27. LOVE | with Khadijah Ashante
The spoken words of 13 different women I have connected with and the story of their spoken word from God.
These stories are to showcase the power of faith and how God whispered to them and they listened wholeheartedly in His plan.
I met Ashante when I accepted a job offer at Embassy Suites. She gave me a big hug when I first met her while leaving my shift at 7am. The first thing I thought was that, she smells really nice and has awesome curly hair. (haha) After having some time talking to her during our shifts, she shared with me her journey of faith and this story always has me in tears. This is where she now shares to the world her spoken word of God's real and true LOVE.
First & foremost, I would like to give thanks to God, for opening up the door that caused Cherelle & I to meet. Cherelle is both fascinating & awe-inspiring.; there is a radiant beauty that springs forth from her personality when she begins to testify about the work of God's love in her life. These testimonies have recently been recorded in her project, "#52SpokenWords"; so far, the outcome of this project has been amazing. Now, Cherelle has graciously decided to feature various women on her project, who have their own amazing testimonies of God's love in their life. In this journey that we call life, there are many ups & downs, but the beautiful aspect of it all, is when God is recognized as the solid foundation. Furthermore, it's fascinating that although our journeys differ, God remains the same (Hebrews 13:8 KJV); full of grace & mercy that is unconditionally everlasting. I pray in Jesus Name, that by the testimonies of Cherelle, me, & the other woman soon to be featured in this project, that people from all over the world are moved, motivated, & ultimately captivated by God’s magnificent Love.
God speaks, in a plethora of ways. Either through His Holy word (the Bible) or through preaching, His voice has a powerful way of ministering to us. Sometimes, it's in the stillness of a tear-filled night that God comfortingly speaks & other times, God speaks through various people in our lives. As for me… allow me to tell you how God spoke to me in a very special way.
Prior to living in California, I lived in a small town called Carlsbad, New Mexico aka "The Land of Enchantment" where the first Batman movie was filmed; if you ask me, it was more like the "Land of Entrapment". Either way, it was there in Carlsbad that I attended a small Pentecostal church where seeds of faith were being planted in me by both my magnificently strong God mother & the preaching/teachings of my awesome Pastor. Over the years, these seeds were deeply rooted into the soil of my heart & soul. After living in New Mexico for a total of 6 years, I felt that it was time to set out on my own. The motivation for this move was fueled by restlessness & anxiety that for whatever reason spoke louder than the voice of God did at the time. Without much prayer or planning, I ended up moving back to where I was born & raised, New York City. In the monumental Concrete Jungle, I began to “find” my way. I began living my life according to the element of self-will & even though God's Love protected me, deep down inside I felt a strong conviction toward the displeasure He had regarding the rash decisions I was making. I attended church but, due to my lifestyle other worldly desires began tugging at my soul until eventually… I didn’t attend at all. Yup, I had completely turned my back on doctrine, standards, & ultimately God’s Love but God… within the midst of all of my rebellion caused by major insecuritiy, He was searching my heart. You see, even though we often indulge in sin whether self inflicted or not, God Loves us to the point that unlike this world, He looks at what is written upon your heart & deeply embedded within your soul (Proverbs 3:3KJV) & He does so with the grace found in His word (Hebrews 4:12KJV). So whether I realized it or not, those seeds of faith & truth that were planted in me back in Carlsbad were, thirsting for some watering from God's word meanwhile my soul was starving for nourishment. Whether we realize it or not, the same way that our flesh desires to eat physical food, our soul needs the food of God's word (Matthew 4:4KJV).
As crazy as it may seem, almost a year had passed that I had been spiritually starving & running from God. With no one to blame but myself, the evidence of my spiritual stubborness reflected itself upon the multitude of hardships. I was jobless for months, in a toxic relationship, living in an expensive room, surrounded by some heavy things, drowning in the miry clay of self-will, starving for a change… starving for God & just as hunger can drive a person to do some crazy things I soon learned that spiritual hunger is no different. One day, I was fed up; I took 3 trains & 2 buses to get to the nearest Pentecostal church I knew of. It was there at that beautiful church in Queens, at their immense alter that I laid it all down. With the loving Pastor of that church & many strong woman of God praying over me, I laid down my doubts, fears, & ultimately my will. I then received the 4 course meal of the preached word of God, sang my heart out, & asked God for mercy; it was at that alter that without even realizing it, I prayed a prayer that ended up being one of the most powerful prayers of my life. I prayed for God to open up doors that were meant to be open & close doors that were meant to be closed; I boldly proclaimed, that if He opened up a door, then I wouldundoubtedly walk through it. To conclude my prayer, I thanked Him for being Him; for if He'd never done another thing in my life, He was still worthy of all my praise. This prayer, was a prayer of starvation, desperation, & faith to test God's Love.
Two months had gone by proceeding this prayer & things were slowly progressing in a more positive direction. I started utilizing the nourishment that was being provided for me by putting God first (Matthew 6:33KJV). One morning, my ex & I got into a confrontation that left me emotionally drained throughout the rest of the day. During my lunch break (at my new job) I called a friend to vent about the argument. At the conclusion of what I had to say, she responded in a way that was completely out of the ordinary. She said, "I have a feeling… I have a feeling that you need to move here (California)"; before I had the opportunity to interject she blurted, "I have a feeling that GOD wants for you to move here". I froze. God? What? This friend wasn't necessarily a regular church goer or anything & well… it just didn't make sense; but once again… that's the beauty of our God; His ways are not our ways & His thoughts are nothing like ours (Isaiah 55:8 KJV). When God chooses to speak there are no limitations upon how He chooses or whom He chooses to speak through & when He does speak, it's up to us whether we choose to listen & obey.
