Tag Archive | Love

The Trade (Poem)

Can I trust you with my mess?

The bruised brokenness of smelly sweat?

The scarred woundedness that oozes green gross disgusting stuff?

The pores on my skin open with it and no matter how many bandages I try to cover them with, there just never seem to be enough

Enough

I’ve had–enough

I’ve come–to the end

And hang on this rope by a thread

I loosely dangle over a pool of grace

But I am afraid

If I fully let go You’ll flee from me

The blood and gook and ooze will be too much for You

My lust

My shame

My feelings of inadequacy caused me to hide in the comfort of another

Lose my sanity for a while

Even all the while–You were there

My blood

My sweat

My tears

You traded them for peace

You nailed them to a cross and they oozed out of Your feet

Your hands

Your sides

You became my mess

A bloody mess

On a cross not fit for a King

And now I am a Queen

Beauty is more than skin deep

And still you made this brown skin beautiful

And still you clothed me in royal clothes

Still You attracted me to an attraction that was more than just physical

Intimacy is more than just physical

And now I know, because it never sustained me

And now I know, only You can sustain me

Me and my mess

You are my mess

And I am your Queen

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The Gift

It’s been a month since we started hanging. I knew I was attracted but had no idea God could use that attraction. I had no idea you would be a safe haven. A place of restoration. There are so many things I marvel at: the treatment of respect, the understanding of my value, the seeing of my true self.

For so long I knew I longed for love. As women we long for love.  But what I’m learning in this season is that I also long for respect.  I believe we have a deep seated longing to be pursued in such a way that causes a man to rise to the high standard our Father has set. But it’s only high because we are royalty.  And it’s only high to those who are not.

I learned how to play the game. He made his move and I made mine. Check mate. It took everything I had but I sent the text, forfeited the date, knowing he was a fool.


But then you were there. Again. And when you speak I know it’s sincere. I know your words are true. And I think fondly of our budding friendship.

“You are my gift,” you say.  And I don’t tell you, but I feel the same.

SHALOM

Blind Spots

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It’s amazing one can be intelligent, driven, successful, beautiful and godly.  One can be all those adjectives yet still be susceptible to FooleryManipulationFalsehood. And Deception.

One of my spiritual gifts is discernment.  Demons and spiritual entities of darkness approached me early on in my spiritual journey and I was hardly afraid.

I could see and hear Truth: He looked like Love and smelled like Beauty and He was Mine.

But even with all the training, all the experiences in spiritual warfare—I have found—there are still blind spots.

You know when you’re driving and you’re on the freeway and cars are zooming by and you need to get over so you check your mirrors?  Then you start moving over and you hear a loud honking as the car next to you lays on their horn and maybe follow it up with a four letter word?  That happens because you forgot to check your blind spot.  And in real life, I’m so good at that.  I’m actually super nervous about switching lanes to the middle lane if someone on the other side of that lane is driving parallel to me.  I have this fear that one day we will both try to get over at the same time and then… BAM!   Thankfully that has not happened.  Probably because I’m so anal about checking my blind spot.  In driving that is…

I had to learn there are blind spots in life.  There are simply pitfalls and traps that I cannot see, as intelligent and driven and godly as I am.  I am not all-seeing.  I am not Jesus.  And clearly Jesus knew that so He gave me (us) Holy Spirit.  So many times in the past He used Holy Spirit to navigate me around those pit falls.  Many times I did not understand that He was protecting me.  I only felt Rejected.  Deprived.  Frustrated.

In this season He is using others.  They call me and tell me updates on a certain situation.  They share revelation on men and relationships and things I was never taught by my father.  Or Uncle.  Or brother.  I find YouTube videos, and books and my eyes slowly become open.  It’s a difficult thing to re-train my mind because I have thought one way for so long in this area, but I have overcome much more difficult things.  I’m certain this will be added to the list.

It’s unfortunate we live in a fallen world where people take advantage of a person with a good heart.  They figure out ways to manipulate and deceive.  But one thing my friend told me that really encouraged me was this, “We do not have to be like serpents to be as wise as them”.  I believe she is right.

I am learning.  I am becoming wise.  And I will not trade my dove’s heart for a serpent’s crafty one.

He has done too much for me to make that trade.

Weekend…


SHALOM

 

Overcoming Anxiety (Poem)


I can’t believe it’s been a year.

More than a year.

I have to remember the tingling in my mind.

The needles in my brain.

Stabbing.

Stabbing.

Giving me no peace.

No rest.

No time to be.

There was a hand gripping my heart.

A very large hand, and I woke up in the middle of the night

Only to see night

Struggling to see Light.

It was gone. Overshadowed by darkness and pain. He was gone.

“How could You forsake me”? I cried. And cried.

My tears went unanswered.

My fears kept demanding attention.

Implanted there by white men who enslaved my people with chains and whipped them with whips ‘til the skin peeled off their backs.

Nobody had their backs.

Nobody spoke their language.

I couldn’t have made it at the bottom of that ship because just the fear I was experiencing was only a portion of what they went through.

Just the awful grotesque darkness that invaded me for weeks

And months

And more than a year, almost drove me to suicide.

Because a person needs their mind.

A person needs a sense of identity.

And when they don’t have that, then who are they?

Who are they but a wondering soul waiting for each day to bring them truth.

