“… When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19 KJV For the past few months I’ve felt like my family and I were under extreme attack. It was as if Satan and his imps called a congress and said, “Let’s launch a full frontal assault!”
Within the span of four months, this was our reality:
My younger brother and sister got into a horrible car accident that totaled his car and they were not at fault. Both had to begin physical therapy and legal proceedings. I had surgery for the second time for a medical issue I’ve been battling for almost nine years now – and it did not go as planned. My mother got a ludicrous letter from the government she had to deal with immediately and my brother got fired for being a no-call, no-show at work the day after his accident (though he did call the day of his accident).
A couple weeks later my brother got into another horrible accident, again not his fault, and this time my mom’s brand new car got totaled. My older siblings and I got a call from our family in Jamaica saying if someone didn’t get there soon our daddy was going to die. We had to drop EVERYTHING to do what was necessary to take care of him (including my sister and I taking emergency trips to Jamaica and Georgia, respectively); and my cousin Jomo, who was by all accounts the peacemaker in my family, got shot dead in the streets of Jamaica that he walked everyday.
If that’s not enough, all of these things started happening right as I was transitioning to my new role as editor at the South Florida Times, so I had the stress of trying to manage all of that, not to mention deal with overall life in general.
I honestly had no idea how much more I could take! I was on the brink of losing it. I didn’t know if I could muster the courage to continue smiling and bearing it. Yes me – the girl who always has an encouraging word for someone else and always posts about how good God is – I was weary in well doing.
I was scratching my head asking God what was really going on. Had we done something to bring this on ourselves? Was I missing something? I try to live right and treat people well so why Jesus?
I ran the gamut of emotions: frustration, fear, sadness, anger, hopelessness and the list goes on. I was exhausted and so overwhelmed by the stress of everything that it exacerbated my condition.
BUT GOD! He has promised us so many times in His Word that He would never leave us or forsake us. He has told us that as long as there’s life there is hope. So even while all of this was going on, my family and I agreed: We still saw God!
In the midst of our trials and tribulations, God raised up a standard against the enemy on our behalf. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “Sometimes you are the only Jesus people will see.” My family and I certainly saw God through the actions of people.
I cannot even adequately describe the outpouring of support and prayers we received from family, friends, associates, and even strangers who knew nothing of the situation.
My bosses allowed me to leave for two and a half weeks to tend to my nieces and work remotely. The former editor of the paper came to my aid and assisted me with the things I couldn’t finish the first week I was away and filled in COMPLETELY for me the second week; a total stranger – a middle-aged white gentleman who was getting ready to bury his wife that same day – paid for me and my niece’s breakfast one day.
One of my friends drove over from Atlanta to help me with my nieces one weekend.
The day I ran out of disposable money because of all of the unexpected expenses and leave, my Pastor called me to check on me and asked me if I needed anything like three times. He sent money to help sustain us.
My landlord told me not to worry about paying her until I took care of things with my family. One of my cousins in Jamaica left her job for hours to try and stabilize my daddy until my sister could get there.
Pictured above: Isheka with nieces (left to right) Tasia, Amora and Kyra.
I arrived safely in Georgia and my sister in Jamaica. While there, my sister had the assistance of a guy who, even when she tried to offer him something, refused to take it.
I received calls and texts from friends checking in, praying with and for me, asking how they could help and offering their support. Oh and I got a brand new car! IT WAS AMAZING! And those are just some of the things I remembered as I typed this article.
There was more. There was definitely more! We were literally the recipients of God’s Agape Love through people.
As I reflected on the last few months, I couldn’t help but break down one day and tell the Lord thank you! Instead of focusing on our hardships, loss and lack, I had to realize that not only was God working everything out for our good (Romans 8:28), He was also supplying our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
The Lord promised in Luke 10:19 that He would give us power over ALL the power of the enemy. He didn’t say some, but ALL! So despite everything that came against us, the reality is, aside from our beloved Jomo (and this was a devastating loss), we are STILL HERE!
Neither of the car accidents took my brother and sister out. Though my surgery was unable to be completed, the Lord gave my doctor the foresight to stop before I lost my life! My mother is working through her situation with the government and we have confidence that things will work out on her behalf.
Despite being unemployed, the Lord was Jehovah Jireh (Provider) in my brother’s life for the past few months. He now has a new job with better hours, benefits and a union backing. My mother got an even nicer car.
My sister was able to nurse my father back to a stable condition. I had the opportunity to spend priceless quality time with my three beautiful nieces and I still got paid for time I didn’t even work!
Won’t He do it? How blessed are we? With all that He has done, how could we not see God?
I’ll admit this wasn’t always my perspective as all of these things were happening. Sometimes it was hard for my head knowledge to line up with my heart knowledge. Yes I’m a believer in Christ Jesus and His miracle working power, but I’m also human. I did contemplate throwing in the towel. It wasn’t always easy to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
But as I reflected, I could see God so clearly! When I spoke to my family, they could see God so clearly!
Even in the darkest places, we still saw God!
In Psalm 139, the Lord tells us there is nowhere we can go that He is not present and I can honestly say, that despite my family and I being sifted these past few months, He has continued to make His presence known.
To those of you who availed yourself to be His vessel, THANK YOU! It is because of your obedience, we saw God!
The good news is, God is not a respecter of persons. If He did it for us, He can and will do it for you! No matter what you are facing, try your best to trust God even when you can’t trace Him!
In his song, “Thank You For Being God, Travis Greene sings, “You’re too big for error. You’re too wise for mistakes. You are a mighty God, perfect in all your ways.”
In His perfection, through these trying times, our Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, has truly made a way.