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.

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

This Doesn’t Feel New: Anxiety

Sundays are my favorite, always has been my favorite day of the week. Last week, I awoke with #panic. I experienced a panic attack at 4:09 a.m. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 15 years. I am the best at coping, at righting my wrongs and at times the desire to perfect my surroundings will get the best of me. I have a lot going on; I believe we all do.

It is now March and this Year doesn’t feel so refreshing to me. It’s as if I’m starting over to start over. I’m beginning to get stuck in the hard parts. What is #new isn’t stagnant, its moving and it is not overwhelming. Everything is weird, good weird. I’m internally grateful. It all seems rather uncertain, better and yet undefinable. Four years ago, I was working towards my licensing and no panic attacks doing every thing “right” to make sure I achieved my goals. Perfectionism isn’t the goal yet our thoughts will force those habits to occur. Then again nor were we living in a Pandemic nor was I a working therapist. Anxiety hits us so differently and unexpectedly. I can tell you I’m thrown off of the balance I believed I had achieved. I feel guilty that I experienced a panic attack.

I’ve come a long way. I know I have. My bond with my #Sister-friendships have deepened even though there has been significant heartbreak for us all. Panic attacks are happening to the greatest of us…it is weird when we’re the strength of our families. My love shows more when I am unable to therapy those I love. (Your therapist friend cannot be your therapist.) I love in so many other ways and I’m proud of my Sister-Queens for understanding that, for being there for me in ways they may not fully comprehend.

I remain extremely busy yet I love seeing the breakthroughs. One patient, older, has scheduled a face to face session in office for next month. They live several hours away. Patient: “I just want to see you. I’m getting out more this year. Imma fix myself up and make a trip of it. This Zoom ain’t it for everything. Can I see you in office?”

I love and require the guidance I receive from those I am connected to, my Spiritual Advisor. Her: “Send me your spiritual goals. I want to pray for those same things you want.” My heart smiles. #Heartwork So I’m not so far off course yet this panic attack has me reflecting on where I am, mentally. My heart is healing, my intentions are pure, my soul is unlearning what I theorize as the Black Woman Syndrome. I surely do miss my mother.

Continue to take your moments; stop seizing the day when your Well is leaking. I take my moments when my teen daughter asks for her pictures when she was 6 years old for a school project. I take my moments when my son drops off my granddaughter so he can shoot ball and our habits become a group text about how and who is the meanest. Koda, Sir Pup continues to argue with his big self. Brutus’ voice is deeper, he’s taller and is frustrated because I purchased Cheerwine instead of 7UP.

Our struggles do not have to become so weighted that we lose the truth of who we are. Trust your give, continue to do your work. Be gentle with your soul again. Trust your Self, even through this and each time your soul is stretched. God doesn’t pile up the heaviness…we neglect to release those things to Him. Be mindful of your words. How are you treating You? #SoulImage

Intimately Worded,

~Michelle

#31DaysOfPrayer ♥️

Continue reading “#31DaysOfPrayer ♥️”

For She Loved Much

This weekend I am off (this is so rare) and I sat on my patio…felt the breeze of the wind on my skin, I did not have to rush anywhere. No counseling, no assignments. The weather was unexpected– cooler than it has been. I noticed the blue of the sky, the green of the leaves on the trees…my recently planted peppers are starting to bloom, my flowers not so much. I breathe. I smile. Daily I commit to reading my Bible, as well as some different devotional books. In reading the excerpt in the Bible of Jesus raising a Dead Girl and healing a Sick Woman, Matthew 9:18-25, a couple of things placed me in a thoughtful mode. Women are powerful and oftentimes how we are is marginalized or interpreted less than positive. During my reading, I tend to analyze and associate my life with the lives of the women in the Bible. Not perfect but faithful. I am far from a Biblical Scholar; however, I am forever a student.

Nowhere in the Bible was a woman isolated –left alone. Even when Hagar ran—ready to give up, desperate to get away, to die even with her child: God sent her back. He promised her better yet He did not explain how it was going to get better.  He was sending her back to what she was running from. She went back; she obeyed…blows my mind each time I read it.

