Tag Archives: Testimony

Sorry NOT Sorry. I Said It. I Ain’t Taking Nothing Back. I Meant It. I Ain’t Changing It. God Changed My Life and My Heart. My Book is My Testimony!

faithing it2 joaynnThe day after Thanksgiving I had been up since 3 am that morning. For two days, Friday and Saturday, I wrestled with not going to church and not wanting to be bothered by anyone. God disturbed me and interrupted my plans, as usual. Guess what? You already know.

I pressed my way and am so glad I made it because Bishop La’Tresa Jester preached me out of my seat. She brought a mighty, mighty word, “It’s Worth The Wait.” She spoke my truth.

I am and have always been real and to the point, but feared being transparent. Not anymore. I started shouting and while thanking God it got me thinking when she said this, “Tell your haters, ‘In between your blinks I’m changing. While you blinking, I’m changing. While you blinking, I’m coming up. While you blinking, he’s restoring me!”

I started declaring, “I am positioned for better.” I’m on my way. I will no longer be bothered by my emotions or distracted by my feelings. I’m staying ready! God is about to restore me in front of folks that counted me out. The stuff I thought I’d never have is going to start leaping up. I’m in position to receive all God has in store for me.

I will no longer be ashamed of telling my story; that it may help others. I wrote it. I said it. I ain’t taking nothing back. It’s my story, my testimony. I’m proud of it. I’ve been delivered.

Thank you God for every delay, every setback. I’ve been setup for the greatest comeback. When I get what you give me, I’m going to do better with it. I promise God. I trust you even when I can’t see it. When I can’t trace you I trust you.

I meant every word I said in my book. I wrote it. I ain’t taking nothing back. I said it. I’m Sorry But I’m Not Sorry. And….for those of you who would like to know what it is I said, you are welcome to purchase a copy of my book titled Unspoken Testimony Memoir: Secrets of a Southern Girl on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Autographed copies are available by request. Send me an email and we can talk! Thanks in advance for your support!

Be blessed! – JD

Luke 8:39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” ‘And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” (ESV)

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OMGosh! Guess What? I’m Going To Be a Featured Guest on Royal Pen Network with host, National Best Selling Author Kendra Norman 3/29/18

28958411_10160277308265226_6391235563529175040_nI have been blessed with the astute opportunity to appear as a featured guest Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm (EST) on the Royal Pen Network with host, National Bestselling Author Kendra Norman Holmes. Words cannot express how humble I am God saw fit to bless me with this opportunity to be a blessing to others.

Please mark your calendars, SAVE the date March 29, 2018, and join the conversation tomorrow. Click on the Royal Pen Network link above or below for more details to listen in.

And please share!! Your support will be greatly appreciated. To God be the glory for all the marvelous things he has done. God is an awesome wonder!

Here’s the post from Royal Pen Network’s Facebook page detailing the event:

Royal Pen Network 

On Royal Pen Network’s next LIVE edition, you’ll meet JOY T. DARDEN, a woman who has championed through physical challenges to become a warrior for the kingdom of God. You may not know her by her full name, but it’s quite possible that you’ve seen many of her inspirational quotes posted throughout the Internet… all of them signed simply, “Joaynn” or her uplifting online blog, “Joaynn510.”

Reading her words of empowerment, one might never even guess that she faces the daily challenges brought on by a debilitating disease. The Bible clearly tells us that life and death lies in the power of the tongue, and every day, using her voice and her pen, Joy speaks life over herself and into the hearts of many others who read her frequent posts and blogs.

Tune in THIS WEEK… Thursday, March 29th at 7:00 p.m. (EST) as Joy shares the mic with host, national bestselling author, KENDRA NORMAN on Royal Pen Network. Hear her share her testimony and talk about what inspires her to keep inspiring others. She’ll also share details about her book, “Unspoken Testimony Memoir: Secrets of a Southern Girl.”

TWO WAYS TO LISTEN!! Log in at www.blogtalkradio.com/RoyalPenNetwork and listen via the Web, OR dial (929) 477-1993 and tune in via phone for a chance to ask questions and make comments on the air. However you choose to tune in… just DON’T MISS IT! Join us and be PENspired!

