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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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The Beat of Forgiveness

Random words for a random heart…yet, I’ve decided this is where I do random no more…

I’ve considered what I would do had the tables been turned and whether I’d been on the other end of the message…if I had no way of contributing my hand to help or my funds to finance, would I have responded? Would I have merely prayed in silence without taking the time to let one know it’s the least I could do? I’ve considered whether my own level of immaturity of financial matters lately is worthy to be compared to that of one’s lack of emotional maturity…so the other day I had a moment…of hysterics some might say…of desperation others might insist…of uncertainty and humility I admit, but still so relevant is my peace…calm in this storm…helps me rejoice in the ability to slip on shoes I hadn’t worn before. This place…am I meant to remain…Am I to go there…confusion has no place in this mind or heart…reminded where Christ dwells…the accuser must part…the evil one has not been granted access…yet, that trickster tried…anger with the response or with no response, but then I considered what words would I have if I had no words to utter. How frustrated would I have been if I couldn’t offer cover…due unto others…the thing I’d want done, but what if my only reference be that of a son…desperately attempting escape from a hero complex thrust upon him against his will…would I be so willing to foot the bill? To pay a debt I hadn’t created in deed or mere finances…would I in my humanness have allowed another stand a chance…at taking advantage of my kindness like so many had before…so like I imagine he has…grieve I might…like mine years of fighting taught his  heart to prefer flight…reasoning through depressive feats without strength to muster…I suppose I too would choose not to trust her…or be loved…or be liked…or be satisfied or be fulfilled…yet,he still wonders is forgiveness for me from she an option…have I failed already because my mind’s concocted all sorts of blame and irresponsibilities that mirror too many I’ve seen before…too many disappointments met at love’s door…too close what his mother bore…a choice made…stay comfortable in my discomforting bubble…amid my kind of trouble…that which I am King…for too long I’d forgotten my Center…yet expected to mentor…and counsel he has…forgive quickly…don’t allow a bitter seed take root…examine their fruit…observe their motives.. ask God and stop reading books to decide if with her you are to reside…if with him you can let go of your pride…your shame…your mistakes…two as one…nakedness a must…no masks no make up…but God and trust…circumstances cloudy…storms back to back…clipping your wings is only temporary…a must if one intends to marry…consistent humility and honest conversation…friendship bonded without hesitation…but still cold hands can’t feel what’s been placed there…is it then even received? A heart thawed still bleeds…but what sound does it make when tragedy dines without invitation…the thump proceeds without jubilation…skipping its good intention…thrown off course…advice with feelings is of no recourse. So I must lay to rest my sanctified imagination…and love still…though from a distance…my best way to resist… a complicated situation…to be sure and eradicate this infatuation…angry no…thought I thought I might be. So I questioned My Father…how can I explain what my heart and mind has allowed in consensus? An answer upon  waking, ” Good morning daughter, welcome to the beat of forgiveness.”

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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

Embrace Your Greatness!

You have permission to be great!!! You are great! You have gifts and talents no one else has! You’re a rare find!

True Humility is knowing your limitations and having an attitude of gratitude for the help provided. The opposite of that is being overly self-sufficient.  I was addicted to being “self-sufficient before!” I only realized in the last year that being overly self-sufficient is the type of pride God hates. Still, I’m just now becoming more aware of how foolish it is to be that way and to adjust my decisions accordingly. 

God expects His children to be proud of our accomplishments as long as we do so with a humble perspective in our hearts. I know it seems that statement just made the whole former portion of this post moot, but I mean when we accept praise, gifts, and help that we do so with a sense of gratitude. He alone provides the ability we have to be great. He alone provides us the financial assistance when we find ourselves in a bind. He alone provides us the confidence to not look like what we’ve been through and the peace we need to get through every test.

I guess deep down I knew what I did was great too I just had been programmed to believe that being proud of your accomplishments is wrong. I’m sure this mental malady derives from my childhood, however, there comes a time in everyone’s life when you must take a long hard look at yourself and decide whose account are you going to believe? Are you going to believe the negativity life has taught you about you or are you going to believe the truth of God’s word?

I choose God’s truth!

