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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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 posed on social media recently:

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 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 do 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 judgement 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 whoever my husband is 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 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 unbiblical! 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 responded out of order. Rather, I reacted.

A response is one made with thoughtful intention, but my reaction was bred in a tainted petri dish…one where I was led to believe forgiveness is an all or nothing process…

Hmph…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 forgiving.  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 get me wrong here. I am still a word nerd.

“Release” is the definition that resonated with me the most. And since yesterday I realize the meaning is more than “releasing the offender from accountability.”  Rather, for me this release is solely for me…for my peace of mind… I release him, I release her, I release them for me!

I 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…

I release myself to be angry with the circumstances and the fact that sometimes it seems that those who do wrong get away with it…

I release the thought that denial of what happened will make everything better…

I release the depression I didn’t know I was in for far too many years because I chose to bury what was still very much alive…

I 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 don’t.

I release myself to the freedom of accepting that forgiveness is not one size fits all…that the process is perpetual…that I am not condemned for having a moment. I have had many moments and I will likely have many more. Regardless, for me, just forgiving and forgetting is not an option anymore.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Saturate Their Atmosphere with Your Absence

Last night I had the privilege of spending time with a wonderful group of ladies who I have grown to love and trust. While not divulging the details of our gathering, one thing I just must share.

When dealing with difficult people sometimes the best thing you can do is “Saturate their atmosphere with YOUR absence!”

God has been helping me dissect the reasons I still get angry at the mention of certain people’s names or why I get nauseated at the mere presence of others. It is not out right unforgivenness. I just hadn’t allowed myself to go through the process of “forgiving.”

I’ve wondered for years whether something was wrong with me…whether I would ever really get this forgiveness thing down when at times it seems I’m good and others I’m not. I’ve written about it so much…those few posts alone would be great ammunition for a weapon of mass deliverance I’m sure. Yet, I believe I secretly condemned myself for paying too much attention to forgiving and forgetting instead of appreciating my PROGRESS…On the way to meet with these lovely souls, I recounted the many times I’d heard biblical teachings on forgiveness like,

“Unforgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve included that quote in prior posts, but what do you do when the offender is the one forcing the toxic syringe into your arm? What is the remedy for desiring to please God by offering an offender grace only to not quite be there yet?

So I considered more closely my feelings about those who had done me wrong….and last night God whispered to me,

“but how does that make you feel?”

“I don’t want to ever be reconciled with the offender!

You see many in the church have hammered into the skull of every would-be Christian that YOU MUST FORGIVE OR GOD WON’T FORGIVE YOU!!!

While the word of God is true, blatantly saying this alone implies forgiveness is a one-size fits all prerequisite to receive God’s grace.  That kind of flies in the face of the Gospel considering grace through Christ was given long before we were violated by offenders in the first place!

So in the back of my mind for a while I have wondered about this in solitude…

Yet when I began studying this area with these ladies I was met with a breath of fresh air…Yes, I’ve got issues…but there’s a way to address them I hadn’t felt I had permission to use until last night.

And before I could condemn myself as I’d done so many times before that moment, He reminded me, “Woman where are your accusers?” They were nowhere to be found…because I chose to walk away…I chose to protect my heart and mind with my departure….and finally… I am perfectly at peace with my decision to  saturate their atmosphere with my absence.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Flight Delayed but Still Destined

For years God has shown me bits and pieces of my destiny. Considering the way He designed my mind, at times it has been frustrating to see the things that He has for me only to have to push the reset button multiple times before my reality mirrors that vision. I’ve said before that my vision has been set on fast forward for a long while and that still seems to be the case yet again.

Only now as I walk more closely with My Heavenly Father I am comforted with the reality that those things I desire need to be delayed for purpose. It’s not that certain people, places, and things are not to manifest in my future, but that my personal growth is far more important to God that mere things and people that will fade with time.

The saying goes, “time waits for no one,” yet I’ve allowed myself to meander along lately as if I have absolutely nowhere to go and nothing to do. Yet, perhaps that’s my problem…I’ve spent far too much of my time as a human doing and human going instead of embracing myself as the human being God had in mind when He formed me. 

I penned the first portion of this post nearly two months ago and strangely, but not so much…my pastor and his team was forced to confront flight delays while in route from Kenya last weekend. The intention had been to arrive a few days early so that they would make it back in time for our regular service. Thankfully, everyone made it to the destination in time. Now as for my pastor’s agenda, not “on time” as planned but “in time” as expected. That is as God expected. 

I’ve been full since Sunday!

Though at times I was tired and wanted to give up on matters I held dear in my heart because of confusion and let’s face it,stubbornness, God reminded me that even in my darkest moments He had me covered. 

So yes, delays on this path have had me wondering when would I ever arrive and fear of the unknown made me ponder would I fall out of the sky the moment I reach the highest heights…and yet the Father knew how long I needed to be in preparation for my next role in His Kingdom.  