Be blessed! – JD


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Don’t Regret When You Are Going Through The Storm. Be Thankful for Your Struggle. It Is Your Testimony

discover-your-purpose-joaynnWhen God starts a thing, he finishes it. Whatever He has worked on, it is finished. It’s done. He said it. That settles it. Believe Him! Even when you don’t know what it looks like, have faith it will work out just as God promise it would. Have faith God will work all things together for good!

When the attack is so deep and you find yourself going through the storm, sometimes God will take you through a season where it’s just you and him alone. He will strip you of everything in and of yourself and will use you for his glory during the process.

Even though you may feel he’s not there, you are in a season that is not without purpose. There’s a purpose for the separation. God has to break you before he makes you great. Don’t regret the process. Trust it.

When God isolates you from others, it allows you to draw closer to him. You will grow spiritually. God wants to mold and shape you. He will get the glory, and not you.

Being alone can be very frustrating and sometimes will cause you to become distraught, depressed, or distracted. God is with you and have you by yourself for a great reason. Jesus cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit. You can’t be pruned if you are standing by yourself. You can’t be refined if you are conforming like everyone else.

Pruning is a process that requires removal of dead things. It is the cutting off of life’s distractions. God prunes us that we may bear more fruit. And for every branch that bears fruit, God prunes that it may be more fruitful (John 15:1-4). When you find yourself in a season where you feel alone, know that it is the right time you are available to God to be used to fulfill His purpose. #BeBlessed!

Be blessed! -JD

John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV)

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Just Because You’re Bruised, Broken, Battered and At Times Lose Your Faith In God, Doesn’t Mean You Are A Fake Christian

The Battle JoaynnOne of the most difficult things to overcome is moving on from tragedies of life that can keep you bound. Let go. Let God. You shall live and not die. Never waste time worrying about what you can’t do nothing about. You will only disappoint yourself. Put it in God’s hands. Let Him handle it.

Yesterday was one of the most difficult days I felt I’ve had to face since losing my mother. I accidentally threw away something I felt was my lifeline and couldn’t stop crying. I told God, “My life hasn’t been the same. I feel so alone. I can’t do this. I don’t want to be a Christian anymore!” I vowed I would stop being a Christian as of today. As if it were just that simple.

I asked Him “What am I supposed to do now since I can’t pick up the phone to call my mother to pray for me? Who can I call? Who is praying for me?” My daughter said something profound when she told me, “Mom at least you have a back up to what you lost. It could be worse.” I was so distraught I failed to pay attention to what she said. I woke this morning feeling worse as tears flowed like a river and cried to my sister who hugged and comforted me, assuring me everything will be all right.

I then begin to ask myself, “Am I a fake Christian? Am I not who I say I truly am because I fall apart? And want to give up at the least distraction even when I work to inspire others? Am I supposed to fake being perfect because that’s what others expect of me? Why do I feel guilty when bad things happen to me? Is it not right to be imperfect, helpless, hurt, or broken?” Am I really a fake Christian? The answers are no and no. I’m not. God does not require I be perfect. In fact he expects the opposite. I’m a Christian who sins in need of a Savior. I’m supposed to be lost, fallible, or broken.

Otherwise how can God do his part? How can he put back the broken pieces of my life when I feel helpless because things around me are falling apart? How can he mend my broken heart if it’s never broken? How can he save me if I never need rescue? How can he correct me if I’m a perfect Christian? I can’t be perfect but I can strive to be more like Christ every day. I’m not a fake Christian in no way.

Then I realized this is nothing but a trick of the devil. He’s riding my back so hard I couldn’t seem to shake him all night nor this morning. He must know something major is on the way. It tells me my breakthrough is coming!

Yes, every day is a struggle but what I’ve come to know, once you give your life to God, there’s never a good reason to stop being a Christian. You may falter and fall by the wayside. You may even lose your faith and fall short. Hebrews 6:4-6 tells me a believer need never worry because he will never lose his salvation.

