Hearing God—-Through Panic

Hard week with work and with Life. I had to make some hard decisions, not difficult just hard. There is always something. Something to do; some place to be; somewhere we’re required to go. Oftentimes, our to do’s are monotonous, familiar—then they become something bigger, different, something new. #Challenges. As I reflect, I’m asking myself did I pause enough to hear from God? Follow my intuition? Did I rush to solve due to my soul’s discomfort?

I have a lot on me as a single parent. I believe we all have struggles; I’m my human me with struggles. Financial hardship—any episode of lack or substantial amount throws me a huge crippling gut punch. I do not like it; I know this so I prepare; save and prepare. I am learning different aspects of my fears, concerns and love.

I love structure. I love familiarity. I love better, I feel better when knowing the how and when of things exactly. I prefer being able to “see.” I know I am at a different stage of my life. Lately, growth seems like soul stretches and the pain burrows deeper than the latest experience. I know blessings. I know God for what He is in my life. I know the good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, none of it feels like it is happening the way I want or pray for—His will, grace and freewill just shows up for my better and intentional. I’m learning to take deep breaths better. I’m learning this heaviness is not mine alone.

I know beauty as well. I know how the rhythms of life come together to heal us in those secret places. I know there is no emotional depth in which God cannot reach me, teach me. He loves me, my perfectly imperfect self. I believe Love works differently for each of us…allow it to work for you even in ways that seem foreign, real different and not necessarily the path you’ve envisioned. I’m learning not to suffer, unnecessarily. There’s no way for me to out love or out-know what is before me or what is manifesting its way towards me. I know my panic to be just as real as my faith. I’m willing to unlearn the old, the familiar. I’m no longer comfortable with avoidance. I have the capacity to study myself with love and gentleness.

I pray your new week gives way to clarity of your next steps. I pray the pain that keeps you stumbling is removed. I pray you give healing the options your soul deserves. I see you. I love you!

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

#MichelleMoments: Where are you in your faith? Are you doing well in practicing your faith, exercising the strength of your faith walk. I like to think I am practicing my faith with love. I was taught the stronger one’s faith the better we become in creating an intimate relationship with our Creator. Some of the answers we seek do not come easy, yet they come. Trust your pathway; it is personal.

Falling, Loss & Love

It started snowing here last night. Snow falling is beautiful. I awake feeling healthy, well-rested. I love the light of the sun and snow. I smile; reflecting on my tasks for the day. I answer a few texts  and roll back over to snuggle, rest. I am learning to curb self-doubt, therefore, I am going for more writing opportunities. I have a writing project to edit and review. I need to blog and post/ podcast. Later it is Family time, celebrating Darius’ birthday.

I read the news of Regina King’s son and my heartbreaks. Now, I’m just kind of stuck as a mother, as a woman…my soul is wounded for her, for our children, for humanity. We have our heroes and often we believe them to be untouchable, not perfect…different, untarnished by Life’s woes.

Death is hitting everywhere it seems and often close to home. A friend lost his nephew last week. He told me, “I can’t stop crying.” My patients suffer with the loss of loved ones. Weekly, daily, I hear of death and I’m never comfortable with the trauma of it—be the loss kin or unknown. Grief, significant loss can plummet us and keep us stuck in so many emotional and mental ways. Learn to mourn, to grieve your way. No one gets to time stamp your grief—there’s no right way to do this. We love deep and different. The impact of our love ones hits different. Grief is complex and it will become different. Cry as much as you want or need too. Know that tears are a release, not a weakness, not of failure.

Remember them well. Love does not cease…it carries, moves, heals us toward the unseen and unknown. Keep your Light. You’re not wrong in your love. Continue to love softly. We are all trying to figure this all out. May your days include you caring for your soul. I’m going to bake blueberry muffins, prepare some soup and love on the ones who love me. Time is short; love well.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle 

Wading Through It All

My thoughts before and after….my intimate prayers are layered: “I ask for complete healing. I pray for a good report of the mass being benign. I ask, that You, Father, Creator, to be with me in whatever I may experience and or hear Thursday.” My tears have been unstoppable on most nights upto Thursday morning, 12/23. Thursday morning, my sister picks me up and we head to my appointment. She is told she cannot wait with me in the waiting room due to the new variant. She returns to the car. I check-in and go to the furthest corner of the waiting room and I begin to cry. Well, there is just too much time between waiting and seeing the doctor so all these thoughts occur. I worry on how to do this. I worry that my prognosis is going to be the worst. I worry that I’m too young for any of this…but that’s not a new worry. I feel as if all of my life I’ve been too young for all that has happened in my lifetime. I laugh-cry reminding myself none of these thoughts sound like your prayers. I pull myself together just as my name is called.

