Updated: Sep 17, 2021
In January 2020, I was completely stressed out. It was my ninth month of being unemployed and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I needed a breakthrough, a transformation that I couldn’t seem to make on my own. I was so used to living life according to society’s standards; go to college, get a great job, get married, buy a home, and have 2.5 children with a pet, whatever that means. This was the American dream. Ultimately the goal was to build up enough retirement so I wouldn’t need a post-retirement job. But what happens when a monkey wrench is unexpectedly thrown in the middle of that perfect vision? This is what happened to me, and I can tell you firsthand, it was nothing more than a huge disappointment.
In April 2019, my life took a crazy twist down an unexpected path. Having a child with special needs required utilizing much of my paid time off to attend IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meetings, in addition to other unexpected life occurrences. Only once in my lifetime when I had children did I ever use my vacation time for an actual vacation. This was not how I had planned my life.
The reality of unemployment became real once my last direct deposit hit my bank account, which was only half of my regular pay since I had used up all my leave. That’s when the cold truth set in. If I didn’t work, life still went on with all the consequences of being without finances.
For the remainder of 2019 my anxiety was through the roof. My mom would always tell me to trust God as she would recite Philippian 4:19 and reassure me that God would provide all my needs. Honestly, that was easy to do when I had a steady paycheck that allowed me to sustain my family. There was even enough extra money to splurge for the holidays, but now I had absolutely nothing. Where in the book of life is there instructions on how to handle having nothing?
From what I could see, the game of life was taught by example. All I could think of were the people standing on the corner holding up signs asking for spare change just so they could get a meal. Real people just like me who experienced unexpected life circumstances who were once living the American dream and suddenly life happened, and they were one paycheck away from being homeless.
This couldn’t be happening. I followed all of life’s rules according to society. I went to college, I had a great profession, I had a master’s degree, I even had an active license for a job that was heavily in demand. I could get a job in an instant, but the only problem was I was experiencing a medical hardship, but life had no humanness or empathy regarding my personal situation. Life was just that, life, completely void of emotion.
I was far from a quitter, so I had to survive. But how? I believe in God, but God knows everything, so He had to know all I was going through in my life was overwhelming me to the point that I didn’t have the time to pray or spend time reading my Bible. Surely God would understand; right?
After months of stressing and wandering aimlessly with no direction, I decided to try God the way His Word instructs us to. I needed to be serious about making this commitment, so I decided to participate in “The Daniel Fast,” a 21-day spiritual fast.
Fasting for spiritual reasons is when a person with strong faith in God and His promises gives up something that they find hard to resist, such as social media, television, sweets etc., but for me this particular fast required giving up food from sunrise to sunset.
The main reason many believers fast is to develop spiritual strength, to have a closer relationship with God, and when praying for a breakthrough or a supernatural miracle that can only take place on a spiritual realm, such as a healing from a terminal illness or deliverance from a generational curse. I needed a breakthrough for many life situations, but I primarily just wanted to know what my purpose was on this earth. That may sound silly, but believe it or not, we’re all here for a reason, the catch is finding out what that reason is.
I thought I was put on this earth to help people as a healthcare provider, but my rationale was far too broad. There are millions of healthcare providers in the world who offered the same service, what made my purpose different from all the others?
Believe it or not, a person’s purpose may not have anything to do with their current profession. Matter of a fact a person may not have any experience or the skillset to complete the task that God has for them, but He will give the task anyway because He knows that person is the one that can do the job. It’s kind of like Noah who had no skills in building an ark, but he got the job done. Purpose can also be connected to a profound life situation or a painful journey. God may want to use that situation to deliver other people who are facing the same problem.
In one of the chapters in my book No Cross-No Crown, I talk about my spiritual fast and the supernatural miracles that occurred during that time, but my main reason for fasting was to find my purpose. The only way to truly find the purpose that God has for our lives is to ask God. For me, it was a process that involves prayer and connecting with God on a much higher level, the way I believe he wanted me to connect with Him so my faith would grow stronger and so He could show me that he really did have my back.
One thing I can say for sure, during my fast, when I specifically asked God to lead me to my purpose, He heard my prayers and answered me soon after. I was surprised that he responded so quickly, but He responds to each person in His time which is not the same as our time. No, I didn’t hear a booming voice say, “This is God Almighty!” Instead, while I was in my prayer room on my knees, God showed me a clear vision of a book cover that consisted of a cross, a crown and the images of my two children. Then one-night, that same vision came to me in a dream, but this time there was a woman on her knees praying with a large cross on her back. It was as if she were bearing the weight of the cross that God had given her. Then I realized that woman was me. That is when it was apparent that God wanted me to tell my story about my journey. I always thought about writing about it, and I had even started a chapter once, but it was too hard rehashing all the hurt and pain, so I put it on the back burner. But now my vision was a confirmation that what was once my pain was now my purpose.
So, there it was, my purpose which was given to me from God Himself. During my fast, I realized that instead of always praying with so many words and wrapping it all up with an Amen, sometimes God just wanted me to be silent so I could hear from Him, and truly understand exactly what it was that He wanted me to do.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.