THE FELLOWSHIP OF SUFFERING


DSCN3556 John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Journal Entry, March3, 2017

My quest to find answers to the tormenting mystery of the JAW-mouth Dystonia continues. Each hour, I continue to rely heavily on Father giving me the strength to endure, uncomplainingly. My seasonal job, delivering telephone books door-to-door, started last week and my body is weary. from the windy-cold and the physical exertion.  Unlike  several years ago, when I bitterly complained to Father that I should be on tour with my incredible band. I told him, how hard it was to have do such humbling work when He had blessed me with such talent. And then the added grief of being misunderstood, alienated from wonderful fellowship and dealing with a tormentically distracting movement disorder was more than any human to bear. Even now, the pain in my (now also)  left jaw is painful and  I can barely stand to do anything. The past nine years of this  horrendous disorder (and the thought that there is no reversal for the damaged joints should cause me to sink into utter depression). Honestly, it has been lonely beyond belief and at times, I deem my small music-compassionate outreach, Brave Flame Productions-Outreach a thankless job, (at times). I am a very social person and  cherish the camaraderie of friends and loved ones being emotionally and spiritually connected with me.

Nevertheless, I realize that this ongoing suffering has brought about great change in my spiritual outlook and Father’s glorious workmanship in my life. This realization had brought me to create my 5 part-series journalism-color photographs and devotional series, ARISE FROM YOUR GRAVE. It has also compelled me to record and produce songs for two concurrent albums, a prophetic rock , Mod Prophet and a worship album, The Anointing, (His presence). One would expect that the result would be a publishing book deal and distribution or at least interest in the recorded works.  My book series still await  publication and my albums are still incomplete.

I wait upon the Lord, for He will renew my strength. What strength? For any passionately creative person in the midst of projects, there’s always the hope of success and renown. For the child of God, renown would be being sought after for the expertise of the skill. There is dealing with the disappointment of struggling financially and/or having few customers-patrons. So, I tell Father, more than anything… I wish to be in His perfect will.

This prayer brought me to place and realization of the precious treasure of His presence and company. In this quiet place of seeking Him above even success in my creative endeavors, He shows me what he truly values as spiritual wealth and abundance.

Each morning, as I arise to consciousness, I’ve disciplined my spirit to mediate on several verses. I have had to train myself because the left jaw is so violently  spastic that I awoke several times during the night in great pain. I didn’t want to succumb to anger or bitterness as I had with my past Lyme Disease battle in 1992.

Psalm 19:14

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Once awake, I ask Holy Spirit to order my steps and  focus me on what scripture He wants me to meditate on.  During the next hour, He will show me someone who needs a prayerful phone call, a hand-made card or care package. Yesterday, a Christian sister’s name popped into my spirit. I said, “Okay Abba, I will call Jackie, (not her real name)”

sisters-comforting

When .I called Jackie, she replied, “That is amazing, Anita. I was thinking of you just yesterday and i was going to call you.” She asked me how I was doing with my jaw-mouth situation and I immediately gave her details of how I thought I was stopping my own healing. I slipped more often than I’d liked, saying  things like, day , “I can’t do that because of this disabling TMJ-Dystionia.” Lately, I was at least catching myself in mid sentence and repenting and saying, I am healed.” Jackie  admitted she was also speaking sickness over herself., her lungs and poor breathing. Jackie’s lungs had deteriorated so bad in the past year that she was on oxygen all day! I was thankful, that though my jaw-throat situation was very painful and distracting, at least I could drive and walk around freely. Jackie then confessed that during her seeking prayer to God about her suffering, she had deep, unresolved grief about her childhood and past.

I was astounded hen she mentioned her deep grief because i  was presently getting victory over my own many losses by reading a wonderful deliverance book, Pray Through It  by Rob Morrisette. The author was very detailed about the traumas and strongholds of his counselees and I was getting freer and freer reading about the victorious testimonies of the people.  Rob’s counseling manner was very detailed and he stressed bringing every painful incident to God in prayer and asking for healing. Jackie was very excited and wrote down the name of the book. I also shared with her about my joy of participating on the conference telephone line several hours each day with passionate prayer warriors across our nation. I told her how strengthened I was in their company and the powerful anointing of their prayers. She admitted to feeling judged around other brethren  and I felt she was constrained by a spirit of unworthiness. Jackie also took down the conference prayer call number and I prayed with her.

At the end of our discourse, Jackie was in tears and prayed for me. She thanked God for me being obedient God had put me on her heart the day before, but she didn’t call and was grateful that I was spiritually sensitive. I was deeply humbled and broken that Father was so gracious to even use me in such a way..to build up and strengthen my precious sister who  said she felt she was backslidden!

This call was a confirmation that I was  right where Father wanted me to be, sitting in his love and waiting for direction. My direction happens to be the gift of edifying, building up my brothers and sisters who feel broken  weak and unworthy.  Father is not so concerned about my creative endeavors, (however God-inspired they are) but about developing intuitiveness to the needs and brokenness of my brethren. In order to have sensitivity to ascertain that my brother and sister needs tenderness, encouragement or a tangible need, (such as rent money or groceries), I need to stay deeply connected and deeply compassionate, however rough or irresponsible they may seem. I’ve desperately longed for patience, long-suffering and understanding about my weird  movement (with loud voice) disorder and have often been judged harshly and misunderstood. But Father has used these painful times so I can learn long-suffering and kindness.  Separating myself unto Him and worshiping with a thankful heart has borough me to precious places of surrender, where I can give out of a pure heart. Though my physical reserves, (my energy) seem limited, my capacity to  love has so increased. Father is nurturing my capacity to love deeper than a surface level. If I encounter relationships were a brethren seems difficult, a nuisance or unpleasant to be around, I ask Father to remind me that there may be deeply-rooted generational issues or traumas from childhood and up.

The Pray It Through, book  has been eye-opening resource to delve deeply into the hearts of my brothers and sisters and where Father can groom me to love, not just in word and deed, but true empathy! I believe this is what causes strife and rejection in the body. We say we love  (and pray for) our brother or sister from afar, yet we will not come forth in honesty and reason at the table with them and our Heavenly Father.

I pray that my brothers and sisters take a deeper look at their season of suffering and submit it to our Abba. He will show us how he is breaking down ideologies of tradition, religion and even relationships, (as the secular arena perceives them). Our ways are not God’s ways and our thoughts are not His. He uses the weak, broken , ugly things, and even small, insignificant (according to the world’s standards) ministries.

He has made everything beautiful in His time. Ecc 3:11

When mega-churches and mega-ministries crumble at His glorious appearance because they did not minister to the orphans, widows and  foreigner, those ministries build on His compassion will thrive and be the lighthouse to the nations!

Let us remember that the temporary sufferings and lacks are not worthy to be compared with the glories which await us in heaven! be encouraged my brother and sister! God sees and he is pleased.