Season of Grief

How I Fought to Reclaim My Favorite Season

September 23, 2021

Yesterday, September 22, 2021, was the first day of Fall, my favorite time of the year.  Anyone who knows me knows that I started talking about missing my boots, sweaters, and fall weather in late August.  (Yes, they do speak to me and call my name… lol) Just kidding!  I love the cool air, the changing colors of the trees, yes, the time to wear my boots and sweaters.  I allowed the enemy to use my grief and depression to control everything I loved for a few years.  

From the middle of September to November, I used to call it my dark season.  During this time, five years ago, my life took a turn for the worse when my late husband passed.  I don’t need to tell you the pain and distress I felt deep in my soul.  The enemy tried to take over my existence with thoughts of suicide and depression.  He tried to take my family’s way, and he almost succeeded in taking away my favorite season and turned it into a gloomy and miserable reality. 

But because I am the daughter of the King and He loves me beyond anything, I could even imagine.

He pull me out of that existence back into His presence of Joy, Love, and Peace. It was a tough uphill battle, but I prayed, and others prayed along with me along the way.  I had to allow Jesus to minister to the Holy Spirit and guide me to get the help that I so desperately needed to combat this way of feeling and thinking.  I could not and cannot fight this war alone; I had to be honest with myself and those around me. I had to make some tough decisions, and I still make them every single day.  This new normal that I live is not easy, but when I get up and breathe and live on this side of the earth, I know that God still has a purpose for my life.

Jesus, my family, my village, and my therapist, helped me to win the battle for my insanity, peace, and mental health.  The war is still raging every second, but now I am one step ahead of the enemy.  Why?  I have a village of people across the world who will lift my name and my family’s name in their prayers: my friends, like sisters, and sorority sisters who encourage and support me. 

 My daughters ShaRonda and Morgan keep me on my toes, and their love and encouragement mean the world to me.  I want to be an example of a strong woman who is not afraid to take risks or reach out for help.  I want them to be proud of me.  

My longtime brother, Minster Kai Brown, told me, “Don’t Worry, Pray.”  

In every sense of the word except by physical blood, my sisters Laura Coaxum always told me to “Stay Close.” And Sharron Williams said, “Lo, Trust God.” 

My spiritual mentor Elaine Belardo has encouraged me when she is dealing with her struggles that God is at work in the detours and roadblocks of my life.  

My heart, my Chapter 2, Sam Moore, through his love and encouragement he tells me that I can do anything I put my mind to do.  

My therapist Dr. Phifer, when I first sat down in her office, told me that God loved me, and he had never left me.  She has given me the tools to keep me mentally healthy and my head clear so I can clearly hear from God. 

I stayed ahead of the enemy, not by my might or any power I could have, but it is the power of Jesus that is at work through me.  

I am not perfect, nor is my life perfect, and I still make mistakes every day.  However, I so serve and worship a perfect God who not only loves me unconditionally, but HE loves you just as much! 

Whatever the devil has stolen from you, tap into the power of Jesus that resides in you and reclaim it back!

Reclaim your Peace, Joy, and the Love that the Father has for you!

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

If I can do it, so can you!!

I love you all with the love of Christ!

You Are Not Alone

Hey Dear Hearts!

It has been a while since I have written in the blog. Trust me, I have been writing, finishing up my master’s program, and this last class was challenging! 

I had an enjoyably week off and now on to my next class. (YEAH) Three more and then I am done!

In the past year we have had over 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, and a lot of people, especially spouses, have joined the club that I never wanted to join. They are widows or widowers. This road will not be an easy one for them to travel, nor for any one grieving a loss. They will need the support of family and friends as much as possible with our current state. When my late husband passed, I was blessed that I was able to physically say goodbye and receive the visits, hugs, love, and support from my family and friends. Support from your family and friends should never stop.

Family and friends, I implore you to check on those who are grieving.  Even if they say, “I’m okay or look okay, please make the phone call or send the text message, most importantly, PRAY for them.

Trust me. They need you.

