Earlier I posted pictures of the vineyard we visited. On Monday, June 29th, Mariah and I were whisked away to a vineyard in our PJ’s in Manresa. There I learned the labor of love that goes into local wine. I have a new love for my father as the Vine-dresser and my Savior as the “Maturer or Ager”. In order for the vine to produce fruit it must be properly cared for. It must first be planted where it has opportunity to grow and be it’s best. (This is good soil-like the churches where I have served…Mt. Pilgrim M.B.C.- Milwaukee, WI, Mt. Zion Baptist, Nashville, TN, New Hope M.B.C., Murfreesboro, TN and Watson Grove Baptist Church, Nashville, TN, People of Vision Ministries and Spirit of Consecration, Milwaukee, WI). These are the places that gave me Oxygen at the Root and became my underlying life source. The Vine-dresser knew what I needed. Then as my leaves grew he did what only a Vine-dresser is skilled to do and he “Prunes”.
In the pruning process my God started to cut away from me all the things that would poison my vine and stunt my growth- he cut away dead leaves (lying, cursing, gossip, nasty attitude, a judgmental spirit and a condemning heart). He is still pruning! During this process the vine feels pain, yet the pain does not compare to the wonderfully nourishing fruit that will come from the vine after this process is complete. The fruit begins to grow, yet is still very small and bitter! It has sometimes taken the pruning process (you know correction and reproof) far too personal, making the fruit take longer to mature!
The Vine-dresser knows what to do so he carefully removes small insects nipping at the fruit and killing what small sweetness it started with. He picks each insect off individually, because each grape on the vine is special to Him. So my sweet Vine-dresser began to pick away jealousy, low self-esteem, molestation, the suicidal thoughts and the lies I bought (i.e. “you’re not beautiful”), Oh and I’m not worthy to Preach let alone Pastor, or one day have my own record label, because I’m a nobody…
Little by little the Vine-dresser begins to test the fruit of my vine as I get bigger and more mature in Him. He begins to pull my fruit and process it in various ways. He has given me opportunity to sing and write songs for some of the most beautiful relationships on Earth. He has allowed me to share my gift and love for music with many choirs, directing and leading. He has also allowed me to lead when I didn’t feel equipped, but there was a podium! He has allowed me to teach music in a school that loves me and I adore them.
How do I have so much to give when I am nothing, because He has processed me to be “Red Wine” for some, strong and bitter to the taste; but good for the health. I am processed to be”White Wine” for others; sweet and ready to be shared with friends and family.
Nevertheless, it is the final process that has been the most eye opening for me… Jesus is the maturer or the ager! See, in this process I am hidden for many years in a barrel, kept in the cellar from the damage of the elements, stored in the stillness (quietud) the quietness of the dark…off the stage and out of the spotlight where the crowd could overwhelming and inflate my pride.
He chose to age me…Lord why the failed marriage, why the closed chrch, why the closed business, why the BARENESS of childbirth, why the pain of silenced preaching, why the strain of only singing within the four walls of the church, when Is my turn to take the stage? When will I get my first acting role and in the silence I HEAR WHEN YOU ARE READY TO STAND! After 39 years I am outside of my barrel!!!!! I have 5 beautiful children that I could not be more proud of if I had given birth to myself. Two children from God (Crystal and Branford) and Three sons from love w/ Michael (Miguel, Manual and Marcus). This is the air I breathe outside of my barrel: My first Movie Role as Hettie in “Hush” 2016…Mission work in Spain, Rwanda and Trinidad/Tobago. These are the things that I had to mature for in order to be able to STAND…head held high, without Rockstar pride. I’m still a nobody in status to this world, but I am somebody great! The Vind-dresser and the Ager CHOSE ME! It doesn’t get better than that!