Sometimes life takes so much out of you that you just stop feeling like your normal self. This can last days, weeks, months…even years! Sometimes this feeling is due to depression, loneliness, anxiety, grief or even daily routine.
I’ve been feeling this way for the last few years. Many people don’t know about my personal battle with depression and anxiety. I have been known to exhibit behaviors of anger and hostility, two symptoms nobody associates with being severely depressed, when I’m really overwhelmed by my struggles or when I’m triggered. One of my biggest triggers is rejection. It can get very lonely always feeling like you don’t belong. Sometimes the very people who are supposed to be your “safe space” end up being the ones who (knowingly or unknowingly) keep you locked in a cycle of mental instability and pain.
Lately though, I’ve been feeling like myself. I’m glad that God has allowed me to go through certain things and even allowed me to lose some very special people who were extremely close to me as well. The funny thing is, I now feel lighter and freer than ever before. It’s like weights have been lifted off my shoulder and I can now finally see the sky.
Yep, I’m feeling like myself again…the Jona I grew up with. The funny one…the smart one…the sexy one! I think I’m finally ready to put the past behind me and start something new. I want to love again, hope again…TRUST again! I’ve lost so much these past few years, but I’m still here! I know this new life won’t be familiar, but it is my new normal.
Life is funny. Just when you see the light at the end of the road, it’s like Jesus hits that light switch and everything goes pitch black. That’s ok though. That’s when the light He has placed inside of us gets to shine it’s brightest.
It’s a new month, a new year, a new season, and a new decade and so you ALREADY KNOW that God has something NEW JUST FOR YOU! Now I’m not saying let go of everything you’ve been praying for but have yet to receive, but I AM saying that ALL THINGS ARE SPIRITUAL. Maybe, just maybe, God had reset the clock or allowed it to run out on “that thing” because He has something better in store for you.
It’s funny because I just took a huge break while writing this to finish re-watching the movie “Jumanji”. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a movie about teens who get trapped in a video game. They are each given three lives, and at first this made them anxious and nervous, but eventually they readjusted and actually started using this to their “advantage”, even allowing themselves to be killed in order to escape dangerous situations. They realized that sometimes the best way to “LEVEL UP” is by starting over.
Unlike the kids in the film, we are only blessed with one life and when our time is up, the game is over. However, I urge you to consider that maybe it’s time for you to “START OVER.” Or maybe it’s time for you to “start up again” (ouch, that just pricked me lol). All I’m saying is now is not the time to stay stuck in a situation that you know is hopeless. Sometimes you just have to yield, look up to the sky and yell “REBOOT!”
I pray that 2020 brings you everything you’ve ever wanted, and I pray that God blows your mind by doing what He does best: exceeding our expectations. I also pray that this year you learn to finally let go of the past so that you can fully embrace the future. It’s a new year, yes, but it doesn’t work with old minds, thoughts and habits; we have to renew our minds so that we can LEVEL UP!
So, I say, out with the old and in with the new. Who’s with me?
So…I was sitting in the Popeye’s drive thru waiting on my chicken sandwich, and I got an alert on my phone. When I looked down, I saw that my ex-boyfriend had sent me a CashApp request for $5. Immediately I laughed at this simple negro cause I knew that
1) He did not need the money
b) He was trolling me trying to get a response.
See, he no longer has access to me and while a lot of men would try to SEND MONEY to get their ex’s attention…HE KNEW! Send me money if you want to; I’m just going to CASH OUT and keep it moving! He wanted me to ask him WTW, thus starting a conversation where he would slip in how much he missed me… blah blah blah, and don’t nobody got any time for that!
That’s how you know that your future is ready, when your past wants you back! So many of us can’t receive what God is trying to do in this season, because our hands are still full holding on to what He has tried to deliver us from three seasons ago. We pray for “God to bless us and give us new”, but you ain’t fooling nobody baby. You don’t want new. You want that old thing to suddenly “work out”. And that’s why you’re stuck, going round and round like an old record on a DJ’s turntable. It’s time to LET IT GO! Don’t look back…don’t respond, not even to “go off”. They are no longer worth it. Don’t cancel your future trying to get even with your past. It’s ok that they miss you. It’s ok that you sometimes miss them, too, but that doesn’t mean that “you belong together”. That chapter in the book of your life is over; I know it was a really good chapter, too. Or maybe it was a horrible one. Either way it doesn’t matter. If you want to know how the story ends…you have to MOVE ON!