I also have a message to those who are grieving.  I KNOW this is hard, unfair, and unbearable.  I know that you are sad, angry, hurt, and confuse.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, or a mental health specialist.

PLEASE DON’T BE ASHAMED!  Your life could depend on it. 

Just the notion of people making fun of downplaying someone who says they were suicidal makes me angry.

LISTEN TO ME:

I don’t care who they are or how much money a person has, depression does not have favorites, and it will descend upon ANYONE! It does not matter if you are famous or wealthy.

This horrible attitude towards mental health is why people don’t come forth, which is why suicide rates are so high!  The insensitivity is appalling!  

THIS MUST STOP!!

I almost took my own life pretending I was fine, that everything was fine. I was laughing when I wanted to cry—keeping silent when I wanted to scream.  Just so those around me would not be uncomfortable.  This way of thinking almost ended my life and would have destroyed my daughters. 

When I tell you about the realness of GOD…

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

Yes, I sought therapy, and I still see my therapist, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I was angry at GOD for weeks and months, and I was not allowing Him to speak to me.  He never left me because, when I was in my darkest pit, I said that tonight was it, I am done, GOD said NO!  HE pulled me out and sent me to the right person to help me clear my head.   I was lucky, NO, I was blessed that I had previously established a foundation that allowed God in my headspace, even if it was for a moment to make me stop. 

If you don’t have that relationship with GOD and you would like to establish your relationship with God, contact me and allow me to introduce you to my Daddy. 

Even if you are doing have the relationship that I have with God, I need you to know that help is still available, and you can seek the help you need.  Allow those who care to help you. 

Please don’t think that if you end your life, everything would be alright.  You have family and friends that you are leaving behind who will be devastated by your actions. 

You have a life that must be lived.

You have a life that will bless people that only YOU can bless.

You have a life that is of value.

YOU are needed and wanted!

Talk to your pastor

Talk to a friend

Most importantly: 

IF you are anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide hotline. Listed below is the number for the Veterans Crisis Line.

Remember you are not on this journey alone. Someone will always walk with you.

Don’t GIVE UP!

God’s love and blessings to you all

Christmas 2020 Thoughts

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Jesus is the reason for the season. Yes, many of us know, feel, and honestly believe this. But it does not mean that people may not be feeling the Christmas spirit this year.

So, wait and read what I have to say.

My girls and I always have a house full of people during the holidays.  After my late husband’s death, it has been incredibly comforting to have those closest to us helping us celebrate the holidays. We ate, played games, and sang our hearts out. I know for me, it took my mind of the grieving process and placed my focus on the season, family, and friends.  This year was different. This year it was my duty to keep my family safe, so the decision was made not to have our usual celebration. Instead, we were responsible and opted for a quiet day at home.

I know many of us went into the Christmas season with a sense of dread.  Many of us are without employment, or you are still working from home if you are lucky.  We are socially distancing with no real gatherings of family and friends. Many of us canceled trips to family and friends, vacations, and other social traditions of the season to stay healthy.

So, I also felt a little depressed this year and had a sad moment.  There are so many people in distress and grieving this Christmas.  In a way, I know how these families are feeling. My family knows their pain.  However, now people must deal with their grief and or depression alone, but they are also battling, avoiding, and standing against a horrible virus. Many are spending their first holiday alone without a loved one or two, and many may not have families surrounding them.  It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling.

There is no cookie-cutter method for dealing with grief, depression, and sadness during this time.  I have had people tell me how I should be feeling and when I should be feeling it.  Really??  No one and I repeat NO ONE, can tell you how to express your feeling, when to express your thoughts, or why or where you should be at this current time in your life.  Only you and God can know that, and HE is walking this road with us.  If you have people who are doing this in your life, it may be time to delete those type of people from your life who “support” you. 

Family and friends that support you will understand that what you are going through will not go away overnight, nor will you “get over” it. 

IF YOU ARE SAYING THIS TO PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE, PLEASE STOP!!

