Originally posted on February 27, 2017
Originally posted on February 27, 2017
Not often do men say, “ladies first” when it is time to board the bus. So, on one particular morning this week, I was elated to see one guy lead by example and let the ladies on first. But after a couple or few of us proceeded onto the bus, commotion broke out behind me as I walked to my seat. When I turned around, there was an older gentleman who was already on the bus with the bus driver when we boarded trying to stop an altercation from esculating. Even moreso, he stood in front of a young lady, who I believe was a teen, and was trying to block and stop a man from hitting her. The man was the same one who had just let the ladies go first. Why they were fighting, I do not know exactly. He said that she hit him first and she said something about he said ladies first and something about tapping her bus card against the machine.
As security from the transportation station stepped in, it calmed down a bit but the argument started back up as the man boarded the bus and he went to the back. Both the man and the young lady were angry but I noticed his voice sounded more emotional. As their argument continued and the man got up out his seat and moved forward towards the young lady, the older gentleman who had helped prior came to the back, blocked him again and prohibited him from going any further. The young lady remained seated although she was arguing back. The security guard came to the back too to intervene. The older gentleman kept telling the man, “bro, let it go.” The man turned on the older gentleman saying something like “you’re not my bro and why do black people keep hurting me.”
I then realized this man not only was angered but he had been triggered. I don’t know what really started the altercation between he and the young lady but both could have acted differently for a much better outcome. However, the man, who was also Black like the rest of us on the bus, was the adult and he should have really let it go so it wouldnt have esculated. And no way should a grown man be hitting a young lady or calling her out of her name which he did.
I know that Black men endure a lot in this world day by day. I also know that sometimes they face a cruel and unfair justice system and just as much plight and hopelessness as any other man. But some Black men must remember Black women have to endure a great deal too in this world. And we are to be protected and respected too. Moreover, with the state of this world and the fact that we are living in the last days, a lot of people are walking around angry and with a chip on their shoulder. We are beyond stressed and triggered with even the smallest things. Nonetheless, we must build our self-control and empathy. And we have to pursue and promote healing individually and as a whole. I believe God has me in a seson of healing. I have discovered areas of brokenness in my life that God wants to heal me of, thanks to God.
Don’t dismiss your pain. Don’t dismiss another person’s pain either. Address it and let God provide you with the healing you need. Even if you get no closure from others, you can get it from God.
We cannot walk around with chips on our shoulders and be ticking time bombs. You cannot move forward from something that has never been fully addressed. That is why some people dont understand why some people can’t move forward (there other factors why also) from a loss or traumatic event. Some people say Blacks should stop talking about slavery but if it has never fully been addressed and acknowledged with true empathy and understanding, then how can we. We have to address the pain and not let it turn into a bomb. Even God addresses and acknowledge the circumstances and pain in our lives, but with the intent to heal and grow us and impact others for good.
Anyway, there is so much rage and pain in this world. Many human beings, no matter their nationality, ethnicity, social or class status are being consumed by anger. But Jesus came to give us life and life to the full and it is receivable through His salvation and your surrender. He knew we would have storms and issues in our lives. He knew this world was a hot mess and broken. But His truth, life and way are our shields. His Holy Spirit is our comforter and His Father has the last say. He is our defender and present help in the time of trouble.
I was glad that the older gentleman intervened and tried to calm the man down and get him to control himself. I reiterate that we have to pursue and promote healing. And yes God can grow you and heal you during your storm! So, where can we begin.
Im not a psychologist or therapist but I do know we all need healing from something.
Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Are you on a journey of healing? What does that look like for those who may not be on this particular journey now? How can you be intentional in pursuing healing and growth, and why is God leading this pursuit so important?
This morning I was led to reflect on and search the scriptures about the following:
God is more than enough.
Thoughts of insignificancy ravages many of our minds. They repeat over and over again that “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have much”, “they have more or it all”, “I won’t make it”, “if only I had more of”, “I am nothing without him/her/this career/this title”. We are constantly being delivered messages from the enemy, our pasts, our fears and failures, those around us and from what we see on television or on social media. Our past and present can bombard us with reminders of what we need or think we need, what we lost or what we are losing. Moreover, those messages we get from television or social media try to convince us, and often times succeed, that we are only somebody when we have this or that. However, those things will never be enough because those gratifications may satisfy us and give us a temporary fulfillment but not a lasting, deep fulfillment. I have learned that true fulfillment can only come through the One who created us and first loved us–God.
When I started pondering about “God is more than enough” and searching the scriptures, the chorus or hook of a song popped into my head. It is a Hip Hop song, titled You’re All I Need, whose hook was based from a greater oldie titled You’re All I Need To Get By by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The Hip Hop song is rapped and sung by Method Man and Mary J. Blige. This is one of my Hip Hop faves.
“You’re alll I needddd…to get byyyy iii iii.”
