The Power of a Praying Woman

For the first time, I had to fight like I’ve never fought before.

And I was the only person that could do it.

What was a harmless, late-night workout ending up being a spiritual attack on my life. I’ve seen and heard it a lot in the church, “late in the midnight hour, God’s going to turn it around” or, “Sometimes you just have to call on the name of the Lord.” I’ve heard and seen prayer warriors, but never considered myself one. I’m a woman, yes. I know how to pray. But in the blink of an eye I became a praying woman.

So it all started when…

I laid down in my bed, turning off all electronics and trying to calm my mind from a productive day. When I closed my eyes, minutes passed and suddenly I realized that I was visualizing demons or demonic spirits. WHOA, WHAT?! That’s honestly NEVER happened. My eyes opened as if by someone eles’s doing. But I began praying. The words I spoke started to cast out whatever was in my mind. I began praying a covering over my thoughts, my life, my family, my friends. I prayed over ever corner and crevice of not only MY life, but EVERYONE IN my life. I gave God complete and total access, dominion, AND power over ALL things. All failures, all victories, all situations – EVERYTHING.

I even prayed for the husband and children, that I don’t have…

I began speaking God over every situation, circumstance, test, trial, tribulation. I called Him and his presence into my cramped room in the early morning hours. I called His army of Angels to surround everyone in my life. I prayed furiously, like I HAD no option. I didn’t stop praying. When my prayer calmed down, I could still sense that SOMETHING not of God was STILL there. WHAT. DID. IT WANT? I spoke, “Jesus!” until my spirit sensed that it was gone. I prayed so hard that I started crying and giving Him the glory, just for being Him in spite of who I was.

I did it! I passed this test with FLYING colors.

*victory dance* Someone, not of God attempted to invade my thoughts in my weakness, probably causing me to be restless, fearful and unproductive the next day. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! But instead, I did what God has been teaching me to do – to PURPOSEFULLY pursue Him. All He’s ever wanted me to was to work to reach Him. He told me He’ll neither leave nor forsake me, but I have to be DILIGENT in seeking Him. And I did that. I’m not rewarding ME in this case, I’m glorifying Him, because it was BECAUSE of Him, that I defeated something that could have pulled me further FROM Him. I did was he gave me the authority to do.

“The great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you” – Luke 10:19-20

God, you were there with me. The second I called on you, you were there. It was some 2:30am and He met me at my need and didn’t leave, not even while I slept. The next morning, I was gifted with breath in my body and I wasn’t tired..but I should have been. ALL GOD.

That’s not even the whole story. Part of my intercessory prayer was that strongholds and chains that were on me would be BROKEN. I called them all down. I broke them with the power of prayer.

As I was heading toward my car, I got a call that my spirit needed. The presence of God and power of my prayer had world. God opened a door.

“God had opened a door, and all I had to do was walk through it” – 2 Corinthians 2:12(b)

I almost FELL OUT. Did God REALLY just show out like THAT? Not even 10 hours after my prayer session, God had given me VISIBLE evidence of His promise. And all it took was me interceding over my own life with Him in the midsts. WHEW. It may not be the, “yes!” I wanted. But the mere FACT that He SHOWED me He has all the power to open the doors of my life just blew me away.

And lastly I leave you with His promise…

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon” – John 15:5-8 (MSG)

Be Blessed,

ajaybeeee

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2010-present -day

Have you ever looked at an old photo of yourself and not recognized that person? You “know” it’s you, but who you were in the picture was not who you currently are. That happened. 

As I prepare my mind, my heart, and my life to make a huge transition I couldn’t help but to reflect on life up to this point. The good, the bad, the ugly.

I first thought of my students.

I can’t believe I’m leaving them. If you know me, you know the huge role they played in my life for the past 3 years. While I told them to think about their dreams and pursue it – I had to do the same myself. I couldn’t tell them to follow their dreams, while I’m stuck on pause. So I took the leap of faith and jumped. I don’t regret the decision. I’m nostalgic about this season ending. I’m grateful for the souls I encountered and the seeds I’ve planted in my 135 monsters. I cannot wait to see what amazing things they do with their lives. I secretly cover them in love and prayer every time I think of them.

Then I thought about past-relationships

I have this folder called, “No Need to Open” and as the title suggests, there’s never a need to open it. But tonight there was. There was a pulling on my heart to reflect on who I used to, in order to strengthen and edify who I am called to be. Let’s just say I’m grateful..I don’t remember who that girl in those pictures is. She smiled so genuinely, without knowledge of imminent reality months down the line. She was just happy and honest. She was me. But when “life” happens and things suddenly change, you adapt. You learn, grow, move on, and never look back. Always remember to look back. Seeing her made me remember that that happiness is still possible. I’m still human and perfectly capable of love. As I looked through the plethora of photos, screenshots, and candids I did something out of the ordinary – laughed and smiled. WHOA! I surprised myself with that one. To reflect and laugh about it means I’m not hurt (I shouldn’t be, it’s been what..3 years?!) anymore. I made a promise to myself, that I have started to realize I’ll have to break. And right now, I’m okay with that. I know when that day comes, my heart will be racing..my palms will be sweaty and my feet make forget how to walk, but I’m okay.