…that I am beautiful… that my worth is above rubies… that I am flawless…. that His love for me is limitless…that it is His pleasure to bless me…that I am fearfully and wonderfully made…

Now, It’s your turn😉

 

Just Ask

It’s simply baffling that this post did not come to mind before now…a time when I should be sound asleep so I can be at least partially present in church later…yet, if I must be honest, I know why it had not occurred to me before…for the same reason the obvious has escaped me time and time again…PRIDE. Yet, my pride lately has taken drastic measures to conceal itself since I began dying to myself sometime ago. While it would seem my plight grew easier…the manner in which I suffered that is…all along Pride had morphed into a cross between unworthiness and fear.  Who knew all along I packed these hidden cohorts with me on a daily basis…never fully grasping the reason God continually urged me to be strong and courageous. How much stronger could I become? I’ve lost everything, yet I still smile…even my beloved Guardian and Angel were taken and I left my tears with them at the shelter. How dare I be accused of having an ounce of pride left? So it decided to transform because it realized I had no use for it as it was…but pride must be more clever than it’s been…I’ve rested…I’m being revived…I’ve tasted fearlessness before and like a rabid dog has an insatiable desire for blood once it’s sampled it, I too desire satisfaction.

Desires of this heart had been muffled because the pain seemed unbearable once. Yet wounds need exposure…then, healing is inevitable…so it had not occurred to be to just ask My Father for myself…to ask Him to make me fruitful and that my words multiply…to make me wealthy inside and out…to make me shine like the sun in those times that seem so dark…to give me wisdom to say no and to be assured in my response…to allow me to completely and effortlessly fall in love with Jesus all over again with every breath…to remove the calluses from my heart to allow the love of others in as well…to transform my pain into praise…my tears into triumph…my isolation into inspiration…so Father in the name of Jesus, I just ask.

©2016-2018 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Just Rest

Stop. Pause. Focus. Slow Down. Listen.  For at least three weeks now, it seems that those words are the directions that I have been given.  Yet, I haven’t truly understood or embraced any of them fully until this moment.

suppose I should have gotten a clue when my student advisor said in our meeting, “I bet you’re the type of person who has it done the moment you receive the instruction.”  It was not a compliment or an insult.  One might think it was actually the former, but it was just further proof that at times I can be overly diligent.  That is…in my mind.  I suppose that is in itself the issue with having a massive vision.  It fuels a faith that at times can be downright foolish. I used to say and I may have even written here before that if it is not foolish it is not faith. Rather, if that was the case, I submit that I erred.  Perhaps it may appear foolish, but not actually be foolish to be faith.  I have made several mistakes by doing what I “felt” the Lord was leading me to do while not realizing my true motive underneath.  Pride led me to that point. Pride would hope to keep me there, but love has released me from that place of foolishness. Love of a Father, a Son, of a Holy One who together have done so much for me and in me that I have no choice but to receive what is being communicated.

I have attempted to build my own design…my own building…my own structure.  However, all along the structure I had been building was on an imbalanced foundation.  I know a thing or two about building on uncertainty.  It seems for years that is what I allowed myself to do. It had done nothing more than produce worry.  I allowed myself to think too much about things that really don’t matter.  I had built so much on sinking sand, but my image prevented me from opening my mouth and asking for help until it was nearly too late.  I chose to avoid family, friends, and at one point, I even stayed home from church.  I leaned to my own understanding.

Structure. Order. Trust.

I used to wonder when I was a child why my mother was always so consumed with worry…yet, we were at church every Sunday. As a child, I could not understand it and now I still don’t understand it.  It is senseless.  Yet, I allowed worry to nearly consume my being too for a moment.  One moment that lasted too long…where have the years gone?

So far, I have learned in my absence from family, my cousin hasn’t drank anything more than water as her choice beverage for at least 10 of the near 13 years since my original departure to AR…that it had been 10 years since I had been in Louisiana, though I’d had an open invitation to witness the beauty that blossomed out of the ashes of a shared past my brother and I experienced.

