Army, Cancer and Christ!!!

Growing up in a very hectic environment with little guidance, structure or stability I often found myself lost and feeling hopeless. As I became an adult I noticed that the path I chose often left me indecisive and at many dead ends. I had no goals or vision for my life so I grew depressed and bitter. I had no relationship with God and I was ultimately playing a huge game of death ball on enemy’s territory. 

At the age of 22 I met the savior of my life and he showed me the most love I had ever witnessed in my life.

Love then became an expression of action for me. God began to bless me more than ever. From HIS GRACE, HIS PEACE, AND HIS JOY I soon saw my life in a whole new light. At age 25, I RECEIVED SALVATION AND GAVE MY LIFE TOTALLY TO CHRIST. No longer hopeless and living in despair I started to see myself as GOD’S BELOVED, HIS CHOSEN, HIS ANOINTED, AND HIS DAUGHTER. Soon after my encounter with Christ my life began to have PURPOSE!!! I WAS NO LONGER BLIND.

Truthfully speaking, it wasn’t an easy journey at all to fully trust God, who I couldn’t see, but the joy and peace I felt in my spirit was worth continuing on this journey with “MY DADDY,” “MY PAPA,” “MY ABBA,” AND “MY SAVIOR.”

“NOT MY WILL, BUT GOD’S WILL BE DONE,” was a life changing expression I used daily. I soon realized that God would surely knock my plans and ways down in order for HIS PURPOSE and PLANS to PREVAIL in my life. Attempting college right after high school was something I knew would make my family proud, but little did I know the process of obtaining my college degree would not occur until 8 years later. 

Diagnosed with Graves’ disease at 19 and then needing radiation for thyroid cancer at the age of 22 I just knew life wasn’t worth living. Giving six months to live totally threw my mind for a loop. I had no desire for anything. Suicide became a constant and daily thought for me. It was a real battle between life and death. I wanted to live but life’s struggles had me thinking death was the best way out. 

When college didn’t seem right and I began to go down a crazy spiral of sex, alcohol and partying I soon realized that I needed a change and that change meant getting away from everything I knew to be familiar. At the age of 22 I decided to join the military. I was excited yet nervous at the same time. I just knew that things were about to turn for the better in my life. July of 2005 in the barracks of Ft. Jackson in South Carolina (same place I had first dose of radiation) I had my first real encounter with God.

Not yet saved until 3 years later I knew something greater than myself would help with everything that I was going through. The army fatigue bible that was handed to me days after stepping on base would soon become attached to me. Studying and reading it every day gave me hope of a better life.

Sick, hair falling out, body nothing but bones, I knew some way, somehow I wouldn’t and couldn’t die alone and isolated in an unfamiliar place, which was far away from friends and family. 

Prayer became first nature to me. All day and everyday nothing else mattered. Studying God’s word became my first love. Even with the time in prayer and studying of God’s Word it surely didn’t stop the pain in my body or erase the loneliness I had felt as I lay among people who were worse than me with no hope or purpose for their life. 

Days went by, weeks went by and heading into months of trying to gain strength in my body God still played High Supreme for me. Eventually the change in my attitude and behavior from negativity to positivity began to show. My battle buddies had wanted to know what was going on with me. They wanted to experience the change in their lives as well. I began to hold daily bible studies and prayer sessions with no real idea of how to conduct them except showing them what I do. Soon attitudes began to change.

Everyone seemed to be in high spirits and more joyful despite what they were going through. There were so many getting off on suicide watch that now our drill sergeants and others were wondering what was really going on because the statuses dropped tremendously and there was more joy and smiles than there had been in the two months that we had been there. The suicide attempts had seized drastically. Something was going on and it was SOMEONE greater than myself. God’s LIGHT had begun to make a huge difference. I was no longer lost! I HAD FOUND GOD! I EXPERIENCED GOD! I WAS CHANGED AND TOUCHED BY GOD!!! 

