The Three Hundred.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Happy Monday! I hope you all are having a great day.  Today I wanted to encourage you all to dream, to believe the impossible and to pursue after those things you’ve placed on your dream shelves.  We all have dreams we thought about once upon time but did nothing with, all of us.  I dreamed of traveling around the world, and I have not made it across the pond just yet.  For the longest, I blamed my hectic schedule and the presence of being in law school.  However, now that I’ve graduated there is really no excuse for me to not find my way somewhere new.

Last week, my sisters challenged me to write down three hundred things that I wanted the Lord to do in my life.  Three hundred individual,  unique, and crazy dreams.  I thought about the request and at first I was like how am I going to think of three hundred things?  How sway?  One of my sisters shared with us that the Father spoke to her and was like if you are having trouble thinking of three hundred things it is a matter of faith not a matter of possibilities.  To ask the Lord for something requires faith, and maybe we do not even think to ask because deep down in our hearts we believe that He won’t come through.  It is the Enemy’s goal to have us living beneath our purpose, settling for whatever we’ve been given refusing to ask, to dream and to act on what we’ve dreamed with the Lord.  Writing down our dreams is not only powerful but prophetic- it’s our signal to the Lord that we believe He can do anything!

So, friends I wrote my list of three hundred crazy, impossible dreams.  Today, I realized that there were more dreams to add to my list and I believe that my heart has been freed to dream.  Lovelies, tonight I challenge you to sit with the Lord and build your own list of three hundred things.  Think about and write down three hundred crazy, unique, impossible dreams that you believe the Lord can do.  My list included learning new trades and languages, owning various pieces of property, getting married and having children.  Also, my list included creating scholarship funds for a certain demographic of people and providing for the needs of millions of individuals.  Think about your dreams, ponder them and write them down in faith believing that you in partnership with the Lord can make these dreams come true.

Happy dreaming!

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Firing My SWAT Team.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great evening.  Here’s a thought: What would your life look like if you were less guarded?  I used to ask myself this question all the time.  I used to imagine a life of pain, abuse, and emotional wounds. This could not be further from the truth of what an unguarded life held but past experiences fueled with fear, strengthened my beliefs.  My belief system helped me build a wall around my heart.  This wall was so high and so wide that it even affected my relationship with the Lord.  I had a relationship with God that lacked openness, honesty and raw vulnerability.   I reinforced this wall with what I called my SWAT team- a team of my most powerful fears, who helped keep people, places and things out of my heart.  You know that scripture, “Guard your heart…” I took that scripture a step too far and held my heart hostage.  Fear was my guard and pain was the team captain that kept others at bay.

When you live in dysfunction for so long, you begin to think that your way of living is okay.  Poor emotional health will convince you that needs to be needed, the inability to receive love and avoidance of hard conversations is a matter of personality type when in fact it is an issue of health and maturity.  I thought because I was an INFJ and an 8(on the enneagram model) I was excused from addressing my guards.  I thought my previous painful experiences with people excused me from addressing my guards.  I thought my “spirit of discernment” and earthly wisdom excused me from addressing my guards.  As long as I loved a little bit, as long as I made somewhat of a friendship,  and as long as I avoided the pain I thought God was content with me and my guards. I was completely wrong!   The Father was not pleased with my habit of guarding my heart with fear.

I remember sitting in my room, discussing my relationships with the Lord when he asked me to surrender my guards, to fire my team.  He challenged me with this thought “You can not be open yet guarded at the same time, waiting for people to prove to you that they are not who you thought they were.” Of course, He was right!  Living a life of testing people gets old and you find yourself in a life long dance with self-fulfilling prophecies.  We cannot say we trust in people and yet have no faith in them to do what is right.  We cannot say we love people but as soon as we see a “red flag” (really a fear) we head for the hills ready to run.  Our guards keep the “pain” away but it also hinders us from fruitful connection bred in vulnerability. This type of lifestyle leaves us alone.  My life was lived guarded, fearful and it profited nothing for me.  In order to love and receive the love He desired for me to have, I was going to have to fire my SWAT team and to make peace my guard. Lovelies, that evening I decided to fire my SWAT team.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil.4:7 NIV

Peace will be our guard.  When we allow peace to do it’s perfect work, to signal to us if something is right and wrong; it will guard us against things that are meant to harm us.  How many times have we dismissed the wisdom of peace?  We didn’t feel right about something or it didn’t sit well with us yet we overrode our gut for what was presented to us?  Peace is that sense of relief and comfort, it’s the marker that everything is going to be okay.  Even in hard times, peace guards our emotions and it shields us from fear and anxiety.  Instead of building our own walls and hiring our own protection, let’s allow peace to do its perfect work. Tonight, let’s decide that we will allow peace to be our guard.

