I have been wanting to share my season of grief as an encouragement for others, but I didn’t think that there was ever going to be a right time. However, after this morning’s prayer, I thought that today was the right time. This morning, as confirmation, my classmate just shared the loss of her Dad on her blog who also passed around the same time as mine. The Holy Spirit is speaking!
My grandparents (mom’s side) raised me in Orlando, FL. My grandad was basically my father because my birth father is (well, what can I say? I don’t really know him). My grandma is basically my mother as well, because my birth mother is in her own bubble drowning in depression and oppressed by demons (schizophrenia).
As a child, life was good because I didn’t have a clue of what was actually going on. But as I grew into my adolescent years, my eyes began to see the truth. My mother was being enabled by my grandparents because they allowed her to stay in their house without having to care for me or herself. She’s been to mental ward to mental ward, but she never received the spiritual care she needs to be totally delivered.
My grandparents are a bit “rough around the edges” but their hearts are BIG. They always sacrifice for others to make sure everyone is in need. Long story short, after I left the nest and went off to college, my oldest cousin moved in. My grandparents enabled him because they provided from him as if he were a child. They did this because they loved him and thought that this was the only right thing to do.
My cousin has been in and out of trouble since his youth. I have so many good memories with him. But I started to sense demonic activity in him as the years went by. His condition progressed and everyone could see it. Still, nothing was done to control his foolish ways. He continued to live in my grandparents house rent free and care free with no respect for anyone.
I soon became fearful of my grandparents and mom because they didn’t seem to see what I could in the spiritual realm. For years, I prayed for their protection and for God to give my grandparents the wisdom to let everyone get on with their lives. Despite what I am about to tell you, I know that my prayers availed much because I believe in the power of prayer according to God’s Word. Once my prayers were released on the behalf of my family, it’s their choice to receive them. It was my hope that they would take heed…
On February 22, 2019, I got a call saying that my cousin shot and killed my grandad multiple times and left him to die. My mother was a witness but she’s not able to testify because of her “illness.” Click here for the news article.
Since moving to ATL, I haven’t seen or spoken to my grandad in two years. Why? I don’t know. Our relationship was awkward. I can’t really explain it. He was a Vietnam vet (Purple Heart) raised by a broken and dysfunctional family, as well. He showed loved but he never told me he loved me or was proud of my accomplishments. He never told me happy birthday, anniversary, or congratulations. He never even called me by name. But I know that he loved me because he would do anything for me. He bought me every iPod that came out, worked out with me, and picked me up from every track practice. He was a good earthly father to me, and I will never forget it. I don’t hold anything against him because my relationship with God is enough!
My family doesn’t really understand me and the new life I have in Christ. I get it. God has walked with me through my season of isolation. I have learned to love from a distance and not to be offended of any form of persecution. I know that though they don’t understand my spiritual life, they love me and see God’s light shine in me.
Anyway, when I got the phone call, I had mixed emotions. I was strangely calm for 2 weeks because I was in a complete state of shock. I even went into their new home (which I never even visited) to gather some of his belongings and needs for my mom and grandma. I seen the scene of the murder and worked with the cleaning team to get everything back to normal. My spirit led me to their home so that I could see the fulfillment of all of my dreams/visions and pray over every corner of that house.
I am angry at what was done and how my grandparents refused godly wisdom concerning their household. I would talk to my grandmother weekly about changes that needed to be made but she ignored me over and over. My last words to my grandad were something like: “Why do y’all deal with this fool? Just kick him out.” I know their heart for the family. They don’t want to see anyone thrown out on the streets as if they didn’t have anyone. This is human wisdom that so many families lean on and it often ends in tragedy. It hurts but sometimes we need to give a dose of tough-love to people in order for them to become desperate enough to seek and find the Lord on their own.
My grandad is gone too soon, my cousin is in jail, my mother is back in the mental ward, and my grandmother is alone. This is deeply saddening, embarrassing, and stressful. But I choose to turn evil into good (Genesis 50:20). I refuse to let the devil break me and my family down. I will never EVER stop praying for my family. I believe that there is hope for everyone as long as they live.
My grandad was a boxer trainer of his own gym. He trained his sons, and some big names such as Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr. My family is friends of Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Don King, Evander Holyfield, and even Muhammed Ali. My grandfather was a father to the fatherless in his family and community. His funeral was packed and very beautiful. I believe that someone or some people were inspired to get to know God through his death. I am hoping that it will be a wake-up call to anyone connected to us that isn’t living right. (Click here to donate to our GoFundMe).
In this season, I have learned to not sin in my anger, trust God, and forgive. I have the right to be angry but I don’t have the right to act ungodly because “vengeance belongs to God” (Romans 12:19). Because of the grace God has shown me, I have chosen to forgive my cousin. I can’t bear the weight of unforgiveness. I needed my joy back! Don’t get me wrong, I never want to see or speak to him again! But I still love him and pray that he surrenders his life to Jesus. Although God will administer justice, He still loves him deeply and doesn’t want him to die in his sin. Can I get an amen?
I am so thankful for my relationship with God because He gives me peace in the midst of chaos, joy for my pain, and strength to endure each passing day without my dear loved one. I know that to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord (for believers)(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). I know that we will meet again and this earth will soon be restored free of pain forever.
I have developed my trust in God through this grieving season because the peace He gives me surpasses my own understanding. God has prepared me for this season with countless dreams, examples from scripture, and supernatural wisdom. Although I cry, I know that this situation was out of my control because God has given everyone free-will and this world is fallen, cursed, and governed by Satan, the ruler and prince of darkness.
I have clung to Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV),
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
As believers, we must take heed to God’s Word for every area of our lives. We can’t let our emotions get in the way of God’s help. We can’t do things on our own. We need Jesus to overcome every evil tactic of the enemy.
We are going to go through trials in this life (John 16:33; Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2, 12). But God is able to walk us through them if we put out trust in Him. We can turn every evil thing into good if we believe in God and give Him the glory.
I am not suggesting that I know everything. I am only expressing that my faith is real. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). I am never going to let the devil take away the only real thing in my life. My faith in God has transformed my life, renewed my mind, and given me every good thing. I know that Satan wants to try me like Job and cause me to turn away from God. But here I am still standing on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ!
My worship is for real. I love the Lord, and His praise will ever be on my lips. I will stand firm in my faith all the way to the end. Let’s stay encouraged through our trials, turn evil into good, and pray for one another. Our Lord and Savior is coming soon! Are you ready?