Revival

       God is truly my compass. I will always find my way home because God points north. I’d be nothing and still the walking dead without the salvation of Jesus Christ. Dying in self felt like the best direction God could have ever guided me to. Nothing tops that. I’m still breathing by the Grace of God so there’s a small possibility that it could be topped one day. I doubt it. God revived me because of his patience and faithfulness. I’m so humbled and so in love with my Savior that I was loved so much. Jesus’ blood cleaned me white as snow.

       The gift of the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that resurrected Jesus Christ, lives within me because I died in self on June 1st. Technically, we as humans get older because time moves forward and that constant covers many aspects of this path called life. With that said, I know I’m a new person through the Spirit within. Worldly Crysta died in the water that day. Sin lost it’s power and hold on me. I publicly declared I walk with Jesus until my last breath on this planet. Even in this confidence, I do have lingering emotions of Worldly Crysta. These emotions feel like the aftermath of a mint in my mouth I long ago finished. But the flavor faintly stings on my breath. As a growing Christian that raises an eyebrow and birthed a recurring thought: Did Worldly Crysta really die?

       Even with my tunnel vision set on Jesus, is it normal for me to have questions? My compass is pointing only on Him. And because there’s been a revival within, I’d rather jump off a cliff than disappoint Jesus or do anything that’s not to his liking. On one hand, this wonderment feels as though it’s an outer body experience, as if Worldly Crysta was someone toxic to my starving spirit. And the sinful dark ways she practiced kept the Spirit so malnourished. Now that Worldly Crysta is gone, the spirit within sparked, is now on fire and roaring like it’s supposed to.

       I give all the Glory to God. I wouldn’t be standing, breathing, or thriving as a new woman; a woman in the physical sense because of that unchanging fact of time moving forward but in the same breath I’m a newly spiritually revived child of God that’s lit on fire. I may be an 80s baby but in my spiritual sense I was ignited on June 1st 2014, my public declaration to Christ. Just like a newborn, babies cannot eat solid food yet because they physically can’t; too much too fast is harmful. It could literally kill them. As Paul describes in the Bible the nourishment of the Spirit living within, too much too fast can be harmful. That’s why newborns are fed with formula or breast milk. That nourishing liquid helps them grow at their pace. To appropriately nourish the Spirit within, I pray, I listen to worship music, I go to church, and I read the amazing word. I’m so eternally grateful that God used Jojo to guide me to Brooklyn Tabernacle. It’s truly a special and life altering place that brought me back to life. And a special thanks to Transitions Ministry that usually happens every other Friday, but God blessed us with having the services every Friday this month.

       On June 13th, earlier, Transitions kicked off a three week Friday event called #FultonStreetRevival. We were blessed to have Pastor Francis Chan as a guest speaker. I never heard of him before Transitions introduced me to him, this man is being used so amazingly by God. I pray God continues to bless him and his beautiful wife Lisa as they continue to do God’s work. When he speaks you cannot help but be inspired. This past Friday, June 20th we had Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Senior Pastor Jim Cymbala. He’s such a straight shooter. I appreciate that a lot. He taught me a newer perspective of the word revival… to be brought back to life to do what? To just say yay God’s awesome and do the Hallelujah dance?? No we weren’t revived to do just that. We were revived to help our fellow brothers and sisters with something as small as a prayer, which can move mountains. I can’t wait until this Friday to see how Pastor Todd will wrap up this revival. I could write about how amazing Transitions is, however to experience it is so much better. Anyone in the downtown Brooklyn area should check it out this Friday, June 27th at 7 pm at the main entrance of Brooklyn Tabernacle. Transitions is a young adult ministry (ages 19-29) but this three week event has no age limit.

       In a lot of ways I see my love for writing as a another channel for me to speak to our amazing Savior or for him to use me to speak to anyone that reads these words. It personally helps me to write out words that swim in my mental sphere, which doctors named our brain. But it was God that was the true Creator. How else would the doctors be blessed with the knowledge and ability to stumble on the many discoveries that they do? That spark of uncovering ignited through the Grace of God. Whether everyone on this planet called Earth believes it or not. Jesus died to save all of us. God loves all of us and sees all of us as his children. The same Spirit that resurrected Jesus, lives in me and can live in all of us if we take God’s hands of everlasting love and life. God is the Creator of all things good. He left us with a blueprint and it’s called the Bible.