Oh BUT I would soon find out that the ENEMY hated BELIEVERS and FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST. Talk about a SPIRITUAL ATTACK. I was lying in bed after chow and I could barely breathe. My left side went extremely numb. My chest and heart quenched in extreme pain, which I had never experienced in my life. Tears were flowing and it felt like life was being choked out of me. My entire right leg seemed as if it was on fire!

The pain would not go away and it felt like hours before I had some kind of relief. Trying to scream out but it seemed as if nothing was being heard. Surrounded by almost a dozen people no one heard anything I was saying. I felt like I was dying. A strong stench in the room overpowered me and it was unbearable. “How is everyone still sitting and not responding to my screams? Don’t they smell that?” was all I kept thinking in my mind because apparently I couldn’t be heard even though I was able to see everyone that was in my barrack with me. The pain was getting deeper and deeper and I lay pulling at my chest and trying everything I can to get someone’s attention but nothing managed to work.

Eventually the only thing left that I knew to do was call on JESUS!!! Sooner or later as I kept saying “JESUS, JESUS, JESUS” in my mind, the silence that almost left me dying alone became the loudest words I have ever witnessed in my life. If nothing else was heard I remember how that small yet huge name of JESUS saved my life. It got the attention of every lady within the confines of the barracks. No longer sitting, but standing around me as I cry out, the girls wondered what was wrong and why the tears drained so much.

At that moment the tears fell as the pain no longer existed. What was, was no longer. At that moment I knew God was real. “WHAT THE ENEMY MEANT FOR HARM TO KILL ME, GOD USED IT AS MY TESTIMONY.” Death has no power over me as long as God still has a purpose for me. It wasn’t until the year of 2014 that I became aware of that confirming message. 

That was only the beginning of the attacks for my life, but I never ceased in my relationship with Christ. Made mistakes and fell short, but never lost sight of Christ in me and his overall purpose for my life. Holding prayer sessions and bible studies still continued daily with the women until I was released altogether. 

Eventually released from the army I left with a relationship with Christ that soon came to a halt after returning to what I called a DESPERATE LIFE. Nobody to care, nobody believing in my encounter with Christ but rather took it as a joke, physical pain as well a sense of ugliness (frail bones, bald patches in head from radiation), was definitely a reason to not even care anymore. Nobody around me cared or showed any desire to grow closer to God. In fact I was often laughed at and ridiculed by family because they always believed I would never make nothing of my life. My encounter with Christ became one in which I hardly ever spoke about.

Years later at the age of 25 I could no longer stand the person that I had become. I rededicated my life to Christ, joined a church and my journey of salvation continues until this day. Everyday isn’t perfect, hardly any day is perfect, but MY GOD is PERFECT. The enemy does everything that he can to attack me. No longer with thyroid cancer I still have to be on medication which I plan not to be on the rest of my life despite what the doctors say. I am standing on a STRONG FOUNDATION in Christ and I will not be moved no matter how hard enemy throws darts at me. 

Throughout my life I’ve always put others first before myself and God, which always left me empty and dead on the inside. It wasn’t until 2013 when I decided fully that it’s GOD OR NOTHING. I lost friends, but gained a family in Christ. I’ve learned that when I leave God out the functions of my life I begin to lose track of my life with no hopes of greater for me. 

My focus now is to truly commune with God for every facet of my life instead of going to other people. I prayed for God to place people in my life who will help me grow and see things in a whole new perspective as well as those who will help produce a greater sense of God in me.

I want to be an influence in the lives of young people. I want to use my life experiences, determination, communication, and education to help expand the minds of young people so that they can be free from the hurt that they have instead of allowing the root of bitterness and hopelessness to grow into something much more extreme. I don’t want to be the reason a young person gives up because I quit going after dreams and having a vision for my life. If I stopped fulfilling the purpose God has for my life then I hinder the person who God is trying to connect to me because I gave up out of fear.

If nothing else matters, then I know my desire to go all the way and push through with God’s help will truly be a major plus. A desire to motivate and encourage others places me at an awesome advantage. WITH GOD I am a living testimony that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.