My Story - A Faith Odyssey
I have received a manifestation from God in August 2001, and there were certain aspects of this manifestation that pulled my attention in a way that was most particular...
First I should to tell you a little bit how my life’s events lined up before the great manifestation occurred. Growing up in a very small town called Lefaivre (Ontario), I had enjoyed life as it was. My mother was very musical and artistic and I quickly developed those same interests. After high school I left friends and family behind and moved to Ottawa (Ontario) to study at La Cité Collégiale. I missed my home, but enjoyed school and made some great new friends at college. One day several of us students began spontaneously singing "Yesterday" in a college stairwell. We sang in a dozen different harmonies and the effect was magnified by the amazing acoustics in that stairwell. Impacted by the experience and surprised by our mutual abilities, we'd gatherto sing Beatles songs every chance we could after that. This was a marking time in my life, and those bonds lasted for three years. Sadly, after college, those "stairwell singing" friends went away. I should add that at 14 years old, my parents had separated and somehow friendships probably meant a great deal to me especially because in difficult times, I confined in friends as my better outlet.
So again having to become independent, I had found a job in graphic design (my field of study) in the city and worked there for two years. Of course I made new friends, this time with even stronger bonds, but I was afraid of losing them, too.
We were all very musical, so we'd gather faithfully, twice a week in a pub for open-mic sessions. We had many creative moments together, almost heavenly! We had started a poetry club and in our many searching discussions, questioning our spirituality became a common topic.
Then, just as I had feared, this wave of friends began to move away one by one. I truly started to feel desolate in a strange city and the thought of making any more significant bonds had a bitter taste. I had also been disappointed in my search for true love. All these heartbreaks built up inside of me until it was more than I could bear.
All the while, web design was the new and in demand advertising media which nowadays has become a very user-friendly platform, but at it's beginnings, had to be done with some reasonable knowledge of behind digital coding, yet looked a lot like Chinese to me even at basic. Well, I had no interest or skills from college whatsoever in that area of expertise and what my boss was then requiring of me, I simply couldn't deliver. I was about to crash, and so I did.
I had taken refuge in the familiar music of The Beatles, who were special to me not just because of the stairwell days and friends, but because my dad had introduced them to me when I was very young, as we listened much to oldies radio together. So for some comfort, I simply isolated my attention on their music as a study and to cope in some way. Of course in The Beatles’ music, "Love" was a very reoccurring theme and... this thing called "love" had lost its meaning in every aspect of my reality. So with no live human to turn to, I began to question the big boss, the maker of all life, not only because I had taken him for granted; let's just say I grew up knowing about God but didn't personally know him or searched him out. I much less thought he could care about me. At the time, however, I just felt overwhelmed by loss, filled with despair, fear and being unable to face the horizon in hope of anything, I was so ready to give up. There was such a huge void inside of me; I couldn't speak to anyone for a two months or so as though God himself had silenced me so that He would have to be the only one I could turn to. Indeed, now I can say that I'm glad I had lost everything so that my attention could turn to Him - God does work in mysterious ways!
Staying at my mother's place in Hawkesbury, not far from where I grew up for six months, I had found retreat on the porch of a rectory beside a church. In the evenings or early in the morning I'd go there with John Lennon on my walkman, and I became compelled to consider the other world, the life beyond this one.
One morning, very early before sunrise in August 2001, the town was quiet as could be and nothing and no one was in sight. At the rectory porch, I had the rope around my neck and was ready to go! Not only did I pray to God that God exists, because life had become meaningless without him, but asking God, that if He exists, to interfere with this plan. I simply needed a reason for living. Well... to my surprise, the metal bar that was supposed to hold the rope I was suspended on, bent and couldn’t hold me. Yes! He had indeed interfered! Amen.
Here I was hearing music coming out of nowhere, looking everywhere trying to see where it came from, as there were no radio transmitters or speakers anywhere for at least a mile radius and sounded as though it was right beside me (like coming out of a cell phone speaker, but those were rare commodities even in those days). Finally, I looked up in the sky, and yes, it was suddenly confirmed – only God! What I heard was about five bars of the music...
“Also Sprach Zarathustra”
which I mostly recognized as the prelude music of the movie; 2001 Space Odyssey. I knew very little about the movie and questions arose, but answers could come later. I was just so amazed that God had revealed himself to me in such a way!
