I remember ten years ago when I was saying goodbye to my twenties and preparing to embark upon my thirties…little did I know what was lying ahead of me. I felt like this was my turn to take life by the horns and ride it hard and mightily…but little did I know. My dear friends near and far came to celebrate this momentous occasion with me as I begin to shift in life, but little did I know. I had racked up some miles in my twenties, mostly of going around and around in circles, not knowing what I was going to do with this thing called life but little did I know.
As the decade turned and I excitedly embraced entering my thirties, I prided myself with the notion that Jesus the Son of God and the son of man who walked the earth didn’t start his ministry until He was thirty. (As I chuckle). I just knew life was going to open up and the plan was going to be laid out in front of me and I, too, would seize the moment that it was time for me to walk in the ministry that God assigned to me (say it with me) “but little did I know!” Don’t get me wrong, God has shown Himself Great & Mighty in my life. I am proud of the accomplishments He’s favored upon me in my thirties. I successfully finished my education receiving both a Bachelor’s & Master’s degree as I quit several times in my head. I have grown spiritually in leaps and bounds yet more room for growth. A wonderful family and great friends, undoubtedly surrounded by love. He poured His mercy and grace upon me and spared my life and kept me out of harms way even after being hit by two drunk drivers. Not only that but has been gracious EVERYDAY. Can I say that again? EVERYDAY! The list goes on and on. God gave me insight on what I was designed to do through some of the most painful times in my life. The operational tool that He set before me to use was my ability to speak. However, because of shame, guilt, lack of confidence, and insecurities “I’ just knew God made a mistake but little did I know. After my long and tiresome stroll through the “wilderness” God reminds me even now as I write this, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Little did I know, that through all of that God has NOT forgotten me even when times seemed tumultuous He was closer to me than I realized. I know what it’s like to have lost everything and also be left with nothing to spare, little did I know that He used even that to do what I’m doing RIGHT NOW…writing to tell about it. Yes, it’s my story but when I tell you that it’s all for His glory and He reigns in my life because all I can say is, “but God!” When I said “Lord, teach me how to evangelize the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” little did I know there were some lessons I had to learn along the way:
**I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. (Psalms 86:7 NLT);
**I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psalms 121:1 KJV);
**Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLT);
**Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV);
**But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:15 NLT);
**Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. (Psalms 51:1-4 NLT).
As you have read over the few scriptures above and many more in God’s word, the greatest motivation for me to be used by God is through my personal relationship with Him. I had to personally know Him as my Helper, that He responds when I call Him (even when I can’t HEAR Him), that He’s my Comforter, He teaches me HOW to forgive others, and that when I sin that I can go to Him in prayer and seek His face for mercy. It’s all about relationship. Little did I know that He would use me…Regina, born July 14, 1974 in a hospital in Cleveland, OH but it all began before I even entered the womb! How GREAT is His love for me? As I graciously look forward to what lies before me as I enter into my forties…my prayer is simply this, “Father, may my life bear FRUIT and even through those difficult producing seasons that you strengthen me from on high, that daily my heart is renewed…my words are seasoned with grace…and the saltiness of who I am bring the flavor of Jesus Christ everywhere I go. Replenish me when my heart feels like it’s in a drought…when I feel insignificant at times, disregarded, you know…the least of these! Oh, that YOU will be exalted…Preserve every gift, calling, and dream and may it reach it’s FULL maturity and be a blessing to others and grant me favor. Gina is the one who is praying to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!”… And God granted her request. (1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT) In Jesus Name!