Who's In Your TRIBE?............(Part 2)
After God blessed me with a bevy of “angelic” women to walk through my toughest days, He spoke to me again in 2017, after my husband and I had been restored for over four years. The Lord showed me the word T.R.I.B.E. used as an acronym. At first, I just took ownership of the word, calling my friends my "tribe." However, the Lord had more in mind for me to learn.
I was preparing to speak at the 2017 CK Conference regarding "what to prepare for as you welcome your spouse home." I often get asked the question, "So what did you do?" Meaning, what did I do to bring my spouse home? I find that such a funny question coming from others who are standing. Believe me, if it were left up to me, I would have messed it up on the first step. And although I recognize that there were actually some things that I did that helped in my restoration, I cannot take credit for them in any way, shape, or form.
The one thing I did do, was to make sure that I prayed about everything. And I mean, EVERYTHING! Every interaction, every kid exchange, every text message, every phone call. I lived by Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
The other thing that I now had, that was different from before, was that tribe of women God had blessed me with. The Lord showed me that He had specifically sent women to me in certain "categories" of anointing. Specifically, He had sent me (T) teachers, (R) people to be "real" with, (I) intercessors, (B) a "bevy" of angels, and (E) an "expectation" of the Holy Spirit.
My TRIBE was made up of the perfect mix of women God had hand-picked especially for my journey. He showed me that I was not alone. And that He would shower any other Christian woman who was praying for a TRIBE with a team of their own. He told me, at that time in 2017, to share with the CKs about my TRIBE, so that they could pray for their own.
One thing I learned in this process is that I had often put my friends on a "pedestal" of sorts. Before this, I was a young woman with only a few friends. In fact, I had the same best friend from the time I met her in sixth grade until after we were both married and had children. I had put her on a pedestal. Because I selectively limited my friendships (because of my own trust issues), I put all of my eggs in one basket, so to speak. I expected way too much of my best friend and, because she is human, she was bound to let me down. I didn't realize that I had made her an idol. The Lord showed me that in making her my one and only TRIBE member, our relationship was a difficult one. He never intended for me to have one friend, but many, to do His work in my life. Both before your restoration and after, you will need a TRIBE. You will need not just one friend to walk through covenant keeping with you, but many. And the Lord, the Great Provider, can bless you with your won tribe.
“T” is for Teachers. You will need Teachers, just like I did. Teachers are those friends you can count on for sound advice and wisdom. They will know their Scripture and will be able to recall it when you need it. They will point you to Jesus, not your spouse, or your family, or your children. Teachers might give you homework, like an idea to journal your thoughts and feelings to the Lord. They may even tell you to write an apology letter to someone you have hurt. Teachers may give you "tough love" at times, but you can be assured that their heart is always in the right place.
"R" is for someone to be REAL with. Thank God, I have several "angels" I can be real with! This group Is made up of people who will take your call, day or night, when you are in need. You can cry, beg, scream, and act completely off your rocker and they will not be moved. They have seen it all. They are calm. They are balanced. They will even cry with you at times, but no matter what you are feeling in the moment, your "real" friends will be there. They will not judge. They will not tell you to calm down. They will let you get it all out. They love you deeply and because they do, they will walk through the worst of the worst with you.
"I" is for Intercessors. Intercessors are so important; in fact, they are like the most expensive jewels in the Queen's Crown. I never knew I needed intercessors until I had one. My first intercessor was someone who texted me to say she was praying for me, exactly at the moment I needed it. When intercessors pray for you, you feel the peace of the Lord that cannot be explained. Intercessors know to pray instead of talk. Intercessors have such a close connection with the Lord that they will know what to pray for you, even if you have no idea what you need. Intercessors stay up day and night, praying for the needs of their friends, family, church and nation.
