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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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God

Share the Road!

If only my imagination were boring! Then I’m sure I would be able to share the road to purpose with who God selected without question or hesitation.

I’ve said before that God gets my attention in ways others might miss, but sometimes…well, my right now is a time I wish He didn’t. I am feeling like a hybrid of Jonah, Gideon, and a tad bit of Peter if I’m honest. I know some of the things God told me to do and others He’s shown me. Yet, like the prophet Jonah I didn’t want to do them. I’ve requested sign after sign to be sure of His direction and He’s provided them.  Still lately,  I want to just pack up and go back to where I came from like Peter!

There’s only one problem with my little schizo-christian mash-up. I simply cannot escape myself…my destiny…my purpose…this place!

I thought I would be prepared for this day without a hiccup because I’d forgiven and I tried to forget feeling forgotten, but the moment I entered that room, I began to really have this love/hate wrestling match in my heart. I smiled anyway.GoodGrief

I wanted to cry, but not one of those sad, balling my eyes out sessions because of heartbreak that we ladies so heavily rely upon nowadays, but one of those back in the day, tired of being bullied cries that spring up just before you get the courage to open up a couple cans of whoop a$$ on the kid who’s been giving you a hard time all year! Yep, I was pi$$ed and the more I tried to hide it, the more I knew I needed to write…anything to keep my mind and heart at bay…

So write I did…Pray I did…Rant I did…to My Father the entire time I was supposed to have been attentive to the speaker.

I felt sick, but not love sick…sick…sick.

I don’t like it. I tried again to play ghost, but obedience compelled me to stay put so while I was captive I was forced to remember the requirement to listen and pay attention…

LISTEN AND PAY ATTENTION!!!

REALLY, GOD? 

I don’t want to hear this crap!

I don’t even want to be here! I should go back to Little Rock! I still have the chance! Why can’t I leave now? Yeah, I wanted to go fishing like good old Peter did after He witnessed the demise of Our Lord.  Funny thing is when Peter made his decision known all the other disciples said they would join him.

You can’t run from who you are!

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You see, when I asked God to open my eyes, He opened my heart as well.  I didn’t quite agree with His choice for a plethora of reasons, but something happened in a crux of time that allowed my heart to thaw…

So I penned these words in service today, ” I can feel my heart closing and it hurts,” I hated that I’d ever said anything…felt anything…desired anything in this place. I considered the ratio of my wrongness before…lately, I’ve been way off…I considered the dreams and the clarity…

I wish I’d never considered the possibilities…but even as I wrote, I heard. His bits and my pieces made sense, but I didn’t want them to anymore. I wanted to be wrong this time too so that I could save face and quietly disappear. I considered the ministry and that I would keep in touch with those I’d grown to love in the community via social media…and then God blessed me again in this place…

He showed me I hadn’t just fallen for him, but also for this place.  Oh how our purposes are inextricably intertwined…I hate that we have more in common than I thought…so I wrestled.images5

I bled…I thought and rethought and my head ached so I’ve found myself in bed earlier than usual…

Yet,  now I wake without an alarm clock before dawn to the realization that no I don’t have permission to take another detour…that the road has been cleared of construction debris and that things are on schedule, but just not my schedule…I considered three or four years a decent time frame…I considered that God showed me certain relationships had to end…I considered that I thought I had already worked those issues out in my mind before I even fully accepted that God had directed me there for this reason and beyond. Years ago I remember the comfort of wanting to do this all on my own…ministry…family…just do me…I was cool with that…I was used to that…I was still bitter…my reasons were selfish…I didn’t want to be bothered with vulnerability and the possibility of drama if I’d chosen wrong yet again…so I said to myself, “When I get divorced, I will not date.”

