Chapter 4 – The R Period


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A Desire So Strong

Chapter 4 – The R Period


Marie closed the book of poetry. After the break up with Jay, she went through a time that she named the R period. It seemed that almost everything that she experienced after ending it with Jay started with an r: repentance, recuperation, restoration, refreshing, renewal, resistance, restraint, rest, regret, and remorse.
           During the R period, she did a lot of reading of God’s Word drawing strength from the many wells of salvation. She learned a lot about herself and even more about the love of her God and the power of His forgiveness. She could identify with King David who said:

Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are
lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and
miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was
heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat . . . Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them . . . . I said to myself.
“I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone . . . . Therefore let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time that they
may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you
protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory . . . . The Lord says.
“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! (Psalm 32:1-11, NLT)

                  Oh, how she loved the Word of God. Thinking on that particular passage of scripture she teased God who in response just laughed and laughed.
            “God, you know what?” she’d asked the Lord as if he didn’t know what she was about to say.
          “What Marie?” the Lord answered.
          “Do you know what you said in Verse 9 of this chapter?” she asked.
          “Yes Marie, I do,” He said.
          “Well Lord?” she asked holding out her hands with expectancy.
          “I said, Marie, ‘Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that . . . ‘“
          “Yeah, God, that part,” Marie said interrupting the Lord.
          “What you really said was: Don’t be an ass. She and God laughed so hard. She was still laughing when she got up to answer the knock on her bedroom door.
          “Ma, who in here wit’ you?” her daughter Kira asked looking around in the room.
          “God,” Marie answered pulling herself together.
          “Ah, man, here you go,” Kira said turning and walking down the hallway.
          Marie sat back down.
          “You know she acts like she thinks you’re crazy but knows you’re not, don’t you?” the Lord said to Marie
          “Yeah, Lord, I know. Many people would think I am crazy if they really knew the depths of our fellowship.”
          “Marie, I give of myself in the same measures of which one gives himself to me. If a man gives of himself sparingly, then he receives knowledge and revelations of me sparingly. If he gives himself in abundance, then he abundantly receives knowledge and revelations of me. People would think you crazy if you shared things of our relationship only because they haven’t come to know me in a deeper way. I deal with people, Marie, according to personality and maturity. I deal with people on the level they’re on with the intentions of taking them higher and deeper. Some people are satisfied right where they are with no desire to go with me any farther than where they are. Though I encourage growth and use others to provoke desire through testimonies and entrusted ministries, some folk, Marie, just do not desire to go any further.
          Many have never heard me laugh or sing. They’d call you a liar to your face if you told them I do these things. If I didn’t know laughter, then you wouldn’t know laughter. If I didn’t know pain, then you wouldn’t know pain. If I didn’t know joy, then you wouldn’t know joy. One indeed should go deeper into the study of my image, and the best place to learn is at my feet.”
          “You know Lord, as I think back; the best place I’ve ever been in my entire life is at your feet. The safest place I’ve ever known is in your presence. The greatest joy ever experienced has been with you. The most profound lessons ever taught have been spoken from your lips. The greatest strength ever known I’ve seen only in you. “Questions Lord.”
          “Ask Marie.” “Ever since I can remember Lord, there has been a burning desire within to experience a marriage unlike anyone has seen or experienced in this earthly realm between a man and a woman—unlike any I’ve ever seen or known. The search for this relationship Lord: Is it an endless search? What I yearn for, does it only exist in the union between a man or woman and you? Are the three never joined?”
          “Close your eyes Marie.”
Marie closed her eyes just as the Lord had asked, and in seconds she was seeing what she’d never seen before and feeling what she’d never felt before—experiencing what she’d only imagined yet knew in her heart existed. In the realm God had taken her to, there were no tears; yet once he’d taken her out of that realm, she felt a face wet with tears.
          He had shown her the Godly union of a man, a woman, and their God: a union that exceeded the boundaries of flesh, a union of purity—unable to be described with mere words. Marie knew from this point that that which she was shown was not something she could seek and find in her own power. That which was shown was something she’d have to wait on.
          “The God of the Godly union is present, and the woman of the Godly union is present, but the man . . .” “Where are you?” she whispered.
          “He’s being prepared,” the Lord said “even as you are being prepared. As for me, well?”
          Marie laughed hard imagining the look that might have been on God’s face.
          “As for you Lord, you are faultless, flawless, and infallible. You are the Almighty. You are all things perfect and true and pure that I cannot express with mere words.
          “Thank you so much Marie,” the Lord said.
          Within, she could feel the warmth of His gratitude.
          “You know Lord—I am in awe every time you do that. I am in awe every time you say thanks to me. I’m the one who should always be thanking you and being thankful to you. You’re the one who has done, and does, everything that is so right and so perfect.”
          “Marie, you always say to me, ‘Lord, you say the sweetest things.’ And I do.”
          Marie smiled.
          “Yet,” the Lord continued, “you’ve never really heard the things you say to me or how you say them. You’ve never really known what’s in your heart when you say them, have you? Yes, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked—who can know it? I can—the Lord who searches all hearts and examines secret motives. I know your heart when you’re with me. I know your heart when we are not engaged in quiet time together. I always see and know your heart. When you say sweet things to me Marie, you move me, you touch me. You’re not like the crowds Matthew speaks of who converged on Jesus but rather you are like the ailing woman who was cured with the touching of Jesus’ hem. But it wasn’t simply the touching that caused a reaction in Jesus, it was the depth of her faith. In this, both were moved from within.
You move me Marie, from within.
          You touch me Marie, from within. No God—if there was another—could know what I know, see what I see, and hear what I hear and not be moved. I’m moved by the sincerity of your heart, my Beloved.”
          Marie’s hands began to shake. She put her pen down trying to absorb, comprehend, and receive all that God had spoken. The tears spilled like an overflowing fountain, and the presence of Her God filled the space around her, engulfed her, and embraced her.
          “My God, my Savior, and my Lord,” she wept.
          How much time elapsed she didn’t know. She didn’t care. She didn’t wonder about it all. All she knew was that she didn’t want to leave. She longed to stay forever in that place. As the anointing from the presence of the Lord began to lift, she thanked Him for His great visitation and the awesomeness of His way. Then she sat in silence for some time thinking on her experience.
          “Lord, are you there?” she asked. “Always Marie, I’ll never leave nor forsake you. Say what you were just thinking.”
          “My thought, Lord, was if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were in love with me.”
          “Marie, I’ll say it like you humans does—I’m crazy about you.”
          “I’ve got something for you, Lord, my God, whom I can never surprise.”
          “Even though I’m omniscient Marie, your gift will still mean much to me.”
          Marie began to write:

