The Joy of the lord is my strength
I’m Alma and the joy of the Lord is my strength. And the Lord is the strength of my life. And that’s that, and that’s a wrap. Nuff said.
The thing you know, I am so joy filled, and it has nothing to do with my circumstances or people. You know, even as a little girl, I was sad and depressed. So before I was born, I was rejected by my father. All my life I lived with that being my identity. My mom and I had, not a good relationship. Her favorite words for me were, “You good for nothing whore.” I took that identity upon myself. I took it because I knew nothing more. “My people perish from lack of knowledge.” Right? So I didn’t know any better. So that’s what I took. I grew up taking that and living it out, which landed me in many bad places, and relationships, looking for love in all the wrong places.
The main thing that I wanted to share, more than anything, is about identity. Because it, when I came to find out, to discover, when God showed me, right, who I am in Him, it changed my life. God really started illuminating my mind, showing me that I was not who I had been told I was. And God started just revealing to me who I was in Him. What, how He saw me, what He thought of me, what He had done for me. We can live a defeated life, or a victorious life. And really, the choice is ours, because God said, “He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” Not just a little bit. All we need for life and godliness. And I believe it! And so it’s available. I’m jumping on it, I’m standing on it. And, it has nothing to do with your current circumstances. It has nothing to do with a certain person, your past, your present, your future. It’s about trust. Trusting and believing that God is who He says He is, and that His promises are true.
There were, there was a time that my two little children and I were living in a house with hardly, I mean, it didn’t have a floor. And I remember, they cut our lights off and I lit candles and had a praise party with just candles, because we didn’t have electricity. We slept outside because it was hot and all of that. But I’m mindful of that; I try to be a good steward. Seriously, running the water makes me cry, sometimes taking a shower, I can’t help not to cry. When, lot of times, you know, when I’m thanking God for the least little thing. Because I know where I came from, you know, and how good He is to me. I am the apple of His eye, that He loves me with an everlasting love. Jesus came, that, that He died for me. That’s personal. It might as well just be me and Him. Like, it leaves me speechless. And I guess that I’ve been so desperate for that, that man, I’m on it. Like butter on toast. I mean it. I mean like, Oh, yes. Yes. Give it to me.
And I make a fool of myself. For Jesus. I really do and I don’t care. There came a time when I used to have date nights with Jesus. I’d dress up for Him. One time we had dinner. I know it’s a little crazy. But hey, I’m crazy about Jesus. And He’s crazy about me. I dressed up, I set up two settings, lit candles, played music and we had the most wonderful date night and we danced. But I’m telling you, He loves me. I am the most loved woman. I am. I know it and I want every woman to know that! It’s my passion, it’s my desire. There are, you know, are so many women that have walked where I’ve been, where I’ve done. My heart is full and I just want everyone to know. I mean, I wish I could just blast it from the rooftop, “Hey, you don’t have to live a defeated life. You can live an abundant, victorious life.” It’s, it’s available and it’s for “whosoever will.”
You would just be amazed at the times God has revealed to me, Himself to me in such an amazing personal, like wow kind of way. It’s just amazing. It’s just amazing. I have a story about a little dog. I went to the park one day around noon, which I never do. And I don’t, I don’t drive either. I just wanted to drive. So I drove to the park for whatever reason, I just drove there. And you know, I was just going on about my business. And then this, this, man, and this little girl approached me. They had a picture of a little dog and said, “Have you seen this little dog?” He was a very peculiar, special looking dog. He had stripes, you know, so it was like, not your typical… You would, if you had seen him, you would remember. So, “This is Oreo, our little dog.” He’s a little…darlin thing. And they were from Euless, which is like 45 minutes away. Because somebody put it on Craigslist, that they had spotted the little dog in that park. I was like “Oh, my gosh, no. You came here from Euless?” “Yes. Because they told us, you know, they had seen him here.” That little girl was like, you know, missing him and all of that.
“Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. You know, No, I have not seen him.” But you know what? And he said, “Well, can we give your information in case you see him here? And you can call us? Let us know?” I said, “Sure, but I don’t have anything.” I said, “there’s my car, just put your number on the windshield.” You know, so describe the dog, the name, the phone number and all of that. “Okay, good.” I go on about my business, you know. I’m like…The little girl is like, “Please call us if you see him.” And I’m like, “Oh, my God.” I said, “Can I just pray for you, you know that you find him?” We prayed.
I just kept thinking about the little dog and that little girl and being sad. And I’m like, you know, Oh, God, I don’t know, I just felt like, so like, impassioned, so moved, that it consumed me. I came home and there was a chair over there by the window. And I just knelt there, and I just cried out to God for that little dog to be safe, to be returned, you know, to their owners. And I mean/ And then the, the, the story of the prodigal came to my mind. And just started meditating on that and you know, how God is concerned about those things that concern us, because here I was praying for a little dog, you know? And I’m like, You’re concerned about that little girl. You care, you know, that she… and and I’m just praying, you know, and crying, praying. And I would look out and see for, I don’t know, if I saw him, I guess. And I’d go back over there and just pray and ask God.
Anyway. Long story short, that night Nick [my son] came home from somewhere, like at nine o’clock. And he’s like, “Hey, Mom, did you see that little dog there in front of the house? Like, he’s in the middle of the yard just sitting there.” I’m like, “What? Really?” I said. I looked out there and the little dog is sitting there. Just sitting and he just turned around and looked at me. And I’m like, “Oreo?” And he just took off. He took off running. And I’m like, oh my god. I’m like, “I think that’s the little dog that I’ve been praying for,” I told Nick, you know. He’s like, “What?” And so I called the guy. I said, “I think I saw your dog. Here. Oreo.” And then he said, “You know what? Let me call this lady that, you know, she sets up cages and whatever, blah, blah, blah.” And I said, “Okay, you’re fine to do that.” So they came that night and put a cage out there. The next morning he was in there. And from Euless, at the park over there, I prayed that night. Is it a coincidence? I guess it could be but I don’t think so. I don’t! You know, “if you believe and do not doubt,” does it not say that? What’s to think about? It’s simple.
I think people put God in a box and they put limitations. You know, “He uses the foolish things of this world to confine the wise.” There are so many wise derelicts. Like seriously, so intelligent, but they don’t know Jesus. And this is what God, God showed me once. It was like, you think you know Him because you’ve read about Him. Much like when you are looking at the Enquirer, or whatever those things were. One day, you know, I’m passing them, thinking, and it’s like the Lord spoke to me right then and there. It’s like He said, “that’s how people, they think they know them, those movie stars. Because they know everything about them, but they don’t know them. And that’s how a lot of people are with Jesus. They read about Him. They think they know Him, but do they walk and talk with Him? Do they know Him intimately? Do they have a relationship?” You know, God promises if you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him and He says, “I will tell you great and mighty things.” And He does. And He has. And He continues to, so. And there’s nothing, I mean…
There was one day, I’m, I was there at the counter crying. Boo hooing. Everybody was gone, you know, and I’m balling. I don’t know, whatever it was, my husband looked at me the wrong way or something. You know, this was when I was so codependent, you know, that He seriously set me free from that and I praise God, but I was so dependent on him. You know, I mean, if he said good morning, it made my day. If he didn’t, I was like, wanted to die, you know? And I was just at the counter, you know, crying and all of that. I’m like, God, you know, just crying out to God. I had my Bible open and I was reading and all of that. And I’m like, “God, I just wish that You could…I know You’re talking to me, but I wish that You could give me a hug. I wish You were here, right here to give me a hug.” Five minutes later – knock, knock, knock. Maybe not even that long. And a friend who used to live three doors down – I used to babysit her little girl. – She had moved. She’d been gone like two years. She knocked on the door and she goes, “Alma, I’m sorry. I just had to stop by. I was in the neighborhood. I just felt like I wanted to give you a hug.”
I just started laughing and cried at the same time. And she was like, “What?” you know. I said, “Oh Denae, I said, “I just asked God for a hug and you just knocked on the door and you said you wanted to stop by and give me a hug.” But I have stories like that, like that. So so many. It’s not a coincidence. It’s not.