Hard to Love

There is a rumor in my family that Usher Raymond is my brother.

My father forever playing with my grandmother saw him on a TV screen and told my grandmother, that’s my son Jean. Don’t you remember?

Grandma recounts a memory of a young man coming to her door steps. He was with his mom. He was telling a story about how he was about to go start a singing group with some other young men. He was going to California. 

Grandma was in a funky mood, the day of the alleged meeting. She just had surgery on her stomach. She was in pain. My earthly Papa was a rolling stone. So when he hollered out, Jean come meet my son. She replied, with harsh tones, you always bringing someone around here talking about they are your child.

Needless to say, the man-child grandma describes as Usher never returned.

I don’t know what to believe.

I have a doppelgänger. Her name is Jasmine Sullivan. 

Maybe Usher is my father’s doppelgänger. Even my mother saw him after hearing grandmas story and said he looked like my father down to his hands. 

Maybe it’s the truth.

Usher has this song on his new album Hard 2 Love. 

On the track Hard 2 Love, he says, “it’s like you’re gambling falling for me. I’ll kill you, you’re gon lose.”

I never did that love thing. My father had a hard time settling down. I do too. It’s never been a big interest of mine. My big brother does too. 

I used to treat my lovers like a black widow spider. I never tried to keep them around for too long, and in the process they would get their hearts broken. After two months it was dead and gone, and all I was left doing was getting what my body craved until someone new came along that I found more interesting.

That’s why after my assigned appointment with Jesus I didn’t pay any attention to any of the men in my church. Now that I have opened my eyes I can see how fine they are. But I had spent my life leaving a trail of broken hearts behind. And only picking up the pieces when I get bored. So I was afraid to do that to another person after finally becoming remorseful for how I treated these men who were so kind to me.

Then last year. Someone caught my eye. 

Then he told me something that made me look at him with interest. 

Then he listened to me and reminded me of some things I said. He listened to me.

Then he went out his way for me.

Then he respected my no.

Then he sang a little song about Jesus for me.

Then. Then. THEN. He told me he was proud of me.

I think I fell in love. I am unfamiliar with being in love. But. Every time I saw him talking to a woman, I was unbothered. I didn’t need to talk to him everyday. And would still send him texts when he didn’t respond. 

Then the Jehovah’s Witness in me came out. I was leaving him literature to read by way of letters. Even after he told me he didn’t see us being in a relationship. 

Surely I can change his mind.

Then I realized he was for real.

But love doesn’t stop just because the other person is no longer interested. 

I get a chance to feel what my former loves felt.

But then I get to feel firsthand what my Savior has to feel for me.

Even when I am unresponsive, or cold to him. He still loves me. Even when I ignore him. He still loves me. Even when I disappear, he is waiting patiently to come open the door for me no matter what time I arrive. He still has his words readily available and is constantly sending people to me to give me his words.

Just like I have done with that man.

That’s love.

Love doesn’t look for reciprocity. That what are you doing for me mentality doesn’t exist with love.

I pray for this man. Not that he will love me. I pray that whatever woman he finds will love him, and will treat him better than he has ever felt. I pray that if she can’t love him like he deserves to be loved that God will show her how. I pray for the best in his life. I pray God changes what needs to be changed, and heals whatever hurts. 

Love is not selfish. I finally get that now. It’s not about me.

Love makes the hard to love, easy! 

I bet you didn’t know you have a perfect Savior waiting to love you just like that.

His name is Jesus. Call on him, he responds! 

And He just like someone truly in love, will meet you wherever you need him to meet you.

That’s love. That’s love a couple of forevers style. 

My Savior is the only one who knows about forever. He is the only one who can teach us how to love and how to give it and receive it.

Have you ever wondered what you have to do to let him in? 

I never knew how to love. Now I do and I am forever grateful. Because when you sow seeds, even ones of love, they always return. And I am feeling loved these days.

I guess I am not so hard to love these days. And more importantly. I have found that those hard to love is actually easy when one is overflowing and bubbling over with love.

How lovely!

The art of Love

Can you imagine a paintbrush filling lines and going over the untouched places on a blank canvas?

Can you see paint filling the white backdrop with colorful hues that brings a portrait to life? The details that now create fluidity in the movement of strokes of artistry across a piece ready to be displayed openly.

