There is believing in God, and then there is believing God. As a young girl, I thought it was the same thing. As I’ve gotten older, as I’ve listened to the testimonies of others and experienced life myself, I have learned otherwise time and time again.
If you’ve read my “about me” page, you know that most of my life has been predominately conventional. Go to school, go to church, go to work, and go home. The majority of my extracurriculars were school-related and most likely had a class report requirement. College was the same two-times over because of my double major.
Now that I am out of school, I want to make memories. After experiencing the loss of self-value because I’d placed my identity in work and academics, I believe, I need to seek things to do outside of that intentionally.
I need to learn to be social. Not network, not get along with my peers. Be social. Talk with people, not just at them.
I need to find things that I like to do.
I enjoy poetry and storytelling. Last year, 2018, I got to attend the Poets In Autumns tour in Detroit for the first time. It was phenomenal and lived up to my expectations. My friend that I went with knew how much I admired the poets and what their testimonies meant to me. She asked if I was going to stay after, meet them, and get individual pictures. My answer was a hard “no!”. I was too nervous and anxious to do that. The quick photo from the VIP experience would have to do.
This year, we went to the Detroit show, again, and it surpassed my wildest dreams. The way God speaks through these artists is mind-boggling! The way God spoke to me through them was so needed and right on time.
I was in the middle of depression and only just starting to acknowledge that’s what it was. A year of looking forward to this event, counting down the days for it, and then almost not going because I didn’t have the energy to be myself, or around people. But I was determined to go. I was determined to keep my word. I was going and staying after to get photos with each of the poets.
I put on my favorite sunflower headband, hoping that it would make me and others smile. With a last-minute pep talk and an “I love you” to my mom, I went.
As I said, the production and the poems were top notch. Convicting, encouraging, engaging, funny. It was worth two snaps and all the handclaps.
After the show, I waited around for individual photos with the Poets. I met some fantastic people. Heard heart dropping and heartwarming testimonies of how real God is, and what He’s doing in other people’s lives. I even got compliments of my sunflower headband: it “made people smile or happy” looking at it. Goal accomplished.
I got photos with the poets, got to speak with them, and express what their work for God meant to me and said thank you.
All in all, it was a night well spent. But, I was mentally exhausted from acting like I wasn’t drowning in my own mind. I was still lost in the cyclone of lies the enemy fed me. By the time I got home, I was undone. Convinced that I’d wasted my time, the poets, and anyone else that I had spoken with. I took off my sunflower headband and looked at it in my hand. Every voice that expressed joy in seeing it became a mocking sound in my soul, laughing at me for trying.
I looked at the photos with my two favorite poets and realized my smile was huge. I called it my “I’m excited and trying to hide it” face. I saw that smile and already couldn’t remember making it, and I thought to myself that “this is why everyone was mocking me. That goofy smile was why I was not taken seriously at work or at most of the things that I do. This is why God could never truly use me for His glory. That goofy smile is me, and it is why I’m not loveable!”
Blessedly that last thought is where the Holy Spirit broke through. That chain had already been broken off of my life! God has already shown Himself to me and proved His eternal love for the world, myself included, on the cross of Calvary. Knowing this truth, I could see the lighthouse in that darkening storm engulfing my mind!
God tells me that I am loved, that He loves me with an everlasting love. That there is nothing I can do that would separate me from Him once He is mine and I am His.
The enemy was trying to keep me from putting my uniqueness and value back in Christ, where it belongs. He wanted to destroy memories before they could be made so that my identity could go from work and academics to what I perceived as my failings and shortcomings.
But the Lord is my light, and His word is a lamp on my path! God told me who I am, and who I am to Him. He also told me who He is and who He is to me. He is my solid rock, my light, and my comforter.
So you see, I am learning. There is believing in God, and there is believing God.
Scriptures to consider: •Psalms 18:26 •Psalms 119:1 •Romans 12:1-2 •Exodus 3:13-14