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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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June 2014

Worth the Wait

Everybody knows break-ups suck… 

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…but there is hope for those who are willing to wait.

A few months ago a friend confided in me about her brief encounter with “the one” that fizzled.  I responded to her privately the following words…I’ve changed a few of the dynamics to ensure anonymity as this is not some attempt to put my girl out there.  In fact, I’m really putting myself out there instead, but if I have to put myself out to help another sister realize her worth, so be it.

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So here it is…from my heart to yours…

Oh…girl…I’m so sorry…this is incredibly late…I know that God knows who you need and who you want…the thing is that satan only knows what he hears you say. Understand that satan is a deceiver. He presents us with what and who we think will fulfill the desires of our heart. In this case, I suppose this is what happened here. For me, honestly, I didn’t want to “date” and I actually tried my way to get in touch with the young man I’m with now about a year ago, shortly after my divorce was finalized, but it did not pan out. I never was able to contact him.  When I was selling Mary Kay, my crazy butt went to my old job, ran into him and gave him a catalog with my “maiden name” assuming he would make the connection and call me though I handed it to him under the guise of, “get something for your mom and sisters” I know that’s pretty sad, but I’m telling you this—hadn’t shared that before—LOL to let you know how incredibly lonely I thought I was.  Yet, God’s timing proved fruitful at a point when I was at my wit’s end, clearly almost a year and a half later. I don’t believe that God wants you to be alone but perhaps he does want you to “give up.” I mean…to give up looking…to give up “your standards” “your desires” and trade them for all He has for you instead. I can attest to the fact that what attracted me to my Joseph was his character first.  Yet, when we first met about 7 or 8 years ago, it was his “peculiar” ways that repelled me.  It repelled me because my heart was not ready. I was bitter and angry with life and especially men.  Perhaps, you too are bitter about some things that have occurred in your life or perhaps there is some area of unforgiveness that needs to be addressed. And when I say unforgiveness, I don’t mean towards another person, but perhaps there’s something that you have held against yourself.  I know God would not have allowed me to be in this relationship now had I not truly been able to forgive myself, my ex-husband, and even my mother for some of the things I’ve carried for years. Girl, just thank God for allowing you to get fair warning of what could have been a disaster early.  I know that had I gotten with my guy earlier, I would have ruined it because I hadn’t yet grasped how much God loved me.  I hadn’t realized that in my waiting all God wanted me to do was see myself the way He sees me.  I encourage you to do the same.  Trust me, you’re beautiful inside and out, God knows it and your Boaz does as well.  Consider this, Boaz watched Ruth as she worked…so in all you do…do it as unto the Lord and He will direct your path. Never underestimate that your God-sent could already be right in front of your face, mine was, it just took me several years to take my blinders off. Be blessed.

Yes, ladies it may be hard to get beyond the rejection and loss that brews in our minds and hearts as we say goodbye to another potential “one,” but the good thing is that when we know who we are(Fearfully and wonderfully made) and who’s we are (the apple of God’s eye), in time we’re able to wipe the tears and rejoice in the reward that awaits.

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

I Stand Corrected

Last week, I vented. I remembered. I cried out in my soul on my son’s behalf. I’m glad to know that my candor helped someone other than myself. I, however, would be remiss in my ministry, if I failed to share how wrong I’d been with my assumptions. He did call. Rather, he actually sent a text requesting that my son call him.

That night after I’d posted my frustrations and God’s resolution, my daughter noticed the message first. She excitedly ran into the living room where my son was glued to his Xbox spouting tactical procedures to his team on Call of Duty,

Recco, your dad texted you! You gonna call him back?

I said nothing. I just remained in the kitchen noting the events in my heart that would transpire.  The volcano erupted.  Like lava his anger bled and sought to destroy all in its path, but that night, my daughter was the target. Instead of gleefully grabbing the phone as he had in years past, I don’t know if he ever grabbed it. I just know the shouting began. I also know that my daughter was hurt. She’s always been the one to step in and try her best to cheer others up. She assumed that by telling her big brother that his dream of speaking with his father again had been answered and she was the one responsible for letting him know would be just what her heartbroken sibling needed to make him better some how.  That night, however, she learned why the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” may have been coined. The pain in her golden eyes sent a surge through me. I was tempted to double over, but I stood still reminding myself that the labor pains had long since subsided.  Her eyes told one story as her tongue followed through with feeble attempts to defend her stance.  My daughter’s mouth could be lethal as mine had been at my age, though, I believe much of the cutting remarks were only shared to redeem some part of her heart that had been broken.  She remained in the kitchen with me after the lava slowed and again my son was enthralled in a world of teamwork and gunfire, one where I know now, he felt he mattered.  But he mattered to me too!  I just hadn’t the strength in that moment to make the words surface so I stood mute.

