This has been a trying week. In the middle of preparing to move to a new state, I was scheduled to work a week in Idaho. Specifically, I was working in the Idaho panhandle. After my 5 hour flight (including layover), it was an additional 6 hour drive (with the road construction) from the Spokane International Airport to Clarkston, WA where my hotel was located.
I didn’t want to eat at the airport because I have been trying to make healthier food choices. I get my rental car and start driving only to realize I am in the middle of the mountains and there are not a lot of pit stops. I see a sign for a Subway and take the next exit.
Back on the road again, I run into road construction. The two-lane highway became a one-lane highway. I was stuck for 30 minutes while the opposing lane passed. This happened twice.
In the last 30 minute leg of the drive, I had to cross a mountain. The kicker, I didn’t realize I was on a mountain until I happened to look over and see NOTHING. No trees, no guardrails – just a thousand feet drop if I veered to close to the edge. I was driving on the outer lane. I nearly panicked. I felt dizzy. I felt pressure in my ears. I had to quickly refocus and concentrate on the car in front of me.
I am learning that you really do not have to fight your own battles. God is really better at getting at the heart of the matter. He is more surgeon with scalpel and I am more Viking with ax. lol In all of my self-righteousness, I have confronted people only to make things worse. I am also guilty of misinterpreting intent. All we have to go on are actions. Only God can judge the intent of the heart. It never fails that God will cause the person to eat their words or teach me a lesson. Either way, peace is preserved.
I am learning to eradicate fear in every area of my life. God is love and love is the opposite of fear. The Bible states, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7.Whenever I hesitate to say something or do something out of fear, I am learning to go against that feeling and do it anyway.
Last weekend, I passed out flyers explaining the Gospel of Jesus. This would have terrified me in the past – the idea of not having the right words or rejection. It was not that scary at all in retrospect. It also helped that I had a partner. Like the Bible, we went out two-by-two.
I am excited to be the age that I am. As a young girl, I was terrified of getting older. All of the pictures of older women, were wrinkled faces, gray hair and curved spines. Older women would show their photos of their younger selves and be unrecognizable to me. I thought aging would cause me to lose myself as I morphed into an old woman. I would start carrying hard candies in my 'pocketbook' and keep my coin purse in my bosom. Yep, bosom. Only older women had bosoms. lol
I can honestly say that I am the best Felicia I have ever been. I actually think I am aging in reverse. Bejamina Button. lol With the exercising and diet, I am getting better. Charting new territory, I am. All without fear.
My pastor uses that quote frequently in his sermons. I read a blog post about God granting a husband and wife a new house. I sat thinking about my life where I am at this moment – with so many dreams yet to be fulfilled – and this phrase came to mind.
I started this blog over six years ago when I first moved to Texas. I believed – and still do – that this was a journey that would take me to some unfamiliar and exciting territory. *insert Abraham reference Genesis 12* Like Abraham, moving took a lot of faith. I only knew a couple of people in town and I was essentially starting over in a new 'land'.
Like the story of Abraham and many stories in the Bible, God makes a promise and then there is a waiting period until its fulfillment. Let us call the waiting period 'the Valley'. Abraham, Sarah, David, Joseph – the list goes on and on – all waited on God's promises to be fulfulled in their lives. I particularly like the story of Joseph because, like me, he was a dreamer. They all had faith in God, they all obeyed and yet, they all waited. In some cases, decades passed.
Why do we believers love God? Is it because we think if we love Him enough He will give us our hearts desires? Is it out of fear or obligation? When we don't get what we want, do we love Him less? Why is it so hard to wait?
The truth is waiting, hoping, wanting all hurts just a little. In doing so, you are acknowledging that something desired is lacking. Let us look at the story of Hannah who wanted a child so much that she wept bitterly and did not eat. (I Samuel 1-20). The wanting of the child that she was lacking caused her great pain.
It is the pain that is difficult to acknowledge and, therefore, face. Like, the previous post, "Has Marriage Become Dirty Word?", the original article seemed to deride the women who professed openly a desire to be married. Why? I knew someone with a long-term live in boyfriend who also discounted her desire to be married only to profess later her desire for it but her mate's derision for it. She had lied to me or herself because facing the fact that what she wanted did not align to what he wanted actually hurt.
Proverbs 13:12 states, "Hope deferred maketh the heartsick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."
Ain't that the truth.
Isn't that what we all want? Life, abundantly. It is okay to hope, to dream, to desire. When the pain becomes greater than the fear that has kept you stagnant, you wll make moves toward your goal.
Hannah's pain caused her to pray silently while moving her lips in the house of God. The act caught the attention of Eli the prophet who accused her of being drunken. She answered how she was praying out of angush and grief, i.e., pain. The man of God told her to go in peace and may God grant her what she had requested of Him. Nine months or so later, Hannah gave birth to her son.
