New Garments

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s a rarity that I post twice but when things change in your life, it deems time fit for another post.  After the post earlier (Shades Down and Lights Off),  I sat on my bed and just began to think.  I thought about God, my life, my past, my present, my hopes, and desires.  To calm the anxious thoughts in my mind, I searched for the 8AM sermon at All Nations Worship Assembly.  Instead of a traditional sermon, Apostle Stevenson got up and began to pray against the spirits of death, suicide, and anxiety.  Man oh man, that prayer wrecked me.  He had no idea that a young girl in SC would listen to something he imparted into Chicago earlier that morning.  I sat, cried, worshipped and kneeled and in that moment I felt the beautiful presence of God. In my lowest of lows, His love came to the rescue once again.  I removed my clothes of sadness and mourning and changed into garments of joy.  My peace returned to me and I decided to go to church again: this time in new garments!

How great is our God, that when we think it’s all over He shows up?  When we turn to Him and express our need for Him, he comes to our rescue- so faithful and so kind, is he.  There’s a lyric in this song called “Reckless Love” that says “There’s no wall you won’t kick down/ Lie you won’t tear down/ Coming after me”  And today, He kicked down some self-made walls and he tore down the lies I  was being enticed to believe.  Loves, I want to affirm you today.  You are NOT a lost cause.  You are NOT hopeless.  You are NOT going to remain in the same situation overwhelmed by the same things.  God STILL loves you.  He STILL chooses you.  He STILL desires you and though your mind may say otherwise, HE thinks of you the SAME.  Today, in my darkest moment the Father showed up in grace, mercy and reckless love.  You are not alone, for the Creator of all good things comes to you- ready in hand with whatever you need.

Thank you for the prayers,  thanks for being my online family and thanks for giving me the freedom to live a transparent life.  I love you all very much!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mZaIKqL7HIM/TyooZ_7sj-I/AAAAAAAAAbI/oBUqO-zywVY/s1600/jacobscoat.jpg

Shades Down, Lights Off

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I’m not okay.  At all.   Not even close.  I think for a long time, I painted this face of being always happy but I’m not happy not one bit and the more I think about it the more I want to reveal exactly where I am.  There’s a saying that those who can’t, teach.  I’ve invested my whole life into loving people well because I sought to be loved well.  I’ve invested my whole career into advocating for people because I know exactly what it feels like to not have anyone advocate for me.  I push community on others because I would be rich if I had a quarter for every time I felt alone.  In fact, I feel alone now.   I wish I could change that thing about me, I wish I could say I had more good days than bad but truthfully that’s not the case.  Even now, though the sun is outside and it’s beauty is radiating… I’m in my room the shades down and the lights off, wondering if I can really do this thing called life.  It took me twice as long to figure out if I was going to church this morning because it took me a solid hour and some change to figure out if I still wanted to continue breathing.  Like, if I disappeared off the face of the planet, would it really matter?  If my presence disappeared from my apartment, my school, my church or my job- would anyone actually care?  At this moment, I understand so deeply what Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain felt, to be surrounded by people that don’t know you, who are oblivious to the inward turmoil that you’re facing because they assume by your success, position, gifting and outward garments that you’re okay.

I’m done pretending that my faith has positioned me on some pedestal, and I’m over pretending that there are no days when I want to let go.  Today was one of those days… the idea that I have to be strong is overrated and the fact of the matter is: I need God as much as you do. In fact, I need Him now!  I need him to sort out the messiness of my mind, I need his help to break destructive patterns, I need his love to soothe the pain.  I need him now and I refuse to live another day hiding my feelings for the conveniences of others.  It’s okay to not be okay.

Xoxo,

Simone

There’s More

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Happy Thursday!  Have you ever sat back, reflected on your day and was like “How in the world did I get all of that done?”  You know what I mean?  No, well if you knew how hectic my schedule was you would be like: “OMG I can’t believe she is still breathing!”  Every day is another fast-paced adventure full of twists and turns,  looming with the unexpected and thriving with the unknown.  I plan for the day and I keep a day planner, or I used to- but every moment seems to be an invitation to release control and to step into the adventure that is Him.

How beautiful is it to feel unlimited?  To no longer be bogged down with the weight of limitations?  Whether those limitations are time, energy, money, intellect, etc?   For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve broken through the glass ceiling and there is an appreciation of the fact that there is so much more!  There is so much more adventure, much more ideas, much more creativity!  It is as if a well of creativity is flowing on the inside and where there was blockage of doubt, insecurity, and brokenness- healing has come to produce a well that never runs dry.  This is what it feels like to lean into His grace, to relinquish control, to receive His love.  It feels like the words of hope never end, the ideas for the future fail to cease and innovation become a neverending reality. And just when, just when you feel like there is nothing left to give, that well springs up again spouting forth something new and something good.

