I learned to dig deep at an early age. I was five years old when I started first grade. The requirement was that you had to be six years old before September, when the school year started. However, sometimes the school would allow the parent to enroll at five because there are only a few months left in the year before the child would turn six. I was born in December.
My grades in the first three marking periods were ‘Fs’ in all subjects. My mother was concerned that she had made a mistake, but she did not take me out of school. She told me to focus, to dig deep and to try and understand everything the teacher said. My mother was a prayer warrior, so she prayed hard for me to do better. We all went to church every Sunday, and I grew to know and to love Jesus.
My grades slowly began to improve. By the mid to the end of the marking periods I had straight ‘As’ in all subjects. My brother used to love showing my report card to people in order to share the transformation. I graduated (eight grade) valedictorian from that elementary school.
In junior high and high school I continued to go to church and to sing in our youth choir. When I graduated high school I enrolled at Jackson State University. For some reason I no longer had a desire to go to church to hear about Jesus. I had no one to ‘make’ me go, so I strayed away from the church and from God. During the entire four years of college, I went to only one church service. It might also have been because I was very embarrassed because I only had two outfits. My mom spent her last dime to get those two pant suits for me. Chances are she borrowed the money. Regardless, I was so embarrassed and felt so out of place that I called her and begged to come home, but she told me to focus on my education, pray, and dig deep. I don’t recall praying but I am sure she did. She was certain things would turn around. Things did get better. My room-mates and I started to share clothes and I started getting moderate refunds after registering for a semester.
After becoming a first generation honors graduate, I was hired by IBM. But something happened… LIFE in the real world. I faced challenges I never thought I would encounter. My job was on the line. I was about to give in again. I wanted to call mom, but I didn’t. I wanted to call one of my sisters, but I didn’t. I didn’t know who to call. I was a twenty one-year-old from rural Mississippi now living in New York, thousands of miles from home. Then I remembered what my mom always told us, “You can always call on Jesus when you can’t call on anyone else. He will hear you and He will come right on time.” She said to “dig deep because if you do that, the Holy Spirit will intercede and take care of you.” It had been a long time since I prayed, but that night I fell to my knees and really prayed to Jesus for the first time in my life. It was an earnest prayer. I got to know Jesus for myself that night. I formed a personal relationship with him. I’ve had it ever since.
Jesus reminded me who I was and what I was made of. I had always been a top performer since elementary school. I excelled in high school and graduated from college with honors. He reminded me that although I strayed away from Him, He never left me alone. He was always with me. That earnest prayer immediately turned things around for me at my job the very next day! I was filled with a knowledge that was so profound I was teaching others. I know it was because I dug deep. The Holy Spirit interceded for me and God answered my prayer.
I believe that the Holy Spirit lives deep inside of us. If you have a problem, dig deep and pray. He will come in your time of need.
Corean Strong is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She graduated from Jackson State University in 1977 with a B.S. degree in Computer Science. Corean is the Founder & CEO of NaeRoc Productions LLC, a Christian based theatre company where she continues to write, direct and produce faith-based plays. The plays are written to send a message and to change lives. Her mission is to encourage believers and to inspire non-believers to develop a personal relationship with Christ. She is the author of two Christian books for teens and young adults.
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