The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
Yesterday as I sat and interviewed a stylist over lunch (I am opening a new salon), I shared my story with her. I always include Azaiah because he is an integral part of the salon, but yesterday I went into the details of the night he died, which I never do in an interview.
The woman got a stark look on her face. I recoiled thinking I maybe offered too much of my grief.
Then she shared something that went sort of like this:
“I prayed and prayed last night for God to show me the answer. I was nervous to meet you. I was afraid you would judge me for my tattoos but instead you said they were beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to come here so I just prayed. I dreamed last night I found a lifeless baby. I picked him up and held him. I walked with him and held him. Eventually he came back to life. I didn’t know what it meant until you said your son died from SIDS. I know this is where God wants me.”
For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.
He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they lie in their beds. Job 33:14
That was the first interview I have cried in. But I am so thankful for the message God sent loud and clear. This salon, this ministry is meant to bring life to the lifeless.
I have held death in my arms and now I hold life. God has given me this salon and has entrusted me with the keys of life. I get to make women beautiful. I get to comfort the broken. I get to heal the hurting. I get to touch lives every day. That is scary and awesome and makes me beg for his presence.
If you are still in the valley, please do not lose heart. Please do not let go. Please don’t let the sorrow consume you. Please know there is life and inexplicable peace on the other side of the valley. See me and know that I am a living stone of the testimony of Jesus Christ. Please look at me and see that if you just let him carry you he will lead you to those quiet waters.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7