PATIENT ENDURANCE

What does one do when you pray, and pray, and pray and cry tears like you never had before and all you hear from the Lord is “Patient Endurance”?

You Endure and patiently wait on God.

I don’t believe there was anything that could have prepared me enough for how my year was going to transition from the year of 2016 to the year of 2017. I was not ready for the loss and grief I was going to face. All on top of what I had already lost during the year. I never imagined I would come face to face with anxiety again. I blogged about being anxious back in college here, “Anxious?”. Click on the link if you want to read it. I could not fathom the humiliation I was going to feel, the fears that would overwhelm me, or the ugliness God still had to uproot from my heart. I knew I was in a rough season. I felt like an unexpected storm had caught me by complete surprise. I was so uncomfortable I did not get much rest. In my attempt to look for an exit out of my troubles I panicked realizing there wasn’t a way out. I had to go through to get through the storm. All along God’s plan was to strengthen me and fill me with wisdom through my troubles. Through God’s silence, I learned to endure and trust him despite how I felt.

 

Patient Endurance

 

My husband got married May 20, 2016. He is a better man than I ever imagined I would be bless with as my husband. Our troubles haven’t change that fact. We were off to a great start. Losing everything and having only God, and one another to hold on to in the end brought us closer. It was the catalyst of us truly becoming one and operating as a team. Within just one year of marriage things got worse before they got better. However, God was in control. I loss my job while we were still on our honeymoon. I was promoted and received a raise the week before our wedding. It just did not make sense to me. We started our marriage one income, but we needed both. I was bummed, and finding a decent job with a good pay after that was the ultimate struggle. My husband suggested we pray and he tried to be uplifting about the situation. A few months later while we were driving home from church we found out my husband’s license had been suspended. An officer pulled us over and made us aware of our predicament. We had a car full of children we normally pick up for church. These children were terrified, especially because of what they were used to seeing in the neighborhood they lived in. They thought for sure we were all going to jail. The officer looked at us and said you guys look like good individuals doing something positive in the community, I’m not going to mess you guys up or give you any more financial troubles to deal with. I knew that was the Lord stepping in. He gave my husband instructions to follow to fix the issue and reinstate his license. It turned out he had some traffic light tickets we weren’t aware of that went unpaid, resulting in his license being suspended. A few weeks later we received a letter informing us my license would be suspended if I didn’t pay the amount listed including late fees by the given deadline. It was about two days before the suspension date. It turned out I had a traffic light ticket that went unpaid. We didn’t know because it was send to my old address and never forwarded to us. I thought someone out there was trying to play a sick joke on us. I wondered if maybe God was punishing us for any unconfessed sin. Thankfully that is not how God operate. If that wasn’t enough, by the time the year was over we accumulated a lot of medical debt going to the ER for different health issues. Neither one of us had health insurance. I already had poor credit from student loans. My husband did his best and worked hard, but it just wasn’t enough. Our bills and needs were far greater than our income. Just when I thought I had found a dream job I loss it due to some unfortunate events. We ended the year facing an eviction. We paid late, and our landlord showed no mercy. By January 10th, 2017 our landlord wanted us out. Not long after our car was repossessed. I had never lost so much in my entire life. I was scared and devastated. I felt hurt, low, broken, and humiliated. It took me a while to realize how much more difficult our circumstance must have been for my husband as a man. Our troubles may appear to be nothing and bearable compared to what others go through, but it was hard for us. It was hard especially for me, but I learned humility on a whole another level in the process. Thankfully we had friends that opened their home to us as they felt led by God to do some. It was a humbling experience.

 

Patient Endurance

 

I knew I had to pray then more than ever before and trust God if we were going to make it through. I felt weak and weary, but church and the work of God was still a priority for us. I began to study more deeply parts of Abraham’s life, the book of Job, and the book of Hebrews. Through that and prayer, God encouraged and strengthened me. I managed to keep it together openly but privately I cried non-stop. I cried tears I didn’t even know I had in me to cry. It wasn’t because I was pretending to be okay. I was simply determined to glorify God no matter what and not complain to anyone. Many times, my prayers were just hot burning tears as I didn’t know what else to say to God. I felt like David did in many of his Psalms. “I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: my eyes fail while I wait for my God”, Psalms 69 verse 3. “And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily”, Psalms 69 verse 17. “Reproach has broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I look for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none”, Psalms 69 verse 20. “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily”, Psalms 83 verse 3. “Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayers; and attend to the voice of my supplications”, Psalms 86 verse 6. Also like David, I was determined to “praise the name of God with a son, and magnify him with thanksgiving” (Psalms 69:30).

