Dear Reader, as you know, this site is branded Looking For God #HEISEVERYWHERE, so allow me to share with you how I found God…in the preparation
One way a person develops a defensive character is being raised to believe that everything is your fault.
Examples: Someone asks you for school supplies at school and you respond and get written up for talking in class. “It was your fault.”
You get bullied repeatedly. Nothing is done about it. You finally lash out and fight back trying to stand up for yourself and get suspended from school or the bus. “It’s your fault.”
You still get bullied and you leave the cafeteria to find an administrator in the office because the cafeteria monitors don’t want their lunches disturbed. You get written up for leaving the cafeteria without permission. “It’s your fault.”
You get picked on, mistreated, and cursed out by a family member who’s around at the house you’re at while your single parent is at work. You try to tell someone, but everyone else is gone, so you walk 3 houses down (not along the street) to get someone to listen, and you get snitched on by the person who is cursing you out as a child and lied on, and you get in trouble because you left the house without permission and ” Nobody knew where you were”. “It’s your fault.”
A relative comes in high as a teenager one summer to a house you’re staying at while your single parent is at work and sits in your seat where all your stuff is, puts cigarette ashes in your soda bottle top, and you haven’t even finished your drink. He refuses to move, and all the adults in the house are afraid to make him move because one adult has already gotten whipped by this teenager and gotten his tooth knocked out, and the rest are women. You, tired of being afraid, tired of being bullied and abused by this person, muster all your courage and land a right hook to his jaw and run for your life! “You knew he was high. It’s your fault.”
You go through life and school alone, being misunderstood. No one will listen. You become defensive and develop a really smart mouth over the years. “It’s your fault.”
You cry over the years and pour out your heart in your poetry notebook and to the only God you know, the one everyone was screaming and yelling about in church. It’s difficult to make friends because it’s difficult to trust people now, so you keep to yourself. How can you show yourself friendly to make friends when you’ve been through so much and from a very young age? “It’s your fault.”
Finally, someone in high school comes along and thinks you’re beautiful, funny, sweet, caring, smart, and he listens. You look at him as sort of a savior from all the chaos. You rebel further away from the ones who always told you and made you feel that every bad thing that happened to you or involved you was your fault. That person distances you away from your family emotionally even more. At first it’s fine because you felt they had been jerks to you for so long. Then, you notice red flags before you knew what red flags were, but there was always some other reasonable explanation for their actions. You start being manipulated and pressured by peers on more serious subjects. You become pregnant. Then, the one you thought came to rescue you abuses you psychologically, emotionally, and physically, and your world shatters in a way you never imagined. Now everyone, even strangers, and now the church…”It’s your fault.”
This is really emotional, but I have to keep going.
Now that you’re a single mom, every hardship you will ever face in life due to becoming a teenage mom will forever be “your fault.”
Where is the loving embrace from those who were supposed to love and protect you? There is none because someone hurt them too in one way or the other, and either you get no verbal or physical affection because no one gave it to them or you get blamed for everything because they believe that everything can be prevented. Therefore, any misfortune is your fault.
You go through life trying to right your wrongs with the world on your lonely shoulders. You try to go to college anyway to prove all those wrong who either thought you’d never be anything or those you let down because you got pregnant after working so hard academically. Running your own household, raising a child, going to college, and working at the age of 19, single and unmarried. You try to find the right one thinking that if only you could get married, then people would respect you. You’d have help, a father for your child, someone to care about you and for you, someone to say to those who hurt you “I’ve got her… though you didn’t.” You run across many wolves and sheep’s clothing and get hurt worse than you ever imagined. Over and over again, in some ways worse than other instances. “It’s your fault.”
You start becoming bitter in some ways because of your life and childhood, and don’t know if you have what it takes to do whatever it takes to heal. Now, you’re defensive and bitter, struggling to keep the best parts of you from becoming tainted in hopes that one day, your real prince charming shows up. That hope plays a turbulent see-saw game with your painful past experiences, and you end up giving your good parts to the wrong people and not being able to correctly love the right people. “It’s your fault.”
You seek God like you’ve never sought HIM before in the midst of all your brokenness, pain, hurt, tears, humiliation, and suffering. God starts showing you wonderful things and giving you wisdom. You share those things on social media, and people you knew start taking notice. You share the gospel. You share your testimonies. You share your ups and downs. It encourages people. Then, messy people start taking your words out of context and contacting your parents trying to paint a negative picture of you saying you’re “going through something”. Where you’re from, that means you’ve flipped your wig and have gone crazy. Now it’s a problem because relatives think you put too much of your business out there. “It’s your fault.”
You keep spreading the gospel and sharing your testimonies until God speaks to certain individuals who give you a platform within the Church in a large city. That opportunity leads to another and another, churches and conferences. People start paying for your ticket, so you can attend powerful events. God is opening doors. Some relatives still don’t understand. The criticism still comes, and any little inconvenience is still “your fault,” but God is favoring you.
God closes all doors to the city where HE called you and brings you back to your hometown where you said you’d never move back to. God wanted you to face what you’d been running from. You didn’t want to leave. You didn’t want to go back to the people who hurt and shunned you. However, the longer you stayed, the worse things got because God said Go when you tried to Stay, so every door that God shut SLAMMED with the debris of hurt feelings and broken relationships left behind.
