It Takes Two…

Welcome to this month’s faith journey. Yes, I am a Christian, however, despite the walk of faith you’re on, I pray you to explore with me today and receive a little clarity about some of the spiritual roadblocks you may be facing, in the present moment. Ready? Me too! Indulge and Enjoy!

Communication:

— The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

— A letter or message containing information or news.

— The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.

(Definitions brought to you by our good friend Google!)

Communication can be difficult, at times. Especially when one party doesn’t exactly know how to communicate effectively. I mean, it should be simple right? One party (Party A) shares their feelings, concerns, thoughts, and opinions, all while the other party (Party B) listens. Then, only after effectively listening, Party B responds, sharing their feelings, concerns, thoughts, and opinions, while party A listens effectively.

Notice any keywords there? Right, EFFECTIVELY. Do we all know what “effectively” means? Well, let’s check back in with our good friend, Google, just to make sure!

Effectively:

— In such a manner as to achieve a desired result.

So basically, if I (Party A), enter a dialogue of communication, with Party B, with no desire to understand or actually hear what they have to say, my intentions in which I will be effective are now partial, and really of no value to this transaction. Makes sense? I hope so. Keep this foundation, we’ve created, in the front of your mind as we continue on this journey.

Here we go again… Me sitting here, telling You how much I’m trying to get it right… Telling You, it’s not my fault, I missed a Church service (even though it‘s live-streamed and I don’t have to leave my bed). Defending my poor choices by telling You, “internet church” doesn’t work for me.

Hello!? Are You listening? So, You’re just not going to say anything? Okay cool. Look, I know I’m not the perfect daughter but I try. Thank You for never giving up on me. Your continued Grace and Mercy are very much appreciated.

So, I know I haven’t 100% followed through on everything you told me to do, but I need your help. See, I’m struggling mentally and emotionally, with problems that aren’t even my own, but I need You to help me carry this weight load.

Oh, by the way, I miss intimacy. I miss talking to someone on an intellectual level and sharing my inner thoughts with them. So, I was thinking about reaching out to one of my exes. Now, I know this isn’t going to help with the emotional baggage I still haven’t worked through but honestly, I’m bored…

Anyways Father, it’s been great talking with You tonight. We’ll definitely have to chat again soon. I love you! Amen!

Okay, so how did reading that feel? Pretty one-sided right? Now, by the Grace of God, this isn’t a sample of my direct communication between me and the Father, however, I cannot begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with Him, without ever giving Him a chance to speak.

Sometimes, when I try to communicate with the Father, I forget to let my guard down. This lays a huge role in being effective with my words. I have various communication channels with Him (singing, journaling, verbally praying, meditating, reading my word, worshiping, and so many others), but my channels don’t matter if I’m not open to being receptive!

Listen, communication is a two-way street. It doesn’t matter who you’re trying to communicate with, you have to be ready and able to communicate effectively. With the Father, effective communication is crucial! He wants to speak to us just as much as He listens to us. It takes time and patience to hear what He is asking of you. Moving too fast may cause you to miss the very step leading to your next blessing or deliverance.

That’s all. Continue to be blessed!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Christians Struggle Too (Continued)

Hey Family! How are we feeling? Not exploring with you all for two weeks felt like forever!! It’s May! And we’re back on schedule! This week is creative writing, of course, so let’s dive back into Christians Struggle Too. Indulge and Enjoy!

The final paragraph of our first journey into Christians Struggle Too

Lifting my head, to now make eye contact with her, as if I wanted her to see the sadness in my heart I erase every assumption she’s making of me. “I guess you could say that but, the truth is I’ve never felt further away from him then I do now…”

We stare at each other as silence fills the room. I can see her racking her brain, trying to think of the next invasive question she’ll ask. As she strategically maps out her questionnaire, I began to get lost in my own thoughts. “How did I get here,” I ask myself, reminiscing about the events that led up to today’s visit…

“Girl, just make a profile,” my best friend yells, overly excited for me to get back on the dating scene. “I made one, and met my boo within a week,” she bragged, “Plus, you’ve been single for too long, it’s time for you to meet someone.”