Share the Road…seems simple enough of an instruction, but …6241654657-laneclosed

Today, I don’t want to anymore…days ago, I remember recording that I am ready…I remember God’s whisper that I am ready on the road back from Louisiana…that I must get up and move forward, but the “what if’s” had me paralyzed…slowly sinking in quicksand my doubt had created, I thought it best a slow, silent demise…yet, God preferred a loud, quick death to self instead…the last thing to go was my pride…I even recall thinking…who I desire…I want them to love me without makeup…and in a moment, I was stripped of my make-up…my things…those possessions just days before I’d considered a waste to pack them anyway. I was told to start from scratch months ago…I desired to chunk everything then…I could say I should have, but that would be a regret wouldn’t it? I realize why I desired such…I knew change was coming…not the way I hoped…not in 30 degree weather, but still a necessary conclusion to a chapter long closed in my life…

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I could have called anyone else that day, but not him…anyone else is fine to see me squirm and writhe to no avail, but not him…not his judgement…not his disappointment…and then I didn’t care anymore. It seemed my phone didn’t even work until after I attempted to reach him. Irony had no place here…I already knew that would be the case, but I still waited almost an hour…I even expected no response, but here I go with that obedience thing again…

I never wanted to get to a place where I could care less about this place or him…but this morning I considered I was there anyway…but maybe not because if I really “could” care less about either wouldn’t I have not shown up today? Yes…but even my leaving that place didn’t matter…every turn…there was a constant reminder…another smiling face…a returned hug from those I’d prayed for and with…spoken to and encouraged…I couldn’t escape if I tried…and I did. In my heart, perhaps I’m still trying…so I ask God to allow me to leave…I’ve tried to not volunteer in my mind and in my heart I hear God’s voice saying to stay in position…even to lose control in this area while you compose yourself in others…a reminder I didn’t want to receive like I did…where I did…when…Destiny and Doubt Don’t Mix…and so I turned the pages of my journal in the reverse to find where I’d written on January 12, 2015, “The “what if’s will take you down.” I sought to circle it because upon mention of a similar statement by the speaker, I wanted to share it with a friend nearby…but when I shared it…I read to her the words below what I circled because what I deemed an error initially was a message God planned for me to consider now…I circled the words, Don’t worry about it-I’ll dress you.”

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I didn’t really get the gist of those words until this moment…I still wrestle with this love/hate thing brewing in my heart…no my battle is not with a person or place, but I hate that I feel the way I do for him, but love it also…hate the way I feel out of control, but love that God is still keeping me…I love the way God is patient with my doubts, but hate that they even exist…conflicted in ways I never imagined, but solid in my belief that God loves me. So in time I am sure that God will give me the grace to do as He’s requested…as I move forward in the ways I’ve been directed to do so alone that I’ll scoot over a bit and perhaps let up on the gas to share this road with whom He’s chosen…

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Resolve to Receive

I had some really great post ideas yesterday and then I got busy with the everything of life and I completely forgot what I wanted to say.  It was a worthy opponent for my attention though. I shared laughs with my son and songs with my daughter.

So I was determined to still post something today because it is the first year of a new year and why not. It’s what bloggers do isn’t it? I mean we write about stuff associated with themes, holidays, trips, and travels, right? Well, I cannot say that I exactly have writer’s block, but something more interesting is going on in my heart and mind at the moment so I’m just sort of flowing.

So the title I realize now was not exactly meant to be a title perhaps. I believe it was a simple directive. It was definitely from my Father and specifically intended for me. However, as nature would have it, I share. I’m generous so at times I give what’s been given to me before I have the time or patience to digest it. So my amnesia of sorts gave me the time required to ponder the statement before handing it over for your perusal.

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I, like so many other people have begun new things and ideas today. Yet, by next week over half of those intentions will be left unsaid, undone, unfulfilled by many.