..And then I thought about the possibilities

There’s so many. As cliche as this is..my future is so bright. I’m not afraid of anything. Not the journey, not the process, not the work, not the amount of time. I’m excited. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that has been created for me and I for it. This is all mine. I honestly don’t expect many to be on this journey with me. I have GOD and truthfully, He’s all I need. Anyone else that decides to stay the course with me, only reminds of the faithfulness of my Creator.

My soul is grateful to be at this point. In no way have I “made it”, but to still be standing and smiling is evidence that God is God and His promise is true.

Be Blessed,

ajaybeeee

The Hardest Decision Of This Season…

I knew being selfish and following my dreams would hurt someone.
I knew that my decision would not only impact my life, but those I love.

Regardless, the decision has been made.

My heart is hurting and hopeful at the same time.

To be honest, when I made my resolutions on December 31st, 2015…none of what has happened was included in those “plans”. I love God and His curveballs. He keeps me guessing and keeps me on my toes. My relationship with Him is always exciting and pure. He’s like the best husband, that’s not [really] there, but giving me everything I could ever need.

Can you be happy with God and sad with your situation at the same time?

I love that my season is changing, but I hate that I have to leave people behind. My students at that. If anyone knows me, you know my students are equivalent to my children. And I have to leave them? I have to? Now? Seeing their tears, hearing their fears, and consoling their sadness made the list of some of the hardest moments of life. Suddenly, I’m not going to be around for these lives I’ve been sent to impact. In the beginning, i never thought I’d have such a huge impact on some of their lives. As I reflect back, I’m deeply grateful that I was called and qualified to be a positive influence to them. So many of my students have such tough home lives and situations. They’ve taught me to be sweet and kind to everyone I meet. I’ve learned that I have to be the brightest and best part of their day, because they might not see that positivity anywhere else.

I told my students to follow their dreams…and then I told them I had to follow mine. And by following mine I had to leave them. And that is one of the hardest decisions about this season. Trusting God to be the author of my life means taking the good, the bad, and the ugly and taking a step forward.

Like I’ve told them, I cannot wait to see what amazing things they’ll do in their life. And My sincerest hope is that they make their dreams a reality.

Blessings.

Back to your regularly schedule programming

::::blows dust off blog::::

Phew! Now that we’ve cleared THAT out of the way, let’s get back to the original plan. Life has a good way of through curveball after curveball at you. Knocking you out of your groove, throwing your plans in the trash and laughing at you try to get yourself together. Life’s been like that for a few months. Sheesh, all of ’14. I’m glad it’s over. I don’t like wishing my time away, especially because I’ll never see it, but there are moments I won’t relive, not even in my thoughts. Well, here’s the gist! Friends are married, “friends” are nonexistent, nieces conceived, more friends engaged/married, and I’m still an educator. That’s ’14 in 140 characters. Life is still being lived where the sun sets and I’m still asking God for one thing, but getting everything I never thought I really needed. God’s funny like that, He loves giving me what I don’t think I need, but end up being eternally grateful for, like ex’s and dismantled “friendships”. 100% of those, I’m thankful no longer exist.
New goals have been sought and are being achieved daily (all God), I’m just going breath by breath. Until the moment feels right, stay blessed.

ajaybeeeee

What Did I Learn From This Situation?

There are 5 phases, shock -> feelings of betrayal -> hurt -> anger -> bitterness

I’m in phase 5, the most unnecessary one of the group (go figure)

So let me be honest! I missed the tell-tale signs, that is to say, I ignored them. I was naive to the caution signs that my guardian angels were placing right in front of me. My heart tells that me it wasn’t purposeful, but rather I was too much of the good in the situation to believe that there was no room for bad.

Bad was in there all along.

Let’s be real – It wasn’t stuff I created out of thin air. It wasn’t messages I imagined. Those weren’t situations I dreamt of – THEY HAPPENED. It was out of my control. *pause*…It was out of my control. It’s a scary realm for anyone to lose control over even the slightest of things. “It’s not how hard life hit it’s how you respond”

So let’s chalk this whole thing up to experience. So what did I learn from this situation?

  • I can never cross my bottom line

– What’s the point of a bottom line if I don’t stick to it? If you cross it – you’re gone. If you teeter near it – be warned. I’m not accepting less than the best.