Can you see a blob of clay? Lifeless and clunky, awkwardly taking up space. Until. It is now in the hands of a skilled potter. The potter begins to shape, mold, create, bring a blob of nothingness to life. A whole story is then created through the hands of that potter. The details and attention given to what feels like mud, that gets one dirty in the process is surely an act of love.

Because love is an art.

It is action. It is creating. It is imagination and invention. It is purposeful, detailed and clever. It doesn’t flow because thought and intention is put in the actions behind love. 

It is AMAZING!

It is beautiful.

I have spent so many blogs talking about the bad, refusing to reminisce on the good. Because of all the Issa Rae like Insecure mistakes I made I didn’t truly believe God’s grace would cover me and give me another chance to feel that type of love again.

But it is beautiful.

As a baby, the religion of my youth taught me more about love than I ever learned anywhere else.

Oh we showed love. Others have different experiences. There was good and bad. So I choose to focus on the good. 

The fact that I was the Kingdom Hall baby. Often moving from one pair of loving hands to the next. Growing up getting my first marriage proposal at the age of four and his mother loving me so much as I began to tower over him saying it didn’t matter how tall I got, as long as we served Jehovah together. Being reprimanded, encouraged, and often getting that report card money from the families in our congregation.

It didn’t stop there. Even when I moved to Boston. A family took me in like I was one of their own. A mother with all boys. I became the girl. The love of teaching me, paying attention to my needs, bringing me into their family like I was one of their own in such an unfamiliar place. Boston was often known for rudeness. I didn’t feel that, however. I felt love.

The flyest guy, looking like a Young version of LL Cool J, with this super sexy Trinidadian accent to match.  Lips and all chose me. I think we went to two movies every weekend. At 17, my mother let me have my first date! I was ecstatic!

My mommy. Died two deaths for me. She knew there was no coming back from a body 90% overtaken by cancer, but she agreed to be resuscitated because I asked her how was I going to live this life without my mommy.

She went above and beyond for me and friends all my life. Everyone she met she had something to give them. Whether it was butter cookies, aromatherapy concoctions to help with migraines or acne, or caring for children. I think my sleepovers were always lit. 

I learned love!

I told someone the other day. If you have a flower potted in soil that doesn’t get sunlight, water or nourishment that plant is not going to survive.

The same way with people.

If people are not given the right type of attention, encouragement, and love they die. Maybe not physically, but spiritually. Their dreams die. They self sabotage, and self destruct. They throw away perfectly good lives wanting and waiting to be validated thinking validation equals love.

Look at poor Kanye.

A lost mommy with no real support leads to breakdown.

Well. I decided to love. I planted seeds all summer. I loved on the most unlovable people. I encouraged, offered support, kindness, and even advice.

But when a person is not used to being loved, they run back to those they see as valuable and try to take their new feel good self to the people who will never accept, support, or upbuild them. And depositing into the wrong banks will have them betting big and losing all. 

I died to my flesh doing this. My flesh kept telling me how stupid I was texting people who didn’t respond. Being kind to people who obviously didn’t deserve it. But maybe those people needed it the most. I have such an overflow of love to share with those with no strings attached that maybe in hurt and pain those who act like they don’t want it need to feel it for real, so they can flourish in greatness.

I planted seeds is all.

Now when I get good morning prayer sessions or good afternoon, I love yous. Or calls just to check in. Or real actions of love coming through to me; I know these are the seeds I planted. 

We all reap what we sow.

Sometimes immediately. Sometimes later on.

Some seeds take a minute to grow deep enough roots.

But love. Is like art. Takes a real artist to appreciate the acts. And takes true perception to pay attention to those who just come to entertain and perform but have no real depth behind what they do.

But we can only be as deep as the crew we run with. 

It’s all packs. Wolves run with Wolves. Lions with lions. Not snakes, snakes eat other snakes.

Hey you get what you give!

Make sure to give it your best. Give it your all. Walk in truth, and love. 

And watch love bring you to life!

