Tag: relationships

I’m Not Who I Used To Be

Praise the Lord I’m not who I used to be. I am no longer the girl who is seeking acceptance where ever it is given. I am not the girl who is seeking approval from the wrong type of people. I am now the woman who is secure in who she is as an individual. I am a woman who is stepping into her purpose. And I am a woman who is learning to listen in the quiet for direction from the Lord and discerning His voice from my own.

There was a period in my life that I was not living a life that I am particularly proud of. I was making decisions that I knew were wrong. Decisions that I knew my mother would disapprove of, and if my mother would disapprove of those decisions, then I definitely know they were not decisions the Lord would smile upon. During that period of my life, I did what I wanted and I did these things in order to “fit”in, but also to please a boy, who at that time, was not worthy of my affections. No matter what I did to hold onto him, it was never enough. You see it was not meant for me to be with him then or to even keep him.

Let me backtrack just a little bit, throughout high school and into college, I was extremely involved in church. I was in the youth group in high school and after I graduated I became a leader in the youth group and also started attending the College and Career group. I had a close group of friends who fiercely loved the Lord and I have to say life was really good; however, there was an inner curiosity inside of me about the “world” that tugged at me. The inner wild child, as my mother calls it, that was itching to break out, and when I started my first job after high school the doors to the outside world burst open and I went running through them. For the first time in my short life I was surrounded by people who were living in the world and did not have the constraints of the church holding them back from experiencing life. I don’t say this meaning that the church holds people back, but in my marginal experience, as a teenager, all I could see were rules. Rules telling me what I could and could not do, rules telling me what I should and shouldn’t say, rules inside my mother’s house that I felt were so strict that I was not allowed to live the life I thought I wanted. It did not take long for the lifestyle of my coworkers to start appealing to me, and along with that life came a boy who started whispering in my ear all the things that my young and naïve heart wanted to hear.

In the beginning, I tried to integrate him into my world, but it didn’t take long for him to pull me from my comfortable life into his chaotic and careless lifestyle. Like me, he was running from strict parents and a comfortable lifestyle and for whatever reason, we found each other and saw something in the other person that we thought we wanted. As Christians, we learn the importance of being equally yoked, and it probably took 10 years, my entire 20s, for me to actually learn and understand what that truly means. At the tender age of 20 I fell in love and we were not equally yoked. When I say I fell in love, I mean truly, madly, deeply in love. I fell with both eyes closed and a heart completely open. I walked blindly into a relationship that pulled me away from everything that I knew to be right and true. I stopped hanging with my friends and replaced them with his friends, I stopped spending time at the church and replaced it with late night kickbacks in empty parking lots. I gave away my innocence because it is what I believed I should do in order to prove my love to this other person. I did this against my better judgment because I knew it was wrong, I knew it was not what the Lord wanted for me, but I also believed it was what I needed to do in order to solidify and keep my relationship. Trust me when I say this, sex does not ensure you will hold onto someone, all it does is give your power away to another person. It ensures that this other person can hurt you more deeply than you can ever imagine.

That relationship did not give me what I thought I was seeking out of life and out of a partnership, it pulled me further and further away from the Lord. It pulled me from my family, from my friends, it compromised my morals, and it left me completely broken. More broken than I had ever been, up until that point, in my entire life. But praise the Lord, I’m not her anymore.

Have you ever prayed for the Lord to do something, left it at the Lord’s feet, and walked away trusting He will answer your prayers? Well, in my complete and total brokeness I prayed for the Lord to make me forget the love I had for this person. To take away the hurt that shattered my tender heart into a million pieces and then I left it. I’m not sure if I really 100% believed that something as big as this prayer could be answered. Everyday I got up, I went through the motions and I trudged through the days until one day the tears dried up and it didn’t hurt to breathe anymore. I no longer kept my phone next to me waiting for a message that would never come. I can’t give you an exact time line because honestly I don’t know how long it took, but one day I was talking to a friend who was there from the beginning to the end of the tumultuous relationship and she asked me if I remembered something I had said or done in the midst of this relationship and I tried to recall various stories she would tell me, and to this day I have no recollections of certain time spans within that relationship. That is when I realized just how BIG AND MERCIFUL my God is. That is when I saw how REAL my God is because HE answered my prayers. Praise the Lord He delivered me from the dangerous path that I was on, and I would love to say I learned my lesson right away, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I made a few more bad choices along the way, but that is part of my journey. Mistakes allow us to see God work in our favor, it allows us to rely on Him. That is the cool thing about the Lord, everyday we mess up and fall short of His glory and He loves us anyhow. He is standing by waiting for us to seek Him and seek His forgiveness. He loves us fiercely and unconditionally. I don’t have children of my own, but I see how my friends love their children, I know how my mother loves us, and it gives me a glimpse into how much our heavenly Father must love us, His children. He wants nothing more than for us to turn away from our sinful nature and seek Him. Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV).

I will end the way I started, Praise the Lord I’m no who I used to be and thank you Lord for the promise of who I will be!

My Foundation

I was raised in the church and  introduced to the Lord at an early age. You see, I come from a family of worshippers and preachers; a family who has been blessed with hearts for the Lord. This has been manifested through preaching, teaching, and singing. My entire life, my mother has been the choir director, which means, the whole family sang in the choir regardless if you had the gift of singing or not. And BIG surprise, I was not given that gift. Many times I remind myself that the Bible says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:1-2). So I sing joyfully, but not always beautifully or even in the right key.

