It wasn’t until recently that I realized that not only is this year quickly coming to an end, but an entire decade is too! The past 10 years of my life have taught me so much about me. It’s definitely been more than I could have ever imagined! The chapters of my life that have filled this decade have been full of painful transitions, new relationships and an abundance of life lessons that have all prepared me for this very moment in time.
I have been in reflection mode over the past few days. As I thought about all of the experiences I have been graced to live thru during this decade, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions that all followed gratitude, which showed me my growth. All of my experiences have helped me to evolve into the woman I am today, as well as, the woman I am continually evolving into daily.
If I could sum up the lessons I learned each year of this decade, each life token would read as follows:
2010 God’s Love is Unconditional…
At the beginning of this decade I welcomed in new life in the form of a new born child. I remember how unprepared I felt, in spite of the fact I wasn’t a first time mother. My new baby was one of the major blessings that saved me from succumbing to the curse of my emotional pain. The fear I felt when I just thought about making changes to better my life turned into an angry, raging MONSTER that had me thinking about every possible “what if, “ that in reality, didn’t even exist. Fear is the realest illusion to ever exist! I was five years into what I perceived as the worst mistake of my life: marrying a man just because he was my child’s father and I wanted us to be a family when every telltale sign available in the universe told me not to! Don’t get me wrong, I did love him, but I also knew that love wasn’t enough. I was so scared of what people would think, and even more so, of what they would say about the decisions I had in mind to make to better my life, and now the lives of my two children. No one knew I was living a lie, because I hid my pain so well; at least that’s what I thought. I felt paralyzed in the nonproductive cycles my life followed, and I accepted every single one of them as my destiny. I later realized I accepted them because some part of me thought I deserved the dysfunctional chaos. At one point I remember wanting to take the “easy way out” by asking God to let me die in my sleep, but He never answered that prayer because He had other plans for me. It was during this year that I understood my spirit was broken and that’s why I lost my will to live in spite of all that I had going for me. I cried myself to sleep every single night. Not even knowing how the tears began to fill my eyes, and then start their steady stream down my face, until I drifted off to sleep. I didn’t understand why I was crying, but I noticed I felt better and stronger each day I woke up. I gained the strength I needed to fight for ME. I learned that God absolutely loves me and He cares about everything that concerns me.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalms 56:8
2011 Every Ending leads to a New Beginning…
When 2011 came in, I remember being so desperate for a complete change! One day it would seem as though life was turning around for me and getting better, and before I could cry myself to sleep that night, I was right back to feeling like a low life victim waiting for the perfect moment to be freed, because I was too scared to even try to escape. I was so tired of hurting! I didn’t tell anyone what was really going on in my life, because I didn’t think the people closest to me would understand, and furthermore I really didn’t trust sharing the deep dark secrets my soul contained. So I took my mother’s advice, and I prayed. I prayed every night that God would take the pain away, but it was as though He wasn’t listening to me, because every morning I woke up in the same broken situation. I know prayer worked for a lot of people, because growing up in church allowed me to hear their testimonies every Sunday and Wednesday. I started calling prayer lines requesting prayer. Since God wasn’t answering my prayers, I figured someone more powerful that had a great connection with God could get a prayer thru for me. Not only did my life depend on it, my mental health did as well! I realized I had lost myself trying to please everyone else; especially my (former) husband, and I needed to find me so I could be free, embrace self-love and be well emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically. I knew my freedom came at a cost that I soon realized I wasn’t prepared to pay so I continued to stay in my marriage despite the emotional, mental and physical pain I was experiencing. I knew doing it for me would do it for everyone else in my life, because if I wasn’t well for myself, I couldn’t be well for the most important people in my life-my children! After months of calling prayer lines requesting prayer and sowing financial seeds, I decided to try praying for myself one more time. The one thing I remember being different when I prayed that time was, I put every ounce of the little bit of faith I had left in me into my prayer. I didn’t pray this magnificent prayer that included all these scriptures from the Holy Bible, with ashes on my forehead and sackcloth on my body. I simply talked to God from the depths of my heart and soul. I asked Him to deliver me from the hell I was living in, and to give me the strength I needed to follow-thru with each step that was necessary to get to my peace place; and I said Amen. So often I’ve heard that God will allow us to continue to experience pain, until we ask Him for help. That’s our free will in action! It is then that God will steps in by way of a divine intervention. However, we are the ones who have to take the necessary steps, because God will not do anything for us that we can do for ourselves. I had enough and I had to leave my life as I grew to know it. Even after praying that prayer, each time I prepared to leave, I made an excuse to stay. I was scared and I feared the unknown. After being beat down one day, I finally had enough for real! I prayed a simple prayer asking God to fix it, and He did but because the answer to my prayer didn’t come packaged as I thought it would: in the form of a new full-time job that would allow me to get the apartment I toured earlier in the previous week without a financial struggle, I continued to stay, thinking God had not answered my prayer yet. In August, the circumstances in my life began to change. The full-time position I was promised on my job fell thru and I was stuck with part-time hours, and full-time bills! I could no longer afford to pay all my bills and daycare for my children. At first I thought I was in a catch22, and then while sitting at work one evening, I decided it was time to go. I was still concerned about what “they” would say, but I left anyway.
