My testimony stems from three words God has revealed to me ever since I first stepped foot in Focal Point Church. It was Trust, Commit, and Obey. Over the past year or so, my life has changed significantly. God has been stretching my faith. He has been working on my heart and the question that He keeps asking was, “Do you trust Me? If you do trust Me, then commit all of yourself to Me and obey My Word.” From the Freedom Retreat to Hunger & Thirst, God has been really moving in my life. There were many areas in my life that I was not allowing Him in. I would sing the songs on Sunday; however, by Monday, I would be singing a different tune. I was still trying to be in control of certain areas of my life. God spoke clearly and convicted me that I should not manipulate any situation that I find myself. Do not tell a lie no matter how big or small you might think it is. Allow Him to take control of the situation. Be honest. After Hunger & Thirst, I felt an even deeper conviction in my heart. I was full of insecurities and allowing fear to stop me from God to really use me. And it stemmed back to trust, commit, and obey. It's still a work in progress. But I have seen Him work in my career as I set out to be in law enforcement, my relationship, my involvement in church. He is opening doors as I allow Him to take control.
I feel like I am in this place where the Lord is bringing me to a place of submission. I was seeing where I could justify feeling a certain way, but the Lord is telling me that I am not allowed to get caught up in my feelings. I am constantly being reminded that “my life is not my own”.... my life was bought with a price. Having to walk that out has been the hardest, most humbling process. This softening the Lord is doing is towards those close to me as well as others who I feel are just acting outright foolish. I have been on this roller coaster of emotions and know that His Word is truth above all things.
When I was asked to bring a message at the Freedom Retreat, I began praying so that I would be in the right position to lead. As I did, the Lord convicted me of a sin I had done years ago - I paid for an abortion and also, there was lust in my heart. I needed to repent and submit with all my heart to Him. If I was to do the work of the Lord, I had to be cleansed. So for the two weeks prior to the Retreat the Lord was purifying me, filling me with His love and giving me the confidence to give His Word during the Retreat. When the Retreat came, God had already done the work in me so I was able to be supportive and truly intercede for my brothers. Ever since that weekend, I have been gaining strength, faith, reverence, and purpose for all the things of God and have a hunger to walk the walk of Faith and intercede for and to edify those in need...
Before the week of Hunger & Thirst I found myself just being busy, traveling for my daughter's cancer surgery in May. I was gone for almost a month. I had withdrawn from the Lord. My heart had grown cold. As I traveled, the Lord showed His love and faithfulness toward me in such a great way! He literally sent me a guardian angel. His love was so real and mighty toward me that it quickly drew me back. It softened my heart so I could draw close again. I am so glad He is faithful even when I am not. l I want my life to honor Him, not dishonor Him! He chose me and I want to follow after Him, to walk in the light wherever He leads me. To be the disciple and leader He has called me to be.
God has been speaking in a very direct fashion in the last few months. God told me specifically that He had called me into full time ministry when I was 18 years old, and even though I chose another path at that time, the calling is irrevocable. He told me, “All the experiences you have had will not be wasted son, not even the sinful ones. I Am the God that takes the trash of sin and turns it into testimonies, I turn failures into freedom. It is not your ability son, to manage or do, it is about being a vessel I can use. Rest in Me. Walk in My praises and joy. Return and do the first works. Trust Me totally.”
I said yes. I told God that I do not know all this means or how it will happen, that is up to Him. But I am ready. My wife perceives the same message, so it is time to pursue Jesus with all we are and have. He gave all for us, it is time to serve Him completely.
Today I’m alive, a cancer survivor, because of Gods love for me. As I was up early one morning just surfing tv, I kept stopping on a breast cancer program; there was actually nothing on that caught my attention except for this 1 program. So I watched and I was surprised by some new information that I learned: it said if you see a dimple on your breast it could be an indication of cancer. I thought I would go take a look in the bathroom mirror. As soon as I lifted my arm, I saw it: a dimple. I’d always done my self exams. I was 39 so I had not had a mammogram yet.
I didn’t waste time; I went to my GYN on Monday and by Friday after a biopsy and results I got the call “Candi it’s cancer.” That’s when my journey began: 6 months of chemo, hair loss, black nails, double mastectomy, weeks of recovery, expanders, radiation and reconstruction. From day 1 I knew God was going to use my journey. So I decided to share every step on social media and any woman I met on the street. I know He saved my life so I gave it back to Him. Every week at service I felt Gods healing tough during worship service. I believe during worship I was being healed as I lifted my hands, my arms stretching higher and higher with no pain. I felt most alive during this journey during the time of worship than any other time. I’m grateful for our church and the amazing worship ministry.
He covered my girls and I on our way to Tampa this last week. On our way to taking my daughter back to college on I4, I got a flat tire and my car was out of control. By the grace of Godwe got out without any injury or damage to anyone around us.
