Broken for Use

The abuse I endured just over a decade ago left me with more than a broken nose and bruised ego.  I had a broken spirit.

That same broken spirit morphed into a mindset of resentment and callousness that I only recently disowned.

I recall sharing this pain with a stranger.  When I worked in customer service, a young lady called to talk about how messed up her marriage was and as she explained the details of what she endured speckled with flecks of self-loathing and debasement I sighed, rolled my eyes, and almost said, ” I am not your counselor.”

However, I remained silent considering her insults of self would have to cease at some point. Yet, as five minutes grew to ten, she finally slowed her momentum, realizing I hadn’t said a word. I thought she was done, but she only slowed for a speed bump…a question…I hadn’t prepared to answer nor had I desired to do so. Still, as she took a deep breath waiting for my hypothetical response, I could only offer her what neither of us expected in the exchange.  I shocked both of us.  To her question. “I mean what would you do in my shoes?” I found myself saying, “I wore your shoes. I walked in them for years.”  I was supposed to have been gone for the day but she was my last call.  Interesting how God brings things full circle. That call served as my alarm. I’d been asleep.

Revealing myself to her was when the shell began to break.  I surrendered. When she mentioned how she’d been cursed out and cheated on and constantly berated by her husband, how her mother seemed to make her feel worse for marrying him instead of helping her, I involuntarily allowed my wounds to breathe. For the next several minutes, I disclosed how God delivered me from being unequally yoked…how my husband left after I’d finally surrendered for God’s will to be done.

I recalled the prayer as if it had just been uttered. It began, “Lord, just make him leave!  I can’t raise my children to believe it’s okay to be treated like this….and ended with Thy will be done. Before my prayers had been a broken record of sorts, “Lord, heal my marriage.” I imagine as much as I tired of saying those words, God tired of hearing them.” I guess it’s because I was not honest with my request. I truly wanted a way out of the choice I’d made. I just felt like it was not the “godly thing to do” since I’d been divorced once before. The truth is I knew immediately after I said “I do” to my now Ex-husband, that I would not fully be able to say the same to my God. God never agreed with the union. I was trying to justify living in sin with a man I didn’t even like. Those are the kinds of decisions we make when we are broken.

That night when I was finally honest with God, tears soaked my daughter’s bed as I’d knelt to pray there. I’d usually pray with her, but that night, I collapsed at her bedside as if I had no energy left to stand. I wonder even now if Kayla understood what I was going through.  She was five, ready for bed, and was supposed to have been kneeling with me, but that night she felt the need to stand beside me instead.

That following week my now ex-husband announced his plans to leave. Initially, I objected, saying to him, “you’ll regret it,” only to pause 30 seconds to realize God had heard my prayer. I quickly amended my statement, with, “No, this is the best thing for both of us.” Even before he left the room, a weight had been lifted.  

She said, “Well, what would you do differently if you were given the chance again?”

“Nothing.”  I said to her almost before she finished the question.

I then began to recount why I wouldn’t change a thing…

I would not know God like I know Him…that I am worthy of His best…I would not have prayed and been able to minister to you today…I explained to her that the beauty of God’s love is that while He is fully capable of “making everyone” follow Him, He allows us the choice to do so.  Had everything gone perfectly in my life by the world’s standards, I wouldn’t know I need a savior in Christ nor that I was broken for good use.

©2020 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Just Be Loved

Vulnerability has never been my strong suit. Perhaps that’s why it’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything.  Well, I guess I’m done with my little sabbatical.  I’ve been exploring some of my drafts and other things in life that have had me in a very humble place…not just physically, but emotionally. It seems that God has been forcing me to deal with me.

It’s been uncomfortable. I came across a draft this morning.  Rereading it helped realize something about myself:

  1. I have been paralyzed with fear to receive real love too long.
  2. My unwillingness to continue to embrace God’s love for me was the reason I’d been stagnant.
  3. It’s time to tell my whole story.

Before, most of the following had been entitled: Well Done…Time for a New ID, but given the simple directive God gave me not long ago, I felt it more appropriate to name it Just Be Loved instead. I’ve considered that my new identification is more like my original one I suppose. Anyway, I hope you understand why even this change was necessary….

