Terry writes: "I am God-fearing woman of God willing to do His will and bring Him glory!"
I can recall asking God to use me constantly throughout my walk with Him. Many times I felt stagnated and unplugged to Him. I felt useless and my connection to Him in hearing my cry went unheard. Sometimes I gave up, other times I cried out to Him in severe desperation, weak and drained from all the tears. My faith wavered oftentimes and all hope had disappeared. But on September 4, 2012, things changed. This was the day that shifted my course in life and set me on the beginning of my journey toward being that desired vessel who called out to God for His service. My destination started from Stone Mountain, Georgia and ended up in Houston, Texas. I resided in Georgia after leaving my Hometown of Newark, New Jersey with my daughter and three grandchildren once God had taken two of my other grandchildren home to be with Him. Devastated and needing a change, my daughter and I moved to Georgia.
Nonetheless, I came to Houston as a step of faith. I didn’t know anyone in Houston or ever thought that I would be in the state of Texas. But I remember the many days and nights of crying, praying and asking God to utilize me. Stepping out in faith, I adhered to His command and got on the bus and came to Houston. I didn’t have a plan, a place to live, any money and no physical companion, alone. But God had already taken care of all the preparations ahead of time. I, not knowing this, became fearful and afraid, wondering was this faith or my being so anxious to do His Will that I made the wrong move. Would God send me to a place that I never been before, far from those that I knew, alone with nothing?
While riding on the Greyhound bus, I prayed to God to assure me that I was doing what He wanted me to do, and this was His Will. When I arrived in Houston I had no idea what to do. I had no money. As I was standing by the bus stop I asked a young lady if there were any shelters I can go to. I informed her I had just arrived in Houston and didn’t have a place to go. She made several phone calls and came up with a Women and Family Emergency Shelter then gave me bus fare. She even asked several people on the bus if they knew anything about the Women and Family Emergency Shelter. People were so friendly and showed concern. I was amazed. Another woman came up to me and said, “Here, take this money.”
I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said, “I cannot take this, I cannot pay you back.”
She glared at me and said in a stern voice, “I didn’t ask you to pay me back. Take this!"
And another said, “I’m going to pray for you, it’s going to be alright.”
I cried and cried because I knew it was God. I knew He put these people in my path to help me along the way. All in His plan.
As I arrived at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter, I was astonished at what I saw. Parents and children homeless, homeless families seeking help to give their loved ones hope.
I sat in the chairs that were provided for waiting and stared into the atmosphere, and in my heart and mind asked God why was I here? I didn’t know I was coming to a place so dire. I have seen homelessness because I was once homeless; I had been at an early age. But this was far more than I had ever witnessed or experienced. I was escorted to the sleeping area where there were mats laid out to sleep. Singles and couples were in the front of the building, while parents and children slept in the back.
As I lay there I couldn’t stop weeping. Lord I asked, why have you brought me here to live like this. I asked to do your will, to be of service to you. I didn’t expect to come to an unknown place to be homeless. Why this Lord? Why? I cried and cried that first night. But as I rose in the morning, my mission had begun. God had wiped away the tears, took away the heartache, and my work was about to begin.
Upon my trying to figure out what God had in store for me, I began to capture what was before me in my journal. I found a seat in a quiet corner and just observed my surroundings. I noticed mothers with several children trying to keep it together. Some had fathers, some without. Most were young women with as many as five children to care for by themselves. I sat there teary-eyed and prayed and asked God what is happening with these young women bearing these children and having to raise them alone? Where is the man or men of the children? Why are they not being held accountable? The struggles they faced in raising these children were so heartfelt.
I couldn’t help but sit there in dismay and intercede on their behalf. The families that had a father in the picture were no better off. The men struggle with stability in keeping a roof over their families head and in frustration takes it out on the wife, a sad situation in the child’s life. Lord, I said, what is Your Will for these families and what am I to do in helping You get the Glory? But I got no answer, just more emotional situations to witness.
I met some single women there that “claimed” to be there on the same mission as me. I interacted with some of them to see if it was God that sent them or Satan who has sent his demons to portray godly ministers. As I prayed for revelation, God revealed to me that He never sent these people and this was another part of my mission, to know the true Christians from the false, and to see that Satan will and can fool the elect. I felt myself getting stronger and wisdom abound in me. I constantly prayed and stayed in my Word, seeking wisdom and direction.
I was well on my journey and was curious of what was next before me. As I withdrew myself from these fake women of God, I found myself in a demonic battle. Different types of spirits were trying to attack me from each side. Some were weak; some were proven to be powerful.
I cried out to the Lord for strength to fight
these demons. I had never encountered such a thing in my walk and I was
unprepared for this battle. But God whispered to me that He didn’t want me to
fight them. Submit to Him, RESIST the devil and he will flee. I couldn’t
understand this too well because of the distraction of the battle. But as I
stood still and looked to Him, I knew what He was saying. Not that I did not
have the power to fight the demons, I just didn’t have to. All I had to
do was submit to Him, resist the devil, because the devil knows he cannot have
victory over me if I am prepared to do battle against him.
