Miami was a very awakening experience, every bit of a confirmation of the way God works in my life.
Before leaving for Miami, I had been away from my previous jail cell/job for almost a month. I felt hopeful, I felt scared, and I felt a mix of other emotions because I was trying to discover what I wanted to do/what I liked to do. For six years, my life was work and home with an occasional happy hour. With all this free time on my hands, I was able to explore different areas of interest and see exactly what makes me happy.
I always enjoy visiting the beach in Miami, but I've been so many times that it's not impressive anymore; however, this trip was like God reinventing the wheel. Because I was going for a conference, I had no intentions of staying in South Beach, overlooking the beach, or even hitting the strip, but somehow my steps were ordered there. Upon arrival, I had breakfast and mimosas on the strip, jumped some waves in South Beach, and then headed over to a team pool party on Millionaire's Row. It's an honor to be in the presence of so many positive people looking to better their lives. Not only that but we celebrate each other and motivate each other to keep striving. Two snaps to all of us out here getting it!
Outside of attending the incredible conference that fuels my fire, conference trips are amazing for setting goals and speaking life into existence with your friends. One day during lunch, I was talking to my friends about our interests and goals. There was a consensus of wanting to write/edit in some capacity. I told them that I wanted to start a blog called Where in the World is Jess P. It had been placed on my heart earlier in the year but I kept resisting the urge. All of them encouraged me to do it (I still sat on it for another month and a half after that LOL).
Typically, the last day of the conference we celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy each other's company. We did just that! We shut down Rockwell Miami...and my heels shut down the walking power of my feet LOL. Let me remind you that the clubs in Miami don't close until the wee hours of the morning.....like 5-6am. Yet, me being the person that I am, wanted to catch the sunrise before I went home. So after the club, and being up for 24 hours, I made my way to the sand to sit out on my towel and thank God for life. I caught the sunrise but this one was different. I was filled with the spirit and my eyes swelled with tears. Before the tears could fall, rain drops began to fall on me instead. Someone once said that rain drops are God pouring out his blessings. Instead of running from the rain, I hit a two step to let God know that I was thankful for the blessings! As it rained harder, I decided to take shelter at the top of a lifeguard tower. There were two couples up there and a homeless man with his dog. He looked to be annoyed that we were invading his space but I started talking to him anyway. As his face lit up, I noticed that the couples were looking at me wondering why I would engage in conversation with this man. Mind your business! He's not a monster, he's a human being. Am I not supposed to talk to him because he doesn't have a designated place to call home?
When the rain stopped, I made my way back to my spot in the sand when I was greeted by a gentleman wondering why I was staring into the ocean. Before I responded, he had already taken a seat in the sand beside me. We had a 1-2 hour conversation about purpose and goals. He revealed that he may or may not be into the illegal distribution of a substance for extra cash. Of course Jess-anlya Vanzant kicked in and encouraged him to go after his dreams and not throw his life away. I kid you not, an older couple walked over to us and the older gentleman told us that he was repeatedly arrested for the drugs and he threw his life away until he made a choice to want more for himself. My dear beach friend was SHOOK! And then came the rain.
This time when I took shelter, I tripped up the steps of the tower, scraped my knee, and took about 30 seconds to actually hit the floor of the tower. In my mind "Up Against the Wind" (the song from Set It Off when Cleo died) started playing. I wanted to lay there but there was a couple behind me waiting to escape the rain. By the time I gathered my composure and walked to the other side of the tower, there was a rainbow waiting for me. Thanks God for letting me know that there's beauty in getting back up again. Later that day, I was eating my lunch when another homeless man came over and asked for an onion ring. I gave him the entire basket of onion rings and he sacrificed his walking cane as a thank you. Wow! That's noble sir but I don't need anything in return, not even a thank you. It's my pleasure.
I could not believe that all of this occurred within a span of 4 hours. Taking a moment to reminisce on everything, I realized that God is working on me and in me. To think, I wasn't pressed to go to South Beach. Little did I know, it was intentional for me to see who God is designing me to be. Become what God's designed YOU to be, my friends!