I went looking for a colorful picture for the scripture 1 John 4:18 which states “perfect loves casts out fear.”  However, originally I retrieved this verse instead:

John 4:18 New Living Translation (NLT)

18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

I reread the rest of the story about the Samaritan woman.

I have always been glad God chose this type of woman to be one of His first evangelists. I figured if she could be used given her past surely I could too.  However, this morning God allowed me to examine further to pinpoint her platform and her delivery.

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This woman really didn’t know who she was.  On the one hand, she knew what she believed about God, but she didn’t know what God believed about her so instead of her trusting God to supply her needs, she sought the company of men, apparently any man.  And she remained thirsty.

Yet, this woman was only willing to seek a filling when undoubtedly her thirst had become unbearable. She lived in the desert so the last thing one would do is go outside at high noon on purpose unless there was no other choice! I’ve considered she had none.

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Like her, there was a transformation within my heart when I first truly began to embrace the love of Christ for me.  Yet, I wasn’t fully able to wrap my mind around that promise until a few months ago because I still identified myself as a product of my past. Everyday it gets easier.

This morning God showed me a newly welcomed portrait of my former self in the account of this lone Samaritan woman.  Despite her past, Jesus sought to go out of his way to wait on her and meet her where was. That intentional effort on His part is what prompted hers. So this is what it feels like to just be loved.

©2020 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

A Reintroduction of Sorts

Welcome Lovelies and Gents! So I’m a brainy introvert who’s a follower of Christ. I loathe religion and I’m proud of it! For some that might seem contradictory, however, by MBTI personality categorization standards, I’m considered one of the rarest, as some say, a walking contradiction anyway so it fits. Yep, I’m female, African American, and an INFJ. Those who follow such personality assessment systems would likely understand the enigma that I am. I have been taken for an extrovert and if you get to this place before I have completely updated its content, you might check out where I thought I was as well. Talk about to thy own self NOT being true! Anyway, I’ve learned I have MOMENTS! And those moments require recovery…a lot of recovery. Years ago, I typed as an ENFJ and since then I have sought to understand myself thinking I had been falsely living as an introvert because I’d been raised by a mental patient and married to a narcissist (much more on that later). Yeah, about that other part…

Let’s just say, I’m type Nadia!

I just won’t be put into a box ANYMORE. FINALLY, I’m sooooo OKAY with ME! Still, given the plethora of identities I’ve held in error over the years, the discovery of the latter is why I’ve finally come out of my cave to reintroduce myself. Any who, I’m glad you dropped by to hang out a bit. If you haven’t already, I hope you consider subscribing to stay updated.

Yeah, about the religion thing…

By definition, religion is merely a routine, and I have dropped religion in favor of a relationship with Christ. Though I was raised as a Christian, it took years for me to accept Christ “for real for real” beyond all the hype and drama that has crept into the church. Ya’ know the stuff God never intended as part of His plan like division and hypocrisy! Before I was bound by that among many other things like codependency…Wrote a post about it…want to read it? Here you go! Call it enlightenment! Call it self-discovery! Call it growth! How ’bout all three in one- total transformation!  And since there’s no going back, I invite you to join me in the journey! Yes, I’m a slight perfectionist so I love things organized and clean, however, my car hasn’t been washed in a year so there’s that. I guess it depends at times. Regardless, I’m working on balance folks! Give me time…we’re all a work in PROCESS!

Told ya! A walking contradiction!

Oh yeah, I’m a pretty okay mom to my two “not so little anymore” humans and one fur baby named Oreo (a 15-pound canine bundle of “interesting”), a great cook (at times), and I’d guess a pretty cool friend to my true few! Why does this feel like a dating app intro? Oh and I’m single for now.
(DISCLAIMER: This is not an invitation for a dating relationship so don’t contact me). I AM NOT GIRLFRIEND MATERIAL! (More on that later)
Finally I am learning to see and love myself as God always has! Talk about an uphill journey…oh yeah, I’m an empath and pretty adorable on most days so I tend to be a magnet for toxic people. Some are seeking advice and others narcissistic supply. Thankfully, I’ve learned how NOT to offer the latter to those would be peace-sucking vampires.