Of my experiences, I know abuse of any kind left unchecked will affect different levels of our lives within different phases. Our childhood despite great parenting may and will dissipate; melt into an intangible, become creased with pain, often sadness will occur, coupled with unworthiness and suspicion. What we learn and what we know due to our experiences will become a part of us –it all keeps us—often we use “it” as a protective barrier.

We, women, we isolate a lot. We pull away. I know I keep the broken pieces hidden well. Through the years and yes it has been years I am learning that transitioning from the emotions of girl-like deadness to continuous healing, to vowing to live and love complete is work. #soulwork I am learning that I have learned to accept rejection –my way, with my own definition. It is difficult to re-frame, remove and grow in your healing. There are different aspects, camouflages we self-incorporate in order to mask what we know, what we will not acknowledge as well as to what we hold on to. #heartwork

“Don’t be so loyal to your suffering that healing doesn’t stand a chance.” ~ginamoffia.com

In the times of our deepest pain, the assurance of God’s presence can provide comfort, a comfort that without our knowing commensurate with current and past pain. He is All-Knowing. The great thing is even in our moments of desperation, we tend to develop a genuine confidence in our Higher Power, certain of His power to heal, to make things better. Within my desperation, my faith is undeniable; faith is my driving force regardless of my circumstances. I was told once that my faith was wonderful…this weekend I am leaning towards believing that.

Back to the strength of women, we are nurtures, we love: the woman with the issue of blood, her condition is desperate both for medical reasons and because of its social consequences; her ostracism would extend even to her private life, she was alone, isolated in her being, within her illness.  Yet, her faith trusted her to not make herself known, not to call for Him but to press forward within a crowd of people to touch,  just touch the hem of His garment. Her faith, her belief in the possible was her healing.

I encourage you to push pass any significant pain that causes insecurity, anything that is less befitting of your future. All may not go as we plan or how we hope—do not allow confusion to outweigh your perhaps. Press forward, hope for greater and above all keep going. Pursue your healing, evolve with His promises…allow healing to persist and remain present. Be better in getting better, for we love much. {Luke 7:47}

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Embracing the Future

Throughout my social media outlets and the way I choose to live my life—I would be remiss to not acknowledge the difficulty of transitions.  I have encouraged and will continue to encourage the process of transitioning …at this moment I feel as if I am tirelessly transitioning and it seems in the most difficult yet aimless way. It hurts. It is lonely and it is tiring. I know that my emotions are temporary. I’ve’ been holding it together for so long and all alone that at this point in my life I feel as if throughout the years that all my working is culminating in me grasping at pieces.

Transitioning is a journey that is quite intrusive at times.  So many different phases to it yet it is purposely unequivocally predestined and purposed. Reflecting, I know that the choices we make ultimately are a reflective of  our wants, wishes, dreams and hopes. How those choices play out are God’s options and opportunities of freewill resulting in continuance and evolutionary progress. #selfacceptance

I do not speak much about being a single mother not from shame or out of the need of setting an example. I believe I do not because it is the biggest part of me and the status of motherhood is my most honorable to date. I attended my graduation a few weeks ago— sorry for the delay in posting. #transitions

 

 

I believe the photos speak volumes of the love of my family, what my tribe exhibits. Achieving my degrees while raising four of the greatest individuals is one of my greatest accomplishments. They are so proud of me and I am so mom-appreciative of them. The two oldest ones are becoming great men—other than my father—the greatest I’ll ever love. My daughter, my one and only is by far the gentlest and genius warrior of her generation. My youngest, my Brutus is all of them in one body.  Wow! I have a Masters in the professional field of my purpose. My mornings and days are different. I have been “working” for so long at times I am quite disturbed my all this time I have to be, to do, to grow, to bond and to love without deadlines…it is simply amazing. #Counseling #Therapy #mytribe