The Bible tells us, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Whenever you and God decide that you are ready to move forward, that’s when you move and not a moment sooner.  I have learned that when must allow God into every aspect of our lives.  Our grief and depression process, our therapy, our recovery, and our overall life every day.  I know that only GOD saw me through the last 4 years, 2020, and HE will continue to see us all through every day.  

When I think of Christmas, and through Easter, I am grateful for the wonderful sacrifice God has made for us all.  From the birth, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Even in the midst of this storm, I can still find the blessings of the miracle of Jesus and HIS unfailing love for us all.  My prayer for you is that you will find your Blessings in the Middle of the Storm.

Merry Christmas (a couple of days late 🤷🏽‍♀️)

I love you all to life!

From the Pit to a Firm Foundation

From the Pit to a Firm Foundation

Thursday, September 17, 2020

I lived in a dark hole.  In a pit with my 3 D’s, desperation, depression, and despair.

A voice stifled…

I often think of all the little girls and boys who had their voices stifled at a young age.

Our innocents are stolen and taken away.

Our souls are broken and shattered.

Our spirits are tainted and corrupted.

Our lives are marked for destruction.

Our relationships are compromised before they start.

Our happiness is fake.

Our joy is nonexistent.

We had to learn how to survive.

We had to learn how to live.

Our lives were literally put on hold.

But there is hope… and that hope is JESUS.

Viola Davis said, “The two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you discovered why you were born”  To those of us that have been abused, bullied, talked about, and or mistreated, finding a reason to live or to go on is difficult.  

When construction on a house starts most times, a hole is dug to pour the concrete for the foundation. This step is crucial because if you have a week foundation, your house or building could fall or crumble.

“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation of the rock.  And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke6:48).

When I was young, my Uncle Homer and Auntie Perk took me to church and introduced me to GOD.  I did not know that their actions would not only change my life; it would one day save the life of my family.  Their efforts purchased the plot for my foundation.

I went to church, Sunday school, Bible study, choir rehearsal, Junior Usher Board practice, and I still did not completely understand what or who God was in my life.  Baptized at the age of 12, I believe this is where my foundation was poured; God filled my dark pit.   Now, change was not sudden and definitely did not happen overnight. As a matter of fact, it took years of mistakes and bad decisions.  However, as I started to build my house no matter what happened, my foundation stood firm and withstood the test of time. 

I have had many trials and hardships in my life that continued to test this foundation.  Over the years, I have strengthened my relationship with the Lord, thus fortifying my foundation.  Many of my houses have fallen and crumbled, but because of my firm foundation, I was able to build, rebuild, and rebuild. This last trial almost took my life and shook my foundation to the core. As I wanted to die and crawl under my foundation, as I thought my foundation would be blown away, as I thought my foundation would crumble, it stood firm. 

“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come, and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash” (Matthew 7:26-27)

It stood strong because it was fortified by the Blood of JESUS CHRIST. 

I have screamed…

I have gotten angry…

I have cried…

I wanted to give up…

But my GOD remained steadfast and loyal to me, and for some reason, HE would not let me go! 

As my oldest daughter and I quietly celebrated my late husband’s life without many tears and anguish, I realized that I have grown.  I have accepted the will of GOD, and I have learned to live and move forward. Yes, my therapy played a tremendous role in my progression, but without the grace of GOD, I would still be in my pit of the 3D’s that the devil planned for me.  Because of JESUS, I went from living in a pit of desperation, depression, and despair to standing on the firm foundation that the LORD has planned for me.  I will continue to set my mind on the things above.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not things on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2)

I am far from perfect, and I know I will have many more trials ahead. However, I take hope in knowing that my strength lies solely with the LORD and his plans for me and my life. 

I am ready

I am willing

Thank GOD, I am still here to be able!

God Blessings!

I love you all!

May you always find your blessing in the storm.

I KNOW…

I KNOW…

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

My Wednesday night Facebook prayer group prayed about the healing and restoration power of Jesus.

There was a time in my life that I did not know where I was going.
I did not know if I would make it through the next second, let alone the next day.