I began singing this to God noting that God is more than enough. He is the Source to my resources. He is my Father, my Maker, my First Love, my Present Help in the time of trouble. My Shield, my Protector, my Provider, the One who breathes life into me every day. The One who gave His only begotten Son so I could have true and eternal life and reconciliation back with Him. He is the only One that brings stability and certainty to my life in a world that is broken and uncertain. He is the One that apart from Him I can do nothing. He is the One who loves me unfailingly and beyond measure. He is the One who gives me mercies daily, forgives me, and nurtures me through life and a world that can break me and discard me.
I researched scriptures to see where in God’s Word it confirmed God is more than enough and these are some scriptures that stood out:
I leave you with these other words from the interlude verse of Mary J. Blige. Sing these words today to the Lord. He is more than enough. He deserves your quality time, worship, and full surrender.
Like sweet morning dew
I took one look at you
And it was plain to see
You were my destiny
With you I’ll spend my time
I’ll dedicate my life, I’ll sacrifice for you
Dedicate my life to you
Happy Saturday loves,
Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await!
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According to the American Institute of Stress, “sixty-five percent of workers said that workplace stress had caused difficulties and more than 10 percent described these as having major effects.”
According to the American Institute of Stress, “twenty-five percent of workers view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.”
For more stats on workplace stress, click on this link: https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress
Upon prayer requests, it was an eye opener when God exposed one of the root causes of my anxiety was work. Moreover, every time I would enter a particular work site (I have multiple), my body would go on a stress alert, and one time I had an anxiety attack right inside of the classroom (thank God I was alone at the time). My anxiety levels at work/from work have decreased since that awareness and although I still have struggles, I handle the anxiety and stress much better. Life is a process and so is overcoming stress and anxiety. I found through research one way to handle anxiety was to just embrace it. Don’t fight it. Let it take its course while of course stopping what you’re doing, like driving if you are. This helped because fighting the anxiety was made my heart pound even more and the walls of my lungs close in tighter. The fighting didn’t help. The releasing control and allowing myself to feel physically and emotionally helped ease the symptoms and restore me back to calm. I also learned to take deep gut breaths. My anxiety often gave me more stomach issues to the point of having to run to the bathroom. I call it anxiety poop now. The breathing helped greatly to get my breathing and stomach under control. I have also watched funny videos and listened to worship music to change my mental channels. There are other ways to manage stress and anxiety but let’s talk about one way that should be supreme. That is to guard your heart.
Work-related stress can get so bad it can result in sickness, mental instability, the inability to be present, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, low morale, poor productivity levels, and even death. I have been a part of numerous work conversations or chatter that lead to one or more of us expressing the effects of stress at work personally and as a whole.
Sometimes stress can be in the everyday routine and demand, or from workplace bullying, or betrayal, gossipping, and backstabbing, unprofessionalism, outside personal issues affecting inside work issues, or from coworkers who are aware or unaware of the unruly pressures they put upon the team due to the pressure put upon them. And nonetheless, these issues may be all spiritual for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
Since we spend much of our day at work, how do we live our lives where stress no longer controls them or seeps into our hearts and cause emotional infections?
We, as believers, are taught to guard our hearts. Above all else, guard thy heart; for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). But do we keep our hearts guarded even at work? I am not talking about putting up a 10-foot wall and threatening all the coworkers you dislike from trying to climb it guard.
Our spiritual heart is composed of our thoughts, will, emotions, and desires. We are to protect it and allow God to transform it. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). Guarding our hearts is a battle for we sometimes forget much of the war takes place there. And if the enemy can can throw grenades there, he can get you off course with what God believes about you and wants for you.
So, let’s begin to purposely and actively guard our hearts, even at work. Work is not just to earn a paycheck but it is like a second home for many, and it is definitely our mission fields. There are people on our job hurting and need to receive God’s love and presence to envelop them. Walking in consistent stress and anxiety can stifle you from walking in the love and presence of God to impact others. Your mind is clouded; your heart can grow weary. Edited: There are beautiful things that can take place at work. For example: today, I had a moment of break down when I arrived at work and was embraced and comforted. I was embarrassed but little did I know that I wouldn’t be the only one who needed comfort. After our movie and discussion session with the young ladies for Women’s History Month, some of the students expressed their hearts but it was the female staff who poured out their hearts, and I witnessed such love and support surface. Guarding your heart also means allowing vulnerability to surface in your heart to receive the genuine love and care you need. When your heart has grown numb and cold, nothing grows there. I thank my school today for being a safe place for us to share and receive the love necessary. That school knows who they are.
Guarding your heart at work takes four things:
1. Taking every thought captive. Catch those thoughts, check those thoughts, and change those thoughts that do not line up with God’s Word about you, others, or your circumstances. “I am not good enough.” “Things will never change.” “My coworker hates me.” Maybe she does or maybe she is coming down hard on you because when she was little they told her she will never be anything so now she demeans everyone to lift herself up. You don’t excuse the behavior at all but seeing them the way God does can ensure you won’t hold a grudge, seek revenge, or internalize their low self-worth and make it yours. You will be able to address them professionally and with love and understanding. Even avoid thoughts, gossips, and opinions from others at work that are causing division, stress, and just plain ungodliness and unprofessionalism. I have not always done this. But sometimes you have to change the subject and give those things no attention.
