Saved & 23 by Marshida Harris
I recall as a child my favorite thing to do would be to be surrounded by people who loved me. My favorite events were family events where everyone would come to one location and cook, play games and talk about how much each one of us has grown. I would always seek my great aunts and uncles, my great grandmother before her passing and, of course, my grandparents. It was their love that carried me. My angels that covered me until I was able to walk with God on my own.
I had to grow up rather quickly due to a single parent household, moving back and forth, transferring from school to school but in all honesty, it was a great adventure. I didn’t have time to focus on the hardship because my obligation was to grow. As time passed and caps & gowns became my favorite thing I made it into college. Freedom was what this meant to me but a test was what it was.
College allowed me to re-identify myself. I could be whomever I chose to be at any given time of the day. I was in a new world. This new world left me open to many things. The only foundational piece I walked into college with was knowing I had love back home. Freshmen year went by and I found myself shedding. I found myself leaning on things and people who, not intentionally, but failed me. In that failure I lost myself. In those moments alone I wanted to lose myself. I cried out to God “why does this have to happen to me.” As I cried I balled myself into a fetal position because like a child I wanted someone to hear my cry and ease my pain. It was in that moment I heard God. My freshmen year of college was a wake-up call.
My sophomore, junior and senior year were rough but nothing compared to my freshmen year. Graduation became my second battle. I was told that I wasn’t able to graduate because I was missing credits and I just couldn’t fathom the thought. I knew God would not allow me to get this far to drop me at the doorstep and tell me to figure it out on my own. I knew he was with me. I walked the stage in Spring 2014 and did not officially graduate until Spring 2015.
God continued to show me that he was the head of my life and he continued to show me that faith in him can conquer all things.
Once I arrived back home from college I again felt a sense of freedom. My freedom was once again a test. I involved myself in things that did not exactly have the best outlook on God nor did they lead me to a higher place in God (in those moments). Each time I was involved I felt less and less of myself. Each time I felt something missing, a void. I didn’t realize that each time I was involved I was allowing the enemy to take me farther away from God. After God had already proven himself to me time and time again, I in a sense still tried to deny him. His Grace & Mercy kept me safe during that time.
I often wondered why can’t I be like them. Lord, why can’t I go do the things they do and have the fun they have? Why can’t I be a part of that? As of October 23rd, 2015 at 23 years of age and now approaching 24 years of age I understand. I understand that as a Son of God I have a particular level of responsibility and accountability in the kingdom and to kingdom people. Also to never compare my position to anyone else's position because we all have a specific position and role we play in the kingdom. I am held accountable to use the teachings and the word of God to discern right from wrong and to know where and where not to go. I am also held charged to know exactly what I a dealing with within myself and to bring it to God, hand it over and be fully delivered.
My life is a direct recapitulation of God’s love & grace. I have not always been where I am but I am blessed to not be where I was. My families love showed me God’s love at an early age but I had to then experience it on my own to follow him. To be Saved & 23 is not easy but it is the choice that I have made towards eternal life, sacrifice & love of God and his people.
I pray this encourages you to seek God, maintain his love, and known you are not alone. We are all conquerors in the kingdom. In this place we are all surrounded by people who love you like God loves us.
~Guest Contributor: Marshida Harris