 

PATIENT ENDURANCE

 

While I was driving one day I had a panic attack and almost got into an accident. I was so overwhelmed with fears and anxiety. I was losing control of my thoughts and emotions. I felt the knots of anxiety building up in my stomach. As I was shaking with fear, I thought to myself, I am falling apart God, where are you? Psalms 61 verse two immediately came to my mind, “from the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. I drove to one of my husband and I favorite places to go. A humongous rock facing the ocean. I sat on the rock, staring at the ocean, I told God I had nothing else to say I just wanted to hear him. I imagined the humongous rock I sat on to be the Lord and the ocean before me to be all my troubles. Tears streamed down my eyes and I felt the presence of God with me. I thought to myself, Lord you are greater than this vast ocean before me, I trust you. It came to my mind to read the book of Hebrews. As I read it the Lord ministered to me. After reading I mediated on what I had read. The words “Patient Endurance” came to my mind. God reminded me of faith and endurance (Hebrews 6:12). Throughout the book, there was those who suffered and went through, by faith they endured and received God’s promise. They learned patience and obedience from the things they suffered. They endured. God had me focused on Hebrews 10:36 “patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he promised”. By faith Abel’s sacrificed, Enoch was taken by God, Noah built that boat, Abraham obeyed God when called and waited patiently, Gideon, David, Samuel and all the prophets, and so many others endured and receive the promise of God. I had to activate my faith. I had to continue hoping. I needed to trust God and keep moving forward. It wasn’t about what we were going through. God had a greater purpose for our troubles. I could never in my right mind say I lost as much as Job or more than Job. Our losses had me feeling like Job, but I couldn’t have imagined being in his shoes. By the grace of God, we had people who cared about us and encouraged us. Job’s wife was terrible, she advised him to curse God. His friends weren’t any better. In their attempt to comfort him they blamed him for his suffering and accused him to have sinned to be suffering in such a manner. One even though his punishment wasn’t harsh enough. The word described Job as “perfect and upright, and one that feared God”, yet it was in God’s will to allow him to suffer. Despite everything Job still hoped in God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him”, Job 13 verse 15.

I remembered receiving a phone call one day from someone who shared with me a vision God gave her concerning my husband and I. she wasn’t sure when exactly to share it with us but figured when she did was the right time. She told me while she was in prayer God had her interceding on our behalf. She explained to me, “a vision of you and Justin on a roller coaster came to me. You guys were side by side going with the ride wherever it went. Then I heard a voice saying, “I am the operator, soon this ride is coming to a stop”. Then the two of you were at a table feasting and I heard the scripture “thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies””. She said whatever is going on, God is in control. I was encouraged but I didn’t know what to say. I asked God to help me to have faith like Abraham did. God called him from among everything he knew and was familiar with to a place he would show him (Genesis 12). Abraham, known as Abram at the time, obeyed. God never gave him specific details or told him exactly where he was taking him. He simply told Abram he would show him and he blindly trusted God. God took him through so much from that point on just to bless him. I could only say I trust you God and reminded myself “Patient Endurance”.

 

Patient:

“Bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, or anger”.

“Quietly and steadily persevering or diligent”.

“Having or showing the capacity for endurance”.

Enduring, Forbearing, Long-suffering, Persevering, Persistent.

Endurance:

“The ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions”.

“The fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships”.

“Lasting quality”.

“Something endured”.

Patience, Holding up, Perseverance, Persistence, Bearing, Courage, Enduring, Forbearance.