       You can choose to let our beautiful Creator guide our every step or you can spend your temporary days chasing and believing in the things God warned us not to get caught up in: money, addictions in all their forms or practicing sexual immorality. It’ll never be satisfying long enough. Your eyes will wander eventually and you’ll start chasing something else that ‘pops’ in your head. The enemy is deceitful and comes in many forms. If your soul is anchored to God then your foundation is rock solid. The trials experienced in life won’t shake you but make you stronger and you will turn to God even more. Without a solid foundation with God, there will always be something clipped on replay of ‘I need more money then I’ll be happy.’ ‘I need a house, then I’ll be happy.’ ‘I need to get married and have kids, then I’ll be happy.’ the list goes on. Feel free to fill in the blank with whatever it is that best fits in your life right now.

       The beautiful eyes that are reading these words, I’m writing this to let you know I used to believe the same exact thing. That toxic relationship to God, that I was in with Anderson, Worldly Crysta couldn’t see God wanted me out of that situation. To Worldly Crysta it just ‘had to work’ because they had sex. She was tired of having sex with the dude that wasn’t her husband so she’ll just make this work. It doesn’t matter to Worldly Crysta that she’s drowning or so depressed this will work because that was the last draw. But the whole time God was like no, I love you so much, this is not what I want for you. Take my hand, surrender to me, repent your sins and your past is wiped clean. The moment that was clear to me I burst in to tears of joy and honor and I didn’t get why I was loved so much to be saved. But if talking about my messes saves someone then it’s worth it. I’d go through all that I did again if it means I stop someone from making a fraction of the mistakes Worldly Crysta did.

       Because Walking with Christ Crysta understand what it’s like to stand in Christ alone. I didn’t know when Worldly Crysta was alive. She was very very insecure and thought she was the scum of the Earth because she always carried a deep rooted guilt that she wasn’t strong enough or wise enough to preserve her body for her Husband. She was weak and fell into that trap of trying to be validated by men. SO who cares what happens to her. But God was like I care. That’s when the fog of my deep depression started clearing slowly and I noticed that compass that was pointing north. I always had validation from the only being that truly mattered. God. And I had it with me always. Guess what? I’m not the only one that’s already validated. If you’re reading this, you are too. Not by your surroundings but by our amazing and faithful Savior. Jesus’ blood washed us all white as snow. He traded his righteousness so we can be covered in it. And HE took our sinful ways so that we’re no longer enslaved to them. Disarming the enemy that still lingers and whispers to the souls that don’t belong to him. So don’t give the enemy anymore more power. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” Anything that isn’t centered on love is NOT the language of God. He only speaks in unconditional love.

       Every time I think about how much Jesus loved us it makes me want to burst. Of what? I’m not sure. It’s impossible for any human walking on this planet to love you more than Jesus loves us. Not even your Earthly parents. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and my siblings are my loves. But my First love and First priority is my agape love and relationship with Jesus. My eyes are fixed on Him and always will be. There’s no going back. As a growing child of God, it becomes clearer why its so imperative to nourish and put life into my personal relationship with Christ. Like milk and love keeps newborns alive. Christ’s love and growing this relationship keeps my Spirit within nourished, which keeps me alive after I died in self. To some, I may sound ‘preachy’, ‘crazy’ or whatever other label that comes to mind. This revival can’t be described; it can only be truly understood when you take that leap to reach out for God’s hand.

