My Ragged Bible

my ragged bible

Sunday mornings are my love.  I am ashamed that I haven’t written this year. Forgive me. As I sit here meditating, reading the word, and other reading tools that help me go deeper into God’s word I notice my Bible. I notice how worn it is, how the tears, nicks and picks have crept in over the years. I notice how the binder has completely ripped and the back of my Bible, my ragged Bible is falling apart. I notice how the faces of the women appear bubbled, out of focus and I smile. Well I tear up and smile.

The appearance of  my Bible is a replica of my worn-torn, war –wearied, heartbroken-heart and healed/healing soul. God has watched over me. God has pushed me; He has talked to me and He has loved me because He promised He would. His capacity to love us without the pull of guilt or you owe keeps me hinged to Him. God gives value to our souls.

In reflection, I purchased this Bible on July 7, 2007 and inside I wrote, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.” (How God works.)  I began studying more of the Word in an effort to save the beginnings of a crumbling marriage; we had not made it to the seven-year mark. I wanted to find solace in the One Belief I trusted…if I just prayed hard enough—I would not break my vows. God could still trust me with the big things. I yearned for the big things. God will turn our selfishness into His greatest opportunities. Oh, how things got worse the closer I became to God. We were divorced two years later. Nevertheless, my Bible was still intact, still looked new.

My journey to return to school as a Business Major, older and as a single parent of four was challenging. Many a night, this Bible was read, yet not felt. We are required to read, to study, to show ourselves approved. I cannot tell you when the binder ripped but it hurt when it did. I refused to tape it, to add anything to it to fix it. I let it be —I just carry the pieces together. (How God works.)  Recently, my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling was granted on March 1, 2018. You would think He and I are even…that I have done the work and all is now within the realm of completion. The master’s program journey was devastating. It tore me apart and put me back together so different than I expected. My thought, let’s let the blessings flow, Jehovah. (Laugh) Nope, smh. I have submitted my application for certification in Clinical Pastoral Education—to be educated in spiritual care. I am not a minister…yet my gift is to care for those who are.

I am so far out of my comfort level. Shoot, I have been for years. These next steps of my life are huge and I am terrified. I am alone. This past week, I have endured so many attacks, spiritual attacks. It has been a whoa-Jesus kinda week. So much so that my deceased parents have visited me in my dreams. My mom, “You’re taking care of everyone else. Don’t lose sight.”  My Dad, “You’re’ not alone. Stick with it, Michelle.”

Yet, my ragged Bible, this ragged Bible, my, “Aspire, the new Women of Color Study Bible.” My ragged Bible is in pieces, tattered, pages bent, filled with love notes written by my kids; highlighted words that hem my heart…written for purpose of guidance, written for purpose to encourage, written for the purpose to build, written for the purpose to heal…my ragged Bible, is written for the purpose to initiate and cultivate purpose.

Our need, our individual want to prosper, to be better in life, to live brighter than yesterday cannot be done without Him. I encourage you to find your niche and allow God to incorporate the work, the journey; the balance required to live your greatest life. Again, I write, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.”

Each time I read the story of Jesus healing, the man born blind I receive a number of different insights. My favorite verse, John 9:3, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might displayed in his life.” This had to happen. Our things had to happen. Our must go through is required. Know that what has become increasingly clear to me is that without self-evidence, without the pain and heartache, without the disappointments, the hurt, without the journey, without painful, historical insight I could not share with you that prayer —our relationship with God —is the very breathe of our greatest human existence. Spend some time with Him, your way.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Heart Faults, when we break.

In any relationship, manipulation is the highest form of betrayal. We will have to stop eating everything that is fed to us…even if its silver spoon fed. We grow watching, observing and living to our parents and family wishes. We trust them. Believe them without reservation. When we live our lives only by observation, and with their expectations without knowing their wounds, their whys our foundation will crack.

Respectability and accountability are requirements for the things we want in life, what we require from each other. Jesus’ mandate was to love one another as we love ourselves. His commandment sounds simple enough yet I believe it is one of the most difficult challenges in our faith walk. Loving self is a lifetime journey and it becomes more difficult to do when we break. The longevity of carrying pain, damaging pain that steals your joy and stills your heart is not loyalty. Do not lose Self in your love of someone. Our definition of love has to be redefined at times for every relationship is different. I hope that you create, prepare, equip and fall in love with your perspective of love….for love does not destroy you. Remember it. Keep your personal definition close to your heart. When the fires come, you will be able to fall back on a firm foundation no matter the cracks.

Dr. K E Garland has written, “The Unhappy Wife” a book that solidifies the undoing of each woman’s heart within matrimony. The book is a collection of short stories of 12 different women and their intimate soul reveals.  I love how the book is not about failing marriages yet more about individuality and how meshing, merging are important without losing Self.

