TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy

stumbling block

I grabbed my notebook, found my black and blue pen, pulled up today’s Daughter of the King devotional, and opened my YouVersion Bible app. As I began to stare at the words on my phone screen, I knew that I couldn’t read my devotional this morning. Something in my spirit wasn’t right, and I knew what it was: I offended my mom two days ago and the vibe between us had been off ever since. I needed to go reconcile with her before I could really spend some time reflecting on God’s word and speaking to Him.

Matthew 5:23, 24 NLT
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

I sat there for a minute just thinking. I knew that my mom was probably reading her Bible and for a second I thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t interrupt her. I’ll just wait for a little bit.” But honestly, I couldn’t. So I went upstairs and cracked her door open, and as I suspected she was reading her Bible. She told me to come in and asked me what was up. We talked and then sung a song and prayed together. Then I was free to engage in my devotional.

The thing about all of this is at the time that I offended her, I felt like she was being completely inconsiderate. I had come home from work; I was tired and hungry. Instead of letting me get myself together, she was asking me to do things for an event she has coming up that is an extremely significant milestone in her life. It doesn’t matter if I felt like she was being inconsiderate or not, I should not have responded to her the way I did. I made her feel like her requests for my help were an annoyance and that I viewed this milestone as insignificant in my sight. So naturally she felt as though she couldn’t depend on me as her daughter to aid her with preparations. That is not what I intended to do, but that was the result of my response, nonetheless.

God has pulled me a mighty long way from how I used to respond to my emotions, but I still have a ways to go. So my prayer this morning consisted of not only confessing and asking for forgiveness, but asking God to work in me this sense.

Despite any circumstance, my emotions do not warrant a reaction.

Emotional intelligence is crucial. I find it easier for me to exercise emotional intelligence with those who are not a part of my household than those who are, and this is just an indication of what I need to work on. By work on I mean studying what God’s word has to say about emotions and dealing with relationships, meditating on it, and having an increased sensitivity to this area in my life. I believe that this is a significant part of my spiritual journey at this time.

With all of that being said, transparency brings about intimacy. Our journeys are all different, but we can learn from one another and encourage one another throughout it.

social misfit

Friends. What are THOSE? Social gatherings. What are THOSE?

According to Google search results,

  • social means related to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.
  • misfit means something that does not fit or fits badly.

These past couple of weeks I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I may have been operating under a social misfit mindset. Allow me to explain.

Home. School. Church. This was my life growing up – eventually work became a part of this cycle as I got older. Anytime one of us children would say “my friend…”, my wonderful Haitian parents would say, “Nan ki bagay friend, m’te ye ave-w?” [TRANSLATION: Of what friend stuff was I with you?] In other words, there are no such things as friends. So you can imagine the backlash we would get if we asked to go out with one of those friends or to go to their birthday parties. Eventually, the invitations just stopped coming. We were even told to be careful with kids at our church. We weren’t allowed to talk on the phone unless it was about school work.

That was the foundation of my social life. It became more difficult to be socially normal.I managed to stick with a group of friends in high school because we all pretty much had the same background growing up with Haitian parents. We understood each other and were able to make life a bit less humdrum. Fast forward a bit to college. I was so used to not really going anywhere that I didn’t do much. I joined a fraternity the spring of  my “freshman” year (I was about to be a junior according to my credits) and that wasn’t the most pleasant experience being that I’m socially awkward. I was a part of other organizations as well as a band at one point, but I didn’t really begin to enjoy college life until my last semester. I know. It’s actually really sad, but that was my reality. I found something that I loved doing right and then I had to leave.

I have now been in a period of transition for about 6 months now, and I have finally realized my lack of social interaction. However, my greatest realization as far as this is concerned is how much this has hindered me and will prevent my future success if I don’t do anything about it. The thought of that is intimidating at the least.

I do a crappy job of keeping up with people, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for me to talk to people outside of my comfort zone.

Nonetheless, I have made a decision to be the victor instead of the victim. I have chosen to do whatever I can to overcome this obstacle of social intimidation. Heck, I’m 21 now. Time is ticking. The other thing is: God didn’t create us to be lonely. We were created to be in fellowship with others just as He wants to be in fellowship with us. We don’t exist simply to roam the earth. So, instead of dwelling on the negatives, I’m going to dwell on the positives as those negatives change into positives.

I do genuinely love people and am naturally nurturing. I have the need to express myself and the need to help people. I also love to be in the company of those I love.

All in all, I wrote this to encourage myself and others who face the same difficulty, but I also wrote this to be vulnerable and open about my journey.

#TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy

I see how it is

DISCLAIMER: There is a purpose to sharing this personal experience of mine and if you read until the end, you’ll understand.

You know how something catches your attention, and in that moment it really bothers you, but you choose not to allow it to dwell in your mind. Then it occurs repeatedly and becomes more difficult to shrug off. Maybe I’m the only one, but I choose to be honest with myself:

It doesn’t just bother me, it hurts.

Here’s the deal: I have a friend that I truly love wholeheartedly. We have been physically distanced due to my relocation after graduating, emotionally distanced due to my hiatus in interactions with anyone/thing that wasn’t directly connected to developing my relationship with God. I have made advances to reconnect and catch up with her as I have with others, but it has gone absolutely nowhere. I have reached out, and the times she has responded has been to tell me that she’ll get back to me. Which I totally understand. I mean living the college life is time consuming and hectic. However, if someone reached out to you, you don’t respond, and you post twice on Instagram, then maybe the person you’re neglecting isn’t that important.

I realized that the friendship I cherish so dearly, isn’t as cherished on the other end.

I finally decided to get it out and talk to God. As I opened up to him about how I was feeling in that moment, I had an epiphany. The Holy Spirit checked me rather than comforted me, and I am so grateful. As I talked to God, my plea for comfort and clarity changed to forgiveness. I couldn’t believe that this was the way I made Him feel all the time. He wants to hear from His child and have her listen to Him. He desires a connection, my affection and confessions. He longs to commune with me, but I tend to neglect Him.

I see how it is…

It isn’t just about reading His Word, it’s about totally engulfing yourself in His Presence. Losing yourself in worship.
Just in awe of who He is.
Being reminiscent of all He’s done.
Laying your burdens down.
Receiving His gifts of grace and peace.

I MEAN it’s so much more than making sure you’ve completed the checklist that consists of Bible study and church service. It’s about really being connected to Him; experiencing His Glory in everything you do. Of course Bible study and church service is vital, but do you truly fellowship with His people? Do you truly enjoy nature, His creation? Do you truly rejoice in what He has given you?

Our lives are so much more than Bible study and church. It’s the ultimate test of trusting the One who intricately designed you and this world. See the beauty in everything around you regardless of the circumstances. There is so much to be grateful for and to enjoy.

This post just went to a totally different dimension than I expected! It’s amazing though. I’m challenging myself and I hope that you challenge yourself.

#TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy