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What an opportune time to give a Christian testimony away from my usual musings of writing, web design and development! I am always excited to share my experiences with the gospel and how real God is in my life.
I always wanted a little girl. I can’t really tell you when this desire hit, but if I have to pinpoint a time it would be somewhere in my mid-twenties. I tried once in a failed relationship (which I take full responsibilities because I believe God showed me the signs; I ignored them) and bore my first son, Asher.
I gave my life over to the Lord and received a wife whom I prayed for, but had to learn how to connect with her His way. With my wife, I now have two children: Quincy and Diana. When I look back at all three births, there are some glaring disparities between the relationship birth by my own hands, and the one the Lord Jesus put together.
A Heart of Darkness…Without Joseph Conrad
My first relationship was led by my heart. And at the time, my heart was a home to lust for sexual satisfaction. I remember it vividly; I was invited to my son’s mother’s house the next day after meeting her for the first time at a none-of-your-business location. We hit it off well: she was an attractive black women with children from a prior relationship. And I was a devil creating the illusion of an attractive, professional man who actually cared about her life and personality.
I cared, but it wasn’t for those things.
On my to her house, hoping for nookie, my conscience materialize a hand to raise a red flag. As I write this, looking back on that singular moment, I distinctly remember a vocal feeling telling me, “Don’t go over to her house! Do not have sex with her!” I felt as if I was having this heated argument in my head…to the extreme of physically getting a headache.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. –Proverbs 3:5
Yet like all men in lust and leaning to their own understanding, I gleefully quenched that spirit. I had a response of my own: “F*** you. I’m about to get some *****!” (you, the reader, use your imagination to unveil the asteriks. When you’re a sinner, you can talk to God like this. I did.) And that was the end of the argument.
After that first night, there were many more nights like this, and as a result, we had my first son. Let me be very honest about this situation…I professed to her I wanted her to have my child. Asher wasn’t an accident. He was very much in MY plan, though I was shooting for a girl.
And as the joke goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Well this wasn’t funny to God or myself. I was deliberately being disobedient to His voice; critically at a time I now know He was trying to protect and guide me. I’m confident that was Him raising the red flag.
Because Asher was my plan, I struggled a lot financially. Soon his mother and I separated because I continued to my follow my heart. And what was my heart filled with? Yeah, you guessed it.
A PRN God…Especially When You’re Broke
In a way, I believe our actions express, “God I don’t need you except in emergency situations.” I had a good job at the time and made enough money providing my newborn son with the basic needs…however, *cough* I soon found myself struggling to survive as a single man. And consistent purchases of Similac was becoming super expensive.
I coached myself into believing, “As long as my basic needs are met, I’m good.” I underestimated this sort of self-talk because I soon found myself becoming complacent and didn’t know it. I lost desire to improve and subconsciously accepted the idea that struggling to survive is how life is supposed to be. I would carry this mentality into my marriage which proved to be a detriment with a woman whose heart was with the Lord and knew her value.
When my Ex and I did a homemade divorce, I agreed to give her a fair sum of money so we wouldn’t have to settle in court for child support. The agreement lasted until I got married and that’s when things started to get real.
The Transition to a Transformation
When I finally decided to stop following my oh so dark heart, I submitted my will to God. Contrary to incorrect belief, God doesn’t just force His will on us. I read the scripture, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” So I handed over my free will. And God came through.
The Lord has my heart now. And to be honest, it’s a daily progression giving Him my whole heart. It has been some times and situations where it feel like I am better off doing my own thang instead of this Christian thing.
But I strive not to succumb to those feelings. The apostle Paul says, “I die daily”(1 Cor. 15:31); obviously this isn’t a physical death, but one where a piece of sinful nature peels off so “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”(1 Peter 3:4) can be seen.
With both of my children, Quincy and Diana, we were always in a financial transition. I didn’t have the luxury of claiming, “I have a great job and earn a nice little bit of change. I’m good.” I am no longer my own resource. I forfeited that right for good reason, not a regretful one even when times are hard. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:19). I started believing this.
The Cost of Similac Pales in Comparison to the Price of Christ
When you have been dependent on yourself for so long, you may enter into an “identity crisis” unsure of your role or at odds with who is running things. In my Christian testimony as a man, when I decided to make Jesus Christ the head of my life as Lord, it should have been clear from the beginning who was now taking lead.
“I’m doing me” is no longer and option and for myself; it was a horrible one as you can see in the above stories. My wife and I were placed in circumstances where all we had was the Lord Jesus to depend upon. It was not our employment, our own intelligence, none of that. Some of the circumstances are in-explainable. And the solutions are equally hard to articulate.
With our first son, we lived in a single room at my in-laws house. The whole “meager means of survival” mentality I adopted during my “playa days” became burdensome because I was reluctant to look for work despite knowing I had a family to support.
We needed to feed our son. Both my wife and I had the “we make it happen” thinking, but we couldn’t make it happen. And this is where we saw the power and love of God really manifest in our lives. We would have strangers, church members who didn’t know our living circumstances completely, give us cans of Similac without any effort on our part.
The Presence of the Lord is Here
Fast forward to today where my wife and I are facing another financial snare. I faithfully accepted a teaching job accompanied with a pay decrease despite knowing we were expecting our second child. Faith is not always as easy; this was a HARD decision to make. But it exposed a hard-to-swallow-truth: maybe our trust was in our work than the Lord. And for us, this is scary as my family desires to please God with our faith.
My daughter Diana was born in September and of course there were things that were needed and we wanted for our newborn. But I had confirmation that I was following the voice of the Lord in regards to accepting my new job.
We began to receive gifts from people for Diana: an abundance of diapers, toys, wipes, gadgets, family willing to pay for certain fees and bills…it was crazy! Even now my daughter continues to get Similac provided without any effort on me and my wife’s part. One day we ran out of Similac. I was stepping into my car a store run when my wife catches me. She informs me that, “Oh Mom had some from a church member to give to us.” I was floored. I continue to watch the Lord provide in so many ways that I sometimes have no choice but to believe.
Moral of this christian testimony is this: Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Always remember that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”(Hebrews 11:6).
This is the only formula that will feed my daughter and has fed my family.