During the week of Hunger & Thirst- One thing that kept on ringing in my ears is the message on “asking God to change my appetite”, and not to limit God. One night as I came to church I felt like a ton of bricks were sitting on my chest and my side (from an old surgery site was hurting terribly).
That night as the song “Do It Again” was playing, I was at the altar praying and God reminded me of promises He made to me. He reminded me what He began, HE will complete and that I am not an orphan but I belong to Him! That night, a healing took place and I was able to take such a deep breath that I was able to laugh so loud, like I have not done so in a long time. I praise God for being faithful.
On the last night of Hunger & Thirst the theme “restore” came up and I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit come over me. I was unable to stand and I began to feel this wave come over me to humble myself before the Lord. I started to sob very hard, I couldn't control it. The Holy Spirit said, “You must be restored completely back to your ‘factory settings’ so I can begin a work in you. You need to let go of any control and let Me do my work in you. Just like you would reset a cell phone I am resetting you. I have to break you down to rebuild you.” He began breaking me, utterly and completely, but I could see freedom in the process! I am still working through it, and in fact, was unable to get through typing this without a few tears - but there is joy as well and I am ready for whatever God wants from me. There is a “yes” in my heart stronger than ever before.
During Hunger & Thirst, God revealed some deeply rooted wounds that are hindering me. He flat out revealed to me that I carried “conditional faith”. Even though I know there’s nothing impossible for Him, but I still struggled with believing if He would do it for me.
Why I am I still questioning my worth, why am I still questioning if am I good enough if He CHOSE ME? He knows my weaknesses and strengths, He knows when I’ll back out or submit and yet He still CHOSE me! My God loves me just as I am, and He wants to humble my heart, He wants to transform me, He wants the best for me, He wants His children to see Him in ME. Today, my identity in Christ is becoming more real. I’m truly feeling it and believing in it. My God has called me to be His ambassador, His intercessor, His priesthood and it all terrifies me! But underneath my fear resides a supernatural joy and happiness; and most importantly I have a purpose here on earth.
The Lord called me out of my corporate marketing position in fall 2018. I was believing the Lord to take care of me until He unfolded the next steps, and He was. I sensed strongly I was not to go seeking out a job, even though the pressure from my parents was mounting. I prayed and sought the Lord and the next evening a friend couple from church texted me asking if they could give my resume to the director of marketing at the husband’s hotel! I followed the Lord’s leadings and watched as my Father went before me.
I got the job, which was two promotions higher than what I was in my last role. The contract ended, I was without a job for two more months. Bills were late, my car was in danger of being repossessed, my parents were so stressed out about how my life “looked” on the outside.
One day, while working at FPC, I received a phone call from Tupperware, asking me to come in to interview for a position I had applied to 2 months prior!
I sensed the Lord was moving. I went through the long and stressful interview process. Once again the Lord has gone before me. I got a call a week after interviewing with an offer letter - a position that is a dream role for what I do and my age, with double the pay from my last corporate position! He showed me that He is my Father who goes before me and that He is trustworthy, no matter what. I love Him! And now I bring Him glory in my new role and can’t wait to see how He will move at Tupperware!
During Hunger & Thirst week, I continually sensed that there were people "weeping and crying” to God for a breakthrough. Every time I prayed, I would weep "with" these people. I didn't know exactly what I was praying for or who, but felt led by God to continue to pray. On Wednesday night, I was leaving the church when a lady approached my car asking for a ride home for her and her daughter. As I drove them home, the woman began to share what was going on in her life. Just the year before, her son passed away in a car accident; he was the bread-winner for the family. Due to his death, she lost her house, had to sell everything and was living in hotels and in rented rooms. She had been and still was in mourning for her loss, but now needed to focus her efforts on providing for and parenting her teenage daughter, who was in the car with us, crying as her mother explained all that had been going on.
When I got to the house where they were renting just one room, the mother began telling me about all the horrible things that were going on in the house and how she needed to get both of them out of there! She was sharing about how all of this was negatively affecting her teenage daughter; depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. It was then that God revealed that it was them. They were the ones weeping! So, I began to pray for them---for a new house, a new living situation, a new job, a new beginning--and in that very moment, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that the house was already theirs and He was providing for them. I said good-bye and my son and I went home.
The next day I saw the mom and daughter at Hunger & Thirst. The mother ran up to me with a HUGE smile and told me that earlier that morning, very unexpectedly, a Christian couple offered her a new house to rent! The lady even came to pick her and her daughter up, got all their belongings, and moved them out. Then the lady even took them to the school to register the daughter, and it “just happened” to be open-house, so the girl got to meet her new teacher and new classmates. The daughter then smiled at me and I could see the relief and the peace on her face.
God always makes a way and is moving all things for the good of those who are called by His name. Amen.