was served.  As I ate I looked around for Miss Mary.  Surely, she had to be present.  After dinner, I asked Miss Hopkings for her and she laughed and said that I had been talking to Miss Mary the entire time.  Of course!  I went over to Miss Mary and took her hands and introduced myself to her.  I introduced both my children and told her that I was at home with them now, just as she had said.  Her eyes filled with tears and she spoke such beautiful words over me and my children.  We exchanged telephone numbers and Miss Mary became my spiritual mother.  We began a phone affair, encouraging one another, sharing prayer requests and praise reports.

During one of our last telephone conversations, Miss Mary began to speak into my life.  I was sweeping the kitchen floor as she was speaking and it was the strangest thing, but whenever she would have a word for me her voice would change…everything about it…the tone, the volume, its cadence…and I knew to stop and listen.  This time I stopped, grabbed a pad of paper and sat down and began to take dictation.  She stopped abruptly and instructed me not to write down what was being said.  I was startled and looked out the window half expecting Miss Mary to be outside looking in.  She said that I would remember exactly what she said as it came to pass.  I did just that and have marveled through the years, as much of what she said has come to pass in my life.

Today I’m remembering Miss Mary…that powerhouse woman of God…so tender, so wise, so strong, full of love.  Here’s to you Miss Mary.  I can’t wait to tell you how spot on you were!

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