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Purpose Stimulus Part 2

Persist Determinedly

In Part 1 of “Purpose Stimulus”, we examined the concepts of TAILWINDS, HEADWINDS, and CROSSWINDS. We concluded that all of these WINDS would eventually land us in our destiny to an on time arrival, delayed arrival or canceled arrival. Our final thought was, “WE NEED THE WINDS OF LIFE TO HELP US GROW.” WIND(s) is a formative concept that when encountered, we are shaped for our DIVINE ASSIGNMENT!

Contemplate on this thought, if winds were nonexistent, there are consequences that would ensue. The earth would not rotate, aircraft could not take to the skies, rivers would cease to flow, and temperature extremes would increase all over the world. When wind is evolving (DEVELOPING) and moving (IN MOTION), things change.

During a summer vacation to Aruba, I was extremely fascinated by a tree that grew all over the island. It is called the “Divi Divi” tree. This beautiful specimen’s shape is most unusual in that it only grows in one direction due to the persistent trade winds. These constant winds force it to assume a southeast position that acts as a natural compass. The root system is so deeply GROUNDED that it allows the tree to bend without breaking and prevents it from being tossed to and fro.

As we continue on Life’s Journey, I want you to seriously think about all the WINDS blustering in your presence. No matter what the direction, they were created for a PURPOSE to point us to God’s purpose here on earth.

At times WIND(s) seem to be slowing us down, or accelerating us faster than we intend to go. We may even appear to be defeated or knocked off course! These are the moments when we must be DETERMINED TO PERSIST and allow the CREATOR to MOLD us to be more like him.

Calm WINDS (the absence of wind), can trick us. We think that because there is no movement in our lives, everything is smooth sailing. This is the occasion to take stock and strengthen our foundation. It’s an opportunity to become grounded in our faith.

The Divi Divi tree takes years to develop a strong root system. It grows strong and stays attached to its source for strength and nourishment. When the winds come, it stands and is sculpted undeniably by an unseen force of nature.

My friends, embrace the winds of life and know that WIND(s) of life will always be here now, tomorrow and forever, BUT GOD is a NEVER CHANGING, CONSTANT, and PERSISTENT force in our lives that guarantees our direction to DESTINY.

I leave you with these words of life to meditate on:

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Ephesians 3:16 I pray that from His glorious unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. v-17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not.

Purpose Stimulus

Tailwinds/Headwinds/Crosswinds

I am certain most of us have been passengers on a commercial airline flight and have heard the pilot announce, “Due to TAILWINDS we will arrive at our destination 30 minutes early”, or “Due to HEADWINDS we will arrive 30 minutes late.”

Just for clarification, I’ll take a minute to define TAILWINDS and HEADWINDS.

A TAILWIND is a wind that blows in the direction of a travel of an object, while a HEADWIND blows against the direction of travel. They both have varying degrees of intensity.

Airline pilots do not turn the aircraft around and go back to the original takeoff city because it is too difficult to navigate when these atmospheric conditions exist. They simply make the necessary adjustments in order to attain the intended destination. On the other hand, they take advantage of the substantial TAILWINDS pushing the jet at a greater speed, which guarantees an EXCEPTIONAL, GREATER THAN EXPECTED, on time arrival! We can also label it as AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!

As we pursue purpose there are many opposing forces designed to hinder us and nonresistant forces that propel us. Surprisingly, both of these influences allow perfect timing to achieve destiny. Some flights do arrive AHEAD OF SCHEDULE, but in our LIFE’S JOURNEY, the PROCESS OF TIME, delivers us to our DIVINE APPOINTMENT according to the timetable which has already been prearranged or PREDESTINED. Woven within each situation there is a stimulation to PERSIST DETERMINEDLY.

Did I forget to mention CROSSWINDS? Let’s address these as well. Crosswinds are winds that blow across ones direction of travel. These winds are very dangerous in aviation because they have the capability of disrupting landings and takeoffs altogether. Mind you I said DISRUPT! Airline pilots must have total control of the aircraft to handle this type of interception.

When we encounter these winds in life, all of our plans can come a halt! We can get knocked off course for sure, but rest assured (God) the Captain of Our Souls, takes command!

When all of these winds present themselves as doubt, discouragement, unforgiveness, fear and temptation, we must be inspired (stimulated) to persist amid the opposing forces, and focus on those things that propel us to arrive to our preordained destiny at the appointed time, regardless of the circumstances.

We need the winds to help us grow and take us on our JOURNEY!

