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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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wholeness

Embrace What’s Right with YOU!

I’ve always been one to find errors immediately. On signs…in books…on television…in speech…I’ve had a knack for correcting things since I was seven…always considering other, better, and more efficient ways of doing most things I’ve observed. In fact, I have to purposely make myself not read my posts at times because I can’t help making the corrections (I know there are errors- for now😇)…so if you have eagle eye for errors…you’ll notice some…at least for the last year I’ve been intentional that way…I use ellipses often so I’m not bound to the tight writing in most things I prefer to read…I attempt to use slang…it started because of a meeting of minds I experienced not long ago…I was told to stop editing myself...I’ve tried…for months I failed…I hadn’t fully surrendered then…

That post is right herehttps://1betternotbitter.com/2015/04/19/quit-editing-yourself/

Fast forward to my now…I realize what I used to call a curse a blessing…that my keen attention to detail…about something being slightly off center…or the use of words like “lie” instead of “lay” when a reference is made to an object an obvious error to me a plus…how even when I was a child I boldly corrected my teacher for telling us there had been only seven types of dinosaurs…I was seven…she should have known better and since she didn’t act like it, I raised my hand and told her so. I was respectful still…unconvinced she got my drift when she insisted I was wrong in front of the class, I brought to school the encyclopedia I’d become fascinated with by age four to show her how wrong she had been indeed…expecting an apology Mrs. Turner just refused to like anything else about me that year…I suppose then as I do now…I expect honesty…to me her excuse that she lied to us was because our grade level would not have been able to understand that much didn’t make sense… I did…so I suppose that’s when the lie that I shouldn’t be so smart was planted…shortly thereafter I was told to be shy…called shy, but God made me to be bold…

I understand now how much of a disservice I’ve done myself and those I’ve met over the years because I chose to dumb myself down for fear of rejection

More about that one is here: https://1betternotbitter.com/2016/09/01/it-was-never-rejection/

I’m not speaking from a place of regret, but of awareness. I understand that a well-rounded education requires pits in the process so I’m grateful for the transition now that I’m seeing it from the other side…

Necessary Evils they are...those lies planted by the enemy in the guise of well-meaning elders or not so well-meaning bullies…those who might have called you fat or ugly because of the beauty others saw in you or that you once saw in yourself was too much for them to compete with so they chose to beat you up because they wouldn’t dare fathom the insurmountable task of perhaps asking instead, “where do you get that joy? How can I be like you?” I know all too well that bullying doesn’t stop with high school or even college…that if you believe the lie that you’re weird, stupid, not good enough…it doesn’t take long for one to find you.

Bet you didn’t consider yourself your own bully, huh? Yep, too often do we become our own biggest critic because someone in our lives posted something…said something or perhaps didn’t say something we thought they should have…regardless of how the seed was planted…we still have a choice…

All are the result of choices…my wholeness is one choice I had to make myself…no input of naysayers or any others…I had to decide to be me…to love me…to receive all God designated for me…to embrace everything right with me...I wouldn’t say I’m a genius, but I truly believe God’s blessed me with the ability to do anything well…He gifted me with the ability to see the errors because He knew I’d be instrumental in changing the scope of His world…attention to the details of the forgotten ones has always been my draw…I was the one to befriend the new kid…to still speak kindly to the one everyone talked about…I was the one wondering the why behind their condition…

I can laugh now because even then God had been forming my heart of compassion for the broken, for the un-churched, for those in church, but feeling shunned…even those so weakened by church hurt they refuse to go back…I used to think I was too sensitive…that I shouldn’t care so much…

I’m so glad I’ve shattered that depiction of me…that I realize my love for others is a gift from God…and how the pain of who I was pretending to be was what was really hurting me all along. Being who you are is the only way you will ever be truly whole.

I understand while people may murmur about the things I do for others when at times I have nothing to spare but time is just part of who I am.

So when I consider all the things that I observe other ladies and gents doing to adapt to “societal”norms, I have to wonder whether the only change necessary is one’s perspective of said society. Rather, perhaps what needs to be adapted is the minds of those individuals…then they will see themselves as God sees them…No, not as those who “say” they represent Christ sees them, but they will know they’re seen with mercy and compassion…seen as His beloved.

That said, focusing on what’s wrong is overrated…from now on do yourself a favor and embrace what’s right with you!

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Delays and Detours: Not Now Doesn’t Mean Not Ever!