Yeah, lovelies and gents, I’m weird!

I have been married twice, divorced twice, and have fallen in love with the wrong men several times. I’d say I’m a certified relationship expert by now wouldn’t you think? At least I know how to get it wrong, and perhaps as you learn from my mistakes, I can help you ease the tension of your relational transitions so you can get it right. Or you can just laugh with me as I explore my own transitions going forward. It’s your choice…no pressure… Considering all that jazz, I actually give pretty great relational advice to others. Notice, I said to others. I’m still learning to take my own advice. It is indeed a PROCESS, folks! Yeah peeps, I used to wonder why people kept asking me for relational and leadership advice, but I now understand. God was showing me that He designed me to be an awesome solution to the problems I’ve experienced and witnessed. Either that or He’s got a great sense of humor. I’m choosing to believe it’s a bit of both. Yes, I think a lot about everything all the time so I have a lot to share especially after nearly three years of being in chill mode. I’ve recovered for the long haul this time though!!! Any who, I’ve loved to write since I could hold a pen. I’ve have a few degrees and I am pursuing yet another! My kids cannot seem to wrap their minds around why I would ever go back to school again on purpose at 42! My response is simple! The day I’ve ceased to have a zeal for learning is the day I’ve died.  And yes, it took me a minute to embrace that part of myself too though I wrote about it before right here! All that said, while I’m alive and well, I’m determined to love, relax and operate in purpose to glorify the Kingdom of God by any means necessary! So if only one person’s day is brightened by my truth, good deal.

If you read this far, congratulations!

You’ve got more patience that you thought! Seriously, though, I’d like to thank you for your attention and again I want to invite you to join this journey with me by subscribing today.

Blessings,

Nadia Latrice

 

Leave It in Last Year!

Dear 2017,

Our relationship is over. Our parting is bittersweet but necessary. You have taught me so much about myself! I’ve been emotional, but I toyed with the notion of becoming numb again because “feeling” for my own sake hadn’t been my usual if that makes sense. Whether it does or not, know that in the last few months I’ve grown more comfortable with the idea of “feeling” for my sake. I like making decisions without worrying whether it is “okay” with everyone else first.  I’ve gotten real acquainted with the freedom of saying, “No!” So I guess that’s definitely something to thank you for 2017!

You offered a few situations that almost convinced me to close the door to my heart but God’s love kept me thawed!  I am surer than ever of who I need to partner with for my destiny to be fulfilled. Better than that, I’ve learned who I deserve and my worth. I’ve become keenly aware of the times and ways I’ve settled for less and I’m just not doing that anymore.

A Year of Mended Souls

I’m mended! A chance meeting with a few ladies turned into a life long relationship of healing and wholeness. I shared things I’d never shared with another and felt safe there. This was the beginning of a “breaking.” The breaking was required and I am so thankful for those tears and cheers. That breaking helped me make room in my heart for a few other ladies that I consider very near and dear to my life. I thank God for His freeing grace to allow me to breathe in true friendship and to understand how to be a real friend. I’ve learned that true friendships require vulnerability. I’m more confident in God’s choices for me.

Needs Turned Into Desires

I was able to reconsider my preferences for my future husband. Certain character traits I thought I couldn’t live with have grown on me I suppose and others I thought I couldn’t live without don’t matter as much. I need and desire complete honesty with whomever God has chosen and before it seemed I lost sight of that. I settled. No more. I’ve grown.

My ability to hear God’s voice heightened because of you 2017! Though I still struggled with silencing the voice of my “inner me” at times, I finally see myself the way God sees me. I have my moments. They’ve become fewer and fewer. I’ve been intentional with my comings and goings and those whom I allow in my circle. My circle’s gotten ironically snug with fewer people. I’m so cool with that. I’m more comfortable in my skin…just being with people who get me…even with those who don’t, but don’t judge me for just being.

 

Pride and Patience...

The saga continues…however, I’m finally allowing myself to receive more of God’s grace for slip-ups and go offs…Hey, I still have moments.

I Can See Clearly Now!