Sojourning

Reflections Part 2

I want to pause again to share another segment of my Life’s Journey that includes the first job I received before being employed by Delta Airlines.

The desire to travel increased with each passing day of my life and any indication of the idea, was constantly with me. While browsing through a magazine one day, I came across an ad that read,”Be A Stewardess or Look Like One.” I thought, this is my opportunity! The advertisement was from Atlantic Airline School and when I observed it a little closer it really had nothing to do with flying! What was interesting though was that, I could use this as a stepping stone to where I eventually wanted to be.

Atlantic Airline School offered training in Airline Reservations, Vacation Planning, Ticketing and Fare Construction. The training consisted of a six week home study course and after that, graduates were placed in selected cities across the country for in person training. The cost for this program was $800.00.

My father was not to thrilled about giving up that amount of money for something he wasn’t to certain of, but because he usually gave into my passions, I was enrolled right after High School with the condition of, “you’d better get a job after you finish.”

The three cities listed to attend training were Inglewood, California, Kansas City Missouri and Atlanta Georgia. My first thought was, California here I come! Not so fast missy-California was booked solid, so I tried for Kansas City. No openings were available there. The last place I wanted to be was in Georgia. The racial tensions were quite high in Georgia during the 70’s and I was gripped with fear at the thought of being in that state. Nevertheless, I would go anywhere to be in a totally different environment.

My application was submitted and in the year of 1972 I was notified of my acceptance. Placement for training was in Atlanta, Georgia. The very first thing that captured my attention, was the Hyatt Regency Hotel that could be seen from I-75 traveling North. It was referred to as, “the blue glass bubble in the sky.” All of the tall buildings were so amazing because of course I’d NEVER seen anything like them in Belhaven! What’s so hilarious is that, the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta is now obscured by many skyscrapers overwhelmingly many stories high.

My place of abode for an additional six weeks of training was the Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree Street. An allotment of rooms were purchased by Atlantic Airline Schools as dormitories. It too has undergone some massive reconstruction since the 70’s. I think it is referred to as, “The Luxurious Georgian Terrace Hotel.”

The training course was very detailed and challenging, but because I was so eager to learn, I excelled in all areas. I graduated with honors and was hired by one of the most prestigious Travel Agencies in the country, Henderson Travel Service. This company specialized, and still does, in Travel Tours of the African continent and has received many awards for distinguished service. When I arrived on the scene, there was a dire need for an expert in Domestic Travel. Yours truly fit the bill! I was in charge of front office operations and formulated travel arrangements for professors of Atlanta University, i.e. Dr. Benjamin Mays, local politicians such as Mayor Maynard Jackson, Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. CT Vivian, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King and Mrs. Christine Farris, sister to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My interaction with these wonderful people is something I will always cherish. As a side note, I was thrilled to have Mayor Jackson as a passenger on flights several times to Washington D.C. during my career at Delta!

There were many others that I had the privilege of meeting as well. Marketing Representatives frequented the office with travel updates and I befriended several of them. One in particular was with Delta and I was always inquiring about working with Delta as a Stewardess, as they were called at that time. He kept urging me to apply. The only problem was I seventeen and I had to wait until I was eighteen years old. That my friends was about eight months away! I applied any way and I was invited for an interview a short time after my birthday.

Guess what happened? They did not hire me! That did not deter me because I know my destiny had been sealed. I contacted the office of another person I’d met who worked directly with hiring. I asked him why would I not be hired with my knowledge of travel and customer service. He put me on hold for about three minutes and returned to inform me that one more could be added to the next class for training.

My training with Delta Airlines began in September of 1974, two years after I first stepped foot on Georgian soil. This was a dream come true! This dream fueled my passion with determination that still views every experience as adding substance and value to the essence of who I am.

A final thought: NEVER LET GO OF YOUR DREAM!!!!!

Emergency Exits/Evacuation Slides

Equipping for Success

In our previous post (Emergency Equipment), we discovered there was an eminent danger on board the flight to Lagos, Nigeria. The Captain informed me that if we could not extinguish the threat of a catastrophic event, an emergency landing would be unavoidable. This meant that all passengers and crew members would immediately LEAVE THE DANGER BEHIND by the way of EMERGENCY EXITS and EVACUATION SLIDES. This required us to move as far away from the possibility of the development of hazardous elements, such as toxic smoke and intense fire. The EMERGENCY EXITS provided our WAY OF ESCAPE!

