Can’t Go Back Though

Sunday. Pastor preached. As always i am moved. But the thing that stood out the most was don’t go back.

How did you know I was planning on going to a Jehovah’s Witness convention this summer Pastor Hannah? Oh. You didn’t.  No one did. God knew though.

I cried.

Last week I saw one of the brothers who hapoened to be a friend of my mothers. He hugged me. Sweaty as I was for running nearly an hour straight with no breaks.

I just missed being loved. I was in my mothers belly when she chose that religion. I was the kingdom hall’s baby. I was out in service as a toddler passing out literature. We were taught to be polite. And kind even if someone, as was the case in the cases of some, threw water out the window as a surprise for the witnesses below.

No retaliation. Turn the other cheek type stuff.

But the conventions. They were especially special.  We would get to see friends from school who didnt go to our halls. I would get to lurk and see my childhood crush who even as he slept in my dorm room years later I never got the chance to tell him he shouldve chosen me.

We would eat cheese danishes for breakfast. Before we started to have to bring our own lunches.

I loved those danishes.

My friends though. We would get together and walk during the intermissions. Not really talking about much, but saying enough to keep our bonds intact.

The dramas though.

They would dress up as characters like David and Solomon. Or Miriam and Moses. They would act out the bible. It was like the bible come to life. It was amazing!

I’m getting teary eyed with the memories.

That was the truth to me.

I dont have sad childhood memories from the kingdom hall. My mother was extremely depressed aftrt her mother died. She would stop going to the hall. I would walk there on my own. I would go out in service with the pioneers who were my friends. These were people who made their living out of walking door to door doing Jehovahs witness ministry work without getting paid from the religion. People would sow into their lives. I didnt leave out of anger. Or being bitter.

Some friday nights enough folk would hit up my aunts house for fried catfish and her spaghetti with sugar in it of course.

People would stop by my mamas house on saturdays just for hospitality.  She was the butter cookie and sweet roll lady. We had treats to eat so people would stop by.

Then things changed. But i still felt like that was home.

Jehovah’s Witnesses were all i knew.

Then i knew a man. And my body craved a man and i could care less about the kingdom hall. I was too busy loving and leaving my muslim boyfriend as we had this topsy turvy love affair on and off for about nine years. I didnt think about the hall much during that time.

I became boy crazed. Man crazed. Sex crazed.

Distracted. Unfocused. Accepting being disfellowshipped the first time because when my mother found my birth control pills snd told the brothers i was having sex, i explained to them that i liked sex. If i didnt have it with the boyfriend i was with it would probably be another.

It was.

I justified their decision to disfellowship me. A practice that keeps other Jehovahs witneeses from even greeting the disfellowshipped person. I was not living life according to Jehovah’s laws.

Now I know a God. Full of mercy and grace. Who tells us not to judge each other in James because we don’t know how to do His job nearly as well as He will.

Who sent his son Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for the sins we would commit daily.

No need to shun someone who needs prayer and love.

Anyway. Some days when I feel mistreated and forgotten about I want to go to a place like cheers like home, where a lot of folk know my name. But I remember that God answered my silent prayers. The prayers i prayed where no one else could hear. The prayers where I asked him to show me how Jesus was not an angel named Michael. The prayers where I asked him to show me where he was. The prayers where I asked him to give me strength to stop sharing my body with men who just wanted to come and leave when the next option came along. The prayers where I asked to be free from addictions that kept hopping from substance to substance to sometimes people back to substances.

He heard my cries. He answered.

I stop asking man questions when I serve an all powerful God whose spirit came to the earth to live and dwell in me. We are connected.

So. No. I can’t go back.

I’ve come to far. No regrets. I move forward. Knowing God has ordered my steps. Jehovah. YHWH. Sent Jesus giving him all power in heaven and earth. Sitting on his right hand side.

And guess who still healing like he did back in the day?

I let go. To let God. And watch him work now that I am really willing to let go.

Its not easy. Sometimes its easy to want the familiar. But we grow best in environments that makes us step outside our comfort zone to learn new things about self.

So. I grow. I am thankful for the character traits that I have acquired over the years.

I’ve got work to do. I accept thr challenges!

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So Hot. So Reaaaadddddyyyyyy.

I wrote a song the other day.

Lyrics go like this.

He got me out here like little cease/hot and ready/ but i aint that type of woman/so i say no when he say lemme/ lemme get in lemme get a piece a dat/lemme get in/lemme get a piece a dat/lemme get in/lemme get a piece a dat/ lemme get in/ lemme get a piece a dat

And so it goes into song.

Its my silliness at best. But its truth combined with foolery. They couldnt take the real me so I just give measured doses!

