It was in high school that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and took drama class. It was after I’d seen a school play that a part of me began yearning to express myself in stories.
But when I graduated high school I wasn’t able to pursue the dreams or career path that I wanted to take.
But the yearning to act and express myself through creative arts never left my soul.
Though it was muffled beneath a string of tedious 9 to 5 jobs.
All of which I hated.
And often my feelings would come out in my behavior. I struggled with showing up at work on a daily basis.
And because of this, I would often stop showing up at work without telling my employer anything. I would simply quit and never return again.
The truth was, I was terrified to tell them I hated the job, so I took the easy way out.
Because of my terrible childhood, I assumed that if I was honest with them they’d be angry and I just couldn’t stand the thought of that.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from PTSD, which God later told me I had.
All I knew was, I wasn’t like everyone else. I couldn’t hold down a job. And I felt so ashamed.
I carried this shame around with me for years.
It took time, but I finally realized that my emotional development was about 10 years behind the average person’s because of my upbringing.
When people were marrying at 20 and having children, I was just getting started on what I wanted to do with my life.
But there was so much more to it than that.
I lived a reclusive and lonely life and it wasn’t until my late twenties that everything changed for me.
One day I woke up and I just couldn’t go back to my temp job at Victoria’s Secret. So I called in and quit.
I had done this so many times before. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop myself from doing it again.
Even in situations that were financially dangerous.
And this was one of them.
I had no idea how I was going to support myself. But I couldn’t stand the thought of going back.
I had no way of supporting myself but I hated the idea of moving back in with my mother. I wanted to experience life, not live with my mother for the rest of my life.
But I was a loser.
Everyone in my family thought so and I was beginning to think they were right.
Lazy and a freeloader.
The thoughts haunted me.
I broke down in the middle of my living room floor and prayed to God to save me.
At the time, I had a poor relationship with God, but I was at my wits end. I didn’t know why I was so broken and couldn’t fix myself.
I knew the right way to respond to life and yet I was incapable of doing what I should do.
What was wrong with me?
Why couldn’t I be like everyone else?
“Please Lord, save me.” I was devastated. I had made so many mistakes. They seemed to be the staple of my life.
But there was this thing inside me that I couldn’t explain that made me believe that the life I had was not the life I was supposed to be living.
That there was something greater in store for me.
I knew that my life was supposed to be different, but I couldn’t seem to get to the place which it was.
Over and over again I repeated the same mistakes.
I was trapped in a cycle of fear and despair, wanting something better for my life but never knowing quite how to get it.
And whenever I tried I failed.
I was never going to escape this.
“I don’t know what to do. Please Lord, save me.” I burst into tears.
But little did I know, God heard me and He was going to answer my prayers.
Sometime back, I had built a small website just for the fun of it…
It was called Furniture for Small Spaces.
It consisted of about 10-15 pages.
And there was just something about the topic that excited me. So I hammered up a few pages, tossed some Google ads on them, and then ditched it.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I logged into Adsense to do something that I noticed I had earned money.
This was when the internet was still in its adolescent years and making money online was virtually unheard of.
Adsense had just launched and I had gotten wind of it through Ken Evoy who ran Sitesell.
I had learned to build websites when I was 21 through his website and from there I just kept growing and growing in my desire to create and build websites.
But after my failure with a little site called Simple Living Tips, I had given up. The site had only made me $200 over a two-year period.
After that, I felt it was time to move on to something else.
So, I moved from Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Columbus, Ohio.
I started working temp jobs to support myself, but the dream of something greater was like a drug I couldn’t quit.
I was always looking for a way out.
And I felt like there was a mark on my life. That I was destined for great things.
But when I built FFSS, it was simply having fun for a day.
I had no idea God would use the site to save me. That He would answer my prayers after that day that I sat on the living room floor and poured my guts out to Him.
What had scared me for many years was that I always knew I’d either be a truly great or a complete failure.
That I would be rich or homeless.
I felt there was little hope for me after that day on that living room floor. And that I would end up on the streets by my own hand someday.
I was just not able to cope with life like everyone else was and I would die a loser.
But then the miracles of God began…
When I saw that I had earned $30 in a month from Furniture for Small Spaces, hope budded within me.
I knew that I could build that site up to a full-time business and suddenly moving back in with my mother seemed like the best idea.
The plan was settled…
… I would go back to North Carolina, live with her and build the business up and once I made a full-time income I could move out again.
But before that happened my mother lost her job and called me and said she wanted to move in with me.
I was elated. I loved Columbus and although I knew it was wise to move back in with my mother, I didn’t want to leave.
And apparently, God didn’t want me to leave either.
Within a week or two, my mother had moved in with me and I asked her if she would consider supporting me again while I built the business up.
She said she didn’t mind. And over a year’s period of time, I was making a full-time income.
I’m not sure if I realized it immediately, but eventually, I came to understand God had saved me.
And I knew He’d saved me from a very bad fate.
After that, I went on to learn so many things about building websites.
For about five years I was able to run that e-business…
… Until one day God took it away.
At first, I thought it was a simple twist of fate until later I understood He took my ebusiness away because it had become an idol in my life.
It happened over a series of months. I watched as the money dropped and kept dropping.
I borrowed money from my sister to keep afloat.
At the time I was paying my mother’s rent. She lived in an apartment about 10 minutes away from me. But now, it would be impossible.
So, in the height of the decline, she moved back in with me.
Months carried on…
… And the money kept dropping.
To continue to support myself, I searched eLance, now known as Upwork, for freelance work I could do that would offset the financial loss.
