It’s Already Been Paid Pt2

itsalreadybeenpaid2So, remember last week when I didn’t have any money?

Now here is where we pick back up.

As I made my way back to the table, the young man I met with was packing up his stuff. I noticed that the manager I spoke to was now speaking to our server. I saw them looking towards my direction and I got a little nervous, but then I relaxed because I thought my honesty had paid off. I gathered my belongings and the young man and I said our goodbyes.

Immediately, I pulled out of the parking lot of the restaurant and rushed home to get my wallet with my ATM card.  (All the while hoping I wouldn’t get pulled over for speeding and driving without a license.) I went to the nearest ATM and withdrew some cash. I had decided that I was going to not only go to back to the restaurant to pay for my drink, but leave the waiter a really good tip. I wanted to show him how utterly sorry I was for not being able to pay earlier. I wanted to him to know that I was not some broke, foolish girl who goes around to restaurants eating and drinking to skip out on a tab. I had to make up for my mistake.

Does this behavior sound familiar to anyone? Do you often feel like you have to try to make yourself pay for a mistake, perhaps even going as far as to punish yourself?

Well, imagine the look on my face when I showed back up to the restaurant to hand the waiter a twenty-dollar bill apologizing only to discover…well, this is what happened- I said, “Here you are and I’m really sorry about that.” The waiter then says me, as he takes the money, “It was no problem. The guy took care of it.”

What?! You mean to tell me I panicked for nothing? I embarrassed myself for nothing! I ran home and to the ATM for nothing! I did things in my own strength. I broke speed limits to bring this back up here when the man already paid for it! He paid for it and I didn’t have to ask him?!   Did I add that I gave you a big tip to compensate for my mess up, you took my money anyway! And he paid for it?!

Oh man! That’s a funny story now that I think about it. Of course, I was not laughing then, but if only I knew then what I knew now! But isn’t that how we often handle situations? Too prideful to ask for help, we often take situations into our own hands instead of waiting to see that it’s already been handled.

My “Sarai” decision cost me twenty dollars when all I had to do was wait for the promise since apparently, the guy was going to take care of it anyway. All I had to do was sit there instead of pretending to go to the bathroom, looking for an ATM. Let us all learn from Sarah. Don’t manipulate situations and try to take control of them. 

In my strange situation, it really was already handled – taken care of – been paid.

Beloved, if you can’t afford it, don’t worry! Jesus paid the price for you when He died on the cross – it’s already been paid! He delivers you, saves you from a mess, and keeps on moving you to the next level. When God helps you, He doesn’t throw it back in your face. He doesn’t keep reminding you of your failures and shortcomings.

In my situation, the guy never even mentioned to me that he paid for my drink. I just assumed he only paid for his because he didn’t say anything about it when we left the restaurant. I didn’t ask him, either.

Likewise, with God, you don’t even always have to ask for his help. HE JUST DOES IT.

Katrina

Love for the Lost

loveforthelostMy healing journey began when I reached out for help for my two daughters. I was reeling with the reality of Dad molesting my little girls along with my day care children. In getting help for my children, memories started surfacing in my own mind about Dad molesting me. I remembered that Dad told me I was ugly, that I “made him do this”, and the most damaging, “God will never love you!” Seeing a counselor gave me tools to live daily life while I struggled to heal.

Over a period of five years, one memory started reoccurring. Pure terror rushed through my veins, shaking my whole body. I gagged and choked. I screamed inside my head, “l can’t breathe! NO, NO, NOl” Then everything went black. I was an emotional mess for days after. I was so frustrated to be “stuck” at this part of the memory. I begged God to let it surface, heal me, and let me move forward. I believed this memory was the key to remembering my lost childhood.

My friend told me about her Pastor who was trained in a healing prayer tool called God’s Light. I was cautiously hopeful and scheduled an appointment. We started praying and Pastor Darrel invited the Lord to be with us. I opened my heart to Jesus. Not long into our prayer session the choking memory started. The Pastor knew that this was as far as I ever got. I remember hearing him ask Jesus to keep me from “passing out”. Then Pastor asked Jesus to show me the truth. Jesus “ran” a video picture in my mind. Dad and I were in my bedroom in the basement of our home when I was six. I was lying on the bed, choking, and Dad was standing at the foot of the bed. I looked at Dad, and he became a moving double exposure picture. Dad was standing there, and Satan stepped out of him. When I reported this to Pastor he said, “Jesus, now show her where you are”. I looked up from my bed and saw Jesus standing by my right side. He was holding a “dead looking” little girl. Me. I cried out in the present time “Ohhh!” Truth had triumphed and I was finally able to believe; Jesus loves me. Jesus LOVES me!! Jesus loves ME!!!  I felt His love wrap tenderly around me and heal every wound from that episode.

