I had to be nineteen the first time it happened. Well the first time I can remember it happening.

I was too young to be in the clubs, but my ‘friend’ had an ID that was an extra of hers, and the bouncers really could care less about any picture that was on my ID. They saw me. They wanted me in. I got in. I made it all the way to the DJ booth. Feeling the eyes looking my way. How did she get there the women who had been seeking the attention of light skin long hair record spin one two one two pondered.

I had to pay. A big price.

She asked me afterwards did he? I just nodded abashedly. You know he did. You heard me saying no. I guess it didn’t matter as long as I was the face to get the attention of one so that the friend in tow would look in her direction. It had been like that for a couple years now. It would be like that for years to come.

I walked into my demise.

The second time at the same ‘friends’ place, I’ve blogged about this before. It happened again.

Well first time shame on you, second time shame on me.

I guess I was used to living in shame. I guess that’s what happens when your pride is eaten away with events that the nature of living was the reason for the malodies that afflicted a black girl lost.

Singing along with Nas. Not fully understanding the consequences of my decisions.

In the words of Malcolm X. Who taught me to hate myself?

Fast forward. Yesterday. Resurrection Sunday.

There were no more actions to forgive. They had already been forgiven.

She came to my grandmothers home about three months ago, sat next to me on a sofa space too close for comfort and I am looking up to the Lord like why must you send my enemies right in my face. Why must I exhibit self control?

But He did. A test. And I did. Test passed.

I guess after my praying in a low undertone under my breath asking God to remove anything that is not like Him from our midst, she never returned.

Thank you Jesus. You said anything we ask in YOUR name. We shall get.

She didn’t return.

I can forgive. I won’t ever forget.

I will wear the association with the former pain, as in the pain that doesn’t live here anymore, as a name badge. I will use my experiences to let other women who have been through something similar know that all is not lost. There is freedom from haunting memories. There is freedom from the past.

I mean if you are looking for me in my past, I wish you the best. I don’t live there anymore.

If you are looking for bitterness and regret, well my Lord and Savior asked me to give it to Him and I did.

Now I carry nonchalance like a thousand dollar handbag. No more need to regale tales of Louis V’s I no longer have access to. My strength is now big enough to make me feel like the richest woman in America.

I am rich in strength.

I mean who goes through so much in a childhood that they barely remember it. Loses a father, a mother, to death. Has no brothers and sisters, that I met before turning 25. Says no more than one time, carrying the same scars made me susceptible to the same situations taking hold of me. Countless broken relationships and hearts, and an abusive relationship to top it off just to name a few situations and comes off brushing lint off their shoulder as if nothing has ever affected them ever.

Did it take time to get here? Yes time and work.

See my Lord showed me the model in the Gospels. He showed me that sometimes quietly I may come and just grab hold of his cloak to get my strength, or I may have to ask my friends to climb up the side of a building and lower me into His presence. Whatever I need to do to get to Jesus I do. He is the only one that can present me to the Father. He is the only one that will decide if I have met with approval. Just like He chose His disciples in the gospels. He is choosing. He is deciding.

So I gave him my life. I threw my hands up. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want the smoking, drinking, Fergie behaviors. No. I want to know my Savior in a real way. That way I can know who my Father is to me. The one that is allowing me to call Him Abba Father. My real Daddy!

So. When one of the women I used to hang with in my teen years sees me and tells me the same woman who heard me say no had just gotten married, I pause.

I smile.

I am truly happy for her.

I really don’t care what she has done to me or has not done to me or my perception of what was done. Its really my fault for being disobedient to God and to my mother. So I placed myself in situations that no woman should ever have to face, but it was my mess and no one elses to be held accountable for.

So I free her in that one moment and then I realize I am free from those situations.

I wouldn’t speak on them if they still held me in bondage, but I must allow God to get the Glory out of my life, because nobody could have cleaned me up like this but Him.

Jesus spoke of a kingdom divided and while my old associations may choose to believe I get my strength from someplace else, the enemy would choose that I stay in bondage and sin. I KNOW God removed those old habits from my life that I no longer crave so that when someone calls me saying “IMY” I can breath easy knowing the love my God gives me can keep me until who He has prepared for me is ready for me and I for him.

Patience is definitely a virtue. I love the fact that He is keeping me. But I had to want it!.

Whooo. Whom the son sets free is free indeed. And I bask in the merriment of my freedom..

So for the former friend, if having a husband was the one thing that was keeping her mind unfocused on God, then I pray that they are able to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice that Lord Jesus gave and allow Him to reign on their hearts. That way a three-fold cord won’t be easily broken.

There is no more room in my heart for hatred and bitterness, and just like that any negative thoughts of my past are like fleeting memories of times past. Like unsung melodies whose chorus is missing I wait to share stories of what i used to believe were trials now I know to be triumphs with others facing similar reminders of pain to heavy to carry.

I could not stop dancing at the altar. I came to church with make-up on. I am sure I had none by the time it was over and racoon eyes to boot. Tears of joy, shackles off my feet so I was free to dance. And we danced. We danced and danced. Everytime I thought it was over I was back up on my feet again. Dancing.

Every night my daughter wants to sleep with me and as I am reminded of her father as she is like him in most ways, especially being overly affectionate. She is such a cuddle bug. She just loves her momma. Usually her reminding me of him makes me push her away. Today I embraced her love.

The freedom I was given today allows me to embrace love now.

I know I am nowhere near ready to date. I let every interested person know not until month X, Y date, 2014Z. Yeah. I’m about to date me. Take me out where I want to go. I want to learn who I am before I try to present some half broken piece of a person to the next. And love her unconditionally to show him the model.

Talib Kweli has a song called delicate flowers. I think he was talking about me “my girl is a delicate flower, a superhero, being a single mother helped develop her powers.”

Yeah. I have much more to add to that list than single mother. So like I used to joke with someone about being an X-Men. I must be something kinda wonderful.

Hey. I know my story better than anyone else ever will. I better celebrate, everything. Every loss opened the door for me to learn how to win, and every hurt opened the door for me to learn how to appreciate my healing.

Lifes a blessing. Its either glass half empty, or glass half full. The only difference is perspective.

Outlook sunny and bright, the same as my disposition most days. For that, Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord we give thanks. Amen!

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