I wanted to sell my body…but Jesus saved my soul.

Have you ever gotten so tired of telling the same story over and over? No matter how true the story was, or how bad you wanted it to be heard, it just seemed to lose its importance somewhere down the line? I can honestly say that no matter how many times I share my story, it never gets old. It makes me love Jesus more and more every single time.
I grew up as the only child in my household. My mother spoiled me and my father lived hours away. In my eyes, I had only one parent. She was my provider, my protector and I always figured that my dad didn’t call much because he didn’t know what to say to me. I just so happen to be the only sister to five brothers. Anyway, being the only child had its perks. I got everything that I asked for. Every pointless toy, a puppy, every outfit, etc. You name it, I had it. But may I be honest with you? Being the only child in my household was lonely. I would’ve given anything to have someone to fight over toys and clothes with. I would’ve loved to get in trouble for another siblings’ stupid mistakes. I was the epitome of lonely.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school in 2009: I went to my fair share of parties. By senior year, I’d bounced around to four different high schools because of fighting and fed up principals. But I decided that senior year would be my year to get my act together. I graduated with a 4.0, got accepted into at least 6 different universities of my choice, was pretty convinced that the relationship that I was in was going to last forever and I felt like my life was finally on track. I remember praying with my pastor before I left. My mindset was “Eboni, don’t get caught up in the hype as a freshmen.” I was going to try and “live right.” Or so I thought
My freshmen year of college started off pretty smooth. I’d joined a church on campus, somewhat enjoyed my roommate and managed to stay away from several parties. The plan was to live for God my freshmen year. While my roommate constantly left our dorm to go party with friends, I decided to stay in and read my Bible. I was doing the right thing. I mean, wasn’t I? I sat on the edge of my bed one evening and received a phone call from my mom that would change everything for me…
Mom: “Eboni, what are you doing? We need to talk.”
Me: “I’m just in my room Ma. What’s going on?”
Mom: “Well, you know I’m paying most of your tuition out of pocket.”
Me: “Yes ma’am. I know.”
Mom: “I don’t want to have to tell you this, but you have to come home. I can’t afford for you to stay there.”
Me: …..
Mom: “Hello?”
Me: “Yeah Ma, I hear you. It’s alright. I gotta go. I’ll call you later.”
Was she serious? Was God serious? He allowed her to get me in this university, but He won’t help her out so I can stay here? “God, I HATE YOU! Living for You is lonely! And You aren’t even providing!” I changed after that conversation…
After weeks of partying, alcohol poisoning (twice) and passing all of my classes, I couldn’t help but think about the financial burden that I was on my mom. I decided that the only way out was suicide. I felt empty. I had absolutely nothing to live for. My mom was working two jobs, I never heard from my dad that year and I was just over it. I ran to my dorm after class, removed my shoes and pulled out some pain pills that I had. “God, please take my life. Please. I don’t want to wake up.” I took six 800mg pain pills. I called my mom, but she didn’t answer. She probably would’ve talked me out of it anyway, so I’m glad she didn’t. This was rock bottom for me…
“Ms. Armstrong! Ms. Armstrong! Do you know where you are? Can you tell me the last thing you remember?”
I finally opened my eyes after hours of being knocked out from the pills. IT DIDN’T WORK! Did God REALLY have the nerve to wake me up? I prayed and asked Him to let me die. Why am I still here? After being on suicide watch in the hospital, that had given me enough time to think of a way to get money. My new lifestyle of partying and drinking brought me “new friends.” I knew plenty of girls that were paying for their tuition on their own. “Eboni, I know you’re a virgin but if you wanna get this money, I know how you can get it.” I decided that selling my body…something that had never been seen or touched by any man…was going to be sold. I was the reason my mom had to work two jobs. I was the reason she was stressed out. I decided that I would put an end to all of that…
I’d already been in touch for a few days with the guy that I was going to “work for.” He assured me that I would be okay…that all the money I made would go to my tuition…and that I would be okay. I said that twice didn’t I? The night that I was supposed to go meet him, I made sure that I was out-of-my-mind-I’m-about-to-lose-my-virginity-in-order-to-pay-for-school drunk. Remy. Vodka. Tequila. Alcohol was my best friend that night. I had on the tightest jeans that I had ever worn in my life. My shirt was so low that I didn’t even need one on. Surprisingly, I was able to walk across campus to tell a friend that I was about to make some good money. I didn’t know that my life would change that night…
My friend: “Eboni, girl! Where are you going dressed like that? And why do you smell like you bathed in alcohol?”
Me: “Look, I just wanted to tell you that I’m about to go make some money. My mom won’t have to stress anymore. I didn’t come here to argue or to get your approval. I’m going to sell my body.”
My friend: “Eboni, can we pray? You like to pray, remember? Just sit down really quick.”
Me: “PRAY? PRAY? You can’t be serious! Pray for what? God didn’t hear me and He’s not going to hear You!”
As I turned to leave her dorm, she started to cry and played “Bow Down” by Bishop Paul Morton. That was my favorite song. I fell to my knees in the middle of her room. I screamed! I screamed so much that people were banging on the door to get in. I screamed because I was hurting. Not only was I hurting, but I was tired. I was tired of hurting. In that moment, I felt something that I’d never felt before. Someone was taking the time to FIGHT for me. I felt like the enemy and God were at war for my soul in that very moment. After almost being raped twice and not having anyone to run to, Jesus came in that room and rescued me. He rescued me from all the hurt and pain that I’d ever felt in my life. In that room, on that floor, I repented of my sins. I cried out for Jesus…and He came.
It’s been almost 5 years now and I’m still IN LOVE WITH JESUS:) He’s kept my mind, my body and my soul. No man has ever “known” me. My husband will be the first and last man to “know” me. I want to leave you with two verses:
Hosea 6:1-3*
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”

