Life Has New Meaning

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Revelation 12:11 NLT

This photo is a testimony by itself. “How does it feel to be working again,” my son asked. “I’m so grateful to be here,” I replied.

The last time I served, I had a seizure. It happened in the middle of me talking to someone. Imagine talking, losing your train of thought, stuttering when you normally don’t, mouth twisting, then suddenly not being able to breathe.

Sidebar: [My husband sends pictures to my mom in love when we are volunteering. He just so happened to walk into the hallway moments before the seizure to take pictures per usual. He saw my face through the camera lens and walked towards me. Because, I could not speak I just looked at him, with fear in my eyes and tried to make my way to him, before collapsing in his arms.

I thought I was having a stroke because of my mouth twisting. Then, I thought I was dying because I could not breathe. LOL. I can laugh at how dramatic I am now that it’s over. I remember saying, “Jesus help me,” in my head. At that moment, my husband grabbed my head and calmly said to himself I was having a stroke when I didn’t respond to him. He called for help and immediately began praying. I became unconscious and started having convulsions. It’s great to know that when I can’t pray, there are people around me who will.

The next thing I remember is being confused about what happened. Apparently, I was laughing hysterically during questioning. I was incoherent and unable to provide any information. I did not even know that I was on the stretcher. It did not register that the paramedics were there for me until they started wheeling me out of the church.

That day, my church was having a partner celebration to thank members for their contributions and highlighted all that the ministry had accomplished to date. I was excited about sharing my testimony that evening. So, with me having a seizure right before the celebration began, I could not understand why God allowed it to happen. Let me be very clear: GOD DOES NOT CAUSE SICKNESS.

I spent the following week searching myself. Did this mean I was not supposed to speak? Then, I started worrying about a  mysterious underlying medical problem since I never had a seizure before. I was faced with constant flashbacks of the experience. It was extremely traumatic. To make matters worse, a week later, I had another seizure while sleeping.

This week, I realized that this was all spiritual. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NLT

The enemy did not want me to speak. Duh! I’m always talking about how great God is and all that He has done for my family. My husband has called me the testimony queen for years. I thought my faith was solid, but it actually hit a plateau. I got comfortable.

I was confused after the seizure. I experienced brain fog and short term memory loss. It was difficult to formulate my words, inability to focus or think clearly. The medication I was prescribed after having the second seizure causes confusion. After prayer and mediation, it became very clear what was going on.

God is not the author of confusion.

Earlier last week I wrote in my journal about being chosen, since I am considered a rainbow baby. I reminded myself that I just have to weather the storm to reach the promise. Sunday, morning during Bible class,  I wrote how God changes you before changing your circumstance. Both CHOSEN and CHANGED were confirmed during the sermon! This was instant confirmation for me.

Earplugs for my MRI Brain Scan

I had an MRI Brain Scan today. This was the last test I needed to have for my doctors to come up with a prognosis. All of the tests I’ve had so far, have been normal *insert praise dance.* The machine is narrow and loud. If you are not claustrophobic, you probably will be with this one. I know I was.

The technician gave me a panic button in case it became too much for me and earplugs for the noise. Not a coincidence that I was feeling anxious on that table. There was a cage-like helmet over my head that takes the pictures. I thought about the helmet of salvation. I began to drown out the noise of the enemy, the lies, the taunting. I tried singing but could barely remember lyrics to my favorite songs. I recited several verses then I prayed the rest of the time. The entire procedure was 18 minutes, but the lesson I learned will last a lifetime.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillippians 4:8 NLT

I do not know how much time I have to live, but I do know that I do not want to die with all of my dreams, gifts and unwritten books inside of me.

I don’t know what you are going through, but I pray that you have the mind of Christ and remain faithful no matter what. YOU have all power over the enemy. Find your purpose and stay focused on things that matter. Life is short.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I planned to testify about my journey with lupus. Then, this happened.

