Tag Archive | testimony

Being Asked the Question

“So are you seeing anyone?”, she asks as we sit across from one another in her marvolously decorated dining room and finish up supper. When I walked in I was instantly impressed and a little taken aback by the amazing interior design work that graced each space. She then let on that she herself was an interior designer (amongst many things) and her home was her own expression of that gift.

“No I’m not. And actually God has been doing such a work in me these 2 years in that very area”, I respond. I proceed to tell her about my last relationship. All the red flags I ignored and how I was willing to settle (hell bent on settling actually because that was where I was at).  I talked about God’s lack of peace, Him calling me to a fast that helped me let it go and the immense revelation He flooded me with.  Never before had I received such revelation.  She interjected here and there with her own insights from her own story. An older woman in the faith, a mother of 3, she had been once divorced and now re-married.  “You should always have peace when it’s God”, she said, and I agreed.  

She knew me when.  When I was dealing with my first heartbreak. When I was a 22 year old mess, lacking identity and purpose and value. She is a witness to the work He has done.

And she smiles at that work.

I spent a good while sharing my story. The same story I will share in my upcoming book (which I hope to be released this fall). I surprise myself at the details I’m giving as I had no idea we would spend so much time talking about me. I wanted to hear about her–after all, she was the one married! And we did talk about her, but there is power in my own story.  There is glory He gets when I share on His Word being manifested in my life.  So I shared.

And I keep sharing.  The very next day I’m asked the same question (although worded slightly different) by a very unassuming individual. He is someone I’ve only spoken to occassionally and would have no obligation to explain my love life to. But I explain it because it gave me opportunity to share the gospel. I simply cannot explain my single status without explaining the story of Christ–they are intertwined.  There is no natural reason why I am single.  It is simply God’s clear intention for me to be matched with a certain individual of whom I have yet to meet.

I talked to my associate for 2 hours and we were both surprised at the depth of the conversation. It is rare that one goes deep with an associate.  I guess we are no longer associates…

I can think of 2 other occassions within the last week where I have been asked about my singleness.  And each time the response emanating from my lips is laced with wisdom and eternal truth.  It is the truth of the Holy Spirit.  It is wisdom one only gets from walking with Elohim.

Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

When we walk with the Source of life He leads us on the path of life.  That path is tailor made for us and compliments our gifts, talents, purpose and calling.  We have freedom of choice, but when we choose Him, we benefit by becoming who He originally designed us to be.

I can see now singleness looks good on me. Not because of singleness per se, but because it represents wholeness. It represents an alotted time for me to heal and learn my true identity.

I am still learning.  But I can say that now when I’m asked the question, I don’t dread the answer so much.  Especially when it gives God glory.

I’m getting comfortable in my own skin and singleness has helped me to do that.

Some highlights from this season…

hangin with the bestie!

me & my god daughter

my new mentee!!

SHALOM!

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Still Leaping

I stood in the parking lot of the apartment complex and flashbacks one after another clouded my vision. Could it really be that once upon a time I lived here? With him? If not for the memories, which I felt very unattached to, I would not believe that fact. But the memories were plenty and I even had a book I had written about the heartbreak from that relationship. So it must have really happened.

I remembered my grandmother dropping me off at “home” one day. We sat in the car talking. My once favorite person in the whole wide world had been replaced. I was in love. I’m sure it broke her heart to see me in such a state, living with a man unwed. Following the same path of so many before me. Following her own. I’m sure she was wracked with fear that I’d end up pregnant and drop out of school.

I should have ended up pregnant and dropped out of school.

I stood there and thought about our pet. The rabbit we owned that ended up dying. We both grieved heavily for that loss; he was like a child to us.

I thought about how far I had come and realized I was a teenager back then.  I’m in my 30s now.  A full grown woman. I have come leaps and bounds.

I’m still leaping.

Still overcoming. Still learning my identity and how to have victory in weak areas. Still learning about how much God loves me.

I know her prayers have been answered. The grandmother who interceded on my behalf that I would get out of that toxic relationship. I know He (God) did more in me than she could ever fathom.

It is a beautiful thing when you can reflect on a man who was at one point your whole world and not feel a tinge of loss.

The Father had mercy on me. He taught me true love. I’m still learning.

I’m still overcoming.


