A guest post by Malika Cox. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
I’m Malika Cox from Oklahoma City. I spent my younger years battling addictions, self-destructive behavior and low self-esteem. I was involved in the underground music and goth scene in both New York City and New Orleans.
In December of 1996, while I was living in New Orleans, I opened the Bible for the first time in my life, and read psalm 56:13, “For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God, In the light of the living?.”
I knew for some reason after reading that psalm that morning I had to leave New Orleans immediately and go to the airport to fly home to Oklahoma City. I did not go into work that day at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. As it turned out that day, December 2, 1996, three of my co-workers were killed on a shift I was suppose to work.
After I learned of what had happened I was devastated. I knew my life was in shambles and at that moment I asked Jesus Christ into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I spent the first two years as a Christian in limbo. I knew Jesus had saved me but I didn’t know God’s Word or His promises for me as a believer.
I ended up finding a wonderful church in Oklahoma City, Church of the Harvest, and enrolled in a two-year Bible College. After graduating, I have devoted my life to Christian ministry, service, and the study of God’s Word. I spent seven years volunteering with at-risk women and have written and taught the GLOW curriculum for new believers in the faith. This curriculum is especially focused for at-risk women who battle addictions, self-destructive behavior and low self-esteem.
I am currently in Graduate School studying Biblical Studies at Regent University.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (The Message)
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
I recently received news about a younger friend who had become engaged. As a single woman who has been single for a long time, when I heard the news I had to choose whether I would be happy for the friend or feel sorry for myself. I had to decide quickly because emotions are rising at this point. It took about two seconds and then I began to rehearse a statement I have made for these moments.
- I love my life
- I am content with this season God has me in
- I am lacking nothing in this season
- I am grateful for the amazing people in my life
- I love what I do for a living
- I am one of the most blessed people I know
As soon as I began to meditate on these thoughts for just a few seconds, I was able to then go back to the news and be excited for my friend. So much of what we are unhappy about in life is just a simple lie that we have been told by the enemy of our souls, which is that, you are missing something.
That was the first lie in the Garden of Eden. The serpent told Eve, who was like God and lacking nothing, that she could be like God if she did something.
We are told this by society everyday. You are lacking because you are not married so lose weight, change your hair color, wear more suggestive clothing, get a gym membership, be more outgoing, be less outgoing, be more picky, be less picky. It is exhausting to try and do and be everything society is telling us to do or be to get something that we really haven’t contemplated whether we really need. We just think we do because we’re told we do.
I finally had to ask myself, am I unhappy? Am I really missing something? Is my life that awful? I looked around and began to be so grateful for what I saw. I had the best family in the world. I loved my friends. I enjoyed what I did for a career. I loved my role in church. I had the best dog ever and besides being completely taken care of in every possible material way, I had a great sense of peace and joy in my spiritual life.
God’s presence in my prayer time was above anything I could hope for and desire. I had everything I needed and at that moment I decided that I didn’t want to move to the next season of life until I was completely content in the one I had.
I still want to get married and have children but I’ve come to the revelation that those things won’t make me any more fulfilled than I am right now.
Paul said in Philippians 4:12 -13 (NIV) “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Jesus Christ alone brings contentment despite any and all outside circumstances. It is in Him that we are fulfilled and it is in Him that every emotional and relational need is met. When we rest in Him in every situation, life becomes more fulfilling. Peace from the inside reigns in our hearts and we become more content in every season of life.
Flourish & Shine!