Acceptance…

Dear God, Thank you so much just for the ability to breathe. The small blessings us flawed homosapiens forget to thank you for because we’re too caught up wallowing in the ocean of our feelings. You breathe oxygen into our lungs when you do not have to. Jesus’ sacrifice alone is a debt we’ll never ever be able to repay so the audacity to get caught up in temporary trivial circumstances when the gift of life is something we do not deserve, is truly baffling. Abba, we’re #craycray yet you still love us!! We’re beyond blessed and so unworthy!

Last night souls had life spoken into them at #392FultonStreet at the second installment of #MVMNTbk #memyselfieandi series. Our Pastor was on fire. The Holy Spirit was so active in that sanctuary. The worship was so on point. It felt like falling in love with #MVMNTbk all over again. To see so many souls jumping around celebrating the presence of God was a priceless moment captured in time forever. I felt all giddy on the inside because as a musicology lover all was right in my world.

I was also on worship cloud winning because I had my membership interview last night for Brooklyn Tabernacle and I’m officially a member. 🙂 It felt so amazing to just go on a rambling tangent of how much God blesses and it’s all about going lower. I could’ve talked forever to the Deacon because he was laughing and smiling at my dorkiness. #TeamDorkFOREVER but he reminded me that other people were waiting to be interviewed and then I remembered MVMNT was happening!!! SO I ran downstairs so I wouldn’t miss out on too much action and get fed some life from our Young Adult Pastor. MAN, did he go IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!! The ultimate message was understanding how the enemy distorts the identity that God harvests us to have; and the sons and daughters he calls us to be to glorify his kingdom. Here’s a recap of the 4 pointers and how I reacted to the life feeding message:

1. God does not want us to be paralyzed by the opinion of others! That’s having our eyes fixated on the visible found in the horizontal. The horizontal is a realm of several seductions. #Money #Status #Wardrobes #Toys4Boys (like their cars and other tech mumbo jumbo) the list goes on in the materialistic world. Getting tripped up here allows the enemy to attack us. The same way we all have unique fingerprints we all are uniquely made. God did that on

    PURPOSE!

He took his T I M E to genetically make us up in our individual human forms. That’s how much he loves us. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. God knew what he was doing making you. Yes, you the eyeballs that are reading right now. NEVER forget that. I took forever to understand that my validation is only from God. Now I live solely for his glory and my eyes are fixed on the vertical as I have eagle eye tunnel vision on this vantage point. I’m humbled and honored that God had so much faith in flawed messed up me that I’d finally look up.

2. Past hurts and pains suspends us from living in the lane of forgiveness and freedom!! God is not a God of disorder and confusion. God is love. That’s it. Will we have our moments of reflection and get caught up being alllllllllllllllllllll up in our feelings? Duh, of course we will. Does God know that? Duh, part two of course he does. I sometimes forget that God knows us better than we will ever EVER know ourselves. God does NOT just want our praises he wants our struggles as well. God is greedy he wants to be all up in the business. He wants an intimacy with us. He patiently waits for us to have that mental recognition click. God is the only being that takes us as we are: flawed sinners and loves us enough to wrestle and wreck us into polished soldiers for his kingdom. How amazing is that?! This fact makes my world go round and round and round.

3. The founding father of the compare game is media and culture. We all fall into this trap all to much. I don’t have this like that person… If I had more money like so and so I’d have what they have too… hmmm, how many people liked the picture I posted two seconds ago…? blah blah. This list is endless. How about we stop ignoring the signs God is trying to convey to us to be still so that he can teach us why we’re in the specific season

HE

has us in? Am I always aware of God’s signs? No, I’m not. Am I always still? Honestly, being still is very challenging for me. I have a very short attention span and sometimes I feel like I have ants in my pants. When I attempt to be still I don’t even know if I’m doing it correctly. Not doing something correctly used to bother Worldly Crysta. To her, she sucked at something because she lived in a lane with the trajectory that life is either winning or losing. It wasn’t an option to her to lose. Walk with Christ Crysta, has a different mindset. She understands that not everything is a competition. Even as an avid game player and game lover, she still understands games are games. My love for games stems from childhood growing up playing games with my brother and my mom. We used to go IN! My sister and my dad never cared for them; oh well… they missed out!!! I’m thankful that God has taught me that not everything is a competitive race and definitely not a comparison game. The media is glamorized. Glamor is always fluffed. Humans are perfectly imperfect which leaves no room for fluffing. Besides, stuffed animals are in the realm of fluffy mcfluff not homosapiens who feel and bleed.