When it turns cold and rainy and your way is unseeable…learn to enjoy those moments your best possible way—it is your challenge to grow—in strength, in self-examination, in self-awareness. God brings us exactly what we need whether we realize it or not. Do not worry if what you see ahead does not quite add up. Go to your heart, act and react accordingly. Listen. Sometimes within there, in your heart place, sits a request for a deliberate inaction.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9

“Trust and act on the guidance you have now, and more will come.” Melody Beattie

 Intimately Worded,

Michelle

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

Fractured, yet Healing

Intimately Wrded_picDecember 31…the last date of every year. I believe it to be more. It has become the date in which we tend to count our blessings, regret our mistakes, total up the losses. A date in which we ruminate over in regret…decide to regret or make executed decisions to do better while hoping for a grander life than previous. #2017

What if December 31, symbolizes other than “more”? What if December 31 meant to pause, that we actually live within the momentary time of gratitude. No adjustments, no planning, no goal setting.

My December 31: I am fractured, yet healing. From here, I will continue to grow in my healing. I will continue to let God have His will, His way regardless of how I feel, how dramatic I may get. Regardless of my hurt, my guilt, my disappointments. I will let Him win this for me…this life, these expectations.

What if? I know that God’s love for us is bigger than we realize. What if, I just take this date, this last day of the year to let Him love me with His thoughts, His plans for me…for they are never to harm me.

This thought process has not been easy to achieve. My hurts this year have been gargantuan and not because I am wrong or off path but because He has more in store. Tonight, I will see my life from His perspective—fractured, yet healing. #perfectlyimperfect

Vulnerability is not an easy path. At times, the vulnerability is to get you where He wants you to be…His best work is when we are open, wounded while processing. I have learned that there are connections I cannot be without; spiritual connections do not break. {bfk}

I have learned that God’s opportunities look very different from ours. I am learning that getting closer to God does not necessarily mean that I know Him in the depth and realms He knows me. It will hurt, remaining on your path. Yet, you must remain however fractured your soul is. We are forever healing, forever growing in Life processes.

December 31, you are on the right track. Trust me. #Trust Him Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. May this New Year bring you face to face with God’s purposed plans for your life. I wish you prosperity, grand fortune in love, happiness and peace. #continuedblessings

Intimately wrded,

Michelle

When it all hurts…

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#SaturdayReveal…yesterday I allowed the whole world to rest in my heart, all of it at once in one frail moment. That’s painful. And it was okay although I felt vulnerable, weak and so disappointed in self. (I was leaving my second job and en route to my intern site.) I am learning that the part of me that I keep hidden from the world is what this world needs the most. It’s also the part of me I neglect the most.

Everyone is seeking approval in different forms, in ways from you that you are not aware of. At times what they seek from you is their hope of the love you will have for them. They want you to okay them in their stuff…I’ve never been able to do that. I can’t right your wrong. I can’t make you feel good about what will eventually break you. People chip at your greatest gift in an attempt to make it theirs. As I am blubbering to my friend and apologizing for taking up his time (there is no way I am coherent) he reminds me of my Selfcare, he reminds me of my good and he reminds me that I have been pushing so hard for the last 10 years and all of it alone. One thing he didn’t say was to quit. I encourage you to keep going. I remind you that your Selfcare is paramount. I tell you that I know God is in control and that none of this stuff goes unnoticed. {Greater is He that is in me.} I also know that there are more of the good people in your corner than you have the audacity to believe. The Ones who believe in you…you keep going for them. Continue to do your best work while carrying out your Selfcare. At times your Selfcare has to adjust with your growth and your purpose.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10: “7 Our bodies are made of clay, yet we have the treasure of the Good News in them. This shows that the superior power of this treasure belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. In every way we’re troubled, but we aren’t crushed by our troubles. We’re frustrated, but we don’t give up. We’re persecuted, but we’re not abandoned. We’re captured, but we’re not killed. 10 We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus is also shown in our bodies.” and  2 Corinthians 4: 16-18: 16 That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. 17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. 18 We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.”

I’m not quite sure if I am  thriving in this new environment. What I am realizing is that vulnerability is one of the greatest stretches of trust one has to survive in.

Intimately Wrded,

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