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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

Month

July 2016

Privilege of the Pause

Just more random thoughts…of course on edited😁

I’m convinced the one problem, if it could be called that, with being a visionary is finding the off switch in one’s mind or perhaps it is as simple as located an appropriate landing spot for dreams to be born. As if the recording device in my brain is stuck in fast foward, I’m learning the importance of complete unplugging to catch up with myself occasionally. I’ve realized my stillness is yet my only way to hear His voice…
I make no apologies for my quick wit, my charismatic personality, or intelligence, however, life…at least this year has taught me the privilege of the pause…the necessity of delay has forced me to make use of my share of patience…and so I rest I Him alone. The white noise of “everydayness” fades to black as my surprise rises and bids me “Good mourning.” Yes in more ways than one the things and people I once thought I could not live without, I’m not able to consider the demise of what was thoroughly so…Good and Deceased…no regrets to gather…no further pain to nurse…a freedom I can only liken to that of the mockingbird’ song. I used to hate the beast how regardless of daylight or dusk, this one decided to perch just beyond my window and would ever chirp. Only recently have I understood the real reason for his song day and night. Only now can I freely sing my praises ever after too.

So my vision needed a place to lay…one where it would remain impervious to the pain of rejection…a dwelling where my will, my make-shift covering would be rendered more useless than years of experience had proven its worth…again I get my cue from the birds…how even sparrows know of His all sufficiency…how they sing as I learned to do again in this process…I’m reminded that no good thing will He withhold from me…finally this daughter stands…chains broken by keys I’d held all along…again song at midnight retrieved to lead nameless prisoners to their own freedom…I walk and doors open…because I’m beloved and now I’m glad to return the favor.

What to do when God says yes!

Something odd occurred to me this morning. I’ve gotten so accustomed to God answering my prayers with wait and slow down that I expected a no this time too….that my portrait has been so abstract over the last year that even I didn’t know what I was creating…never mind whether I could explain it to friends. So lately when doors had been opened instead of walking through them, I found myself standing and starring instead.

God used to speak to me in dreams often. The things He’s revealed to me in this way have been nothing short of amazing, however, within the last year I could no longer understand the meanings of the few dreams I could recall. Rather, I began to interpret everything on the surface. I used to shy away from the explanation of how I knew things before they happened because I was just thought of as weird. Of course now I could care less what anyone thinks. I’ve felt like that a while, but that didn’t seem to change the fact that I was constantly misinterpreting the visions and dreams I’d been having.

Then God reminded me that I had access to that power, but I had unplugged myself from the source…that I had not been as open in prayer or as dedicated to His word as I had been before…I’d forgotten my first love….Instead I was stuck in this maze of trying to fit certain men into a mold that was never meant for them to fit…certain things over the years I, like Jacob, Joseph’s (the dreamer) dad kept the matters in mind…I knew then as I do now that I’m meant to be married…that while my children are up in age I’m also meant to have more children…that I’m literally going to change the world…I’ve already been doing that…one life at a time…this knowing comes from a place of certainty not arrogance…whenever the faith in me would wane because we ladies tend to take biology quite seriously when single and waiting to be found by that certain man, I’m reminded of Sarah…then of Hannah…how she prayed without a word, yet how God heard her prayer and granted her request…that only later in God’s word are we reminded of how the Holy Spirit fills in the gaps where the humanity of our lips fail us in petition…

