From time to time I need a little inspiration. I find it in many places, but often watching inspirational YouTube videos encourages me to stay on track and keep the faith. Here’s one for the single ladies that I enjoy watching. I find it inspirational because I can relate to what Erica says especially with her being 38 at the time and going through clinging to relationships that should be cut off. I can also relate to the discontinuity in a relationship, the roller coaster relationship experience, the constant crying, sadness and absence of peace or trust. Some of these feelings are my issue but I also have to accept that part of the them may be God telling me that the man I was with wasn’t the one, no matter how much I want him to be. I’ve been in a place of knowing I should let go intellectually but my heart viciously rebels, in fact I’m there now! It hurts like heck and is extremely and utterly confusing, but we all know that God is not the author of confusion. So, what’s a girl to do when she wants nothing more than to be with the counterfeit or someone she isn’t sure about? The answer is simple but so very difficult and is always to listen to and give it to God and make the choice to follow His guidance, no matter how much it hurts.
Erika shares a wonderful and uplifting testimony (she also has an awesome pregnancy testimony) for anyone that wants to be a Godly wife to a Godly husband but is afraid of letting go of a current ‘situation’. Although all of our stories will be different, I pray that we all have wonderful testimonies to share with others in the upcoming chapters of our lives!
God bless & here’s to a purposeFULL life!
I received a very derogatory meme today from a guy that I was none too happy with. It could be that I am taking things too seriously and that I am highly sensitive or passionate about my stances but to say the least it irked me. From my view I could see the deeper meaning and sentimentality behind it and many other memes of its kind. The degradation, consistent exploitation and predatory mindset against femininity and womanhood as a whole.
There is a gentleness that comes with womanhood, a nurturing instinct that is needed to conceive and build a family. In other words God made us special! But most of what society brings to the table does little to reinforce these beautiful qualities because they are seen as weak instead of necessary or equal to many characteristics that are seen as masculine. Today women are expected to be hard and in many cases they embrace it by cultivating the culture of a ‘bad bitch’ that is then perpetuated from generation to generation. Sadly, one day we may look up and wonder where have all the true women gone?
The assault on my womanhood and crucial feminine characteristics is constant. Through music, television, social media and now from the people who should celebrate me! It’s disheartening, especially when women are passively accepting or ignorantly perpetuating the objectification. We can laugh off things like this meme as a joke, but collectively with all the other bullets, it is a negative massive overhaul of the female psyche because in the end words truly do have power. It is the constant tugging and pulling at our self-esteem and worth that breaks us down both mentally and spiritually.
We are women, daughters of Eve, mother of ALL living things, made in the likeness of God and woven from man. Our Adams should speak life into us, not kill us slowly with evil words or malicious names. That is not love and I pray for a world where it is considered ‘thirsty’ to long for genuine love and commitment or where a woman is abused and mocked for her gentleness, vulnerability and sensitivities. We must begin to learn and celebrate our womanhood, to teach our daughters (& other young ladies) the true treasure of being a lady. Ideally the world will learn to respect our womanhood even if they can’t comprehend its power.
Happy Valentines day!!! I love holidays and V-Day is no different. Although sometimes touted as a ploy to get people to spend ridiculous amounts of money, I’m just as happy making gifts and spending it watching movies with that special someone. This V-day I don’t have a significant other, but I will be spending it with someone extra-special to me! All this talk about love and relationships, got me thinking about the most important relationship in my life, my connection with God and how He shows his love for me. These are some ways that I know my heavenly father loves me (and you).
