Today I would like to ask you to take a moment of silence to remember those who have recently lost their lives to mass shootings in the United States (May 14 – 24, 2022):
Buffalo, New York (Supermarket) May 14, 2022 10 lives taken
Laguna Woods, California (Church) May 15, 2022 1 life taken
Uvalde, Texas (Elementary School) May 24, 2022 21 lives taken
Prayers for their loved ones who are heartbroken and confused. Prayers for those who are saddened, hurt and angered by those who fail to recognize and address the racial and ethnical issues we have in the U.S.; as well as the gun violence that continues to plague the United States. As much as I desire to see the good in everyone, I’m actually beginning to believe that some people are incapable of love, empathy and compassion. Because if they were, they would care more about lives than their agendas.
I have to remain hopeful or I will become like them.
How often have you said, “Thy will be done,” lately? Me, I haven’t. Haven’t said it in a while. I used to say it all of the time, especially when I set out to do something new – new job, new venture, new collaborations, new relationships. I used to pray and ask God if it were in His will to allow it to happen and if not, please allow it to pass. Well, what happened? Why did I stop using my disclaimer (that’s what I call it)?
The answer that comes to mind – I thought I could force whatever I wanted into something that would fit God’s will. I saw the vision. I somewhat know the purpose. However, instead of waiting on God before moving, I thought I would make my own moves to get there. For someone who is always talking about allowing God to lead, I seem to keep falling short in certain areas. It’s as if I do not trust Him with certain aspects of my life. I know that whenever I say, “Thy will be done,” it opens up the doors for any and everything that could possibly happen. In other words, it frightens me. I have witnessed people lose loved ones, become paralyzed, get cancer, and so much more. To me, and I am just being honest, saying that one phrase opens the door for unknown (sometimes bad) things to happen. You could become ill like Job (in the Bible) or get hit with a life that you did not want, something miserable. As I wrote those last few words, God reminded me that Job’s story did not end with him being down. Because of his faithfulness and unwavering belief in God, God restored everything he lost and added more. Job did not live out the rest of his days sick and down, he lived a happy life.
So, who is to say that my worst days are not behind me. Maybe I have already seen my worst. Up until a year or so ago, I used my disclaimer quite often, and God always saw me through the tough times – ALWAYS. Therefore, I must believe that the best is still to come, not the worst. I have to know that saying, “Thy will be done,” releases the shackles I have placed on God and will allow Him to do great things in my life. It is not in His will for me to suffer but to be prosperous. However, I must believe this. And I know from experience, if I only imagine the worst, I will never be open to receive the good. Been through this before. It’s all about mindset.
Didn’t feel like writing this morning. Was going to post a statement about accountability and be done. One of my words for 2020 was consistent and boy am I trying to remain consistent. My other word was sustainable. As we know, you cannot have anything sustainable if you’re not willing to be consistent. Which often means showing up when you don’t feel like it. Anyhoo.. I found this Facebook memory from March 3, 2019 and thought I’d share.
“Good Morning! Here’s today’s social media find. No matter how long it takes, keep holding on. Don’t throw in the towel. I love this quote because it’s so real. It seems like the closer you are to your dream being manifested, the more excuses and doubts fill your head. Whatever calling, or purpose, you have on your life, God will equip you to fulfill it. This is something I have to remind myself of when I start having doubts about what I know I’m supposed to do. Although tempted [to quit], don’t do it (in Joe’s voice😉). God will equip you with everything you need for all occasions. Have a blessed day.”
I’m here to encourage you (and myself– yes, I needed this message too) to remain steadfast. If you’re like me– you’re tired, you want to throw in the towel, or you just don’t feel like trying anymore– don’t give up!
Y’all, I needed this message this morning. Thankful for Facebook memories. Yesterday I posted, “Hang in there. You are stronger and more powerful than you think.” It was a message for yesterday. However, I’m pretty certain it’s definitely a message for future Shaun.
Listen, stay encouraged because God is working. He’s always working.
I really should be asleep, but since I’m awake I’ll write. Was having a crazy dream about the rock band KISS, rappers Kid n Play, and eating dry cornbread in some fancy hotel room. Woke up coughing and reaching for water. I bet I can’t find KISS, Kid n Play, or dry cornbread in one of those dream book. Y’all, even while asleep, I’m being entertained. Gotta love life!
