12/10/19

The darkness comes each time, each year;

During what’s supposed to be the season of wonder and cheer.

Like a thief in the night, the sadness steals pieces of priceless joy.

It reminds me of terrible memories, involving a terrible boy.

I thought I escaped this tradition; I thought by now this would end.

Until one day, at my desk, the tear-fest began.

My inner critic scolded me, it cried in disbelief.

“Simone, you should be happy. At least you’re free!”

“You’re right.” I replied, “What in the world am I doing?”

I was better off without him, I was not the one losing.

Yet our phantom soul ties are bullies and make us believe otherwise.

These little monsters mask the truth in loneliness, fear and lies.

Memories will advocate on the behalf of what’s relationally dead;

And before you know it, you’re sad when there is so much more ahead.

So, my dear friends, these are some words I speak to you;

Keep your heart open to wisdom and you will find them to be true.

Don’t mourn that which is not worthy; do not cry over spilled milk.

Lovely, do not waste time giving attention to things of a toxic ilk.

Be vocal and be honest, about the condition of your heart;

Utilize your community, welcome them into the process – let them be apart.

For you were created for a bright future, you was made to be loved well.

Send every lie and guilty feeling straight to the pits of hell!

.

.

.

This morning, I felt the sadness coming and I said not today.

I rather be alone than place my relational future in disarray.

©Simone Holloway, 2019

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!

Featured Image Credit: https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/22141117/thumb/1.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

 

 

 

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

FIC: http://kaizenjournaling.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/large_3584131250.jpg

Holiday Anxiety

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy pre-holiday season, with Thanksgiving approaching in the next few days, some of you may be feeling the what I describe as “holiday anxiety.”  It’s this dreading feeling that comes when you know you have to be surrounded by family and answer a bunch of aggravating questions.  As a newly single walking embodiment of awesomeness, I hate all of the aggravating questions that come with being seated at the family dinner table.  I don’t know about you all, but I feel like we live in a world where we are always asked to supply answers to questions that we simply don’t have the answer to.  For example, “How long will you be single?”; “When are you going to have some kids?”; “Girl, why you ain’t got a boyfriend?; “Girl, when are you getting married?”  In my heart I want to scream, “I DON’T KNOW, DO I LOOK LIKE GOD?”  but on the outside, I smile gracefully and say, “I don’t know.  I’ll let you know when I find out.”  I’m not going to let them know… I’m going to make all my announcements after the fact on social media.  My family will find out about my life choices when the world finds out. Trifling?  Yeah, I know.

Ladies and Gents, If you’re like me, I feel your pain and I understand your holiday anxiety.  But more so, I sense the temptation to return to my past due to my own loneliness.  It’s like Lord, you separated me from what I was in before but because of my own desires to be held and to be in a relationship, I feel tempted to return back to that which you’ve set me free from.  I believe that many of you are facing the same temptation, the temptation to return back to your past. This overwhelming temptation to settle for what you’ve been freed from out of convenience and loneliness.  This, I believe is the reason many of us have found ourselves at a crossroads:  Do we return to what the Lord asked us to leave?  Or, do we wait for what He promised?  I had a choice, return back to my ex so I can finally have an “answer” pleasing to men or to wait for what the Lord promised which is better!

Anyways, I can’t tell you all how to live your life.  All I’ll say is do not forfeit your future for the temporary conveniences of today.  So, here I go approaching this awkward time with boldness and depth reminding myself of the truth: I’m happy, I’m content,  and I’m waiting and that my dears will have to be enough.

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://www.b2beck.com/images/holiday_anxiety.jpg

Once Again

It's silent around me. 

I can't hear a peep-

for my brain no longer recognizes the sound of a broken heart. 

It's crazy how time has not healed anything, 

I'm still standing in 2011 longing - 

for what seems to be the impossible. 

I hold my breath and look over the edge, 

and I begin to count my fears. . . 

For I am afraid. 

Yes! I am utterly afraid- 

that 7 years worth of prayers will greet me at my front door, 

seeking perfection. 

I'm not perfect but I find myself concerned with a standard, 

that never measures up.  

An unspoken question: am I good enough? 

What if he is greatly disappointed?

But, what if he's extremely pleased?

But, how would I ever know if I never jump?

I stand on love's cliff and the wind beckons me to the sky. 

Either I will sink or swim- but first I must fly! 

Lo, it's time to take a chance- once again.

3. . . 2. . . 1

©Simone Holloway, 2017

 

FIC:  http://www.nstperfume.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/crater-lake.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

 

 

Ghosts

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I was listening to Andy Mineo’s song “Ghost” and I got to thinking….how many of us entertain ghosts? Ghostly people, ghostly heartbreaks, ghostly regrets, ghosts that haunt us when we are feeling low in our spirits about what we are experiencing with life. It’s as almost as if everyday is Halloween- a day of reflection for what is dead, for what is lost…

I’m reminded of the tragedy Hamlet, and how William Shakespeare wrote of Hamlet being visited by the apparition of his late father…haunting…calling…And like Hamlet, some of us are constantly visited by the apparitions of what if and what could of been and why not… These apparitions come to haunt us and to cause us to feel poorly about where we are and who surrounds us. Ghosts.

