Yes, We Made It!

So, we made it! Some experienced great triumphs, others took some devastating blows and if your encounter was anything like mine, 2016 is somewhat of a blur. I can’t begin to tell you where the time went, but nonetheless, by God’s grace, WE MADE IT! As I reflect on 2016, I am reminded of Romans 8:28, that tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. If you’ve ever had a dialogue with me long enough you know that I am a firm believer of this; you’ve heard me say time and time again that God is so strategic in His plan. That comment alone probably led me to a place of excitement and smiles because the very thought assures me that I can bounce back from whatever 2016 or any other year has thrown my way. I probably went on to share how much I love Him because of the fact that His word says, “all” things, not some, not only when or only if, but ALL. Ok, wait, forgive me let me stay on track, even though I really could end this blog right here.

2016 met up with me early in the year, literally about a month after some much needed time with my girlfriends in January, (by the way, there’s nothing like reminiscing, great laughs and creating new memories with your girlfriends) it came around the corner and hit me with what I can only describe as an Ali, Frazier knockout and life for me changed in an instant. My Mother was admitted to the hospital on February 1st 2016 and for the next 53 days my siblings and I were by her side watching her slowing fade away before us. There’s so much that happened in between, perhaps I’ll share the in between moments in my book, but for the sake of this blog and the fact that I want you all to come back I’ll keep it short. There were the moments of hope, then the moments of uncertainty, moments of acceptance and then the moments of denial.

Ironically in the midst of it all God kept revealing Himself to me. What I witnessed in those 53 days was life changing. Do I still miss her? Are there still days when I’d rather pull the covers over my head and fade in my tears? Do I still feel tremendous pain? Did this experience change me? Of course, and I say that with so much transparency. Yet I still have to turn your attention back to the one word in Romans 8:28 that says, “ALL”. Listen, it was in my grief that God revealed gifts in me that I didn’t realize dwelled there. It was in my grief that I decided I would no longer be gripped by fear and boldly walked into entrepreneurship. It was in my grief that I decided I wasn’t taking any of what God has deposited in me to my grave when my time comes. It was in my grief that I no longer concern myself with the opinions of others. It was in my grief that I experienced God’s peace in ways that I had never before. I’m sharing this testimony with you as just a reminder if only for a moment that all things are working for your good. God has a strategic plan and you, my friend, have a role in it. There may be some things that transpired in 2016 that knocked you clean on your back, but I can assure you it was necessary for your purpose.

I posed the question the other day and I want to just raise a few questions and you can just reflect on your own time, but I would love for you to respond in the comment section if you feel led to do so.

  • What process have you had to endure in 2016 in order for God to present you as His masterpiece in 2017?
  • What barriers did you have to break through?
  • What are you are able to see now that you couldn’t necessarily see when you were in the midst of 2016?
  • What new things did God reveal to you about yourself?

I want to encourage you to not grow weary, especially when the hype about entering into the new year has dwindled down. Trust in the Lord and don’t abandon your process, for it is essential to your purpose.

 

Blessings from The Believer’s Corner,

 

Testimony Lyrical Artist

Have You Forgotten

Greeting beautiful people, yes, it’s Testimony Tuesday and I’d like to welcome you to The Believer’s Corner. For those of you who have been stopping by The Believer’s Corner, welcome back and for those of you who are new comers, welcome. I encourage all of you to like, subscribe and share this blog with others.

I want to turn your attention to the title of today’s blog. Well, have you? I mean I get it, there’s so much that can transpire in the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, a, well, you get the picture. My point is, it’s easy to forget some of the storms we’ve been through, some of our triumphs, some of the fights we’ve had to fight through; it’s even easy to have to be reminded of some of our small victories and accomplishments. So with that being said, I urge you to pause for a moment and reflect on where you’ve been and what you’ve journeyed through; no, really, I want you to think about it- like right now. Ok, so now that you’ve done that, was there anything that came back to your remembrance? Did you have a “THANK YOU LORD” (and yes, I shouted it) moment like I did during my time of reflection this morning? I’ll ask the question again and you can ponder on it a little deeper after you read this blog, “Have you forgotten what God has allowed you to fight through?”

