This is my testimony...Melani A Ismail
Updated: Jul 7
When Tera Carissa first asked me to share my testimony, I jumped at opportunity. It wasn’t long after that when I realized I wasn’t quite sure what to share as it’s been an up and down journey these last few years. I couldn’t recall a huge mountaintop experience as much as I could key moments when I knew God was walking alongside me, guiding my steps and keeping my mind. Those were the times when I was under the most attack and struggled with stress, sadness, worry and fear. I didn’t have any stories about closing some big deal for a new project, receiving some miraculous windfall of finance or getting some once in a lifetime opportunity. The real truth is that my greatest testimony was that I made it through some difficult times and moments, that I didn’t think I could, and that I didn’t lose my mind. Without going into the intimate details, there were many days I didn’t think I could make it through the day. There were many days that I felt hopeless and full of despair. There were many days I felt like giving up.
I often had to press through waves of reckless emotions, while trying to steady my mind with prayer and finding reasons to be thankful. I felt alone and isolated and wondered what was happening to me. I often worried if someone asked me to preach or speak if I would have anything to say because I felt so confused and off course.
Here is a testimony moment I would like to share that changed everything, especially me. In January 2018, I went to Los Angeles for a family funeral. I was already mourning two of my friends whose children were killed a week prior. After the funeral, I received more bad news and I felt an immobilizing sadness and overwhelming fear come over me. I decided to go to visit a church that Sunday morning. I sat through the service, listened to testimonies and at the closing of the message, I slowly approached the altar. I wasn’t looking for anyone to lay hands on me, or give me a word, I just wanted to silently pray and go back to my seat. As I stood at the altar in silence, I heard 6 words that changed everything. The words were...I NEED YOU TO HAVE HOPE. I am here to tell you, something inside of me shifted immediately. The spirit of heaviness and despair was instantly broken off of me.
I went home and looked up the word hope just to be clear on the meaning. It means “an expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” and/or “a feeling of trust”. GOD had given me the words that gave me HOPE! I immediately began to see things through the eyes of HOPE instead of seeing through the eyes of fear, doubt and despair. Even though some situations had not changed, my outlook was different! I had HOPE instead of fear! GOD can speak one word or 6 in my case and it can change your life! It can change your whole perspective. It can ignite a FAITH in you that can move mountains and change the course of events. When we put our HOPE in HIM we will not be made ashamed. Even when the enemy tries to taunt us and say that things won’t change or that we didn’t get what we prayed for, he can never ever take away our HOPE and our FAITH which pleases GOD.
When our hearts pump with FAITH and HOPE everything in us and around us responds! Praise and thanksgiving comes easy in spite of our circumstances. GOD wants us to HAVE HOPE! HE wants us to trust HIM. HE wants us to believe and to know that HE can and will do the impossible! HE wants us to know HIS GRACE is more than enough and HIS MERCY is everlasting! There is NOTHING too hard for HIM! HE is that same GOD who makes the lame walk, the blind see and raises the dead! HE is not slack concerning HIS PROMISES! No matter what you or I may be going through HE wants and needs us to HAVE HOPE! Don’t give up! HE IS ABLE to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY above ALL we can ask or think according to the power that works in us! There is POWER in believing. There is power in FAITH! There is power in HOPE!