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The Foundation I was born and raised in the church,not only did I attend church every Sunday (or whenever service was in session) but I was taught how to live like Christ at home. So there’s no excuse for me not choosing Christ because I knew He was to be my choice from the start. For the most part of my life I was in the church and I did mime,choir, plays, speeches and more and because I was raised right. I knew how to pray for myself and others,I knew scripture, and most of all I knew what it took to live right and turn from wrong. I’ve always had prayers submitted to God in regards to my family and my life paths, and no matter what I always sensed they would come together. Early high school,01′ for the first time I really started a relationship with Christ. I was connected to a choir which was more like a family that truly exposed me to living for Christ not just knowing about him. It was during that time I got to know Jesus personally. I loved studying His word, praying, ministering to others but despite my growth in Jesus, my relationship with Christ was tightly woven around this family and when the family began to drift away so did my relationship with Christ.I backslide for several years, through most of high school up into my senior year of college.

The Runaway To many, I seemed like a normal girl, to my parents and family –exceptional.I was involved in everything-honor roll student, national honor society, scholarship holder, most popular in school, cheerleading, orchestra, student council, tutoring/mentoring programs, as well as church groups. I was always considered a good person, I was the one many of my friends came to advice for. All through middle and high school I was labeled as the “church girl” or “miss goodie two shoes” and I learned to hide behind those things,sneakily do dirt and silently struggle with my consequences while maintaining my “persona”. So although it seemed like I was making good choices, behind the scenes I was not. And like many of you, I had other circumstances that influenced my choices in life. Relationships were a key influencers for me whether it was family,friends or intimate relationship – they all heavily influenced my “choices”. Being raised in a single parent home,father not active in my early years, brothers and other male family members locked up or distant, all took its toll on me. I never firsthand saw how a lady was supposed to be treated nor was I really taught. Of course my mom and others told me to beware, stay away from the boys or else, but no one really invested greatly into preserving my value, and letting me know why I should. I did have one person who did but by the time she started to build me up I was already heavily influenced by my own self will and others – I had made my choice. So of course with the lack of male presence in my life, I desired to be loved and wanted by a man. I knew Jesus loved and died for me but I didn’t chose Him. I know now that until you receive and experience the love of Christ you don’t truly know love. So here I am looking for love in people who dont know love themselves. Failed relationships lead to disappointment,hopelessness, naivety, deep voids, doubt, insecurity,broken heart,scarred emotions, trust issues, resentment, rebellion, identity crisis, loneliness, selfishness, bitterness and more. I can’t fully blame the relationships because like I said I knew better.I was taught how God can heal us and make us new but I chose my own way so I took on all those feelings. All the above feelings I mentioned were negative and of course negative things accompanied them. My naivety and loneliness lead me into relationships where sex attempted to fill the deep void and selfishness lead me to abort the life of my child,not once but twice. How could a girl who knew better not do better? because I didn’t chose God, I chose my way! I had experienced all the above by my senior year of high school. I partied, drank, smoke yet maintained my persona. Graduated with honors, got accepted to a stellar college with scholarships, and seemed to be a young lady with a good head on her shoulders. Little did everyone know that I had a lot of baggage I was taking to college and a lot of freedom I couldn’t wait to access. Throughout college I had the Miss Independent and I’ll treat you as you treat me syndrome. I had fallen so far away from what I was taught to be or knew I was supposed to be. Now since I tasted freedom, no one could make me go to church, make me live a certain way, or force me to wear those masks that I wore for years. So I did my own thing. I chose my own way. I loved being the life of the party at EVERY PARTY, the attention from the guys, the reckless fun my friends and I had – drinking, smoking, the “who can get the most numbers at the club” games. I loved it!!! Hebrews 11:25 talks about the “fleeting pleasure of sin” and surely my fun drunken crazy nights only lasted for a season. My relational issues worsened during this time. I had always been the girl who had a big heart, I just wanted someone to love me and who I could freely give my love to. And since the men I chose and myself honestly, knew little to nothing about true love, my perception of love became tainted. Heartbreak after heartbreak, I began to give up on love and relationships. Through college, I let guys know from the door I wasn’t interested in a relationship just to be friends. Guys started to fall for me like I always had wanted them to but I was cold and wouldn’t open myself up to anyone…until HE came around. Every single standard that I thought I had seemed to just easily fade away. My friends were totally shocked- not just because I did a total 360 but it seemed as if this guy had a control over me they had never saw- and he did. We connected immediately, I loved everything about him, he made me smile, made me feel wanted, and we just got along so well. It was a quick hard fall for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this guy wasn’t completely broken up with his ex, and in the past if that was to happen the only action was to be completely done with the guy and his mess. BUT this was different, I now know this was one of the strongest soul ties that I had. This was the moment when the enemy said “this death assignment will work, I don’t have to even bother her anymore, she’s stuck!” And I was… I never played the games of back and forth with guys, but with him I did. I found myself driving hours to see him after our “break up” and in that trip an attempt for my life took place.I lost control of my week old car on Dead Man’s Curve- flipped, spun, and totaled my car yet I walked out without a scratch, not even a visit to the hospital. The paramedics and others couldn’t even believe I made it out. That’s what happens when you do what you choose to do but you don’t realize the One who chose you is preserving you. You would think that would be enough for me to leave him alone and get my life right, but it wasn’t. I continued to be with him yet give him a dose of my old cold ways. It did nothing but hurt the both of us and eventually we split. But although we weren’t together a great part of me still couldn’t get over him. We were so much alike, both used to wearing masks… he was the going to college, playing basketball looking like an ambitious driven young man who escaped the “hood life”, while all along the “hood life” just came to college with him. It didn’t matter to me though, I “loved” him…it wasn’t the money from the fast life I loved, I always expressed to him how I wanted him to stop and do things right before something happened. I knew that he had so much more potential than to live that risky life, but my pleads weren’t enough. Late one night, I received a call that he was shot and killed. I didn’t’ believe it, I told my friend to stop playing games but she wasn’t. That was a turning point for me. I never in my entire life felt so much pain, depression, torment, guilt, sadness, hurt and anger in my life. Remember I was always the one who kept good grades even through college. I began to miss class frequently, I even failed on of the biggest reports in one of my classes. I was not myself, I couldn’t eat, sleep, let alone function as normal. I felt like apart of me died when he did. In essence…. it did!

