Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast

91: From Adversity to Purpose through Faith

December 28, 2023 Lyvita Brooks Season 2023 Episode 91
Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast
91: From Adversity to Purpose through Faith
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine finding hope in the most challenging moments of your life, and transforming that hope into a purpose that reaches beyond yourself. That's exactly what my double cousin, Natalie Smalley, did. In a time of intense personal struggle, Natalie discovered the profound difference faith and an in-depth study of the Bible can make. Together, we dive deep into the spiritual discipline of Bible study, focusing on the powerful message in 1 Corinthians 2:6-9, revealing God’s plans for us all, no matter our pasts. Natalie's inspiring journey of healing, and her father's words, “don’t live beneath your privileges” sparked a transformative power in her prayer and study life.

Natalie Smalley's book I Have Breast Cancer, Now What?: A Cancer Support Tool which is mentioned in this episode.


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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Hanging Out with Jesus Podcast, where we equip the saints for ministry by bringing you tips, interviews, inspiration and information on how to live intentionally and daily in Christ. For more resources, including your free newsletter, visit HangingOutWithJesusPodcastcom or click the link in the show notes. Hi, I'm LaVita Brooks. Author, bible teacher, founder of the Meep Project Academy and your host. Thanks for supporting this ministry and writing and commenting on the blog and whatever podcast platform you are listening to, because then it makes us feel more like a conversation. If this is your first time listening in, welcome.

Speaker 1:

This is episode 91. Saints, I'm hanging out with Jesus on a mini sabbatical. This is one of my favorite effort. So, from the past, I'm interviewing my double cousin, natalie Smalling, and we are talking about 1 Corinthians, and God has a plan for each one of our lives, regardless of what we've been through. Now on to the episode.

Speaker 1:

Let's pray, my father and I, we come to you in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior, jesus Christ. Thank you, dear Lord God, for allowing us to get together. My cousin and I can come together and give you praise and honor and glory, but also with the saints of hanging out with Jesus podcast. What a blessing, dear Lord, god, thank you for this opportunity to do this. We pray that everyone that listens in on this conversation that they are built up in Christ and that they continue to grow in the wisdom and knowledge and understanding of who you are and find themselves in you. For, in Jesus name, we pray for much thanksgiving. Amen, amen, amen. Well, saints, I know you heard me say my cousin is online, but I just want you all to know my double, double, double, double, double.

Speaker 2:

That's right. Double, double, what is it? Two sisters say it. Two sisters, Mary, two brothers.

Speaker 1:

Brothers, that's literally, literally, yes, yes, yes, so we're double cousins one West Coast, one East Coast, that's right. So I'd like to introduce my cousin, Natalie Smalley. Natalie, tell everybody this is your first time on the podcast. Tell everybody who you are.

Speaker 2:

Well, I was expressing to my dear cousin Levita that I wear a variety of hats. So I'm going to say that I am a wife, a mother, I am a minister, I am a television exec and I am an author. God has been good and he's opened up doors that I never expected to open in my life. So I wear a variety of hats and some people call me mom, some people call me wife and honey, others call me minister nat, and I hear a variety of things and I'm just humbled by all that God has done in my life.

Speaker 1:

Because he has done some amazing things. You have an awesome testimony, you know, just a blessing of healing and growth and all that good stuff already on your life, and maybe we get the opportunity to talk about that. I don't know Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I'm open. That's what I'm saying.

Speaker 1:

God's saying to you. All know, on this podcast I may start with one thing but I may end with another, but whatever it is, we know that God has got it and he has a message for each and every one of us. So let's get started with. You know, saints, now we're doing 1 Corinthians, so we are now in the second chapter, and our spiritual discipline that we're focusing on this year is Bible study. So I'm going to read and I hope you have your Bibles I'm going to read chapter two, verse six to nine.

Speaker 1:

Now, before this episode, episode 50, we are talking about and I have Revan Anthony Wilson on, we're actually talking about all of chapter two, just in case you want to go back, but this one, we have something specific the Lord has been touching my heart about on in verse, in chapter two, verse 69. So you know I'm going to be reading from the ESV, the English standard version, okay, so. So let's get started. First, corinthians, chapter two, verse 69. Yet, among the mature, we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away, but we impart a secret in hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages of our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. And, nellie, this is the first time you read that, oh no.