Church in Hawkesbury, Ontario, 2001
I then got on my knees, with an overwhelming sense of relief and simply cried out “Ok God, you got me here, now what do you need me for?” That’s when things got supernatural! Music came to me, from the sky!!!
Trying to make sense of my new found faith and filled with the hope for a life’s purpose, I had gained enough strength to live again and moved back to the city. I will also mention that, in my loss of trust in people while exploring the Beatles, one thing that John had said at the beginning of the group’s defined path of life, had stayed with me. After seeing Elvis at a movie theatre, noticing the attention the entertainer was getting and maybe wanting to use his own musical skills as a main platform for expressions and later, his greatest asset to transmit his deepest thoughts abroad, John had said; “That’s a good job”. Well, for a conclusive point, Elvis was essentially the one who had inspired my 4 heroes, and so Elvis was sensibly the next best musical artist to explore in the equation. That’s also when the silent period of my life occurred, so for this exploration, I did not initiate on my own.
Alright now, back in the city, about a month after the music in the sky, I got invited to a show called “The Elvis Story”. All at once I was struck to my seat, my jaw to the floor and my heart pounding hard inside of me! Here was this Elvis impersonator with his glittering jumpsuit coming on stage for the second part of the show, which was to project Elvis’ 70s era, and so, came the opening the scene with this same music, full blast for me to hear! Not only was this unknown to me that Elvis Presley used this music for the opening of his shows in 70s, but how was it that this man had something to do with me or that he was undoubtedly brought to my attention? Needless to say after this striking event, Elvis was everywhere; meeting another Elvis impersonator not long after, who has made a show just two street down from where I lived, and was also the president of a three days Elvis festival that was to occur in Ottawa a week later from that show, and gave me a VIP pass for the whole festival, and so on... I had found a job as a barmaid and the word was told that I liked Elvis and so my clients would bring me all their Elvis stuff; frames, guitar, pictures, records... sometimes even called me Elvis. But I will say again that as lovable musically and in his character as he was, I undertook this exploration as a study mainly.
I had walked by faith, and have come to understand that my own experience was just as important as getting specific answers to my questions. And so pursuing those questions, they led me to the hometown of the King of Rock and Roll in 2005 (to 2014 – 9 years). When you ask me, "So, what is it with you and Elvis?" I will say this: I fell in love with the man. I know this may seem silly but it was more real to me than any kind of love I had experienced in my life’s journey (not to exclude or compare to unconditional family love).
So I went to Memphis Tennessee - USA, which is located into what is known as the Bible belt in the south; by a strange series of events even then, because my plane ticket that was set for Myrtle Beach SC and God was already preparing my heart on the plane while reading a Christian book which confirmed that I was not going to return to Canada for quite some time. And how I got to Memphis is another story all together. But when I arrived, God had led me to a much defined purpose. I had learned that I could be used as a faithful servant of God in a ministry, and grew to become the Assistant Director at the Living For Christ Restoration House; and emergency homeless shelter under the whole LFC ministry founded by Bishop Robert Burnett, Jr. There, our Heavenly Father had also secured me with room to be creative in many ways, to give Him the glory and be thought the Gospel of Christ also by another great pastor there; Pastor Irma McClain. Through singing in church while growing as an artist / graphic designer, which are the main talents God has poured on me, I knew He was more than watching over me, He was shedding mighty light in my life and answering every questions I had concerning the source of life’s real Truth!
I made so many memorable friends there, the kind of friends that will last for all eternity, for they too believe in the Christian God; Jenny, Denise, Roger, Robin, Miss Joyce, Cookie, Earl, Aiulu, Keiko, A-J, Brad, Horace, Miss Talley, Mr. Cooper, Miss Lois, Diane, Caren, Suzan, Kathy, Fed Ex, John the Baptist, Miss Bertha, Rose, many more... and I am forever indebted to dear Bishop Burnett & the whole LFC Baptist church family for the support and love I have received from them, and dear Tracy & her family who had taken on a shared custody for the upbringing of my precious son Elijah who is finally going to live with me in Canada soon. This is what an infallible God can do in one’s life to mend so many deceptive heartbreaks experienced in the past! Many times it was exclaimed that if a book was to be written about all the stories that occurred at the shelter, it would become an instant hit and one of the craziest books out there... lol! – But I must rather take the more reasonable venue and discuss what God has placed on my lap. Although I shall take this opportunity to send much love from above to all who have contributed in my path to help me grow and to achieve the joy and peace only a shared God could spread, and for those long lasting friends, I am forever grateful - Thank you greatly!