I realize that I was my worst enemy. I was facing turmoil with my own children because “God forbid” if I showed a flaw in my parenting skills…I was the super single mom who survived physical, mental, and emotional abuse.  My children were expected to fail by default, but flourished by grace…flourished a long while when I prayed regularly…when I sought My Father’s advice in every decision. Something happened and that stopped.  Yet, in His love for me, My Heavenly Father whispers to me even now as I randomly bleed on this page, “Just Rest.”

I’d been the one who always had it together so how was I to know what was required of me when all I had was broken….so I’m learning now how to truly surrender is learning to receive…learning to receive the presence of My Father as just that.  My daddy…my support…my heart…

Random as this might be I am determined to not just get back to my first love in Christ, but to get back to my first agenda.  It was simple.  If one person is changed…if one person is transformed…If one person doesn’t do what I have…If one person realizes how much they matter to God because of my story…I will do it.

So as my Savior did on that fateful day over 2000 years ago, I enter my flesh into a grave that has no power to hold me there…I will rise again.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Embracing the Heart of Forgiveness

Two days ago I arrived at work fuming…I was frustrated beyond everything, but I remained calm as I started a nearly 2000 word post in haste over what led to my issues before 8:30 am….I will have you know that this post is not going to be that long so don’t trip!!!

In fact, I deleted it altogether.  I admit, I have a bunch a drafts just waiting, but this one had to go!  Long story short…my son and I had a bit of a disagreement…I was in my feelings…he was in his…and Kayla was caught in the crossfire…I was late to work…got an email from one of his teachers…I felt the need to take his Xbox 360 load it in a garbage bag…take his baseball bat and bash it to itty-bitty pieces all while telling him, ” This is because I love you!”

The truth is my urge to destroy that contraption was warranted, but severely misguided.

5-Things-Startups-Think-About-Themselves-That-Are-Wrong-supercool-creative

I’m grateful that God doesn’t allow us to do some of the things we might want to do in a moment of passion…

After some careful communication with my boss and future boss…I realized that when mercy has been given, it’s our privilege to offer it to others no matter how big the offense.

Later that afternoon, I got a call from my son.  He’d gotten out of school early because of semester exams so his call was one requesting that I come all the way home to unlock the door for him.

Yes, I work about 25 miles from home and yes I usually have to pick my daughter up from school another 25 miles in the opposite direction, but I knew he needed me.

We kept playing phone tag for a minute, but when he finally reached me…his words, “Mama, it’s cold out here.  I’m locked outside. ”

I could have just as easily told him,

“I told you to bring a coat” or ” I don’t have gas to waste to pick you up and then go back to get up Kayla and then go back to her concert!”

Yep…she had a concert last night too….and I had less than a quarter tank of gas at the time of his request.  Yet, my heart knew that God wouldn’t do me like that.

 That’s the beauty of a loving parent/child relationship.

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Yes, we get angry with one another, but ultimately, we want what’s best for the other and we don’t intentionally want to hurt the other in the long run.  

It’s taken me a long time to grasp that concept so I’m grateful for understanding.  I’ve had to learn that lesson so well lately with regard to my own mother so what did I do?

First, I received his apology.  He was sitting outside and jumped in my car just to ride the distance from the end of the drive way to the garage and he said,

“I’m sorry for this morning. I was wrong.”

Funny thing is that I completely understood now.  I could see how God deals with my attitudes and disobedience with such mercy and love because while he felt the need to apologize to me, when he asked for my help, my willingness to drop everything to ensure he was okay was evidence enough that in my heart, I’d already forgiven him.

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Perhaps, he didn’t know that.  In fact, I’m sure that he had no idea that  I’d already forgiven him.  He felt the need to tell me how sorry he was.  In my humanness I was satisfied with this exchange.  However, God’s love is much stronger in that. He doesn’t wait around withholding forgiveness just because we haven’t admitted our fault.  Rather, He lavishes us with unconditional love that compels our heart to offer the same to others.

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

So I’ve finally broken up with my past…

For years, I blamed my mother for my lack of happiness as a child and in some ways even as an adult. I hung onto those feelings so tight that I believed they were just another part of me- something I couldn’t get rid of no matter how I tried.

I mean why else would I stay away so long?

GUILT

SHAME

SELF-CONDEMNATION

…Yet, as I drove to a place I once called home, I unpacked my heart.

