Through all of those days, I definitely feel and believe that Mary did a much better job at following God. There were moments, I just didn’t want to pray. But Mary kept up her mediations and prayers, but that doesn’t mean that everything was clearly discernable.
Consider some notations I made from January 29, 2013 regarding her mediations:
– You know whose getting engaged, don’t you?
– They say it takes four hours. It took y’all four or five hours.
– I would probably like to have kids.
Who got engaged in 2013? I don’t know.
What are the hours about? How long to do what?
Kids seems easier to understand. But who is the “I”?
Or these from January 30, 2013:
– Mary went up front.
– She might, live a lie though.
– A chaplain-type moustache.
– Three years. We’re gonna… Texas in three years.
I’m really not sure how “Mary went up front” but maybe this is an early leading that Mary would become the breadwinner. I’m not certain.
What’s up with the might, live a lie though? Mary’s still here, so who is the “she”?
What is a chaplain-type mustache? Is there a typical mustache that chaplains wear?
Three years. Well it’s three years later. But what does it mean? I still have no clue.
Or these from January 31, 2013:
– Tell me it’s nine. I’m home at nine o’clock.
– A man is steady about what he hears and listens.
– Let the night haul begin.
Nine? What happens at nine?
However, whether literally a male person or referring to any person, a person does become steady when they both hear and listen. I guess, I would add that stability is best when one does what they have listened to and heard.
What exactly is the night haul? But it sounds like it could have insinuated the journey I took from 2013 until January 2016. It was a long haul to get from there to here.
I share those not knowing what some of them mean, but maybe that is just as well. The point is that it is difficult to ascertain God’s leading. It is.
We have our own leading. We have leading from our parents. We have leading from our church. We have leading from our own desires. We have leading from our friends. We have leading from our surrounding culture. Leading comes from lots of places.
That is why the Scriptures admonish us to test every spirit. That includes the spirit that we attribute to God. Jacob tested God. Abraham tested God. You can test God.
I believe that testing God is not just a valid idea, but a critical element to one’s faith. The ultimate reason I believe that is that if God does not want to be tested and verified then he is not the God found in the Bible, especially when so many of the ancients tested him, people like Gideon.
As I mentioned before, I had much to learn. So I share a journal entry from February 2, 2013:
By Friday afternoon [yesterday], I knew my life , my path was sealed. Fear irrelevant; my preferences irrelevant. I went into my Friday nap telling God ‘instruct my spirit.’ knowing that, I think, [last] Tuesday night after my evidence, I told Jesus to yoke himself to me because I simply did not know how to become this man for this work.
I awoke from my [Friday afternoon] nap knowing I had been communing with Father, but I was not permitted to arise [from my nap] until he said. However, it was [during] my [Friday afternoon] drive to work that [it] was solidified: “You are not your own.”
I tried walking my own [last] Tuesday, actually beginning [last] Monday afternoon. I was pulled over, given a warning, thankfully God answered my prayer, but the officer told me I had a bad attitude – and I really tried not to. Tuesday morning a teacher called… and [had a grievance] about my driving, and Tuesday [night] I had to handle a problem that involved [my son]. God was giving me evidence, I just didn’t see it – not doing his will, in less that 24 hours things began to fall apart. …
Driving into work God had me drive at his direction, expressly showing me: “You are not your own.” He had me drive a specific speed, told me when to change lanes, made every light green, until I had to perform my u-turn, that rarely, if ever, happens.
But more, and perhaps most, importantly [early in the route to work] he permitted me to begin passing another automobile. I signaled, moved over, as instructed remained at my directed speed, 62mph [in a 65mph zone]. I moved up alongside the other automobile, and they matched my speed.
I told God, “See, I knew it! He would not let me around.”
To which I heard in my spirit, “Oh yeah, watch this.”
And the [driver who] matched my speed not allowing me to pass immediately slowed down. He must have dropped 5 to 10 miles per hour, and around I went. I did not speed up, did not slow down. The other driver immediately slowed down as “watch this” was stated. I was simply impressed.
But that was not the only lesson. …
In my journal entry, I go on about how he expected me to drive, and other general characteristics that he wanted me to change.
That may sound like an odd place to put that information, but that moment helped motivate me to send correspondence to the lady who had received my correspondence about ministry.
Like I have said in previous places, there is no way that I was really ready for what happened. I was nervous. I was uncertain. I wasn’t even sure I believed what was happening.
Yet, as I have been trying to share, it’s about learning to walk by faith. At that time, I believed that I was to send that lady correspondence that better explained my previous attempts and communication. With much prayer and much timidity, I sent her additional correspondence.
The correspondence didn’t go swimmingly. Chalk it up to whatever. But that was the end of that part of the correspondence. And I wasn’t too sure what to make of it.
I have admitted that I was not completely certain. But somewhere, in one’s heart-of-hearts, one expects that if one is walking by faith that God is going to show some kind of evidence that something was right.
