If you follow me on social media, you know I love to share good news. I always talk about my academic accomplishments, my scholarships, my family, and I share my happy-go-lucky pictures. What I don't share is my faith fights, my anxiety, and my heartaches.
I have doubts just like any other person does. I do my best to feed my faith daily through reading my Bible and not only attending church but actively applying what I learned. This isn't hard to do when everything is going well in my life. However, it's not so easy when you keep hearing "no" and you witness doors being SLAMMED in your face. It's not so easy when it seems like your prayers aren't being answered. It's not easy when you start losing friends. It's not easy when your heart has been broken. It's not easy when it seems that everyone else is getting what they want but you can't seem to get back on your feet.
My first BIG faith fight was going into college. Because I graduated with honors and had witnessed several classmates getting full rides to their top pick universities, I just KNEW the same thing was going to happen for me. First, I couldn't seem to get the ACT score that I desired. Then, when I got it, the scholarship deadline was over. The first university that I initially desired to go to wasn't offering ANY financial aid and my second choice offered some, but not enough. I was even accepted to Spelman, but I didn't want to take out a loan. I wasn't even considering Arkansas State an option! In my mind, I HAD TO GO AWAY!
I was so frustrated and angry at God for messing up my life (I was SO dramatic by this point). I cried and complained everyday. It was so hard for my mom to watch me going through this, but she knew I had to seek Christ for myself. So, I began to talk to God. I knew He already knew everything I was going through, but I wanted to tell Him about it anyway. I vented my frustrations to Him. I asked Him why he was allowing me to go through this. It was then that I found the scripture that says "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Cor. 2:5. (Tip: If you want to hear from God, read this Book He wrote.) I was putting my trust in myself and my abilities. I had put my trust in my good grades and my connections. I failed myself. Once I put my trust totally and completely in Him (because I was obviously getting nowhere with this situation) doors began to open.
Eventually, I sent Arkansas State my final ACT scores and was offered a scholarship. Although it wasn't a full ride like I desired, it was more than any other university was offering. I sat down with my parents and my advisor, and I started summer school right away. Because I graduated high school with 15 collegiate hours and took 7 hours during summer school, I started my freshmen year in the fall with 21 hours under my belt. After that semester, I received another scholarship...and then another! Before I knew it, I was getting paid to go to school.
In this, I learned that just because it didn't happen like I wanted it to, God had my best interest in mind. I wanted one full scholarship in my hand, instead I got several small ones that amounted to more than enough. I wanted to go away and be free! Instead, I stayed home with no bills to pay or debt mounting up. I will graduate college DEBT FREE!
This situation FORCED me to develop a relationship with Christ for myself. It forced me to develop a prayer life. It forced me to read His Word. He was no longer the Guy that my mom and dad talk about all the time. He was MY Father God. Even with all of my doubts and flaws that make me so undeserving, God favored me.
One of the things that really help me fall in love with Christ with every passing day is the fact that HE accepts who I am no matter what the circumstances are. When I am dolled up, and high stepping in those Gianni Binni’s or when I’m lounging around the house in my messy curls and sweats, God’s love for me is consistent. I am by no way a perfect person, and I don’t portray to be. However, I do find it my business to keep a JOYFUL presence no matter what I’m going through. If you are my friend on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you would think that I have it ALL together and life is merely blessings and opportunities. I’m posting an acceptance letter from this place, posting a status of a financial burden lifted from this area, here’s a picture of a job offer from this company, and so on and so forth. Well, that’s partially true. I will say this without even a hint of regret: Ever since I decided to give myself to Christ whole-heartedly, my life has indeed changed for the better, and yes, God has shown me immeasurable favor in many areas of my life. However, the pictures and posts that I upload are only the “Glory”… Now, here is the REAL story. In reality:
1. I’m INSECURE. The job offers I receive, I don’t feel worthy or qualified enough to accept. That financial release...it’s only followed by a different burden. My acceptance letters, only God knows why they chose someone like me. That picture of me smiling…followed by many tears and many sleepless nights because I don’t think I’m beautiful.
2. I’m flawed. I can be rude, obnoxious, lazy, bitter, impatient, insensitive, etc.
3 Sometimes, I’m scared. I’ll admit it. Trying to live a life that is pleasing to God is a constant fight. You never want to get complacent in your walk with Christ.
Surprisingly, it DOES matter what you do and what you say because once you have chosen a life with Christ, it’s no longer just about you. Your mission is to serve God and bring His children home. That’s SCARY. I’m human. I make mistakes…and sometimes I feel as if I have no room for mistakes. Fortunately, God shows unconditional love for His children. I can be myself with Him. He is consistent and I am grateful. In return I have learned to love myself as HE loves me. That wasn't always the case. So, every day when I awake I appreciate everything about me because I was CREATED with purpose. I know that whether I’m in my heels or my sweats God accepts me…flaws and all.