My Leaves Are Green: Tonda's Introduction
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].” 3 John 2 AMP
This year I celebrate 31 years of walking with my one and true beloved, Jesus Christ. This journey began on March 15, 1986. It was at a prayer meeting on Saturday morning of all days, and I did not want to go that morning. I had experienced New Birth at the tender age of nine in October of 1978, and five months later, my father passed away on March 29, 1979. It had been a very troublesome seven years, and that particular morning, I just didn’t want to go anywhere. I was ten years old and in the fifth grade when my father died, and now I’m 17 years old, a senior in high school. That morning one of my older sisters prayed for me. I knew I had to make a decision that day. I had to release everything I was carrying for the past seven years. I gave it all to God as best as I could that day, and told Him yes. He gave me beauty for my ashes, oil of joy for all my tears, and garments of praise for the spirit of despair that I could be called a tree of righteousness. That morning the Lord planted me in His House, and I have live there ever since. I don’t remember much about anything before I entered the sanctuary, but I do remember how I felt when I exited. Everything and everyone was beautiful! I remember looking up into the sky; the sun was so bright. God felt so close, and I could sense that He was smiling.
The seven years after my father's death were troublesome emotionally, but during those seven years, my mother gave my siblings and I a “pattern” for the Christian life. A pattern can be an example or a set of instructions for others to follow. My mother gave us both an example and instructions in Christian character. I came from a family of dressmakers; the importance of following the pattern is imperative. My father passed leaving us a very rich heritage of faith. My father’s death did not separate us from our God; we continued trusting God’s Sovereignty. Daily prayer and Bible study, fasting, and regular church attendance were imperatives in our home. My mother was an authentic Christian silently echoing daily follow me as I follow Christ.
There was an unswerving resolve when it came to faith in our home. My father possessed the gift of faith, and before he passed I had witnessed many miracles and experienced the miraculous healing power of God for myself. I was six years old and was diagnosed with asthma. There were no neb treatments and no inhalers in those days. When I had an asthma attack, I was rushed to the emergency room to receive a shot. I remember the night of my miracle; it was a Monday night, and my mother was teaching a Bible study in someone’s home. She received the call, and I was rushed to the emergency room for the last time. When we came back home, my father had had enough. I heard him tell my mother “this is enough”. He then told me to come, and sit beside him and my mother. He asked, “do you have faith that God can heal you?” and I nodded my head answering, “Yes”. He prayed, and I was miraculously healed; I never went to the emergency room again. After that experience with God, I was convinced that it was MY faith that moved God. I knew God was real, and with all my confusion of my father’s death, I still loved God. Deep down inside I knew He loved me, and that I was very special to Him. Thus I followed my mother; she had something in her that the tests and trials of life could not move. I wanted what she had; she was disciplined, constant, stedfast and unmovable in her faith and walk with God. I saw her delight in the Word of God, mediating on it day and night. She was like that tree in Psalms 1 planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth her fruit in her season. Her leaves never withered; they remained green. She remained connected to Him. I learned from the best, and even now she is 88 years old; she is still praying, “Lord make me like you”.
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]” 3 John 2 AMP. My Leaves are Green is purposed to encourage you physically and spiritually to move from faith to faith. Our spirit man is so connected to our physical man. Each is influenced by the other. In this past 31 years, God and I have walked on many many different kinds of roads from disease of the body to at risked pregnancies from the betrayal of a friend to financial hardship. Through every situation, I am always comforted by the fact that He is Sovereign and in control. He is the Author and Finisher of my faith, my steps are ordered by Him. Therefore, He knows the way that I take, He is not surprised at where I am, and I WILL come forth as pure gold. Every time He looks in that refiner’s fire, I’m beginning to look more and more like Him. Don’t miss the point in your walk with God. Life is like playing a card game, and I know; we played so many rounds of UNO growing up. Sometimes we are dealt a good hand and sometimes a bad hand, but we have all experienced the joy of defeat - winning a card game with a bad hand. It’s all in how you look at it, and there is so much more to been enjoyed in life. Sometimes, its not about who wins or loses. Sometimes, its about the experience. I wouldn’t trade anything for the those seven years spent with my five siblings. Neither would I trade anything for these past 31 years or could I say 39 years of walking with a Friend that has proven to be closer than a brother. We are given many opportunities every day to grow in our faith; seize each opportunity. Enjoy the experience of going beyond in your faith.
Tonda Loyd Henry