Friends, listen to Peace and fire your SWAT team.

Xoxo,

Simone 

Seasons Change

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Wednesday!  I’m so sorry, I know it’s been a while since we chatted.  I’ve been incredibly busy. Between my job, an increased workload and a lot of new responsibility, life has been slightly overwhelming.  I work for an agency that help people in need.  Did you know that around the holidays, evictions are at an all-time high?  Yep, crazy right?   I talk to people all day who are in crisis situations.  It’s so disheartening, yet it’s fulfilling when our agency is able to provide the help that they need. Friends, I’ve been leaning into grace more and more.  Anyways, today, I wanted to share my thoughts about how quickly seasons change.

Once upon a time, a couple of months ago actually, I was sitting with the Lord complaining about the inactivity of my life.  I remember carrying on about how I wished things would pick up.  As a born-bred city girl, I do not know how to rest. I am a bonafide go-getter who is always looking to what’s next:  the next project, the next adventure, the next creative idea.  I am fascinated with the next and I live future-oriented.  This can be good sometimes in that this mindset keeps me from being bogged down in my past.  However, this trait can be terrible because it causes me to miss out on all the beauty that lies within my present. During those few months, my life was still- I mean really still.  I would describe it as boring.  I complained and complained some more.   I was not satisfied with the sweet stillness of my present.  Ultimately, my season changed.  As soon as I became comfortable with stillness, activity returned back to my life and now I am busier than ever.  I mean EXTREMELY BUSY! I can’t remember the last time I took a nap.  My alarm goes off at 6 in the morning and I don’t see my bed again to about 11pm that evening.  I’m on the go.  Yet, it is now that I yearn for those sweet moments of rest.  Now, I appreciate stillness.

Friends, I think the moral of this share-fest is to find contentment in the here and now.  Enjoy rest, honor rest because rest lasts only a short while.  Honor activity, learn from your busy seasons because you’ll need the vibrancy in life to make you yearn for sweet stillness.  God being so balanced in everything he does, orchestrates our seasons to what we can handle.  He teaches us about ourselves and he reveals his goodness in the process.  Trust Him and find your way with Him. This go-getter appreciates a day off and has found peace in knowing that the work can wait.

May you find balance and come to appreciate each season in your life.

Xoxo,

Simone

P.S.  Since my life is a little hectic, please know that I love each of you.  I will respond to your emails, DMs, and other forms of communication as quickly as I can.  Bear with me and know that I’m praying for you all always.  Much love!

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In Love With The Idea.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I hope you all are having a great evening!  It’s been a great day for me and I am super pumped about sharing my thoughts with you.  Those who know me, know that I love films.  I love all films but I have a special place in my heart for black cinema, especially films that celebrate black love.  I’m the girl that has seen Brown Sugar way too many times.  I’m the girl that understands Darius’ pain in Love Jones; that wanted to fight for my man like Monica in Love & Basketball; and who knows how secrets can potentially kill friendships like in The Best Man.  Movies such as Just Wright taught me how looking for my preference can get me in so much trouble and Beyond the Lights encouraged me to believe that my person would indeed “see me.”  Unfortunately, life is not like the movies and sometimes there is no happy ending.  Sometimes we find true love and then sometimes we find ourselves in love with the idea of love.

I love love.  Yep, I love all things that pertain to love.  I love connection, friendships, familial and romantic relationships.  I love the way love makes us feel and how brave we are when we’re loved well.  I love hearing how people connected and about the exact moment, they knew their soul found its home in each other.  I love love.  Yet, it is this rose-colored ideal that caused me to confuse infatuation with love.  I would confuse my butterflies in the relationship to equate to falling in love when we all know that is not the case.  Love is more than desire, it’s more than that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars” type of stuff.  Love is sacrifice and commitment; it’s hella messy and full of risk.  Love is safety and vulnerability; the ability to just be with your partner.  That my dear is love.

