As I danced with him on the stage during our wedding reception, my mind was flooded with all the personal storms that God had allowed me to endure in recent years. Unlike many women, I don't wear my emotions on my sleeves. I don't thrive off of drama and I don't crave attention. In the five or so years that I've taken full advantage of social media, I've never been one to use it as a platform on which to announce my troubles or to call out those who may have been the culprits that caused them. I choose, instead, to use social networking to encourage the masses through motivation and ministry. Because of this, very few people know that even in the midst of the uplifting status updates I posted, my trust had been (and in some cases, was still being) betrayed in the worst way.
Subtle clues began to surface . . . like when the identification displayed on my Facebook page suddenly reverted back to my maiden name in 2013, but the transformation of my personal life had begun way before then. Few people were aware that I had been "legally separated" since June/July of 2010. They weren't clued in on the fact that when I relocated from Atlanta, GA to Macon, GA in 2012, it wasn't a family move, but one that I was making as a single woman on a mission to rebuild my life after ugly betrayals and inordinate affections and desires were fully revealed and proven by way of written correspondence and open admittance. When I accepted the assignment of Director at a preschool, outsiders were unaware that it wasn't just a professional change being made by my own choice. Though it was an assignment that was obviously a part of my divine journey, taking that job was one that was necessary in order for me to survive.
At the time that the "covers were pulled off" and indiscretions were fully revealed, I was in the midst of making great headway on what was to be my 20th published work. God had given me the inspiration to write The Path From Pain To Purpose, but what I didn't realize at that time was I would have to go through my own painful preparation process before I would be fully equipped to write it the manner in which He directed. As much as I tried to continue to pen this ministry tool, God wouldn't allow me to. I had to get through this season before it could be done. Until then, I wasn't qualified. I had to walk it out. This book wasn't meant to be written based on biblical principles alone, but also with a level of knowledge that could only come from present-day experience. And I was clay on the Potter's wheel. I had to be broken and redesigned for the "greater" that lay ahead.
I made the transition to Macon with virtually nothing. Shortly after I moved, I had to even shed some of those that I called my closest friends when it was discovered that they'd had a hand in the mayhem that had transpired in my life. Betrayal is a monster. The depth of the hurt caused by friends, on some level, was the worst pain of all. Once in Macon, I had to live with family for three months before being able to get my own place. My savings was depleted. For reasons that I am totally unaware, my primary publisher had been refusing to (and still has refused to) relinquish my earned royalties. I haven't received a dime of my earnings since 2011. For nine years, the residuals of my writing ministry had been my livelihood, but for unknown reasons the company that I entrusted the business end of a gift that God had given me had decided to unlawfully withhold what was rightfully mine. Since I was now a single woman, I was forced to return to corporate America so that I could provide for myself. It was a very stormy time of my life, but with God's help, I survived . . . and I did so without bitterness or a desire to seek revenge. And on March 15th, it all became worth it when God rewarded me for my faithfulness to His will and His Word. Oh, the joy that floods my soul!
I felt a peace and a protection unlike any I'd ever felt before as my king wrapped his arms around my waist and together we swayed to the tempo of BeBe Winans's "When I Found You" while the lyrics were so beautifully sang by our pastor's youngest son. After all I've been through, I should have been unsure and apprehensive. The whole idea of saying "I do" again should have turned my stomach, but it didn't. From the moment I met him, I knew this was God. I wasn't looking for it and I hadn't asked for it . . . but I knew it was God. And all while we danced, I could hear the Spirit assuring me that the storm was over. Just like in the days of Noah, the Lord placed a rainbow in my sky and assured me that I would never again have to face the type of flood that I'd been through. And I'm thankful.
At last, I've been given permission to proceed. Finally, my fingers are dancing on the keyboard of my laptop once again and I am moving full steam ahead with finishing the book that so many have been waiting on; the book that some have already pre-ordered. I still have a corporate America job (for now) so my writing time is still limited. But the finishing line is within view now, and the book will release within the next few weeks. I'm excited about my present and my future and the level of love and support that is already being given. The wait is over. The storm is over. It's my season.
Ours in an incredible story, and more details of it will be included in the pages of The Path From Pain To Purpose so stay tuned... :-)