There is nothing we can do to ever make God stop loving us. No matter what we go through, he will be and is always with us. He is the great I AM that I AM. He can do anything but fail. Just because you are a Christian, don’t ever be ashamed of your flaws. Don’t ever be afraid to proudly share your testimony.

God loves us more than we can ever love him, even when we lose sight of him when things are not going well. In times of trouble he is a present help. Faithful is our God. There is nobody greater than our God. Praise the Lord!

Make the devil mad today. Serve him notice. Show him your battles scars. Let him know you serve a mighty God. The battle has already been won. No matter what you go through, let him know you will never give up!

Be Blessed! – JD

John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (NASB)

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New Levels, New Devils. You Already Know. Don’t Give Up. Persevere. Stay Prayerful

I Won't Quit JoaynnHave you ever been driven to do something you clearly knew God was leading you to do and the devil did everything in his power to destroy your faith? And somewhere in the back of your mind you begin to lose your faith, giving him too much control as you started to believe it’s not meant to be. But then God sends a ram in the bush to deliver you from what he clearly knows will be. When God says “It is done.” know “It is done.” Believe him.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on what I find to be the next level God is taking me in my life where it concerns my spiritual walk, my business, friends, and family since traveling this long, challenging journey.

I have learned so many things along the way all while understanding God had to take me through questionable seasons and unexpected storms for reasons I may never understand. Removing things and people who clearly were not meant to go with me. Even the haters who couldn’t celebrate me and found it necessary to hurt and doubt me. Believe it or not, they blessed me.

Just because you finish one task, doesn’t mean you’re done. God’s purpose never ends. He always has more for you to do every day. You just have to be ready. With new levels come new devils. You already know. Don’t give up. Persevere. Stay prayerful.

I say this because a few weeks ago I created a new website for my business with much fear and trepidation because I didn’t have a clue as to what to do, thinking I needed someone to help me through it. But God said, my dear child, now is the time to travel this part of the journey alone, relying solely on me and your faith.

I listened, stepped out on faith, and followed his direction as he orchestrated my every move. Never once looking to gain a thing but to glorify Him in all my doing that I may fulfill his purpose.

Prosperity doesn’t mean monetary but is about growth; spiritually, mentally, and physically. As your soul prospers, so shall everything around you. Yes, there will be fear, doubt, anxiety, and even times you want to quit and give up. But as long as you have faith, with God, you can climb even the hardest mountains and make it to the top.

I have a feeling this year is going to be one of the best years of my life, in spite of all I’ve been through, especially with the loss of my mother two on November 2nd, two months ago. Blessings and miracles have already begun to make their way into my life, overflowing.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next. I’m taking my blessings off the shelf, one by one. I’m believing God for miracles. What God has for me is for me. I will walk in my destiny. No man can curse what God has blessed. God I thank you for your faithfulness.

Never give up on your dreams. Keep trusting God. I did. Look at God! I can’t wait to share my new website with you all in the next few weeks. I hope you will be just as excited I am! Thanks for listening.

Be blessed! – JD

2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (NIV)

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wpid-img_20141117_110646.jpgWhen I look back over my life and think of all God has done for me, I can’t help but to thank him and shout glory! My life is filled with the goodness of God. My heart is full. I have the peace of God. The more my mind and soul are at rest, the less I am distressed. I don’t worry about a thing. I know I’m blessed.

Had my life been this simple years ago, I would have been on top of the world but then I thought, had I not met with trials, trouble, and tribulations, how would I have overcome? Had I not faced insurmountable obstacles causing me to seek God’s help, where then would my provision have come from? Certainly not me. I was a mess myself. I was so messed up and couldn’t get a thing right which caused me a lot of trouble. Every decision I made without God turned into a disaster.

Had I not met with what I felt was a tragedy in the death of my former life when I lost everything, what would I have or where would I be now? Without God, I would have nothing. Every trial, test, tragedy, trouble, and tribulation was for God’s purpose. It strengthen my faith. It wasn’t meant to be finished sooner rather than later. God had a purpose.

