Spoken Word · Words of Encouragement

Leaping into Faith

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I am on a journey of faith. As if I have jumped off of my mountain of fear and onto a river bank, I am floating. What man thought would torment me turned out to be a mission of hope for their own souls. This endeavor is more than my existence. It is more like evolving. Before I took my leap of faith I encountered dreams about being homeless, navigating around Atlanta, and receiving a miracle from Christian leaders that I follow. I heard the call: “Leave your kinfolk!” “Just trust in God!” “You were created to impact the world!” “Just make the move!”

 

June 26, 2016, I was lying on my bedroom floor crouched in a ball of fear, worry, and indecision. I did not know whether to stay in Clearwater, move to Tampa, or officially take a leap of faith to Georgia. June 27, 2016, I grew the urgency to pack my necessities in preparation for a big move. I had made up in my mind that it was time to go to Georgia. June 28, 2016, I stepped out on faith to move to Georgia. I did not know where I was going to live. I did not know who I would meet. I did not think about if my decision was safe or unsafe. I just knew that I had to trust God in every situation. This new chapter of my life was the beginning of a huge sacrifice that would benefit a generation in desperate need faith.

When I arrived in Georgia, I went to Lithonia to The Gathering Oasis Church to attend Bible Study. After I left the church, I decided to park my car in a hotel parking lot. I was too exhausted to think about booking a room; plus, I could not afford the price. So I tucked my window visors in the window shield of my car, got comfortable in my front set, and prayed myself to sleep. For the entire week, I was traveling around Georgia looking for a place to reside. I had been living in and out of hotels and my finances were decreasing quickly. Yet there was still an ounce of hope residing within me about my move.

 

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The first Sunday of July I went to church and met a girl the same age as me. Her name is Amelia. We exchanged numbers and became friends instantly. Since the 4th of July was coming up, her aunt Phyllis invited me over for dinner. As I accepted the invitation I thought to bring an apple pie over for dessert. We all gathered together as a family as if we knew each other our entire lives. I told everyone my testimony in why I decided to move to Georgia. I believe that Aunt Phyllis and Uncle David saw that I was transparent and brave. Being that I was a twenty-two-year-old young woman, they knew that it would be best that I stayed with them.

So, out of the kindness of their heart, they adopted me as their niece and welcomed me into their home. The offer was unexpected; however, I was very grateful that someone had the heart to look after me. I lived at Amelia’s aunt and uncle’s house for a month until it was time to move to my next endeavor.

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For the month of August and September, I stayed at a woman’s home that I found on Air BnB. Her name is Ms. B. My initial plan was to rent one of her rooms temporarily until I could find a job and an apartment. After staying at Ms. B’s home for a week, she saw that I kept her home clean and she admired my willing heart. Out of the kindness of her heart, she gave me a decent discount in living in the home. She even offered me to be her host to help keep the house tidy when guests would rent a room temporarily. I gratefully accepted the offer and followed her directions. The home consisted of two stories, four bedrooms, and two-and-a-half-bathrooms. I made sure that every bed was made properly. The floors were swept twice a week. Whenever guests came, I welcomed them kindly and shared my journey of faith with them. When my time came to an end of living in Ms. B’s home, I needed a place to live again. Since my friend, Thereasa, saw that I was in need of a place to stay, out of the kindness of her heart she welcomed m to stay at her home temporarily.

While living with Thereasa and her family during the month of October, the first lesson I learned was Obtaining Humility in Uncomfortable Places. Humility brought me outside of my comfort zone when I had to share Thereasa’s 6-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Her room was only about the size of 3 Toyota Corolla’s squeezed side by side. Plus, I had to sleep on a large blow-up mattress that took up the majority of the room. Every time I came to their home, I felt as though I was taking up space. It was a discomforting feeling that pushed me even further to seek God for direction in where He was taking me.

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The second lesson I learned during the month of October was the Joy in Sacrifice. I was in the process of “release” at the time and God led me to give away my valuables and then give the money to Thereasa’s family. Each time I went to my storage unit I looked at all that I owned and heard the song playing in my mind – Just Want You by Travis Greene ft. Jordan Cornell. I felt such an urgency to make a decision to give my items away or miss the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life. So, I decided to give Thereasa’s family my kitchenware. I sold the majority of my clothes and shoes to clothing stores and donated the rest of my belongings to Goodwill. The sacrifice of giving away most of what I owned was challenging because I already had very little. Nonetheless, the end result was rewarding. The smile on Thereasa’s family’s faces was priceless. It gave me abundant joy to see them using the dishes that were given to me. When I sold and donated my clothes and shoes I could see great thanksgiving on the people’s faces. I knew that by me giving out of the kindness of my heart, God would receive the glory by the lives that had been blessed.

As the month of October was coming to an end I was in a serious search for a place to stay. Someone from my church reached out to me to let me know that young woman was renting out her apartment with a roommate for the next five months. I quickly contacted the girl with the offer and she invited me to her apartment to discuss an agreement. Out of the kindness of her heart, she offered to split the rent three ways since I couldn’t afford the entire pay of her portion of the rent. Before November began I moved into the apartment. After the struggles of finding a stable place, I had finally resided in a place that felt like home.

You see, kindness resides around us on various occasions. It is the matter of us opening our eyes to see kindness and accept it in love. If we reject the love that is given from others, then we would be rejecting the love that comes from our Creator of love. This story is just a highlight of how people demonstrated kindness to help support my living situation during my journey of faith. Even though I have received, I find it necessary to give back. For the measure we give will be the measure we get back in return. The measure we give could be our choice of however much we decide to give in clothing, food, time, money, service and work. In sharing my journey, I hope to shed light onto the circle of kindness. What one gives, one receives. It’s not what you give that determines your blessing in return. Instead, it is your heart’s desire in giving.

In the entirety of my testimony, it is my hope that you see the way that God moved on my behalf as I obediently had taken my leap of faith. Everyone’s journey is different, however, we all have a similar experience during our leap. As I mentioned before, I am giving you just the highlight of my journey about how God provided for me. There is SO much more to my story, I’d have to write a book. I hope that I have inspired you and encouraged you to listen to the still small voice inside that is drawing you closer to your destiny. You will never know what lies on the other side of your fears if you never take a leap of faith. I promise you that. You are purposed to do GREAT things on earth. Reach higher and never look back. Keep God first in all that you do and you will never be forsaken.

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Always know that you are Chosen, you are Royal, you are Holy, and you are God’s Special Possession.
He has turned your darkness into light.
~* 1 Peter 2:9*~

-Arnesjah

 

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