Believe it or not, the common and somewhat boring name – Tracey – yes my name, means brave. I personally take that to mean that I was meant to have an amazing amount of faith. So being called brave to me means that I MUST HAVE FAITH and I MUST EXERCISE IT! Now whether I knew that before I started stepping out on my faith is a different story. I have really lived quite a faith-filled life, but in my early ignorant years (that would be in my 20’s), I didn’t recognize it as faith. Strangely, I thought it was all me. (Hey, I was saved but I was young!)
Then one day things shifted, and I began to realize that I was not going to be able to make it in this life on my own no matter how brave I felt. I realized that Tracey, the brave one, needed to connect with the One who actually made her brave. I guess you could say I got thirsty. I realized I needed a connection that the world couldn’t give me. So I started searching.
STEP 1 – how do I pray? It’s funny but I realized that when you begin to thirst for God, He speaks to you in the exact manner that you listen, which for me is through books. I am a reader, not a writer, a reader. I love to read, and God knows this about me, so when I began to thirst or seek Him for how to pray, the book Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels literally jumped off the shelf at the bookstore and into my hands. At that moment my spiritual journey began. I began to read my Bible and John Maxwell’s Failing Forward. You see unfortunately my first bout of thirst came because I had run out of gas. All the reading has definitely been a great way for me to hear from God and stay connected. However, there are plenty of times, moments or seasons in my life, when I seem to get too busy to read or inadvertently hear from God. Then in an instant, as if all of a sudden I have been dropped off in a desert – I get thirsty. I slowly realize that I have wandered off and I feel lost without a bit of direction or courage. Not so brave. And I, Tracey, the brave one realizes that I am without my source. I begin to seek Him, and He delivers.
Joel Olsteen’s morning meditations may be delivered to my inbox a bit earlier, or some other message is randomly sent to me. Andy Stanley writes a new book, and it is just what I really need to focus in on spiritually. Twitter gets on fire for God. Because see He knows you and me, and He longs to be in relationship with us. So He waits for us, knowing that we will often wander off and get thirsty. He will be there with just what we need to quench that thirst, allowing us to connect with Him once again. I can’t tell you how often I wander off, but I can tell you that each time I do, He is always there waiting for me to return. Then my faith grows and I become more grounded and rooted in Him and His Word. I often think that maybe they got it wrong and actually Tracey means “one who is brave enough to grow in faith.” My spiritual journey sure feels that way, and with each passing moment I become even more thankful that I serve a God who is faithful and willing to lead me and guide me and quench my thirst!
Tracey Baker-Simmons is a Christian, Wife, Mother, Visionary, Executive Producer, Boss, Lecturer. Nurturer, Teacher. Professor, Leader, and Giver. She works as a development executive in television and resides in North Bergen, NJ with her husband Karriem and her son Jacob (when he is not away at college). She loves GOD above ALL!! Follow her on Twitter @tbakersimmons.