It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how I upset I was with God about my dad dying. I recently went through my Instagram page and scrolled through the years. I could see how hard I was trying to be happy, to live happy. I was being blessed in different areas of my life, but this loss was a thorn in my side and no matter how many times I went to God about it, it remained there. For me the thorn was the loss of my father but for you it could be a bad break-up, losing your job, or a physical ailment. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to recover. You feel stuck in a prison of pain and God doesn’t seem to care. Little did I know, earthquakes come after a midnight praise.

Acts 16:40-60 tells the story of Paul and Silas and how having done nothing wrong they were beaten and thrown into prison. It does not say how long they were in prison but when midnight came they prayed and praised God. In the midst of their praise, there was an earthquake and the shackles that had them bound were broken and the door of the prison was opened. Despite how long you have been suffering and how beaten down you may feel, when your midnight comes and your prayer and praises have went forth, there will be an earthquake and you will be free.

My midnight came actually right after my church’s watch night service, going into 2017 when my goddaughter’s mom asked me if I had any godchildren. At that point I did not and I had no idea God would use my goddaughter as my earthquake. Despite how I felt prior to that moment, I trusted God. I didn’t know when He was going to bring me out or how but I believed He would. And through my prayers and praise, He did.

I had shed so many tears out of anger and sadness and frustration over my father’s loss, but when my earthquake came I found myself crying out of gratitude and happiness. Her staring at me, her laughing, her smiling, her rubbing my face, her talking, her eating solid foods, her spitting solid foods into my hand, her learning how to walk, just her. When you have been as sad as I have been, you cherish these moments no matter how insignificant they seem. My goddaughter has shown me that if I’m capable of experiencing such a profound level of hurt, I am also capable of experiencing that same level of joy. I am forever grateful to her parents.

Those who know me well will tell you I’m a gangsta (yes with an a, don’t debate me), so I’m not very expressive, but that changed last year. I’m still not walking around telling everyone I love them and hugging people (a post for another day), but I smile bigger and laugh louder and tell people how grateful I am for their presence in my life. I don’t think there was anything I could do to get to this place any faster. You can’t speed up time but you can take God at His Word. He said my mourning would turn into dancing (Psalms 30:11). He said joy came in the morning (Psalms 30:5). He said His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). And He is a God that cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).

Safiya and I

My goddaughter was my earthquake. Maybe your earthquake will be a new relationship, a friendship, a weekday service, a scripture, a child, or simply a whisper from God. Midnight is coming, go ahead and praise Him, because I assure you an earthquake will follow.

“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:26