St. Pius X Catholic Church - Weslaco, TX
So this past weekend, we were blessed with the opportunity to speak and perform for youth in grades 6-12 alongside our brothers in Christ, The Uncut Diamondz (TUD). We had a great time and enjoyed the time spent talking with both the youth in attendance and the team members. It was a Back to School rally put together by their new DRE, Brother JD and his team. It was meant to inspire the youth, to prepare and arm themselves spiritually as they continue their journey in both their education and their faith.
The team put together some great skits and fun ice-breaker activities that even I got to participate in (although I didn't do too well during my turn). They were even presented with a beautiful and inspiring video. TUD had performed earlier to get the youth spirit fired up and they did a very good job. After the video presentation, Ener-J of TUD took some time to give a deep and inspirational testimony about prayer, friendship, and loneliness. But throughout all of this, something very deep was occurring, and it was happening to ME.
So before I get to that moment, let me give you a little back story (the subject is still a bit sensitive so I'll try my best to explain without being too specific).
Just recently, a few things had been happening in my life that have been really challenging my loyalty to the Church. I'd hear and see things going on all around me regarding the Church and started thinking even to myself, if this was where I truly needed to be or not. We recently acquired a new priest at our parish and he started celebrating Holy Hour every week starting the beginning of this month and I've had the blessing of being able to attend - a little side note here, at my old job, I really enjoyed spending my lunch hour in Adoration at the nearby chapel. Adoration, spending time in front of the Real Presence, means a WHOLE LOT to me as I've had many prayers answered. So to now be able to spend each week in Adoration at Holy Hour was truly a blessing - and even more so that I'm able to attend with my family.
So after all these occurrences, I offered them all up to our Lord. But one day the wrong button finally got pushed and my emotions got heavy. I really couldn't figure out who to turn to so I could "vent" or get some advice, I mean I have so many supportive friends and family but this was something I couldn't just talk to anyone about because I felt it would be very discouraging and I didn't want that kind of message to be absorbed. I was able to have a small conversation with someone enough to cool me down and help ease my spirit a bit but it still wasn't quite enough (at least I thought). So I had a weekend to kind of reset my mind, which it kind of did.
On the following Monday, I got this text from Ener-J of TUD asking if we'd be able to make the trip south of Texas to perform and speak to the youth at a local parish. I was overwhelmed with excitement and everything that had happened got put on the back burner at the moment. So I contacted the rest of the Seedz Of Faith (SOF) crew and everyone was down for the trip except for one of our members who had a prior commitment. The question of how we were going to get there and pay for the trip arose, but I put all trust in God that if it was according to His will, this would all happen without any problems. So obviously, we were able to make the trip down to Weslaco, TX and join TUD.
My SOF brothers were able to keep my mind off things although they had no clue. And as we rehearsed our set during the drive over, we played a track from our Endless Glory album, the track is called Oceans Medley. When that tracked played and I began reciting my lyrics, the words started to sink in and hit me.
Go to our homepage and preview the song, listen to the words, the beginning is what I felt and what I was praying. As you hear the rest of the song, that is how I felt that day of the event this past weekend.
So NOW we are back at the part of the story where I mentioned I'd come back. You read what happened at the rally and what we all experienced but now let me tell you what I MYSELF had experienced and it was enough to help me give WAY MORE than 100 that day. We had performed our set after lunch, after seeing skits, hearing talks from Brother JD and from Ener-J, and we spoke to the kids in-between our set but I didn't get to share what I had just experienced and left it up to God if it was His will, for me to get that opportunity. So near the end of the event, Ener-J tells me we can each do three more songs, so they went first and then the youth did a skit followed by our last set. That was the moment I spoke about my recent experience and now I'm about to share it with you.
GOD WAS ALL OVER THIS FROM THE BEGINNING.
There were talks about how to pray, about friendships, about Jesus not leaving us on our own, of him carrying us when we could no longer walk. ALL of these various topics were speaking to me.
I mentioned Adoration earlier, how much it helps me and how every time I've spoken to our Lord during those moments, he has answered my prayers according to His will and not mine. Well, my prayers were once again answered! He heard my call. The moment that button was pushed and I was feeling anger, I had asked for prayers and wow did those prayer warriors respond, so believe it when people say PRAYER IS POWERFUL because it most definitely is.
I received a late text and was able to have a conversation with someone, and although I felt I needed more conversation, God sent me that angel to water down the flames just enough to get me through the evening and weekend because He had something much more powerful in store for me to take on this test and pass it with flying colors. God knew Satan had smelled my weakness getting stronger and He heard my plea, and gave me what I needed, not what I wanted, to overcome this obstacle. God then said, "Mike, you need a spiritual vacation," and that's when the opportunity came to travel south for the rally. I needed to get my mind and spirit re-calibrated and God had it all reserved, reserved enough that all arrangements went smooth and we got to our destination without any problem or delay.
Yes, God knew what I needed, more prayer, more reassurance that His Son was always by my side, more reliability on the people who bring me closer to Him daily....and then you know what else? To make us as a channel of His love and peace by sending us down to this rally because somewhere within that group, there was someone who needed us there to send the same message to them.
We always pray before we start our set and we had the opportunity to pray with Brother JD and his team before it all started and one thing I always ask is that the Lord pour down the Holy Spirit amongst us to inspire others as He inspires us.
I felt the Holy Spirit within that building, and guess what also? The building was formerly a church and it was converted into a hall!! We were about to end our set when the Holy Spirit inspired ReneC to convince us to perform a very deep and emotional song that we normally reserve for different occasions. Then we asked everyone what they wanted to hear and the Holy Spirit filled their tongues with the same song request. So we performed it and although it stirred up some emotions, as it tends to do, it went well.
We met some very awesome and spirit-filled young brothers and sisters in Christ that day, I thank God for their inspiration and ultimately for His grace and mercy. Here I was on the verge of doing the unthinkable and God still gave me His mercy and forgiveness. Christ was carrying me the whole time I felt alone.
And I know God reached out to those who needed that same reassurance, I won't call them out, out of respect for their privacy but I'm most certainly sure they know who they are and I pray they realize GOD WAS ALL OVER THIS FROM BEGINNING!!
When they say GOD IS GOOD, he most definitely is ALL THE TIME!
Oh and one last thing, check this out, before we headed out, DJ Storm Serg texted us saying he had this feeling that something very good was going to happen at this event. And then I had a dream the night before that gave me that sense as well......maybe instead of GOD IS GOOD, it should be GOD IS AMAZING!!!
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Seedz of Faith is positive rap artist Michael "Cruzito" Cruz. The music is described as mellow and harmonious. Not really in it to become a mainstream artist, just in it to spread the Word through music.
Click here to see some of my older reflections on when I was just beginning my walk with God.