May it be so with those of us who believe and hope in God.
I am going through life just like you facing challenges that are personal, familial, and professional. I do so with grace, faith and a little blog. Friends and my readers make the journey a bit more bearable.
I have had several incidents with people who claim to be friends who continually speak negative things over my life. Get thee behind me!
I was talking to a 'friend' and explained how I believe God for the husband of my dreams. I want to have that level of faith. This person got highly-offended that I would dare to ask God for what I want and not just accept any old man because, 'Maybe that is God's will for you.'
Again, get thee behind me!
The Word of God says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. " Psalm 37:3-5
No caveats. So, why are you mad? Are you upset because I do not agree with you or are you upset that you fell for the enemy's deception and excepted good enough when God has promised His children 'Good Things'?
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give goodgifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:11
Please do not start me to preaching on here.
Having this level of faith is not easy. It has been birthed through trials and tribulations. Through reading, accepting and believing God's Word. I will not – cannot – let anyone shake my faith.
My faith has gotten me to Dallas. It is by faith that I am writing this post. That I have written my book. That I still have dreams of acting on stage.
"And hope makethnotashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5
My friends, who I have known the longest, would have offered words of encouragement. They would have even quoted scriptures I may have forgotten. I am told by them that I am smart and beautiful and deserve the best. So, why are you mad?
My friendships are not one-sided. The reciprocity being I am pro-my friends. I would never try to embarrass you when a 3rd or 4th party is in our presence. If anything, I will talk you up not talk you down.
God has been dealing with me in the area of boundaries. It is time that I start enforcing them. If you are not Team Felicia, please keep it moving.
I remember reading a story during the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake that children were so hungry that they had taken to eating dirt cakes. Literal cakes made of salt, dirt, and oil that are then baked in the sun and fed to starving children. Needless to say that this desperate act caused a multitude of harm to those ingesting it but the cake would ease the hunger pains. My point being that a need can be so great that it will compel you to do harm to yourself to fulfil it. Our needs are very real – food, safety, shelter. There are other, higher needs- belonging, family, and love. These needs can be as strong and painful as hunger when they are not being met.
I was feeling very strong desire for change. I believe in being very self-aware. I wanted to know the motivation behind my own behavior and desires. It is not enough to just feel what I feel. When I really examined my own motivations, I was being led by loneliness and fear.I am not ashamed to admit this. I am proud that I can identify my own motivations before making a rash decision.
I am learning that loneliness is a powerful motivating force. It makes people marry someone they do not love and stay long after they have both realized it. Tom Hanks in Castaway created and befriended a volleyball. When Wilson fell off the raft, Hanks' character dove in after him nearly drowning. So, is it so unreal that people will do self-destructive things in response to loneliness?
Loneliness and fear will compel you to call when you should not, stay when you need to leave, and pursue when you should be still.
Let me suggest faith as the antidote to loneliness. Faith as defined as Complete trust or confidence in God. The thing you desire (if in His will) he will grant to you. I am learning that you do not have to give in to the pressure of someone else who would like you to compromise your beliefs in order to be with him/her. God is in control.
I was at church and was reminded by the Holy Spirit how a previous manager thought my promotion was up to him. He suggested we hang out and be friends after work. I explained that I prefer boundaries. I told God about it. Within months that manager was out and I was promoted. I am learning not to fear. I am also re-learning that I am never alone. What I desire, God has in store for me. Like my promotion, it is not in the hands of man.
Usually this blog is all about me – what I am doing, what I want.This time I wanted to celebrate someone else.
Many of you know that I have journaled my experiences in Dallas, TX since I touched down nearly five years ago. Today I attended a graduation of a friend who moved to Dallas, TX about 1 month earlier than me.
I sat and marveled at what God has done in her life. I have told her that I remember our conversation that we had when I had first moved here and she was showing me around town. She stated how she wanted a husband and family. She was in seminary. Here I was sitting, today, in the audience as she received her Master's Degree with her husband and baby sitting to my left.
I marvelled at how faithful God is. I know that I am single with no children but seeing God fulfil promises for others lets me know that he is a promise fulfilling God.
I allow things to really aggravate me to the point of knocking me off task sometimes. This is a problem.
I was over at Full Complexity's blog and read her post about something really similar. We must be living parallel lives. God led us to each other's blog for encouragement.
I drove through traffic and in circles to make it to this important event downtown only to realize the event did not have parking. I would have to pay and I had no cash on me. I would have to drive at least 15 minutes out of the way to find a cash station. All of this happened after having a really tough/disappointing day at work.