I’ve decided that won’t be my lot! So I’ve considered my list. You know the list we all have for our supposed Mr. or Mrs. Right, but then we end up checking off two of the 20 items we desire for the sake of having Mr. or Mrs. Right Now instead. I’ve determined not to settle for less another day in my life. I realize my worth and I know who God has is going to treasure me for me.images (15)

I understand now how important my ability to receive is to my destiny in this moment. So it is my prayer that I don’t take this moment or the many moments that follow for granted…that I make an active effort…to be receptive of the right things and people going forward. I’ve decided that I trim more weight by eliminating unnecessary people and places rather than skipping desserts.

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I love to cook and bake so it’s pretty pointless to say I will completely eliminate sugar from my life this year or any other year. Still whether on my plate or in my relationships, I finally know my limitations. I know my boundaries. I’ve learned to disconnect wisely and proceed with caution when necessary.

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Before I’m sure my fight or flight switch was broken. Now my discernment is heightened. I know it is only because I have resolved to receive the wisdom My Heavenly Father offered. So gone is the stubbornness of my youth and the contention of my heart to “overthink” every step regarding relationships. I know I hear God’s voice clearly. I know more that He loves me too much to allow me to be distracted again by nonsense so for this day…this year….and the years to come, I’ve resolved to receive my covenant partner, my position, and my destiny.perfect love

 

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

Give it a Year to Produce!

Pump your emotional brakes! When considering courtship, understand time is on your side. Watch out for those who try to convince you to make a quick decision! We know better typically when we consider a large purchase like a car or a home, but for whatever reason when it comes to dating or selecting friends, we tend to rush our judgement! Why is that?

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I’m not condemning you! In fact, had I actually followed the advice I am giving you now, my then would have been mightily different. But of course I don’t mind that matter. I wouldn’t be able to help you do better had I not done the contrary so trust I’m good with my past…

Moving On…

Give it a year! The first step of making a good decision with regard to whom you will allow to join you on your journey to destiny is that you must be whole!

If you’re whole you are free to proceed…

However, just in case you are not sure if you are whole, let me explain who a whole person is…

Above are just a few details…of course there are many more, but you get my drift…

Just in case you are not there yet…this is for you:

Don’t just pump your brakes…Pull over and get off the road! You need to spend quality time with the Lord so that you can get your emotional, spiritual, and mental health in line with God’s intention for you.

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Now, in case you are where I am and beyond…let’s use a gardening analogy for a moment…

…on giving it a year…When you give yourself time to allow the relationship to organically grow, you are not left with blind assumptions on the fruit expected!

That said, a year gives you the opportunity to observe the fruit in all seasons! How else are you going to know whether your investment is the right choice?

For example: We all have off seasons, but in the natural if the fruit you desire to receive is oranges, the last thing you want to do is get lemons…

Get this…agriculturally lemons and oranges grow in the same areas, produce fruit, and have lovely leaves. They are even similar in appearance! Yes, both of these bad boys produce lovely white flowers.

However, if you taste an orange and then a lemon, you definitely know the difference…AM I RIGHT?

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Oranges are sweet and are consumed as “fresh” fruit while lemons have a strong, sour taste and are best consumed in small quantities, if at all. However, lemons can be still be appreciated because they also have the ability to bring other flavors (circumstances) together.

Yes, both have important uses!  So before you allow a permanent scowl take residence on your face and in your heart, consider the intention of the thing.

What Does That Mean???

Well,  ladies and gents, you can’t have lemonade without lemons so now is not the time to regret who you have dated or befriended in your past because they left a sour taste in your mouth in a prior season. Consider what those relationships taught you about YOU.

Yes, I meant YOU.

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When you focus on what the relationship taught you about the other person involved, you miss the lesson!

Frankly, if your pattern has been one of shopping for oranges and you keep getting lemons, the issue is not the fruit or its source. After all, the fruit is doing exactly the only thing it can do…Be fruit…Consequently, you are the one who needs to change your perspective.

Don’t Be Misled by the Outside!