This man though. This guy.

Had me like whoa! Remember Black Rob. Like whoa!!

I kept asking my body why was it betraying me like it was. Stomach competing for a spot with the Jesse White tumblers, flipping and what not.

How dare you body.

I am too grown to be having a crush.

Anyway, think I will stop there. No need for the extra toppings on this pizza my big mouth would love to share.

See. Its something about breezy summertime weather that turns me into something else.

My sis described it best. “I don’t know what it is about you and the summer turning you into this hot something or other!”

I don’t either. But i just keep screaming. Fix it Jesus.

I love how people sit with their hands folded, posture all straight like “oh yes lawdy. Since the Lord came in my desires went out.”

I don’t know that story.  I know. I went a little more than a decade giving my body what it wanted when it wanted. Calling people at late hours. Doing who, when, and what. Adverbs.

And now my body is acting like it hates me!

I be feeling like Jasmine Sullivan more than I’m looking like her these days. Boy i need you bad.

So what do i do? As cliche as it sounds i call on Jesus. Please Lord come help me. Take these thorns. I know now i am a rose. I have a whole lotta thorns. And he lets me know like He told Paul. His grace and mercy is sufficient. The Holy Spirit comes through and calms me down and gives me a way of escape. The man that had me going was kind enough to ignore enough good morning texts to help me get my body under control. Because there is no way I can be interested in someone who shows no interest, or disregards my feelings by paying no attention to the friend love I am showing with simple, good morning, encouraging, go out and conquer the world texts.

I value my worth.

This walk is not easy. But if it was would I make sure to stay close to my Savior?  Probably not. I would think I could do something on my own I was never designed to.

He said lean not on my own understanding but in everything I do seek his face.

I am here. I am knocking Lord.

See everytime I fall back into old patterns I’m like Ri Ri navy and what not making Same ole Mistakes. Falling for sailors who can’t seem to dock their ships and keep them at bay. But always in the wind somewhere.  And for some reason when Rae Rae pop out she likes to jump on the backs of men standing 6’3. Holding on for dear life, snatching chains and running. It seems melees I get into are never really normal after interacting with men outside of Gods arrangement.

They should probably Michael Jackson me and leave me alone. Or do right bruh.

So. Yes. Hot and ready. Dude said but sometimes you gotta take the pizza out the box and eat it. Nah. This pizza going back in the oven. Back in the fire.  I don’t want it back out until its ready to be tested coming forth pure as gold.

Its insanity and cliche to do the same thing over and over expecting different results.

See all things change. Even Lil Cease use to hang with Lil Kim and Lord knows she dont look nothing like she used to.

I can change too. Inwardly.  With Gods grace and mercy. He saw my broken areas that kept getting shattered dealing with people who just wanted to come in and invade my treasure, steal the goods and leave me picking up the pieces. 

The word for this year is celibacy. Continued celibacy. I never would have made it but the Lord keeps on making a way!

I am thankful for the change.

Endings

Everything must come to an end. One day. Sometimes sooner than later.

I guess it was finally time to let go of my mother’s passing away.

However, I never thought I would be able to let go of the woman I lost before the assault I survived almost a decade ago.

She like my mother, is never coming back.

But its alright.

I looked at my daughter after wishing I could have my mother back before I came to grips with this realization. Had my mother been here, my daughter’s father would not have gotten a second glance.

Talk about a situationship gone wrong. To go right with my lil bright sweet light.

Anyway.

So I got my daughter in lieu of my momma.

But who replaced that girl who laid in shattered pieces fragmented and torn from the pain of having something taken that she never intended to give away?

Me. A follower of Jesus. Someone who didn’t know how much she needed a savior until every thing I tried to make a superhero in my life let me down. So I cried out to God and here came Jesus who was given all power in heaven and on earth to help me fix my situation.

I asked a friend of mine who used to club with me regularly who did I used to be. B smoking, drank drinking, lean sipper? Like how was I when I was under the influence. I dont remember.

She said I was live. Fearless. Unafraid to talk to the guys, not afraid to get on the dance floor. That’s probably how I ended up in DJ booths instead of the dance floor. I was always turnt. I was not afraid to speak my mind or get in someones face.

Now. I get live for Jesus. Not afraid to make my way to the altar to leave behind the things that hurt me. Now I speak out when people cross lines that I feel wont keep me safe mentally and emotionally and most definitely physically. These were the things that were designed to break me.

Sometimes I feel afraid being alone with a man. Even with my God given brothers. Or I may not always feel safe around them. It’s nothing they have done. I may not even know how to have a normal conversation. Sometimes.

See the encounter i survived was a person who was like my brother. He was seeing my friend, who was as close as family so I called her my cousin. I was used to calling her guys my big brothers.