Last time I checked Ghosts were also classified as Spirits and last time I checked, they can be bound and sent to the pit of hell. We need to start binding the things that haunt us … we forfeit our authority as a result of pain. We were not created to be haunted, to be tormented, to constantly live life in regret. We were created to have dominion, to be loved and treasured, we we were created to win. So tonight let’s decide together to forever banish our ghosts, to make them vanish into thin air, to not allow them to have so much power over us. Tonight we lay our ghosts to rest and we command the haunting of our hearts to die. We release ourselves from our self torment tonight.

We say goodbye forever to our ghosts.

Until next time,
Mo 😀

Simone Holloway, 2015

 

I Desire To Forget

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

Today’s devotional was about forgiveness and I thought I would share my deepest desire with you.  I desire to forgive in such a magnitude that I don’t remember the sins of those that wronged me. Many say forgive but never forget, however I don’t want to remember.  I don’t want to have a memory that attaches someone/some place from my past to a particular feeling.  I want to be able to see that person and harbor no resentment/bitterness in my heart toward them.  I want to be able to see that person and not worry about them hurting me again, because I now lack the knowledge of them hurting me before. I want to be able to step into a building and not react with feelings of insecurity because of the sins that were committed in that place.  I believe that operating in true forgiveness allows me to do just that, without this guilt of “I’m being dumb or naïve.”  I strive to walk in a forgiveness that forgets the wrongs of those that sinned against me.

1 Corinthians 13: 5 says that “Love remembers no wrongs…” it does not harbor past transgressions against no one.  Love does not remember past sins and faults.  This love and forgiveness is demonstrated to us through love of Jesus Christ.  He died for us, loving us in spite of our mistakes and faults and loving us into a personal transformation.  He forgave our faults and He does not harbor them against us any longer. His love is real and His forgiveness is sure.  I being His servant/ambassador/friend, walk even as He has walked and choose to not remember the sins of those that done things to me in the past.  I choose not to remember, no to hold someone to a memory of who they once was….

***NEWSFLASH*** People change!  That’s right, you heard it here first folks!  People change.  Some change for the better, others change for the worse- but all in all change is evident and consistently in effect.  Change is inevitable. So if I hold my brother or sister to a fault that occurred in their past self, against them in the present time- where change may have occurred- I am not being fair.  I am not being just.  Because God is just, He does not hold our past sins to us but acknowledge the possibility of change.

Should we do the same? Are we being truly just? Or are we living life constantly being unfair?

Today, I encourage you to forgive.  I encourage you to let things go and to choose to not remember.

Why harbor bad memories?  Why hold sadness in your heart? To learn a lesson?  The lesson has been learned and applied, so isn’t it time to find happiness again?  Isn’t it time for reconciliation? Isn’t it time to be free to have happy memories again?  Isn’t it time to forget completely?  Isn’t it?

The choice is yours on how you live your life.  Whether you are happy or living in sadness- the choice is yours.  I choose to be happy.  I choose to love like Christ loves.  I choose to completely forgive.  I choose to forget!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://thevillagechurch.net/mediafiles/uploaded/b/0e2360063_1375834511_blog-forgiving-despite-forgetting.jpg

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Some might say I exaggerate,
That I am prone to stretch the truth;
But this person I’m going to talk about,
I promise I met him in my youth.
He was a middle- aged man,
With the most unique pieces of attire.
Love and compassion were his garments,
Truth surrounded him like fire.
When he walked by my side,
He glowed like a bright light.
His words moved mountains,
He had authority and might.
This is how I came to know him,
It was a dark and dreary day.
I was so lonely,
My heart had nothing to say.
So I decided to end it all.
To make my life disappear.
I needed a way out,
I needed to escape my fear.
So… I let my mind wander,
I let myself hope to die.
That’s when he came into my room,
Took my heart before I could say goodbye.
He sat in front of me,
Like a father sits in front of a child.
He cradled me and caressed my soul,
While binding the demons in me that were unruly and wild.
I sat there in shock,
As his love surrounded me
This man was my hero,
He had set me free
Now I was free
My hero didn’t own a cape,
He didn’t have a secret identity.
My hero was the Son of God,
Born in obscurity.
His superpower was love,
Deeply rooted in truth.
Now that I’ve tasted of his goodness,
I desire his presence like a sweet tooth.
Faster than a speeding bullet,
Brilliant like a flash of light.
My hero is Jesus Christ,
He is filled with grace and might.
©Simone Holloway, 2015
Featured Image Credit: http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/20a59527-c8c5-492a-b888-7d8411053591/629f8892-1135-4047-be37-1b4bf561c952/Image/3a372f4849b5061fecbbf0b505f113b0/speeding_bullet.jpg