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The dishes sat everywhere piled up waiting to be cleaned. The sink was filled with a mucky water that made me cringe every time I passed. Yes, on this most important first-day of a new ministry, my drains decided to completely clog. On a day where I needed everything to go according to plan neatly, I had stink water in my sink.
As I tried to calm my nerves and continue planning for my evening’s youth event and not worry about what it would take to get my kitchen back to working order again, the telephone rang. Something inside me told me not to answer, but I did. There was a voice that I recognized; there were more problems to be solved. The tension inside me grew.
Did not the world know how important tonight was for me? Didn’t it know that my nerves were already shot after days of anticipation and building fears? Well, maybe the world did not know and was not actually conspiring against me, but the Devil knew–and he was at his conspiring best.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
Fast forward to the evenings festivities. The night began perfectly. The girl’s ooooh’d and awwwww’d at the beautifully decorated room. My joy rose inside as their faces lit up. I had every moment of my time with them allotted for–every second was precious, and needed, to be able to explain to them a little about me, a little about friendships, a little about prayer. There would be a little time to chat, a little time to share, a little time to explain, a little time to play our game, and it all hinged on everything going to plan. Well, it didn’t. It all began to crumble when the speaker went over his time, and precious minutes slipped away. I felt rushed which led to anxiety rising up in me.
Able to cover up my anxiousness (I hope), I pressed on. The girls seemed happy as I moved on with the evening, but then ‘the look’ came. One girl rolled her eyes at another girl. “Oh no!” Tapping into every fear I had about teaching this age group, my thoughts became distracted. “Did they all feel like that?” Were the thoughts that one girl conveyed to another the thoughts of the many? Sweat beads formed as I tried to press on, but my already fragile confidence was teetering on the brink. Somehow, though, I made it through. The night ended, and I found myself where I longed to be–my bed.
Robbed. Stolen from. Destroyed. The devil’s plans were in full-swing. I could actually picture him in the corner of my bedroom wringing his hands in total amusement as I laid there in the dark going over every detail of an insane day that I was glad to see come to an end. Yes, the self-flogging had begun as scheduled.
But wait! There is another part to that verse…..
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
“Hey, Devil, sitting in the corner of my mind taunting me with my failures, YOU need to flee!” As I sat in the wee hours of another night of not sleeping, I considered exactly what the devil was attempting to do. It was like a dark cloud hung over many parts of my day. Joy-robber! Peace-stealer! But, when I remembered the second part of the verse, illumination came in the way of Jesus Christ! He shined Himself into the memories of my day. There, I saw me tackling life’s issues and NOT fainting under the pressure of dirty dishes or people’s attitudes. It was within His bright light that I saw the smiles that were brought to these girl’s faces. It was there that I could still hear the giggles and laughter even hours later. It was there that I heard the two mom’s that stayed and watched tell me what a great job I did (even though it was not perfect–no, not by a long shot).
What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?
There are many little snippets of yesterday that, if dwelled upon, could easily rob me of my joy. But, God put me in this position, warts and all. I decided to block out the mistakes (maybe hold on to them enough in my journal to learn from them), and to press on. In two weeks, I will do it all over again. If the devil had his way, and I concentrated on the negative, it would be a dreadful two weeks (over and over). God promises that He will help me, though. His plan for me is to not be troubled or afraid. No! He wants my trust. He wants me leaning on Him along the way. He wants my joy to be in abundance in my obedience. And so, it shall (warts and all).
I want to send much love and thanks to you all for being there for me. Your encouragement and kind words meant more to me than I can put into words. I am greatly blessed to call each of you friend. Thank you……..
ღ Skye ღ
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Photography & Devotional:
© Skye Alexander, 2014, All Rights Reserved
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