Spring has always been my favorite season. I always loved the warm weather, beautiful blooming flowers, and pretty pastels that are unleashed this time of year. As an adult I've grown to love Fall for other reasons, but spring will always hold my heart. I've never been a lover of rain so I used to wish I could fast forward those April showers. "I can't stand the rain, against my window, I can't stand the rain," was my Anthem ok. I really remember singing this Missy Elliott song all the time. My hate for the rain was real.
“Ain't no feelin' like being free
When your mind's made up
And your heart's in the right place
Ain't no feelin' like being free
When you done all you could
What was misunderstood
It's all good
Ain't no feelin' like bein' free
I'm like an eagle set free
And finally I'm looking out for me
Ain't no feelin' like being free
'Cause my mind's made up
And my heart's in the right place”
This is one of my all time favorite Destiny's Child songs. I love this song so much and it fits perfectly with this weeks blogpost theme. Free! Galatians 5:1 tells us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ had made us free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage.” Man so much said in such a short scripture. This scripture was the the theme of our women's retreat. The retreat took place last weekend at Solomon Episcopal in Loeranger, La. It was such a beautiful place. Women of Freedom was our theme and chile when it was all said and done I felt just like the lyrics I recited of that Destiny's Child song. I felt free. All the yoke and burdens I had been carrying around somehow finally took and released from me. Who knew all it would take is one weekend? Really it wasn't the weekend that freed me. When Jesus died He freed me, He was just waiting on me to walk in that freedom. Are you walking in yours?
Obstacles in life are ever present. At some point in life you will go through somethings. I don't care who you are, you will face some obstacles in your life. See you couldn't tell me this when I first gave my life to Christ. I thought that because I belong to God and I finally knew it that I wouldn't have to go through hard things anymore. I thought that I was marked safe from all hurt, pain and circumstances. I didn't know that some of the same struggles I had before will arise again. “I am exempt from all things considered bad,” I would tell myself. “Because I belong to God, He ain't gonna let nothing unfavourable come my way.” That was truly how I felt, but something happened that I never saw coming. I experienced and still experience good days, bad days, ups and downs, obstacle after obstacle continues to grow in my life. Fathomed by the fact that God has allowed these things to happened, I began to pray, but not pray pray. Ok let me explain. I was like, “ Hey God it's me, you know your daughter, like I had just gave my life to you and I know you will protect me and bless me and keep me, but some stuff has been happening and I'm not sure if you remembered that I had came to you, like I'm yours, so if you will can you remove all this stuff and just replace it with blessings? Amen.” All I gotta say is thank God for growth. Thank you Lord for understanding. Because if I had been that same girl now, I'd be in trouble. Se3 my thoughts were when you give your life to God it was a trade. Like here God take all the bad and He in return would give all things good to me. Boy was I wrong.
I've learned that even as a Christian I will still face obstacles. It's not about what you go through but HOW you go through it. The bible tells me that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Although this is true, it doesn't mean that I am exempt from threats by these weapons. They definitely will form but God promised they won't prosper. But, what does that mean exactly? I'm glad you asked. It simply means things will arise in your life, but do not fear because those things will not kill you. This life lesson has been embedded in my brain ever since I learned this principle. I always remember my mom's utterance of the words “ what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. “ reflecting on my mom's words put everything in right standing. Becoming a Christian doesn't just take away all bad and replace it with all good experiences. Instead, I am faced with the same and sometimes new obstacles, troubles, trials and tribulations, but this time I know without a doubt these things can't kill me. God has me. He promised to never leave me nor forsake me. So when problems arise in my life prayer mixed with faith will get me through. Besides, I can stand on this promise all things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28. In other words YOU GOT THIS. Just last week I was hit with thing after thing after thing. I went to court for a traffic ticket and left out feeling like a criminal. I went to the doctor and learned that my job is making my health worse. I've been feeling like crap and my depression was starting to set in, but I looked in the mirror and remembered who's I am. I had to get myself together, “Yadie get it together sis. You know God got you. You know situations happen and troubles come. You know that everything ain't gonna go the way you want it to. You know this. So why are trippin. Stop crying, pick yo head up and let God do your fighting. Give Him the praise He deserves. This battle is not yours. Stop jumping in the ring when you were not built for the fight. God got you, and you got this!!
