by Stephanie Rochelle Redd
In my world, believing is seeing. In other words, I see what is and what is not visible. So, in addition to reading between the lines, I see between them as well. Along the lines of sight-reading my way through life, I’ve performed some pretty tricky numbers that, at the time, appeared to require more skill than I could muster.
For instance, in 2013, I read Spirit’s notes that I should move to Maui, Hawai’i. At the time, I lived in Austin, Texas, and had a job, apartment, car and all the other trappings of adulthood (i.e. bills). As I saw it, I was trapped between an untouchable fantasy and very tangible realities.
But, while I was focused on the responsibilities of ‘reality,’ Spirit showed me that I had a real responsibility to myself–to march to the beat of my own drum and not die with my music still inside. So, I listened to Spirit and my inner-drum beat, and marched toward Maui in July 2014. And by September of that same year, I fled Hawai’i – broke and broken – back to the mainland.
What was THAT about?
Was I wrong in my reading of Spirit’s Hawaiian melody? Or, did Spirit mislead me with the wrong notes? Well, with almost three years of residency on Maui now under my belt, I can see that neither one was the case. I was, in fact, in the right place at the right time to have the exact experiences that I needed to prepare me for my future Hawaii Life. Of course, at that present time, my experiences looked a lot more like failure than preparation.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28, NKJV
I may have fled Hawai’i with a sour taste in my mouth, but not before I learned to cut sugarcane with a machete (“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…”). I may have fled Hawai’i with my dreams dashed, but not before I was able to endure the nightmare of spending the night in a public bathroom (The Pursuit of Happyness-style). I may have fled Hawai’i broke and broken, but not before I was able to squeeze a book out of my escapade (Good Erotica for Good Girls—check it out).
What HGTV won’t tell you, but I will, is that it takes a warrior to actually live the Hawaii Life. And while I may not descend from King Kamehameha, I am a child of the King, who also knighted me as a rebel with a uniquely noble cause. Therefore, my failure to make Maui my home in 2014 was merely a test-run to test me and my warrior within.
Truth is, though, my battle is already won. Before the foundations of the world were set, I was pronounced a winner in Christ Jesus, who, with the Father and Spirit, devised a Divine plan to save me from any real defeat. So, even when I’m down, I’m not out. And even when I’m left bitter, disillusioned and penniless, I’m still winning. Though God’s plan for me includes countless cliffhangers – much to my parents’ chagrin – I know that if I keep hanging on I will win, simply, because I’ve already won through Christ.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13, NKJV