Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

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.

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.

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

Forgiveness is a choice…one I’ve find myself confronted with over and over again lately…especially in the last few years. I’ve written about its cleansing power…about how I’ve grown and been able to let go of so much and then reality knocks on the door of my heart. And something happens to remind me of my angst against a person and suddenly I realize I’m not doing as well as I thought.
image
So I know now that forgiveness is a process…the choice to give up your right to get even, to get an apology, or even to get an explanation.  So considering the magnitude of the ministry God wants to accomplish through me, I must get a grip on this thing. Rather, I must let go of this thing…those things…those offenses that seem incurable.
image o
I’ve considered how unable I am in my own strength to forgive others…so I surrender it to My Father.
image

I admit that sometimes I’m angry when I see those who have hurt me smiling as if they have no right to happiness. I admit when I consider the trials I’ve endured sometimes I’m not as appreciative for the lesson they taught me. I admit sometimes I want to hold a grudge and I want the other party to know it. I admit l I want to be mean like I once was because at least then my emotional walls were impenetrable. My heart was cold and unable to break so easily.
So today I decided to grieve…not just for those who’ve gone on to be with the Lord, but also to grieve the wealth of other losses as well.
image

I’ve considered my need to hold it down the reason for now acknowledging the poison I pumped into my veins. Resentment fueled by disappointment created a cycle that I had to end today. Yes, there were loss of opportunities, but there were also some gained ones. I can’t say that I’ve forgiven everyone who has ever wronged me in my life time yet, but today I’ve made the choice that I will.
image

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.

!images (1)

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.

download (1)

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.

images

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.

Heavenly Father,
 
I come thanking You for Your discipline…I’d be lying if I said I liked it…You know my heart so that’s pointless. Father, help me to take the advice I so readily give others…Help me to listen and do what You want. I don’t want to keep taking the same tests over and over because of rebellion. I’ve been way out of order and I need You to guide me to get back in line with what You told me to do months ago. I can’t do it without You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!
12188340_781553538637187_533569690_n
It’s easy to tell everyone else that mustard seed faith is enough to get the job done…it’s been easy for me to tell others to have faith for years…one might think faith was a supernatural gift I held…but God and I know the truth…the truth of how yes, I have walked on water, but my doubt at times has caused me to sink more than once…
In the last few months…I know at least more than ten…Then I wonder to myself…what would happen if I ran out of chances?
Who would suffer because I just couldn’t stomach the reality set before me….Maybe that’s been my problem…Reality…Faith and the Vision God’s given me says one thing and my mind and my eyes see the reality of my circumstances…so I’ve been forced at times to reveal parts of me that I’d rather keep hidden…I’ve been forced to share a portion of my heart that had been locked away for safe-keeping…then I wonder, was I keeping my heart safe or held hostage….
Love’s a funny thing…but not so…I’m realizing how love requires premeditated forgiveness to be unconditional…how treating others the way you want to be treated keeps me repentant more than I wish were necessary…Some of the things I’ve said are irrevocable and then I consider how  so many of my actions have been too…yet God still loves me unconditionally.
When I compare His love for me given all He knows of me, I can’t help but offer that same love. I’ve been trying.  It’s been hard, but I’m willing.  Before now, that had never been the case.  Flight  was a preferred approach…but I’m actually glad God is making me endure  this.  How else will I learn.  Though I’ve failed at the love thing before, this is different.  I want to be here.  And then I’m comforted with God’s truth:
1374044625984527

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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

102624739_t6lgE6x0_b

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…

the-system-isnt-broken-it-was-built-that-way

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.

download

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.

If I remained in complete denial of my condition, I could easily chop up my excessive coughing lately to spring fever.  I mean things are in bloom now so that would be a great excuse.

But I know better and hopefully after reading this post, you will too!

I really thought I was over this unforgiveness thing…especially given the gracious nature of God towards me.  Yet, like Peter, I often find myself asking, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother/sister who has wronged me?”

For those who might be a tad fuzzy on the text…basically Peter requests this answer of Jesus considering that 7 times is enough based on the Jewish customs of the time. Jesus’ response was basically seventy times 7 and for those who take things literally, I warn you…please don’t in this instance. (more…)

I must say that in a mere 36 years, I have been here long enough to live out many of the “all things” of this verse.  I hadn’t always wanted to accept that the “all things” my Lord inspired Paul to write included those bad things though.

Like many baby Christians, initially, I accepted Christ and looked forward to the blessings.  I had no idea of the afflictions that came with the deal at the time.  God allowed me a great trial run.

