Trust your Desires

Are you secretly desiring big things but you think they’re impossible?
Trust that they are from God.

Hi Everyone, it’s Tarka!

I was married very young. I had my first daughter at 19 and found myself standing before the justice of the peace about a month later. I didn’t love that man. I barely knew him. My mother had been in my ears for months about getting married and at the time it made sense. Despite his many shortcomings, he loved our little girl and wanted to be present. He was up for reassignment and headed to DC. I would be in Virginia for another year or so. The military isn’t obligated to move both parents unless they’re married so we did it. It was a nightmare to say the least but vert short-lived. After only about 2 years and another daughter I was done. There was abuse, infidelity, and finance issues… typical right? We were both very young and in a new city. The first “other” woman came to the house while I was pregnant the first time. It was the day of my baby shower. I was devastated, but somehow managed to get hitched anyway. Many more women would surface from time to time over the next two years. Eventually I found my own “boyfriend” and the relationship became more of a roommate situation. But only for a few months. There was a fight the day I finally left. It was over $25. I worked part-time and only made about $200 every two weeks. I would cash my check and put the money in a jar in the back of the closet. Apparently he had found out about the jar. I confronted him when I noticed the money missing and he was indignant. As if I had no right to have separate money. This man made close to $90,000 and we were barely into our 20’s. He would bring home $2000 checks a week. Our monthly rent wasn’t even $2000 and we had very little debt. We both had cars and he had managed to charge a few thousand on credit cards but that was it. I was at the end of my rope of patience. He refused to buy a house and wouldn’t invest anything. All he wanted to buy were clothes and electronics. He was frivolous and I was afraid. I had watched my parents struggle financially my entire life and I was not going to live the same way. It was mindboggling how he could spend $800 on clothes during his lunchbreak. We would be nearly broke by the end of every payday. I was asking my parents and his mother for money to buy food because we were scarcely living paycheck to paycheck. This guy was driving an Acura and wearing Gucci and was a regular at the neighborhood pawn shop. He would have to pawn his watches so that we could keep the lights on. Granted, he would usually go buy his watches back once he got paid. That night he took the money from my jar was probably for a haircut, I can’t remember. I asked if we were stealing from each now and he hit me. This wasn’t unusual. I remember the first time he hit me. I was holding my first daughter who was just over a month old. I said something he didn’t like. I couldn’t believe it but my mother was in the other room and I didn’t want to send off any alarms. Thinking back, I should have put him out then (since he was staying in my apartment). That was only the beginning. A woman’s husband had called me one morning about a year after we had moved to DC. I was cleaning the kitchen and he was outside washing the car. The guy on the phone explained that he was sick of finding my husband’s number on his wife’s phone bill. Apparently they had spoken before and he warned him that he would call me if it happened again. My husband and his wife worked together. I don’t know the extent of the relationship but the guy on the phone told me that his wife told him that she was falling in love with my husband. He wanted me to know. It was laughable. “She can have him” were my thoughts. I was still washing the dishes when he came in the house. I told him about the conversation with his friend’s husband. I told him that I was leaving without even looking up from the sink. I didn’t see it coming. He hit me across the face sending my glasses to the other side of the room. I never cried or shrunk in fear. I never even seen any of it as abusive until recently. I just saw him as a coward with no control over his emotions. When he would hit me I would hit him back. We would kick and scratch like two kids on a playground fighting over a ball. If we were in public it would be him poking me in the eye and me popping him in his mouth like a child. This night was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The girls weren’t babies anymore; so they were witnesses to the madness. I can still see their faces from the back seat when I apologized and promised that I would never go back. I didn’t. It’s amazing how the guilt and shame of divorce will cause us to suffer unnecessarily. We had painted a very pretty picture to the world around us. We seemingly had it all. We were an attractive family of four. We were well-dressed, drove nice cars, and lived comfortably in a lovely place. I didn’t want to mess that image up. Single, unemployed, mother of two. That is not what I wanted so I stayed for a while. Thankfully, it wasn’t enough to keep me there. I had gotten to a point where I didn’t care how it looked anymore, I just wanted to be happy. I wanted my girls to be happy and in a healthy situation. Once the smoke cleared I found myself in an apartment prefect for the three of us. They were going to school and ballet classes and life was good, but I still felt the shame. Every woman in my family has a child with a man that they are currently not with anymore. I would ponder this fact over and over in my mind and I didn’t want to be a part of that statistic. I wanted a family intact. I wanted a husband and only children that belonged to him. This was out of the question now. I was gone and refused to go back. He would come over and beg from the front door and I was adamant about not going back. We were eventually divorced and I remarried very quickly. The next husband had two girls of his own. I went from having two daughters to having four overnight. Between the drama of his ex-wife and the baby-daddy episodes, there was hardly a dull moment in our house. I would daydream about having that picture perfect family. I hated what our children were being exposed to but I never regretted leaving. Secretly, I pondered what it would be like to have that life. The life I had dreamed about before all of that. A husband, wife, and kids without the outside influence of biological misfits.

