Jesus And A Destiny's Child Christmas Album (Luke 7 Woman: Diary Entry #7)
"Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts." Luke 7:41-42
When Jesus tells this story, readers of the chapter, are aware that he’s talking about himself. From the Pharisees and bystanders they hadn’t a clue. He was the man who knew his debtors couldn’t pay and was faithful enough to excuse their obligations. His faithfulness has been illustrated in every chapter and verse.
Life has an interesting way of reminding you that you’re still a work in progress. Even when you think you’ve graduated to a new level, there are a few road tests that pop up to evaluate your preparedness. Every so often, you’re looking at Jesus as a bystander not having a clue. Doing more underestimating than trusting. I guess this wouldn’t be any different.
As I continue to share my experiences and hopes with you all, I am giving issues from my past and present a voice. I have said this before in An Open Letter To You (Luke 7 Woman: Diary Entry #5). I am openly giving myself a voice to heal.
Some time ago, I heard a wise man say that, “the relationship you have with God, will be a direct reflection of the earthly one you have with you parents.”
Your view of God and how you serve him is typically based on what your parents taught you. Now, for some of us, that may need a little tender loving care from the Holy Spirit. I’m raising my hand, as I am one of those special ones, of course. I would like to share a story with you. It is from my childhood, but it is so poignant in my life, that it had a literal effect on my view of God. I did not grasp this until this past weekend.
Let me share the story, and it will begin to make more sense.
During the summer of 1999, my favorite girl group had released their album. I was thirteen years old and my friends were talking about the vocals and how awesome Destiny’s Child was. Growing up, it was my brother, sister and me. My mother was a single parent and did what she could with all three of us. She did her best.
Christmas for us was never lavish. At that age, I understood a lot more about money than a normal thirteen-year-old and knew that we did not have a lot. I was ok with it. My mom did not have to spoil us with much. Of course, we wanted things, but she didn’t have to splurge especially if we did not have it to start.
My mom did not work as often as she would have liked. But, this year, 2001, she had a job and I knew she would be able to do a little for us on Christmas. My only request was this album. I wanted The Writings on the Wall. Everything else I could forego, but I had to have Destiny’s Child. I bombarded my mother with information on where to get the album, how much it cost and that it did not have any “inappropriate content” in the lyrics of most of the songs. I could not wait to see Beyonce, LaTavia, Kelly and Letoya on the cover of an album.
For days, I bragged about how I could not wait to get it. Granted its release was two years earlier, and the buzz had died down. People were now talking about how the group had split. I felt like it would be prime time to reignite DC, the way they were. I was anticipating the opportunity to have what I had missed all this time.
Christmas Eve came around and I did not sleep a wink. I was just so excited about what I had pleaded to have. I just knew this was it! Today was the day.
After whining about being ready to get up, my mother finally allowed us to come and open our presents. I saw the reflection of a plastic square case under the tree. Now, my memory is a bit foggy. I cannot remember if she wrapped it or not. I honestly, do not believe it was wrapped. As I got closer to the tree, I recognized Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle? Who?
What is this? It was Destiny’s Child: 8 Days of Christmas. Huh? This is not what I asked for! I recognize that it’s Destiny’s Child. But, it isn’t The Writings on the Wall. I was so deflated. Everything I had hoped for. I didn’t want their Christmas album! I didn’t even know who Michelle was! No offense to her now, but who are you? It was only one decent song and I could only play it around Christmas time. Fail!
What I asked for, pleaded for and desired so badly, and she didn’t get it.
Instead, I got a substitute that only had maybe two good songs on it. I was devastated, literally crushed. I couldn’t understand. I asked for just one thing. It wasn’t complicated. I tried to give as much clarification as I could. I even gave hints about where she could find this album. Yes, it was an older album, but F.Y.E. (I’m totally dating myself now) still had it. I was sure of it.
Why didn’t you get the album that I asked for? Why couldn’t I have what I asked for?
I was filled with disappointment. Honestly, as I write this I am realizing that I had been carrying this with me for a long time. From that point on, even before the Destiny’s Child debacle, I often felt disappointment with the adults around me. I was disappointed about the decisions that were made in their own lives. I was disappointed with the choices they had made for me, around me and about me. Even if they did the best they could in the situation, I was still disappointed. I harbored these feelings into my relationship with Jesus. I assumed because my parents and other adults in my life disappointed me, God was not going to do anything different. I subconsciously held on to this idea for years, even after I had given my life over to Christ.
I bring this story up now because there is something I am truly hoping for in Christ, but I am having a difficult time believing that he will answer my prayer. I will discuss what I am praying for precisely, soon enough. I am sure you all know what it is, but the details I’d rather leave obscure, for now.
In my mind, I understand that he is a way maker, debt canceler and promise keeper. However, my flesh, says otherwise. It gets tough when your head, and heart do not agree with one another. This is when faith comes into play. Often times, it is easier said than done. Will God answer my prayer specifically? Or will he give me his supplemental version? God’s provision is better than I could ever imagine, but sometimes it is hard to digest it. I ask this question because of the disappointment I carried for so long.
As I reflect on the past and examine it from a new perspective, maybe out of all the stores she went to, The Writings on the Wall, wasn’t available. It had been two years since it was released. She may have just grabbed what she could find. She saw Destiny’s Child and knew I would be excited to see it. There could have been so many scenarios in her reasoning. She did the best she could with what she had. I wasn’t with her when she got it. I did not see or know about any obstacles she may have faced, to get what she thought I had asked for. I was not privy to what was going on behind the scenes. To her, she was answering my request but to me, I felt like I was not being heard or valued. I look back now and realize that most likely was not the case. I just did not have the proper perspective.
Carrying that disappointment created a deepening crack in my relationship with God. Me, completely unaware of it, allowed distrust and disappointment taint my outlook. It has been over fifteen years, and I am now identifying this. There is so much more work the Holy Spirit must do in me. I am just glad he’s doing it.
Jesus, who knows all things and cares about us, despite our disappointing encounters with humans, will never let us down. I may not be privy to what is going on, but he has the bird’s eye view. It may take time to change the perspective of your lens, but don’t let it take too long like I did. He can see what we cannot. What feels like disappointment and disregard from God, is not, even when it feels like that in every bone of your body. Go back and evaluate your relationship with the Lord. Are you viewing him as a person or creator of all things? Are you underestimating him? Or second-guessing his ability? If so, call it out! Own it, repent and ask the Holy Spirit to identify the root. It may very well be Destiny’s Child Christmas album as well.
There are times when things happen, and you may direct your disappointment toward him. I won’t say that it is not possible to feel it. I only ask that you remember one thing in those tough times, his faithfulness has continued to cancel our debts and forgive us over and over. Why would he stop now?
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