So friends I just ask for your prayers… I feel myself drifting back into a place I don’t like… and I know why… I just don’t want to admit it to myself… but in thinking back to the storm stories… I am coming to grips with the fact that its ok for me to feel this way so I’m not going to fight my feelings like I usually do cuz I think that’s what makes me feel worse… but I’m going to just pray and ask God that I feel his presence more in this time than ever before

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So LOTS means Lessons Outside the Sessions 🙂

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The enemy’s been defeated. Death couldn’t hold you down. Gonna lift our voice in victory. Gonna make our praises loud. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph, shout unto God with a voice of praise. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

I saw it fitting to begin again with this song because It is what I’ll be talking about next. So I guess its time for the spiritual journeys and lessons learned at ATL ’08 outside of the seminars and sessions… This is where my life was transformed the most anyway which is why I just love conferences.

So we arrive at the conference center around 2 pm which is good considering we left late because someone was having some issues and overslept or something ( I never really got the story but it didn’t matter) AND because our van was trippin and shaking while we were on the road at first (but thank God through prayer and faith it stopped and we made it safely). So we register and right then and there I’m like smacked in the face with a test. Why? Well somehow I got separated from the group when they were doing housing and so I was pretty much isolated on my own in a different building with a roommate I didn’t know. Now for some people they’re thinking ok, big deal, so what? Yeah well for me this was a very big deal because I saw this as me needing to do more work than I had anticipated (to be included with the group) and (probably more honestly) was willing to do. The fact of the matter was, I didn’t need help isolating myself from the group, because I did that well enough when we were together anyway. So yeah, this was a big problem and I let everyone know it. LOL! I am moping because I will be forced to extend myself to other people when I wasn’t really close with the group I came with in the first place and saw the conference as a potential bonding time. Aren’t we glad that our ideas aren’t God’s ideas? I mean really like I mentioned it wasn’t even the fact that I was with someone I didn’t know… because meeting people is the story of my life… but it was just the fact that we weren’t even in the same building… and like it was a pretty far walk in between, so I doubted anyone would visit my room and vice versa (which actually became true LOL)… So I cry and call my bff (who didn’t answer) so I yell @ God and He smiles and laughs @ me… and then speaks to me through my staff worker saying “Maybe God put you there for a reason. Don’t let this ruin the whole conference for you.” I wish I could say the Hallelujah Chorus rang and I had instant revelation and was all good from that point then… ha! No… My response in my mind was yeah, I know he put me there for a reason and I don’t like it at all… and my verbal response was Yeah, whatever, I’ll get over it. And I did… but that didn’t stop me from being upset at certain points in the conference when what I expected to happen happened like my being in another part of the main conference room because I wasn’t with them when we entered or my eating meals with strangers because we couldn’t coordinate to eat together or the free times I spent alone in my room because I waited for phone calls or text messages to see what they were doing that never came… But in all of that God spoke to me… because he really let me know I had no right to be upset because I really didn’t voice clearly to my group how I felt or what I wanted or expected… what I “expected” for them to do was read my mind… what I “expected” them to do was to think about me and make sure I was included (as if they were intentionally excluding me)… God really forced me to grow up and stop being a baby in that area of expecting people to like cater to my wants and desires… and I’m sure that’s apart of what He had in store when he placed me where he did. Also my roommate was pretty awesome and amazing and blessed my life beyond imagine and made me want to cry and shout all @ the same time in certain occasions where I now have a mutual connection with a good sister and friend that probably wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t roommates.

So for the conference we had morning corporate prayer times (non-mandatory) where we’d get up early 7:30 am and go to this room and pray with the leading of a staff worker. Prayer is amazing… but corporate prayer is just so powerful, especially the way we did it… like it was just such a lifter and a boost in the mornings and I actually kinda miss it and wish I had someone to pray with in the mornings LOL… (I used to try to get us to do family morning prayer times… it didn’t really work too well cuz my mom didn’t like me trying to tell her what to do LOL) anywho… it just really stirred up a fire within me every morning and I was ready to face the day and it was just so great… I don’t even know how else to describe it… and like you’d think it was something great and spectacular, it was just prayer but prayer is awesome! LOL Spending time with Daddy is awesome! 🙂