You wind up having to live amongst relatives again. At first things are okay because distance makes the heart grow fonder. Then familiar spirits start rearing their ugly heads. You once again speak out on the mistreatment. They paint an ugly picture of you and put it on display to other relatives. “It’s your fault.”
You’d learned and recognized the need to stay connected to a church, so while waiting on God to lead you to a certain church, you go with relatives to your home church. You are warned that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing and to keep your eyes peeled and to take things slowly. You try to heed the warning and to put a muzzle on your servant heart and on the Holy Spirit leaping inside you, but you just can’t keep quiet about what God has done for you, what message He wants to share, and what He can do.
It becomes undeniable that God is with you, so you receive an invitation to join the pulpit as a leader. You, though nervous, accept because you trust that the person God has appointed as head has the spiritual eyes to see what God has given you and is obeying God.
God gives you powerful sermons and messages for the people, anoints your voice, and stirs the hearts of the people. Then the wolves start playing peek-a-boo from behind their sheep masks, and things become turbulent again at home. It becomes difficult to get to church on time. Your child is cutting up in church. People start picking you apart, how you dress, and start tearing you down with scripture, refusing to shake your hand when they visit your church because they say it’s not Biblical for a woman to carry or teach the gospel. Wolves start trying to tear down what the Lord has placed on your heart to build. They start gossiping, lying, setting traps, plotting, and whispering in the pastors ears. Then you find yourself repeatedly on trial. “It’s your fault.”
You work hard in the church, faithfully pouring out all you have. You are there every time the church doors swing open and even travel with leadership to other churches, and take on more responsibility. Some churches won’t even allow you to sit with the other ministers in the pupit because you’re a woman, but you just humble yourself and smile, finding all the division among churches curious. There are some who are for you. Then there are some who ignore you, and there are some who plot to remove you. You again feel the loneliness and keep serving though you feel terribly unappreciated. You start noticing that people start trying to get you to do tasks they don’t want to do because they know you will do it no matter how small the task. You do it. You reach out to help someone, and it’s a trap. Guilty by association, not knowing what this person was into, involved with or accused of. You’re lead into a trap like a sheep to the slaughter. Suddenly, the wolves throw off their disguises and attack.
You’re accused and you speak out against the mistreatment and are attacked. “It’s your fault.”
You’re molested by a lost sheep turned wolf who’s a 3rd cousin at a family cookout. “It’s your fault.”
So, hurt by relatives, hurt by strangers, hurt by the world, hurt by the Church, hurt by the one whom you thought would change it all for you, you leave church as you knew it.
You struggle inside. All your life, you’ve been told directly and indirectly “It’s your fault.” You work for God, giving all you can, and still… You wonder, “Am I not allowed to speak up for myself just because I love God and am called to share what God tells me?” “Shall I play the fool to appease instead of speak truth in love?”
After about 6 months of “church beyond the walls” and sharing the gospel in other spaces, you cautiously start visiting a flock of sheep from another pasture after the Holy Spirit keeps wearing you down. Some receive you with open arms. Some question why you’re there. Some ignore you. You try to be extremely cautious, stay quiet as much as possible, watch for wolves, and take your time. You continue to give the Sunday message at the local nursing home whenever called. After a while, God’s Holy Spirit starts up in you again at the church, and you can’t keep quiet about HIM, and people notice. Then God puts it on someone’s heart to allow you to give the Sunday School message for the day in that pasture. God moves powerfully as HE always does.
God gives you a prophetic dream concerning a specific individual in this pasture, and you make the mistake of sharing the warning with them. Then that person becomes afraid of you, avoiding you, acting like you’re some kind of witch and initiating a debate about whether God still gives people the gift of prophecy. “Your fault” (definitely because God warned you specifically so you could pray for the person not so you could tell them in hopes they’d correct themselves).
On the job, you speak out against any injustice, “It’s your fault.”
You speak out against injustice in the world, people make excuses and try to justify the injustice, and you’re labeled as a problem and a drama queen. “It’s your fault.”
One night, God comes to you in a dream and calls you to become a defense attorney. You try to excuse your way out of it, but HE has a solution for every problem you present and tells you “You’ve been preparing for this your whole life.”
As I write this, God is revealing the WHY! WHY I had to go through what I went through. Who can fathom God’s awesomeness!? My initial intention was to explain how I learned defensive behavior and to let people know that despite what I’ve been through, God still has a plan for me. However, in the midst of writing, God used it to explain to ME HOW I’ve been preparing my whole life to be what HE’S now calling me to be!
I am not my own but was bought with a price. I’ve not made all the best decisions in my life, but God still had and has a plan for my life. God used it to prepare me, and I found God…in the preparation.
A powerful song by a very anointed woman comes to mind. In this song, she teaches about how the olive has to go through 3 stages in order for its oil to flow and how God was preparing her. The three stages are the shaking, the beating, and the pressing. Have a listen to Jekalin Carr’s Greater Is Coming. https://youtu.be/iP8MgH9WUx8