Time Will Reveal- Toya
It's been a while since I wrote a post like this. There's been a lot of pop culture on our site lately and I am starting to think that it's because Tia and I are still waiting on some answers to some questions in this season of life. Sure, it would be much easier to write about how much I love the new Kings of Leon record but I'd like to get back to writing more about life lessons. Hopefully, this will be a start of a string of lessons that I am actively learning.
My dad and I talk every Tuesday at around 8 pm CST like clockwork. I try not to be busy during that time because that's our designated time. Sure I can talk to my dad whenever I want to but there's something about having a designated father/daughter time where we can chop it up about pretty much everything from what's going on in our family to what exactly did I mean by when I said what I said on Facebook...on someone else's page. Yeah, my dad is nosy AND on Facebook. He's also the best dad ever.
Dad: So are you over El DeBa....
Me: Nope, not at all. Uh uh. THAT is going to take a while.
I get my love for music from my father. We can sit for hours and listen to Motown and talk about the songwriting, the horn section, all types of things. And in this season of our lives, we have another thing in common: God has us both in holding patterns. We were both laid off around the same time. I found a full time job that I am grateful for but bored to tears with and eventually the same happened to him. We often talk about how we can see God working in our lives and the constant messages we get to wait and believe that all of this has happened for a reason. During my dad's unemployment, he was able to go down to Louisiana to be with his dying mother. He had always hoped that if anything would have happened to her that he could be there to take care of her. While we may be saddened that all of that happened, God was gracious with how it happened. Grace has been a key word for the both of us.
As I recapped "El DeBarge Day" for my dad, I was excited to tell him what has remained my favorite part of the entire day. "This, Dad, was even better than him telling me I was pretty." My dad chuckled. "I promise, that was a very, very close second to what he said about going to prison." To hear El DeBarge tell it, he wasn't locked up in prison for drugs. He was locked up for 22 years on drugs. He was rescued in prison. He said that he prayed and prayed for God to help him get off of drugs and God answered his prayers by sending him to prison.
God..answered his prayers...by sending him...to...PRISON????
Think about that for a second. God didn't just say "Voila! You now have no desire for crack." There was nothing instantaneous and since He is God it very well could have been. But no, he saw fit to put El in seclusion, have him detox in prison (where he said that even your hair hurts) and day by day walk him through his preparation to come out better than he was before. Not just rehabilitate him, but make him BETTER. Have you heard that man sing lately? BETTER (Also have you seen him? The combination of grace and mercy is one heck of a moisturizer!) This reminds me of Zechariah 9:12
Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
Prisoners of hope. That's what I have felt like for about two years, a prisoner of hope. We have a little over two months of 2010 left and yet and still I believe that before that ball drops on New Year's what my family has been so believing God for will come to pass. We need restoration of our finances and we need restoration for our dreams and our purposes. We aren't sure how restoration will come much like when you are looking to be rescued from a drug habit, prison is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.
It's funny. Joseph in the bible was thrown in prison and it totally wasn't his fault. El DeBarge was in prison and it totally was his fault. I feel like my family and I have been in "spiritual incarceration" for about three years now and we are in between: some of it is our fault, some of it is circumstantial. We could all have made better choices. But I will say this: Fault or not, leaning on God's grace and believing that because He is love that He will do what is best has been an invaluable lesson. I didn't always get that. I didn't know why I had to feel so isolated in order for God to get my attention. That is until one day this song woke me up out of my sleep:
What can I do?
To make you feel secure
Remove all your doubts
So that you know for sure that you're the apple of my eye, girl
Fulfillment of my dreams
And time, will show the value of just what you mean to me
More precious than silver, more precious that diamond rings or anything that I can give you
It wouldn't mean a thing
If you didn't have my love beside you there to guide you through
But aint it good to know you do
I know just how you feel
love's for real
In time it will reveal
This special love that's deep inside of us will reveal in time
DeBarge- "Time Will Reveal"
I will confess that even though I have said I have been expecting God to do some wonderful things and make things clear in my life that up until last night, when I had a great revelation, I had walked in a great amount of fear for years. I have said that I expected the best and in my heart expected the worst as if everything God allows to happen in order to teach us lessons is unpleasant. That is simply not true. I think that's why some things haven't happened in my life yet. If God were to give me the things that I have asked for without me grasping the concept that He loves me and Love does what is best, I could have very well gotten those things and made idols out of them. I would have ignored the fact that I have spent a good portion of my life serving a God that I haven't really come to know. You may say that you know that God loves you but if you don't believe that He will do what's best for you then you truly don't know it in your heart. God just doesn't want to do stuff for me, God wants to love me. And He doesn't want me to give him stuff either. He wants me to love Him back.
What is so comforting to me is that God KNOWS this is NOT easy. He "knows just how you feel" (OH how that song gets to me every time!). Faith is hard because it's difficult to trust someone you don't know let alone trust someone you don't love. And I don't think there is much shame in saying that you don't love God as much as you thought you did. I don't think God expects us to have faith in Him before we truly love Him anyway. I don't think it's possible. I have been a Christian for almost thirty years and am just now really trying to know and listen to God and not just simply know about Him. I am grateful that He is patient. And hopefully with these newly found revelations, I can be "released" soon. But until then, I will keep on doing my time.
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. Hebrews 6:18