“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The PURPOSE of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso
“Your talent is God’s GIFT to you. What you do with it is your GIFT back to God.” Leo Buscaglia
I had an awakening at the end of 2017 that darted full speed into the New Year. The encounter I stumbled across was of the anointed. I experienced a prophetic gift and I observed people become blessed in a five minute engagement. I not only got to be a part of it, but I was chosen to facilitate and host it without fully knowing it. Talk about doors being opened — the doors swung right open. I did not walk in them, I ran through them without looking back and without knowing where I was going. It was obvious that I was being led. I really didn’t plan a thing. Everything just naturally happened. It was the first time I didn’t have to chase after something. I was being pursued.
For the past year I have been investigating a calling deeply-rooted in my soul that arrived as a stirring spirit. It started out as a disagreeable knot in my throat and a nauseous bearing in my stomach. An overwhelming amount of discontentment drowned my heart from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I came home from work at night. I walked on egg shells every time I walked into the office and I felt I was going to explode at any moment. Then I got sick. I felt anxious and started getting panic attacks and consistent migraines. That compounded on top of the discontentment triggered a desperation for change. It’s in those hopeless moments that we tend to seek God more fervently — and that I did. For “in my weakness, I knew He would be made strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
It was in this testing moment that I decided I needed a break, to take a rest and to seek Him more to understand what is going on in me. This is where my “mid-lifepurpose moment” was birthed. Over time as my body got rest and as I seeked Him more, I was given specific steps to become: to heal, to cleanse, to be set a-part. It was the beginning of the sanctification process: The process in which I become more like Him. He was emerging a Purpose within me, and He was calling me to use the gifted talents He planted in me long ago at this very hour. It all started with a trial. Once I accepted the challenge, and I authenticated my trust in Him, despite the temporary pain and suffering, I was worthy of the calling.
Note: If this is your first time reading this series, go back to week 1 to learn more about what I went through to get to this point.
On the Friday before the New Year I hosted a special event for our Peace Parks program welcoming in the New Year and introducing our wellness offerings in 2018. The gathering inspired to ignite the spirit through praise dance presentations involving local youth and missionaries from Hawaii. The initiative itself aims to keep transitional aged youth (ages 16-25) off the streets and to ultimately reduce the violence in at risk communities among this particular age demographic. How we got placed in this? It just happened. We were pursued — and we obeyed. And then we were sent people to help us in the process.
Now once the pursuit began, the enemy very much attacked. Our personal close relationships began to divide, political struggles began to rise and resources were unavailable. It was a very dis-heartening moment and it still is. But at the same time old relationships were restored, spiritual weapons were formed and provision came in other ways beyond our understanding. I learned a long time ago, when you become attacked this way, it’s a time to press through as firm as you can because it means that you are very close to a significant breakthrough. All I could think about was the possibilities at the other end of this thing we embarked on. Breakthroughs that could occur to a forgotten youth in a community where yesterday they had no hope, and tomorrow the sky is the limit. My husband and I in our pain, in our sorrow, in our disappointments and in our brokenness focused on the mission at hand and continued our pursuit for restoration and wholeness among a dispirited community.
The Friday of our event, I woke up with an aura around my eyes and I could not see, focus or function for the first half of the morning. It’s the same aura you get right before a migraine is about to intensify. I was frightend that I might not be able to host this event after all. I immediately called the pastors from Hawaii and asked them to pray for me. I then called my sister who leads the praise dance program with me to pray over me. Within a few hours the aura went away and I was able to prepare for the evening. Now that never happens right before I get a migraine. Typically the migraine lasts 2-3 days. It starts with an aura, followed by an excruciating pain that shoots in my head, and the only thing to take the pain away is to lie in a dark room and sleep.
The young girls in the program came to my house and as we were getting ready for the event, one of the girls knees went out on her and she was limping around the house. The other girl expressed that she was feeling sick, that started at night and continued through the day. I knew right then and there what this was. It was an attack. I asked the girls to gather in a circle and pray with me. We prayed that anything that got in our way be removed. I have been attacked before but never quite obvious as this. I was fearful and excited for what was in store all at the same time!
We get to the Recreation Center and we setup and everything was going well until I received a phone call. One of the ladies who was supposed to minister that night in our presentation called to alert me that all the other dancers were suddenly not available to minister (perform), and that she doesn’t think she was going to make it. I asked her to reconsider and I told her that maybe God wanted her to do a solo. She didn’t think she could with the type of dance it was and was considering changing the song “I am Desperate”. I urged her to continue the solo with the song that was originally chosen by her. In a distraught voice, she told me she is getting ready and coming.
