10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness Day 4 – Decisions

Day 4 – Decisions

God will give you strength for every battle, wisdom for every decision, the peace that surpasses understanding….

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting GOD know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of GOD’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when CHRIST displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4: 6-7 MSG)

This 4th Day 3 years ago, was overwhelming with FINAL decisions, choices, conclusions, and resolutions. Who, What, Why, When, and How were questions that had to be asked and answered.  Every tough, painful, agonizing, gut-wrenching decision made was made with GODLY wisdom, counsel, and much prayer. My future, our daughter’s future, my in-Loves (in-laws) future, our family, and friend’s futures were all at stake in our decisions. 

I had to consider and wonder about what that we were robbed of and things that will never happen. Future graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries that would be missing a heart.  Walks down the aisles, grandbabies being held and spoiled, days sitting and watching grandbabies play, futures were forever altered, and alternate realities were becoming real.

Day 4 was marked with suffering…

Yet, I was reminded not to fret or worry, and instead of worrying, pray. When I would look at this scripture over the years, I never thought it meant in a difficult circumstance like this. But you know our LORD, HE meant in all circumstances even the painful and agonizing circumstances! 

It was not easy, but I had to give it over GOD and lay it at the foot of the Cross.  I knew whatever happened. He was in control. 

This decision at this moment later saved my life…

One of Those Days

First, I want to say that I always write and blog when I am happy, and things are going well.  As a blogger, I always want to be truthful, transparent, intentional, and upfront. Most days, I am upbeat and ready to conquer the world. There are also “One of Those Days.”  Well, I am having one of those “Other of Those Days.”

I am having one of those days where I want to crawl back into bed and have a good cry.

I am having one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. 

Woke up late.

Trash all over the yard from the animals.

Slow cars

Back up at the gate

&

I left my glasses at home.

I am having one of those days where right now, I don’t want to look on the bright side.

I am having one of those days where although it is sunny outside I feel like it is raining.

I am having one of those days where life does not seem fair.

I am having one of those days where I question my past, and every decision I have made.

I am having one of those days where I question my purpose and my existence.

I am having one of those days where nothing at all seems clear or make sense.

I am having one of those days where I don’t want to be strong.

I am having one of those days where I feel that I am not good enough.

I am having one of those days where my dark safe place starts to look good again.

I am having one of those days where I think, “What is the true meaning of life.”

I am having one of those days where old thoughts and fears want to creep back in my head.

I am having one of those days where even though I am having “One of Those Days,” I can’t reside here.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t allow the enemy to disrupt my progress. 

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t give the enemy any victory over my day.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t fall back into the enemy trap of depression.

Even though I am having one of those days, I can see past the enemy distractions and illusions.

Even though I am having one of these days, I DO know where my help and strength comes from.

Even though I am having one of these days, I am here, surviving, thriving, and I am living.

Even though he may have gotten a moment, the battle is still won by Jesus. Therefore, I am still winning!

Blessings and Love to you all!

The Road to Restoration

Friday, August 30, 2019

My word for this Friday is Restoration. 

Restoration means a lot of things:

Refurbishment

Repair

Renewal

Rebuilding

Transformation 

Rejuvenation 

Reconstructing 

Restoring

For me, restoration means reestablishing and discovering who I am outside of who I was. I am learning to find my own way with my rules.  I can tell you in the past three years I have made tons and tons of mistakes.  There were so many things I was not aware of or had never done.  You must realize I went from my grandmother’s home to my husband’s house. My life was completely turned upside down in every single area! There are things I wish I knew, there are things I wish I hadn’t done, and many there are many things that I have done that I am very proud of. But…

 

For a while, I did whatever I wanted because I seriously was not planning on living for long.  (Don’t be surprised or shocked... depression and grief are real, and I was suffering!) But then after hours of prayer and therapy, God convinced me of my worth on my own and that I was NOT going anywhere! He said He had somethings I needed to do; He was not finish with me. Now I needed to get my act together! I do have some major cleaning up in my life to do, but I know that I am not alone! 

 

My life now is nothing like I thought it would be.  Nothing worked out the way I wanted or the way I planned. However, my life is not bad, it’s not easy, it’s pretty good, but I am also learning every day how to move forward with the hand I have been given. God has placed some extraordinary people in my life that pray for me, check on me, and will continue to love me in spite of my defects, flaws, and imperfections.  