As mentioned earlier, in the natural, lemon trees and orange trees produce similar-looking flowers and leaves. Agriculturally, however, there are still a few distinct features to be aware of so there’s no confusion. Lemon trees grow less than half the size of orange trees. What’s more is that Lemon trees have thorns!

download (11)Consider this question: Are you so focused on the exterior of a potential partner that you failed to even question the kind of fruit that he or she will produce? Better yet, have you taken the time to ask the manufacturer for verification BEFORE you invest?

Basically…

  • Have you prayed about him or her?
  • Have you waited for a response?
  • Have you heeded the warning?

If you cannot answer yes to those three questions, then unfortunately it is likely you will continue to receive the wrong fruit. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. You simply cannot make a lemon sweet just as you cannot make a broken person whole. Only God can do that!

Newsflash: YOU ARE NOT JESUS JR!!!

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Your best bet with dating or when exploring a new friendship is to observe the prospect for at least a year to ensure you are getting what you desire. Otherwise, you will be forever trying to make sweet what was ultimately not designed for your consumption. That said, since God allows us free will, in His doing so, He allows us to encounter some sour experiences in relationships occasionally.

Nevertheless,  even these were not meant to discourage you from abandoning your efforts. Rather, the sour experiences you faced before were meant as a part of the process. Regardless of your relational status now, before you invest in a relationship, your chances of receiving exactly what you expect is best when you wait long enough to see the fruit your choice has produced rather than taking a chance on ending up with another sour situation.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Delays and Detours: Not Now Doesn’t Mean Not Ever!

Single Lane Ramp…Use  Caution! Lane Closures Ahead…Expect Delays…Merge Now!

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You might have found yourself involuntary acquainted with these signs on the road. I simply must add an additional half-hour or more to my commute to make it wherever lately. It’s been a frustrating, yet necessary daily process that the “powers that be” deem will make the rest of the journey a lot smoother so I endure.  I couldn’t help but consider this situation through a relational lens though.

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The way you embrace your season of singleness has a way of shifting your perspective on a lot. That said…Not now doesn’t mean not ever!

I have learned to gracefully accept this notion.  My delay has been for my own good. God was protecting me…FROM ME!!!  And if I’m more honest, He was also protecting my future spouse from me too. Yes, I said that and meant that. Honesty is a beautiful thing!  Since I’m brutally honest anyway…

Stop counting the days! The weeks! The years! The others who have gotten married although you feel like you’ve been dropped on the island of misfit toys! (Yes, Grammarians, I know those are fragments…moving on…)

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What we deem as “long enough” may be in God’s estimation, “just getting started.” I’m not trying to discourage your dating exploits. Rather, I want you to get to the root of the matter of “you.” After all, of the failed marriages and relationships you may have experienced, there is one common denominator:

YOU!

I’m not calling you out without considering my own journey now so don’t get it twisted…I have had to get reacquainted with myself too…And yes, I’m still single.  While I know my own single season is coming to a close soon, the difference between my now and my then is that before I was just healed.  Now I am healed and whole! There is a difference!

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Yes,hurt people hurt people, and even healed people heal people.  Regardless, even a whole person CAN NOT make another person whole! Only Christ can fill the voids in you so you are suitable for the man or woman He has designed to complement you.

That means the issue here is not how long you have experienced a delay in your “wait” for a mate. Rather, God’s concern is whether you are whole and whether the person He intends for you is also whole. The detours and delays are there merely because construction is in process and until the roads are clear–meaning both parties are emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and yes even physically ready to receive one another– your safety and the safety of others requires you to take alternate routes at times. And yes, just like in traffic, it will take a little longer to get to your destination than you may have originally intended.

Have you allowed God authorization to reconstruct you?

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Detours and Delays!!! Who needs ’em? Who wants ’em?