This time a few years ago I allowed extra baggage weigh me down and threaten to keep my thinking on the ground.  Though I felt a tug, I simply wasn’t ready to call “this place” home. But through all I’ve endured in the last year, O have learned to pack lighter for the journies…to slow down and pay attention to things and people I’d otherwise overlook. And somehow I found myself more comfortable in a new situation….perhaps because with every connection point I, like our beloved pastor and team received, had a place of rest prepared for me with every interuption of “our”plans. 

Now, I’m sure where I am is where I was destined all along. It just took more time than I thought necessary to land safely being who I am.  Still, I simply refuse to resent the process.

The Insubordination of Isolation

I’ve had some hard lessons to grasp lately. I guess I’ve been having spiritual temper tantrum of sorts…

Yeah, this post is all over the place so just deal…

The reality of this waiting process is getting to me…most days I am cool, but the last few days….boy!  It seems the closer I get to the other side of this thing, my patience is well….

Still just because I’m tired of God’s timeline doesn’t mean I have permission to abort the mission.

So my son’s comments taught me a thing or two last night.

He was going on and on about his recent I-phone purchase and how it seemed like the activation process would take forever. He said that he nearly left the store several times but didn’t because he recalled how long he’d been planning this transaction.

CONVICTED

It is not that God is not on time, but that I have reached my prior level’s capacity…I feel like a rubber band…still I am in need of additional stretching.

“Un-arrest my development!”

I asked God to teach me how to do that yesterday, but I still went to bed in a somber state. Yet, shortly before falling to sleep, I recalled why the dream I’d had the night prior resurfaced in my mind. So I asked aloud, “What does a hot air balloon have to do with this?”

Yes, I had a weird dream of being taken up in a hot air balloon! However, in the beginning the basket wasn’t a basket…it was more of a bag and felt flimpsy…except as I and another person were lifted higher, a basket sort of developed…hmmm there’s that word again…or at least a derivative of it…development…what carried us was formed and became sturdier with each moment it seemed…I distinctly recall that I chose to cringe in the corner of that basket until my partner coaxed me to stand up and look out together…in the dream, I felt the excitement and somehow much of the initial fear subsided, but in a flash…he and I were free falling…the hot air balloon was gone…I was clothed in a jumpsuit with a parachute but both chutes, the initial and my back up, failed to open when I pulled the cord…I braced myself for the worse and the one who had originally coaxed me to not be afraid and to look out from a higher height in that hot air balloon had been above me…except he wasn’t falling nearly as hard as I…I don’t recall how we began falling, but I know though I feverishly tried to stop myself from falling…my attempts failed…and the few moments I glanced up, he was above me smiling…slowly descending while I was panicking…I don’t recall screaming or asking him for help, but before my partner pulled his cord to test his chute he pinned both his arms to his sides which formed a sort of bullet effect in my direction…he caught me…and in a blink- darkness…the jerk from his parachute opening coaxed my tear-filled eyes open and I found myself being held…covered…protected…known…loved.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Un-Arrest Your Development

I suppose I have resisted this place for some time now….but I cannot continue to run away from the inner most parts of myself a moment longer. So I thought to myself yesterday that yes, perhaps I should have my head examined after all….everyone seems to think they know me…I consider the shear ignorance of it all and I’m baffled and drained in an instant. I recall all too vividly the moment I decided my fascination with the recluse…yes, I’m speaking of the spider…once I wasn’t afraid of them…once I was so fascinated with these critters that I simply observed one meandering across my foot as a child. I had no fear…I distinctly recall thinking, wow, a violin shape on its back so I didn’t move…again, not from fear but wonder that it thought my brown skin just an extension of the dark carpet it sought to camouflage its movement…

Have I too found a means of camouflaging my movement by blending in with a society still so foreign to my thinking? With my being? And after this morning’s devotional, the face in the mirror staring at me had something else in common with what I now know is absolutely toxic when threatened…over the years I learned to do one of two things when bothered…hide or attack with a most treacherous bite…one that might merely sting initially, but later is evidence of the tragic encounter…it has been a while since I dared to inflict such pain on an innocent bystander…it seems instead my thoughts at times have taken a liking to my own flesh instead…I consider this sort of cannibalism not a bad thing because piece by piece my purpose requires the old me to methodically die…to bleed out and breathe her last…the she I once was is and has always been an unnecessary shell…so with silence and time I have been forced into a molting process…so as my purpose expands and my hunger grows more insatiable, the case that once housed me with fears and procrastination no longer fits this body…so I peel the layers as the decaying flesh with every step forward…still there is pain within this process….it has been an ugly transition so far…so much care must be administered…the wound must be covered but the wrong covering only leads to festering…so my hearts longs for a covering that allows me to breathe…one who like me has endured the growing pains with resistance….a most horrible season of selfish discovery…so I found my eyes begging for the strength to allow my wounds to be uncovered…for my being to be unashamed…for my mind to be in agreement…with what my heart already knew…and the layer of resistance fades with every step…

Release is the necessary conclusion in wholeness…Still detoxification drains…purpose requires effort I had not always been willing to surrender…the face confronted in the mirror of God’s word wasn’t the same one reflected in my bathroom this morning…the latter “she” was a discontent soul…but she’s no longer allowed in my sphere of influence…

And my heart’s anthem shook me out of my stupor with a command,

“UN-ARREST YOUR DEVELOPMENT!” 