So speaking of prayer and spending time with God… 🙂 December 30th… Don’t remember what time it was cuz I was pretty out of it afterward… but woo… I already know I won’t do this experience justice BUT I will try… so we did an all conference corporate prayer time after one of our main sessions… they said they were just going to let the Holy Spirit move and whatever happens, happens… HA! Like nothing I’ve EVER experienced before in my life… we started by praising God through reading praise scriptures simultaneously and we were to read and read until the “Holy Hush” (we would just know when it was time to be quiet, no one would tell us) came and would get further instructions from the Holy Spirit there after… Let me tell you the Holy Spirit just rained down like fire on that place after the Holy Hush… we were lead into a corporate moan/scream/crying out to God and I don’t know about anyone else but I was floored (face down prostrate)… and then one of the staff workers prayed over me things that I hadn’t told anyone but that only God knew… and said things that God had told me before but I had forgotten… and such a peace came over me when I got up off the floor (oh and somehow everyone got floored LOL) I couldn’t stand still I was so full of the Spirit and I was FREE like all of my pain vanished (even the physical pain that I came in there with) and all my emotional wounds healed, and in that moment, God took the time to make me whole and tell me I didn’t need to look to any other person for the love and affection that he was currently bestowing upon me.  He was telling me that He was always with me… even in those dark times when I felt that He wasn’t… That HE was the whispers in the night saying Don’t Do it your life is too precious… That HE knew me better than I even knew myself and HE would never leave me and I was protected with Him… and I began to think back to the times where I felt like dying and felt like death had a grip on me… where I felt so close to the edge I just might have jumped… AND I just praised and praised and praised… and that praise has been etched in my heart… and I began singing songs I didn’t know but I was singing and I don’t remember any of the words to the songs but I remember the staff worker praying that I’d be filled with songs of Joy and I totally was… and THEN 🙂 another staff worker led by the Spirit got on the microphone and began to sing theme song!

The enemy’s been defeated. Death couldn’t hold you down. Gonna lift our voice in victory. Gonna make our praises loud. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph, shout unto God with a voice of praise. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

Talks with my roommate really helped me grow… I know we were talking about places God has called us to be where we don’t want to be and she has been to the place where I don’t want to be but am supposed to go… and I hadn’t told her about it yet… and she just randomly brought it up and was talking about it and I was just like shut up (not the bad shut up LOL) and wanted to walk out cuz at that point I hadn’t like fully committed to go and of course God would bring it up and our conversation like I’m not going to let you forget about this missy! LOL

To Be Continued

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The enemy’s been defeated. Death couldn’t hold you down. Gonna lift our voice in victory. Gonna make our praises loud. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph, shout unto God with a voice of praise. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

This is the song that marked the most pivotal day in my life. The words speak for themselves because God literally snatched me up from death on December 30, 2008.

But I’ll begin with the beginning because that’s always the best place to begin. The beginning is not even in Atlanta. I don’t remember the exact dates or anything of the sort but when this year began I was excited about the national black student conference in Atlanta because I went to Atlanta ’05 and it was just phenomenal and I knew that this year would be the same if not better because I was in a TOTALLY different place than I was in ’05. I was pretty much ok in my walk with Jesus and I had been through some stuff!!! So I looked forward to the conference, until my staff worker told me that the conference had been changed to a student leadership conference and the numbers had been cut short, meaning only a selected few would be able to attend the conference. I was like aww that’s a bummer, I was looking forward to going again. I think at that point I had been telling people about it, and I was still at York College of Pennsylvania. Well then I probably would still be able to go because I was the only black student leader in our fellowship who would go to a black student conference. Then she told me it was a certain number by region… I was like really bummed then. Not only that, I went through some things that caused me to no longer attend York College and I was now a student at Bowie State University, among many black leaders because its an HBCU (which is a testimony that I even go to an HBCU LOL). So I had my mind set that I was NOT attending this conference, which was confirmed when my staff worker informed me of her selections of students for the conference. I was totally happy for them, and even hounded one of the students to sign up because I was telling her it’ll be awesome and life changing for her and she just needed to sign up and stop faking! I still had it in my heart’s desire to go and felt like I could totally grow in being there but I was content in knowing I would hear great stories of their experiences.