And my favorite:
*Luke 13:13* “Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”

Advertisements
This entry was posted on September 24, 2013. 13 Comments

While You Wait

I Am Ready, Lord!

Image result for raised hand

Take a good look at the picture above! It appears to be a young woman who is eager to be called on to answer a question in class.  But, for me, that raised hand represents me showing the Lord my desire to be a wife.  I have had my fair share of failed relationships.  I have done wrong & have been done wrong.  I have gone from running away from even the thought of marriage to now hoping that marriage would knock on my door.  My single sisters in Christ & I that desire marriage have spoken for hours about one thing: How do you show God that you are ready for marriage?  Before I answer that, take a deep breath! It’s about to get real…

You can PREPARE for marriage. But, God determines WHEN or IF you will be married.  

There is no formula.  I know that some of you all were expecting something much deeper than that. Honestly, you weren’t the only one! Over the past year, I have been in “wife preparation” mode. I have MASTERED several meals in the kitchen.  I have been smart with my finances & have practiced some money-saving tips that I believe my husband will truly be grateful for. I also study to show myself approved, rightly divide the word of truth & make purity a lifestyle (not just practicing abstinence, but being careful with the things that I watch, listen to, read, etc.). If there was a checklist of important things that a woman needed to do & be before marriage, I believe yours truly would be more than happy to grab a pen & show my future husband how “qualified” I am. I have some very lovely sisters in the Lord who could not cook, had no desire to save money & did not practice abstinence. But, the Lord graciously allowed a man to find them who was after His heart & theirs.  As I think about that imaginary checklist, I am reminded of Ephesians 2:8-10.  It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Our works do not qualify us to be heirs of God.  Therefore, our checklist (no matter how eligible we may appear) will not make us jump to the front of the “I deserve to be a wife” line.  Despite how I may feel in this moment, singleness is just as much of a gift as marriage! As a single woman after the heart of God, I followed His instructions for me to move to Texas.  I have been promoted on my job three times since I have been with the company for a little over a year.  I got my passport! I take a boxing class! I literally find random things to do in Texas just about every weekend & I can never say that I am bored. I even find joy in serving inside & outside of my church. If you are a single sister in the Lord, may I ask you something?  What are you doing with your singleness, sis?  Our life does not begin when a man comes along.  These men should find us serving & experiencing joy in the Lord! If God has called you to marry, what will you be found doing?