 

Despite our circumstance, troubles, and struggles God wanted us to endure. He wanted us to persevere through them. His plan was for us to take heart and last through it all. No matter how long it took for things to get better, we had to be patient and trust God. There was no easy or quick way out. He never allowed more than we could handle. He gave us the strength we needed to not faint. We had him t lean on and one another to hold on to. I had made up my mind to stop crying, complaining to God, and feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to be better and allow God to strengthen us and our marriage. I was choosing to no longer be in distress, unpleasant, or continue having a cast down spirit. I woke up every day and intentionally put on the garment of praise. I was going to be thankful and praise God despite how I felt. I was not going to let the spirit of heaviness keep me down. I began to see God in my weaknesses; how he was molding me and changing me. I was able to thank God for my pain, my troubles, and the things he brought out of me through what we went through. I was thankful for the wisdom God poured into me from my troubles. I was humbled God trusted us with trouble and gave us the strength to endure. In the end, we were still standing. I didn’t give up even when I wanted to. God made me stronger and wiser. My praise increased. My worship went deeper. I gained some things in Christ I can’t even put into words. Before we knew it, things got better. We ended the year of 2017 in victory. Our circumstance didn’t destroy us nor did the enemy triumph over us.  I give God all the glory!

 

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”.

 

Hebrews 12:3 “Think of all the hostility he (Jesus) endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up”. Focus on the things that will last. Run with endurance and keep your eyes on Jesus. Troubles don’t last always. If Jesus is in your boat, it won’t be shipwrecked. There is a calm after the storm.

A JOURNEY OF FAITH: Baby Adams

 

My husband and I discussed having children before we decided to get married. We talked about whether we wanted a child, how many children we wanted, and how soon or late in our marriage did we plan to have one. We took the road least traveled by many newlyweds. Neither one of us wanted a honeymoon baby or a child in within our first year of marriage. However, I didn’t start taking birth control pills until after we were married. I guess you can say I was playing with fire, considering it takes birth control pills about 3 months to be effective. We planned to have a child within or after 3-5 years of marriage. In the meantime, we had plans to travel, budget and save money. I thought we had the perfect plan to grow as a couple and be prepared by the time we have a child. Right off the jump, life threw us many curveballs, and God reminded me “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). We can make plans, and we can pray for our choices and decisions but God has the final say on how we get to whatever is destined to be.

 

Since my early teenage years, I struggled a lot with terrible cramps and sharp abdominal pain. Some people advised me it was normal, while others advised me to see a gynecologist. My pain worsens over the years. My doctor had me on prescription drugs because the typical 200 mg over the counter painkillers did not work for me. I had a tough time believing any pain that has me in a fetal position and in tears every month is normal. I have done blood work, Pap smears, and several other tests. Everything always came back normal. My body was telling me otherwise. I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what exactly. Of course, I didn’t stay off google so you can imagine my thoughts once I started reading all sorts of crazy diagnosis that matches my symptoms. My husband and I made an appointment with my gynecologist so I could get started on my birth control pills. I was not too fond of birth control pills but once she mentioned it would help relieve my pain, I was on board. She scheduled an ultra sound for me to attempt figuring out the source of my pain. While birth control pills work great for some women, it was a nightmare for me. I was in pain, my appetite changed, I was moody and irritable, I had daily migraines, and I no longer had a monthly cycle. The list goes on. I tried different pills and the side effects went from bad to worse. The side effects from the pills were more than I could handle, I eventually advised my gynecologist I no longer wanted to take them. Justin and I went in for the Ultra sound results. It turned out all these years I had been suffering from a complex ovarian cyst. She advised me all they could do at this point is monitor it then decides what action to take. I would either bleed out from it or need surgery to get my ovary removed. During that time, I went to the ER several times. They prescribed some pain killers and told me things I already knew. It was frustrating. I started thinking the absolute worse. Since I was being monitored, my gynecologist scheduled a follow-up ultra sound appointment.

I went home wondering, God why me? What sin in my past did I commit to deserve this? I couldn’t stop thinking about my situation and started imagining the worse. I was consumed by “What if” thoughts. There I was talking birth control pills to not have any children, for the time being, just to face the reality I may not be able to have any. It was a tragedy for me. One of my biggest fears in life was not being able to have children. I had enough and cried out to God for healing. I told God I refused to see another doctor, I need him to heal me. In December 2016, one of the ministers (Jamal Crook) at my church made an altar call for anyone that needed a healing from God. I went to church that night expecting something from God. The word he preached spoke to my need at the time. My husband and I held hands and went to the altar. Minister Smith walked over to us to pray with me. She asked me, what did I want God to do for me. I told her what I needed healing for. She touched and agreed with me against the spirit of infirmity that was attacking my body. I went home believing I was healed. I made a fleece to God that night and asked him for three specific signs of my healing. It was not long before it was that time of the month. I felt some pain but I rebuked the pain and remind my body the Lord healed me. I did not accept the pain. The pain I felt stopped instantly. I went day after day, no pain. I was so peaceful and pain-free I forgot what time of the month it was. My husband in disbelief kept asking me if I was okay. This was unusual for me. The first part of my fleece was answered. I had asked God that the pains I have experience would stop completely from the day I was healed going forward. It did. I am pain-free until this day.