When I Please You

When I please You there is always a smile upon your face: a sheer radiance
                       so brilliant that it brightens every place.
There is never any lack, want, or need: no cause to whimper, whine, or
There are never any frustrations, worries, or complaints; there is just pure
                       liberty, neither confinements nor restraints.
I never have to search for you or wonder where you are; you’re always at a
                       voice’s call, and that’s not very far.
I don’t have to question whether I’ll find happiness too; for happiness fills
                       my life as great as I seek to please you.

          “Thank you for the gift, Marie. I’ll always remember.”
          “You’re quite welcome Awesome One. Lord, thinking on the experience, I must say that now I feel guilty for desiring anything and anyone other than you.”
          “Marie, even though being in me makes you more than just human, you still are human. You’re still going to long for human things. And know this: Woman was made for man, and man was given to woman. It is from this cause, that there will be desire. Companionship is a union I instituted and ordained. You have a righteous desire.”
          “Thanks again Lord. You always know what to say. It has been an honor to sit at your feet and learn from you and of you. Though we talk throughout the day and I enjoy that, it’s so thrilling to just sit in your presence and listen to you talk, teach, and share. Even when you’re chewing me out, it’s still good.
          Lord? Will Kira and Montrell ever, you know, come to know you in a more personal way? Will they ever make the conscious decision to serve you because they want too and not just turn to you in times of trouble and leave you once you’ve delivered like so many do?”
          “Time will tell Marie. Keep praying, preaching, teaching, and living what is right.”
          “But I stumble, Lord. I make mistakes. I don’t know everything. I don’t always have the right answers, the right attitude, the right . . .
          “Marie, Marie, Marie,” the Lord interrupted. “I don’t stumble. I don’t make mistakes. I do know everything, and I do always have the right answers and attitude. Even when I’m angry, I’m right. The righteousness of God, dear child, simply means that God is always right.
          When I say keep praying, praying means talking to me about the children so that I, not Marie, but I, can work things. You see Beloved,” the Lord continued as Marie shifted her journal, “when people and things are not prayed for and prayed about, many times nothing takes place, nothing happens. Remember that Marie—remember that.”
          Marie was taken back in her memories to a night years ago when she and her good friend, Mary Ann, were standing on the sidewalk talking about the goodness of God and sharing pieces of their lives. It was about 11 p.m., and a young Black man was walking up the street towards them. As he passed by, the Spirit of God—the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost—spoke to Marie telling her that she needed to pray for him. Calling out to him to come and talk with her, the young man came.
          Marie looked into his eyes and saw that he was stoned. Not from alcohol but from drugs. He couldn’t tell her his name; he couldn’t remember. He couldn’t tell her where he was going; he didn’t know. She asked him if she could pray for him, and he agreed to let her. The Holy Spirit prayed for the young man, and once released from the Spirit’s presence, the young man walked away. Half way down the block, the young man stopped and turned. “It’s Samuel. My name is Samuel.”
          Once she’d gotten home, Marie questioned God about the young man. The Lord simply replied, “No one has prayed for him personally, and because of that, many things that should be happening is his life, aren’t. The things that shouldn’t be, are dominating. Now that you’ve been obedient to the call to pray, I have something to work with and am released to do my work. Had the young man denied prayer, then he would still be battling the bondage because he would have denied my help. His “yes” to prayer was a “yes” to me and for me to do that which the Spirit prayed.”
          Marie began to pray. She thanked God for the memory, for His time, and for the sharing of His heart, humor, Word, and insight. She thanked Him for His encouragement and, as always, for the forgiveness of sin. With thoughts of her own imperfections in mind, she asked God for the strength to pray when she might want to punch, for the strength to pray when she might want to pout, and for the strength to keep her feet planted in areas of peace when she might want to pick up a foot and plant it somewhere else except beside stilled waters. With thoughts of her children in mind, Marie asked God to give her the strength to look to Him for guidance rather than looking to the nearest handle of a frying pan.
          Thinking back to the scriptures that she had teased God about, Marie paused for a brief moment. “Oh and Lord,” she said with a chuckle, “—last but not least, help my Black self not to be an ass needing bits and bridles to keep me under control. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”
          “Yes, Lord?”
          “You know folk think you’re crazy right?”
          “Yeah God, Why?”
          “Just asking Marie. Just asking.”
          They both roared with laughter.



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