What makes people resist change? That's my big question. Coming from a person that has an internal desire to progress, it's so hard to understand people that stiff-arm positive change. My whole vision for life is based on moving forward and I find that many of the people that I love, would rather wave goodbye then to hop on the bandwagon.
As a person that pushes toward change, progression and the unknown, I'm forced to leave behind those that refuse to come. I encourage, ask, and tell my testimony but it seems to fall upon deaf ears. I write this because it breaks my heart. Everyone has their own journey to walk but when people take the path that leads them in the opposite direction, it's hard to watch.
I'm forced to make a decision. Do I stay here with you and forfeit my destiny, or do I keep moving? Oh my gosh, just the thought makes me tear up. I come to a crossroads... One that could alter my entire life.
At the end of the day I know that I must keep moving. The Bible says in Philippians 3:13-14 "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
I must keep pressing on toward where God has called me. Nothing else makes sense and no one will be there to take the responsibility for me when I stand before Christ. I must do whatever it takes to shed the old woman and walk into the new life God has for me. I will do my best to take you with me but you must choose for yourself what you will do. The Bible says in Joshua 24:15 " But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whos land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
I love you and I'm trying to take you with me, but you can stay here if you want to...
The Jesus Follower
If your reading this, I first want to express how excited I am for you because I know this book is going to change your life. No longer will you be able to see yourself as insignificant or worthless, and neither will you be able to see that for anyone else. This will blow your mind! The details that are wrapped up in this are purely divine. I have never imagined writing such a thing and I take zero credit for what you are about to read. I know in my heart that if I was not obedient in writing this that God would have chosen someone else to make His point. I am merely a vessel. I want to also point out that in the part of this book that describes the vision, is me as an unborn child in my mother's womb, but it also represents every unborn child. Until I received this vision, I was unaware of the moments that take place in a womb. I did not know that outside life penetrates through the flesh, into the soul of a child in the womb. I did not know that God was aware of every detail of my being from the beginning. I just figured that babies were safe inside the womb and unaware of life outside mom's belly. What I did know was that babies recognize their parents' voice. I had also heard on TV once that if you allow your baby to listen to classical music that he/ she might become a genius but truly thought it was an exaggeration. I considered that what "they" said might be true but never gave any real thought to it. The information never mattered much to me anyways until I became pregnant with my daughter Amiyah. Before I tell you about the vision that God gave me of my mother's pregnancy, let me first tell you about my own experience as a pregnant teenager. Names have been changed but the story is as raw as it gets.
In 2009, after what seemed like 100 painful trips to the restroom, I had been forced to visit the ER in Glendale. I was 19 years old at the time and was selling Kirby vacuums for work. I had been " hanging out" with a guy named Derek from work just about every day for the previous 2 months. We met at work, became drinking buddies and also friends with benefits. We spent a lot of time together between working together and hanging out, so he came along for the hospital visit. As they usually do, the doctor asked me right away if there was any chance that I might be pregnant and had me pee in a cup. I looked at Derek, questioning him with my eyes before answering the doctor about the possibility of being pregnant. I had been asked this question plenty of other times, but this time was different. I knew that there was that one time about a month ago when we didn't take any precautions. I figured it was "just that one time", I mean, you can't get pregnant that fast right....? I was only 19 and thought that Life surely knew I wasn't prepared to be a mother.
My stomach turned in knots and I asked for a pregnancy test just to be sure. I guess it was cheaper to take an at-home test rather than to pay for one at the hospital, so the doctor suggested I get one from Walgreen's if I had any inclination that I might be pregnant. A few hours in the hospital went by before I got a diagnosis. I had a urinary tract infection and a prescription for antibiotics...So, off to Walgreens we went.
I decided that since we had to go to Walgreen's anyway, that I might as well take a pregnancy test while I waited for them to fill the prescription. Derek stood outside smoking a cigarette while I ran inside to take care of business. I turned in my prescription and agreed to wait 20 minutes for them to fill it. Nervously, I made my way down the aisle and grabbed a pregnancy test for about $16. I requested that the bathroom be opened and five minutes later I realized that I, am no exception to the rules of life. With a positive test in my hand and my heart in my throat, I tried to wrap my mind around what I was looking at. I couldn't seem to get my thoughts to calm down enough to think straight. My life had just changed dramatically...