I did not know how my daughters or I would survive.

I did not know to sleep without crying myself to sleep.

I did not know what to do when people who loved me turned their backs on me.

I did not know what happened to my future, my promises, my hopes, my dreams.

I did not know how to get up out of the pit the devil created for me.

All I did know was fear, doubt, anger, disbelief, sadness, pain, and sorrow.

I may have forgotten where comes my help.

I may have for a moment forgotten who I belong to…

But I know a Healer!
I know my Provider!
I know my Deliver!
I know my Waymaker!
I know my Provider!
I know my Ultimate Friend!
I know my Miracle Maker
I know my Comforter!
I know my Promise Keeper
I know WHO holds my future!
I know the GREAT I AM!
I know JESUS!!

Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE healed my broken spirit and my soul!

Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE healed my broken heart!

Thank you, JESUS, because… I know HE made a way when I could not see it!

Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE yanked me out of my pit!

Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE can do the same for you!

I know that you NEED to trust HIM!
I know that you allow HIM to love on you!

I know that GOD has a purpose and a plan for your life!

I know that you need to let HIM into your life!

I know that HE will bless your life!
I know that JESUS loves you with agape love!

I know that there is NOTHING that you can do to keep HIM from love you!

I need you to know that GOD is waiting to welcome you with open arms!

I need you to know that HE is ready to forgive you!

I know that if I did not have that foundation built on the blood of JESUS, I would have never survived the darkest moment of my life.
All you need to do is call out to HIM and ask HIM into your life.
Allow JESUS to heal and bless you. I promise you… you will NEVER be the same.

If you would like to join us on Wednesday nights, please let me know!

I love you all,
Have a Blessed night

JESUS JOY

Happy New Year!!!

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JESUS JOY

I am not going to blog or write about my expectations for 2020. Yes, even my daughters were shocked.

I have my goals and what I want out of 2020, but I am choosing to move silently, allowing GOD to direct my path. Anything God has for me, I am ready to receive.

However, our prayer focus for this morning was perfect, and God placed it upon my heart to share my journey to JESUS JOY.

If you have not read my post over the past 4 years or my blog, I lost my late husband in October of 2016. I suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, I was an understandable mess. But God was not having it, and honestly, neither was I!

I have moved forward with my life and I have so much JOY and genuine happiness in my life!

I had to dig deep to find the Joy that God had placed in me when he formed me before I was placed in my mother’s womb. It was JESUS JOY

It is something that has carried me for the past 3 years going in my 4th year.

Year 1 Restoration
Year 2 Renewal
Year 3 Rejuvenation
Year 4 Discovery.
(I will write about these at a later date)

Joy, true JESUS JOY is rooted deep within our soul, and only Jesus can give us that pure Joy!

NO ONE can be truly happy without JESUS JOY.

I can tell you, I am a living witness… it is a facade, it is fake happiness.

The Lord saved me from my dark place, and I am not the person I was three years ago. HIS JOY was, and is definitely my strength!

Happiness in a surface emotion, but the true JESUS JOY that comes from the LORD is deeper.

It requires something from us…
It requires us to take some action…
It requires us to have something…
It requires us to be somewhere

What does it require? 

It requires us to have something… FAITH

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My faith is a foundation on which I have always stood, so holding on to my faith was not hard. I just needed to be reminded of and remind myself that God is still with me no matter what! Faith is something that does not just happen faith some after you have been through some things, and we have sought God, and he has been there. Faith is not in the CHURCH faith is IN GOD and only GOD!

It requires us to take some action… pray, petition, and or (if needed) seek therapy

We have to want Joy in our lives. I know for me I did not want to feel depressed, I knew that deep down I did not want to commit suicide, but I also knew that I had to do something about the thoughts that were tormenting my mind. I had to pray, and others were praying for me. I mention the prayer focus above that comes from a prayer line where we get together Monday through Friday morning to pray for each other, our community, and this country. The saints on that prayer line and others prayed me out of the darkness, and God let me to therapy. Believe me, both were desperately needed.