He is the well and with him, there is so much more!

Xoxo,

Simone

“…but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NIV

FIC: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Strokkur_geyser_eruption%2C_close-up_view.jpg/300px-Strokkur_geyser_eruption%2C_close-up_view.jpg

 

Oozing With Words

Hello old friend, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I wish I could say that I’ve always had the right words to say, or that I was always confident to speak my heart, but that is not the case.  I remember times, having so much to say but not knowing exactly how to translate my pain.  I remember moments of feeling incredibly numb, lacking the motivation or the passion to write my truths.  It’s crazy how pain makes us silent.  It robs us the freedom of bold speech and instills within us the fear of being misunderstood or hurt again.  So, to make sure we don’t experience pain again, we become silent.  The last blow to my heart almost took me completely out emotionally.  I remember doubting my words, my actions, my friendships, my family, my ability to be loved and to love.  I remember the pain of betrayal gagging me.  I remember word curses binding me, words such as “you’re not good enough.” “Oh really, you want to sing?”  “Do you really think you can write that?”  words uttered by those close to me: those I served with, those I called my Columbia family, those who were once my home.   I was dropped as a daughter, dropped as a sister, dropped as a friend and it was at no fault of my own.  So here I am, gagged by pain.  What’s even more bizarre is that I served through it.  I served through my pain.  I gave through the pain.  I danced in the midst of pain.  I sang songs of victory while bound.  I was mentally and emotionally at a standstill with God, numb by pain.

Over time, fear became my portion.  I lived in fear because I saw life through the lens of regret.  Regret causes us to doubt everything, to come to a standstill, to live in delayed obedience ( which is simply disobedience), and to become hesitant concerning everything.  Regret turned into unforgiveness, and unforgiveness turned into bitterness except I was bitter against myself for opening up in the first place, for placing expectations upon people that did not have the capacity to carry me, for desiring community that I did not see that this community was more toxic than helpful and bitter for trusting my own instincts.  In my mind, I couldn’t trust myself so I stopped advising, writing, singing, encouraging, and speaking.  I became mute.

I went to Charlotte a few nights ago, a young woman began to pray for me and encouraged me to forgive myself.  She said these words: “You have not been treated well as a daughter and God knows that it was not of any fault of your own.  He wants to heal that heart pain where it concerns sonship.”  I broke down in tears because for the first time in a long time, she saw my pain.  She spoke to my pain and all the words I wanted to utter began to ooze out to the Lord.  Her intentional prayers destroyed the gag of pain and released me to a place of tears and healing.  I’m oozing with words because pain no longer binds me.  I am free to express my heart and I’m healed to share the story of my pain with each of you!

Friends, I don’t know where each of you is in life.  Some of you may be like me:  serving through pain, some may be experiencing pain now and some of you may be alright and that is great! For those who were feeling like me, I want to remind you that God sees you.  He knows all about your pain.  He knows what they did.  He knows what you experienced.  He invites you to forgive, to open yourself to his healing voice and he invites you to freedom from heart pain.  He wants you to ooze with words of life, no longer gagged by painful experiences.  I pray that he speaks to you and that you will be healed!

Xoxo,

Simone

“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul” Proverbs 16:24

FIC: https://2pobaduekzw9jt9a-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/honey.jpg

Things We Learn From Movies….

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Have you ever watched a movie, invested in it and then at the end was left disappointed? Literally, my life ten minutes ago.  I checked out a new film, invested two hours and fifteen minutes into the film, but by the time I got to the end I was like “OMG ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?” It was as I was #AvengersInfinityWar’d all over again!  But, Ladies and Gents- that feeling of disappointment matches some of the relationships I chose.  I entered into these relationships:  excited, intrigued and overwhelmed with the hype of who their representative swore to be but by the time I got to the root of the substance that lied within the individual, I was quickly disappointed.  It’s nothing worse than wasting time, especially in people.  How many of us were attracted or intrigued by an individual and when push came to shove, was ultimately disappointed by what we invested into?  This is something, I’ve experienced and I these are the thoughts I would like to share with you.

So…why are we attracted to the shallow and insufficient?  Why do we jump all the way into things without testing the weightiness of it?  I think all of my experiences were rooted in fear.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of not connecting with someone in the same way.  Fear that nothing better will come along.  The crazy thing about fear is that it will have us dancing on the line of desperation, in an effort to control what’s next.  I think that we jump too soon because we’re scared that we’re going to miss out because of time.  Time like sand slips through our fingers and we feel this anxious clock hovering over us telling us who we should be by a certain year. I ran into relationships because of these fears and I was disappointed because I invested in something without counting the costs. I made decisions out of my fears and I was disappointed.  However, the Father promises that if we place our trust in Him, we will never be disappointed.  God choices do not disappoint.  Choices construed out of myself, feelings, and fears are going to disappoint me every single time.

