"I Can Do All Things Through Christ" by Dazia Okwuosa
I pray that whoever reads this is blessed UNIMAGINABLY by the words they see before them.
Lord, I ask right now that you pour into your children the love and peace of God that can only be felt through you, Christ Jesus! Allow this message to resonate so strongly with the reader that it carries them into a new hope and faith in our Father God in Heaven! This is in the mighty and authoritative name of Jesus I pray!
When I was asked to write for this blog I was honored! And then scared- doubtful, and I didn't exactly know what to even write about. I though to myself, "What can I possibly say that will hold any value or that will impact someone's life in a positive way?" Do I even have a good enough story? A testimony? Will my story even compare to the to intricate and and the unique God stories this world has already come across, or will I somehow fall short?
So, I put off writing this for a few days and rather focused my attention on the eviction my mom and I were facing in just a matter of days, with no where to go.
I'm glad I waited because today everything came full circle for me. I got up at about 8 o'clock this morning, after hitting the snooze button a couple hundred times and tossing and turning literally all night- to get ready for church. And, it was with pillars in my heart, the thickest cloud of fog in my head, and two huge dams ready to bust behind my eyes at the hopelessness of our situation, that I just barely pulled myself together and walked next door to our church. As our pastor gave his sermon on forgiveness, I took notes as I always do and asked myself how this applies to my life, who I need to forgive and who I should be asking for forgiveness from. And, although I am beginning to understand the real importance of forgiveness during my walk with God, it is not what I am here to talk about today (please, bear with me). After another enlightening service at my church, I make my way up to the front where they have some amazing prayer warriors offering prayer to everyone in need, which can literally be hundreds some Sunday's (our church is quite big)!
After I make my way through the crowds of people going in the opposite direction, I wait in line, anxiously, to speak with a specific prayer warrior that I've prayed with before. I couldn't have spoken with anyone, but my heart was drawing me to her and I was determined! After about a good twenty minutes, she finishes up with the two ladies ahead of me, and I walk up to her with pillars in my heart, fog in my head, those dams behind my eyes and a lump of fear in my throat.
"Do you remember me?" I ask her, and before she can answer me I say, "You prayed with me before. I came to you some weeks ago after I got into my car accident." She looked shocked. I told her of how the day after my car accident I came to church and couldn't even muster up the words to speak; the minute I tried to open my mouth to tell her my name, I began to ball my eyes out hysterically. Just the fact that I just came through a huge car accident, untouched and unharmed in any way, I didn't know how to process it. I never even had the chance that day to tell her what happened the night before, but it didn't matter because the same God that brought the man I love and I through that car wreck completely unharmed, is the same God that knew why it had to happen that way. He was "stretching my faith" she told me, and that stuck with me from that day forward, that the Lord allows us to go through these things to tap into our strengths and expand our faith in Him.
Now, here I am facing another scary, life altering circumstance; my mom and I are being asked to leave our former home by our landlord, and have no where to go.
After I tell the woman about our previous encounter, we celebrate the fact that just a week after totaling my car, I was blessed with a new one. And then, the lump in my throats grows and my eyes begin to get heavy with tears. "What can I pray for you today?" She asks me. I begin to tell her what's going on, "I'm having some trouble with my landlord, my mom and I have always had a hard time keeping up with our rental payments but we have made every effort and finally caught up, and he's saying we haven't. I know this has something to do with him sending me inappropriate texts and me not responding to the advances. I don't know what to do, we have no where to go." I begin to really lose my composure and cry out. I cry for today, for this morning, for yesterday--I cry for my mom, I cry because we're tired-- I cry because, I'm afraid...
The lady stops me, "Hold on. Take a deep breath." I take one. "I'm going to need you to show some strength." Immediately I stop crying and my mind goes back. I think about all the times I would sit in my prayer closet and just cry out to God, in fear, in pain, in hopelessness; and I would hear in my spirit, "Stop crying." It wasn't so much a demand, but a command, as if the minute I heard that I would instantly stop and be still, and I was. At the time, I wasn't sure, but it felt like the Lord was telling me to stop crying because He needed me to be strong.
I stop crying and stare into the eyes of the woman, and in my mind I think, "Okay, what next?" She says to me, "You say you don't know what to do but that's not true, you're doing exactly what you're suppose to do, you came up here and you're standing with me so we can pray together. God says in His word that when two or more on earth stand in agreement, it shall be done in Heaven." I remember that, my mom would always tell me that. "So, I'm standing in agreement with you and we are going to pray together!" She sounded so strong and so confident. I begin to cry again. "But first, I'm going to need you to let go of that fear you're holding on to." She draws me in closer. "I need you to tell God of whatever it is that is causing you fear. Tell Him you're afraid of being homeless." At this point, I had nothing left to hang on to, I gave it all to God, something I never even did when praying to Him about our situation or anything I've gone through. I shouted, "God, I'm afraid of being homeless! I'm afraid that we won't have anywhere to go! Lord, I don't know what to do, but I'm scared!" And in that moment, I have never felt so vulnerable, so in the presence of our Lord; it was so real.
She told me to take a deep breath, I did, and she began to pray over me in tongues. "Daizia, you're so strong." She tells me. "The Lord made you strong! This is what He is telling me. He's not saying 'I made you strong because....' no, He is saying I made you strong!" She emphasized this. She wanted to make sure it stuck with me, and it has ever since. We prayed some more together and then I went home and did what I should have started weeks ago: pack. And I didn't know where I was going, I still don't, but I trust God so much that it didn't matter that I didn't have all the answers, I didn't even have some! But He does!
There has been so much that has happened in my life--some good, some bad, and a few ugly. But no matter what I have gone through in life: losing a home for the second time, getting into a devastating car accident, having my car stolen, losing jobs I was passionate about, battling anxiety and depression, my parents separating or even being bullied as a child. No matter what it is I have gone through, no matter the trauma or disarray, God has always been there, stretching my faith and strengthening me through it.
Because He made me strong, I may never have the answers to life's greatest challenges, but by the Grace of God, I have the strength to get through them, and so do you! Amen?
By Dazia Okwuosa