I asked that question because (and yes, I was serious about shouting during my time of reflection this morning) as I was thinking about my next right move as an entrepreneur and the enemy was trying to creep in and tell me that what I was envisioning was going to be too hard; I was reminded of things that the Lord allowed me to fight through and not just come out on top, but come out victorious. You see the fact that He allowed me to come out on the other side is a true victory.

I want to share a story with you that the Lord reminded me of this morning; it’s a story that I’ve been quite ashamed of as a matter of fact. While folks who know me know that I am a private person I’m also very transparent. However, I will admit (and I KNOW I’m not the only one) there are some burdens I’ve carried where the only other person who knew of them was God the Father Himself. Now before you get all hyped, (because I can feel you all leaning in J) it’s probably not as juicy as you are expecting, so pull back a little and calm down; I just want to drive home a point. The situation God reminded me of was a when I realized for the first time in my young twenty year old life that sometimes life will throw you in the ring whether you’re ready or not. You know what I mean right, like when you were a kid playing hide and go seek and the person who was appointed to seek finishes counting and you haven’t found a good hiding spot because all the big kids took the best hiding spots and pushed you away because they know you might get them caught. Uh um, I digress; I KNOW I’m not the only one! Anyway, I had just transferred to Howard University and while it was a big adjustment, I was adjusting nonetheless, but then life started with what seemed to be hitting me blow by blow and believe me at twenty years old you think you’re grown until life proves to you just how grown you are or in my case, aren’t.

It’s was February 25th, 2000 and I was reviewing for an exam in my upstairs bedroom that I had later that day when I heard my brother in a state of panic run up to the main level of our home to tell our Mother that there was a fire in the laundry room. I ran downstairs and followed behind my Mother as she rushed towards the basement. We got halfway down the stairs before rolls of smoke met us midway. My Mother turned back toward me, instructing me to get out of the house. We both went to the back of the house, determined that we were going to extinguish the fire; Mom grabbed the hose and I turned on the faucet simultaneously unraveling the hose. My Mother never panicked in a crisis situation, not even then as she looked at me while tossing the hose to the ground I could see her heart sink. We both knew that hose was our last hope in that moment; she calmly said, “it’s frozen, (it had snowed a week or so prior) get away from the house” as she motioned with both her hands to go back to the front of the house.

As if the blows from that incident weren’t enough, life decided to take another swing. On April 25th, 2000 (exactly 2 months later), my sister and I decided Mom had been through so much and was dealing with not being in her home that we were planning her birthday party that was coming up in June. After some planning we wanted to go and check on Mom and we knew just where to find her, at her house cleaning up what she could. As we pulled up we both were surprised at what we saw, there was one neighbor trying to lock the front door and another sitting behind Mom rocking her back and forth. I jumped out of the passenger side and ran up the stairs as I got to the top of the stairs and made my way up the walkway it seemed like everything was in slow motion at that point. I could hear the Holy Spirit tell me that my Mother had a stroke. I picked her up, put one arm around her waist and put her arm around my neck; I can still hear the sound of the bottom of her sneaker scrapping the pavement as she tried to walk. I put her in my sister’s car and she rushed her to the nearest hospital. I locked the door and jumped in my Mother’s car all while asking God not to take our Mother. That hospital ended up medevac’ing her to another hospital. By this time all five of us are there waiting for the helicopter to arrive. After the doctor evaluated her he let us know the next 48 hours were the most critical, however, in what seemed to be all in one breath, he pretty much told us that we should start thinking about making arrangements.

I shared so many details of this story with you to again, drive home my point; you see, my life at the age of twenty changed drastically; it was never the same after that. My grades suffered terribly; here is the part I never shared with anyone all these years, (until I recently had to write an essay and was led to finally share this) my grades didn’t just drop, on paper, I was a failing student and according to the University’s policy, I qualified for academic probation. The next move for me was dismissal. I was in a season where life was hitting me blow by blow and I had no idea how to stick and move to dodge the impact. Again, I never shared that with anyone, not even then; I was too ashamed. This was a storm I was willing to go through by myself; besides my Mother was in no condition to be worried about me. The next move for me was dismissal and I knew I would be even more ashamed if I was dismissed, because that would be pretty hard to keep from anyone. I had classmates that made jokes because I was working full-time and going to school full-time; they would tell me there was no way I was going to graduate if I kept that up. I’d sometimes hear the ripple affect of snickering as I rushed into class late coming from work and having to return afterwards. They didn’t know my story and when they would ask why, I ‘d just tell them that I had to; it didn’t make sense to them, but it made perfect sense for my situation at the time. There were internships I had to turn down and programs my professor wanted me to get involved in but couldn’t. Some didn’t think I deserved to be there, but I knew I deserved to be there just as much as anyone else and all I had to do was keep pressing. Coming off academic probation was a major accomplishment for me; I knew then that anything was possible. For some graduation was their victory, but for me, every semester I completed was a victory; deciding to return to school after sitting out a semester, was a victory.

