The Messy Journey to God’s Promise

God’s promise often times initially seems like something that will arrive immediately. When we first get that word from Him – that spiritual breath of fresh air opening up the heart to new wonders and inspiration. We believe, due to the experience, that it is something that comes quickly, and endures…perhaps unto perpetuity. Although the latter is true, the former is not necessarily so; and hard to resist internalizing the moment we receive such glorious spiritual (and sometimes emotional) splendor. This type of experience, and its’ fulfillment is not at odds with the reality some of the biblical characters faced, by which the first was Abraham. Just as Adam received the promise of consequence in God’s prohibition of the fruit, Abraham received the promise of pursuit God has for all of mankind – in a seed called Isaac. However, Abraham endured much, both from his own actions and outside forces, before he received this promise. And he waited a long….long time. And Still, there was one last test after waiting, then finally receiving.

At 70 years old, God approached Abraham, when he was still called Abram, and invited him to receive a promise. With much suspense, God kept Abram (and the reader) much guessing as to how and when that promise would be fulfilled. God allowed Abram to endure various obstacles that jeopardized the promise until its’ fulfillment; some the consequences of Abraham and his wife’s own actions.

The promised is commenced in Genesis chapter 12, where God promises Abram that he will be “a great nation”, underscoring the idea that he will have an heir. At 70, Abram must have assumed that the only way this could be possible is through his nephew Lot since the text adds that “Lot went with him.” (Gen 12:4 ESV) This is even more evident when we consider that God told Abram to leave his entire household. So what is Lot doing, hanging around? Later on we see Lot and Abram separate jeopardizing what to Abram, seemed like God’s promise that he would have an heir. The reader, and Abram, are left to conclude that Lot is not the heir, only to be surprised when Lot re-enters the scene after Abram risks his life (further jeopardizing God’s promise) to save Lot who resided in Sodom after the separation. At this point we see God’s promise in jeopardy and a possible heir to fulfill God’s promise.

Before Abram risks his life (and jeopardizes God’s promise) to save Lot, the first threat to God’s promise occurs in Egypt where, due to fear, Abram risks losing his wife to Pharoah, jeopardizing God’s promise to him, that he will have an heir from his own loins. But who could blame Abram? If we go by the initial promise, there was no explicit reference to heir coming from his own loins. We find that out later. In this we learn, that God gives us glimpses of His divine plan for us, and His Divine promise to us.

After these two incidences, God makes a covenant with Abram to ensure him of the guarantee of his promise. In this covenant, God elaborates on the promise and conveys it in more detail in the beginning of Genesis 15. This was intended to give Abram more confidence, but then he replies that he is “childless”, thinking that Eliezer would be his heir. This is when God specifies for the first time that the heir will be from his own loins. At this time the promise was jeopardized twice and two possible candidates (Lot and Eliezer) seemed to have been the possible fulfillment of God’s promise.

We finally meet the third candidate as to who will fulfill God’s promise in Genesis 16, when Sarai runs out of patience and contrives a plan to force the fulfillment by having Abram produce children through her concubine. At this point, Sarai is in her mid 70’s, well passed the vigor and beauty mentioned about her in Genesis 12:11. Again, just as Abram’s decision to bring Lot caused eventual conflict between their workers and more trouble risking Abram’s life during the war of Genesis 14, Sarai’s decision to force God’s plan caused tension between her and her handmaid Hagar. Sarai, at this point must have settled with that being the possible promise made to Abram. Yet, God had bigger, more impossible plans for them.

We arrive at Genesis 17 where God makes a covenant of circumcision to Abram, and changes his and his wife’s name to Abraham and Sarah. At this point Abraham is 99 and his wife is 90, and God specifies that the fulfillment of the promise will be in one year from that moment. At this point we figure we can breathe and rest in that promise since it’s so close, but yet again, it is jeopardized. After the following chapters show Lot being rescued once again – this time by God, (Another problem caused by Abraham’s decision to bring him with him from out of Ur.) Abraham re-lives the Egyptian event of chapter 12 with Abimelech, further placing in jeopardy the promise once again since losing his wife means losing the promise of a seed – and this time within a year of its’ fulfillment!! After Abimelech is restrained by God, he returns Sarah to Abraham. After this, Abraham finally receives the promise, as his son, Isaac, is born in Genesis chapter 21.

After receiving the promise, Abram thinks he can finally breathe until he is presented with a final test by God in what Jews today call the “Akedah”. He is told to sacrifice his son. Abraham with much faith, considering all the potential threats to the promise that lead him to that point says “God will provide.” This is a confidence in God, that only stems from seeing God’s protective hand throughout the entire journey – the protection of not only the promise, but of everyone involved. Throughout this entire journey of promise we see God’s protection not only for Abraham and his wife, but also for those whom Abraham mistakenly brought either with him, or into this world – Lot and Ishmael – as well as Hagar. Abraham’s confidence in God stems not only from reflection of all the potential threats to the promise, but the preservation of life through it all.