"B" is for a Bevy of Angels. Yes, angels. Those angels. The ones we don't often talk about in the church. I remember that as I was preparing for my message back in 2017, the Lord led me to Katie Souza. If you have never heard of her, I challenge you to check out what she is all about. She is the most anointed, biblical, authentic teacher I have ever met. She knows her stuff!!! In any case, I listened to one of Katie's teachings on angels. She talks about how she discovered that God had sent angels to protect her and her ministry. As she became aware of them, the Lord showed her who they were and why they were there. Each had a specific purpose. As I prayed about this, I remembered that there were times when my husband and I were separated, that I felt like I was being protected but didn't know why. It was just a feeling I had.
Hurricane Sandy happened on the East Coast when my husband and I were separated. If you don't remember it, it was a late October storm that crushed the East Coast and pummeled us with snow, ice and high winds. My husband happened to have the kids at the time of the storm and I was alone. Many people lost power for days and weeks at a time. Many people had trees come down on their property and on their houses. Businesses were without power and gas stations were packed every hour of the day. Even though I was alone, I lost power for only a few hours. And even though our house was surrounded by large and small trees, not one of them came down or was destroyed in the process. I believe that God sent me a bevy of angels for that time period. There is no other explanation that I can think of. Even the other families in my neighborhood lost power for longer than I did and MANY of them lost trees and had damage to their houses. I sat in my toasty home completely unaffected for the most part.
"E" is for the EXPECTATION of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has taught me that the Holy Spirit is my Friend. Every morning, during my prayer time, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me during the day. I pray that my words, actions, and deeds are reflective of what God has planned for me that day. I pray that the Holy Spirit guides me in that process and shows me what God's will is for my day. When I pray, I EXPECT that the Holy Spirit will show up. God tell us in Psalm 84:11 that "no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." And in John 14:15-31, Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit. He says He will give us an "advocate to help and be with you forever." In Matthew 7:11, the Lord tells us that He will "give good gifts to those who ask Him." The Holy Spirit is not only our Advocate, He is our Friend and Guide. He is a good gift that the Father has given us and we can expect that the Holy Spirit will show up when we ask.
Wherever you find yourself today, my hope is that you walk away confident, optimistic and reassured that you are never alone. The Lord has placed in your life a TRIBE of people to help you walk out, not only your marriage crisis, but your life in general. If you haven't yet received your TRIBE, I would like to pray for you now…
Dear Heavenly Father,
I know that You have not made us to walk this earth alone. You have sent us, not only Your Holy Spirit and Your angels, but a plethora of people to help us walk out Your destiny for our lives. I pray, for this reader, that they not only find their TRIBE, but that You bless them abundantly with others around them who will strengthen their walk with You. I pray that the reader never feel alone, believing and standing on Your Scripture that states that they are not. I pray that during this holiday season, You are the center of the reader's attention. That they put YOU first, above all things, knowing that when they do, they will find Your holy peace. In Jesus' name I pray.
Deana is currently one of the Directors of Covenant Keepers, International. She graduated from the Dove School of Leadership through Chesapeake Bible College and received her Pastor's license in 2019. Previously she and her husband, Koji, served as the Mid-West Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers and as small group leaders in that area. She has a degree in Secondary Education as well as experience in counseling from a biblical standpoint. For the last 20 years, she has also served her family as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher.
She is passionate about having a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She has seen many miracles in her life as well as in the lives of the people around her. At her core, she is an encourager and disciple of Christ, spending most of her days ministering to people and digging into the Word. She also speaks at conferences, loves to write, and teach the Word of God. She and her family currently live and attend church in the Charlotte, NC area.
This is so great, I have often thought that I needed one good friend, but instead have many women all with different gifts which is such a gift to me. Thank you for your prayers for us standers too Deana.
Deana, you nailed it. We have experienced our tribe but perhaps without realizing the extent of God's intentional TRIBE for us because He loves us so much. Thank-you!! This article is a great resource whether we are new to this stand or whether we are mentoring others. ! Thessalonians 5:11
Thank so much Deana ,your words mean so much.It seems hard for men to find a T.R.I.B.E ..
I belong to a men's group called the Men's Scripture Search Group which are men from different churches . And I am the only one in the group that is standing for marriage restoration ,God Bless You. You are doing such a needed work!! May all at the CKers have a fantastic Christmas with Christ at the center.