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” Isaiah 41:10
2012 To lose is to Gain (I lost EVERYTHING BUT my mind)…
The first night in my new place was the first time I experienced true peace in the past five years! As I laid down to go to sleep that night I knew I made the right decision in leaving my marriage, I just didn’t realize the price I would have to pay to be free. I wanted my new life to kick in right away! I was so busy trying to make a lot of moves to advance my physical life’s status, that I wasn’t paying too much attention to nursing the emotional, mental and spiritual wounds I suffered throughout the years. I thought my freedom would come when my divorce was finalized. Little did I know, that would only be the beginning of a life long journey to my ministry of healing. I was in an internal fight against myself. Many days I was confused, not understanding why I felt so much peace internally, but was still going back and forth with myself as to whether or not I made the right decision concerning my marriage. Then one day I asked God to give me a confirmation and I simply heard this: “You are the same person you were before you left your marriage and so is he…” I knew the man I was married to viewed me as everything but a child of God, because he would tell me right to my face. I knew he had not done any work to change and the mere fact he wanted me back was just his present reality confirming he lost a good woman. Now it was time for me to thrive in the fullness of being this good woman, and I realized I needed to heal and that healing started with forgiveness. I needed to get back to me before the hurt, abuse, mistrust and abandonment. I was very angry about so many things! All I wanted was to be loved. Somehow I knew…I just had an inner knowing that in finding me, I would also discover my life’s divine purpose in the process. That alone was enough to put my focus back where it should have been all along…on me. Since God didn’t answer my prayer to leave this earth peacefully in my sleep, I needed to know why He needed me here. I began to have dreams and see visions of my ministry of divine healing so I took the necessary steps to establish it. I knew my focus was the woman, and my message would be for everyone. I began writing and publishing inspirational blog posts about my healing journey and I saw how God was strengthening me and restoring my joy and peace.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
2013, 2014, 2015 Growth is a Process…
These years seemed to creep by slowly but surely. I was going through a lot of painful transitions within myself that were undoubtedly necessary for my healing to manifest emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and even on a soul level, but the tangible aspects of my life didn’t seem to be moving forward at all. Everything I was believing God for was on pause…at least that’s what it felt like. I started thinking about my new status in life as a divorced (black) woman with two minor children to care for, and I wanted to make a career change, because I wanted more for my children too. I decided to complete my degree. It was the one and only thing in my life that I started, but never finished. Going back to school was rough! I was determined to finish successfully and although it took me longer than expected, I did it! I know had the credentials needed to get my dream job! I searched daily, most days all day for my job and I wasn’t getting any responses from anyone. I even had what I thought was a divine intervention when I was connected with a manager in the federal government arena. I personally met with him, gave him my resume, he was thoroughly impressed and told me I should be working within two weeks. I was elated! I felt like that was the break I needed to help me achieve my goals. Two weeks came and went, and I didn’t hear anything from that manager and I never started working in that position. It was perplexing to me and I didn’t understand what in the world was going on to where I couldn’t get my dream job. I never had an issue with attaining a job; furthermore jobs I actually liked and wanted that paid me good money. I needed to know what was going on so I prayed and asked God to reveal the answer to me. God revealed to me the past three years were a time of healing, growth and revelation concerning my next steps. I had to heal what was broken and wounded within me, with the help of God, in order to successfully move to my next level in life. For me, that meant doing the work to get my degree and also doing the work to be completely whole and operate from a place of divine power so that I was equipped to live my divine purpose of healing. These years taught me how God honors His word to not only take care of me, but my children too and sustain us day to day. We lacked for absolutely nothing! There were times that I did not know how a need would be supplied and God came thru each and every time, right on time! What I lacked was patience. I’m a natural planner, and I had a timeline laid out for my every heart’s desire to meet as they unfolded. When those desires did not meet the time I thought they should happen, I went back to the drawing board, and at times even questioned my faith in God. What God was teaching me is what I already knew, He always has my best interest at heart and when the time is right, it will happen!
