I know... I know.... you're probably clutching your pearls right now. But that's not what I'm talking about.
Have you ever been bullied into doing something you didn't want to do?
No... I'm not referring to an actual bully. I mean by God.
Ok, so here goes.
I am the Founder and Executive Director of I Am U. We are a nonprofit that serves cisgender women living with HIV (check us out at www.iamuinc.org). Since 2017, we've hosted an event called Beyond My Diagnosis.
But, let me go back and tell you how God plays too much.
In 2017, I simply wanted to have an event to celebrate the date of my HIV diagnosis (November 18, 2008). I just wanted to think happy thoughts on my Rebirth Day (what I've titled my sero-versary). I wanted to include performances, storytellers, and food that I love. So that's what I did. I had a hugely successful gathering 2017 and 2018. Then in 2019, people began asking me some scary questions.
"What's the purpose of Beyond My Diagnosis?"
"What's the budget?"
"How many people have you reached through this event?
You mean, I'm really supposed to be tracking this stuff? I just wanted to have an event. I only attached I Am U's name to Beyond My Diagnosis because it felt like that's what I was supposed to do. At the time, Lynette and I Am U were two completely separate things in my mind.
I promise y'all...God bullies me into stuff I'm not ready for (apparently, He thinks I'm ready.?)
So, here we are in 2023. November 18, 2023 will be year 6 of Beyond My Diagnosis. I'm talking to funders, and sponsors, and donors, and vendors, and... guess what? I have a team of volunteers! Like, a real team and we're having real meetings in preparation for Beyond My Diagnosis!
We have 6 key objectives:
Raise HIV Awareness
Empower Faith Communities
We have an event budget, honorariums, and people will actually be traveling via plane, train, and automobile to attend this year's festivities!
So, like I said... it's all waaaaay bigger than I envisioned back in 2017. God has this crazy thing called vision. He tends to see us a whole lot bigger than we see ourselves. Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that God knows the plans He has for my life. He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give me a future and a hope.
In those moments where I feel small and I'm over here kicking hard trying to keep my head above the waters of my "little business", I have to remember how God sees me. He sees me BIG! He put me in a position to run a BIG BUSINESS with a BIG PURPOSE to touch lives in a BIG WAY and in turn, have a BIG BANK ACCOUNT! And don't laugh! That last part is true too! God said He would prosper me, right? Last time I asked Google, it said that means financial security!
Don't doubt God and His abilities! He has your back! It's not too big! It's just the right fit! ?