Because any man won’t do…those words remain in my heart so as I did when my now ex-husband first left, I decided to keep the matter of Isaiah 54’s confirmation in mind and heart…that while I already knew the weapons formed wouldn’t prosper that it was still time to enlarge my territory and embrace the Lord as my Abba and husband…I realize now my quest had always been for a father as is still my journey because so it is: when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord…a wife is a wife long before the words are said…a wife is a wife before the union is consummated…yet a man is only a man when he leaves his mother and father to cleave to his wife…neither he nor his wife are missing anything…the bible reveals…God removes Adam’s(man) rib…to format her… the world has you believing that you are deficient because of this delicate but necessary surgery remove what one would consider a required portion to be whole…that somehow a woman would complete a man or vice versa…however, that same science that tries to evict God Almighty from the equation of life altogether fail to see how the science itself refutes their rebuttal in that the rib is the only bone that grows back if removed…that Adam…a whole man had a fulfilled relationship with God…had been aware of and fully active in his purpose, only to look up one day and know the very essence of a Father’s love when he was presented with Eve…she complimented his purpose for she had her own designed before her creation…even when all the stars align and the dots in our lives connect so perfectly that even a child can decipher the image, we sometimes mis-take truth for a figment of our overactive imagination….failing to realize in that moment who gave us the mind to dream such things in the first place…so we then find ourselves in Peter’s predicament…in a sea of transition with family, friends, and even the enemy riding together watching, but secretly waiting for Peter to sink…today’s word has inadvertently….nah intentionally allowed me to regurgitate all I’ve been filled with on this page…

Was it my plan to ramble on and one…can’t say it was, but in retrospect…the clarity and confirmation I’ve received was necessary for me if for no one else…

I’ve asked…waited…grown impatient…tried to do my own thing and through it all, my Father has kept me…His will be done because now I’m ready to receive His yes…

My Father’s Letter

Excerpted from my upcoming memoir…
I remember when God first bid me to meditate on Corinthians 7:10. It was after the inevitable. Following what had become our norm, I’d chosen my way out.

HERE WE GO AGAIN

This time the verbal assault ensued on a Friday, but the pain of my husband’s perpetual disregard of our vows had burrowed a hole in my heart long before that instance. At its onset, his accusations and obscenities barely pierced the void between us; the aftermath was always his exit. Yet, his departures became a welcomed solace. But this night, my fury held its grip.
I was numb. The thought of forgiving him, of praying for him again was not an option.
Disgusted, all I’d resolved in my heart surfaced. “I don’t have to take this mess! I’ll just get a divorce!” With that, I locked the door to my home and my heart.
I closed my eyes in hopes of a peaceful slumber unwilling to yield my decision only to be haunted by the stark reality of a verse I hadn’t recalled, but avoided all the same.
Steeped in bitterness, my attempt futile. The next morning I lie in bed with that verse invading my ego. He literally spelled it out in my mind’s eye. Against a canvas of complete darkness, He penned:
CORINTHIANS 7:10
The bold white letters embedded themselves in my consciousness after a brief but poignant introduction in what should have been a sweet self-serving dream.
It wasn’t the first time I’d been led to the word. Yet this time, I almost refused to cooperate. Still livid with my husband’s abrupt departure, I had no intention of being the obedient wife another day.
KICKING AND SCREAMING
After wrestling with the cumbersome task of staying in bed with my eyes wide shut most of the night, I relented, grabbed my bible, and opened to I Corinthians 7:10 revealing exactly what I didn’t want to see:
To the married I give this command (not I but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. (NIV)
Naturally, I was not too pleased. All I could think about were the lies he told, how many times he cursed me out in front of my children, and how many other ways he showed me just how much he didn’t love me. I was sleeping with the enemy and I felt like God should’ve cut me some slack. Immediately, I was more angry. This time God was on my hit list.
Oh I know that’s not exactly the response one would expect from a God-fearing woman, but I was pissed and I refused to be the only one to blame!
Yet a quick stint with reality had me more upset with myself. After all hadn’t I been the one who ignored all the signs before I said, ‘I do’? Had I ever had peace about our union period? Hadn’t I told myself to walk-away when we first met? Hadn’t I been too weak to stand with God alone?
Shuddering over the union I created, my anger hissed a certainty I could only wish were so easily removed as mistakes had been on my etch-a-sketch as a child. In that moment I longed even for that time again. At least then I knew how to erase what didn’t fit my portrait.
Yet, I’d chosen to use oil to seal this canvas now. The ink had long since dried.
BROKEN
In mid-rant, I remembered the second book. Ha! Maybe God meant 2 Corinthians 7:10?
I thought, “God loves me and He sees the pain I’m facing. Of course, He’ll give me a get out of jail free card.”
Yes, God did see my sorrow. He saw the mountains of my frustration and the valleys of my despair. He’d witnessed my tears and felt my shame. His response to my disobedience was simple.
As my eyes rested on the new passage, they met answers to questions I hadn’t the nerve to ask.
Godly sorrow brings about repentance that leads to no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
TEARS
Tears magnified the content as the flames of my ire were extinguished. And through wafts of smoke, I felt my Father’s embrace nudging me to continue.
With these words, “ See what this Godly sorrow has produced in you, what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did wrong or of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. By all this we are encouraged,” He loved me.
MORE TEARS
That day I realized my need to surrender. That by doing so I made the choice to love those who persecuted me, to pray for those who despitefully misused me; to feed my enemy when he is hungry.
RENEWED MIND
Later that day I took my son aside in the kitchen. “From now on you’ll see mama doing things differently. I’m not arguing with James* anymore. We will continue to pray for him though.” Recco was nine at the time.