He provides: In the bible God tells us that He will supply our every need and that I need not worry about what I should eat or wear. Granted I am a shoeaholic so I do find myself obsessing about these things, but I don’t have to and I know that I shouldn’t! There have been days where I’m extremely low on funds (I’m talking $1 in my account low) and I’ll get a free lunch or someone will give me money they owe me, once I even received an unexpected check in the mail. Although I’m not weatlhy by any stretch of the world, I’m rich because I’m blessed to have a heavenly father that provides the necessities of life and then some. (Matthew 6:26, Philippians 4:19)
He protects: There are many examples in the bible of God protecting the Israelites and from what I know He will do the same thing for us today as His children. God tells us that He will fight for us and He will even send angels to protect us if need be. I can remember once when I was stuck on the side of the road, as cars whizzed by I was extremely apprehensive about getting out but not even two minutes after pulling over a tow truck came to help me. I hadn’t called anyone and didn’t have to worry about a thing, God had me and sent one of His angels to protect me. (Exodus 14:14, Romans 12:19, Psalm 91:1-16, Psalm 34:7)
He chastises: This one is a hard pill to swallow because who in their right mind likes to be chastised?! But usually when I do something wrong, tell a lie (I’m not a great liar anyway) or am into something I shouldn’t be, I’m usually paying the consequences fairly quickly! The bible tells us that God loves those that He chastises because those are His children. When you were a child and did wrong your parent or guardian would have probably scolded or at least let you know where you went wrong out of concern and love. Our parents were put here to love us by God so it’s easy to see how much more does God love us. (Hebrews 12:16, Proverbs 3:12)
He says so: I can remember a time when I didn’t read the bible for myself and believed whatever the priest (I was raised Catholic) or someone else told me about God so I didn’t know my father. But since reading for myself, Gods love for little old me has becomes more real to me every day (if that makes sense). It has become an easier concept to take hold of because there was a time when I didn’t even know that I could have an intimate relationship with God as a father or lover of my soul. To me He had been this great unapproachable being that ruled with an iron fist and I was just trying to get through this life to heaven by being a perfect person that did not wrong, or at least tried to most of the time. When I did do wrong I would beat myself up worse than either of my parents could punish me. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to be perfect for Him to love me because He knew I wasn’t, after all He created made me that way! Through reading His word I’ve learned so much about the type of relationship God wants with me and what He has done to have that connection with me. It is still astonishing and sometimes hard for my brain to wrap around the fact that such a great God would deem me special enough to call me daughter. That to me is a miracle in itself and I thank Him. (Romans 8:35-39, 1John 4:16, Luke 12:7)
He rewards: of course we get the ultimate reward when we get to heaven, but until then the earthly rewards are more than enough. If we continue to reap we will be rewarded. There are also times when God wants us to be still and know. If we listen and submit to God’s will we will see the fruits of listening to our heavenly father. I can remember going through a period of waiting for a job, it was 8 months before I got one. I went through depression, anger and eventually acceptance. Although I never stopped submitting job applications, I held on to the fact that what I was going through at the time was God’s will. I studied my bible, watched shows related to getting to know God and practically nothing else (that may be excessive but it was what I needed at the time). When I got a job I was so ecstatic because it was just the type of job I had asked for, God always comes through! (Hebrews 6:10, Galatians 6:9)
He forgives: God sent His son to die for us, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and washed away our sins. God is quick to forgive us and because He is love and love keeps no records of wrongs, our slates are clean once we repent (confess and turn away from that particular sin completely). Many times we have a hard time forgiving (at least I know I have), but we must as followers of God so that He can forgive us as we do others. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)
He never give’s up on us: I have been a wishy washy Christian for a lot of my years here on earth (I wrote about that here). But whenever I return to God, He is there. He is not angry with me, He doesn’t push me away or make me feel bad but He embraces and loves on me. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone let’s you know that ‘they told you so’ or turns their back on you because they feel like you walked away from them, it’s a horrible feeling especially if all you wanted was acceptance and love. But human’s make horrible gods obviously, so thank God for our heavenly father who will never leave or forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6, James 4:8, Luke 15:1-7)
Also take note that all the ways God shows His love are ways that we can show others love as well. Have a happy valentines day and love on:)
Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with an associate. The conversation started out fine but somehow took a wrong turn once he found out I had recently broken up with my boyfriend. Once this little tidbit of information was leaked he jumped at the opportunity to tell me how I’m too old to wait for marriage, how slim the pickings were and the odds not in my favor. I entertained the conversation until he informed me that I should consider making a drastic change to my dating style, which included getting back with my previous ex because my parents liked him, dating a thug, dating one of his friends (who he had previously described as gorillas ) because I apparently need a more aggressive guy in my life, and considering the possibility of divulging in one night stands just so that I didn’t waste my time on someone that doesn’t quite measure up (his words exactly) as he gestured towards his privates! At this point all I could do was laugh and think to myself devil be gone! But I did agree with him on one thing, the fact that a change was needed!
Although yes I do want to be married I can’t for the life of me figure out why men and apparently society in general think women are so desperate to be married. I told him that I was in no rush and if it happened it happened, if not I’ve asked God to make me okay with that and I’ll have to adjust accordingly. I’ve also asked God to keep counterfeits away from me! I did not tell my associate that within a couple days if breaking up with my ex I had been asked on a date and gotten a call from my previous boyfriend wanting to rekindle our relationship. What I’m saying is that there are men out there, even if society tells us there is a shortage. I’m not buying into statistical scare tactics because I know I’m worth the wait & my husband is too. It only takes one awesome guy to recognize how special I am and he’ll come along at the right time God willing regardless of what the studies show.