Yes, it’s cliche but also a fact….found out the reason I felt like I was going blind at night was that my vision had indeed changed. I have astigmatism and I needed to get some special contacts to see clearly…I realize that’s been true even in my physical and emotional contacts. I’ve grown quite attached to a few people I now consider an extended family. You’d think I’d known these ladies all my life, but God knew I needed new contacts to replace those who clouded my vision the year before. I’m grateful for God’s grace to reunite me with my sisters across the bridge too. God has again proven His faithfulness in providing who I need when I need them.

A Year of Packing and Unpacking

It seems I’ve been a nomad for years, but 2017, you really had me in a tug-o-war with whether the place God planted me nearly three years ago was meant for me. I can laugh now at the notion to “break camp,” but yeah I wanted to uproot myself again and head elsewhere because vulnerability hadn’t been my strong suit though I tried. Did I mention patience wasn’t either? Oh yeah…still a work in PROCESS! Still, I’m glad I stuck around so far. It’s given me time to consider “ME”….something I hadn’t done for far too long…I’m glad for the connections and disconnections you brought.

I can now see a counterfeit coming a mile away. Most keep their distance and I’m grateful for My Father making me BS repellent. LOL…I’m extra…I couldn’t resist.

Still, I thought I’d put away many of my insecurities before, but 2017 you showed me that I’d only packed them up. I hadn’t moved them out of my mind, heart, and life yet. So just as I gave away things I’d accumulated from others last week, I did the same to homeless emotions and disappointments. I had no more room for lies like these:

You’re not pretty enough!

You’re too old to start over!

You’re not his type!

It will just be another marriage of convenience!

He could never love you for who you are!

You bore everyone to tears when you speak!

Who would ever read your books!

You never finish anything you start!

You’re just like your mother!

You are a horrible mother!

You’re a liar!

You’re selfish!

You look like a cheetah without make-up, who’d want you?

You’ll always be broke!

Take the hint, his actions show that God lied to you about him!

You are not meant for marriage!

I didn’t just pack them and move them to a different spot in my head or heart this time. I signed, sealed, and delivered it right back to where it belonged: The pit of Hell marked: 

RETURN TO SENDER!!!

NO FORWARDING ADDRESS

Those lies are no longer my property. I don’t want them and they were never mine to own. I just allowed those things to fill the gaps where God’s Word and Presence were meant to give me peace before. Now I have that peace and that rest. Still, I almost allowed this year to past without embracing it fully. I regret nothing.  I realize I cannot go into anything new without being able to handle it with care…I must pay attention to the details and I must see what God has shown…I can no longer see and deny what I’ve seen because of insecurities and doubts. They have no place in my new year…

Spills, Dropped Keys, and Closed Doors!

The last few days, 2017 you reminded me to “take my time” over and over again.  Yet, it seemed I could not walk two steps without spilling something, dropping something, or allowing something to overflow as I poured. I was rushing for no reason…allowing things to fall out of my hands…Who knew that was all God was trying to get me to do all along…let go…allow things to fall where they would…to take my time…to leave the rest to Him…

I’m loving the thought of being able to drop everything and rest in God’s Presence before I can start over.  I learned even the hard moments I’ve had with my son and daughter in 2017 were worth the smiles we’ve shared when I forgive and move on…this is unconditional…it’s getting easier for me to love blindly…I’m okay with being reckless with my love and I am more aware that what I have to offer is worthy of God’s best. I’m confident I will receive nothing less than that now.

In fact, I was able to close the door on one romantic relationship I thought I’d already been over a long time ago. I wasn’t healed until the moment I was confronted with the need to kill it two months ago. I would not have been ready to face that door a moment sooner than it came. God knew when I was ready to lock it forever. I mastered my first grown-up Goodbye! No tears…No harsh words…just peace and distance.

Not Unfinished…Just a New Direction

With that, this is a long letter, but an even longer-awaited farewell, 2017. So to all the un-kept promises, unmet goals, unsaid words, and unplanned agendas, unrequited love, and unpublished works,  I won’t say I’ll see you later because I won’t. I’m choosing to start from scratch, take my time, and allow God’s Peace and Presence continue to fill in the gaps to my process. I guess this means I’m leaving you and everything attached to you in last year!

