We can tell a person and say “I forgive you” as many times as we want to but it doesn’t mean a thing until we actually can say that person’s name, go around that person, receive a message from that person and not feel a way.

About four weeks ago I went through a whole situation of just releasing and forgiving people especially an ex of mine. Really quick backstory about us. We were a thing *smacks forehead lol*. We were deeply invested in each other as in talked every day sharing life stories and personal feelings and goals, supporting each other, he’d cry in my lap and I would encourage him. I was deeply invested okay? K. Months went by and I wanted to know if there was any purpose to us spending all of this time together. After so long I’m just not about to keep giving my time and energy to anything that’s not going anywhere. You feel me? So in the midst of me pouring my heart filled with hope and love out and trying to get the answer to what’s happening with us he blurts out, “I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU KRISTEN.” He goes on to tell me what he wasn’t going to do for me and all of that. I said, “okay.” I hung up the phone and collected myself. Years go by and I find myself invested in this dope amazing guy and I realize that I’m afraid to tell this guy how I feel and show true emotions with him. I wanted to know what had a grip of me. Why was this so terrifying? Immediately, my mind went back to the day I was telling my ex how I felt while trying to find out the purpose of us. I was afraid that as soon as I would tell this dope amazing guy that I liked him or showed some kind of emotion towards him he would reject me just like my ex did. I needed to let that go and really forgive my ex so I could go freely and not be afraid to love.

FAST FORWARD. Two weeks after releasing and forgiving everyone including my ex I get a Snapchat direct message. It’s my ex. I was like oh yea! In my best Gap Band vibes at the beginning of “Yearning for Your Love” 🎤The time has come for us to stop messin around! Lol. As in time for me to let this man know where HE messed up and let him know that I have forgiven him even though he’s the person that messed up and should be apologizing. I wanted to tell him off so he could feel what I had to feel on the day he blurted those words out to me. Ya know! *inserts awkward smile* Lol so needless to say that isn’t forgiveness. I had to reevaluate my whole heart before opening that message.

Sometimes when you forgive a person it’s about writing that forgiveness for that person in your heart and treating them equally as you treat any other person you may know and have a conversation with. You know what I did? I opened the message and acted as if it was another conversation with any random person I knew and I said nothing rude or sarcastic and got outta there.

This was my way of showing myself that I really did forgive this person and my heart was clear by not being a jerk to this person. If I would’ve came out and said I forgive you to him it wouldn’t have did anything but open a whole situation up for him to extend the convo way far beyond what I was willing to do. You have to understand this guy had been trying to pull a convo out of no convos for a while since we ended so I wasn’t willing to extend this thing just so he could be happy we were talking again and feel like this thing could get back started up. Nah. Lol. What does forgiveness look like for you?

-KSamone

@_KristenReel

There’s No Need To Fear.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

First, Happy Birthday!!! Today, this beloved blog turned six years old.  It’s crazy to think that six years ago in a college dorm room, I created a blog to journey towards healing.  God has used this beloved platform to be a space of freedom, a community where we can all walk together towards authentic love.  Over the past six years, I’ve learned a lot in this love journey, have had my share of victories and losses but through it all: I survived!  Blessed be unto God who causes us to triumph!

Today, I had a whole meltdown because at the root of it all- I was utterly afraid.

For today to be the blog’s birthday, it was a rough one.  It was a day filled with emotional ups and downs.  To tell you the truth, I forgot all about our birthday because my impending BAR exam was the only thing on my mind.  For those of you that are unaware, I graduated from law school in May.  To practice law, one must take and pass what we call a BAR exam.  It’s an exam that tests all of the material we learned over the past three years.  It’s an extensive, rigorous exam.  It’s mentally, physically and emotionally taxing.  It’s not for the faint at heart.  This exam has been the focus of my attention for the past two months and the exam is in four days!  Today, I had a whole meltdown because at the root of it all- I was utterly afraid.   I was afraid of failure, afraid of people’s opinion, afraid of disappointing myself and with this fear came a butt load of pressure.  