Speaker 2:

No, not at all. Especially that ninth verse, especially I feel like I grew up with it. I feel like I grew up with it and I must say, I believe, just to impress upon the congregation you know my dad, you're a great uncle.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to say May he rest in heaven.

Speaker 2:

Yes bless his heart, bishop.

Speaker 1:

Matthew, read the text.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to say that's a scripture that he recited over and over again and I really believe it penetrated my heart, because it just talks about the blessing that's over and beyond, and that's what he used to tell us Don't live, you know you're living beneath your privileges. Don't live beneath your privileges, and those privileges are outlined in the Word of God. And so to understand that God has prepared even greater than we can imagine, than we can see or feel or take in it's powerful.

Speaker 2:

And that is something to spur us on in our relationship with the Lord. You know, whether it be in our prayer life, in our Bible study life, there is just so much more than what we see in front of us. And if you can, if you can grasp that in a spiritual realm, that's dynamic. We hear it in the physical world all the time. You know, for people that are under, those that are under privilege, and it's like you know, my husband works with a lot of foster, foster young men that have been in foster care and wards of the state, et cetera, and so often they don't see beyond that circumstance of abandonment, et cetera. But, man, if they can just get a glimpse of the ability to get out in the world and community and and take in the arts or take in an athletic event, take in a worship experience, you know, all of those things you take that, take those in and that allows you to see, oh, wow, there's more, there's a higher place, so much more so if you apply that on the spiritual realm, oh, my goodness.

Speaker 1:

And I like it, but with two things I want to say. So, in other words, christians do not have a glass ceiling. Right, you know how the world turns, you can only get. But so high in this organization, you can only get. You know, you have to be a man to get here, you have to be a woman to get here, you have to be this. But in Christ there is no glass, there is no.

Speaker 2:

There is no.

Speaker 1:

We are here on this earth, but we're also in Christ spiritually, so we really do not have to worry about that, that glass ceiling. When you're in Christ, the impossibilities are possible, right. It's just that you don't know what they really are. Yeah, mine hasn't come to that point, okay. So I really, lord, you really that really could happen. You know what I was saying. Oh Lord, I didn't even know that existed, because I'm telling you, when it comes to the podcast, I didn't know there was such a thing, didn't even no clue.

Speaker 2:

The doors that opened are amazing, but you know what LaVita? It doesn't. I'm of the inclination, I guess I would say that it doesn't come without sacrifice, it doesn't come without obedience, obedience and seeking God. I might even say just you know, there's a song about chasing after us. I think we have to chase after him on some levels.

Speaker 2:

And all that, and what I mean by that is we just have to really be those people that are committed to walking in the spirit and not in the flesh. And when you're walking in the spirit of God and you're allowing him when you like, literally from your heart, allowing him to take your life, if that is your petition, you know that song open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you, god, and if you position yourself that way, it is amazing where God will take your feet, where the path that he'll allow you to walk on. But it doesn't come easy. You know another thing my dad used to say like you know, god didn't promise us a bed of ease, and I'm telling you I've been through some things.

Speaker 2:

Just like you mentioned, even in your own life, and sometimes, when we're going through, the hardest thing is to say God, will you get glory out of this? But that is what he requires. I think that's what he invites us to do, as those that love him, to still say to God be the glory, get glory in this thing, get glory in this thing.

Speaker 2:

Another scripture that comes to mind is in everything give thanks, because this is the will of God through Christ Jesus, in everything. It doesn't always feel good, it doesn't always look good, sometimes it just lingers and extends itself, but in everything give thanks. And it's amazing of when we take the posture of true obedience to God. Not perfection I'm not perfect by any means but my core heart, my core heart is to honor God, to please God, to love him, to be what he desires of me to be, and in the midst of my storms and my battles, etc. He is still working and moving and it amazes me. It amazes me, it amazes me to see God move.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, and you know, and all of this, god has a plan. Yes, yes, you know, every time I think about creation, God didn't just show up and say yo, that void and stuff over there put that thing together. So yeah, and why don't you put some trees? Yeah, yeah, okay, and I'm thinking about no, no, no, no, he showed up with a plan. Yes, because, if you look, I mean, who would have thought of coming up with the sun and the moon? You know what I'm saying. Yes, I mean the way it was just put together. He had to have a plan. He had to know that if LaVita's going to show up, he had to make a man or a woman.

