Courage, Death, Gifts/Talents, Health/Sickness, Obedience, Purpose

My Testimony: She Shifted

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!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

When I found out about our Testimony Series, I started thinking to myself, I don’t really have one. God has me in the season of planting and rebuilding, so breakthroughs and the fruits of this season have yet to sprout. But God kept dealing with me to write about the one thing I don’t want to write about — my Aunt’s death and how it became a testimony in my life. I don’t want to talk about it because it is still too fresh, I am still in denial, and I feel guilty for grieving so hard when I know my cousins are grieving harder. But “to obey is better than sacrifice”. (I Samuel 15:22 NKJV) I am a witness that God can use your gift to bless you.

Around the fourth of December I received a call from my Dad that my Aunt had a stroke, was unconscious, and on a ventilator at the hospital. I was so distraught, yet strangely peaceful at the same time. I was almost mad at myself for having that type of peace. My Auntie was a firecracker. She loved hard, fought hard, talked hard, worked hard, everything she did was 1000%, from her love to her anger. She was so authentic. She understood my “not so saint-like” moments. I told her secrets that I was embarrassed to tell others and she would talk me through them telling me what I was going to do!

About two or three years ago I noticed my Auntie started acting different. She started talking about the Lord more. I noticed a Shift. She shifted into a woman who became verbally expressive of God’s goodness. As the year progressed her Shift became more evident.

As God would have it, I had to travel to Atlanta for work the week she was in the hospital. As soon as my plane hit the ground I rushed to the hospital to see her. I wanted to keep ignoring the voices in my head that she wasn’t going to make it. But I knew what God sounded like; I was in denial. On the drive there I was in a fog. God kept talking to me about my Auntie’s life and how she Shifted. She became the woman He wanted her to be and her time to celebrate with Him had come. At first I was angry because I felt He took her before she could enjoy more of the prosperity that comes with submitting to God’s will here on Earth. I wanted her to experience more of that, but God continued to confirm to me that she had Shifted, and now it was her time.

He also said to me in the car that it was time that I Shift. It was time for me to Shift into the boldness of the call of ministry He placed on my life. I didn’t want it. My words to Him were, “God I don’t read my Bible enough. I don’t pray enough. I’m not obedient enough. I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough.” Seeming as though He totally ignored me, He began to give me orders about how He was going to confirm the power He had placed in me, through her. He said these exact words, “When you touch her, she is going to Shift, and then you will know.” I’m thinking to myself, yeah right God.

See, for the past few years I have doubted my gift. I was never sure if I was acting out of emotion or if it truly was God. He said, “Today is the day I will confirm it for you.”

I arrived at the hospital and saw my Aunt on life support. My first thought was, “Lord, I’m definitely NOT going to touch her, I might break something or hurt her. You are going to have to literally move my hand; I don’t even know where to place it!” My Dad was in there with me and he started rubbing her arm as he and I were casually talking. I heard God say, “Your turn.” I responded, “You gotta do it; I might break something. You will have to take over; I just can’t.” We waited and chatted some more and lo’ and behold I found myself caressing her arm, relishing in her warm soft skin that I always remembered. I began to think that I was hallucinating because her machines started acting weird. My Dad screamed, “What happened, did you see that?” I froze and stood there and watched her vital signs rise and her eyes flutter and open. I almost fell on the floor but my legs were stuck. God spoke and said, “See, just as she Shifted in her life, it is now time for you to Shift and operate in the gift; I put it in you.”

My Aunt died that next morning and I would be lying if I said that I was ok with that. I really wish that her movements weren’t reflexes and that she was in recovery right now, but God already confirmed that the “strange thing” that was going to happen wasn’t to bring her back to us. Rather, it was to use her to confirm His power, that I really do know His voice and should now walk in boldness operating in my gift.

Dear Daddy,

Over and over again You show Your power, Your majesty, Your glory, and Your omniscience. I am grateful that my Aunt received Your gift of salvation before she died and that I was able to experience her Shift into the Woman of God You were molding all along. God, it is my prayer that just as You held my hand and guided me to the brink of my Shift, that You do the same for my Sister in Christ reading this EmpowerMoment. Lord, it is my desire that You confirm in her Spirit the direction You will have for her to go and the confidence she needs to get there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to Shift. It is time to put old things away and Shift into a life of obedience with God. Is it time for you to Shift into a new dimension or to Shift some things around? I’ve Shifted to walking boldly in my gift from God. I’m a tad scared at times, but I’m dedicated to learning, refining, growing, and understanding more and more about this gift He has trusted me with. I EMPOWER you to seek your heart and your ways and Shift where God says so.

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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.

Encouragement, Faith, Motivation, Preparation, Procrastination, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

My Life Will Never Be the Same!

I am guilty of always saying,“In my season my ministry will grow. In my season the calling that God has on my life will manifest. When God is ready for me to move out of my comfort zone, He will move me.”  This past weekend I attended a women’s conference and received confirmation that my time is now. The minister was laying hands and people were worshipping and praising God. I was paying attention but my prayer from the beginning was, “After this conference, my life will never be the same; my prayer life will never be the same; my relationship with God will never be the same and my marriage will never be the same.” I am convinced that my prayer was answered and my life will never be the same. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

I know you are wondering how I know that my life will never be the same. Well, I am happy you asked. It will never be the same because there was a shift in the atmosphere. God spoke to me and told me that my time is now. While I thought that I had been waiting on God, He has been waiting on me. I have been wondering what was taking so long. God, I know your voice. I read and understand Your Word; I pray and pay my tithes. Why haven’t I moved to the next level in ministry, on my job, in my marriage or simply as a person?

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:30 NKJV)

I was praying and having other people pray for my increase and all the time God was waiting on me to walk into my season. God has created the plan for my life yet I was trying to create my own blueprint.  I learned if I line up my life with God’s plan, everything will fall into place. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1: 5 NIV)

At the conference I realized that I need to do what is right and stop compromising my relationship with God for relationships with “friends” and family. If people don’t respect the calling on my life then they are not part of God’s plan for my life. I know it may sound like common sense but a very dear friend of mine once told me that common sense is not so common! I didn’t realize that I was too busy waiting on people to tell me that “I have a special calling on my life or I am anointed or my latter is going to be better than my beginning.” God was waiting on me to just trust solely in Him and realize He is all the confirmation I need.

I often don’t give myself enough credit about things that I do. This is a form of low self-esteem. I really didn’t realize that I had low self-esteem and my faith was waveringBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11: 6 NKJV) I didn’t realize my confidence level in my ability to speak God’s Word was holding me up. I have been holding myself up all this time…However, after this weekend my life will never be the same!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for changing my life. I thank You for Your patience, kindness, grace and mercy! Thank You for opening my eyes and allowing me to see that I was holding up my progress. I thank You God for showing me that my time is now and this is my season. God, I pray that You continue to open my eyes to diligently seek You. I pray that You continue to show me Your will and Your way for my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to stop holding up your progress. If you think you are waiting on God, He may be waiting on you. Do not let your life pass you by and all the blessings that He has for you because you are unsure if it is your time. It does not matter what your gift is. If God called you, He qualified you. I EMPOWER you to believe that your time is now. I EMPOWER you to believe and have faith that your season is starting right now and your life will never be the same!

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations and Proverbs 29:18 –  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.