This was the first step of many that would lead to my wholeness.
*name changed

Who am I

​I recorded this the other day for my business clients, but in obedience to the Father, I’m sharing this with whosoever will…it’s only audio and I considered it not done because I hadn’t edited it or added the appropriate video yet… but my Father said it is finished…I finally understand the beauty from ashes My Father so graciously provided me…there is such a power to embracing who you are…until you embrace your story, you will never be whole… God’s allowed our pain for a purpose, don’t allow your story to go unheard…some will never open even one of the 66 books of the Bible….but they will read your life…as a living epistle, I submit. So it is.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5WD-46mBzRCMFNjeU5VWWFOSm8/view?usp=drivesdk

Children, Be Who You Are

​I remember as a child we would sing, “Jesus loves the little children…all the children of the world…red and yellow black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children if the world…. there’s a reason Jesus calls His disciples children so many times in the Bible…that He stresses that we are to be a children…Children are untainted by wrong beliefs…they are innocent by nature and accept and love everybody…they forgive quickly and are eager to play together even if the one they choose to play with just knocked them down on the play ground. Children also aren’t afraid to cry even if someone else is hurt. Children also aren’t afraid to ask questions of their provider… they aren’t afraid to embrace truth and are bold enough to reject a lie in the very face of it. All of the tragedies we’ve experienced is our wake up to again be as children…look to our Provider for understanding…cry for and with those hurting…go boldly before the thrown and ask for understanding….reject the lie that racism is okay and always meant to be here…love all people…forgive quickly and even willing join hands with the very one whom they might have been fighting against yesterday for the joy of today. Love need be our only ammunition for the weapons if our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Business as Usual Is Not an Option 

12 You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
– Jeremiah 29:12–13 (WEB)

Last year at my mother’s homegoing I was pierced by the words her former line sister spewed at the podium. “What now? What are you all going to do now?” I knew what she meant. She didn’t want another funeral to be our only reason to convene again. Our family for the most part had been pretty estranged for years prior to the months before mama passed.. I could say her mental illness was the culprit for our distance, but really ignorance of how to love one another unconditionally  was more to blame. The senseless murders brocasted last week was the mud this country needed I suppose…for it seemed we were so blind to the reality of racism as the beast it is…still alive and well…only before the monster seemed hidden…the corruption is obvious in this country so I grieve…I pray…I cry…I shudder to think of both sides of this coin…I realize that I can no longer push the images in the back of my mind as I had with personal racist attacks…I was called a nigger at a traffic light less than 2 years ago. The one on the other side of that insult was a white teenager. I just shook my head and never really thought about it again… that is until now…racism is taught…embraced…learned…and fed…I raise my hands and bow my head…this time shaking back and forth in disbelief. Alton Sterling’s murder was the first documented killing like these I’ve seen. I imagine it’s the first many white people who aren’t racist have seen too…I don’t blame all white people for this travesty. I’m trying to understand their position in this. I don’t hate white police officers either. I’m trying to understand their grief. I can’t imagine, yet imagination is no longer necessary for those people who aren’t of color. They can no longer say we as blacks are overreacting. I wish we didn’t have to react…I wish we’d understand that even these tragedies are for the good…this is not the time to hate…this is the time to unify regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, etc…to love unconditionally… Whatever the case, business as usual is not an option.

