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When I was a young girl, I wanted to become a teacher. When I was a teenager, I just wanted to graduate high school and attend college. Underneath those two wishes, there was a deeper need to feel safe and to stop hurting. The sexual abuse of my pastor, the emotional abuse of my babysitter and bullies all had me wanting desperately to end life as I knew it. I had no refuge; I had no voice. I needed to find a way out.

When I was 16, I met Desiree Coleman, the teen star of a Broadway showed called “Mama, I Want to Sing!” She told me that she was 18 and to just go for what I wanted. Two weeks later, I stood up in church, sang a song and testified to everyone listening that I now was ready to find out what God had in store for me. As I went through college, I joined several clubs just to belong to something. After I was discovered as a vocalist, I went on to record music just for the fun of it. I then found out that I loved to dance, and then danced for the joy of it.

When I graduated college, I had become a popular poet on campus due to my submissions in the Black Student Union’s paper. I began to write just for the releasing of pain. I continued to sing and write through my 20s, and then found God again through the Unity Fellowship Church of Christ movement. I attended the services for the safety and freedom. I kept pushing forward because I now felt I had a few things to live for. I began to live just for the sake of believing that I was worth it.

My 30s brought many wonderful experiences through my God-given talents and anointing. Motherhood was a blessing that allowed me to pour love into another soul. I was elated that God was choosing me to do such amazing things. I’d also become a teacher by now, beginning with the school that inspired me as a seventh grader. By the time I reached my 40s, I was convinced that there was nothing I couldn’t do, and that everything else from here was mine to claim. I began to do things just because I “felt” like doing them.

I felt like being a novelist, so I wrote a book. I felt like being in a band, so I started one. I felt like swinging my hair in the breeze, so I grew locs. I felt like performing, so I took my voice, my poetry and band all over. I felt like helping people reach God, so I became a worship leader. I felt like giving back to kids, so I became my school’s chorus teacher and cheerleading coach. I felt like writing for a newspaper, so I became a columnist for Praise 100.9 and qnotes. I felt like answering God’s call within me to minister to people at another level, so I became involved in outreach, began an outreach choir, and then, in October 2015, became an outreach pastor.

I didn’t do any of this fully equipped; I did it all on faith, and trusted God to handle the rest. I simply “went for it.” All I had to do was to realize that everything I desired had been prepared, and everything that had tried to stop me had failed. I put less thought into my actions, and more determination in my feet. I don’t regret any of it. The journey has given me “life” and favor unlimited. The most wonderful thing about all of this is that I’m just getting started! There is so much more within me that God needs to help the world.

There is nothing that you desire that you can’t have. God is waiting on you to digest that belief and to make a decision on when, not if, you want it for yourself. The key to abundant life is to use who you are and where you’ve been to look at life, see what you want, and “Go For It!”

Isai Efuru

Isai Efuru is a native of Newark, N.J., and hails from a legacy of singers, ministers and musicians. She published and performed poetry while a student at Rutgers University, and continued to write poetry...