Graduation Speech for The Eagles Network Worldwide

Good afternoon Eagles, TEN graduates, and guests

Why Me God? Was the question I wondered aloud when I opened my email to see a message from Eagle Joycelyn requesting that I share my testimony at graduation.

Why Me? When I was waiting on you God to answer other needs – and instead I was being given a new assignment.

Why Me? When I have always been a private person and yet God has consistently and persistently been pushing me to share my personal and turbulent life story

Why Me? When I have not yet accomplished all I desire, and I am still in the midst of many storms

Why Me God?

What makes me worthy to stand before your people?

But God in his infinite wisdom allowed me to query and to ponder and to second-guess for several minutes and then the quiet still voice came –

Why not you Donna?

Matthew 20:16 – “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Why not you Donna?

Matthew 19:26 – “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Why not you Donna?

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

So here I stand a vessel that was once broken, but one that God chose to fill…

I began The Eagles Network (also known as TEN) in 2010, upon the recommendation of my former dance ministry leader, Eagle Danese Turner. I attended one module (which includes a bible study and a technique class), before moving to Orlando Florida. I recall my first and only module – I was quiet and somewhat withdrawn. Too self-conscious to be seen, which is ironic because I have been dancing my whole life and as a licensed psychologist, I had spent years speaking in various professional forums. But when it came to God, I often tried to blend into the background.

I’m not a holy roller or overzealous Christian is how I would rationalize my quiet walk of faith…

But then something changed…

Life has a way of knocking you down and beating you up… So much so that it’s easy to forget who you are and that you are here with a purpose. In the space of 5 years I lost my credit, I lost my savings, I lost my income, I left my home, I left my marriage, and I even lost my hair – TWICE.

During that period of dry bones, when I was surrounded by nothing but death, I even thought about how to take my own life. But in the midst of my confusion, in the midst of that desolation, God came and found me – he dusted me off – he wiped the tears – and he reminded who I was and that I was here for a purpose. He reminded me that he was the same God who was there, in 2005, when I became the first doctor in my family, and he told me to take comfort in the fact that he didn’t intend to forsake me now, in 2011.

However, he being God and me being me… even when I was given the vision – I remained in denial about it.

But because we serve a God of completion, a God who cannot lie… here I stand not only completing this TEN program that I started back in 2010, but in the midst of this process I have learned that not only will I survive my struggles – but those same struggles will be used to speak to, to free, and to comfort another.

So, finally, after years of God trying to get my attention – I decided to heed to his call which has found me currently in the process of getting my memoir (life story) published and I was recently admitted to year I of the Eagles Institute Dance ministry school. Who would have thought? Me an Author? Me a Dance Minister?

This was never in the vision I had for myself, but God’s vision is more infinite and wise.

And that same infinite wisdom and sense of humor has placed me before you today, in 2014, – sharing my story. As if to put an exclamation to the point that no longer will I be able hide in the shadows when it comes to proclaiming the awesomeness of God. For I know there was only one who I turned to on my darkest and loneliest days.

I am grateful to The Eagles Network for reminding me that my testimony – my story is one that is to be shared. There is much that I have learned through this TEN experience, but I want to leave you with three points:

1) If you want to hear from God, learn to get quiet so that you can hear a voice that resonates with peace, clarity, and love

2) If you want God to work a miracle, just challenge him, do your part, and then step back and watch our God work

And lastly

3) Don’t store up your talents – you were given them for a reason, they are to serve a purpose for God’s larger kingdom. Share your gifts! Be a blessing to someone else and watch it in the end be a blessing to you too.

I leave you with this final point. I have shared a little of what God has called me to do. The rest you’ll have to read about in my upcoming book! But… consider this – What is God calling YOU to do?

Thank you.