Getting to the root of who you are and what you’re capable of will change you. Period. Full stop.
You can’t tap into the very thing that will allow you to operate at your best without making some changes. Living into your essence will make you quit some things, leave some things, pick up new things and ultimately be who you are truly called to be.
This work requires access to the Holy Spirit though. The Spirit will lead you and guide you. Prune you and nurture you. Strip you and rebuild you.
So be aware and beware. Do not start this process if you aren’t ready to change.
But if you’re ready, go ahead… Cue the Transformation!!!
Typically, people have a tendency to put the plan down, to stop working and to start their weekend early.
Here’s the thing, Friday’s are not a time to ease up. The grind requires that we stay focused on our goals. The grind says that everyday is an opportunity to wake up and do something good. The grind should remind you that today is just as good as any day to get the work done.
BUT if we are only focused on the grind…we will lose.
Our minds possibly. Our hope that things will come to pass. Our passion.
That’s why the grind requires faith. Faith pushes us to a thing. When we activate our faith in conjunction to the grind, we can move mountains. When we have faith in God we are able to wake up most days and say…
“God, you got this!” “God, I trust you to turn my grind into a favorable outcome!” “God, my faith is in You, so pour out your promises on me!”
Faith without works is dead, so works without faith have to be empty actions.
We celebrated and cued the confetti… We planned so we cued the grind… But we will have nothing to celebrate and the plan will be null and void if we don’t
It completely blows me how we have begun using the term “Peaceful Protest.” In my opinion, there ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest. They are loud and disruptive even when we just sit in silence on the hot pavement for 8 minutes and 46 seconds remembering the amount of time it took for George Floyd to die underneath the weight of a cops knee.
Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.
I distinctly remember the girl in front of me shedding tears as we sat in the heat. There was another person nearby that kept breathing loudly. I felt antsy and kept thinking, “This is taking a long time.”
Of course it was a long time – A long time to choke – A long time to gasp for air – A long time to sit and watch because you’re too afraid to help for fear of losing your own life – A long time.
There ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest.
It’s disruptive to the spirit. We shouldn’t even have to be out there. And yet, here we are, yelling, marching, speaking, singing, chanting and sitting in anguish waiting for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to pass by.
Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.
It’s disruptive to the world. Somebody won’t be able to drive their regular route. Someone will be annoyed by large numbers of people gathering to speak their minds. Others won’t understand why now during a pandemic. Doesn’t seem like the police care about killing us even though there’s a pandemic so why should we stop protesting?
There ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest.
Secretly, I’ve been replaying the feeling of being surrounded by people, by my friends and shouting chants and feeling like that even if I shout as loud as I can, things still won’t change. Secretly feeling like burning the whole city down and knowing that the media would spin that too. Hating the fact that I cringed the first few times they dropped an F bomb in a chant and then later screaming F bombs as loud as possible because the reality of being of no value to prejudiced and discriminatory systems, organizations and the government finally dawned on me. They don’t really care about us, so “F” them.
Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.
Even prayer becomes protest. I pray the Psalms that ask God to devour my enemies and their children’s children. I implore God to not leave my people desolate because we are His. I beg God to give us victory and to slay the giant that is racism and poverty and bigotry and health care disparity.
Everything about a protest disrupts. It disrupts the status quo, traffic, people’s mindsets, hearts and the atmosphere. It’s disruptive and rightfully so. It’s loud and rightfully so. It’s chaotic and rightfully so. It’s organized and rightfully so. It’s painful and rightfully so.
My heart has been vexed ever since… My spirit is disturbed… I haven’t been at peace since
1 The Lord is my shepherd – but sometimes my needs aren’t met
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters – but somehow, I don’t feel peace
3 He restoreth my soul: Only to lead me into darker paths for his name’s sake – a lot of people do a lot of things in your name and a lot of those things have harmed us and caused irreparable damage.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear all the evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – but will they protect me?
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – I’m afraid to sit down. Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over with fear.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life but it will never catch up to me and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever at the hands of the evil walking, living and breathing in a world you created.
I’m having a hard time this early morning. Not because it’s early, but because the world I live in is evil. It’s not just among the gutters of systemic racism and the actors who continuously perpetuate it. The evil isn’t only present in the school to prison pipeline or the prison industrial complex. I’m not just talking about the evil that causes Black mothers and birthers to receive far less care from doctors and OBGYN’s during childbirth. Nor I am only alluding to the evil that spews from the gun triggers of racist white or complicit cops into the countless bodies of my Black siblings. Not even the hands, knees or holds that choke us out of our last breaths. Nah not those.
I’m talking about the evil that is present amongst us in the Black Church. The form of evil that allows Black male pastors to act like the oppressors in one of the few places we as a people should freely love and care for one another. I’m talking about the evil that stares us in the face when our Black boys and girls are allowed to live in dangerous and violent homes because their daddy is the head deacon. I’m talking about the evil that’s complicit with looking over the Black women and girls and children who need its care the most.
We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death these days and honestly…I fear all of the evil.
I’m also talking about the evil that takes place when our sons and daughters are told that instances of sexual abuse, assault, incest and molestation are their fault. The evil that prevails when Black women trust a Black man to look out for them but he instead takes advantage of her.
Even more-so, I’m talking about the evil that prevails when Black women turn a blind eye to the peril taking place in another Black woman’s life.
I know what I’ve read about Oluwatoyin Salau. Her story is not a standalone issue. It is, however, a single drop in a bucket full of similar and even more horrific stories. Stories where women have been deceived. Not cared for. Overlooked. Thrown away. Ignored. Defiled.
