Hey, beautiful people!
Have you ever heard of the term “rhema”? Rhema, or ῥῆμα in Greek, basically means “a thing said or an utterance” Often, you’ll hear Christians mention something being a “rhema word”, and that carries with it the heavy implication that it was a word in season, delivered right on time. Rhema words are often startling ( at least to me) because they hit right to the target of what I am dealing with or what was weighing on my heart. Rhema, in my opinion, comes directly from the Holy Spirit.
“All good, but what does that have to do with today’s post?” you might be wondering. Well, the person that I asked to guest blog today, is someone that I feel like the Holy Spirit centered right smack into my life right when she needed to be there. Our sisterhood, our friendship is what happens when you hear God speak and you act on it! Around January of last year, God highlighted Derricka and I just heard, felt in my bones that she was someone that I needed to get to know. She was going to be that true covenant friend–chasing God, encouraging me to keep on chasing…y’know, someone that filled many different roles. The only speed bump there was the fact that we never really interacted before. I’d always seen Derricka around church, and we’d exchanged pleasantries but that was about it. God and I had a real frank conversation, one in which I told Him that I didn’t appreciate the idea of walking up to this woman and looking every bit of a stalker or a fool while saying “God told me we should hang out” (Note to self: Great Christian pick up line. Save for later. Joking. Holiness is still right *in my churchmotha voice*) God, in true Godly fashion, used His James Earl Jones voice (what I imagine God sounds like) and said DOOOOO ITTTTTTT. Not only that, but He kept putting us in situations together, as if to say “I’m giving you every opportunity to do what I told you to do.”
Long story short, I swallowed my fear at the possibility of mortification, and I did it. And because–duh–God won’t call us to do anything that is going to harm us, it has been incredible. Derricka’s entire presence in my life has been a Rhema word. She is timely, and yet she is timeless. She has a knack for calling/texting/emailing right when it’s necessary. She has spoken into my life in SOOO many areas, and God has used us both in crazy awesome ways over the past year and a half. Derricka has ALWAYS had a right on time word, thought and presence, and I have no doubt that what she has to say will bless enormously!
1. Jump in, jump out, introduce yourself! What are three things that we don’t know about you?
Oh, hey *insert smise because if you know me, you know I likes to smise*. My name is Derricka and I am a lover of LIFE. *insert finger-wagging theologians who have Matthew 10:39 locked and loaded* Yes, I LOVE life, and all that it entails. Everyday I have a clean slate and get to partner with God to shape it into something beautiful. How awesome is that? Plus, I only get one (on this side of eternity) So I may as well enjoy it, right?
Can I just say, God is so timely. (If my blog isn’t enough proof for you, make sure to hop back to Joy’s post for the last #PhenomenalWomanWednesdays post. It’s so good!) No detail is too minor or too major for God and that brings me comfort. One of those things being the gift of Steph. I like that, “the gift of Steph”. It has a nice ring to it.
Steph and I met at DHC about a year ago. I saw her in passing as she visited with Mama Karen (that’s my nickname for her mom. That woman is amazing.) I probably said “hey! Thank you so much for coming!” in passing. But never had a conversation with her. One day, she slid into my DMs and the rest was history! (In all seriousness, God laid it on her heart to reach out to me, and boy am I glad that this woman is obedient.) Steph is the “too good to be true” in my life. I have never met someone so selfless, so genuine, so empathetic to the needs of others. Her strength is quiet but fierce. She’s the friend that reminds me of the vision God had when he handcrafted me, and is ALWAYS there to remind me of such vision when my sight is blurred by the frustrations of life and my own attempts to self destruct.
So, three things people don’t know about me:
1. I cannot watch a situation where people are embarrassed. Whether it be in a t.v. show, a movie, in person. Seriously, my stomach turns in knots and I have to change the channel or walk away. I can’t stand to see people be humiliated. I’ve always been that way and still am to this day.
2. I LOVE assembly lines. Yes, where person A does their part and hands their contribution to person B. Person B does their part and hands it to person C, and so forth. Everyone does their part, every part is important. Everyone gets to operate in their gifts and the task gets done easier with less burn-out. I seriously get goosebumps when I get to work on a project “assembly-line style”. Can’t you just smell the synergy?
3. I have a slight obsession with Cheez-its, gummy bears (not worms, bears), and french fries. It is always a test of the heart when someone asks me for some, of any of these, and I have to make the decision to share and have less of these, or not share and feel like a jerk. These really are serious decisions for me. Like my countenance changes and everything lol. Pray for me, please?