I used my fight or flight instincts all wrong for years.  It doesn’t take much courage to run away. Instead of facing the hard moments head-on, with few exceptions, I took the rode too often taken…

What might have been green once was now only laden with pebbles of broken promises, unfulfilled desires, missed opportunities, and those unfamiliar pieces-fragments of a beat-less heart.

Despite the barrenness of this path, my actions proved I was comfortable with uncomfortable.  It was familiar.

This road led to my new norm.  Though breathing daily, I became one of the dearly departed…

I expected a miracle with my mother’s recovery.  I assumed my faith was enough to reverse the illnesses that mercilessly waged war on her mind and body with each passing day.  But of what I saw was left of her in April brewed something I wish I could reject now.  I wish I hadn’t stuffed it.  I wish I hadn’t retreated.  I wish I had not done what I thought God should have done for me.

I disappeared.

…7 months I remained away…7 months I thought I had peacefully accepted the inevitable, but there had been anything but peace of mind available to me…

I hid that part of me from those I should have held the closest…a brother…I promised to keep in touch…somehow all else superseded that task…a son and daughter… they longed for attention, but a more fitting luxury was to be there, yet not be …potential for new love…snuffed by insecurities bred and nurtured by isolation…promotion just beyond reach…too exhausted to fully comply…I chose to remain detached…

…from my mother, from my family, from my fears, from commitment, from true friendships, from real love, from my calling, from myself, and even from God…

FEAR OF CHANGE was my fuel!

Delays with travel threatened to keep me in my bedroom even on Thanksgiving Day, but that’s when He came to see about me.

My Heavenly Father reminded me I’d been bent for too long…crippled for 18 years… bent by toxic words, vindictive glares, and rages because I was just being me…so at 18, I fled…I intended to never look back…

But how could I look forward when the lure of my past still taunted me day and night?  I was held captive by an unforgiveness that seethed in my heart…

Still, my Redeemer comforted me with His word:

Luke 7:47 New Living Translation 

47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

In order for me to finally move forward, it was time to stand still…no more vanishing acts.

…and with every passing mile, I unpacked my mind.

She clung to life awaiting my return…

When I arrived at Grace, I expected the icy stare from the nurse who saw to my mother’s daily needs.  So as my daughter whittled our names on the register, I promised myself I would not cry.

The prognosis was bleak.

“Let me see if I can speak to you, what’s your name? Who are you?” she sneered flipping through a worn manila folder 2 inches thick.

Her gasp was expected too.  Still, I managed the words, “I’m her daughter.”

In the fours years, my mother had been housed there, she and I’d never met.

Resting the closed folder on her chest with arms folded as if she had a right to protect the details, she sighed, “It’s not good.  Every other day, we think she’s getting ready to pass, but she hangs in there.”

A tear escaped.

I knew why she fought.  The nurse’s olive eyes brightened for a moment as she continued with the details of the medicinal regimen she’d administered to her.  I inhaled her words methodically picking apart those I understood in silence.

Morphine every 8 hours

High Blood Pressure Meds

Ventilator

Feeding Tube

With that, my mind immediately regurgitated memories when she preferred the taste of my daughter’s kid’s meal as she quickly confiscated a handful of fries the moment we entered her room that first time we were there.

She’d been able to eat on her own then.

“Do you want to see her?”

I’m sure her question hadn’t been the reason for my jolt back to the blank corridor where we stood.  Rather, her attempt to shove the few tissues she grabbed from her cart into my trembling hands sparked recognition that I was doing the very thing I promised myself I wouldn’t mere minutes earlier.

Acknowledging her question, I nodded and offered a muddled response of, “I just couldn’t see her like this.”  Her grimace softened as if for at least a minute she understood.

I rested in this glimmer of hope that maybe I wouldn’t be judged for my absence and followed her to the place I’d successfully avoided for so long.

…I unpacked my will

She led me to the room with the number 707 on the door.  The one I’d ironically just passed without taking notice of her name on the placard above the digits that symbolize completion.  I walked in at a little after 5 pm, but the room was serene and dark.  She was sleeping soundly.  Still tiny in comparison to the way I would have preferred to remember her.