SHALOM

End of the Year Review (2015)

2015 started off with my good friend flying in all the way from Haiti to spend the New Year with me! We ended up at her friend’s neighbor’s house and captured the moment with a selfie.  
February brought in a huge blizzard but that didn’t keep me from celebrating the release of my first book “How to Overcome Heartbreak: Recovering from Misguided Love”. On Valentine’s Day I slipped and slid all the way across town to pick up homemade cupcakes from my friend who has her own bakery. I did think about re-scheduling the event due to the many accidents I was seeing while I was out and about getting ready, but I’m glad I did not. Apparently 6 inches of snow and ice does not scare Clevelanders when there is a holiday to be celebrated. I had a great turnout for the first release party.  
March was full of planning for the larger book release party being held on my b day. I scheduled the caterer, made the playlist, booked the venue, and hired the photo booth people. April came in style and my 32nd b day with it. My 2nd release party was a smash and I was overwhelmed by the love of the Father. This was truly a time of celebrating the work He had done in my life thus far regarding healing, wholeness and relationships. I was able to share my story at the party via the youtube video I created. The food was amazing, the photo booth was so much fun and everyone had a grand time. It felt like we were in some ritzy club in New York. God is faithful.   
   
That very next month my friend flew me in to Boston to continue my b day celebration. We were spoiled by her rich sister and enjoyed walking the city. We visited MIT, ate at a 5 star hotel and took the Harvard tour. We even watched Legally Blond in honor of being in Boston 😆.   
 

That same month my friends and I made our way to our alama mater to walk the campus and celebrate our 10 year anniversary!   

 

And of course there was Mother’s Day…  

The summer was full of time with friends, b days, graduations and wedding celebrations. My high school BFF dropped in for a visit and we hung out with our fam.    

My college BFF flew in from Florida and we kicked it Cleveland style. Then I made my way to Cinci to celebrate my friend’s 32nd b day. In August I got to celebrate my friend’s wedding. She married as a 50-year-old virgin. God is faithful.    

    
   
 The big event came in September when I took my first international trip to Haiti. I could not have imagined what a blessed time I would have there and how naturally beautiful the country is! My friend spoiled me with showing me its beauty and I enjoyed the tropical waterfalls, the pools, the mountains and so much more. I will never forget Haiti.    

   
 October revealed another first. I took my mom to Disney World for her b day.  She had never been before and we had a grand time.    

 I also had the blessing of selling more books!  

 But little did I know, God had another huge blessing in store for me around the corner. After 3 years of waiting, He released me from my current employer. Once again, I had learned contentment, I had learned joy, I had learned endurance, and His grace was sufficient to finish the assignment that once brought me to tears. I honestly did not think it would ever end. I projected 2 more years of the same. I succumbed to my destiny of boredom and humility. But He saw, when I didn’t see. He believed when I didn’t. And He showed me that once again, there is an end date to the waiting. 

 I had another miracle occur in November. Some much needed healing from a broken relationship. My mantra for this year has been “healing 2015”. It has even been passwords on my work computer. I have been so adamant about getting healed from childhood issues and other relationship trauma. God has shown me the purpose of my singleness and why He kept saying “no” to all the previous men who pursued. He has been making me into the woman He originally intended. That takes TIME. I never wanted to give Him time, but that is what He asked for. When the Creator of all things asks you for something, you can’t help but give it to Him.  

This week I will plan for a gathering at my house. I will show a slide show of highlights from 2015 and all of the blessings God has given. He has overtaken me with blessings (Deut 28:2). I will celebrate the New Year with women who love me with His love and I will look forward to the new door He will open in my career. 

 I am still in waiting. I am waiting in my career (again) and I am (still) waiting for the man He has promised. I am learning that I am a work in progress and always will be. But I’m thankful that the burden is not on me to complete this work. It’s on Him. And He already did it on the cross.

  
Shalom & Happy New Year!!!!

One Month In

This week will be one month since the lay off. It has flown by. My how I have grown! 8 years ago when I faced unemployment I was ready to cash out my savings from fear that God would not provide and everyday that eeked by felt like eternity. I was so stressed I lost my hair and felt like God had abandoned me. Now my hair has been its own source of joy.
  When I first graduated college I was so worried about my lack of experience. I did not have the internships lined up like my peers or the savvy business connects. I felt like a fish out of water. All I had was a very expensive college degree and a call from God. Turns out that was all I needed. Actually, I didn’t even need the degree-He was enough. So now 10 years later I marvel at His hand. I marvel at His provision and how He is transforming me and writing a story I never knew I wanted written. He is now even using me to write other people’s stories. I tried so hard to box myself in. I felt boxed in that cube for 3 years and thought it would be the death of me. But I learned joy. I chose to make the best of that cube and that was what He was waiting for. So often we think we are waiting on Him. I bet you He’s waiting on you even more!