Last year, I made a list of about 50 things that I was praying that my husband will either be when he finds me and/or what areas the Lord will use me in his life to help him become.  And ladies, only ONE thing on that list had to do with how my husband looked (I just want to be physically attracted to him). Some of us are praying that our husbands look like Michael B. Jordan, while neglecting the spiritual things (that’s another post for another time). If he can lift you physically, but cannot carry you spiritually, you will be MISERABLE. Trust me! But, the more & more I looked at what I was praying for, I began to look at myself.  “Lord, can I be of any assistance to the type of man I am praying for? Strengthen me in the areas that this man will need my help in.”

Sometimes, I find myself wanting to be married because it will be nice to have someone to just be there.  When I am in a store, sometimes I look at the baby clothes & I find myself getting teary-eyed.  But, in those moments, the Holy Spirit reminds me that He is enough.  If the Lord, in His sovereignty, has not called for me to be married, He is STILL good.  In light of eternity, our temporary longings cannot compare to what is in store on the day that we go on to glory.  Read Romans 8!

If marriage will cause me to look more like Christ, then that is what I desire.  If a life of singleness will cause me to look more like Christ, then that is what I desire.  I am praying for all of the single Christians who desire more than the typical dating relationship.  I pray that God will be glorified in our wait! Chase Christ until your last breath. And if He brings someone to run with us in the covenant of marriage, keep your eyes on Him!

Grace & peace,

Eboni Armstrong

eboni.armstrong@yahoo.com

This entry was posted on July 2, 2018. 1 Comment

Running on E

Image result for running on empty

 

Good morning everyone,

I have been working on this post since the end of April. I have started, deleted things, started again & even experienced some bumps & bruises along the way (that I believe my sovereign Savior wanted to be included in this post). Before I begin, I want to thank everyone who has contacted me by email, commented on old posts & who has just been running this race in general. Keep running!

On April 6, 2018, I went to lunch with one of my coworkers.  When we returned to work, I noticed that I was feeling a little overheated.  I have severe asthma. Between heat, too much laughing & dust in the air, my asthma always finds a way to make an appearance.  But, on this particular day, it was worse than usual. When I look back on that day, I remember telling the Lord that morning, “Lord, I am weak. I literally feel my body shutting down.”  I was in training for my new position as a Check Fraud Claims Specialist with the bank, overwhelmed with all of the new material that I was learning, not getting much sleep & just felt like my body would shutdown at any minute.  I took off the sweater that I was wearing, sat down in my chair, began gasping for air uncontrollably & knocked my head on my desk before falling to the floor.  When I woke up, three minutes later (according to my coworkers), I was in the front of the building with people standing all around me. Someone carried me from my desk to the entry way of the bank.  One of my coworkers, who was familiar with my asthma attacks, grabbed my inhaler from my purse. It was not working. She grabbed the second inhaler. That was not working either. Before she could grab the third one (which contains different medicine than the first two), I began placing my hand over my chest.  People were screaming that the ambulance was on the way. My manager grabbed my phone & asked, “Who do I call? Is your family here?” God called me to Dallas, TX last year without knowing ANYONE here. I packed my things, left all of my loved ones & by faith, moved 15 hours away from home. There was no one to call. As I was grasping for air, they put a pen in my hand to write down an emergency contact. I wrote down my mother’s information. Someone called her on FaceTime, put the camera on me & she literally said, “I am hopping on the next flight out.” She was literally in the middle of work.