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 TPT

It was so hard to get out of bed this morning.  I didn’t get out of bed until around one, I trudged to my workspace to begin prep, looked at the problems and in my heart said:  “I don’t want to do this.” The truth of the matter was, in my heart, I was afraid that I couldn’t take this exam and pass.  Fear gripped me in the crevices of my soul and I whispered to the Lord, “I feel so alone.  I’m here yet I cannot hear you.”  It was as if the darkness swallowed me whole and I had to fight to see the light.  One of my favorite worship leaders once said, “Many of you are getting ready to enter into a night.  Remember that the light is on the inside.  The light is on the inside!”  Her words fought against the darkness that plagued my mind.

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.  You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!  You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. Psalm 139:3-4 TPT

Seeking wisdom, I went to talk to my mom.  Y’all, my mom is like Jesus’ best friend.  She held me, prayed over me and reminded me that she was proud of me if I became a licensed attorney or not.  She was proud of me if I took the exam in four days or four months.  She was proud of me!  Her words took away all of the pressure. For the longest,  I felt this pressure to become for those that were counting on me.  I felt pressure to become for those that looked up to me.  I felt pressure to become for those that loved me.  She held me as I cried and reminded me that regardless,  I was loved.

Many of you are getting ready to enter into a night.  Remember that the light is on the inside.  The light is on the inside!- ©Steffany Gretzinger, 2018

Jesus loves me.  That is the simple truth that I tell myself when I feel the grip of fear.  Jesus loves me.  He is in love with me.  He cares about me deeply and because of this, I don’t have to search for love and comfort.   When I don’t know, He knows.  When I don’t have the strength, He is strong.  When I don’t feel like I can, He believes so strongly in me.  Jesus loves me.  I felt His love this evening as I sat to reflect on the day.

There’s no need to fear, for you are right here.- ©Simone Holloway, 2018

During a Tuesday evening in November, surrounded by my beautiful church family,  I began to have this musical conversation with the Lord.  Those who know me, know that I love to sing and write songs.  The songs that enter my heart are usually spontaneous and driven by my relationship with the Lord.  I was in the middle of a rehearsal when the words “There’s no need to fear, for you are right here.” came to my heart.  It was as if God knew that I would face so many things that would make me afraid.  He knew that I would feel alone, so he prepared me with a song.  Then in love, He sang these words over me: “I’m walking right beside you/I’m holding your hand./ I’m walking right beside you./ Though you don’t understand.”  He is the light at my feet, the wind at my back, and the lover of my soul.  Tonight he reminded me that he was my guide, that he was the strength and power I needed to move forward and that he was the one who loved me deeply! Then He reminded me of our six-year journey and his faithfulness brought me to tears.

I’m walking right beside you, I’m holding your hand.  I’m walking right beside you, though you don’t understand.- ©Simone Holloway, 2018

Long story short, I’m taking an exam that can determine my career in a few days and I am not afraid.   Because guess what?  Jesus will be there with me!  He’ll be there holding my hand, looking out for me, and making sure that everything works for my good. He’s near, He’s right here and He’ll be with me forever!

The Lord is my revelation-light to guide me along the way; he’s the source of my salvation to defend me every day.  I fear no one!  Psalm 27:1b TPT

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.churchleadership.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/leading-unafraid.jpg

No Shame

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday!  Have you ever been so full of clarity that you’ve sat and thought about life?  Maybe it’s just me:  but after I have a moment with God, sometimes I just sit in my room in silence and ponder what I just experienced.  Last night was one of those nights. I was recovering from experiencing a sermon by the GOAT Dr. Matthew Stevenson III, and I just happened to be wired at 1:45 in the morning.  I was up UP.  Anyways, I sat and heard this song by TenthAvenueNorth called “No Shame.”  and my life was changed forever.  I found the theme song for my season/life.  There is a freedom that comes with living and expressing truth, free of shame.

During my time in Greenville, each day God has been pulling back layers of fear- asking me to confront my heart issues and removing all kinds of weight including the weight of shame.  When you’re in this place of vulnerability, it’s easy to think man, what will “so and so think” but that doesn’t matter. God has taught me that the fearless live in truth and where there is the truth, there is no need to be ashamed.  I’ve lived bound under the realm of shame for so long, not sharing my truth- not addressing things with others, belittling my call or purpose, but now that shame has been dissipated with perfect love I’m good.  I turned the song all the way up and began to sing to the top of my lungs.  Before you knew it I was dancing in my kitchen celebrating freedom.

Where there is grace, there is no shame and where there is love, there is no fear.

Y’all, I have no idea what this life of no shame will bring but I’m excited.  I feel free, like in the depths of my soul.  I feel like I can conquer the world.  I feel strong and full of life in the inner chambers of my heart.  I feel brave.  It takes bravery to move into the unknown out of fear into love, out of being guarded to being open, out of holding things into being extremely honest.  I am okay with where I am and that is freedom all in itself.  I’ve embraced the truth about me and I am unashamed.  I’ve embraced my triumphs and my failures, every ounce of my brokenness and the places where I am whole, all of my strengths and all of my weaknesses.  I’m okay with every ounce of me and I am enough because I am in Him.  I’m literally smiling as I type this article, overjoyed at the process He is doing in my heart.

I am happy with my process.  I rejoice at my journey.  I’m content with my story.

Family, this is what a life of no shame looks like: it’s singing and dancing at 2 o’clock in the morning with no fear, with no shame.  It’s trusting for provision when it seems like all hope is lost.  It’s being unfazed with bad news because you know in your soul that He’s working all things for good.  It’s loving others beyond their capacity to love you.  It’s forgiving even when you don’t want to.  It’s having hard conversations, dealing with the hard relational issues, and making hard decisions for your next.  It’s going beyond opinions of others, beyond even your opinion of yourself, feeling fear but doing it anyway.  It’s riding the tallest rollercoaster, swimming in the deepest oceans, and taking road trips on faith. It’s relocating because God said to, and finding that you have a home waiting for you.  It’s being light, weight free and full because those that place their trust in Him will never be put to shame.  Trust not only eradicates fear but for me it eradicated shame. 

I’m living with no shame! 

Xoxo,

Simone

P.S. Check out TenthAvenueNorth’s song “No Shame”.  It’s available on all streaming platforms!

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c7/a6/3c/c7a63c0f9aa1e312f6b51a8ac19d15fb.jpg

Open.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

“Be Open.” That is the instruction ringing in my heart.  All of my fears are contending with the Lord in the form of what-ifs, yet in kindness, He repeats himself once more: “Open your heart. Open your heart to love.”  Tears stream down my cheeks as I realize that I’ve been closed to the idea that someone will actually love me.  Fully.  To tell you the truth, I’ve just fully accepted the idea that He loved me fully.  I just became content with that phenomenon; that in spite of all of my mistakes, weaknesses, and shortcomings, this great God was in fact deeply in love with me.

My heart resisted but the instruction remained the same, “Open your heart. Open your heart to being loved.” “But God” my heart persisted, “What if he hurts me?” The instruction remained the same, “Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  “But God.” my heart pleaded, “What if this breaks me worse than last time?” The Father remained gentle, in pure kindness- he stated one more time, “Love, the choice is yours. But darling, I’ll ask again – Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  I sat on my couch and I heard his gentle voice like oil caress my spirit and I had a choice to make.  Either I would open up and take the risk of pain or remain closed and ultimately alone.

At the end of the day to trust in the instruction of God is to ultimately trust in Him.  To trust Him requires the hard thing:  it requires facing our fears, it requires confronting our doubts, it requires trying again at the thing we think we suck at the most.  For me, love.  I have this obvious track record of failed relationships, of apparent heartbreaks.  I have this rap sheet of ugly moments and countless memories of love lost.  I am a woman who has made peace with her regrets yet fear gripped me when I heard his voice.  Fear came to remind me of my past and shame came as a drinking buddy ready to cosign me into self-sabotage.  Yet, here comes Holy Spirit: kind, gentle and full of truth with one simple instruction.  Be Open. Open your heart to being loved. 

So, here I am completely open and vulnerable and just plain scared but willing.  I am willing to be open, I am willing to be loved.

I have no idea where this heart journey is going to take me.  All I know is that I am committed to obeying sweet Holy Spirit’s instruction.  I am committed to being open and to keep my heart open to being loved. I am willing and my heart says “Yes.

Until next time,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/371447628482-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

 

I Got It Wrong

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Around this time five years ago, I wrote a post called “My Only” expressing joy in the idea that I found (what I believed) to be my “one and only,” the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I thought I found the love of my life. I was wrong. I found a man that was incapable of loving me to the capacity that I needed. I was looking over my blog memories when my stats revealed that someone read that post a few days ago. My first thought: “Simone, delete that post!!! That relationship failed, get rid of the memories of your failures, erase the post.” But, that isn’t life, we can’t go around erasing the terrible things that we’ve experienced. We face our failures, we accept them and we learn from them. So here are three reasons, I believe my getting it wrong was necessary for me to learn how to get it right.

  1. I accepted the love I thought I deserved: subpar, broken and inconsistent. The guy I thought was forever, in hindsight, did not love me well. And to tell you the truth, I can’t blame him. He was not loved well and he had no genuine connection to the One who loved him well. When your life is absent from the Creator of Love, it’s hard to love others. Instead, you love them through your broken version of the love you’ve received. That is the way he loved me: from a place of fear/distance, insecurity which drove his patterns of lying about stupid things, ghosting and poor communication and mediocre because to invest in love is to open himself up to the possibility to be in pain. He prided himself to be a master of pain avoidance and he did this by loving from a shallow place. The worst part was I loved the same way: my friendships were not deep by any measure of the imagination. I was trying to be everything for him, even if it meant being untrue to myself. Lastly, he was everything and because I did not think highly of myself; it was like girl you betta take what you can get. WRONG!!! Now, I’ve grown and I can see that God was like “Homegirl, you deserve so much better!” Thank God!  
  2. I was not okay with being alone. In fact, being and dying alone was one of my biggest fears. Therefore, I settled with “better than what I had” but not necessarily great. Anything that is better than what you had always seemed to be the best but it is not until you understand what you’re worth that you realize what you’ve settled for. There is nothing wrong with looking back and being like “he’s not that great- in fact he’s trash!” I wasn’t secure within myself to have that moment of awakening but God not waiting on my point of enlightenment, in mercy, decided to save this girl from herself! I’m so grateful He did. Because, if we’re honest not one ounce of love lives in fear; so to build a love out of it would be a decision to settle for a love that is indeed false. Perfect love expels fear; there is no fear in true love. As I’ve grown and come to love myself, I seek to be absent of fear and perfected in love. It is the heart of the Father that we are full of love and void of fear and that should be demonstrated in our relationships. To be unafraid is to be truly in love. 
  3.  I realized that I needed to heal. Yep, there were wounds that I neglected thinking that I would find healing in my relationship but that’s not how it works, you are to come to your relationship whole ready to complement them. It is so dangerous to bring your open wounds to someone and expect them to have the balm to heal you. It breeds codependency and easy disappointment. God knew that I needed to heal, that I needed to be alone to really seek him for this necessary balm. The best thing that could have happened was the ending of my relationship because the end of that thing opened my heart to the fact that there were wounds that needed to heal. Ladies and gents, the best thing you can do is heal. Heal and then enter into relationships with other people. Don’t bring your baggage into your relationships and place expectations on people to heal you. Only God heals, so allow him to heal you with His love.

Friends, the guy I was with was NOT my one and only, but he was integral to my growth. He taught me what I did not want in a person. He taught me what I was not willing to settle for. He taught me that what I’ve embraced was not real love. I’m grateful that things ended because it gave me the freedom to learn about myself and to love me.  So, there is no need to fear mistakes because even our mistakes are redeemable in the hands of God.  He has this tendency to take our bad things and He promises to make them work for our good.  He rights our wrongs. 

God allowed me to get it wrong so that He could make one thing right, me!  

Xoxo, 

Simone 

FIC: https://i2.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/black-white-mistakes-4.jpg?resize=750%2C750&ssl=1

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

Hold My Hand

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Lovelies, sweater weather is upon us and it seems like everyone is rushing to find a suitable beau to bring home for the holidays.  I’m peering through the window of social media, chuckling at the events that are soon to take place.  Tis’ the season when single women and men yearn for companionship as humans should and seek the warmth of a body near them (I’m gonna leave that there…) To tell you the truth, some individuals just want the security of a held hand.  There is something so intimate, careful yet secure about having your hand held by the one you love and the one who loves you.

I was sitting in some unconventional quiet time, just trying to make room for the one I love- the Father, when I ran across this verse: For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 HCSB) Like a gentle whisper in a storm, these words caressed my soul.  Once again, the Father is reminding us that within Him lies our security- for it is Him that hold us together.   If we think about the Bible or just the nature of life, we find a beautiful story of a Creator whose love for his creation propels him to live eternally pursing a relationship with them.  His love creates, fuels and  signifies his pursuit and in his love is no fear.  When we hold onto His hands of security and we leave our apprehensions behind, peace reigns in our hearts and joy springs forth from our spirits. We find that in his security lies our help!

Friends, the Father desires an intimate, secure relationship with each of us.  I won’t go into this trend of “Jesus being our boyfriend or boo”,etc., lol- but I do believe that we are the bride of Christ which signifies this desire for intimacy.  For where intimacy is found, trust resides, and where trust resides, security can be found. A majority of us desire security but we lack the capability to give trust- and that is just half of the battle.  For trust is fueled through intimacy.  Let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: (1) Why is it so hard for us to trust our Creator? (2) Why do we lack security within? and (3) Is the thing we have chosen to become intimate with capable of satisfying our desires within? We were called to be brides, not side-chicks and that comes from spending time with our Beloved.

He desires to hold our hands and to dissipate our fears. 

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/56/08/40/5608408d569780afce30308db4a84956.jpg

Running Backward in Fear

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

This weekend was an interesting one, to say the least.  It was supposed to have been the weekend, I moved into my new place.  Unfortunately, life had alternative plans that it failed to clue me in to until after it was determined my move date would have to be delayed.  I don’t know about you all but I hate delay!  Yet, I continued to place a delay on myself time and time again.  Ironic, isn’t it? Years would go by and yet again, there is a dream or vision that I have failed to begin by faith.  Seasons would change, yet I would remain in one season: a season of hiding, hiding from the world and everyone in it.  It was as if I was willfully ignorant to the call of God placed upon my life.  I knew God required more, yet I was scared to give that more to him.  As a girl that grew up in the faith, as a little child- I knew God has big plans for me, but out of insecurity I would make excuses as to why I could not fulfill those plans.

Everyone has this one flaw that they can’t seem to shake, I’m going to share mine.  My flaw is this tendency to run backwards when I’m afraid of what I’m getting ready to walk into.  Have you ever been pushed into a place of newness so quickly, that it overwhelmed you?  Because of this, you seek to return to the old (what’s familiar)?  I know I have, even this weekend fresh off of my commitment to God to come out of hiding, discomfort has me reaching backwards for my favorite hiding spots.   I’m reminded of the children of Israel, who the Lord delivered out of slavery from Egypt.  As soon as things got hard and this new freedom given was not what the people envisioned, they cried out of their desires to go back to Egypt- their place of bondage.  Though, things in the wilderness were not perfect, at least they were free.  Once again, the Father reminds me though things in newness seem to not be going well, at least I am free and he encourages me not to return to my life of bondage.  My places of bondage were as follows: fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, perversion, rejection, brokenness, and depression.   My new place contains: peace, love , joy, trust, acceptance and praise.  Yes, things may not be going as planned or imagined, but at least I am free.