4. CONDEMNATION…of our own minds, of others pointing an outward finger and of others always having something wrong with them. When our Pastor vocalized that last one I blurted out RIGHT!!!… then I quickly covered my mouth. I’m loud. Through God, I have a loud personality, voice and presence. God has been teaching me through his amazing grace to be in the spirit of acceptance that less is more. Just because my voice projects doesn’t mean it always has to be vocalized. Just because God has blessed me with a commanding presence doesn’t mean I’m supposed to always be noticed. This made me really uncomfortable for a very long time… then #middlechildsyndrome kicked in and there was a necessity to be

seen.

Surrendering to Jesus meant picking up the cross and dying in self. Now I live for him and him alone. Any quality that is possessed within is to only Glorify the Kingdom of God not me. I understand this #fact but more importantly I’m in the spirit of acceptance of this honorary task. Acceptance resumes the enemy’s suspension on your destiny with God. Don’t be on pause anymore. #PressPlay #Play4God

I was too DONE with life in an EXTRAordinary way after this message was completed. The presence of God was so massive last night it felt like the excitement of Christmas morning!! My favorite celebration ever!!! Yesterday, was definitely one of the greater moments of 2014. My spirits definitely needed that gift of uplifting because my grandmother’s health is ailing unfortunately.

This past Thursday, I went up to my sister’s house, where my grandmother lives. I originally went there because my niece had her adorable Thanksgiving party. My usual routine when I get to my sister’s house is to go straight to my grandmother’s room and kiss her up. When I saw her she looked so frail and weak I got choked up and literally fought back tears. To see her struggle to take in oxygen when I said hi granny she looked at me and smiled and said hi darling. I kissed her and whispered to her I love her very much. I left before I collapsed in agony. I sensed she was in so much pain it literally broke my heart. My grandmother suffers from dementia, Alzheimer and was diagnosed with heart failure last year. The doctors told us that she wouldn’t make it to her 90th birthday. My grandmother turned 90 last month. #Hello there’s what man says and then there’s God. God will always prove us wrong!

Despite these blessings seeing my grandmother in that state felt very different this time. I felt acceptance from her as if she’s ready to move on from this Earth. Understanding this concept and writing this entry caused me to just finish balling like a baby because I got images of amazing times with my grandmother and just remembering her laughter. As a kid and even a teenager I spent years just being angry with life, a lot of that anger was centered at her and being confused; generally not understanding everything around me. That’s what the enemy can do to us… distort the reality and play on insecurities but more importantly feeds and breeds on confusion. We all lived together: my grandmother, dad, mom, sister, brother and me at one point. Then we split and I just didn’t get it. For the longest it was hurtful and bugged me so much that my family was split up. Then the hurt turned into anger. Reflecting back now as an adult what wasted energy and time. All I can do now is focus on the now and the fact I love my grandmother so much and think she’s a phenomenal God fearing woman and I’m blessed to share genetic markers with her.

My grandmother is the strongest woman I have ever been blessed to be around. She’s the epitome of a fighter. She’s holding on and there’s a part of me that questions if she’s doing this because of how much we all love her and her believing we may not be okay with the idea of her passing. My grandmother is the type of woman that would walk through fire for her family. She is the type of woman that would grow supernatural strength to move a bus with her bare hands. My grandmother has been blessed with two daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in the 90 years she’s been walking on this planet. She’s the matriarch of our clan. Everyone looks up to her and admires her. She is truly adored. The idea of not having her on this planet is unfathomable on one hand for me. However, at some point we must all exit Earth. I believe that God has blessed me with the strength and acceptance to be okay somehow despite balling like a baby just now. I thank God for the amazing creator and Jesus every time I remember to do so. I have been praying for a spirit of peace and acceptance for my family with Jojo*. It was also awesome to ask my SubD family to pray for my grandmother as well. SubD stands for set up and breakdown, which is a division I serve on at MVMNT with some super amazing people. Any beautiful readers out here who took time out of their day (or night) to read this entry, thank you. I pray these words were only uplifting and that you are always seeking the spirit of peace and acceptance from within always. If you can throw in prayers for my family as well that would be greatly appreciated. God loves us all so much. Be blessed world. This path called life belongs to Jesus Christ.

* name changed for privacy purposes. #TeamProPrivacy

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Leaping…

It’s been some days since I’ve put words into existence. For someone who loves getting lost in the realm of writing. My consistency has been experiencing a drought of sorts. The words have been accumulating and festering in my cerebral circumference. My fingers have been itching to move so perhaps their excited in this present moment. There are a few events that has occurred since my last written expression. Where to begin? I’ll do what’s best on this path called life that belongs to Jesus Christ: take that leaping faith and let the Spirit lead me.

