Place of Origin: Los Angeles, California
From a very young age, I knew I was “blessed!” I loved life. I loved my family. I loved school. And, I was filled with dreams of how I wanted to help people around me.
I grew up in a low socioeconomic neighborhood and witnessed the results of so many poor circumstances, poor choices, and poor consequences. According to statistics, I’d heard at school, chances were I wouldn’t stand much chance against crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, or worse. But I instinctively knew, those situations were not for me. And, witnessing my mother often praise and sing about God, I believed God was the reason. I believed God was calling on my heart to be a teacher, a social worker, or somehow help people make better choices.
So school became my safe place! At school, they spoke my language, they captured my mind, they engaged me and challenged me with exciting new opportunities to grow (choir, after-school clubs, student leadership, softball). This is how I came to fall in love with all-things-school, as I quickly figured out that this was the only choice that made any sense…and could change your whole world!
For years, I pursued more and more education and then career, and I still felt His voice, His presence always with me, guiding me through to the choices of adulthood. More often than not, I followed Him. But every now and then, I opted to test the limits of this thing called “choice.” I wanted to prove I was the driver of my own destiny. I wanted to prove that independently I could avert disaster and drive my own triumphs. Almost needless to say, I failed miserably and suffered heartbreak after heartbreak. My own family became dysfunctional and divided. I struggled in painful relationships. And for a time, I’d even lost my passion and zeal for school and career. I had completely burned out—mind, body, and soul..
Ultimately, I recognized what was missing and I was re-baptized (this time as an adult) to officially reclaim Him. I realized that voice, that presence I felt as a young girl, was more than instinct. It was God—my greatest Teacher of all! And I have never stopped learning from Him since.
In fact, I just experienced a real life-changing “a-ha moment” through my new association with New Life Covenant Church. It was here, I gained a deeper understanding that God is far more than just a force or authority to fear. Better than that, He is my most profound Father and friend, who loves me so wildly and deeply that He has been there all along. Even when I struggled and suffered, He was still there, masterfully crafting how to use each setback for my setup. I now know about God’s love and grace more deeply than ever before. I know He has loved me from the time I was born. I know He has always planned for me to teach, to help, and make a difference!