I talked to my Dad today on the phone...and I can’t get even get the phrase “I love you” out of my mouth without tears streaming down my face.
For a moment, I wasn’t sure if he heard me. His response was a bit delayed. Then he said, “I love you too Dee. I’m ok”.
My mom plays him videos of me preaching all day every day. She says that he always points to the screen and says, "That's Dee. That's my baby".
He's so proud of me, even in pain. I look at him push himself almost everyday. Every time a nurse tells me a joke about him or informs me of his day to day progress, I comment, "that's my daddy". I tell him everyday that I'm proud of him, just like he told me every single day.
Even when he falls out of the bed.
Even when food misses his mouth.
Even when he struggles to communicate.
I tell him that I'm proud of him.
I know this process has been a lot on him. I know he overhears the uncertainty in the tone of his doctors and nurses. But I want my voice to resound in his ear. Even though his steps are a little shorter. Even though it takes him a little longer to process. I'm proud of him. That's my Daddy.
Bye Bye Bye.....
This has been such an interesting season. I’ve had so many segments of bad news since January, I really don’t know how I’m still here. Every aspect of my life has been challenged and faith has been tested on levels that I never anticipated. But, I’m here.
I look at my mom and weep. I honestly don’t know how she does it it all! She’s so strong....and she’s hysterical! I pray for her several times a day. I pray for her peace. I also pray for individuals that may cross her path in a malicious way.... she is not the one to be played with. My mom has also become quite the intercessor. Her discernment has always been keen, but now I really see her spiritual gifts at work. It’s really a blessing!
This week, I’ve struggled with answering the simple question, "how are you?". 8 out of 10 times, I’ll respond by saying "I’m here”. It’s a honest answer that I should probably explain.
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instructions.
When God called Moses to Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the law, God literally said “come up to me on the mountain and be here”. Once I came across this translation in a commentary, I found the Lord’s instruction to Moses to be extremely repetitive.
If Moses comes up the mountain, wouldn’t he already be there? The majority of translators interpret the text as simply saying Moses should “wait here” or “stay here”. One 19th century Rabbi named Menachem Mendel of Kotz spun a lovely sermon out of most biblical interpretation of this scripture, he said,
If a person exerts himself and ascends to the summit, it is energy to a destination, yet arrive there with their head and thoughts remaining at the original point of departure .
It’s entirely possible for a person to expend a great deal of energy getting to a destination, yet arrive there with head and thoughts remaining at the original point of departure. I’ve often reflected on my own journey and said to myself, “This journey has been rough”. I’m not saying that this is a habit that you should adopt, I’m just ministering to you out of my own mess.
Sometimes, I place my focus on the wind and waves instead of the one who has already declared, “Peace be still”.
Sometimes, I place my focus on the wind and waves instead of the one who has already declared, “Peace be still”. Honestly, I can send myself into an anxiety attack if I reflect on past three months too long. Every height that I experienced seemed to be accompanied by an even deeper low. So, at the beginning of January, I fasted to break that cycle off of my life.
Thankfully, my intercessors joined me in prayer without my prompting. The Holy Spirit told them it was time for war and they took out their swords and fought with me. My friend Dr. Rhonda literally had to talk me through a interesting situation. She said, “Dr. Dee Evans will not be punked by a devil”. I agreed.
So, I got up from my floor, tired.. but with a new perspective. Did God show off? Of course he did!
That situation made me pause.
It made me confused.
It took me through some changes.
It pushed me to the edge.
It took me out of character.
But it didn’t break me.
In my best N-SYNC harmony, bye bye bye devil.
Dee, Be Here
I conceptually understand the season I’m in. I understand that the enemy will go to great lengths to distract me. But, I’m on an assignment. I’ve been commissioned. I don’t have all of the details yet, but in order for me to get to my prepared place, but I have to “be here”. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotz imagined that God was telling Moses not only to ascend the mountain, but to be there fully, with complete attention and concentration, leaving behind all of his extraneous thoughts.
There is a reason why we are all here.
Think about where you are positioned right now while you are reading this blog. The moment that you are experiencing right now was meticulous planned and orchestrated by God. Think about this: if you are approaching this blog with a bad attitude or a malicious presupposition, it’s possible that you will miss the point that God was trying to prove to you.
Consider this: what if everything you encountered this week, this month, this year was suppose to lead to you this exact moment?
If you’re too tired from worrying, you’ll skim right through this article and miss what God is saying.
If you’re too annoyed with hearing God’s affirmation over your life, you’ll blow this prophetic moment off.
I’m learning to not be too tired to enjoy the arrival to the prepared place.
I’m learning to turn down the volume on life and focus on God’s voice.
I’m learning to “be here”.
So, if you inquire about my well being, don’t be surprised if I respond, “I’m here”. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid conversation, I’m just responding to the one that matters most of all through our conversation.
I’m telling God that “I’m here”.
I’m telling God that I’m laying aside my thoughts, my fears, and my worries.
I’m telling God that I’m available.
I’m telling God that I don’t want to miss the moment. I’ve been through too much to miss what he has for me.
I’m telling God to keep my mind so that I can be here.
Despite how ugly this journey has been, I choose to be here.
Full of Surrender.
My answer is “yes Lord”.
So, the real question is, how are you?
Simcha Raz and Edward Levin, The Sayings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotz (New York: Roman & Littlefield 1995), 149.