I was no longer the woman I was in that first marriage. I was more interested in what God wanted out of my life. I had come to a crossroad where I received the message and true gospel of Grace and it empowered me to be a different person. Now that I have received grace, I am more gracious. It changed the relationship I had with my children’s father and we were finally able to be amicable. Because of grace I was able to change how I dealt with him. Our relationship turned 180 degrees. Instead of fighting in the parking lot where we would meet to pick up the girls, our families were eating meals together and exchanging Christmas gifts.

The girls are all grown up now. After a vasectomy reversal and two miscarriages, my husband and I have added two more children to the bunch. A couple of weeks ago the four of us were sitting in the local sandwich shop. We were laughing at our 8 year old daughter while the baby sat asleep in the carrier. As I looked across the booth at my husband it dawned on me. “This is it!” I said aloud, “this is what I prayed for so many years ago; and what I’ve desired for so long!” I knew that I could never turn back the hands of time and undo any of what had happened. There was also no way I was going back to my previous relationship. Yet, I never stop wanting what I wanted. My heart was turned towards God but the desire was still there. I continued to trust God with that desire. Remember, when you delight yourself in the Father He gives you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). I’ve always thought that scripture meant, if you desire something God will give it to you. I understand now that when you are sincere in wanting what God wants for you, He will give you desires. I’ll explain… when my current husband and I were dating he told me that he had undergone a vasectomy. That was music to my ears. I was satisfied with having two girls. “I’ll never have to take birth control again,” I thought. I would brag about how I’ll be 40 years old and our kids would be grown. We were planning future vacations. A year after we were married my heart started to change. I was seeking God like never before and one day I woke up and said to my husband, “I think I want a baby with you.” Long story short, my desires were different. God had given my heart new desires. Just like the picture perfect family I desired seemed impossible, the vasectomy made us having a baby seem impossible. But God. God had put those desires there and I trusted Him with them. I knew that if the desire was there, God had something to do with it. Trust God with your desires. No matter what mistakes you’ve made and no matter how the big the mess seems. The Father is not angry with you. He keeps no record of your wrong. He is faithful and you can trust Him. Remember, hope does not disappoint us – because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5). You can rest on the promises of God. Trust your desires and trust the One who has given them to you, because He loves you.

What are some things you’ve been desiring? Are there things you want and you’ve been trying to shake it because you feel they’re impossible? Share them with me, I’d love to hear. Be encouraged for “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]” (Philippians 1:6 AMP).

“so that grace and peace may be multiplied to you”

In Love,

Tarka

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It’s Tarka

Hello guys, it’s Tarka!

I was a dainty little girl. My hair was curly and most times parted straight down the middle into two ponytails. My mother would use simple black rubber bands to secure the top and the bottom of the braid. It was neat but with no pretty bows or ribbons. We were careful not to look like the world. I only wore dresses. They were the cute ones with the three buttons in the front. The first few days of school were the best ones. I’d wear my three or four new dresses with folded white socks and the mary-janes that buckled on the side. After about a week or so the other girls would notice I didn’t own a pair of jeans. They’d start asking questions and I would try and explain that it was “against my religion.” I had grown to hate those words. Even at 8 years old I understood the ridicule and humiliation that came with salvation (at least I thought I understood).