My nurse gives instructions to change and states she will be waiting by my door. I change. I cry some more. I exit the room and she’s waiting. Nurse: “Are you ready?” I respond, “No.” She patiently waits until I am. She smiles. We proceed. She goes over all the medical jargon, expectations and how to take care of myself after. I lay on the table, staring at the ceiling as she begins to locate the mass. Nurse: “I can’t find it. I’ve moved all the way to 12:00+.” (I pray some more, believing God has heard me, answered my prayer.) She’s trying for about 5 more minutes and she finds it. The mass moved from its initial location at 2:00-3:00+ (3 weeks ago) to 1:00+. I’m unsure what this means but I think it is a good thing the difficulty she has locating it. (They determined the location of growth/mass by clockwise direction beginning at the center of the areola.)

Dr. comes in and states: “Your mass is in your areola. The fact that it is moving means that there is fluid inside and that usually means benign. That is not definitive you will have to wait for confirmed testing.” He begins to explain the procedure, the sounds I will hear…..he is kind, his voice comforting. I turn my head, close my eyes and practice my deep breathing as they numb the area. I think they can hear me and it bothers me that I think I am a hindrance. I grow quieter. I stay focused on my breathing and not the pain in my areola; my thoughts: it’s not in the deep parts of my breast. I’m still lost; running back and forth from faith to fear, from fear to faith. “Red Rover, Red Rover send Michelle right over.” Once all was over, I honestly can say I felt better after the procedure than I did going in. My results come Tuesday, over the phone not in person. (Coronavirus Measures 101) Deep sigh again.

Biopsy Christmas. Grief. Loss. Another isolating round of this new variant-Pandemic-ish living. We’re not blindly going into this new year yet we’re exhausted. I pray that we will faithfully say goodbye to the fear with renewed perspectives of ourselves, of our humanity. Yes, 2022 is coming in heavier than 2021. I believe prayers, the fact that we have to be inclusive, insightful of all that is happening around us, those things occurring far away from us and within us is quite a spiritual undertaking; it is becoming traumatic, at times depressive. We turn more towards self-defeat and question our whys, neglecting our purpose. We’re not wrong. We are weary. Our souls ache, we are wounded souls.

I hope that you find yourSelf wading through when you’re not able to stand, lean, pray nor comprehend. Our answered prayers do not always reflect what we ask yet they seem to always be what God knows is for our best, at times our betterment and more often than not what we have the capacity to receive. Trust this timing of your life….ask for what you need…love even the more. We’re not lost. We’re finding our way.

Faith read: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Spiritual/Self-Independence: Unlearning

Bone Deep: Self-Acceptance

In my thoughts…I think this health struggle has thrown me back into the mentality of struggling, of always having to fight. I’m forgetting a lot of my structural things: forgetting to wear my mask consistently and wondering why everyone is staring at me; driving anxiously—having to concentrate on where I am going, budgeting/being really frugal because I’m frightened of not knowing yet anticipating the good of things. I hope that makes sense. I’m exhausted after errands, after a full day of work…when those things were easy for me. Socially, I’m inept, depleted.

I had gotten into the self-care thought pattern of going to the gym; looked forward to it. Thursday was a true struggle. I went yet I did not see the point in going in that moment. I’m losing weight…my favorite pajama pants fell of me while I was walking. I worried first, then laughed I still haven’t thrown them away. They are laying across my bed. I remain, faithfully in #transition.

No, I don’t have physical symptoms. There is no lump; only the knowledge that there is something there. My struggle is not only mental—the spiritual aspect of it has me reverting to, “Why now?” I stopped asking, “why me” as a teen. As I mature spiritually, I believe God’s love for His son personifies His love for us; He endured so much more.

I trust God’s divine timing —He is at His best…even when I think He’s got me in the valley of things. I’m rereading past writings with wonder and questions that turn me towards my relationship with Him. I do not feel distant. I feel a little lost with the how; the what else and currently the resigned acceptance; okay.

I wrote the paragraph below, April 29, 2019 5:42 am:

“Do not out-position God thinking you can not do better….that your right now is greater than His way, than this path you’re currently on. Review where you initially felt an offset, an unsettling. God didn’t stop there; why have you? Our insecurities can show up in so many different ways. Trust where you are; embrace the position, the possibilities. His grace leads to so much more. Believe Better. His love is greater.”

I do find joy in reflecting on my past writings, it gives way to self-wonderment and the depths of growth. I’m looking more within, giving pause. I hold space for Sundays, for my spiritual self and for my writing soul. What keeps you holding space, grounded in your peace?

Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned; the flames will not consume you.”

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

The In-between

#MustHaveJoy

*This a repost from my IG page. Weekly, over several years I encourage by posting SaturdayLove reflections. It gives me opportunity to share my thoughts and my heart.

#SaturdayLove: What a week! A huge amount of different emotions: the trial, the verdict, our response and we still live with everything that continues to happen.

We’re giving on empty. We’re loving on experience, traumatic experiences. We’re running on fumes. We’re hoping…Faith-ing our way through. Our in between is frayed. #Breathe

I turned more into my Family, my dreams and my work this week. I began to measure my milestones, taking mental inventory of what I want and who I am; reflecting on how this world affects me. My weariness, my faith and my hope are intertwined. I smiled. I can’t ignore the World. I’m not built that way. My heart is this ever-evolving rhythmic thing. Our humanity is in questioned and I am aware that it always had been and will continue to be. I still remember when my parents were the #CareGivers and I was safe. No worries.

This world continues to get bigger in so many different ways. #CollectiveDisturbance
My faith will too. There’s so much more we are required to give. Refuse to give/live on empty. Find and heal in those spaces that trigger you, bully you. •SelfCare. •SelfLove. •Recovery •Rest
Know that it isn’t selfish; it is necessary. We’ve got so much more work to do. Pace yourself. Listen with love. #SelfHealing

I pray peace in your struggles as well as peace in prosperity. Continue to find your way. Know what works for your healing…what and who supports you in being loved and loving.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle💞

#BeAWholeMovement #GetBackOnYourGangsta #YouAreSoDope #DoYourWork #Queens #SelfDefeatism #Struggles #SpiritualWork #Heavy #TraumaResponse #Women #Family #Parenting #BlackParents #Mothers #Friends #BlackWomen #Love #Therapy #Racism #Love
.
.
.
#BlackWoman
#BlackWomanTherapist
#Thriver
#FreedSoul

July: Healing Humanity

Our 2020 has gut punched seemingly on a weekly basis. I’m proud of how we’ve endured and persevered. WordPress sent me a congratulatory notification two days ago stating that I have been blogging for 5 years now. Wow! I am appreciative for the courage to share my thoughts in such a creative process. Thank you to all who like, follow, share and comment. I value each of you.

This year has had me in such a weird place that writing seems foreign to me. I haven’t been neglectful in writing—there just doesn’t seem to be an easy flow of writing to where readers will be empathetic to comprehend my soul pieces. I hope that makes sense. The political disconnect (truthfully it has always been there), CoVid19 continues, Systemic Racism (woundedly, it remains), Police Murders of Black Lives (#GeorgeFloyd) was not the first and the revolutionary resurgence of Black Movement. #BlackLivesMatter

#Spiritual Wellness…I made major moves this week. I’m doing a lot more focusing on the things I want and requesting those things that I require. I expected some push back on this one request and I didn’t receive it. In a talk w/ a colleague, “Michelle I’m not sure why you expected push back. You are the most sought out therapist here. Look at your location. Every location I visit you’re the only therapist that remains booked. Yeah. No, you’re not going to get any push back.” 

I looked at her strangely. I didn’t get the big head. I became even more humbled. There are times I have no clue where I am in all this. Oftentimes, I miss me. This week was a Monday’s Monday–every day of the week: I listened to a patient apologize yet defend their idea of “All Lives Matter while Black Lives do not matter.” (Actual words: “Black Lives do not matter.”) The more they talked to their Black Female Therapist, the more racist they sounded. I wrote three individuals out of work—mental health has become an issue for the majority; I was threatened “jokingly” while in session and I reported my first case of child abuse to DSS.

 This ‘work” just doesn’t leave me yet it doesn’t become a part of me either. It all causes me to pause and reflect. I move into gratefulness. I think who I am and how I am leads me toward the moments of difficulty, gives me strength and causes me to recognize where my strength comes from. I think if  I had the ability to shake it or become numb I wouldn’t be who I am as a therapist. I believe serving as a therapist has to be one of the most difficult things I had to do…and become. We’re always becoming, evolving; trying to be better than yesterday. This role as therapist is difficult while being purposefully rewarding; so many pieces of me are required. 

In my personal reflection, I notice how we neglect ourselves to make ourselves available for other people. One previous Saturday, I woke up unsure if I was getting sick or if I was just worn out–mentally and physically. I was more apt to believe in the first option, that I was getting sick. In wearing these masks my face has begun to breakout, coupled w/ stress I think it’s natural to assume illness. I needed to rest and reset. I’m going to find my space in this. I’m committed to finding my space in this. I continue to make room everyday as well as set new boundaries. I am selfish with my peace.