Friends, I encourage you to kick the bucket of that flaw we discussed and let’s not respond by running backward in fear.  Trust me, we are walking through this thing together-even now.  Let’s move forward in spite of what is going on around us!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://cdn.runsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/17230534/How-Running-Backwards-Can-Get-You-Ahead-3.jpg

Rise Above It

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Well.. it’s Wednesday, and it seems like today has been one of those weird days when you are exposed to the hearts of individuals.  So, I’m in this class where probably less than 10% of the students look like me or have walked through similar life experiences.  Literally, there is only one other African American female in this class with me. There is only 6 African Americans in my law section and only 20 African  Americans in my graduate class which consists of approximately 209 students. This breakdown is very important because today we discussed a government provision being used (stretched beyond) its initial purpose to create a moral avenue in eliminating discrimination for African Americans to utilize public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and etc…

For a moment I would like for you to imagine yourself as an African American female (me) sitting in a room of your peers and hearing all of these arguments on how the government abused their power and should have went to the legislature to rid of those discriminatory concerns… I sat and I thought about the same legislature that for a period of time did nothing to rid the lynching of Black Americans, or the same legislature that for a period of time turned a blind eye to Japanese intermittent camps, or the same legislature that for a period of time disregarded the concerns of equality for women’s rights.  Maybe I am being a cynic, a skeptic, or a very pessimistic person and if that’s the case – oh well, but at the end of the day: history has demonstrated to us that if we leave it up to various individuals to make decisions for the minority group, those in the position of minority remain in their position.  It is always the voice of the majority that becomes loudly concerned with the rights of the minority, this pseudo-concern with the “abuse” of power to help those who are on the bottom of the totem pole.

So what can we do?  We can rise above it!  I realized a long time ago that there is a stigma in society betting on my failure, gambling on me becoming a statistic, an example of what’s been seen before.  However, I refuse to allow the notions of this corrupt world to dictate how I should live my life and whether I will succeed or not.

When I decided  I truly wanted to be a lawyer, I knew I would be an oddity: a female in a male -dominated profession, a black girl in a white world.  I prepared myself to be the one that stood out, I prepped for the “black” jokes, the comments on my level of sassiness, and the questions of whether if angry I would beat someone’s behind.  I prepared for the notion that some would perceive me to be an angry black woman, that many would deem themselves more privileged and deserving of their position than I.  I prepped to wear my hair straight for interviews because at the end of the day, an employer is looking for a reason not to hire me and I knew that if I was the only African American in the office I would be judged harshly for the actions of the firm’s  previous attempt at diversity.  I knew all eyes would be on me and I prepped for the smiles and nods and the shocked faces when those who wanted “Simone” from the resume instead got “Simone” a beautiful chocolate girl in real life.  I knew that our society was not as progressive as we prized ourselves to be but I chose to rise above it.  Even now, I am rising above implicit racism- I’m rising above the barriers of society.  I am rising above it and no one nor nothing can stop me from succeeding in who God has created me to be.

Lastly, as a Christian,  I believe that we are to be the bridges between communities, we are to love people as people and not deal with individuals in any type of fashion based upon race or ethnicity.  Additionally, I believe in the gospel of a multi-racial, diverse heaven: that when we go home to be with the Lord there is not going to be any segregation- we will have to worship, live,  and explore our awaited paradise together!  Being that we were all created in the image of God- I believe that I as a black female am just as well crafted and beautiful in the sight of God as my Caucasian brothers and sisters.  SO… I choose to take the high road, I choose to rise above it and become more than I even imagined for myself.