Why now, why share this part of your story that you were so ashamed of, you ask. Why not! What right do I really have not to share this story? The Lord allowed it to be my story so that I would share it, so that someone who may be in a similar situation will know, that it possible. Perhaps if I had shared with someone what I was going through then I wouldn’t have had to carry that burden alone. Perhaps someone who is carrying a burden now needs to know they don’t have to carry their burden alone. I’m sharing this story to let those who are reading this know that when you’re trying to decide if you should “play it safe” or take the risk and do what you know in your heart and soul you should be doing, but you don’t because you think it may be too hard; fight through. Think about the hard stuff you’ve already fought through by God’s grace. If that’s you, then I challenge you to reflect on the grace and mercy God has given you to fight through thus far; I mean really look at yourself in the mirror and as you take notice of your spiritual and even physical battle wounds, I want you to also take note of the fact that you are still here.

This, my friend is my story, your story may be different, but what I can assure you is the same, is that God has allowed you to fight through some storms and you’re still here. What may seem like small victories to some may be huge milestones for you, but remember it’s God’s grace that allowed you to fight through. It’s never too late, if you’re thinking about what your next right move should be, seek God and know that He has allowed you to overcome before, there’s no reason He wouldn’t allow you to overcome again. Now keep in mind it may not look the way you think it should and you may encounter some bumps and bruises, but I’m willing to bet you’ll be victorious nonetheless.

Blessings to you all from The Believer’s Corner,

Testimony Lyrical Artist

 

 

You Are Supposed to Be Here

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Greetings beautiful people! Thank you for stopping by The Believer’s Corner! That’s right, it’s that time again, yes, you got it, it’s TESTIMONY TUESDAY! I know I’ve been M.I.A for the past two Testimony Tuesdays; I probably should’ve told you all I would be on vacay with my boo. What’s that? Oh, yeah, we had a great time! Well let’s jump right in; shall we?

Premature babies can experience many health issues some have respiratory problems; disabilities and unfortunately, some don’t survive. Well, my friends, I was one of those premature babies; that is right, I was ready to take on the world full force. According to my Mother I was 4 pounds 11 ounces, however, I recall my Father having it recorded in his wallet as 4pounds 6ounces. Okay, okay, so the weight is debatable, however, I tend to go with my Mom’s recollection considering she’s the one who had to push all. What’s not debatable is that I was indeed a preemie. Doctors estimated my time of arrival to be sometime in April, yes, for those of you that know me personally, I said April. However, I came into this world late January. I was always a curious being (I could tell you all some stories about my curiosity, but we’ll save that for another post). I guess it’s safe to say that curiosity started in my Mother’s womb. Other than having newborn jaundice and not being released until Valentine’s Day, I was one of the 20% with no problems by God’s grace. Well, let’s be totally transparent, we all have some sort of problems, but as far as problems as a result of being premature- I’m good.

Fast forward to my early twenties, I had gotten sick and had to have emergency surgery. Apparently I had been bleeding internally for two-three days. The doctor told me that I was not supposed to be here; I guess he didn’t consult with The Head Doctor Jesus.

I can assure you my point of all of this was not to necessarily create a visual of what must have transpired the day my Mother’s water unexpectedly broke or to prove that the doctor misspoke. I shared those two of many situations with you to remind someone (everyone for that matter) reading this post, that YOU are supposed to be here. As I was reflecting on my life today and the grace God has extended towards me I was reminded that I AM SUPPOSED TO BE HERE! My purpose, your purpose, is greater than us. We are not just here to exist; we are supposed to be great, because God the Father has kept us for His divine plan. You are not here by mistake and what could’ve killed you didn’t. Why, you ask, because you are supposed to be here! There’s so much I can share with you all about what could’ve taken me out of here over the course of my life (I’m sure the more we get acquainted, the more you’ll learn my testimony), but again, my point is I, you are supposed to be here.

