Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
I guess at the earliest me there was You, I mean how else can I be explained? My story is unique in as many was as it is common. When we look at Jeremiah 1:5 do we really see God as the Master Orchestrater of our lives or do we see it as, “of course He knows us, He created us?” At 48 years of age I can look back and say, “Man, God was truly in the mix, He had a plan for my life and it started way before I was born.” Have you ever found yourself on the outside of your life looking at the pieces that made you who you are? Have you ever with clear eyes that only God can give looked with awe at what He has done. As I share this I don’t want to hurt or offend, I truly want to help. I want all involved parties to know that they were used for God’s purpose that was, “Before He formed me in the belly.”
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
For all my childhood ups and downs, through all my teenage missteps and heart breaks, to all of my adult what now and how did I get here moments, God’s thoughts towards me he never changed! As I sit here thinking on this, I’m blown away again. He has only wanted to bring me to the place(s) He has prepared for me! (PRAISE BREAK) I digress, lets get back to before I was in my mother’s womb. My mother was young when she had her first child, he was a boy that I, as her second child, has never met. Maybe he’s looking for her and if he finds her hopefully he’ll want to meet me as well. We’ve never met because he was “put up” for adoption, I pray that his life has turned out wonderful and that loving people found him. When my mother became pregnant with me she was still young and therefor adoption was my path to follow but God, wanted to, “give me an expected end.”
In the month of March in 1969 I was Mississippi born. I was delivered by a midwife on a table in a house in Mississippi. I’m thankful for my Mississippi family, my mother’s determination to have me, and the midwife for doing a wonderful job! I was born in Mississippi because if I was born in Gary, Indiana I would be “put up” for adoption. (PRAISE BREAK)
But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.
Now look at what was taking place in the life of “my dad” before I was in the belly.
The man who would become my dad was in Vietnam fighting as a United States Marine! He’s my dad, pops, papa but most of all he’s my hero, I wonder if he knows that? While in Vietnam he was involved in close to 30 documented firefights and God delivered him through them all. His mind wasn’t on God, he didn’t know God in a way to trust in Him, to call on Him for salvation. My dad didn’t grow up in church, he was a CME’er, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter as a child and that was only if he chose to go. Even with that background God had purposed his life and in 1969 he made it from Vietnam to Cuba and from Cuba to North Carolina. Waiting for him in North Carolina was the woman who would become my mother.
And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
The woman who would become my mother was born and raised in North Carolina, she was one of 10 siblings. Her father was a hard working man and her mother was a praying woman with a big heart. Her mother would take groceries to those surrounding families that were struggling, even taking in more children that she didn’t birth! Now I’ll preface all comments about her with this, I love her with as much love as I can munster so if it sounds as if I’m gushing over her its because I am! This lady believed in prayer because her mother prayed and she saw God answer her mother’s prayers. She didn’t believe in church because of some things she saw as a child but she knew God was real. No, she was not serving God, but He was real to her. Late in her teenage years she was ready to leave North Carolina but she wanted to be married. She was from a two parent household and had seen her father take care of his family so she expected s husband to the care of her. One particular night she went to a bar but before she went she told God she was ready to be married and she wanted to meet her husband that night! When she got to the bar it was packed and she saw my dad sitting at the bar, she says that she heard God say, “there he is”. She told God that if he’s the one You have to make room for me in this packed place. As she was walking a seat opened up right next to him, she set down and God was in the mix.
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
“And I will bring you to Zion”, do we realize that with God our Father life is a journey? Are there hardships? Are there times where we are out of the will of God? Are there times where we’re not acknowledging God in any way in our lives? In all of this is He still God? They answer to all these questions is a resounding YES!! Here’s what amazing to me everyday, HIS PLANS FOR US HAVE NOT CHANGED!! He’s yet God that sits high and looks low, he’s yet a God that listens to hear the cries of His people! As long as there’s breath in our bodies, no matter how far off course we’ve traveled, no matter how far we’ve fallen, GOD WILL HEAR OUR CRY!!
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
and cried unto my God:
he heard my voice out of his temple,
and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
So look here’s where the story gets really good and God the Master Orchestrator shows His hand; he’s so awesome!! As a infant I was brought back to Gary Indiana, shortly thereafter my mom’s brother comes home from Vietnam with his new bride from North Carolina. Did you all catch that? Yes my Uncle and Aunt raised me and they’ve done a wonderful job. Never once did I feel unwanted or as a outcast, they loved me as if I was their own. How did this come about, how did I end up with my Uncle and Aunt? When they went to see the new baby, God clearly spoke and told my Aunt “that’s your son!” (PRAISE BREAK) Now you may be thinking how, why, when, where and what but I’m singing, what a mighty God we serve. For my birth mother to have me without putting me up for adoption was only step one, she became no more mature or older after she had me. She was still a child with a baby and God sent her someone to love and care for me. How did Moses end up in Pharaoh’s house, short answer, GOD! How did I end up being raised in my Uncle and Aunt’s house, short answer, GOD!!!
“Turn, O backsliding children”, After sometime my Aunt, now mother, gave her life to the Lord and He revealed to her in prayer the He gave me to her to raise in holiness and raise me in holiness she did. Did I like it? No!! Do I appreciate it at this point in life? Absolutely!!! They went from Uncle and Aunt to dad and mom and I’ve loved on them as their son! I realize the sacrifice that was made for me and it was all because God had an expected end for me! Now get this, My mom is a Pastor my dad is the Co-Pastor and I’m on the staff as a minister and we preach God’s word, the word of the Master Orchestrator.
God bless you and I pray that God heal all your hurts as HE gives you an expected end.
Originally posted on January 29, 2018 @ 2:15 PM
Great blog piece, Anthony! Very open. I look forward to reading more pieces from you!
Thank’s Ms. DeNeal!
This is very powerful! So many people need to hear and understand this. Thank you for sharing it in such great detail. I couldn’t stop reading and it brought me to tears. The one thing that stuck out was that “Gods plans never changed”. All we have to do is live, one day at a time, and know Gods will is already done.
Thank you Allyson, to God be the glory and our prayer is that His will be done in this endeavor.
Awesome Man of God! The pages are still being unveiled, the best is yet to come! Write the vision!