A few weeks ago I went to a woman’s one day conference in DC. The title of the organization alone sold me. The Woman’s Federation of World Peace. Growing up, I always had a deep longing for this world to be a place of utopia. A place where we all just love one another and be there, the way God intended it when he created it. Children have a perspective that isn’t contaminated by life experiences that birth emotions such as being jaded, closed-off or even an isolator. The polluted names are endless and these are just to name a few. Children just love from a bold and pure place. I’m a firm believer that kids will always get it right with being fearless. I learn so much from them. I’m so blessed God put in my heart a passion and patience to educate the youth. It’s a humbling honor. The concept of being childlike makes more sense as time passes. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. As hard as it is, going back to basics is the only way to true peace. We don’t serve a God of confusion or disorder but a God of peace and love.

That brings me back to the initial spark that drove me to travel 11+ hours going and coming via truck to a one day conference on leaping faith. Even before I surrendered my life to Christ, I always believed in nothing being an accident. Now walking proudly with Jesus, this notion has been proven to be a fact. God does not lie. The way I got invited to this conference was an interesting entity. My neighbor approached me at a bus stop near my house as if she fell from the sky. Let’s call her Mary. Mary came up to me right after I was praying to God asking him how to better pay attention to his signs and to just obey them without needing to do more than say yes. I still have researcher tendencies that aren’t given much life because God is graciously wrestling with me. Worldly Crysta liked to be prepared on some level if possible. The first thing that Mary said to me was, “I was just thinking of you. I want you to come with me to DC next Saturday to a day conference that you’ll benefit from.”

I looked at her at her thinking Brr? Error error input error What’s life…? (That was fast God) as if my brain transitioned into a computer that could not read a disk. I STILL wondered if I should say yes. God speaks to all of his children in different ways. God speaks to me in a few ways, one of them through visions. God also answers us when he feels like it and he can do that because he’s the King of Kings. Everything begins and ends with him. So I was expecting him to say a direct yes or no to me. Of course he didn’t. I took that leaping faith and said yes. Mary went on to explain this conference is $50. I told her I can’t come because I didn’t have the money. She offered to pay for me and did pay for me. My funds are limited because I work part-time and get paid monthly. I’m not complaining whatsoever I know there are tons of sibling in Christ out here without work still. Keep pushing forward; God has a plan and is so faithful. I’m beyond blessed that God called me to an organization where I get to work with amazing kids everyday as an online tutor. I love all of them so much.

The prideful side that I thought died completely wanted to pay back Mary and informed her that I will but she ignored me and dismissed what I said. God used her as a vessel to just get me to be in the spirit of obedience without hesitation or in my case do research. I actually had no desire, surprisingly to do any type of research. I just said yes without knowing the reason. That is only the work of God. Despite my walk with Jesus having a shorter time span in terms of Earthly reality, God has guided me through a lot of emotional and spiritual experiences. The more I keep my eyes on God the more he stretches me and makes me extremely uncomfortable. Holding onto my leaping faith in him keeps me going and secure during the turbulence. And God has instilled specific gifts in all of his chosen children throughout the world. We. Are. All. Chosen…whether we are currently walking with Jesus or not.

Leaping faith and walking with Jesus is all new. Some of the revelations that God shows me freaks me out and usually Jojo* talks me off the ledge or we pray it out together. God has blessed me with such a God-fearing beautiful sister and best friend in Jojo* She’s my family. I’d take a bullet for her. I’d “lovingly” fling someone across the room for her. God is a genius for making us spiritual twins to experience this walk together. Because I would’ve felt ‘crazy’ and if I am; at least she’s ‘crazy’ with me. Being in this world with the emotions of isolation swimming inside of you shifts your trajectory from living to existing. It’s a lonely place that no one should ever feel. Jesus is always with us so we can never be alone. God doesn’t work or love in the lane of any negative emotion, especially isolation. God is love. It’s that pure and simple.

God blessing me with certain gifts allowed me to see and pick up things as I did at the conference, which occurred on October 25th. What I saw seemed as though they were only for my eyes. When moments like this occur I usually believe I’m conjuring my surrounding and I repent Lord, if that’s upsetting to you. Hold me accountable and call me out on the nonsense with the vessels you surround me with like Jojo* I couldn’t text Jojo* during the conference because I don’t own a mobile device. It took a while for me to grasp that God was testing me. I pray that I passed. If I didn’t my faith in him ensures me that he has examined and picked apart my heart. God knows my life and my heart belongs to him first and foremost.