Now… I will admit …I questioned it; I questioned it in my mind, my heart, my spirit, & in prayer… I just couldn't understand & even when I questioned my friend, she couldn't give me a definitive response. However, in the midst of all my questioning, I proceeded to make a arrangements to move. All aspects of this move were absolutely impossible for multiple reasons: I had no money saved up, I had no job waiting for me, I wasn't confident in the stability of the place I would be staying, I had no family out there (California)… I had nothing. My friend & my boyfriend argued about when I would move & my family was insistent upon knowing what my "plan" was; all of it was so overwhelming. Finally, within about a week from when my friend told me about the feeling she had for me to move, she purchased a plane ticket for me to fly out that coming Thursday; my boyfriend tried to convince me to reschedule for Saturday, I however… had no idea when I was officially going to leave. When Thursday arrived… I was still in the room… by myself… I sat in complete silence. I couldn't cry & I felt like I could barely breath; I felt numb, confused, lost. All of a sudden, all I could hear were planes flying by what seemed to be right next to the window. It was in that moment, I could feel God chasten me with, "YOU ASKED ME TO OPEN A DOOR… & THIS IS WHAT I'VE OPENED FOR YOU… & YOU'RE STILL QUESTIONING ME?" Startled with conviction & shame to the very core of my spirit I closed my eyes & could feel the tug of God's Love… His tough Love. The sound of the planes grew louder & louder & then… I knew… I spoke… "I don't belong here… this is not where I'm meant to be…". I sat there the rest of the day, completely still, & allowed myself to cry in the arms of my God's Love. Later that night, when my boyfriend came home I looked at him & said, "I'm leaving". Confused he responded, "I know you're leaving"; "No", I said, "I'm leaving tomorrow!" Before he could say another word I cried out, "I don't understand this either but… I have to trust God &… I need to know that I have your support. I'm terrified but… it' settled… I'm leaving tomorrow". That night while I laid in bed, I felt the presence of the enemy; now before you get scared I want you to go to (Pslam 23:5KJV) wherever God is, the enemy is there also (Book of Job). Anyway, I heard a voice that jolted me out of my sleep, the voice yelled, "JUST GO". Gasping for air, I nearly knocked my boyfriend out of bed. Sitting upright, eyes still closed, my boyfriend asked if I was ok… feeling a challenging chill in my spirit that I used to feel after a great church service that made the very gates of Hell tremble (James 2:19 KJV) with bold assurance I smiled & said, "Yes I am". On Friday, at 4 in the morning I said goodbye to my boyfriend, hopped in an uber, took a flight with 3 layovers all the way to the Bay Area of California… I didn't land until midnight but that night, I slept & awoke to a peace that surpassed all understanding (Philippines 4:7KJV); I slept in the very arms of God's comfort & His Love. The Bay Area is where I currently reside… home… in God's will, all because I moved. In spite of prior anxieties, uncertainties, & complete loneliness… I moved… in LOVE.
1 John 4:18 & 19 KJV says, "There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love him, because he first Loved us"… Love. Within the midst of my bad decisions it was His Love that was the soil that my seed of faith was planted in. It was His Love that drove me to Him after I had fallen into sinned. It was His Love that protected me… it beckoned me. It was His Love that answered my prayer by speaking through someone unexpected. It was His Love that spoke through the chaos of my world. It was His Love that motivated me to take a leap of faith & trust Him. It was His Love that opened up every… single… door. It was His fearless Love that challenged me even through the horrifying voice of the enemy. It was His Loving arms that cradled me to sleep in an unknown state. It was His Love that to this very day provided me with a church, a home, a family of true friends, & more blessings of strength than I could fathom. It was His Love in the form of the sacrifice He payed for me years ago, that provided grace & mercy upon me. God's Love is the breath that I breath… His Love is my testimony. However, I wouldn't have been able to feel the fullness of God's Love or even His favor upon my life without obedience & sacrifice. I obeyed the voice of God, not seeing what was going to transpire, or having any assurance of how everything was going to work out. I moved based off of what I was spiritually fed over these years, thanks to the unfailing sustainability of His word, tucked deep within my heart. I remembered Hebrews 11 KJV (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible) where it talks about, "Now faith!! is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen"; I moved in the NOW of God's Love. God speaks… but the only way that we can familiarize ourself with His voice , is through His written word. His written & preached word is what planted the seed in me… the seed of His Love that brought me to where I am today. You want to hear God speak, read His word & seek after Him in prayer; don't just memorize it, but plant it deep within your heart. I am a living testimony that NOTHING shall ever be able to separate you from God's Love (Romans 8:35 -39 KJV) Thank you Jesus for your word, thank you Jesus for your Love!!
If you fell in love with her testimony and Gods spoken word... well then you are going to fall in love with her way with words. TODAY, she launches her website where she gets the chance to share her story of how God's LOVE moved in her life and more, through poetry and speaking her truth here. Subscribe, Comment and Read!