©2018 Nadia Davis. All Right Reserved.

Who This Lady Needs

Almost  four months ago I posted this message:

Who This Lady Wants!

I mentioned I started the post about two months prior then, but hey I was wrong. The other day I came across almost the same words in an old journal…so I suppose my heart has been pondering not just my desires, but my needs for a long, long while….thought I’d share:

 

Someone who is sincerely appreciative of my presence…Someone not led by others’ preferences…Someone sure of himself enough to express his honest views…Someone who is not afraid to admit his own issues…Someone who doesn’t mind my innate extroversion…Someone who recognizes I complement his quiet disposition…Someone who is able to give freely without remorse…Someone willing to allow love to take its course…Someone who isn’t led by the things and places money can acquire…Someone wise enough to know all things must expire…Someone whose heart is knit to Our Father…Someone who takes seriously his role of loving God’s daughter…Someone who listens without judgement to things I’ve experienced along the way…Someone who seeks to understand my heart and assures me he’ll stay…

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Embrace What’s Right with YOU!

I’ve always been one to find errors immediately. On signs…in books…on television…in speech…I’ve had a knack for correcting things since I was seven…always considering other, better, and more efficient ways of doing most things I’ve observed. In fact, I have to purposely make myself not read my posts at times because I can’t help making the corrections (I know there are errors- for now😇)…so if you have eagle eye for errors…you’ll notice some…at least for the last year I’ve been intentional that way…I use ellipses often so I’m not bound to the tight writing in most things I prefer to read…I attempt to use slang…it started because of a meeting of minds I experienced not long ago…I was told to stop editing myself...I’ve tried…for months I failed…I hadn’t fully surrendered then…

That post is right herehttps://1betternotbitter.com/2015/04/19/quit-editing-yourself/

Fast forward to my now…I realize what I used to call a curse a blessing…that my keen attention to detail…about something being slightly off center…or the use of words like “lie” instead of “lay” when a reference is made to an object an obvious error to me a plus…how even when I was a child I boldly corrected my teacher for telling us there had been only seven types of dinosaurs…I was seven…she should have known better and since she didn’t act like it, I raised my hand and told her so. I was respectful still…unconvinced she got my drift when she insisted I was wrong in front of the class, I brought to school the encyclopedia I’d become fascinated with by age four to show her how wrong she had been indeed…expecting an apology Mrs. Turner just refused to like anything else about me that year…I suppose then as I do now…I expect honesty…to me her excuse that she lied to us was because our grade level would not have been able to understand that much didn’t make sense… I did…so I suppose that’s when the lie that I shouldn’t be so smart was planted…shortly thereafter I was told to be shy…called shy, but God made me to be bold…

I understand now how much of a disservice I’ve done myself and those I’ve met over the years because I chose to dumb myself down for fear of rejection

More about that one is here: https://1betternotbitter.com/2016/09/01/it-was-never-rejection/

I’m not speaking from a place of regret, but of awareness. I understand that a well-rounded education requires pits in the process so I’m grateful for the transition now that I’m seeing it from the other side…

Necessary Evils they are...those lies planted by the enemy in the guise of well-meaning elders or not so well-meaning bullies…those who might have called you fat or ugly because of the beauty others saw in you or that you once saw in yourself was too much for them to compete with so they chose to beat you up because they wouldn’t dare fathom the insurmountable task of perhaps asking instead, “where do you get that joy? How can I be like you?” I know all too well that bullying doesn’t stop with high school or even college…that if you believe the lie that you’re weird, stupid, not good enough…it doesn’t take long for one to find you.