Once upon a time, I was in love or so I thought.  I loved this young man and even considered marrying him.  I thought about taking his last name, and I thought about him being the father of my children.  In my heart, I convinced myself that I loved him.  And I did, in part. I loved the idea of him.  I loved the idea of him being my forever partner, the idea that I would no longer wake up alone.  I loved the idea that we would conquer the world together, that I would finally have a teammate.  The idea of loving him was so wonderful that I convinced myself that I loved him.  Since I was committed to my love of this idea when he lied or cheated- I forgave and took him back because I loved him.  He didn’t love me well, but I “loved”  him.  I remember realizing this as I prepped for a wedding and then I knew:  “homegirl, loving an idea will never make you love him fully.”   You can love an idea for eternity but that does not mean that this idea is great for you or your future.  Life is nothing like the movies, we cannot manipulate our situations to give us this picturesque ending.  Sometimes, things don’t work; sometimes, things do. You can’t force the fit, either it works or it doesn’t.

So I have a couple of questions for you:  Do you love them?  Or, do you love the idea of them? If you truly love someone, you will love them for who they are and not for who you would like for them to be.  Love says I’m down for the ride regardless of your brokenness, issues, strengths, and weaknesses.  Love says the real you is accepted with me.  Love says truth is more important than comfort.  Love protects, never gives up, and covers a multitude of faults.  Love is more than a feeling, it’s a choice.  A free-will choice.

So, do you love them or are you in love with the idea of who they should be?

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/comment/2014/12/03/14457559557_1f3cd6643e_o_1.jpg?itok=cK8gQjUl

Heal first.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Monday which means if you’re highly motivated like me, you’ve planned the rest of your week.  I started the day thinking of my daily affirmations, and then it was time to get up and dressed for the day.  As I met each appointment, I barely had time to eat because there was so much to do.  I had a thought about my to-do list and I realized that if I wasn’t whole, then all of my accomplishments would be in vain. First things first, heal. 

We live in a world that hates the process.  If we can get what we want quickly or easily, we’ll bypass what is good for what is mediocre because of our own laziness. How beautiful would it be to enjoy our accomplishments from a place of wholeness? I think it’s one thing to go for the gold and it’s another to hold on to what we’ve gained.  Wholeness gives us the capacity to hold onto what we have accomplished. Before we aspire to be known or to leave our mark the world, let’s become whole.

Have you ever met a person of influence who was full of emotional wounds? They have everything:  the dream job, the dream house, and dream car but are so broken on the inside.  These individuals have so many people around them yet still feel alone.  These individuals have all of the accolades yet are bound by substances such as drugs and alcohol.  Have you ever met someone who was one scandal away from losing everything they have worked hard for?  I have met so many intelligent, creative and beautiful broken people who have lost so much because they were not whole. I don’t believe it is the heart of God that we live in perpetual brokenness.  We should live with our hearts broken towards him in a continual state of humility but we do not have to live in emotional turmoil.  Jesus still heals and he desires that we enjoy the wholeness he so readily provides.

If I can encourage you to aspire to be anything, be whole.  Take time this week to prioritize healing, for things will fade but your soul will last forever.  Let’s face our dysfunction with courage knowing that we are allowed to be works in progress refined through the power of Jesus and therapy. It’s okay to be a hot mess but it is not okay to stay there.  The grace of God empowers us to become the best versions of ourselves and Jesus has given us the grace to heal.

If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, feel free to email me at authenticlove789@gmail.com.  I’m here for you guys, I’m praying for y’all, and I believe that you were created to live emotionally healed.  Have a great week!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.ucg.org/files/styles/full_grid9/public/image/article/2019/04/03/healing-broken-trust-in-marriage-part3-commitment-personal-healing.jpg