It requires something from us… total surrender

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We cannot give something over to God and keep picking it up. Ether, we give it to him and let it go, or we keep worrying about it.

Worrying will prevent you from having JESUS JOY.

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It requires us to be somewhere… In a position to receive

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JESUS JOY just won’t come and perch its self on you. It requires you to be in a position to receive it. After you have kept the faith, prayed, and given over whatever is keeping you from God’s Joy, then you are in a position to receive true JESUS JOY. It will not be easy because the enemy will try to convince us that happiness and Joy are the same things. THEY ARE NOT! He will try to convince us that we do not need JESUS JOY.

I believe we were created and born with Jesus Joy, but life circumstances will cause us to suppress it. Think about a child they are joyful. Think about a baby’s belly laugh; it will bring a smile to our face and warmth to our heart. They are experiencing pure and true JESUS JOY. It is the strength that sustains us.

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I am the poster child for choosing Joy regardless of my circumstances. I refuse to give the enemy any joy, kudos, or accolades over my life. God has been way too good for me to allow this to happen.

If I am declaring and promoting anything publicly for 2020, I am declaring that I continue I choose and promote that I still choose to have JESUS JOY over anything.

When you think about Jesus Joy, it’s clear and straightforward…

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.
(Nehemiah 8:10)

Day 8 – 10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness Survival (continued existence)

Day 8

October 23, 2019

Survival (continued existence)

On Day 8, three years ago, as I sat and watched a beautiful, well-lived life diminish from this reality, I could not help but think about my own existence. When you are faced with someone else’s mortality, you can’t help but think about your own.

However, on day 8 today, we are faced with another life gone too soon by their own hands. Another mother, father, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends left in the aftermath. I have always been very intentional and upfront about my own experiences with suicide and depression, and I have promised that I will tell my testimony when it is needed and requested.

I am so glad that on the night I was home alone and I was faced with the agonizing decision if I wanted to end my life that Lord inserted into my head visions of my babies, and not just my babies I gave birth to. Still, my babies, I have adopted into my life over the years.

What would life be for them if I took my own life?

Would my daughters survive my death after their father’s death?

How could I have preached and taught that the love of Christ is there for everyone who accepts it, and I did not?

How could I have said all these years, God can get you through anything if you only trust him, and I did not?

”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John: 10:10)

That night I had the potential to burst every dream, turn hope into despair, betray love, and turn trust into doubt in the minds of young people God had allowed into my life. God trusted me with their minds, hearts, and souls, and I was about to betray them and the LORD. I cried and cried that night and then the next day when I went to Munson Army Health Center, for a doctor’s appointment. I checked the, “Yes, I have thoughts of suicide in the past months” That statement was not looked over, actions were taken that day, and I was sitting before a clinical social worker to get evaluated. Within the next few weeks, God led me to an excellent Christian therapist.

Disclaimer: (as I have said many times)

I do not doubt that God can and will get you through anything, even suicide. HOWEVER, for me, my heart and my mind is so clouded with sadness, anger, and hurt, I could not hear from God. I was in a deep depression.

But, he heard me, and he pulled me through darkness into His light. Once I was able to deal with my depression, I was able to handle the guilt, sadness, hurt, and anger. I was then able to hear from God clearly.

Depression is not a fad that will go away. Depression is real and very prevalent in our society, including young people and the African American community, whether they want to admit to it or not!

We can no longer sit idly by and say they are too young to have those feelings or thoughts or black people don’t go to therapy, or you are weak if you go to therapy!

IT HAS TO STOP!!

We are losing too many of our young people to suicides!!

If you are having feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness

If you are feeling angry, of frustrated of small things

If you are having a loss of interest in your normal activates

If you lack energy or you are tired all the time

IF YOU ARE HAVING THOUGHTS OF DEATH AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

I BEG YOU… PLEASE SEEK HELP

See your family doctor, clinic of a mental health professional as soon as possible!

If you are reluctant, see any of the above. PLEASE talk to a friend, loved one, your pastor, or anyone you can trust!

