What happened TO ME in Vegas....

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 by Anthony in
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If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know that I decided to go to Vegas for my birthday this year. However, what was supposed to be a weekend excursion turned into a TEN DAY extravaganza. It didn't take me but a few days in that atmosphere to realize that I wasn't ready to leave and that I needed more time to explore SIN CITY! And OH BOY did it live up to its name. I'll share as much as I can to set up my point for this blog entry. But, some stuff I simply can't/won't share because... well, you know the saying... what happens in Vegas, STAYS in Vegas...

I prayed earnestly before I went and asked God to give me extra strength to resist temptation to do anything that would adversely affect my life while in the city where Satan might be the mayor. (lol) I know that prayer may sound stupid to many people reading this but now that I'm a parent, EVERYTHING I do and ANYTHING that happens to me can adversely affect an innocent child who I love with all my heart. Well, I'm not sure if God heard my prayer because I wasn't off the plane good before the debauchery ensued! lol

It would take me way too long to tell you about the celebrities I ran into, all the alcohol I consumed, the beautiful women I met, the ratchet ones too, the five CRAZY pool parties I attended, the nine IGNANT nightclubs I visited, the dehydration, the nose bleeds, the vomiting, the diarrhea, the strip clubs, the champagne room, waking up and finding random people in my hotel room, the invitation to a threesome/orgy, the drug propositions, etc.... The list goes on and on and those are just the things that I'm NOT ashamed to discuss!

Listen! I was in SIN CITY, and "when in Rome..." Anyway, I had LOTS of fun but I did feel bad that I broke some (maybe all) of the promises I made to God before I went. Nevertheless, I hopped on a plane back to Charlotte and hoped that He still loved me as much as I felt He did before I went to Vegas.

Immediately, the flight was BAD! This, by far, was the WORST flight I have EVER been on. I already don't like to fly, so the constant turbulence was sending my mind and body into all kinds of dark places. Of course, in true gangsta' fashion I tried not to display outwardly how I was feeling. To the contrary, the lady beside me was visibly FREAKING OUT! I asked her if she was ok and she simply responded by typing on her phone "panic attack"...

I asked her if she'd like me to pray for her and she said yes. As I started to pray for her peace my "prophetic gift" started to "act up" and I started to declare rather than make requests. I told her what I felt like God was placing in my heart to say. Not very long into the message I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and I abruptly stopped talking. I gathered myself and tried again but a huge lump formed in my throat and I knew the UGLIEST cry possible was trying to embarrass me on that plane. By this time, I could see the lady crying too from the few words I was able to share thus far. I closed my eyes and mouth as my face began to curl up while my throat burned from me trying not to make another sound. Finally, I decided to just let go, finish the message to her, and just lean into the ugly cry!

We cried until our drink napkins were soaked and tearing apart. Eventually, she asked me why I was crying. It was obvious that she was crying because the words hit home and were comforting to her but she wasn't sure why I had such a violent reaction to words that were coming out of my own mouth. All I could say at the time through my tears was, "tears of joy." But now I can go into a little more detail...

You see, the message I was delivering to her was centered around God's BOUNDLESS love for her. I was sharing with her that no matter what she's done in her past, NOTHING can stop the love that God has for her.  Furthermore, God IS Love. I also shared with her Romans 5:20 that says "...where sin abounds, grace abounds much more." In other words, if you add up everything you've ever done wrong and multiply it by 100, it still wouldn't outweigh the grace and favor that God has made available to you.

That simple message hit me hard in the chest because I realized God was using my trip to Vegas to answer a prayer that I placed before Him weeks ago. I've been trying so hard to forgive a person that wounded me DEEPLY. It changed me. It wasn't a one time act but after I finally trusted them (which is hard for me to do) they took a proverbial knife and stabbed me repeatedly. My response was to simply STOP loving them. I didn't need revenge, I no longer needed an apology, I just wanted to be done forever as if they never existed.

It was on that plane, during that turbulence, while sharing that message that I finally realized God's grace for me to forgive and heal. Despite my trip and extended stay in SIN CITY, (I'm not talking about Vegas this time), God never just stopped loving me. He had NEVER treated me like I treated this person. I've lived in SIN CITY for 34 years now and I've betrayed my relationship with my creator too many times to calculate. Nevertheless, His grace was more abundant than my sins. That means He knew, before He decided to love me, EXACTLY how much wrong I'd do. He pre-calculated it so He could make sure that He had more grace than I had sin. He NEVER wanted His love or forgiveness to run out on me.

I wanted to tell the lady exactly why I was crying but at the time I didn't have the words. If she reads this, I was crying because in that moment I felt healed. I felt the love of God towards the person that hurt me. I saw them as He saw them and I knew that He had forgiven them.  I couldn't hold on to my anger towards them knowing that God wasn't angry with them. After all, they've betrayed Him more than they've betrayed me in their lifetime. Yet, His grace is greater than the sum of their transgressions. I began to see me and my "betrayer" as the same person as God spoke through me to the woman on the plane. I FINALLY understood that I am no better than those who transgress against me. God's call on my life was reignited in that very moment.

God has allowed MUCH pain and betrayal to touch my life in order to demonstrate the depth of His love. I now know something way more painful than betrayal and its called forgiveness! It has been so much easier to nurse my anger than to truly love and forgive. I have a better understanding now of how much He loves us, evidenced by how much pain He went through to secure our forgiveness on the cross. It would have been so much easier to just let the world continue to offer up animals but He decided to DIE BRUTALLY to reconcile mankind to the creator.

Today, I ANTicipate that soon new platforms will open up for me to share His love with more people as I am now COMPELLED by the pain of forgiveness! Father, touch those who will read this entry and cause them to know greater pain than they know from those who hurt them. Acquaint them with the pain of forgiveness and the reward that it later brings. Your name is exalted!

5 comments:

  1. AMEN!!!! Good read! Keep up the good work!

  1. Nick Highe says:

    Very inspiring work Anthony...Thank you for providing me with thoughts of forgiveness today!!

  1. ameeka says:

    Good writing I enjoyed it!