Daniel Fast Day 21

When you have an infection, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to complete for a number of days. Oftentimes, the dosage is twice per day to ensure your immune system is strong 24/7. The physician instructs you to continue taking the medication even if you start to feel better before you finish. If you fail to do so, then you risk the chance of not only becoming sick again, but the antibiotics will not be effective next time (the organisms that made you sick would have developed a resistance by then).
This is how we should look at our walk with Christ. There are times when we will feel extremely low and discouraged. People tend to pray more and do everything right during these times, but most stop once they receive the desired results. How many have ever said, “Lord, if you just get me out of this situation I won’t mess up again” like me? These are the times I would try to cross all the biblical Ts and dot all my Is more than ever. As I matured, I realized I had it all wrong. Truth is, “I can’t do anything for Him to love me more nor can I do anything for Him to love me less.” Shaylin J. via Romans 8:38-39
The danger in being a situational worshiper is when things are on the mend, you no longer thirst for the word. It’s amazing how much people praise when they are living comfortably. They walk around saying the joy of the Lord is their strength when really it is their nice cushion of savings in the bank. As soon as they are facing financial difficulty, everything they normally profess suddenly changes to words of defeat. Recently, I realized the shift in my mood when I had to pay a large bill as soon as I got paid. My “joy” should have never been in the money to begin with. Chase Bank is not my source.
Confession. I can be pretty extreme. I began this fast needing some divine intervention. Desperate to hear a word from heaven, I dove head first into this thang. What was clear to me is to be careful of only praying when I am sad, stressed, worried, angry, etc. Our relationship with Christ should not be based on our feelings only. We have to get to the point that we trust God even when our emotions tell us otherwise. I am learning to trust when the facts of what I am going through seem to outweigh my faith. This can be difficult, because I am super analytical. However, our faith needs to be based on who He is, not what temporary situations portray. Faith is believing in something you cannot necessarily see, anyway. It is visionary in a supernatural sense.
Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). As you increase your devotion time, your faith increases.
Do not commit yourself to God only when you want something. You cannot manipulate Him into blessing you. Neither can you perform or pay for blessings—they were already paid for on your behalf when Jesus went to Calvary.
In life, the rug can and will be repeatedly pulled from under your feet. But if you are standing on the rock, it can never be moved. Stand on the promises of God instead and you will have unshakable faith. (Jeremiah 17:8). No matter what is going on, we have to make a conscious decision every single day to trust that all things are working for our good. The Bible tells us to count it alllll joy (James 1:2). Everything. No exceptions.
Maintain a cheerful spirit. Laughter is medicine. Continue to sacrifice and spend time in communication with the holy spirit even if you start to feel great, because it will prepare you for the next attack that comes your way. (Ephesians 6:12) You will build up a resistance to the enemy that will force HIM to flee. You will be able to run towards your giants instead of running away. (1 Sam 17:24, 45-50)
Our creator, the Great Physician, wants us to pray without ceasing. The greatest revelation I received from this Daniel Fast is this:
Read and pray at least twice per day to ensure your spirit is strong 24/7. It doesn’t have to be a whole chapter or a super long prayer. You just have to set the time aside. Never find yourself too busy to spend time with your Father. You can also use supplemental resources like spiritual books/prayer guides, but they are not to be a replacement. The attacks will come, but they will not prosper. The tests and trials will happen, but you will be victorious. Thoughts of doubt and fear may try to creep in, but you will have enough word in you to rebuke them (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I wish you all the best this year and pray that each day you wake up, you are closer to living in your purpose. Be intentional for God and watch Him change your entire life!

Daniel Fast Day 1

However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21

I’m not really concerned about the elimination of certain foods. I don’t even have an appetite now. I’m looking forward to the spiritual nourishment that I need. I’ve been feeding myself appetizers and snacks but I need a four-course meal. Better yet, a buffet. I need to binge on the word because I’m facing some giants that can only be defeated through fasting and prayer. I’m ready..

Revelation: Get to the root of the problem in order to solve it. Address underlying issues and don’t be afraid to face them. Words hurt. I put too much energy into trying to change a person’s thoughts or perception of me. Their opinions and views are not my business. When someone says hurtful things to me, I can replace the lies of the enemy with The Word. I can override negativity by listening to who God says I am. That’s exactly what Jesus did in the wilderness after being tempted by satan. Those same ministering angels are waiting to assist me, but I have to first resist the enemy.

Good Samaritan

I love to tell stories through my writing. Did I ever tell you all about that time I thought my husband was crazy for getting in the car with a complete stranger, while I helplessly followed behind them? No? Well, I wrote a story about it. Like to hear it, here it goes.