Speaker 2:

Yes, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So he had a plan, and his plan consisted of each one of us, and his plan consisted of the Word of God becoming flesh, so that eventually we could be at this state in our lives, but we can pick up our Bible. You know what I'm saying. We're not the ones in the beginning, because that wasn't our destiny trying to start you know everybody to understand who Jesus Christ is. No, no, no, that wasn't our mission. Our mission is right here. And when I look at what God has prepared for those who love him, that means he has a plan. He has prepared something for us, and each one of us have a mission, a mission in life, a journey that we're going to have to go through in order to fulfill the things that God has placed on our heart.

Speaker 1:

And when I think about all that he's planned, all that he's put together, that amazes me too Nandly. That just blows my mind that if we're still here, there's more to be done. Because, like, okay, because you, you know, like a Matthew has passed. I still say he's up there sleeping with the Lord, like I think my mom's sleeping with the Lord, and every once in a while I say Lord, could you wake up? Just tell her. I say hey, or something you know what I'm saying.

Speaker 1:

You know, you know, because I keep thinking. You know they go to sleep and you know when it comes time for that rapture, everybody's going to be showing up. So but that's that's. You know, that's Lovita.

Speaker 2:

Oh, but oh Well, you know what Lovita I when it's interesting, when you gave this passage of scripture, and I had always looked at it as what God promises while we're here on earth. But it really is twofold. You know, when we, when we've talked with one another, what I really recognize and what jumps out is at me is the idea of it being twofold, and by that I mean you know this hope, this passage and I'm sure you went into it with your prior guests more but it is Paul's salutation and greeting right To the church of Corinth and in the middle of that, with everything that they have going on, telling them and trying to encourage them and pull them out of that.

Speaker 2:

You know all the division that's been going on, all the immorality, et cetera, and telling them, you know, or encouraging them, in fact, in his greeting, that eyes haven't seen, you haven't seen or heard, it hasn't even entered the heart of man and woman and boy and girl, what God has in store for us. Okay, so that's literally to me, as he's speaking to these, to this church, you know, encouraging them that God is greater, he has greater. Those things are in place and you know that speaks to what you're talking about the plan. But you know we also can't negate the idea of what Jesus said to his disciples.

Speaker 2:

You know, I go to prepare a place for you, oh, and if I go and prepare a place I'll come again. You know where I am. There, you may be also. So it is. I think it is a scripture of hope for us as we are living in this world that we are living in. But it is also a scripture that can speak to the hope of John 3.16,. Oh yeah, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believe that penance should not perish but have everlasting Everlasting.

Speaker 2:

And that is the hope, you know when you go to the home going services of so many. You know that is the theme, the hope that we believers have. It goes back to believing in who this Jesus Christ is.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

It goes back to believing and walking in faith and in obedience.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yes it does, yes it does, and that hope is what we hold on to. Yes, everyone has a beginning and an ending, everyone has a path, and even when you think about God's plan for Jesus Christ and I really wanted to say himself in the flesh- Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Speaker 2:

I understand you, you understand you understand himself in the flesh?

Speaker 1:

Yes, it was. He had a plan, he had a beginning and he had an ending. And so often we think about a person's ending as being a sad event, but it really isn't. It just meant that they completed their task. Yes, we're not looking at what they actually did, we're just looking at the fact that they had a task placed on their life and it's completed. Now, how they completed it no, no, no, no. We don't know the heart of man, but we do know that it's completed. And when you know one of the things Paul said follow me as I follow Christ. So if we're following Christ and we're looking at his plan that has been laid out right here in front of us, we know that the number one thing is to glorify God and spend time with God. Yes, Because that's what he did. I mean, he did other stuff, but those two things, I mean you can just pull them out.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

That was just overshadows everything. So if our lives are to glorify God and spend time with him, then that's something we need to do and we need to take it seriously. Yes, because in that spending time, I'm pretty sure Jesus found out. You know, listen, son, you're about to go into what's? The guy named Pontius Pilate. Is it Pontius Pilate? No, no, no, not. Pontius Judas, judas, judas is about to show you out.

