“I Made A Vow To The Lord.”

It wasn’t until I really sat and thought about it, that I realized that I’ve been watching a miracle unfold my entire life. I’ve heard about things that this woman went through long before I was born, that would completely have torn most people apart. I’ve watched for the last 12 years as God’s grace and consistency carried this woman from day to day, overcoming physical, mental and emotional breakdowns, all while she says, “God must have His hands on me, and I’m going to trust in Him.” That woman is my mom.

Early Life

“I was born first, then right after me came my twin brother, Patrick. They couldn’t get his blood pressure up, and he died 45 minutes later. I always felt like it was my fault.” In my mom’s early years she kept to herself, only really associating with a few siblings and her parents. With her demeanor at times, some could categorize her as a bully, but deep down it was something more than just being angry. “I just felt like a part of me was missing. I was missing my twin brother, Patrick.”

With the issue of not being able to hear well, this placed some struggles before her. Not being able to conduct conversations well contributed to her not wanting to really interact with people. Some of the few people that she did associate with weren’t exactly the best of crowds, with one incident almost costing her her life. “This girl thought that I was talking to her boyfriend, and she pulled a gun out on me. When she pulled the trigger, the gun didn’t go off. God just had His hands on me.”

Later on, God placed someone in her life who, unknown to her, would play the most instrumental part in her life. “His name was Michael Frink, and I always tried to avoid him. I just thought he was strange with those funny-looking, light brown eyes. I use to say when I saw him in the hallway, what kind of black boy has eyes like that?!”

She may not have wanted him, but he certainly had eyes for her. With persuasion and courtesy, he was able to convince her to go out with him and the two started dating. “He was just so nice and sweet. I don’t know how he put up with my mean self.”

Marriage, Mourning, Miracle

As time went on, the two married. It was later that the worse news any couple would Screenshot_2014-05-09-07-43-13-1ever want to hear happened. “I was working at the nursing home, lifting stuff and didn’t even know I was pregnant. I had a normal cycle and everything, but I was actually pregnant and I lost him. His name was going to be Patrick Richard Frink, but he didn’t make it.” Three years later, God turned around and blessed them with a baby girl, me! “Michael Frink told me to put my job down because we were going to have this baby. I told him that I was going to quit not because he told me to, but because I wanted to and so I sat down a whole year.” When it came time to deliver, the process was life-threatening. She was unable to have me naturally, and her blood pressure was shooting to dangerous levels. “They couldn’t get me to calm down. They had to call my sister in to get me to relax, if not neither me or you would be here.” After a careful C-section, I was born. Both of us well.

Lost of Husband and Dad

December 15, 2004 my mom got the shock of her life. “I remember just calling his name, he never answered me. I flipped the light on, I saw him and I knew he was gone.” He had died of a heart attack. It was on that day that my mom’s entire lifestyle changed. Her health slowly, but surely began to fail. “He did everything for me; hear for me, did my medicine, helped me take care of important stuff. What was I suppose to do with a 10 year old?” Depression began to overtake her, so much so that she began to hack away at her own health. With constant sky high blood pressure and out of control eating, she was starting to grow weak and her body was showing it.

Health Failing

In the summer of 2009, my mom noticed a black mole on her toe, unbeknownst to her, it was the start of gangrene. “Overtime it just got worse. Two of my toes kept bleeding and I kept changing socks. I would wear two pairs of socks just to keep the blood from soaking through.” When it became too much for her, she finally told me. When my aunt came to see it, it was horrifying. The smell was so potent that on our way out the door to the hospital, the aroma was still in the room. Doctors told us that if she had waited ONE MORE WEEK, she would have died. The only thing that was suppressing the infection from spreading faster was an antibiotic that she received from her doctor for a lung infection.

Arriving at the hospital, they concluded that her whole foot was already dead, and planned to amputate it. However, within hours she started to feel intense pain, symbolizing that her foot was alive! Due to the damage of the infection however, they ended up only having to remove two toes.

Being A Caregiver Then Losing A Friend

20170627_061330Even through her own sicknesses, my mom had a heart to do one thing, take care of her mom. “My mom was my best friend. She didn’t even know it sometimes, but she would counsel me when I would get depressed.” As time developed, her mom’s congestive heart failure started to become too much. Unable to be placed on dialysis, her mom soon passed away in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her loved ones. “That was hard for me because that was my best friend. That was my life.”