In a way, we all do and don’t. No, I’m not contradicting myself…just take the meat and spit out the bones. What I mean is that though we generally do not want to be delayed in any process, especially relationships, detours are necessary sometimes to ensure we actually complete the process safely. If a bridge is out and there is no lane closure, the results would be catastrophic! It’s not very different from the results of a romantic relationship that lacks boundaries. So the next time you see the sign to detour when considering a potential dating partner, make the decision to take it with grace and expect delays knowing that not now does not mean not ever.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

Love Blindly: Glimpses Through Tears

Yesterday I was reminded of “Glimpses” all day. Perhaps the reminders really began the night prior when I considered the manner to which I would do certain things from now on…whether I would really amp up the action behind the faith I claimed to believe. A message before I arrived at church mentioned how God is not too liberal with the details. Rather, He provides us “glimpses” of what’s to come…our promise…the next step.

I’ve been inundated with glimpses a long time…At least 8 years have passed since I was first introduced to the glimpse of a stage set…the atmosphere was right…I was in my element…Yet, yesterday I almost allowed the last few pieces to not fall inline…

I paced for too long…so long I stayed up too late…I almost allowed myself to be a no show to destiny…but God has a way of snapping us out of our voluntary idleness doesn’t He? And He reminded me of Grace…undeserved…no compensation required…

It’s taken some time for me to get used to this “receiving thing” I suppose if any excuse would suffice, “I’ve tried this love thing before and failed miserably!” And I recalled the message given the night prior, “Not Again.”

Still, even then I tried to make things logical. I tried to further question God’s decision and whether I was hearing Him at all. So He loved me so much He sent an Angel to tell me flatly what I needed to hear. I had already been overwhelmed with emotion because of the song that literally was stuck on my phone the night before, “Covered by Grace” by Israel Houghton…It wouldn’t stop playing…

So I wasn’t expecting to get the response I had to all the questions only God and I could have known were swarming in my head, but He sent her anyway. I was just doing business as usual…desiring to pay someone a compliment…because their energy had encouraged me…Her talks about joining the choir struck me…her reasons for doing so reminded me of my own…how I had been longing to sing again for years, but that God pulled me from my position several years ago to focus on my family. I was obedient then so when the statement arose to just join…I realized that I technically was not a member.

To think it would seem that I was even afraid of committing to a church…in favor of lingering around instead…Kneeling with the concern of a mom she said, “You’ve got so many things going on in your mind. You’re worried about your kids and how this and that is going to work out. Keep it Simple. Know that God has got you covered. You are where you are supposed to be”

And the Dam Broke…I’d been doing okay during the service and worship songs evoke tears from everyone so I wasn’t alone. Yet, with all the fuss after service I was still crying. I said that my tears were of joy, however, I know that it was a mixture of joy and fear of going forward with what my heart couldn’t seem to “turn off” despite my logic.

“Love Blindly”

In that moment…I considered the directive…

Hadn’t that been my problem all along. Hadn’t I given my heart to the wrong somebody too often…hadn’t I risked vulnerability for nothing before?

How do I teach myself to love blindly when I’ve been forced to realize that the love I decided to give to others before had never been reciprocated. Loving blindly got me embarrassed before. Loving blindly hurt before. Loving blindly hyphenated my name twice. In retrospect, I know why I could never really commit to the full name change…I knew neither marriage was right…since the demise of those, I’ve learned at least that much about my decision. I said a few years ago I’d never do that again because who God has for me will be worth the transition and I knew I would be ready because God had been transforming me even then.

I had to come to terms in recent weeks that I had been in love with my ex-husband. I wanted to believe that maybe I’d made up that love in my mind because the peace was never really there. Yet, this love…I know he won’t intentionally hurt me or betray me. This love has been perfected in Christ. I want to receive it, but I really don’t know how.

So why do I still fear the next step? Why am I all of a sudden nervous around him? Why am I all of a sudden speechless…note the irony…

Yet, knowledge has perhaps been my problem. I’m used to having a plan with details…I’m used to knowing the outcome…I’m used to falling in love quickly, but this thing has developed as a slow simmer that I hadn’t even noticed myself until a few months ago.