Speaker 2:

It's a bit. Yeah, he's about to show you.

Speaker 1:

I'm just letting you know. So get ready. So I'm only going to give you some warning about different things. So, just spending time with the Lord, you get the opportunity to know your mission, what your next steps are. And as believers in Christ, since we don't have a glass ceiling, we often think, ok, I want 1,000 customers come through the door before 3 o'clock today. We don't have to worry about that. We say, lord, you know what I need, this is your business. You know that tomorrow I need $80,000 in order to cover the account I only had the day in the morning. I'm putting my trust in you and we have to come to that part and what we realize, that what God has prepared for us. Yes, we can make, we have a choice. Yes, we have a choice. So, if God has given us A but we like B, better we go B way. Yes, we're gonna get the consequences of B.

Speaker 1:

But God is always trying to pull us back to-.

Speaker 2:

He's faithful.

Speaker 1:

He is faithful.

Speaker 2:

He is so faithful. I have a friend and I think out of every conversation we've had, 90, 97.5, that's what comes out of her mouth, see, and I mean and this is a woman who's gone through so much but I sometimes believe that God has put her in my life and for me it's been a lot of health issues over the last several years and to hear her constantly say that God is faithful, god is faithful, god is faithful. But I'm also reminded of what we have also heard over the years from my dad and our uncles Keep the faith, keep the faith.

Speaker 1:

That's it, you know. Keep the faith.

Speaker 2:

God is faithful and keep the faith, it's a circle. Faith comes by here.

Speaker 1:

We hear about it.

Speaker 2:

We hear about it it all goes back to what you're saying. So even when we're encouraging ourselves, being mindful of the fact that God is faithful, it comes by the word of God. You know, prayer is a big part of my life, as you have mentioned and stated over your podcasts. Even you talk about prayer a lot and I always pray scripture because that is what encourages. That doesn't allow you to go into yourself, that allows you when you're praying scripture, and it's literally from the word of God that you are right in there. You know, god is my refuge, he is my strength. I might not feel that way, going back to that again, everything give thanks. Might not feel it, but the word still says God is my refuge, god is my strength. My expectation is of you, god, so you move.

Speaker 2:

In the midst of all our trials, our weighty situations, being encouraged through the word of God is powerful and that's what I know, that's what's gotten me through. So to have hope through the scripture is amazing. To have hope through the scripture is what pulls us up out of our dark places and out of those decisions that we've made on our own when we've not applied God's wisdom. We're dealing with our own wisdom, our own flesh. You know it is truly the word of God that can pull us back in and take us higher and allow us to have hope.

Speaker 2:

You know, when you say, when you can really buy into and lean into that idea that eyes have not seen and ears have not heard, wow, god has this great thing in store for me. You know, in the midst of a pandemic and lack and loss, I can still count on this God, oh my goodness, yes, and we need the word of God in this time I think of. I keep asking the Lord in all honesty okay, how are we? What are you up to God? How are we in this? Because when you go back to my I'm gonna say my generation, we were sitting in Sunday school classes and youth groups and Bible studies and you know HYPU and BY all those youths that really embraced us and I believe we are seeing some of those things and it looks different, maybe today.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

There are. You know, what comes to mind is the Mavericks group, and they just join in that whole multitude of young people singing, gathering around. You have that. But what I'm really focusing in on in this moment is the idea of what the word is saying and how that encourages us and pulls us and gives us hope that we need in the midst of our storms. A simple thing that the Lord is my shepherd.

