Seasonal Storm, Surrender, SIT & Sunshine
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
- Psalm 46:10
My family and I currently reside in Madison, WI ... and MANNNNNNN we have had theeeeeeeee craziest, longest winter .... there has been winter storm after winter storm.... the snow will start melting and the next day it ices over because of the below zero temperatures and thennn the snow falls again by the foot!!!! There has been little to no sunshine .... and mannnnn do we need the snow to STOP falling and the Sunshine to come out!!!
For the past month I have had my own personal storms and struggles. I have felt all kinds of emotions.
ALL THE EMOTIONS ... THE STRUGGLES ... THE ANX!
I was excited when we held our very first brunch & Bible build-A-Beauty Summit Fundraiser in my home to raise money for women in shelters.
I was THRILLED when brunch & Bible launched our newest Bible Beauty Bunch at Howard University in Washington, DC.
I have been so interested in seeing how God is going to use my new fundraising venture as a Noonday Collections Ambassador to fund infrastructure for b&B and JI.
I have been stressed at the fact that I haven't had funds available to meet mine and my families basic needs since I left my job to run after this purpose that God has gifted me. A purpose that puts strangers at the center of my heart. A purpose that makes me hunger and thirst to share Jesus Christ with others so they can have a relationship with the King and the Kingdom. A purpose that makes me want to sit with young girls everywhere, everyday and pour into them. A purpose that never stops giving....
I have been overwhelmed by the fact that my family has been called to serve my hometown of St. Louis in ministry. This means that packing a house for a family of 7 to relocate across 3 states has to happen in just a couple of months.
I have been sad at the thought of leaving fRamily (friends that have become family) that we have acquired during our 4 years of living in Madison.
I have felt unqualified to lead such an army of women within JI and b&B. Building the infrastructure that is long overdue and so needed right now for both of these organizations.
I have been so scared by my book Go,Fight, Winning! that I have selfishly been holding onto for almost 5 years. It's completed, it's been launched ... and yet somehow I still haven't mustard up enough courage to put 1 single copy in anyones hands.
I have been disobedient in my call to speak as the professional speaker that I was birthed to be.
I have felt fear and anxiety sit in on my purpose.
I have been curious to figure out ways to go back to school and pursue a degree that has absolutely nothing to do with my undergraduate degree ... and financing this venture .... blahhh
I have felt super unpretty as I have gained dozens of unnecessary weight due to stress, lack of thyroid management and self care.
I have felt unsupported because I have nobody whom I can truly voice all of what I have felt. I have had to face the hard reality that I am NOT a good friend. I don't talk on the phone nor connect with my friends because I put my work first. I haven't been able to show up for my friends and their major milestones because I never seem to have the resources/funds to do it.
I have felt like a Pinterest Life Hack Failure! LOL ... my Pinterest profile stresses me out... smh! It's so unrealistic -- but for some reason I am determined to prove myself wrong...one of these days.
I have been devastated by the news of my step-dad... better yet my dad being hit with the need for hospice care after battling with cancer for over 3 years. He has literally been here for the birth of all of my kids! Has been a father figure in my life and my husbands life. He has loved my mother beyond measure. He has embraced my sister, myself and my brother with so much love, care and concern
... BUT GOD ...
I HAVE QUESTIONED MY FAITH! ... AS A BELIEVER OF GOD'S POWER & A SEEKER OF HIS TRUTH & A KINGDOM CITIZEN/AMBASSADOR .... IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO FEEL ALLLLLLL OF THIS AT ONE TIME, IN ONE SEASON, IN ONE MONTH, IN ONE DAY?
HOW DO I FEEL THIS WAY AND STILLLLLL KNOW THAT GOD IS REAL! I KNOW HE IS WITH ME! I KNOW HE LOVES ME! I KNOW THAT ALLLLLLLLLLLL DDDDDDDIIIIISSSSSSS IS GOING TO WORK OUT FOR MY GOOD.
AND STILL I WANT TO SCREAMMMMMMMMMM..........
.... having had a slight breakdown via family text thread with my mom and siblings about the future of my career/education/purpose .... and instagram messages with my husband about my health & fitness .... I realize it's time to SURRENDER & SIT.