It would be so much easier to disappear, but his heart deserves better. So I’ve been directed…invited…admonished to love blindly…as long as Christ is my guide, I will make the effort.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Keep Pedaling, You Can’t Adjust the Level.

Well, today God showed me with His great sense of humor that I cannot go back to a lower level once I’d decided on my direction. You see I was on an exercise bike and though I’ve worked out regularly, I’ve been eating everything sweet I can get my hands on the last two weeks so my workouts before had been lazy at best.

Today I was on that bike and instead of picking manual as I had before, I picked “fat burn” and I decided that I wanted to get my heart rate really pumping so I was ambitious with the goal. Four minutes into that level I was already exhausted and I had a long way to go…so I tried to lower the level…four times I tried and each time it would only allow me to pause the session and pick right back up where I left off.

I was so tired I drank nearly all my water in ten minutes. The thing is this. This bike was stationary, but I’d chosen a distance and pre-set accomplishment to shed the weight.  I was unable to backtrack my level in the middle of the work out. And honestly, I was too embarassed to ask for help thinking that the machine was malfunctioning…

Basically, I learned two things from this situation. First, on the road to destiny sometimes it is necessary for you to sit still and say yes to the pre-planned coordinates to get the benefits the manufacturer knows you desire and need. Second,  you must also realize that once you’ve started taking the steps in the right direction, there is a point of no return…you cannot turn back…In fact, I only was able to briefly pause my workout…Yet, even those pauses worked against me because then the resistance seemed stronger. I say “seemed” because it was merely a perception error. Though the level had remained the same as it had been when I decided to take my first unscheduled break, it seemed as if the level had gotten harder with each pause.  In retrospect of what I exposed of my heart yesterday, I admit that even while working out I had been fighting whether I should receive after all…whether I am really ready for romance and beyond…whether I should continue to go it alone…

I stalled my progress and made my attempts to continue more painful in my workout  and I was preventing my leg muscles from properly adjusting to the new level because I essentially had been resisting the process. I don’t want that to be my story for love and divine partnership. I suppose this was God’s way of letting me know that now that I have taken the steps to decide to believe in love again that I couldn’t go back to the prior level without more pain so regardless of the fear, the courage He’s provided still gives me the strength to just keep pedaling.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Do I have the Grace to Begin Again?

Randomness…a candid conversation with me and My Heavenly Father…5 minutes of what it is…you’ve been warned…unedited

 

Do I have the grace to begin again?

It’s a question I ponder every now and then?

In between the mean time and his mean time?

Maybe to consider him gruff would be a bit too much.

I know his heart though to some he seems out of touch…

Type A definitely…me not so much…not Type B either

I just be me..that’s who I be…Type Nadia…but is his type ready for L.O.V.E.?

Me thinks the heart doth protest too much…think too much…desire to speak too much…

To hear him too much…prayers to cease them…those thoughts…those confirmations of sorts…not exactly unanswered…but responded…

Why push away what you desire? Say What? Now I’m under fire?

Yes, but I told you when you are in the fire you won’t be consumed…when you pass through the waters, I will be with you…

But daughter you’re hardheaded…you still are determined to do what you do…avoiding the clues…opting for all the “to do’s” thought I told you what “to don’t”  Yet, my love will never fail so I reserved him for you as I did you for he…Both of you are stubborn! Can’t you plainly see. Your own words sealed the fate. You knew it when you wrote them and you pressed send anyway. I get it daughter, you thought you’d use it in a great fairy tale…your life’s better than fiction because clearly I wrote it that way…you wrote one way…he wrote the same…you thought one thing…he the same…You should know by now that two are better than one and a suitable helper must be refined for my son. His armor is rusty because you are made for each other whether you choose to submit now or later…For my purpose in your union is so much greater…Yes, you are great because you represent me…but imagine the impact you both will have…for my world to see…My glory manifest from brokenness and fatigue…failed marriages, broken hearts, and at least two missing fiances….needed to put all my dots in line…It really didn’t have to take this long…but darling it’s about time…Shine and glow as only you can…strut your stilettos as I showed you to do so many years ago…he will definitely be in the audience cheering you on…just as you are his backer without him even requesting your favor…one day soon you both will enjoy the savor of a love you both though was dealt only to others…your similarities will help you buffer one another…so he’s not exactly your type! Need I remind you of your faulty selection process…I must tell you…I’ve too had to smooth your rough edges…So you might as well stop calling yourself a prophetic babe…you are fully aware of the price paid for false prophesy and you know that I don’t lie so why do you continue to doubt my hows and whys…Shouldn’t because I love you be enough…because I heard your cries and know that life’s been tough…You’ve worn a mask so long you thought the facade was real. Now that you refuse to compromise, I’ll introduce to you the love that is real…other than mine of course…you know contrary to popular opinion there some good men still out there…albeit a few…but Baby girl, remember I told you through my prophet before that any man won’t do!