Speaker 2:

I shall not want, I shall not want and you might be in a physical state of lack, but to confess that is what is encouraging and what is heaping on top of your faith account, if I can call it that. That's what's heaping on type of your faith account. I know this and that is going on, but, lord, you are my shepherd. I shall not want Going back again. You know you are my refuge, you are my strength. The Lord is my light. You know, and when I'm in a place of darkness just being reminded of those things and just constantly, you know, reminding ourselves that he has great in store for us and it's in that spiritual realm. It's that spiritual realm so it comes in the form of peace when you're going through a crazy scenario, peace that's holding you together when everything else around you seems to be falling apart, and even your mind. You know, in your mind. You're confused in your mind at times because of, maybe, heaviness that's constantly at you.

Speaker 2:

It's just good to be able to call on a God that hears and answers prayer and to challenge him by his own word. This is what your word says. I'm standing on this. This is my expectation. I love that verse. My expectation is of you, because in your word. You said you would never leave me or forsake me. I don't see you, I don't feel, it's not in my feelings, but come on, god, you know. So it is a faith walk. It is a faith walk.

Speaker 1:

But it's one that you can call him on for sure.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, and that you know what you're talking about is the spiritual discipline of Bible study, bible reading yes, meditation, silence, because you gotta be silent in order to hear the word of God. And, nellie, I know you probably don't know, but I've put out in the same you are familiar with this that we have a 21 day challenge, doing just what we're talking about. I came across that, oh, you did. I did come across that. I'm checking you out. Ha ha, ha ha. Well, you are taking scripture, just like Nellie said, you're taking scripture, you're reading it and there's a focus verse. But, as you know, I've been saying, in 2021, how I believe God has. He's pulling the saints out into ministry and into business and in a way that is powerful.

Speaker 1:

There's a lot of us that feel that we are on a part of God's plan. We don't have the ability or we're scared, or that's just not me, that couldn't be calling me to do that. And then I know I have friends who say well, I think God said I'm supposed to be doing this. No, I think it's this. No, no, maybe it's this. Maybe it should Listen. Pick one thing, whatever God has called, pick one thing and do it. Just do it. God has a plan and if you're afraid now, if you're afraid, all that means is adversaries trying to hold you back Just do it.

Speaker 1:

So this 21 day challenge is basically to take the word of God and allow you and the Lord to spend time together, just together, in His word. Focus on that, and if you have a business or a ministry, it's also applicable to you. Because now, listen, take your 30 minutes. Some of you can take more than 30 minutes, and if you had to take less than 30, take the time in your life, block it out. Make it consistent for 21 days and just take the word of God and be with your Savior and Lord, holy Spirit and God. Just be with Him. Just be with Him because he's a trial and God, all three of one, and I just know they all three wanted everybody oh, you talk to one everybody showing up. You know what I'm saying, you know?

Speaker 1:

what I'm saying and showing up in a very powerful way.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you know, every once in a while I'll go back to Genesis. You talked about God and how he had a plan. I'll go back to Genesis and just read those days of creation and when you go back to that it is dynamic, it's powerful just to go through and really see what he did, how he put it into place, how he spoke it into place, and it's just dynamic. That whole reading to take in. And how often, you know, a lot of times I think we take what we know and we just keep moving through life because we know it's there, it's there. But every once in a while to go back and just take the time to literally read through that and see what he did and how he showed up, it will move you, it will impress you. Yes, it will impress you.

Speaker 1:

And the love.

Speaker 2:

It will tie you into the scripture of today. Yes, yes, it all ties in to the fact that he is such an awesome God.

Speaker 1:

He is and, like I was saying, the love the God made us in His image.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

We are breathing in and out. He breathed His breath in us. Do you understand what I'm saying? Yes, yes, we're breathing His breath. Yes, that always amazes me. Yes, absolutely, it's wild.

Speaker 2:

You know, and the cousin to that, the cousin to that is reminding ourselves, no matter what's going on, that we are in fact fearfully and wonderfully made, from the youngest to the oldest, from the insider and the outsider, wherever you fit in. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and God loves us. He loves us, he loves us.

Speaker 1:

Amen, hallelujah.

Speaker 2:

Thank you God.

Speaker 1:

So what God has prepared for those who love him. That's the, that's the listen, Saints, that's the key, right there.

Speaker 2:

Amen.

