There are many places to seek God for direction, but my car seems to be a popular spot of consistent revelation. Although grateful for the invite, anxiousness set in because I had only one piece of what I needed to share. I only had two days left to finish preparing to speak at a college revival.
While driving to pick up a friend for a family weekend trip, I began to ask
God what about my life’s testimony should I share. Of course, we ask these things and often something we are not quite ready to share. Ready or not, obedience is a must because there is victory in our pain and trials that others need.
However, I expressed I didn’t know if I was ready to share yet. Had I forgiven? Was I truly healed? Would speaking of it rip my scars open?
Peace suddenly came over me in the car and everything I needed to say became clear. I felt instructed to do more than share my testimony but instead provide perspective and strategies for recovery and keeping the faith when experiencing back-to-back hardships. I shared with a room full of college students the dark places I’d been and the roads built to my freedom.
I took a mental walk through the places I would share. Tears of gratitude began to flow down my face while driving because free once felt impossible. So often we focus on our losses and needs that it creates a cloud which hides our victories. God reminded me that although I am not happy with where I am, I was no longer in those low pits. Depression, mental exhaustion, and fear of man no longer rule my life.
Having Little but Much to Give
Drought hit my life, but the burden to help those in need didn’t ceased. Although I lacked in almost every area of my life, God reminded me that he didn’t allow the darkness in the place called lack to steal my light of compassion and mercy. Proverbs Chapter 11, Verse 25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Just like the widow who gave her mite and was commended by Jesus for her selfless actions, so did God with me by sending people to bless me time after time.
When my pockets and accounts were empty, I had to trust that God’s pocket was big enough to hold what I needed and more. In one of my many pity parties, I felt God ask me had he ever not deliver after I prayed. Those prayer moments were majorly filled with declaring God’s promises concerning my future.
I had to remind myself the LORD plans are to prosper me and not harm me and give me hope and a future (see Jeremiah Chapter 29, Verse 11). I built my faith by declaring God’s wealthy and abundant promises. I learned to trust God’s provision and providence in that place called lack. After two years of drought, the things I declared such as a better living space, teaching certification, pay increased, Christian community, car (free), and friends all happened.
Who am I
People pleasing and fear contaminates our identity. For two years, I sat in a dark haze questioning who I was purposed to be. I felt pressured to be an established adult right out of college and to find only one career path to retire from. Confusion in one’s 20’s may be common, but it is not fun.
From childhood, I dreamed of being a teacher and philanthropist. However, time management and burnout are real adult issues. Travelling the world to do missions burned in my heart but being financially stable made stronger arguments in my head. I felt I had too many passions and not all of them could be explored and forfeiting any felt like treason. In this place called confused, I learned the value of worship. Clear vision of who I was and where to go came when I stood still in worship.
There are victories to be won in the unlikely of places. I thought I would lose my mind and forced to be medicated. However, it was in my lowest places of life I learned what it really meant to worship, trust, and pray.
Tamika P. Smith lives in Texas where she teaches tenth grade English. She serves in the children and prison ministry at Oasis Church Caddo Mills.