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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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Leave It in Last Year!

Dear 2017,

Our relationship is over. Our parting is bittersweet, but necessary. You have taught me so much about myself! I’ve been emotional, but I toyed with the notion of becoming numb again because “feeling” for my own sake hadn’t been my usual if that makes sense. Whether it does or not, know that in the last few months I’ve grown more comfortable with the idea of “feeling” for my sake. I like making decisions without worrying whether it is “okay” with everyone else first.  I’ve gotten real acquainted with the freedom of saying, “No!” So I guess that’s definitely something to thank you for 2017!

You offered a few situations that almost convinced me to close the door to my heart but God’s love kept me thawed!  I am more sure than ever of who I need to partner with for my destiny to be fulfilled. Better than that, I’ve learned who I deserve and my worth. I’ve become keenly aware of the times and ways I’ve settled for less and I’m just not doing that anymore.

A Year of Mended Souls

I’m mended! A chance meeting with a few ladies turned into a life long relationship of healing and wholeness. I shared things I’d never shared with another and felt safe there. This was the beginning of a “breaking.” The breaking was required and I am so thankful for those tears and cheers. That breaking helped me make room in my heart for a few other ladies that I consider very near and dear to my life. I thank God for His freeing grace to allow me to breathe in true friendship and to understand how to be a real friend. I’ve learned that true friendships require vulnerability. I’m more confident in God’s choices for me.

Needs Turned Into Desires

I was able to reconsider my preferences for my future husband. Certain character traits I thought I couldn’t live with have grown on me I suppose and others I thought I couldn’t live without don’t matter as much. I need and desire complete honesty with whomever God has chosen and before it seemed I lost sight of that. I settled. No more. I’ve grown.

My ability to hear God’s voice heightened because of you 2017! Though I still struggled with silencing the voice of my “inner me” at times, I finally see myself the way God sees me. I have my moments. They’ve become fewer and fewer. I’ve been intentional with my comings and goings and those whom I allow in my circle. My circle’s gotten ironically snug with less people. I’m so cool with that. I’m more comfortable in my skin…just being with people who get me…even with those who don’t, but don’t judge me for just being.

 

Pride and Patience...

The saga continues…however, I’m finally allowing myself to receive more of God’s grace for slip ups and go offs…Hey, I still have moments.

I Can See Clearly Now!

Yes, it’s cliche but also a fact….found out the reason I felt like I was going blind at night was because my vision had indeed changed. I have astigmatism and I needed to get some special contacts to see clearer….I realize that’s been true even in my physical and emotional contacts. I’ve grown quite attached to  a few people I now consider an extended family. You’d think I’d known these ladies all my life, but God knew I needed new contacts to replace those who clouded my vision the year before. I’m grateful for God’s grace to reunite me with with my sisters across the bridge too. God has again proven His faithfulness in providing who I need when I need them.

A Year of Packing and Unpacking

It seems I’ve been a nomad for years, but 2017, you  really had me in a tug-o-war with whether the place God planted me nearly three years ago was meant for me. I can laugh now at the notion to “break camp,” but yeah I wanted to uproot myself again and head elsewhere because vulnerability hadn’t been my strong suit though I tried. Did I mention patience wasn’t either? Oh yeah…still a work in PROCESS! Still, I’m glad I stuck around so far. It’s given me time to consider “ME”….something I hadn’t done for far too long…I’m glad for the connections and disconnections you brought.

I can now see a counterfeit coming a mile away. Most keep their distance and I’m grateful for My Father making me BS repellent. LOL…I’m extra…I couldn’t resist.

Still, I thought I’d put away many of my insecurities before, but 2017 you showed me that I’d only packed them up. I hadn’t moved them out of my mind, heart, and life yet. So just as I gave away things I’d accumulated from others last week, I did the same to homeless emotions and disappointments. I had no more room for lies like these:

You’re not pretty enough!

You’re too old to start over!

You’re not his type!

It will just be another marriage of convenience!

He could never love you for who you are!

You bore everyone to tears when you speak!

Who would ever read your books!

You never finish anything you start!

You’re just like your mother!

You are a horrible mother!

You’re a liar!

You’re selfish!

You look like a cheetah without make-up, who’d want you?

You’ll always be broke!

Take the hint, his actions show that God lied to you about him!

You are not meant for marriage!

I didn’t just pack them and move them to a different spot in my head or heart this time. I signed, sealed, and delivered it right back to where it belonged: The pit of Hell marked: 

RETURN TO SENDER!!!

NO FORWARDING ADDRESS

Those lies are no longer my property. I don’t want them and they were never mine to own. I just allowed those things to fill the gaps where God’s Word and Presence were meant to give me peace before. Now I have that peace and that rest. Still, I almost allowed this year to past without embracing it fully. I regret nothing.  I realize I cannot go into anything new without being able to handle it with care…I must pay attention to the details and I must see what God has shown…I can no longer see and deny what I’ve seen because of insecurities and doubts. They have no place in my new year…

Spills, Dropped Keys, and Closed Doors!

