Some time ago I had a quiet event that changed me forever.
I stood in church – heart swollen, eyes swollen, pained and loved. There’s that moment during worship when your worries and God’s love collides. The later enveloping the former, in a moment peace settles.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
My troubles were numerous. They crowded my mind and pinched my nerves. Mimicking darklings that crouched just in my periphery, with claws extended ready to dig into me at any sign of weakness. Sometimes I’d sit or lay still, allowing myself to recede to my core. There I could curl within myself and wrap quiet around me snuggly. In those moments, nothing reached me. Not disparate finances, family wahala, brokenness, fear… absolutely nothing. Even then my corporeal body continued to play. My face would smile and my limbs would move in their own due process. In this way, I lived.
This Sunday, felt a bit different. Maybe I was tired of playing or maybe God was tired of it. There’s a point in worship when you realize you’re being singled out. People around you are moving and singing but it feels far away from you. At least it felt that way for me. If you asked me to recall the song we sang, no answer would come. Nor do I recall who sat with me or who led worship or ministered that day. What I do remember was feeling open. It was as if I was cracked open and filled till my spirit ran over. Did I hear His voice? Or his gentle whispers? I wish I could tell you I did. That He spoke to me as we speak to each other – in words and phrases and with a voice. However voice or no voice, I did feel we’d spoken. His words were not words but feelings and confirmations and words that were not encased in edges or hard lines. If man spoke by mind and not by mouth it might be similar. For the purposes of relating to you some of what was spoken, I will try to lay words down as best as I can.
“Why do you worry so? Am I not your Father with which all things are possible? You have such little faith in my faith in YOU. My love is not limited by your frailties and weaknesses. Your sin forgiven is gone. Washed white as snow and never remembered again. Accept what is new and LOVE as you were meant to. Joy is your name for reasons you do not fully understand yet. A Joy you will be and a Joy you have been. Forgive those who have hurt you. As I have forgiven you who have hurt me numerous times over. Most importantly forgive yourself. In that forgiveness, you will set yourself free. Get to know me again Little Eghonghon . . “
Little Eghonghon is my name from when I was very little. In just a simple name, so much meaning was relayed. I understood that He wanted me to be childlike again in my faith. Only in this way would I be able to accept Him fully and gain the Kingdom. He “spoke” of much more that I choose not to write here. Since then a lot has changed. I can’t tell you the same troubles that belabored my steps then have all gone. No they haven’t. In fact they’ve multiplied. However I can tell you that I am very happy. Doesn’t make sense, right? The thing is, my perspective has changed immensely. The bigger the conflict the more I get a chance to strengthen my faith. The troubles are there but my faith says they are taken care of in due time. My hope says my testimony will be great. My love that is ever growing says love covers all good and bad. Sometimes we need to be broken to reach a humble place where we can see God truly and depend on him fully. I was so overly independent, strong headed, and proud that brokenness was the only way for me to change. A change that I am still taking on day by day, scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer. My old ambitions and regrets have gone and new life has taken its place.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Cor 5:17 NLT