Intimacy should be a bond that transforms and grows us individually and with our mate. It is inhumane, to not be touched, or reassured in your love. Intimacy is more than sex, more than means of procreating, its right smack in the middle of the whole scheme of things. As you read this book watch how their lives differentiate from their initial dreams, from their wants and how they live, survive within those differences.

My friendship with this author, reading her book leaves me indebted to her. She writes truths that the reader unveils whether we are single, coupled, or married. She understands the schematics of how we love, how we believe with God and that the one-billionth prayer will somehow magically fix the ones we love to love us back. As I shared with her, “We have to do better” for ourselves, our daughters, granddaughters for all who are connected to us. As well as for the honor of a unique want that becomes a spiritual yet legalized covenant.

One thing I did for myself many moons ago: I stopped labeling myself as divorced within conversations, on applications and within my definition of self-love.  That word, that status carries an overwhelming heavy weight. Drop it. Move forward. Love self so that you are able to love others, equally and with compassion. The Unhappy Wife by [Garland, KE]

You are able to purchase, “The Unhappy Wife” here: www.kegarland.com. It will be one of your best book purchases this year. I promise! KE Garland’s blog link: kwoted.wordpress.com/

Please post your feedback here, encourage KE Garland on her website and blog-site. I would love any commentary on this book, this post and your heart faults, please share. I teach a monthly workshop on Identity for Women of Faith and our sessions have been remarkable. So this read, this reflection has me ever so excited for our future. It all circles back.

Keep healing; it recipriocates and removes the fault lines.

Intimately worded,

A. Michelle

Carved New Horizons, Opened Doors

 

 

angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou                                   April 18, 1928-May 28, 2014

 

 

Cooper

J. California  Cooper         November 10, 1931- September 20, 2014

 

Nikki

Nikki Giovanni               June   7, 1943

 

Toni M

Toni   Morrison                                                                                       February 18, 1931

 

images

Gwendolyn  Brooks                           June 7, 1917-                 December 3,2000

octavia-butler-photo

Octavia Butler                                             June 22,1947 -February 24, 2006

Black Women Authors expanded, continue to expand my  world.

The authors shown above are my favorite. Hopefully, if you haven’t read their work you will make time to do so. Wondrous works.

                                        Black Women Authors, Writers….

They mend our souls over so many obstacles, over so many other things, for so many years. Soul-reachers. Soul-Soothers. Confidence makers. Our next-phase- encouragers. Hope-pushers for the discouraged. Dream creators.

                                 Girl. Teen. Lady. Woman. Queen. Wisdom.

                                                         We are royalty. 

Our “I am” Warrioresses….we know how to hold on, we know how to let go, how to breathe…with their words. Words grouped into stories, poetry, truth fabricated to educate, enhance, imagine, explore, to start, to stop and to begin again, to finish.

Soul-reveal reads! They are our forever writers. Ase Ase.

Celebrate Herstory. We are amazing by choice!

A. Michelle

 

 

Sunday Brunch…..the Sabbath

Sunday BrunchI am sitting here thinking about my Church life, my pastor and my parents. My pastor is due to retire next year….I am sadden, happy, proud and grateful for him and his wife. His leadership is more than phenomenal. He is 76 years old and still preaches two services every Sunday. I have never had to call him for anything personal, never had to reach out to him outside of the Church. Yet, he and his wife know my name. No one knew me personally at the Church, yet when I joined six years ago it was him and his wife that were standing up for me (as my family)…..it felt like home. So many Waxhaw, Momma & Daddy feelings, flashbacks at that time.
Today, after Church I am standing and talking with a friend. She is telling me of her troubles with her daughter who is in college. We talk how it is a growth experience for the parent and the child. College is difficult. Parenting a child away from home is difficult. Our pastor is making his way towards us, shaking hands and speaking. He says to her, “Tell her we sent her to college to get a degree not a dude.” Oh how we laughed. She told him to call her, talk to her. He said he would and writes down her number… “I will call her and give her some communion. You know when you take communion it is sacred. Imma speak  some sacredness in her life.” We laughed, she thanked him. Immediately, the mother relaxed, confident he would carry out what he said. She is a single mother; a weight within itself and he lifted that weight with a promise to call. His leadership does so much more than the eye can see.
 I have never felt the need to ask my pastor for anything outside of church—-I gained what I needed, the prayers, the advice, the structure, the teaching, weekly in his sermons, any church activity–even when he attended the basketball games. But I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate any of it; Sunday, the Sabbath, friendships, opportunities of serving, loving thy neighbor, worshipping, Church without my parents, my family. The circle of life…..I don’t know why I am thinking about my daddy so much today but it is good. We are where we are, intentionally, spiritually.
Be found loving,
A. Michelle!
P.S. Nap times are crucial on Sundays. Smile, take one. It is a national requirement.