When a situation occurs such as this, there are commands and procedures flight crews must implement to initiate the EVACUATION PROCESS. Some examples of these commands are, “RELEASE SEATBELTS!, LEAVE EVERYTHING!, COME THIS WAY!, KEEP MOVING!”. It is so very important not to LOOK BACK or to GO BACK for any reason. Whether any passenger lives or dies in an attempt to seek safety, depends on LETTING GO of What was LEFT BEHIND inside the aircraft!

How is this analogy relative to our LIFE’S JOURNEY? Consider the process of forgiveness and how it speaks to holding on to past hurts and disappointments. Passengers would not be instructed to LEAVE without following several other directives. We’ve heard it said many times, “LET THE PAST GO”. However, what I’ve learned is that the undertaking of RELEASING negative circumstances we encounter requires a purposeful timing which produces a change of heart and mind.

Notice the succession of the EVACUATION COMMANDS: RELEASING >MOVEMENT > DIRECTION. As I previously stated, EMERGENCY EXITS are OUR WAY OF ESCAPE. They direct us to the EVACUATION SLIDES that MOVE us away from danger.

Forgiving is the forging ahead to a destined place by being liberated from the captivity of what poses a danger to our very existence, so we may experience safety and blessing.

God sent Jesus as our EVACUATION SLIDE to deliver us from sin to life everlasting! He frees us from our old sinful lives through the plan (process) of salvation, which is our WAY OF ESCAPE, when there are life threatening emergencies vying for our destiny.

LET GO and LEAVE BEHIND those things you try to hold onto, for they only hold you back!

MOVE far away from the past to a secure place, so that you may be able to serve the world with the greatness that has been bestowed upon you by the God of all creation!

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of ESCAPE, that you may be able to bear it”. (NKJ)

Philippians 3:12-13, “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us toward Jesus. I’m off running, and I’m not turning back.” (MSG)

Emergency Equipment

Equipping For Success

In December of 2009, my Boeing 767 flight crew departed from Atlanta, Georgia enroute to Lagos, Nigeria with an estimated flight time of approximately ten hours.

Three hours after takeoff, I along with two other flight attendants, (let’s name them Sue and Ann), was serving passengers in the Business Class Section. We each had specific duties to accomplish within the duration of the flight. As the lead Flight Attendant, I was primarily responsible for making sure passenger meals were accounted for and prepared according to instructions provided by the caterers. One of the most essential tasks, was to always ensure that the ovens were functioning properly.

The first oven I turned on sounded very strange, so I opened the door only to discover that the heating element was suspiciously glowing and seemed to intensify while alternating colors of blue, red, yellow and orange. Immediately, I closed the door and sensed the level of the heat by pressing the back of my hands against the door. After three seconds, it was evident that the situation was dire!

Flight Attendants are trained to respond to EMERGENCIES such as these, and without hesitation the three of us activated the required PROCEDURES necessary to lessen the threat of serious consequences. INSTANTLY, I closed the vents to disrupt the oxygen flow and pulled the circuit breaker which disengaged the power. Sue quickly retrieved a chemical oxygen bottle and passed it to Ann who was standing between me and the oven. Ann skillfully opened the vents and pressed the discharge lever and dispersed the extinguisher’s contents into the oven. If Sue had given Ann a water bottle I would not be sharing this incident with you!

All aircraft are equipped with a variety of emergency equipment, and each item is implemented for a specific type of crisis in flight. It is mandated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), that all crew members KNOW the location and number of each piece, how to OPERATE it effectively, WHICH one to use for different types of scenarios, and WHEN to apply its use if necessary. Sue knew where the equipment was and thank goodness Ann was familiar with how it worked! The success of this challenge was because of the the TIMELY manner in which it was executed.

As we continue on life’s JOURNEY, we are sure to encounter emergencies. They are commonly known as trials and tribulations. Jesus told His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trails and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ( Matthew 16:33, NLT). We have to FIGHT to overcome situations and circumstances that seemingly cause us to lose hope by assuming the proper stance for the battle and being armed with the correct equipment which assures victory.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, concerning our weapons of defense when encountering spiritual warfare. He used the analogy of the suit of armor of the Roman soldier.