The Holding Cell

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hate waiting.  We all have that one family member whose super accommodating and it seems like they can wait for anything. I  mean they can wait for food, in traffic for their exit, and for other things outside of their control.  These people have the best attitudes and seem to be full of patience.  I am not one of those people, not even close.  If my food is taking too long at a restaurant, I’m like what’s up?  I hate waiting in traffic. I hate waiting in long lines.  I hate waiting for the light to change.  I don’t like to wait.  Once I create a schedule, I want it to run smoothly free of delay.  Man, I wish God felt the same way about waiting as I do, but he doesn’t.  In fact, He encourages that we have periods of waiting- moments where we sit and wait for the promise

I was sitting here thinking about my life and  I feel like I’m in a holding cell.  It’s like I’m in this season of transition, waiting for someone of a higher authority to determine what’s next.  I have to wait for God to move.  The crazy thing about the holding cell, it forces me to trust that God is making the best decisions for my life- that He knows what He is doing.  Sadly, friends, I’ve jumped the gun so many times and moved ahead of Him.  This moving ahead of Holy Spirit left me in so much trouble, cleaning up a mess that could have been avoided with a bit of patience.  I’ve played clean up because of my inability to wait.  But, here I am again in a transitional state of my life and I have no choice but to wait and trust.  What do you do when you have no other choice but to wait? I took the wrong approach and complained about my wait.  I complained about what God was doing because I couldn’t see all of the details.  Yet, God being so full of mercy did not get angry with me but left me in the holding cell to wait things out.

God so full of mercy and compassion is making me wait.  He rather I sit still and wait than to push ahead of him and mess everything up.  There is beauty in the wait!  When we wait, we get to sit with God and prepare for the next.  In the wait, we learn the beauty of rest! In the wait, we understand that good things take time.  Waiting is for our benefit, waiting is for our maturity, and the wait helps us grow!  I’m in a season of waiting and I’m learning that out of his steadfast love for me, He’s placed me here.  I’m waiting and that is okay.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting – for he will never disappoint you! Psalms 27:14 TPT

Xoxo,

Simone

My Sacred Place.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s a late-night and I just finished spending time in my sacred place.  My sacred place is where I spend time with God.  There is a space right next to my bed, it’s where I keep my prayer blanket, journal, and a wireless speaker.  There is something special about that space.  Whether I’m sitting Indian style or laying prostrate on the ground, I immediately feel the presence of Jesus.  This section of my room is our special place, it’s where we meet to chat about life.

A friend came to see me a few weeks ago, with her she carried all of her bags to my room.  She scanned the room, saw the blanket on the ground next to my bed and immediately tried not to cross over into that portion of my room.   Out of respect, she took off her shoes and continued to be mindful of where she stood.  I chuckled but I was grateful for her attentiveness.  As I looked at her, I thought of one of my biblical heroes: Moses.  There is this dope story about God finding Moses in the middle of Midian.  He was busy doing his job (he was a shepherd) when he saw a burning bush.  Curiosity consumed him and he went to see what was going on in the wilderness.  The coolest part about Moses’ discovery was that while the bush was burning, it was not consumed.

“One day Moses was tending the flock of his father- in – law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush.  Moses stared in amazement.  Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up?  I must go see it.'” Exodus 3:1-3 NLT

Let’s pause here:  though Moses saw the fire, he did not see destruction.  This is a great metaphor for  life, though it looks like  we’re on fire- dealing with the cares of life, we’re not consumed because of the grace of God. Just because we see flames does not mean that God is allowing us to burn. He is not going to let us burn, we won’t smell like smoke!  

“When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him in the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ ‘Here I am!’ Moses replied. ‘Do not come any closer, ‘ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.” Exodus 3:4-5a

Anyways… Moses comes into an audience with God, into a sacred place.  The spot where Moses is standing is so sacred, he’s directed to take off his shoes.  Even though Moses did not plan to meet with God, God planned to speak with Moses. How dope is that?  

This morning, I felt the tug of God to come to our sacred place.  I wish I could tell you that quality time with the Father was the first thing on my mind, but that was simply not the case.  In fact, all of my concerns and worries harbored my mind.  I dwelled in this land of reevaluation, a place where I was constantly questioning my faith moves.  It’s one thing to step out on faith and it’s another to burn your back up plan, to slay your ox of convenience.  That is what I did.  I burned my safety nets, destroyed my back up plans and now I was frustrated with what I gambled for. We all have moments when we’re like “God, is it worth the risk?”  I believe Moses had similar questions.  I bet the prince of Egypt never imagined living a life as a fugitive in Midian, but here he was reimagining all he dreamed.  Yet, God being so gracious used curiosity to grab his attention.  God wanted to spend that time with him, the same way he desired to spend time with me. 