Speaker 1:

Amen, we are part of his plan. And one way we know that we're part of his plan because he said because he loves, you know he has prepared stuff for those he love. Yes, don't don't take for granted the gifts and talents that God has given you. Don't do that. And the icing on the cake yes, no, go ahead.

Speaker 2:

The ice I'm just saying the icing on the cake is when we love him back. Yes, yes, I think of the words of that song. I love you, jesus, I worship and adore you. I love you more than anything. That's a dynamic relationship when you have a God is the lover of your soul and you love him back. I think, there's nothing that we can't accomplish, nothing that we can, like you talked about, be impossible. Is anything impossible for God?

Speaker 2:

Is anything you know no, and you have to be reminded that and that and encouraged through that, because this world is brutal.

Speaker 1:

Oh yes.

Speaker 2:

This world is brutal, but but, but, god, but, god, but God but.

Speaker 1:

God, but God, that's what I say. With the gifts and the talents that he's giving us, you give that back to him. He's going to bring the increase.

Speaker 2:

He gave it to you right.

Speaker 1:

He gave it to you, he's going to bring the increase. Think about your brain. That's a whole half the stuff you're not even using. You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 2:

Look, that's some real science there.

Speaker 1:

Yes, you know what I'm saying but, but, but, what God has put in there he can amplify. But if we never spend the time with him to allow him to amplify God, come on.

Speaker 1:

And if we don't allow him to use the gifts as as he has, god has a way of of taking something simple like writing, because of both authors you know we may start off with. It was the first time that Jimmy ate that apple. Okay, and one writer will take that apple to turn it into food. Another one would take that apple and turn it into some kind of poetry.

Speaker 1:

Another, one will take it into a child story and in the midst of all that, you can have 15 different poets, authors, thrillers you know, you know what I'm saying, right, right, and each one is writing in a unique and special. God has a way of taking a gift, just a gift, highlighting it so that it hit this person one way and that person another. It's written just for this person, but this person get a piece of it. That person might say I'm okay, you know, you know what I'm saying, it's just perspective.

Speaker 2:

Yes oh, perspective and point of view Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So I just, you know what, nellie, this was. This was a blessing, you know, because my whole thing is about. It's about planning. We got, we have to, god planned Matter of fact. Eternity, I believe, is planned, isn't it? I believe so. Yes, I mean it has to be, because we're going there, right, the Rapture, right, the guy has something. I mean God didn't laid out this whole plan here. I mean, we don't know everything, there's still some mysteries, and that's the exciting part, that's the that's really the exciting part, you know. But I mean he got all laid out and all we gotta do show up.

Speaker 2:

That's right. Have faith, have faith and believe, have faith and believe that's it. What are you about?

Speaker 1:

So cause what's on your radar plans for 2022?

Speaker 2:

Oh, my goodness, you know, I still just, I just want to be available. I think that's my heart desire just to be available to God. I have seen him move in such awesome ways in my own life already, so I am amazed at what he can do in the future. You know, I don't know if I can do a quick wrap of what that is really cooking my chest for many.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean a two time breast cancer diagnosis in 2013 and then again in 2016. And that journey alone was daunting, it was overwhelming. It was that, oh Lord, what is happening? You know, here I am running prayer ministry in church and now I have to step into that place and really really step into those, those legs and arms of prayer and my onesie and really make it happen in my own life and put faith in action.

Speaker 2:

And I mentioned earlier about God, you be glorified. That really was a sincere prayer of my heart. Each time I didn't know how that was going to look and I didn't say it easily, I didn't confess that easily to the Lord, but I just I knew. When you talk about a plan, I had to know in the back of my mind, based on everything I know of who God is. My expectation was of him. So I still gave that.

Speaker 2:

After healing from the first diagnosis and going through a mastectomy and reconstruction and and expanders and all those things, doctors visits, back and forth and a couple of surgeries, thinking everything was over, and then to be hit again with a different type of cancer, a different type of breast cancer, and be right back at that same place. I remember sitting down in my dining area one day and just saying God, come on now. You know this is really from my heart, yeah, but still, man, you, you'd be glorified in this. And when am I going to see that? When am I going to see the glory part of going through this? Well, fast forward years beyond that, eight years, whatever later, and in this past year and a half, two years alone, I've written my one book, which is I have breast cancer. Now what? And it's a breath, it's a support, it's a support, support tool for those with breast cancer and my husband who really pushed what's the name of?