~

I don’t know why I was so nervous about making this profile. Maybe it’s because it brought back old memories of the chat lines back in the day. You know, call a number and talk to a person for hours, then exchange information and meet up whenever y’all felt the time was right…

Yeah, it felt exactly like that only this time online. Trust me, despite my age, I’m entirely too familiar with chat line hook-ups. I mean, my friends and I couldn’t wait for our parents to go to sleep, work, or sneak off with their boyfriends (they thought we didn’t know about).

We would grab our house phone, dial in, and create sexy aliases, using soft seductive voices, to intrigue men sometimes 10 years older than us… That’s a story for another day though. Back to this crap fest…

~

She’s right, I had been single for almost a year and a half. It didn’t bother me too much, but maybe that’s because I kept sneaking around with my ex. Maybe I really should move on. And, my generation is known for getting over one, by hopping on the other!! So, online dating, here I come!

We sift through the thousands of pictures I have saved to my phone and pick 3-4 of them, we felt accentuates my best assets. We write a quick blurb, that really says nothing about who I am, and then we start swiping (left for no and right for yes)! Within 10 minutes messages began pouring in…

Between men sending me very explicit pictures, to others telling me they felt I was the “one” for them, I definitely began to feel overwhelmed. Needless to say, when one guy simply wrote, “Hey beautiful, hows your day going,” he 100% had my attention.

After talking for maybe, 3 hours or so. He had my address and was on his way to my house to “chill” (dangerous, I know). Of course “chilling,” no Netflix, turned into sex, very quickly, and not long after that he was gone…

Did we use protection? Well, I’m sitting in a clinic sharing this story with you, so go ahead and answer that question for yourself. Expecting not to hear from him again, I went back to the app just to casually converse with anyone willing.

After a few days, he messaged me asking if I wanted to “get up,” of course I agreed. Before I knew it, he and I were meeting up almost every night, having sex and going our separate ways in the darkness of the early morning. Honestly, I was completely okay with this. It’s not like I actually found him attractive… let’s just say he had a “big ego,” as Beyoncé so gracefully sang it!

~

“So, let’s say you are pregnant… Do you know who the child’s father is,” her question snaps me back to reality… “Yes,” I spewed at her, offended she’d even think to ask such a question. I mean, who does she think I am? I’m definitely not the type to sleep around. Wait… I mean, I know who he is… I just… don’t know his name.

My heart sinks to my stomach realizing how dangerous and carefree I’ve been. How could I’ve slept with a man whose name I don’t even know? What do I know about him? Damn, I really only know his age, (34) and I don’t even know if that’s true. Okay, kids… I know he mentioned his kids before. Two, I think he said he has two, a boy and a girl. Or maybe he said three…

Oh God, I definitely don‘t want to be a baby mama. So many thoughts run through my head as the nurse continues rambling about the “joys” of starting a family. As nothing she says registers in my brain, my thoughts begin to quiet down.

“God, I don’t know if You can hear me, but please help me. I know I’m the worst when it comes to communication, and I promise You I’m working on being better, but I don’t want to be pregnant by this man. I know this isn’t what you have in store for my life… Please, don’t let me be pregnant…”

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Christians Struggle Too…

Hey Family! I must admit I’m still a little down emotionally… I honestly believe it’s due to the lack of social interaction due to being quarantined. How are you guys holding up? This week is dedicated to creative writing. So, let’s explore. Indulge & Enjoy!

As I wait patiently, in the dimly lit room, I wonder if the reviews I’ve read are true. Am I going to be bombarded with pamphlets about God and what he wants from me? How do they know what He wants from or for me when I don’t even know myself? How do they know, just from looking at me, what my destiny is?

The wait wasn’t long though. Walking back to the first room on the left, at the nurse’s request, I noticed how bare the walls are. No color. No pictures. No anything. Just white. Nothing like average doctors’ offices. At least not the ones I’ve been in.

After what felt like 10 minutes the nurse breaks the silence with the most confusing, uncomfortable question a doctor has ever asked me. “Are you pro-choice or pro-Life?” from her expression, I can tell my answer made her as uncomfortable as I was. “I’m whatever works for my life at the moment.”

Her discomfort didn’t last for long as the room seems to darken. She slowly lifts her head to look me in the eyes. As she stares at me, I make sure to keep eye contact, while mentally reminding myself to be firm in my decision. Breaking our intense stare, she looks down to close her folder of papers and bull another awkward question out of thin air. “Do you know God?”