2. What is your biggest testimony right now?
My biggest testimony right now is that God is so stinkin’ faithful. I hear of God’s goodness all the time. I even see it in the lives of those around me. Sometimes, I start to wonder when God will do “that” thing in my life. But when I take time to connect the dots of my story. The fears He is delivering me from. The generational curses He is ending with me, the undeniable favor that follows me closer than a shadow…I must say, God truly is faithful.
I always felt that I was set to fail. From a young age, I was constantly reminded of how chubby I was. I had “nicknames” like ‘Fat Legs’ or plain ole ‘Chubby’. Talk about your confidence builder. I was never able to finish anything I started in life, for one reason or another. Ballet, basketball, swimming, cheerleading, band. The only things I started and successfully finished were the things that I felt obligated to. School, and my chores. (I REFUSED to get a whoopin’ for not finishing cleaning the bathroom because ‘Proud Family’ was coming on. Learned my lesson, and it only takes one time.) I was bestfriends with the “popular girl” and wasn’t sought after by guys, asked to hang out, or anything. I was the really smart girl who stayed home on Saturdays to get a head start on next week’s homework, while people were at the movies or the go-go’s. (It’s a DC/MD thing. You wouldn’t understand.) My college career was a story of relocation, nomadism, and idolatry. Senior year, I would have been fine to just CRAWL across the stage. But God…
He has used my lack of confidence to help me identify with other “pretty girls” who don’t feel so ‘pretty’. I remember those feelings of inadequacy, rejection, dejection, and can easily speak life over those fears. He has used my inability to finish things to give me a sense of accountability, responsibility, discipline, and consistency when it comes to completing projects and fulfilling commitments. Being “popular” was cool at that time, but being the girl who stayed home studying on Saturday nights earned me amazing grades and got me into every college I applied to. Every fear I have had about being like “that” parent, with “those” tendencies, God is showing me that He made me unique and that I DO NOT have to accept everything that is given to me. (Let that sink in). YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT EVERYTHING THAT IS GIVEN TO YOU. You do not have to accept criticism grounded in ill-intentions. You do not have to accept bad habits passed down from parents. You do not have to accept the fear of failures that others have. In His own ways, in His own timing, God is undoing every hurt and redeeming these scars. Beauty for ashes.
3. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
I actually have two favorite Bible verses.
2 Samuel 7:28 (NIV) “Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.”
This is one of the first verses I found when I began to intentionally look for promises from God. It’s stuck to me ever since. God’s Word is His covenant. This verse literally says that His Word is trustworthy. The second part really gets me “…to your servant.” As a servant of God (what an honor), I am entitled to His promises.
Numbers 23:19 (NIV) “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
I use this verse to back up 2 Samuel 7:28 whenever I am believing Him for something. “God, you promised me that in due season, I would have _________. You are not a human being that you would say something and change your mind or not act on it. You do not promise something and not fulfill that promise. I can rest as I wait on you to move…”
4. What is life teaching you right now?
Right now, life is teaching me total dependency on God. Remember that idolatry I mentioned? I was in a relationship with a guy that I made my god. I was willing to relocate my life for him at any notice, except that tugging I felt in my heart from God, and knowing I would miss my church family too much. My church has played a MAJOR KEY in my development in all areas of my life.
After we broke up, God had to undo the ties and remove the longing for him, and replace it with the longing for Him. God was/is teaching me to believe in Him and wait on Him for the things I need and desire. My job, my car, my home, my grad school (surprise! I’m finna be a student again lol) I had to submit these desires to Him. Ensure that it aligned with His will for my life. Ask with crazy faith that He do it. Trust that He would do it. Then wait…Every single thing I prayed for, I got. Was it exactly what I thought it would be? Absolutely not. What is better? Most definitely. For the things I still long for, I am submitting my requests to Him, and following these same steps. The process ensures 100% chance of success. But with that, I am also learning that God’s “good” is ALWAYS better than my “good”, even if I don’t see it or understand it. So if what I asked for doesn’t happen how I wanted, or at all, I STILL win. (insert Young Jeezy adlibs)
5. What does being a Christian woman mean to you
To me, being a Christian woman means being a woman who walks closely with Jesus. She understands that sure she could have a ‘good’ life without Him. But choosing a ‘good’ thing over a ‘God thing’ is never wise, or fulfilling. I want to be a Christian woman who takes control of her emotions because without His peace and instruction, my thinking is irrational and act on impulse. I want to be a woman who is a fighter. Praying over EVERY situation. From what to eat for lunch, to how to have a hard talk with a wayward family member. Being a Christian woman is a woman who simply knows that life sucks without Jesus.
Incredible as always, Derricka…she never ceases to amaze me and I’m confident that something that she had to say that was a Rhema word for you as well.