We are inspired by the story of Angela Tanita Cunningham-Simms, author of My Story is for God’s Glory. She decided to write a personal account of her life because she believed it was time for the church to be open and honest. When God impressed upon her that He chose her to survive because He knew she would boldly give Him the honor, glory and praise, this mother of four and grandmother of nine could not remain silent. Angela asserts that if we have an unfamiliar mask, the world cannot find their way to Jesus.
As we sat down with Angela, she delightedly sang the words of a well-known hymn Amazing Grace: ‘through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come,’ to signal her gratitude amidst her painful experiences. She is a survivor! In her own words, “I've had some shipwrecks, some fiery furnace experiences, some dark days, and some weary nights. But I stand before you today to declare it is good just to be alive.”
VBD Magazine is happy to share a sneak peak of Angela’s story and her words of wisdom. She hopes that others will see that their story is also for God’s glory.
In September 2017, Angela developed blood clots in her lungs, fainted in the shower, and was rushed to the hospital. When she fell, she lost some of her front teeth. Without knowing the severity of the damage to her teeth, she was discharged from the hospital. However, a few days later, her mouth became infected and green matter started to come from her eyes. She was taken to the hospital once more, placed on blood thinners, assigned a walker for balance issues, and then sent home.
One month later, a severe pain affected her left arm and despite her attempts to reduce the pain, nothing worked. Her daughter called 911 and thankfully, the medics treated her situation like a heart attack. In the emergency room, the doctors informed her that they could not treat her because she had no insurance. But by the grace of God, a young doctor decided to place her on observation for five days. During this time, they discovered that she had four blockages and did a quadruple bypass heart surgery.
Although Angela admits that her illnesses were due to poor food choices and inactivity, mistreating her body, being overweight, and simply being unwilling to change, she acknowledges that she is alive today only because of God’s grace and mercy.
WORDS OF WISDOM
In light of her story, here are words of wisdom from Angela:
Love yourself enough to leave an abusive relationship.
Advocate for yourself at the doctor.
Know your heart health.
Do your part to be the change that humanity needs.
In the next five years, Angela sees herself traveling to women’s prisons and abuse shelters to encourage and inspire young women who are lonely, lost, and feel left out. Her message is clear: If you’re breathing, you have a story to tell, and someone needs to know that they too can make it!
I am a survivor! God has forgiven my sins, so I dare not be too cute or overly concerned with peoples’ opinions of me. I will no longer allow other opinions of me imprison my body, my mind, or my soul!
Why did it take 56 years and so many missteps, mistakes, bad choices, near misses, sickness, and riotous living? Why did God choose me to survive it? I was created to bring God Glory. God chose me to survive it so He would get the Glory! My every breath is a witness to the world. Jesus died that we can be free. He is on His way back. He is warning us. He is giving us chance after chance to get it right.
You see, as a survivor, I’ve courted shame, homelessness, embarrassment, self-hatred, imprisonment, abuse (physical, verbal, and emotional), abandonment, hurt, and confusion.
Look what it got me. The devil was laughing at me. But somebody let it slip that I am a Royal Priesthood, a Peculiar People. Now I have straightened My Crown and I reign. The devil knows I will serve God with zeal and enthusiasm. God needs me to be honest and forthcoming because other people who are in those same situations need a Sojourner Truth. Somebody who’s not afraid to say “yes.” I was lost but Jesus found me. Yes, I was down but God’s love has lifted me. I’ve put all the ugly pieces of the messes I’ve created on the table at the Potter’s House. I choose to believe it was all for His Glory! He thought enough of the disaster that is my life to keep me here on this Earth.
Why me? Why not me? I believe God has been orchestrating these challenges all of these 56 years because he knew someday, I would come to myself like the prodigal son.
I am sharing my story because I want you to see yourself as victorious. I want you to know that God also chose you to survive! Your story is for God’s glory too!
Book Link: Amazon