Want to hear some good news?  Well… the good news in all of this is that God desires to spend time with you too.  What do you have to lose by going to yall’s sacred place?  That place where you two meet and chat about life?  I’ve found that the lower I am, the stronger I become.  Prayer is my lifeline of strength and wisdom and every time I have questions, He comes with plenty of answers.  I think my favorite part about our time is that I don’t have to pretend- I can be all of who I am because I am fully accepted and loved.  For example, this morning  I whispered, “Jesus, I need you.”  Nothing fancy, nothing long.  A simple short prayer of how I was feeling at that moment.  And just like that, He came ready to meet my need for more of Him.

Get to your sacred place.  Hide in your sacred place. Rest in your sacred place.  Create a home with just you and Him and allow Him to fill your life with peace.  Time with Him is worth every second. Well, family, that’s it for today.  Have an amazing Sunday!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://i1.wp.com/www.simpleandseason.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Journal-candles-and-a-cup-of-tea-on-a-blanket-on-a-sunny-windowsill.jpg

RIP Forever.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday! I would have written earlier but the way my week has been set up… all I can say is that the devil is defeated, God is exalted and honey – I GOT THE VICTORY!!! The test that came at the beginning of this week? Almost took me out! But loves, your girl passed the test!  It’s crazy how hell can come full force on Monday and victory can greet you on a Friday morning.  Jesus is so intentional and good in that way.  Anyways… I thought I would share one of the beautiful lessons I learned this week.  Loves, allow your past to rest in peace forever. 

What?!?!  Yep, I said what I said.  LEAVE YOUR PAST IN THE GRAVE!!!!!! I cannot write this enough.  I’m learning that every time I am called by God to a new level in life, my past “coincidentally” want to make a reappearance in my life.  It’s like clockwork.  People I haven’t spoken to in years, “conveniently” desire to reach out.  Individuals who held some sort of position in my heart decide that they would like to make a return; and what was dead decides to spring back to life.  EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. 

Friends, as you know I left a relationship over a year ago.  God killed my relationship for multiple reasons.  My relationship was good but it wasn’t great.  I knew that I wasn’t going to marry the guy and to continue in the relationship would’ve been a complete waste of time.  So ladies and gents, I took every ounce of courage I had and with the help of the Father- I broke up with the love of my life.  Yep, your girl had the hard conversation and left what I thought was my forever. For the past year and some change, I’ve been enjoying this adventure of singleness; I’ve been finding myself and learning to love me with nothing added (aka a man).  Well, a lot has changed in a year.  I graduated from law school, took the bar exam, and I’m transitioning to a new city for a career opportunity. So being sent from hell, this joker wants to make a reappearance.  Yep, the man that told me that I wouldn’t find what I wanted in a partner, that everyone could not be as perfect as me, decided to “conveniently” show up.

Imagine my face, when I picked up a phone call to find his voice on the line.  It was a classic:  WHAT THE —–? Yep, saints, I swore.  I did.  I was so confused that I almost didn’t even know what to say.  I stared at the phone and thought to myself: “Girl, how are you going to finesse your way out of this one?” My heart responded to his voice.  History and sweet nothings will remind you of a love you once shared.  Like an old blanket, full of comfort and nostalgia, all the memories of us filled my mind.   Some of you may be saying:  “Sis, that’s true love!”  FALSE- THAT’S A SOUL TIE.  A neglected little thing, that I may have overlooked in the cutting process.  I said hello, and asked what he wanted.  He responded with a classic lie: “I missed you.”  I would miss me too, I mean your girl is out here living her best life looking like a whole meal.  I said  “Ok.” Like what am I supposed to do about that? That seems like a personal problem to me.  He kept going, “I just wanted to talk to you.  I made a huge mistake.  You’re the one for me.  I need you in my life.  I want to marry you.”  My jaw dropped because for years I wanted to marry this man.  Can you imagine thinking that 3 years in is the time, then year five comes and no proposal, and finally, your relationship is over by year seven.  Instantly my past started contending with my future.  All of my fears started to speak at the same time:  my fear of starting over with someone new, my fear of getting in the game and facing rejection and then this one fear of never meeting someone who would “get me” like my ex.  I had a choice to make.