Let patience have her perfect work so that you may be complete and lacking absolutely nothing. James 1:4
2016 Fear is an enemy that God has given you the divine power to dissolve!
For as long as I can remember I have greeted each new year with a fast of some kind. In 2016 I was very intentional about reaping all of the benefits fasting has to offer, mainly being able to hear clearly from God to get the answers I felt I needed concerning my life. I remember being very clear when I told God that I was ready and whatever He wanted me to do, I would do. God’s answer to me was: “Focus on building your ministry and creating your own job within the process.” That wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear. It had been 5 years since I left my marriage and I was convinced I had done all the work I needed to do to heal from the pain of my past, as well as prepare myself for my future. I wanted a federal government job so that I could apply every penny of the $30K I just invested in myself to get that piece of paper that said, “I did it!” I had a five year plan to get myself established enough to purchase a home, save money, get an adequate amount of solid experience in my field AND then I would be ready to do ministry. I didn’t understand why God needed me now when there were thousands of people in the world who wanted to do ministry. “Just use them!” was my thought. Furthermore, I realized I wasn’t ready. I had stopped writing and publishing blog post. I was comfortable being transparent with the world to a certain extent and that was it. I just didn’t want people in my business because “they” can be so judgmental and I didn’t want to deal with their judgments. At one point I even let my nonprofit organization dissolve. As the year was coming to an end, during my time of reflection, I realized none of the plans that I was working so hard to accomplish and hoped would come to flourishion manifested. I was devastated! I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t allow my plans to prosper. Then I was reminded of my own words to God at the beginning of the year during my fast: “I’m ready and whatever You want me to do, I’ll do…” I was ready for my plans to prosper and I knew God was waiting on me, so I asked God to dissolve every fear I had concerning my healing ministry so that my will would be in alignment with His will for my life. It was during that year that I saw just how much grace and mercy God extends to us daily. I also saw how God does not force us to do anything because He has given us all a free will, but it’s also important to be obedient and trust that when God tells us to do something its for our highest good!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a sudden good break can turn life around Proverbs 13:12
2017 Rejection is part of the Process
I was really ready this time! During my time of fasting, God gave me some very specific instructions concerning my ministry. He told me to write a girls mentorship book and start hosting the mentorship program that summer, June to be exact. I started writing, planning and I was focused on doing exactly what God told me to do. About halfway thru writing the book I realized I didn’t have a place to host my mentorship program. So I prayed about what I should do, and God told me to go to the recreation center. I scheduled a meeting with one of the program coordinators and he told me the center needed a girls mentorship program to satisfy state requirements for funding. He asked me to submit a proposal and he would have the board review it. I was so excited! Everything finally seemed to be coming together for me! Three days later I submitted my proposal and I didn’t hear anything from him. I called and left messages for him, but he was not returning my calls. I followed up by email one last time, and he responded with something I didn’t expect: “Your program is not usable at this center at this time.” Something didn’t sit right with me about his response. So the next day I called to speak with the center manager. To my surprise, he took my call! I told him who I was and the purpose of my call. He was thrilled and asked me to send him a proposal as he was ready to move forward with getting my girls mentorship program started in June. When he asked me to submit a proposal, I instantly knew the program coordinator I previously met with had not submitted my proposal to the “board for review.” I shared with him the events that transpired with his program coordinator and he told me he would deal with him. I formed a partnership with the recreation center, but as a result I was unable to charge the girls (parents and guardians) for the program. I was a little disappointed about that because I had no idea how I would get the essentials I needed for the program that was due to start within a matter of weeks with no money! Bit by bit God supernaturally provided EVERYTHING I needed to begin my girls mentorship program in June 2017! Toward the end of the year, I remember seeing an advertisement for a women’s retreat on Facebook and I thought to myself, “I can do a healing retreat for women!” I didn’t tell anyone about my desire, but of course God heard me. The next day I received a call from a woman I prayed for several times over the years requesting that I do a healing workshop for her and a group of women. I was shocked by her request, because it wasn’t even 24 hours ago that I verbalized my desires to do a retreat. I told her I would do the workshop. Over the next few weeks, I wrote a workbook to compliment the workshop and in November, I traveled to their location to do the 3-day workshop. The women were all blessed by the workshop and I was so inspired by their response. 2017 showed me how God will open up doors of opportunity for me even when man tries to shut them. I also saw how God uses my gifts to minister to young girls and grown women alike.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7
