I am a Christian, Jamaican, middle-aged, cis-gender heterosexual woman. A mother of two married to a cis-gender man.
These are some of the main identity markers that I gladly embrace. So what exactly am I going to be talking about today?
FOLLOW ME DOWN MEMORY LANE
In the late 90s when I was a teenager, Ron Kenoly and his sons came to perform at a concert at a prominent church here in Kingston. A group of my friends and I had been given permission to attend and we were all super excited.
During an extra long band change a few of us and one of our chaperones decided to walk around. The concert was at night and the venue was a beautiful amphitheatre that offered gorgeous city views.
We stopped at one particular point up on the hill and started laughing uncontrollably at a joke somebody gave (details of that fail me now two decades later). We caught the attention of a young guy who appeared to be around our age. He came over and said hi; he was with his older cousins. They were visiting from North America and the conversation turned to us answering questions about life in Kingston and them telling us what they had been up to since arriving in Jamaica. They were quite good looking but more importantly very polite and entertaining.
We parted ways and my friends and I rushed back down the hill to our previous spot near the front of the stage. The MC announced the next act; Ron Kenoly and the Kenoly Brothers. We started cheering and clapping because we were all huge fans of their songs "I love to love you Lord" and “You are my joy”.
The three men walked out on stage with their mics, my friends and I looked at the stage, looked at each other, looked back at the stage and began shrieking and jumping up and down hysterically. Ron Kenoly's sons, Sam and Ronald, were the two older cousins that we had just been hanging out with up on the hill. We had been chatting up a storm with celebrities and had no idea the whole time.
Just like up on the hill, we caught their attention. They not only saw us but smiled and pointed knowingly towards our group. Even more hysterical screaming and jumping up and down ensued, along with shrieks of "THEY SAW US!", in disbelief. We nearly died (teenage girl definition). By this time we had also drawn quite a number of stares from those around us, looks of disdain at the very loud, juvenescent behaviour they were observing.
Looking on it really would have appeared as if we were just a bunch of star struck, air headed girls with hormonal celebrity crushes who had completely forgotten where they were and the very purpose of the concert. They were cute, yes indeed but it ran so much deeper than that. A friend’s older cousin who had also been with us up on the hill calmly turned towards me in the midst of our squealing and gave me a nod and smile. She understood the significance of the moment but had far more self control and decorum than we did. Have you ever experienced anything like that though? Where someone you admire acknowledges you whether in a big way or small, and makes you feel seen and special when you were expecting to simply blend into the crowd?
HE KNOWS MY NAME
There have been several times in my adult life where I have felt completely overwhelmed, frightened and intimidated by the turn of events in my life. There have been quite a few moments where I have looked death in the face and truly not known if I’d make it, but here I am. Experiences like those can often leave you feeling like God is a distant, looming overlord who takes pleasure in moving and shaking the lives of humans any which way He pleases, like pieces on a chess board.
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm chapter 37 verse 23)
Thankfully I’ve had just as many moments where I’ve watched how things transpired and I am left in awe of God’s love and care for me. The NLT version of this verse tells us that God delights in every detail of our lives. Doesn’t that just blow your mind in the best possible way?
I have observed God’s hand moving on my behalf in seemingly insignificant ways such as me finding money on the ground to buy a cookie as a broke university student, to totally life changing things like the very existence of my children.
Imagine, in this life when wars, deadly diseases, genocides and all manner of evils are present the God of the entire universe thinks about the things that I think about. The never ending question of “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?” is actually important to Him because it is important to me. Those moments where it feels like God pauses on His eternal stage to look at me in the midst of everybody, smile lovingly and say “Danelle, I see you”, have had me over the years screaming and jumping up and down literally and figuratively just like a hysterical teenage girl. I hope to never stop being blown away by his amazing love for me.
Danelle M. Pinnock first emerged as a writer when she began chronicling her journey with God, through a debilitating sickness. Her authentic reflections provided encouragement to many and resulted in her first publication “31 Day Devotional- Quiet Time.”
This full time homemaker, a proud Jamaican, lives in Kingston with her husband Raul and their two children Levi and Zhuri. Along with her freelance writing, she is a worship leader at her church and serves with her husband, a cancer survivor, on the marriage ministry team.
Visit her website, (danellempinnock.com) to learn how God guides a woman with a background in Chemistry, Business Management and Public Health to skillfully pen His methods and His ways through sickness, marriage and parenting.