Blog written by Jimada Robinson
If God had shown me the journey that He was going to put me on back in 2009, I’m not sure I would have signed up for this adventure! I had always assumed that hearing from God meant that all things would be perfect, however, that was not the promise. Romans 8:28 states that “God will work all things for my good.” I love when people ask me how I ended up in Virginia Beach because it is such an amazing story.
It all began with moving to California in 2009. I had wanted a new lease on life and thought California would give it to me. Sadly, the only thing I found in California was endless recession issues, which made it very hard for me to get adjusted.
So, I followed God’s next call, which was to move to Iowa with my sister and brother-in-law. I called this move my “safety-net season” because I was able to get my life on track, though if you have spent any time with God, you will know humanity’s comfort is not His goal. God wants us to continuously grow and this is where my trip to Virginia started. My brother-in-law decided to move his family to Virginia Beach after graduating with his bachelor’s degree. He had a brother in the Navy in Virginia Beach. I remember my brother-in-law telling me that they were moving and God spoke to him and told him that I was coming along too!
I was actually excited because Virginia seemed like a cool place to live. I remember sitting in my office googling photos of Virginia Beach. In the summer of 2011, we all moved to Virginia Beach and like any responsible adult, I worked really hard to save money before I took this leap of faith. I remember God telling me to apply to one specific job, and I actually got the job while driving to Virginia Beach. Everything looked like it was going just as planned, until our arrival when Hurricane Irene rolled in! Google never told me about hurricane season. No sooner had we arrived that we found ourselves packing up our cars again and driving north. I remember thinking to myself, “I didn’t budget hurricane evacuation money!”
After Hurricane Irene calmed down, I remember getting a call from new my job and being informed that it would be two months before I could commence working. Shortly after this, my brother-in-law lost his job. I watched my savings dwindle and were soon down to my last $20. To add insult to injury we were asked to move out of our accommodation. The memory of me sitting on the side of my bed with my sister calling homeless shelters is etched in my brain. I tell people to this day that I found out about Norfolk when I found myself standing in line at a food pantry. I remember calling family feeling humiliated and feeling much like Job from the Old Testament.
Why was this happening? You see I never left God. While all of this was occurring we all still continued to attend church and believe that God would see us through. I remember one church service I attended right after finding out I would have to move into a homeless shelter, being the angriest at God I’ve ever been. I remember thinking, “God, I did everything you told me to do and now my reward is a homeless shelter?” I remember being too angry to pray. I left church and told God He had to do something because I was done. As I was driving home after church I saw a little sign that said, “first month free”. I doubled back and got the information. The very next day I called the number and God provided me with favor to get the apartment! I remember moving into that empty apartment and sleeping on the floor and being the happiest person in the world. My sister and her family moved in soon after and we all stayed in that one bedroom apartment for 2 years. So how did I go through all of that and end up now as the Dean of Students at Wave Leadership College?
That story all started the moment I asked God why He brought me to Virginia Beach. I would hate to think I went through everything I went through for no purpose. The whole time God was encouraging me to go back to school – after I had made a vow I was never going back to school. God placed me by a neighbor that was working on his Ph.D. My wonderful neighbor would ask me every time he saw me if I was going back to school. Once I submitted to God and earned my master’s, I soon found additional open doors for me to work on my Ph.D. It was during my internship with Wave Leadership College that I found God’s calling on my life to work in higher education. God began to show me His favor at WLC and the doors for me continued to open.
When I look back over my journey I find it ironic that everybody I came with has now moved – I’m the only individual still here in Virginia Beach. Reflecting on this allowed me to see how much God loves me and that He used others to get me exactly where He wanted me to be. My testimony has also helped others realize that God always has a plan in mind even when things don’t look like you thought they would. I found my adventure to be a stepping block, not a stumbling block. My relationship with God has been made stronger and I wouldn’t change a thing. I pray that you see your story as a piece of a bigger puzzle and not an accident.
He is always faithful.