One year ago I was recovering from one of the lowest moments in my life. This year I’ve lost so much, yet I’m actually living in one of the best moments of my life. But what if I had given up last year? What if I had thrown in the towel and said, “well..that’s enough of this…I’m out.” Not only would I have not received the many blessings I now have, but I also would not have been given the many disappointments and the lessons they brought and those lessons made me stronger and wiser.
My challenge to you today is to not run away from the hard lessons. They may be difficult to endure, but not only can they be life changing, they can also be LIFE SAVING! Living a life of apathy, or worse yet, choosing not to live at all, is giving up right before it gets good. I know some of you may be saying “but Jai, my life gets worse and worse instead of better, so I doubt its going to get good.” To that I say:
1). Are you repeating patterns and habits that end in destruction, praying that this time it won’t?
2) If you aren’t engaging in destructive patterns, yet life keeps giving you lemonade, have you learned to make lemonade yet? (Are you learning the lesson?)
3) If it isn’t 1 or 2 that just means you either need to open your eyes to the good stuff happening in your life that you may be blind to, or God is just saving the best for last when it comes to you.
Most times us being miserable is based on only ONE or TWO things that we have allowed to consume our whole life and outlook. Maybe God doesn’t want to change the situation. Maybe the thing He wants to change is YOU and how you handle disappointment because He knows that if you can’t manage hurt, you probably won’t be a good manager of the blessing you are waiting on. Sometimes because we haven’t received “THAT BLESSING” we start blocking out all the other blessings that come our way. That is the purest form of ungratefulness, and that’s the quickest way to block your blessing…even “THAT ONE”. So again I reiterate to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS and not your woes! Making permanent decisions based on momentary pain is not only not wise, but also discounts the beautiful things (and people) already in your life.
So many of us want to receive Unconditional Love, and that’s cool. Funny thing is though, you will never know if a person’s love for you is unconditional, until you realize it isn’t. The fact is, Unconditional Love is NOT just loving someone or accepting someone in spite of their flaws. It’s not just an emotion or a feeling. True Unconditional Love is an ACTION! That’s why it’s “unconditional”… because I’m going to still DO what I said I was going to do, DESPITE outside circumstances.
When you make me mad, I’m still coming home.
I made vows to you, so I forsake all others.
I love you as myself, so I won’t belittle, demean, hurt or abuse you, your body, your spirit, your heart, or your trust.
I discipline myself so that my actions line up with my vows.
I forsake momentary temptation for a lifetime of commitment.
I trust that you are doing the same, but even if you don’t, my love remains the same.
Simply put, Unconditional Love isn’t what’s received, it’s what’s GIVEN. God our Father is the only One who truly gives Unconditional Love, and what did He do? “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him will NOT perish but have everlasting life.” Stop looking to receive Unconditional Love and start looking to GIVE it! So my question is…What will you give up to get the love you so desperately want to receive? So many of us want to find someone to love us just as we are, but the way we are actually may limit us in finding what we’re searching for. Let God do the work IN YOU so that YOUR LOVE becomes pure and complete, and not just full of empty words and promises. Your actions, sacrifices, and yes, even motives are what makes YOUR love unconditional. So the next time you ask God to give you Unconditional Love, realize that His answer may be to get your own heart right, so you can BE the Unconditional Love you so desperately want to receive.
Hurt changes your DNA. It can rob you of your natural desires and steal your destiny. Stop letting people back into your life who constantly hurt you and rob you of your peace and joy. The Bible says that above all things, guard your heart because out of it flows the issues of life. Could it be that THAT thing you’re constantly struggling against is the aftermath of being devastated by the same person OVER and OVER again. You can forgive and move on. You don’t have to put yourself back in the firing line to prove loyalty or fealty to someone who has neither one of those things for you. You’ve chosen them long enough. Choose yourself this time. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Move on!
I can get real deep right now, but we ain’t got time for that. This is me handing you some scissors…CUT THEM OFF.
