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.

Just a Temporary Inconvenience

Hmmm…well considering that the title of my blog is Better Not Bitter, I understand my obligation to forgive quickly. That was not always the case of course. Holding grudges was my middle name and I even thought for a time that doing so made me happy…I was so wrong.

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That said, it’s only fair that I share my steps to doing so.  Obviously, I ranted yesterday a bit about my recent break up and relational issues.  However, I am satisfied with my decision to end things and I have peace that I made the right decision. Though admittedly, at the time of the phone call, I had no idea what I was going to say until it was said.  Now I had played the scenario out in my head for most of that day before, but I know that as cut and dry as my response seemed. It was all that was necessary to get my point across. There was no need to yell or argue…to mope or to beg.  Drama is best left to the big and small screen, not my life.

I noticed that while I am happy that things are over and said to myself that I have no hard feelings towards my former beau, today I relented the latter part of that statement.

I was angry all over again.wpid-2015-07-27-08-09-16-972356833.jpeg

But angry at what or with whom you might ask?

Part of me could answer that my beef was with myself or with him, but for a moment, I believe I was upset with God. I recalled how I had feverishly combed His word to ensure that I was proceeding in the right direction and how I prayed so much about the things we endured together.

I realized suddenly, it had to happen this way. With that, I repent for my ill feelings towards my Father, who still knows best. I realize that I like so many of you may have done, read too much into the situation. As Jesus often pointed out with the Pharisees, I picked apart the word for the words themselves at times…literally…instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to guide me every time.

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I’m sure that even though things were uncomfortable that I needed to remain there for that time…I needed to go through all these emotional dips and flips so that I could better assess the situations of others while tweaking my own intentions.  I would not have been able to identity the importance of receiving what I need in a husband in lieu of what I thought I wanted had we not been together for a time.

So do I regret our time?  No, not anymore. I don’t consider it a waste of time either because I’m sure both of us learned some valuable lessons.

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Do I harness ill will for him…not in the least..  I want him to prosper and with that perhaps I was his distraction too.  Perhaps, the things God had deemed for this son’s assignment were misaligned because I came into the picture.  So with that, perhaps not all distractions are bad…So instead of considering our relationship a complete distraction, I concede that it was just a temporary inconvenience.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

So I didn’t cry

I expected that I would because there have been times when the silliest things get me emotional, but I didn’t.

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As I rolled onto the parking lot and observed the familiar scene I wondered how long had the apartment community had that name.  It had since changed, but the address remained the same. I saw cars parked in front of the dwelling I once shared with a man who broke more than my nose when he punched me.

I’d hoped the area was condemned somehow…I didn’t want to think that another soul could possibly live comfortably in a place that I’d known only as hell on earth.  Then I imagined the place where I live now and wondered had there too been “incidents” that were merely covered up with fresh paint and new carpets.  Flashes of the scene remained vivid as I considered parking there.  I kept going.  I drove further around back surveying the area…attempting to gather if there were any possible way I could have been able to escape it had I just moved faster that night.

Anger

There would have been nowhere to hide with a 4 year old and 6 month old in tow.  I was trapped and considering the what ifs and maybes are pointless now.  Still, I tried to do just that. Minutes later I was in front of the old mail center.  That night I had actually considered that place an option.  Still it was wide open, but I considered perhaps he was not smart enough to look there because it was in the opposite direction.  So I parked again and snapped a picture.  Perhaps the dark of night would have covered me and my children then after all.  No, how could it have done so?  That night started for us before the clock made night evident….Daylight Savings Time worked against us all that evening.  Night came too late to hide. Yet, when it arrived finally, that was the time when I longed for daylight…any light.  Even the blue lights failed me.  Six rings the 2nd call to 911 before bloodshed.  Less than 2 miles from the police precinct, yet he arrived before they did.  I could be angry with law enforcement and in retrospect, I suppose for a long while I was, but…

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Even as I type these words, I still haven’t shed a tear…I’m actually sitting here smiling.  And no it’s not because I know that the perpetrator is behind bars.  In fact, that was only a recent development and discovery.  He was never convicted for my assault.  It actually makes my heart ache for his soul.  He’s in jail for a separate crime.  Aggravated rape and assault.  I suppose old habits die hard for some indeed.

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I could take this time to cry for the other victims that came after my attack, but I won’t.  My run for my life was for my life…so no I did not testify…I disappeared and started over with the clothes on my back…I surmised at the time that I had a right to be selfish with my testimony…God was patient with me.

He allowed me the time to hold my testimony to myself for 12 years…I bled long enough so as He leads…I’ll share…as He prepares I’ll bear…

I have no reason to cry anymore…I’m not wounded…It doesn’t hurt, but not because I’m numb…I haven’t cried because I forgave

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

It’s More than a Race Issue

I posted this little note this morning on Facebook after reading the following headline:

WHITE GUNMAN CAUGHT IN KILLING OF 9 IN HISTORIC BLACK CHURCH

I’m more disturbed by the headline of this article than its content. Despite the facts that 9 black lives were lost to a white assailant, we need not make this a race issue…it’s purely an evil issue…a demonic issue…satan’s attempt to further divide the Kingdom of God…yes black lives matter, but so do all other races…this is not a reason for civil war, but civil prayer, humility, and trust in the one true God.