As I was being wrestled with during the conference, what I gathered from this organization is their foundation is to promote world peace and educate humanity on having God as the center of everything. When my ears carried those words to my brain my soul skipped a beat and I suddenly felt giddy to be there and ready to take notes. However, when the vice president of the organization came up to the podium, something inside of me went brr error error input error and that confused me. As she started speaking, understanding started penetrating within. I have experience doing door to door sales. In fact, both Jojo* and I do, which I might have mentioned in previous posts. We left that world well over a year ago, almost going two years for her, two for me by next spring. It’s quiet possible that it was a combination of God’s revelations of my gifts and my ears being sensitive to a sales pitch or what can appear to be a sales pitch. God has babbled me to remember exactly what was vocalized so the paraphrased version was my ears hearing selling God. I felt like I short circuited. Brr error error input error moments kept happening.

I’m no expert whatsoever on this walk and I’m constantly learning that it is all about glorifying God. There’s no room for anyone or anything else to be seen. So we pick up the cross and die in self everyday. This beautiful task is easier said than done. The world has various seductive attempts to suck you in (or back in for me.) I’ve expressed to God over and over again that I would rather be zapped back into dust or beamed into a cage full of hungry lions than be sucked back into the eternal abyss of worldly lies. God’s wrath is something worse than death or anything man can experience. Being buried alive is better; anything is better truthfully. So as I sat in this conference struggling to stay in the spirit of obedience, I pleaded with God to help me in this area. The next segment had five beautiful women who came and spoke on a panel. Two of them spoke life into my soul that was dulling. These women identified themselves as vessels. The whole time they were speaking, the light of God was so brightly glorified. They were on fire for God. Lord, I pray that you continue to protect these women and keep them blazing for you. God didn’t bless me with that rejuvenation and the best part of that conference for no reason.

On the ride back to NY there was a reflection discussion. I didn’t talk much. Not because I had nothing to say, it was because God continues to wrestle with me on the time and place with my delivery. Worldly Crysta was feisty and always had something to say. God’s like fall back stay in your lane as I teach you how to be a Biblical woman that grows into a Biblical wife. I really didn’t want to answer the question so I begged God to be skipped. Of course, I wasn’t so I asked the Spirit to lead my words and on leaping faith I started speaking. I expressed there wasn’t enough glorifying God. “Man” was more of the focal point. That’s dangerous and a trap to fall into the enemy’s clutches. I also said it confused me to see such a powerful presence of women leadership and a deeper desire to teach other women how to be a leader. The closer I get to God personally, the more I understand that as a woman I’m supposed to be lead by my future husband. The only CEO title we should have is Chief Encouraging Officer as the wife. I heard silence and was mentally concerned about that being too much. After a while I heard feedback is important. There was also an awkward tension in the van so I blurted out that my best friend Jojo* and I are bloggers. The energy shifted to excitement and I’m not sure what that revelation will reveal. Only God knows. God wants me to continue to allow the Spirit to take over and guide me through candidacy. Because without God’s permission I adopted this see and don’t see concept. I never ran this by God. I repent Lord, and I pray that you keep wrestling with me in this department and any other department despite my discomfort. As long as you keep leading me God, I will continue to muster up the strength to rebuke the enemy’s lies through your grace.

We got back to NY pretty late. Church was the next morning. The previous Sunday, Jojo* and I missed services because we did The Breast Cancer Walk. We did it for all our beautiful sisters through the world. We also did it in the memory of my late grandmother. I know she’s watching over me and everyone I love like the guardian angel she is. I love that we also did the walk for two of my dad’s sisters and one of my sister’s best friends. Jojo* and I prostate every morning and every night. We speak into existence the spirit of healing for these beautiful women. They are healed. My leaping faith grows by the second through God’s amazing grace. #TeamChurchAllDay but missing church for such an amazing cause was so worth it. It would be nice to say that there was sadness only because our souls weren’t fed but that’s not entirely true. Jojo* and I did miss seeing Jackson* and Harper* as well. It should not still be a brr moment that Jojo* and I miss guys that we’re on #TeamExchangeTwoWords #TeamBacktoBasics and #TeamChildlike is the real deal on this walk. Last Sunday we were excited to be fed and go on that #TeamJustLooking swag with the guys. When Harper* walked near Jojo* and I, he said hi to Jojo* and completely ignored me. That hurt my feelings to the point where it threw off my worship swag. I can usually zip myself in this invisible bubble and go in lala land. I hear the music in my head. It’s just me and Jesus. To an outsider I look off beat/key and I could care less. Jesus loves me quirks and all.