What I love about God is that He doesn’t get mad at us if we choose wrong, but instead He reveals to us what we need so that we can choose right.  He does not disappoint us, we disappoint ourselves!  So… let us move forward and let us make the God-choice where it concerns relationships!  Let us choose what He desires and we won’t find ourselves disappointed.

“… those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: http://www.patrickbetdavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/movies-red.jpg

21

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Happy Thursday! It’s a wonderful day filled with reflection and revelation for what’s next.  Here are a few updates before we dive on in:  1) I’m a rising 3L – this law school journey is almost over and it’s time to go out with a BANG! 2) Out of faith, I find myself letting go of things that I once found security: job, friendships, etc. 3) I learned all about the plan of God being demonstrated within seasons of pain: trust me, I understand and we’ll discuss soon!  But for today… *drum roll please*  I would like to share with all my heart concerning inspiration and the lies that tell us that we lack some.

21.  Twenty-one represents the number of journals that are in my possession.  Some are big, some small, some are fancy and some plain but all of them are filled with dreams, ideas, visions, and hopes for the future.  Some of the journals are filled, others not so much but they are full of life and creativity breathed upon by the Father.  One journal holds a manuscript, one is reserved strictly for songs and both bring me so much joy as I ponder on His goodness.  For the past three or so years, I fell for the lie that I had nothing to say or that I lacked inspiration both utterly untrue.  The fact that I’ve found something to write about every day for the past six years or so counteracts these beliefs.

The fact of the matter is, the more I move forward the more I recognize the lies I’ve believed for so long. As I embrace this recognition, freedom comes to remind me of who God says I am and all he has destined for me to do. I am equipped to do what he has ordained because within him lies all I need for my assignment. In the words of my pastor, ” I’m a sure thing because he is sure!” If I could encourage you with anything, believe what the Father says about you and move toward all that He’s promised for His life!

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC : https://is4-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple128/v4/8a/0e/27/8a0e2749-7b89-d23a-54bd-985a3057ae85/AppIcon-1x_U007emarketing-85-220-1.png/246x0w.jpg

Jack of All Trades

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Ever heard the saying, “A Jack of all trades but a master of none.”? Yeah, it’s a phrase I rehearse over in my mind because unlike what the saying implies I actually a master of multiple things.  For a long time in my life, I thought I had to live within separate personalities: the intellectual and the creative.  It was as if I could not reconcile between my known trait of intelligence and all of my hidden creative gifts.  Growing up, I felt the pressure to choose.  So can you imagine a torn kid growing up with this saying over her head?  Thoughts like: “What do you mean I can’t do it all?”  “What do you mean that I have to choose one primary thing to master?”  “Why live limited?”  Phrases like the one mentioned above screamed limitations to me and confined me to a box to please society.  I was a Jack of all trades and a master of them all.

So, here I am at 25 realizing that I don’t have to choose between all that God has instilled in me.  I can be both creative and intelligent, both orderly yet spontaneous, and both a structured and free-flowing.  I can be both!  I don’t have to follow the patterns of limitation and I do not have to succumb to the rules of society.  For I am in this world but not of it and I am free to be all that God has created in his likeness.  The crazy part is, you don’t have to be limited either!  You can be all that he made and you don’t have to choose which gift or feature you can highlight.  You can highlight them all.  The moment I came to this resolve, the freer I became.  I am a jack of all trades and a master of them all!

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: http://lipsticklearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/no-limitations-628×353.png

 

What If We Were Honest?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

*disclaimer: today’s post is about a touchy subject.  Read, enjoy, ponder and engage with these thoughts. *

“What If We Were Honest?” this was the title of a great record by Francesca Battistelli, and these words are one that rings in my heart today.  Honesty.  It sounds nice and all, but I believe that we as a society have found comfort in dishonesty, in the rat race of pretend.  I mean who wants to be honest?  Really honest? Gut-wrenching honest?  No one.  No one wants to admit their failures or to relish in their inadequacies.  No, we as a people rather “fake it till we make it”.  We rather front, making ourselves bigger than what we are: seeking validation for our charade.   But what if, for a moment, we were truly honest?  Honest with ourselves, honest with each other and honest with God.

I believe that honesty is the doorway of freedom.  We will never be free or experience inner healing until we are honest.  There is no greater shackle than the chain of a  secret.  For centuries, especially in the African American community, we held each other hostage to secrets.  Secrets of rape and molestation, secrets of incest, secrets of mental illness, secrets of criminal activity, secrets of children born out of wedlock, secret families and secret affairs.  We’ve caged ourselves in by our secrets, silently triggered by things no one else but our oppressors knows.  Some of our oppressors have gone to the grave, yet we are still carrying the shame as if they are alive- bound by a secret.   To omit part of the truth is to not tell the truth at all.  God is aware of all of these things, memories and secrets we carry in our hearts.  We don’t have to pretend to have it all together, we don’t have to pretend to have all the answers, we don’t have to pretend to be whole but we can share these concerns with our Father so that he can heal us.

