By Randi Spearman
I had an amazing day yesterday at church with Shauna. I had been looking forward to worshipping with my family for years and the day had finally arrived. But it was not an easy task to get there. To say satan was fighting against me would be an understatement for sure!
When I first turned in my request to go to church, my case manager had all kinds of excuses why it wouldn’t get approved. One day it’s one reason, the next it was something totally different, then on Friday when I went to check if it was approved, I was told it was not approved and to check back at 9:30 pm. I waited at the front desk till 10:15 pm…For what? I’m not sure. I finally asked if I could take care of this in the morning and they said yes.
On Saturday I checked back and a different lady said there was no pass. First it’s not approved… Now there’s no pass? I was so confused! I checked back later that evening and the new lady at the desk told me I needed to fill out a new pass so she could give it to the guy to approve it. Why are they now just telling me this?
At this point I realize my pass has been lost and I call for prayer cause I don’t know if my new one will get approved. Thank you all who were praying…prayer works!! And at 10:30 pm the lady came to my room and said, “Spearman, you’re going to church!” My whole room sent up a “hooray” for me! I sent up a “Praise God!” cause I knew why this got approved.
One obstacle down…but the fight has only just begun…So Shauna picks me up and we have exactly one hour to get there. This place doesn’t allow any extra time for errors while driving. So the first thing that happens is that Shauna goes the wrong way…but her GPS is so smart and takes us right on through the airport…still making good time. We are about a minute from the church and we stop at a stop sign…See the police officer…and continue on our way. “Good thing we haven’t got pulled over since we’re short on time today.” As soon as those words were out of Shauna’s mouth, she sees the lights flashing behind us. This dude gives her a ticket for not stopping behind the white line. I didn’t even know there was a white line!
Now whoever says that cops having to make a monthly quota is a myth, is wrong! That’s the stupidest ticket ever!! But guess what…we still had 5 minutes to get there! The devil might have had some tricks up his sleeve…but “if God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
So we finally arrived at church and it was totally amazing! I was in tears before I made it in the Sanctuary! I felt like this was my church home that I had only been away from, even though this was my first time to attend. I knew I was loved the moment I stepped out of the car and people were hugging me in the parking lot. I think they were as excited about me being there, as much as I was.
We walked in right as worship was started. Cindy saved us seats. I had dreamt about this moment and I was finally there. We sang, “God is Able” and as we lifted our hands in worship, I thought about all that God has done. How He alone is able to change my heart, deliver my addictions, set me free from bondage. He alone is able to cleanse my sins, turn my life around and give me life everlasting. And not only is He able to do it …He has done it! Glory to God! “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask, or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be the glory!!” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Then the pastor started talking about how when he lived in New Orleans, they had storms. The message was about storms in our lives. I felt such a connection because the biggest storm of my life ended and started in New Orleans. The storm of addiction ended. The prison storm began.
And just like the floods came in New Orleans, “the enemy came in like a flood.” (Isaiah 59:19) in my life and drowned out all the good in me. But, praise God that “The Spirit of the Lord shall life up a standard against him.” (vs. 19) And now I am flooded with mercy!
We sang, “Amazing Grace…My chains are gone,” after the sermon and Shauna, Cindy and I were all in tears! “My chains are gone… I’ve been set free, my God, my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood, His mercy reigns unending love, amazing grace..” And like a flood, His mercy reigns. God set up this service for me! It was amazing! No wonder the devil tried so hard to keep me from going.
But he can try as hard as he likes, cause, “He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) So the devil doesn’t have a chance!