I got off work late one night and insisted on going to Wendy’s. Judge me, if you will. My husband and I talked for a little while before heading out to the restaurant. Upon arriving, we kept hesitating about going inside or the drive through. This caused us to drive around the parking lot, before finally deciding to go inside since the line was shorter. *Laziness never pays off.

After we placed our order, one of the employees yell to his coworkers that there’s a medical emergency outside. Initially, I’m thinking that we should’ve stayed in the drive through line, because we would have been done. The man would have been two cars behind us. At the same time, I know that everything happens for a reason and that we were exactly where we were supposed to be.

I just worked twelve hours, so the last thing I want to do is work for free. I’m still in my work clothes with a big ole emblem on the back that says ER lol. Great. I stand there as if I was waiting to turn
invisible and my husband nudges me, “Get out there.” What the heck am I supposed to do? Wait. Is he seriously making me go out there alone? Alright, God…this one is on you.

I go outside to see an older Caucasian man standing up against the building in agony. Pause. No, everything is not about race. But this is Georgia. The deep south. During a time when racial tension is high. Resume. My husband was a few steps behind me. Sigh of relief. The man told us his name, but to protect his identity, I will call him Sir Sweat A Lot or Sal for short. Just wait for it. Sal had already given his keys to the employee that came inside for help. That employee parked his van and kind of gave us the “good luck with that” look. In fact, everyone that drove past us did the same. One person even gave us a thumbs up, but the look on his face was a complete contradiction.

I introduce myself and ask what his problem was while scanning his body for blood, injuries, etc.
Sal tells me that he just finished a several hour long tennis match and now has crippling leg cramps. Honestly, I’m thinking really dude? You seriously held up the drive through for leg cramps?  Get in your car and go home. Suck it up. Grow a pair. Call your wife. My fries are getting cold. If I had stayed in the drive through we would be at home. Sarcasm to follow: However, God has such a great sense of humor. The way our marriage is balanced, my sweet husband blurts out, “Do you want us to take you home?” Wheeeeeeet?! [Insert ‘are you kidding me’ obscenities here]. Sir Sweat A Lot says that he would love for that and was about to ask us. He went to his trunk and grabbed a banana. He even tried drinking water with a ton of salt packets. He said that when he sweats a lot, he needs to ingest salt. I had never heard of that before, so I asked about his medical history. I was so desperate to get out of this situation, I even offered my fries since they’re loaded with salt. I’m standing there trying to figure out the reason for this not-by-chance-interaction. [cue Matt 5:13, Mark 9:49-50]

My husband doesn’t even have his phone and all I have is a crappy 30 something percent with  no charger. Sir Sweat A Lot says that he lives a few miles from where we were and gave us the address while explaining the direction we were going to take. Unfamiliar, with the area, I said a prayer. Actually, I never stopped praying. I did not like the discomfort of losing control and seemingly handing my husband over to who knows what. An ax murderer? A secret clan member? The enemy had a field day in my mind. Finally, I casually walked over to my husband and told him, “Pray.” He said, “already did,” then kissed me. Duh. His eyes told me not to worry.

“but my prayers are 
more powerful.”

Sal called his wife and I sat in the car with 911 already dialed on my phone. We head off and I frantically pray: This doesn’t make any sense. Lord, are you really leading in this situation? Please, cover my husband and keep us both safe (followed by a whole lot of begging). I should be happy that he has such a big heart, but why does he have to risk our safety? Then, I snapped out of it and got an attitude. Wait a minute.

YOU have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind. We have all power over the enemy. We are courageously helping your child. I am boldly proclaiming victory. My husband WILL return to me. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. You said the fervent, effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much, so I’m here praying for his safety. I’m believing you for his safety. I declare and decree that all is well. Besides, my husband aint no punk. I know how he rolls. Who am I to think that I have to protect him?! I thank you for this test. For showing me how important it is for me to pray as a wife. Even though he is the head of this family, I can pray that you continue to order his steps. If necessary, I can run Sir Sweat A Lot over should he try anything crazy, but my prayers are more powerful.”