One day rolled into the next.

And I realized that if God keeps waking me up there must be a purpose.

There must be a reason.

He stood there–distantly–guiding me with His eye, showing me the way.

His way.

I trusted in His way because it had never let me down.

I sat down.

Peace in my mind.

Hope in my heart.

Love in my members.

I sat down, resting in that place and I had to be reminded of the needles in my mind. They threatened me with intensity and my propensity to give in to fear-lessened.

Just like the demoniac, I was touched.

Slowly.

Quietly.

In a way I didn’t want, but a way that needed to be.

I was free.

SHALOM

Beginning to Bloom

Tis the season for transition.  For moving.  For meeting new people.  God is opening my heart.  He is opening me like a flower that is blooming.  The season is changing.  There are lots of prophecies coming forth.  Lots of confirming words.  Lots of things to look forward to.  I share my struggles with my sisters.  With my roommate.  With our cat.  I’m going to miss him when I leave, but I’m grateful they will not be too far way.

After five years I’ll be saying goodbye to my landlords.  The same ones who came to my 30th Zumba party and my first book release party and gave me a job when I was laid off.  Such love.  Such favor.  Such family.

I’ll be saying hello to the woman who raised me.  The woman who needs me in this hour.  The tables have turned.  I am honored to be there for her.  I recognize the sacrifice that is shown on my part.

Sacrifice displays love.

There is a sacrifice of another sort in my belly.  It has been there for quite a while.  He has been there for quite a while.  And even in the messy way I have responded to the sacrifice, He, like a loving Father moves towards and not away.

At His nudging, I practice opening my heart.  I practice having conversations and being open and letting new people in.  I do this because I realize the only way we can receive a gift is to open our hands to receive it.  Open our hearts to receive it.

Hoster-Flower_Blooming

It is almost June.  It is almost summer.  The season for blooming is here…

Father give us grace and courage to be open.  Give us grace to bloom.

SHALOM

Soulmates & Singleness


Last night I had a good conversation with a dear friend.  We talked about one of our most frequented topics: singleness.  We reminisced about the times spent walking out this path we never thought we’d face and how much we’ve grown since those early days.  Where had the time gone?  We wondered.  I remembered an old video on black women finding love after 40 and some who never “found love” at all.  My friend had also watched that video way back when and shared her sentiments on it.  “It’s depressing” she said.  I can see why she would feel that way though I don’t remember having that perspective as a 20- something watching it.  I only remember thinking, “That won’t be me!”  Even if I didn’t verbally say those words, I feel that message was ingrained deeply in my heart.  You see at that time in my spiritual walk I didn’t understand that God could (and would) use time to work out some stuff that would hinder purpose and identity from being manifested through me.  I certainly didn’t see the stuff I needed working out at that point so of course I didn’t think He would need to do too much work on me.  Ah, to be young and naïve again😆.  My timeline was that of the culture’s timeline and even now I struggle against that mindset.  But what I have learned in the time that has occurred between then and now is this: Father knows best.  I now understand that when God says, “no” it is in my best interest whereas back then I only saw one side of the coin (when God said “no” He was just being mean).  So watching that video back then I interpreted it through that lens.  The one-sided coin lens.

Since I’m a little older now and am actually closer to the age of the women who were interviewed, I decided to re-watch it through these new-more mature lenses.  When I did, I felt grieved for the women who wanted love and for one reason or another did not find it.  I did relate to how they cultivated a full joyful life outside of a relationship.  And I did understand their desire to please God in a life of celibacy that they never envisioned in their future.  But there was one subtle question my heart was asking as the statistics of single, black-educated women rolled on the screen. How healthy are these women?  I wondered.  You see in the last few years I’ve had a lot of revelations as to why I needed singleness and everyone of them had to do with the fact that I myself was very unhealthy.  I wouldn’t have known a healthy relationship if it hit me in the face.  And I’m sure there were good men around me who avoided me like the plague because of my red flags.  Thankfully I had the Holy Spirit who guided me and pruned me and created something a little better than what existed before.  So I watched half of the video and felt their pain and empathized with their cup that I myself am also drinking from, but I also know that we can be limited in our understanding of God’s ways…

Statistics are statistics and I can’t say that I am exempt from them.  Maybe some of the reason I am single is because black men are incarcerated and gay and not educated.  Maybe I am affected by these facts.  But my experience trumps statistics.  And my experience is that I am chosen and God has been very intentional with me to deliver me and heal me and restore me (He is such a good Dad).  He has been very intentional with me to set me apart, teach me and grow me.

I don’t know my future, but I do know my past.  He is my past.  He is Father and Maker and Friend.  And most importantly He is trustworthy.

Job 13:15 (KJV)

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…

I hate that we are called to very difficult things.  That sometimes we don’t have the answers this side of heaven.

But sometimes we do have the answers.

I have found many answers hidden within the crevices of my heart (Ephesians 3:11).  And often, almost too many times, He has confirmed those answers through dreams and prophecy.  I have lived my life this way for the last 15 years, and I am encouraged by the Spirit of the Lord within my heart that no matter what the statistics say, no matter what another person’s story is or perspective is, I need to stay true to what I know inside.

He has intentionally set me apart for such a time as this and for my own good.  And He will give me the desires of my heart as I have first delighted in Him.

SHALOM