No more distractions 

I got this email. A young woman came into my life, dark and broken a couple of years ago. She decided she no longer wanted to associate with me. But her stuff was heavy. Everytime she got free from something she went right back to those she was supposed to stay away from to gain strength. She had difficulty being honest. She said she had never been rejected, but her mother wouldn’t raise her, allowed her to be placed in the system and many times would shut her off again in her adult life. She even was prideful. Sometimes she would do hurtful things to me and justify her behavior.  Like when she called the police on me and i was only at her house to pick her up for church. She justified it by saying, “Well people in my past…”. 

I am not the people in her past though. I had dealt with her disrespect many days trying to encourage her and recognizing things in her that God had allowed me to overcome.  But when a person won’t be honest with their own self, they don’t know how to be honest with you.

I am not a counselor. Just a person allowing God to move through me from time to time. And those that suffer from mental health issues needs to address those things with a professional.  

You can most assuredly catch me practicing what I preach.

So. She sends me this email. She lets me know she will no longer be contacting me.

I almost started running in praise. I heard God speak and say the assignment was over. Then she confirmed it. I was overjoyed.

She seemed to be upset because I did not want to join her new founded prayer line.

Let me see your fruit.

She has never popped into my life when I was going  through despair. It was always the other way around. She never prayed for me and I got a breakthrough. In fact when I would pray with her before on the phone with a couple of sisters, things in my life went from bad to worse. All that tells me is that isn’t for me. But praise God that He has some people who will benefit from her testimony. Her assignments. Her life. Her love. 

It just isn’t me. 

I asked God. Then I asked a couple of my mature sisters in Christ, and the Naomi to my Ruth. 

It was all a nay.

Besides. She doesn’t talk to me. And if I am sitting in arms reach of her when Pastor says touch your neighbor, these days, she won’t touch me as her neighbor.

But. I have prayed for. Picked up. Cooked for. Read poetry to. Encouraged. Loved on. Spoke life to help her get to the new life I have found. But you can’t talk to or touch.

I set boundaries.

If I have encouraged you to reach your goals and I say I want to be a size 2. Encourage me. Find examples on the internet of other women who have done the same. Don’t tell me the Lord said I shouldn’t be so hard on my self. And then ask me why would I want to be that size and be like everyone else. No. That’s your size. You don’t want me to be your size?

But like I said. People that have a hard time being honest with self will not be honest with me. Then lie on God. On my vegan journey she gave me something to eat that was not vegan because it had honey in it. But the Holy Spirit is leading? Needing deliverance is a real necessity these days. Especially when having gone through and doing some of the most vile things while a soldier in satan’s army before becoming a warrior for Christ.

I recognize this in myself. And for others. But pride will make one think nothing is wrong at all.

So when I say don’t give me direction on losing weight when you’ve been small all your life, respect my wishes. Or not to tell me to do something in contrast with what I have heard God tell me to do. Especially when this person is living in disobedience everytime i come around her. 

Whose voice are you really listening to?

Or when I say don’t lift my name on your prayer line. Is this to feed her ego. As she tells others that I am xyz, but watch how I lift her name anyway. Or she is praying out of the will of God for me because she isn’t hearing him clearly, needs deliverance, or is operating in the flesh and not in the spirit; i don’t want that type of warfare for my life right now. I am catching my breath to fight the enemy. Not my sisters or brothers in Christ.

Why can’t people respect my wishes. If a person is sincere about praying for me they will pray in their prayer closets. Not all out in public like the Sadducees and Pharisees. Looking for man to applaud instead of seeking Gods favor. 

He says love him and love your neighbor. And love holds no record of wrong. So living in offense isn’t love. And if you are allowing offense to take over an interaction with a brother or sister then love is not a strong point. And if you can’t love me how can you pray the will of God for me?

Manupulation. Is a tactic of witches. Manipulating the will of God to be changed to their will.

So. When I tell her it sounds demonic that she can pray for me, but can’t speak to me, she replies… 

Demonic attacks.. any you are experiencing not from me I am not a witch. I do not appreciate those accusations. As they are false and unfounded based purely on your personal thoughts and nothing else.

I never said or implied. I said. To me it feels demonic. (like a spirit of darkness) It is like the devil would use someone to say they want to pray for me. But can’t even talk to me. Its not that I block her or shun her. I just set boundaries to which she does not comply, makes direct attacks and then she has claimed makes me confrontational.

