How to Escape Alabama Clay

I’ve always wanted to write about this, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I know people who say, “send good vibes our way,” or “think about me today,” are maybe being political correct. Others may not believe in prayer or God at all.

Do I deny passing on the Word of God and sharing what He’s done for me because someone doesn’t believe the way I do? By keeping silent I am going against my own Faith and actually helping the adversary’s goal of that truth not reaching every ear.

What are we really doing for someone if we just think about them? Does that generate any cosmic force to their aid?

Vibes are defined as emotional signals sent out to those around you, but we don’t possess any magical force to actually send vibes across the distance to help our friends.

But, we can pray for them, because there is a power behind prayer that mere humans cannot muster within our own well wishes.

We can intercede on their behalf, tapping in to that holy power that I am so shocked we all continue to ignore, forget about, refuse or don’t accept, because it is a power like no other.

We need to realize as Christians, is that it is OKAY if someone gets offended, because God’s Word convicts us, calls out our sinful nature, and we don’t like it, and we get offended because we don’t want to change. All of us.

Even Christians take parts of the Bible they don’t understand, or agree with, and just skip over sections that tend to step on our toes. The Bible says the world hates Jesus, and therefore anyone taking a stand for him should expect conflict and even persecution. We live in a world that is not really our home…so we can act like this one, or to the one where we actually belong.

No, I don’t want to be controversial. No, I actually don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I don’t want to have to hide the truth, and my story, when I know there is actually power behind prayer.  If no one else, I at least want my kids and their circle of friends to know. In love, I can at least tell them the truth and leave the rest to the Lord.

Where did I discover this power? The first book I ever read that totally changed my life was The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian. This book taught me a lot of scripture, and it also explained the foundation that before I could be a praying wife, or praying mom, or praying friend – I first had to be a praying woman.  I had to nurture and feed my own relationship with the Lord or else I would be empty, with nothing to give to others.

There are a lot of stories yet to be told on this blog…but one thing they have in common when I am admitting to all of the places and times where I have fallen and failed, is that I had a praying grandmother (and grandfather).

I do believe in the spirit realm that is mentioned in Ephesians 6.  My own imagination sees heavenly warriors doing battle with the one-third of fallen angels who came with Lucifer to tempt and destroy everyone person away from the God they tried to overthrow.

In the Bible, we learn of the many times Jesus himself had to pull away from the crowds and even his disciples to pray? He taught people how to pray, showed them, and then practiced it often in front of them.  Why was it so important for God in the flesh to pray?

What does the Bible tell us about prayer and how sometimes if there isn’t enough prayer, then the goal cannot be accomplished? I can’t even list them all here and it takes hours of study to read and research this topic, but I hope this challenges you to do that for yourself.

Here’s what I can tell you in one, little blog post.

Philippians 4:6-7  – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever felt the peace of God? It’s a moment you would not forget. There would be no doubt, because this peace surpasses all understanding.  That is one example of the power of prayer. It’s a result from our Abba Father, in His presence and power, meeting His children where they are.

How I sat at my brother’s beside for two days while I watched him on a ventilator, and prayed with my family (I had never done that with even my dad present), cannot be explained when I think of how I felt on the inside. I know God gave me strength.  I know God held me together.

When I would play at my grandmother’s there was always a complete family. As a teenager there was always a dream of being different from my parents and having a house and kids – doing it the right way.

In 1996, when I married my first husband, we went from a tiny house to building one of our own, across from my grandparent’s house, where all those magical childhood dreams began, and then on that very hill where my house stood…it was perfect.

The point to this long trip down memory lane is to show you the highest point of the goal I’d always dreamed of having. Then, it was completely snatched away from me. It was violated, stolen, broken and dirty – and it was gone.

In 2003, when I was on the kitchen floor of a little garden home in McCalla, AL, unpacking boxes in this strange space that was my new home, I had two little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls looking at me.

This is where I met Jesus Christ.

Those blue eyes took me back to 1980 when at age 5, my parents told me they were getting a divorce. I remember screaming at them and saying they promised not to do that, and throughout my whole childhood, I hated divorce.

As I sat in the floor of that strange, new house, while the girls held their blankies and looked at me crying, I was so broken and so angry at the Lord for allowing this to happen – to me. To the little girl playing with pots and pans that had one dream and He knew it, and He let this happen to me (I had not reached my own point of repentance yet). I ached for the future of my girls at the moment. I never, ever wanted them to grow up in a broken home like I did, and as I wept, I suddenly felt a warmth wash over me.

The sun was coming through the blinds for just a moment and the room had a slight glow, and I felt peace from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes, and my tears were gone…My face was dry and I embraced my children.

You will never convince me there is no God, no Spirit, or no Jesus.

“Keysha,” He was saying, “it is going to be okay. I am here.”

And I knew. I didn’t know how, but I knew. It was the peace that passed all of my understanding. It was the peace that subsided the raging thoughts, fears and pain. Gone.

It’s not that I never had troubles during that time, but I always had that peace, that gave me a bravery, to face this new journey.

My verse from that time, that still holds true today, is Psalm 40:1-3:

I waited patiently for the LORD;

And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
            And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.

That miry clay had me stuck for quite a while…like when your shoe gets caught in Alabama clay or mud, and you can only lift out your sock-covered foot.

The Lord picked me up out of that miry clay and gave me a new, firm place to stand.

He put a different message, a new song of praise, in my heart, versus the one I had been spewing. Only His power could have pulled me up from the pit I was in.

He did this so that by my story of grace and redemption, and the hundreds of pages you don’t yet know about, that maybe others will “see and fear, and trust in the Lord.”

I hope so. I believe my journey, my battles, by failures, the ones I want to erase from my mind completely…have to be used for something good.

Prayer. It’s the escape route.

His Word is the rope in which to cling.

His Love is water that washes away the mud.

His grace let’s you start over with a blank page for that new song…

Psalm 116:2 – Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Jeremiah 29:12-13 – Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Psalm 107:28-30 – Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

Copyright © 2017 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks, Keysha. We share a lot of the same experiences as well as favorite verses that have strengthened us each over this journey of faith we are on. I hope to share with you some of my story as time goes on. God is doing a marvellous work in us as He works to produce Christlikeness in us. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Your sister in Christ, Lo

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