For every terrible experience, God intended to use it to accomplish a greater good. Everything I have gone through in my life was for a greater good. People may have left me, folks may have talked about me, and some may have even denied me. But God. I’m a living testimony. I’m still standing.

I found that in every season of my life, even though it took years, God had to work through me, prune, and develop me for my future to arrive here. I’m stronger, wiser, better. I have no regrets. Had it not been for the Lord on my side, my soul would not be at rest. God I thank you. My soul cries yes!

When in distress, take a moment to look over your life and think about the goodness of God. When you meet new trials, remember how great God is and how good He has been to you. Think about all the good things, even in the bad times, that God has done for you. There may have been some bad times and trouble seemed like it was going to last forever. God is a good God. He is always on time. He is sovereign.

We don’t know what a person had to get through to get where they are. They don’t look like what they been through. God brought them this far.

In everything, give thanks to God. It was by his grace you made it. God brought you this far.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 71:14-18 “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all. 16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. 17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” (NIV)

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Thanks to Bishop Thomas’ Powerful Sermon on Sunday, God Led Me into a New Season of Fresh Anointing!

wpid-shared.jpgAfter thinking about how the devil worked my nerves the other day, I woke not feeling well, but excited because I was looking forward to going to church the following Sunday. Then after receiving some disappointing news, my whole attitude changed. I became weary and started complaining to God, again.

Asking him why I was suffering. I didn’t understand what it was I had done to deserve such punishment. I began to look at my circumstances and cried out to God, in response to the things I felt were hindering my faith in Him.

It wasn’t until after I began to confess my own indiscretions and flaws, that I witnessed the power of God. I asked for forgiveness and decided at that moment to give it all to Him. I wouldn’t complain. I made a declaration to get to church somehow, some way. I started making phone calls expecting miracles and blessings. God sent an angel. I made it and found myself in the house of the Lord. I was overjoyed. It was such a blessing.

Bishop Alexis Thomas preached a mighty word about the trees. His sermon came from the book of Genesis 2:16-17 and was titled, “Look At All These Trees.” He said, “Stop grumbling, murmuring, complaining, and thank God for all the trees. You may not live in the house you want, or have the job you want, or drive the car of your dreams. Look at all these trees. Trees of health, family, grandchildren, and financial blessings. Thank God for what you do have and stop complaining because of the things you don’t have.” Praise God for the trees.

The next day, I woke and couldn’t get the message out of my head. The sermon spoke to me. It confirmed the very things I heard God say the previous morning. Bishop prophesied. God led me into a new season of fresh anointing. He shifted something in the atmosphere. I couldn’t even explain the feeling.

No matter what the week may have sent me through, it was something about making my way to church to hear a message from the head of the house. And receive a word from the Lord to stir my spirit and change my entire perspective.

The most difficult chapter of our life can be the greatest story told because it’s when we discover God’s purpose. It becomes our testimony. Transformation took place. My mind was renewed. No matter what the enemy tried to do, I was assured nothing would stop what God promised me.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m praising and thanking God in advance for the trees. I’m filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m believing God for a miracle. I moved from the complaint window to the claim window, declaring good stuff over my life. Although I may not feel good every day. I’m claiming healing, no matter the strife. I may not have all that I want but I’m mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially blessed. Thank you Jesus.

I’m claiming and naming my blessings. I speak increase, favor, and prosperity. I’m walking in victory. I may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). I’m glad I didn’t let nothing, not even the devil stop me from getting to church that Sunday morning. It opened my eyes. It put everything in the right perspective. I left with a glimmer of hope. I was thankful.

Thank you Bishop Thomas for Sunday’s powerful sermon. I won’t receive God’s grace in vain. I am a believer. I will not ignore God’s message nor what he is saying. Knowing that everything I do is observed by others, I will live to be an example. I am a minister for God. I will not doubt. I won’t complain. The word shall go forth.

Next week may be the start of a new week, but don’t get weary. Stay in the word. For in due season you shall reap a reward if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). Keep God at the forefront. The enemy will come in like a flood. God will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 6:9). Stand firm in your convictions. The battle is not yours. It’s the Lord’s. Thank God for the trees. As for me, God has been good to me. I will praise him for planting some good trees around me.