Those Cherokee roots were more evident than ever now.  A single band corralled her crimped tresses in a side bun. Coal black strands concealed her true age though few iridescent stragglers remained…She still appeared only 10 years older than I.  As I stood there, I became weak.

So My Father picked me up and carried me the distance I knew I needed to travel…He knew that the shards of brokenness beneath my feet on that road I’d been wandering on before were too painful to endure alone.  Still, He understood my need to revisit that barren place, if only for a final time…to say goodbye…as only a Father could…He consoled me and allowed me to heal as he lowered me at her bedside.

For the first time in a long time, I opened up my heart to my mother.

Running from every other issue in my life had been my norm for nearly 2 decades.  I guess the enemy thought by witnessing my mother’s condition for perhaps the last time I’d continue to feel robbed of my childhood or that I’d turn my anger back on God for her suffering.

Instead, I felt relief.  Soon she would no longer suffer….she’d suffered much longer than I had.  I realized that the pain she inflicted on me was only the residue left from her own similar afflictions she endured as a child.

Though she never was able to mouth the confirmation of her pain to me directly, her eyes said it all.

Before  I visited her, God prepared me.  I came across photos I had never seen…as I flipped through endless albums a progression of life, love, and family were revealed.  With it, the snapshots also exposed an evolution of pain.

She was sexually abused as a child. Now I realize why in many ways her tyrannical behavior towards me was in some ways protective.   She distanced herself from me emotionally and perhaps this is what ingrained in me a fear of intimacy that would take years for me to own.  I could see why she possibly felt responsible for the violations she endured at the hands of the one she should have been able to trust.

Both sequences were simultaneously authentic and counterfeit foreign and familiar to me…authentic and counterfeit…manufactured too shared the same fake smile once my world was interrupted by intolerable cruelty.  It seemed, my last genuine smile was when I was 7 years old.  Hmph…there’s that number again…One such picture that I uncovered of my mother shared that same smile.

She was captured in mid curtsy smiling ear to ear looking straight at the camera in her white laced Sunday’s best!  I wondered at that moment who had been the photographer.  Who brought her so much joy then?  Who was responsible for taking it?  The next shots canvassed were entirely different.  They captured brokenness.  Again I understood the pasted facade for those required at school while others were taken at home never quite held the same enchantment…pictures where she clung to her mother’s leg as if that were her only hope of surviving the storm that raged within her.

That weekend bits and pieces of my mother’s existence were revealed as I fought through the urge to selfishly cling to the cancer that linked us.  I realized with God’s grace that I not only had permission to let the pain of my past go but that I had the obligation to let my mother go as well. So as I gathered the strength to sing in her ear as she did to me before what ailed her surfaced.  The tune was so familiar…I realized why she constantly hummed it…”We only just begun to live…white lace and promises…” I understood that white lace and promises were what we shared once and as I hesitated to close the blinds and turn out the lights to what might have been, I did so beamingly because I knew that we still would share that time again together someday.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Hey Ladies and Gents,

I’m curious. Are you still holding onto past hurts and regrets? How’s that working out for you? Tell me your story below!

Because I love you

“Because I love you”

It was a simple response. One I received a little over a month ago, but also one I wasn’t ready to grasp at the time. It wasn’t in response to a “why” question; rather to a “how” one. Not long ago I found myself in tears sitting in my bed surrounded by darkness crying out to God barely above a whisper…”How are you able to forgive me so quickly Lord?”

I’ve always prayed for God to allow me to love as He loves and to forgive as He forgives, but that night I was my own opposition.

I know I heard it distinctly. My answer came in waking. I’d done something the other night I shouldn’t have. I’d let the “sun set on my wrath.” I was angry and I couldn’t understand why I had to let it go….so I held onto it.

Hours later, my frantic actions led me still to a place of bewilderment. I knew God loved me, but until I fully opened my eyes the next morning, I wasn’t able to see His point. I sought to be that “good” mother who disciplines righteously and who was strong enough to withstand the drama of a teenage son and preteen daughter.

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I sought to train them in the way they should go but somehow I departed. That morning much like the hundreds before it, I felt hopeless as a single mother. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.  This week’s bible study was the confirmation that yes, there are just some things a mother can not teach a son! Only who could address my plight.  Now that I’ve attempted to man him up so much…I forgot I was originally called to be the nurturer.