If this post is too much or if this offends you, it’s okay.  The truth is supposed to offend, it’s supposed to convict so that we can produce the change that we desire.  I want you to face your barrier (whatever that barrier may be) and RISE ABOVE IT! In the face of adversity, rise above it!  In the face of danger and oppression, rises above it! In the face of uncertainty, rise above it! In a world paralyzed by fear, rise above it! In a society controlled by hate, rise above it!  My challenge to you all today is to change what you don’t like around you- no longer must we wait for someone to invite us to participate in change: it’s time for us to create the change we seek! Brothers and sisters, let’s rise above it!!!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2016/01/black-history-month-unsung-heroes-of-civil-rights/img/birmingham-childrens-crusade.jpg

Sin Paranoia

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Have you ever noticed that sin causes us to be paranoid?  Paranoid that people are going to find out that we failed, that we engaged in something we probably should not have engaged in.  There is a level of a paranoia that comes when we engage in sin/sinful behavior. I do not pretend to have everything together, neither do I pretend to have arrived in my Christian walk- there are all kinds of things I have walked through and have engaged in.  I am so ashamed when I look back on the details of my past but that is why we call it a past, meaning that it has no relevance to where we are right now. I think this is where we get stuck, we get stuck dealing with the details of the old; we allow our past to define us when we are no longer in that place.  Anyways.. when we are doing wrong, I sense a level of paranoia.  That is when I just begin to air all of my dirty laundry and do some confession.  I confess before God and man because confession is so good for the soul and it sets us free.

We can not run from who we are for too long.  After awhile, we are going to have to face who we are and what we are choosing to bring into our lives.  I face things all the time, lately it has been temptations of sinful behavior, pressure to be successful and dealing with individuals I really do not care for.  On top of that warfare, I  am in a new environment living in a new city so the stress and anxiety wrapped in that one fact has tried to consume me heavily.  My archenemy depression has paid me a visit and so this week has been one for the books.  I lost a piece of myself in the shuffle and returned to behaviors I swore I would never go back to out of fear.  I am human and I mess up and I fall but the great thing about Jesus is that He has given me grace.  Grace that goes beyond my own performance and my own intentions – His grace picks me up when I fall and tells me that Simone, I want you- all of you, just the way you are in all of your “jacked-up”ness (not a real word).  I love that God loves me completely, knowing that I would mess up- knowing that I would disappoint Him, that I would not meet his standards sometimes- yet, He still loves me.   That is the beauty of grace! Should grace be taken for granted, absolutely not!  It should be recognized for what it is, a second opportunity for repentance.

So let me encourage someone this evening,  I know you made mistakes – we all have.  Trust me, even that one you deem to be the best saint has made some type of mistake, but take heart- God give forgiveness and compassion to those who confess and make it right with him. The  beauty of this forgiveness is that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and you do not have to be bound to them anymore.  You need to forgive yourself.  Trust me, I know it is hard.  Sometimes, I look over my life and all of the mistakes I have made and I know that I have been forgiven but I still hold my mistakes against myself.  I do.  I say, “okay Simone you failed before so work really hard so that you do not fail again.” This is totally opposite of the gospel, which says I need Jesus to walk upright.  I cannot walk upright in myself because this flesh is awful and wants nothing to do with God, I have to rely on God in order to become a better person.  He makes me better.  That is the problem, we have been taught for so long that we have to get ourselves together, but the truth is we do not have the power or strength to perfect ourselves and that is why we need God- He perfects us!  Forgive yourself and move forward.

I go to Forward City Church and our call is, “The past is gone.  The future  awaits. Move forward. ” And I repeat this mantra over you all, “The past is gone.  The future awaits. Move  forward.” Let it go and live.  God is ready, willing and longing to love with forgiveness drenched in mercy and grace.  He already released your mistakes/past, now will you?

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/little-sisters-sharing-secret-by-Viewimages-dot-com-72482743-415.jpg