There I sat, at my desk in my apartment going through my junky purse last Wednesday morning. From old receipts to candy wrappers, I mean it was all kinds of junk in there! Yet in the midst of cleaning it out, I found a picture of a young lady. It looked like a high school portrait. The first thing I thought to myself was "Who in the world is this and how did it get in my purse!" I was totally baffled by the fact I did not know who it was, yet it was in my purse I carry almost every single day!
I stopped what I was doing to just stare at the picture and in that moment I heard that small still voice, God's voice, telling me to pray for this young lady. Now this totally caught me off guard because I was on the verge of just throwing it in the trash and continuing on with my "busy" life. I initially tried to ignore this voice, and continued cleaning. Then I heard His voice again telling me to completely STOP what I was doing and pray for this girl! As awkward as it felt, I did.
I closed my eyes and began to say a genuine and heartfelt prayer for this young woman. In the midst of me praying, God began to show me this girls heart. All of her pain. All of her worries and all the things she was presently going though.
This wrecked me.
When I finally opened my eyes, God gave me the revelation of who it was. And guess what? It was my good friend! I didn't recognize her because she looked so different when she was younger.
Tears began to fill my eyes after God showed me all she was going through.
She had recently lost her auntie, grandmother and was dealing with many other of life's problems that we all go through. I hadn't talked to her in a few days and had been trying to catch up with her but hadn't heard back.
Later that night I went to church, One Church International. Now I had not planned to go that night, but I felt strongly that I should be there. When I arrived and sat down, guess who was sitting behind me? She was!
Afterwards, she offered to take me home. I opened the car door, sat down, and just looked at her smiling. She looked confused of course. I began to tell her the story of what happened earlier that day, and how I found this picture in my purse of some girl, and God told me to pray for her. She was was fully engaged. At the end of it, she asked me who it was.
I turned on the light in the car and opened my purse. I took out the picture and faced it toward her.
"That's me" she said. Tears began to flood her eyes.
She broke down and began to open up to me about all she was going through.
She said for God to think about her enough, and to have me totally stop what I was doing to pray for her, wrecked her.
"God really does care. He hasn't forgotten about me," she said with tears rolling down her face. "That picture was when I most happiest in life. That picture had no reason to be in your purse but it was."
My obedience to the voice of God meant everything in that moment. And I sat there and pondered, how many other lives are on the other side of my obedience?
June 19th 2011, I made a decision that would forever change my life. I was in college working as an entertainment journalist, hosting my nightly radio show, working two jobs, and going to school. Yet with all that going on, something was missing. Although I was doing really well in school, I was at a point in life where I felt so empty, so broken, and so far from God's love. By this time, I had lost my grandfather, my grandmother, my mother, and had recently found out who I thought was the "love of my life" had cheated on me with a girl whom He was dating for a whole year and got her pregnant!
My world literally felt like it came crashing down. This life I was trying to build for myself totally meant nothing. I was empty, I was lost and I was broken.
This left me in critical condition and in desperate need of God's love that I had been longing to feel for so long.
Growing up in the church in Chicago meant absolutely nothing at this moment. I could no longer rely on my grandmothers prayers. I had to make a decision and ask myself, "Who and what do I really believe." Although I was baptized when I was nine, it seemed like it meant nothing. Yet in time, I realized it meant everything.
It was a Sunday and I found myself at a church on my knees with tears pouring out my eyes before God, praying, "God, today, I surrender and commit my ENTIRE life to you!" I no longer wanted to have one foot in and one foot out. I no longer just wanted to go to church on Sunday, and live how I wanted to live the other six days of the week. I no longer wanted to try and make sense out of my life and I allowed myself to be totally broken before His feet.
Over the course of three months, my life began to radically change from the inside out and God's mighty wind flipped my life upside down. I had an encounter with God like no other. I knew God had been calling me deeper and into a more intimate relationship with Him, but for so long I was confused on how to get there.
That night, June 19th 2011, I went home and I was cleaning out my desk. In the middle of doing this, I found this beautiful bible with pink flowers on it. I was totally baffled. I had never seen this bible in my life! I opened it up and looked at who it was from. I realized it was a gift from my friends mother four years prior and yet the whole time, I didn't even realize it was there.
I sat there and cried. God was not slow to answer my prayer. I knew in that moment, my life was getting ready to change forever.
I opened it up and began to read it. Aside from reading it in church on Sundays, I never really read the Bible on my alone time. My mentality was, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" I never studied it for myself. Prior to this, all the Bibles I had would sit up on the shelf and collect dust! I was afraid of what it had to tell me about my life because I didn't want to change my life. However when I opened it this time, it was different. I felt a sense of peace, love, and hope. The Word became alive and was living and breathing!
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (NIV) Hebrews 4:12
From that day on, I could not get my head out of the Bible. I realized I had been so dead on the inside for so long, my soul was thirsty for this LIFE I never experienced the fullness of. It was the first time in my life that it all made sense. There were no unanswered questions. There was no error in His Word. God showed out in mighty way using people, events, signs, and wonders which I will all share in this new blog.
I studied and prayed, day and night. Whenever I was not in His presence I would be a hot mess! Yet, I felt the joy of the Lord expanding inside of me. I was able to taste His goodness and the Light of the Kingdom of God began to manifest inside of me like never before. This was both scary, yet exciting.
To say the least, God swept me off my feet by His unconditional, unwavering, and steadfast love for me. I was enamored by the beauty of Christ and gained a mind blowing understanding of the width, height and depth of the Cross. I was enthralled by my heavenly Father and realized that He was more than enough for me.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (NIV) 2 Corinthians 5:17.
By the time school started back in August, I was a total new creation in Christ and everyone could see it. He had made all my broken pieces a beautiful masterpiece that only the Master can make. It was a fire shut up in my bones for God and I couldn't hide it. It was the first time in my life where I felt like the real me was finally coming out!
Now here I am, two and a half years later, with an even more desire to know and share God, and carrying even greater joy. God called me to start this blog to not only share my testimonies, but the testimonies of other people I encountered. This is not a religious blog. It's a God blog. Whether you are an atheist, of a different religion, or a Christian, this blog will serve as a platform to host discussions about how faith and culture merge together.
From past relationships, financial difficulties, sex, drugs, partying, we will talk about it all in a very real way. Will you join me on this ride?
If so, share this article!
In God's love,