2018 Your Purpose will make room for YOU!
I was still hosting my girls mentorship program but that was it. I began seeking God for my next steps because I still didn’t understand how I was supposed to “create my own” where I was with little to no resources. It was now July and the first cycle of my girls mentorship program was ending. It was a bittersweet moment for me. I was so grateful and equally humbled that God allowed me to use my divine gift of healing thru mentorship with the group of teenaged girls. I saw how each mentorship sessions positively impacted their lives, and I was ready for what God had for me to do next! I started preparing for the next cycle of my girls mentorship, but things just didn’t seem to be moving forward. I only had two responses for the next cycle and by the time the first session was scheduled to begin I was down to one. I explained what was going on to the parent of the girl remaining and she asked me if I would mentor her daughter 1-on-1. I told her I would be glad to! I started doing 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with the young lady weekly. I found my sessions with her to be just as rewarding as mentoring an entire group. Toward the end of the year, God told me to start writing my women’s mentorship book so I did. I continued mentoring the young lady each week. Then a woman who read my blog contacted me and asked me to start mentoring her. She was in a different state than I, so we did her sessions over the phone. 2018 showed me how God was allowing my gifts and ministry to make room for me to create my own!
A (wo)man’s gift makes room for her/him, and brings her/him before great (wo)men. Proverbs 18:16
2019 You are Enough!
I am a truthsayer, so I wouldn’t dare tell you if given the chance to do the past 10 years of my life all over again that I would, but I will say I am grateful for all I have experienced along my life’s journey so far! Many of the years in this decade felt like pure hell! My healing allowed me to see that every single one of my experiences over the years-the good, bad, ugly and indifferent, were all preparing me for this very moment in time. This decade alone has shown me that “God doesn’t cause pain without allowing something new to be born…” (Isaiah 66:9). When I was in the thick of my pain, it was unimaginable to my finite mind, the infinite growth I would experience that would be instrumental in showing me who God created me to be and His perfect plan for my life. The ten years contained in the decade have taught me so much about who I am and why God graced me to live thru some of the most painful experiences in my life. At the beginning of this decade, if you were to ask me what I would be doing now, my answer definitely would not have been: Mentoring, Teaching and Writing Books. Each and every opportunity God gives me to share His unconditional love, joy, peace and divine light with others I am humbled He chose me and grateful to be a blessing. I am looking forward to the great things God has in store for me to do thru my ministry of divine mentorship in 2020!
God is within her, she will not fall. Psalm 46:5
It is my sincere prayer that the words in this post have ministered to the heart of your spirit, mind, emotions and soul. I pray the year 2020 brings a renewed faith in YOU and God, awakening that which has been dormant in you, and waiting for your purpose to boldly declare, “It’s my time!” I pray each and every one of your heart’s desires meets the highest good of your life as you work to be of service to others by living your divine purpose, and that you are blessed in the process. I pray the divine protection of God and His ministering angels over you and your loved ones. I pray 2020 is your best year yet, Amen