Going into the church wide consecration, I was in a peculiar space and I felt desperation for Godâ€™s whisper. I felt overwhelmed and drained. There was a sense of urgency in my spirit that I never experienced before (as if it were a matter of spiritual life and death). It felt as if I was on the brink of being who I was versus becoming the woman God called me to be! I had some questions and needed some clear answers. I entered the consecration desperately seeking Godâ€™s face. I desired to know him more intimately and wanted to operate in his perfect will for my life.
Before the consecration began, God had already started moving in my life (He blessed me to be apart of a wonderful production called The Hedge and I was also taking the first series of Discipleship classes at church. We were studying the gospel of John which talked about the life of Jesus and who he is). I was aware of the movement but unsure of the direction, which had me facing multiple moments of unease. However, during my quite time, I would hear God whisper BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! TRUST ME!
To add another element to the fold, I was also a new member at church and was in the midst of seeking a ministry to become a part of. Music always stirred my spirit and after confirmation and reconfirmation from God, I inquired about joining the choir. After what seemed like months of waiting, the date of auditions was finally set but, to my dismay it was the same time of my Uncles memorial. As I sat at the memorial contemplating what I should do, I felt myself getting anxious. I recalled a vision God showed of me in a choir robe. My mind began to race â€œWas I making the wrong decision to stay or did I need to go after what God had shown me? â€œ After some thought, frustration and encouraging texts from a co-worker/spiritual sista (who texted Maybe today is the day but not The DAY!), I surrendered and said â€œGod is in control and he knows my heart â€œand at that moment favor stepped in and an alternative date was going to be set for me. To my surprise, I was informed the person I would audition for was someone I knew. (A person I had encouraging repo ire with. Someone who was the wind beneath my wings, at crucial points in my life. key point to remember).
As I began the process of choosing a song to sing, I agonized over it. I was going through an unexplainable, inward struggle, as I tried to choose a song. I was told the audition process consisted of singing a verse and the chorus of a song, acapella. The song I wanted to sing by JoAnn Rosario I Hear You Say (which really stirred my spirit) was not in this format, so I had to pick another one. Blessed Assurance was an ole time favorite that came to mind but, I had my reservations. The song did not stir my spirit.
During a conversation with two of my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas (two days before my audition) they asked what song I would be singing and if they could hear me sing. I told them Blessed Assurance as a snap decision and in a type of â€œperformance modeâ€ I sang some of the song for them and went on my marry way. The next day (a day before my audition) another Co-worker/Spiritual Sista asked if I could sing the song for her and I couldnâ€™t do it. I was told to just sing and I couldnâ€™t do it. Just sing! What did that mean? This bothered me! I was fine the day before. What happened? As I spoke to my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas we began to unravel the turmoil I was in over this audition. I had to admit that the song did not stir my spirit because I did not personalize it, like I did with the JoAnn Rosario song. One of my Co-worker/Spiritual Sistas asked me why I couldnâ€™t personalize the song. Wasnâ€™t I Blessed with Assurance that Jesus was mine? And I had no answer. I felt at a lost. I wondered why this process was so difficult and as I verbalized my need for control. As if on cue, I knocked over a desk organizer and everything went every which a away. Right then and there my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas reminded me that some things we need not know or understand every step of the journey, because if we did we would probably mess it up. Obviously, there was a deep lesson in all this that I needed to learn.
Later that evening, I went home and had what I called a date with Jesus. During that date, God revealed to me that, the song I chose should be about how I felt toward him. It was my chance to sing him a love letter. â€œAh Haâ€, so thatâ€™s why I felt that unexplainable inward struggle! The songs I wanted to sing was about what Jesus was capable of, the song he wanted me to sing needed to be about the personal relationship we had. As I reflected about various experiences on how God has kept me, I began to connect to the song Blessed Assurance. I knew I wanted a deeper relationship with him and the last thing I wrote in my journal was Here I am Lord!
The next morning (the day of my audition) on my way to work, I felt on top of the world. I had such a wonderful time knowing that I was blessed and assured that Jesus was mine. As I drove, I marveled over a flock of birds flying in V-formation- a sight that always stirs my spirit. In the midst of the flock a single bird flew pass them but my attention remained on the flock.
When I arrived to work my Co-worker/Spiritual Sista I defaulted with to sing Blessed Assurance came in the office and I just belted it out with confidence and we high fived each other because I was ready for my audition later that evening.
After work, I went home to relax and heard God tell me to be at church by 7PM for my 7:30PM audition. But, only in hearing what God said I didnâ€™t arrive until 7:20PM. Still in my disobedience Godâ€™s grace prevailed and I heard him say, this is not about you, itâ€™s not about the director, itâ€™s about your relationship with me. As I walked into the sanctuary, I saw the director who introduced me to some of the members. One particular member said you will be ok, this is not American Idolâ€¦.just sing! Okay, I thought this is the third time I heard that saying. As I walked to go up the lofts center aisle, I had to squeeze by a partition and wondered why we didnâ€™t go up the side aisle that was obstacle free and easier. As I climbed the stairs of the loft, my spirit stirred inside and I knew the choir was where I belonged. When I got to the top of the loft instead of continuing forward, I stopped and looked back. And thatâ€™s when it began. Instead of remembering a vision God had showed me that my persistence would take me to new levels, I reverted back to my thoughts of having a fear of heights. I felt that familiar inner struggle between what was and what was to be.
