Have you ever encountered a situation where someone is trying to keep you from speaking the truth? It can leave us questioning our motives, our purpose, and even our worth. That’s exactly when we need to speak up and NOT SHUT UP.
I’m going to share with you three different stories in my life where I have been under attack for speaking the truth. There are more than three instances, but these are the ones that progress over my lifetime thus far.
LET’S GO BACK
Like most, as a teen I had dated a couple of guys, but mostly was looking for the one and only. At the age of 17 and a senior, I have gone through a hot mess of events that left me ready to be done with the typical “junk” of relationships. I specifically remember one night I was standing in my bedroom window gazing at the stars. At this point, I have not found my personal relationship with God yet, but I spoke to Him. I asked God to show me what to do with a particular guy that was my “boyfriend”. It happened that same guy invited me to small party. When I walked in, I saw him with another girl. That there was my answer. God was speaking the truth in showing me actions. On the way home I thanked Him for opening my eyes.
Shortly after that I asked God “Please show me the one I am to marry”.
At that point, I wasn’t searching for a relationship. However, I decide to only pay attention to the guys that are smart, healthy, have their life under control, and were respectful. Under those conditions, I was drawn to JC – a star athlete (basketball & track & field), top-notch student, quiet (not a braggart), and handsome (that helps too. tee hee). *update: I’ve learned much about myself making this decision beginning that I found out after 24 years of marriage I married an autistic man. Story HERE.
I had known of him since day care…really. Check it out….hahaha!
At the time, I was a senior and he a junior at 16 years of age. I was known for being “hard-to-get” because if I dated it was usually outside our school system. (less than a handful of boyfriends, FYI) I wanted to get to know new people, not those who knew everything about everyone. (small-town-itis syndrome) So, in order for me to make any headway with JC, I had to take the first step. I called him and we talked for hours. Remember those days?
While I could totally fill your head with events that occurred up to us becoming a couple, I’ll save that for the book everyone keeps asking me to write. JC grew up in a home that didn’t attend church, but thankfully, his folks allowed his neighbors to pick him up and take him to services. Meanwhile, I have been attending a church since second grade. It was at home while watching the 700 Club interviewing A.C. Green, an NBA star, A.C. shared his testimony. That convinced JC to read A.C.’s book and accept Christ as his Savior. I laughed…JC meets A.C. who met JC (Jesus Christ)
JC invites me to his church, which was alive – speaking the truth. I remember the moment noticing that my church was dead. For the most part, I saw the congregation ignore kids, and lack joy. After months of attending JC’s church as well as hitting some walls to get my attention, I accepted Jesus as my Savior on July 17, 1995. Hallelujah!! Here I am, a new believer, a fresh graduate, and now an adult turning 18 on the day I graduated.
That precious day I had to head to work after church. Lemme just say I was floating on cloud 9 buzzing like a bee!! I couldn’t stop smiling. Even my coworkers and boss could tell I was beaming. My sins are forgiven. I am FREE!
By that autumn, I had gotten to know JC’s family well and was comfortable in my walk with God. Though, it had its bumps. One particular day, we head into Wednesday service in separate vehicles. JC is big brother by 12 years to a brother and sister. His sister became smitten with me from the start at age 4. So sweet!
His brother rode with him and his sister rode with me for the 10-minute drive. The minute we got in the car she began asking questions about the Bible. I answered them plain as I could to a toddler. Notably, she impressed me with her discernment and interest. It left me with a challenge to grow in my own walk.
After service, JC took them both home and I went on my merry way. However, the next day, his sister began telling her parents and grandparents some of the truths I had spoken but had them mixed up a bit like a 4-year-old can. That didn’t go well. Right after, she suffered a frightening seizure that left the doctors fumbling to find the cause.
All that being said, I was to blame for her issues. Talk about dumbfounded. I was not welcome at their home any longer and tensions rose. Obviously, her parents were protecting her – I get it as a mom myself.
