As I Look Back Over The Decade…I Got A Testimony

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end vs their beginning of the decade comparisons. This prompted me to review my decade and as I also looked at my 2019 vision board, I realized that God has been good. He is always good but sometimes the Holy Spirit need to give you a reminder. I saw some things on my vision board have been and are steadily being accomplished. And all glory goes to God!

I am also reminded some battles are not to be conquered in one fight but over a period of time so we can learn to depend on God. So some things may have seeped over into 2020 but be encouraged. I am speaking to myself too.

This decade, I became a homeowner and a parent/caregiver to a relative. I also started my online t-shirt business (on hiatus now and I am in prayer about it) and wrote and published three books within this decade. I was able to learn and grow professionally and spiritually. I healed from heartbreak and realized some of my deal breakers. I made it through betrayal and learned what true forgiveness looks like.

Instead of hiding it, I became more transparent in my struggles with anxiety and fear, especially with those I love. I also got my driver’s license in this decade and got acknowledged at work for my contributions. I saw my students grow and step out of their comfort zones. I bore fruit even during difficult seasons and impacted others in ways I could not have done without God. I also battled debt and high property taxes and saw God provide.

I learned I needed better self-care, I needed to set boundaries, and I needed to learn that I can’t earn God’s love. My family and I overcame some things I thought my family and I would not survive. I also learned that it is crucial to see things from God’s perspective. I journaled in my note pad like crazy. I did self-assessments prompted from bible plans and self-reflection. I blogged. I led a women’s group and bible study and we learned about waiting with God and learning to trust Him. I maintained a gratitude journal.

I travelled to New York with friends for the first time. I had a ball and it was such a faithcation. I went to a Christian concert at the House of Blues by myself and had a ball. I went to a Christian Education Retreat twice. I learned some awesome things. I learned about trauma care and self-love. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for a college tour, thanks to my job. Last year, my family and I found a cool, inexpensive place to travel to that is peaceful and a train ride away from home, thanks to not having at the time the money to go on vacation. I saw my family grow and get closer. I got such an awesome birthday gift in 2018; my youngest niece was born on my birthday.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid training for those who work with youth and realized also my mental health is important. I realized some of your battles people won’t understand and some blessings and successes people won’t cheer with you. The latter one broke my heart. I did the thing that rattles my nerves and spoke at a few events. I took deep breaths. I had anxiety attacks. I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I exercised here and there, valued my love for walking, and realized the importance of stretching every day. I worked on building my confidence. I started wearing a little concealer and foundation (something I thought I would never wear) and embraced my thick eyebrows. I learned how to do my own crochet hair styles. However, I still don’t know how to crochet a scarf. I gave up. I will try again this year. I learned that I enjoyed preparing Bible study lessons because I love God’s Word and preparing a lesson helps me to break it down for myself also. I learned that I can’t do everything or be everything, and that is okay. I learned that sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I prayed for God to teach me full surrender. I talked with Him about being afraid and not feeling like I could make it some days. I have a ways to go but I am not where I started. And although I ended this year still feeling anxious, I survived. I thank God for being my Father, my friend, my provider, my coach, and my protector. I also thank Him for being patient with me and loving me through every season, imperfection, fear, and triumph. May I lean into God evermore this year and decade not for what God can give me or do, but for who He is. I am nothing without Him and can’t do anything without Him. I am more than a conqueror. I am grateful.

Do You Have A Chip On Your Shoulder

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.

  • Get therapy and build a support system or find a support group and build a support system.
  • Face the truth. Receive the truth. If there is a problem, are you avoiding it? Where do you need healing? What boundaries do you need to set? Do you have anger issues? What are your insecurities shouting? What in this world is bothering you? You can take the answer to this and work towards being a part of the solution and it can lead you to your purpose.
  • Embark on a healing journey. Ask God to show you what that looks like. What do you need to heal from, and work towards facing, releasing it in a healthy manner, and growing from? Get scriptures about healing in the particular areas you need healing in.
  • Make a choice to heal and to grow daily .
  • Practice self control and feeling your emotions and then stewarding over them in a healthy way. If you are angry, don’t hold it in but find ways to release it in a safe and healthy way. You can also practice calming techniques such as counting to ten or taking deep breaths until you can sift through the anger, address or find the problem, and then find the solutions.

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?

Life and Life More Abundantly

Hey ya’ll! Here is a Late Post for a Throwback Thursday.