The calling on your life was assigned to you specifically which means God has already equipped you for what He created you for and there’s no better time than now (if you’re not already doing so) to walk fearlessly in that calling. Sure you will learn some things on the way and there are some people that you are assigned to and they’re assigned to you, but please know that your role in the Master’s plan is extremely necessary. God knew you when you were in the womb, He knew then that you were destined for greatness.

I encourage you to learn to view you life the way Christ views it. I want to encourage you to be bold from this day forward and push yourself beyond your own expectations. I encourage you to be great simply because YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE! I encourage you to really dig deep and live out your God given passions; and don’t tell me that rubbish about it’s too late; it’s never too late to walk in the calling on your life. As long as there is breath in your body, you have the ability to do anything. Remember my friends you’re here for a reason; YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!

Blessings to you all from The Believer’s Corner,

Testimony Lyrical Artist

 

The Hair Bag

Ok, so first things first, I realize I haven’t blogged in forever, but life has shifted and I now have time to do so. Therefore, you can expect encouragement, inspiration or motivation on Testimony Tuesdays here at The Believer’s Corner. What’s that? Yes, yes, I know today is Wednesday, but yesterday was quite busy; surely you can offer me grace this go around.

I wanted to share with you all my experience with “The Hair Bag” I had on Monday. I know, how on earth is a “hair bag” going to inspire me, you ask; well keep reading, I promise I’m going somewhere with this. So most of you know that I lost my Mom in March; she is the reason “the hair bag” came about. You see, since 2000 when my Mom had her first major stroke (she had mini ones prior, but didn’t know) we decided to lock her hair and as time went on she went from locks, to a short style to growing it out. In her final years I kept it in protective styles. I was charged with the task of maintaining Mom’s hair over the years. In the midst of these 16 years, “the hair bag” was born. The purpose of “the hair bag” was to transport all the necessary hair products and essentials back and forth to care for Mom’s hair. At first, whatever I was using on my hair, I would use on hers. However, as time went on I’ve had to change some products either because my hair was doing something new or her hair required more sensitive products as the years progressed. Needless to say, everything in the “the hair bag” ultimately became products solely for Mom.

Every so often I like to de-clutter, regroup, reflect, (well, reflect is something I do consistently) refocus and get organized. This has been my agenda for the past two weeks. I tackle each room in our home one by one and do some major purging. Well, Monday was the day to tackle the dressing/closet area and I did my best to avoid “the hair bag”, but the room wasn’t complete until I dealt with “the hair bag”. I kept telling myself that I would come back to it later, but The Holy Spirit kept urging me to deal with “the hair bag” now. I reluctantly combed through “the hair bag” little by little, each item triggering a tear jerking memory of my Mom. I was trying to find reasons to hold on to most of the products, but I knew very well that I no longer had any use for the waterless shampoo that I had to use because Mom could no longer lean her head back for me to wash it. As I tossed the products in the trash, one product at a time with tears streaming uncontrollably, the once weighted “hair bag” got smaller and smaller. With a pause in between each discarded product I could hear The Holy Spirit tell me that this is no longer your charge, this season is over. As I continued to weep, I understood that the elements that were required in this particular season of my life were of no use in the Nu season God is moving me into.

No matter how badly I would’ve loved to have held on to “the hair bag” with a grip that indicated I was holding on for dear life, I’ve come to the realization that there are some things in life we simply cannot carry into our Nu season. So I ask you, what is it that you are holding on to for dear life because it is familiar? What are you trying to transport into your Nu season that will have no use there? What is it that you haven’t dealt with that is keeping you from walking into your Nu season? What are you afraid to deal with because you don’t want to face the pain that may come with that dealing?

I would encourage you, my friend, to trust God to guide you through that process; if tears flow, let them flow, but trust God. If you feel like screaming, then scream, but trust God. If it pains your heart, acknowledge that pain, then release it to God, but beloved, I urge you, to trust God. If fear creeps in, choose faith and trust God. Whatever it is that The Holy Spirit is urging you to deal with and move on so that you can walk into your Nu season, do it and TRUST GOD.

