I have some big dreams.

My dreams require some places that most people would never be able to enter into.

I need God to help me get there.

How in the world can God entrust me with my big dreams, if I can’t be trusted with some of the smaller things he gives me?

Like, the ability to love the people who have shown love to me. Or, the responsibility to be honest in my intentions towards others? Or, carrying someone’s secrets who came to me in distress and wanted me to hold onto their pain? Or, respecting people.

Sometimes I have a hard time respecting people.

My issues with authority is long standing. My mother always promised me my big mouth would get me into trouble.

And I will never forget. It did. 

2011. I was driving down the block my daughters father liked to smoke on. I saw him, blunt in hand, in the car with his lady, and became livid. Yep. I did my vindicative thing. I called the police. Little did I know the police that came would put me in jail. 

But I was talking. Every time they tried to get me to leave I reminded them I wasn’t going anywhere. I had rights. It was a free country, etc, etc, etc.

I am not easily scared.

When they removed me from the situation and I had to be bonded out of the situation, I wanted so bad to run and tell all my daughters father’s secrets about himself to his face and anyone who would listen. I mean he told a lie, the policeman told a lie, and I had to pay a couple of stacks to a great lawyer to free my name from something that had been made up.

But, integrity.

I recently was close to a young man who enjoyed telling me all the sordid details about his significant other. He also told me all about his friends and their secrets. 

How can a man with no integrity expect to go any place in life?

It doesn’t matter how great a person’s talents are when their moral fibers are few. It doesn’t matter what a person does well when they treat people like trash. That may be why a talented person who has been working at their talents for decades still has shows where no one can sing along with the songs. Or, no one shows up at all. 

Mediocrity at its best. 

Mediocrity and lack of integrity goes hand in hand. 

It’s hard to build a following of people when respecting people is at a minimum. It is hard to be loved by adoring fans when a person is not honest about their motives for another person. Why not be honest about what your purpose is in a persons life?

Who sent you?

I am thankful for every area in my life I fell, I failed, and had to work hard to rebuild. 

Rebuilding teaches humility and with humility comes integrity. 

There are moral principles I live by these days. 

I will not lie to get my way. I will not disrespect those who have been kind, or have come to help me. I will not pretend to be interested in a person’s life just to get them to consume something I have to offer. I will not pretend to love someone just to get their attention when I feel no one else, I want, is giving the attention I want. I will not be disloyal. There will be no talking about the people I am close to when they are not around if I have no intention on telling them how I feel about them when it all cools down for me to share. I will have concern for others. I can’t be a person who is only concerned about what a person can do for me and how they make me feel. I have learned to take responsibility for my personal actions. When does one grow into maturity to hold themselves accountable for behaviors that may have led to discomfort in relationships?

See this last situation God used all types of things to remove me from was something I was never supposed to be involved in, in the first place. I kept letting what I saw get me distracted from faith, which is a substance of the things hoped for and belief in the things UNSEEN. 

For all that is in the world is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life.

All that character did was talk about himself and his perceived accomplishments. What good is accomplishments if changes aren’t happening around us. We live in a society where everyone is so consumed with themselves. Pause, flash for the click of the pic. Where men need to have a woman that represents everything society says we are supposed to be going for and wonder why our children are failing as a generation killing everything like open season at target practice. It almost seems like Everything has a bullseye on it in Chicago these days. Who is raising the children? 

Are they women and men of value, moral integrity and substance? 

Men in the music world are constantly promoting sex. Women believing they have to be sexy in order to be chosen. Divisions happening between women in competition for what they feel is a valuable man. And men confusing women, and overconsuming product to create bait for women to bite. Who has time to raise the children. Who has time to fill them with moral values? Who has time to show love, when lust and greed are the central and key ingredients to our societies potluck?

See in honesty I can say finally I am single because I never had the closure I needed with my ex. I was too busy lying telling him all we were, was sex partners and that’s all it was about. The truth was, I was head over heels in love with him.

But closure came at A visit to my daughters birthday party. The same man, from back when my then two year old called Dadas, like she never knew her father, walked in the door to say happy birthday, and left with a sense of closure. We made the right choice all those years ago.

See while he was chosen for being one of the most handsome men. His encouraging words built me up. A woman has to be up built by her man in order to be the healing nurturing light the family structure needs to grow. He was let go for his inability to be honest, and communicate with me. He chose to get his information from the woman who called herself my sister but hated me like an enemy. 

I let go then, and where I grew over the last four years in one direction and he grew in another; closing doors to a purpose we chose not to fulfill became the plan for our future.

Integrity. I live to love on purpose. I am not interested in a man who sleeps with women for sport. Who calls women out of their name. I have encountered too many down low men, thank God for the Holy Spirit being a snitch. Men who disrespect any woman is suspect. I am not interested in a man who speaks ill about a woman who carried his seed in her womb for months. I am not interested in a man who is not loyal to his circle of friends. I am not interested in a man who has nothing to offer to his community. And while many other women may be, I have to be honest and show integrity to my needs and the needs I want to meet for my daughter.

And if that means I wait until she is a teenager like my mother did and all the raising has been done so be it. If I teach her sheer drive and determination from the beautiful people God has surrounded us with, I shall. I refuse to settle just to say I have something when that thing does not fit my needs. 

I operate in integrity.

I walk in purpose.

I treasure my moments.

And I love.

I love like splatters of paint on an empty canvas. There is no containing it. And I give it freely. Integrity means I give because that’s who I am. I never expect anything in return. I store treasures in heaven for my God to release to me as he sees fit.

And. His treasures have been abundant these days!

My integrity looks like a sun peeking out of storm clouds letting it’s rays illuminate bleak and drab skies. 

So what does your integrity look like?

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