I literally started this blog because as a dark-skinned black woman in America, I sometimes feel rejected and overlooked. I started following other blogs where beautiful (or not so beautiful) darker women were sharing their stories, blasting colorists and calling out prejudice in society, especially within our own community, but what I found shocked me. A lot of these free thinking, “down with colorism” darker-skinned women of color were sizists. These same women who called out influencers and entertainers for prejudice and discrimination were themselves bashing darker women of color who happen to be bigger. “Big and black” or Fat, black and ugly” are phrases I heard often as I followed these women. Some of them even would go on to say that society actually accepted us (darker-skinned, bigger women) more because they were comfortable with the black, fat and ugly trope. I repeatedly had to hear that black was beautiful, but only if it wasn’t plus size. They constantly use the word fat and unattractive interchangeably, and to my chagrin, I realized the way they felt about plus size females was the exact same way a lot of society also viewed them.
And I know some people reading this will say “why are you asking darker skinned women.” I’m not. I’m just calling out the black elephant in the room.
It truly breaks my heart because it just goes back to that old way of thinking that everyone has to feel superior to someone else. It seems that if one group of people get some shine, then others who are not included somehow feels slighted. When darker smaller women see bigger darker women being celebrated, for some reason, they feel someone telling us that we are beautiful is a slap in their face. Say what now? But these are the same women who call out lighter complexion females of all races looking down on black women OR saying defiantly stupid things like “Lupita Nyong’o isn’t all that”. Ironic isn’t it that they can’t see they are doing the very same thing and can’t even see how hypocritical they are being. And yes I know other races or lighter black people who are still hooked on color like its the 1960s do it, BUT…it hurts more when it comes from someone who can share our make-up.
Now to be fair, it’s not all dark-skinned smaller women, some of my close friends who are smaller and darker-skinned LOOOOVE seeing beautiful plus sized women of all shades. Some of them actually are the ones who got me on to the plus sized/body positivity movement. But there are also those turn their nose up at us as if we are less than. I like to say that they act like they are against colorists, but I have a sneaky suspicion that if they were born with a lighter complexion, all of their social media handles would begin with @REDBONE (fill in the blanks—shout out to my lighter-skinned boos). I feel they want society to see them as beautiful, but they are scared that if society accepts other forms of beauty, then the competition pool would give these other (bigger) women a seat at their table and a chance to compete.
The truth of the matter is “dark-skinned” and “fat” live in the same marginalized community and a house divided against itself will never stand. You cannot honestly expect people to suddenly see your dark skin as something beautiful, but continue to turn your nose up at bigger women. If darker, petite women want to be accepted, then they are going to have to join the body positivity movement and embrace ALL women!
Beautiful is beautiful, no matter the size, shade, or race. If we continue to turn our nose up at each other, nobody wins. So you go to the gym every day…GREAT! It doesn’t give you the right to turn your nose up at anyone. And if you’re just blessed with a higher metabolism, I am literally side eyeing you right now! Do you know how hard it is to find, start and maintain an exercise and nutrition plan that is right for you? Even if I go to the gym right now and turn my plate over for the next few months, I’m going to still be fat for a while. How dare anyone think they are better than me because of my size!
Sometimes…when we get disappointed in God (and people), we lose our faith. I’ve heard many well meaning ministers of the gospel tell people that their “expectations” were why they were hurt, so we need to stop expecting things to happen and we won’t get hurt.
Good theory…but it’s unbiblical…
FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR…the evidence of things NOT SEEN.
Hope is what causes us to EXPECT that thing we cannot see…So…EXPECTANCY is the result of us BELIEVING and HOPING. So to expect something to happen is the literal definition of FAITH! When we eliminate expectancy, we are actually eliminating Faith…and who do we have faith in?
See where I’m going?
Yeah it didn’t work out…I’m so sorry.
They hurt you…Yeah, that’s messed up.
BUT GOD IS STILL GOD!
There’s a difference in “I believe even if He doesn’t do it” and “He doesn’t have to do it but I still believe”. Ummm…what exactly are you believing in the second one? You’re actually doubting Him and without FAITH it’s impossible to please God. Fear is as strong as faith and whatever you believe will happen. Maybe that’s why you’re constantly disappointed. Only His Word will stand after the fire. We have to stand on faith and submit our will to His so anything He didn’t say or approve will get burned away. Even your doubt and fears. Stop hindering God because people hurt you. Keep expecting! Keep hoping! Keep believing and WATCH HIM MOVE!
