Let’s fast forward several years later. I found myself relocating from Atlanta to South Carolina around the latter part of 2005. I was going through a difficult divorce, which forced me to live in my childhood bedroom at my mother’s house. That was a devastating blow to my ego. I went from living in a four-bedroom, beautiful brick home, two car garage, teaching at a technical college as a full-time instructor, working towards finishing my doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education to being stripped of everything tangible. At one point or another, I thought to myself, how did I find myself here? Where did I go wrong? I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself asking similar questions, but I have. I felt like all I wanted was to birth my purpose and live out my heart’s desire as a married woman who finally found peace and happiness, run for a local governmental office, excel as Vice President of Academic Affairs at a local technical or community college, and chair a local community board. That was my ten-year personal and professional blueprint in a nutshell.
I wasn’t seeking divorce; I was seeking the pulpit; I wasn’t seeking to prophesy into the lives of others, nor was I seeking to be elevated as a general in God’s army placed on the front line of defense commanded by God to break generational curses, renounce strongmen, or lay hands on the sick. But when God anoints you with a purpose that’s bigger than your inflated ego, you seriously consider the consequences and might even contemplate running—seeking shelter and supplies in an undisclosed cave.
Not too many people can attest they want purpose that stretches them totally outside their comfort zone. When you step into your purpose, often it isn’t comfortable, right? See, that’s a huge difference between ordinary people versus extraordinary people. People with an extraordinary gift often downplay transition making it look easy from the outside when it’s not. Take Jesus for example! The Pharisees were always seeking an opportunity to set Him up refer Matthew 12: 11-21, but He never allowed His haters to see Him sweat nor did He abort an assignment and you shouldn’t either.
Ready or Not! Take a moment and think about the world we live in today. Culture would have you second-guess the good news of Jesus by creating propaganda that miracles are far, few, and in-between. But I strongly believe there is someone reading this book right now thinking to yourself it’s time for a radical, lasting change God, and you’re standing on mustard seed faith waiting on your supernatural breakthrough.
Just like Jesus who was well chosen by the Father, you too, are equally loved and favored. Starting right now, your faith is colliding with your destiny. I’m crazy enough to believe that God is stirring up your gift as you read this one line. He’s activating the Living Word causing healing to take place, demons to submit and be cast out under the authority of His Son’s name, faith expansion, and souls being saved.
With deep-seated faith, nothing is impossible with God. Do you believe that simple, yet, powerful statement? If you’re uncontrollably nodding your head “Yes” or screaming “Yes, Lord” like one of my friend girls so infectiously yells as we giggle on the phone from the core of her soul to yours, then I stand in agreement and I believe she would too believing with you that you’re ready to receive your miracle.
And Yes, my lovely, a portion of your supernatural miracle start by you investing in yourself. Take your hand. Hold it out. Let Jesus heal you from everything that’s blocking you from truly experiencing the full manifestation of God. Make yourself happy. Happiness starts when you live life with an end goal in mind just like the man Jesus healed with the shriveled hand (Matthew 12:10). No more living life for other people. Life is a test. And when you refuse to take authority over your situation, you create negative patterns of delay prolonging your destination. This adverse spiritual roadblock create obstacles in both realms (spiritual and physical) because you’ve spiritually co-signed the enemy’s lie concerning your impediment. Think about it, this man with a shriveled hand didn’t have to accept His miracle from Jesus, but he did—willingly. Are you?
Just like Mary, Jesus’s mother, you have a split moment to answer the call. Not days, months or years. Some of you are sabotaging your dream. You’re sabotaging your dream because you refuse to put in the work and work through your fear. You whether live in fear and continuously let life break you down before you work through the fears that look you straight in the face daily causing you to abort God’s promise for your life year after year. God’s assignment for your life causes you to trust in the Lord with all your heart. You must change your mindset and stop perpetrating a fraud that you’re putting in the results, yet, you’re not producing the outcome you want to see. When you get to the point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you must remind yourself that you don’t have the luxury to give up. Why? Because you have people depending on you. Your bank account is depleted. You have nothing left. Friends have walked away. Family members don’t believe in your dreams. This is when you know it’s showtime and it’s time to get up every day and put in the work—through the Holy Spirit…let’s show up and labor for the kingdom. Why? Because you have reached a boiling point where you have nothing else to lose.
Think about it, your heart’s desire is tied to your purpose, and your purpose is tied to you answering your call like Mary. Your purpose is tied to you surrendering to the call like you surrender when your phone rings, as soon as a text comes through, or when social media alerts appear on your screen. Like you, I too know the instantaneous feeling to answer my phone when a response comes through that intrigues me. This allure causes you to check your statuses without reluctance when a great post or comment is made on your favorite social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See my point? God wants the same consistency in your spiritual walk. He’s waiting for you to interact with Him in the same manner by responding quickly. The same way you tag, post, comment rapidly on your favorite social sites, God seeks the same type of engagement by faith. After you immediately answer your purpose call, God expects you to impact the world by bringing others into the kingdom, share the good news of Jesus Christ or retweet personal triumphant victories that charge others to increase their faith.