Do Black Lives Really Matter?

  1. I heard about another shooting and I was again hesitant to look up the details.   I had good reason, but how could I avoid it. Alton Sterling’s picture was plastered everywhere. The video capturing his murder quickly going viral…the outrage escalating…the pain eminating through a people…silently and aloud: Do Black lives really matter? Alas, a notable pastor’s words served as my alarm. His words stung more than salt in an open wound…rather the impact sizzled as if I were one of the thousands of slugs on the sidewalk of our color-blindless society…a culture bred by hate with a motive to search and destroy…but weren’t we found here against our will anyway…were any of us ever really granted permission to dwell here…to work here…to live here…to fear here? To kill or be killed here? We as a people have made due…we’ve climbed latters where rungs were added to impede our ascent…we’ve endured lashings with the tongue and with whips…and this is what we came here for? We aren’t bullet-proof…ad they know it…there’s no superman to deflect a bullet…once released, it adheres to its assignment…it searches and destroys…the heart, the mind, the family, the culture…to a lone bullet..Do black lives really matter?
  2. The words burn because they are true…pictures don’t lie, but the verdict of cases passed tell another story…rather, I suppose even a lie is truth so long as you believe it…Grief has its place, but what happens when grief has no target…in a time where our society should be flooded with supposed upstanding civil servants we are faced with a reality quite the contrary. Does the mere presence of a black man give credence to “the kill or be killed” excuse that so many are claiming after candid camera reveals what really happened? Should a mistake be a large enough bandaid to heal the gaping hole between race relations now? I’m seriously disturbed because just last week my own son was in Baton Rouge. Now I realize why my brother reminded me to ensure he had ID before I sent him to work at the Essence Festival with him. His words make too much sense now but not enough…”yea…you don’t want to be a black dude around New Orleans with no ID.” Would the mere reason be to identify a body? MY GOD!!! How many have to die! I almost wrote about BLUE LIVES MATTER WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE AMBUSH OF THE OFFICER LAST YEAR…I never got around to it because news of “our” cases took my attention. Now I’m glad I didn’t. It’s not that the lives of officers don’t matter..in fact I have a few friends in law enforcement…it’s just not the same…there’s no invisible system in place to take cops out for any reason out of the blue…Yet, this seems largely the case with black lives. It seems that as once before, those with hatred in their hearts for blacks have traded their sheets, hoods, and horses for titles,badges, and squad cars…news of Alton Sterling’s murder hurts my soul, but sadly I’m not surprised. It makes me wonder what will be said in the new history books of black lives..stories like Emmit Till and Nat Turner missed notoriety when I was in highschool…I only learned of them later…I wonder if that will be the case for my children’s children with Travonne Martin, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling and every other black life taken in between because at least to racist cops, apparently these black lives just didn’t matter. Continue reading “Do Black Lives Really Matter?”

Gated but still not protected

I hadn’t planned to write this…to share this…I hate that I’m now even aware of this at all, but this headline met my gaze any way:

4 Children Stabbed to Death in Memphis, Mother in Custody

I saw the pictures taken…one showing the young lady allegedly responsible for the heinous crime as “normal” and the aftermath.  I wonder just how normal are those who decide to kill.