And of course, God did not allow Abraham to sacrifice his son, the seed of the promise and part of the promise itself. We can, therefore, have confidence in God’s promises. No matter what life throws at us, we can stand on His promises; Even when we ourselves jeopardize it, making things a bit messy countless of times, God is there to ensure its’ fulfillment, and through the process we can have hope in a God who protects us not only for His name sake….but for our highest well-being.

Thank You.

Thank You for the times I felt broken, for then I learned how to be whole.

Thank You for the times that felt weak, for then I learned how to be strong.

Thank You for the times that I felt scared, for then I learned how to be brave.

Thank You for the times that I felt down, for then I learned how to soar.

Thank You for the times I felt lonely, for then I learned how to be in Your presence.

Thank You for the times I was in want, for then I learned how to depend on You.

Thank You for the times that I felt lost, for then I learned how to be found… Found in You.

My Journey through Motherhood.

If I’d tell you that my journey through motherhood has been a breeze, it hasn’t. Motherhood has its share of blissful moments, as well as frustrating ones. Ever since I was young, I have always had the desire to one day be both, a wife and a mother. However, I thought that for some reason, that it could never be possible for me. Especially, after having my heart broken several times by men, or shall I say boys who never knew how to cherish it. It was until I came to the Lord in 2011, God really changed me and started making me new, my desire to be a wife and a mother one day didn’t change, in fact, it amplified. To keep things short, after about 3 years in the faith, God blessed me with a Godly man. Soon after he proposed and we got married. About a year and a half into our marriage, I became pregnant we our first child- a precious baby girl.

Ever since becoming a mom, I have felt (and still feel) incredibly blessed and privileged. However, at times, I have had and still to this day have moments of frustration, exhaustion, and depletion. These moments bring doubt as to whether I am capable of taking care of another human being. I say all of this because I have a physical condition called Cerebral Palsy, where about all of the right side of my body, including both arm and leg are weakened and therefore, it has rendered me limited in some ways. Sometimes I feel discouraged because according to the world’s standards I may not be considered normal. but that’s okay. I’ve come to realize that I’m special and unique in the Lord’s eyes and the fact that he has blessed me with this incredible gift, He will carry me through each day. One thing that has always stuck with me throughout this journey is what a friend told me once; “God is the one who raises children.” At first I didn’t quite understand her statement, but now I do. I’m just a steward, God has entrusted me with her and as I seek Him to give me His wisdom, strength, and grace to train her up in the way she should go (Proverbs 22:6) He then in turn works through me just as Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” So, in reality it’s Him doing the work in both of our lives, I’m just simply a vessel. It all has been Him who has equipped me on this journey. He will also equip you, if you seek Him. We are not meant to go through this journey alone. His grace will meet you in whatever situation you may be facing today, just invite Him in. Nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him.

Below I would like to share some verses and quotes that have helped me through my journey.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13 ESV

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. -2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

God arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. -Psalm 18:32 NLT

You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. -Psalm 18:35 NLT

 

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” -Unknown

“A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.” -Unknown

Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up despite the struggles.” -Sharon Jaynes

20171224_204008.jpg

Embrace who you are.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 Psalms 139:14 ESV

We live in a day and age where it seems that most people have no identity and if they do, they struggle with it. What I mean when I say that is they have lost their sense of self, their own uniqueness. They carry other people’s image, they try to be like someone else, in which God never intended them to be. God wants us to embrace ourselves just as he created us and to be all that He has designed us to be. We all have been created differently and that’s what makes us unique, special, and beautiful. We all at some point or another have been a victim of trying to be like someone else. I say that because I sure have been in the past. There was a point in my life when I didn’t feel good about myself. I tried my hardest to be, act, talk, dress like others around me while burying my true self. I tried to fit in but it didn’t work. That’s what happens when we are trying to prove to others or even ourselves that we can also be like them, but that’s because in reality deep down we don’t feel good about ourselves. It wasn’t until I finally realized when God brought me to my senses that the way He designed me is different from other people and that’s okay. I don’t have to strive to be like the next person, I just have to embrace the person I already am. And I believe He will say the same thing to you. 😊

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 ESV

I encourage anyone reading this post to start seeing yourself as God sees you and not through other people’s perceptions of you. I believe the more we learn about who God is, the more we learn about who we are, because we are made in His image.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…

Genesis 1:31 ESV

From my heart to yours,

Melissa M.

Short reflection on my journey as a Mom.

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”

I never fully understood this quote until I became a mother. Even though God had planted the desire in me to be a mom, I never really felt as if I was capable to be responsible of another human life. I say that because I have a physical condition called Cerebral Palsey. This condition renders me limited in some ways. Not that I am in a wheelchair or anything like that but my right arm can’t function normally in the same way my left can. It’s weakened. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” -2 Corinthians 12:9

Soon after I became a mom, It was then that I realized that God doesn’t see what man sees. He sees much deeper than just the surface, He saw my heart’s desire and it pleased Him to bless me with a child. Ever since becoming a mom, I can truly say that it all has been Him who has been equipping me on this journey as a mom. He has equipped me with the knowledge, wisdom, insight, grace, and strength to be the mother that He has designed me to be for my daughter. It is Him that equips when we learn to lean on and depend on Him. And just to add, I don’t share this so anyone reading this would feel sorry for me but to know that when you truly rely on God’s grace in whatever situation you may be in, He will always be there and will help you through it all. Nothing is impossible for Him. Be encouraged in your own journey.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13 ESV

Melissa M.