It’s just a trigger.

Nowadays though I fight through the fear.

Recently as anxiety hit, thinking someone I was in close company with wasn’t going to accept my no, it was quieted by me calling on Jesus. Asking him to call on him with me. And that was that.

See. I’ve gained power in Jesus, through Jesus. I never have to walk in fear again. I never have to live for the turn up again. I dont have to miss my momma when she gave me so many beautiful traits to carry and give to others.

Her sistethood bonds had women sitting around her hospice bedside singing songs to her. They held her hands. It was so much food she joked with me, that everytime she saw me it was a piece of food in my hand.

I was stressed. I replied.  Matter of factly.

Again i say with courage.  I dont tell my story for sympathy. I have enough love around me and people that pass me tissues when I’m balling my eyes out.

I tell it for freedom.

So people will know they don’t have to use relationships as crutches when they really need their voids to be filled by Jesus!

Today I truly feel free. Unstigmatized by my past. And in a better place than Ive ever been.

I told my mama it was okay to let go because I would be alright.

Today. I finally realize that to be my truth! I am finally alright!!

I had to be broken to be remade in the image of God’s design for my life! So i encourage others to do the same. The breaking process is not fun but there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Its not a train!

So live out loud. Laugh on purpose. Be brave and courageous. And move closer to your dreams everyday.

image

The world is waiting on you to become everything you were created to be.

Are you willing to end the pain, by doing the necessary work to begin to live? It is not always easy. But i am living proof that it is worth it!!

Momma love

I am continuing this momma love for her birthday weekend.

She taught me respect of self.

I’ve been in my feelings about the young woman on Chicagos redline train who was allegedly stabbed by her current or former lover.

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

I know. It’s chic in my society to feel empathy over what could have been us but that’s not it.

It’s the rumor that he snapped because she had HIV. 

I grew up in the 80’s & 90’s. HIV had just come out. No one knew much about it. And I just so happened to be drawn to the girl in my school whose mother had it. 

Having a mother with HIV in the 90’s made my friend not so popular amongst our peers. But I loved her. I loved her mama. She kept her home clean with bleach. But was still stigmatized.

I saw a man my mother rejected repeatedly a couple of day ago. He hugged me and told me his family and he were just wondering about me. It made me wonder about what would have happened had my mother chosen him.

See. My mother had this self respect thing going on. She didn’t sleep around. She wouldn’t accept my father back because his life was contrary to the one she was living full of moral values and better than before choices.

I am living. That life now.

Anyway. My friends mother. A sweetheart. She had only ever been with one man. Her husband. She just happened to take him back after he had been infected by someone after being away from her.

My mother raised me. Maybe I strayed for awhile. But now… I know my value and worth!

Having unprotected sex was always a no-no because of growing up around my friend and her mom. And even with slip ups, I’m the first one at the doc. Test me please doc!! 

The only negative I do is HIV negative. Thank God I didn’t leave out the dangerous world in my life before him with a package no one wants.

But these days more than ever. People are doing everyone. More brothers are living a downlow life. They hide, afraid to be stigmatized and of course if you’re hiding you’re not carrying safety nets because they be in denial that their desires are what they are. 

No one is judging!

  
That’s James 4:11

Don’t forget ‘saints’ and aints!

That’s the word of God not to be debated. Just applied. Used to correct ones own self. Not supposed to be a brow beating tool for others. I mean why would one be so concerned about the straw in my eye when they have a tree in their own. 

Anyway. 

On safe practices.

And testing. 

Practice both. 

I remember one lover and I used to go together. Every few months. About ten years ago. Only because we chose not to be safe. But even that was foolish. Knowing my status was good but no one can know what another is doing at all times. And if someone is living a lie, and exposing someone they are not being truthful to to something that can ruin their life. It can be devastating.

I’ve chosen to be single for a year. I’m down to 9 months now. It matters not who has my undivided attention. All that matters is when this nine months is over who has made me the center of their attention. I am thankful for my ability to care for myself. For loving myself enough to practice safe measures. To love myself enough to test my body for diseases that could take me away from my daughter. And now. To practice abstinence because I made it out the world I was living in sin in, unscathed! 

That means in laymens terms, without any diseases. Healthy!

Thank you Jesus!

Yes. My heart goes out to the young woman. Whether that was her truth or not. We have failed our youth. We are so busy telling them what not to do we are not teaching them what to do, if they do. And they are losing their lives because people would rather judge than help.

I am still my sisters keeper. Just like my mother was my friends mothers sister. My mother came. She sat. She loved.

My mother didn’t know how to shun hurting people who hadn’t hurt her.