       When I reflect on how depressed Worldly Crysta was and how dead on the inside she felt. I think back on the fact she was ‘going through the motions’ instead of thriving on this planet she was surviving and passing through. She tried and did things because she saw those around her were doing it and thought ‘oh okay, guess it’ll make me happy.’ The ‘finding a good guy and then eventually getting married, if you cater to the good guy that deserves it. Etc.’ I’m talking about whatever that specifically entails to you. For me it was catering to their needs, sex. Doing what they liked, etc. But I realized all these qualities are gifts that only your husband should see. It took me 8 or 9 years of “dating” all the wrong men to see that. No man should see wifely duties (or vise versa , no woman should see husband duties) until you’re united as one through the House of Jesus Christ in Holy Matrimony. That’s the way God designed it. Sex is supposed to be enjoyed and draw a husband and wife closer. Anything being practiced that’s not matrimonial is a sin and could never ever be blessed by God. I breathe for God’s blessings and approval solely. Just like a newborn breathes on the feedings of their mother/caregiver.

       God has been so patient with me as he saw me take the long way to find my compass that lead me to him. But I see this theory with my flawed human eyes. To God though, my tests are now his testimonies. He knew and had so much faith in me that I’d one day take his hand. I don’t know how he knew that but he did. That’s why he’s God. That’s how he was able to use Jojo to pull me out of that dark place and sinful relationship with Anderson. And that’s why God used me to help Jojo see that holding a torch in her heart for an ungodly man wasn’t God’s will for her. This guy would never ever deserve Jojo. God spoke through me to relay that message just like God worked through her for me where I was internally drowning and I didn’t want to exist anymore. I knew it was wrong to take matters into my own hands, my life wasn’t created by me so who am I to take away. Worldly Crysta wished many times to disappear permanently. Don’t get me wrong. My dad tried to tell me that Anderson was bad news, but it was the typical I’m not listening scenario. He’s been gone from my life for 6 months. In that time he’s attempted to contact me, and every time I’d block him. I’ll continue to do so. “When the past calls don’t answer because it has nothing good or productive to say.” This sentence is fact.

       I wouldn’t trade anything if it means I’d be exactly at this moment. God revived me into a new creation. I live for God and to do only his will. He redirected and fixed my eyes to see Him. Is it easy and a smooth sail on this sea? No, in fact earlier today my mother pushed my buttons to the point of anger. I took a deep breathe and opened my Bible it immediately opened to the first book of Timothy. I read it and it removed the anger in my heart. All Glory to God!!! My soul is anchored to God now. My foundation is solid. For the longest time, as Worldly Crysta I had so much anger in my heart for my mother. I’ve been constantly praying about it so that God can turn it around because I love my mom. God chose her to be my Earthly Mother. As I draw closer to our Creator, my eyes catch so much brokenness around me and as I learn the word more and more I find myself wondering do I do more than just pray? Then I remember only God can turn it around so I guess I got my answer. As active Christians who strive to want to walk with Christ and continue to grow with him, we shouldn’t abuse: alcohol, food and definitely stay away from all kinds of drugs. Yes, Jesus drinks wine in the Bible but he didn’t abuse it and definitely didn’t turn to it when things got tough. Besides no one had it tougher than him when he was dying so your problems just pale in comparison. Especially since he died so that we can live. Jesus wants us to turn to him. He wants us to anchor our souls to Him so that our trials connect us even deeper to him and make us even stronger.

       Worldly Crysta didn’t know how to take everything to God. She had a ‘save me complex.’ In her mind she had to help those around her who she loved and would walk over fire over not to be Broken. But what she failed to comprehend was that she was just as Broken, if not more than those around her. Brokenness + Brokenness does not equal healing. As I write these words, I do wonder if Worldly Crysta was coming from a selfless place or a selfish place. Did she want to avoid looking in a mirror at all cost that she metaphorically broke every mirror that came her way? Did she want to at least save ‘one person’ even though in her mind she couldn’t be saved she was nonredeemable. Or were her actions a cry for help? I don’t know the answer to this day but my God does (and he can be yours too if he’s not yet.) Whatever the answer is, he thought I was worth reviving. The kicker is, God is on standby to bring you back to life too because we’re all worth saving to Him.