I deliberately refused to write about the events in Orlando a few weeks ago because sometimes the best thing to do is be silent.  After all, if you’ve not loss someone in that manner, what true comfort could you offer?  It was not a time for what erupted afterwards.  I found myself ashamed for a moment of being a Christian.  I’m glad that moment only lasted a Nano-second. There were just so many stupid and hateful comments made about the “gay community” from those who claimed Christianity as their “religion” I was sickened by them and so I didn’t add a note to combat the drudgery of it all.

However, as I came across this headline in the middle of writing my final paper for a social justice class, I found myself recounting the bout I’d experienced with mental illness, domestic violence, and the residue it creates.

My heart bleeds for the survivor….only 7 years old, but a witness to an evil manifestation. At a time when families were readying to celebrate Independence Day with Barbecue and Fireworks…a child needed to escape to save the only life they could, their own… one can only wonder whether this mother felt she had no choice because her life as she saw it was already over…that for whatever reason perhaps she saw her children as demons…I’ve heard that those who suffer with schizophrenia have those types of delusions…I’m no expert in that respect so I’m just saying what I’ve heard… perhaps she thought it a nightmare…perhaps she was incapable of thought at all as the stabbings continued…

Tell me…to the left, would you suspect this the face of a killer?13512165_10154233067537095_5477815541642010580_n

However, another look at the picture, the right shows the disturbing reality.

Mental Illness is real and needs to be addressed…you never know what a person is enduring…don’t take “I’m fine” at face value…for years before my mother’s diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, I got used to telling people that I’m fine too.  I thank God for His saving grace because without it I could have snapped too…the things I endured weren’t pretty, but I’ve overcome.

Father, I am so grateful for choosing me to thrive beyond what happened to me.  Thank You for reminding me of the gifts You provided me in my children. Thank You for the times we’ve bumped heads. Thank You for the lessons learned and those that I had to take over again. Father, please be with this child who is left.  Help this baby know that You are there.  Please Father, even help this distraught mother.  Help her get the help she needs.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

Unveiled-God had me covered all along

I’ve written about the butterfly’s transition before and I thought I was pretty much done with that analogy, but then I considered the process I’ve experienced and the new territory I’ve been given. That old cocoon of who I used to be was dark and dreary.  I couldn’t see my way and there were times I cried out for help only to be told to “stand up.”

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How on earth could I be expected to stand in such cramped quarters?  Since that directive was given, I get it now. I think I understand a little bit better as to how that butterfly came into just being…that butterfly spun that web around itself for protection and stayed in that dark place while it was a mere worm. I thought about it…how did that worm know it was time to emerge as the butterfly?

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It knew because that dark place became unbearable. It knew because that small place was not enough room for it to spread its wings.  It knew because it decided to stand up and break through that temporary mold that housed it for what seemed like an eternity. A butterfly doesn’t have claws so it couldn’t have escaped that cocoon by clawing its way out.  It doesn’t have fangs as some animals do so it couldn’t have bitten its way through either.  What it did have were legs.

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It had the same thing it went into the cocoon with only, fewer and stronger than before. That’s because before the legs were meant to navigate the ground for a time, but something in that little worm longed for the bigger and better things awaiting it beyond the trees…so the little worm had to climb…that little worm used all the strength it had in all those short legs to reach the top only to have an insatiable urge to isolate itself there.  And so the cocoon was created…this was that little worm’s habitat for a time.  In the expanse of darkness, God still hovered over this “being in transition” just as He had in the beginning.  He allowed it to take the legs it had been used to standing on and use them to create a new structure meant only to direct its future paths.  And so the time came and this butterfly knew it couldn’t stand being cramped a moment longer…at His word, it did what it was told to do.  The butterfly finally broke through the darkness…the shame…the humiliation…the trauma of what was…to emerge into the light of what was to come….a new vantage point…a new perspective…a new destiny…

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And with only a few tries, the blood was flowing in every area that needed it…stronger than ever and so she left the cocoon with slow steps and found herself meandering around the tip of the branch…and flapping one last time she soared…never to see things again from ground level. I am that Blue-Butterfly-butterfly.

 

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

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