My first time attending B&B was 2020, and shortly after, in February, I shipped off to Basic Training. I was there for a total of 5 months, during which time my family discovered that my eldest sister had stage 4 inoperable cancer, and within a month, she passed away.
At the time, I didn’t have any tools for handling grief, so I started shoving anything that hurt into “a box.” I kept doing this until I couldn’t feel or experience anything, neither emotions nor God. By the time December came. I was at the lowest and darkest place in my life. Christmas came, and I went through the motions, wanting to feel joy and failing miserably. It was at this point that I went to Banquet and Ball for the second time.
The night we arrived at the opening speech, the person leading that part dedicated the event to my sister, who had passed. That moment was the first crack in the box or the first breach in the wall that I had trapped myself in.
As the weekend went on, God used so many people there to fight for my soul. People who live intentionally and walk in faith, who believe that God sets up interactions between people on purpose – that there is a divine purpose behind our everyday interactions
By the time we arrived at the ball, I was in the middle of a spiritual battle that was being fought for my life. We began to dance, and time after time, men and women would pray over me, and for the first time in a long time, I felt light burning through the darkness inside. It felt similar to if you get into a really nasty accident, but instead of getting it mended right away, the skin just grows back over, leaving all the gravel and dirt and ugliness inside to rot, but now someone has cut through the surface and is slowly and gently cleaning everything out. So it really hurts, but you know it’s the good type.
I began to see hope for the future; God was still there!
It was at that time, halfway through the ball, that I felt an active and evil darkness pressing back against the light. It was so much so that I was unable to stand, so I sat in a quiet spot overwhelmed and scared until one of the greatest men I have ever met found me, sat with me, and in the name and power of Jesus, fought the demons I was facing. As the night continued and came to an end, more and more people joined the fight, praying for me and over me. That night was the turning point in my life. 2022 had its own struggles, but it was a year of new beginnings, of walking in faith, and relearning how to live life.
It is now 2023, and this years Banquet and Ball was a smashing success. The theme was building on foundations and creating your legacy.
If you have read this far, I hope you haven’t come to the conclusion that there is something “magical” about this event, but rather take this as a story of how God worked through Banquet and Ball and through people who love genuinely, and live intentionally, for His glory to change the course of my life.