I am still celebrating my mother. Teaching me ladylike behavior. Teaching me how to make better choices and decisions. Teaching me that I only choose not to be alone when someone comes to make being in a relationship better than being single. And teaching me how to wait to share my body with my faithful husband.

It’s hard. I fought a battle with my body a couple of weeks ago. As much as it screamed yay. The Holy Spirits self control kept me!!

Thank you Jesus! Again. 

Praying for the young woman’s family and friends. But more importantly for my young sisters who don’t know better and have no one to talk to because so many women would rather compete than love. So many would rather judge than teach. So many would rather shun than reach out. 

It’s alright. That verse on James shows we have one judge. And he will give us the same mercy we show others.

Happy birthday mommy. The tears dry up when gratitude is so real! 

Even hurting I am grateful!

Happy birthday Mama

I’ve never been quick to respond to critical people. My mother always had something to say. I’ve learned people tend to be critical of others when they choose not to fix what they don’t like about themselves if it can be fixed. Or they can’t find the strength to love what they can’t change about themselves.

I am thankful for love.

My mother when not trying to push me to be better than everyone else was a constant reminder teaching me about loving myself.

Why am I not light like you I would ask? What??!? She would respond in utter contempt. I WISH I were your complexion. All brown and beautiful, instead of this drab light one I have. Don’t you see all your   beautiful red tones???

I saw them then. I stopped comparing. I started seeing beauty in light skin. I learned to recognize beauty in dark skin. But most importantly I learned to see beauty in people for who they were and how they treated others.

I am still wishing I could be like my mom. Opening her home to women running from domestic violence situations. Feeding and being hospitable to whomever dropped by. And standing firm and sound on her beliefs.

I’m not that nice. Sweet as pie to whomever I like. But oh the rest… 

Blank state in the air.

Oh but I’m a lady. 

No matter what hairstyle I rock. No matter what kicks don my feet. Lady like was the behavior she beat into me. Broom handles, belt buckles, or whatever. I got the messages. Be a lady or else!

This weekend though. I celebrate her life. No tears. I celebrate the love of self she taught me to have.

Even when my brothers all brown and beautiful allow me to nurture their soul and love my essence. But choose my fairer skin sisters for the complex reason that they’ve been taught light skin is the better of the black skins. See when they are still struggling with love of self and need to be accepted and validated by their friend folk they choose the bad… I.E from a mans own mouth the light skin diva. Even when she doesn’t become the helpmate he needs to find the success God planted inside of him. As long as he has the approval of people, with his people pleasing self, he thinks he is winning.

But I am my sisters keeper. I’m raising a light skin woman to be. 

Her fathers oldest daughter, at 13, reminded her that they were winning because they were light skinned. Because the world has been trained to beat the brown skin woman down. The slavery times, field woman. Yeah I’m a brown skin woman.

More like Celia a slave, brown woman. Try me!!!

But really this is all a ploy to keep us divided. We as sisters need each other. For love, for fellowship, for advice, and for change that comes through the prayers we pray for one another. 

These past few months have been about healing. I’ve found sisterhood doesn’t stop with brown and fair black skin. I have sisters of other races. That come through with books to empower and heal. That come through with words of love and encouragement. 

No more divisions. 

We all have beauty that doesn’t fit societies standards!

My momma taught me that. So I’ve accepted that!

Happy birthday! I’m celebrating! I’m loving. Those who loving me. Accepting me as I am. And letting me love them and accept them as their authentic selves, not who they want the world to believe they are. 

See all is well in the world. If you heal and believe. I told my momma she could let go. I would be alright.

And here I am all alright and stuff. 

It will always get better if you believe. Believe and let go of what hurts. 

I tried it. It’s true! 

Live and let love come to you!!!!

I fell on love. 

I fell in love with myself. 

No more striving for unattainable perfection that I always seem to give up on when it doesn’t happen in 0.2 seconds.

($&@#%) this (@&$*%).

Insert your expletives of choice.

And then it’s back to the bad habits. Which lead to the bad attitudes. Which leads to the bad attitudes given back to me. Which leads to tha bad treatment of others. Which leads to loneliness. Which leads to me believing I’m a personal failure.

And how can I love myself fully if I’m categorizing myself as a failure?

But them this beautiful. Girl. Woman. Militant baker. Shows how much she loves me. So much she write a book for me!

I’m sure it was for many other people. But I happen to be classified and fitting in this category.

A fat girl.

A fat girl who loves herself unapologetically. Only when I’m not so fat and working to achieve unbelievable goals.

But when I’m eating deep dish pizzas and two cupcakes daily, I’m kinda a 2009 movie.

I’m so not that into me.

But this Jes Baker!