Murdered by hands with skin the same color as her own.
I sometimes, and dreadfully say that I expect this type of thing from someone of a different race because they don’t value us in the first place.
But when your spiritual and physical death comes by the hands of those you trusted because you were skin kin…I have a loss for words.
Black Women…All we got is us.
We gotta look out for each other. We gotta stand up for each other.
Black Men…You gotta do better.
You gotta stop taking what’s not yours. Stop using your power to hold us down.
Black People…We gotta speak out. We gotta stop acting like this evil world loves us and love ourselves.
All this evil. I see it. I hear it. I feel it. I fear it.
Sure God has not given us a spirit of fear…
…but what happens when we trust God with our lives? With the lives of our children and our loved ones? What happens when we trust God and bad things happen? What happens when we devote our lives to standing up for God’s creation within the Black community and are killed by the hands of those we are fighting for?
I just don’t know anymore. I sit with the questions knowing I may never have the answers. But I do know that God’s integrity is on the line. I keep hearing my friend and sister Janiece Williams, MDiv., say this in my head.
“God, your integrity is on the line.”
You can’t keep letting this happen to us, to our friends or to our family.
I haven’t done so hot in this arena truth be told. I usually end up with guys who love and care about me but who have varying fundamental differences that ultimately make us incompatible. It’s tough because at my age I have begun feeling and hearing the tick of my internal clock. And I know I’m young, but Haley so kindly reminded me that once I reach 34/35 in 2 – 3 years, a pregnancy will be considered high risk. I’m over her and bad dating connections!
Dating while parenting is super tricky. I have to remember to set a good example and to think through my dating choices with supreme scrutiny. I can’t get swept up too soon or fall in love with reckless abandonment or throw caution to the wind (things that my personality would prefer to do) because I have to think about the entire picture. It’s not just about my life. It’s about my daughters life too. Will she be comfortable with him? Will they get along? Will I be comfortable with him taking a parental role in her life? Will the dynamic change too drastically to make a blended family work? So many cautionary thoughts plague me, yet I keep putting myself out there. Why?
I recently told a guy in response to him saying that he was intense, “LOL I’m a Scorpio, I live for intense. I’m just looking for my last intense love that’s all.” That text packed so much truth for me. Way more truth than I initially realized I was sharing.
While I don’t subscribe to the in’s and out’s of astrology, I have found one thing to be true: People born under “Scorpio” have intense personalities. Something about them draws you in. And likewise, they are drawn into intense connections. They do many things in extremes especially when it comes to love. What my text revealed for me is that my love relationships have to be intense in order for me to even be interested. There has to be an intensity about the person. He has to be passionate about something and enjoy throwing himself into his interests and goals. I can just about name every real relationship that I have been in was with someone who was intense.
That text also revealed that I’m done playing games for real. That I’m not even getting involved with you if this can’t be it for us. I want that last intense love. I want to know that my person, who ever he is, isn’t turned off by my desire to love him and to be loved as fully and as humanly possible. I don’t want excuses, I don’t want waiting games and or even a rush to the finish line (marriage), I just want a guy who is ready for what I have to offer.
That level of intensity poses a problem though. You guessed it, I’m a mama. A future clergymama at that. That intensity might work for us in a bubble, but I don’t know how that works with Haley because it’s blown up in my face twice now. Two intense relationships that ultimately didn’t last because there was more to the story than just us. Thankfully, it wasn’t because Haley couldn’t or didn’t fit into the picture but because we couldn’t reconcile our energy in ways that were conducive to a successful relationship. Yes, everything about being and wanting an intense relationship isn’t good. Sometimes you don’t know when to stop arguing or how to let something go. Sometimes you get tunnel vision and miss the fact that you and that person don’t even have the same moral standards. Sometimes you get so sucked into the light that it burns you.
That level of extreme draw and magnetism can hurt you. So, I have trouble dating while parenting because I’m like a moth to a flame. But there’s still something very alluring to me about the passion and shear joy that comes along with finding your forever person, someone who will throw themselves into being with you as much as you throw yourself into being with them.
As a future clergymama, this packs a double whammy for me. I’m already deeply devoted to ministry in ways I never knew were possible. Will I have more to give? Will they understand my devotion to God’s service and to the service of others? Will he be interested in supporting that? Or will it just be for me? Of course I want someone who is supportive of the work I will do within the church but I also want them to have their own thing if ministry is not their calling.
Ultimately, I trust God to lead me because God has this love thing on lock. And the way God loves me so intensely, I know that there is a human version of that somewhere out there for me.
Today, I just want to share a list of prayers I have been saving and praying throughout my life, pandemic and mostly recently protesting
God of the Ghetto, Who dwells in the margins, Who hears the cries of the oppressed—sees their affliction because of their oppressors, feels their pain, God who breaks bows and shatters spears, Who brings chaos to heel with a word, Who plunders the enslavers, And leads captives to into wide open spaces with songs of joy, please protect the rebels tonight – Andre Henry
Dear Lord today, embarrass my enemies, favor my friends, strengthen my circle, fortify my family and increase my reach – Rev. Jamal Bryant
Lord, my prayer is simply to change us where we don’t reflect You – in character and deed. Help us to see the world needs You and Your divine touch to make crooked places straight and barren places flourish. It is Your power in us that enables us to be change agents in the world. Equip us for these days ahead and You will be glorified for the victory that’s on its way. Go in peace my friends, taking the love and power of Our Lord Jesus Christ with you. Amen. Annetrice Hewitt