Bet you didn’t consider yourself your own bully, huh? Yep, too often do we become our own biggest critic because someone in our lives posted something…said something or perhaps didn’t say something we thought they should have…regardless of how the seed was planted…we still have a choice…

All are the result of choices…my wholeness is one choice I had to make myself…no input of naysayers or any others…I had to decide to be me…to love me…to receive all God designated for me…to embrace everything right with me...I wouldn’t say I’m a genius, but I truly believe God’s blessed me with the ability to do anything well…He gifted me with the ability to see the errors because He knew I’d be instrumental in changing the scope of His world…attention to the details of the forgotten ones has always been my draw…I was the one to befriend the new kid…to still speak kindly to the one everyone talked about…I was the one wondering the why behind their condition…

I can laugh now because even then God had been forming my heart of compassion for the broken, for the un-churched, for those in church, but feeling shunned…even those so weakened by church hurt they refuse to go back…I used to think I was too sensitive…that I shouldn’t care so much…

I’m so glad I’ve shattered that depiction of me…that I realize my love for others is a gift from God…and how the pain of who I was pretending to be was what was really hurting me all along. Being who you are is the only way you will ever be truly whole.

I understand while people may murmur about the things I do for others when at times I have nothing to spare but time is just part of who I am.

So when I consider all the things that I observe other ladies and gents doing to adapt to “societal”norms, I have to wonder whether the only change necessary is one’s perspective of said society. Rather, perhaps what needs to be adapted is the minds of those individuals…then they will see themselves as God sees them…No, not as those who “say” they represent Christ sees them, but they will know they’re seen with mercy and compassion…seen as His beloved.

That said, focusing on what’s wrong is overrated…from now on do yourself a favor and embrace what’s right with you!

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

This I Know

Over the years, God has allowed me to be humbled by stupid decisions. Some of which I’ve observed in others, but most of them have been from my own shenanigans.

That said, I find myself second guessing too much lately. That’s not a good thing folks. I know God’s blessed me with discernment, but memories of past mistakes can wreak havoc on an otherwise sound decision if I allow it.

So how exactly does one overcome the knowledge of oneself?

….Or I guess a better assessment might be to say, “How do I forget what’s behind and push forward to the mark of my higher calling!”

I’ll tell you…by knowing the character of God…

You might have noticed some days my words seem a bit more random than others, but I admit even those aren’t. Intentionality is God’s fingerprint. In the last few weeks, God has proven Himself over and over. It’s been a while since I’ve been real with Him in prayer…You know actually admitting my confusion and frustration…actually crying out to Him for direction and being willing to get somewhere and SAT down…to wait for a response…AND YES I MEANT TO SAY “SAT.”

Moving on…

Regardless, God is faithful and though some of my desires have not manifested yet, I have to consider this thing as it is and not as it will be: temporary…a test…a challenge…a laughing matter directing me to my future.

I mean some of the things I have endured…especially in the romance arena have been downright hilarious! Still, I am in awe at the ways God has taught me lessons I feel like I should have known a LONG…LONG time ago.

So I say I’ll wait for a response…for an acknowledgement…to be adored…to be desired…because God patient enough to wait for me…I’m sure my wait will be worth it…

If I know so little else…This I know.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

This Open Book

I’ve said for a while I’m an open book. This morning I’ve contemplated that premise and confirmed in my heart that there are still pages within soldered with tears. Those leaves are reserved for the few willing and able to be patient enough to carefully separate the two or three or thousand that to the naked eye appear in tact.

So while there’s no lock on this book and the experiences therein, there are still sections melded in a quiet pain only a delicate touch, a passionate heart, and an understanding mind can receive access. So this book struggles to complete chapters destined to be re-written in the thoughts and behaviors of the vessel meant to house them.

Friendships are hard.

Love is harder.

Vulnerability is menacing in none but a required way.

So I’m forced to consider whether I am willing to bring to his attention those pages I have yet to uncover. I stand still, frozen in ice too thick for vision to penetrate. I still long to share, but… Just but. The opportunity rises and falls with attitudes and emotions, but the longing refuses to cease her whisper. Destiny denies the ability to retract her request.

Wisdom speaks…breaking the white noise of monotony…

I stand still. I crouch. I hide.

Temptation lurks, but fails to convince her to close the book this time…

Her desire to know him and to be known by him is stronger.

Clarity…as my innermost inklings are revealed…

so I must submit to the process…

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Who this Lady Wants!

Funny it’s probably been two months since I wrote most of this, but today God’s given me permission to post it.

I was tickled last week when my pastor mentioned an upcoming relationship series entitled “what a woman wants/what a man needs.” I thought, SPOILER ALERT!  It won’t be the first time my posts and private devotion have matched the sermon message so I’m on the right track or at the very least great minds think alike.  Anyway, I suppose some insecurities had to die in me first so here goes.

