Keep faking it and you won’t make it. I promise you that! The theory of faking it until you make it is the detonator to immediate self-destruction. Be Real! Be real with yourself, first. Then, be real with others. If you feel like you’re suffocating, if you’re overwhelmed, tired, exhausted, etc. tell someone. Say it. Let it be known. Don’t keep faking it and pretending that everything is okay when it is not.
A year ago this particular Sunday, (July 23, 2017. I will never forget it), I entered a church here in Atlanta, Georgia. I was familiar with the ministry via live stream, but now I was there in the flesh. I remember making that right turn and riding onto the campus of this place I would soon call “home” and feeling a great sense of peace and safety.
Around this time last year, I had recently abandoned everything and moved by faith to Atlanta from Philadelphia. I was certain Jesus told me to leave and move, but I was clueless about everything else. I felt like an idiot and it didn’t help that I had family telling me the same thing. I was dealing with rejection amongst other things. I was encumbered with a load of care, as the hymnist so kindly puts it.
So, here I am at this church thinking, I’m just gonna sit in the back and just observe. HA! Jesus was like, Nope. Not gonna happen, my daughter. The usher leads me all the way to the second row! How dare she? In true Maddie fashion, my eyes remained closed the entire service. LOL!! Sometimes, I have to laugh at myself. I get really shy when I’m in new places. As a child, they tell me I would walk around with my hands over my eyes. Smh. Silly, Maddie.
One year ago today, the preacher’s sermon was “You’re Anointed, But Not For That,” and he read the scripture 1 Samuel 16:10. Great Sermon! Had to be, right? It is a year later and I still remember everything. Most importantly, I remember what happened at the altar that day. While I was there talking to Jesus, the preacher touched me and said two words, “Fresh Vision.” Those two words held great significance to me due to a conversation I had with God earlier in the week.
As he prayed with me he said, “….As I lay my hands on you the Holy Spirit is flowing through you.” My legs did the dumbest thing and I couldn’t stand anymore. They just decided to dip out on me and not hold me up any longer.
“Let it go. Let it go. Come on! Come on!” He encouraged. I remember at that moment feeling peace and safety. I felt like it was okay to let the hurt go. I felt like it was okay to let the rejection go. I sensed “It’s okay Maddie, you’re safe here.” I sensed that strongly. But then I immediately became nervous because what the heck would I look like if I really became relentless? YIKES! I don’t know these people! LOL!!
He then tells me to let my past go. Which was so true. But, it was definitely easier said than done. A year later and I’m still letting it go.
Here’s the significance: A year ago that man, spoke FRESH VISION over me and told me God was healing me. Today, 365 days later I’m in church (not the same church due to unforeseen circumstances, but definitely a God strategy, so we’ll go with it) God tells me, “I’m healing your vision.” WOW! I began to weep and tremble and fall to the ground. A year later, God mentions vision to me again?!
A year ago today after that altar call I remember hearing the word “Safety” on repeat. When I asked God about it, he said, “You’re safe here.”
This is all significant why? Near the end of 2016 and the majority of 2017, I kept seeing a vision of a naked girl. She was scared/afraid and alone. I remember seeing the tear roll down her cheek. She often tried to cover herself with her arms and kept her legs cross. She was very protective of herself and didn’t want anyone to see her most vulnerable area. A few times I would see her standing in the rain. She could never cover herself and this upset her more. She felt much shame and guilt because she was this way and she couldn’t change it.
Well, that particular Sunday, this Sunday a year ago, July 23, 2017, I thought about that girl. I know that girl was me. I knew God had called me to unite with this assembly because a month later after I officially joined, I had a vision of the girl again. This time she was clothed and a vine was wrapped around her. She wore the vine like a sash and she was smiling.
Why did I write this reflection? A year later, although I’m not near my “safe haven,” I see something in me that I didn’t see a year ago. A year later I see that I am not the same. I see who I was back then and I see how God has changed and is changing me. Today, something strange happened to me in church. I can’t explain it at all. Actually, this whole weekend has been amazing, and I’m so grateful to God for loving me even when I didn’t love myself.
I wrote this reflection to encourage myself and maybe to anyone who reads this, Keep Trusting God. I’m watching him bring things full circle. I’m eager to SEE what he has up his sleeves!
