A Joy That Can’t Be Taken 

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In just a few short weeks families around the world will come together to break bread and give thanks for the many blessings God has so richly bestowed upon them. Not more than twenty-four hours later the shopping frenzy begins as the world prepares to celebrate Christmas through the giving of gifts. Soon, the radio airwaves will be all abuzz with Christmas carols such as Joy To The World, Jingle Bells, Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, and Silent Night (soulfully sung by The Temptations of course). And finally to culminate it all, the world will bid farewell to the old and welcome the new through New Years Eve festivities. Yes, the 2016 holiday season is upon us! 

But as awesome as all of that sounds; as festive as it all sounds; to me it’s just another reminder of another holiday season that I am single. I have heard it said that during this time of year the number of suicides in this country rises. I am sure there are a myriad of reasons as to why this is, but if I were a betting woman I would say one of those reasons is because as festive as this time of year can be, it can also be a reminder for many that they are alone. I know it is for me and it is disheartening. So disheartening in fact, that as I was reminded today that the holidays are steadily approaching, I prayed to the Lord, “Lord I cannot believe the holidays are here again and I’m still single.” My eyes even watered as I said but not one tear fell. And then I received notification on my phone that Cheesette was live on Facebook. 

I tuned in just in time to hear this anointed woman of God conduct bible study on the importance of renewing our minds. The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) God, knowing just what we need before we do, knew that I needed to be reminded that I needed to renew my mind as it concerned spending another holiday season alone (single). 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.” That b part though…..and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ! Yes I am single. Yes this is another holiday season I will spend alone. Yes it does have me in my feelings. But what I know is, that thought, that reminder that I’ll be alone another holiday season was a seed my enemy tried to plant. His plan was to have me feeling defeated. To have me feel sorry for myself. To have me crying, feeling sad and depressed. But God had another plan….a better plan. Just at the moment my prayer ended, God used Facebook to send me notification that Cheesette was live! 

Not only did Cheesette remind me of the importance of renewing my mind but she also explained that a high thought is those thoughts that contradict the word of God, and in order to bring those thoughts captive I/we must speak the word of God. She then had the members of the group do a simple yet powerful exercise. She had us count to 50 silently and then at her prompting say our full name. I had counted up to five when I was instructed to say my name. I was counting silently, in my head, when I was instructed to speak my name. 

You see, that thought….that reminder that the holidays are coming and I’m still single was a thought that came in silence. No one spoke it to me, it came just like that and changed my entire mood, briefly. But what Cheesette empowered me to do through her teaching was to renew my mind; to go to the word and find out what God says about how I was feeling and speak that word over my life! And so I did.

And what I discovered is that there are more than a half dozen times God says in his word, “I will neither fail you nor forsake you.” In Deuteronomy 31 the Lord tells me to “be strong and courageous….do not be afraid….do not be discouraged.” God promises that just as he was with Moses he will be with me as well (Joshua 1:5)! So why would I allow my enemy to plant seeds of unrest, discouragement, and fear when God promises that he is with me? 

I have read Isaiah 54 a few times before but tonight I read it for the first time. As I did research on Isaiah 54, one writer called it God’s special love letter to single women. The writer pointed out that it may have been written for the nation of Israel while in captivity, but many of God’s promises in Isaiah 54 speaks to the special situations that single women face every day. As I read it I was reassured of a few things:

* Regardless of whether or not I’m with someone or alone during the holiday season or any other time, I still have joy and I can still be fulfilled because I have God!

* God has a plan for me! 

* I am not alone! God is my loving partner and redeemer, the One who is always there for me!

* God can use this to strengthen me for his purpose. He promises to fight any weapon, accusations or lies that my enemy tries to use against me! 

See, the enemies job is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). In this particular passage of scripture the enemy is called a thief. The thief tried to steal my peace and my joy with the lie that I’m alone and that I’m going to be alone during the holidays. But the devil is a liar and the truth is not in him! The truth is found only in God and he said, baby girl, I am here and I’m not going anywhere!!

So I encourage everyone reading this blog; whatever you are going through; whatever lies the enemy has told you; find out what God says about the situation and speak the word! No longer give the enemy the keys to your peace and joy. Jesus came that we may have life and that more abundantly! He snatched the keys of death and hell from the enemy! He rose with all power in his hands! And because he did, we no longer have to live defeated or in fear! 

Lord I thank you for your word which is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I thank you for your promises and I am grateful that you are faithful and I can trust you to do exactly what you said. Lord as we approach the holiday season, I pray in the name of Jesus that you will be a hedge of protection around us all. I bind up in the name of Jesus the spirit of fear, the spirit of depression, the spirit of discouragement; and I loose your peace, and I loose your joy in the name of Jesus! Lord, thank you for being with us as you were with our ancestors and thank you for never forsaking is. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

Hotep

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About Shannon D. Robinson

Shannon Robinson Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland (Go Ravens!!!), I discovered early on that I am very opinionated and passionate about my opinions. This has brought on the realization for me that I think differently from most people and it took some time for me to come to grips with that unique side of me. Writing for me is often an escape. A place I can go with my thoughts and opinions and not have to concern myself with offending anyone or not agreeing with someone. My thoughts and opinions are mine and God’s and I know that He doesn’t judge me on them. My writing is a personal journey that allows me to be transparent with self (and sometimes others) as I believe that nothing I have experienced or gone through on this journey called life was meant for me to keep to myself. Somewhere there is another woman who is experiencing or has experienced the very same things, thoughts, and feelings I have and it is my prayer that my story in some small way helps her to see that she too can come through. While at the same time giving God glory for his wondrous works. I appreciate you for stopping by and sharing in my journey as I try my absolute best to navigate it as smoothly as possible; even when I come across detours and bumps along the way. ~ Hotep

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