Hey buddies! After months of prayer and contemplation and weeks of uncertainty and procrastination, we are finally HERE! I wanted to be transparent for the very first post because that’s exactly how I wish this journey to be: transparent.
It has been a very long journey to get to this point, and I am so very excited to be sharing with you all my faith walk in the hope that it blesses someone along the way.
Let me start by saying I can’t tell you the exact day the Lord placed on my heart to begin writing or gave me “Eternal Agape” or even to create this website. But I can tell you the first emotion I felt when I started to work towards it: pure and utter fear.
I was petrified. I had written mini devotionals for some of my closest friends, gave a mini-sermon at my home church and even had a mini Bible study on campus my sophomore year.
But all those things were just how I described them, mini.
I had only shared with a small group of people who I knew and trusted. This would be one of the first times that I would be open about my relationship with Our Father, and it terrified me for multiple reasons, but I’ll just name a few.
For starters, I am NOT perfect. My faith isn’t complete. My walk is not absolute. I am actually the farthest from it. Though I have a DEEP background in church, that still didn’t save me from making mistakes.
I remember being 12 or 13 at my home church. The guest speaker was praying for all the youth in the audience, and I had this feeling deep down inside that he was speaking to me. You know that feeling in your gut when you know it’s Him tugging on your heart to receive prayer?
That was me.
As much as I fought with myself, I eventually found my way to the altar. As he was praying for me, tears began to flow from my eyes. As he spoke to me, I started praying that the Lord would fill me up with the Holy Ghost fire I had heard about in church every Sunday since I was a little girl growing up in a COGIC church.
I asked to be saved that day and was so excited about my new-found relationship with the One who created me. And like most new believers, I expected my walk with God to be like clouds, gumdrops, and rainbows.
However, I soon realized as I grew older, that a relationship with God wasn’t all about sunshine and butterflies.
From the day I said yes to Him, I would learn that this life with Him is not a sprint with a finish line or a mountain climb with a final peak. It would be a never-ending marathon of mountain tops and deep valleys that would teach me how to grow my faith in Him and develop into the woman He is continually calling me to be.
Secondly, I immediately thought, who am I to give anyone advice on their walk or share as if I have the best relationship in the world.
It always makes me feel special when my friends come to me for spiritual advice or prayer. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right. But in the midst of that, I knew I still lacked real understanding. And this plagued me as I tried to write my first post.
I remember having a talk with my wonderful mother, who along with my fantastic father laid the foundation for the relationship I have with Him today, and she shared with me something I’ll continue to apply throughout our journey together.
After expressing to her the frustration I felt about not being able to write anything for weeks on end and feeling empty spiritually, she told me “I thought the purpose of the blog wasn’t to present yourself as having it all together. But to talk about those lows, those empty places and those spiritually dry moments. In your vulnerability, you’ll be able to reach far more people than if you come as someone without fault or setbacks.”
And that hit me in my chest. I never want to come across as someone without faults, negative thoughts, and bad days.
If anything, sometimes I have periods where my bad days never seem to end. I feel empty inside and almost abandoned by the one we call Father. But those moments are necessary for the building of faith and the understanding of who He really is and has always been.
So, I will give you guys my all and be completely honest about my shortcomings so that in my weakness, you will be able to see how He continues to make me secure.
Lastly, I was afraid that this site, this message, these stories wouldn’t reach people the way I wanted to be. I think this one might’ve been the biggest hurdle.
When starting this blog, writing those devotionals, preparing that Bible study, I wanted the people who I came in contact with to honestly see Him and His light through me.
But after really reflecting on why this thought troubled me the most, I realized the real root of the problem: me.
I wasn’t really thinking about God getting the glory from those things. I wasn’t really concerned about the people that would be potentially be blessed by the words He put in my heart.
I was focused on the return. How people would perceive me, how much people would like what I said, and the following I would hope to gain from more people logging on.
It turned from Him getting the glory from my life and growing deeper in my faith, to me receiving praise and recognition for excellent writing skills and evoking some emotions. I had to check myself (which often happens in this journey) and remind myself who I wanted to get the glory out of all of this.
I’m gonna drop some scriptures right quick that helped me come back to reality.
“Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You], for You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”Psalms 143:10
I had to ask Him to forgive me for my negative intentions and ask him to teach me what to say and how to say it so that I’m pleasing in His sight.
Romans 12:2 says “and do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].”This is the amplified version because I like the extra explanations and context.
I was so focused on how it would look, I disregarded the necessary focus on godly values and attitudes.
But these scriptures helped me to remember not my will, by thy will be done in and through me and this blog and those devotionals and everything else He places on my heart to do.
You may be wondering what G & D stands for and why I profess that it’s for everyone.
I was blessed my freshman year with 55+ brothers and sisters through the Freshman Leadership Academy at Howard University. From FLA6 came the inside joke that G (growth) and D (development) is not only for members in FLA6 but indeed for everyone.
I pray that in this blog, you will be able to experience my growth as a believer because I am learning more and more valuable lessons every single day. But I also pray that this blog aids in your development as well.
As I go through this journey of experiencing reborn faith in Him, I pray that you can connect with my successes and failures in your own journey and that it blesses you in the process. So come along buddies, let’s grow and develop together because G & D will forever be for everyone.