People do a lot of awful things to me these days. I do not go to them with these things. I pray to my Father in heaven and watch them get dealt with. She even came back and tokd me how awful her life was after she called the police on me, but I didn’t get angry. I was elevated for forgiving her and still loving her as God asked me to do.

It’s my life. I will feel safe in itdoI wondered though what would make her feel, I believe she is a witch?

I don’t tell that to people I believe practice that sort of life. I share my own lifes experiences with them hoping they seek God and find freedom from dark art practices.

Well I didn’t believe.  But now I wonder. 

Because there are many women who have been in my life hoping to take me off the course God has set for my life. One went to psychics to get spells. They lie. They manipulate. They cause drama and distress. They turn the hearts of others against me. They are a distraction, coming to take my focus off the King of kings and Lord of lords. Their mouths produce blessings and curses. So if they are cursing me, are they witch like?

All I know is nothing. I have asked God to lead me. And He hasn’t let me down yet. I used to be involved in some things that were detestable before the Lord and he forgave me. I used to be confrontational. Now I seek and pursue peace. I am living to do things proper and in order. That’s probably why I had that poem I recited at my church for a coupke of years before I brought it out. 

God has a plan for me. But when I hear Him say do, and I don’t wait for his timing I create problems for my life that would not have come any other time. 

The bible says plans fail for lack of advisors. If I don’t get direction and wisdom for a walk i never walked, I will stumble and fall. And if I throw away everyone God sends to help me I don’t get to have a Naomi to my Ruth. A Paul to my Timothy. A Moses to my Joshua. And I in turn would have never learned how to cultivate and maintain these relationships to then have others to sow into. 

Like the young woman who turned her back to me.

But I am grateful. Some assignments are only fulfilled because of my love for God. 

Some of those assignments become sisters who become friends. Who turn up with me. Who teach me snapchats. Who have been in my life for years. 

I am blessed.

I never needed anyone. But God. But he places people in my life who will love, value and respect me and the anointing on my life.

So good bye distractions. I never needed anyone to take me off focus. But I allowed a couple to do so. Now I know how to snap back, and delete old stories like snap chat.

It’s been real. But I’m out.

Relationship Goals

I was in a relationship with a man who loved me once.

He was a friend before I knew he was into me. So I let my guards down.

See friends were always just that. My longest standing friend has been riding with me for 35 years. Literally. He used to ride my back as a baby. We used to sip lean and blow trees in bathrooms letting Lil Wayne fade into our backgrounds. We even slept in same rooms together. He on the floor. Me, in my XL twin bed.

My dorm roommate didn’t seem to mind.

All these close proximities and we have never so much as held hands. Or seen each other in our swimsuits, let alone anything less.

We have been just friends. Only friends. Integrity.

So friendship was a safe place.

A safe place for love to brew. Seasoned and marinated to perfection like a stew.

He loved me.

Someone recently posted that single people always have something to say about relationships. I do. I’ve done. And at that youngsters age I had a lot going for me. Including a happy relationship with my friend.

We traveled together. Gave expensive gifts. He went from making $6 an hour to $25 in our time span. He became a better man. But I became a better woman!

He once told me.

If you are not happy with me, go. Find your happiness without me. Are you still in love with so & so? Go see of thats what you want. I love you enough to see you happy. Even if that’s without me.

I know love. I had it. I live it. That’s why I recognize the opposite. Or relationships lacking it.

Love does not seek it’s own selfish interest. It does not do, looking for reciprocity. We’ve allowed love songs to confuse us about love.

And traded in love in exchange for lust and made it our standard!

Women manipulating their men to stop talking to other women. What if you’re not his wife? What did God say? Why do we put these titles on relationships that weren’t meant to last? Then get mad at people. Trying to be their God. Telling them to go left when you, yes you my friend. You know you heard that voice in your head say go right.

Love is patient. I am willing to wait and see if I am the one instead of creating complications by allowing my flesh to choose for me. I don’t have to force commitment in a world when love is supposed to just flow. Like the fluidity of a brush on canvases to create art. Love is like art. It was always designed to make you feel something! Not desire. Feel.

All I know is nothing at all. A series of experiences that have allowed me my own unique outlook on life.

An opportunity to love and receive love from beautiful people.

And that is all this life was ever supposed to be. Love.