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

NOT Again! Black Lives Still Matter

Hmmm…now I intentionally removed myself from social media for a while to refresh and to focus on my books and other business ventures…yet, in the last few days I’ve allowed myself to  indulge for maybe 30 minutes a day or so to play catch up. I wish I could say that it were not more of the same…yet, with one scroll the other day, I saw what I wish I hadn’t:

The shooting of another unarmed black man!

I said I wouldn’t write about it. Yet, as I attempted to reflect on what it meant to be God’showed beloved. As assigned, I relected on my reading of Tattoos on the Heart, meditate on Jeremiah 31, and spiritually discipline myself to explore one of many specific prayer approaches as assigned, I found fingers vomiting my pain on the keys annyway..so I wrote…I shared…surprisingly, I didn’t cry this time…

As I perused section seven, I was tempted to attach myself to the Breath Prayer again. It was familiar and comfortable.  The labyrinth prayer seemed too complicated while the conversational prayer seemed far less intimate. I’d been a part of an intercessory prayer group a few years ago at my former church. We would meet once a week at 6 am and pray for our neighborhood, the members, the country, specific prayer requests, and the like.  It had been a while since I felt comfortable enough to join a group like that since my move. Yet, a few months ago, I was confronted with a situation that unfortunately mirrors the events of this week to my dismay. I joined hands in prayer during our bible study with those who didn’t look like me for the sake of intercession.

Another unarmed black man was gunned down by police and freedom of speech allowed the world to see it unfold. I wish I hadn’t been privy, but I and millions more were immediately embedded at the scene of the crime.  Crime, yes, it seems a suitable ploy to use deadly force, but since when is having a stalled car a crime? I remarked once before that God knew exactly when to allow me to live because had I lived during slavery, my outspoken butt would have surely been lynched.  I joked about the prospect of something like that happening now at the time, but the eyes in the sky depicted all too well that at least in some people’s minds nooses have all but taken on a different guise; one smaller, faster, and more potent. A bullet is a tiny thing, yet when fired in the wrong direction, it promises to do the heinous job…Hmm the job…Some say the officer was just doing her job, but I wonder when her job description morphed from serving and protecting to killing and neglecting. I wonder whether the bullets that escaped her resolver had merely been in safety mode in her heart for years prior to the moment she killed an unarmed father of four.  