Speaker 1:

the book.

Speaker 2:

Again, I have breast cancer. Okay Now, what a breast cancer support tool. And I'm telling you it just. It just outlines my journey and what I went through, and beyond that I am. Now I joined this support group called Cancer Support Community and I am now on that board. So I was from being a member who was receiving support and the support group and taking in nutritional, you know, influences and ways to build your body back up and and just talking with women who other women who spoke my same language. And now I move from member to board of director where I'm trying to pull in people and especially people in the black community, because we are disproportionately affected by cancer.

Speaker 2:

And I find myself in this place and I'm saying Lord, and I'm talking about donors that bring in thousands of dollars etc. I don't, I mean I'm doing okay, but I'm not. I'm not in that place, but I'm moving among. God is just opening up doors and allowing me to see, see life from a different perspective, to be on a different side, to go into places where I'm not fearful of jumping in and asking you know, can, can you help? How can you support? Nor am I fearful of saying, hey, come on and grab some support, let us lock arms, and God has given us all these resources. You know, my family by church is a great source of support. But he allowed me to step out into a greater diversity and a greater group of people. But we had that one thing in common of hearing you have breast cancer. But I mean, it's taken me into the midst of all kinds of people who are, who are just bound by that commonality.

Speaker 2:

And just to see him moving in those areas. Another area really quick always wanted to be involved in voiceover work and in my early 20s, after graduating from college, I got involved with a local radio station and I was up yeah, I was about to have my own show and all of this and the things changed on me and the programming got purchased in time. You know, my opportunity went out the window, put it like this. So I think over the years that's something I always kind of wanted to do and aspire and get back to. And I remember, you know, say, 25 plus years later I'm sharing this with a co worker. Just, we're talking about desires of our heart, things like that.

Speaker 2:

I literally, lavita, literally, walked into my office one day and I had a note that said have you heard of KPFK 90.7 FM? The host is looking for a partner to assist him with the show. You should give a call. The deal is, I'm like what? Because I've always wanted to get back into radio. I never thought I'd get that opportunity or voiceover, that type of thing. And so here I call, I reach out, I send in what my passion is and what background I do have in it the fact that I had taken a refresher course because after going through breast cancer, I'm telling you, I had a new lease on life and I was out there, you know going for it.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

You look into life. Let me tell you, when I asked this the host I said I'm sure you have a lot of people that have responded to your request. He goes to you and another gentleman and he's not the one for this job. Wow, and that's how I'm there. So every other Sunday I am there and I'm just joining him and it's giving me opportunity to perfect the craft and be a self critical person.

Speaker 1:

You know it's like you're my own voice.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it's just the door that God has opened and it's many years later, but I've seen it come to pass. I've seen it come to pass, you know, I've been asked. Going back to the board of directors, I've been asked to be on boards before and I would always hesitate.

Speaker 1:

It's like I don't know what do I have to offer?

Speaker 2:

Let me tell you I'm on the ground running with this Because I have taken the burden, I've taken the horrible, I've taken the bad of of diagnosis and I find, and I have been able to see it turn around for good, god, god took that thing and he has turned it around for good. I see the good coming out of it and so I'm telling you, we never know.

Speaker 1:

We keep thinking that our trials and tribulations are awful and hard and yes, and just unfair. And why would God put us through something like that? It's just suffering, but there's a yeah, but there is actually light at the end of the tunnel. There is something more to this. Our suffering is not a game.

Speaker 2:

I like to think of it, yeah, and I don't even think of it all as him putting us through. But just, I know, I know the, I know he it is said that he doesn't, he allows it or it's what he allows in the midst of what we're going through, because there's so often I don't know why, lovita, I always get concerned about when we go through so much. I've heard even in my journey, I wonder people will come with me. I want well, why would God put that on you? Why would God do that to you? And I'm like, yeah, I just want to be careful in and how I'm looking at this and wording this.

