Father/Daughter, Mother/Daughter, Self-Worth

Princess Status

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 NIV

My husband and I were working on a project the other day – my daughter’s chandelier for her room. The reason why I wanted to go through the trouble of refinishing an old beat up chandelier to hang in a 6 year old’s room, was beyond his care for understanding. See, I have a princess, I actually have two. And while a decorated chandelier has absolutely nothing to do with their princess status, they have connection as an heir to the throne of God. So, I kind of like to play up that Princess theme, or maybe I am just addicted to Pinterest, but whatever.

Princess_crownAs I thought about my daughters’ princess status I was reminded of a comment one of my past boyfriends told me. We were leaving for our first date and my Mom yelled out the door, “Now you take care of my princess.” When we got in his car he immediately said or should I say smirked, “I can’t believe your Mom referred to you as a princess. What is she trying to do, set you up on a pedestal?” I should have ran right then (insert chuckle here); but, I didn’t. It was obvious he didn’t understand my worth. However, I facetiously stung back with a “you better recognize” type of response. As I played this scene through my mind the Lord said, “Make sure you teach your daughters that if a young man doesn’t have the potential to elevate them to a Queen, then he has no business dealing with them while they’re a princess.” Wow! I could not believe my ears. I immediately ran to my note pad to right that down!

IF HE CAN’T PROMOTE YOU TO A QUEEN, THEN HE HAS NO BUSINESS DEALING WITH A PRINCESS!!

I had to share this message. Not just for fellow mothers of girls, but to the princesses all over the world! For some reason (and it’s a good thing) girls get “goo goo” eyed for boys and then men, in the natural order of things. But we have to learn how to filter and discern the attributes of future Kings (or current ones depending on the stage in life when you meet him). The only way to discern this type of man is by hiding yourself in the bosom of God. God tells us in Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.” Therefore, we can gauge if the boyfriends and men in our lives are good by the steps they take. His actions (and ours) should be humble, gentle, with patience, and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). It is stated, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25 KJV We can gauge someone’s love for us by what they give, and I don’t mean the material things. I’m referring to time, honor, patience, a listening ear, encouragement, and so on. Is what he’s giving you enhancing you?

My message here, is that you are a Princess in the Kingdom of God. You are an heir to the throne. One who has potential to have worth far more than rubies, lacking nothing in value. You are a prized possession, thus why the Lord is jealous for you.

It’s interesting that God shared this “topic” with me because just the other day a few co-workers and I (don’t ask how we ended up here) were laughing at the names our mothers taught us to refer to our “golden gates” if you know what I mean. To my hysterical surprise, my mother’s term for it was a tad raunchy, I learned from sharing it with my girlfriends. So I adopted a new term, “clam shell”. Why do I like that term? Not only is it cute and can be clamped down (smile), freshwater clams produce natural pearls that are rare. Regular pearls are formed in oysters. In order to find a clam with a pearl, one must dig beneath the surface to find it. I heard a quote once that stated, “A women should be so embedded in the Word of God that the man designed for her must seek God first in order to find her.” So ladies and daughters, “Don’t waste what is Holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Matthew 7:6 NLT.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the gift of being a Mother. Whether by birth or by other means, You have given us the gift of molding the lives of younger girls and women. Lord I ask that You teach every girl that she is Your Princess and every woman waiting on her King (whether by marriage or waiting the realization that you are her King) that she is your Lady in Waiting. Lord may You cover her with a double portion of Your grace and anointing to stay fixed on you and satisfied; mentally, spiritually, and physically. Lord may You give all of us women, young and old, the knowledge that we were made fearfully; that our hair is designed as the crown You’ve place on our heads; our lips speak life and honey; our breasts are the very bosom in which we cultivate and nourish those gifts You give us; our wombs are designed to birth wisdom, power, and reflections of Your image; and that our stature is that of what You call woman, a prized possession, that You hold dear only giving over to those with blessed hands. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to act like a princess, an heir to the Kingdom of God. We are ALL God’s Princesses because our ultimate Daddy is the King of all Kings. And because of that, we remain safe in Him and our paths will remain straight.

How do you disconnect from those who don’t treat you like the Princess/Queen that they should?

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.

Grandparents, Inspirational, Righteousness

Get Your Shine On!

