Seven Years Later

May 2, 2011 I packed up and started my new life in North Carolina. As I reflect over the past seven years I can’t help but to thank God for keeping me. I left Virginia with a different perspective and goal in mind little did I know that God would not only strip me but rebuild  me.
When I first settled in Charlotte I didn’t want anything to do with singing or leading in my church. I wanted to be free from any expectations or unrealistic goals that others had set upon me. I was in a constant state of war between my assignment and my free will. I didn’t realize how hurt I was until I moved away from the source of the pain. Here I was a 21 going on 22 year old woman holding on to some serious church hurt and not knowing how to cope other than to not be involved and to not be to social at church. I figured the less they knew about me the less ammunition they would have to use against me, when in reality God was trying to push something out of me. 
I was making the decision to cut off the source of my greatest pain and in return I was creating a bigger wound. 
New Life Fellowship gave me the chance to breathe again free from the burden (or so I thought) of my assignment, I was being refilled and challenged daily in my faith. I was at ground zero and I had no idea. 

God was rebuilding me from the ground up and I had to release and forgive the ones who hurt me, I learned that forgiveness gives me the freedom to move on. If I keep holding it I am only doing more damage to myself. 

I lived in Charlotte, NC for five years before moving to Raleigh. I had a strong support system in Charlotte but God was calling me into a new season with a new perspective on life and most importantly church. I moved to Raleigh and life went into high speed there were so many changes and some more heartache but the difference is that I knew how to cope. In this season of my life I am giving myself permission to share my pain without fear, without the feeling of “what if I am saying too much?” “What if it doesn’t come across right?” 

SILENCE can be determintal especially if your testimony can help the next person. Church hurt is real but DO NOT let it stop you from functioning. Losing friends is hard but DO NOT let that stop you from embracing or cultivating a new friendship. Leaving a comfortable season in your life to walk into the unkown is tough but DO NOT become stagnant. 

These past seven years I have been under some serious construction and I have learned a lot. No amount of money, cars or jobs can give me the inner peace I so desperately needed in 2011. Living in a dysfunctional state prolonges the blessings God is trying to give you. I am so glad God opened the door for me back in 2011, I’m grateful for the people I have been able to connect to. I am thankful that even in my dysfunction God still pulled out the best in me, he still uses me but in a different capacity. He opened my eyes and showed me that there was so much more invested inside of me. God is a God of second chances and for that I am forever grateful. 
My prayer is that anyone who reads this sees that God can take you, strip you and rebuild you into a better version of who you were before. And although the memory of the pain might still linger around know that you have the power to forgive and to move on. People will always be people, we all have our shortcomings and we all have some growing to do. I pray that you don’t run from the pain but that you embrace it, I pray that your pain doesn’t become your crutch and that you are able to see past the hurt and realize that God is trying to pull something out of you. It may not always feel good or look good but it will be good for you! 

Walk in your peace