I need only to put on the full armor of God to be fully protected from evil and to actively resist it.
So I prayed for strength to resist evil and to actively battle against it. I prayed for wisdom in the conflict and most of all, I remained steadfast in my prayers, both for the ability to resist the devil and also for other believers who struggle in the same battle. So in response to Satan’s attacks, I redoubled my efforts to clothe myself in the spiritual armor, yield to the Word of God, and rely on His power through prayer.
I connected with some of the staff that God had placed there for my journey. Again God was showing me who was linked to Him and who portrayed to be His. It was awful to see how some of the staff members were treating the clients. They were talked down to as though they were worthless. The affect of their belittling had caused some of the clients to act out in retaliation. Many instances occurred where clients were forced to leave because of irreconcilable differences. But in the midst of it all, the children suffered. No one thought about the children going back to the streets. No one thought about the children not having a nutritious meal. No one thought about where the children would lay their heads safely. No one thought about any of those things. Just the actions of the parent who were so hopeless and mentally abused that in their response chose a negative way to express that build up of pain. Many days and nights I would sink in my chair and watch all of the negativity happening around me. Keeping a journal of all God was speaking to me and my response to Him. Sometimes, I would escape and just walk around the block just to speak to God in the Spirit, absorbing all that I had witnessed.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday was what they would call chapel night. Different ministers from all denominations would come and share the Word of God. The Chaplain there would spear-head this process by choosing some of the ministers to participate. When I first got to the Women and Family Emergency Shelter, I would see the Chaplain but never really got to know her. I would see people going in and out of her office oftentimes. I never made my approach to her until I was led. One day she had a Wednesday teaching class that I was led to attend. As I sat there and heard her speak, I was astonished by the power that she had in her voice, the boldness of her words and the wisdom of her teaching. I said to myself, Lord, I wish I could be as bold and powerful in my walk as she is. Verbatim, I said Lord; I want to be like her when I grow up in Christ.
I started attending more of her outings just to get closer to her and learn from her. This anointed woman of God had such a love and a desire to do God’s Will that I was so intrigued by her. I desperately wanted to glean whatever I could from her. Chapel time was not mandatory and those who wanted to attend could. Others had to stay in their rooms or outside until it had ended. I attended those times when I was led to. Some of the ministers’ teachings were so one-sided and original. Some would boast while others marveled over themselves. Then there were those who allowed the Spirit within to speak. I could tell when the Spirit was speaking because it agreed with my Spirit. I would sit back and watch how many of the clients really wanted to believe. They really wanted to know how to overcome their situation. They were desperate and would believe anyone who claimed to be of God. They were looking for hope in their circumstances and a way out of their misery.
Some were fed false hope along with deceiving words. Those weary hearts were being stoned to death with no true knowledge of God’s Word. I asked God why He would allow these hearts with no knowledge of Him to be deceived by ungodly ministers. It’s because they were gullible with itchy ears. It wasn’t God they were seeking, it was Man.
I was so flushed with hurt. I wanted to more eagerly do the Will of God, to teach His Truth, and to denounce the false preaching and teaching. I wanted more of Him and less of me. I needed His wisdom to perform the task laid before me. I felt so helpless and useless; all I could do was intercede for those aching hearts. My faith was being tested in the process as well. Was I going to stand on my faith and receive His grace or allow my cowardice to take hold of me? I stood firm in my faith, thirsty for the living water which only Christ can give. I said, Lord, Your words are what sustain me; they are food for my hungry soul. Use me as you see fit. I am your living vessel available for Your glory. Please don’t take the Holy Spirit from me. Give me the courage to proceed in this journey. Shower me with your favor and keep Your promises to me. I trust You without wavering. I am humble Lord.
As my time of departure was nearing, I didn’t know what to expect next. I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to play out the rest of this journey. What else was I to experience as I continued doing His Will. The Lord provided me with stability, a job that He had already prepped me for while I was at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter. It was on His itinerary for His plan for my life, it is not my destination. I am still on assignment in my journey, just passing through until I reach my destination in ministry.
I glean a lot from my experience at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter. I take that with me in my ministry and continue to pray for all those who pass through there. I know that I was being challenged more by Satan and his minions. I know because my faith has grown, I will acquire many obstacles and valleys in my journey. But I will never waver in my faith. I will not give up. I will stay strong and trust in the Lord completely, and not myself. In everything I do, I will put God first. I will bless the Lord at all times. I will praise Him no matter what happens. I look forward to the rest of my journey. I look forward to bringing God the glory He deserves. I heed His call each time He summons me. I am His vessel, desiring to be used by Him for His service.
(© 2014 Terry Mason – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)