When my grandmother turned 80, it seemed as though every moment with her seemed to be more precious and valuable. Now at 85, whenever I call her, I look forward to just hearing her voice. Although I know she will be doing the same thing; sitting at her table; looking out of her window; watching TV, and telling her young neighbors how to live their lives, I enjoy our sweet conversations. The other day she said something to me that was so powerful, yet so succinct, it resonated with me. As the casual conversation started, about the salmon she was cooking, I proceeded to tell her why I hadn’t called in a few days. I was so busy with my girls that my only time to talk was early in the morning and I didn’t want to wake her. After she kindly reminded me that she is always up “fo day” (before day), she said;

“Baby, if the sun is shining, I’m gone shine with it.”

Those words were so powerful to me because they eliminated any possible reason you would have to complain, to look on the dim side of things, to develop excuses as to why things are the way they are, or to walk around frowning in the midst of the beautiful day that God granted us.

Jesus reminds us, “ You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

So, get your shine on. Don’t allow your circumstances to define your attitude!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a light in me. It is my prayer that this light shines bright. May it shine so bright that any darkness near or around me is consumed. Lord help me to be so full of light that I spill over into my environment and encourage every situation I face and that every person I am around is influenced by this light. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Many of us face dark situations every day at home, work, on phone conversations, or via social networks; but, I EMPOWER you to put your light on a stand. Stand boldly in the midst of darkness and shine the light that God has placed in you. When you wake in the mornings, I EMPOWER you to decide at that moment, that you are going to get your shine on, no matter what!

If this word has encouraged you, are you committed to getting your shine on?

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.

Family, Fasting, Health/Sickness, Mental Illness, Mother/Daughter, Prayer, Testimony Series

My Testimony: Standing in the Gap

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

As I was listening to the conversation on the other end of the phone, I could barely take in what the social worker was telling me. She wasn’t walking. She wasn’t talking and needed assistance using the restroom. Many times, she would not make it. A few days later, the news came that she was in the hospital undergoing a battery of tests but the doctors were coming up with nothing. What happened to cause such a rapid decline in my mother’s health? The doctors chalked it up to severe depression. Nearly a thousand miles away, I felt hopeless and helpless. I prayed about it but it seemed as if things weren’t changing.

Although I wanted to get home, I didn’t have the finances for an emergency trip. I wanted someone I could trust to tell me that my mom was going to be okay. Thank God for the angels He placed in my life in the form of friends. One of my friends went to visit my mom in the hospital and gave me a good report. Before I knew it a few of my close friends pooled together the resources to make the trip home possible. My mom was released from the hospital because they couldn’t find a diagnosis but she reverted to being mute and didn’t have activity in any of her limbs. The thought of seeing my mom like that was heartbreaking. I wanted to do something.

Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17: 15-16, 21 KJV) I knew exactly what I needed to do. My mother needed someone to stand in the gap for her.

I studied Esther. When Haman sought to destroy the Jews, Esther’s uncle Mordecai told her that she had to do something to save her people or that she might perish along with them. Her answer was for her and all of the Jews to fast and pray. She too had to stand in the gap. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.  (Esther 4:14-16 KJV)

Like Esther, I needed God to change the situation around. I fasted for three days and nights without eating or drinking. I continued my daily routine of going to work but came home and prayed feverishly for God to heal my mother of whatever was ailing her. I found myself laying in the middle of the floor crying out to God on her behalf. I flew home later that week not knowing what to expect.

At first, my mom would only say one or two words and was confined to a wheel chair. By the second day, not only was she walking but she also got out of the wheelchair using only a walker as her guide. By the time the week was over, mom was back to her normal self. She had pushed the walker to the side and was walking completely on her own, taking herself to the restroom and functioning, as she should. I know that it was God who answered my prayers. Since that episode last spring, she has not depended on a wheelchair or a walker. Without God’s grace, this story could have ended completely different. I am thankful that He gave me the willpower to stand in the gap for her.

Dear Daddy,

Your word is true and fails us not. Thank You for healing my mother and providing me with the will to intercede on her behalf. Lord, I am grateful for the friends that You have blessed me with that don’t mind praying and giving out of the abundance of their hearts. Lord, I ask for a special blessing over their lives. With You nothing is impossible. I am forever grateful for Your love and the miracles that You perform. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to stand in the gap for someone else. Are you believing in God for someone’s deliverance or healing? To get something different, you may have to do something different.  Remember, there are some things that come only by prayer AND fasting.  Consult the Lord and do His will. Remember, you don’t have to do anything in your own strength, for His grace is sufficient and powerful enough to help you stand in the gap. 

