The power of prayer, once someone experiences it there's no room to ever doubt God's ability or his willingness to listen to his children. Every morning on my way to work I call my parents so that we can start our day off with prayer. Undoubtedly, we all speak to God before we swing our legs from the bed, but like it says in the word, when two or more are gathered he is in the midst. My mother and I started this last year but I fell off and when I refocused back on Christ I initiated the call and my father also hopped in to pray.
Earlier this week, when I was expressing to my parents how I was feeling when it came to Amelia, my mom prayed that I would hear something encouraging from someone or see something that will keep his flame inside me ignited. These words escaped my thought process as God lead me to start contacting Amelia's mother's family members so that I could try and find her new address.
This incited Amelia's mother to reach out, she didn't appreciate the fact that I was contacting her family letting them in her business even though I text and email her with no response. The conversation was sort of peaceful, but the best part was when she asked if I wanted to speak to Amelia. My heart filled with excitement as I hear her call for our daughter to come to the phone.
Once I heard her come closer I said, "What's up baby?!" Even though I couldn't see her I felt and heard her pause as my voice registered from the past. It's been a long time since she heard me speak but she asked her mother, "Is that my dad?" Her voice was filled with questioning acknowledgment and excitement, she was elated to hear from me.
The fact that she recognized my voice warmed my heart, we started conversing as if we had talked last week. My biggest fear has always been that she would forget who I was, or hate me because I've been out of her life for so long. The consternation of how she would react to hearing my voice washed away like God does our sins.
She told me that she had been going to school and that she knew how to spell her name, I asked her to spell it for me and she did with clarity and confidence. I congratulated her and asked her if she knew how old she was, she did, then I asked when her birthday was and she detailed that information as easily as she spelled her name.
Telling her how smart she told me that she wore glasses, I was genuinely confused on why she was already in need but I laughed it off telling her that she got it from my side unfortunately. I started talking to her about playing sports and she told me that she liked to run, and that she was fast. She even had the nerve to tell me that she was going to beat me in a race! The competitor in me was ecstatic to hear that, I told her that she better talk that way it's in the Marshall blood. I hope she continues with that mindset and takes it to the track or the court and work hard to be the best that she can be.
Proud dad moment, then I asked her if she liked ice cream. Of course she did, and told me that her favorite was chocolate. I expressed that we had that in common and she shared that she wasn't a fan of Bojangles, but I didn't blame her for that. I blamed her mother, and Amelia said she didn't like eggs! That hurt my heart I told her that she hadn't had my eggs yet and that was the only reason why.
I kept her attention for awhile but like any four year old would do, she ran off and did her own thing. Her mother and I started talking about me getting her to spend time with Amelia, she pretended to want to work something out but later reneged. I figured she would but I was trying to keep my hopes up.
The important thing is that God answered the prayer of that morning, he was listening and he cared enough about me to lift my spirits by hearing my daughter's voice and allowing her to keep me in her memory bank. I felt great the rest of the day, the rest of the week as I realized that she had not forgotten me. Even though her mother and I did a back and forth and she still hasn't responded to my lawyer so that we can mover forward with this process I was still high in the clouds from speaking to my little one.
God answered prayer again later in the week when I had to create a budget for multiple sports on a two day deadline. I needed God to help, anxiety tried to rise and thoughts of my argument with Amelia's mother tried to cloud my judgement for the day but the Almighty wouldn't allow it. All because I asked him, I prayed a couple mornings later for his strength and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand.
My God is faithful!
My birthday was this weekend, on Saturday, I turned 28 and I had a blast with my family. Even though I text Amelia's mom to video chat my daughter she completely ignored my text after saying that we could video chat the same day that I spoke to my baby. Of course, I thought about her and wished that I could see her but God kept me level and in tuned with the day.
We went roller skating, which I'm no good at, but I always enjoy getting out there and trying not to fall. That's all I'm doing really, I don't go too fast and I always slow down around the turns. I laugh at the people that hit the ground and try my best to catch up with my family as the zip past me over and over again. I wished that I could have Amara out there, she was on the sidelines wishing she could be with her daddy.
Once I almost ran into a kid so I just dropped on the ground because I don't know how to stop. Once I gained confidence I picked up Amara and went slowly around the rink with her in my arms taking videos. I was told I had to take her off, and when I did I was going to fast and fell down with her in my arms. It could've been a disaster, thankfully she didn't get hurt and neither did I.
In the last 15 minutes there was dancing without skates and I let Amara run around with all the other kids dancing to the music. One little boy asked if that was my daughter and when I responded he said "Bet!" He proceeded to jump over my baby, which he did successfully, but my heart dropped. I had no idea that he was about to do that, I tried to correct him but was laughing at the same time because I was caught by surprise. He was athletic too, my dad seen him run and said that he will probably be a sprinter one day or playing on the football field.
My sister's birthday is on Monday, when we were kids she didn't like sharing birthday parties but nowadays it doesn't matter as much. As I was celebrating my 28th she was her 35th. We had a two day event inviting friends and family over for grilling and fellowship. I grilled, wanting to improve my skills for my future family and to learn so when I hold events at my new house in Goldsboro I can already be prepared. I enjoy cooking period so I want to get better in all aspects of the kitchen.
At church before the cookout I received a good word from my pastor, I believe God was speaking directly to me. He said a lot of good things but what really resonated with me was that I didn't have to stoop to the level of my offender. I don't have to get froggy, as he put it, when she starts telling lies trying to make me look bad like I haven't always been here. Know who I am in God and everything else will fall into place, I found myself going back and forth trying to uproot everything she was trying to implant in text. It's not necessary when I got God on myside.
After the party was settled my big brother Edmond gave me an encouraging word quoting a couple scriptures saying that he can see Social Services taking Amelia away from her mom and giving her to me. Which is further confirmation that I will be getting full custody of my baby, I'm not sure why he said that but it was God speaking to me. I heard him and my brother-in-law talking about it but I didn't catch what was said, all that matters was what God was saying through him to me. More encouraging words, more answered prayer, more God proving himself.
While on my knees praying, I felt in my spirit that my 28th year will be my turnaround year. I already got the job that I wanted in the career that I desire and my faith in God is getting stronger, I believe that my writings will increase and I will find someone to get on one knee for. I was just praying for strength and guidance in reading his word and walking the narrow path, needing Him every step of the way. This is going to be a great year for me, my 28th year.
This was also solidified at the party when I was about to read my birthday cards my dad said that it's going to be a great year for me. When we were eating earlier in the day my brothers and sister said that they see me married or at least engaged by the end of next year. Further confirmation, more answered prayers, more God proving himself.
Even with all else that is going on, God is continuing his faithfulness and speaking to me in various ways. This is going to be my turnaround year, the year that my daughter's meet each other and the year that I finally turn the page on this chapter of my life. It's exciting when God answers prayers and speaks to me in a multitude of methods, letting me know that he is God and that He is here for me.
Just like I'm here for my daughters, in a multitude of ways. I love my relationship that I have with Amara, I thank God for that everyday because it's pure joy to see her reactions to me and her chasing me around the house. It'll never get old, thank you God for always having my back.
Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you, everyday we're getting closer to us all being together. One day you'll go back and read these blogs and the confidence I have in this and God will radiate off the page and will permeate your soul wherever you are regardless of your current lifestyle.
God is with you.