So love someone this week. Turn it into a month, and better still make it for lifetimes.

The only one standing in your way of receiving love is you.

So get out your own way!

Peace Pettiness

I was 12 the first time i was betrayed by a woman. 

I wrote a poem to my crush who could sing his hind parts off,  and my friend gave him the poem. I was too nervous to. She also took credit for it.

I couldn’t believe her.

But she was my friend right?

The next one used to tell me how pretty my mother was. She would go on to ask why didn’t I look like her?

Oh. My mom’s pretty, but I am not?

I was 15. I thought I was getting my first kiss. I thought he had just made it official. We were “going together”.

As long as my momma didn’t find out.

She would have had me before the Jehovah’s Witness elders fast and in a hurry like she did years later when she found my BC.

Anyway. As I was walking back to behind the garage where I left this boy with my friend who always implied I wasn’t so attractive, i heard something.

They are kissing.

Who said that? I wondered. As i peeped over the gate to see. But they were far apart.  Crazy me. Thinking the worst about people. Not knowing that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me back then.

Anyway. Days or weeks later the boy who went to church on occasion told me the truth. The Jehovah’s Witness girl kept that secret strong. 

My friend though. 

Years later. That very same friend did all she could to turn my family’s back on me. Thank God for that. I might be the same woman i used to be had i started around the people who encouraged me to be foolish. and never held me accountable for my behavior.

I always give people the freedom to be without making them pay for the sins of others.

So when I moved to the east coast I had a best friend there.
She did a similar form of betrayal I experienced at 15. But worse. 

Then a friend I called my sister did some of the worst things anyone could ever do.

I heard that same voice tell me she didn’t like me.

I called her. I told her, the Holy Spirit just told me you don’t like me. 

She said, “I don’t.”

Then began to explain something equally as ludicrous as to why. 

I noticed that these women would engage in opportunities for pettiness. I would shake it off like i am just being too over dramatic.

No. When God speaks he wants us to listen. When he shows us someone. Believe them. Then pray to God for their change. Then love them in spite of.

Women throw shade for so many reasons.  Some of the major ones are men and insecurity. 

When I dealt with a cheater every pretty woman was a problem. He liked pretty women. He had hurt me repeatedly with a pretty woman. I didn’t even know why I didn’t like the beautiful women I came in contact with. My spirit couldn’t be honest with myself to say that his behavior had caused insecurity to creep in. Which then introduced me to jealousy. So I could celebrate certain types of beauty. The beauty that he would probably reject. But. The beauty that I may have seen him staring at a little bit too long, or reminded me of someone he was unfaithful to me with, I shunned.

But. People have made up these stories about who I am. Since no one knows me and they maketend like they have it all together, they become the credible source. 

Not accepting that it may be them. 

Pastor said at bible study last night, “God can’t heal can’t heal a lie.”

I had to be honest with myself. I want real meaningful and lasting relationships. Not just the ones I had before the hurt came. But new ones as I build trust past betrayal.

I don’t have time to love and leave. I don’t care to love and lose anymore.

When God shows me. I will believe and love and pray for that person from a good distance.

And once they are better we can come back together. If God took away my pain. If I can love and talk to those who betrayed me in my past because they chose to heal from their hurt and grow. Then, I know God will do it for those who diligently seek him for the healing.

Dear pettiness,

Thank you for taking space in the hearts of many. I surely know how to recognize you. I definitely know how to avoid you. Pettiness at the expense of others is like anger used to hurt someone. I use anger to fuel my passions. I only use pettiness to poke fun at those who are celebrities and do silly things when i need good laughter. 

So you, petty behavior, may have tried to get me going. You may have tried to upset me. But i will not let you close to me again. When you use a woman who is better at pretending she is alright as opposed to going to get help to make her better, i am going to see you every time.

No thank you. 

You can’t come into my circle. You will never be wanted or accepted amongst us who just want to see others be better and willing to do better.

Peace pettiness. You just lost this one.

Sincerely,

Radiance J.

Dear Super hero Cape

Dear Superhero Cape,

I’ve been the storm, so I’ve been in the storm a long time. 

Because of that I am so quick to run to the rescue of my fellow storm mates. 

