Thanking God for life. I had written an entirely different blog and decided to save it for another day or space. Today I would like to focus on God’s greatnesses.
Y’all, I am always amazed at how God works. How He connects the puzzle pieces of life. This is one reason I write and document everything. It allows me to go back and review past events and follow God’s work. If you do not journal, search your social media posts or look at old photos. See where you were a year ago, three years ago, or even ten years ago and compare it to where you are today.
Some of you might believe life is worse now than it was before. While some of you are finally living your best life. For me, life is definitely better. However, even during my lowest moments (documented in journal entries), certain aspects of my life were really good. When I suffered financial losses, my relationship with my children became stronger. During relationship problems, I grew closer to God. Problems at work, I expanded my knowledge. Y’all, there were always positive moments during adversities, heartbreaks and disappointments. I could not see it then, but I do now. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.
Now, do not get me wrong, I am not saying that life is so good that I do not have disappointing and heartbreaking moments because that would be a lie (in Maury’s voice- lol). It is in those moments that I refer back to where I was, compared to where I am now. God saw me through everything then and He continues to do the same today. So yeah.. life is definitely better.
Character: the mental or moral qualities distinctive to an individual
Over the past week, or anytime something major happens, and I do not respond or react the way others do, I begin to question myself. Like– Am I not normal? Is there something wrong with me? Why am I not visibly outraged like everyone else? I care. I feel. I am angry. I am disgusted and disappointed and frustrated. I am all of these things. Yet, people may never know it because I do not show it. Why? Hmm… It finally dawned on me that I am not that person. That is not who I am. So why force myself to respond like others if it does not come naturally. Y’all, it is not my character.
I can think of so many incidents throughout my life where people have told me how they would have reacted differently to the same situations. For example– just because I feel like writing– when I was in my early twenties, I had gotten off work early and stopped by my boyfriends place to surprise him. Little did I know, I was the one in for a surprise. I found him in bed with another girl. I stood beside the bed and causally asked them a few questions, like- “What are y’all doing?” “Why didn’t you lock the door?” You know, questions anyone would ask. After receiving my answers, I sat down and waited for her to leave. Y’all, I remember this big brass lamp being on the nightstand. For a second, I considered bashing his head in. Yep… I could visualize the entire scene. However, I chose to remain calm. Even our conversation afterwards was calm. He kept saying things like, “I know you want to hit me,” and “Just let me have it!” If “Boy, bye” was a phrase back then, I would have definitely used it. Every time I tell someone this story, they tell me that they would have responded differently. Most say they would have fought him and the girl. But why?? Was I hurt? YES!! I thought I was in love with him. But, the consequences that would have resulted from that moment of gratification, would have been costly.
Now, have I ever acted out of character before? HA!! Of course! When I was ACTING! Whenever I have to give people what they expect, it is called acting. And y’all, I hate acting. Whenever I have to cuss to get my point across, that.. my friend.. is acting. You see, whenever I am hurt or angry, I become very quiet. I do not say much. I just act. Y’all, this is my character.
I decided to write this because it is something that has been weighing on me for a while, even before George Floyd’s murder. As I said, after something major happens, whether national or personal, my response is always a little different from others. Hence, the reason I always refer to myself as being unique or quirky. The way I react or respond may not be what is typically expected. Y’all, I was going through a crazy divorce for over four years and I rarely said a word about it or spoke badly about my ex. There were so many things I could have said or done, but chose not to. Shoot.. I can barely cuss when writing, because again, it is justnot in me.
Today, I am so grateful for those who choose to accept me for who I am. Those who understand and respect my true (not the act) character, as I do theirs. From this day forward, I will no longer question myself based on how others think I should react or respond. Y’all, people will have you angry with yourself only to come around and agree with you later. Honestly, in the end, the only opinion that matters is God’s.
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!