Anyhoo.. Yesterday I came across a photo I had taken at a conference. It was a picture of one of the speakers’ slides which read, “Preparation. Protection. Promotion.” I remember the speaker saying these are the steps God takes us through each time we embark on something new. First, we’re prepped for it. Meaning, we go through all kinds of tests and trials until God believes we’re ready to move to the next phase- Protection.
God’s protection zone is usually uncomfortable because it’s where nothing appears to be happening. You’re still in the preparation phase but you think you’re ready to shine. You know, it’s where you keep saying, “God, I’m ready!” and He responds with, “Not yet.” I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve gone through years of saying “I’m ready, Lord.” Only to hear Him say, “Be still. Not yet.” I’ve learned from experience that when He says to be still, I need to be still. It means I’m being protected. His method of protection reminds me of a parent protecting a child from touching something hot. The parent constantly tells the child not to touch the object because they’ll get burned. But once the parent turns their back, the child touches it. Lol. As I said, I’ve learned from experience to listen.
The protection phase isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s where you get to make mistakes and no one seems to notice. You get to try what works and what doesn’t work. I guess you can say it’s the “trial and error” phase of the journey. The only problem I’ve had with this phase is that, it some situations, it can become too comfortable. Sometimes it becomes so comfortable that when God says it’s go time, you refuse to move. You make excuses for not moving forward. As usual, I’m not just writing this for you; as I write, God is speaking to me, too.
So, once God says you’re ready– which, from my experience, is when you feel the least prepared– comes the promotion. Promotion is scary, yet exhilarating; especially if you like adventures! However, promotion comes with a cost. Promotion comes with more exposure. More vulnerability. More responsibilities. As Biggie said, “Mo money, mo problems.” However, as Fred Hammond said, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Y’all, I’m so grateful I have God in my corner. When the problems come, or I encounter situations that seem unbearable, He reminds me that I can handle anything that’s thrown my way because I’m His child. I’m royalty!
This year I’m walking into new adventures standing tall knowing that God’s with me every step of the way. Ready or not Shaun, it’s game time!
As always, thanks for reading my early morning ramblings. Now it’s time to go back to sleep.
Seems like the older I become the more death seems to bother me. I’m not saying I wasn’t bothered by it before, but it was just different. When I was younger I believed I would live forever. Now that I’m almost 50, I see things differently. I often feel like I’m in a race against time. Will I achieve my goals before death takes me away from here? I try not to think about death, but it’s hard not to. A week ago, one of my mom’s long-time friends passed. Two weeks before that, a couple my family used to attend church with, died within days of each other. Their son and I were classmates. Then, two days before Ms. Cicely Tyson passed, one of my friends texted me that her dad had just passed unexpectedly. It’s like death is lurking everywhere. Honestly, it’s becoming a little too much.
Y’all, I have so many questions that only God can answer. Am I in a race against death? Will I die before I achieve my goals? Will I live to see my dreams come to fruition? What is God’s definition of “fulfilling your purpose”? Because I believe we could possibly have two completely different definitions. Sometimes I feel like I should stop pursuing my dreams, goals, and purpose, and just settle where I am. You know, just be content with what is. I mean, it would be less stressful. Less time consuming. Less heartbreaking. Less complicated. So why do I want more? Why do I continue to live as if I have 50+ years ahead of me? Why am I still moving forward as if I can have anything imaginable? Why?
Today’s one of those days that I just don’t feel like writing. Honestly, I’m tired. I’m emotionally and mentally drained. The events that took place on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol did a number on me. I anticipated a few fights, maybe some vandalism of local businesses, but I was not prepared for the rest. What happened hurt my heart and soul. It wasn’t only the insurrection that took place, but the brutal reality that racial inequality still plagues our nation and people still seem oblivious to it. How can they still not notice? It was on display for the whole world to see. Never would a peaceful protest by Black people (yeah- I’m ONLY focusing on Black people) been met with such niceties and respect. From here on, I have nothing for those who choose to ignore the racial inequalities and inequities in our country. Nothing! I will no longer waste my time and energy trying to get people (Whites and Blacks– because there are a few) to understand the injustices Black people face on a daily basis. I’m done!
As you can see, I’m pretty emotional and hurt right now, so I’m going to end this. Yeah, today isn’t a good day for writing. Today I plan to disengage from social media and surround myself with positive vibes and love on my kids. I’m remaining hopeful that most people want change.
Next Sunday will be better. Please enjoy your day!