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.

Anxiety, Father/Daughter, God's Protection, Pain, Stress, Trials, Worry

Daddy!

Daddy!!! A bone chilling scream reverberated throughout my room.  My sister who was visiting me on vacation awoke from her sleep and screamed out for our father.  My sister went on to explain that she was having a bad dream where an insect attacked her son, and she screamed for her daddy to save him.  My father was right there, but could not save her son. Last night I found myself involved in a similar situation where in my dreams I was screaming out for my daddy. I was being attacked by a group of men that were attempting to rape me. I could see my father but he could not save me.

This sequence of dreams made me think about how many times we have screamed out for our Daddy in the heavens to save us, but He could not.  Not that He is unable, because our God is capable of all things, but because it may be something that we are are going through that is necessary.  How do we react to our outcry for help when it goes unanswered?  “They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the LORD, but he refused to answer.” (2 Samuel 22:42 NIV)

I evaluated the many times in my life that I have called on the Lord to rescue me from a particular situation only to realize that if He would have saved me there was a lesson that I may not have learned.  I have currently been going through a difficult time in my life with confronting frustrations, stress, uncertainty, and feeling overwhelmed. I went to church, fasted, read my Bible (a little bit), and was an avid tither. So where was the help I needed for peace of mind “As for me, I look to the LORD for help? I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear.” (Micah 7:7 NIV)

I was confident my Daddy heard my cry, so why oh Lord have I not felt any different? Frustrations continued to rise, stress gradually mounted and it seemed the only thing certain was my uncertainty.  I had to realize that just because God did not save me the way I think I should have been saved does not mean that He is not a present force in my life.  I cried out for my biological father to save me from being attacked because I could see him.  However, I have to call on my spiritual father to save me from these unseen attacks by the enemy!

Dear Daddy,

Please continue to save me from all the attacks from the enemy that I can see, and those that I cannot.  Give me an understanding heart to allow me to realize when I do not need to be saved through certain situations but learn how to go through them.  Thank You Daddy for blessing me even when I am close to giving up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to press on despite the way things look.  Your current pain will NOT compare to the magnitude of blessings that are around the corner.  Continue to call on Him and trust that He hears every word but the trial is a must!   

How do you remain encouraged even when it seems that God is not answering?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Delayed Not Denied!

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Family, Gentleness, Hospitality, Kindness, Relationships

Welcome

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:17-20 NIV)

Two weeks ago, my household changed.

As I held my now 3-month old nephew (too adorable!) for the first time, I watched as my younger sister and her friends loaded one big garbage bag of “stuff” after the next into my living room. It was so much stuff that I felt overwhelmed for a second, but it quickly passed away as I looked on the ones I loved. Reality set in, my sister and two nephews were moving in.

My family and I had been praying and preparing for this as best as we could ever since we found out that my sister wanted to move back to Illinois. She was living two or three hours away in another state but because of certain circumstances, she decided it was best to move back home. “I’m up here basically by myself,” she said. The family members (on her father’s side) who were up there with her were now incarcerated. Additionally, three months before she gave birth to my new nephew, she experienced such tragedy. She received a call that her boyfriend was shot. He, a well-known tattoo artist and in the midst of getting his life back on track, was robbed, stripped of even his clothes and shoes, and fatally shot in his head. He was murdered senselessly, never getting a chance to see his unborn son. I couldn’t imagine the pain my sister must have been experiencing. Yet my family and I have tried our best to help her cope. One thing that is certain is that God is a comforter and a healer, and I trust that He will continue to administer healing to my sister and this young man’s sons who have to grow up without their dad.

So when my sister expressed moving back home, I understood why and the season. The rest of the family and I welcomed her and my nephews with open arms. Now it isn’t peaches and cream or all gravy over here all the time but we are managing and maintaining our family and household. We have had to make some adjustments but I believe my sister has settled in nicely. I have realized that in this season I will get to see my nephews more, help my sister and also share God’s love and Word with her and my nephews. Mostly every night I have my 3-year-old nephew pray with me before bedtime. This is a treasured moment and a chance to emphasize the importance of prayer even at an early age. Yesterday I didn’t even have to say let’s pray, he asked on his own (smile).