Well so God had it for me to go to this conference. Registration became open so where there was no longer only a selected few would be allowed to go and changed to first come first serve basis. I was excited and I was like I’m going to go!!! And then… I began looking at the things placed before me. Like money (or the lack there of which was going to be needed for the conference), or transportation, or even the desires of my family that I be with them over the holidays (why I don’t know LOL). Money was the most deciding factor, and I was like yeah… I can’t afford a plane ticket and the cost of the conference… it was a nice thought that I was allowed to go BUT yeah I’m not going… My lovely sister/staff worker spoke truth to me in saying You know not to let money be a deterring factor for you not to go somewhere. If God wants you at this conference He will make a way for you to get there. So unless you heard from God that you shouldn’t go, don’t be discouraged. She pumped me up for real! I started speaking in faith, I’m going to Atlanta while doing my happy dance. The other students who signed up for the conference had signed up in faith because they too did not have the funds for a plane ticket. For some reason too they waited and waited to buy the plane tickets like the tickets were just going to miraculously drop to an affordable price (which God could’ve done if He wanted to btw). My bff gives (loans :))  me the $100 registration fee for the conference so I join them in signing up in faith that somehow, someway we’d get to Atlanta. Ok so the conference costs $425 at this point and we’ve all paid $100. Our school gives us each $100 towards the trip. Our region has a scholarship of $200 for us for the trip. And we’re left with a $25 balance. Praise God, Praise God. THEN, (here’s the really really good part) someone on Intervarsity Staff offers their minivan (with just enough seats to fit us in) for us to drive down to Atlanta in and all we’d have to do is fill up the gas tank (which ended up being $20 per person!). So God takes our impossibles and makes them possible! Well so really I was rejoicing with this news, but still operating in faith because I still had no money so even the $45 would be work for me to get. I couldn’t ask  my mother or bff. I told my grandmother about my trip and what I was doing and guess what. She gave me $150!

To Be Continued

Not particularly because of the new year but because of the new revelations God revealed to me at this conference I went to in Atlanta with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship USA called Atlanta ’08 n647092064_1766200_8766

I promise I will give a full run down and recap of the conference very soon after I process it fully 🙂 But I thought I’d dedicate my first post of the New Year to a cause not of my own. A blogging friend of mine named NorEaster was given a vision by God to begin this series called Storm Stories.

stormstorieslogo (click on the picture for original inspiration blog)

So pretty much the run down is people guest blog on his site for a day sharing their testimony of how God brought them through a storm and I must say just reading them has been such a blessing for me and we’re only 5 days in. I’m signed up to share my story later in the month but I think people would benefit from reading others’ stories as well. So I really encourage you to go visit the site and read the stories.

Drew and I

So if you’ve been following my blog or just know about my life you’ll know that my relationship with my family wasn’t the best of relationships… particularly between my 12 year old brother and I… First he thinks that he’s the older brother rather than the younger brother AND he thinks he’s 21 instead of 12 (which I would STILL be older than him btw)… so he hates for me to tell him what to do and we’d always fight or I’d want to hurt him because he wouldn’t listen to me or just would get on my nerves…

Well so this is what happened… A while ago I made up my mind I would be nicer to my brother and even go as far as give him a hug and tell him I love him everyday… yeah so God was funny to tell me to do that… but what was even funnier was the fact that when I didn’t do it… my brother started doing it to me… so he hugs me and tells me he loves me everyday… For the first time we’re getting along and its really great.. We went shopping on Christmas Eve and he’s been sleeping in my room ever since… LOL We haven’t gotten into an argument and I even tried to stick up for him when my mom wanted to take his way too expensive jeans back (even though I agreed that he shouldn’t buy them)…

So pretty much when I even thought about being obedient to God he gave me a change of heart towards him… So that’s the end of our sibling rivalry

So I don’t really know where to begin… I’m apart of the group on campus called Lighthouse Campus Ministries and its great. Like being around college students talking about God, seeking after God, talking to GOD… yeah best thing ever… Sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus… Love it! Its been really cool just to see what God has done through us this semester and its just been awesome… Well we have this weekly hour prayer room that I would go to faithfully cuz it was an awesome space to just connect with God outside of my normal prayer closet and just a great time of personal and communal prayer. Well I think it was like 2-3 weeks ago our campus leader and I were praying and we both heard the same thing about our work not being done even though the semester was winding down and to not let up… we were like ok LOL but little did we know what that meant @ the time… since then we did a big proxe station outreach event, a Christmas party, and a prayer room along with our normal prayer and weekly bible studies… I can just say personally for me I’ve connected with more people in these last 3 weeks than I did all semester long and I know alot of other people got connected to other people too and I think its just amazing and that’s why I just love campus ministry so much and know its what I’m called to…

So as most of you all know I’ve been looking for a job pretty much since I left York College in March… over the summer I got a job as a baby sitter but then my school schedule didn’t work for me to keep that job (which kinda sucked cuz it was great) and so I’ve been without income since like mid August (and yet provided for in ways beyond my imagining). I’ve had lots and lots of disappointments and discouragements and really just didn’t understand why I couldn’t get a job.. then even I was put on the list as a substitute aftercare teacher where I’d miss bible study if I were called and I never even once got called… but I recognized that getting a job would really take me away from a campus that I’m not on much away because I commute and would take away the relationship building opportunities.