I was shaking as I walked out to the parking lot of Walgreen's with the test in my hands. I'm sure all the blood had left my face as I began to tell Derek the surprising news. Right as I opened my mouth, I lost it. A flood of tears poured from my eyes. I was freaking out! How could I be pregnant? I mean me...me ....pregnant?!? How can I BE a mom when I still desperately need a mom?
I was shook ...my life was hard. I had been on my own since I was 16 years old. Moving from place to place and did my best to keep my head above water. I had always held a steady job but that did not make for an easy life. Emotionally, I was a mess! Between bad break-ups, dead-end jobs, and trying to finish school while paying my bills at the same time...I was spent. Getting pregnant was a huge surprise and what I feared the most was not being able to handle another responsibility without losing my mind. With all the pressure I was already feeling, I didn't think I could do it.
I knew what I went through as a kid and I never wanted to bring an innocent baby into such a cruel world. All the thoughts of my life whirled in my head. I had been taken from my mother by CPS at 4 years old, I was sexually abused in my adoptive home and disowned from the family at 16. Life was not giving me much hope for happiness and I felt guilty for bringing a child into such a tough world. I felt that I had done something that would cause this little person so much pain, I had given them life. At the time it didn't seem like a good thing.
On top of that, Derek and I had only been hanging out for 2 months and I feared the unknown. Would he stay with me? Would he help me? How do I know we are going to make it? How do I know that I won't be alone? All the What-if's flooded my mind and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I stood there in the parking lot and I knew that there was nothing that I could do to change it, there was a baby was growing inside me. The countdown began.
So, I know by now, you are wondering what Derek said when I told him. Well, he consoled me. He assured me that he would help me and that I would not be alone. He said that he was happy about the pregnancy and that we would do this together. I doubted that what he said was true but it was comforting to see him appearing fearless. He didn't seem afraid at all. But, of course, he wasn't, he wasn't the one with the tiny human in his belly...I was.
So, there it was. No more smoking and no more partying...just like that. What a wake-up call. I had been drinking every night and had been smoking at least a pack a day for 7 years. My life had changed overnight but the shock subsided soon after that and I felt excited about being a mom. I decided that I was going to do my best to protect this baby and to give her a good life. I promised in my heart to always be there for comfort when life caused her pain. I was afraid of what might be ahead but I was determined to be a good mom.
The first few months of my pregnancy I was really tired. I worked during the day and slept for the rest of the time. Derek and I stayed with his brother and saved enough money to get a place of our own. Once my energy levels were back up, I had a blast decorating our new home. Derek worked and supported the house so that I could take a leave from work to get ready for our baby. I spent the last few months nesting and preparing for motherhood. I read books and organized all the baby clothes. It was the most exciting time of my entire life. I was nervous but I couldn't wait to meet my little girl. After 9 months of anticipation, the day finally came.
I'll never forget when the doctor pulled her out and put her up to my face. My heart exploded with love. I had never seen something so precious as this baby, my daughter. There are no words to describe the feeling that you have when you become a mother. Awestruck, in love, overwhelmed with joy, full filled, excited and complete are just a few statements that might scratch the surface of what I felt. My eyes beheld the most incredible thing I had ever seen. Her face was soft like her cheeks were made from heavens clouds. Her eyes and nose were shaped so beautifully. Her tiny pink lips were my favorite! They were so small and kissable. Her little body was so fragile and so sweet. She melted into my arms with such vulnerability. Her spirit was enter-twined with mine so deeply that when I looked at her I could not imagine my life without having her. I would be completely void without her. She changed me. I suddenly knew love existed as I had never known before. I took on the responsibility of being a mom that day with great joy and I felt that without her my life would have been empty. The fear I had when I got pregnant carried no weight compared to the fullness that I felt now. She made life make sense and I knew it was meant to be. I would do anything to keep her safe and to keep her by my side. My baby, my Amiyah.
Now, I'm going to tell you the story about the day that I received a vision from God. This vision came to me one day in 2015. I sat in a chair in the office of one of our church pastors. My friend Terry brought me there that day to pray for me. She wasn't sure exactly what to pray for so she suggested we ask God. With my hands in my lap and my eyes closed, I just sat in expectation. I knew that God was amazing but I did not know the degree of His power until this day. My eyes were closed and behind them all I could see was black. Nothing at all. I tried to quiet my mind and slow down, and then something happened.