 

 

December 22, 2016, I went to my OBGYN follow up appointment. They did an ultra sound. My husband and I waited in my gynecologist office for the results. After what seemed like an eternity, she walked in ready to discuss the results. I had no doubt God did what he did but I was super nervous. I had made up in my mind no matter what she told us that day I choose to believe and trust God. She sat down and opened her file. After a little casual conversation, she reminded us a complex cyst usually bleeds out or must be surgically removed. The damages can leave a woman sterile. She told us in my case my complex cyst was completely gone. It was 100 percent gone. I shouted with joy, thank you, Lord. God did it. I prayed for healing at church and God healed me. My second fleece to God was that he would remove whatever mass or infirmity I had on my ovary and restore me entirely. God did it. This was just a beginning to an amazing testimony from God I did not deserve. Then there was the third part of my fleece which I mentioned I would share soon enough. I didn’t know when or how but I trusted God would finish what he started.

One of the most annoying thing for me as a newlywed was people constantly asking me am I pregnant yet or when are we going to have a baby. I don’t think I will ever understand why people think that is an okay thing to do. Pregnancy is so personal but not too many people respect that privacy. I had gained some happy weight as a newlywed and to my amazement, different people would just rub my belly and asked me if I was pregnant. It was so embarrassing for me and made me very self-conscious. I knew I had gained some weight but I didn’t realize it was enough to make others assume I was pregnant. Not to mentioned it was now a sensitive subject for me. My husband and I were already facing pressure and trials no one would really expect within a year of marriage, this was icing on the cake. We lost a lot and I felt pressed on every side. God took me through the book of Job and Hebrews to keep me encouraged. No matter how hard and how much I prayed all I got from God was “patient endurance”, just trust me. I would love to tell you how strong my faith was, especially after God miraculously healed, but that was not my story. I struggled a lot to hold on to God’s promises. My prayers were no longer words or in the Spirit, I would simply cry. I was crying more than I was praying. I was very frustrated and saddened. I was at war with my mind and the word of God. I was somewhat angry with God because all I would hear from him was “patient endurance”, let go and trust me. I did not understand and I wanted to be in control. Everything seemed to be outside of my control and I had to depend entirely on God. There was not a thing I could do to change anything, except trusting God. It was difficult!

 

 

It has been a journey of faith. There was a point in the process I truly felt like Job. “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true”, Job 3:25. God told me no, what you feared most is going to be a testimony for my glory, trust. In other words, shut up Tara, shut your emotions up, you don’t know what you are talking about. I learned to praise God on a promise. I learned to see through the eyes of faith and God’s perspective. My circumstances said no but God said not yet, my timing. I studied every scripture I could on faith and trusting God. We prayed. When I couldn’t pray, I cried and let the word of God minister to my spirit. The book of Hebrews, Job, and Abraham’s story ministered to me in ways they never had before. The things we were facing didn’t disappear but I was able to focus. I could hear God during the storm. I could take my eyes off our circumstance and thank God for what was already done. His word strengthens me. I could let go of my fears and have faith in God’s promises. No matter what, I knew his timing is perfect.

