There are things I can’t be sad or mad about because I allowed them to happen but can learn from them and allow the emotion to fuel my goals, hopes, and dreams! The new year for me is not always about renewal but about beginning again. I used to think about being and becoming something new, and like most people the new me never arrived, because the old me was and is who I am. I’ve learned since then not to try to be “new” but to try to be better.
To live better, to love better, and to go after my goals with more tenacity than ever. Am I waiting on “Boaz” to find me, anymore? The answer is no, I’m living so we can stumble upon each other. Have I lost sight of what’s important? No, I see it clearly now more than ever. What’s important varies from person to person and what’s most important is what matters to you.
2016 has motivated me to do better, to seek better, and to understand the why’s behind my decisions. I’ve realized that at this stage and age in my life it’s not the time for me to melt or morph my dreams into someone else’s. My dreams are far too big to dulled, dumbed, or meshed into a collage of nothingness, while helping to guide and to build someone else’s dream career.
In the next year and the years that follow I plan to selfishly pursue that which suits me. The things I want and the goals I have set for myself. Why? Because that’s what everyone else has done to me, never regarding my dreams or goals but always asking for my assistance for theirs. 2017 is going to remarkable, start taking notes now! 😉
I used to think that every failure was my fault, but every failure was just preparing me for you,
Love is about giving, uniting, and building
I’ve failed to prepare for you
Love is about relying, honesty, and uplifting
I’ve fallen short in preparation for you
Love is about serving, sacrifice, and redemption
My failures were to prepare for you…
Now if only you could find me!
Recently having moved to a new place, the time appears to be flying by. For years I’ve prayed to be in my current location, for improved opportunity. And at the appropriate time, God granted it to me.
The timing of his plans are always “perfect”. My mind is much more settled and I have a greater sense of who I am as a person, however; I must admit the lure of the “city” has entranced me. So how do you find balance in an unbalanced environment? For me the key is staying grounded, but untattered.
Through out childhood due to circumstances that are all to familiar to children in today’s society my parents and I often communicated through a series of hand written letters. At the time I thought they were the worse form of communication for parents and children as I longed for the “normal” family/upbringing. But little did I know I was getting God’s best through my parents’ best.
In these letters my parents communicated with me with more depth and honesty than traditional “in house” parents do at any given time. The letters detailed life lessons, tips, and prayers for my future, most of the things that are often unspoken in regular everyday households.
That’s why I say God gave me his best! Growing up I read the letters with some regard noting what was said as they applied to my life at the moment and put them away. At the time I didn’t realize the value of what was taking place, although I knew without a doubt that I was loved, my parents were proud, and they always noted the goodness of God in each.
As I’ve grown up and now gotten into my thirties I can now appreciate what had taken place. In the hundreds of letters my parents were devulging the secrets to life that they had learned along their journeys without hesitation, without censorship, and without reserve. They were parenting me through distance for my future. The true value of what took place was the ability for me to look back on the life lessons etched out on paper with my now adult eyes and perspective.
These letters, notes, and cards are priceless and full of things that I often I apply now. Many of their words echoe daily in my mind. Things like “don’t take the long way around”, my mother wrote in one letter, advising me to be clear and never put things off because of my youth. Or, “life is just like this chessboard, ” my father said to me as he taught me the game and reinforced in a letter.
My life at that point had been uncharted, and hadn’t even began to take shape but they knew it would one day and God allowed the circumstances to be used for my good overall. Now in my new place, new city, at the crust on a new chapter in my life I’m thankful that although from my vantage point things appear “uncharted”, they have already
been chiseled out by the almighty!
It’s been three years since I experienced what I consider a “true God encounter.” I had always heard people use this term to describe the moment when their lives changed forever and they experienced a “great awakening.” But I never thought it would happen to me.
Although I had been a “Christian” my whole life, the thought of a “god” encounter seemed far fetched. I thought that those experiences were for those who were considered to be “lost,” those that hadn’t grown up in church, hadn’t been baptised by the ripe old age of 5 , and that lived drug-fueled lives that were out of control. I was wrong.
I had been the girl that had done “everything” right and had beat the odds. I had been raised by my grandparents, graduated from highschool with top honors, and was one of the first in the family to go on to finish college. I was a success! At least in my mind.