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 6:1-111 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (NIV)

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God is Not The Author of Confusion – What He Says He Will Do, He Will Do

This is my testimony today:

wpid-img_20140617_082205.jpgAfter talking with my Mom the other day, I realized God is calling my attention to something but I told her I am having a hard time hearing from him. She said I have to be able to discern when God is speaking to me and not me speaking to me because of decisions I feel need to be made hastily. I told her sometimes it can be so difficult to hear from God when you have forces surrounding you that can influence your thoughts, making the decision-making process that much harder.

You know what it is you are meant to do but become confused with what it is you need to do when circumstances around you say otherwise. Knowing in the end we are not to look at our circumstances because they may never change but God will change us in them.

After receiving some unsettling news some time ago that didn’t sit well with me, I have been sitting every day talking to God and reflecting on what it is I’m supposed to do. Every day I ask God “What is my purpose?” And knowing who I am in Christ, I shouldn’t have to ask because I already know the answer. But there are times when I allow my situation to distract me and lose sight of God. In turn, it sets the wheels turning into a motion of confusion and doubt.

God is not the author of confusion, therefore, I know when I am in this state, it is not coming from him. It is the enemy trying to convince me to abandon God in the process. I am a strong woman of faith but sometimes, yes me, I lose the courage to step out on faith.

My Mom told me the truth that day and has given me the strength to walk in God’s truth, listen for his voice, and move when he says move, just like that. She is my rock. I have to listen to her because she doesn’t give the wrong advice.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know God has not created me to live a substandard life, living in fear of a world that clearly does not have a thing to do with His plans for me. I am a peculiar people. I have been picked out to be picked on. I have not only been chosen but I have been called. My provision comes from God and him alone.

There are too many things I have been waiting to do that I keep putting off out of fear. Yes, fear. But that will cease today. I am making a declaration today. I will have victory! Whatever decision man makes will not deter or stop the plans God have already prepared for me. What God has for me is for me.

I must be willing to step out on faith, believing God is the God of impossible and where it seems impossible, God will make it possible. This will be a day of reckoning, reasoning, and reconciliation.

I believe in my heart that I have been called for a unique purpose. I am on assignment and cannot abandon what I know God has clearly called me to do because of fear that has no room. I am walking in victory today. God have your way! I now know what I need to do. And I will boldly walk in what God has called me to do.

Sometimes the hardest battle to fight can be the easiest one to win when we realize it’s not ourselves we should be fighting against.

When you’re going through the devil doesn’t want you to believe God’s with you. He’ll do everything in his power to destroy you. God got you.

There are plenty of opportunities to be discouraged but declare “I will be encouraged!” Turn a bad situation into a good one. Walk by faith. When things are out of your control don’t allow your feelings to be controlled by events but by faith in God’s ability to give you strength. God will give you strength.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. God is not the author of confusion. What he says he will do, he will do. He has already decided for me that’s what he will do.

Be blessed! -JD

Numbers 23:19-20 “19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of a man, that he should change his mind. Has he said and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 20 Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.” (ESV)



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Reflection: Testing and Endurance

Fasting has been a part of my life over the years where I have participated many times in my quest for spiritual growth, knowledge, and change. But I would participate only to the degree where I would willfully give up one thing I most desired for a certain amount of time. The fast would be approximately four hours of the day or from the time I rise until the end of the day with a minimum duration no more than a week. It was not until I discovered a fast I participate in monthly called #holdFAST that I learned about the Daniel fast.

Granted, I am a Bible reader and I know many of you may be wondering, “How could she not have known about Daniel fast?” Well, I heard of Daniel many times throughout the span of my life, but never recall hearing of the 21-day Daniel fast. And sadly but honestly, the only answer I have is I had not yet read the book of Daniel, hence, no knowledge of it. I’m still a work in process/progress.