It has been a month since my last post. It has been 8 months since I stopped writing (probably longer than that). A few days ago, I realized my journal had so many blank pages. I immediately became sad. I was so disappointed in myself. Writing is my therapy and my outlet. The “I’ve been so busy” lie wasn’t going to cut it this time. Before I could get real deep in my hurt feelings, my friend texted me, “How are you?” Well, I clearly had to tell the truth. Her response was so encouraging and I followed her advice and began writing. I filled up quite a few pages that night.
A few days ago my sister shared with me her prayer for me.
SN: she is the sweetest thing since the birth of chocolate.
My sister prayed that I would be more confident in general and be more diligent with writing. After praying together and have some alone time with Jesus, I’ve decided to get back on board with giving fear a black eye. The whole purpose of starting this blog was to give fear a black eye and that’s what I’m going to do, gosh darnit!
I will overcome and defeat the pesky, debilitating spirit of fear.
Take a listen to this song, Chainbreaker by Zach Williams. I absolutely love Zach Williams. This song has been such encouragement. My Jesus is definitely a prison shaking savior!
I don’t want what the enemy stole.
I want something new.
I don’t want something refurbished.
I want something new.
I don’t want something that had his grimy paws on it.
I want something new.
I don’t want what the enemy stole, it smells like him. No, thank you. You ever go to someone’s house, or they give you something out of their house and it has the odor of their home embedded in the artifact? That ’s how I’ve always felt about reclaiming things the devil stole.
Just go on and give me something brand spanking new
I’m talking about for Madeline…
Anyone else can go get what he has taken from them,
but as for Madeline Coleman? Give me a new thing
Clean… Fresh off the shelf… Untampered with… Just NEW.
“Give me my joy back.” Nope. I want new joy! You’ve had it for so long and you’re so bitter, that it’s not even joy anymore! Nope. I want new joy!
“Give me my security back.” Nope. Dawg, you had that for so long it smells like moldy asbestos basement….Jawn got cobwebs on it and what not! Naw, playa! You keep that. The old security was found in something other than Jesus Christ anyway.
I want something new.
Lord, I want brand new security
rooted and embedded in you.
When you place a car seat in the car, you have to SECURE it. If you don’t, with every turn or abrupt stop that seat and baby will slide all over the place. You get in a car accident and your baby will fly out of the car seat through the front window. You have to SECURE it. That’s what I want; my heart and mind SECURE in Jesus Christ.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare NOT TRUST the sweetest frame, but WHOLLY lean on Jesus name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, ALL other ground is SINKING sand.
The other ground ain’t sure! LOL! The other ground isn’t secure enough!
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my ANCHOR HOLDS within the veil.
Seven days ago I took a big leap of faith and followed the directions of the Lord. I moved away from my family and all familiar things.
Yup, I stepped out of my comfort zone and entered into the world of the unknown. As I soared above my city, my home and everything I’d ever known, I realized… You stupid Idiot! What the heck were you thinking?! LOL!! Before I left I felt like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane… Lord are you sure you want meee to do this? I doubted and I tried to offer him another way of doing this. While packing I was trying to reason with the Lord, but I knew in my heart this is what I needed to do.
After three years, God had finally made a way and it was clearly evident it was time to put my faith to action. I’ve waited three years for this moment and it was DEFINITELY NOT the way I imagined it would go down! I had a whole intricate plan of how this move would work out. With balled up fists, shaking them profusely, I frustratingly asked, “Jesus, what are you doing? You’re messing up my plans! Grrrrr!” Have you ever had perfect plans that Jesus crushed?? Yep, welcome to my world. LOL!
Although nervous, I continued to move forward. It was really weird. I was simultaneously nervous, at peace and sure this was the right time to move. It has been seven days since I leaped and I know I look like a fool to many. I’ve been talked about and many have shared their disapproval. None of that compares to the joy I have knowing I am being obedient to Christ. It has been seven, whole, complete days and I’m grateful to be loved by an awesome God. It’s been seven days and I still trust the Lord. It’s been seven days and God has been taking care of me. It has been seven days and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.
Disclaimer: This should have been posted a little over 2 weeks ago, but I never hit “publish.” Oops! Sorry.
I have been going through a time of transition. My big sister told me it’s probably because I’ll be the big 3-0 in July. Lol! This transition has revealed to me that my faith and trust in God are on life support.
My question is, “What is faith?”