They are my…

Let me leave you with this: Mostly we must know that God will love us, forgive us, never leave us, and guide us no matter what we do. He will always be there for us.  Believe me; it took me a while to get back to this frame of mind and way of thinking. 

What is left now… I continue to move forward, learn from my mistakes, and operate in the attitude of restoration. Meaning I will not be hard on myself for living and making mistakes. I am thankful to be alive, breathing, walking, testimony of HIS great love for me.  I am a mess, but, HE will take this mess and turn it into a great message!

I love you all

Have a blessed an Amazing Weekend!

 

Sleep Won’t Come

August 23, 2019, 2:51 AM

I tried to close my eyes,
I tried to shut down but my mind is still humming,
but sleep won’t come.

My mind wonders and worries about things that I can’t control
I give them to God, but I keep picking them like my soul can’t be consoled
Because sleep won’t come.

When I close my eyes, the images from the day’s events won’t let my mind shut down
There is a soundtrack in my head that plays a familiar sound
But sleep won’t come.

Most of the time it is that God loves me, and I am enough
But the voice of doubt that keeps me awake at night tries to rebuff
It makes sure that sleep won’t come.

Even though I know that God will see me through and Jesus is on my side,
I sometimes feel as if I am going through the motions and my mind is misapplied
Because sleep won’t come.

Even though I feel botched, bungled, mishandle, misunderstood, I still go on
I don’t give up no matter what the enemy throws at me, my mind is tired
Yet sleep still won’t come.

HIS light, that’s the light of the world, is always shining upon me.
I am a light in the midst of the darkness,
But still…sleep won’t come.

Rest is fleeting, and I am fatigued.,
But still… sleep won’t come, but nevertheless, I am intrigued.

Because I remember… “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

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I will come to you Lord and seek the rest that you give.
I will go on, and I will continue to live the life that you want me to live.

I will rest in you LORD, and I will continue to seek YOUR face.
I won’t grow weary because I am covered my YOUR amazing grace.

I have prayed, and now I will close my eyes and trust in Your Lord

Finally, my sleep will be restored

And yes, REST will finally come.

Yes, I Have Changed, Wouldn’t You?

July 23, 2019

 

Yep, I sure have changed.  

You cannot go through and experience what I have experienced without changing.  Change can be good and I think that my changes are wonderful, but some may think otherwise. Guess what… Not my problem.  I will continue to love you, but I must continue to live for me.  Those who truly love me understand that and continue to stand in my corner and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  

You must understand that deep grief and depression will change you and challenge your existence in this world.  When you have to fight the enemy so hard just to exist… you change. You do not come out of the battle the same.  There are some scars.  

When I say that I have changed, I mean that God has made me stronger, resilient, and I realize that I can do more than survive.  I can live! By any means necessary I will live. 

Let me tell you this if I continue to not only get up out of my bed every morning but also have pure joy in my heart and my soul, those days are all very good days.  I am happy to report the most days are now very good days! 

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You see I have to change to adapt to the world I am living in, in my present state.  Now before you say, “You do not suppose to change to fit into the world.”  I am not changing to fit the world I am adjusting to my circumstances.  I can no longer afford to be the Lolita I used to be. Financially, physically, or emotionally, my points of views have changed.  Let me explain:  I wear glasses, so it is as if I am looking through my eyes and everything is blurry and unclear, but I have worn this same prescription for years. However, now since my vision as changed so does my prescription.  My prescription had to be adjusted to adapt to the new changes in my eyes. My vision is very different than it was this time three years ago. This time three years ago I lived with a different set of circumstances, responsibilities, and hopes, which I still have but they are now different because I am different.  

I am continually evolving into something new. God is doing something wonderful in me!  God is leading me down a new and different direction, a new path, and I am trying to follow his lead.  The Lord knows His daughter, and I may not do everything to his specifications but I am trying.  I am still a beautiful masterpiece, yet I am still a work in progress, God is not through with me yet.  

I love you all!!
Have a Wonderful and Amazing Morning!

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There was an old song we used to sing in the choir when I was younger, by the Rev. James Cleveland;

Please be patient with me, 
God is not through with me yet.

Please be patient with me, 
God is not through with me yet.

When God gets through with me,
when God gets through with me,
I shall come forth,
I shall come forth like pure gold.

If you should see me and 
I’m not walking right,
and if you should hear me 
and I’m not talking right;
Please remember what God has done for me,
When He goes through with me, 
I’ll be what He wants me to be.