So the question was posted on social media recently:

The question of the Day:

What are single women of God looking for in a husband?  Yes I know a man who finds a wife finds a good thing, but women, what type man are you praying finds you? Define some characteristics of a good Godly man.  Let the conversation begin. I’d love to hear your opinions.

And so began my synopsis…

In all seriousness…it got me to thinking about who I really want as a husband…so I penned…

A while back when I was asked this question, I answered, “I want a man who loves God more than he could ever love me,” but over the years God showed me that while on the surface my request seemed humble and even sincere, it was a shell of what my heart truly desired.

So God had to get with me…to show me I wasn’t being real…that my request was made out of an extreme place.

Since my ex-husband and I were spiritually unequally yoked  I figured I was taking the best approach with my request, but then I began working at a marriage ministry. Who knew you could be unequally yoked with another Christian? While there I found myself witnessing countless malnourished ministerial marriages. Husbands had forgotten God said for them to love their wives. I mean Christ already died for the church, yet first ladies had become permanent figures on a pedestal instead of the relational and fun-loving women God designed them to be. There was no balance!

Yet, the reality I loathed was closer to home than I cared to admit even before I married my now ex-husband. I hated the dead air between the union of my former in-laws. How I despise fakeness! A married couple should never sleep in separate bedrooms.  I still remember leaning on the hallway wall in shock over this man-made marital mess! But somewhere down the line, codependent tendencies lured me into the mindset so many reading this feel, “well at least we’re still together!”

Seriously? For real? This thinking goes well beyond just wanting to be happy! At its core, it’s a surrendering of one’s willingness to be Healthy…so for a long while, I decided I did it wrong twice so why bother getting to know another disappointment?

Wow…pretty negative, huh? Exactly! Absolutely! Bitterness is what led that thought and what caged my heart from even God’s delicate touch for so long.

Yes, I even kept God at arm’s length because I refused to admit that yes, I desired the type of marriage God intended.

Sure, I haven’t been bitter with men for a long while, but until now I hadn’t had the courage to admit what this girl wants…yes who I want in a husband!

I want to marry my best friend. I want to have things in common with him only he and I know about one another. I want to be able to go out dressed to the nines or dressed down and never feel like I can’t be myself with him. I want to be spoiled with affection. Quality time has always been my preference above quantity.  Let’s face it sometimes I don’t want to be bothered either. I want a man who will appreciate my assets and minister to me in the areas where I perceive I lack. I want him to understand that though I’m tough, my truest form is delicate. I want him to take the time to listen. I don’t expect him to understand. I know our brains are wired differently, but I want him to make the effort. I want him to do spontaneous and romantic little things just because he cherishes my presence. I want him to love my children as his own. When I walk into a room full of people, I want him to look at me like I’m the only one in the room. I want him to be vulnerable enough to not just cry in front of me, but for his heart to feel so safe joined with mine that he is comfortable to even allow those tears to flow in my lap if need be.  I want a husband who not only knows me but who knows that the only way he truly does so is with Our Heavenly Father’s permission-that access to my heart is only granted because of his own growing relationship with Christ. He must be willing to grow with me spiritually, emotionally, and exponentially. I want my husband to be humble enough to pray, wait, and listen to God’s response in how he can love me best…in every way…to pray for me to receive all he has to offer…to pray with me daily…to never be ashamed of my testimony or threatened by my gifts or accomplishments. I want to admire my husband’s brilliant mind, but laugh myself silly with him just because. I want someone who protects me and who trusts his judgment of me if his family disagrees with his choice to marry me. I want my husband to understand the importance of family time as a priority.  I want him to understand that our time together alone is a priority even above the children. I really suppressed myself in my former marriage and I don’t ever want to feel as if I need to resort to that again. I want to my suitable complement.  I want someone who isn’t afraid to challenge me in love or be challenged by me in the same way. I want someone who’s been through something, but not still broken from past failures. I want someone who is vulnerable enough to admit they have fallen before, yet humble enough to understand God is who helped him get back up. I don’t want someone afraid to be themselves because I can smell a counterfeit. I always have.  I was just too broken before so I settled. I don’t want a man who is money hungry.  I can’t stand arrogance. I like nice things and I appreciate a man who works to get those things, but those things shouldn’t have him because those things don’t move me.