Out of nowhere, the atmosphere shifted. You couldn't feel it in the natural but I felt in my spirit like I was pulled into another space in time. The only way to describe it would be to say that I felt like I had been pulled into a black hole. It was quick...and I felt like I was in a deep place. Almost as if I was deep in the ocean. Behind my eyes were still dark but now the blackness was so thick I could feel it envelop me. Then it was like someone turned on a lamp. There was a dim light and I could see what appeared to be an embryo. I focused in to try and see more. My stomach flinched as I realized I was inside a womb. My body was still sitting in the office chair but my mind was inside this womb. I looked, and without a shadow of doubt in my mind, I knew it was me. I was inside my mommy's tummy all over again. How could this be?
Terry, sitting in the chair in front of me, began asking me questions. Where are you? What does it look like? What's happening? So I opened my mouth and spoke what I saw. I saw my fetus. I knew that this was month 1 of my mother's pregnancy. I could tell that the embryo was small and undeveloped but I also received the knowledge of the exact age. I knew that God had given me that information because I had not purposely questioned the age of the embryo. At this point, I relinquished the need to fully understand how this was happening and I just watched it like a movie. Inside my soul, I felt it like a surgery where the anesthetic only worked halfway...there was a pain but then it subsided....pain and then release.
Anxiety slammed me with a force I could feel deep in my stomach. I knew now that God had brought me here to heal that which had been damaged. I was one with the embryo. Although I was physically sitting in the chair, my soul became one with the baby. I could feel extreme energy levels and anxiety. I wiggled and twisted back and forth with no rest. Panic seemed to overwhelm me as I laid in my mommy's belly. There was a stirring in me. Like a tornado, everything inside me went around and around in chaos.
Terry was still sitting in front of me in the office just listening and praying that God would come in and heal me. Heal that very time when it all began. I could feel my spirit responding. There was no release for a long time. Then after a while, I knew we were moving forward in the vision. I could feel a release and a sense of finishing.
A moment later I knew in my heart that God had brought me to month two of the pregnancy. Twisting back and forth from one side to the other, I witnessed myself as I begged for comfort. Restlessness tormented me with no remorse. I just wanted to relax, but the stirring continued.
I was still sitting in the office chair with my eyes closed when I was struck with hunger pangs. Pictures of peanut butter and jelly flashed before me as the hunger alarms went off in my brain. There was an overflow of panicky desperation. I needed something, so bad! I just didn't know how to get it.
All of a sudden, my ears began to pick up on words I could hear from inside the womb. I was amazed to find out that I could hear this early! The words being spoken were about me... As I listened in as close as I could, I recognized my daddy's voice. I knew it was him the moment I heard him speak. He told my mom in an irritable tone that this was no time for a baby. I could hear his words clearly as he said, "I can't do this right now Charlene". Inside, I could literally feel his regret... his sorrow for my existence. At the same time, I could also feel the deep sadness from Mommy... I could feel in my heart that she loved me but she broke to pieces knowing that Daddy wasn't happy about me coming into his life. She wanted him to want her.... to want us... a family. A real family.
The vision shifted from hearing words and feeling emotions to now again being able to see my fetus. I could see myself, pulling and tugging violently at this long cord. I was trying to disconnect the umbilical cord, and I was so angry! I felt deeply rejected and I didn't want to be a part of this anymore. If I could have, I would have ripped myself from my lifeline right then. Mom was questioning and regretting her decision to have me too. Did she do the right thing or was having a baby a huge mistake? Then, another feeling of transition. A kind of closing came to that part of the vision.
I suddenly knew I was in month 3 of my mom's pregnancy. I realized that this was going to be a journey through her entire pregnancy but this is the part of the vision that by far was the most surprising. I kept my eyes closed and unexpectedly caught a glimpse of something swimming...
