“I am special! I am gorgeous! I am chosen! Yes I know it, and I yes I can light the whole universe! I am different! I have purpose! I am brilliant! Yes I feel it! And I, yes I can light the whole universe!” ~ Vivian Greene, Light the Universe


My rest day was necessary.


I thought I was supposed to work until there was nothing left for me to do. I spent the majority of my life with this type of work ethic. I always had a love for nice things, and in my younger years I would not step foot in a second hand store. I mean I always had the money to shop online, in the malls. Newbury street, Boston’s version of Michigan Ave. Now I have a little one. Her needs are more important than mine. So I may pay full price, well not full price. I don’t pay full price for hardly anything, but at least her clothing usually is new. You know I can’t resist a bargain, but anyway I digress.


Back to this work ethic.


I never learned to rest.

The year my mother took her final breath on this earth I was working two full time jobs. eighty hours a week. Many weeks too tired to even call her and check in on her. Being a workaholic is a problem.


Even God rested after He saw everything He had made was good. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Yes. I see. Maybe in times past there was nothing I felt was good about my life so there was no good in resting, because I needed to keep going to fulfill something that only God could fulfill within me.


That must be it.


I twiddled my thumbs. I almost squatted. I did a couple of donkey kicks, and then I stopped. I worked for my six days. I began to think it was time for me to rest. Ok. Logistics aside. Regardless to when God rested, and the laws of Moses and when they rested. I just know it was important to me to have a rest day. So I asked God to show me what to do on that day.


I talked to newly acquired friends. Put motivating posts on IG. Took before and after pictures. Styled my hair. Read to my daughter. Hugged and tickled her. Read my bible. Talked to God. Got on my face. Basked in His presence. I mean there was so much for me to do on this rest day.


“And I never wanna leave this place. So I bask in your presence Lord. Feel your warm embrace. In the place of your presence Lord.” Valencia Lacy, Never Wanna Leave This Place – The Gathering of Worshippers


If you know my church’s worship leader then I am sure you are familiar with her song. But I felt that all throughout my spirit. Yes. It was almost to the point of not even stop wanting to resume business as usual. But when I did. My goodness. I did 47 jumping jacks in 40 seconds. Yes Lord! Help me build this body! All the while placing people here in my life to help keep me motivated to reach my goals!


So I wake up with a newly found sense of self. It must of been that tme spent with God so I could begin to open my eyes and see myself as He created me.


So I hear the Vivian Greene Song. Light the Universe.


I often wondered why my mother named me Radiance. I was supposed to be Raven. Then she added Jua’Donna to it. I’m like ridiculous and ghetto growing up. I wished to be something nice and simple easy to pronounce like Tiffany. Literally the first boy I kissed and thought i would marry his sister’s name was Tiffany, and she was so nice. Unlike my big cousins. I wanted to be a Tiffany. Yes that will do.


My aunt would tell me the story of how she came home complaining.

“That Radiance. She gets on my nerves, everyday. She makes me so sick” Well my aunt never really did conform to light. I think she became accustomed to darkness so someone named Radiance must have really reminded her of the possibilities of stepping into the light. Or maybe she was a Radiance darkened by life as I once was. Either way, her coming home complaining to my mother instantly changed my name. I was no longer to be called Raven. I was now to be named Radiance.


I now begin to forget all the names I was called as a child. Black, too dark, radiation, radar, radon. I was named Radiance. For a reason. I love to love. I love to encourage. I love to speak life to those that are not feeling as if they can make it. I have become so good at encouraging others that I forget how to do it for myself sometimes. However, in my rest day I was allowed to bask in God’s presence and He spoke life to me. He reminded me who I was. Who I am to Him even if I am never anyone to anyone else.


Thats a blessing.


So now I celebrate. I was raised in a religion that never allowed me to celebrate my birthday as a child. So sometimes it is hard for me to celebrate with my friends. Some inner guilt about how I was conditioned to think about birthdays, but that is really a special day. It is the day that what God formed in the womb came onto this earth to be given the opportunity to become all He designed us to be. So I walk into this season. I am finally happy. I am finally at peace. He has called me to be someone. I am not quite sure who that is just yet, but I begin to celebrate her now, as I have taken the time to do for so many others in my life.

Thank God for rest. It is in His rest that we can truly find who we are meant to be!


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