I gathered all of the courage I had and simply said: “I’m good. Thank you for calling and for sharing your heart with me but I’m not interested. I think you deserve to be with someone who makes you happy and though we made each other happy once upon a time, that is not the case anymore.  I wish you the best and overall, you’re not the best for me.”  This, of course, wasn’t good enough for him because then he decided to remind me of the dreams we had together.  He reminded me of the businesses we were going to own, the home we were going to build, and the son we would raise.  Lovelies, I remembered those dreams.  Once upon a time, I prayed over those dreams, I fasted over those dreams.  Heck, I even journaled about those dreams but that was then and this is now.  Those dreams died when the relationship did.  I took a deep breath and once again stated my heart: we could NEVER be together again.

Dr. Matthew Stevenson preached a sermon a few years ago and he said a profound line, “To return to the past is to dishonor the future.”  This saying has become my lifeline.  It’s easy to return to the past.  Our past is familiar, consistently toxic and maybe even comforting within its dysfunction but it requires no courage.  It takes courage to go after something or someone new.  It takes guts to try again,  to develop a new pattern and to solidify a new path.  I don’t want to live life stuck because of my comfort.  I want to experience the goodness of God because I was brave enough to leave the past behind.  Plus, if I return to my past I can miss out on what God promised me: the future.  I don’t want to dishonor my future, holding on to someone who lacks the capacity to carry all that God has placed within me.  We must honor our future by abandoning our past!

So, friends, if I could encourage you with anything, I would encourage you to leave your past dead.  Don’t return to what you’ve left behind.  You’re worthy of your future!

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://live.staticflickr.com/3846/14145215440_ff6ab7e2e3_b.jpg

 

 

 

On The Run

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

If we’re honest, I’ve been in this amazing yet crazy place with God.  For the past few months, I’ve felt like David on the run, hiding in caves, seeking safety/shelter.  Can you imagine, you’re living what you deem to be your best life when transition hits?  What you thought was safe isn’t anymore?  Can you imagine being in an environment that once upon a time brought such life and now it has filled your heart with pain?  It’s crazy how sometimes the same voices that affirm your identity can tear it down.  The same environments that bring comfort can hurt your soul.  It makes you feel mad even, like oh my freaking God am I losing my mind?  That my dear friends have been my life since February- I’ve been on the run.

I’ve been serving through pain, encouraging through heartbreak, giving in the midst of lack.  I’ve been used up and forsaken, discarded because of brokenness and I’m finally finding my way back “home.”  My discernment has sharpened, my weaponry has increased and I’ve learned to fight in the midst of fear.  Ladies and gents, it’s the curse of the gifted.  People like me who are full of life and love, we’re targets for the insecure, the immature and those who lack compassion for the world.  The more I watch the lives of my creative/gifted friends, those of us born to rule and conquer- we seem to all have the same story:  a story of being on the run, seeking self-preservation, finding God in the midst of the darkness, finding healing in the midst of our pain.  We’re little Davids out here checking over our shoulder, knowing that at any moment our enemies can find and abuse us- we seek safety for our souls.   But, there’s good news.  One day, the season of the cave ceases and before you know it, we are strong enough to return home to sit on the throne that was anointed, waiting on us.

I’m returning home.  I sense this freedom around me to stop hiding. I’ve healed and now I’m whole enough to step into what’s next for me.  My next is a job in Atlanta, GA.  I’m moving to a new city, ready to experience new things but first I had to experience the cave.  I had to learn to war, how to become shrewd, how to band people together to heal.  I had to gain community, learn the intentions of those around me, I had to start again.  I had to embrace my vulnerability, honor during hard circumstances, learn the art of forgiveness.  I had to experience the cave.  In the cave, I learned that He was my safety, my shelter.  In the cave, I learned to keep my eyes open.  In the cave, I learned how to be honest and how to confront hard things.  I needed the cave to mature, to do the hard work, to grow.