My eyes started to roll, to the back of my head, as I realize I’m not even 5 minutes into my appointment and my lecture has begun. Attempting to answer her question as truthfully as I can, without lying or making this discussion last any longer than it has to be, I decide to think before speaking this time.

“I believe there is always room for improvement when it comes to knowing God. I come from a family full of religion. From my Grandfathers to my Fathers all being or have been Pastors. I also attended catholic school my whole life.”

As she listens to my history, her frown begins to fade and a beaming smile replaces it. Her smile seems to brighten the whole room as she says,“So you do know Him!”

Yes! I’m in the clear. This discussion is over! You definitely did your thing girl, I think to myself, but I wasn’t in the clear at all. It’s at this very moment I came to one of the most truthful yet frightening realizations of my life.

Lifting my head to now make eye contact with her, as if I wanted her to see the sadness in my heart I erase every assumption she’s making of me. “I guess you could say that but, the truth is I’ve never felt further away from him then I do now…”

All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE

The Unknown

Hey Family! With everything going on in the world at the present moment, I really just wanted to let this journey be an encouraging one. I want you all to explore with me and leave seeing at least a little light at the end of what feels like a long dark tunnel. Ready to explore? Indulge & Enjoy!

So, lately, all we’re hearing about is sickness and death and, honestly, it’s exhausting. Life as we knew it has been halted and most of us are staying in the house (with the exception of a quick store run). Some of us are terrified while others are trusting in the Lord to see us through this difficult time. I’m pray we all come together on one accord, and continue to walk this faith journey together. Listen, I don’t know what tomorrow holds. What I do know is, if we keep our faith and continue to worship the Father, we will be alright.

I’m not an expert on this faith thing, but I know, times like this are when God is looking for us to stay faithful. No, I’m not saying this is a test from Him. What I am saying is regardless of why this virus has shifted our lives, we need to allow it to build our faith. God has not forgotten us, and he has not left us here to suffer. Pray, worship the Father, stay in your Word, keep your communication to the Heavens open. He wants to hear from you. He wants to know we are still trusting Him.

Let’s try something… Do you remember your first heartbreak? How did you feel? I’m certain words such as discouraged, confused, betrayed, and alone come to mind. But, for how long did it last? Did you allow it to dictate your entire life? Just as that heartbreak, this too is not permanent. No, neither one of us knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Nor do we know what next week, or next month, will look like. But, I know by the grace of God we will adapt and we will thrive! What I know for a fact is this…

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Come Home…

Happy March! I always feel refreshed in the month of March. You know like it’s a new year with new possibilities. It seems strange, my year doesn’t really feel new until 3 months in… Just goes to show, were all on different journeys, and you never know where, exactly, your neighbor is on theirs.

This week, I want to discuss a conversation I had Sunday, March 1st, that almost took me back to a seriously dark space. I thank God for keeping his hand on me while I chose to venture off into this world alone. Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!

About a month ago, I prayed and I told God I loved Him. I told Him I love Him, but this life was too hard for me. I told Him I wasn’t leaving Him, but I needed to do a few things my way. He begged me to reconsider by shielding me from the very things my flesh desired. But, I refused. So he wrapped his arms around me, told me He loves me and will always be here when I needed Him. As I walked out the door, He asked me if I had my key, just in case, I changed my mind. I smiled and said “I do,” knowing I left it in the middle of my neatly made bed…

So foreign, yet so familiar… I sit at my desk daydreaming of the trouble I can get myself into tonight. I’ve been released, released from the conviction of my fleshly desires. I can live in this world and be free of the weight of being the perfectly imperfect Christian. My struggles can become my struggles in private again. I don’t want to be seen as a “Church Girl,” or a “PK– Preacher’s Kid.” I wanted to be the version of me that was innocent in the light and full of sin in the dark. The version of me that men lust after, regardless of their relationship status, and I’d play eeny-meeny-miny-moe to select the one I’d spend some time with…

So familiar, yet so foreign… I sit and wonder why the excitement of spending the night with a man I’ve known for, ehh maybe 3 days doesn’t shoot through my body like it used to. As the Spirit whispers to my heart, “Come home, this isn’t you, Never was you…” I try to shake the feeling… My brain keeps repeating, “I can do this, this is me…” The feeling just won’t go away. So, torn between the two, I call and cancel my plans, explaining something came up. But, I extend an invitation to reschedule…