I did not regain my lost childhood memories. What I received is infinitely more precious than memories of a very painful past. Jesus restored my relationship with my Father God. Nothing is more important in my life today. Jesus exchanged my pain for His peace. He wants to do the same for you. His precious, priceless love is for everyone, especially the lost.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Valerie

 

It’s Already Been Paid Pt1

itsalreadybeenpaidI love the story of Sarai because she reminds me to WAIT. Do you remember her from Genesis 16? If not, I will sum it for you.

Sarai had no children and was married to Abram. She then gets a bright idea.

She told Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

What?! Sarai’s bright idea was to take matters into her own hands. She grew impatient and wanted to give Abram a son. And guess what? Hagar eventually got pregnant. Abram named his son borne by Hagar, Ishmael. Later, when the Lord visited Abram, he renamed him Abraham and renamed Sarai, Sarah.

The Lord also said that he would bless Sarah and would surely give Abram a son by her. However, this was unbelievable because of Sarah’s old age. She was 90. Then God said, “Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.”  Sarah thought this was funny. The thought of her having a child in her old age was laughable, but the Bible says, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

Later on we read to find out that the Lord was indeed gracious to Sarah as he had said he would be, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age. Abraham gave him the name Isaac. It was through Isaac that God established an everlasting covenant.

The beautiful point is what when we wait for anything that is of God, it’s always worth the wait.

And, HE ALWAYS HAS IT UNDER CONTROL – UNDER HIS CONTROL…

I can remember back a few years ago when I was in college, that a rather interesting thing happened to me where not only did I not know how to wait, but my lack of this ability caused unnecessary stress. I took matters into my own hands.

I had a meeting with a member of a student association from another college. We met at a local restaurant to discuss activities for students to do at special events and exchange other ideas. While there, the guy ordered something to drink and so did I. As the evening ended and before we got the checks, I reached for my purse to get my money out of it to prepare to pay for my bill. Imagine the look on my face when I saw that not only did I not have any money, but I also had no ATM card either. Where was it? Did I lose it? Then it hit me as I panicked.

I had changed purses earlier and forgot to put my wallet into the purse I was now carrying. I started to panic more than a little at this point. The guy I was with was still talking about the college projects, but I was not listening to anything that was saying. His mouth was moving and so were my thoughts. I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my drink. In hindsight, I could have just asked him to pay for it, but I was too embarrassed to tell him I left my wallet. Crazy, I know. I knew him already prior to this meeting, but for whatever reason I didn’t feel I knew him well enough at that time to ask for help. (There was that rebellion and pride in me, again. And for what? A full $1.75?) So, I did what most people would do -I excused myself to the ladies room! I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same?

On my way to the ladies room, I motioned for one of the managers to come meet me by the bathroom. This is where it gets really good. I then proceed to tell him the truth of how I didn’t have the money to pay for my order. He just looked at me and I said, “Thanks for being understanding,” and I walked off. Although, I didn’t give him much time to respond but it also didn’t look like he knew how to respond to me. He just stood there… Yes, this is a true story.

There’s more to this story, beloved…

So be sure to stop back by next week to see how this saga came to a climatic close. You won’t believe what happened next…

Katrina

Holiday Greetings

mrandmrsCan you believe 2014 is only few days away?! Wow! This has been a difficult but rewarding year for the Bynum family. Recently we reflected on all the storms He saw us through this past year and are floored by His power yet again. Last Christmas my husband was in Afghanistan while my children and I were at home…alone. My husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on December 28 and we’ve never been apart during the holidays…until last year. I mustlittlebynums tell you that although we already knew Christmas is not about the gifts, last year we live it. We had a tree full of gifts and no desire to unwrap them. Because my husband Skyped us and wanted to see us open the gifts he sent us, we honored his request. We cried during that entire video call.

My children are 18, 13, and 11 and I overheard them saying they had everything they wanted this year for Christmas and it had nothing to do with the gifts under the tree but the fact that God has brought us together again and allowed us to celebrate Him, makes my heart leap and my eyes weep. They aren’t the type of children who ask for a lot, not for birthdays, Christmas, etc. but to say something so profound with so much passion (especially at their ages) is something only the Lord could have placed in their hearts.

Previously, we had head knowledge that Christmas is about faith and family but now we have heart knowledge…the difference is the experience. Lord, we are eternally grateful.

