I just had to share about my awesome experience this weekend in North Brentwood! Although we aren’t officially at First Baptist yet, they have church school on Saturday mornings and we took the kids there. I knew that Cubs 1 and 2 would do just fine, but Cub 3 did surprisingly well in her class also! After church school, the women had a summit. The speaker for the event was running late, but she was well worth the wait. The theme for the this Women’s weekend was “Stuck in the Mud – Moving Towards Holy Ground” Rev. Dr. Debyii Thomas, a professor at Howard University, started by reading the story about Tamar. Tamar was raped by her half brother, after her uncle helped him devise a plan to do it, then her real brother and father (who was a king) told her to keep quiet about it. From this story in 2 Samuel, she gave us so much great information and insight on how to get out of our “mud” and on to “holy ground.”
Now, some of you know that the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for the Party of Six during this period of transition. More recently, I have had a very hard time listening to and witnessing for myself some of the hurtful and mean actions of others at EBC. Whether they were right or wrong really didn’t matter to me. Whether PB did everything right or wrong really didn’t matter to me either. It has been difficult for me because I know first-hand how hard PB has worked there. I’ve witnessed the sleepless nights, and the early morning phone calls to go to a hospital. I’ve witnessed him coming home DOG-TIRED and still putting in an hour of play with the cubs. He counseled, prayed for, cried with, and celebrated with many individuals and families (some not even members of EBC). The more I heard, the more resentment began to build up on the inside until I decided that I just did not want to have anything else to do with Ebenezer – didn’t plan to go there, didn’t plan to have the cubs return there, didn’t plan to go back to the choir, removed all Facebook friends – I was FINISHED…until Saturday. I had planned to move forward without looking back, so being a part of this Women’s Summit on Saturday was my way of moving on. However, God used Dr. Debyii and my experiences this past weekend to beat me over the head and make me deal with my feelings.
Dr. Debyii gave about 8 steps to getting out of our mud and one of those steps was about FORGIVENESS. I did not want to hear about FORGIVENESS when I was right in the middle of holding the biggest grudge ever! It didn’t help that Dr. Debyii would just not let it go! She said that we block the blessings that God has for us when we hold on to anger towards others. She used the analogy of an empty coffee cup that has left over coffee at the bottom. We never put fresh coffee in the cup without first cleaning the cup. It’s the same with forgiveness. I could not truly move on without cleaning my cup to get ready for some fresh coffee. So, I left Brentwood on Saturday evening arguing the whole drive home with God about whether or not to go to Ebenezer the next day (PB’s last Sunday). Well, the cubs and I went to Brentwood on Sunday morning because Dr. Debyii was also the guest preacher for that service, and (because this is becoming much longer than I had planned) by the time I left that service, I knew I had to go to Ebenezer. I got there just in time to hear PB’s last sermon and I was able to say good-bye to some really special people there that I truly love and will miss.
We need to be forgiving of others…I can say it, type it, understand it, but unfortunately I can’t say that I always PRACTICE it. My prayer is that God will continue to help me practice forgiveness. I was acting just like the “church folk” at Ebenezer by being angry and hurtful. I didn’t focus on those disciples at Ebenezer who have been nothing but supportive and encouraging, yet truthful with our family. I tried to move on without dealing with that coffee residue in my cup, but God used Dr. Debyii, as well as Terry and Laurese (love you ladies!) to help me clean my cup so that God could pour me a fresh cup of coffee!
Peace and Blessings!