Up Against the Wall

by Danielle N. Hall

7/4/2017

Have you ever had one of those seasons where so much was coming at you and you either just got your throwing hand ready to hurl the towel or you simply said: “What’s next?!” Last summer was certainly one of those seasons for me! There was trouble with my health, in my home, and with my home…I must admit: I felt a bit defeated for a second…I felt like my back was against the wall and I didn’t have fight in me. Waving the white flag of surrender sounded like a really great idea, BUT I’ve got that true Brock-Smith blood in me…the kind that doesn’t know anything but determination.

As I am recounting this experience, a familiar inspirational song comes to mind: Made a Way by Travis Greene. 

You made a way

When our backs were against the wall

And it looked as if it was over

You made a way

And we’re standing here

Only because You made a way

You made a way

I must say that these lyrics echo the sentiments of my heart. As I mentioned before: I faced health challenges and home challenges. The combination of all things was somewhat overwhelming. Allow me to elaborate…

Last July, I endured one of the longest bouts of vertigo I’d ever had since my first attack over 20 years ago. Just before the 4th of July, I’d attended a family/church fellowship at Solomons Island. Ain’t nothing like good family, good food, and good fellowship! However, my enjoyable time was brief…that horrible party pooper, aka vertigo, showed up on the scene.

“They” say: “When it rains, it pours!”. Well, vertigo rained on my parade and I was pouring with sweat! Fortunately, it only lasted for a couple of days. However, it had soon returned. The timing was less than ideal. The tension measurement in the household had been thicker than a McDonalds milkshake. (Side Note: they need to serve those milkshakes with spoons and not straws, but I digress). Perhaps this truth perpetuated the longer than usual recovery time. Things were a bit bleak on the homefront and we were at the point of making a life altering decision. Though I thought I was prepared to handle the change, thoughts of the change were stressful. 

Anyhow, after having been essentially bed ridden for about a week, I peeled myself out of the bed and walked gingerly over to our leasing office. I was blindsided by the surprise news that I received. When the words parted the lips of the property manager, I pretty much was speechless, but in my mind I was like: “Nooooo, I wasn’t ready!!!”. “It couldn’t be that bad” you might say, but trust me…given the timing and the circumstances, it def was a BFD to me. So on July 15th, as I sat in the chair in the office of the property manager, Mrs. S, I heard these words: “Oh, you’re set for ABSOLUTE eviction on August 2nd.” I was informed that these were irreversible plans of the Sherriff. I inquired about our options and she informed me there was no amount of money or anything else that would change what we were facing…It was a decision set by the sheriff. The last thing I was trying to hear, while dealing with both vertigo and a strained home situation, was that in a very short time we were going to be without a home. The thought of having to share that info with my three little ones was heartbreaking.

I will say that was one of a very few times where I felt defeated. I was sick and tired, literally. You have to understand how debilitating vertigo is to fully appreciate these circumstances. Quitting is not in my makeup…I’m a Brock-Smith, we are too determined, but in the above described moment, I didn’t feel like fighting anymore and I was ok with letting the chips fall how they may. 

On the evening of Sunday, July 17th, I had a conversation with my longtime spiritual advisor: my first grade teacher. In said conversation, she reminded me of who I am in Christ and she fervently prayed. After a major ugly cry, I suddenly no longer felt defeated and I also felt an immediate turn around physically.  I’d done some research and had made some appointments to view a few rental homes. We checked the places out and hadn’t really found “the one” yet. 

Our backs were up against the wall. Time was running out and we had none to waste because the 2nd of August was approaching. While at my desk at work one afternoon, the Lord spoke to me and said: “Call and ask again”. This was in reference to the leasing office and our options. I heeded His voice and called. To my pleasant surprise, the property manager had a different response. She said if you bring $xxxx.xx before we close today it will cancel the eviction. By the grace of God, we were able to combine resources and I darted off from the office to make sure we did our part to get the requested amount turned in. CLEARLY THIS WAS THE LORD’S DOING! He made a way, when our backs were against the wall and it looked as if it was over.

What I want you to get most from this particular post is that it doesn’t matter how grim or impossible a situation may be, God is sovereign and He is able. HE has the final say. As a matter of fact, in the midst of that trying season, at church I had to lead the song “Sovereign God” by Maurette Brown Clark. In that moment, the message in the song was very personal to me. Before ministering in song, the Lord nudged me to share my testimony about the situation I was in at that moment. I was apprehensive because it was embarrassing, but I know better than to not heed His voice. I did as He said, and I was the recipient of a check for $1500 from an anonymous source who followed the voice of God! 

This type of experience is not happenstance and is the reason I have great faith. God is faithful and has proven Himself to be so…over and over and over. He is not a tyrant, but He IS a good, good Father. Who wouldn’t want to serve a God like that?! 

Below are the links to the two songs mentioned in this post. I hope they bless you…especially when you feel like you’re up against the wall!

“Made A Way” https://g.co/kgs/fgQuA9

“Sovereign God” https://g.co/kgs/NDHniv

 

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Wait Watchers

by Danielle N. Hall

8/14/2016

“For every manifestation or success there was a waiting time.” -Ikechukwu Joseph, Unlocking Closed Doors

One of the most challenging experiences we can have is the season called “WAIT”. If we are honest with ourselves, our longsuffering is probably one of those fruits that needs a little more time to ripen. You see, longsuffering is not the ability to wait: it’s how we act while we wait. We often like to look for an identifiable example of what to do. I’ll encourage you to consider an example of what not to do. The children of Israel had an extended staycation in the wilderness because they murmured often. When we observe their experience we see evidence of discouragement, disdain, and disbelief. Surely that’s not a model we want to follow while we are transitioning from our place of bondage to our promised land. We want to watch how we wait. Here are a few things to consider while transitioning:

KEEP THE FAITH

We learn from Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The Message translation reads this way: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Even and especially when we are in the season of WAIT, we ought to hold fast to our faith in God because it is the firm foundation of what shall manifest.

KEEP THE FIRE

If you look into the eyes of one with hope, you see passion and if you’re that close to them, you feel the energy of their heart. Think of your heart as a fireplace and each promise of God as a log to add to the flame in your heart. We know that God is not a man that He should lie and His Word will not return unto Him void. It is tried and true and is the perfect fuel to keep the fire burning!

KEEP THE FOCUS

I just heard the following stated by Dr. Derek Grier: “Anything in your life you can experience, God remains larger.” While we are watching our WAIT, we should keep our minds fixed on the Sovereign God. As a matter of fact, a song by one of my favorite recording artists has that very title. Its chorus is as follows: “You are the Sovereign God: bigger than ALL my problems and every situation. There is nothing too hard for the Sovereign God.” These words are simple, yet profoundly true. I encourage you to listen to the full song by clicking on the following link: http://youtu.be/-3o_IZGtLHA


Dr. Grier also said: “You can’t let the path blind you from your future.” What a tasty nugget! The truth is that the process doesn’t look like the promise, but if we keep the faith and keep our fire burning and keep the proper focus, we will surely experience the milk and honey that awaits…WATCH YOUR WAIT!