The last few days, 2017 you reminded me to “take my time” over and over again.  Yet, it seemed I could not walk two steps without spilling something, dropping something, or allowing something to overflow as I poured. I was rushing for no reason…allowing things to fall out of my hands…Who knew that was all God was trying to get me to do all long…let go…allow things to fall where they would…to take my time…to leave the rest to Him…

I’m loving the thought of being able to drop everything and rest in God’s Presence before I can start over.  I learned even the hard moments I’ve had with my son and daughter in 2017 were worth the smiles we’ve shared when I forgive and move on…this is unconditional…it’s getting easier for me to love blindly…I’m okay with being reckless with my love and I am more aware that what I have to offer is worthy of God’s best. I’m confident I will receive nothing less than that now.

In fact, I was able to close the door on one romantic relationship I thought I’d already been over a long time ago. I wasn’t healed until the moment I was confronted with the need to kill it two months ago. I would not have been ready to face that door a moment sooner than it came. God knew when I was ready to lock it forever. I mastered my first grown-up Good bye! No tears…No harsh words…just peace and distance.

Not Unfinished…Just a New Direction

With that, this is a long letter, but an even longer-awaited farewell, 2017. So to all the un-kept promises, unmet goals, unsaid words, and unplanned agendas, unrequited love, and unpublished works,  I won’t say I’ll see you later because I won’t. I’m choosing to start from scratch, take my time, and allow God’s Peace and Presence continue to fill in the gaps to my process. I guess this means I’m leaving you 2017 and everything attached to you in last year!

©2018 Nadia Davis. All Right reserved.

Who this Lady Wants!

Funny it’s probably been two months since I wrote most of this, but today God’s given me permission to post it.

I was tickled last week when my pastor mentioned an upcoming relationship series entitled “what a woman wants/what a man needs.” I thought, SPOILER ALERT!  It won’t be the first time my posts and private devotion have matched the sermon message so I’m on the right track or at the very least great minds think alike.  Anyway, I suppose some insecurities had to die in me first so here goes.

So the question was posed on social media recently:

Question of the Day:

What are single women of God looking for in a husband?  Yes I know a man who finds a wife finds a good thing, but women, what type man are you praying finds you? Define some characteristics of a good Godly man.  Let the conversation begin. I’d love to hear your opinions.

And so began my synopsis…

In all seriousness…it got me to thinking about who I really want as a husband…so I penned…

A while back when I was asked this question, I answered, “I want a man who loves God more than he could ever love me,” but over the years God showed me that while on the surface my request seemed humble and even sincere, it was a shell of what my heart truly desired.

So God had to get with me…to show me I wasn’t being real…that my request was made out of an extreme place.

Since my ex-husband and I were spiritually unequally yoked  I figured I was taking the best approach with my request, but then I began working at a marriage ministry. Who knew you could be unequally yoked with another Christian? While there I found myself witnessing countless malnourished ministerial marriages. Husbands had forgotten God said for them to love their wives. I mean Christ already died for the church, yet first ladies had become permanent figures on a pedestal instead of the relational and fun-loving women God designed them to be. There was no balance!

Yet, the reality I loathed was closer to home than I cared to admit even before I married my now ex-husband. I hated the dead air between the union of my former in-laws. How I despise fakeness! A married couple should never sleep in separate bedrooms.  I still remember leaning on the hallway wall in shock over this man-made marital mess! But somewhere down the line codependent tendencies lured me into the mindset so many reading this feel, “well at least we’re still together!”

Seriously? For real? This thinking goes well beyond just wanting to be happy! At its core, it’s a surrendering of one’s willingness to be Healthy…so for a long while I decided I did it wrong twice so why bother getting to know another disappointment?

Wow…pretty negative, huh? Exactly! Absolutely! Bitterness is what led that thought and what caged my heart from even God’s delicate touch for so long.

Yes, I even kept God at arm’s length because I refused to admit that yes, I desired the type of marriage God intended.

Sure, I haven’t been bitter with men for a long while, but until now I hadn’t had the courage to admit what this girl wants…yes who I want in a husband!

I want to marry my best friend. I want to have things in common with him only he and I know about one another. I want to be able to go out dressed to the nines or dressed down and never feel like I can’t be myself with him. I want to be spoiled with affection. Quality time has always been my preference above quantity.  Let’s face it sometimes I don’t want to be bothered either. I want a man who will appreciate my assets and minister to me in the areas where I perceive I lack. I want him to understand that though I’m tough, my truest form is delicate. I want him to take the time listen. I don’t expect him to understand.I know our brains are wired differently, but I want him to make the effort. I want him to do spontaneous and romantic little things just because he cherishes my presence. I want him to love my children as his own. When I walk into a room full of people, I want him to look at me like I’m the only one in the room. I want him to be vulnerable enough to not just cry in front of me, but for his heart to feel so safe joined with mine that he is comfortable to even allow those tears to flow in my lap if need be.  I want a husband who not only knows me, but who knows that the only way he truly do so is with Our Heavenly Father’s permission-that access to my heart is only granted because of his own growing relationship with Christ. He must be willing to grow with me spiritually, emotionally, and exponentially. I want my husband to be humble enough to pray, wait, and listen to God’s response in how he can love me best…in every way…to pray for me to receive all he has to offer…to pray with me daily…to never be ashamed of my testimony or threatened by my gifts or accomplishments. I want to admire my husband’s brilliant mind, but laugh myself silly with him just because. I want someone who protects me and who trusts his judgement of me if his family disagrees with his choice to marry me. I want my husband to understand the importance of family time as a priority.  I want him to understand that our time together alone is a priority even above the children. I really suppressed myself in my former marriage and I don’t ever want to feel as if I need to resort to that again. I want to my suitable complement.  I want someone who isn’t afraid to challenge me in love or be challenged by me in the same way. I want someone who’s been through something, but not still broken from past failures. I want someone who is vulnerable enough to admit they have fallen before, yet humble enough to understand God is who helped him get back up. I don’t want someone afraid to be themselves because I can smell a counterfeit. I always have.  I was just too broken before so I settled. I don’t want a man who is money hungry.  I can’t stand arrogance. I like nice things and I appreciate a man who works to get those things, but those things shouldn’t have him because those things don’t move me.