I told Terry " I see something swimming.., oh it's a sperm cell !" Terry commented on her first thought... "A twin ?!?" God must have given her that word of knowledge because as she spoke out, I broke into a loud cry... I could not control myself. One minute I was perfectly calm and the moment she mentioned a twin my soul began to wail of loss and desire. I wept loudly in desperation. The cry came from such a deep place that I witnessed it from almost a 3rd point of view. I was my conscious self looking at my subconscious self weep for her sister...and my physical body was experiencing the pain and grief. I just could not stop. It was as if someone broke open a dam. The tears poured out violently. It felt as though the pain of loss would never end. The deeply rooted fact that my sister had died came to the surface. I missed her, I wanted her, I needed her, she was the precious gift that I would never get back. I felt like I needed her just as desperately as I needed my mom. The connection that I felt in my heart to this person I physically never met was amazing and horrible all at the same time. It was a feeling that I imagine a mother feels if they lose their daughter. I felt like part of me got cut out and I was bleeding profusely. Words can only begin to describe the grief I felt. I was devastated. I could see what looked like a demon inside of the womb the with a knife and he was laughing. I was so hurt! They took her from me! I needed her and they killed her! The smirk of hate and murder came from the mouth of the demon that took pleasure in taking her life. The look of that smirk was unforgettable. An indescribable evil. I just sat in the office chair and wept for what seemed like forever. Terry held me in her arms as I dealt with facing the loss of my twin. I felt so fortunate that she was there because it was too much for me to handle on my own. I didn't know what to do with myself so I just cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Who could know that I unknowingly carried grief as an adult from losing my twin, but God? He was allowing me to grieve over her so that I could move on with my life without the effects of the trauma. I could see a bird carrying a basket with her in it up to heaven. I couldn't help but cry some more. God, I miss her! God, I want her! I asked the Lord what her name was. And He answered... Her name is Sarai He said, and I watched Sarai get carried to Heaven knowing that I would see her again and we would be together in Paradise. I later looked up the name Sarai and found that it meant "My Princess".
The vision continued and I could see I was in month 4 of the pregnancy. I looked at the fetus intently and waited for the Lord to show me what he would do next. I saw a pair of lungs that were highlighted. They seem to glow brightly within the womb. One looked smaller than the other although both looked very small. I suddenly felt in my natural body, the inability to breathe fully. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I took in slow breaths but it felt like I was breathing through little holes. I felt uncomfortable, like the space was too small. ( no pun intended ) Inside I sensed a horrible panic, like claustrophobia. Although I was having a hard time with the panic I could then hear the word asphyxiation. I had to look up the word to find the definition. Asphyxiation is the state of being deprived of oxygen which can result in unconsciousness or death. I prayed for God to take it away. After a little while, I could tell that I was in transition to month 5.
I could see my fetus again clearly and I looked around taking notice of everything. I looked more like a baby in this part of the vision. Arms that looked soft. Legs that seemed relaxed. There was a calmness inside the womb at this point. I kept looking expecting something bad might happen but it didn't. I just looked with curiosity and wonder. I kept quiet for a moment before I noticed that my hair was glowing. It was a magical glow. I wondered what God was trying to say about my hair. Hair seemed so unimportant but this was an important glow. I asked the Lord in my heart what this was and he spoke gently with power, "your hair is holy ". I remember seeing a pair of scissors in the vision and I did not cut my hair for a long time after that. I was afraid to do something wrong to something that God counted as holy. Even to this present day, I don't understand the fullness of what God meant by my hair being holy, but I do know that even our hair is precious to God.
Transitioning into month 6 was so thrilling. How was it that God was able to do what he was doing? Taking me on a time travel adventure that crushed and rocked my world all at the same time. If I hadn't been sold out on the power of God before, I certainly couldn't deny it now. I knew with every part of my being that God was my creator and that he knew me even before I entered the womb. I knew that He cared about every single detail of my life. My conception, my unborn twin, my hair and my feelings. God cared about me. A nobody. He cared about my cells even before I had arms and legs and no one at this point could convince me differently. I was God's baby before I was a baby and knowing that in my heart for the first time changed my life.
During month 6 of this experience, I could hear really well. Music played from outside my mommy's tummy. I could hear really bad words coming from the music. I knew they were bad because I could feel it inside me. It hurt me inside. The words felt as if they penetrated my innocence. I felt wounded and I didn't want to hear them. I felt like I had no choice but to listen. I sensed a feeling of anger or frustration that stirred me. It was interesting to me that I could have all these feelings so early in my development. I saw a picture of a wine bottle and it seemed that alcohol had been involved. I knew that God wanted to make sure that every single issue was dealt with before moving on. We continued to ask God for healing.