Ephesians 6:10-17, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the enemy. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the BELT OF TRUTH and the BODY ARMOR OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUNESS. For shoes, PUT ON THE PEACE that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the SHIELD OF FAITH to stop the fiery arrows of the enemy. Put on SALVATION as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD.” (NLT)

The EQUIPMENT to quench our battles, is outlined in this passage. When life starts a fiery trial, effectively IDENTIFY the threat and RESPOND by gathering every promise of God, as He instructs you on which piece of His armor is needed to grant undeniable success! We must KNOW the truth of God’s word and WHEN to use it to achieve optimum results. In doing so, we must rest in HIS peace and allow our Faith to keep us strong .THE HELMET OF SALVATION is the most crucial piece of armor for protection. All of the other armor would be useless if the soldier’s head and facial area were vulnerable. This is what empowers us to fight, for knowing that Jesus died to save us, protects us when we are weak.

Just to let you know how the flight ended to Nigeria, the eminent danger ended as we successfully got the situation under control. What occurred was an electrical “arc” in the oven which was a very strong power surge capable of causing a mid air disaster. We had no idea until a week later after the investigation took place. Furthermore, over 300 passengers arrived safely to their destination without being aware of what had taken place. Sue, Ann and I were awarded a CERTFICATE OF ACHIEVMENT , it read, “FOR EFFECTIVELY IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO A SIGNIFICANT SITUATION AND ENSURING THE SAFTEY OF OUR PASSENGERS AND OPERATIONS, YOU ARE CREDITED WITH ‘SAVING THE DAY'”.

God will SAVE your day when you make use of all the essential promises He has given you and me to continue in faith on this journey together.

1 John 5:4, “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith”.

Adapting To Change

Holding Pattern

Have you ever been cruising along the paths of life and suddenly, everything just STOPS? I know COVID is a good example, but let’s put this distraction aside for a moment and consider many other matters that can catapult our lives into a “HOLDING PATTERN.”

As this relates to air travel, a HOLDING Pattern is a route followed by an aircraft above or near an airport while it “WAITS” to land. The source may be due to bad weather which causes reduced visibility, a saturation of air traffic during peak travel times, or runway closures.

Passengers and crew members are imprisoned above the earth until the air traffic controllers release the jetliner for the landing approach. A scenario such as this could take hours and the end result would usually cause missed flights or extensive delays. Sometimes the captain has to abandon the pattern and deviate to another city because fuel reserves are running low.

When faced with such an occurrence onboard a flight, passengers become angry, impatient, irritable, confrontational, resentful and the list goes on! Eventually, your flight arrives at “A” destination. Bear in mind that I said “A” destination, not your destination. Destiny is not always about OUR choosing!

HOLDING in itself is not an inconvenience for the most part. Mirriam Webster defines HOLDING PATTERN as, “a state of WAITING or SUSPENDED activity.”

The pilgrimage through existence consists of our tireless attempts to attain destiny our own way. Even our greatest efforts encounter delayed progress that induce anger, impatience, and resentment. When we are in the HOLDING state, we would be greatly benefited, if we would allow the development of what we need to align with God’s timing.

It would appear that sometimes, dreams are SUSPENDED by outside influences and we dare not look inside to recognize that WAITING expectantly is incorporated in the process of time. Being in a HOLDING PATTERN permits us to gain perspective, reveal our capabilities, redirect our lives or in some cases, even save our lives.

Even when intentions are not what we have planned, examine the great possibilities when JOURNEY lands us in strange and foreign places. The adaptation in the experience will reap great rewards.

Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but God determines our steps.” (NLT)

Equipping For Success

Baggage

Most of us are acquainted with the guidelines for travel on board commercial jetliners. One specific rule I want to address is “BAGGAGE.”

We deem baggage as necessary pieces of equipment for travel, packed with everything to ensure comfort for the journey. Although there is much wisdom in being prepared, sometimes we just carry too much “STUFF”!

During the boarding process, there are set public announcements made by the Flight Attendant that declare ,”ladies and gentlemen, please be aware that all carry on items must be of the size and shape to fit securely underneath the seat in front of you, or in the overhead bins provided.” It continues, “if you have any carry on items that can not be placed in either location, please notify your Flight Attendants, we will be happy to check them for you.” Those announcements still resonate with me, because, the proper stowage of luggage was one of the greatest challenges of this procedure.

The reason for this is that, most passengers did not understand the safety issue involved if a crucial evacuation took place. Each traveler must have a clear pathway to escape impending danger in the event of an emergency without any restrictions, hinderances, barriers, or blockages to transition to another level of security.

You may be the person at the window seat who has properly stowed your luggage, but your fellow traveler seated on the aisle has not complied! Your expedient departure from the aircraft will be restricted by that obstruction. Ask yourself, “what would be my response?” It would be incumbent upon you/or them to remove that barrier so you can get out! If nothing is done, you are STUCK!

