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If you wanna grow, you gotta say goodbye!

If you’re struggling to let go of something or someONE that God (creator of the universe) has said or shown you, NO...that or they ain’t it for you. Please, TRUST Him. He has something/someone GREATER if you’re willing to let go. I PROMISE you.

I’m two days away from my bday, and per usual, I’m very sentimental and reflective. The Lord placed something on my heart to share with you. Honestly, this was only supposed to be a "10yr challenge" IG post but blossomed into a blog testimony and word of encouragement for you! While my example is relational, please extract the principles and take what’s needed for your life/situation. You ready? Let’s go!

10yrs ago, on my 29th birthday, I celebrated solo in the South loop of my hometown Chicago after dropping off a birthday card and balloon to my granddad at his assisted living home on 63rd. We shared the same birthday and, that day, hearty laughs as well.

After a warm goodbye, I headed to get ice cream and some fresh new ink.

I had cried all the tears my eyes could muster days and weeks prior after breaking off a relationship with an ex who I thought could’ve been and begged God to be the “one.”

At that time, I was a new Christian, still wet behind the ears, 3yrs in the game going super hard... fanatical, immature, and unrealistically zealous for Jesus thinking marriage would simply resolve the guilt and conviction associated with what I deemed my “greatest” sin at that time. It never occurred to me that sin is sin and that I had far more sin problems than fornication and premarital sex in my 20s.

I didn’t realize that pride, anger, bitterness, manipulation, and unforgivingness were also sins and that they were ones I was willing to forgo for a “death due me part vow” to someone I hardly knew just to check off my “greatest” sin box.

Painstakingly clueless, I didn’t know marriage was a covenant between two unique people (who when done right), are paired by God to help each other operate in their full potential and giftings that will bring God glory and more people to him.

I thought surely because now that I was “saved” and running my race as a Christian and checking items off my “no longer sinning” list, I would be rewarded with something/someone I thought I wanted despite my ignorant and impure intentions.

My “desire” didn’t include a real relationship with Christ or glorifying Him in marriage. My sin list was rooted in me following rules (religion) and performing to get God’s approval and love. I never knew He already approved me when He sent Jesus to die for me and that there was nothing I could do to make Him love me anymore or any less.

It shouldn’t have been a major surprise when the Lord woke me up one weekend at 3a saying, “I know what you’ve prayed for, daughter, but in my time. He’s your preparation for marriage.” What? So, what are you saying, God? I thought. When I heard this 3 months into the relationship, I didn’t want to believe it. And, you know how we do when it’s something we think we want.

We linger, create alternative narratives, and still beg God to let things work or be it even after He’s revealed no. Although a new Christian, I heard the Lord clearly on that, and to make sure I did, He sent others to echo it. But I went on anyway, hoping to change God’s mind and further complicate my emotions by staying in that relationship.

Nearly 6 months later (MAN! God is so lovingly patient), He had my Pastor’s wife call me directly to share something the Lord shared with her for me. I didn’t attend a small church but a well-known church in the city, so it was a big deal for the first lady to call me.

She gave the analogy of a braid with three pieces of hair. She told me that she saw me entangled in some things, including my relationship, and that if I didn’t get out, it would be braided down too far, and I would miss where God wanted to take me. She confirmed what I knew I needed to do. Before her call, I had a series of dreams, confirmations by my mentors and others, all leading to the same thing.

I started to pray, Lord, let him break up with me; I can’t do this. I was heartbroken. We were so cute together, and He was my 6 figure, property-owning, bowtie-wearing, fellow HBCU grad who went to the same church (embarrassing typing that). Pretty surface, right?

Well, the Lord said, no, you will do it. So I was forced to make a decision of staying and pretending this was God’s best while pleading with God to change his mind OR to be obedient, break this man’s heart, and disappoint my family and friends (who were so happy for me) AND undergo the embarrassment of breaking up with someone who attends the same church (just before my birthday after flights were booked for a weekend getaway in Napa Valley). Chile, you know I wanted to wait until after my birthday. LOL.

I still remember the butterflies of fear and hurt I felt delivering the news in the back of the Starbucks on 35th and State. He was angry, and I, although hurt, felt relieved. After the conversation, I jogged 20mins home, crying every step in a choked-up voice, saying out loud, Lord, it’s me and you. I choose you.

2 weeks later, on my 29th birthday, I got new ink, a cross on my ring finger that symbolized being married to Jesus. I called my new tat “married to the Kingdom” with a vow to God that I would be His bride until he sent my husband.

I had also submitted my resignation letter to my employer then and had no clue what I would do next. Part of me also saw my relationship as a possible safety net. But, the Lord wanted me to depend SOLEY on Him. A month after my birthday, I got a job offer in DC and was on a flight 3 days later. The Lord had significant plans for me there, taking my mind off the breakup. And 2 months later, I was preparing to move to Atlanta, where 7 years later, I would meet my husband.

The seven years in between were rough; I fell, got up, went hard professionally had a lot of learning and unlearning to do. I experienced some flat-out anger with God and had more streaks of trust than more pain leading me to question God altogether. In the 5th year, I accepted a proposal that led to a broken engagement, and, through the course of that, I learned what real love looked and felt like. The Lord showed me the value and importance of making and keeping a covenant.

And in 2020, God shut down the entire world to introduce me to who He had for me all along (in the middle of a pandemic 7 months after calling off that engagement).

So, today as I prepare to celebrate my 39th birthday, 10 years later, my tatted ring finger’s cross is crowned and covered with a beautiful wedding band and ring that symbolizes an outward expression of God’s faithfulness, His promise fulfillment, and nearly 3 years of being blissfully married to a man who is far more than I EVER could have imagined, dreamed up or even knew to ask for.

We are equally yoked, fully submitted, and surrendered to Christ and each other. We are one, and I am married to the most phenomenal leader, lover, best friend, caretaker, hilarious, charming, attentive, jovial, and overall wonderfully beautiful human MAN ever! Plus, he’s tall, dark, handsome, and FINEEEE. God!!!

My husband is everything I didn’t know I wanted or needed. I am so thankful I was obedient and eventually got detangled. Had I stayed, I would’ve missed God’s plans for me in DC, I wouldn’t have moved to ATL, and I wouldn’t have met my husband.

I can go on and on about my husband and God’s faithfulness, but I’ll stop here. My prayer is that you will choose wisely.

Letting go is awfully rough and painful, for sure. Whether it’s letting go of a job, city, loved one, relationship, car or anything. If God said let go this means He has better! Growth implies goodbyes. To grow, you’ve got to say goodbye.

We don’t always know what’s on the other end of no and our goodbye, but I promise, if you give God your Yes, He can provide you with so much more!

I hope this blessed someone.

With Grace,

Coach Rahk


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