The shift into month 7 seemed to come pretty quickly. My feet were the highlight of this month. I asked the Lord what was the purpose of highlighting my feet and He gave me the knowledge that there was a curse on my feet. Meaning, there was a curse on where I would go. The devil had planned a journey of destruction for my life. Traps were laid in the places I would go but God wanted to expose the scheme of the enemy. Terry prayed that the curse would be broken in Jesus name. Later, the Lord gave me this scripture : Psalm 31:7-8 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; You have taken notes of my life's distresses, and you have not given me into the hand of the enemy, you have set my feet in a broad place. ( AMP BIBLE)
As embarrassing as it is to write this, at this point of the vision, it was as though I could see intercourse occurring while I was in the womb. Something was poking into the side of where I was and it had force. I knew what I was seeing but I was too embarrassed to talk about it anymore with Terry. I noticed that the actual act of intercourse did not hurt me, but I could feel the person' intent, and it wasn't good. The best way that I can describe the intent, is carelessness. No love, no purpose. Just carelessness...
I had no idea that babies went through this stuff in the womb. I figured that they were somehow protected from the world inside the womb. But, this couldn't have been farther from the truth.
Month 8 was focused on my brain. In the vision, my brain was highlighted just like the lungs and the feet were before. The illumination was different than the glow of my hair in month five. This looked more like a spotlight type of light compared to an inner glow. The Lord spoke to my heart saying; " you were tormented with bad dreams ." Suddenly it was as if my mind began to replay the bad dreams I experienced in the womb. I could not see anything but I felt like I couldn't breathe. A terrifying choking feeling took over me and I felt like I was drowning. The dreams were so scary! I couldn't seem to get air and felt helpless.
After the dreams had passed, I began to feel deep anguish. I felt like I couldn't take anymore, why wouldn't all of this stop? I was tormented with no rest and no sign of relief. I was overwhelmed in my soul...
Then it was as if someone gave me something. I could sense a presence but I did not know who it was. They handed me a promise as if it was a gift. The promise was that it would always be like this....life would always be too much too bear. My life felt heavy and overwhelming.
I could feel nausea turning in my stomach, then came another transition.
Month 9 was short. I could see the umbilical cord and I knew it was supposed to be cut. It didn't get cut but the vision ended abruptly. Terry and I sat in that office in awe. We were out of words at this point and exhausted. What a day! We had spent 6 hours in that office with God and witnessed a mind-blowing experience. We went home changed forever. No one but us will ever know the true power of what happened that day. There are not enough words to express the power that was shown or the healing that came to me. It was not time-bound, or held back by my age or my belief. The healing was truly a gift from God, the One who made me. I am eternally grateful.
If this has stirred up emotions in your heart, know that you are not alone. God has a plan for you and you don't have to be afraid of what the future holds or what the past has done to you. My life is proof that God makes a way even when you feel like you are backed into a corner. All my life, I thought that the negative circumstances were working against me but now I realize that it was all part of a master plan. God wanted to show you that no matter how hard life gets or how much the devil wants to destroy you, God is still bigger. God is still able to turn it around and make your life wonderful. It doesn't matter how many bad choices you have made in life, God wants to heal you and give you peace. God wants you to know that although the devil has made you feel like you can't do it. You can. You can walk forward knowing God is holding your hand. Don't be afraid. He wants to help you. He wants to heal you. He wants to be your support. He wants to do for you what He did for me. He wants to help you be a good parent. He wants to take care of all your needs and be your provider. He wants to bless you with the opportunity to become who He has created you to be. You can be healed from the bad choices your parents made that hurt you.
He cares so deeply for you. Only He can touch your broken heart and mend it. All of your regrets can become part of a beautiful story. He wants you to enjoy your life. It's not too late, you can give him your worries right now and let go. Trust Him. He's going to help you get through this. I'm so excited for you because I know you're going to make it. Just keep moving forward knowing your heavenly Father is with you. Now is not the time to give up.
Now is the time to be brave.
Now is the time to be all God created you to be.
I'll be 30 years old in a couple months and I've been thinking about where I am in life right now. I wonder what happened to all the plans I had as a kid. At 12 years old I knew what I wanted my adult life to look like and I had a plan. I would get straight A's in school, go to college and have my life together by 25 years old. I also wanted to move to Mexico to learn the language and the people. I dreamed of being a doctor or a crime scene investigator. I mean I had big plans to make it in life and I thought for sure that will my headstrong attitude, no one could stop me. Well, life doesn't always go as planned. As I approach 30, I have to admit that I've looked back to analyze how my decisions have affected my life.
Andrea is a follower of Christ, determined to get unstuck from the previous chapters of her life. She takes brief glimpses at the past to retrieve life lessons. She writes to inspire others to join her in life's journey of moving forward.