Today, I am sharing this guest blog post by Ebonie Mukasa. Ms. Mukasa originally posted this blog as a book review of Inspired for Greater Things on her “OUCHGirl Blog”, on Friday, May 2, 2014, but to me, it was more than a book review.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
After 10 long years of hoping, trying and then not trying, I miscarried another child. I, with the support of my husband decided to wait for natural miscarriage (birth) to take place. We waited 13-days and on day eleven I received a package in the mail. It was this book! Little did I know that the words within its covers would bring me back from such loss to anticipate something greater from God!
Upon the arrival of Linda’s book, I had been through a roll coaster of emotions. They ranged from sadness to acceptance, acceptance to terror, terror to hope, hope to despair, anger to peace, back to sadness. This emotional cycled seemed as if it would never end. “How could this happen to me?” I thought. I believe in miracles, I know that God can do anything. Why didn’t He just make everything all right?
I felt like I was treading on dangerous ground, because I’ve always been taught that you never question God. You never ask “why”, but in my heart I didn’t understand and I wasn’t asking out of disbelief, I was truly asking, because I believe in the impossible.
You can say that I definitely was blinded by unfulfilled expectations. Gratitude seemed like a distant friend and thankfulness was no where in my mouth. I reached out to a few close friends who seemed to catch me in my hopeful moments, where words like, “God knows what’s best.” tumbled out of my mouth. I found myself saying it to console them more than believing it for myself.
My husband experienced the doubtful, angry me. His encouraging words would appease my raging spirit for a season, but in the middle of the night, those questions, unanswerable questions would taunt me and I would sit up in the middle of the bed, shaking my head, asking why over and over again.
RECOGNIZE GRACE (Pg. 39 -40)
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
In a despairing moment, I picked up Linda’s book, Inspired for Greater Things and arrived to page 39. The title read, Recognizing Grace. Something in me immediately tightened and it wasn’t another contraction. It was my heart. As I read the first sentence, I felt like someone took me by the shoulders and gave me a little shake, while asking me, “Don’t you see it?”
“Sometimes life can provide simultaneous times of extreme joy and extreme sorrow.” (pg. 39)
You see the night we found out the baby passed, I was scheduled to do a presentation for my company CLOAK INC at CreativeMornings/Miami. This was an amazing opportunity for my company, but I was also facing one of the hardest moments in my life. The book goes on to read:
Fluctuating between joy and sorrow I naturally wanted to label the first event “good” and the other “bad”. Yet the scripture passage above challenges me to be joyful and thankful in all circumstances. How can anyone be thankful for “bad” events filled with pain, sorrow, unanswered questions and loss? I have discovered God wants me to look deeper – beyond my first reaction – and not place a label on the event. Instead of labeling, He wants me to look for evidence of His grace. Finding evidence of His grace in every circumstance provides a reason for thankfulness and joy. (pg. 39)
As the contractions came and went and I inspired and expired (inhaled and exhaled) my eyes began to see. Reading this chapter, slowly taking form before my eyes were all the good things that God had done for me. The morning of the presentation God gave me renewed strength and focus. I experienced a clarity of purpose like never before. I was able to interact and share joyfully the mission and vision of my company with people who have a true interest in fighting human trafficking. My paradigm shifted. Even today I continue to see the unveiling of God’s grace in my life and in this situation. I have a new understanding of the hymnal verse, “I once was blind, but now I see.”
“Look for evidence of God’s grace, even in the most difficult circumstances.” – Linda Pulley Freeman
Ebonie Mukasa lives in South Florida with her family. Ebonie is the creator of OUCHGirl | OWNYOURCURLYHAIR as well as the CEO and Founder of the long standing Socially Conscious Fashion Brand, CLOAK INC. More than all of that, she is a women learning to love who she is…natural hair, curves and all! Find out more about Ebonie and her work at the “OUCHGirl Website”.