Everything is so innocent… My emotions are completely out of whack. I’m acting before thinking and somewhere in my irrational mind, it all makes sense. I’m forcing myself to believe, all is well, because… well… I mean, it’s the easiest thing to do. Who wants to admit their soul is at war with their flesh, for their salvation, and at the present moment their flesh is winning? Who wants to tell the world they intentionally walked away from a life of growth, and prosperity for failure and stagnation. But, my Father said I can come home whenever I want, right? I wonder if he meant it… Yeah, I think I’m ready to go home… Shoot, I can’t even do that, because I left my key in the middle of my neatly made bed…

Innocent is everything… He’s so adorable… I’ve brushed him off for months, yet, he still reaches out almost daily. Persistence! I like that. Plus, it’s just conversation, what harm can it do? But, his conversation activates something in me that I’ve desired for so long. Intimacy! My mind has been craving an intellectual conversation with an attractive man who knows God. Or does God just know him? WHO CARES! We’re definitely entertaining this… I won’t let it go too far, I promise… But, then that voice in my brain begins to remind me, “I can do this, this is me…”

“You can tell your Dad has always given you everything you ask for,” the assumption pierced my ears like nails on a chalkboard. Immediately, the insecurities of not having my dad growing up flooded my spirit. Defense rises, as I prepare to let this man know exactly what my Dad has done for me. As I open my mouth, my soul calms my mind. My hardened heart softens. My words retreat from the tip of my tongue. “He meant your Father… Your heavenly Father,” a familiar voice whispers in my ear as tears begin to fill my eyes, “Come home…”

But, I don’t have my key… How will I get in? My Father is the busiest being I know. There’s no way He will be sitting in the house waiting for me. “Come home,” the voice repeats, no explanation nor hesitation. How? How can I get home? I walk into my room, look at my neatly made bed, and right in the middle of the pillows, it was there. My Bible. How did I not notice I had my key all along? I climb in my bed and flip to my favorite scripture, 1 John 3:1.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

As I lay in bed wondering what my Father thinks about my return, I hear a confident, secure, stern, yet understanding voice whisper, “Welcome home, My child.” My heart reverts to a posture of worship and reverence. You’re here? You waited for me! You knew I had my key this entire time, yet You still waited here for me! I love you Abba…

“I love you too, my little headstrong bull, he says as he kisses my forehead. “When you choose to leave I worry. I worry at how long it will take you to find your way back. This month felt like 3 years for me. Please don’t leave again.” He pleads with me to stay safe in the home He’s built for us. “But, if you do choose to leave know this My child: You have left Me, I have not, nor will I ever leave you. I will always be here, waiting for you to use your key…”

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Misconception

Hey Family!! I want to take the time to thank y’all for rocking with me! This is our second spiritual journey, and to be honest, these may be my favorite journey!

So often, as Christians, the notion of getting it right is forced on us. We are made to believe there is no room for error and if we do make a mistake, we’re doomed to hell. (Now, don’t get it twisted, neither my current or previous Church is teaching this…)

This week we are going to journey through the misconceptions of giving your life to Christ. Indulge and Enjoy!

Before we proceed, I have to give credit where credit is due. About 2 years ago, I started removing secular music from my playlists and began listening to more faith-based music. There was an artist, by the name of Lecrae, I had a little bit of knowledge on from a song, he released in 2006, titled Prayin’ for You.

I decided to binge listen to him and I came across a song titled Misconception Pt 2. This song blessed me tremendously! I immediately added it to my daily rotation to encourage me to keep pushing on my journey to Christ. Check it out! Really pay attention to the chorus…

Chorus:

We’re flawless, and we think we’re better,

Its official, got it all together,

We don’t want em getting the wrong impressions,

Cause that ain’t real that’s a misconception,

Been a struggle, only Jesus kept us,

And we still fall, so it’s hard to get up,

We don’t want em getting the wrong impressions,

Cause this is real ain’t no misconception…

Did you listen to it? What are your thoughts? For me, this song helped to remove the stigmas society forced on me as a Believer. I was reminded, even with Christ in my life I’m still flawed. There will never be a day, I wake up sin-free, yet I strive for it daily.