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for welcoming me into Your kingdom with open arms and eternal kisses. I thank You for being such a great Father and supplying me with Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your daily mercies and not turning me away when I came home. I also thank You for expressing Your love through me and to me. I thank You for being the Comforter and a healer also. I love that even during difficult times, You can use our experiences for our good and bring life and blessings our way in the midst of it all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to embrace seasons and others. Embrace all seasons that come your way by rejoicing and remembering God is in control. Open up your heart, forgive and embrace others with the love of God. We should be compassionate like the man who welcomed his son back and love on our family, friends, the fatherless, the hurting, and even those deemed “hard to love” even if they have strayed. We should not say “I told you so” or hold record of wrongdoing. We should also pray continually for repentant and humbled hearts as God opens the door for many to come into His eternal kingdom.

Has God told you to roll out the welcome mat for someone or has someone done it for you? How have you used this experience to show God’s love?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: For the LOVE of Family…

TODAY is the last day to support EmpowerMoments in the Black Weblog Awards. Click here to vote!

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Family, Friendships, Growth/Maturity, Leadership, Relationships

Throwback Thursday: I Believe in Vampires

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on July 13, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Not the kind that wear capes, have sharp fangs and only come out at night but the ones that you talk to every day, have dinner with you and share some of your deepest thoughts.

One day as I was strolling through “La La” land thanking God for the restoration of a family relationship, I became prey for a vampire. I received a phone call from this same family member that started off really nice but before you know it I was in a full blown shouting match. I hung up without ending the conversation and felt dazed and confused about what had just happened. I had a good “ugly” cry about it before I realized that their issue was not “my” issue and that they had sank their fangs into me, relieved me of all of my good energy and went on about their merry way.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)

Vampires are mythical creatures that live by feeding on other living beings. After they feed on other living beings, they are refreshed and restored. I am sure if you scroll through the Rolodex of your mind, you know a few vampires too. Their approach may be different but the end result is always the same. Every time you talk to a certain person, you may never get into a disagreement but by the time the conversation ends, you feel drained. Sometimes it’s the mere “dumping” of their problems that you aren’t mentally capable of handling. You end up feeling empty and exhausted while they proceed feeling reenergized, refocused and refreshed. That vampire just received a “job well done.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Most vampires are able to get to you because you have the guard down around your heart. We must protect our heart at all times because our life flows from it. No one can get to our hearts like “good friends and family”…the people we love dearly. After that phone call, I began to take inventory of all of the vampires in my life. Some of them will always be in my life because they are family, so instead of running for the garlic, I am learning how to deal with them and you should too:

  • Return Policy – Give people back their stuff! You need to return all issues that do not belong to you. No longer allow people to make their issue your issue. Hold people accountable and make them take ownership of their stuff.
  • Set Boundaries – This can be hard to do but you have to set boundaries with people. Sometimes you have to change the way that you allow them to communicate with you as well as the frequency of communication.
  • Don’t Dump On Me – Everyday can’t be trash day. There are times when our own lives are in a tailspin and we emotionally can’t take on anyone else’s garbage.
  • Don’t Give Them Power – Stop engaging them. Just cut the conversation short. “You know what, right now I really don’t have the time to talk about this. I will talk to you later.” At this point trying to get them to understand your view isn’t important, just cut the power cord.
  • Be Aware! – Ask God for discernment so that you can see people who were sent to you because you can help them vs. those who really don’t want help. They just want to drain you.
  • Be Ready! – When vampires attack you, Be Ready!  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11 KJV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your protection and Your love! Help me to recognize the vampires in my life and show me how to best deal with them. When I leave my guard down and come under attack, restore me immediately and remind me that these people only come to take me off of my heavenly purpose. Remove those people from my life whose sole mission is to feed off of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

Today, I EMPOWER you to take inventory of the vampires in your life and really think about how you are going to deal with each of them. Guard your heart and don’t allow them to drain you of your energy and your time.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Who’s Changing Your Thermostat?