       As I continue to learn how to approach everything in only love, I realize that I still get upset from time to time. I’m flawed and will never be perfect, like ever. That’s fine. Back to my mom upsetting me earlier, I know I’m not supposed to understand this question but I’ll still write it anyway: Why is my mom so comfortable in what looks like to me a stagnant space where there’s no room for her to grow. To me it’s suffocating her. How can one grow as a Christian and still be stagnant? Like I don’t think it’s possible. Worldly Crysta used to be so upset seeing her level of comfort growing up as a kid, that it made her want no part of her mom’s “religion” She was like “um no thanks I’m good. Let me go over here and try and fit in.” That journey brought me right here. I’m an anomaly. I’m Romans 12:2. I’m not supposed to fit in. I’m supposed to be lit on fire as the Spirit within guides me to spread the word of our amazing Savior Jesus Christ with pride and no fear in my heart. I’m supposed to help my fellows brothers and sisters in Christ not because I have to but because it feels so so so good and right to do so. I’m supposed to be that example to the waivers and unbelievers in the power of faith. The power of what God being in your center truly does.

       That imaginary clock I had running down in my head is now gone. My eyes are fixed where they’re supposed to be because I have full faith and conviction that everything will work itself. All I need to focus on is my Walk with Christ. I no longer replay clips in my head: ‘the right man’ ‘the right job making the right amount of money’ or ‘my biological clock is ticking, I should be married with kids by now.’ They’re gone because I took God’s hand who was patiently waiting on me. And because I took that leap of faith he will ALWAYS protect me from glancing back or back peddling. I know this with conviction because we have a faithful and glorious God. His way is truly the best way.

       I honestly don’t know what you’re going through, for those that are reading this. I don’t know what your struggle is, what your battling, or even what or who your mourning if you are. I do know that your stronger than you realize, this moment is temporary and a season. It will pass and it will get better. God is with you. He loves you so much. Whether you believe that or not. He believes in you always. If you haven’t taken his hand yet do so. You will be so amazed at how radical things within you and around you start changing. This has to be complete surrender. You can lie to yourself, even lie to others but you can never ever lie to God. It’s one reach. One attempt to raise that white flag and you’ll be amazed at what’s on the other side. Will I continue to struggle with my emotions of course I will. But I’ll run to my Bible every time because my soul is anchored to God. My boat is in a disturbed sea suffering from turbulence but the boat is secure because my soul is securely anchored. I’ll keep feeding my newborn spirit it’s nourishment.

       I’m starting to understand now that my savior healed my heart that he’s revealing things when I’m reading to see and understand them. I’m being harvested so that my love language (which I discovered from The Five Love Language, By Gary Chapman, great book!) acts of service, is a gift from God to be used for his will not mans like how Worldly Crysta was doing. God didn’t give us gifts so we can selfishly use them on ourselves or for ourselves. It’s not an accident I want to take some of my siblings in Christ that I follow on twitter under my wing, especially the ones that feel unloved, and unworthy all things that the enemy used against them. But when you’re depressed you can’t see past your next step. Your so empty and hallow the numbness makes you strive to feel but in very bad ways. I pray that anyone who never experienced depression NEVER ever does. It sucks really badly. I want to protect others from pain. I’m a nurturer and very maternal but I’m not blessed in the realm of motherhood yet. Apart of Worldly Crysta just thought I was built ‘weird’ so I ignored the possibility of these being blessings from God. God is still teaching me and I’m the student learning to increase my faith by the second because I aspire to have faith like Jobs. I aspire to be humble like Paul. I aspire to have my eyes only see the way God saw all of us: lost sheep who need their way back home. I’ll only keep learning as I continue to nourish my Spirit and faith. I pray this helped someone out here. I’m always here if you want someone to pray with or talk to. I’m a growing Christian that won’t always get it right but I have an extraordinary God who is so unchanging and so faithful. Man, we are SO lucky!!! God bless you all. This path called life belongs to Jesus Christ.

