I have to admit that on a daily basis I always wonder what struggles or challenges I will be facing next. With fight and survival skills learned from a very young age, I have not had an easy life. I am the oldest child, oldest of my cousins, and a single parent. I have always found myself protecting, caring and putting everyone else and their needs first.
"My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” Ezekiel 34:6
There are so many hills and valleys that I have had to overcome, but the latest knocked me to a place I thought I would never survive. About six years ago, I started losing everything that meant anything to me. It started with a fight with family I have not spoken to since, a second divorce that led me to leaving behind my home and community I grew to love for ten years, and dropping my only child off at college for the first time. As a tough, strong and independent woman, I kept telling myself ‘I got this, just another hurdle and fight I will have to overcome!’ Little did I know that I was also turning my back on the God that I knew who had always protected me.
Four years later, I lost my job that I absolutely loved and thrived on. This is when it all came crashing down. I had already felt alone and as though I had no purpose in life as I used to. I was no longer a mother, wife or daughter on a daily basis, and now I had no job to support my child and myself! Getting out of bed every day became difficult. As a strong woman who already has issues with anxiety and depression, I was ready to give up, as I had no fight left in me. I did not feel wanted or needed by anyone. I searched and searched for a job, love, purpose and joy, only to find anger, emptiness, and loneliness at the end of each day. This was something I had never felt before!
"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? And if it turns out that he finds it, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones be lost." Matthew 18:12-14
This is when God started knocking on the door…
“Are you going to come back to me, Candy”
“Are you going to stay with me, Candy?”
“Do you see and hear me, Candy?
“Where is your faith and love in me, Candy?”
I was later introduced to a Christian counselor and invited to a Her Life Speaks retreat simultaneously. The day of the retreat I did not know what I was walking into or why God had me there. From the moment I walked through the doors the women at the retreat were so loving, welcoming and nurturing to ME, a stranger. The message that day was to connect your heart and mind to feel His love, presence and to know Him.
It was as though God was speaking directly to me. A few weeks earlier I had said to my best friend, ‘It does not seem like my mind and heart are on the same page or that I matter to anyone”. She watched me as the tears ran down my face.
I realized later that by attending this retreat, God showed me everything HE wanted me to see and hear in HIS perfect timing. After the retreat I joined one of the small groups that Her Life Speaks was having. I cried the moment women welcomed me with a hello and a hug and any time a testimony was shared.
I kept telling myself, I want to be like them. I want God to finally get me through tough times and never look back. Why do I keep getting junk thrown at me? Am I not worthy of being loved? I surrender! These ladies prayed for me, they loved on me, they made me feel like a daughter and sister. They helped me connect both my heart and mind back to God and to see how he was with me and guiding me all along. I just wasn’t paying attention.
Today, I still wake up and most times feel alone or unwanted but then I turn to The Lord. I am learning who I am in God’s love! ** Who are you? Loved? Worthy? Daughter? **
God is within her, she will not fall
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.