I previously mentioned that our travel equipment must include essential items. Let’s be honest, there is some “STUFF” we don’t really need.

Whenever I embarked on a road trip, cruise or a flight, I would typically overpack! This sometimes caused me to incur an excess baggage fee. That would result in money that I could have spent elsewhere!

When we are filled (overpacked) with an excess of worry, insecurity, doubt, fear, unforgiveness and yes, I’m going to go there, non essential people, just like the unsecured luggage, these issues will keep us from moving, more precisely, having a clear path to destiny. There is a price to pay for for being weighed down with obstructions. We lose focus, our health is affected, we lose hope and most of all the route to destiny becomes a little foggy.

We carry up-ON ourselves these burdens not realizing that we have an escape route. Obstacles are a normal part of life, but rest assured, they are necessary. On our journey remember, “the PATH to the prize is more valuable that the prize itself.”

If I may quote Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” When you encounter those frightful things, listen to the comforting words of the Apostle Paul:

I Corinthians 10:13 , “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more that you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way of escape so that you can endure.”

Equipping For Success

Refueling

I usually don’t make any kind of New Year’s resolutions going into the New Year, and 2021 won’t be any exception. However, what I do attend to is, REASSESING, RECCOMMITTING, REFOCUSING, REINVENTING, REPOSITIONING, and most of all REFUELING 365 days a year.

Pay close attention to words with the prefix, “RE”. Webster’s dictionary defines “RE” as, again:anew. Another definition is again and again, to indicate repetition.

I’ve discovered that in each month of years past, it benefits me most to give constant attention to situations and circumstances, which require additional adjustments necessary to enhance the DISTANCE to DESTINY. The equipment crucial to ensure that I can go the distance changes from day to day. Why? , because I am ever evolving and my needs, and your needs have to adapt to each encounter in life. Some of our most valuable articles are, FAITH, PRAYER, RESILENCE, UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE, PEACE, ENDURANCE AND LOVE. These tools function best at the times when we need them most.

I’ve always been amazed at how long a jumbo jet can travel nonstop to Europe. Most long haul flights are equipped with enough fuel to fly thousands of miles without ever having to REFUEL depending on the charted course. Once it has reached its destination, refueling is vital for the return trip to the original departure city. One single aircraft can acquire many miles as it DEPARTS and ARRIVES repetitiously. Commercial aircraft can develop “aircraft fatigue” by this constant repetition and must undergo REEVALUATION for airworthiness. If any type of issue is located, it must be taken out of service for repairs. Guess what, these evaluations are not done every year, but each day! It is incumbent upon the aircraft mechanics to determine that all jets in the fleet are maintained for peak performance.

If we are pursuing DESTINY, then we must be engaged for the long haul, not at the beginning of each year but every waking moment of our existence. Let us realize that bringing God’s intentions for us to the forefront on a daily basis, will REFUEL or spirits, minds and bodies to endure ALL the challenges we have faced, will face and face today. Sometimes we can become fatigued because as in the poem by Langston Hughes ,”Mother to Son,” life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The theme of the poem is to never give up no matter what obstacles hinder you.

The years will come and go again and again. By constantly REVISITING our direction and seeking all of the attributes God has given us, we are equipped to continue this never ending journey. He is the Master Mechanic who knows the length of our paths and how much we can bear under pressure and fatigue. To maintain peak performance, be REMINDED that He is always present to guide you and guarantee that we operate at PEAK PERFORMANCE.

I leave you with this powerful scripture for DAILY meditation:

Isaiah 40:31 -“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Welcome Aboard

Greetings everyone!

I pray the Holiday Celebrations were filled with peace for you and your family. I particularly hope that, you have taken time to recommit to being “YOU”.

Before I continue with the usual comparisons for my blog, I would like to share a writing, author unknown, that was sent to me by a dear friend. You may or may not have heard this before, but it speaks greatly to direction and purpose. Enjoy!

Welcome to flight #2021. We are prepared to take off in to New Year! Please make sure your ATTITUDE and BLESSINGS are secured and locked in an upright position. All self destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away. Should we lose ALTITUDE, under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a PRAYER. Prayers will automatically be activated by FAITH. Once your faith is activated, you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight! The CAPTAIN (GOD), has cleared us for takeoff. DESTINATION-GREATNESS!

This is indeed an excellent view of how to DEPART and ARRIVE !