Discoveries

This past Sunday I experienced my water baptism. It was such an epic experience and all God’s doing! I’m so happy and proud of this path God has me on and the fact that the baptism happened. The power of God is incredible. In the morning before my baptism, I asked my father if he would attend the ceremony with me and he said no. I also asked him a few weeks prior and he said no. I mentally prepared myself for the second no, but a small part of me wanted him to say yes. The way he said no hurt my feelings; so to get myself back on the path of excitement I went into my room and started playing Chris Tomlin “White Flag” and I kept it on reply. This is a joyous occasion! I should have been nothing but smiles and happiness because Jesus gave up his life with the thought I was worth living. He loved me THAT much not knowing if I’d love him back. That is the greatest form of true love! Shame on me for being sad my Earth Father doesn’t want to come witness my declaration to my Creator. How dare I be upset about this? It’s no comparison right? Still, I posted that song on my tumblr account with how I was feeling in those moments. Mixing writing and music is an indescribable joyous discovery. I give God all the glory!

I set up this tumblr account a while ago to support a friends account so that I can comment. Recently, I discovered how cool it was! Probably, because I finally understand it, LOL. I’ve been ironically posting everyday on that account, which is (http://pathcalledlife.tumblr.com/ in case you’re interested in checking out my account! It’s also found under the “About Me” tab.) It’s amazing what God puts in your heart! I’ve always liked music and my interest level fluctuated like an energy bill at times; but I never really had that itch to discover or look for artists. I’m sure I’ve done it in the past but God wasn’t in my center in the past. However, God has put this desire in my heart. I researched and discovered so many amazing Christian artist these past few weeks like Royal Tailor, Kari Jobe, for Kings & Country, Unspoken; I mean the list goes on. It was so much greatness I created a trial Spotify account just so I can enjoy my repeat usage. I literally cannot get enough. I believe I have a fraction of an understanding how music lovers feel. I’m talking about those really cool music lovers that know about artist you’ve never heard of! Like Jojo (which isn’t her real name, I’ve said this before but for new readers, HI! I change names for protection of identities), plus she’s been trying to get me to create a Spotify account for ages and I was like um no thank you. Looking back on that now, maybe God was using her to tell me to get it… well I’m enthralled in the middle of Christian positivity and I LOVE IT!

Back to Sunday and when my dad said no. I discovered that morning that I not only wanted my father to come for him to experience BT but I also wanted him to come for me. As I was aware of these emotions I wrote them down in my Tumblr, expressing my hurt under the Chris Tomlin song. Writing is very therapeutic for me, especially when I write about my experiences, emotions but mainly my LOVE FOR JESUS! This love grows by the second simultaneously with my radical desire to share His glory. In the tumblr post I was saying how I’ve completely let go and let God. I told myself that my dad won’t change his mind and I’ll still have God so I won’t be alone.  I told Jojo about this and she said God works up until the midnight hour. I was like yeah okay, that’s true but this is my dad. As I was writing God was working on my dad. I underestimated my Creator’s abilities because of the fact I know the movements of my Earthly Father’s. I was blown away that God was able to get my father to come to this ceremony with me, enjoy it and say he was glad he came. God is just so amazing! The way he works continues to blow my mind. All I can do is praise and be so grateful. My father is the type of man that is very firm in a specific way of thinking and perception so to see him change his mind this way was a miracle to my eyeballs. I believe God needed me to see and understand that nothing is too big for him and he sees me. I’ll never forget what that made me feel like: completely loved.

There were so many amazing moments from Sunday I don’t know what to write about. I’ll start with the fact that 110 individuals including myself decided to publicly declare they surrendered to Jesus Christ and they’re solely doing his will!! When I heard that number my heart burst for joy. Both men and women… and kids!! One child was I believe 11 and the other was 9. That’s so admiral to be on the wavelength of Jesus at such a tender age. I’m inspired. It’s beautiful. I can literally drop a mic I don’t have and walk off a stage I’m not really on. What was really special about that number was the fact that out of all those individuals Pastor C choose my friend Jojo’s story to publicly display to the entire congregation and the webcast to witness her baptism. That moment was so much bigger than her. I kept telling her that and she finally got it. 🙂 At first she kept saying why me. I said God chose you. You were what he needed to inspire. And it’s true she was. She inspired everyone in the room I was sitting in. My dad who’s not easily impressed even told her that was really nice. He was inspired too. That made my heart skip a beat. My heart was on overload like I kept touching my chest to see if my heart was going to come out of my chest.

