Good, kind, wonderful, all you do is faithful and true…
Oh My heart is heavy with gratitude…
1 Thess 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)
Thank you Lord for my mum! That she is healthy and not dead. You may be wondering why I said dead’ right? Come with me to the past.
The last time I was home, I grew to hate my mom, bitterness moved into my heart, and I wished one time that she would die.
She would persecuteme and say all manner of hurtful things to me. We couldn’t have devotions in peace, it would be argument upon argument. Why are you speaking in tongues?” she’d ask, and I would bring out scriptures, try to explain and explain. But as usual, she’d bring up walls and argue with all I was saying, it was hard.
Mum: “I am having pains on my knees, it hurts.”
Me: “Come let’s pray about it.”
I lay my hands on it and begin to pray. My mum doesn’t say Amen, or says it from her stomach or nose while opening one eye to look at me with a judgemental face of ‘what is this one doing?’
Mum: “Please can you get me this drug…”
It made me feel like cold water was poured on me. She also wouldn’t let me go and visit brethren no matter how I phrased it. She would complain and complain.
Eventually, I gave up on corporate devotions and did it alone. I would pray and beg God to please open her eyes or I would pray the Ephesians 1:17-18 prayer for her.
“Let the eyes of her understanding be enlightened…”
After the break, I returned back to school very happy to be free from her.
Then the Passover retreat in 2021 came and it was deliverance time. It was then I discovered that I had unforgiveness issues, against my mum. I had to repent and asked God to forgive her.
After that time, I would call her to check on her and our relationship began to get better.
On one occasion, she said “The Holy Spirit helps me. He tells me not to lie.” Another time, she said “when I had a headache sometime ago, I thought I would be coming down with Malaria. He told me to rest, that I will be fine. And after resting I felt better.”
She began to allow me to pray for her when she felt pains in her body, then thank me and bless me after I was done. She began to experience healing!
My mother had changed, she would tell me things like God has been working on her. I was shocked to say the least, but I had my doubts. “Seeing is believing o. Don’t get your hopes up or else boom! You see her real colour. Maybe she is missing you that’s why she is saying all those things” I told myself.
September 2022, I went back home again…
I arrived home skeptical about my ‘new’ mum, though I was hopeful.
How I knew God was working on my mom was that when I came back, she didn’t want me to do anything. We almost fought because I was trying to be involved in house chores. She’d say that I shouldn’t stress myself, “don‘t do it now, don’t stress yourself, what do you want to eat? I will cook it.”
Ehn! This hasn’t happened before except the times I had fallen ill. I am always the one stressing. “God, what happened while I was away?” I wondered.
I took up devotions again. I had to bring it down to what she could relate to. I wouldn’t clap or speak in tongues in her hearing, and covered my hair. I also incorporated ‘What are you thankful for?’ every evening, it was a time for sharing testimonies. At first she didn’t understand why, but I was teaching her to be more thankful, since she complains a lot. I allowed her to lead the devotions sometimes too and noticed that she listened when it was my turn to share. My mother who used to fight me during devotions couldn’t wait for me to say “It’s time for devotion!” In fact she’d call me most of the time, and her favourite time was testimony time.
Recently, the Holy Spirit was helping me understand better. It was hard for me to obey those who rule over me. I thought it was just to obey your spiritual heads and governments. But it also meant parents and older people who have some form of authority over you.
I remembered that back in Uyo where I was living with my elder sister, a rule was made that I shouldn’t come home late after an incident that happened. I fought hard and did all I could to get a pass on that rule. But it was abortive. I despised her authority over me.
I would feel so sad and unhappy anytime I had to leave church meetings earlier because I had to get home before my curfew. I had even asked the Holy Spirit one time during my personal devotion why God isn’t helping me even when I was fighting so hard to get a pass on the rule I was given, but got no response.
Then, during a workers meeting in church, Pastor Ita answered my question. He said something to the effect that we were meant to obey those who rule over us, (as long as what we are being asked to do wasn’t a sin) whether it seemed acceptable to us or not.
Then I understood it and just obeyed and had peace. I accepted my sister’s rules and became happy in my obedience. I stopped opposing her and complaining. Little did I know that she was noticing the change in my attitude. With time, I was able to ask for permission to stay longer on days we had communion in church. This taught me that there are rules that can still be adjusted to your favour because of your obedience.
I had the impression that these little obediences led to the changes I had seen in my mum who was in another state altogether.
Obedience indeed is the strategy.