Speaker 2:

And when I don't have all those answers, I just go before God and I say, okay, you're will be done. Please, father, god, lead and God and direct me. You be glorified and I had to take this from a brother that I have a lot of respect for. The devil horrified, the devil horrified and God glorified, devil horrified, but be allowed. Yes, yes, yes, you know, be allowing that God does in the midst of these things. You know there's so much. You know you talk about miscreeds you talk about. You talk about what is being allowed versus what is put on us At the end of the day, still going back to that and everything, giving thanks.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Because this is the will of God.

Speaker 1:

Yes, through Christ Jesus, yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

And somehow he shows up for his people he shows up in the midst of our suffering, in the midst of your chronic suffering. He still shows up, and every time I get that glimpse of sunshine in my life, I get a day that is just even a moment, that is just going well, and that I can feel love and the grace of God moving. I am always saying God, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, lola. You're right. You know, while you were talking, I was thinking about the person who says we live in a world of sin, mm-hmm, therefore we're going to go through stuff Period, and I think that has been causing. That causes us a lot of headache and that that might be the wrong word, but that causes us a lot of confusion, I hear you, I'm with you, I am so with you.

Speaker 1:

You understand. So when we get into because you know I've been through two different pneumonias I shingles you know what I'm saying. My shingles went into nerve damage so oh gosh. So when I look at it on the other end, you know I don't have it now, but on this end I had to remind myself that you know, because sometimes we think that as Christians, nothing's supposed to happen to us, right, right, you know what I'm saying.

Speaker 2:

Cuz we're.

Speaker 1:

God. How dare you sickness come over here? You know what I'm saying. But we live in a world of sin. But we are to be an example. We're to be an example. God's God has it. Like you said, god has allowed us a certain path and mission in which to take and, and in that, in the direction of getting to him, come in fulfilling that mission. There's some things that are gonna become. They're gonna start shooting our way. We don't know what they are we, they just gonna come out what. But we got to stay focused in the word of God. We got to keep our eye focus on who our God is sovereign he is.

Speaker 1:

But if we never if we never read across that, or if we never hear that or if we never embrace it, and I mean anything. We got to put a much of the word of God in us as the world has been throwing it out. You know that's right. So if you like 50 years old, you got 50 years of the world. You need to start, you know, really getting to know who God is. This is a blessing, you know, I'm saying this is a blessing, god. What God has prepared for those who love him. Well, now that, I just want any last words for close out.

Speaker 2:

You know, I just I thank you for this opportunity and I I believe that we come from great legacy and it just, oh, we do emerged yeah, yeah, yeah, I urge today. I think that there have just been seeds that have been planted in us From our and as far as our families go, great seeds and I'm not saying that in a puff, puffed up way, but maybe I am because we know better than be puffed up.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I understand it. No, I understand yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I just you know, I just thank God for his grace, his mercy, his love, his kindness, and I am open. I don't want to live beneath my privileges, so I am open to keeping the faith. I am open to understanding that that God is faithful. I am open to understanding that I don't know everything. Give God all the glory, oh, and I just allow him the flexibility to move. We have the opportunity for choice, you know. We have the opportunity for Joyce for choice.

Speaker 2:

God is able to step in and and do Abundantly. Above all we ask or think, but he is a gentleman, I hear my friend saying that he is a gentleman oh he just has it just Extended.

Speaker 1:

You know, this gift will you receive it, and and that's where, where he that's where he leaves it, that's where he lives it, that's it and it's, and it is our choice. Right to follow him or not. How gracious a God is that.

Speaker 1:

Yes that he's not Manipulative or demanding right, just just loving, yes, you know, and it's a love that many of us don't know. We can't comprehend that love, and that is just an awesome kind of love that needs to be. What God has prepared for those who love him is awesome. Oh, hey, man, so until we meet again on the airways intentionally and damn, hang out with you, natalie, let's close it out, all right, hello, oh.

Exploring 1 Corinthians
Hope and Faith in God's Plan
Finding Hope in God's Word
Overcoming Breast Cancer and Finding Purpose
Embracing God's Love and Direction