When the transition occurred, I’m not sure. Maybe it was when I looked up one day and realized my son had finally hit a grow spurt.  Yes, that had to be when because every since that moment, it seems I’ve been the one with growing pains…. No better yet, perhaps it was when at my daughter’s last physical the doctor acknowledged she had begun developing already and that I needed to brace myself for monthly attitude adjustments…but I’d already been adjusting to her growing ‘tude already!

However, despite all my ranting and frustration, I never realized that my prayers for “them” to act right were so far from what they really needed of me.

This morning I realized why it seemed my prayers for them to get it together had been held up.

I hadn’t had it together.

Sure, I learned over the years how to fake it well in public, but other than God, no one knows the real me better than my children.  Yes, they were there throughout many of the trials I faced and conquered with God’s help because many times they shared it involuntarily.

I was told that they were anointed early on.  They are. I know this now. I’ve known it all along I suppose, but the past few years have shown me a side so contrary to these blessings that the woman I see in the mirror most days refused to believe.

But who was to blame?

I found myself wondering questions like:

Where that 11 year old was who choreographed the morning of the performance a praise dance to J. Moss’s God Happens that grown men couldn’t imagine the same?

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AND

Where was that innocently wise little girl who once chastised me when I’d clammed up about how much I knew about the word of God for fear of appearing like a Jesus freak at a Young Adult function some years back?

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Regrettably, I was.

Though I know the sins of the parents are no longer plaguing the children, I’m willing to take responsibility. I compromised. I’d grown weary. I’d forgotten that first love. I’d forgotten that my actions really do speak louder than words.

I’d recalled a bible study series that my pastor taught a few years ago reflecting the life of God’s esteemed servant Eli. Until that teaching, I had no idea how similar my life was to his…. a public success and a private failure.  I was convicted then that things needed to change, but I allowed duty to take precedence.

I grasped the courage to let go of the excessive obligations, but initially my motive was still selfish. Sure I really needed to rest, spend time in God’s word, and nurture my children, but I really wanted to date and spend time alone.

I was so backwards! That backwards thinking led  to my own discomfort. Instead of nurturing like I’d done in years passed, I got busy handing out rules that I passively enforced.  This morning, God showed me why things had gotten so hard. I’d only partially obeyed His command.

So I’ve been forced to reconsider my original question.  Though I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the response, I’m now able to understand with my heart how God can be so gracious with me time after time.  So the next time my children disobey my instruction, I no longer have to ponder why I should forgive them or how I can muster the will to do it.  I’ll just remember it all goes back to “because I love you.”

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Follow His Lead or Get Bitter Results

Boy have I had the time of my life on this little roller coaster, LITERALLY! No I haven’t gone to the fair yet…that’s scheduled for this weekend, but I mean this Emotional One I’ve been riding for way too long.

Methinks tis time to exit this ride!

 

images (38)  Had a Shakespeare moment!

Have you ever felt like you’ve met “The One” and it would seem that all the stars were aligned and your heart skips a beat when you think of them and then

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LIFE HAPPENS! I mean despite you “knowing” that he or she is “that elusive one,” for whatever reason when you finally grasp the courage to step up to the plate, things just don’t quite add up and you’re left wondering 

Wha Happened??????????????????????????????????????

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Well, for the ladies…sorry guys…if you’re like me…Singleness has the tendency to encourage an addiction to romantic comedies.  Even as I type this I’m realizing how that sounds, but I admit, I’m no hopeless romantic!

 I’m a HOPEFUL one!!!!images (47)

Regardless, I’ve realized today…okay I really realized this weekend that perhaps, therein lies the problem! I guess I can only talk for myself, but I work with mostly women so I’ve heard similar stories, perused other blogs, and it seems the name of the game remains the same:

UNMET EXPECTATIONS=DISAPPOINTMENT

While I’ve been relatively disappointed at times with the way things have gone up and down relationally, this weekend I’ve come to one major conclusion: I’m Impatient!

Now I’d made up my mind a long time ago that when I chose to be chosen again I’d follow where God led me. That makes sense, right?