The more I confess,  the more I share, the more transparent I live – the freer I am!

What would our world look like if we were honest?

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://i0.wp.com/www.fiftyonfifty.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/honesty.jpeg?fit=4032%2C3024&ssl=1

Getting Through…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Wowzers… What I can I say?  2L year is officially over and it seemed like yesterday, I was prepping for the move to law school.  I remember feeling anxious but incredibly excited that I was getting the chance to pursue my dream.  Fast forward and my dream almost killed me:  from the competitive environment to the failure to meet my own expectations to the self-doubt that clouded my mind questioning if I could really be who God created me to be.  Could I do this?  I mean, really do this?  This wasn’t my favorite movie, Legally Blond, neither was it my all-time TV show NCIS but this was real life.  There was not Annalise Keating, no Law and Order and no JAG, this was real, scary, and seemed to be impossible.  The joy that awaited me once I entered the program quickly disappeared and I found myself hoping each day just to “get through.”  If only I could get through the day, then I can get through the week, hopefully, the month, semester, and year.  What do you do when you’re in your dream, but you hate it?  I woke up each day dreading what was in front of me, for I knew that I was up against all manners of evils.  I faced the evils of comparison, anxiety, fear, diminished self-worth and the worst evil of all: the lack of motivation, drive, and ambition towards my dream.  I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help people, but I didn’t know that my desire to change the world was going to cost me so much.  Who knew that to accomplish something so great, one would have to experience so much pain?  I had no idea that this school year was going to be one that extended me beyond my breaking point.  It was this school year that I thought about giving up and changing careers.  I literally walked into the Dean’s office and made plans to withdraw from school.  It was this year that I discovered who my real friends were because during shaky times, it was those I placed trust within that betrayed me.  It was this year, I came face to face with my own insecurities and fears and just when I thought I was going to lose it all, the grace of the Father came and rescued me time and time again.  This is not just some ordinary, she got through the year hooray post but rather a post celebrating the fact that I survived a year designed to kill me.  This year was designed to kill my joy, my trust, my faith, it was designed to cause me to lose hope and to leave God behind.  Yet, here I am: stronger than ever!  Though this was one of the hardest school years, it was the best because it taught me more about God and myself.  I discovered the depth of my strengths and embraced the vulnerability of my weaknesses.  This was the year I got through!

I don’t know what you’re facing, and have no idea the level of pain you’re experiencing but if I can encourage you with anything, God has the power to bring you through whatever you are in.  I promise you, speaking from personal experience that even when you don’t have the strength to keep going, God will give you the strength to keep moving forward.  Trust me, I thought I was going to be a law-school dropout but instead, I’m entering my last year moving one step closer to my goal.  Keep moving, cry if you must, be angry, feel and watch God carry you through even this.  Once you get to the other side, you cease to remember the pain it took to get there.

Xoxo,

Simone

Featured Image Credit: Joyce Meyers Ministries (https://www.joycemeyer.org/-/media/joycemeyer/everyday-answers/teachings/3×1/getting_through_hard_times_3x1_sd.jpg?h=240&w=720&la=en&hash=20FB683C48AA6FF3A6DACA5BCF58055A7E3478A1)

 

Where Do We Find Meaning?

Dear old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers

Happy Monday!  I hope you all are doing well and that you’re not deflating under the  Monday Blues.

Anyways, I believe that we live in a world where people crave for something meaningful.  We desire for our lives, relationships, careers to hold meaning and to reflect some type of value within our society.  Think about it, would you choose your job if that position held no meaning within society: whether that is power, prestige, honor, etc.  What about your perfect guy or girl?  Do the characteristics they possess hold any weight within our value system? Even think of the homes we reside in, are the aesthetics one of “esteem” held within our society fixated on beauty and volume.  What if for a moment, we found meaning in just being the person we were created to be?  Marrying the spouse duly suited for our life and love goals?  Living in the home that we perceive to be best for us?  Working the career that we are passionate about and that changes a majority of lives?

Isn’t that meaningful?

Society teaches us that meaning is in our possession, accomplishments, and assets.  God, however, teaches us that meaning is within Him and as we find ourselves within who He is, we automatically hold meaning, value, and worth within society.  This value and meaning hold regardless of our looks, career, education, home aesthetics, and relationships.  Our lives are meaningful because we are meaningful, just as we are.

Until next time,

Simone

📷 FIC : https://tvo.org/archive-programs/maps-of-meaning