 

 

Towards the end of last year, my friend Marie Houston and I was hanging out. She told me she had a dream to share with me. God showed her something concerning me. She told me God showed her myself and two other ladies pregnant around the same time with baby boys. She said I believe what God showed me and you need to believe it too. You guys will have a baby soon. I love Marie and I trust her. She’s one of my good friends but I laughed. She laughed with me then said Adams, I’m serious. I strongly believe when God says something, he will confirm it and it will happen. In my mind I thought, she doesn’t know the half of what I have been dealing with. Marie being Marie, never failed to remind me. In May of this year, after a church service, Demi told me by this time next year I’ll be holding baby Adams. Once again, it was laughable to me. I call her Dr, so I said whatever Dr. She told me I should get ready. When I was praying she prayed for me and God told her Hannah and Abraham’s wife. I was no longer laughing. I went home and meditated on what she told me. Both women experienced the miraculous and have an incredible story of faith (Genesis 18, 1 Samuel 1). I started thinking about what the two women had in common and how that could possibly be me. They were both barren (Sterile, infertile), could not have children and God blessed both with a promised child. I thought to myself, so I am barren and God is going to give us a promised child. I did not know what else to think. Like Sarah, I laughed when God said I was going to have a child. I decided maybe I should try what Hannah did instead. I prayed and cried to God. I poured out everything I was thinking and feeling. I even repented if I doubted in any way. About a week later, my husband told me God showed him what he needs to do for me. He told me God told him to anoint me and my womb then we’re going to have a baby. I said okay if that’s what God said. June 7th of this year, I received a message from my friend Jasmine Gilkey. She lives in Kansas and didn’t know anything about what was happening in our lives. She told me the Holy Spirit led her to pray for my baby, that my faith would be strengthened, that I would be encouraged by the stories of other women in the Bible of his power. She told me she kept praying for my faith to increase regarding me being blessed with a baby. She said she messaged me as soon as she got out of prayer because if that was truly from God she needed to let me know so my faith could be strengthened and know that he heard my plea. She expressed how shocked she was because she’s all the way in Kansas and God had her praying like that for me. She encouraged me to anoint my belly, pray in faith, and speak life that the fruit of my womb will be blessed. She reminded me I would have a testimony of faith to share with others. I shared all of this with my husband along the way. While I struggled, he was always full of faith and hope. On June 18th of this year, Akil Thompson was at my church preaching. It was an on-time word and as usual, I made my way to the altar. It wasn’t concerning any of my circumstances. I was simply touched by the word and wanted to be at the altar. While I was on my knees praying in the Spirit, Amanda Jordan was next to me and started praying for me. Whenever anyone prays with me at the altar, when I’m able to, I try to quiet myself down to hear what is being prayed over me. If you know anything about being at the altar, you will understand. She prayed that my womb would be open, and she prayed against any lies and attacks coming against my mind. I spoke with her after service and she told me God told her to go pray for my womb. She said she went where Justin and I normally sit to find me but I wasn’t there. The Holy Spirit told her to follow him and he will show her where I am. She said she walked around and when she got to where I was the Holy Ghost said, there she is. She did what God told her and prayed for my womb to be open because he wants to deposit something in there. She said I don’t know what that means to you but pray and ask God. I knew exactly what it meant. Justin and I went home that night, he anointed with oil then we prayed. If God didn’t already do enough, my friend Shanette Hyacinthe texted me early June 20th “had a dream you were pregnant with a big baby boy!!”. She texted me at 7:13 AM. I was quite amused and I told God, not another person Lord I have no doubt. While I was laughing, I remembered my conversation with Demi, she laughed and told me I would be pregnant by the end of June.

 

 

Justin and I found out we were pregnant at 4 weeks, July 20th. By that time, I had my suspicions but I didn’t want to take the test. The first thing I experienced was a process in early pregnancy called “implantation bleeding”. When that happened I said to myself, oh my it’s really happening. It wasn’t long before that was followed with me falling asleep everywhere at random times, I was super tired even when I got adequate sleep, then nausea, and the most obvious my cycle was missing in action. Even then, I refused to test. When I finally build up the courage, it was a big fat positive. We conceived in June. My plan was to find out first then surprise Justin. I always imagine how cute and awesome that moment would be. I couldn’t keep my cool, screamed and rushed him to join me. We were both full of shock and joy and more shock. I eventually disappeared to be alone and cry. Justin found and told me it’s our moment I can’t cry alone. My favorite part in all of this and what truly melt my heart was God’s faithfulness. Everything happened as he said it would, in his timing, his way, and his will. I’m thankful because my Lord is faithful. He alone gets all the glory. Perhaps you can relate, maybe not. Your mountain may be different from mine but faith in God alone can move any mountains.

 

“With God everything is possible”

Matthew 19:26