Make God Famous
Have you ever looked back over your life and wondered how in the world you ended up where you are today? I sure have... Looking back my husband and I can see how we have moved from devastation when asked that question to astonishment because of Gods grace!
We are surrounded by a world of fake Reality TV shows, unsocial Social Media and Airbrushed Magazine covers. It is easy for us to get caught up in the rat race of more likes, more shares, more money, more everything! At times we allow ourselves to be blindly robed of experiencing the joy we do have, and the realization of how far God has truly brought us! Which is why I am was moved to write this post.
Last week I had to stand up in my leadership class and give a 7 minute oral presentation...it doesn't sound like much but in the speech I had to share my life verse and what I was created for. As I went through the process so many things from my past had to be brought back up to the surface...it was uncomfortable to say the least.
After I gave my presentation, crying the whole way through I might add...I realized that things I thought I had gotten over, were actually still holding me back from fully committing to Gods calling on my life. At my church I was able to meet the most amazing couple that encourages others to share their testimony and wear it as a badge of honor, and not a story of shame. They own a business that makes custom apparel, showcasing struggles their clients have wrestled withdeep in your souls and turning them into a statements of power! That's what inspired me to order this amazing shirt (as seen in the picture) and share my testimony with each of you! Go check them out at http://www.apparelwithapurpose.org/
About two years ago, I was sitting in church listening to my pastor when he made a statement that totally hit home for me. He started talking about before and after pictures dealing with weight loss, which I can totally relate to since that's one of the things I help people achieve all the time with my health and fitness business. However, he then went on to say, "You know how you can truly tell that somebody has totally given their life over to Christ? Just take a picture of who they use to be and compare it to who they are now and the transformation will be clear to see. Right away, you will be able to see that God has taken their life and totally turned it around, saved them by his blood and turned their mess into a message!"
At that very moment a picture of a scared 17 year old girl, who was hurt, broken, angry and completely lost, flashed into my head. That girl was me. I was on the road to ruining my life, yet God had mercy on me.
Before I was born, my Father Pastored a small church. Prior to devoting his life to Christ he traveled and played in a Rock Band, needless to say my parent’s story of salvation was strong and undeniable. After I was born, he moved away from a Pastoral role and traveled with my family singing gospel music. It was in these services, homecomings, prisons ministries, rest homes and Southern Gospel singings that I witnessed the anointing of God so strong on my siblings and parent’s life that I would never be able to deny the fact that there was a God or that the Holly Spirit was real.
The problem was, this seemingly perfect life began to crumble and the fairy tale story turned to horrible decisions and traumatic events. Growing up, I always felt like the outcast, I was made fun of and often wondered why I was even born. I was extremely shy and I had difficulty speaking to people, looking them in the eye, and understanding how to foster lasting friendships. I had difficulty around large groups and would find myself withdrawing into a comfort zone that was sparse but beautiful because God and I were the only ones allowed in.
After years of keeping quiet and turning the other cheek, my anger was at an all-time high. Instead of continuing to have faith in God, I was spiteful towards him and would lash out questioning why my family and I had gone through so many trials. With no where else to hide, I started running to the streets. I began hanging out with the “bad kids” in my neighborhood, drug dealers, gang members and the list goes on. Even then I knew I didn’t belong and would find myself evangelizing to those that I felt were lost and feeling ashamed, because I was just as lost and angry with God myself.
At the age of 16 I had completely given up on hope and love, losing pieces of me that I could never get back. At the age of 17, I dropped out of school, had my daughter, and was spiraling out of control. Finally, right before I would break, God gave me a moment of clarity. I decided to pick up the pieces of my life and push forward... my daughter deserved better.
I moved out of my parents’ house and applied for every form of government assistance that I could, I worked at night and went to school during the day. But even during my moment of strength I was still full of resentment and pain… again I found myself stressed beyond belief and remember God speaking to me through a Pastor who told me if I would surrender my life to Christ that God was going to provide and take care of my daughter and I in ways that I could never imagine. Soon after, I met my husband Tony.
When I met my husband I was still lost. My heart was so broken and it was difficult for me to trust men, but there was something about him that continued to draw me in from day one. Like the Pastor spoke over me, through Tony God has shown me and our daughters love and commitment that before was unimaginable. It took years for me to have faith and truly trust in our love but Iknow now that we were created for each other…Gods mercy and grace truly astounds me!
With the help of my Husband, I slowly began to break out of my shyness, I was proud of what I had become and looked forward to what the God had in store for our future. I began teaching group fitness classes, something I never thought I would do. I found a new passion to inspire people, I didn’t realize it then but God was using my classes as a ministry and he was putting pieces of my life puzzle into place. I decided to begin my own fitness business, teaming up with a large corporation, and pursuing my dreams. For the first time I could see that child hood dream coming to fruition, through God’s grace I climbed to the top of one of the most secular industries in the world, while sharing his message to the masses. My team has grown to over 500 coaches who’s purpose is to break through the barriers, excuses and lies that the enemy has placed in women’s lives. From day one of my business, I knew God wanted me to use it for his glory but I could never have imagined the places his message would have taken me and the humbling lessons that leadership, business and life have taught me over the years.
Through it all, my hearts prayer is still to see the lost saved, their lives restored and them using their callings for God’s kingdom again! I am called to be a voice God can use in order to lead his people out of bondage. I am called to speak truth, share my testimony and journey with Christ, so that others may know him, break free of bondage and live the abundant life God died for.
The life verse that has always pulled me out of discouraging moments has been Jeremiah 29:11 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.
I also rely on Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Micah 6:8 The Lord has told you what is good and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Through it all, God transformed my life! I don't even recognize the girl I once was! I thank God for saving me, for shedding his blood that set me free and for answering the prayers of a praying mother that never failed! Nothing that I have today or that I have ever accomplished is by my own doings but by him living in me. I owe all I am to the one who gave it all, for me and for you. That's why, I aim to Make God Famous in all I do.
We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. What is your testimony? Can you see where God has clearly brought you from?
If you haven't seen your before and after, then please know it's never to late to start! His challenge groups are always open just like his arms. He died to bridge the gap so that he could have a relationship with you and with me. He is waiting, you just have to take that first step, and trust me it's the best one you'll ever take!