If God really does exist, why do bad things happen to good people. Better yet, why do bad things happen at all?
This was the question I used to ask myself all the time. I remember trying to pray as a teenager. Praying that we would find a place to sleep some nights, praying that we wouldn’t get kicked out of wherever we were staying other nights. I would get so frustrated when the exact opposite of what I had prayed for would happen. Frustration eventually turned to anger. Anger to resentment. I wanted nothing to do with God. If he could sit back and let my family struggle the way we did than he didn’t deserve my love. Miss me with that Bullshit!
But then my life started to get better. I started feeling better. I was doing better. My grades started improving. Angels started popping up out of the wood work, taking interest in me and my well being. I found RYTMO, got accepted to Chapman University. Spent an entire year abroad in Sydney, Australia and Milan Italy. Next thing you know I’m sitting in a classroom in a big ol castle (University of Sydney) thinking God Has to be real. Yes, I worked damn hard, but a lot of these accomplishments were made of miracles.
For example, while speaking at a RYTMO event about how much RYTMO changed my life, I casually stated that I was applying for Chapman University. After speaking, three people came up to me that night. Two of them new Chapman admissions counselors and the other had a connection to the current Chapman President. Now yes, I’m extremely gifted in public speaking (toot toot) but what are the odds?
Okay, so God is real. Why, then, must he leave me on the struggle bus?
When I returned home from my year abroad I was very depressed. There was a lot of reverse culture shock. Most of it was just knowing that I had just had the best time of my life, 90 percent worry free, and now I was back in the thick of it. On a really bad day, I picked up a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, which was gifted to me by a really good friend (shout out to D!). I went through the 40 day process of reading the book and came out on the other end with a clear vision of my purpose and my three goals for life:
1. To entertain
2. To inspire
3. To end familial homelessness in America
In the book Rick Warren states, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” Okay, I thought, so God is doing this to me so that I can help others…that’s messed up…but I’m here for it. I thought if I could just revoke one person’s ticket for the struggle bus my life would have meaning. I considered that book to be the book that helped me become a Christian. I knew God was real, I believed he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins (Good looking out G!), I even started attending church services here and there.
All the while, I was still annoyed that God had me sitting up here like some type of human sacrifice to help other people who would be struggling in the future. Why have these folks struggle at all? Why not snap your fingers and end struggling all together?
On April 2, 2017 I found my answer. I finally understood. By this time, I had found Eastside Christian Church. I was baptized the very first time I visited this church on January 16, 2016. I had been reading my bible more and so I was slowly coming to this realization, but on April 2nd, comedian Michael Jr. brought the notion home for me. He had come to do a Christian comedy show at my church and was speaking at all of the church services as a teaser for his Sunday night show. I learned a lot from Michael Jr. that day, but what really struck a cord with me, what I would like to share with you now, was his comparison of life to a joke.
In simpler terms, he said there are three parts to telling a joke.
A. The setup
B. The punchline
C. The reward of laughter
Life is a lot like telling a joke.
A. The set up is all of the stuff you go through, whether it’s homelessness, addiction, abuse whatever it is. The set up is your education. It teaches you important life lessons. He said, during this time, you are going to go through it. However, Queen, what you need to know is that God doesn’t cause any of the negative things that may happen in your life. He never wants to see his children in pain. But he will use your set up to help provide you with the ultimate punch line; step 2.
B. The punchline Your call to action. Your jump-off point. The moment when you take everything you’ve learned and all that’s ever been done to you, up to that point in your life, and use it to fulfill your life purpose in a way that only you could do. This is your action sequence in the movie of your life, where you are putting in work and taking names. Some mess might come up, however, you are so well equipped that it doesn’t phase you as much as it would have back in the set up stage.
C. The reward When you’ve broken through your set up and delivered your stellar punch line you will be rewarded with laughter…or success, whatever that may mean to you. This is when you wake up every morning saying “God, I see what you did there…. what did you do? That!” This is the honeymoon phase where you get to reap the benefits of all of your hard work.
Michael Jr. then looked me in my soul, or at least that’s what it felt like, and he said:
You’ve been in the set up this whole time. There’s been all this messed up stuff going on in your life, and I feel you. Please know that God didn’t cause any of that, but he is ready to use it to transform your life. He has a plan for you that is greater than any plan you could ever imagine. He’s ready, waiting for you on the field. Right now, this is the punchline. Right here. It’s time for action. You’ve been in the set up, but now it’s time to break free.
I was transformed. I now know that God has been there, helping me all along. He didn’t cause my struggles and he has been helping me fight them all this time. How else would I be here sharing my story with you? On April 2nd, I leveled up from the set up phase to the punchline phase. I Quit my job and jumped, head first, into my goals and dreams. I haven’t looked back since.
Queens, I know life can suck sometimes. I know it can get hard. But please know that you are NEVER alone. God will always be there for you, speaking in your ear, reminding you to study for that test coming up, sending people into your life to guide you, setting up miracles, and breaking down barriers. He’s heard your every cry, your every call, your every prayer and he is ready to take you to the next level. He has a plan for you, a plan that will transform you. A plan that will change your torn rags into a beautiful ball gown. A plan that will take you from Destiny’s Child to the best entertainer alive. Will you meet him on the playing field? Right now, this is the punchline! Will you rise to the occasion?
If you’re ready to take your life into your own hands and run with God head first into your dreams comment “I’m ready” below! I’ve got a lot in store for you, I will be here with you all the way, guiding you, learning with you. Queens must support other Queens. We will all reach our goals together!
It’s a beautiful day to conquer the world. So go forth and slay!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 30, 2018