I met with my career coach and let her fine tune my resume, my cover letter and my Linked In profile. My business cards for both my professional endeavors as well as my book are on their way. It all looks so amazing and yet it doesn’t even cover all of the other professional experiences I am getting with writing in this season. Whatever God has for me is going to be phenomenal.

10 years ago I couldn’t see my future. I couldn’t see where I was going. I had a totally different view of how my life would look and who would be in it. I thought I knew myself. I had no clue I would keep changing. That much of what made me “me” back then was actually not me at all. It was brokenness, wounds, pain, and lies believed since childhood. There is still brokenness, and there is still pain, and lies, but He has made it His mission to keep making me better.

The pruning is worth it. It’s hard, but so worth it.

I finally see now that the path God creates for each of us is to bring out our best. He does not allow us to stay immature and selfish and needy. He keeps us walking by faith so that we are being developed into His image. This image for me has been long luscious locks of natural hair, a 25lb weight loss, clean eating life style, improved fashion style and a radiant dark chocolate skin tone. And that doesn’t even cover my improved character!

I thought I needed a man to make me worthy. I thought I needed a relationship to have value and be beautiful. Actually it was a relationship I needed to make me amazing. But it was a relationship with Christ.

If you are on Periscope please check out my guest spot on TriF.Y.R.E’s “Transparent Tuesdays”! I will be weighing in on the topic of “Christian Singles Being Sexy”.


SHALOM!

Live As You Are Called

woman-at-home

I have been listening to a woman’s testimony online who has been single 57 years and is getting married today. You may know of this woman. Her name is Nancy De Moss. I haven’t really followed her ministry “Revive Our Hearts” too much in the past but given she has lived a full single life for 57 years and is now being called to marriage, well, that is a topic that greatly interests me! I definitely tuned in b/c I wanted the wisdom she had acquired for nearly 60 years that didn’t just allow her to live an abundant single life, but that allowed her to thrive in the will of God for her life. Much of what she shared in her series “Before I Become a Mrs.” really resonated with what God has been teaching me in my journey and especially in this season. She shared that we should “live as we are called” just as Paul admonished (1 Cor 7:17). But she elaborated on that teaching and said that until God calls you to something different, keep doing what you are doing. So until God calls you to marriage, remain single. It really is about the will of the Father. We should not seek to be outside of His will for any reason, but remain as we are called.

Some other great tips she gave were to be content regardless of one’s circumstances and to live our lives as unto the Lord. I have learned recently how important contentment is regardless of my circumstances. I had to fight for joy b/c I was unhappy in both my personal and professional life. That meant most days I was unhappy! I realized I had to find this joy on my own and not seek it in another person otherwise I would be needy and dependent. I had done that enough in the past. It was time for something different.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with a group of teenagers about having healthy relationships. I shared from my book, my own story and all that I have been learning in this season about emotional health. I was in awe that God had opened this door for me when this has been my area of weakness. I did not have examples growing up of healthy marriages. I would have benefited greatly if I had someone to come alongside me and mentor me in the area of emotional health and healthy relationships. But yesterday I was able to speak to people around the same age I was when I found misguided love. In a sense I was able to mentor my younger self. And just as a new friend recently told me, though I did not have this guidance myself, I can now guide others.

I was speaking to a fellow single sister about relationships over lunch after sharing my teaching to the kids. We both have experienced God confirming marriage in our future. But I asked her, how should our single sisters feel about marriage if God has not confirmed to them that this is in their future? The statistics are against us as African American, educated women. Should they have hope for marriage? She made a really great point. She said that we should want the Father’s original intent. In the beginning He made them both male and female to reproduce His image throughout the earth and establish His kingdom. That was His original intent. We now live in a fallen world and there is dysfunction and people have choices. But as new creatures in Christ we should desire the Father’s heart as it was in the beginning.

This too pertains to calling. In the beginning men and women were called to be whole people, know their identity in Elohim outside of the relationship and come together for a purpose. That is the Father’s heart. We should live as we are called. And when He changes our calling, we should live in that too.

Regardless of whether our calling changes, there is One who stays the same. It is the One who stays the same that matters most.

Here is a great blog post that I have really enjoyed that encourages us when we are facing odds that seem to be against us: “The Odds Are Against Us, But It Don’t Even Matter”.

SHALOM!