A few years later, my mom was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, herself. Following that came being a dialysis patient. This was hard for her because she had to learn how to alter her entire life around dialysis. That first year really took a toll on her body and caused her to seep into a more depressed state.

Nothing But God!

One final trip to the hospital led her family to make a life changing decision. Doctors IMG_20170312_182407_770claimed to have found a blood clot in her lungs. In order to have seen it better, they would have needed to shoot a chemical into her system that would help them see the issue. The downfall of it was that 75% of the people that underwent this test ended up in total kidney failure and her kidneys were only functioning at 6%. We had to choose between taking that risk and treating it, with the possibility that it could put her in total kidney failure, and she’d begin to slowly die or let doctors treat it the best they could, with the high risk that she could have a heart attack and end up in a vegetative state. When we made our final decision to proceed with the test, we all began to sincerely pray. The next morning, we got a call saying that it WAS NOT a blood clot, but actually a small case of pneumonia.

I use to sit back, watching God and wonder, “What are you up to?” He began to reveal to me that everything my mom couldn’t do or was afraid to do, he was removing that fear from her. She started speaking out loud in conversations, laughing more, and our relationship was blossoming and growing. Everything that was taking place, God was allowing it to show her that He is able to sustain her. “I’m praying that God will keep showing me the way. I may not be able to walk good and sometimes my speech gets messed up because of my strokes, but I’m still here.”

Talk about a W.A.V.E! She has survived:

  1. Kidney Failure
  2. Dialysis
  3. Gangrene
  4. THREE strokes
  5. THREE cases of pneumonia
  6. Temporary blindness
  7. Sky high blood pressure
  8. Two amputated toes

 

All I can say is God is amazing! I don’t know many people who have survived ALL those things and lived to tell about it, but my mom will be able to continue to show the miracles of God as she celebrates 57 years of life June 27th! PhotoGrid_1498329746178

 

 

 

Where Would I Be?

 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5 NLT

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As a child I loved hearing my mother tell “my story”, for it was different from any of the other kids around me.

My Story: I was six months old when my mother made the decision, to allow another family to take me into their new home. She had just met them a few days after my birth. She had been connected to this couple, who had just won the lottery in Ohio, and was ready to start a new life. They came down to Florida, and married four days after I was born. After meeting me, I was told they instantly fell in love and wanted to take me in as their God child. Jokingly, my mother told me that they offered to buy me. (Yeah, a bit extreme).

They ended up being appointed as my God Parents. My mother was twenty at the time, and soon got pregnant again. After finding out she was pregnant, she informed my God parents. My God mother insisted that she let me come with them for a few months until she got on her feet. Those few months turned into 7 years. During those years, I traveled back and forth from Florida to Pennsylvania, many times I traveled alone. It became the norm for me. I had two different sets of parents: I had a biological father in prison, and a single mother who was enjoying her youth. Then I had a set of wealthy, Christian parents, who not only “gave me the world,” but introduced me to Christ.  1394189_729176637111936_2102773526_n

As a kid, my God parents raised me in a church called “Pentecostal House of Prayer”, where my God mother is now the pastor. They were strong in their faith and raised me to be as well. After deciding I was ready to move back to Florida, life soon changed. Though my mother wasn’t wealthy, she was my mother, and I was ready to get to know her. She was now somewhat stable, and at a place where she could raise me and my sister. Coming back to her was like a dream come true. Though the lifestyle was fairly different, I managed to adjust. I no longer attended church every week, I no longer got everything I asked for, and I know longer slept in my own room or had my own bed. I had to learn to adjust. However, I was able to share the gospel with my mother, she would feel convicted, and take me to church here and there.

By the age of 14, I was going to church consistently on my own. I found a loving, caring church family at “Victory Temple Whole World of Truth”. There they took take care of me until the day I got married. Sometimes growing up I would regret ever coming back to Florida because I know longer “had the world”, I was now introduced to the struggle. However, what I still had was my knowledge of God. No one could take that from me, and no one could come between that, it was established. As I look back… I ask myself, “Where would I be, without Him?” After going back and forth as a kid, going from a stable home to an unstable home, I still managed to have a relationship with Him. Regardless of what age I was or where I was, He was still with me. What an amazing God!