Anger… No, I believe I’m beyond that phase now. I’m numb. I don’t know what’s worse: that I heard about it or that I saw it.  Perhaps it’s the fact that this father was slain quite possibly in front of his own four children…considering how quickly the news spread online I mean. I can only imagine the pain that gripped them.  So do we still have the right to remain silent? Do we have the right to remain aloof? Do we have rights at all in this country who replied “no” so long ago to the chains slavery promised? Oh of course not.  At least I can say that I wouldn’t because as an inevitable consequence, my blackness reminds me daily of the cries of my ancestors slain for just being. So I find myself wondering where I fit into this.  Why I fit into this? How can I get out of this? Where would I escape if I could? I have a son who likes to play basketball at the church near his high school.  There games usually last until after nightfall. I covered him yesterday morning because nightfall and blackness don’t mesh well nowadays. I even found myself smiling in relief that even at 18 he seemed more engulfed with video games than being outside. At least on video games the guns and blood spilled won’t require a eulogy when the game is over. Yet, Terrance was executed in broad daylight wasn’t he? So while I originally thought my prayer would be a breath prayer, I found myself breathless when I saw the footage. There were no words save, “My God!” I cringe at the thought that one day I could get that call or worse that I wouldn’t have to get the call because it would be plastered online and on the news.  My daughter said a while ago that if she had a loved one to die in some public and horrible way that she would not want to hear about it every time the same thing happens to another person.  She mentioned that those mourning the loss are inevitably trapped in a vicious cycle of perpetual grief because when Terrance was killed so was Alton.  And still when Sterling was murdered so was Philando and the list goes on. Oh wow, I almost forgot, the latest was Keith.  So my prayers this week have reluctantly transformed from breathless sighs to heart-piercing cries for intervention! I am sickened by the reality of which I live when I see direct evidence proving that Boyle’s pages are perhaps futile attempts to change that “lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives.” Yet, I find safety in the knowledge that despite the carnage and disruption of culture and character in our nation, God’s word in Jeremiah 31 gave me hope that we would know Him intimately in the aftermath; that He would not punish us for the sins of our forefathers.

So with mercy that has been afforded me by my loving Heavenly Father I digress and choose to not do the same to those who do not share my skin’s hue. I recall the time when God first arrested my attention with the word that gave meaning to my last name. Beloved. When it was posed initially, it was a question. Will you be loved? In time I learned to receive and I agreed to be loved.  Now my prayer is how to show my nation to do the same.

 

 

Reconstructed for Purpose

I’m sure I’d heard of the term “reconstruction” before, but when the gentlemen I spoke with the other day mentioned it referring to several home remodeling projects in the area, I understood things intimately. I began writing a post some time ago about being under construction.

However, if I’m honest, it was completely cliche and I just couldn’t bring myself to post it because I simply don’t fit the bill of “ordinary” by any sense of the word.  So I scrapped it. Nonetheless, the word struck me still.  I had been receiving words for a few weeks that I would be building my next home.  Yet, really, I was receiving confirmation of the remodeling project that has already taken place in my life I suppose.

God reminded me in those few minutes of conversation  about the wall around Jerusalem that had been torn down by years of attacks and neglect both from within and without…how even those who belonged there were forced into bondage because over time, there was little or no attention paid to the One who alone was able to protect them.

Life had torn me down physically, mentally, emotionally, and most recently financially.  I sit here typing and I can’t help but smile at the finished product unfolds.  I am beautiful inside and out. I am incredibly intelligent and gifted. I always had been, but my walls were broken down and I was robbed of my true self before. I could blame so many people including myself for some of the things I’ve endured, but who I won’t blame is God.  He has truly never left me nor forsaken me.  I, however, time and time again have turned my back on Him.  Even within this year I have.  I had no idea how many idols I’d built in His place: bills, men, loneliness, marriage, relationships, friendships, and even my children…

Still, today’s sermon reminded me that I, like Peter, needed to learn how to receive His grace for the mistakes I’d made…that in doing so I would then be able to strengthen my “brothers”…in my case…my sisters…

Had I possibly considered that what He showed me in a vision nearly eight years ago was coming to pass now, I would like to say I would not have failed Him.  However, all the pain was necessary after all. How else would I be able to teach anyone else how to fish if I refused to take my own rod and reel to the lake.

Like the rebuilding process involved in literal reconstruction, what I witnessed was how an older and smaller house had been torn down, but in it’s place stood a grand structure fit for a kingdom.  I realize now I’m fit just fine as I am now and even as I was then.

So no I’m not under construction anymore people, I’ve been reconstructed for purpose.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All rights Reserved.

 

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