Truth: Y’all if you are truly a born again Christian and are sharing God’s word with others, the devil (aka. Satan) will do anything in his power to shut you up. Know it and know that that means you are doing it RIGHT! Just think of Job…he had everything taken away, his friends and wife condemning him. Yet, he says,
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
Needless to say, love persevered, JC and I are married, and have much to be thankful for. Are you ready for story #2?
HERE WE GO
After nearly two years of dating, JC and I both transferred to the same college by a miracle you can read about HERE. We are on a big, beautiful road ahead of us. In order to prepare for that journey, we worked in a Step 2 toy factory making those plastic playthings. People would tell us there was something “different” about us.
In one instance, I worked on one side of the factory trimming hot parts as they came off machines while JC worked the other side. During that time, I got into conversations with a guy, Joe, running the machine. Joe is engaged set to be married in a few months. (ironically to my dance team coach that I had a run-in with…ahem)
He began asking questions about the Bible. Remember, I’m newly versed in Scripture as it is. Each day he would challenge me with deep stuff, and I answer my best speaking the truth. In addition, this forced me to follow up with research at night. Just as I felt I God making headway opening his eyes to the truth, I got nailed.
I don’t know how, but I got the worst infection in my mouth and lips. Picture my mouth holding a baseball in it – swollen with sores all around. I can’t open my mouth to talk, I eat liquids only. My lips are HUGE. I am SHUT UP!
Because of the severity of my infection, I had to miss work. When I finally go back to work, I am put on a different line. Plus, Joe is now working a different machine. I never got to catch up to him again as he was off on his honeymoon and I head to college. But…I had planted seeds. It’s what all good gardeners do right? wink, wink.
ARE YOU READY?
Story #3 is of a more recent nature. At that point in time of this case I am attending a church for a year or so. Over that time, I am judged by some folks with assumptions made. Why, I don’t know, for they never spoke to me. However, it is eventually news that I am a blogger (I don’t tout it). That lead to me receiving an invitation to speak at a women’s luncheon for Mother’s Day.
I thought to myself…now I can finally clear the air about the assumptions and judgments. Yay! A week before the day to speak, I was laying down mulch in my flower beds. I love my gardens!
However, little did I know that I had inhaled a mold that would cause me to get farmer’s lung – an infection of the lungs. If you know my history, I’ve had a horrible cause of pneumonia while pregnant just after we moved into our first home. It nearly killed me because I picked up a staph blood infection as well. That story HERE.
Can you guess what happened? I had to step away from the speaking engagement. I am SHUT UP again. Me, myself, and I couldn’t speak at all. Why? Because I am going to share my story and the Word with might and love. Are you seeing a pattern when I am speaking the truth?
WHAT TO DO
Do I believe every bad event is from the devil? No. God allows things to happen for many reasons. In these three instances, there were other things that occurred besides the obvious that showed me it was the liar doing what he could to prevent the truth. The Bible says in 2 Timothy:
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5
I don’t know where you are in your life, but if you have yet to make a decision about your eternity, today’s the day. Don’t wait. We are not promised tomorrow. There is no promise of a long life. Likewise, this freedom, this joy, is a promise to everyone, no matter what your history. You have not done anything that will prevent God from forgiving you. You too can become bulletproof. Because, like me, the more I’m under attack, the more I’m saying GAME ON.
How can I refrain from sharing with you this absolutely positively glorious JOY?! When we have good news we want to shout it from the rooftops. I am here from my keyboard shouting my happiness of the utmost freedom there ever is. Join in the GOOD NEWS.
If, however, you are already on the saving path, it’s time to up your game. None of us like to be uncomfortable, but we are paying a price in our sedative ways. Likewise, games aren’t won a by sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to get into the game. Are you ready?
Today is a new day…for us all to start over, start it right.
In like manner, I’m always open to chat if you need someone or just have questions. Just tap that contact tab up above. Plus, I’d love to hear your own stories of overcoming obstacles in your faith. Be sure to put on the full Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-18. Share your stories and inspire.
Also, pin and share because I know there are folks who need to hear this to focus on speaking the truth. Let’s do this together!
Up next, I’m sharing a mini makeover with this thrifted cubby. Take a peek HERE.