  • I am only accountable for MY actions

– While GOD is in complete control in my life, I am solely responsible for my actions. I will not defend or protect anyone with whom I disagree with. If you know better, but don’t DO better – that’s on YOU. If I know better, but fail to do better – IT’S ON ME.

  • To accept the love I know I deserve

– I have to forget the past, there’s a reason it’s not coming back. All of my past relationships are in the past for a reason – they’re not the love I KNOW I deserve. At best, there were pieces…but my whole package is out there.

The most important thing I am still learning is that I cannot be completely bitter, it only hurts myself. I can make it more difficult for suitors, but I can’t keep my heart guarded by rabid, carnivorous, fire-breathing german shepherds. Not everyone is going to make the same choices are the previous. I have to live this life with the love I was born with, not with the anger I picked up along this journey.

With this perspective on my heart and in my mind – I’m okay.

 

Above all be blessed,

ajaybeeee

 

When It Was Good, It Was Good

I call this feeling Forgiveness. 

I cannot spend my life hating someone, or rather harnessing anger or malice. That is not my heart. Let me be 100% honest. I got this feeling, somewhere inside of my heart to be nostalgic and take a look at all the pictures and old text messages I had saved. I’m glad I did. Yes, I shed a tear or two..but only because when it was good, it was good. It was interesting..watching the beginning of something. Then watching it blossom, like the most beautiful flower. We watered it, trimmed it, and took such good care of it. It was beautiful watching it unfold on my computer screen.

And then I watched it go bad…

I’d rather reminiscence on the good, but it’d be foolish of me to not acknowledge the downfall. There are a handful of things I’d probably do over if I could – but now? I wouldn’t change a thing. I am the woman I am because of it. I’m stronger. With tears in my eyes and (ironically) Boys II Men’s “End of the Road” playing in my ears – I’m stronger.

But here is where GOD is GOD.

At this very moment, I am not angry. I don’t hate you. How can you hate someone you were “so in love with”? Harnessing negative energy will only bring negative energy into my life – and I surelllly don’t have time for that.

But, I wish you best. I wish you all the love, happiness, and light I know you deserve. You will always be in my heart. I pray that GOD blesses you beyond measure. Part of me hopes you read this – but if your eyes never touch this, I’m content with knowing GOD will put on your heart. Be blessed.

 

Above All Be Blessed,

ajaybeeee

Two Years in the Making

2 years ago today I started this journey of blogging my life out. Writing out both major and minor life experiences. 100% of this is therapeutic. It’s a way for myself and others to look back on my life, the experiences I went through, and the woman I am at this moment.

I’ve accomplished and grown so much in two years. I honestly remember writing my first piece “Concept of a blog – The beginning”, so it’s a little nostalgic to this I’ve come this far.

I am fortunate and blessed to be able to look back over the course of this journey, with both gladness and a heavy heart. I have met incredible and indescribable people in two years. I have also lost incredible and indescribable people. I am grateful for every experience and situation..even if [at the time] it felt like my world was caving in. All of this has no been in vain. It was all designed for a higher purpose. My ups, my downs, my broken heart, my happiness was all ordered long before I experienced it.

I’ve looked back and re-read each piece. My, oh my! I’ve repeated mistakes and then I’ve dodged repeating others. It’s a learning process. And I’m grateful to still be a student. I don’t claim to be perfect or always get it right. I know I’ll fail at things. But I’ll never give up. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned about myself – I’ll never give up at anything.

Perhaps my greatest accomplishment is I have grown to love Christ more each day. On my absolute worst days He has been my source of strength. On my best days, He has been my biggest motivator. With all of the coming and going that these past 2 years have brought, GOD has remained a constant. He hasn’t gone anywhere – and He won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

I’m aware that this life I live could be easily gone tomorrow. I’m grateful for all of the relationships I’ve forged and have yet to create. If God sees fit for me to see another 2 years, I pray that I am able to look back with as clear a mind as I have at this moment. I look forward to the next two years. The moments that I feel like my world is caving in and also the moments where I don’t know if it could get any better.

If you read any of my posts, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve shared personal details of my life with the world and you matter.

 

Above all be blessed,

ajaybeeee

To William, With Love…

The transition of life is a constant. 

We are born. We live. We die. 

Those things are certain. I have lost my father. His passing is a certainty that still wrenches at my heart at any vulnerable moment. As much as I trust and love GOD…I’m not ready to accept that fate that HE is calling my grandfather home

It has been a long road to this very moment. It started with the, “who is this?”..then progressed to “who are you?”, to him not being able to recognize neither my voice nor my name. The degeneracy of his condition slow at onset, but pervasive and unrelenting. 

As time has progressed, so had this disease. It has turned a once humorously insane man into a frail, often-perverse sickly man who isn’t the man I’ve known and loved. I have a feeling my grandfather “left” a long time ago. All that remains is a sickly body.