Oh you. Trouble in your relationships. Let me tell you. .. Help you… Open the doors to my place for you.

Oh you. Trouble in your finances. I only have a dollar, but I can give you a quarter. Now I don’t have the money to pay what I need because that dollar was supposed to cover it. But…

Emotional issues? I was always a wreck. I used to hide behind make-up and hair extensions. Long lashes and fancy nails. Not that there has ever been anything wrong with accessorizing ones beauty. However, my purpose was to blind a man with the outer beauty so he could ignore my deepseated issues with self. He could ignore my need for attention. He would ignore my insecurities. He would ignore my deepseated self hatred. The deep seated self hatred that comes from being rejected and abandoned. He would ignore my lack of respect for him because of my lack of respect for self, which would have me creating a home for him before he legally made me his wife.

Yeah. The bags were heavy. So instead of emptying my bag, I would choose to help others carry theirs. Never once have we resolved issues. It seems we just carry these bags to and from situation to situation adding more as we go.

But let me help you so I can avoid helping myself.

Or spiritual issues. I got a scripture to quote. Oh I know so much bible. So let me tell you…

But did I know Jesus? The Father said the only way to get to Him was through Jesus.

It’s like a CEO with the family business. The Father dealt with the rebels in Moses day. He got tired of doing business the way it was. All the burnt offerings. They no longer appeased Him. He talked some things over with His Son. They agreed to let The Son be the perfect redemptive sacrifice. 

Jesus agreed to leave the glory of the heavens. He agreed to be brutalized, beaten, betrayed and lied on just to name a few.

He was abandoned, mistreated and rejected. He told his disciples just to stay up and watch while he prayed. After he fed them, paid their taxes, privided a new life for them and showed them what real love looked and felt like?

Yes.

So The Son, after rising, was given all authority on heaven and earth. 

He runs the family business now. He goes to The Father on our behalf. He understands this fleshly battle with demonic warfare. How we so desperately want to do right, but what we don’t want to do we do, like Apostle Paul.

Oh He knows.

Super hero cape. You wanted me to believe I have the ability to save. When only my savior died so I could have life. 

Oh oh. Then you have the audacity to make others upset with me when they need and I can’t supply. You are really manipulative sometimes. I did not come to save. I came to tell the world who saves. I came to intercede as Jesus intercedes so He can turn to our Father and say look. There is a need to be met. We ready to party in heaven and rejoice. One sinner is ready to turn away, resisting the devil so he will flee.

Not my job superhero cape. Not mine.

See. In finding this relationship with Jesus it’s like any other relationship. I wait for him to show me what I need to do. He speaks His word is koud and clear. Is His spirit big enough to call my spirit to action? 

Oh. Be a vegan you say Lord? Oh cut off so and so, you say Lord? Don’t do what? Call whom?

Obedience is truly better than sacrifice.

So no thank you superhero cape. I have learned to love and accept me. I have shed tears for the girl rejected therefore i dont need to look for acceptance in the clothes I wear (my outer appearance), the car I drive, or the people I connect to. 

I have sat on the couch of a rumored millionaire plenty of times. He is really quiet and humble. And every stack of bread I’ve asked for He went to the bank to give me.

Satan offered Jesus material things. Because thats all He can give. So that stuff doesn’t move me. As long as there are hungry people on the streets a thousand dollar bag won’t ever excite me. 

But Jesus. He gives joy and peace. He gives love and kindness.  He gives healing and healthy abundant life. 

So you can live quietly. A showy display is not necessary when it’s real and you are truly happy.

So superhero cape. I am going to focus on letting Jesus save me. 

Gotta hang you up these days.

Its been a fly ride.

Sincerely,

Radiance J.

Pardon me People Pleasing!

Dear People Pleasing,

It’s so flipping over. The wheels you have carted rolling me in other directions I no longer want any parts of. The tumble weeds that have been tossed in the wind, in my direction, is nothing I want to associate with any more.

It causes people to be phony and fake.

I grew up in a religion that required me to do things for the acceptance and approval of people.

I see that on people now. They feel like if they make someone with influence and power like them they will be instafamous.

Nobody wants to perfect a gift but always want a platform.

People pleasing you almost got me. I almost started shucking and jiving for the powers that be.

I almost gave into your sneaky ways.

