Yesterday was very long and draining— mentally and emotionally. So, I reinstalled my social media apps with the intention of only posting my blog and managing business accounts. Needless to say, I fell right back into the same trap as before. I could not stop scrolling through the stories. Some of the stories were horrifying– people being tear gassed, looters destroying stores and properties, and people crying for justice. While other stories offered hope– law enforcement officers marching alongside protesters, white friends and colleagues recognizing and denouncing racism, and people being blessed in the midst of this madness. All of it was so overwhelming.
Some time during my scrolling and crying, I fell asleep. When I awoke, I had this song stuck in my head, I Surrender All. Growing up, we would sing it during alter calls (part of church services where people asked for prayer). The song says:
I surrender all I surrender all All to Thee, my Blessed Savior I surrender all
Y’all, I needed this reminder. For the sake of my sanity, I have to surrender all to God. For the sake of humanity, we must surrender all. There is a scripture in the Bible that reads:
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22
Today is June 1, 2020. It is the first day of my birthday month. Although my birthday falls towards the end of the month, I am usually celebrating right now. Everyone who knows me knows I love my birthdays! Y’all, right now I should be happily planning my celebration and counting down the days; however, I am not. This year, for the first time since I was a little girl, I am not excited. Do not get me wrong, I am grateful.. very grateful, but not excited.
Honestly, how can I celebrate while our county is in turmoil? We are outraged about the murders of our black men and women by the hands of those who swore to protect and serve our citizens. We are angry about injustices black and brown people face daily due to systemic, overt, and subtle racism. We are angry because we are angry! Believe me, this is not the country our forefathers imagined. They would be devastated to know that we are still fighting for civil rights in 2020. When will it end?
So, this year, instead of spending time planning my celebration, I am going to spend it praying for our nation. Yes, I believe in the power of prayer because GOD is still in control. My prayer is that God places His arms of protection around our families, friends, and neighbors. That He breaks down ALL negative barriers to include hatred, racism, anger, and divisiveness; and that He unites our nation through love and peace. Y’all, I truly believe, with my whole heart and soul, that love conquers all. I am not saying that bad things will not happen or evil will never exist. However, I do believe that there is more good in this world, than bad. I refuse to believe otherwise. Praying. . .
I needed to write. Writing helps me process my feelings, especially when I am sad, confused or angry. Up until this point, I have not written anything about George Floyd’s murder, or any of the aftermath. Not even in my journal. Which is pretty odd. I keep telling myself I need to document this. But I have not been able to write. I guess it is because I cannot log off social media. I go from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, then back to Twitter. The stories are so overwhelming, yet so mesmerizing. It is like I am here, but not here. I need to get a grip.
In the midst of all of my thoughts this morning, a song came to mind. A song that I used to listen to as a child— This Too Will Pass, by the late Reverend James Cleveland. The song says:
I’ve had heartaches like this before, and I’ve had disappointments by the score. I claim the victory at last. This too will pass. The sun will shine, it can’t rain all the time. The clouds are gray, will soon have to pass away.
Guess what– this too will pass. God is working. Brighter days are coming. Be blessed!
This picture only represents a snippet of the relationship I have with my friend, T. Only using her initial because she does not like people in her business. Believe me, I am not crazy! Anyhoo… T and I met in culinary school 20 years ago. Yes, in 2000. Honestly, I do not know how we became friends. She was a comic book collector and loved Fred G. Sanford, Redd Foxx’s character on Sanford & Son. Y’all, Fred was hilarious! So, when I think about it, maybe it was her references to Fred that drew me to her. I mean, not a day went by that she did not say, “You know what Fred would say.” That was 20 years ago. To this day, Fred always ends up in our conversations. ALWAYS!
As with my other friends, I believe our friendship has lasted because we give each other space; or, maybe it is because they give me space. Hmmm…something to think about. Anyway, most people would not believe that T and I live 20 minutes from each other and only physically see each other once a year. Sometimes it is longer than that. We keep in touch through texts. Y’all, I am so happy texting was invented. For real! However, unlike my other friends, T texts me daily. Every morning she texts me a scripture from the Bible, and sometimes she includes inspirational messages. Now, I am not going to lie, I am not that consistent. I might text her something once or twice a week. But she ALWAYS sends me something inspirational, daily.
This morning, she sent the text in the picture along with a scripture. When God placed us together 20 years ago, He knew we would still be friends today. Forever grateful to have her in my life.
Since I am up thinking about it, I might as well write about it.