Sure it does.  Well, I prayed about it for a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG TIME and my prayers were answered about a year ago. Only, somewhere between me reuniting with my Joseph and my present, I forgot all about the reasons I prayed for him in the first place.

I got looped into this “romantic comedy fantasy of “shoulds.”  That is, I was so completely clueless about “dating again” that I allowed my mind to drift back to what I’d seen and heard “boyfriends” should do and say.  Therefore my expectations were skewed from the start.  Let’s face it, I’d learned enough from my past that friendship, trust, and mutual respect were non-negotiable, but when it came to taking things to the next level, I was all thumbs….and even now I’m still a bit fuzzy.

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It really makes no sense to me because when we were just friends, I could go anywhere with him, talk to him, joke with him, and laugh with him without later feeling self-conscious about whether I “said that” or “did that” right?  It didn’t matter because I didn’t care.  It’s not that I valued his opinion of me any less. Rather I just was so at ease when I was with him that I knew he’d accept me regardless of my flaws.  In fact, when either of us so-called “did or said something wrong” it made our time together that more hilarious!

We had a running joke for years on the days I wore my ever-faithful ponytail…apparently I was the only one at work that didn’t have a sewn-in…of course I’m not hating…you be you and I’ll be me…never had a need for weave thanks to my Cherokee roots!

I digress…anyway…truefriends

In my mind and heart for the past few months, I’ve battled within myself to get back to that place with him only to realize that I’m the one who left it in the first place. In retrospect, he hadn’t changed. His quirky sense of humor was the main reason I enjoyed his company.  It was his somewhat annoyingly comical personality that won my heart before I even knew I’d want to give him permission to handle it.

Now I’m stuck with the reality that the way I’ve been the last few weeks with my all in one minute/scared away the next minute antics has him just as clueless about how I truly feel about him as I’d been at the beginning of this endeavor because I allowed a superficial list of ideals set me up for failure….talk about listening to wrong advice.  I should have listened to my heart right after I listened to God whisper, “He’s my son too”

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Go figure…I’d asked for a Godly man…a good father for my children, and a friend wrapped into one, but it never occurred to me until now that God was on his side too…that just maybe, I had the potential to hurt him, but that God loved him as much as he loved me so He’d chosen to protect his heart as well.  Yes, I realize that given some of the hurts and hurdles I’ve had to overcome, the challenge to “get there” has been daunting…

…So I tried to rush things. I made assumptions.  I fell prey to the “shoulds” of a society that…let’s face it…otherwise, I am completely at odds with…so lately I’ve had to ask myself,

“Why can’t I be myself around him anymore?”

“Why do I find it necessary to always wear make up when I see him?”(as if he hadn’t seen me on my worst day before)

“Why do I feel the need to consider what others will say over what I feel?”

WHY?WHY?WHY?

Because I started out listening to God advice and ended up following my own…I’d failed to realize that God had already reassured me what and who was for me is for me…that He had already authored the end of my story and that every plot twist had been meticulously constructed with both His children’s best interest in mind. Somewhere in the mix, I got selfish…I went ahead of God, went forward and was stuck with bitter water…so now I’ve gone back to My Father and asked for His advice…His word stung as it healed.

2 Kings 2:18 New Living Translation (NLT)

18b “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” he asked.

I admit now that before last weekend…everything in me said don’t go there…delays occurred on both ends, but I was stubborn and did what I wanted to do.

I am grateful for God’s mercy though because like the followers in the text, I looked at the potential and decided to move forward although He’d told me to wait. Yes, this morning, I recalled that the Lord sent me to Ruth 3:18 a couple months ago. Since that time, I dissected that scripture many times, but I never did the obvious. I never waited.  So this morning, I repented and surmised again that God alone knows my end from my beginning.  He alone knows the desires of my heart even when I refuse to admit them.

So while I still enjoy my romantic comedy marathons and I can’t readily erase all the stuff I’ve read about couple “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts,” I’ve learned to rely on a far greater source for my relational advice from now on.  I’ve learned I have the hopeful expectation that He will do me good in my future.  Otherwise I could end up in the right place at the wrong time.

When I consider the consequences of all the wrong advice I’ve followed so far, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take again.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

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