I pray that in our moments —those moments that we find difficult to get up that we move towards our wholeness. As we continue to be whole there is no stopping point of movement, of increase. We gain ground. Continue to gain ground. In your grounding: you may have to Reground, Reframe, Reset, Process, Breathe…Love Anyway. 

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

No Failure in Faith

October

Autumn Falls

Walkways are filled with leaves of colors

Change is touchable, All-seeing

There will be many curves and turns in our lives but there is no failure in our faith walk. I reflect on the thoughts, dreams, and goals I tell God about and only God. Those dreams that break and only God and I know that they break. Albeit, the dreams that did not meet my request. I am not in a spiritual hold up and not doubting God in what He does. Yet, He is the only companion that knows my heart and when my heart shatters, and hope falls apart; He is still the only one who knows of those particular heartbreaks…that is where I am. In this place of trusting Him anyway…no matter what the difficulty is and in spite of the pain. The path of in-between.

What I know we cannot run in the dark. We cannot love on empty. We cannot trust without promise. We cannot engage in love when we have no understanding of the problem. God’s timing, His perspective is so much grander than ours is. His concepts are for a greater purpose and most times, we have to wait. Most of our waiting is a work on self. God grows us into what He requires of us. At times, the thing we are working diligently on is His opportunity for us to see Him. Trusting Him is without default.

Do not engage with people who pull you further away from God, further away from what you believe in and the God you trust in. Do not engage with those people. Be an example more so than wanting to prove who you are. Resist the fight to prove when God is leading. #spiritualtransitions We know we are where we are because of Him, because of His love for us. Let Him do the rest—fight those battles of unprofessionalism, judgments, ill will towards us. #levelup

Welcome October, each day with expectancy—trusting Him anyway. Be perfectly imperfect, trusting God through the kinks, knockdowns, upsets, the falls and the breaks. Those moments matter the most. Let us continue to build from there—shining and being a light for others…setting faith standards.  {Hebrews 11}

Intimately worded,

Michelle

From Crux to Flux… Part II

Early Saturday morning, just before it gets hot and icky out, I sit on my patio. I exhale; drink my water. I watch how the breeze plays with the leaves and gently touches my skin. I see the tiniest tomato growing on my tomato plant…its small and green and blends with the vines yet it is there. I smile remembering my Mom’s garden in the country. I frown remembering having to shuck corn…the “hair” and the worms you unveiled just flat-out gave me the creepy crawlies. Yet, eating the cooked corn was one of the greatest hits of summer. #yummy  I love nature, the simplicity of it, of how it all works in unison.

Garden_little mater
My little mater. #proudof mygreenthumb

Nothing stops…seasons change, life breathes new as much as it expires, our pain is continuous yet we heal. God whispers to us when we are at our lowest and when we find just the perfect moment of peace. He is ever so indicative of being seen for such an invisible God. Without difficulty, when we are in an existential crisis and cannot see Him we have no other option but to feel His presence.

Pain does not stop. We can both lie, dwell in it as well as allow it to be our entire reason for living. We have the choice to live within the healing process. I choose to heal and to continue healing. Healing is never-ending and it is without compromise. The beauty in brokenness—if I want to heal with love, with expectations, with hope I must do so without compromise. I cannot cheat you and heal. I cannot increase your pain and heal. I cannot stop loving and heal. I cannot forgive and love on purpose. Somehow, someway a part of this curative process is to understand the why. In addition, we cannot live there.

My flux…I am at a new internship site that helps adolescents and adults live with their eating disorders. I have never worked with this population and it is a great learning curve for me. I am completely fascinated, mindfully and spiritually overwhelmed. This is different and no the remedy is not simple as getting one to eat. Eating disorders are physiological and psychological. I am there 4 days a week—analyzing and understanding why clients are suffering with the basic necessity required to live. I have a great part time job. I have a huge gratitude for working with like-minded people. They are professional and so kind. I am near to finishing my first book. I am transitioning. I am healing.

My crux…Quitting at Life is not an option. Just as gardens cultivate, achieve, inspire where they are planted, we too must do the same. When God whispers it will be all right, it will be and just perfectly so. While watching nature I reflect of how holy God is. He is not some Fix-it King nor an entity that just repairs. He does so much more than our minds can phantom. How He intricately set the number of our days and count the hairs on our heads yet leaves it up to us to do what we will. His gift of freewill has no limits. We limit ourselves, create our own little boxes of our wants, we hold on to the familiar—pain, confusion, chaos, and our wants. We continue praying for what we want lessening the power of His intentional purposes for our lives.