Through my experiences of prayer and fasting, I learned it was not about eliminating foods for the sake of not eating or to be a part of something. But it was where I would make the ultimate sacrifice to God in development of my relationship with him.

It began the process of change. It brought me closer to God. I learned the meaning of sacrifice, obedience, and humility. I learned endurance, obedience, and perseverance builds character. I learned that, through sacrifice, I changed.

But it didn’t stop there. I was always looking for ways to grow spiritually. And whatever process it took to get me there, I would investigate and if it was in alignment with God’s laws, I would seek detailed instructions to participate or be a part of.

As such, I became connected to other people I had never met before in my life who shared the same Christian values and beliefs as me. It was where I was introduced to #holdFAST by a wonderful minister I met on Twitter named Kia Granberry (www.livelovekia.com)  who is also the founder of #holdFAST.

She had been fasting 21-days each month since January 2012. I was so moved by her powerful testimony that I joined in on the journey in June where I would complete the three-day fast the first three days of the month. It is now part of my life every month and has become my testimony to what prayer and fasting will do.

I learned through packets I received monthly, that HoldFAST basically was an abbreviated Daniel fast where the traditional fast is for three days but the extended fast last 21-days much like Daniel’s 21-day fast. We eat only three things, FRUITS, VEGGIES, and WHOLE GRAINS.

November will mark the 11th month of participating in #holdFAST. But I find as each month comes, temptation becomes greater where I feel like I cannot make it to reach this year’s end, which will be December.

The enemy does all he can in his attempt to convince me into believing I need to quit; in hopes of my giving up. He makes life difficult. But I know it’s nothing I can’t handle because God is on my side. And I know nothing’s too hard for God.

Today was a day of all days where it seemed like nothing was going my way. I said, “God I know you’re with me today. Even though I feel like I can’t make it through the day. The enemy’s heavy on my trail. But with your help, I will prevail. I’m covered!”

With all that I had been going through, I couldn’t help but reflect on timing and know that this is nothing but a trick of the enemy. I’m too close to the end and he’s trying his best to win. But there is no way because God will have his say.

My belief: “The harder the struggle, greater is the reward.”

I couldn’t help but go back to a time when I was faced with what I felt were similar obstacles and had to tell God that day, all that was on my mind. The words I share below are from some time ago. Yet, I felt I needed to reflect on it today as a source of inspiration to get through. Thought I’d share it with you:

It’s been a long time since I’ve needed to say. The things I am encouraged to put out here today. There are times when I can’t be quiet about what it is God has done for me. In these times, I find I want to shout to the world his goodness and mercy; thanking him for saving me.

The past week has been filled with cloud storms and rain, only to seek the Lord to make me whole again. Couldn’t help but express my thoughts in the only way I know how. As I shout out loud. Things I must say. And I hope Lord, it is okay.

Earlier this week a time came upon me when I really, really needed to talk with God. I confessed to Him how I think this life sometimes can be so hard. I told Him, “and while I know it’s nothing new, because you already know; you are YOU. You are the only one I can talk to. You are always listening; you guide me through. Please know that I say these things to you dear Lord. Only to release feelings that is null and void.”

I fell on my knees in anguish to pray and said unto him, “My heart is filled with a heavy burden, praying I find rest. In what I feel is just a test. I ask for nothing but have a small request. Fill me with confidence to do my best.”

I wake every morning thinking I have enough strength. Only to find within time my body, mind, and soul are spent. Searching as I fall asleep. For that which only you can give will surpass me; peace. By the time I awake the day has passed me by. Missed deadlines to meet, plans gone awry.

Oftentimes my heart filled with fear. Because I don’t feel like I belong here. I lie in bed with thoughts that I’ve failed. As I struggle to find hope in the smallest things, but God’s Word would prevail. Thoughts would fill my head with desire to find strength. Through your Word divinely sent.

I don’t look for pity or sympathy. I only want to express my thoughts freely. As I work to get through this day. With the hope that tomorrow will be brighter, better, as it comes without delay.

I have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Therefore, I won’t give up. I will continue to fight regardless of what life the enemy tries to suck; out of me. Because I know one day I’ll be free. Free from anguish and agony.

