When pressure is applied…

Today is Mother’s Day. My mother died when I was 8 years old and the woman who raised me (my foster mother, Bess Morgan) was not nurturing or motherly towards me, although I learned a lot from her about how to keep house.  So, Mother’s Day for me (barring a pity party) is just another beautiful Sunday.  I made an impulsive decision today…NO, not like that…a good one!

I decided to go visit my husband. You may or may not know it, but he has been away from us since September of last year.  That’s 8 months.  He has been in prison for 6 1/2 of those months. I recently wrote him for the first time (about 3 weeks ago).  I was hesitant to write, not wanting to be synthetic or give a false hope.  God has been dealing with me over these months and I asked Him to search my heart and cleanse me of any bitterness and unforgiveness…and He has.

When pressure is applied to a grape, the juice comes out…the “wine”…the “blood”…the true harvest from the fruit. See, we think the fruit is what we pick from the vine…the fruit is contained, encased, covered by the skin. We must remove the flesh in order to get to the TRUE FRUIT.  When all of this happened, things started coming out of me that were deep in my heart.  Don’t get me wrong, God had begun a great work in me and much transformation and sanctification had taken place, but when this tribulation struck, I became ANGRY!  I lashed out at those who love me and have been there for me…not in huge displays of ugliness but in subtle moments of sarcasm and glares. My silence became my weapon. Some say that silence is golden but as Pastor says sometimes it’s just plain yellow.  Mine was just plain yellow…like a stain.  I was trying not to sin in what I said.  So much was really irritating me…little things…insignificant things. I literally told someone one day to just “excuse my humanity”.  It was as if those who knew my situation were just watching and waiting on this grand display of pyromania.  But, guess what?  It didn’t happen 🙂  Yes, I had moments but they were fleeting.  Yes, I had reactions but the Spirit revealed to me when I was wrong and I repented.  Through all of this…I have grown 🙂  

So, back to today.  This is how I know.  I went to visit him today, not for me, but for him.  This was total selflessness.  Today is Mother’s Day. I thought about my husband and what I could do for him.  I went down to the Joe Kegan State Jail on Top Street in Houston, Texas where he is housed.  Visiting hours are from 8-5.  I arrived at 3:30 pm to a crowd of visitors waiting their turn.  I approached the box where the officer sat and listened to the rules.  She told me that there was no guarantee that I would get to see him today.  There is a two hour limit on visitation and they only have 27 tables.  There were 18 people ahead of me waiting to visit their loved ones. I understood, and I patiently waited.  PATIENTLY.  That is amazing.  I had no fidgeting, I required no books to occupy my time, I simply waited patiently.  I didn’t have my cell phone with me or my Bible or any other source of entertainment.  I patiently waited and observed my surroundings.  I spoke to a young woman named Yolanda who was there to visit her husband.  She had her 2 children with her, they live in Katy.  She does not attend church, lives with her mother but used to attend Lakewood.  I told her about Powerhouse and gave her a brief testimony of the recent events in my life and what God has done.  We chatted for a little while and then she went in to visit.  So, I waited.  I never got to go into that jail and visit my husband today.  He has no idea that I was even there.  But I learned so much about what God has done in me today.  When she came out and said, “I’m sorry but visiting hours have ended for today and we can take no more visitors.”  I calmly and assuredly got up and walked to my car, noticing and loving the warmth of the sun shining down upon my face.  He has transformed me into a different person.  I have PATIENCE and PEACE.  God has given me His Word as a guide and peace as evidence of His Presence.  I have learned that humility is not something that I attain but it is what remains once I am stripped of my pride.  In other words, once the flesh is removed, the juice that is squeezed from the fruit, the TRUE FRUIT is humility.  I can’t explain to you what this means to me.  Thank You Jesus for squeezing the juice outta me!