God knows what we really need
Sometimes we have to thank God for not giving us what we thought we wanted.
It’s a life lesson lawyer Tanaya Tucker has learnt.
Back in her high school days, the 28-year-old had her entire future mapped out. But as the adage goes: “Man plans and God laughs.”
“Nothing has gone according to my timeline or in the way I initially envisioned it,” Ms Tucker said, “but it has happened in God’s timing and each experience or milestone has developed my character in some way, shape or form.
“For instance, I had a plan when I left Warwick Academy at 17 that I would be married by 22, have kids by 26, and be a partner in a medium-sized law firm by 30. So far, none of that has happened in my life, but the beauty is that sometimes what we want isn’t what God knows we need, so He has to do the inner, transformative work to change our hearts and minds.
“We also have to be careful not to force doors to open prematurely. I see now if I had been married at 22, like I thought, it would have been a disaster because I was selfish back then and wasn’t ready. Even now, there are still things I need to work on within myself.”
Ms Tucker, a Crown counsel for the Attorney-General’s Chambers, will be sharing about the spiritual lessons she’s learnt at a conference next weekend. Chris Crumpler, Beverly Jones, Carla George, Stanley James, Patrina “Power Girl” Paynter, Shayne Scott and Shanda Duncan will also speak at the three-day event aimed at helping people let go of habits and negative mindsets so they can step onto a new, brighter path.
Hosted by Georgette Prime-Godwin, the conference will also include a message from Anita Phillips of Lancaster Bible College in Maryland. Dr Phillips has devoted her career to blending faith with individual group therapies for a wide range of issues, from depression to addiction, grief and child sexual abuse.
Ms Tucker’s topic will be a bit lighter: let your desire drive you.
“The message I hope to get across is that your setbacks don’t have to determine your outcome,” she said. “I will be speaking about my career and the journey to becoming a lawyer, as well as the challenges and obstacles I have faced. I want to share my story in a way that will help empower others because I find people often see the glamorous end product, but don’t see the hard parts on the journey to get there, which I will be going into.”
Ms Tucker’s prayer is that at the end of her session people have a “reignited fire” that makes them determined to stop at nothing to pursue their passion.
“I want people to leave with the skills to navigate through those hurdles so that they don’t feel stuck or defeated,” she added.
Although she went to church her entire life, it wasn’t until she was 21 that Ms Tucker started to pursue her relationship with Christ more seriously.
The year was 2011 and she was studying at the University of Kent in the UK, when out of the blue she received word that a friend from her past had died. It made her realise that life was too short to have a lukewarm relationship with God.
“I remember one evening after losing my friend when I broke down and had a conversation with God. I told Him ‘I want to live for you’,” she said. “My friend was just a couple of years older than me and it was devastating to hear they lost their life. One day you’re here talking to a person and the next they are gone.”
While her problems didn’t magically disappear overnight after recommitting her life to Christ, she saw how her perspective matured over time.
“I went from feeling very negative, to more positive and realised I could go through situations and, no matter how hard it got, I wouldn’t be alone,” she said.
“No matter what religion you follow there is the underlying belief of life after death. I knew I had to make sure my relationship with God was right, so I could have the surety of where I was going after death. My experiences in life have always pointed me towards God so now, looking back and reflecting over my life, I can see where He has covered me with His grace.”
Although used to her role as a youth worker and helping with the dance ministry in her church Mt Zion AME, sharing her testimony before a large audience will be a new experience.
“Initially I was very nervous about speaking at Impact Conference. For me, this is a very big deal. But knowing that what I share may help shift the trajectory of someone else’s life, that means a lot to me,” she said. “I’ve been preparing and feel a lot more comfortable and confident that I can do this.
“This conference isn’t a regular event — where you feel good, leave and then wonder what’s next. If you feel you aren’t where you could be in life this conference is a good way to make an investment into yourself. You will leave feeling equipped and have new skills and how to’s in order to better navigate through this journey called life. Even if this conference isn’t for you, if you know of someone else who might want to come, be a blessing to them by recommending it or suggesting to them to come out.”
• The Impact Bermuda Conference takes place February 22 through 24 at Willowbank Resort, 126 Somerset Road, Sandys. Tickets, $199, include continental breakfast on February 23. For more information: www.godwininternational.org/impactbermuda