My heart knew I was meant for greater. I had no idea how I would get there. It was when I turned to God and committed to following the law to love only, did my life become a series of fortunate events, blessed with amazing favor.
As an only child raised by a single mom, I learned very early on how to be alone, entertain myself, and satisfy my own curiosities. I was not raised with intention as to who or how I would be as an adult. I saw myself like a weed growing out of control with no direction. God bless my mother, good, bad, or indifferent, she did her best.
In my younger years, whether in high school, college, and miscellaneous jobs, one thing remained constant, I was attractive. It was both a gift and a curse. It afforded me opportunities for which I wasn't qualified and it also made me a target for every man I encountered. I hated being treated like a object to be had. I was never interested in dating a bunch of guys, instead, I preferred being in love and committed. Off the market and unavailable suited me just fine.
At 19, I dated a guy who swept me off my feet, then cheated on me. I rebounded and married the next guy at 21. I knew it wasn't right before I even said I do. We divorced a year later, then I married again at 24. This time it would be for keeps. There I was, a wife, mother of four, five dogs, and a house as if Martha Stewart. But, it was around year 15, that I began to feel unhappy. A small voice deep within me was calling my name. I knew I was meant for something greater.
Our daughter was born in 2001, and my mom passed away five months later. It was then that I felt really alone in the world.
About five years later, I met a man that opened the door to my heart, telling me I was meant for greater. The world needs you, he said. It was like the flood gates opened, there was no going back. I decided to follow my heart, leave my picture perfect life, sacrifice all of my comfort, beauty, abundance, and security for a future I knew nothing about.
Upon leaving my marriage, I made a commitment that I would leave the same way I went in, with love. My priority was to maintain a healthy relationship with my childrens father. It wasn't easy. I had to manage my anger, watch my words and behavior while keeping focused on the life I wanted to create. I learned to hold my tongue, not react, keep my composure, be kind, and cry alone, managing the pain that was ripping my heart out. My husband loved me, but I knew I had to make a decision. I couldn't answer the call to my heart and maintain the life that knew me. I had to let go of one for the other.
Now alone, with no one to turn to, I turned to my faith in God. I made a pact that I would follow his instruction to love, to put love first before anything else, in return for the promise. I vowed to stay true, even if I were the only one to do it.
I decided to go back to school. I felt I was worth the paper hanging on the wall. I wish it were my first pick; psychology, but I was talked out of it to get a more practical degree. Now I have a Bachelor's in business management that I dust once in a while.
It turns out that my direction was were I was supposed to be. One of my classmates, Richard, nick named me "The Show" for my ability to bedazzle without fear.
Later, when my heart was pushing me to deliver a message, "The Merrilee Show" was born.
Now divorced in my mid forties, I finally began to date. It was a curious time of observation, learning about different men and how they would treat me. During the next four years, I was proposed to four times. My friends would jokingly say, "oh did we miss that one? We'll catch the next." I never did marry. I knew what love was and the commitment involved. There was no way I'd settle for less to avoid being alone. With each relationship, I continued to hold my tongue, be gracious, kind, and tolerant of the lack of respect, both for them and myself. Each time I left, it was because I chose to put myself first, committing to my dedication to the delivery of the promise.
Whoever does not love does not know God. Because God is love 1 John 4:8
I wanted to know God. Therefore, it was my commitment to love.
Love isn't easy. Love requires a lot of self-discipline. And I mean A LOT. I've had over a decade of moment-to-moment experiences with each day encountering some kind of crazy that required self-discipline in order to stay within my boundary and commitment to love.
My family and I have suffered great losses because of this commitment. Still, I was willing to lose it all in exchange for the promise.
"To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations" Revelation 2:26 NIV
I've been tested with many personality types, challenging situations, financial threats, and fear-based beliefs about my limitations and the truth of our world. I sacrificed my home, my reputation, my credit, friends, family, and tens of thousands of dollars to stay on this narrow path.
Although I was enduring the devil's labyrinth, I continued to keep my promise to love.
You might be wondering if I made the right choices considering the many conflicting ideas and theory's there are about the definition of love and what is acceptable. To that I say yes I did, a very adamant yes. It's actually really simple once you get the hang of it. It's just not easy.
Love is everything good that does not cause harm. Love is good all of the time. That's how we discern truth. Love is the only truth.
" I am the way, and the truth and the life"
John 14:6 NIV
(I am all there is, there is nothing else, I am life)
I have learned many things over the years as my promise has delivered favor in so many ways. One of the advantages of commiting to love is that I had to exercise my faith, taking risks, saying yes when I could have easily been too afraid to move forward. Although I have lost many things, what I have gained is invaluable. In the material world, it looks like success, fame, and fortune. But in truth, there's nothing more rewarding than knowing there is a God and it's okay to let go and just love.
My life is blessed with spiritual gifts of protection, angels, alignment, wisdom, clarity, direction, favor, discernment, and abundance. Because I made a commitment to love, I can say with absolute confidence, I know God.
I can't say with confidence what triggered the next event, but what happened was truly magical. As I was doing what I've always done... being good, being one with nature, meditation, singing bowls, chants, minding my responses...I don't know what exactly I did to be blessed with such a responsibility but I was given a gift to be delivered.
All of a sudden out of no where, I was able to see and hear more than what is "normal" to my vision and hearing. I was given the gift of clairvoyance and clairaudience.
I could hear voices telling me what to write for the instruction on how to love.
During, and following the time of my writing, opportunities kept coming that would lift me higher. People were put in my path, giving me oportunity, knowledge, and direction to help me along my journey. My destiny was becoming more evident.
Some would suspect that I've worked really hard to get where I am, and I have, but really all that I've done is love harder. Given the test, I would stay the course, choose to love over being right. Choose to maintain my honor and integrity instead of defending my position. I held my tongue, refrained from hurtful accusations, and learned to use humor to diffuse a situation instead of escalating it with sarcasm. Love is much harder than most put forth the effort. Couple that with all the confusing contradictions about the concept of love that appear to be acceptable depending on the situation.
I haven't found any deviation from the truth to be love.
For me, I've stayed the course because the truth never changes.
My commitment and fortitude to withstand the storms, confident that love always wins, has made me all that I AM. My depth of understanding of the complexity of love has instilled a profound trust in myself as I am confident in my ability to mitigate chaos, drama, threat, fear, and all doubt this world has to offer. There's nothing I can't do as I've learned to wear the full armor of God (love) as my sword and my shield.
My intimate relationship with love is how I got my crown. Delivered as promised.
"To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations."
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