Yet, life happens…death happens…wanting to die happens…realizing the need to live happens…thankfully in that order for me….Yet, I’ve been all these places many times over simultaneously lately.  I was there yesterday…actually last night…late…

I hadn’t even realized I’d been sitting in the bathroom so long…I’d been attempting to gather my thoughts over the news of my mother’s passing…I wasn’t sad per se…I was relieved, but still heavy within.

I’d planned last week that today’s post would be about Directing Your Current situation…I’d been researching a few days for accuracy…I thought I had a little more time to do what I needed to do before the news came.

I wrestled with the thought of whether I would still go to work today…this week…next week…whether I would share the news with anybody there…whether I would post what I had yesterday for hours…I was late to church deliberating…

And so I sat in the tub attempting to remember the words I’d rehearsed months ago…the song I’d planned to sing for her home-going celebration because I thought I’d be strong enough not to cry as I’d tried to manage each word without trembling…to have courage to sing the way I had as a child without fear…I’d hoped to gain that same vigor I had at four years old when I begged my mother to allow me to join the Angelic choir not only because she sort of made my brother do it, but because I really wanted to sing…like she had to me…with me so long ago.

Though the words of the song reminded me that the peace of God surpasses all understanding…the only wonder I’d had as my fingers shriveled in the inevitably cooling water was why did “peace” feel  like this…so incomplete?

God shared with me long ago the need to make amends with my mother.  He declared in my heart that the reasons for my own despair and internal imprisonment were because of unanswered questions and unrequited love…rather I should say now…the allusion of such because I know now how much my mother really did love me.  I, like so many others, bought the lie contrary to that fact.

Even now, I realize that God answered my prayers when He took her home.  I no longer had any excuses for delaying the book He’d placed on my heart so many years ago…The one that had a middle and boasted of a bright future, yet that omitted a beginning…

I now understand the warnings about focusing were of God and not naysayers…that I’d had so much pride in myself that I failed to remember God’s order…I had to finish what had already been started before I could think of beginning again…I had to close the chapters of my life that had been open to all the wrongs I’d gone through and rejoice in the good they would accomplish.

I now have my beginning because of my mother’s glorious end.  So with that I can rejoice in the timing of God…how this exact time last year I was praising Him for finding who I deemed to be the love of my life, my Joseph, yet this year on the same day of that first reunion, my mother was reunited with our Heavenly Father.

I hadn’t really contacted him regularly since the demise of whatever it was that had begun, but as I dried tears and ended the call with my brother, I sent the message anyway.

Bittersweet as it may seem…I remember last year being nervous at any attempt at love or even strong like because I knew things were not right between my mother and I…even when I received warnings that he may be the one, but now is NOT the time, I stepped ahead of God’s plan for a moment, bore the consequences of guilt, doubt, and rejection…Yet, even in that I’ve learned a lot…about myself…my priorities…my purpose…

I prayed for that to be corrected first…for me to be whole…for me to be truly ready to receive and give love the way God intends…

God granted this request with me first being able to finally and fully receive the love He’d been trying to give me for years and for allowing me the compassion to forgive myself and my mother.  In those steps, He taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.  Yet, I still long for more opportunities…

So still my prayer remains the same, but the difference between now and a year ago is that I’m no longer willing to sacrifice my obedience to God for my way of doing things.   There are simply things that I must finish before I can even think of testing romantic waters again. My children are my first priority now…

I understand that while it seems my life has been one big hurdle after another that the words I share will help others to at least think a little longer before they make the same mistakes I have.

I’m so grateful now that God decided the dates and times that He allowed certain trials to come into my life now.  He knew when He designed my mind that I would take notice of that, but that topic is for another day.

Still, the fact that He so lovingly decided to grant my mother eternal peace at one minute after midnight is definitely a good in the midst of my stack of “all things,” because I’ve known all my life that the darkest moment always fades just after midnight.  And indeed it has.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

I’ll edit this later…just flowing from the heart…

I used to say “I didn’t have a good example when I grew up.”  It was my excuse.  I suppose I felt less guilty for my own shortcomings as a parent by blaming my mother for the woes I’d experienced.  Yet, now I realize how untrue that statement was.

There were good days with my mother. That truth has allowed me to now cherish those good times I shared with her more.

No, my mother didn’t teach me to cook or sew.  Experimenting with Betty Crocker recipes and Girl Scouts did that.  Yet she allowed me to play in her hair and play dress up in her clothes when I was little just because she could.

While I’m aware of the times I’ve missed the imaginary mark of motherhood, I simply refuse to demonize myself or my mother for what either of us lacks because I know God makes no mistakes.  While we cannot choose our family members, He chose them long before we were ever conceived.  Now I can say that I am so grateful for the gift He gave me in my mother and as I type these words I understand why saying goodbye isn’t as hard as I might have thought it would be.