How do you face your trials?
Let me tell you this road to confidence hasn't been an easy one. I've gone from not loving myself at all to loving myself completely and wholeheartedly. Growing up beauty wasn'ta thing I correlated with. I always felt uneasy about having dark skin. Clororism was a big thing growing up and being of a darker skintone, I was always the butt of everyone's jokes. I've been called everything from a burnt black biscuit to just dirty looking. These jokes always made me feel horrible. I would cry whenever I was alone, but infront of others I sometimes laughed along. Yup, I actually laughed at jokes told about myself to mask the pain I felt inside. I hated myself. And I hated how I looked even more. Often I would ask God why'd He have to make me this way. Like why couldn't I be the pretty red girl, with the long beautiful hair? I played with the idea of bleaching my skin, but I thought that would make me look more foolish and my mom would probably kill me. I was black and had to just deal with it.
At home, my mom who was also a dark skinned woman modeled a completely confident exterior. Nobody had to tell her she was beautiful. She just knew it and she didn'tcare who didn'tlike it. My mom walked around like she was God's gift to humanity. She carried her nickname "Black" like it was a symbol of gold. I never saw her offended by the thoughts of society. She was who she was and was proud about it. Displaying this sense of confidence she taught me I should love myself too, but somehow in the mix of things I didn't believe her. Media showed me something different and I chose to believe it. One of my favorite things to do after school was run home to watch the box on television. The box was a continuance of music videos played on cable tv. I loved watching these videos because I am a music lover. What I didn't love was the lack of women that resembled me on those videos. For the most part the women were extremely lighter and always beautiful. The complete opposite of me. This made me side eye my moma like sis why do you think you're beautiful when obviously these girls exemplify what beauty is. Although my mom pressed the issue and never conformed to society's idea of beautiful, I on the other hand couldn't believe her hype. I just thought she was trippin. I never thought my mom was ugly, but I knew the way she felt about herself was a little outlandish.
I spent most of my life with this belief system. As I got older the feelings grew stronger. Most of my friends were always of a lighter complexion. I never told my friends but I was given the self proclaimed title of "the ugly friend." I believed so many people talked to me only because of my friendships with those two light skinned girls I often dragged behind. At somepoint in my adult life my feelings started to change about myself. I started to feel a little more attractive but still not beautiful. I was always afraid to have a daughter because I never wanted her to feel even a little of what I felt growing up. I didn't want her to endure the ridicule of a dark skinned girl. But slowly and eventually something changed. All around me I started to see more and more beautiful dark skin women. Before what seemed like dark skinned women were portrayed in a negative light were now being exalted into a positive one. Beautiful black women were on the rise and I started to feel a little more beautiful myself. Not only did the beauty surrounding me cause me to fall in love with myself but, the idea of showing my daughter the confidence my mom showed me as well.
I knew I had to be the example for my daughter. She is infact beautiful and I never want her to feel otherwise. I never want her to feel like her black isn't beautiful or see her mom downing herself. I want to exemplify beauty to her and the ways to carry her beauty. If I spend my life masking my true self then what exactly would I be showing my daughter? This quest to love myself has taught me so much. I now appreciate the way my mom felt about herself. She was being that example for me that I must be that for my daughter. My mom was unappoligetically her! At 31 years old I finally feel like I can be unapologetically me.
The want to feel beautiful started out because of my daughter but somewhere along the way I began to want to do it for myself. I had to learn that everyone has opinions, but the opinions of others has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with me. God made me the way He wanted to. He didnt mess up, I was meant to be this way. Others might think like I once thought that there's no way you can be dark and beautiful, but when I look into my on reflection in the mirror I am reminded that I am beautiful. When I look into the eyes of my beautiful godiva chocolate princess I am reminded of how beautiful dark skin can be. I am black. I am beautiful. I am woman. Hear me roar!