I believe that his spirit moved on.. 

The next greatest task is deciding whether to go see him in his final stages. He’s entered Hospice care & has been placed under “DNR” – do not resuscitate. He is on no medications…only being kept “comfortable”. I’m choosing to see him while he’s still alive. This is a risk because he doesn’t look like how I’ve known him. He’s frail…quiet…

But to see him “alive”…would be the greatest blessing. To kiss his cheek & whisper in his ear that I love him would mean the world. I just want to get to him…

 

It is with great sadness is my heart, that I dedicate this blog to my grandfather, William Brailey, Sr. I am proud to be your “little angel”, you have been my big angel. I love you with every breath in my body. I will think of you every day. As you start your after-life, please watch over me. Keep me from harm & guide me. 

Always, your little angel

Angela-Joy B. 

The Beginning of the Beginning

I think I did what I had to in the face of foreign policy.

No decision we have made in our lives is easy or without consequence. Every path that we taken leads us to a new direction in our lives. When we make [hard] decisions that have the potential to throw our path off course, it requires courage. It demands internal strength that no matter what, you keep your head down and charge head first forward.

Our options were limited. Did I want to do more? Did I try to do more? Of course!

No matter what I did. Regardless of what I said. It wasn’t going to work. My options were limited and laid out before my eyes. The outcome was already decided. Did I want to do more? Every second of every hour of every day. Did I try to do more? With every fiber of my physical being. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enough. The decision was already made.

I hope we don’t consider this a defeat – because it’s not.

Losing the battles pale in comparison to winning the war. Our life journey is not about winning all the battles and ultimately losing the war – it’s the opposite. You can get knocked down 1,000 times, but the only time when you’ll be defeated is when you don’t get back up. It’s not about how hard you get hit – it’s about how you respond to that blow. Always get back up. This is a far cry from the end. Our lives are just beginning.

Despite the circumstances. Despite the insurmountable obstacles – we tried.

For maybe months to no avail. The end result was always the end result, we just didn’t see it until it was up in our faces. Regardless of the “what could have been’s” – we tried. But this was a battle we were destined to lose. We tried..and trying is always better than never having taken the risk.

And now it’s important to know when to move on.

Each day has the potential to be exponentially greater than the previous. What we get out of our lives is directly proportional to what we put into it. When moving forward is the only option you have before you, it’s not that you’re forgetting your past. Your experiences will always be with you. They become an indelible part of you – a scar [if you will]. There’s a reason and a story behind every scar. As much as getting the scar hurt, eventually it heals. The bleeding stops…the pain subsides…and the healing process begins. You move on…

So that’s what we’re doing – we’re moving on…

Above all be blessed,

ajaybeeee

The Bright(er) Side

The good days are the best days.

Laughter and prayer have been sustaining me. Memes are by FAR the funniest things ever! Something so simple/basic just makes me bust out laughing. And I love it. Laughing is an outlet. It releases the tension that builds up. It drives out the bad. It changes the negative, potential energy into positive, kinetic energy.

Prayer releases everything on my heart and mind. Every night talking to 1 man that truly understands me, never judges me, loves me, and guides me has been the most satisfying feeling TO DATE. Most of the time I don’t even want to fall asleep, I just want to keep talking. He’s my confidant. He solves all my problems, corrects my wrongs, fixes my “issues” & still loves me JUST the same. That’s more than I can say for some people in my life besides my mother & my dogs. Jesus is my foundation & my salvation. He never gets bored of my thoughts.

I’m alllmmost in the single digits on my car payment, which is great news. Everyone says that under 10K is a breeze. Then I’ll OFFICIALLY own something. And I love my car, so it’s a win-win.

I’m down 5lbs since last week (and possibly more since I’ve started this 2 months ago) – and the losing hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. Working out 7 days a week hasn’t burnt me out, it’s only increased my drive. I only east 1200 calories a day (usually I’m under that) & I meticulously watch everything I eat (and I’m STILL hungry). If I can’t track it, I don’t eat it. My health is my #1 priority. I’ve seen too many YOUNG girls that beyond overweight (I’m not excluding myself here, either). And it’s hard to watch. I’m not sure if they 100% understand the consequences of NOT choosing a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Disease, Hypertension, Stroke/Heart Attack. Those are diseases that don’t go away. Pills & needles will be their future. That’s not the life I want. The only pill I want to be on is a vitamin & excedrine for the headaches. Maybe I’m wrong to point out those girls, but I’m one of them. Only different is I’m taking control. I’m doing everything I possibly can to make sure I’m never one of those girls again. You only live once – that’s not an excuse to not take care of yourself. I want to live to see my 80s & 90s, so I’m acting like it.

Ya’see, there’s this bright side & I’m living on it. Feeding off its’ energy. The day is good.

Above All Be Blessed,

ajaybeeee