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Don't Give Up!!

I was sitting at lunch today and I heard this song. For me, its an oldie but goodie. It is Mary Mary's Can't Give Up. The lyrics I heard in my head were very simple - "I just can't give up now, come to far from where I started from. Nobody told me the road would be easy but I don't believe He's brought me this far to leave me."

I remember almost 15 years ago accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. I went through this honeymoon phase where all was lovely. I walked around in this haze of all was perfect with the world and nothing could stop my smile. Somewhere along the way, the honeymoon phase ended. I remember hearing that this phase normally lasts 6-8 months. Nope, not for the kid. If I got 2 months, it was a long time. Life hit - HARD. But this song came on one day. I remember standing in the kitchen of the apartment I was being evicted from crying. Out of nowhere came this wind and in my ears rang - Don't Give Up. I wanted to pack it up, put my tail between my legs and run home to my parents - to my safety net. Twice, twice. I was on the verge of seriously leaving Northern Virginia and going home. Both times, God wouldn't allow it. He didn't want me to loose the progress I was making. Although it appeared that my world was crumbling all around me, the truth was the trash was being removed so that the real me could walk with dignity and pride.

During this pandemic, my soul grieves for those who want to throw in the towel because I know that feeling. I know the despair of the heart when you are turning left and right and there are no answers. But, Don't Give Up. The world may be crazy where you don't know your up from your down. But trust God a little long. Hold on to Him not to the world. Excuse the behaviors of men because as you can see from the top down, many of us are living. That's it, just living without thought on how it effects the next person.

When you have been called by God, it isn't for just any ole' rhyme or reason. Laying in my bed the other morning trying to stir myself to get up, I looked at my wall and saw a vine. It was extending up towards me. All I could do was smile. I knew instantly that God was reminding me that HE IS THE VINE (John 15:5 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." NIV) I trust the vine. I trust that if I stay in Him: trusting, believing, having faith in, listening to, allowing myself to be guided by, then event when sorrows come up, they won't overtake me. DON"T GIVE UP.

As I continued to read John 15:1-3, I had to celebrate: “(1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (2) He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. (3) You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (NIV) Did you catch that? God is the Father and the gardener. Do you know what a gardener does to help their plants grow? Prune them. God has to take out of you what isn't meant for you. Get it!!! There are some battles that we go through because we have to be pruned. BUT!!! Oh here comes the joy!!! I'm already clean. How do I know? My Father said so. Re-read verse 3. I was clean when He spoke the Word to me. I was cleaned when HE called my name. I was clean when I accepted Him in my life. The trial is just His way of keeping me strong so that I can continue to grow. I have value. How do I know??? Who among us would waste time on a dead plant? I don't know a one. But, catch this. God doesn't see what we see. We can see ourselves as worthless when He'll bring us back to like. (Come on Ezekiel 37.) God sees not what we see - He looks at the heart while we are wasting time trying to prove whom we are. Feeling a little dry in the spirit. You already have the command - (Eze.37:4-6 NIV) "4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life.6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

Do you still want to give up? Don't you get it yet??? You are valuable to the Kingdom and the KING. He created you just like He wanted you. He loves you just as you are. Matthew 11:28 reads: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (NIV). If you don't know how to go to Him, then here is a simple way that I began using when I first became saved. After putting my son to bed and settling down for the day, I would just begin talking. No one was around me to give me their input or guidance on how to talk to God. My relationship with Him became open just because I started talking. It felt weird at first but not long after, it became a habit. Today, its just part of who I am. I get up in the morning, greet Him and keep on talking. Then I shut up so that I can hear. Sometimes He leads me to a scripture, sometimes to a song, others I sit in the silence and wait. But this has taken time. This relationship between Him and me. Our relationship is just that OURS. Others will tell you what they do and how they communicate with God. But the best advice I ever found was this - open your mouth and just talk. How ever you start the relationship, let it grow day by day, month by month. There were days that we were on an hour by hour - heck, a minute by minute - basis. Truth is, there are days now when I talk more and there are days when I sit in the silence. Both work for me. But find what works for you.

Either way - Don't give up!!!! He Loves YOU!!!!

Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed

- - Nakya


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