Miss 21: Blessed is She That Believed

It is my 21st birthday. And as I sit here and type this, I am legitimately in tears. Oh what a difference a year makes.  As busy as I have been in the past 6 weeks, there was no shadow of a doubt that I had to write this.

“I thought I would not make it; my mind, my strength was gone.”

March 2013 to July 2014 took everything from me. That 16-month period was definitely the fight of my life. All of the things that transpired in that time left me as a shell; I had no fire, no joy, no direction, no confidence, nothing.

“Everything in my life came crashing down; I felt so all alone.”

The people I was connected with, the organizations I belonged to, my sense of self worth and even my relationship, everything was shot to Hell. Every single thing I knew fell away fast. Some of this was my doing, and I wrote about that here, but other things were happening as well, things that I seemingly had no control over. Within this time, there were still people around of course; my mother, family and a few friends stuck around, but the overwhelming majority of people I thought I was close to, left me.

“Now I’m looking at my life in broken pieces, oh what will I do now?”

For months, I felt hopeless and things just weren’t changing. There were so many areas that I needed change in, and I didn’t know where to start. My relationship with God was broken, and that was a key factor in why nothing else would come together. Unfortunately though, it took me awhile to get back to a place of desire with God.

“And right before I threw in the towel, God turned it. And gave me beauty for ashes.”

He turned my life around. He gave me everything I never knew I needed and started to change me inside and out. Nothing looked the same. My surroundings were different, my interactions were different, and it just seemed like this year (Fall 2014-Spring 2015) was going to be a great year.

“My storm would not move on. My nights, they lasted so long. There was no sign of my morning. I wanted to give up”

And then life hit me again. Things from my past resurfaced and I started to struggle and be really affected to the point where making it through an entire day was an achievement. The people close to me could see it, some more than others, and I knew something had to change. If I continued to live that way, it would be my own fault, because I knew what I needed to do to be better.

“But you wouldn’t let me be; You came and set me free. I came to You with my pain, and we made an exchange.”

I took a step. I went out on a limb, with the help of some of my dearest friends and family, and I decided that it was time to heal. I started the healing process and it was almost if that was all God needed to take away every negative thing in my life and give me brand new. He was changing my insides, and couldn’t allow me to remain the same in any other area. I’m reminded of Matthew 9:17; neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. If God changed my entire inner life and kept me where I was as far as surroundings go, everything He changed would have been ruined. I sought help and sought God for this one thing, and everything else in my life changed. It is completely and utterly mind-blowing to watch the truth of “faith the size of a mustard seed” be revealed in my life.

“God turned it. And gave me beauty for ashes.”

I gave God all of the hurt, pain, abuse and fear that I was holding onto, and He gave me beauty. He gave me confidence, He gave me joy, He gave me a vision, He gave me purpose, He gave me clarity, He gave me friendships, and He gave me direction. God has given me countless blessings in exchange for nothing pretty. I went to Him broken, alone, defeated, and completely bound by sin. I have since turned away from what once was second nature to me, and begun to pursue God even more. He has become my focus again, and I am more than glad about that.

“The worst thing in my whole life became the most beautiful thing”

Part of what God gave me is a vision to help people. The target population is people who are experiencing homelessness, but more than that, they are marginalized, overlooked and sometimes ignored. In a way, that is me, or at least how I view myself. God has taken the worst thing, feelings of unworthiness, and turned them into something beautiful. He has allowed me to take all that has been thrown my way and use it to benefit and serve someone else.

“The most embarrassing thing, that brought so much shame, became the most beautiful thing.”

That thing that I needed to heal from, I have already been able to see how this ties into where I am going. God gives us all different things to deal with and live through, and each and every one of them is so that we might be able to help someone else. Talking with other people who share my experience, I have finally gotten the answer to “why me?”, and it is because of my response. My response has the potential to help so many other people, and show the Christ in the midst of it.

“And like a baby that’s born, all the pain and dirt, became the most beautiful thing.”

Everything that I went through, everything that changed me and made me think less of myself, has been for my good. Romans 8:28 is real in my life. ALL things work together for the good of them that love God, and who are the called according to His purpose. Over the past 6 weeks, I have been too in awe of God’s marvelous works to truly fill you in and share my testimony like I want to. I am in the works of planning how to share everything with you, and believe you me, it is coming soon.

For now, my testimony is that I made it. I made it to 21 years. I made it through the hardest period of my life (the height of that being late November- early December 2013) and I am assured that it was only by the grace of God. I am pursuing purpose and passion at the same time; and ministry is the result. I am in a wonderful place with everything and everyone God desires for me to be connected to; I am truly living a purpose driven life. I am growing confident in my relationship with God, and comparison with others has become a thing of the past. God took this year, destroyed everything that became of me in the past 16 months, and made me new. He changed my heart, He changed my mind, He changed my goals. He completely changed everything about me and I am more than grateful. He saw fit to give me another chance at being who I was created to be and that is what I am doing with year 21 and every year to come.

“For, He turned it."

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