Years ago, some of the most fabulous people I have ever met walked through the doors of our church. They had ended up in the area after Katrina had destroyed much of New Orleans where they lived. I would later find out that Janea wasn't expected to live when she was born. She required a liver transplant. When they were in the Superdome after Katrina was bearing down, God provided a miraculous escape for them to get to a hospital. My dear friend Tina would lose her precious mother in that storm. There, they stood in the entryway of my church. Refugees from a storm, but held tight by the hand of God.
I'm telling you all of this because I was graced with the opportunity to attend Janea's sweet sixteen Masquerade ball on Saturday. Never has a birthday party been more of a depiction of the grace and power of God to me. Right from the get go, Semaj, Janea's dad, reminded the guests to keep their minds on the main thing. That thing was to give God the glory. Another girl that she had met while getting her liver transplant at 2 months old was also at the party. She was also alive and vibrant.
When Semaj introduced the honorable Janea, he did so with these words, "When Janea was born, the doctors told my lovely wife that she would not live twenty-four hours, but how many of y'all know that the devil is a liar. To God be the glory."
Sweet, beautiful friend, You are a gift to us all. Your spirit radiates the grace of God.
Happy 16th birthday.