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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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Fix that Door and Move On!

Laughter is my best medicine. I must find the funny in everything to function and no, I’m not mental!

So…basically, I planned to go to bowling the other day…was dressed and for a change would have actually been on time (the Lord is yet working on me in this area)

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Anyway…I go to open the door to leave and there I am all dolled up (yep, I’m a bit girlie girl)…purse and keys in one hand, the door knob in the other…considering my options…

So I decided to break out my tools…yes and I know how to use them.SwaggerGirl_Cape

So finally I get to the point of my title…I couldn’t leave until I fixed the door…

It made me consider my current relational status…I don’t consider being single who I am…which was further confirmed by Sunday’s message…I know my purpose as a follower of Christ and I still consider myself a wife…I just know I’m meant to be one to the right one.

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I just happen to be in “transition”…yeah…that has a nice little ring to it.

You see…though I was heading bowling that night, I was still trying to wrap my head around what was to transpire the next day.

My ex-husband had planned to visit my daughter from Little Rock, and because I’m not allowing my daughter out of my sight for any reason, I had to go as well…

It wasn’t unforgiveness, but definitely uneasiness…

I had been sort of dreading the reunion because I didn’t want what usually happened to happen again… there were always “misunderstandings!”

I thought…I want him to know that I have no hard feelings, but I also don’t want him to think I have “other feelings” either.

See my dilemma?

It was always a catch 22…if I rejected speaking to him, I was thought to hate him…if I was nice…I was expected to remarry him…

I had been praying about our interaction all week and asking God to reveal to me if I had any unforgiveness lurking in my heart that went unchecked…God confirmed that I had forgiven him, however, that I needed to still endure this test.

 

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Well, prayer works…the Lord showed me that just as I’d left alcoholism alone nearly 8 years ago and since had several tests…and yes…though I’ve drank a little…like 3 times within that time…He showed me how I have no taste for that life or the liquor itself anymore…in essence, I had to be exposed to it to know I’m completely done…

Hey, I’m not knocking anyone who drinks, I just know my boundaries now…that’s something I never really had before…for drinking or relationships…

Just pass me a Green Tea and the one God has chosen for me!

I guess you really know that you have forgiven and closed the door to the hurt of your past when you find yourself praying for that person and not in one of those, “God get ’em prayers!”

My point in all this is that God showed me that I had to fix the broken places in this past relationship to properly close the door before I would truly have my heart free enough to receive the man God has for me.  I did what I needed to do.  Maybe it’s time you do the same.

 

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Another One Bites the Dust

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I really thought that I was done writing about this subject, but of course, God has decided otherwise. I saw the article the other day about Christian rocker Trey Pearson coming out to his fans in an emotional letter and tried to ignore it. For those who have been following my blog a while you may recall a few posts I wrote about homosexuality and Christianity. For those who have not, here are the links to those posts:

https://1betternotbitter.com/2015/04/28/newsflash-god-loves-homosexuals-too/

https://1betternotbitter.com/2015/06/29/can-a-christian-be-gay/

https://1betternotbitter.com/2015/05/23/grace-for-the-gay-life/

So I felt the need to revisit the topic again anyway because it seems that we Christians are definitely split on the issue. I admit that at times I have even been split myself. I don’t condone the lifestyle. However, neither do I condemn it. I used to wonder why on earth a woman would choose to be with another woman who looks and acts like a man. I used to wonder why on earth a man would be with another man who looks and acts like a woman. And I really had no intention of ever writing about the transgender public toilet issue, but as I learn to be more obedient to the Holy Spirit I realize I have little choice in at least bringing the issue to light.

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I wondered initially why in the world would God place this title on my heart.  It seems so heartless, but I realized that I had heard the song, knew it was an oldie, but had never really paid attention to the lyrics before.  I found an interesting parallel to it and the way we seem to treat people of faith who admit their truth to the world.  Check it out here:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/queen/anotheronebitesthedust.html

I couldn’t help but consider the way we gun down our own so quickly.  Now granted, initially I was disturbed by the headline about Trey Pearson. Yes, I am a Christian and yes, I said I was initially disturbed. However, I suppose I was most disturbed by it because I’ve known so many people over the years who have battled with the cover up.  It helped me feel more comfortable with the content of the remainder of this post when I saw the snippets of his interview from the View.

