Category Archives: Faith

Close Encounters

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Have you ever had someone come into your life for just a moment but stay in your heart forever?

Once upon a time, I was an awkward girl in Bible college. Bible college was a bubble in every sense of the word but it was just enough for someone just out of high school. It was a lilly pad of sorts.

Well, enter an angel with the bluest eyes and the coolest hair, without much of a care in the world. That angel’s name was Josh and let me tell you. *Whoo*. Takes a moment to collect myself. Josh was definitely an angel because he saw through all of me, deep down to my inmost being, and he wasn’t scared. We came into each other’s lives at a time where everything just made a little more sense. We had great conversations. We shared our hearts. We believed the future was bright.

Although we weren’t in each other’s lives for very long, we both left a mark on the other’s heart and I will always thank God for giving me time with Josh. Even though Josh has passed, his memory will live on forever and I’m grateful that I can hold his joy in my heart.

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Thoughts About Online Dating

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So I had sworn off online dating in 2018. But once I moved, I started to reconsider. I’m praying about it. I have moments where I’m optimistic but when I think about all of the drama I’ve gone through, the optimism dissipates.

If I do jump in, I plan on being smart about it and being much more discerning. Friends were telling me to be more optimistic but I think it’s important to be realistic. When I say be realistic I mean being realistic about myself. I know I can be a piece of work and I know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.

I also feel like I’m at an age where I’m not as desperate as I used to be. For the most part I have made peace with what will be.

2018 The Journey Continues

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Greetings from 2018! I mean we are almost one month down.

For months I told myself that I would write some blog posts(because at the time I had so much swirling around in my head) and what would you know, I never wrote them.I have no excuses because just in case you had not heard, I graduated in December of 2017 whoop! Which was pretty awesome and definitely makes the journey worth it.

As I was working on my dissertation, I made more of an effort on the job hunt. I applied far and wide and to all kinds of positions. Out of a ton of applications, I managed to snag a few interviews(I was excited about all of them). Then, I was selected for my dream job(if you looked at the job description, my name was all over it) and now I am winding things down and wrapping up loose ends in order to take the next steps in the journey.

None of this would be possible without all of my friends and family both online and in real life. Support matters no matter where it comes from. All of the laughs and tears result in adding to a life that I can be proud of.

I even had a come to Jesus moment with Sgt. Pepper and I boldly told him that it is best for us to hold on to the good memories we had and not move forward(whoo, I even looked at myself like levels).

I’m still thinking of how exactly I am going to write my memoir. A friend just told me about creative non-fiction. So, I definitely have some ideas swirling in that direction. I think that it will turn out the way it should turn out when it will turn out.

I have to get a bunch of research ideas down, so that I don’t forget them.  A great professor said to have a research box(kind of like a prayer box) where every time you read a paper and a question comes to you, you write it down and put it in the box(or in my case, box, spreadsheet, and blog lol).

So here’s to a continuation of the journey!

 

Acceptance By Any Means

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I am really good at a lot of things. But acceptance really isn’t one of them. In recovery we say “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. What if serenity is elusive?

It has been two years since one of my oldest friendships ended(and it feels like ten years) and all I can think and feel is the core of me is garbage. My friend accepted all of me, even my core of garbage until she couldn’t anymore. Today I wonder how long she suffered under my garbage. I reached out to some friends for sage advice. I mentioned my mistakes and how I have tried to reach out over the past two years and you know what they said? They said that I have to stop. I have to let her go. I have to let her be in her serenity. And while I don’t have a deep grasp on serenity, I have to give that to her. The thing is, I can give that to her. I can give that to her and accept my garbage. Because at the end of the day, it’s just my garbage.

Who cares what I miss. I should have thought of that at the time, what I would miss, what I would lose, what I would not become but I couldn’t see it because I was blinded by my own garbage. I am a trash person and my core will be trash. The garbage is not to be celebrated, but it is to be learned from. So going forward, I have to continue to learn from my mistakes big and small. I also have to show more gratitude for those who choose to be in my life garbage and all. I am very thankful for them and I probably wouldn’t be able to even look half way decent if it weren’t for the great people that are in my life in these moments. Yes, you win some and you lose some. I definitely lost. That’s also the story of my life, I have lost a lot. But being a loser doesn’t give me the right to treat anyone badly. So I attempt to walk forward not adding harm to others. Some days are quite easier than others.

Let us walk toward serenity by any means.

Equality In The Church

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*This blog post was submitted to The Junia Project for a blog contest. You can find out more about the Junia Project at http://www.juniaproject.com

Women’s Equality in the Church aka There would be no church without strong women

Countless women are named in the Bible and esteemed by God and Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments. Growing up in very conservative congregations, I could only read about these strong women because women were given minor roles in the living church.

While girls in the church weren’t always explicitly told what our roles were to be, they were mostly unspoken. It was just assumed that we would be in relationships where the man was the head and women ultimately did not have much say. We were told to dress chaste as to not tempt men in the church but men were not told to be respectful of girls and women as to not enter into temptation.

The first missionary I ever met was a girl who spoke about her mission to Japan. I don’t remember what the missionary shared but at that time, I knew that I wanted to be a missionary no matter what. No one asked me when I was young what my plans were but I was ready with an answer if ever I should be called upon.

From a very young age, I assisted and took care of children, from babysitting, to nursery, to teaching Sunday School, AWANA ministry, you name it, if it involved children, I was there helping out. This service to the church extended to my late twenties.