I am rooting for you; you can do this by God’s grace! I will be praying for your Nu season, but more importantly God has GREAT plans for your life, (if you don’t believe me read Jeremiah 29:11) TRUST HIM! Embrace your Nu season and do what is required of you in order to walk in it.

Blessings to you all from The Believer’s Corner,

Testimony Lyrical Artist: The Artistic Soul Shifter

When Fear Is Your BIGGEST Competitor

When fear is so prominent, that it literally suffocates you, and you find yourself in a place where you either have to embrace a shift or you just allow the grip of fear to take you out. Years ago, a friend suggested that I start blogging and while I didn’t say it to her, I thought, she had to have just lost her mind. I mean there was no way I could put myself in a position to share my most intimate thoughts with the eyes of the World Wide Web let alone the people on it. The funny thing is she made that suggestion because she knew I was a poet; in fact most people who knew me, knew that I was a poet, but to potentially share that with random people in the world I didn’t think what I had to say was good enough. Fast forward, now I’m in a place where I’m doing a lot more reflecting than ever before, I mean I’ve always been the reflective type for as long as I can remember, it’s when I feel the most centered. Yet, I find myself asking the question, “where on earth did that come from”, you know, not feeling good enough? All of those visions and dreams I had as a child, what happened. Why am I not stepping into what I know to be so natural with both feet? Well ladies and gentleman, anyone who knows me personally has heard me say that I strongly believe there is truth in transparency, and in 2015 I am going to be more transparent than I’ve ever been. So transparent, that some things may come as a shock, but hey, if there’s truth in transparency, then there must be healing in truth; as a matter of fact the Bible confirms that to be true in John 8:32-the truth will set you free. If healing doesn’t come with freedom, I don’t know what does! I don’t know about you, but in 2015 I plan on accepting my healing because it is essential to my purpose and I encourage you to do the same. So where did it come from, I’ll tell you where, it came from my number one competitor, “fear”! I square up with “fear” all the time and somehow that fool wins more times than I’d like to admit. Not this time though, this time I’m exposing “fear” once and for all! As I write this I think back to the times when I was completely fearless, the times when I was a child in the second grade who hardly ever got any work done because I was always staring out the window and dreaming of all the great things I was going to do in life. I was fearless! I was fearless when I took the metro bus the summer before I was going to walk the halls of my high school for the first time and I sat in the bleachers for hours imaging myself on the track team running relay races. Completely fearless! I can go on and on about the dreams deferred, and the disappearance of that young curious kid who was so curious about everything that taking someone’s word was never enough. In fact, I took risks just to see what the result was really going to be. Perhaps “fear” knew I was destined for greatness, perhaps “fear” knows that you too are destined for greatness yet has managed to chip away at your authenticity for so long you too may have forgotten those times when you were completely fearless. I’ve discovered that “fear” often comes in a disguise, in the form of words, environment, circumstances, etc.; it’s a companion of the devil. “Fear” wants to keep you from walking in your God-given purpose. What I’m learning in this season of preparation, is that the words that have been spoken to me by the person who told me that I could never run track because my breast were too large or the kids who teased me because of my hand-me-downs or when I was told that I would never make any money as a poet or the person who told me that they would live to see my mistake, was all in “fear’s” plan so that whenever I even thought about walking in those dreams and visions, I would remember those words instead of that fearless, curious child who thrived off of taking risks. How could I not be good enough when the Master Himself created me? Ok, sure I get it, I may not be good enough for some folks in this world, but I’m the perfect candidate for God’s plan because He obviously created and kept me with a specific purpose in mind that only I can fulfill. If you too struggle with fear, I want you to first pray and spend time with God. I encourage you to dig deep and remember those moments when you dreamed BIG, those times in your life when you were completely fearless and begin to take the necessary steps to walk in your God-ordained purpose. Even if you are terrified at first, I encourage you to put one foot in front of the other and move because the pain that comes with neglecting your dreams, visions and purpose will be even greater if you don’t. It’s time to shut “fear” down once and for all!

Blessings,

Testimony Lyrical Artist

Artistic Soul Shifter

Testimony Lyrical Artist The Artistic Soul Shifter