The change that I’m making is to focus on other things, Jesus being my main focus while also working on strengthening my friendships and familial bonds, seeking Gods guidance on single motherhood (I’m looking into adoption & IVF) and pursuing my career. Meanwhile I’ll take the lessons I’ve learned and use them to better myself so that whatever God has in store for my future be it marriage or single motherhood I’ll be at my best.
It is estimated that one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence and that about 2 million men per year beat their partners.* As a woman these statics are scary but as someone that has experienced abuse at the hands of a significant other it is painful to know that there are so many women and men going through such trauma. In my case our arguments and fights escalated, from verbal ridicule to me lying at the bottom of the stairs being repeatedly kicked in the stomach wondering how in the world I got here. I’m sure this is a question that many women (and men) ask themselves when they are stunned by the blow of physical and emotional violence. It’s confusing when the person that you love and that claims to love you is the one that hurts you the most.
My experience came with my first real relationship which only lasted six years, but scarred me for many more. I learned to fight dirty and adapted a take no holds barred attitude, which I carried with me to other relationships as I was determined to remain in control. In my baggage I also toted a lot of unforgiveness, mistrust, hatred against men, anger and resentment. Needless to say, I was bitter for a while and I do believe that it contributed to one of the reasons that I have been single or in perpetual girlfriend status for so long. I simply would not allow myself to be loved. In some instances I even noticed that I became the abuser verbally as I can be vicious with my words. Hindsight truly is 20/20 and I wish that I knew the things I know now about letting go of the past, practicing forgiveness and loving yourself while going through that experience. So, these are six things I would have told my younger self and anyone currently in an intimate violent situation.
Get out NOW: Run like the wind, I know it’s cliché but I mean this very seriously! If nothing else to put some distance between you and the aggressor until they can seek the help needed. Even then watch their actions closely before returning. As someone who experienced it first hand, I can truly tell you that unless help is sought most likely things will only get worse. Recognize the fact that you can make the decision to leave, there are women all over the world that don’t have that option or aren’t given the chance.
Better yourself, NOW: Don’t wait for years to pass you by, if you have to get therapy do so, there is no shame in seeking help. Don’t worry about what others will think and do what’s needed to become a more complete you. I spent six years in a horrible relationship and the next nine to ten engulfed in bitterness and an attitude that was truly counter productive to the life I said I wanted to live. That’s approximately sixteen years of my life wasted in useless practices. Don’t make that mistake!
Seek out support, NOW: If it’s good friends, a family member or a domestic violence support group definitely don’t go through it alone. Do not remain isolated and think that you have to do everything on your own. Seek out supportive people that you can lean on when you’re weak and that you know will be there for you through it all.
Take back your power, NOW: Going through some of the things I have in the past with men, it was easy for me to blame them and use those experiences as excuses for my current actions and problems. I became extremely comfortable playing the victim role. Having a victim mentality only served to place me further into an unproductive state and allowed those instances to form an even stronger hold over my life and future. Yes, being in a violent relationship can be extremely traumatizing but eventually you will have to move past it if you want to live an empowered and victorious life.
Get to know God, NOW: I’m sure had I been where I needed to be on my walk with God, I never would have placed myself in such a horrible situation. Even if I had, I would have had a foundation needed to recuperate in a healthier manner. Reading the bible has helped me become a better person and the standards of God’s words are priceless when put into action.
Practice forgiveness, NOW: In my case it took me a looooonnnng while to totally forgive and honestly this would still be a hard one for me to do immediately. So maybe this is more of a now or later piece of advice, but either way somewhere down the line forgiveness must be extended. What helped me finally be able to release and forgive was to recognize some of the reasons he was prone to exhibiting anger in such a violent manner. I also had to take responsibility for my role in the reason we interacted so explosively as a couple. Some people say it helps to picture that person as a hurting child and tackle it from that perspective. Maybe they had a horrible childhood and violence was all they knew or they have some deeply imbedded insecurities. While not excusing their actions, recognizing their flaws and possible reasons for the reactions may assist with making forgiveness an easier process.
be light, be love, be blessed
Useful domestic violence links:
*National coalition against domestic violence and U.S Justice Department