Ferguson

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I haven’t said much about the decision made in the Mike Brown case. I’ve liked and shared a few posts here and there, but haven’t spoken out too much on it, except for one post on Instagram. I decided to blog about it because it breaks my heart to see how much division this tragedy has brought. I see it throughout my newsfeed on Facebook, I see it in comments posted on peoples’ Instagram posts.

I am a bundle of mixed emotions. I believe NFL player Benjamin Watson truly said it best (link to his post: http://www.khq.com/story/27489010/nfl-player-benjamin-watsons-ferguson-post-on-facebook-goes-viral). Like Benjamin Watson said, it all boils down to a sin problem and the answer is Jesus.

What breaks my heart the most about all that has transpired in the Mike Brown case is everyone telling people how they should feel and that they are wrong for feeling a certain way. That is not right. You see, how someone who has had certain experiences views the events in Ferguson may be polar opposite to someone who has had very different experiences. Our personal experiences shape how we view various situations. That’s not to say one perspective or opinion is right and the other is wrong. It’s like my grandpa always says “Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one.” Everyone has an opinion about what has transpired in Ferguson, and that’s fine. However, it’s wrong for us to tell others that what they think or feel is wrong. What’s even worse is that we are telling others that what the feel is wrong without even acknowledging how they feel. That’s where we are making our mistake. The quickest way to get someone to shut down on you is for you to tell them they are wrong in how they feel about a certain situation without addressing what they feel or trying to understand what they feel. Because of this, we don’t have people agreeing to disagree. Instead we have more and more arguments, more and more hurtful words being said, more and more division. It shouldn’t be that way.

I honestly believe that if we try to see things from the other person’s perspective, acknowledge what they are feeling, and ultimately walk in love, there would not be so much division. Ephesians 4:15 says it best,

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”

For those of us who are Christians, we are ultimately called to a higher standard. This is a time for us to show our lights in this dark world. This is a time for us to show the world the love of Christ. It’s okay for us to be or not be upset about the events in Ferguson. It’s okay for us to agree with or disagree with the decision made. Each and every person has that right. However, we do not have the right to tell others how to feel or think about the situation. Also, if you feel that you can’t respect others’ right to feel and think what they do, then it may be best to not say anything at all in order to keep from sinning.

Each and every one of us hold multiple titles: daughter, son, wife, mother, husband, father, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, etc., but for those of us that are Christians, we are a Christian first and foremost and we must never forget that despite what is going on in this world we live in. We as Christians are here to show Christ and we have to remember that. 

The Holiday Season

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The holiday season can be a tough time for singles. You see family that you haven’t seen for most of the year and the first question out of their mouths is “when are you getting married?” or “are you seeing anyone?”. When you respond that it’s all in God’s timing and that you aren’t seeing anyone right now, you can see the disappointment in their eyes even if they don’t verbalize it or they may verbalize it, such as, “you’re not getting any younger” or “you’re biological clock is ticking”. Deep down you know your family means well, but hearing these things get old and sometimes downright discouraging. What’s worse is that you get that random “Happy Thanksgiving” text or “Merry Christmas” text from your ex that you haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, or maybe a few years. If you’re like me, you’re just like “really!?!?!?!” *rolls eyes*

This happened to me yesterday. Back in October I started dating this amazing guy. He literally was the whole package. Most importantly, I finally decided to do things God’s way. I prayed about him and did not do anything until I heard from God. For once in my life, I did not let my emotions guide me in the relationship, I let the Holy Spirit guide me. Everything was going great until the guy started changing. He literally did a 360 on me. I didn’t understand it. In the past when I was trying to do things my way, I would be quick to think that I could “fix” whatever was wrong with the person and try to make it work. This time I prayed about it and the Lord led me to confront him. After confronting him, everything went down hill from there. I didn’t understand it because I did things God’s way. I decided to end things even though it hurt. Now that I look back on it, that brief relationship showed me how much I have grown and how far God has brought me, and I honestly believe that is why God allowed this brief relationship. I submitted everything to God during that time, I was led by the Holy Spirit, and I did not compromise in anyway, which was a huge deal for me (see my testimony to find out all that God has delivered me from).

Okay, so back to the present. Starting last week, I kept getting this feeling that my ex was going to text me on Thanksgiving. I talked to God about it and was basically like “Lord, don’t let him text me. Even though I have moved past that situation and I have forgiven him, I’m not sure if I will respond in a Christ-like manner”. The days leading up to Thanksgiving, I kept telling the Holy Spirit that this must be some kind of joke, like this man is not bold enough to text me. Well, Thanksgiving arrived and I got that “Happy Thanksgiving text.”

Before I go any further into the story, let me break down the “Happy [insert holiday]” text from an ex. The holidays tend to make singles who aren’t content in their singleness lonely. They get to thinking about their exes and start thinking that maybe they made a mistake or they simply just don’t want to be alone. The “Happy [insert holiday]” text is a way of opening up that door to reel you back into a relationship you had no business in to begin with or that God ended for a specific reason. You see it doesn’t end at the Happy [insert holiday] text. It then goes to “how are you”, “are you seeing anyone”, “I miss you”. And then you find yourself in that dysfunctional relationship once again. So, how do you respond to a text like that?

I’m glad you asked. My response was simply “No”. You see the word “No” is a powerful word. It may be a small word, but it holds so much meaning. When I responded “No”, I was telling him “No, you can’t come back in my life without an apology and act like everything is okay.” “No, you don’t have a right to tell my Happy Thanksgiving after how you mistreated me.” “No, I don’t want to talk to you.” Just by saying “No” I felt so empowered. You see for once in my life I didn’t let my emotions rule me. For once in my life I wasn’t desperate for a man or his attention. For once in my life I finally saw myself through God’s eyes and knew my worth and knew that I deserve so much better, that I deserve God’s very best.

That’s what you have to do when your ex tries to pop back into your life during the holidays (or tries to come back in your life at any point). God has someone so incredibly amazing for you, someone who will love you as He loves you, but how can God bring you that person if you keep running back to your ex every time they come texting or calling you? If that position next to you is filled, God can’t bring you your mate. It’s that simple. Saying “No” is not easy, but it’s so worth it. Know your worth.

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”-Psalm 139:14

You were created by the all powerful God. You are one of His marvelous works. That means you are worth so much. Most of all, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. The fact that someone so perfect, holy, righteous, amazing, and so much more, as Jesus died for you tells you alone that you are worth so much! Embrace your worth in Christ. Don’t settle for less. Wait on God and He will bring you His best.

I can honestly say that I thank God for using this relationship to show me how much I’ve grown in Him and how far He has brought me. I remember how I used to be, how I used to be so desperate for a man to want and love me. I’m not that person anymore. I have Jesus who loves me unconditionally and honestly that is more than enough for me. As long as I have Him, I am good. Now don’t get me wrong, I still desire a spouse and I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, He will fulfill that desire. The key is to wait on God. Don’t take matters into your own hands and don’t settle. If you get an uneasy feeling about someone, listen to the Holy Spirit. It will save you heartache. If you’re dating someone who is trying to get you to contradict God’s word, run with the quickness! If you’re dating someone who isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated, then drop them. The enemy will send so many counterfeits during your season of singleness. In order to not fall for these counterfeits, you have to be on one accord with God. Your relationship with God has to be first and foremost. Pursue God like never before and He will show you that person’s heart and intentions. I’m not saying that the person that God has for you will be perfect because none of us are perfect. However, if this person has you sad or crying more than happy or smiling, then they are not the one for you. Relationships are supposed to add to your life not take from your life. Stick close to God and be about His business, and He will allow everything else to fall into place.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33