The other day I wrote about trust. I admitted that trust was my biggest issue and that trust in romantic relationships was probably the worst. Well, last night on Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong, one of the characters, Natalie, was dealing with the same exact issue– trust. You see, Natalie and Lushion (her fiancé) have been together for several years now, and she still does not trust him. During last night’s episode, she allowed someone to put doubt in her mind about Lushion’s faithfulness. Instead of remaining calm, and thinking things through, she allowed doubt and fear get the best of her. Which caused her to make a few irrational decisions. I know that was only a show, but things like that happens in real life, every day!
Then, this morning, as I was laying in bed, I kept replaying the scenes over and over in my head. For those who know me, know I love to tweet during my shows. Well, last night I was tweeting things like, “Natalie, trust your man!” and “Trust Lushion!!” Which is so ironic because I have trust issues, too. Hilarious! It is funny how it is easier to give advice to others, but so difficult to follow that same advice.
When I think about it, my trust issues began long before I was in a relationship. It began while watching other women in relationships– my mom, stepmom, grandma, aunts and family friends. As a child, I watched their relationships like I was watching a good soap opera. Basically, I was all up in their business. You know the phrase, “stay out of grown folks business”? Well, I believe it was coined just for me. I was ALWAYS up in somebody’s business. I used to watch how the women would light up when their significant others would do something special for them. Unfortunately for most, it never lasted long. Eventually, I saw them down, and sometimes depressed. You know… whenever he looked at someone else or stopped calling or visiting. During that time, I also witnessed a lot of abuse. So when I decided I was ready to give love a try, I proceeded with caution.
The first guy I seriously considered dating was this guy in my church. Back then, he was dating almost every girl in the church. So when he finally became interested in me, I was reluctant to take the bait. So reluctant that while I was contemplating giving him a chance, he got with another girl. Talk about heartbreaking. But in the end it was all for the best. Let’s just say, I dodged a major bullet. He had a lot of issues.
Side note: Here is a prayer I used to pray: “Lord, if it is not for me, please do not give it to me. I do not care how much I beg and plead, do not give it to me. And let me be okay with it.”
Well, God always kept His end of the deal. However, I overrode His warnings so many times. Look, I will admit, sometimes I just want what I want. I will ignore the warnings and go after whatever it is. Yes.. that’s me– Shaun. With that said, I am finally learning to listen to and wait on God. Y’all, I am so grateful for His mercy and grace.
As usual, I got sidetracked. Ugh! Trust. I have only been in four relationships. The first three left me wondering what was wrong with me. Why did they choose someone else? My first boyfriend went back to his ex. My second boyfriend married his ex. But then again, I am not sure if they ever really broke up. Guess I was always the side chick. The third… now that was just a bad decision all together. So many lies. But you know what, I cannot be mad. Again, I dodged all kinds of bullets by them leaving me. Today, none of them are with the person they left me for. All I have to say is, God is so good! Of course I was hurt at the time, but looking back, and now seeing how things turned out in their lives, I am so grateful God removed them from my life.
Now the fourth relationship was with my ex-husband. As I have written many times before, he was the rebound guy. He was the total opposite of the others. I was not in love with him. I saw him as the safe guy. My thought was, if I get with him, I will never be hurt. That was a lie. During our first year of marriage, I went out of town for a week only to return home to several calls from a number I did not recognize. As I scrolled through the caller ID (we had house phones back then) I noticed that several calls were received around 2 and 3 a.m. I was like, “I know this is not happening again!” Unlike with the other guys, I confronted him. I asked who was calling him that early in the morning. He said it was the wrong number. I was like, “Really?? Several times?!” So I called the number and his little friend picked up. The first thing I did was ask for her name. Of course she gave me some bogus name. But I already knew who she was. You see, he had been talking about her a few weeks earlier. Crazy, huh!! Well, the joke was on me. The safe guy was not so safe after all. Lol! Unfortunately, I was around five months pregnant and decided to stay. I mean, what were my chances of finding someone who would want to be in a relationship with someone with two kids (my daughter was 8 at the time). A few years ago, he told me that he got me pregnant on purpose because he did not want me to leave him. Wow!
Today, I am looking for a person without any red flags. I know, I am probably not being realistic. However, I am looking for someone who is God-fearing, honest, dependable, trustworthy, and loves me and only me. HA!! Sounds like a want ad– BUT it’s not. And of course I have to love him, too. Y’all, I am just too old for infatuation or lust, so it has to be real love. (Can’t y’all hear Mary J. Blige singing Real Love. I can. Lol!)
Anyhoo.. this was much longer than I expected. Probably going to delete a few things before I publish it. Or perhaps I should publish it as written. I believe the unedited versions are always better. Enjoy your day!
Decided to start my day early. I can finally hear birds chirping. I also hear cars driving in the distance. However, things are pretty still and quiet in my house. Well, besides the hum of the refrigerator. You know what… I think I will sit here for a few more minutes and just be. Yeah.. just BE.