The moment had arrived. As I stood before The Director, I was asked what song I was going to sing. Ahhhhhh, I drew a blank for a moment and said Blessed Assurance because that was what I was familiar with but not where my spirit led me. As I sung, The Director said I canâ€™t believe you are singing afraid for me. My ears heard her voice but my spirit knew it was God speaking to me about how I felt about him. It was as if he said you know me, you seen my favor, havenâ€™t Iâ€™ve been the wind beneath your wings and you are still afraid!
That night I lay awake in my bed and had revelation upon revelation from God. As I stared at my flameless candles, I clearly heard God ask me if I was fascinated with lights because I desired to be a light or did I need them to be on, so I could â€œseeâ€. I then began to look at my plants in my room that are positioned diagonally on opposite corners. As I studied them my eyes began to focus on my TV (which is in the center). I began to look at my dried flowers on the TV. God spoke to me and said â€œYou are surrounded by life but your focal point, your heart is filled with lifeless substanceâ€. Remove the dried up areas and let life in. Because I was tired I said I would throw the flowers out in the morning but my spirit would not let me rest so I got up and removed them immediately.
I began to hear God tell me â€œThere is a blockage in your heart.â€ I am waiting on you. Let me in, the price was already paid. When I died on the cross, I did it for you. My love for you is deeper than you know. Let me in. Let my blood flow. I am the life line that will see you through. Now itâ€™s your turn to respond to my gracious acts of love I have shown you. Let me in. Let my blood flow through.
As I thought about this song God had given me, I began to think about my discipleship class and how we were encouraged to seek spiritual and personal relevance of the scriptures we studied. I then began to think about a project we had to do. My group was assigned to research the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a strict religious sect of Judaism; they studied the law and knew the scriptures but didnâ€™t know Jesus. They were blind to who he was and did not allow what they knew to enter their hearts. (((((((((Sigh))))))))))! Sounds familiarâ€¦. I was hearing (in all its tenses) but not believing or receiving.
My revelations did not stop there. The next morning on my way to work, I marveled at the flock of birds I usually see and I heard God ask me â€œBut what about the other bird?â€ I questioned him and heard him say â€œThe bird flying out side the flock.â€ He asked me â€œWhy you donâ€™t marvel over that one?â€ And before I could give it thought I heard him say â€œBecause you think that bird is lost and alone.â€ As I continued to drive, my spirit led me down a rode I never been on. I was driving at a steady pace but as I entered the block I saw a house at the far end of the corner and began to slow down. I heard God say â€œKeep your pace â€¦â€¦.keep goingâ€¦â€¦.donâ€™t slow downâ€ but I began to wonder was there a dead end sign that I missed and I started to slow down, although I heard God say keep the pace. As I reached the end of the block, I looked to the right and there was an opening that led me to a familiar street. Right then and there God said to me â€œI am taking you to familiar places by a different route. Donâ€™t focus on what seems to be obstacles. I know the plans I have for you.â€
As I walked across the street, I began to see various birds flying solo and marveled at the confidence they had in flight as they soared and periodically flapped their wings. As I reflected and shared my experiences with my Co-workers/Spiritual Sistas I realized I had to learn to TRUST GOD MORE and that I am not alone. God was waiting for me to take my leap of faith so I could soar. So if you are on the edge of being who you are and who God has called you to be, do as I did and say, HERE I AM LORD (the song I should have sung) and take your leap. And just like me, know that you are within his (THE) HEDGE! All things do work together for them that love the Lord.
P.S.- Just as God confirms and reconfirms what he has shown us, he also has a tendency to place situations in our lives to test our faith. The Saturday after my audition, I found myself experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains. As I lay in the ER going through a series of testing, the doctor stated they were assessing me for a possible blockage/blood clot in my heart. â€œWhat!â€ As the tears flowed down my cheeks, I caught myself and remembered all the quite time I spent with the Lord and how he told me I will never leave nor forsake you and that I know the plans I have for you and how he was transitioning me to new levels and a new life.
At that moment if I never got it before, I got it then and Godâ€™s word saturated my heart.
I passed all my tests that was given to me that afternoon! I did have to spend the night for observation-(doctors have to do what the are trained to do but I knew who is in charge.)
I was surrounded by life. A woman in the ER gave me an inspirational piece to read and my roommate was a praying woman and I enjoyed her verbal praise of the Lord throughout the night. We never had a conversation but I did give her a hug and she held my hand she told me to Let Go and Let God!