Have you received what God has already made available through His Son, Jesus? Are you living or just existing?

October Experience
I am so excited to even type this. Last Monday, stage lights of orange, red, purple and blue took their turns illuminating the musicians and artists as they sang and led us into prayer, praise and worship. It was amazing; I got to check “attend Worship/Christian concert” off of my bucket list that I had written solely in my head. Oh, I also met a new friend who too came alone to the Kim Walker-Smith (w/Chris Quilala and Urban Rescue) concert. She shared with me her testimony about beginning her healing journey after losing her husband a year ago. Her quest to do something new or something she hasn’t done in awhile each month was amazing to hear.
And before the concert, I had just attended a Christian Educators’ retreat that weekend. Although I incurred an injury to my face while attempting to play baseball during free time, I still had an amazing time there too with the worship services and sessions on restorative practices, trauma care, ACES Study, and rights as a Christian in the education field. There were loads of knowledge.
Attending both the retreat and concert gave me the opportunity to not only invest in the kingdom of God and support my siblings in Christ but to also challenge my comfort zone, gain knowledge about restoration, and learn more vulnerability. Moreover, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience God’s love.

After the retreat and concert, I was off with my sisters-in-Christ to experience New York and have a little faithcation full of opportunities to elevate my faith and learn to trust God. It sounds like I have been having a great time, doesn’t it?! Yes I have, but before these awesome experiences, I faced some challenges I didn’t think I would survive. Moreover, I have been dealing with something that can rob you of the experiences and joy I was experiencing this month. Had it not been for God showing me the power of His Word, I don’t think I would have had this testimony.

Fear
Fear had been rising in me lately like yeast in bread and I had been dealing with it over the years. I thought I had overcome it but now realize it has been gripping me like never before. I didn’t realize fear can manifest in many ways and in different stages, and build in different areas of your life. God delivered me from depression but now fear was back and in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It also appeared in the form of people-pleasing, lack of confidence, and lack of trust in God.

The mind wars, emotional drainage, the worrying, the trying to keep life perfect as well as busyness were other symptoms of fear. Literally, things would trigger my past fears or create new ones. On the outside, I am looking like I am holding it all together and all is well and behind the scenes I am, on some days, waking up crying and feeling hopeless. But I am a believer of Jesus, a joint heir, a sibling of Jesus, and God is my Father and the Holy Spirit dwells in me. So, why am I walking timidly through life and not fully walking in the freedom of Christ Jesus?

John 10:10
This summer I came across the scripture through my daily devotional reading. I had read it numerous times but this time I heard it! John 10:10

Jesus came that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. Now life here isn’t just any old life but the life that only Jesus can bring. It is NOT a life which Jesus becomes a genie in the bottle and wealth is hoarded. It is true life that is equipped with eternal treasures that the world cannot provide. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, it came with His life and a covenant between us and Him. It came with unfailing love, grace, joy, and freedom.

So why haven’t I walked in this fact consistently and received fully what GOD gave me through His Son?
Here are some reasons why:

  • I am listening to what others and the thief says. The devil is the father of lies and I keep listening to what he says about me instead of what God says about me.
  • I am not walking in the authority of Jesus.
  • I didn’t realize how valuable I am to God.
  • I had to begin to develop a grateful attitude.
  • I had to begin living my life in pursuit of God.
  • I have to surrender and come to the end of myself. Every area of my life belongs to Jesus.
  • I had to begin to make God my first priority.
  • I had to begin growing in my love walk.
  • I had to start to intentionally invest in God’s kingdom.
  • It is easy to go hibernate or hide under a rock when wounded, drained, or just need thinking and alone time. I had to remember that life is about relationship and discipleship and I can’t always isolate myself.
  • I had to learn to receive and not just give. I had to even learn to receive from God for myself.
  • I had to learn that life is a process, becoming spiritually mature is a process, and my faith walk is a process.

I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth.

Now I am on a mission, to live simply, fruitfully, and purposefully. I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth. That life He was talking about was already provided for and given to me so now it is up to me to claim what became mine through my covenantal relationship with Jesus.

He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith.

I want to live and let Jesus continue on in His work through me. Life can be tough and life is not perfect. We are not perfect. Life can also be scary from time to time but God did not give me or you a spirit of fear, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith. He doesn’t want us with neither countenances of despair nor visages of defeat. He want us to realize who we are in Christ Jesus and how valuable we are that He would give His only begotten Son to die for us and give us life and life to the full.