Your purpose is tied to you surrendering to the call like you surrender when your phone rings, as soon as a text comes through, or when social media alerts appear on your screen.
When God stretches you, He doesn’t ask if you’re Ready or Not! Over the years, I’ve come to realize that stretching requires you to exercise joints and muscles that may have been underused. The minute I relocated back to South Carolina from Georgia, my public divorce became a crucial element to my spiritual rehabilitation. Nothing says stretching like having to move back home into your childhood bedroom with two kids sleeping in a full-size bed while living out of one suitcase. Yes. One suitcase is all I could fit into the back of my rental mini-van trunk with minimal personal belongings without leaving any of the children’s private possessions behind. Those few items in that one suitcase were my only belongings for almost five years. As I put on the same clothes day in and day out, it was a constant reminder of how far I had sunken worldly and how high God was taking me spiritually.
Finding out my ex-husband’s secrets sent me to a dark place before relocating back to South Carolina. The weight of his lies piled high upon me like beautiful snow sitting heavily on top of a mountaintop. The differences between me and that beautiful snow-capped mountain—I didn’t look gorgeous nor did I feel like I felt God’s grace. My Ex-husband’s past reeked of a foul, suffocating odor that paralyzed me on contact. Depression set in and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness hit me like a roaring wave on a hot coastal beach day. My season of stretching forced me to reconsider regrettable personal choices I made as a broken woman who was ill-prepared for spiritual warfare on so many levels.
What I found interesting in that season of stretching was God caused me to yield to Him through my hurt. Even during my most uncomfortable faceoffs, He forced me to trust Him. Every teardrop stretched me extensively. God with His infinite wisdom required me to move from off the sidelines watching as a participant and made me become an active player in my spiritual growth and development. Let’s say, each phone call with my divorce attorney unwillingly caused me to see my reality for what it was. The layers of fabrications that were uncovered were astounding. Each layer was numbing, but it improved my spiritual dexterity the more I found out about my ex’s corrupt indiscretions. As God stretched my muscles transforming me inside out, various spiritual infirmities were exposed causing me to put in the spiritual and emotional work I wanted so badly to avoid. The pressures of life became overwhelming as I was being stretched like a rubber band that was on the verge of popping. Great repair was needed because the enemy’s infiltration was surmountable. Let’s be honest, I was in the middle of a fierce battle for my life-spiritually and emotionally. I never thought the pressures of my failed marriage, permissible by God, would create such shame on one hand and a blessing on the other. He knew those burdens would activate my prophetic gifting, propelling it to the next level. He wasn’t blindsided that my calling would command me to come from the cave and shape me into the atmosphere shifter I am today. Every step of my life was beautifully orchestrated by God, even my pain points. As an alternative, God allowed my cutting affliction to emerge so stronger spiritual muscles could cultivate. I became a firm believer that my new spiritual physique would not be easily bruised causing permanent pain and a lengthier recuperation. 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 (NLT) says it best:
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so you can endure.”
As I take a deeper look at why I was constantly finding myself in awful situations and repeated cycles of rejection, loneliness, shame and what seemed as numerous setbacks and failures—I come to realize that those entry points helped me to change the course of my trajectory. Each dot connected to another dot. And those dots made me face the shameful challenges that were cramping my lifestyle causing vicious labor pains.
Sometimes the breaking point…you know…those outside forces that break you down…can cause you to cry day and night forcing you to tap into what is called submission. That period of separation, divorce, fighting for my children, and breaking free from generational witchcraft all dealt with exposing my vulnerabilities, which repositioned me one step closer to operating in my destiny and playing full out for God.
Like Mary, she too was probably ridiculed on so many levels because she carried God’s son and was unmarried. I could only imagine her fears, Joseph’s fears, and her family’s fears. Unlike me, I willingly chose to make certain mistakes because I sought love in all the wrong places. Plus, I was spiritually ignorant to a certain degree. My purpose, my destiny, my calling was being orchestrated by God. The painful stretching from God allowed me to open myself up to Him on a deeper level. His purpose was greater than my secular views, and He forced me to crown and give way so I could birth something new that would cause Him to receive the glory as He increased my faith.
My separation and divorce were difficult times for me. It seemed the more I fought for that white picket fence, the more the enemy pursued me forcing me to yield and submit totally to the authority of God. During that time, I learned the definition of broken-heartedness as a young adult. I was no longer a little girl, hiding behind the prayers of my mother and other prayer warriors who believed in my concealed gift. As I think back to that time, God was willing to use every war tactic to draw me out of hiding. Even if that meant allowing the enemy to attack me like Job, killing every idol in sight, even my inflated self-importance I used as a crutch, clutching onto it for dear life.
Carrying purpose isn’t always easy. It’s costly! And those who walk in God’s light carrying His assignment close to their bosom waiting to give birth understand the price that is paid. When God makes a covenant like the ones He made to Abram (Genesis 12:1-3) and Noah (Genesis 9:8-17), He will never go back on His word because His word is irrevocable. Ready or Not! To maximize your kingdom potential, you must align with God’s Word concerning your life: dying of flesh, losing family and friends, and constantly being stretched as you undergo hard-hitting journeys positioning you for a greater spiritual work.