Over the past weeks I’ve seen a good number of my Class of ’03,
🌴305 – Miami🌴
🥂and I wish we had virtual Facebook glasses (🤱🏾sparkling cider in mine🤱🏾) to toast!
They’ve turned 35.
👠👗Oh, they looked so stunning with their night out on the town “so fresh and so clean, clean” vibe.💇♀️
Cute outfits and their hair done up to match. 😍
How about me at 35? I’ll be dressed like I’m 18. You ask, what’s the catch?
Me. Half way through 30?
I’m going back down memory lane.
When I was casual, kind acquaintance to many, but didn’t truly “fit in” with any group all the same.
I knew I was different and in my mind that was so okay. Lord, help me be 18 again in THAT indelible way.
I knew what my life story up to then entailed. Not many would understand. Oh the tears to 18, until I read 🎶Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.🎶
So much change. So much sorrow. Yet that day gave me so much hope for tomorrow.
That’s when “joyfully@UFL.edu” was born. Did I really know what joy meant then. No, experience would help me learn.
I would learn to leave all my friends behind. When I left that church, they thought that I was blind.
I would learn to trust God to restore. I placed fear of man and their rules on a pedestal, but I didn’t want that any more.
I left and experienced Holy Spirit in a fresh new way. Faith is not about just doing “all the things” but relationship with Him–who came in Truth AND Grace.
I learned that though I left, God’s favor was on my side. He cleansed me of my backsliden sin and destroyed a soulish tie.
Joyfullyalive@gmail.com three years later was born. The enemy wanted to condemn, but as in Zachariah, God’s angels would adorn.
They would adorn me with “clean robes” greater vision for my life. The joy of the Lord is the strength that would help Marissa Rose to rise.
Oh, but the depression when I felt so betrayed. Pastor warned me to regain my joy or I would live as sin’s chained slave.
It was before then that Jesus first revealed Himself as the Shepherd of my Soul. For weeks I kept a journal near and first realized fear’s chokehold.
I would bear my heart on those pages as I read Unrelenting Prayer. I was like the persistent widow before a Father on whom I cast my cares.
Then suddenly things began to shift. A man came into my life.
Still, the enemy would try a trick and entangle my soul in strife.
Eventually I saw the root and let perfect love cast out fear. It was 29 at the time when I experienced deeper revelation of God being so near.
The move to the Upstate would shortly ensue. One baby in tow, opened doors and new church pew.
Things seemed great. God had ordained the shift. Then a year later He would give us another gift.
It was the gift of breakthrough as our family suffered through disease. We saw His loving kindness and for the healing we believed.
The healing did come but the assaults would not end there. Someone crashed into our mailbox that next week, where a gift was sent that God prepared.
The enemy desired to stop God’s provision in our home, but each time he tried…Jesus whispered, “Aulick’s, don’t lose your song.”
Provision, purpose, promotion, praise and then another hit. This time not to a body but he would bring my soul to a deep, dark pit.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I eventually knew how to fight the battle not with meds but with my very breath.
I gave birth to Judah and then my need for warfare praise would arrive. It came right after I spoke on a stage, then the enemy tested me to see if I would…thrive.
I did because I eventually hid under the shadow of God’s great wings. He introduced me to Lauren Diagle’s Look Up Child album and retaught my soul to sing.
Each song in order spoke to the journey I would undertake. He’s 🎶Still Rolling Stones🎶 so I’m all the more “WOKE,” or should I say awake.😁
He came to my 🎶Rescue🎶 in my darkest night. He shielded me from utter darkness because His presence was my light.
Then He said to declare that 🎶This Girl🎶 ain’t going nowhere! Though enemy and soulish people wanted me to quit.
But Lord, 🎶 Your Wings 🎶 would be our defender. You fought and we would praise and sit.
And then after 20 years of faith, you’d grant me revelation of Your smile. 🎶You Say🎶 I am loved and free. Belief just took a while.
Later self pity would try to undo it all. You swept in with your Truth and helped me to sit on Your shoulders tall.
🎶Everything🎶 for life and godliness has been graced to me. I lack nothing is what You’ve helped me see.
The spies went to scope out the Promise Land, but it was only Joshua and Caleb who saw the enemy as they should. What the enemy meant for evil, You would turn out for our good.
Oh, how I feared the giants of evil that I could clearly see, until You revealed the angelic hosts poised to do as You decree.
But first I would have to invite you in through praise. You inhabited my song of faith and a standard would be raised.
You are my 🎶Defender🎶 for all of my days.
And now at 5 X 7, life’s so much better living in your GRACE!
Now 35 and 8 weeks ago I gave birth to Callum, which means peace. So, what does it mean to be JoyfullyAlive. It starts with praise and prayers on my knees.
(Raising a Hallelujah to the God who sees.)
That’s how the battle is won, because when you praise God in the storm you invite the Mighty Son.
The Son comes with healing rays, so PEACE like a Dove has followed my PRAISE!
JoyfullyAlive is my PASSION and PURPOSE! I gave birth to it only after His fierce GRACE!
So my 5×7 years is in honor of the Lord who took my place!
Now that’s what WE celebrate! His 🌈promises🌈 are never late!