2. Change your perspective. Seeing things, others, and yourself the way God does. This takes prayer, even fasting, and saturating in the Word of God. I remember upon getting evaluated at work last year by my bosses and one saying they noticed I wasn’t as stressed or sick like I used to be. I told them I still got sick and stressed sometimes but what changed is the fact that I had to change my perspective. I had to see things differently and not take every thing personal. Seeing things from a different perspective, from God’s perspective, helps us to maintain our joy and our witness before others even during rough times.
3. Take a day off to renew. Every now and then you need a day of rest to reset. Some times I had to take off because I was sick and needed rest. I not only rested but I took that time to spend quality time with God. That refreshed me, having unrushed, quality time with the one who created me, loves me unfailingly, is the Source to my resources, and sacrificed greatly for me. I also would find myself able to catch up with something I normally wouldn’t be able to. I also found that rest was needed to be truly productive. I can think straight and function well.
4. Lastly the Word of God is alive and active and it is our sword. Saturate in it, read it and study it, use it as your weapon against the enemy’s lies and threats, and submit it to the Father in prayer. His Word cannot return to Him void.
Be encouraged!!! What other ways can you guard your heart? Are you a source of comfort and truth for others at work? How do you navigate work-life balance?
Writing is such an great avenue to take to express one self as well as to find some understanding about some things. On some Wednesdays, we will have Wednesday Scriptue-Led Writing Prompts. What a great way to meditate on God’s Word, pray, and journal!
As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Micah 7:7 NLT
As the sirens echo through my ears
And broadcast my fears
As my soul cries tears
I train my heart to turn to the One
Who is near
I look to the Lord for deliverance and care
I look to the One who fills me
When I am bare
Who loves me unfailingly and pursues me with mercy
I wait with confidence
On my God who saves
I pray with expectation
Faithfulness is the Ancient of Days
Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
Psalms 46:10 TPT
Tears slid down my cheeks as I walked hopelessly to the bus stop. It was another day of routine coated in restlessness. Another recognizably minor event, yet heavy and familiar enough to cause anxiety and allow the enemy to usher in doubt and lies that nothing will change, bombarded my morning. Feeling defeated left me in sobs and asking God “what is the evidence of what I am doing that it is actually working”. You may be saying the same thing and looking for evidence that your trying to remain faithful in the things and pursuit of God is not in vain. You may be striving for things and progress to make something happen that God can make happen in less time if you learn to trust and obey Him. You may be looking for evidence that God sees your pain and barrenness in the midst of your faithfulness and much sowing. And in all of this you may have spiritual relapses and doubt and sin may be creeping in. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness. He wants your undivided heart, not perfection, which is false and aimed for in our own strength. We can do nothing apart from God and God wants us to instead aim for spiritual maturity.
But as I walked on, the Holy Spirit patted me on the soul and comforted me to the bus stop. It was at work, tears no longer present, heaviness tucked away, and after my morning greetings with “how was your weekend” that God would answer me. Someone asked me if I was familiar with excel sheets and from there as I proceeded to try and help with her document, I realized again that God listens and answers, and even moreso He cares. She informed me that as I stood next to her desk that she was being led by God to encourage me. Some of the things she said was “you are not going to please everybody, God wants you to balance and know who you are.” And she also told me that I need to stop beating myself up. I teared up as she expressed what I knew what was God answering me through her.
Have you been feeling defeated? Are you having a hard time learning to rest in God? Are you realizing you haven’t been seeing yourself through the eyes of God? Are you beating yourself up and experiencing condemnation?
Know that God is listening to your heart, collecting your tears, and wanting to dialogue with you about everything that doesn’t just concerns His heart but your heart also. Know that there is a Comforter that brings you comfort and healing, guidance and hope. Know that the efficacy of the blood of Jesus still works and is efficient to do all what it was shed to do, and that is to save, protect, and deliver you.
While receiving this knowledge through the Word of God, proceed to take one day at a time and pray. Catch, check, and change every thought that does not line up with God’s word about you or your life. Hold on to your faith by the Word of God and the love of Christ. Press forward. And learn to be still at the same time. He says, “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). That means recognize who our holy, faithful and sovereign God is. And that means to stop striving and trying to run the universe; you are not qualified to do so mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, etc. It doesn’t mean to be passive or unproductive, but it does mean to learn to depend on God. Moreover, that also means learn to rest in Him for He will give you power, love, and a sound mind in the midst of busyness, trouble, chaos, distractions, and feelings of emerging hopelessnes.
Trust God and Set The Captive Free:
Seasons come and go but God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And He is good and faithful, periodtt.
What question(s) are you asking God today? Have quiet time with God and ask Him. And expect an answer.