The night passed like a flash. The next afternoon when I arrived home from work, I noticed that phone shattered on my living room floor. As I knelt to pick up the pieces, I reflected on the night before. It hadn’t been a nightmare after all. The hurt I felt…he felt…we all felt had been real. I pieced it back together while I pondered how I would do the same for my family.

I wondered if the pieces I’d reassembled were the result of an accident. I hoped, but knew the truth. It remained powered off for the next two days.

I began Saturday with a relentless pursuit to make them better.  Yet, after an early morning workout, I’d left my son alone with his thoughts.  He’d figured our plans were too “babyish” to be fun.  He’s a teenager so I agreed that maybe he was too old to participate.  I wish I hadn’t.

Quality time was my motive and laughter was my method…he could have used a good laugh, but I wanted him to have the opportunity to call his father without the responsibility of admitting that he didn’t answer again.  Well, I didn’t want him to feel that he needed to admit that to me anyway.  That’s what his explosion a couple days prior had been about.  He had attempted to call him back, but neither did he answer nor did he call back that night.

So yes, I tied my leg to a complete stranger’s and waddled down a field in a 3-legged race, supervised as Kayla tossed a water balloon to her partner snagging 1st place, and gritted my teeth in an ultimate tug of war that proved “Girls Rule!”as suspected:-)  I laughed out loud with her until I dropped her off at her grandmother’s and upon my arrival home, my son seemed proud to have me all to himself.  I actually attempted to understand the point behind the game that fascinated him, but I’d never imagine picking up the controller for that one.  There had already been a consensus of one who wouldn’t tolerate me messing up his record.  So I folded clothes and watched. He beamed.  I was satisfied.

At church on Sunday, my son was by my side and extremely courteous…I mean he’s a teenager! He held the door as he’d been taught since he was younger, this time without a reminder (he seemed to have gotten amnesia every now and then since he hit “teenville”).  He was quiet but while I praised, he stared.  That evening, I thought to power on that phone. A new message came up.  Again, Kayla rushed into the living room with the news, but stopped short at the door, turned toward me, and her eyes said what she couldn’t.  Taking her cue, I told Recco, “Come in here son and call your daddy back.”  He entered immediately with a gruff, “that message is old.”  My daughter’s excitement couldn’t be withheld any longer so she spouted, ” No it’s not it just came through today!”  He took the phone, left my presence and slowly marched back to his seat, and pressed the “send” key to return a call to the one who’d apparently texted him only hours before.

I smiled and wondered at his words. “What’s up dad, man Bro’ I haven’t talked to you in a long time…”  began my transition.

He may have talked to him only 15 minutes, but I knew that my son was happy if only for those few moments. He felt loved again by both parents and I was grateful for God’s mercy and felt no resentment for his father’s absence. Instead, I realized the power of forgiveness.

I realized that God had forgiven us before we were born, yet who are we to not forgive those we see or talk to (or not so much) everyday?

This truth was further corroborated when I arrived to work and listened to the broadcast.  The message was so profound that I finally understood how God had been testing my faith and my heart as to whether I could refuse to make someone else pay for what had been done to me or my child.  So with this, yes my last post was candid, painful, and a lesson in God’s grace…so I’m humbled, grateful, and yes folks, I stand corrected.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Yet, I will rejoice! (Hope for the Fatherless)

This morning as I drove my son to school for his last semester exam a radio commercial mentioned the upcoming holiday that I’ve had both the privilege and burden of bearing alone, Father’s Day.

My son, simply stated, “Oh that’s right, this Sunday is Father’s Day!”