Let me know how this speaks to you. I welcome your comments!

Life Stories

My Testimony

It was the year of 1995. A muggy summer day wrapped around the city like a heavy blanket. During that time, a great number of women in Atlanta, had been murdered or sexually assaulted. I never feared, but tried to be aware of my surroundings at all times. God was my best friend, even though I had not received Christ in my life as of yet. Even though I had no family near me, I possessed an indescribable faith, which assured me that my son and I would always be taken care of.

After a long work week, I settled into a very deep sleep that night and began to dream, or to see a vision. I have always been terribly afraid of snakes and the dream (vision) was one that showed me a snake crawling between my sheets as I slept. I immediately jumped up and started looking for this serpent who had violated my peace. Then I asked myself, what will I do when I find it? I settled back on my pillow and closed my eyes, that’s when I heard a sweet voice speak to my spirit, “if you don’t give your life to Christ, you will die.” I cried out to God to save me. I shared this with a very close friend, who had been a Christian for quite some time and she prayed with me to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. This vision was given to me three years before the enemy assaulted my life. 

My son Emmett, was 14 years old when we lived in College Park, Georgia, a suburb twenty minutes south of Atlanta. This was a middle-classed area full of hardworking folks, and we knew most of the people on our street. Emmett was quite a sociable young man, and always looked for an opportunity to gather on the street with the neighborhood kids. I was a single Mother and very selective in who I granted access into his impressionable life.

There was a single mother that lived next to us, who had a son named Wayne. She worked three jobs, and needless to say, was never at home. This gave Wayne a lot of time to get into trouble. He often threw parties during the day, when he and about twenty attendees should have been in school. Of course, I reported this to the local high school where they were enrolled and the principal politely told me, “this guy is trouble” and you need to stay as far away from him as you can. 

One day a group of teenagers were brandishing guns in the middle of the street in front of our house. I immediately called Emmett inside just seconds before they started discharging those weapons into the air. I called the police and they came to get a report detailing descriptions of the perpetrators and the type of vehicle they were driving. From my understanding, some of them were taken into police headquarters for questioning.

That hot summer day I referred to in the beginning, turned into a hot muggy evening. Emmett and I had just finished watching the news and the first five stories were about the violence against women that resounded all over the state. It was about 11:30 p.m. when I said to Emmett, “we must pray for safety”. After we prayed, he went across the hall to his room and I proceeded downstairs. As I reached the foyer the doorbell rang. I turned toward the door and peered through the peephole but could only see the top of someone’s head. I shouted, “who is it,” A young man answered, Is Wayne here!!?? I responded, “Wayne lives next door.” He answered- “I think you are lying!!!!” Before I could respond, the sound of gunfire rang out and I felt a persistent pressure in my left side. My brain took a while to figure out what had just occurred. I grabbed my side and realized; I’d been shot! There was no pain, for the nerves had been severed. I yelled to Emmett to call 911 and get in the closet because I didn’t know if he was going to try to enter the house and harm my son. Emmett instructed me to pray!!!

Emmett called my best friend who lived about three minutes from us. She later told me that she had plans to get in the shower around that time and every time she headed toward the bathroom, she would think of something else she had to accomplish. If she had been in the shower, she never would have heard the telephone ring. She arrived ten minutes before the EMTs and was holding me in her arms and pleading with God to save my life.

I was taken to the best trauma center in the country (Grady Hospital). The wound was from a twelve-gauge shotgun which was fired at point blank range. You see, I never opened the door, but the young man placed the barrel of the gun on the other side of the door and fired. The miracle was that the bullet was one inch from my femoral artery. It entered just below my pelvic area and exited through my hip. There was very little bleeding and no bone was damaged. 

The detective handling the case later told me that Wayne was the target and not me. He had some altercations with some other people who weren’t too fond of him. The plan was to harm Wayne’s mother but the person responsible for carrying out this attack was inebriated and went to the wrong house.

The process of healing was slow, that’s when I experienced the most pain. The nerves started to regenerate by webbing together the next day!    Psalm 139:14- “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” I discontinued my pain medications because I could tell I was becoming addicted and could not function. I asked the doctor to just give me some Tylenol and that was all I needed.

I thank God that He has used this ordeal to bless many. After the recovery period, my Pastor sent me to minister at the Youth Detention in South Atlanta, and the young men received Christ by witnessing the power of God in my life. I know now that this experience was for a reason, His plan and purpose.

Rose Gibbs-Miller

Rose and Son