Many of my earliest memories are in the church, sitting right next to my sister, in front of our nana, as she belted out this bigger than life voice. My mother would be on the piano, and my granddaddy would be in the front pew along with the other deacons of the church. Occasionally, my dad would join us, and he too would be in the choir stand with us. We never missed a Sunday at church. Growing up in a black Baptist church meant their was always something going on: Sunday service, second service, Wednesday bible study, choir practice, visiting neighboring churches for evening service, pastor appreciation day, vacation bible school, summer revival, and the list can go on and on. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at church hearing about the Lord.

When I was 12, my nana told me it was time for me to “join” the church and get baptized. See, in our church, once you turned 12, if you weren’t baptized you could no longer serve in the church ministries. I remember, I cried because I was scared and did not feel I was “ready” to take the big plunge in the baptismal pool. At 34 I understand what my 12 year old self did not, and that is where that fear came from. It was a lack of understanding exactly what it meant to be baptized and accept the Lord as my personal savior; to enter into a true relationship with Him. However, when the “doors of the church were opened,” and the invitation was extended to come forward if you felt like the Lord was calling you into a personal relationship, I hesitantly walked forward next to my sister and sat in the chairs, and we joined the church together officially. We did it because it was what expected of us. It has taken almost 20 years for me to actually understand what it means to have a true relationship with the Lord. What it actually means to know and accept Him as my personal savior.Walking up to the alter, sitting in a chair and finally being baptized is not what make you saved; yes it is an outward confession, or part of the process, but if you don’t know that the Lord died for our sins and confess that He is Lord, then all it is is an outward show.

I was a teenager when I actually learned what it meant to have a relationship with God; what it truly means to accept Him into my life, and I was in my 20s when I spent hours pleading to the Lord to hold my hand and to heal my broken body and spirit and I gave him 100% trust into the Lord to take control because I no longer could make it on my own. And, praise the Lord, He brought me through. Here’s the thing, at this point in my life, I know the Lord, I’ve accepted Him into my heart, I trust that He is good, but I’ve held back a little bit of me from Him because of some irrational fear that I would lose something. I know it sounds ridiculous, just writing this it seems so irrational. As a follower of Christ, my identity is in God. I have lived just enough in the world that I have had fun without losing my salvation, but if I’m perfectly honest I’ve lived in shades of gray, and the Lord ask us to be black or white, hot or cold. Revelation 3:16 tells us very clearly that the Lord doesn’t want some of us, He wants all of us. For the past two months I’ve felt the Lord making moves inside of me, changing my heart and calling me to stop living in the gray area. I’ve been vocal about feeling like I’m in my season and that I’m ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me, but in order to receive His many blessing, I have to see black or white. I have to stop living for myself and start living 100% for the Lord. I need to feed my spirit and walk in faith. Today I choose to walk in faith!

Continue to be blessed!!!!

Behind these eyes

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So, it’s been awhile since I sat down and took time to write in my blog…actually it’s been five months. So many things and nothing at all have happened in those five months. I’m sure that makes absolutely no sense, so let me elaborate on what I mean by that statement. I have a friend who was asking me regularly if I had written in my blog lately and my response was I haven’t read anything to write about. The rebuttal to that statement was, “excuses”, which was probably a little true. I think I was making excuses because I didn’t have anything I felt was interesting enough to write about, but I started this blog to write my thoughts and reviews on books that I read, and also to share some of my own personal writing. So, with that in mind, I could always sit down and write about anything, doesn’t matter if it’s a review or just meaningless babbling.

Anyhow, in September I picked up the first Outlander book by Diana Gabaldon and haven’t looked back. I fell in love with the story of Claire and Jaime, and if anyone has read these books then you know they are thick books with a minimum of 600 pages each. (very time consuming) I was so caught up that I couldn’t stop reading between each book to write a review. Sorry folks for the lack of a detailed review on these novels, but I highly recommend them for sure. I am currently on books 6, I believe, and as far as I know there are two more left.

Also, since Aug I have been working quite a bit. I have moved from one store location to another and back again, and it has taken a toll on me mentally for sure. As soon as I get comfortable in one work environment I’m moved to another which is a huge challenge. I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep my head above water and not become overwhelmed with the workload as well as the various personalities that surround me, and let me tell you, it’s been tough. I’ve had my days when I’ve completely broken down in tears because I feel lost in this world of employment and management. It’s not easy. But everyday I’m learning more and learning what I’m capable of which is a good thing. Challenges keep us on our toes. The holidays working retail was my biggest challenge for sure, but now it’s a new year and no more holiday hours for eleven months…yay!

I have also started a weight loss journey which has crossed my path with some pretty awesome and encouraging people. I’ve done the diet thing in the past, done the lifestyle change, all those things, but this time I’ve surrounded myself with a group of people who are so dang supportive that it makes me wanna continue down this road to be healthy. This time I’m trying out Herbalife and I surprisingly like it. I’m at the health club at least once a day and I love it!

Another thing I’ve done with my time is try to date…I think I was unsuccessful in that area. Dating in your 30s is not easy. Everyone has baggage that they are carrying and we can’t always see their baggage and they can’t see ours. I think I was unsuccessful because I leaned on the side of caution and probably moved slower than most people. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we build solid foundations in relationships and get to know the person across from us before throwing all caution to the wind? My coworkers told me the other day…”Tia this is not dating in the way that your parents dated, people don’t court anymore, you have to be more free…” the thought of that makes me a little sad, what does that say about the world we live in and the morals that we have? So I guess back to the drawing board for new ideas on dating in 2015. I think back to my 20s and the relationship decisions I made back then that I would never do now, but those are lessons that we have to learn the hard way.

Behind these eyes lies a person who is looking for their happy ever after, but isn’t quite sure how to find the road that leads there. Behind these eyes is a person who wants to believe in people and see the best in them. Behind these eyes lies a girl who just wants to belong and fit in somewhere.  Behind these eyes is a girl who just wants to be happy…