 

Please Be Patient With Me “God Is Not Through with Me Yet”

 

Okay, I had one of those white blouses with the ruffles in the video!! It was a choir requirement! LOL

***Video and Picture courtesy of Youtube[Merlin] The Malaco Music Group (on behalf of Malaco Records); Peermusic, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., and 2 Music Rights Societies

(James Clevland and Albertina Walker)

Purging my Life 4: Physically Purging the house and the body Body Purge/ Heart Matters

July 18, 2019

The Body

I am still developing this area; it is a work in progress.  This is a two-step process for me.  One involves the heart the other involves the physical body. There will be more to come on the physical body.  I am working on my plan to become physically healthy.  My daughter and I are adopting the Keto Diet and an exercising program.  I am doing the meal prep and she is coordinating our exercise program.  I will make sure to keep you updated on our progress and what we are doing, and how we are doing.  Y’all keep praying for me! (lol)

The Heart

Now the matters of the heart are different altogether.  Shortly after Michael’s transition in 2016, I had a talk with my Pop, (Pop Skipp), and he told me not to close off my heart. I asked him what did he mean by that because surely he did not mean what I was thinking.  He did.  He said that Michael would not want me to be alone and that he would want me to be happy. I told him I know but that would never happen, ever! It was the furthest thing from my mind.  Actually, I told one of my brothers at church that God would have to put someone right in front of me for that to happen. This will have to wait for another blog post discussion at a later date. (Smile)

Matters of the heart involve more than just the love of another person.  Yes, that is very important; because we all desire the need to be wanted and loved but matters of the heart also include your passions.  What you are passionate about should fuel your heart, encourage you, and stimulate you to move forward.  This was a time that I used to work on myself.

Life-Long Goal #1: Bachelor’s Degree

Despite the enemy’s rude accusations and intrusion in my life, in 2017 I DID finish a lifelong dream that he said I could never accomplish!

I completed my Undergraduate Degree!

From the time that I had to leave school in the ’80s, I have always had the desire to finish my degree.  I grew up in Highland Park Michigan in a small town surrounded by the Detroit Metro area, with my cousins, the Heaths.  My Grandmother’s married last name was Shaw, but she was born in Warrington GA. Yes, she is the one who taught me how to cook.

I had been in school from 2008 to 2017!  So yes, I was discouraged and especially then because I seriously doubted myself.  I was very close in In May of 2016, but due to Michael declining health, I decided to take a break. This was important for me because I wanted to be there fully for him as his caregiver.

In January 2017 a few months after his transition, I thought I was ready. You know the enemy was waiting on me! I enrolled in classes and I started getting anxious, and the thoughts came that I was not ready, I could not do this, and I was going to fail. I dropped the classes I and I had succumbed to defeat. Nevertheless, we serve an awesome GOD that does not give up on us that easily!

A few weeks later, my academic advisor called me, and he noticed that I had dropped out of classes for this session.  His exact words were, “I know you are having a rough time and dealing with many things right now. But I wanted you to know that you only need 3 elective classes to graduate” I said “What!” He said, “Yes ma’am you only need three classes and they are electives to receive your diploma” Let me tell you taking two online classes in an 8-week period is not an easy task and I needed to take three!  However, was determined to finish!

One of the last conversations I had with Michael was about school, and how much it was costing and how long I had been going. He said “Lita, I don’t care about all of that, I just want you to finish” I pushed and prayed through those 8 weeks and on May 15, 2017, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies!

 

I am finally a college graduate!! GOD IS GOOD!!

Life-Long Goal #2: Membership

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a part of a Sorority, but not just any sorority.  I admired different women in my life that were members of this organization for years.  I knew to be a part of a group of strong, extraordinary, educated women; I needed to step up my game. I did not just watch from the shadows, I continued life.  I worked in my church and my community among many of these women.  They are already my friends and sisters.

On January 13, 2018, I went to a meeting to gather more information and to let it be known that I was interested in starting the application process for membership into their organization.  After receiving all of the necessary information, I began to gather my own documents and information needed for the application.  Once I completed the application process, I waited and prayed hoping that I was among those selected to be granted the opportunity to seek membership into this illustrious organization.  I finally received a call that I was selected, and I was ecstatic!!  My 13 line sisters and I entered into an exhilarating, enlightening, and knowledgeable process, and on April 15, one day shy of what would have been my 30th wedding anniversary; I fulfilled a lifelong dream we were granted membership into the greatest sorority on the planet, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Even though it was the day before what was our wedding anniversary, this day turned out remarkable!  Here I was still healing and dealing with my grief, anger, sadness, and depression.  Thinking about what could have been and once again, God showed up and gave me a new reason to celebrate during this period.  It could have been a week before or a week earlier, but it was the same week.  (God’s divine plan) From that day on this time from in April will NOT be a source of sorrow and regret it will be a time of reflection, remembrance, and celebration.  I will always remember April 16th but I will celebrate the time that I gain not only 13 new sisters, but I also became a part of a worldwide sisterhood.

