Give Me Strength to See

“A mind that is stretched by new experience will never go back to its old dimensions.”–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

I am aware that my blog life has been a “You betta do it” and “I will” task listed for the last 6 months. The last half of 2018 exploded in gratuitous blessings. My eldest son married in September, I became fully employed as a licensed therapist in September as well. Transitions are phenomenal, overwhelming and hard work.

Acculturation is difficult—in spite of degrees, education, life experiences and anticipation. I want to tell you that it has been without difficulty. I would love to tell that serving each population has its rewards. In addition, I would like to say that therapy and being a #therapist give way to a functionality of balance. I would love to tell you that working within my purpose my calling, my gift is not painful. What I feel that I need to tell you, what I am required to address is that I hurt …am hurting; that oftentimes I lose my way …that most times I am unable to see the good and that at times I am unable to see the good in the fight.

Although, therapy is Life—my heart. There are most times I knowingly need to be pulled away from it. How ever my heart may break especially when “The System” wins and even with the knowledge of how it works, I will allow it all to eat at me. I ask God to give me strength to see, to comprehend, to think differently, and to continue to affect change, to impact to empower all the while healing and progressing in the field of therapy. I am currently watching a marathon of #LivingSingle. The episode filmed in 1996 –when Khadijah’s (Queen Latifah) character starts to feel a great deal of pressure and her mother tells her to seek therapy. Treating Black Women as a Black Therapist is not easy. Honestly, we are the most difficult population to reach, help, teach, and to carry an expectation that I am being a good therapist or merely a buffer —a sounding board for their pain creates an unyielding wound inside me.

I believe teaching people a different way to think, a different way to be that leads them away from toxic beliefs, toxic patterns and toxic behaviors is soul consuming. What I am learning: I still have to prioritize the middle, rationalize the murky parts and learn how to evacuate the Me-isms and keep an open heart. It is all difficult. God give me the strength to see…when its dark and when its uncertain and when its all not within my balance. Our current experiences are not where we finish. Keep the resolve. Keep the love in mind.

Yet the sweet moments come…sweet moments come that are unobtrusive, that are delicate; that coincide with God’s, “This is why.”  When sweet moments come, I advise you to breathe and breathe some more. At times, it is not about continuing the work yet more about “seeing” the work. Do your work.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Being Michelle

Stuff, the inbetween stuff…28 years later

 

Dawn Michelle

What I have learned in the past week, change is inevitable. I know this is not new and exploding information but the older I get the more I realize how set in my ways and within certain thought processes I have the tenancity to remain. I am in wonder when the little things bring me more enjoyment than frustration; that my little tweaks and Michelle-isms bring more joy than all the other stuff.

  • Yesterday, I am asleep before my granddaughter. Her parents went out last night. She and I had a wonderful time together until about 9:00 pm, by 9:04 I was asleep. I really did try to stay awake. She remained wide awake. She is getting so plump and so mean. When she is hungry, she lets the world know. Auntie Autumn, my daughter kept her the rest of the night. Darius, my son, her father does the pick up. He was not surprised about my bedtime: “Momma can’t never stay up.” I would like to add I am up very early, when everyone else is asleep.
  • My “Me time” makes me a better person for the life I lead and the life I want to achieve. I enjoy the strength not to push it aside, deviate from it. My routine: prayer time, devotional call, children off to school and then exercise. My “Me time” prepares me for my day, for whatever the good, the bad, the surprises, the “what will be” and for everyone else. I do not have the answers to all that happens but I am learning the wisdom to not control is a required balance in being exactly where God wants me to be.
  • I am learning that I am happy and it is not because of all the things I have completed or the past mistakes. I truly believe I am happy because I choose to be. I am, because my faith has made this moment greater than yesterday. I am, because if I made it pass all of that other stuff, the bad stuff, the immature stuff, the pain, and the hurt I am going to make it to the next good stuff, the God stuff, which has no limit.
  • I am learning also that I have a tendency to make others laugh, and at my expense. I never identify myself as a short person. Yet, my children and others find it very funny that I cannot see out the peephole or is it funny that I am in denial? Either way, I slightly laugh with them. (Hee hee ha ha.)  My children are marginally taller, except Brutus who has a way of calling me, “Michelle” and that has him rolling in the floor. I have no clue why. I laugh with him too.

I think we should be inclined to prepare ourselves to enjoy the little things. I had lunch with a friend Friday. I will confess, the younger Waxhaw-home grown-rooted-Baptist me would have never went. In that lunch meeting I describe my life ending with, “My life is pretty boring. I don’t do drama.” Him: “I beg to differ. I think it’s rather exciting. You are a great mother. A good woman. There are not too many good women out here. You are quiet just like you were in High School.” I smiled. I will take it.

I don’t think there are limits to soul stretching. I think we brake…break because the plan isn’t working the way we thought nor how we planned. Our greatest assets develop from our not knowing. Love your life, continue to do the necessary to make it better. You just have too. Kisses!

 

 

Something New, Teaching.