All I needed to do was bite the bullet, say a prayer, and drive to the cash station and make my way back. I, however, became overwhelmed with all the things I had been going thru and thought this is just one more thing that has not worked out for me.
I started to cry. . .really. I thought, God, why do things like this happen to me, why am I disappointed so much?
And then it came to me, like an epiphany – no Chrisette Michele - that it was only a test. The enemy tries to throw little roadblocks in our way to keep us off task. In the grand scheme of things, this was only a minor setback but I allowed myself to connect it to other minor setbacks to create a giant snowball of setbacks to cry over.
The event was so informative and I got to do something I always wanted to do.
I believe God is showing me through it all to just trust him. He knows my end from the beginning. The setbacks are just a test of my faith. Do I really believe the ending of the story leads back to HIM?
Today is a beautiful day. I asked God for a specific, immediate miracle . . .and He performed it.
Now I don't mean some hocus pocus, rabbit out of a hat miracle BUT he showed me how trusting him leads to success. Let me explain.
There is a story in the bibleabout how Joshua was leading the children of Israel through Canaan. God wanted to show the people that He was with Joshua as he had been with Moses, so he demonstrated a miracle. As the prophets carrying the Ark of the Covenant approached the Jordan and their feet touched the edge, the water receded. The people then passed on dry ground.
I take this as a lesson that miracles do happen but sometimes you have to walk by faith in order to see the waters part. Had the prophets sat around waiting for a miracle nothing would have been accomplished. The act of walking demonstrated a faith in God to do what was impossible for them to do in their human strength and God moved on their behalf.
I know I can waiver sometimes but God has a way of showing me that he is still moving on my behalf. I just have to walk it out!
This is turning out to be a Happy New Year indeed!
I have written on Talulazoeapple about fears before, I think. I have also been attempting to overcome most of my (irrational) ones.
I still have left to conquer my fear of dating. It's not like I am cowering in a corner at the thought of it. I just allow my doubts to keep me from trying to connect with someone.
I could just blame all of this on my mother. Parents are easy scapegoats, but it's me.
I figured like most things in life, if I write it down, visualizing my fears I can conquer them.
10. Men are dogs – You have heard this one many a time. I don't think all men are dogs but most have a propensity toward canine behavior. LIL To deal, you need a trainer's license and a rabies shot.
9. Men lie – Truth be told everyone lies in a little. I may wear a padded bra . . .or not, whose asking?To date one must be willing to play a little I Spy from time to time.
8. At my age, all of the good ones are taken - I know this cannot be true, after all there are 5.7 billion people on earth. Surely there has to be one heterosexual, disease-free, educated, professional with no baby momma's or mental illnesses man with all of his teeth. Just one is all I need.
7. Marriage is passe – With Oprah leading the pack of professional women who have these "spiritual unions" (followed by Halle Berry), many are negating the importance of holy matrimony. I would just like to tell all these women, keep it real. Ya'll are way richer than your boyfriends and wanna keep that money right. LOL You ain't fooling me!
6. Every unmarried man over thirty is on the down-low – Lord why did Oprah do that show on down-low brothers. I swear, I think every guy, I mean every guy I meet has a secret. **in Wendy Williams voice** How you doin'? Irrational? IDK. Watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta has refueled this particular one. Lord, help me to overcome. LOL
5. Once married men turn into control freaks – I know many a married man who wants to tell their wife when and where she can breathe. . .and they do it. Um. . .no. I am an easy going girl, I need an easy going guy. I will allow a man to be a man, just allow me to be. . .free.
4. I may change my mind – I know this is the craziest one but I have track record of losing interest in things and marriage is forever. Forever, ever? I had a cat once and the thing was soo smelly, I kicked it out of the house. It wandered into the parking lot and got hit by car. Can you see where I am going with this?
3. All men want is sex, sex, and more sex – This can't fly. I am a Christian that actually practices celibacy – for really, real. I always fear that a guy won't be interested in relationship where there is no nookie. I am not sure if this one is rational or irrational.
2. A man is supposed to find me – Lord, the perils of COGIC upbringing. Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord Proverbs 18:22. This scripture was always recited as an admonishment not to look for a man. You are supposed to let a man find you. This presents quite a conundrum for the single girl.
1. I am meant to be alone – When I was a little girl, I wanted to become a nun. No, really, I did but I was not Catholic. I thought I would dedicate my life to serving God and remain a virgin for life. Well that one did not pan out. Sometimes I think God (who according to my COGIC upbringing is a jealous God) wants me for Himself. I mean, really, who can compare to the Almighty. Or maybe it's like any father, He wants only the best for me. No ordinary, jack leg (my momma's phrase) will do. Maybe I am not meant to be alone but I meant to wait on God.