And when I say the “cover up” I don’t mean just covering homosexual desires.  I mean any type of secret sins.  You know the church girl who’s really addicted to sex, the deacon who really has a drug problem, the minister who’s committed adultery multiple times, and yes, the Christian struggling with homosexuality among others.

It seems the church is the only place where we kill our wounded.

Well, about the “coming out issue.”  A while ago, I befriended a young lady and we hit it off great. I’ve never been ashamed of discussing Jesus with anyone and let my kids tell it, I “make everything about Jesus!”  I used to shrink back because of them saying things like this, but hey I do and I will continue to do so.  Of course I’m not bashing folk over the head with the bible, but somehow I tell a little of my testimony everywhere I go.  I guess when you have lived through as much as I have gratitude just seeps.

Anyway, this young lady was married and had a 15-month old daughter when we met.  We’ve since lost touch and that’s really the only reason I feel comfortable sharing this.  a9974907b605006c10dca8a9239c9c88

At the time, I immediately noticed the smile on her face didn’t match the sadness in her eyes when she spoke. It was a façade.  However, at the time, I thought her mask was one hiding domestic violence and not that she had been  struggling with homosexuality.  As a matter of fact, in our first interaction, I mentioned this blog and I commented about how God was allowing me to minister in the strangest ways to all sorts of people. She is a Christian too.

For the record, Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It is a relationship with God through Christ!

Moving on….

I recall now that at some point in that initial interaction I mentioned I had been called to even assist those struggling with homosexuality, but I hadn’t understood how yet…that I really believe that avenue will be handled by my son as noted in one of the posts above.  I guess I was in my talkative zone and didn’t notice her gaze at that moment.d4c77a23ae75d87212a22a76bdb183a8

Fast forward a few months…we only spoke a  few more times when I’d talked with her about my writing, my kids, my desire to visit Nigeria to which she mentioned that her husband is Nigerian.  Well, the last contact I had with her struck me.  Though it had been a while since we spoke.  I guess seminary had me touch and go.  Anyway, I knew that God put her on my heart for a reason so I texted her to see how she was doing. She quickly responded that she had been going through.  I felt the need to send a message something like: “If you just need someone to listen, I’m here.  No judgement.”

Boy was I in for a surprise!  I just knew she was going to say something about her husband hitting her or some junk, but she dropped this bomb instead:  “My husband found some nude photos of a woman in my phone and I was entertaining it.  He knows that I was sexually involved with women before we got together.  He is really hurt.”

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I just sat in the parking lot in awe.  However, my response  to her admission was that nothing is too hard for God and then I found myself sharing what I am about to share here with you.  “Well, we have all slipped out of God’s will, and while I have never been in a lesbian situation, I have no idea how many men I have slept with! Yes, it’s been that many! If God’s grace could cover me, He could change anyone.” She responded with relief and gratitude.  I prayed for her and her marriage.  I prayed for God’s mercy and His guidance. However, most importantly before I ended our conversation I made sure that she knew that God loves her and that I did also.

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I’m only sharing this now because I lost touch with her after that and I feel that someone out there needs to know this.

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I hope and pray that things are going well for her now, but only God knows the outcome of that scenario. What I do know is the outcome of my scenario and what I have observed so far in this scenario with Trey Pearson.

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He is being exactly who he believes God made him to be.  It’s really not for us to understand his mind and heart. As for that acquaintance, she was obviously struggling with a sexual situation or even a soul tie. That in itself is from the enemy just as I had been. I used sex as an outlet because I didn’t even understand how much I was worth.

Now I did notice that Trey mentioned that he had been “attracted” to men since adolescence.  It seems that it would have a sexual aspect to it on the surface, but who knows? God does and yes He will judge accordingly.  Regardless, he will also judge everyone else for the lies, fornication, adultery, idolatry, murder, etc.  No sin is bigger than another, but all too often we surely try to make it that way, don’t we?