Home Sweet Home I was so lost, I didn’t know how I was going to come back from it. I couldn’t’ really understand why it affected me so greatly, especially since we were broken up. I really began to see the greatness of the soul tie I had with him. I was so gone it was like meaning and purpose of life, even though I wasn’t doing God’s purpose, was nothing to me. I just felt like I knew nothing but to sit, mourn, cry, and hurt. I just couldn’t make sense of it at all nor did I have energy to but I knew I couldn’t’ stay like this. I was in my last year of school, about to graduate I couldn’t just give up, but at the same time i didn’t know how to get better.My friends who had saw the impact this man had on me where right by my side. My one friend suggested we go to this play at Kingdom COME, I didn’t want to go, my eyes were still puffy from non-stop crying (and this was weeks after the fact) but I went. That day I rededicated my life to Christ, I realized that after all these years of running, making my own choices, that I had no other choice.If I didn’t choose Christ today, I had no clue how I would get by tomorrow. From this day, one of my favorite quotes became – “ Once you have exerted all your resources, tried all that you possibly can – try Jesus!! You have nothing to lose..but the truth is you don’t realize how much you have to gain!” I began to start going back to church, ending relationships that weren’t profitable for me, explain to my friends how I will always love them but I had to stop clubbing, dating, drinking, smoking, etc. Its difficult leaving behind the things you get accustomed to doing and pick up something new and totally opposite of what you’re used to, but it was imperative for me not to look back. I began to return back to some of the joys I found when I was growing up and saved back in high school. I began to study my word more, attend church and even become involved in church activities. I pretty much immersed myself so deeply into church so I wouldn’t be distracted by anything else. It worked for the most part. I began to learn and grow at my church home. I was taught how to live right as a Christian : holiness, value, standards, faith, obedience, love, service, dedication, and more. Not just learning these things, but practicing and applying them to my daily life finally lead me home, back to my first love, and my relationship was restored and rekindled with Christ.

Royal Inheritance-Living Handpicked I don’t want anyone to think it was just a walk in the park, once I rededicated my life to Christ. I went through many struggles and hard times. But every struggle and hard time looked and felt different, somehow it all seemed to make me better. I got into one relationship with a guy once I got saved again and to the natural eye how it ended was foul and disrespectful causing total heartbreak, but today I stand saying if it wasn’t for that relationship breaking down the very essence of who I thought I was, God wouldn’t have been able to build my character into the woman I am today. Many of the issuing arising within my family and friends whether it was in their personal lives or our relationships, all taught me how to pray and intercede for those you love- no matter what the circumstances have faith in what God can do for them. My family drove me to be the prayer warrior that I am today. All the experiences I had when I was making my own choices, gave me a heart to reach out to others who were “doing their own thing”, to expose the corrupt plan the enemy has for their lives- to mask sin as temporal pleasure which only kills you slowly. As I grew in my relationship with Christ, He continually showed me His goodness and blessings over my life but in one particular area I’ll never forget. It’s moments like these in which you realized you’re handpicked to share the goodness of God. You may remember me saying earlier how my father wasn’t around much in my growing years and I was practically raised by my precious strong mother. Because I grew up in the church I knew how to pray and from as long as I can remember I prayed for my Dad, that God would save him and we would have a real relationship. My dad was around in my life, but it wasn’t his money I wanted, I didn’t want him to bring me around the family, or take me here or there because I needed to go, I just wanted HIM. I was always scared to tell him because sometimes when you tell people what you want from them, they think they’re already giving you that and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings- so I prayed. Well over time I begin to see my prayers answered. My dad and I developed a relationship as I developed a relationship with my Heavenly Father. God didn’t only answer my prayer to save my Dad and restore our relationship, but He used me to minister to my Dad. My life devoted to Christ has heavily influenced my faith filled father. Now I not only have my Heavenly Father pouring worth and value into me but my Dad as well, giving confirmation to all I know God has in store for me. Handpicked moments come when you know there’s something greater than you working on your behalf…there’s an conductor that has been orchestrating the music of your life all these years…an artist behind the beautiful masterpiece you’ve become. I now realized that although I made my choices, God had already chose me and ordained me to do His work. In my rebellion, He never gave up on me because He knew I was His and would use all my experiences to bring Him glory…to let others know that they too are HANDPICKED.