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 BlackWeBlog Awards!
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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Attitude, Back To School Series, Direction/Guidance, Evangelism, Grandparents, Growth/Maturity, Mentor/Mentee, Obedience, Sin, Submission/Surrendering

Back to School: Rebel Without A Cause

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.  Read each day as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

Growing up I was a bit more than your average “church girl”: Sunday – Regular Service, Tuesday- Choir Practice, Wednesday- Bible Study, Thursday- Prayer Meeting, Friday – Teen Ministry, Saturday- Junior Usher Board Meeting. I could quote scripture all day and was known as the over achiever in Sunday School. I wasn’t a member of just any church. I was a member of an Apostolic (Pentecostal) church; one that had many rules and standards: zero makeup, no jewelry, and no pants for women. While I was in elementary and middle school these things were okay for me. Sure I was teased about always being in church and the fact that I never wore pants, but I believed wholeheartedly in what I was doing. Furthermore, my grandmother made me and there was no questioning of her rules.

Then came the summer of transition. I was a 14-year-old bona fide teenager and headed for high school. I started “smelling myself” and questioning this strict regimen. I began secretly changing clothes when I left home so that I could wear pants and even got some lipstick. Boys entered the picture and the late nights began. My attitude completely changed and I became resentful of the life that I was forced to live. See I grew up in the house with older brothers and male cousins and they weren’t subjected to this harsh life, so one day I decided no more. My grandmother came to wake me up for church and I responded with a loud, “I’M NOT GOING!” The blow up was big and I defiantly stood my ground letting her know that no switch, belt or any other form of correction was going to change my mind. (Of course I said all of this after being chased out of the house to the front yard.) Eventually, she decided to let it go and this was the beginning of my “emancipation” from church slavery into the street life and academic failure.

And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (Luke 15:11-13 KJV)

Thus began my journey as the Prodigal Daughter. At the young age of 14, I made a decision to stop making church a regular part of my life and dropped all of the strict standards that I was beholden to. I began to hang out until 3:00am, go to the nightclubs and started drinking. Although I would hang out with guys, I would not have sex and I would never smoke marijuana. For some reason in all of my rebellion those things were off limits. In my own mind, my behavior was okay because this is what my brothers did, I was staying out of “real” trouble and I wasn’t pregnant. My first semester in high school was the pits. I loved school and was quite studious; however, I kept getting in minor trouble that came with major consequences. Tardies to class (from staying out late) landed me in the Student Adjustment Program (SAP). SAP was like in school suspension but this is where “bad” kids were sent: fighters, people who disrespected teachers, and low performers. This was not my crowd. I was in Honors classes and participated in extracurricular activities even with my wild ways so how did I end up there? Originally I was sent for 3 days but then I got in trouble while in the program and landed an extra 40 days. WHAT?!! I got out of the program and was sent back AGAIN. It was difficult to keep up with my class work especially since this high school material was so new. I received my first set of BAD grades. To this day I never forget those grades because they made the difference in me graduating in the top ten in my class and coming in at #13. I felt like I was stuck in a downward spiral but at the same time I was hesitant to give up my new life.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)

One day I overheard my grandmother mentioning to someone that she was contemplating sending me to reform school. Wait a minute! In my eyes reform school meant jail and I, my friends, was not jail material! It was as if a light bulb went off. God showed me how my rebellious living could shape the path of my life. I thought about my brothers, who unfortunately had served time in the juvenile detention center and jail, and I was determined that would not be my life. I was in the valley of decision regarding my life. I could learn the lessons from them without experiencing the path they were on.

While it would be years before I became a regular attendee at church and I never quite went back to the strict religious standards, I picked my Bible back up and began to study His word. I practiced self-discipline. I dove into my schoolwork, got heavily involved in school and community activities where I could make a real difference and joined athletic teams. That experience my freshman year in high school shaped so many others. It helped me avoid situations later in life. I was determined that I would not be a failure and disappoint the woman who worked so hard to provide for me or my heavenly Father who protected me while I was in the streets. I would no longer be a “rebel without a cause.”

Dear Daddy,

I am sorry that my rebellious living brought so much pain to those who gave their all to support me.  Thank You for saving me from myself. If it wasn’t for Your mercy and Your grace I would not be the person I am today. Lord, I am grateful for the training that I received as a child, the mentors that You sent me and the epiphany You gave me regarding my life. God, I ask that You help me share my story and be a beacon of light for other young women. Thank You for taking the time to come after this one lost sheep. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to look back over your journey and be grateful that you are not where you could have been. If you are on a path that leads to destruction, I urge you to consider your ways and ask God to reveal the best path for your life. Lastly, I want you to think about one young woman that you know who could use your guidance. Make a decision today to get involved and be a beacon of light for her. 

As you look back over your life, were you ever a rebel without a cause? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  The Night We Almost Died

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”