Some of the world expects us to have it all figured out the moment we accept the Lord as our Savior. Well, guess what… it doesn’t work like that! I gave my life to Christ at the age of 9 and recommitted my life to him in October of 2017. I still don’t have it all figured out. I’m trying though. I will never stop trying…

I guess what I’m saying is Believers struggle too. It’s not above us, and it doesn’t mean we’re hypocrites. It means we’re human. Stop trying to force yourself into the box of perfection. You will never fit!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

He Chose Me

What’s up, family? Welcome to our first Spiritual journey. Here is where I explore my raw, uncensored, and sometimes uneasy walk of faith, with you all. If you’ve been exploring with me for a while, then you know I’m a Christian. You also know I’ve made a multitude of mistakes in my life, and though I strive to be more like Christ daily, I’m still a very flawed human being.

On these journeys, you will get to see me pour my passion into my faith. You will see first hand the common misconception, “being a Christian is easy,” be discredited. It’s a daily struggle to be in the flesh, but not live in the flesh. So, like any other journey we explore, I promise to be as transparent as possible.

Now that all of the formalities are out of the way, get ready to explore! Indulge & Enjoy!

It feels weird lying here, desperately knowing this is not where I belong… In this bed, my bed, with this man I know, but don’t really know… In his arms, declaring my love for this man I don’t even really care to know. Is he my husband? The answer is no. But, I refuse to loosen his grip on me and tell him he needs to go… Why? Because sinnings no fun alone.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay there… Wondering if he feels the warm tears sliding down my cheek, gently dripping on his bicep. No, he didn’t hurt me. Nothing happened tonight that I didn’t want to happen. Honestly, if you ask him, I’m sure he’ll tell you I initiated it… And we definitely had a good time. So why am I crying?

Praise and Worship was amazing… I’ve never known Your presence to be so strong. Or maybe I didn’t want to. I feel You moving within me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think I’m ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels strange to be back here again. A different man. No he’s not my husband, but let’s just pretend… I never knew I could love someone as much as I love him. No, I don’t know much about him but who cares? He’s my everything. I feel like I can’t breathe without him. If I give him my all, and do exactly what he asks of me, maybe he’ll stay.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay in his arms, wondering when the tears will fall. They never come… As anger washes over me, his embrace begins to become cold. Attempting to calm the anger, I think about things he and I have in common. There are none. Wait maybe there are… Maybe it’s just, we haven’t had enough conversations to connect them. Or, maybe this is not where I belong…

Man, the Preacher was on point! You showed up and showed out! I haven’t heard preaching like that since my Granddaddy died. I never knew Your voice could be so loud. Or maybe I didn’t want too. I hear You speaking to me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think im ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels uncomfortable to be here once more. My body pressed against his, as my mind wanders somewhere far away pretending he’s not a different man (yes a different man). Of course he’s not my husband, but what if he was? How would that sound? Alyshia-Mae… Wait, what is his last name? Did even tell me? Did I even tell him my real name? Oh my goodness, he thinks my real name is Keisha…

As he sleeps peacefully, the war within my mind rages on. What number is he? Please don’t make me count. As the rage build up to tears as a voice yells out, “You’re ruining your life!” I yell back to the voice in my head,“Don’t judge me.” Wait, both voices were my own. So, am i judging myself? WHAT IS GOING ON! This is definitely not where I belong.

“Is there anyone here that has not accepted the Lord as their Savior?” Please don’t make me. You asked me to come… I came. You asked me to open my heart… I opened it… Now you’re asking me to surrender my life to you? I just dont think im ready… I’ll see You- – -..

….

It feels strange standing in the second to last row of this Church, confessing to the congregation words that my mind aren’t processing. Everything seems random, yet perfect. Tears stream down my face, as my soul reminds my lungs to breathe. But isn’t that my brains responsibility? “Yes, but I had to turn it off, I needed you to hear Me…”

God? Is that really you? “Yes My child, don’t be afraid” But, I’m still not ready! I’m too dirty to serve you… “Give your life back to Me and I’ll wash you clean as new.” But, I’m not ready- -… “My child, I created you. I know you’re every move. I know your thoughts before you think them. I know what you’ve been through. Please trust Me, you are ready.”  I’m not ready… I’m not qualified… Pick someone else…

I confess with my mouth, Jesus is Lord. I believe with my heart, God raised Him from the dead… I give the life You breathed into me back to You. I ask that You use me to edify Your Kingdom. I am Yours. My life is Yours. I still don’t think I’m ready, and if I keep waiting, I never will be.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.