Last year I experienced a bit of a spiritual crisis. See… It went a little like this.
I came out the closet about 3 years ago. I was also saved, joined my current church, and started my spiritual journey around the same time. My Girlfriend was the instrument God used to reach me. I was really anti-religion at the time. Not really an atheist. I believed in God. I just really was adamant God didn’t believe in me. It’s hard to believe you’re worthwhile to God when the most vocal of his people are really anti-you. I was gay black woman with low self esteem, broken from her past experiences, I just couldn’t see it.
So after the constant begging of me to come to church I did. 3 visits later I was saved. I started a journey that looked a little like this….
I’d love to share my stumbling blocks with you… But that’s another post.
So I got a bit full of myself about a year ago. God blessed me with a job, a significant promotion followed 3 months later. I was given supervisory title which came with a monthly bonus. #WINNING!!!! Everything was going great, my direct sales business was also booming at the time so I wasn’t living from paycheck to paycheck and I could afford things like groceries and gas. LOL
I was really good at my job. I was really good at processing applications, in fact that is why I was given my promotion in the first place, but I loved helping others who struggled even more. I’ve always been a helper, God knows my strenghts and he put me in the job He knew I would excel in. I bet he was just like now “I made this way for Erica…. I’m sure to get the highest praise from her now”! SIKE!!!!
Did I pay my tithes with $$$ I now earning – NOPE, Did I thank God for my job and the ability to support my family financially – NOPE. What I did was get a big head and proclaimed myself superior in every way.
I was the best Coach, best on my team, no one out there is better than me. I guess I was a little like King Nebuchadnezzar.
One of the scripture I’ve come to love is Daniel 4:24-37. It’s the story of how King Nebuchadnezzar was really really full of pride and refused to repent for his sins and acknowledge that it is GOD who we owe for the success we experience. Now while I’m no Queen, I can relate to the king in the scripture. God had given me plenty and I refused to acknowledge him for it. My head was pretty big. I was so proud that I felt that I was responsible for the amazing life I had. I was the one who worked for it, I was the one who got this job, I was the one who booked all those parties, It was all ME!!!!!!
I was so proud that I stopped going to church all together. I stopped giving, I stopped listening to gospel music. I was back to the old Erica. The self made chick who lived the life she wanted. Every Sunday the love of my life wake me up and ask me if I was coming to church. My answer was always NO. I could see the disappointment on her face, but I told her that her minister training was her thing. I had nothing to do with it. I know that hurt her, but at the time I can honestly say I really didn’t care. (Sad but true).
On top of my pride I had a real dislike for the saints at my church. I could see the way the treated me – open, loving, and compassionate, and the way they treated the love of my life – cold – like how you tolerate someone you really can’t stand. I simply could not sit idly by, looking these people in the face and faking smiles when they treat the person I love more than my own life like an outsider. It hurt me. She was in minister training, my pastor believed in her, but they treated her as if she was leaper.
So back to my pride.
I started to have issues with my supervisor and decided I didn’t need this job anymore. Another company would understand how amazingly clever and superior I was and be thankful to have me. (gosh I was full of it.) So I went on vacation and never went back. Just up and quit. I thought I could get another job fairly quickly and my parties would sustain me until that happened. Well the calls for parties stopped, my usual booking tactics didn’t work on anyone. I started applying for job nonstop, it was a full time job in itself. No one called me. Then when someone did call me, the brakes went out in our car. I had no money to get them fixed. I don’t live on a bus line. Months went by with no leads. No calls, nothing.
Nothing worked. I sold almost all my possessions of value in order to get by. We were on our last leg. My partner had taken care of everything for months, and tempers were flaring. I was on the verge of losing everything I held dear in my life. So I began to pray. I pleaded with God to give me a job, any job. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me – you won’t praise the Lord, why should he give you anything? I was in church the next Sunday. I praised, I sang, I prayed. But more than anything I asked God to please help me.
I got a call to start a new job. Not an invitation to interview. Literally got a call to come to orientation. Then shortly aft I got a call that I was being offered another job. God let me know in that moment that he runs this! I am the manager of what God has given me, I don’t own any of it. It all belongs to the Lord.
I am back in church not because God gave me a job. I am back in church because I acknowledged God. Because I was taught a valuable lesson and that God restored me to my true self. A Daughter of Christ.