... S U R R E N D E R ...
TODAY ... I am in full surrender to God ... I realize that I can NOT do all things by myself. The day that I was supposed to come to STL to be with my mom and dad while he was in rehab I had the sharpest pain in my back that paralyzed me for the evening. It took me one hour to get off of the floor to be able to stand up... then it took me so much time to walk down the hallway and I had to turn around because I couldn't walk. My oldest son Peter had to help me with EVERYTHING. My husband had just left for a missions trip to Haiti and I was left home alone with 4 of our 5 kiddos. It was the worst. This pain persisted through the next day and it took me forever to be able to get on the road home . I was determined to get home to be with my parents. I was able to make it on the 6 hour road trip with 4 kids in tow and spend time with my parents. Then it was time to lay down ... I did and couldn't get back up! The tingling in my left leg and foot kept me down... I couldn't roll over due to the pain in my back... I couldn't do anything!
After doing some brief research and speaking with family and friends .... I have come to terms with the fact that I need to fast to make space for God (I know this, just being hard headed) and detox to allow my body to reset.
...I feel that I need to be STILL ... to SIT & Wait on God...
I have been in this season before with storms and attacks happening ... and it is so simple ... it's because I am "BUSY" ... I am not busy in vain... but I have been so caught up in building purpose that I have neglected self-care ... and my first step of self-care is spending time with God. I have not spent quality time with my Savior this entire year. I will give Him a piece of me, but not fully surrender my entire being to sit undistracted in His presence.
When I am intentional about sitting before the King ... my heart, soul, spirit, mind is fully set on Him! Within a matter of minutes God takes alllllllll of these emotions/worries/concerns off of me and He owns them! He gives me peace about every SINGLE thing listed above. He gives me a blueprint which in turn ends up looking like a scribble scrabble road map that my infant son has written -- yet He and I know what it all means. God makes a way when I feel that there is no way. But that is what God needs from us is to need Him. He wants us to know that HE CAN DO ALL THINGS and that it is NOT our job to try to figure things out, to worry nor to try to make it happen.
.... STOP AND SMELL THE SUNSHINE ...
The enemy is a sneak ... he will use anything to knock you off of your purpose. I would look at social media like wow, she is skinny, healthy and living her best life kid and husband in tow. I was becoming envious of women who were going after things that were best for them .... while I felt that I was putting everyone before my own care. I would be so annoyed with people self-promoting and acting as if all was well with every aspect of their life. The lack of non-transparency IRRITATES me so much because it gives off false positives to others. Nobody is truly vulnerable to share in the season that they are in. How do people heal when we aren't dealing with the truth? Everyday is not Sunshine and roses ... there will be seasons full of storm after storm after storm .... and how do we make it through those seasons???
DURING STORMY SEASONS WE MUST:
1. SURRENDER TO THE WILL AND TRUTHS OF GOD.
2. WE MUST SIT WITH HIM AND WORK THROUGH THE BLUEPRINT THAT HE HAS GIVEN US.
3. KNOW THAT SUNSHINE WILL COME -- EVEN IF IT DOESN'T FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS, THE SON WILL COME OUT!
THERE WILL BE STORMS & THERE WILL BE SUNSHINE ...
-- Work diligently through both of them!
-- Do not grow weary - that part is so, so, so hard ... if you are feeling weak pray for endurance and that God takes the heavy load.
-- Find a community that supports you in all seasons. brunch & Bible -- is a great space for women to connect. It's where we obtain & maintain an intimate relationship with Christ.
If you are feeling any type of anxiety then please call the Suicide Hotline -- they are well trained to help you and connect you with resources that fit your need. Don't feel shame ... these services exist for a reason! You have nothing to be ashamed about!
I am praying for anyone who may be overwhelmed with emotions in this season who feels like there are great things happening then also super sucky things that are too heavy to lift. I am also praying for myself, my fast and my detox so I can be the best woman I am designed to be in this season.
Please keep my family in your prayers. You pray for me, I pray for you!
There will be a Pt. 2 to this post.... I am sure of it.