Sorry. If you thought I said “yes” to a proposal, well, no. Continue reading to see what I said “yes” to and the results of that moment of obedience. 🙂
June 1, 2011: Well, today was my last day as an Alexander Cougar. The anticipation for the last day was much worse than the actual day — besides bursting into tears over a pulled beef sandwich at the faculty luncheon — and at the department dessert hour — and at my desk while sending my farewell email — it was a normal day.
This time last year, I ended my career as an educator. Quite honestly, I didn’t want to. Many know the story of my position being cut from AHS and having the opportunity to transfer to another school. After receiving another “no” after a stellar interview at a different county school, I got the word from God to resign from my position.
I didn’t want to. I knew that was what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t. My mind couldn’t fathom a single mother with student loan bills and a host of other financial responsibilities up and quitting her job. It didn’t make sense. It took me three weeks to finally obey and turn in the resignation letter. Whew. What a relief.
But what was next? June 1, 2011 came around and I spent the next 60 days journaling, praying, fasting, seeking God about what I was to do next. I had no job and my lease was up in 60 days. While I had my own agenda (Lord, please bless me with a new home and a good job!) God began revealing to me some things:
June 10, 2011: I have set a table before you to feast before your enemies. Never will you have to defend yourself against those who come against you for I am the God who defends thee. I am your victory banner. I have called you for a time such as this to reach my people through your words; this is what you were called for. I know you have needs to be met. Let me meet them. You focus on getting the word to the people. This is what you are to do. Any need you have, I will provide, for I am the God that provideth. Take no thought. Don’t let emotions keep you from a place of peace for I am God Shalom. Your testimony will be that of you didn’t have to do much work to be strategically placed — you simply believed. I will open the door, you just stand ready…
Okay, soooo… sounds good, but about these bills and no place to live yet, God! [insert pout here]
God’s words seemed so big to me then. My journal was filled with dates, times that God reminded me over and over of His promises.
Today, I finally understand that my “yes” one year ago has allowed God to shape me and get my feet on the path that was destined for me. Had I allowed fear of the unknown keep me in the classroom, I couldn’t have done any of the things that I was blessed with in the last 365 days.
In the last year, I’ve spoken at social media and women in business conferences. Traveled on other people’s dime to talk to college students about writing. Met Iyanla Vanzant and got a picture of her holding up and supporting my book. Had the opportunity to wake up to my gem of a daughter and take her to school every single day. I’ve written for publications like Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine, Hello Beautiful and the Huffington Post.
I’ve covered news stories on Troy Davis and served as a voice for girls forced into sex slavery, and a number of other writing opportunities that the average writer like me never gets to see. My daughter attends a private school for free. On the backs of those who love her most, she saw The White House with her own eyes. I’ve met people who have changed the course of my spiritual life and had the opportunity (and free time) to sow seed into nonprofits like The Diaper Bank of Greater Atlanta and Support Haiti — Occeus Academy. And let’s not forget the greatness that was this video. I have a mother, brother, sister in law, and many friends who have reminded me that my obedience didn’t make me crazy. It was all worth it.
I was tested over and over and over again and I passed… and failed miserably. Passed again. Failed, failed and passed again. I haven’t had a full time job in one year. But watch how God kept me and anticipated needs I didn’t think I’d have: God ensured that my 401K I saved while teaching would sustain in the meanwhile. When that money dried up, He allowed a small PR firm to hire me to keep things going. When that ended two months later, He called me to volunteer with two nonprofits in Atlanta. I worked for them, no pay for many months — sowing seed. In the most pressing financial times in my life, they blessed me with money to continue on this path of obedience.
When I thought I needed to just give my car back to the bank because I couldn’t afford the payments anymore (and yes, I went to the dealership to give the car back, I was that serious) God put someone in my life from one of the nonprofits to pay the note every month. Eventually, that season will end and God will give a new source of provision. Even in times where I got in my flesh and went far far away from my proverbial Nineveh, God was waiting for me, still speaking, still providing, waiting for me to return back to my right mind. Every small detail of my life, He’s been there giving provision, anticipating my needs, being my ram in the bush.
In this economy, there aren’t many single mothers who can say that, besides some small adjustments (moving back home with your parents and ending a 15-year relationship with retail stores) they still standing, not sign of smoke from their fiery furnace?
There’s a secret that I want to share with you that is critical to understanding this chain of events. One that seems so obvious, but many don’t capture until it’s too late. Here’s the secret, are you ready?
Where does obeying God lead you? Down a path of uncertainty, sometimes. A path of major victories and what sometimes looks like defeat. Obeying God doesn’t always feel or look good, either — it’s a conscious choice and decision you must make knowing that the time from the “yes” to the “manifestation” make be a bit bumpy. But in the end, it’s worth it.
I’ll be turning 30 in 2 months, 11 days. Soon after, I’ll begin my journey as a student at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Much like Jesus started his path in ministry at age 30 (haha, funny God!) I’ll start mine knowing without a shadow of a doubt that this moment, this time is divinely orchestrated and it all began with my “yes.”
I wanted to share this story with my readers because at some point and time in our lives, we’ll have to obey God in a way that exceeds what our minds can understand. I want you to know that after you get over the fear, and in my case, rebellion, you’ll find that God’s plan for your life was already established at the beginning of time.
For God knew His people in advance, and he chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. —Romans 8:29
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family… —Ephesians 1:4-5
My journey isn’t over and I haven’t been the perfect example of tip-top obedience. But what I can testify to is that obeying God one year ago changed my life forever. I hope this story inspires and motivates you to your own “yes” moment so God can do amazing things for you too!
On the Chase,