Last week I began teaching teenagers in our public school system. I was so scared, still am. At times, I still believe this something new is all going too fast. This something new has affected all facets of my life. My life is changing. Things are different. I am different…softer in my approach or retaliation to others. There is so much training on what not to do that it is easy to lose focus on how we are to be….with children. They are children, little people trying to figure It out too—so many of them without any help.

Teaching is not a role new to me. It was never a desire of mine to teach. My parents told me I was good at it. As teens, we believe parents tell us what we can do because they love us. However, teaching requires a great sense of responsibility and that I did not want. When the thought of teaching Sunday School became more than just a thought I fought against it with so many belittling reasons. I am not good enough. Who am I? Why me? I am not smart enough. The greatest one, if I teach I truly have to live what I am teaching. Lol! Every night of training, I had to push myself to go into class and each night as I was leaving I cried the whole way home. Three years later, the butterflies are still there but the love I have for learning and being able to influence others toward God’s love quietens the fluttering.

When I started this job, every morning as I traveled toward school, I prayed for strength and protection. Every afternoon, while leaving I thanked God for strength and protection. Whew, I made it! While driving home I reflected on each day and I smiled. I wanted more. I am still smiling now. They grabbed my heart. Those children, other people’s kids grabbed my heart. They have given me the greatest hope and that is of finding ways to influence their lives. Yes, they are at times loud, sneaky, disrespectful, and cautious and closed off. Yet, for those few, there are more who just want you to listen, encourage, show concern, and hear them.

Oh these little minions are easy peasy versus warring with God about my personal preferences. Finding my way and living out my life well that is the hard part. Becoming a better person while in a difficult transition requires brutal self-honesty. Learning to love where God has you requires dependency, trust, faith, forgiveness, hope, determination…..and so much more.

My something new reminds me how God loves on purpose. A former colleague and a great female leader emailed me when she knew I was teaching: “Doing something you have passion for is the true key to success!!!” She is right. Be encouraged.

Always be ever expecting in God’s better.

Writer-Mom-Child Advocate-Blogger-Teacher,

~A.Michelle

Crossroads, where I am.

Phewwy. Yuck. I do not enjoy being here at the moment, in this space. At the Crossroads. At the Crossroads, no, no, no. New Crossroads, a little better for a title I think as I am writing the posted blog. If we pause and truly think about it we all are at a crossroads. We each have to make daily decisions that will impact our tomorrows or with some personal duress, someone else’s. As we try to live in the moment we are also planning, processing, progressing for tomorrow. I know God is intentional. I know that anything we go through and will go through has not taken Him by surprise. Oh, but can I have a physical, touch it, know it plan, Jesus??! Oh, then the scripture of Faith is dropped into my hearing, my spirit.
My heartbeat in these new crossroads has a rhythmically odd thumpty-thump-oh-my-pause pace. I am uncomfortable in this season of my life. I don’t quite understand it. I am dumbfounded and unable to encourage others. Daily, I would send affirmations via personal email and Facebook to friends and family. My give back from God; a morning aspiration for the past five years. It would seem after all I have done, been through and all that I have tried and am trying to do I should be able to do what I want, get what I want without question. Without this unbelievable stretch of stillness in time. “Be still and Know”….and still I whine, stomp my foot and pull at His shirttail “But God, do you hear me?”
I am advised to “sit” and hear God. Listen to Him. Pray for the next right move. Yet, I assure you I’ve always tried my best to do that. After twenty-five years of growing up in the country—where we had to travel to another city or town for groceries; where lights and the television were shut off during a storm; where a whooping came like the summer rain, unexpected—sitting still, listening to God is what I would know best.
I don’t say this to those who encourage me because I would come off sarcastically inept and insensitive. “Have any of my decisions been made without Him?” Whether I was obedient or not, I still made the decision with God in my mind. I did what I wanted knowing God would reprimand me one way or the other. As faithful as He is this free will He gives is the ultimate Aha. Conscious, that Holy Spirit “uh-uh” isn’t funny.
I have been given the greatest of opportunities: to be home. I take the Little Ones to school. I’m home when the Little Ones get home from school. I am able to write for hours at a time with no interruptions. I am able to help with homework. I am able to do my assigned homework and give my all instead of rushing to complete a 6 page essay on a one hour lunch break. (Grad student. The geekiest fun is a pressured deadline.) I have time to study and enjoy my Bible lessons in order to teach Sunday School. I have Time. Time to fulfill the dreams and opportunities I have always wanted without stress.
The children are great successes in school. My GPA would make you smile and say proudly, “Well, will you look-a-here.” Yet, here I am stressing, not sleeping, worrying, and crying. I have Time! And I am the most frustrated organized, got-to-have-a-reason-right now, obedient, hopeful, why-me-Lord woman in all the Earth. (That’s my personal opinion.) Oh, I forgot educated. Big sigh.
My Life! My own individualized because God loves me scratch pad has just been erased. I can’t see. I don’t know! If I knew I could do. I can plan. I can “Michelle” my way. Oh, how I want to “Michelle” my way through this. Oh well. God knows best. He does. I believe that. I know that. I have witnessed it over and over again. New career. New Pastor. New Crossroads, that’s where I am….on the other side of God knows best.

Walking by Faith trying to See around.

Me,

A. Michelle.