Call the suicide hotline number:

‪1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)‬

IF you are a VETERAN use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line

FRIENDS, FAMILY, and LOVED ONES:

If someone tells you they are contemplating suicide if they say they are hurting and the pain won’t go away, PLEASE take them seriously!

Stay with them until you can get them to a mental health professional, the ER, if you can’t, do not hesitate or call ‪911‬.

We need you!

The world needs you!

I chose to live, and so can YOU!

I love you all with all the love that Jesus has for you!

😘♥️😘

Purging my Life 5.2 Purging the House Making my House into a Home “Meet My Dream Team”

September 2, 2019

My Dream Team

Now before I get further into this part of the Blog, you must know that I did not do this by myself.  Remember I said above I tried and tried to do this. But we (my daughters and I) were paralyzed and overwhelmed.  We could not do anything but survive the pain that consumes our heart.  We knew that this was not the way to live, nor was it the way we wanted to live.  Our house was not nasty by any means. It was just cluttered and unorganized.  I have to give you the back story about who we call our Dream Team and our deep connection to them.

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Meet my organizers Lauren Poe & Kike Ojo, Clutter to Clean.

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Jose and Elaine Belardo

Elaine Belardo (also my one of Spiritual Advisor) will beautify, and turn your house into a home by making it a cozy, warm, oasis. She is also the founder of the “Deeper Windows Project” that she founded when her husband Jose’ Belardo, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Ironically he was diagnosed around the same time Michael was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2016.

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Elaine, Mike, and Jose

I want to tell you how God works in our lives.  I know for a fact that He knows what we need before we know we will need it. He prepares us for things that we are going to go through in our future, and he places the people you will need to lean on and glean from in your life and specific times.  Only God can orchestrate our lives like this.

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The book of Jeremiah states, “For I know that plans I have for you. Declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a home and a future.”   God knew what was ahead for my life from the moment I was born, and when I looked back on my life, I can see where God was preparing me for such a time.  He has always had, and He still does have my best interest always in mind. I prayed for a way out and trusted in the LORD, and He answered my prayers!

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Tragedies can pull people apart, but they can also bond you for life!

When I met Elaine, her daughter Lauren was in high school. Looking back, both of our families were in a high season of our lives.  Michael was retired after 21 years in the military and had a good after the military carrier going and Jose’ was a distinguished officer with U.S. Public Health Service.  We were all very active in our churches and communities.  Elaine was in charge of one of our Chapels Women’s group here at Fort Leavenworth, where we became friends.  When our husbands were diagnosed with their respective debilitating diseases, we shared the bond of becoming caregivers to our husbands who were both the STRONG head of their household, something at our age we were not expecting!

Unfortunately, as you know, Michael made his transition home to be with God, but we both soon discovered that we were both grieving what was to be our future and we became each other’s shoulders to lean on. She has been there for me even though all of the work, pain, and grief she is going through.  We have been each other’s sounding boards because some people, as well-meaning as they are, do not understand this type of grief and what it takes to keep going day by day.  She has helped my girls and me through some of our darkest days and is always there to help us celebrate the good times in this new normal of our lives. I hope I am doing the same for her. I am proud to not only call her a part of our village, but she and our dream team are a part of our family. (I am still waiting on my adoption papers to come through)

So, to have them come in a do a total overhaul on our house was more comfortable than having strangers in my home.  They had stock in our memories and an investment in our lives. Because they knew us personally, they knew how difficult this was and would be.  They were very gentle and loving throughout the entire process, which took a couple of months.  If the girls and I had to do this on our own, it would have taken us years to complete this type of project.  Lauren and Kike kindly encouraged us to purge and did not push if something was too difficult to process or get rid of; they just found a way to organize it.  Wait, now I am getting ahead of myself.  Purging and reorganizing in the middle of a difficult situation is very hard and can be excruciating.  But our Dream Team made the task bearable and yes, sometimes even fun!

I love you all

Have a blessed and Amazing Day

 

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!

 

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.

FAITH OVER FEARimg_1181

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!