Chosen One | Melinda Douglass
I was told I’d been chosen by God at a very young age. My mom said when I was a few years old, she came into my room while I was supposed to be napping and found me standing in my crib, waving my arms and saying Hallelujah. She said the presence of angels could be felt and at that moment she knew I was special.
I spent a lot of time at church growing up, as both of my parents were part of ministry. I attended church on Sunday, Bible study on Tuesday, and was often at church on weekends for dance and choir rehearsal. My parents stressed the importance of having a relationship with God and going to God for everything. Although I knew it was important to have a relationship with Him. I did not understand what that meant. I saw God as someone who would punish me if I did wrong and I’d spend eternity in hell. This caused me to have an all-in or all out mentality when it came to my faith. I felt I would never be perfect enough to truly please God.
At a very young age I wanted nothing more than to be loved. Despite this desire I did not receive the love from my parents in the way that I needed as they were dealing with their own challenges. I grew up in a home where my dad was verbally abusive, and at the age of 10 we became homeless after losing our home in a storm and then lived with a family who were both verbally and physically abusive. As a child I was told that God loved me but didn’t understand how someone could love you and allow you to go through all these things. I felt very alone and often felt as if I had no one to turn to. The result of this was my decision to do life my way, on my terms.
College is when I decided I was going to do things my way. I stopped going to church, partied and excessively drank (sometimes every night of the week) and was very promiscuous. I’d also made the decision that I was going to date women exclusively. At this point Satan had convinced me that I had time to get it right, so I told myself I would live in sin now and get right later. God often tried to speak to me, but I would drown out any conviction I felt with alcohol.
Ironically, every year I made a New Year's resolution that I was going to grow closer to God. In 2015, I went to church on Easter Sunday and rededicated my life back to Christ. This was the first time as an adult that I had a real encounter with the Holy Spirit. The message that day was about hearing God’s voice and God spoke to me clearly that week. He told me that I needed to leave the relationship that I was in with a woman. After I heard this, I began to cry and made the decision that I did not want to hear anything else God had to say. I continued down the path living life my way. In that moment when God was speaking to me, I thought more about what I would have to give up to walk with Him verses what I would gain by letting Him lead my life.
My aha moment happened in May of 2020. We were in lockdown because of covid, so I was no longer distracted by partying, going to bars, hanging out and was forced to sit and think. During this time, I began to drink heavily and smoke weed (which was not like me). I was changing into someone I didn’t like and was forced to look in the mirror and examine the choices I was making.
One night while I was drinking, I ran across a post that talked about being worthy. I immediately told myself I was not worthy; I felt I had done so much wrong in my life that I could never be worthy, even of forgiveness. This was far from the truth and a lie the enemy had told me when I was very young. I came to realize, I did not love or value myself.
After commenting on that post and talking to Kendra Dublin, she told me how I was worthy and how much Jesus loves me. I knew then that it was important for me to get to know my own and find my worth through him.
Afterwards, I went through Kendra Dublin's six-month coaching program. I was living a Christian life but only part time. I had one leg in God’s word and one leg in the world. I was teaching Bible Study and learning more about who God is, but I was also still in a homosexual relationship, drinking and having sex. As I learned more about God and started teaching others, I was convicted.
After six months of teaching Bible Study, I was getting closer to walking away from the relationship I was in. God had told us both that we needed to step away, but I continued to fight and run from God. Fear of change, fear of heartache, fear of being alone, kept me in a cycle. But one night God spoke to me through the person I was dating, and it was a message I could not deny. He said, I was straddling the fence. After that day I made the decision to walk away and be “All In” for everything God had for me. God’s word was full of the promises that I could have, if I let him lead my life. So, I decided, why not?
It wasn’t until months later that I realized my decision to be obedient to God and walk away delivered me from the strongholds of sex and homosexuality. God also used my obedience to help me build a strong foundation in Him, so that when she passed months later, I was able to use the tools He gave to get me through the grief.Today I am happy to say that I am living a true God led life. I seek him daily and teach a Bible Study on Facebook Live and Zoom and post affirmations/messages on Instagram. I am thankful for my journey as my mission is to allow God to use my testimony to bring others closer to Him through fellowship and Bible Study. I realize now that I am worthy and there is nothing I can do to separate myself from the love of God!
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