As I went on in my career I faced many challenges daily and the level of stress was astronomical. I was challenged on all fronts by coworkers, the public, and those that I was assigned to each year. And naturally I found myself looking for relief. I prayed. And I become bitter.
The bitterness came from something that was hidden deep within my heart from various experiences and the lack of recognition from my job. The whole time I attended church. I was the “typical” Christian who felt that I could “do me” , do what was half right by god, pray, and expect things to workout. And I was extremely wrong.
As time passed the pressure from job began to explode within in me and started to manifest in my attitude, my thoughts, and even into my physical body. The seeds of bitterness had began to poison me and was mounting to kill me, through intense chest pains.
I can remember having deep pains shooting throughout my body radiating from my chest outward. These pains would stop me in my tracks and were coupled with shortness of breath. I spent countless days in and out of hospital rooms hooked to machines and in tears. Along with that I felt like I had no one. My family was hours away and most of my “friends” deserted me during this time. But God.
In my moments of pain and my upbringing I knew to call on the name of Jesus. Many days and nights I would lay in tears praying for the pain to stop and for things to change. This was my “rock bottom” moment. All my adult life I had prided myself on being able to handle things. I could endure the racism on my job, the rowdy public, and anything else. I was an over comer, until had was faced with something “I” couldn’t over come. My body was giving out on me and I felt like my world was collapsing. But god!
One evening after going to the doctor I sat down on the couch sobbing. And that sobbing turned to prayer. In that moment there was a glow I saw and then I heard a voice within it. By this time I was kneeling on the floor and the voice said “everything will be alright, you’re not going to die, and from now on your life will never be the same.” In those moments tears were streaming down my face, but I felt comforted and confident.
I then realized that the whole time and mostly all of my life I had depended on me. I had always prayed but deep down I believed that god was distant and if things were to get done I would have to do them. Until, I was faced with something I couldn’t fix. After that day I made the decision to trust God. I wanted that feeling of security to never leave so I went after god.
I began to read more of the bible that I had often just had as a night stand piece and I started to pray more and with more fervor. My faith was developing into something real. As I went to more doctors appointments and more tests were ran doctors became more and more perplexed. Nothing wrong could be found!
This experience completely changed my life! In the moments when death seemed to be around the corner I had developed an intense love and thirst for life! Instead of focusing on the pain I began to focus on the moments I had “left”. I found myself laughing and smiling more, and intentionally choosing to be happy instead of focusing in on what was wrong with me, my life, my job, or others. I made peace with those that had wrong me, most of that I realized rested within my own thoughts as I had rehearsed the hurt. I let go!
From that time to this, I can say I truly enjoy my life. You can too!
…”For whatever is in your heart determines what you say”~Matt.12:34
So much can be said about the power and use of words in our lives. They are one of our gateways to the world that surrounds us and allows us to play the roles of both sender and receiver in communication.
In as much as we know as believers in God the world was created through speech. The pronounced words of God said “Let there be” and there was. In many instances the same can be said for us today. We are masters of our own fates, determining what and who can influx and influences the worlds we create.
Ultimately we posses power. A power so strong that it can be used to uplift or to destroy depending on how we choose to use it. We have all experienced a case in which words were used as a tool to harm us instead of inspire. The truth has been stated time and time again that left in the minds of people will be the one instance an unkind word was spoken. These words will sit and fester inside an individual for sometime and in an instance paralyze them in moments where courage is needed.
The same is true for all of us. Fear is often inspired by the words spoken over our lives from others or even worse from the rehearsal of negative self-speech. So how do we combat the power of words that have generated fear, doubt, or negative thoughts??
We overcome with words. The words that come out of your mouth will over crowd and replace the words that have been rehearsed in your head. The Bible instructs us to ” take every thought captive” 2Corinth.10:5, and in order to do so there must be a reprogramming of your thinking.
For most of us myself included we speak the things that are in our minds and more often than not if those things are negative they tend to breed negativity in our lives. And once negativity has settled into our speech it brings along it’s friends bitterness, doubt, depression, and despair. For many years I lived in the land of negativity which I called “realistic” , until I realized that to be “real” you don’t always have to look at the worst of everything at all times. That’s the joy of coming into fellowship with Christ, a new perspective on life because he gives us hope.
Steps to new thinking:
1. Replace negative words with positive ones out loud
2. Set your mind on good things
3. Ask God to help through prayer
4. Repeat as needed