by Myckelle P. Williams
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.” --Job 1:21
I surely felt like Job this week as I watched our one and only car get taken by the Repo man. He even tried to start an altercation, but I just calmly handed him the keys, called my children to help clean out the car, gathered my personal belongings in a garbage bag, and walked away with my head high, without even looking back. Humiliating in front of the neighbors, yes...but after my mother’s fire this week, my aunt in by-pass surgery and me not being able to afford to go be by her side, and not being able to afford my daughters cap and gown, or college down payment... this seemed to pale in comparison. So, to celebrate, I went to a restaurant by myself, sat at a bar and ordered a glass of wine. I don’t even drink. I just wanted to stop feeling the anger and sadness that I knew was coming on. Even my prayers were not easing the hurt this time....they just felt bitter.
As I sat...In my mind, I started mulling over everything I had lost, and was losing. My husband has to leave town all week long to work on the road, and brings home just enough to pay the rent, and a few bills. I formed a one-man ‘pity party’ about how my bank account had just been closed, and my internet is off. I even ‘reminded’ God that I have been submersing myself in ministry and spending my days uplifting others. How I spend the little bit of money that I do make on gas traveling down to the church three days per week. Complained that there are 9 of us living in an apartment, and no one else contributing. I think how through all that is going on, I even remain faithful...and boy have I been tempted! Two very wealthy men have offered to fly me out of town- one to Paris and Mexico-free of charge. I have handsome men that are in the public eye, daily telling me how beautiful I am, and that I need to be treated like a queen....while all of my possessions are in storage, and I have two pairs of shoes I have been wearing for the past 8 months. (Scratch that...now three, because my son bought me a pair) Yet, I still tell these men ‘No thank you’. I say it shakily, so shakily...but I say it. I have to pray for strength, afterwards, but I still pray. I have to stay mindful that these men want to use me, and possibly throw me away afterwards. And while temporarily it may be a exciting experience while it is happening...in the end I will be left lonelier than ever, with scars of rejection, and low self-esteem. Angry at myself for becoming that ‘foolish woman that tears her house down with her own hands.’ -Proverbs 14:1, and later having to beg God, and my children for forgiveness. And being embarrassed in front of all of those women I ministered to....Oh, no. I refuse to go out like that!
I must keep reminding myself that God is trying to show us something right here, right now...that there is a lesson here. I just wish I knew 100% what it is...but obviously it is not for me to know fully yet.
One thing I am sure of: God has us in Memphis for a reason. Obviously not what I originally thought, but I know there is a Purpose for us to uproot our lives and come here. Even if it was just to do what I have done in the Drama Dept at New D Church. The youth in the drama team have just blessed me in so many ways. They have worked hard, been focused and dedicated, and even turned their lives around. We have totally fallen in love with them. Our children have closer relationships with God than ever before. They hold their own bible studies, and are fasting and reading on their own. The women on my WOW studies have been blessed. At one time, I was hosting that call with my electricity in the house turned off, and doing the lesson sitting out in my car! And women still told me that the study blessed them, changed their lives, and empowered them to move forward. And so.... I realize... that I have Power. And the enemy is obviously mighty afraid of that Power.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.’--John 10:10
I know that Satan is trying to distract me from my Purpose. I know that he knows my weaknesses, and he also knows I have an important mission. For years, he has attempted to tear our family apart, and uses every weapon in his arsenal to do it, including ourselves. He has not succeeded yet, and I know that irritates him. Sometimes I think we all stay together just to make him mad...lol...So I pray, rebuke, and try to stay aware...and attempt daily to focus on the positive. I know that the God I serve is a Restorer. He even restored Job after Job lost everything. If he can do it for Job...he can do it for me, right?
Restore... reinstate, re-establish, bring back, return, refurbish, renovate, repair, make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace . . . prosper (-ous), recompense, render, require, make restitution, restore, reward, surely.
I learned that when God restores He brings the object of restoration back in a better way than it was in its former state! When God restores, He brings increase with it! When God restores, He multiplies it! When God restored Job, He gave Job double (Job 42:10). That is the nature of my God. After our first fire, we got our home back better than it was before the fire, and our income had doubled during that time. So I have witnessed it firsthand.
Restoration is a principle exemplified throughout God's Word. Almost every single time, the return was ordered to be more than that--a double blessing, or four or five times greater (Exodus 22:1; 22:4; Leviticus 6:5, 22:14). There was a "seven fold" principle in connection with restoration (and vengeance) as well. Proverbs 6:31b says, "Yet when he (the thief) is found, he must restore sevenfold…"
I know this to be true because in the Bible there are several examples of when harm came to someone or something was stolen... God commanded and brought restoration greater than what was plundered or robbed.
The Lord is the only one who can restore those years to us—and He does it supernaturally. No other power in heaven or on earth can create or renew time. It happens only through the supernatural power of the Lord.
Restoration of lost years is based upon an additional truth found in Joel 2:12–17: our need to actively seek the Lord. That passage begins with God’s command: “Now, therefore [because of the devastation you have seen],’ says the LORD, ‘turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning” (verse 12, NKJV). Healing and restoration come when we turn deliberately to seek the Lord with all our heart, acknowledging that He is the only one who can restore. So I keep seeking, keep standing, despite what it looks like, because I know that God has big plans for me. He hasn’t revealed them all yet, but he just told me that I need to sit down and finish my programs, so that’s what I do in all my spare time.
God wants to restore everything to you too! What has the enemy stolen from you?
Jesus has indeed come to restore what Satan has taken away. Restoration is realized by faith in God and His Word and our declaration of that truth. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). So when I start to think that God gives His all for us, even down to His only son, I have no choice but to persevere, and keep moving forward. Am I tempted to cave in and quit? Absolutely. I know that I could be on a plane tomorrow and off in a sunny location somewhere with a stunning model. But I have to decide whether my soul is worth forsaking God and what I know to be right. Plus, I still have to set an example to my children of how to overcome trials and temptations. How to stand and overcome. That even through suffering you can depend on God and He will come through for you. If I bail, how can they ever believe this for their own lives and marriages? I am breaking the generational curses of single-parenthood, and lust. To do that...I must continue to stay married and faithful.
In the end, I think about the people in Japan and how they surely are going through even more than us...and I feel ashamed for even complaining. We are still eating, and have a roof over our head, however packed it is inside-at least its packed with people we love and trust. My things are in storage, but I at least HAVE them. God will bring the house eventually to put them in. I remember now that God has done miracles in our lives before. We have had lots of money, and we have been really broke. We have been up, we have been down. We have lost disloyal friends and family, and we have gained loyal friends and family. So, this is once again just temporary, God says so in my spirit...and I have to believe Him. That still, quiet voice just keeps telling me to “press on.” ...And so I get up, wipe my tears, and take yet another step forward.
I have just one request:
Keep me strong, Lord...so that I can keep doing Your will, and not my own.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong... that you must not quit.
-- Author Unknown
...The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD (STILL) be praised.” --Job 1:21