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The next two minutes were heavy and empty.  My son was the first to pierce the cloud of confusion and hurt obviously coursing through both our veins with, “Mama, you’re going too fast!”  I rebuffed, that I was coasting, that I had taken my foot off the gas and that I had to pump my brakes before coming to a complete stop.  This was my measly excuse.  Yet, in my mind, I kept thinking of the decisions I’d made and how I had indeed made them too fast, that I hadn’t taken the time to pump my brakes, but instead, stopped some things abruptly, jolting me into consequences I hadn’t intended.  The opposite of the advice I’d attempted to give him today.

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Regardless, the result of one of my choices sat across from me, needing me in ways that I felt incapable of fulfilling.  I was no man! How on earth could I possibly continue to raise one alone?  I’d been confronted with so many blatant reminders of just how emotionally inept I’d been.  I knew I’d not made him by myself, yet, a quick glance over the memories of my heart, regurgitated the reality that though I’d been married, not once, but twice, for the past 16 years of his life and the 11 of my daughter’s included, I’d been a single parent.

 

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Funny how hindsight produces such perfect vision! Before, my son’s father used to attempt contact, but now, when it seemed my son really needed, “someone to talk to,” a disappearing act is his preference. This morning, I felt that tinge again….one mixed with anger and resentment…one drenched in regret and longing…one with the knowledge that I alone had no ability to fix for a son who undoubtedly felt much of the same pain, but likely on a deeper level than I had.  I had no answers why his father decided he didn’t actually need to be one anymore. I didn’t want to bad mouth him.  I didn’t want to see his tears. I didn’t want to imagine that my decision led to this fate. So I silently fumed as we continued to our destination. Thanks to a long night of Disney movies, my daughter was tuckered out in the back seat so when my son exited the vehicle I had no distractions. I was left alone with my thoughts, with my prayers, with unshed tears.  I arrived at work and immediately felt my frustration surface as I jostled my daughter’s knee to wake her from her solace. She joined me at work today, but in that moment, I suddenly didn’t feel like going to work. I would have preferred to crawl inside myself instead…to hide the tension worn on my brow.  I exhaled and she finally responded with a slurred, “Mama, I’m up…I’m waiting on you.”

I directed her to her own little corner of my world amid the abbreviated peckings on keyboards and the constant chime of unanswered calls.  It was too early for that. She retreated to her Nook as only I wished I could. To go anywhere, but here.  Anywhere, but where I was expected to “act” normal as if the impending “holiday” didn’t only promise a forecast of gloom and turmoil in a home I’d worked so hard over the years to keep sane.

My son was much older now. Three years had passed so I no longer could use the excuse:

I’m sure your dad is just really busy with work now.

 

He’s got a lot going on

would no longer be good enough.

 

He’s trying to get back on his feet

wouldn’t suffice either.

My head thumped with options that led to nowhere. The conversation would be inevitable.  Recco would want to know why.  I didn’t have the answer.  I hated that I wasn’t able to prepare a response.

With Kayla settled, I slouched in my chair, starred at two screens, both as empty as the answers I’d concocted for the “discussion” that was sure to come this weekend.  One where I knew a call wouldn’t come, a visit would be unheard of, and the thud of my son’s anger would pound every last nerve in my body. Tears refused to gather, so with what strength I had left at 8 am this morning I opened my bible.  I had no destination. There was no divine scripture reference that came to mind.  Only, a passing car’s license plate reminded me to “PRZGOD” In the moment, I hadn’t words to express what I really felt because my son was beside me, but as I indiscriminately thumbed the pages of “My Father’s” words, my eyes rested on a passage that had been underlined. I can honestly say that I hadn’t recalled the day I’d done it, though I could only assume that I had since, it was my bible.  The passage was Psalm 10:14(NIV):

But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; You consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.

 

In that moment, I exhaled. I smiled.  I rejoiced in the truth that God had not only kept me able to step in and be mom and pop when I had to be for the past 16 years, but He also made me willing. He reminded me in one verse that though an earthly version hadn’t been willing to reside in the slot by my side as a father for my children yet, that My Heavenly Father indeed had never left it.

Yes, I’m a single mother and yes I may have some hard questions, looks, and tears to face in the days ahead, but I’ve decided to rejoice anyway! It’s my prayer that the rest of you single mom’s do the same.  So make it a Happy Father’s Day and Smile, because Your Daddy in Heaven thinks you’re the apple of His eye!

daddyg

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