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God Is Still Good

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

God Is Still Good

. . . Even in the face of grief.
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant More by this author
Apr 08, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I went to my favorite bookstore in Annapolis, Maryland, a small Christian bookstore where everyone knew me. I walked in quietly and went directly to the Bible section, not that I needed another Bible. I collect them. I must have 50 different Bibles—different translations, colors, and sizes.

I walked up and down the aisles that I knew so well. Everything was just as I had seen it hundreds of times before. I was about to walk out of the store when one of the clerks called out to me.

“Good day, my sister. You look beautiful today.”

He looked and sounded like an old-world Christian missionary. Tall. Thin. Pasty white. And enthusiastically joyful. He was new in this store.

“Well, thank you. I’m good today.” I didn’t bother to give him an explanation.

“Didn’t find anything? That’s okay, God is still good. Hey, can I give you something?” He jogged through the bookshelves over to the counter.

“Here. I want you to have this. I love this and I read it all of the time. It’s my favorite scripture.”

When I looked down, it was Psalm 27—my daughter Gemmia’s favorite Psalm. I thought my knees were going to buckle.

“Do you know that Psalm?”

“Yes, I do.” I was debating whether I should tell him about Gemmia. Before I could decide, I turned the pamphlet over, and then my knees did buckle. On the other side of the glossy white paper, there was a picture of Jesus, the same Jesus I had seen in Gemmia’s bedroom. He was dressed in a long white robe, and He appeared to have a multicolored strip of Kente cloth draped around his neck. The clerk caught me as I fell forward.

The next thing I knew, I had a cup of tea in one hand and a soggy wad of tissues in the other. I told the new clerk and a familiar clerk the whole story about Gemmia’s illness, the vision I had the night before she passed, and how crazy I felt, still believing that it wasn’t real, that I had made it up in my grieving mind.

“Oh no, sister. You didn’t make that up. Coming in here today and getting this is just confirmation. God wants you to know that she is safe in His arms. God always sends us a confirmation of His works.”

“But a black Jesus? Come on now! You’re a white guy—doesn’t that sound strange to you?”

“Not really. I think the Lord appears to us in any way we will recognize.

The next few days and weeks floated by slowly. I was debating what to do about our offices because the landlord wanted us to pay all of the back rent or leave the premises. The landlord indicated that he understood about Gemmia’s death and he had been patient; now we had to pay or leave. I couldn’t leave our building and I couldn’t stand to be in it. Gemmia had built that place from nothing. She had decorated every room, purchased every piece of furniture, every book, and every plant. This was where I felt her presence the strongest, and that was why I ached every time I walked through the doors.

It was the last week in January. The landlord wanted us out by February 1. We started packing, thinking we would move everything to a storage unit and hold classes in a hotel conference room. I pulled up in front of the building. I dreaded going in but couldn’t bear to leave. I was resting my head on the steering wheel when I heard her voice.

Release the physicality. My head shot up and swiveled on my neck. I was looking around the car, expecting to see her. My heart was pounding. I think I said it aloud: “Gemmia?” Then I heard her again.

Release the physical. It doesn’t mean anything. That’s what I did. I released the physical to become One with spirit. It was the answer to my prayer.

My mind started racing, then it slowed down. I had a conversation with Gemmia in my mind.

Where are you, sweetie?

I am right here.

Are you okay? I mean . . .

I am wonderful. I am good. Now you must let it all go. Release every physical thing. It is not the building or this place that matters. It is the Spirit.

When I got inside the building, I told my friends Lydia and Helen what had happened in the car. They didn’t seem shocked or surprised.

They were both teary-eyed, shaking their heads. We were still sitting there when Almasi showed up.

“You are not going to believe this,” she said.

“Oh Lord, what is it now?”

She told us that she had found us a place. We could afford it, and it was available immediately. It was five minutes down the road from where we were now. In fact, in order to get to Gemmia’s house, you had to drive right past it. We must have passed the building a million times over the years and never even noticed it. Almasi was excited to the point of jumping up and down. We sat her down and told her what had happened to me in the car.

The room fell silent until, as if on cue, we all burst into tears. We were all crying in the same choir: “Thank you, God! Thank you, Gemmia.”

About Author
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. She is a Yoruba priestess and an ordained minister in Christian New Thought. The author of 13 titles—inc Continue reading