For the sake of time, I spent an entire week in the hospital.  I could not breathe. I had no desire to eat. There was an infection in my intestines & kidneys.  I was coughing up blood from the ulcers in my stomach. I went from 134 pounds to 117 in just a few days. I could not walk without help. I even needed assistance in the bathroom.  During that week, I received 5 breathing treatments each day.  Nurses came to draw my blood every other hour.  No matter how much pain medicine that I was given, the pain just increased. How many of you all know that sometimes, we just need the Lord to slow us down?  There was one particular night that I called for my nurse. Between the heavy pain medication that I was on, struggling to breathe & not being able to walk on my own, I was not allowed to leave my bed without assistance.  An alarm literally went off every time I tried to leave my bed. Well, within ten minutes of my nurse not showing up, I attempted to go to the restroom on my own. I positioned myself on the side of the bed to walk, grabbed whatever I could to keep myself steady & tried to make my way towards the restroom.  The alarm was so loud! I fell to the floor, heard my nurse shuffling to get to me & just cried. How did I go from being able to do everything on my own to needing assistance with even breathing? The Lord was reminding me that I needed Him for everything…even my next breath.  My nurses were so wonderful. I cry every time that I think about the way that they each served me. These women worked as though this was their calling (not just a career).  During this time, it was so hard for me to look in the mirror.  I knew that I had no desire to eat & I also knew that I was dropping weight like crazy.  One of the doctors on the morning shift said to me, “Eboni, I do not want to have to feed you through a tube. You have to eat or we cannot let you go.”  The smallest of meals made me throw up.  The only thing that I wanted was water.  I begged to go home for days.  With each doctor and nurse that came in, the report was always the same. “We are going to need to keep you for another night. Your white cell count level still does not look good.”  My body was trying to fight off several infections all at once.  One morning, a doctor woke me up & said, “Eboni, we’re going to need to do a surgical procedure on you. Do you know what an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is?” Was someone playing a joke on me? Surgery? I did not know what it was. But, I had no desire to find out. I needed my throat to be stretched.  This particular procedure was going to help me breathe better & keep my food down.

Even after my week in the hospital, I still needed time to heal.  All I wanted to drink was Ensure.  I had no desire to eat anything.  But, every glance in the mirror was just a reminder that I needed to eat something.  My mother was by my side every step of the way! My dad even flew in from South Carolina. I have never been in the same room with both of my parents for more than ten minutes.  I even woke up to my dad holding me in his arms, while he shared the Gospel with my mother.  In that moment, I remember telling the Lord that even if I got sick so that this very thing could happen (my mom hearing the Gospel from someone who had caused her so much pain), I could not be more grateful! I was out of work for a month.  But, the nurses were more than happy to come by to assist me.  I had coworkers literally come to visit me before work, after work & on their lunch breaks. Neighbors volunteered to walk my dog & go grocery shopping for me.  Strangers were even trying to assist me with walking if I was out in public.

I had absolutely nothing to give.  But, the Lord strategically placed people around me to serve me.  I cannot begin to explain how humbling that entire month of healing was. I felt like a burden.  But, the Lord allowed people to love on me.  I remember trying to convince everyone that I was okay.  On most days, I was coughing up so much blood that I could not even leave the house.  But, with each visitor & phone call, I fought to do one thing: Share the Gospel. I was living 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, which says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I did not FEEL good. On most days, I FELT defeated.  But, by God’s grace, I prayed from my bed even when I could not walk.  I did not blame God for allowing me to be sick.  I actually thanked Him for slowing me down.  I also remember telling my family, “If things get worse, He is STILL good. This pain & discomfort will not stop His goodness. Our earthly circumstances never change His character.”  

I was on medical leave for a month. It was not a paid leave due to the fact that on the day that I reported my asthma attack, I was just eleven days away from being with the company for exactly one year. But, prior to being sick, I paid 3 months worth of rent in advance.  The Lord provided before I was sick & He provided after.  Three days before I got sick, I wrote in my journal: “Jesus, I believe that you are calling me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Help me to stand firm, Lord.”  If you are reading this & you are in an uncomfortable place in your walk with Jesus, I pray that you stand firm.  I also pray that God gets the glory in your discomfort.  Do not stray away from the faith due to being uncomfortable.  Cling to Christ at any cost! He will sustain you…

Grace & peace,

Eboni Armstrong

eboni.armstrong@yahoo.com

This entry was posted on July 2, 2018. 1 Comment

UPDATE

Image result for update coming soon

I have not written in quite sometime! But, I have a lot to share this week! Thank you to everyone that has read my posts, commented and even for those who have contacted me by email.  Always praying for you all!

Eboni Armstrong

eboni.armstrong@yahoo.com