Family, Grandparents, Self Forgiveness, Sin

Her Future Has A Past

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Talking to my grandmother is one of the highlights of my week. I know her as Madea and love her very dearly; after all, she raised me and shaped me into the person that many of you know today. She taught me how to cook, survive, be a lady and to guard my “reputation.” We had our rough patches when I went through my VERY rebellious stage (another blog) and there were times when I disappointed her with my actions. She loved me still.

My Madea

To me, my grandmother was close to an angel and it drove me bananas whenever I heard anyone try to talk down about her, even if it was my mother. She is a God-fearing, religious, deeply spiritual woman who has a tremendous amount of faith. I remember when she came outside with the holy oil to anoint my car after I first bought it. 🙂  She has raised at some point the majority of her 23 grandchildren and her house is a regular drop off spot for the pack of great-grands.  We, the grandchildren, recognize that our Madea has her ways but we still would trade nothing for her. She makes us birthday cakes and gives her last to support us. I grew up watching her sacrifice so that we could have the basics and even a little more. She is the quintessential grandmother!

Unfortunately, the lady that I know and the woman that her children and older people from around town know are NOT the same. You see, some time before I made my grand entrance into the world and when I was too young to remember, Sallie Pearl was a DRUNK and a chain SMOKER. She was known for her alcoholism and her addiction to nicotine. I even have an aunt who was born so small that she could fit in a cigar box, as a result of her addictions. Her six children lived with her and various relatives as they were growing up and the majority became teenage moms. Her husband, my grandfather, was the same. We never met because he died from cirrhosis of the liver as a result of his alcohol consumption. It’s hard for me to imagine all of this because this woman that I hear stories about is just not the woman I know.

“…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”( Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

Her road to forgiveness with her children was not easy but I thank God for the twins, Grace and Mercy. My grandmother tells me that when she got saved she asked God to remove the taste of cigarettes and alcohol from her and just like that He did. No special pills, patches or miracle drugs – just a simple prayer. She has been sober and smoke free since 1986.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Though many love to bring up who she WAS, Madea’s past was the prologue to her future. After she stopped dating Jesus and began having a relationship with Him, she put down the bottle and picked up the Bible. He used her to take care of her grandchildren when our mother(s) became ill or were no longer able to. He used her to give us a strong foundation in Jesus and He has used her to touch other people’s lives through her acts of kindness and generosity.

Like my grandmother, many of us have pasts that are filled with things that are often times to shameful to talk about BUT God can and will use you too. As the saying goes, God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. You don’t have to believe me, in your quiet time check out His word:

  • Jacob was a LIAR–  Genesis 27:19
  • Rahab was a PROSTITUTE –  Joshua 2:1
  • David had an AFFAIR and was a MURDERER 2 Samuel 11:3-27
  • Jonah RAN from God (Read the entire book)
  • Peter DENIED Christ Matthew 26: 69-70
  • Lazarus was DEAD John 11

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for showing us forgiveness and blessing us with grace and mercy. For the person reading this now, I ask God that You remove ANY doubt that they may have about their future. Let this EmpowerMoment reach them so that they will know that even they can be used for Your purpose. There is no sin too great that Your Love for us has not covered. Let us not run from Your calling but run to it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to walk boldly into your future. Despite what you may have done, who you may have been or what you didn’t do when you should have done it, know that your past was only a stepping stone to get you to the place where God has called you. Know that He predestined your past and your future. He has great expectations of you because He has already equipped you.

Create your fall haiku for our monthly contest. Click here for more details.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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!

Create your fall haiku for our monthly contest. Click here for more details.

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.