Man, take me for ice cream to laugh and listen…I’m good. The little things matter.

God’s let me know my future husband desires children of his own. I desire more children as well so that’s no problem. However, I don’t want to go it alone. I want him to be there for the doctor’s appointments and the delivery.  I want him with me when picking the furniture for the nursery. I want him to want to be there and not to just feel obligated. I want to know he means what he says. He must be honest. Even brutal honesty is better than a lie. I’ve said before I don’t want to date any man but my husband so my desire is to be courted. Old school for real…ask your Father permission…treats me like the lady I am all the time…kind of courtship…

Yeah…that is a lot, but I know God has him reserved for me because He wouldn’t have allowed me to finally express who this lady wants otherwise. I know God is able and since He gave me permission to request it, I know He’ll connect me in time with who He’s chosen to be by my side as my husband. Until then, I’m loving doing me because while God’s permitted me to desire what I want in my husband, I’ve finally submitted to His teaching on becoming the wife that he needs as well.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Forgiving and Forgetting is Not an Option Anymore!

A wound superficially covered will cause infection, but bleeding and allowing the wound exposure is often the best way to heal it. At least it is for me…

  • True Forgiveness Requires Grief!
  • It Requires Stages.
  • It Requires that one face the pain of what happened and why it happened.
  • It Requires Identifying who is responsible.

All the answers may never be gathered, but to slap a “Forgive and Forget It” Band-Aid on a Gaping Wound is senseless and now I realize is simply not biblical! The Process Requires the need to not just breathe in God’s redemptive air, but to also bleed…

The Stages of Grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

So now I realize why I had pangs of guilt after thinking of the pain I’ve endured at the hands of others were unwarranted. I didn’t respond out of order. I didn’t respond at all, I reacted.

A response is a statement or action made with thoughtful intention, while a reaction is bred in a tainted petri dish: one where there is the absence of original thought. The patterns are learned, but subconsciously one is not given permission to “unlearn” the things that should be. For instance, I was once led to believe that forgiveness is an all or nothing process.

In retrospect, to say anything is an ALL or NOTHING PROCESS is oxymoronic in itself. Every process requires LAYERS.

I’ve been forced to consider things differently now and I am glad I’ve obliged.

There is a delicate and perpetual PROCESS to forgiveness. One might think, the first step is forgiveness of others is to forgive oneself. It seems plausible considering that to properly love others, you must first properly love yourself. However, I’ve learned that forgiveness of self is often the last step to the process of forgiving another.   Forgiveness it is not merely “letting it go” as the Greek word for forgive, “aphesis” has so often been misapplied. Now the term does mean “let go,” but there are other meanings so don’t wig out on me here. I am still a word nerd so I dissect for the sake of doing so.

“Release” is the definition that resonated with me the most when I researched. I realize now the meaning is more than “releasing the offender from accountability.”  Rather, for me this release is solely for me.  It is for my peace of mind. I release him for my joy. I release her for my rest.  I release them to be my best self!

I have learned to release myself to fully go through the process of grieving the loss of my ability to trust, to set proper boundaries, to receive unconditional love, to be myself without shame or condemnation, and to be angry with the fact that sometimes it seems those who do wrong get away with it. I have also given myself permission to be sad when things don’t work out the way I wish they had and that the thought that denial of what happened or even of what almost happened will make everything better.

I have learned to release the need to bargain with God or myself as to whether I feel comfortable having this person or that person in my life again.  I’m cool with being okay with goodbyes now.  In doing so, I am actively embracing  the freedom of accepting that forgiveness is not one size fits all and that the process is a perpetual one. So, like it hasn’t made or broken me, one error or indiscretion is not an automatic life sentence of condemnation. It is but a mistake…a moment and I have had many moments like those. Undoubtedly, I will likely have many more. Regardless,  just forgiving and forgetting is not an option anymore.

©2020 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.