A few times a year, I receive an email that reconfigures my entire outlook on life. It usually comes from Goldinwords readers I’ve never met. Last week one came through and I begged Akos to let me share it with you.
I know I am blessed and there’s so much so be grateful to God for, but every now and then I catch myself asking “Why not a 6 pack God? Would it have upset the course of history so much if I was 6ft tall? Why this slow metabolism God? Why wasn’t dad around more often? Why did you let my GHC 50 get lost last night? How can you claim to love me if you still haven’t answered the one prayer I’ve been making since 2011?”
You and I we’re like that. Small p3 then we find ‘proofs’ to the thought that God isn’t that loving or caring. Sometimes we get stuck in that rut and become angry and bitter. Akos talks about all the better reasons she had to think and feel same and how she resolved it. Her opening line is a knockout punch.
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My name is Akosua and it took me 40 years to praise my God!
I was born with the temperament Melancholy and sickle cell as well, which was quite a fiery combination. After a trip to Kenya and two strokes, I was bitter and so horribly wounded inside that I was angry even with God. The strokes happened on the left side of my body, one at age 10, only 3 weeks after we had arrived in Kenya, and the other at age 13. Strength came back rapidly after the first episode; I was able to wash my own clothes and could use the hand sufficiently.
After the second stroke, however, it was soon apparent that nothing more could be done. My wrist and finger muscles would not respond, although my shoulder and elbow were alright. I developed drop-foot in my left leg, and even feeling in my facial muscles was affected, making eating quite messy sometimes. I was a pitiful sight to myself, and wondered why I hadn’t just died. I never thought I’d smile again. I wondered; why would a loving God I’d given my life to allow me to go through such a debilitating experience?
I went through years of bitterness and anguish of soul, until I gave my pain to the Lord Jesus Christ. He took my pain and gave me beauty for ashes. It was a process, lasting a number of years, but He transformed me into what He wanted me to be; bold, beautiful and confident, and ready to help and comfort those who are struggling the same way I did.
My experience gave me a deep empathy for suffering people. Over the past seven years I have worked with young children, some of whom are hurting and broken. By God’s grace they seem to open up to me, and I introduce them to Jesus. I have also been invited to Sierra Leone, to share the love of God with children there. Now I praise the Lord from the depths of my heart daily, and my name is Hephzibah, which means ‘The Lord delights in her!’ (Is 62:4). It is a name I gave myself after I realized how fabulously blessed in God I am. I was however only able to see this after I gave my bitterness and pain to Jesus. He makes beautiful things out of broken lives. Your painful crises can also give way to something beautiful, but only with Jesus at the helm of affairs. There is so much peace and joy in Him. Have you tried giving your pain to Jesus?
Hephzibah Akosua D
Powerful huh? What’d I tell ya?
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