So I’ve been talking about friendship and wish to continue on that same trend today. I was just told a quote recently “if, when you come to the end of your life, you can count your friends on one hand, you’ve done well”. I like it! I am not yet at the end of my life but I believe I have so far done well (through Jesus) and if these friends are all I have at the end, then the saying would still be super, because it would mean I really had done well. Today I want to show how being your self in the midst of persecution can bring the blessing you are praying to receive.
A couple years ago I was in a small church trying to enjoy the service. I was just coming into serious relationship with Jesus and was experiencing certain manifestations of His anointing that was quite unusual for the little community I lived and also neighbouring ones. In my head I thought my strides in Jesus was appreciated and I would be hailed, applauded and even lauded but no, they were chastising, castigating and condemning me. Lambasting me? Really?? I thought the idea as a young person was to be pure, chaste, loving God, loving people and getting deeper with Him daily. Was it to conform to man’s ideas of God or transform my ideas and will to His? Isn’t it being pliable for Him to do whatever He wants however He wants? *sigh* I suffered much mockery, discrimination, nasty critical comments, segregation – you name it. I was labeled as demonized and parents forbade their children from speaking to me or to even come near my home. In my head, the fact that I was getting closer to Jesus everybody should be loving me for being dedicated, committed and pure. I was totally devastated, discouraged and despondent when I found out it was otherwise.
It’s good to be ourselves in spite of what people say about us. Little did I know, while on the inside the church was fulminating me, on the outside someone was attracted to me. An unsaved young lady was peering through the window while the service was in session and was keenly observing me and my body movements. There is an old song that we sing here in Jamaica that says: “When God gets ready you have to move”. That is the only way I could describe what was happening to me. Now in other parts of the world experiencing the anointing with obvious manifestations as I was emitting was normal, but in my small community that kind of shaking, trembling and vibrating was unusual and therefore was nothing more than “PURE DEMONS…ALL EVIL!”
The pure warm, ecstatic passionate caress of my Jesus’ loving heart, that entwined, interlaced and embraced my own wretched heart, brought about this spiritual convulsive uncontrollable body movement, that only he could commence and terminate. It was a normal occurrence for me since it first began in our private worship time together but in public, it was foreign and therefore attributed to evil. It surely was attractive to this young lady however, and I later found out it was one of the major factors that led her to Jesus’ saving grace. She wanted what the others were rejecting. Ironic Isn’t is? After she received Jesus in her heart, we became friends but socially. We did not attend the same church, but because we had a mutual friend, at times we would hang out, worship together and just had fun in Jesus. Due to all the negatives that were constantly being said around her regarding me, we became distant because she was confused and fearful of me and all the “demonic infestation” I could cause to happen to her. [I now find it hilarious when I recall those days]. So she avoided and basically withdrew from me. *Sigh*
As fate would’ve had it about 2 years later, our churches met together at a retreat and while there the Lord spoke through me these words to her during one of the worship services: “You have a wonderful heart. I love that about you”. I walked off and went back to worship. I didn’t know what happened to her if anything. I was later told that after I said it, she felt like something fell off her back onto the floor and in that instant she lost her fear and negative perceptions of me. We left the retreat as friends and we have been friends ever since. *yay!!*
Naliesha has become one of the few persons in my life I consider as a true friend. She puts me before herself, prays for me constantly, encourages me immensely, believes in me, elevates me and totally loves me for who I am – flaws and all! * marvelous* That day, the Lord delivered her from all her junk regarding me and changed her thoughts, ideas, preconceived notions and behaviour about me. She permitted all the garbage she collected about me to be the fertilizer for the growth and development of a wonderful friendship now between us. God answered the prayer of my heart for true friends. It took a while but He did. In this situation, it took me being myself in the midst of persecution to bring it into play. I remind you yet again: don’t reject anyone because a person’s thorns may be just what you need to unveil your own rose that is hidden inside of you.