Today, although it doesn’t look like, is the day. I will give all my cares to you, Jesus, because I know you will make a way. Thank you Lord, for listening and hearing my thoughts and prayers today.

That day had passed then something came unexpectedly. I felt God saying to me. “I will never leave or forsake you. I will see you through your pain; through the storm and the rain. Keep your eyes open and listen when it comes. I will send someone.”

Strangely enough, there was an encounter with a person I didn’t know. Only that his words struck a chord that my mind would not let go. As I worked to understand what this was and why it was happening to me. On the last day, God revealed it to me.

Through another encounter with my cousin Wanda who shared this message. She called at a time which was unexpected. She told me, “Whatever you’re going through is only a test. To see how well you would strive to do your best. God knows your heart. And knows what you intend to do. He only wants what is best for you. He will take all your troubles away. No matter what you see in your circumstances, come what may.” “Hold on cousin. Fast and pray. Believe and have faith. God will make a way.”

I had been participating in a Rules of Engagement prayer that was eight pages long and lasted thirty days. Along with a simple fast I would engage in. I thought, “Odd how did she know I had been fasting and praying? I had not talked to her in ages.” But God knew. He sent exactly who he needed to. To serve as confirmation to what he was about to do. To let me know he was there for me. In spite of the pain and trouble that seemed to follow me. God interceded on my behalf. He promised, “This too shall pass.”

The test became my testimony. It was a testimony of faith. Faith I held on to as I waited. Resilience and perseverance were essential too. Fasting and prayer brought me through. It works.

The ultimate revelation came when I began #holdFAST. I noticed unfamiliar things from what I experienced in the past. I offered my body to Christ; as a living sacrifice. It changed the way I would eat. I no longer longed for things that were not good for me. Foods I thought I needed were no longer important to me. Foods that were healthier became of value to me. It helped me tremendously.

The fast was so powerful it moved me to tears. I noticed how God began to remove all my fears. He began closing one door after another. It was beyond comprehension in the midst of my troubles.

I fell in love with #holdFAST and made a commitment to this day, to incorporate it as cleansing every month; needless to say.  I look forward to when the time comes. As #holdFAST begins the month of greater things to come. It changed my life completely. It helped me grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Now please don’t get me wrong. By no means am I negating the significance of other fasting methods because I still participate in others too. But #holdFAST has been the most rewarding experience that changed how I look at things and what I choose to do. I am thankful.

Thankful for what I learned. Humility wasn’t given but earned. Through my actions I learned evidence of defeat was merely a reflection of who I had become. But with faith and endurance, I would overcome. Faith was substance of things I hoped for, evidence of things I could not see. Endurance built character and defined the person God said I would be.

Throughout this journey, I learned at best, phrases I’ve coined that put my mind at rest. “Adversity affirms the assignment. Brokenness breaks barriers. Perseverance promotes purpose.” Words that kept me focused.

Only by the grace of God, I made it through. I envisioned the plan he had for my future. There was a great assignment waiting for me to complete. With God’s guidance, I will have victory!!

My reward is on the way. When the enemy comes my way, I won’t hesitate. I will receive all God has stored up for me. I trust God. I believe. God has all power. It’s in his hands. He’s faithful. God’s Word stands.

Lastly, know this:

People will see God’s glory on the outside, never knowing what you went through. That brought you to the place they now see you. The Spirit of God helped you. You will show the world how you have overcome. It is by the blood of the LAMB, God Almighty, the only one.

When it looks like a test, remember God knows best.

You may have trials. “Trials serve purpose.” You may become weary. “Tests strengthen your character.” You may have struggles. “Tests prove your faith is genuine.”  You may fall short. “Tested faith gives honor to God.”

In the end, “Testing during struggles becomes your TESTIMONY to demonstrate, ‘Great is our God.’ Have faith.”  Prayer, fasting, andTESTS SHAPE US” into the person God says we will be. Trust God. In time, you will witness, God’s Sovereignty.

James 1:3 – 6 “For you know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. 5 If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

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