Eventually, I saw a pattern in transcription work. I learned what I needed to know to get by and then applied for freelance work.
It would keep us afloat… at least for a little while.
I got jobs. My mother did transcription too and we got by as best as we could.
But things were getting worse and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was unable to pay rent.
However, God had paved a way for us yet again.
My aunt had loved Columbus when she came to visit one Christmas and in several months’ time, she relocated here.
So my mother asked her if we could move in with her and Walter, her husband.
She said “yes.”
We moved in and kept transcribing. But it was poor pay and long, grueling hours, filled with many sleepless nights.
And in the middle of that struggle, what little hope I had was almost gone.
I saw the years stretching out before me doing 9 to 5 jobs that sucked the life out of me and all of my dreams running down the drain.
I sunk into a deep depression. It was the second-lowest moment in my life.
But I had one last attempt left.
Prior to that, I had come across a website that a guy was running. He’d been receiving crowdfunding support to support his dreams.
“Crowdfunding? What’s crowdfunding,” I said.
I did some research and the lights went off.
I had dreams. I needed funding. Was it possible?
Days passed by and I wracked my brain. I needed an amazing idea that would encompass everything I dreamed of in one neat, yet compelling package.
Over time Girl Makes Indie Movie was born.
GMIM was a web series that would chronicle my journey as a producer and aspiring actress.
I would build it from the ground up and fans could watch the making of the production company and movies that were made within it.
After they were engrossed in the real-life adventure, they’d then be able to watch the actual movies that were churned out from the web series.
It was brilliant!
So I launched it and built up a Twitter following using very spammy tactics. (I know, not cool!)
And then the day came. It was time to launch the crowdfunding campaign.
I was super excited…
… But I had a sense of dread in my spirit.
Despite the fact that I had hoped that it would work, I knew it would drop like a lead balloon.
People just didn’t believe in me. And I didn’t have a massive amount of friends, family or support to pull it off.
And it didn’t help that I didn’t know what I was doing.
So it tanked. Hard.
I got support from the small family that I did have but it was yet another thing I failed at.
But I knew that it was a great idea nonetheless. And after I’d begun GMIM, I loved the idea and also feared letting it go.
If I didn’t hold on to this one last dream, I would end up living like Joe in Joe Versus the Volcano.
Working at a desk day in and day out under hideous fluorescent lights.
I couldn’t give up. The alternative was unthinkable.
And even Joe eventually got out and ended up truly living.
And if Joe could do it, I could do it.
And like always, there was something greater inside me cheering me on. Leading me somewhere, but I didn’t know where.
The site floundered for about 3-4 more years and then one day God spoke to me.
“I want you to accuse yourself before the world,” He said.
“No Father, I can’t.”
And then He said something like, “As long as you have pride, you are in prison.”
Eventually, I consented. I knew what He wanted me to do. I had to tell the world about all of my sins. And that included the very embarrassing ones.
My sexual sins came to mind.
This was not going to be easy.
So, I prepared to do what He called me to do. Over a series of months, God the Father and God the Holy Ghost began to lead me in the direction I was supposed to go in.
“Testify,” leaped out at me one night as I pondered over my encounter with the Holy Trinity on Valentine’s Day 2016.
Several other encounters happened and then one day God spoke to me again.
“I would like to take control of the Girl Makes Indie Movie series,” He said.
After I understood what that meant, I was overjoyed.
After my encounters with God, I had become depressed, because they had changed me.
The world was no longer enough and I missed God. And I wanted to be with Him forever.
I had felt His holiness, power, and love.
And I couldn’t stand the thought of living the way I had before.
And I knew when He’d told me He wanted to take control of GMIM that meant that I would encounter Him again.
I would live for the next time I encountered God.
My eyes lit up and I jumped up out of the bed, excited. I would get to be in the presence of God again!
I couldn’t wait for that day to come.
Shortly after, I renamed the series God Makes Indie Movie.
It took another two years before I began building the mission. The devil had almost thwarted me, but eventually, God got me back on the right path.
In between the struggles, God revealed to me that I was a prophet.
I had learned at an early age that I was a missionary, but had long since forgotten about my calling as I slipped into a sinful and rebellious lifestyle.
But it had been this calling throughout the years that I had felt but couldn’t define–the certainty that I was meant to do something greater than what the world had in store for me.
It was only when God had intervened that I came to realize it.
Every dream I had been a clue to what God had called me to do. Every missed opportunity.
From missing out on the chance to learn music in the fifth grade. To losing out on a chance to take up acting or music in college. To the longing to dance in my twenties.
To wanting to launch a convent since I was a teen.
To taking up art in school but never quite having the passion for it. Always feeling like something was missing.
All of them were breadcrumbs, leading up to what God had in store for me and how He wanted to use the gifts He gave me to save me, others and to glorify Him so that He could spend eternity with us.
And like many of the people, God often chose for leadership positions, I wasn’t the “candidate” the world would choose.
I had more strikes against me than in my favor. But He loved me anyway and said I had worth in Him.
Encountering God had been one of the most special moments of life.
He changed the course of my life and I would never be the same.
He changed me from someone with deep shame and worthlessness to someone who is learning how to love herself and others.
From someone who was certain to end up on the streets to someone with a purpose and calling that surpasses this world.
He changed me from someone who felt too ugly to love to someone who knows that she’s loved.
My entire life I’ve long for a best friend that I could talk to and confide in, that I could bear my soul to, tell my deepest desires to and my darkest fears.
A friend that would love me no matter what. A friend that would stay loyal to me through thick and thin…
… Little did I know that that friend would be God.