So what does my title have to do with this and why am I saying all this??? Well… for one, my mom’s manager was going to do her a favor and hire me I just needed to pass this test and she’d hire me. I was banking on this job… already cashing my first paycheck and some more… The day after I took the test I went to a counseling session that my wonderful lovely great BFF kinda made me go to and my job hunt came up in the conversation and she suggested that I try to go for work study on campus again… at the time I brushed her off because I was like I just took this test and I already got a job, I’m getting called tomorrow… So I paid her no mind and didn’t listen to her… So yesterday we sponsored a 9-hour prayer room for the end of the semester and finals and I’m on campus all day in the prayer room 🙂 and I get a text from my mom saying that I had failed the test and I needed to take it again…. So of course I’m like devastated and confused because this test wasn’t hard… it wasn’t even your typical exam… I didn’t take the time to see in that what God was doing or hear what he was trying to say but I got prayer from our campus minister and she even said maybe God didn’t want me to work there… Its close to my house which was good… but that meant on public transportation I’d be 2 hours away from Bowie and unavailable alot of the time with school and work… (I know I take forever to get to the point sorry) I get more prayer that night during accountability with my BFF but I’m still not receiving anything like she said the same thing but I still didn’t have a peace about the situation and I now know it was just the enemy trying to distract me from hearing from God… and for a while there he did…. Today I stayed in a funk pretty much all day up until bible study prayer time where I was finally listening to God speak to me and tell me HIS plan… and calm my spirit… Before I went to bible study though I was talking to a friend who I didn’t tell the situation that happened or anything and she sent me a link for a job fair on Bowie’s campus to work @ Bowie through food services… at the time I was still in my lil funk so I was like they’re not going to hire me anyway and I don’t think they hire students so I’m not going to go… then yeah awesome prayer time… I get home and DUH!!!! It clicks and I finally open my eyes… I didn’t not get the job because I was inadequate (even though that’s something I knew before today LOL) I didn’t get it because I wasn’t supposed to, because God wants me at Bowie avaliable to cultivate relationships and do ministry…

I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. ~ John 16:12-14 (MSG)

So I give credit to this girl from Bowie named Alicia for this but seriously why do people listen to this song and why is it so popular???

“Paper Planes”

[x2]
I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make ’em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait

[x2]
Sometimes I think sitting on trains
Every stop I get to I’m clocking that game
Everyone’s a winner, we’re making our fame
Bonafide hustler making my name

[x4]
All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)
And (KKKAAAA CHING!)
And take your money

[x2]
Pirate skulls and bones
Sticks and stones and weed and bongs
Running when we hit ’em
Lethal poison through their system

[x2]
No one on the corner has swagger like us
Hit me on my Burner prepaid wireless
We pack and deliver like UPS trucks
Already going hell just pumping that gas

[x4]
All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)
And (KKKAAAA CHING!)
And take your money

M.I.A.
Third world democracy
Yeah, I got more records than the K.G.B.
So, uh, no funny business

Some some some I some I murder
Some I some I let go
Some some some I some I murder
Some I some I let go

OK so I can understand slightly if you don’t know any better and have NO IDEA what she’s talkin about from the surface… and that its difficult to read in between the lines and all… BUT I looked this chick up with some encouragement from Alicia 🙂 and she says what her song is about!!!! Wanna know??? I’m sure you’re curious now…. Terrorism…. Most of the reviews of her songs are like very political and humorous… but SHE said

I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. And it kind of worked…I haven’t heard honesty in music for so long and this is how I feel, and this is what I think. You don’t even have to say words.. I was just being as raw as possible. I wanted to make music that you felt in your gut…. You can’t separate the world into two parts like that, good and evil. Terrorism is a method. But America has successfully tied all these pockets of independence struggles, revolutions and extremists into one big notion of terrorism.

Does anyone NOT see a red flag here??? But yet and still this SONG as a single record received a Grammy Award for Best Record of the Year… Did I miss something???? LOL I mean like I’m not into the Grammys and all that cuz I only listen to Christian Music but Do we not live in America? Did not 9/11 happen??? Are we not @ war right now in Iraq for what was said a War on Terrorism? And yet we condone music like this because of that wonderful freedom of speech??? I could be totally wrong and let me know if I am cuz I’ll recant… Seriously…