Garden_God whispers
My little garden: tomatoes, some type of flower and a little basil

Get unstuck! #BelieveBigger God has a way of imparting and manifesting what we think are weaknesses into the greatest triumphs of our lives. Continue to love with care and heal according to the trust God has for you. That is not a heavy responsibility…if the thought does not bring you joy than that is where you need to heal. #mindyourmental

Intimately written,

Michelle ©

Wonderful work and a Great Start

The National Alliance on Mental Illness recognizes the potentially deadly consequences of when police respond to calls involving people with mental Illness. That’s why the organization and its nearly 1,000 branches across the country are working diligently to encourage a more robust training of police in the area of mental health. For police, it’s hard […]

via North Carolina to Require Mental Health Training for all Police Officers — Praise 100.9

Flux to Crux…Part I

©©When it hurts to write (my number one love), when it hurts to counsel, when it hurts to breathe…within my crux. My well is dry. My give is limited. My encouraging spirit, well it is in wound. This is new. There have been times in the past I was unable to write. This is different; my life experiences are genuine, unique. I try my best to learn from them and move forward. I hold no ill will towards anyone.  This is more than hurt feelings, more than depression, more than overworked, more than transitional. All of me is in such a painful turmoil; my thoughts, my spirit, my body…yesterday I cleaned my face with fingernail polish remover. Smh/laugh, I did.  Yet, I know this is more than I need a vacation phase.

I am not sure what this is, what it means. I quit social media for a minute. I have been fasting since May. I have taken the necessary steps to welcome this transition and yet it seems I am still failing.

My flux—Monday through Wednesday schedule is when I give all of me to others. Monday: work, see clients, facilitate grief group. Tuesday: work, see clients, and attend class. Wednesday: work, see clients, facilitate divorce group. Thursday: work, work on proposals, homework, more counseling projects. Friday: looks like Thursday. Saturday & Sunday: self-care days…even with some sort of training—in ethics or sex trafficking and conducting prayer hotlines. I think my self-care is suffocating because I do not know where I am at, who I am becoming. In addition, how is it possible that there is more to life when it all hurts?

I am alone in my crux. I see, hear so much hurt. From planned suicide to displaced wives and children to grieving individuals. Their hurt pains me so much and I know to run, walk, talk, pray for them outside of my counseling sessions. I do not carry their weight although the heaviness is substantial. I could list all my credentials, my leadership roles, my accomplishments, my wants yet it still is what I did —not what I am doing. I have only the premise that I am in the middle of something huge and I cannot go backwards nor move forward in front of God. It all frightens me.

“There is nothing My Holiness cannot do.” ~Marianne Williamson

Fighting for joy…to keep it…to live with it and in it in spite of what I see, of what I hear and no matter the mistreatment keep fighting for joy. My purposes are my purposes…God-divine. When things come up hard, when reasoning makes no sense, when everything seems to fall short, when the fluxes of this life overwhelm we must remember all that God requires is never easy. Jesus, His son suffered more than anyone. He set the standard for being obedient to God’s will. He won. His victory is for us to win as well.

There will be times I cannot be all to everyone. There will be times my spirit of encouragement is nil. There will be times when how alone I am in this world flattens me. (When Daddy & Momma are gone, it is a whole other kind of growing up.)

I do not talk. I do not complain. I encourage. I smile. I cover up. While in this transition phase one person said to me: “There’s something behind that smile.”  I broke down. I cried. Not those hard cry just silent tears. There is my brokenness. There is the pain of being told my last seven years are a farce. That my struggle, my fight to be a counselor is of all things–unethical.

Normally, I have a few choice words for people who intentionally harm or disrespect me. I have my say. I am my best advocate. Yet, this time the weight of others, of it all, of this journey made me pause. I give. I give a lot. I give out. This time, for this moment I gave in. Whammy after whammy is depleting. The core of everything I am, everything I am becoming has to be fought for and I am tired.

“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he[a] will answer my complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT)

 There is peace in my wait. There is more of me in my wait. He is there for me in my wait. I awake smiling. I enter my space, my chosen time alone is outside where I can see, hear, smell, touch, breathe in His love. There is where I begin…within my crux. I am trusting God to do His possibles for me and for you.

His grace.

Intimately worded,

Michelle ©

Fyi: For those who do not know I am in the practicum/internship phase of achieving my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 

Beauty Selfie (2)
Beginning 2009 or 2010

 

Michelle_June 9 2017
In between June 2017.  (at my daughter’s graduation from Middle School.)