Monday, November 21, 2011

What's Filling Your Tank?

Special Guest Post by Kimberly J. James

Are you one of those people who drive your car until the meter stick is under the E? Have you tested the limits to see how far you can go with the gas light on before you break down? Do you put $10 in the tank, when you know it takes $50 to fill it? I was one of those people. Fortunately, I only ran out of gas 3 times in my life. Was it luck or something else?

The day I finally felt ashamed for someone to see me putting $4 in the gas tank; I realized that this bad habit was a metaphor for my life. I spent most of my life feeling like I was functioning on fumes. I was living with a “just enough” mentality, doing what was necessary to make it through the next day or the next crisis without breaking down. I had dreams, but I was getting nowhere fast and I didn’t know why?

When I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I decided that I deserved better, my family deserved better and I would pursue better, whatever that meant. In the seemingly reckless pursuit of what most would say was an impossible dream, I started on a journey that revealed much more about my past, my beliefs and my destiny, than I could have ever imagined.

This memoir draws you into the intimate details of how my mess collided with the love of God to catapult me into my purpose. My “truth”, which you will read has been painfully glorious, is why I KNOW that every time I should have been stranded on the side of the road, it was the Grace of God that was filling my tank.

So I’ll ask again… What is filling your tank? Or, shall I ask Who? 

Excerpt  from Running on G - What's Filling Your Tank  
Chapter 10 - The Voice

As we pulled into the hospital parking lot, Erica, Pam's daughter was just leaving. She rolled down her window and told us it was a good time to visit because the night shift crew needed a break. So we parked the car, followed her instructions to get up to the right floor and entered the waiting area in the ICU wing where other relatives had been resting.
Tracey explained what we needed to do:  clean our hands and put on a mask before entering her room. When I turned the corner, it was far worse than I had anticipated. She was hooked up to so many machines that you could barely approach the side of her bed. She sounded like Darth Vader with the ventilator and the tracheotomy tube protruding from the front of her neck, and that was without her even attempting to speak.
The best she could project was a faint whisper, which you could barely hear with the loud machines surrounding her, so most of the time she communicated by writing notes. The first thing I thought was, "Lord, you didn't tell me it was this bad. How could she fully recover from this?" To which His response was, "Don't be confused or affected by what you see in the physical, this is a spiritual issue, just stay on task."
So I did. Pam was happy to see both Nina and I and she was trying to move her lips to ask how our families were doing back at home. Just like Pam, still trying to take care of everyone else, so I shushed her and told her that I had something to say. I pulled a chair over to the side of her bed and sat as close to her as I possibly could. I told her to let me get this out before I messed it up, because I had travelled a long way to give her a message from God.
She nodded her head for me to proceed and mouthed the words, "Please Share." I held her hand as Nina moved close by her head to hold and support her through what she already knew was coming. I looked her in the eyes and told her:
"God told me to tell you that He knows that you have been suffering silently for many years. He said that you chose to bear the cross for all of the lost souls in this family and that He knows that your soul is tired and lonely. He said He knows that you have always been the one who has taken up the slack for everyone else when they fell short, because you just wanted everyone to be happy.
But He also said that your suffering has not been in vain, and that you have something that you have needed to say to all of us for a long time. The enemy has physically robbed you of your voice because like Moses' gift was his staff, your gift, your staff is your voice. He said that if you spoke your heart, the toxic spirit that is hovering over this family would be lifted and the chains of bondage would be broken. However, you have to choose to use your voice. He said that He knows the reason you haven't done it up to now is because you are afraid to hurt people's feelings, but you are the voice of authority in this family and if you choose to speak, they WILL LISTEN.
He said to tell you that you can choose to live and get up and walk out of this hospital, but you have to choose to use your voice, but it is up to you. The last thing that He said was that we would learn more from the miracle of your recovery than we would from your death."
Nina wiped the tears that were streaming down Pam's face, as she squeezed my hand with all the strength she had left, confirming that every word that I had just spoken was indeed a true and complete message from God. That was it, I said it!
Pam's machines started setting off alarms and the nursing staff rushed in to see what was going on. They tried to sedate her, but we asked them to leave her alone because it was not her health, it was the move of God stirring in her spirit. We asked the nurse for a little more time alone before she gave her any more medication.
Pam belted out a whisper asking Nina to sing to her.  She had a favorite gospel song called, 'Higher Ground' by Johnson Oatman, Jr. The lyrics are:

I'm pressing on the upward way, no heights I'm gaining, Lord every, everyday
Still praying as I onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost heights,
And catch a gleam of glory, of glory, of glory bright
Still praying as I onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
My face on heaven's table land. 
No higher, place that I have found,
Plant my feet on higher ground.

So she sang, with a voice like an angel as the three of us held each other and cried together. This was what you call a "Holy Hook Up". I thought about how all of the pieces of the puzzle had fallen together brilliantly for this message of love to be conveyed to Pam in her time of crisis. God was definitely in that room on that day. There were no distractions, there were no other relatives around, there was no pride, and there was just LOVE.
I reflected on the great lengths God went through to deliver that message to her and I was honored that He chose me to be a part of it. Nina prayed the benediction over that situation and we were confident that we were about to be a witness to the greatest medical miracle in our human experience.


Purchase your copy of Running on G on Tuesday Nov 22 at and you will be entered for a chance to win $100 Gift Card. Visit Kimberly at for details.

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