So I combed through the manual until my eyes met a familiar yet necessary venue: Father, please teach me how…

 

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

How Do You Not KNOW what you NEED?

How Do You Not KNOW what you NEED?

It seems a fairly simple question…one I said to myself in frustration today while speaking with a patient about her refill…however, perhaps she was more right than I.

Her words, “You see what I’m taking right? You tell me what I need to refill.”

I expect someone who takes the same medication on a regular basis to know what he or she needs. Yet, time and time again I find that is not the case. Most of the time, they are looking to me to tell them what they need.

Perhaps my frustration would be more at bay with them if I change the lens with which I judge. Perhaps the lens should be a mirror and turned in my direction instead.

As I have attempted to explore the recesses of my heart today, I realize that I really don’t know what I need either.

Like her, I don’t want the necessary components of my heart clogged with debris past mistakes left behind. Like her, I want my heart to be healthy. Yet, while I’ve been presented with the opportunity to have my heart in better condition than it has ever been, confusion over whether my understanding of my feelings were premature…whether I’d allowed my imagination to spend too much time beyond the pages of my novels…so I find myself stagnant.  All the issues…the stress…the residue…the film threatens to coax me back into the reclusive state I once guarded with my life…

So I too found myself making the obvious request of God, “You see what I am taking…what I am going through…what I have been through…Tell me what I need to get refilled.”

I know what I want and I know what I don’t want.

I want to be adored. I want to be heard. I want someone to really tune into me and not with a motive to fix me.

On the call, someone in her background echoed all I’d told this patient. However, I suppose hearing the advice from a familiar voice made her more aware that she was already on track.

Yes, she too had a long list of issues and an even longer list of remedies prescribed to heal her heart and mind. Yet, by the end of that encounter, we both discovered something awesome.  The list no longer mattered.   I told her in the beginning of the call what she needed yet, she insisted on going through naming all these remediesshe thought she needed…yet those are now irrelevant to her condition. In the end, I requested what she needed…what had been  prescribed…what had been prepared and waiting for her to settle down, shut up, and trust the process…

So in my frustration with the patient I still found my need to listen more closely to what really transpired….yes, I had taken a lot over time….my list of issues was long….but all of that no longer applies…I was broken by love and lost and I allowed the wrong people and things to stress me out to the point of fatigue…but that didn’t apply anymore either…I attempted to make a request that had already been answered…so my request was unnecessary…That said, I guess I do know how you can not know what you need…It is entirely possible if you don’t listen and pay attention to the one who knows better the first time.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

As You Call Again, It is Already Done

I have intentionally not posted lately because I have been working on other projects, but I would be remiss in my ministry if I failed to account what God whispered to me in my heart today.

For clarity’s sake I’ll just say right now my day job is in the medical community.

This morning a patient’s wife called in a panic. Apparently she made a refill request for her husband’s medications because he’d run out before his next appointment. As she spoke I confirmed she just called yesterday with the same request, but I still offered to send a reminder. Yet, just as I was about to send it, the screen changed. Her request was already done! I realized the time stamp of completion matched the exact time she called so while she worried and thought it necessary to make another request every she thought she needed was handled as she originally expected.

Oh the joy this revelation brought me…that not only had her request been done behind the scenes, but so had mine…so had the things I’d requested of the Lord in my solace …God answered my prayer as I was ready to call again by way of one of His earthly angels this morning.

Of course the patient was pleased, but I was at peace knowing God spoke to my heart in that moment the very title of this post…to know that my words last night and this morning didn’t go unnoticed…well, at least it wasn’t unnoticed by my Father…and I sought to call again, but it was already done.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Just Breathe

 

I hadn’t had to use an inhaler for years, but last night I couldn’t breathe…or so I thought. In retrospect, I understand that the last time I really took a breath was longer ago than I care to remember. I suppose I had gotten used to inhaling the toxicity of my yesterdays and so when I was introduced with the freshness of the air I’ve encountered lately, my lungs…no my heart…didn’t know exactly what to do with itself…with myself…with my new norm…

At 1 am I was awakened and it became clear that I should just breathe…that being served is not a crime and that I’d been groomed for this role for at least nine years…hmmm…nine equals harvest…Harvest equals hard work….Harvest equals Heart Work…God has had me in spiritual boot camp and all the while I assumed it was to strengthen me for battle, but the reality is that He was using the issues I’ve faced to weaken me for Worship. I realized the other night at the No Regrets Conference that my best and truest form before my Father and even before others is weakness…that I not only accept that which I cannot do in my own strength, but that I use the pain of my past to fuel my purpose in my present.  It is in my weakness that God shows Himself strong. It is in my weakness that real transparency heals the hearts of others. It is in my weakness that I am keenly aware that I alone am nothing without the breath of God…that all the gifts I possess would be fruitless if God had not been so gracious to stir the hearts of those on the receiving end of them.

So I’m learning to exhale the negative in exchange for the positive…to release the pain to receive the promise…I have finally let go of the loss to redeem the love…that I know now I need and deserve.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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