I was doing more than learning to survive in this new phase, this new chapter of my life, I was learning to live.  I am stepping out into new horizons and experiencing things I have never experienced before. I have people who love and encourage me to be myself and not to fear what God has in store for me.

Someone very special told me “I could do anything I put my mind to do.”

 

I am stepping out on faith and giving this new chapter in my life a try. Does it terrify me to think about putting my heart and myself out there after 30 years? YES, it does.  Nevertheless, it is all a part of the process of moving forward.

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I am activating God’s plan for the rest of my life.  I am plugging into what he has already instilled in me.  I may not have known what the future holds but God did, and HE has prepared me for it, and I am ready for whatever HE has in store for me next. Chapter 2 is underway.

I love you all!

Be at peace & Have a Beautifully & Blessed Day!

Purging my Life: Part 3 (continue..) Mentally Learning How to Breathe Again Purging the Toxins Out of My Mind and Finding Joy Again

July 5, 2019

My Therapy Experience

My experience with therapy has been nothing but awesome and positive.  God had led me to an amazing therapist, which I connected with, and I started my journey to healing and wellness. 

Remember those stages of grief I told you about earlier, I have hit them all and I sometimes bounce back and forth between them depending on the triggers or what is going on in my life at the time. In February of 2017, when I sat down with my therapist the first thing she said was, “Lolita, tell me what is going on with you.” I started to tell her all the things that had been going on in my life thus far. After about 30 minutes and many Kleenex later, I finally let her speak.  She said, “Lolita, I first want you to know that you have done nothing wrong and God is always with you.”  I knew that because she first acknowledged God before anything else I knew that I was in the right place and that God had led me to the right therapist.  

I started out seeing my therapist twice a month.  I had a lot of things I needed to work out and my emotions, my moods, and my thoughts were all over the place. My therapist was able to give me the tools I needed to combat and battle depression.   After attending a few sessions, I knew that there was no way would I be able to do this on my own.  Yes, I did pray and I prayed a lot.  My village was praying for me and getting therapy was the answer to our prayers.  However, I had to get off my butt and seek help instead of sinking deeper and deeper into depression.  God would not let me give up, so off to therapy I went. 

Session after session I felt myself becoming stronger and coping with my emotions. I was able to be a strong mother for my daughters and others who were grieving along with us. I remember after one of my sessions I thought to myself, “I am going to make it,” “The enemy will NOT win,” “I will survive this,” “Victory is mine because I have victory in JESUS.”  

It was because of my therapy that I am writing this blog.  It is because of therapy I am alive to write this blog! I wanted others to know that therapy is not a bad thing. Therapy is not the taboo or this evil that has been wrongly categorized in our community for years.  Therapy is very healthy and I believe that for me it is essential to my self-care.

I have been in therapy for over two years now.  By now, monthly sessions have been crucial to my overall well-being. My head is clearer, I can think straight, and my therapist is helping me to work on future goals, now that I know that I still have a future.  Yes, I believe the Lord always had a plan for me but I also know that I could not see past my own hurt, pain, misery, destruction and whatever negative word you can insert, to accept and embrace HIS plan.  

Therapy for me is a gateway to help me see past any negative thoughts or perceptions I have about my life or myself.  This has enabled me to see the bright and prosperous future that the Lord has intended for me. Remember you are stronger than you think you are. Do not be afraid to seek the help you need. Make that appointment with a therapist today.  You should be afraid if you do not seek help and end up staying in the same depressive state you may be currently experiencing, and THAT is NOT healthy!

It is not about “telling your business,” or “keeping things in the house”. It is about making sure you are mentally healthy.  It is about taking care of yourself. It is about self-motivation, self-care, and self-preservation.  It is about learning how to breathe again and discovering that joy again in your life. 

I know that if I can do it so can everyone else!

 

I love you all! 

Be at peace & Have a Beautifully Blessed Day!