Typically, we grow hidden underneath the soil.  We mature in the obscurity. We develop in the dark.  Caves are dark but are amazing spaces to be hidden, to grow.  Growing up, I felt bad for David.  Can you imagine knowing you’re king but living in a cave?  Like, why God would you give a promise only to allow his life to be filled with affliction?  But, now I understand that David needed his process to become the great King Israel needed.  He needed the tactical warfare skills of the cave.  Every place of darkness is used by the Lord to bring clarity and the more we run towards His light, he teaches that even the bad things are used for our good.

Family, you might be in a cave (mentally, spiritually and emotionally) trying to figure out if it’s safe to return “home”- but know that God is with you in the cave.  He is right there, holding your hand, keeping you safe.  He is your shelter, your fortress, your hiding place. Also, be rest assured, you won’t be on the run forever.  One day, it’ll be time to return to your rightful place:  you’ll be safe, you’ll be home.  Seasons change, life evolves but your Father remains the same and He loves you even now.  That’s the truth I had to remind myself every day: He loves me in my weakness, he cares about me in my brokenness and when I don’t know if it’s safe to show my heart- HE WILL KEEP ME SAFE!

Love you guys and I’m lifting yall up tonight!

Xoxo,

Simone

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Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 24

The Letter

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

My thoughts are hot off the presses and I’m excited to share with you the raw, the real and the now.  Today was all about cleaning.  I recently moved home to prep for my next, but for the last three weeks or so, I’ve been sleeping with boxes all around me.  Clothes are strewn all over the floor as my anxiety is increasingly heightened by not being able to find what I want to wear.  Tucked in a corner is a plastic bag full of paper: scriptures, prophecies, business cards, song lyrics, and other pages are all gathered in a messy heap ready to be sorted by yours truly.

As I reached my hand into the bag, I pulled out a letter I wrote to God about five years ago.  This letter was one of gratitude, thanking Him for always being with me and for showing me the road ahead.  At the end of the letter, I began to thank God for my ex, the possibility of our children (what we discussed together) and the businesses we would run as we took over the world for good.  I was thanking God for the life I thought He commissioned for me, the life I thought I would live.  Fast forward five years, and I do not have that life.  I am not with that person anymore, I do not have any children and those businesses do not exist.  My life now doesn’t match the hope for my life in that letter.  It’s crazy how things change.  Who knew that 11 mos ago, I would enter into a season of singleness, would forsake all desire for children and would find myself trying to figure out what I was going to do. Once upon a time, I was so sure, now I’m peering into the future like “God is this really for me?  “Can we actually do this?”  Can we actually dream again about this buried desire: the desire to be both wife and mother. Can we return here?  In gentleness, He whispers “Yes.  Yes, we can.”  “We can revisit this place in your heart, my love,  do not be afraid.”

“But How?”  my hearts screams out.  “How can we return to a place I never got to.  I almost got there, I thought I was there but I failed… I never got there.”  In love, He grabs my hand and whispers, “Your only failure would have been to marry someone who was never designed to love you.  To procreate with someone who did not have the capacity to be a father and to enter into a business partnership with someone with no integrity.  Babygirl, you did not fail.  You succeeded!  For you chose your future over your present and you chose what was hard over what was easy.  You said Yes even though the cost was your heart. You, my dear, can return to this place…”

Today, I look at the letter as an obituary of the life I thought I would live.  I mourn the union someone promised, the blueprints for businesses I envisioned and the picture-perfect family described.  I mourn what I thought I needed to be complete, to be whole.  I mourn what I thought I wanted to secure happiness.  I have found that my “Yes” to God has always been the answer.  I’ve found that my ability to walk away from what I prayed for is what makes me brave, my ability to be grateful in the new, in the unknown is what gives me strength and my sweet surrender is what makes me His, and His alone.  I cry as I reflect on the past but I am so hopeful for the future, because anything we give up for Christ including our dreams, He returns it 100 fold in this lifetime and the life to come.  I don’t know why I am sharing my process with you.  I wish I had some neat and tidy ending that describe this perfect healing process but I don’t.  All I have is the truth, and the truth is God is good even when our hearts are broken.  God is good even when plans change.  God is good even when we don’t understand our way.  In every season, in every moment, He is good and that in itself is worthy of a simple ‘Thank you!” 

He’s good, He’s God and because I’m His, I am going to be okay.

Xoxo,

Simone

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