Reflections of Connections- What I learned From My Uncles (part one)

Recently, I had a talk with my Mom about my uncles. I shared how as a young girl, I use to love sitting, watching, and listening to my uncles. The thought of those memories overwhelms my heart.

As an adult anytime my uncles are together, I feel like a little girl completely overjoyed and the truth is, I don’t think they truly understand this.

See, my memories are of them standing together at church or in the home of my grandmother, together singing harmoniously. It’s not about the music in the background, it’s the music as they lift their voices to make a joyful noise unto The Lord in worship. My soul still gets full today as I am brought to tears whenever they get together and lift their voices in song to God.

I have learned to love to lift my voice in song to sing His praises and to worship Him, though not quite as beautiful as my uncles sound when they are together.

While some would rather run outside and play, nothing was more intriguing than sitting nearby listening to the uncles study, well actually, debate about the meaning of scriptures. I tell you, this would get interesting but I thought these were some really smart guys. I admit it was also quite amusing to hear them challenge one another or disagree and I would chuckle. Nonetheless, I could not pull away until I heard whatever the final answer would be. Sometimes, they would be there a long time, longer than I was allowed to stay present but these discussions made me hungry beyond the basic things I heard when I rarely attended services. I wanted more, I wanted to learn more. These discussions made me read, research, and seek more in the Word of God. Always wanting more because of the example my uncles set, I found myself in seminary school years later. A goal or dream I wanted to accomplish since I was a young person.

I learned there is ALWAYS more. I learned to GO DEEPER in and with God.

Collective lessons are great but so are the individual lessons and impartations from each of them.

Rather than thinking about how my birth father was not present in my life or the pros and cons of having a step-father, I have come to realize that my Father in Heaven, God, provided me with more father figures than I could hope for that would teach me invaluable life lessons.

My mother’s SIX brothers have provided lessons of Joy, Trust, Faith, Hope, Love, and Courage that would not just help me as a woman but in my relationship with God. Now, that is powerful!

With each uncle, they came along to provide the lesson I needed and when I needed it the most. I would continue to draw on those lessons throughout my life and now I get to share them with you. Over the next several days, I will continue to share these reflections with you. With each reflection, I encourage you to reflect upon those in your life God has connected you with to help you in your journey.

The first the reflection and lesson is:

Joy – Unspeakable Joy (and Peace)

My mom’s twin, her other half – Demetrius Randolph aka Uncle DD

The only uncle who is crazy enough to call you at “zero dark thirty” (in the morning) shouting like a military drill instructor, yet at the same time, makes you laugh because he just brings you such joy.

As a young child, when he was coming or came, it was so exciting, you could not help but run screaming, “Uncle DD!!” in full excitement. I remember trips to the corner store and coming back with a paperback full of “penny candy.” Funny because this summer, I was at his home, stressed working on my homework and I knew he has a “stash” of candy somewhere. I asked, and yup was pointed right to it. Oh yeah!! All the favorites too. Listen, I don’t care, what you are going on in your life, you will experience “joy” with Uncle DD. It just radiates from him. You’re not allowed to be in the dumps because he will make you smile and laugh. Like a healer for the soul.

He reminds you of God’s word that in whatever you believe you are going through believe in God and rejoice because though you may not see it now, God is bringing you through it. In fact, it is already done and that is why you need to rejoice…have joy.

Uncle DD was actually the one who spoke to me about life and death. I am unsure if he even remembers this, but it was at my great-grandmother’s funeral. I was unbelievably young. Why is this important? Because years later, as an adult in the military, away from home and family, it seemed as it “everyone was dying.” On top of that, I was going through some personal trials. I recall the numerous trips to inform one of my superiors of what was happening. On the last trip, he said, I am surprised you are ok…still standing.

See, it is not that I did not grieve but what I had was a lesson to pull from. What it meant to have JOY (and peace) that no one or nothing could take away. It was this time I needed to go to my “toolbox” and apply this LIFE LESSON which really helped me grow in my relationship with GOD.

Today, I went on my Walk with God, as I normally do. As He has me reflect upon Uncle DD and the lessons of JOY, I actually felt FULL of JOY! With everything on my plate that must be conquered, I felt unstoppable, like I could take off running and nothing could slow me down.

God wants to remind us through connections, that HE BRINGS JOY, HE GIVES JOY, HE IS JOY. Do not let troubles get you down. Don’t let trials wear you out. Don’t let people run you down. Your troubles didn’t give you joy, those people didn’t give you joy, so they surely CANNOT take it away.

No matter what is in front of you, REJOICE!!! And watch those Jericho walls come down!!

 

Who in your life radiates Joy? Who has God sent to remind you that He gives and is Joy?

REFLECT……………………..(and spend time writing)

You are welcome to share your thoughts