Happy birthday to ME!

I’m 4 today!!Before you start pouring happy birthday well wishes all over me, my real birthday isn’t until March 18th. Today is my spiritual birthday and at this time in my life the significance of what that means is reason to celebrate. Please spend a few minutes of your time and read to the end, there’s something special I’d like from you.

I've always been a believer. I’d had that warm fuzzy feeling while sitting in church more than a few times. I tried to be a good person and do unto others, blah..blah..blah. But I tell you God made a real BELIEVER out of me on March 6, 2008. He became just as real to me as I am to myself. If you’ve known me for longer than four years, I’m sure you can attest to the changes that have occurred in my life over this very short period of time. I ran into an old friend recently and he almost walked right past me. He said, “you still look the same ... but you’re just different now. Everything about you is different.” You know what the funny thing is about his statement … Truth talk: I hardly recognize myself sometimes, my thoughts are different and I even look different to me and I see myself every single day, lol. I know its still me, its just a better me. Only God can do that. I got a New Attitude.

Like most things in life, the beginning of a thing is always good because it’s new. My experience at Metamorphosis, directed by Pastor Mia K. Wright of The Fountain of Praise Church was absolutely life-changing, as the name suggests, in so many ways. I arrived to that conference holding and hiding the broken pieces of my life in my hands. And I was tired, but I was afraid to let go of the past and afraid to move forward toward a future that I didn't believe was there. I clearly remember saying to God, "if you're real, then now is a good time to show me cause I'm done. I need to see something else." I can still hear the hoarse call of Pastor Sheryl Brady petitioning God on my behalf. Thank the Lord, I surrendered after trying to wrestle with Him. As you can see, HE won and I’m here. I let go and HE came storming in with all his love, peace and understanding. He shook me up like an earthquake y’all (smile). See, this was also the same place that I saw Author, ReShonda Tate-Billingsley for the first time. Just listening to her speak about her journey and successes lit a fire inside of me. She made me feel like I could—like I should. It felt like she was speaking directly to me, out of the hundreds of other women there, she struck my chord. I had all these words living inside of me, waiting to be released to the world, waiting, waiting, waiting on me to get myself together. It was finally time. Are you following me here? Do you see how God orchestrated all of that to get me on track. Like a gun fired in a crowd, I took off and four years later, I'm still running! Oh, but God. Jesus is real!

The middle passage was rough. Learning how to develop my mind in Christ all over again was hard. I had some devastating moments and I still do as I attempt everyday to rid myself of old habits and beliefs that still fight me tooth and nail to retain control—to keep me bound. I hid behind bad habits and destructive behavior. I self-mutilated in my thoughts: Hopeless. Abandoned. Abused. Angry. Forgotten. Unworthy. Unwanted. Unloved. Now you understand why I wrote myself into a tree. Oh, I hope you didn’t think that I got all saved and sanctified and life suddenly morphed into a bed of roses (lol). It was and is a daily process. You know how it is when you get a new pair of shoes, you have to keep walking in them until you break them in. How sometimes you will just say forget it and go put on your old pair just to feel the familiar. But one day, and if you don’t pay attention you will miss the moment, you will put on those new shoes and they will feel like you’ve been walking in them forever. For the longest time, I kept buying new shoes and tossed them aside before I broke them in. That time, I was in it for the long walk and I pressed through the pain. Baby steps. My life had always been one rollercoaster ride with ups, downs and side-bending, back-breaking loops meant to break me, but they didn’t … they made me. I didn’t know my own strength.

The reward is the result, can you see me? My Father in Heaven knows my name and he calls out to me and I can hear it and I answer, yes. Nakia R. Laushaul is present. I AM a contributing member to His kingdom because I wake up to make a difference. I AM not afraid to stand up for what I believe. I AM not ashamed when I lift my voice to sing His praises in or out of the church walls, with or without music. I AM living my life like I’ve never lived before and all on His promises. I wake up with hope for the future, enough hope to pass on to my son and all the generations that will come from him because they will know my name and be proud to call themselves my descendants. “Yes,” they will shout, “I come from that woman of God.” When strangers and friends see me coming they smile because they know I come bearing good news, the truth, encouragement, a hand or love; what do you need? Speaking of love, I have more love in my life than I’ve ever known or thought was possible and it was in me and around me the entire time. I just didn’t know how to tap into it. I AM no longer living to die, but living until I die. Like this right here could be my last breath and it would be okay with me. I AM finally living free; free of restraints, fear, or apologies. I live to be an extension of God … can you feel it? Happy birthday to ME! HERE I AM world.

Every word I’ve written here can be vouched for, validated and confirmed. Let me know if you need it because the only thing I want for my spiritual birthday is for you to be free too.

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