Everyone wants to be chosen, but can you stand to be broken? Can you stand to go thru the process of being rejected by those you love? Can you stand to hear the slanderers criticize you and sling mud on your name? And can you stand by your brother or your sister as they are going thru the same? Parents, will you stand by your kids even if they’re not “perfect”? Children can you forgive your parents for not being perfect? Wives, can you stand by your husbands thru the shame; Husbands can you stand by your wives thru the pain? Cause if you can’t stand during the process of being broken, you will never be chosen; because its only in brokenness that we can clearly see God!
“The Lord is near the broken hearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit”. Psalms 34:18
So…Don’t refuse to be broken because God is just molding you, reshaping you to be in His image. But again I ask, can you stand to be broken? I would say yes. God has promised to be close to the broken hearted, and he who has a contrite spirit, God has promised that He will not despise. In Jeremiah 3:14 God says He’s married to the backslider. He also said thieves come to steal and destroy, but I HAVE COME so that sinners might have life, and life more abundantly. He doesn’t want perfect people. He wants you. God isn’t looking for a perfect vessel! He’s looking for an empty vessel so that He can fill you up! He’s looking for someone that’s not trying to prove how saved they are so that God can use them! But He is looking for someone who would crawl their way to the altar…thru their mess, thru their dirt, thru their shame and say I WILL SETTLE FOR THE CRUMBS THAT FALL OFF YOUR TABLE, LORD! He’s looking for someone BROKEN, YET CHOSEN! Hurt, but still chosen. Wounded, but still chosen. Limping, but still chosen. Almost gave up, but still chosen. A mess, but still chosen! Framed, but still chosen! Guilty, but STILL CHOSEN! A perfect God doesn’t need PERFECT VESSELS! Only available ones! That’s who gets chosen! The ones who hold on when everybody else let’s go! When the Job’s wife of your life tells you to just CURSE GOD AND DIE, but something inside of you says THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET will I trust HIM!
No matter what sin you have committed, God loves you. No matter how far you have fallen, God loves you. No matter who or what you’re sleeping with, God loves you! No matter what “they” know about you, GOD LOVES YOU! No matter who left you…GOD LOVES YOU! No matter what YOU’VE DONE, GOD LOVES YOU! Nothing or no one can separate you from God’s love! NOTHING!
If you’ve been watching my stories on Facebook, you already know I got a thing for a new guy at the gym. It’s not just because he is FINE (it actually is JUST because he is fine cause I don’t really know much else about him but everybody always says that so I just thought I should too.) Well, today we had our first real conversation.
I should back up and go back to the beginning for those of you who are completely lost right now. I have began going to the gym before I go to work, so I usually get there around 5 A.M. (had to capitalize A.M. so you would know it’s not a game lol). Well, about a week ago I was sitting in my car (at 5 A.M.) and decided to do a video before I went in cause for some reason, that morning was a real “push” for me. I basically was like “this is for the birds…I’m tired Sweet Jesus…I want to go home.” Well, Jesus must’ve heard me and knew I needed a push. He also knows what motivates me lol. I went inside and, low and behold, this beautiful young man I had never seen before was sitting at the desk. His face was golden like the sun; he had the face of Trevor Jackson and the body of Channing Tatum. His smile though is what got me. I immediately did another video cause when you’ve been blessed, you MUST testify about it!
But back to this morning. I’ve noticed that he had tried to make small talk with me before, but when it’s 5 A.M., my mind isn’t alert like it usually is. Anyway, today he finally decided to start a conversation with me AFTER I got through working out; by now I was wide awake lol and I even made him burst out laughing several times, so I think we’re off to a good start. Don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but today was alright with me.
I think I’m going to take this mindset and use it from here on out. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you know that the last few years hasn’t been that great for me when it comes to love. I’ve had WAAAAY more losses than I have had wins, but today, I’m starting AFRESH! I’m cleansing my spirit from all past relationships and the weight they left on my shoulders. I choose to look forward to what could be and no longer focus on what was. I choose to renew my mind, my body, and my spirit so that I can finally receive what I have been praying for. Will this young man be my dream come true? Who cares? I’m enjoying what he is for me now, and that is hope!