It really bugged me that I couldn’t switch my hurt feelings to anger to shut out the pain. That was a bad habit I was able to execute before Christ, and I believe there was some residue even after I surrendered my life to Jesus. Last Sunday God was like you’re done. God made me realize that this was an area that I was trying to control. God is in control of everything. I want no control over my mind, heart or Spirit. Everything belongs to God. I’m grateful that God guided me to write an audio post on this discovery on my tumblr page. Instead of shutting out my feelings I prayed it out to God during worship. Everything felt so off. I couldn’t hide in my invisible bubble. Jojo* expressed that bubble needed to be popped. I wasn’t trying to hear her and was short to her. She was also trying to console me because she realized my feelings were hurt and that made me want to cry. I begged God to just give me that and not let me cry. My experiences with crying has never been good except when I surrendered my life to God and joined BT and MVMNT. God as the center of everything I know that any tears he’s holding my hand through them.

It was a completely different mindset I possessed one year ago. I was new to then transitions, transitioning from a life of sin to a life of purity and recovering from a breakdown that I experienced because I had a clock in my head that said I needed to make a certain amount of money and be married already. Sometimes God breaks you down so that he can build you up for a break through. All God wanted me to do was look up. God has been trying to get my attention for over a decade but I was so stubborn. I’m so unworthy of his love, patience and attention. He had so much more faith in me then I ever had in myself. God had enough faith that last year I would have finally looked up at him and I did. I was so done being dead on the inside and consistently willing death on myself. He’s healing me through this process and I’m so grateful for that. I only find worth in God and my life is worth living only for Jesus. I dedicate my life for God’s will and I pray it’s to shower other siblings in Christ out here with vocalizing my testimony and life experiences and showering them with the love of God. God designed us to love one another and be here for each other. It’s so freeing to be completely raw and unedited with God. I’m honestly glad that Harper* hurt my feelings because it drew me closer to God. It increased my leaping faith even more. It gives me a deeper desire to express my experiences even more and just be the vessel that God wants to use me as. I’ll keep praying that one day everyone will experience intimacy with God. He wants that for all of his children. There’s power in praying so Jojo* and I will stay #PrayedUP.

Working part-time is truly a humbling blessing and getting paid every month teaches me how to live in the leaping faith lane on a daily basis. My best friend Jojo* isn’t working but God is so faithful we’ve been praying this out and God will open that door for her. She’s staying diligent and obedient to the Lord. It’s awesome seeing her growth. If I have, then she has. I’m like this with anyone I love. God is wrestling with me to learn how to balance this desire and understand he’s the fixer not me. In 2009 I was blessed to be able to go back to school at Berkeley to obtain my BA and started a new position at an immigration law firm. I was making ‘good money’ at the time my family was going through some fiscal hardship so I held down the fort to the point where responsibilities that normally weren’t mine were on my lap and I felt the pressure. Again, I didn’t consult God in this desire nor did I consult him through the process. I’m sure there were signs he was trying to get me to see that I didn’t understand or grasp. I feel into a deep depression because I felt so alone. I thought I had to ‘figure it out’ God attempted to grab my attention by shaking up my situation in a big way. Back then the economy was going through ‘corporate reconstruction’ and Crysta got the boot. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. God wanted me to never fall into the trap of chasing money and I did. I’m so glad that last year was the final attempt of getting my attention. Abba, I’m all yours and nothing will come between this fact.

I don’t have a phone because I can’t afford one. I have credit card debt because I used to be a people pleaser and ‘fixer’ and I’m no longer ashamed to admit any of this. God wants us to be here and hold each other down but God also wants us to move on his time and his terms. The wrestling is real and uncomfortable but oh so worth it. God is the best provider and protector any human being can have. No one can love you ever the way God can. I’ll proudly keep begging to die in self and have God have his way. I’ll keep taking moments of confusion, doubt, hurt or anything else not love, to God. I’ll keep promoting leaping on faith. I’ll continue to pray out to God to show me how to understand him better and follow him better. I’ll keep stretching out my arms no matter what. Most importantly I’ll keep praying for my beautiful siblings in Christ throughout the world to experience the greatness of God. Nothing is impossible to God. God loves all of the beautiful readers who took the time out of their day or night to read this post. Never forget that. Love, Crysta the vessel. This path called life belongs to Jesus Christ.

*Fictional names…#TeamProPrivacy