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I don’t condone homosexuality.  I’ve just grown in my faith enough to know that sometimes the only way to persuade others from the error of their ways is to love them through it.  That’s what Christ did for me and to me.  In fact, I was the main one condemning myself and then He allowed me to put myself in the place of the women caught in the act of adultery…oh yeah, I’ve been there and done that too..TWICE!!!  So I guess if I could end this post with anything that needs to be said it would be what Jesus said to her/me:

John 8:8-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

BAM!!! And  there it is folks.  I figure I should let that whole deliverance from sexual and relational addictions out there before the enemy has the nerve to think that I care about the things I’ve done in my past.  However, I realize that I’m no longer ashamed because I’ve been delivered from the desire to “need” an illicit relationship to feel complete.  That’s what true wholeness it about.  I’ve finally got it and I’m not giving it up for anybody.

confident one I just love this pic of me!!!

All that said, when it comes to people who struggle with sin regardless of whether it is on display or covered, we as Christians are not called to condemn them.  We are to love them so at least then another one doesn’t have to bite the dust.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

A First Step of Sorts

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.
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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.
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I’ve considered how unable I am in my own strength to forgive others…so I surrender it to My Father.
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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.
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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.
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Just after Midnight

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.

 

Disconnect Accordingly

I hadn’t considered so many had access beyond my yesterday until today.

I came across Psalms 1:1-3:

1 Blessed is the one, who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Now I get it—why some think my views peculiar. It’s amazing God decided to use me  to represent His Kingdom and encourage others when not long ago I could barely encourage myself.

How GREAT IS MY GOD!!!

I realize the Holy Spirit has been fine-tuning me. Lately, blatant sin irks me!!!  Yes, I’m seriously convicted even when I have an inappropriate thought! I’ve been seriously grieved by the way we as Christians misrepresent the grace of God so often. Oh this rant includes myself too if that’s not apparent!

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I’m not perfect nor do I want you to think I am all about legalizing the Gospel. Religion is sooooo not my thing people!!!

However, in the past, every time I said something “right” in the midst of wrong , I got that “look!!!” Let me clarify the wrong I mean–you know the gossip, lying, complaining, and other stuff we do that obviously displeases God and misrepresents His Kingdom–Now, that stuff stops with me!

It wasn’t always the case though, so understand if you are not there yet, ask God to convict you immediately and HE is faithful to do it.! Trust! There have been many times I started complaining only to get caught up to clam up…Oh and conviction is not condemnation either.

Now back to that “look”…You know the glare that says, “Who does she think she is?”

For those still wondering the answer to that question, “I know that I’m a child of God and if He gives me the urge to speak against it, it’s done!”

I’ve been back-stabbed by the best of them, yet this verse is just one more reason to keep a smile on my face.

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The cool thing about how much I know God loves me is that when I once doubted my ability to be bold and represent Him well because of my own mottled past, He showed me that I’m holy because He is Holy…that my light will outshine the darkness and how His love covers a multitude of sin!

He also confirmed to me that my transparency is what so many need. They need to understand that it is God’s specialty to use those who might consider themselves less than so that He can show through His grace that yes greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.

Before I came to this revelation, I’d witnessed some very sad scenarios, but I said nothing to those involved because I feared backlash…despite the Holy Spirit’s urging. I even used to care so much about what people thought of me that I wouldn’t dare be myself.

It was not popular so I wore the mask. In fact, when God really began to convict me about gossip, I would merely co-sign with others instead of outright passing information along. But it is nothing like getting convicted when you know better!

I decided a long time ago that in that area of my life, I didn’t like that feeling so if what you are saying to me about someone else is not something that will edify them, positively encourage me, or that you would not mind saying in their presence…I have no time for it and I will tell you so immediately. It is for this reason that I admonish people to consider the courtship of EVERY RELATIONSHIP because if that person is willing to poison your spirit spreading death about others, their words are merely seasoning you for the oven they are preheating. You are surely next on the menu…It usually starts with something like, Girl, let me tell you…

Well, God showed me this week that I am to do right because it’s right, not because I expect to be rewarded for what I’m supposed to do anyway.

I changed my mind verbally years ago to serve the Lord with all my heart, but I just made up my mind a few months ago that God deserves my best so that inevitably means I must disconnect from those who don’t have His best in mind. 

So recently I have had to disconnect from relationships I cherished because God said, “no.” While the reality of those decisions hurt,  I realize He knows what is best for me because when others chose to disconnect from me in mockery, gossip, or lies, He did not. That said, if you know the people in your circle are not on your level or higher spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, it is likely time for you also to disconnect accordingly.

©2013-2017 Nadia Davis All Rights Reserved.

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