In there Mary kept meditating, praying, and recording her experiences. Consider some notations I made from February 5, 2013 regarding Mary mediations:
– Jew and Gentile.
– Look at him! All the time, he smiles.
– There’s going to be brighter days. There’s going to be brighter days.
I have said in other places, it is difficult to know what God’s leading indicates, sometimes it is just rather mysterious. And because it’s mysterious, the mystery needs to be solved. So sometimes a solution is considered, but that may not even be what God intends.
Beyond the Biblical setting, what does Jew and Gentile mean?
At the time, I was anything but “smiles” so what does it mean “he smiles”?
Brighter days. Sometimes Mary gets lyrics. Weirdest thing. But brighter days. Had not even remembered that she had meditated about that. All I can see is that I am pleased that brighter days can and do happen.
Or these from February 6, 2013:
– Break your heart.
– God, I blew it.
What does it mean, “Break your heart”? Maybe my heart got broken over the event. Expected one thing. Another happened. Not sure.
What does it mean, “God, I blew it”? Sounds like an exclamation. Looking back, I can think that I pretty much blew it.
Or these from February 7, 2013:
– Darling, just once, let yesterday go, and you’ll find more love than you’ve ever known.
– I’m not sure how it will all work, but when it does… I will need some volunteers.
– We are more perfectly able back to back than…
– I give you my heart down this direction…
– One other thing she said, ‘Things were good-natured.’
– Mary saw a Facebook page with a message received
The line about “Darling, just once” more lyrics. A song from the late eighties called “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. Where does stuff like that come from? We don’t even have a country music catalogue. Mary listened to country back in the eighties and early nineties.
I share the others to share the enigma that comes from meditating and praying. Yes, God leads, but his ways are truly mysterious.
But it’s the last line that I want to share, because it shows something about Mary’s meditations. Remember, Mary habitually meditates between 4am and 6am. In my journal, the same day that Mary had that meditation about Facebook, there was a message posted to my Facebook wall around 10am. I recorded in my journal that message:
Raymond you are more than a conquer… [ellipses in original] God owns all of you! I am so proud and honored to be counted your friend. I pray that you run the race to win with a healthy abundance to present yourself a champion willing to win the prize in life in the name of JESUS the Christ…[ellipses in original]
So later on that day, in the evening, I replied asking a couple of questions: May I ask what prompted your words, and how you are aware that God owns all of me? He said in his reply:
I was moved by the Spirit of GOD this morning to reach out to 12 of my male friends here on Faith Book…[ellipses in original] I attempted 15 but was cut off to stay focused on each of you with what the nudging of the Sovereign LORD led me to type each of you with a personal note to each. You were heavy on my heart as well… [ellipses in original] all for the glory of GOD… [ellipses in original] You are venturing into new waters and it is a good time to walk on them in faith… [ellipses in original]
There are two things that are evident. One, Mary’s meditation and this post align.
Two, there is no way that guy could have known about what I wrote about early in this Installment. Earlier I wrote about “You are not your own.” where I was learning how much God was directly involved in my life.
A third thing, his timing was impeccable. I had done something according to faith, I wrote correspondence. The response was not favorable. But there it is, someone listening to God, doing things similar to me, acting in faith.
With that in mind, as I close out this Installment, I want to share one last journal entry. This entry is from February 21, 2013 entitled “My Beard”.
Back on February 7, 2013 I was given permission to trim my beard… but it was not until last evening I trimmed.
…[M]any people began wondering if I was going for a “Duck Dynasty” look. … I learned February 7, 2013 that the no-trim policy was because of my spiritual attitude and condition. …
…[T]his happened last night. I really had not been motivated to trim my beard, until -that is- [someone] grabbed and pulled my beard hair…. That pretty much was the determining factor. So, I trimmed.
After trimming, I asked if I could grow a goatee and I was told, “No.”
Interestingly, I was also told I trimmed it too short. So, I replied, “Can’t I have it my way?” To which I immediately heard in my spirit, “You are not your own.”
So, I inquired as to what length I should have my beard and I was told, “about the length that Mary likes.” So that is the length I need to have, at a minimum. Interesting.
I am not sure what brings this to my mind, but I can remember a conversation that happened around that time period, which included me and how I was learning that I was not my own. If memory serves, that person and I were talking about God and interactions with God and our personal experiences.
Upon learning of some of my experiences, that person made a statement that took me somewhat by surprise. That person expressed that they did not want to experience such dynamic interaction with God.
I am not certain why that would be the case, and perhaps at this point that person feels and believes differently. I have no real way of knowing. But a close walk with God is what we, as Christians, say we want.
But I want to close with this.
Those years were not easy. I acted on faith. I did so after prayer and meditation. The outcome was not always expected. The moment was not always easy.
But I can say this, today, I have more confidence in God, and don’t mind being “owned” by God and taught by the Master, Jesus.
I have found more peace in my life. I have a better relationship my wife. I have become a better father. I have become a better Christian.
Blessings and Shalom