Christmas had always been a joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus in my family. We would visit my grandparents on their farm in NC and my cousins and I would play and run and eat our little hearts out. My grandmother would preserve peaches, and plums, and pounds upon pounds of tomatoes in the early parts of the year and store them on the back porch. It was screened in and reeked of old spoiled food. There was a “slop bucket” kept right outside the backdoor where we would put all of the leftover food. I haven’t thought about that bucket in nearly 20 years until now. I would go with my grandfather to feed the slop to the hogs in the pen behind the barn. Those were the days. I’m sure we had black-eyed peas all year but I especially remember them for New Year’s. That’s when the tomatoes would come out. I can still smell the sweet from the jars and the simmering pot on the gas range in my grandmother’s kitchen. She always let me put in a spoonful of sugar to sweeten my bowl of beans and I would enjoy it with fried cornbread and Kool-Aid.

My three sisters and I were loved. I can remember seeing my dad standing in the doorway of my bedroom staring in at me. I’d ask “what?” and he’d reply “nothing, I just love you that’s all.” We didn’t have much growing up, but much more than many others I’m sure. There was no Christmas tree or wreaths; no reindeer stories and definitely no Santa. We simply celebrated the birth of our Savior and left the paganism for the world. There were gifts however. We would get books, and fruit, and new dresses. I would return to school and the same would be so. I’d wear my new dresses and ponytails and watch the girls show off their new jeans and cool sneakers.  We were allowed to bring toys to school some days. I can’t remember a single thing I took to show-and-tell that third grade year. I didn’t have dolls. They represented a form of idol and were forbidden. We also didn’t have televisions and we weren’t allowed to participate in things like sports and cheerleading. I watched as a little white girl showed off her Strawberry Shortcake doll she had gotten for Christmas that year. Mrs. Quarrels had us all sit on the floor while, one at a time, we would go to the front and share. The doll was passed around and I couldn’t wait for my chance. I can still remember the scent of the doll. She actually smelled like strawberries and her hair was red under a poufy white cap with tiny strawberries all over. I watched her put the doll away into her cubby and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The smell of strawberries lingered as I imagined what it would be like to brush her hair. I wanted that doll bad.

At lunchtime that day we were all lined up and headed down the hallway to the cafeteria. I stepped out of line and asked my teacher if I could run back to the classroom for my lunch ticket. My heart was pounding inside my chest and I held my breath as I reached into the little girl’s cubby and took the doll. I slipped the 6inch doll into my fake leather purse and zipped it closed. After lunch and towards the end of the day she noticed it was gone. I can still see her crying as the teacher consoled her. Ms. Quarrels was an evil black woman who clearly should have chosen something else to do besides teach the third grade (at least that’s what I thought). She asked over and over again that the person responsible return the stolen doll. She was an intimidating and hateful woman. She yelled and called the person a thief. She called me a thief and I felt horrible. But the guilt and shame of stealing that doll wasn’t stronger than the anticipation of playing secretly with the doll later on that night. I knew it was wrong. I had been taught that stealing was a sin and that sin caused you to go to hell. But that wasn’t even enough to convince me to put it back. I had already imagined how I would do it. I planned to play with the doll while closed in the bathroom that night when my parents sent me in to bathe. I would lie in bed once my sisters were asleep and brush her hair. I felt bad for the girl, but surely she had many other dolls. This would be my only one.

I never even got the doll home. My mother and oldest sister surprisingly picked me up from school that day and the three of us went to eat at Capt’n D’s. Yes, I remember. I can’t forget the sunken feeling in my belly when I realized I left the purse in the booth where we were eating. How in the world could I have done that? I told my mother once we got home and she called the restaurant. They said the purse was not there. “Are you kidding me?” I thought. All the trouble I had gone through to finally get a doll of my own and I never got the chance to enjoy it.

At 8 years old I was convinced that God had caused me to lose the doll because I had stolen it. I had come to the conclusion at that young age that God really was in the business of punishing us for our sins.

Being in that church and under teaching like that for so many years brought me to a very desperate and confusing place in my life. It’s been a journey, but I’m so happy today for the Grace and Truth that has come in Jesus Christ. I understand today that God only has good things for us (believers).  I know now that I can stand forever and constantly in expectation of good things… even when I make mistakes.

Come with me as I embark upon another great journey… as I endeavor to share Christ with the world… so that Grace and Peace may be multiplied.

In Love,
Tarka

 

 

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www.itstarka.com