We occupied an intimate audience filled with community based organizations, with members of the at risk community itself, with other praise dance ministries, with friends, supportive family members and a half way home down the street. As I was greeting the arriving guests, one of the pastors pulled me aside and asked me (in my Martha spirit) if she could pray with me before the presentation began. I said yes and she began to pray. The prayer started in tongues and then out came a prophetic word that recognized my spirit. It sensed my concerns. It was familiar with the desires of my heart. It knew ME. What was this? Why do I feel this way? My body began to shake and tears started dripping down my cheek, and suddenly I forgot the people around me. I was engaged in an intimate encounter with God. His precious, sweet words breathed life in my ears and ignited my heart. The first prophetic word I received rebuked the worry I was feeling that night. He released all concern and I was able to proceed with the event in a calm, patient and trusting spirit. That encounter altered my being. I left that building a changed woman. And many other women the same.
Now anyone who knows me knows that when anything good happens to me I cannot keep it to myself. I passionately want to share it with the world. I was considering canceling our Sister2Sister end of year ministry gathering that we had scheduled on Saturday because I was engulfed in the planning of this event, and I was having plumbing issues at my home. But after experiencing what I experienced on Friday, I was excited to host this gathering. I spent all Saturday working on my plumbing and cleaning house for the sisters to arrive. We exchanged survival kits (gifts) for the New Year. I decided to invite the pastors/missionaries from Hawaii to surprise the women towards the end of the evening to give them a prophetic word for 2018. I posted an invitation on Facebook inviting anyone else who wanted prayer. One woman accepted the invitation. Six women and seven children were given a prophetic word that evening and they surprisingly blessed my home and prayed over every room to rid anything that was of spiritual warfare in my house.
After Saturday, another sister of mine asked for prayer with her and her family in her home. That same evening, I invited the pastors to my brother’s house where him and his family received prayer over his household. My kids returned from the snow and they received their prophetic word. This was on a Tuesday after the new Year. I was being asked to arrange another prayer evening for husbands, children and other people who were not able to make it on Friday and/or Saturday. So that Wednesday, before the women head back to Hawaii, I arranged a last minute prayer evening back at the Recreation Center with a mature Christian audience eager to receive His word.
A dear sister of mine that week invited me to attend another prayer session called “SOAK” in Oakland that takes place the first Saturday of every month. I attended that from 9:00-12:00 this past weekend and WOW! That was a room filled with prayer warriors with powerful prophetic gifts, and I received yet another word that gave me even more clarity and confirmation than before. Let’s just say that it was everything I experienced prior but on steroids.
Here is what I received in 8 days:
- Release from worry and the things that hold me back from becoming
- Direction on what scriptures to study and what apostle to focus on
- Confirmation on who my teacher is and correction on my plans in 2018
- Stimulation of a gift that God wants me to explore
- Warning not to despise “small beginnings”
- A Glimpse of what greatness is to come
- An Encouragement of His hand over me
And that doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of what is in store for my children. There were things mentioned that no one would know about us and the word was very different for each and every one of us. It was very much aligned to our character in nature from people who did not even know us. Every word and every good thing commanded focus on Him.
I was drunk in the spirit this Holiday season . . . all by accident. I was given the thing that I was craving for this past year . . . clear direction. I got to witness others receive the same thing. Now I can walk in confidence with what I am doing and where I am going.
I was given 4 words to focus on in 2018. How do I know? It kept showing up over and over again like a broken record every where I walked.
- Transformation — the sanctification process
- Freedom — break the chains off
- Prophesy — discovering and igniting gifts
- Expansion — our church is our community
My husband and I attended church today (this Sunday) and it was a very different experience. We both talked about it after and we shared an alignment of clarity that we never had before. It’s as if we were blind and we just woke up. The story of Saul who became Paul. And my story when I woke up on Friday. Things are different now. We are changed forever.
I knew prayer was important but I didn’t really know how important until now. I experienced a genuine divine experience with God in prayer for the first time and several times after that. Why is prayer so important? Because it’s the way in which we get to communicate with God. The way in which He can give us a message that we so desire. It’s not just simply a way for us to ask, plead and thank. It’s a way to RECEIVE Him.
What God gives us (talents) involves us, but it’s not about us. What He gives us, is about others. So when we get up to go to that job every day, ask yourself whether or not you are 1. using the talents God gave you and 2. using it for others. Does what you do every day benefit you more than the other person? Are you focused on the greater good of your neighbor or the greater good of the paycheck that will deposit into your account to take care of your very own home and family? Are you working selflessly or selfishly? Do you advocate for others no matter what man says is right, or do you follow rules and laws regardless if it hurts someone in the process? These are very important questions to ponder upon when you are wondering why you are here. Or if you are trying to simply find happiness in a world of broken promises.
I once was blind . . . but now I can see.
What is the story He is writing in you?