I realized my heart was still in tact and all was well. So to put more icing on the Holy Spirit Cake, we got the best surprise ever: finding out that Pastor Todd was going to bless us all before we were baptized in the water. He’s the Pastor for Transitions, the services that literally saved my life and changed me to the radical God fearing woman I am today that’s obsessed with pleasing My Savior. I can’t wait to see how God will use me for his amazing work!! In the mean time, we can go back to the awesomeness of seeing Pastor Todd. Of course Jojo and I spoke to him and HOGGED the man’s attention. He told us that Transitions is in the process of happening every Friday. We were so excited and acted like you couldn’t take us anywhere. I think it was okay because it’s Jesus love. At least that’s how I’m justifying it in my brain. Transitions is having a retreat in August that I’m going to and I can’t wait. I never went to the forest before. I’m a born and raised city girl. To go to the forest and be one with trees and not hear sirens is a great opportunity to have special solo God time. I’m super stoked. I’ll actually hug a tree when I get up there so I can say I’m a tree hugger. I don’t want a bear to eat me, Jesus please don’t let there be any. Amen. Overall, talking to Pastor Todd just reinforced my desire to join this ministry. God put these desires in my heart, that I’m convinced of. I can’t wait to see what this cornerstone unfolds.

The actual experience of being baptized was life altering. At first when I saw the water I’m not going to lie, I slightly freaked out because the water was so much deeper than I realized it would be. I think the two Pastors that are in the water with us saw my concern because they were rubbing my back, LOL. And they kept saying are you okay, I kept saying I’m fine, I was just in shock. Before I went into the water I was determined to have worldly Crysta stay dead in the water. I also wanted the burdens of my family to stay in the water and I said that before I saw the tub. My plan was to chant that while I was in the water but that went out the window of my thoughts when I saw the deepness of the water. For someone who can’t swim, that was a pretty real moment. I also said in my brain well if I die now, at least I’m dying giving my life to Jesus. That’s an awesome way to go. I was at peace with that. The Pastors didn’t even warn me that they were going to dip me so when I realized I was going to be dipped into the water I kept my eyes opened and my mouth slightly opened. For some reason I wanted all of me to feel the experience and symbolism. When I raised up, I did feel anew but I discovered how unwise it was to keep my mouth opened because I couldn’t stop coughing. At least my teeth got the Holy experience too. Yes, I’m trying to find the positive in my not so bright moment.

As I’m living Day 2 of a proudly born again Christian woman. I’m just excited that I feel this deep desire to be better and to keep improving. Yesterday I believe I was tested and I think I did pretty well with the test. I had a conversation with my mom about love and dating. I tried to explain to her it’s amazing how God works. Three weeks ago I went out with a guy that has popped in and out of my life for the last 9 or so years. Let’s call him Clarence. My mom likes Clarence but she would also like to see me married off and have babies like 12 hours from now. So I basically told her that we’re not on the same wavelength. I’m running to Christ and he’s not. I’m not saying he doesn’t believe in God or love God. He does. He’s content with his affections towards God; he’s just not radical about living a Godly fearing Christian life. So my mom basically said that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to get there eventually. I tried to explain to my mom that God doesn’t want me to be with a potential otherwise he wouldn’t be harvesting me now. God wants the best for us, that’s why he’s directing my steps down the path that makes Crysta the best she can be. Of course my mom and I got into an argument because she doesn’t understand why I can’t still go out with him if he invites me out. So I’ll tell a story about Clarence. I invited him to Transitions, and he didn’t come, he said he couldn’t make it. Fine, okay, but he wanted me to go to a party with him the next day. I agreed to go if Jojo came. Oddly enough I never received his calls that day and he said that he called. After years of not taking heed to God’s signs, I’m paying attention to them now. So how does it make sense fellow eyeballs that are reading these words that I continue to go out with this man if he invites me out? I’d love to hear thoughts on this! Thanks for reading! God bless you! This path called life.