Thursday, February 13, 2014

He is my Hiding Place

He is My Hiding Place 

The book of Esther is a picture of two truths:

One: When we are faithless, God is faithful
Two: God is sovereign

Before I continue to write on my reflection of my thoughts and the Anointing of Esther, I want to go through memory lane of my past and sum it up: I have overcome many things in life from childhood to adulthood-from physical, sexual and verbal abuse, homeless, addiction and rejection, you name it and I have probably lived it and most definitely felt it from the very people that I was supposed to trust, feel safe, feel loved and protected. Because of that I did not trust no one!! So for many years I carried a baggage of pain that God wanted me to let go. He wanted me to TRUST him, to BELIEVE in him, to SURRENDER to him but I didn't know how because I didn't trust him either.  On many occasions, I would question God and ask him "How can I trust you when YOU allowed all these things to happen to me" Why? Why me?" And all he would say, "There is a purpose and one day you will understand, but until than, there is much work to be done in you." I was definitely a work in process and God had been faithful and Sovereign!

When I first started to visit my home church, I remember on a Saturday morning, we had a  women's mentorship, there was a powerful anointing of the presence of God in the midst of many women lying in the ashes of despair, wallowing in brokenness, hopeless but yet hungry for a revival in their lives, seeking for peace, looking for affirmation and desperate for love and I was one those women. After the guest speaker Pastor Madelyn finished her sermon, she made an alter call. I was one of the many women who came forth. I didn't look to my left nor to my right, I kept my eyes closed as tears rolled down my face and my heart was pounding faster than I ever felt it.  From a distance I heard her speak to several women and the I felt her hands over me and she said to me " YOU ARE an ESTHER IN THIS HOUSE" I had no clue who was Esther back then! Though it took me years of trials and errors to realize that those very words that was spoken to many years ago, was unraveling before my eyes with much more understanding and revelation. 

I have to say when God makes a promise, He definitely keeps it - talk about much work to be done - he wasn't kidding! I expected God to start using me immediately after that word was spoken over my life, but God doesn't work that way. For many years after that, I challenged God with that promise, but he would not budge, like he said - there was still much work to be done and the process began.  God started to extract and chisel away many years of painful memories that I refused to look back at, the shameful sins and the many years of deceitful lies. He had to set me free and expose the sin that lied deep within me. The very things that caused me to feel bitter, angry, hatred and rebellious that came with many emotional baggages and insecurities, unloved and unworthiness.  He had to unmask each and every one of them. The process has been painful, lonely and at times hard to comprehend that a petite person like me had carried so much baggage for so many years that spiritually weighed me down like the woman in Luke 13:10-12, but God is Faithful and Sovereign! 

For the past few months, there has been again painful decisions and also drastic changes that I have had to make in the my life and also for the sake of my family. Decisions were made and changes are taking place, so for the past few days or so, I have been asking God to take me to the place "The Hiding Place." The place where it is just Him and I and where I can hide in Him, a place where I can just "dwell". A place where I can spend all of me to be in His presence and I began to bring God's Word back to Him: My Lord, You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalms 32:7) 

And it was until this morning that my alarm went off at 3:00 am and the song "Oceans-Where Feet May Fail" came on and I rose out of my bed and straight into praise, prayer and worship, no bathroom breaks, no coffee, just me and Him. I remember telling God that I wanted to be healed, I just laid in his presence and I heard deep within my spirit, God's whisper saying to me "the Esther anointing is upon you" My mind began to go back over the past few years of how I have seen people get elevated/promoted by God, and I was still sitting in despair and then He said to Fast and Pray. I was allowing my current circumstance and pain to paralyze me. But today, I arise to a new level, a new life. My break-through finally arrived!!! I had to gain Courage and stop being comfortable in a place where I was uncomfortable. I had encouraged other to do, what I was not able to do myself, but today is the day, I step OUT! It is time to the assignment even at the expense of losing what friends are left. It takes courage to step out and do the will of God. He told me to fast and pray for my family, because the enemy is setting plans for their destruction, but you fast and pray!! fast and pray !!! So, here I sit fighting off the Haman's for the children of God and for my family the would rise up to their destiny, but before I can tell someone to get up, I must, I will, and I have RISEN from the ashes!! My God is Faith and Sovereign! 

Closing Reflection:
It took me years to be in the place that I am now; though I am still a work in process and will continue to be until God calls me home, but I have learned to TRUST God like never before. The more I learn about HIM, the more I understand His FAITHFULNESS, JUSTICE and MERCY. I have grasp the depths of his SOVEREIGNTY. I also realize His wondrous gift of GRACE was given with a purpose. Although the circumstances of my life during this season has been in the valleys, I have gratefully remained on the mountaintops, because the JOY of the Lord is My STRENGTH. God has completely sustained me by his Amazing GRACE, God has kept me STRONG and I have remained unwavering in my FAITH and TRUST in my GOD. I am able to bring about encouragement to those of who struggle with the same things I have struggled in the past and have TRUSTED God to make a way, where there is no way in human strength. 

 Oceans - Where Feet May Fail

Written by Maribel O'Neill
February 13, 2014