Single Lane Ramp…Use  Caution! Lane Closures Ahead…Expect Delays…Merge Now!

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You might have found yourself involuntary acquainted with these signs on the road. I simply must add an additional half-hour or more to my commute to make it wherever lately. It’s been a frustrating, yet a necessary daily process that the “powers that be” deem will make the rest of the journey a lot smoother so I endure.  I couldn’t help but consider this situation through a relational lens though.

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The way you embrace your season of singleness has a way of shifting your perspective on a lot. That said…Not now doesn’t mean not ever!

I have learned to gracefully accept this notion.  My delay has been for my own good. God was protecting me…FROM ME!!!  And if I’m more honest, He was also protecting my future spouse from me too. Yes, I said that and meant that. Honesty is a beautiful thing!  Since I’m brutally honest anyway…

Stop counting the days! The weeks! The years! The others who have gotten married although you feel like you’ve been dropped on the island of misfit toys! (Yes, Grammarians, I know those are fragments…moving on…)

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What we deem as “long enough” may be in God’s estimation, “just getting started.” I’m not trying to discourage your dating exploits. Rather, I want you to get to the root of the matter of “you.” After all, of the failed marriages and relationships you may have experienced, there is one common denominator:

YOU!

I’m not calling you out without considering my own journey now so don’t get it twisted…I have had to get reacquainted with myself too…And yes, I’m still single.  While I know my own single season is coming to a close soon, the difference between my now and my then is that before I was just healed.  Now I am healed and whole! There is a difference!

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Yes, hurt people hurt people, and even healed people heal people.  Regardless, even a whole person CAN NOT make another person whole! Only Christ can fill the voids in you so you are suitable for the man or woman He has designed to complement you.

That means the issue here is not how long you have experienced a delay in your “wait” for a mate. Rather, God’s concern is whether you are whole and whether the person He intends for you is also whole. The detours and delays are there merely because construction is in process and until the roads are clear–meaning both parties are emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and yes even physically ready to receive one another– your safety and the safety of others requires you to take alternate routes at times. And yes, just like in traffic, it will take a little longer to get to your destination than you may have originally intended.

Have you allowed God authorization to reconstruct you?

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Detours and Delays!!! Who needs ’em? Who wants ’em?

In a way, we all do and don’t. No, I’m not contradicting myself…just take the meat and spit out the bones. What I mean is that though we generally do not want to be delayed in any process, especially relationships, detours are necessary sometimes to ensure we actually complete the process safely. If a bridge is out and there is no lane closure, the results would be catastrophic! It’s not very different from the results of a romantic relationship that lacks boundaries. So the next time you see the sign to detour when considering a potential dating partner, make the decision to take it with grace and expect delays knowing that not now does not mean not ever.

©2016 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

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.

 

I Know Not…

A while ago my prayer for wisdom seemed a simple request.  Almost immediately I found myself tested.  Questions about relationships, finances, wholeness, and a fruitful spiritual walk arose daily.  Ironically, all of which were areas I deemed myself woefully deficient.  Yet I was on the receiving end of such anyway.  Perhaps those who asked of me knew me better than I knew myself at the time.

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There is One who knows me best.  God does. He answered my prayer for wisdom and discernment.  I expected to wait longer like some of the prayers of years passed. I’m embarrassed to admit the burden I requested…for people to look to me for answers when my own mind seems adrift most days in a sea of known things I desire to forget….

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Since that prayer many months ago, conviction has been my constant companion. Discernment has kept me awake  many nights and I’ve found myself still unable to grasp the “who” that I am. Instead, my mind has jogged between the must dos and must goes…yet today, my heart stopped.

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I had no answers.  I didn’t know half of what people expected of me.

Before her illness, I thought I knew His plan. In fact, I thought ours were identical.  Yet God’s lacked what mine was full of…Omissions…

  • My plan conveniently withheld the discipline required to possess a submissive will.  
  • My plan included the gifts without the opposition.  
  • Yes, my plan outlined the desires of a tattered heart, but still passively dismissed that Christ really did have the ability to make it beat again.
  • My plan had several emergency exits.  

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This journey has forced me to rely on God’s provision day by day.  So though I resisted before, now, I’ve made the choice to fully surrender my plan to His.  I admit I really don’t know the next step!  Regardless, there is one thing I am still sure of…without His guidance I simply don’t know enough!

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All rights Reserved.

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