Words of Wisdom: Proof of Life

A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. -Proverbs 18:16
 For most people, it’s not every day they get to watch a friend’s dreams come true. For me, it is a pleasure to see because God has allowed my dreams to come true. One such friend in college, Karen, always wanted to be in media, specifically broadcasting. Year after year, she kept pushing toward it. Even when it meant relocating to get to that dream. A couple of years ago I had the TV on though in another room. I heard her voice on the TV. I turned and sure enough it was her. She had relocated from another area.  She made her way into TV broadcasting in Baltimore. Back in January of this year, I was sharing with a mutual friend what station she was on now. And we spoke of wanting to get together. Well, I heard from Karen the very next day as she was working on a story line. It was a blessing I didn’t know was coming. God allowed me to have favor with her because of a gifting. A gifting that fit into the story line. Why is this important? Well that story line led to a woman named Patricia West from an organization called S.I.S.T.E.R.S Involving Sisters seeing me. God told her to honor me. So two weeks ago in front of nearly 200 men and women I spoke about my friend Karen in my speech and how her reporting led to me being on that stage receiving an award.  And I spoke of my gratefulness to Patricia for heeding the voice of the Lord.
So imagine my heart when I got word of a bomb threat. I was on a call for White House Prayer for Our Nation’s upcoming event. A leader asked me what was happening in Baltimore. I’m thinking he’s speaking of the night before. When he said no, there’s a bomb threat at a TV station. My entire countenance changed. He couldn’t understand why I was frantically asking what station. I hung up immediately when I found out  so I could inquire of the whereabouts of my friend. When I didn’t hear anything I called back and said, please pray. I checked social media. But more importantly, Karen was still operating as the reporter she is. Even in the face of what everyone thought was danger, she was still operating in her gift. Keeping her followers updated on the news.  I was never more grateful. For me, it was proof of life and that she was okay. So it is with this gratefulness that I say to you today, operate in your gift and purpose before you chase anything else. Your gift and purpose will always bless others because it was never just meant for you. It will place you before great men and women. And as long as you’re operating in it, it may be the proof of life those who care for you need to see.


Joy T.J. Riley began writing at age eleven to channel feelings she could not express in spoken word. Yes, becoming an author was always a dream but she had no idea that by submitting to God her dream would come true. She was commissioned as a teacher of the Word of God in August 2006. Joy has co-founded organizations, been a guest speaker, mentored youth, and volunteered her time with senior citizens and the homeless.  Joy is president & co-founder of Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. It is not just about finding faith, but to show that it is through faith that one finds purpose. Joy is also the author of two books, Get Your JOY In The Morning! and Shh Don’t Tell. She has mentored and assisted five writers to become authors, currently writes the monthly Words of Wisdom column for Whine & Cheese Inc., writes on LinkedIn Pulse, is a contributing writer for The Divine Voice Magazine, been on radio, TV, and one of three women featured in a short documentary film, The Power of Femininity by Ratliff Events. Joy writes devotionals to several hundred people across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.
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