Trusting God in your storm.


The truth is that we are going to face storms at one point or another during our lifetime. The question is how we are going to react or respond to them when they arise. This morning as I was reading my Bible, I was reminded of the story of Jesus and his disciples on a boat when suddenly a fierce storm arose. You are probably familiar with the story, but if you aren’t I encourage you to go check it out. (Matthew 8:23-27)

Moving along, As we embark through this story and try to understand what it is conveying, I believe we can glean much from what the Holy Spirit is saying. In verse 24 to 25 (I’m going to paraphrase) it says that suddenly a violent storm arose, and the boat was being swamped by the waves, and in the midst of this going on Jesus was sleeping. Afterwards, the next verse says that the disciples came and woke Him up saying “Lord, save us! We’re going to die.” When I read this portion of scripture I can’t help but to think the times we find ourselves in a similar situation when we go through a storm in our own lives. Sometimes the storm can be so intense that it threatens to shipwreck our relationships, our faith, and even our own life! and we find ourselves questioning God in the midst of it and/or telling Him to get us out of it. Now, look at Jesus’ response in verse 26,  He said to them “why are you so fearful, you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the storm, and after there was a great calm.” I love Jesus’ response and its where I would like to focus on. If we go back to verse 25 where the disciples told Jesus to save them because they were going to die. You see, they had forgotten who was with them in the storm. The storm became greater than the one who was able to save them.They took their eyes off of Jesus.

May I be bold and say that’s the same picture with us at times (myself included). We find ourselves facing a hard situation and instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) we start focusing on what we’re going through and that’s where we start sinking and losing heart and we make our current situation greater than The Great I Am. Jesus is greater than any storm that comes our way and threatens to snuff us out (in a way so to speak) whether that be storms in our marriage, relationships, health, finance, etc. The only way to get through our own storms is to walk by faith, and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) As we place our trust and faith in Him, He will not only take us out in His timing, but He will keep us afloat the storm with His grace and peace and we will be strengthened by it. He’s with us every step of the way. Keep the eyes of your heart on Him and He will see you through each and every time. Trust Him, He is faithful.

Melissa M.

A short testimony of where I’ve been and where I am now.


I remember a time in my life where I went through a life changing event. Back in 2011 I lost my uncle whom I loved very much, and considered him to be a dad figure in my life, since I never knew my biological father because he passed away when I was very young. During that time in my life, I also went through a separation from a relationship that ended abruptly after 3 years. Could you imagine how must have I felt?… To say I was hurt is an understatement. I felt more shattered and crushed than anything. I felt as though my life was falling apart right in front of me. Some days I felt I could literally die from the pain I was feeling. It felt so unbearable at times. I sinked to a really deep depression where I had no desire to do anything, I felt life was so meaningless, I wouldn’t even want to eat at times and tears were my constant companion. I would wear a mask in front of people and smile as to appear everything was okay but deep down I was broken. I didn’t know how to reach out and be vulnerable to people, even those closest to me and share what I was feeling. I felt stuck, confused, empty, trapped, fearful, lost, and alone. It finally came to a point where the pain was just too much and I couldn’t take it anymore, and I remember being in my room one night and I was listening to a worship song by a singer named Kari Jobe on my computer. As I was sitting there, I felt as if I was carrying the whole world on my shoulders. That’s the closest and only way I can describe the amount of pain I was feeling and carrying at the time. So, back to my point, as I was sitting there and feeling like this, I couldn’t contain it anymore and I leaned over my desk and began to pray, but I don’t even know what I was even praying, it felt like I was babbling and before I knew it, I just broke down and I found myself crying and sobbing so profusely that I even vomited. The pain was so real and raw that I was hoping God would hear me and take it away and lift up the burden. And, He did just that! I literally felt the weight lifted off of me afterwards. To make my story short, ever since that experience I have not been the same person. Shortly after that, I started going to church and decided to dedicate my life to Him, Him meaning Jesus Christ. He has changed me in ways I never knew possible, and has given me so much hope, joy, and meaning to my life that I’m just so grateful and so in awe of who He is, and what He has done and continues to do in my life. I’m really scratching the surface with what I’m sharing with you right now. I really felt touched to write this and share it this morning, in the hopes it would bring hope, even if its just to one person. And, I would like to say that if you find yourself in a similar situation like I found myself in years ago, and you feel alone or you don’t know how to go on another day, please consider reaching out to someone you trust, but ultimately cry out to Jesus, He’s the only one who can really help you, heal you, and restore you. He’s faithful, he understands what you’re going through. His ultimate desire for you is to place your trust and faith in Him, He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you so much that He went to the cross to die for you so you can live in fellowship with Him. You’re not alone. I’m a living witness to His power, goodness, and faithfulness in my life. God bless you. If you need prayer, please feel free to email me at melir1389@gmail.com or prmeli212@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Instagram @melissahm07 and twitter @melh_07

From my heart to yours,

Melissa M.