The whole time, we are driving a lot further than Sal said his home was located, but I eventually have an overwhelming sense of peace. I begin affirming things. I’m locking in landmarks and paying attention to street names. My phone still has 911 on standby, so all I have to do is press CALL. But I’ve already called on God. We finally arrive to a house and the front door opens. I’m waiting for a family of cannibals to come out. Ya know, just in case. Watch and pray, right? Because, NOT TUH DAY! Instead, a loving wife runs to her husband and simultaneously thank us. She told him that he needs to stop playing tennis. Sal can’t imagine life without his beloved sport but he promises his wife that he will go to his doctor appointment later that week. We chat with them briefly, then get out of there, because it was literally in the middle of nowhere.

God will take you to unfamiliar territory to see if you really trust Him. It will be against your better judgment and will oftentimes not make any sense. You will even have to walk alone sometimes. That’s the purpose of it, though. In it, you will find your strength.
People oftentimes talk about the leap of faith. I always say that my walk consists of many leaps of faith. The beauty of this journey is that you will not always know where you are going, but if you hold fast, know that it will always be for your good.
You may not receive an actual turn by turn list of the route beforehand, like Sir Sweat A Lot gave us, but with your GPS (God-Purpose-Steadfastness) navigating the way, you will surely arrive at your destination better than you were when you first started.
You may even have to give up some things, but the small sacrifices will be nothing compared to the blessings that will be released on your life in exchange for your obedience. 2 Cor 5:7

Mommy Duty

Us mommies have super powers. They are given to us during pregnancy allowing us to grow and nurture a human for months. But when our kids are sick, we have to bring out the big guns and channel some assistance.
Last night, my daughter tossed and turned for a few hours crying intermittently because of an earache and cold. I am still sick as a dog from her cooties being transmitted to me the day prior. Hubby is sound asleep after a long day at work that began at 2am, so he occasionally rolls over and rubs her back.
“Don’t fret,” I tell myself.” You’re a pro, you’ve been doing this for over a decade… you got this.” I tried to close my eyes hoping that she would eventually fall asleep but I just couldn’t rest with her being in pain. Mama bear doesn’t like feeling helpless.
I tried giving her Tylenol and she refused. I confirmed what was hurting and called on the great physician. [Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want]. “I can’t do this without you. I need you to take this pain & sickness away from my baby that seems to be getting worse. Let my hands be soothing to her and send down your healing virtue through my touch…Amen.”
After receiving my supernatural powers, I picked her up and rocked her to sleep praying the whole time. Shortly after, she was out in a flash. Her congestion started to clear, she began breathing deeply right away and I could feel her body sinking into relaxation. All she needed was for me to rock her to sleep?! Kind of like when we just need God to wrap His arms around us, huh?
Sidebar: I thought of when my mom and I were both sick when I was ten years old. I had the flu and gauze in both nostrils from a broken blood vessel (horrible nose bleeds as a child). She had pneumonia, but since I had to sleep upright and breathe out of my mouth, she stayed up with me all night. Kind of funny how moms forget about their own “owies” when tending to their kid’s.  
 
Of all the times I’ve felt like I was failing or at least not doing a very good job at parenting, I am extremely grateful for growth. I’m not saying I’m perfect or even the best woman to ever do this but what I am saying is that in their eyes I am, and that means the world to me.
I’m a superhero that fights off bullies and monsters under the bed. I am the hour nurse advice line diagnosing and caring for babies since 2003. I make fun arts and crafts. I’m not too prissy to get on the floor to play. I am a storyteller and bedtime tucker-inner. I am a negotiator or dictator depending on the day. I’m a stylist and hairdresser. A chef and dessert extraordinaire. I mold future leaders and lift self-esteem. I’m an encourager and motivator. I’m sweet but also stern when necessary. I’m the boss, I just let daddy think he is. I’m a protector and provider and most importantly, I’m a mother.
It’s not for show or some ulterior motive. I don’t do things for my kids just to look cool on social networking. I do things from the bottom of my heart to leave an imprint on their hearts when I’m long gone. You can’t put a price on what I do. It’s hard to itemize doing things that’s second nature. Much like breathing, being a mom is essential to my life because it has molded me into a woman. Motherhood is certainly not a 9-5 or seasonal job. The benefits are priceless and it’s the best position I’ve ever held. Of all the things I’ve been called in my life, Mommy, has to be the most rewarding. 

~Forever grateful for my blessings <3