When I transferred to college to finish my Bachelors degree in Christian Ministry, I was just sure that I would end up doing some sort of ministry somewhere. I assisted informally with my church’s youth ministry and when a more formal position became open I found myself not selected in favor of someone who had a better look (but not theological studies or even youth ministry experience). In that moment, I was so devastated that I knew I was having a mild heart attack (it was one of those votes that came before the whole church). That became a defining moment for me not just as a woman but as a Black woman. Many women in the Black church are able to hold the position of minister but are often not tasked with major ministerial duties. I knew that it would be more like Children’s Ministry although I applied for Youth Ministry positions as well. As I applied for ministry positions, I ended up getting one interview at a local congregation for Youth Ministry. Well, I did not get the job. In fact, I think I was just interviewed for the position because there weren’t many applicants. At that moment in time, I knew that there would never be a place for me in ministry and I stopped trying. I completely gave it up. Here I was with a newly minted degree and nothing to show for it (the true story of my life). I later segued into education and faced other hurdles and barriers which would be a whole other blog post.

As long as I have been a member of a church, women have been regulated to supporting roles (until I met women Presbyterian ministers). It took women ministers to reaffirm to me that truly God calls all of us and not only that has given us all gifts that can benefit all who need them. In contemporary churches, women preachers are some sort of enigma who has massive followings and money to basically do what they want (as long as they don’t go too far ala anyone who has a strong opinion that goes against accepted church teachings).

Continuing to relegate women to second class roles not only in the church but in society perpetuates a standard of living that is not only un-Biblical(if we are truly living out Christ’s teachings) but also weak. Because without the inclusion of strong women in positions of leadership not only in the church but also in society, we continue to set a disastrous example for future generations that will not have as strong of an impact on the world than an egalitarian position would. When I read the Bible, I see men and women as equal because that is what God teaches. Equality in the church is not something that we can continue to wish for and hope for some time in the future, it is a standard that we have to uphold now in order to move forward in a direction that will be empowering for both men and women.

Perpetuating inequality in the church is a true bastardization of God’s word and anyone who continues this practice will have to ultimately answer to God for it. This does not mean that these views should be allowed to have such a loud and smothering voice in the church, but rather, the views for equality and justice have to speak even louder, even when it hurts.

 

2016 What About Your Friends?

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I was wrong. A few things had happened and I took them to be something different then what they were. So I proceeded to talk about a friend behind their back. I did this instead of talking to my friend about it. Well, of course what I said went back to my friend and they were hurt. I figured as such and I reached out to apologize. I felt bad. I was wrong for what I did.
So my friend told me how much I hurt them. I was devastated about what happened. So my friend said I needed to make a public apology and guess what? I did. My friend means more to me than the people that I was talking to and even if our friendship is never the same, atleast they know where my heart is. I also know that I have to reevaluate my friendships. Maybe the truth is that I consider everyone to be my friend but in reality I don’t have any. Don’t let my Twitter or Facebook followers fool you. I probably have more associates than anything. At this point in my life even though it makes me sad, I have to be okay with that and I will. So many people underestimate me and cannot begin to understand the pain that I have felt in my life. And again that is okay. People may have to be hard pressed when I go mute because I’m really really good at it.
At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what and who matter. There is no point in letting people get me down just because it is easy. But oh it is so easy. So I’m going to go through the motions just to get through because that is important to me. Maybe it is much less important that my voice be heard because in a vaccum of white noise everything cancels out anyway. I’m very disappointed in myself for believing that things were different. I only had a few friends growing up and I don’t even have them now.
So here’s to me learning a lesson in being quiet.
Peace

2016 When Everything Turns Up Roses

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Hey y’all. I hope this finds you well. If not, I hope you feel a little better after reading. Why? Because you deserve to feel great. I know it sounds cheesy, but once you start telling yourself what you deserve, you start feeling better. Now this may get a little bumpy as I tend to go all over the place(just like my writing, and another reason why revision is a great thing, not something to fear or hate).

First things first, this semester is going awesome. Like I totally turned things around in Stats(and each class session is even more awesome). For instance, last week we began a conversation about multilevel modeling and I am telling you it was like poetry. Pure mathematical poetry. Every day I realize that I love math(a lot).

Second, I got an awesome job. Like it is so awesome that I still can’t believe it. I just can’t believe that I have this opportunity. The people that I work with are great. I get to work on real world projects. I am in a good space.

Third, every single conference that I submitted to, I was accepted. I still can’t believe that people want to hear about my work and what I have to say. So, a lot of people are proud of me and I have been given permission to be proud of myself. I am. I am.

Fourth, everything is working out wonderfully, so for the first time in a long, long time, I have no drama. Yep, you read that right, no major drama in my life(or the dancery quoting MJBlige). What does this mean? It means that I have a lot of time to make up my own internal drama(filled with over thinking and wondering where Prince Charming is). But I have an amazing support group who nudges me and jostles me out of the drama cloud and I am on my merry way again.

So, I plan on doing a better job of writing on here. So, be ready for a bunch of stuff because I have a lot to talk about(or be ready for a little bit of stuff because I might get busy lol). Who knows, let’s just be optimistic and hope for the best.

I am hoping for the best in all things. Even though I am turning that big scary 3-5 in a few months, I am going to be optimistic. Even though it seems as if Prince Charming lost all of my contact info, I am going to be optimistic. Even though there are a million things that I cannot change, I am going to be optimistic. Because really at the end of the day, I have no other choice.

Peace, love, and light y’all 🙂