For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:13-16 NASB
My birthday is in two days. I’m screaming inside lol. On the 28th day of this month I’ll be 28 years old. Some call it my golden birthday, I recognize it as a monumental day, its definitely a holiday for me haha, but this one is different. It is a milestone (developer talk) birthday. In biblical numerology, 28 is is 7 times 4, the divine perfection of created works. I guess that’s why the lunar cycle is 28 days. I’ve been overcome with emotion today as I realized everything that God has done in my life this past year. My uncommon, unworldly, and unusual choice has resulted in the greatest changes in me…I don’t even recognize this new person. God asked for 12 months, which I somewhat willingly obliged, and He gave me a new identity, one filled with words like queen, conqueror, victorious, healed, anointed as adjectives and nouns that describe who I am. Like Alicia Keys says, it’s a brand new kind of me. So what did I decide to do for these last twelve months that makes me use uncommon, unworldly, and unusual?
I chose to give myself completely to God, mind, body and spirit. I surrendered, I chose celibacy instead of fulfilling my own desires. I chose to truly walk in forgiveness, remembering some of the most painful things and choosing instead to walk in absolute forgiveness towards those who had wronged me. I chose to pray and walk in love when being stabbed in the back. I chose to stand up for myself instead of taking abuse and frustration as a way of life. I chose to eat healthy and workout consistently, nurturing this body He gave me so that I can continue to do the works I was sent here to do. I chose to focus on myself and cultivating my relationship with God so that I could in turn show Him to others. I released baggage from relationship after relationship and I chose to embark on a relationship with myself and God. I chose to acknowledge my hurts, feel pains, and admit when I didn’t like something, when I was wrong, or when I made a mistake. I chose transparency, loyalty and faith instead of hiding behind walls, fear and doubt. I chose to overcome myself–things I’ve done all my life and to truly press and work hard for the things I want out of life. I chose to pursue the truest form of self in the midst of adversity instead of compromising. I chose to give God my weaknesses so that He could amplify them through His strength. I chose to know who I am–my strengths, my gifts and talents, and my hopes, dreams and visions so that I could assimilate all things that make me Marquita without any need of rejection or fear of acceptance. I endured the pain of being separated from my loved ones so that when I am able to around them all the time again, I’m able to appreciate and truly love them for who they are. This time has strengthened my friendships, ironically enough, with those that God has assigned to me and brought me closer to them than I was when we were in the same area! I no longer have to explain who I am: I’m goofy and silly, love having a good time, absolutely love to sing and dance, I love rap and gospel music all the same, and I love God, the people He gave me to do life with, and the purpose He put inside me. Quite simply, I surrendered so that He could teach me to truly love me so that I could love God and others.
And what have I gained?!? I’ve gained love for myself, love for others and love for my Father. I’ve gained peace, courage, and understanding. I have gained the keys to my own soul by giving God everything. I’ve defeated my worst enemy–me–so that I could be a better version of me. I gained the freedom and liberation to be happy and in love with who I see each day when I look into the mirror. I gained the chance to reflect that to others. Instead of always finding flaws in others, I pray and ask God to show me the positives and the good. Now, I pray wholeheartedly for those that come against me (still praying about some hahaha). I know what it means to be happy regardless of my circumstances, to have peace and trust God even when things are unclear and the way ahead is blurry.
How did all of this come about? Well last year I had already begun to surrender different areas of my life to God. I started teaching bible study back in April and it was as I taught a series on Exercising Your Faith, that we got to Esther. How she was willing to sacrifice her life to save the people. How she came from lowly beginnings to become queen of the Persian Empire. How God used her for something so great. It was then that I knew what I needed to do. In Esther’s preparation process, each young woman spent 12 months to prepare for her one night with the King. Those twelve months did a lot of things, exposed pregnancies, divulged and allowed them to be healed from diseases (through the use of special anointing oils), and allowed them to become versed in the ways of a queen, if they were fortunate to be selected. Esther was favored over them all. Those things stuck out to me: favor, 12 months of preparation, being set apart and isolated. Sure enough, I thought that God was doing this to prepare me for my husband (NOT! well who knows, I know someday I will get married ). But it was so much bigger than that. I did get pregnant–(PAUSE not really people gosh! ) pregnant with purpose, will power and perseverance, and confidence in who I am and what I know to be truth.
Sure, I was lonely being down here in the swamps with none of my friends or immediate family near me. Sure, I was tempted to just pass the time with people I knew were not meant to be permanent parts of my life. Sure, I have wanted to go home (still do, lol). But I cannot discount what I have gained. God led me to go on that journey, on this process, to be purged and pruned, to be ready for whatever else He wants me to do.
This is not to condemn anyone…because I have still fallen short (like with my love of candy and cakes…trust its going down this weekend haha). But this is to encourage to seek the truest version of yourself. How else can you get to know yourself if you don’t seek out your Maker?
Well happy birthday to me!! I have a lot to celebrate! I love you all and I pray this blesses you!
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:22-23