Man, take me for ice cream to laugh and listen…I’m good. The little things matter.

God’s let me know whoever my husband is desires children of his own. I desire more children as well so that’s no problem. However, I don’t want to go it alone. I want him to be there for the doctor’s appointments and the delivery.  I want him with me when picking furniture for the nursery. I want him to want to be there and not to just feel obligated. I want to know he means what he says. He must be honest. Even brutal honesty is better than a lie. I’ve said before I don’t want to date any man but my husband so my desire is to be courted. Old school for real…ask your Father permission…treats me like the lady I am all the time…kind of courtship…

Yeah…that is a lot, but I know God has him reserved for me because He wouldn’t have allowed me to finally express who this lady wants otherwise. I know God is able and since He gave me permission to request it, I know He’ll connect me in time with who He’s chosen to be by my side as my husband. Until then, I’m loving doing me because while God’s permitted me to desire what I want in my husband, I’ve finally submitted to His teaching on becoming the wife that he needs as well.

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Let the Man Lead for God’s sake!

Hmmm…more about this submission thing…

In case I struck a nerve with some of you yesterday, I’ve decided to elaborate. Still though…

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Anyway, while it seems that women have been backed into a corner when it comes to the submission debate, men aren’t too far from the trenches either.  Submission should be a two-way street.  In fact, true Godly submission is not about “giving ‘tude,  giving up your say, or giving orders.”  At its core it is yielding for the benefit of both parties involved.

FYI: It has nothing to do with getting the last word either.

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Now a while back I was asked:  Would you follow your husband to a smaller church?  

I freaked out at first because I’d been at my church for almost 12 years and to just leave was a terrifying thought.

Oh my doesn’t God have a sense of humor?  I say that now because while the question was posed about a year ago, I just moved back to Memphis.

Moving on…

However, after I digested the question, I posed one of my own.  

Why should I have a problem with it?

Essentially, if I have “chosen” to marry a man with God’s permission,  I should trust my husband’s judgement to do what’s best for our family.  Basically, I would follow him anywhere.

Now, that said, I think it is only fair to point out instances when women are NOT obligated to submit, yield, or follow a man:

A) he is not your husband

B) he is not submitted himself first to God

C) he is husband, but yelding to his request or authority explicitedly contradicts God’s Holy Word

Now I’m sure some heads are rolling now because of that last one…maybe it seems a bit subjective.  Well, that’s because it is.

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I am proof that you seriously set yourself up for failure when you  are unequally yoked!!!

I might lose some ladies on this, but at least hear me out…

If a man is himself submitted to God’s will, the Holy spirit will lead him in a manner to cover you and your family as a Godly man should.  He will not be given to wrath and he will respect you as his rib the way God intended.  Now that doesn’t mean that you will agree with everything he says  or does.  But there is always an amicable way to agree to disagree. (That will be a later post)

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Also, just because a man is not your husband is no license to disrespect him either.

In fact, ladies, try make it a point to be so respectful to all men that your expectation in return is the same.   It’s been my experience that the respect is usually returned.  Now there are always exceptions where men will be disrespectful, but that’s no reason for you to stoop to that level also.  Think of your respectful reaction to his foolishness a lesson he has yet to learn. 

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I mean I’m not married, but when I’m out and and a gentleman is walking behind me, I make it a point to wait by the door.  I can’t tell you how many times men will run to get the door for me so that I not wait long.  No, I’m not incapable of opening the door on my own, but I consider this an opportunity to allow a man be a man as I maintain my stance as a young lady.

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I haven’t always done that and honestly I feel like I’ve missed out on the chivalry so many people say is fleeting among men nowadays because of it.

It’s not that chivalry is dead, but that we have forgotten the advantage of embracing  the complicated art of mutual submission in relationships.  

The take home today is this ladies and gentlemen…

  1. Whether she’s recognizes or not, fellas, respect yourself and your maker enough to be a man worthy of your role as a leader. One day, the right one will take notice.
  2. And ladies, treat every man with respect…even if you have to pretend because of past pain…assume that he’s a good man and treat him like one deserves….and if he is a good man, please let the man lead for God’s sake!

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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