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What makes you a W.A.V.E?

When you look up the definition of Achieve you find the word “Accomplish”. Now when you look up the word victory you find the definition “defeating the enemy”.
What makes me a WAVE is each day I am striving to be the best in Christ I can be with His help. Keeping my eyes on Him and not looking back. That’s how I succeed at defeating the enemy.

I Was NOT Suppose to be Here!

 Over comers By Our Testimonies

I think one of the most amazing things about God is His reminders. He places testimonies in people’s lives, who lives them out which not only makes THEM stronger, but strengthens the people that hear them. If I can think of one testimonies walking on the Earth that would inspire someone, it would have to be Amanda Alexander. I got a chance to sit and talk with her about her life  which helped shaped her into the W.A.V.E that she is today. Her story is truly a testimony for the ages.

Miracle Baby

“Girl, I wasn’t even suppose to be here! Nobody even knew that I was coming, but my mom and God.” She says. Not showing up on sonograms until her sixth month of development, would you know she was coming???? “Nobody believed my mom when she said that she was pregnant. People just thought it was all in her mind, so she was not getting any prenatal care for me. It was not until my mom was walking down the street, and decided to stop at this doctor’s office, that she found out that she was pregnant with me for real.” Amanda was born a month early, and for those who don’t know, the eighth month of development is very important. Amanda’s challenges came along with her development as a kid. “I had speech problems, I was put in special classes, I was partial deaf if one ear, which probably explained the speech problems, and my first teeth were rotten. It was just a lot, I was always very sickly.”

Early Life

As a kid, Amanda loved animals, comedy, her hometown and especially her neighborhood. She was very affectionate and sweet. Once she got to the first grade, Amanda was diagnosed with A.D.H.D., but unlike most children who are then placed on medication, Amanda never was. “My mom just chose to not put me on medicine. She just took time with me to help me get what I needed. She was very patient with me.” Amanda struggled academically, even so far as almost not passing 3rd grade. With the help of her mom and teachers, she was able to pass 3rd grade, and continue school.

Throughout that time, Amanda still tried her best for do well in school, while battling with different pressures. “Middle school were my worse years because I had friends turn their backs on me, I was giving into peer pressure, I was a cutting myself and in 7th grade I even contemplated suicide.” Thankfully, for the awesome God that we serve, who never leaves us or forsakes us, placed someone in her  live who could remind her of His undying love for her. That person for Amanda was Veronica Reeves, her longtime friend from pre-k. With tears in her eyes, Amanda recalls the unforgettable love Veronica showed toward her at a time when she really needed it. “She would be like Amanda  you can walk with me to class or come hang with me. She just never followed the crowd, she was STILL my friend through everything.”

The Development of the W.A.V.E

After completing high school and becoming a wife to her life-long friend, Marquez Alexander, Amanda took a position as Teen Coordinator at Girls Incorporated of Bay County in 1999. “I felt like this position was good for me because I could really relate to the teens, because some of the stuff they’re experiencing right now, I did already.”Being bubble, creative and imaginative, Amanda easily built trust and close relationships with her teens and the other young girls at the center. She further her participation in girls’ lives by become the choir director, which gave girls the opportunity to express themselves through music and the arts.

Singing for Amanda is nothing new, considering the fact that she takes the youth at her church to God directly every youth Sunday by leading some of the gospel hits songs like, “Stomp by Kirk Franklin” and “Heaven by Mary Mary.” Being the first lady of her church, Victory Temple, Amanda made sure not to leave the youth out, especially on their Sunday of the month. Her husband who pastor’s the church has nothing but great things to say about his elect lady and wife. “She just has a big heart for people, she sees the good in them. You know that scripture were it talks about extinguishing others above yourself? (Philippians 2:3)  Yeah, that’s her.”

How are you a W.A.V.E?

The finally thing I asked Amanda before we wrapped up our interview was the big question: After all of these things that had happened to you, what makes you a W.A.V.E?

“I think I’m a W.A.V.E because I am determined. I face fear. Sometimes I am afraid to fail, but God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear, you know? So, I face fear and I am trying to be the best I can be and to strive to be more like Christ.”