I received a call after midnight from my brother.  I was asleep so I wasn’t aware of it until about 6 am.  He’d left a message, but somehow before I listened to it, I already knew what he struggled to say those few seconds the machine allowed.

Mama passed away not a half hour before he picked up the phone to reach me. 

I hadn’t cried in two months over the thoughts of a lost childhood…over resentment of what might have been…I surmised even after hearing the news recorded that I still would not do so.  Yet, when I called my brother back and discussed what was evident and what needed to take place in the coming week, I found my words losing fluency. Choppy and forced, I allowed them to flow…not out of necessity or regret, but joy in her transition.

Last I saw her, she was in pain…yet still able to smile when she recognized her likeness standing over her. As a child, I’d always been called her shadow for two reasons: I was always two steps behind her and the main differences between us visually were time and complexion…I prayed then that her pain would cease…knowing that mine had already. I am indeed grateful for the time I’ve had both as a child before things seemed to have gone awry.

Before that time, I’d told a friend that I’m choosing to remember the good a while ago, but in reality, at the time, I couldn’t stop myself from only remembering the bad.  I was in a rut and I allowed that to dictate my life for a while…for too long…so long that my own role as a parent had begun to wane.

Her Goods-

Having never earned a driver’s license, she never allowed that deficiency stop her from taking us with her every Saturday somewhere…to the movies…to the fair…to the mall…downtown…to the Orpheum–Mama, I want to sing at 6 years old-my love for music was ignited– to see plays because she wanted to make sure my brother and I were “cultured.”

I used to think the reason she had us taking lessons for violin and cello,  Spanish, computer, and even tap after school was so she could get a break, but I understand now that she wanted only to ensure that he and I couldn’t be denied one later.

I have a new appreciation for Ode to Joy!!!

I still remember the red booths at Woolworth’s we’d claim and the flavor of the buttery kernels that seemed popped just for us.  They would melt in your mouth.  Back then a dollar could stretch much farther.

Although she had her bachelor’s in education, she opted to teach us more at home instead of others’ children in school.  She chose to work only part-time for many years and was always there when my brother and I arrived from school.  Single motherhood was worn well on her in those early years…those years I had taken for granted as I grew because for some reason she and I became distant.

Anger took over where love never meant to leave off…I couldn’t understand why it seemed she loved the “little me” so much, but hated what I was growing to become.

I realize now that what I deemed as hatred was just not so.  Rather, her fear of not being enough fed her fury.  Her fear that someone would hurt me as she’d been hurt consumed her. I didn’t know it initially that she’d been taken against her will.  A fit of rage spilled those details and gave me a clue.  Still, at that age, I couldn’t understand.  I didn’t try. I had never known anyone to have been raped before so there was no way that I could relate. Instead, I filed it along with the other displaced memories I’d vacated years ago.  A chance encounter with a photo album would reveal more of her puzzle without anyone overhead saying a word.   Back then, “issues” weren’t discussed so they were held in with massive consequences.

The result- an inevitable implosion or explosion…there were many casualties…but I’ve considered even those the result of involuntary manslaughter now.  Eighteen years of solitary confinement was long enough to suffer, to re-group, to rehabilitate a soul.  She too had been bent, infirmed, desperate for relief.

I believe 2 months ago I received that relief…Yesterday, she finally received hers. So while I dab at tears I’d once denied permission to flow, I revel at the cleansing power they possess.  My joy had indeed been renewed.

My Heavenly Father knew the day would come when I would finally realize the gift He provided me. She did the best she could…

She nurtured the love of words in me long ago.  I remember I denied the desire to write because even at 7 years old, my strong will fought for independence.  I wanted to do my own thing.  Yet, the more I tried to distance myself from what she had already claimed of me…a poet…a writer…I fell back into the comfort of this calling…words…I escaped through the words of a story…I calculated the words from another’s mouth…I practiced over and over until my penmanship was perfected because I loved words and the way they took a life of their own on a page…my mother was a lover of words too I suppose.  Although she’d often comment how her writing was intolerably cruel for the reader to decipher as the scribbling she owned resembled a foreign language, she still fostered a love of them by quizzing my brother and I every chance she got.  She’d read to us often.  My choice was to have the books read at least twice before I could go to sleep. She always happily obliged.  Only later would I realize why she did it anyway despite how tired she had been of the story itself and how exhausted she’d been herself.

No Regrets

I had planned to see her yesterday, but…

Just but…the excuses don’t matter now…I know I’ll see her again…I’m glad that I understand God’s plan and that I don’t have the guilt of “what if” to deal with anymore.

So even now, I choose to honor her by the good she did, she was, and the good she intended.  There’s no need to say goodbye so I’ll just say, “See you later, mama!”

10457531_895065450526603_7539515781571468610_n

Gone for now, but never forgotten!

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.