They say that “church hurt” is the worst hurt. I beg to differ after “forsaking“ the assembling of myself for about six years. I went to church off and on, the whole time battling with the thoughts of how God is going to be so mad at me to how much of a great relationship He and I have in or out of church. Some days, I just did not feel like being a professional Christian. Many times I wanted to call in sick, but I couldn’t lie to God, because I know He is a healer. But the battle was not with the church and the folk in it, the battle was within myself. I remember being told that people look for my smile, they look for my face when they come to church or sometimes I may be the only bible a person may see. In hindsight, I remember how that stroked my ego, because I was so insecure and just desired to be the best Christian ever. I had the audacity to think that it’s impossible to mess up being a Christian. The whole time I was messing up; living a lie within myself and trying to make it look good to others. I was working harder than God to keep myself and my children, instead of resting and relying on His grace. It’s still a struggle at times, I just have to be reminded. Reminded that; no fruit came from my fear of what people were going to think if I admitted that I wasn’t perfect. No fruit from being afraid to say no because I was seeking acceptance from others. I look back and I am absolutely disgusted at that woman, because apart from God, I can do nothing. Humans are human just like me and they struggle too and have zero power with God. However, I don’t live resenting the woman I knew over six years ago, in fact she is a ghost in this rebuilt temple. I assumed that deliverance meant I wouldn’t have to see insecurity again or even hear her voice, but let me tell ya, she is the thorn in my flesh.
When we really want change in our lives, we have to be aware that dying to ourselves come with withdrawals. Chills and the shakes are around the corner when you’re tested with who you once were. It feels like you’re dying and technically and spiritually we really are. But it does not feel good to discipline ourselves to choose to do the opposite of what we were use to. It is not easy breaking old patterns, we have to consistently give the ”new us“ a louder voice and demand the silence of the “old us”. I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I use to be addicted to the approval of people. When it’s time to say no to someone I think I need the approval of; oooooo Jesus, I feel like I’m about to croak. When I want so bad to start a new job because the folks on the present one is repeating the same behavior I’m use to seeing, I have to tell that old Carla to get somewhere and hush. She is no longer running the show. I have to keep her in check. However, and the truth is, she ain’t going nowhere. Her voice may get weaker, but she ain’t going nowhere. I am done running from folks I don’t want to be mad with me, and I am done allowing people to walk over me. I use to think it was humility and that God honored, what I understand now as fear, but when I was choosing to submit to people over Him, it IS sin against Him. It was downright fear of man, and God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Love, Power and of a Sound Mind. (2Tim1:7) I have to be reminded and that one helps me to confront what needs to be confronted. I hated confronting people, because I always shake and cry so I stayed away from it. My words were never clear, so I just avoided it. Guess what y’all? I did it this week. It took it a whole lot, but I did it. My words were shaken at first, but I didn’t cry and I got my message across clear and concise. I told that old Carla, “Carla Mashell got this”! It wasn’t about brownie points (ego) nor trying to prove how I ain’t finna let nobody keep messin wit me (fear for real). The motive was getting an understanding; coming to an agreement. I can already see the fruit of a pure motive, fruit of peace and how I personally can contribute to doing better at my job.
I’ve been studying the book of Haggai and the rebuilding of the temple. It was super clear that the old temple was important and had some purpose in supporting the project of rebuilding. God kept saying “consider your ways”. We aren’t just to look at what we use to do and how we use to be and despise it, but it should be embraced. Who you once were, what you once did is going to support the purpose of you being raised up bearing much fruit for the kingdom. The old ghost of Carla has some importance to Carla Mashell’s future. She and I just have to meet on a daily basis, with grace as the mediator, and come to a clear and concise understanding. I just have to let her know that today, she ain’t running the show, thank you lil girl for reminding of who I use to be and how I can’t be that anymore. She reminds me not to forget where I came from. Just as Paul and the Holy Spirit were conversing about the buffeting that comes from the devil; the thorn in the flesh, God’s grace is sufficient.
Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy the law, but fulfill it. He meant; to bring an understanding, that our motives for whatever we do will be pure and without fear and reserve. My church consists of haters (myself), my church consists of dream killers (myself) and my church got instigators (myself). But I got to call on the mediator who can offer grace when this church goes array. As long as He is in the pulpit as the Shepherd, this church gone be alright, we gone make it. All of us in this temple called Carla Mashell, say amen.
Sisters and Brothers, the enemy doesn’t start on the outside of you. The enemy begins on the inside. All of those who you thought were fighting against you are actually in you. Let Grace be the mediator, for you first that you may extend it to others. He has forgiven you, if you’ve asked. Now forgive yourself so forgiveness can be extended. Praying for much fruit in our lives, In Jesus Name Amen.
Love Always, Carla Mashell