More Than Conquerors

morethanconquerorsShe was excited to bring in the New Year with her cousins. It was the first time she had spent a holiday without her mom and although she was a little nervous about it she knew she would have a great time.

They planned their own little New Year’s party with plenty of snacks, sparkling grape juice, streamers, and noise makers to celebrate. They all counted down and cheered loudly at midnight. Loud music, sweets galore, and dancing the night away. She had a blast!

Around 2:00am she fell asleep along with everyone else. But someone was watching her, silently waiting in the background.

Sticky hot breath hovered over her ear and she woke instantly. She felt slimy drops of sweat sink into her cheek, fear paralyzed her.

I was in third grade and he had just graduated high school. My life would never be the same again.

It took years for me to overcome this hurdle in this Christian marathon I call my life. My heart had to be conditioned, just as a runner has to condition her body to physically prepare for the race.

That terrible incident continued to torture me throughout my childhood and followed me into my adult years. Flashes of that night constantly harassed me. Sounds and smells sometimes triggered the unspeakable images of that awful night. Those disgusting memories even pursued me in my sleep and tormented my dreams.

I became tired of being a prisoner of rape. It wasn’t enough that my innocence was brutally stolen from me but now I was being held captive by it and reliving it over and over again. I sought help from the only one who has the power to free me forever – my GOD.

Have you ever read about Tamar? Tamar was King David’s daughter, (David as in David and Goliath). She was raped by her stepbrother (King David’s son) – read 2 Samuel 13. She had a story similar to my story, someone in her family, someone she loved and trusted betrayed her with such disgrace.

In 2 Samuel 13:20 the verse ends by saying that Tamar lived in her brother’s house, a desolate woman. A desolate woman! She was a princess for crying out loud and she lived the rest of her days hiding out in her brother’s house a desolate woman?!

I determined in my heart that I would conquer rape and rape would NOT conquer me. The Bible agrees in Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Because of Christ’s love and because He already conquered the world, He made us MORE than conquerors! You are MORE than a conqueror!

Let’s pray…

Lord, King of kings, I thank you for everything you are doing in my life. I am forever grateful for the life of your son Jesus Christ. You are all powerful o mighty God! I ask that you strengthen me today. Free me from this prison. I know that situation was not my fault. Guilt is a trick from the enemy. It is not Your will for me to be a desolate woman. You are my Father, my King, which makes me your daughter, the princess, more than a conqueror. Thank you for revealing to me that I am more than a conqueror. From this day forward I will no long live like a prisoner but like a princess, who has been freed and because of the love of my Lord I am able to be more than a conqueror. I love you forever and always. Amen.

God’s Plan, Our Purpose

godsplanourpurposeIsaiah 14:24
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. NIV

Droplets formed on the rim of her brow and she clenched the life in her belly. Her body quivered while uncontrollable sobs escaped her petrified soul.

Again…he spun the barrel of the gun, gave a quick flick of the wrist and pressed it against her temple.

He enjoyed the game of life and death, also known as Russian Roulette.

Before I took my first breath, while in the secret most inner parts of my mother’s womb, evil attempted to murder me at the hands of my father.

This was the first of many attempts on my life, but my God had a plan and a purpose that would not be thwarted by anything or anyone according to Job 42:2 which states:
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. NIV

God can do ALL things. There is nothing He can’t do, including preventing a bullet from leaving its chamber. Although we may sometimes forget there is (absolutely) nothing He can’t do, don’t you simply love being reminded of what He can do (and has done)? The world is full of miraculous displays of love and power that can only be accredited to our majestic Lord and Savior.

God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, not even death can touch us without the Lord’s consent. Isaiah 46:10 says “I make known the end from the beginning…I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ The Lord has made it quite clear that He is in control and His plan and purpose will prevail. Not our plans, not the plans of those who hate us, not even the plans of those who love us, but only the Lord’s plan will stand. The Bible states in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This Scripture gives me peace during the unsure moments in life. God Himself is quoted saying His plan is not to harm us but to prosper us, to give us hope, and a future.

Let us pray…

Heavenly Father we love you. We absolutely adore you. We believe with all our heart that you can do all things. We believe that you have a plan and purpose for our life and no plan/purpose of Yours can be stopped by anything or anyone. You are all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere all the time, there is none like You. I trust that Your plans are what’s best for me and you are not out to harm me. Forgive me for the times I’ve doubted You. Forgive me for the times I’ve thought you didn’t care or love me. From this day forward, if I ever doubt, please bring Your loving words back to the forefront of my heart to remind me that Your plan is one of hope and prosperity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.