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I implore the saints of God to not cower in fear or attempt to retaliate by this world’s weapons…for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but the spiritual wickedness.

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On the surface for the minority, this incident might appear as if it’s a race issue, but that’s clearly what the enemy desires us to think.  While the skin on the outside differs from race to race, when blood is spilled it’s all one color: RED!  God doesn’t want any to perish… His love is unconditional and it provides unimaginable peace in situations like this.  While the families of the slain grieve the loss, our Heavenly Father is grieved as well..not by the enemy’s actions…that’s possibly the only consistency in the evil one: to kill, steal, and destroy…it’s no surprise, yet God is grieved by our response…our response to His ability to provide…His ability to avenge on our behalf…His ability to yet turn this tragedy for the good of those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose….

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Facebook family, I urge that you not grieve our Father by engaging in racial wars online or otherwise as a result of this as in times past…satan’s bold and it’s time for the. Church to be bolder…to humble ourselves before God, turn from our wicked ways, and then He will hear from Heaven and heal our land. I really didn’t expect this to be this long, but I’m being obedient…so fb what’s your response to God’s ability?‪#‎smh‬#1somuchbetter#Godwillrepay#VengeanceisHis

listening to God’s voice alone.

I’ve tweaked my words a bit for clarity since this morning and added the pics for flow, but I originally shared the article with my thoughts in hopes that some would not do what was assumed.
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While some have maintained silence or opted to offer prayer -at least online about this tragedy- I logged on a few moments ago to something expected, but completely avoidable…the cursing, the racial slurs, the back-biting, and most disheartening the blatant refusal to offer prayer…mind you these were comments posted by those who by all other accounts could be considered Christian. Rather, some who claimed to be Christian.
People have a right to make their own decisions, but I can’t reiterate enough how that behavior is just what the enemy wants…division…for those who might have been unsure about the love of Christ to further think Christianity as hypocritical.  I almost unfriended some of these individuals because of their comments.  I’m glad I didn’t because I realize that not long ago, I would have likely made the same comments in anger or in ignorance had I not been enlightened.

Hebrews 6:1-12 (NLT)

So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds[a] and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,[b] as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

I’m grateful for God’s grace with me and I’m not putting myself on a pedestal because when I saw it I was angry too.  Yet, while anger rose, My Savior in me rose higher.  Had this issue happened closer to home, I can’t say my reaction would be the same.  Regardless, I’m still grieved at the what I consider satan’s way of tricking us into corporate genocide.

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Times like these make me wish I knew the time or the date when Jesus would return. It makes me long for a home free of all this death.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Public figure or a Private failure?

In James 3:5-12, we are reminded how the tongue, though physically small compared with other members of the body, has the potential to level a forest as if it were fire. Essentially, when we are not careful to think before we speak, we can cause a lot of damage.

Also, if we don’t think of the impact our words have on those around us including family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers, we run the risk of creating a toxic domino effect with one spark.   So contrary to popular opinion, sticks and stones may break bones, but words can hurt just as much.

So I’ve got a question for you.  “What are your kids learning from your words? In public? In private?

The phrases, “She gets that from her momma” or “He’s just like his daddy,” have been used for years and will likely be used for years to come when the inevitable comparison is made between a parent and a child. As endearing as these phrases could be when referencing one’s likeness, the sentiment behind the comments are usually far from positive.

 

That said, it is important for us as Christians to be extremely careful of the things we release into the atmosphere. I haven’t always been so careful.  I thought I’d been doing pretty good lately…well, at least the last few weeks or so only to be bombarded with an “oops, I had done it over and over again hadn’t I?

 

What a difference a day makes!

Well, yesterday, after church I was in a great mood. The sun was out and it was a lovely 68 degrees in January!  Regardless, the beautiful weather didn’t curb my kids’ desire to argue though.  This constant debating seemed to be their new norm.  I say new, but I suppose it’s been a constant competition between them for at least three years.  I have learned to just tune it out somewhat.

The thing is that while they debate often, they had only recently begun doing so in public.  This struck me so I just asked, “I’m just wondering did you all learn anything about love, forgiveness, or compromise in church today?  I mean you all just came out the door and you all are arguing like nothing happened.”  I said it calmly to which my son replied, “I wonder the same about you all the time.”

Shut Down!!!

The pride of my past would have easily made me set him straight, but in all honesty he’d set me straight and he didn’t do it disrespectfully.  He was just stating his thoughts…His truth…What He knew of me in times past behind closed doors…my short temper and the anger because I couldn’t cope with the stress of single motherhood…not to mention the issues with unforgiveness I’d held onto for so long…

 

Well, this morning Joyce Meyer’s broadcast set my mind further on edge because I knew that I had been grieving the Holy Spirit by acting one way at church and in public while flipping the script at home….yet as quickly as I almost condemned myself for mistakes I’d made…I was reminded of Romans 7:21-25.

I know that I have a long way to go in re-teaching my children the ways that they should go, but I’m thankful God allowed me to dig up the bitter roots of my past so I can start leading by example in public and in private from now on.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.