I kept reminding myself of the things I was doing that I would eventually need support from the masses for.

Then I remembered, I have never needed to please people when God has always been in control!

When I first made it to UIC people kept telling me to get in contact with my ex-husband. He was the man to know they said. I did not. Not until months later. But if I had he would have introduced me to the summer research program that paid a hefty stipend. And probably told me about the McNair scholars program and used his clout to get me in being so well known on campus. I mean he spent enough time doing my homework when we actually got together that my success would have been linked to what he did for me and not God!

He was never supposed to do those things. God has always been with me.

See people pleasing. I got that internship at Jewel/Osco as a manager in training. But had people pleasing gotten me in the door I wouldn’t have been able to look back and say God did that!

I was the only Af/Am major in the group of marketing and business majors.

And lastly, if I was so interested in being a part of the cliques and joined one by people pleasing at my new place of worship I would never have been able to say God touched my Pastors heart to get him to ask me to share a piece of poetry.

As afraid of the stage as I am. The person who repeatedly got stage fright as a child? Sharing my most intimate moments of defeat? My brutal pain? I was still struggling to share the piece without breaking down in tears?

I said yes because I do not like telling God no.

My stage is the world. I have always gotten my fair share of attention in it.

I don’t need to show my beauty. Carrying on on social media for likes. I will though. Eventually. I would hate for someone to be interested in me for my outer appearance as I feed their desires.

And we wonder why relationships fail. People don’t like each other. They just like how many likes that person gets. They like how the rest of the world perceives their mate. They feel a certain level of importance by having someone who is by the standards of social media, sought after. But they get to know who this person is on the inside and don’t like them much at all.

No. People pleasing. I am done.

I won’t support people who can’t respond to a simple text. Or call when they say they will.

I won’t do it just to get on their good side so they can speak highly of me when they have the power to shift a persons outlook of me. Especially if they are in or close to a person in authority. All in the name of people pleasing.

I rock with integrity and if integrity and a person not cool, I won’t rock with that person!

People pleasing. You think you are slick. Trying to get me to trade my favor with God for favor of men. But men are limited to whom they are connected to! God has no limits.

Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith. He knows the plans he has for me to prosper and not to harm me! I can’t focus on pleasing people and pleasing God. Especially when they want me to do things outside of what God wants me to do! That would make people an idol. And i know how God feels about idolatry!

hahahahaha.

You almost tricked me. But I got up out that jam. And please don’t come around these parts no more. I’m not pleasing people. So I won’t be pleasing you.

good day and be well,

Radiance J

 

Buh Bye Backbiting. Goodnight Gossip!

Dear back biting and gossip,

With y’all nasty, cantankerous, know it all but know nothing but the information thats been given that usually is a half truth. 

Just stop it.

You are causing people to miss out on their blessings.

Oh what a snake you have caused people to become.

I read about a snake once. He talked the original couple out of their home. In a garden. Where they could walk and talk with God all day long and had no worries at all.

I will never trust a snake.

You have made them, back biting and gossip, over look that scripture in Proverbs 6:16. You know. ..

 There are six things the Lordhates,


    seven that are detestable to him:   a person who pours out lies

        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Backbiting. Gossip. I’m only addressing y’all. I will not address the people that you have a hold onto. I will keep peace. Thats my portion from the Lord. But. Y’all so busy working in these people you got them talking about the fact that I told the self proclaimed transgendered hip hip hop diva, i love you. And gave a hug to match the heartfelt confession I gave to Sidney Starr.

I read verse 16-19. It said nothing about detesting showing love to people.  Because I was commanded to love my neighbor as myself. And I know I struggle with a few thorns. The Lord is pruning me now.

Then you got others gossiping about how I won’t make it to my dream destinations. 

They so busy doing detestable things that all the shouting they do in church falls flat as they miss out on Gods blessing by inciting his anger and reaping his judgement that brings punishment. 

Exodus 20:6 

But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

I know I’ve got some issues backbiting and gossip. I need mercy. I will not say another word. I repent. I will indeed shut up.

As much as my flesh wants to respond to gossip and backbiting and wants to talk about, laugh, rejoice over your pain when I was caused pain at your hands I can’t. 

You can not have my blessings. 

We get the same mercy we give to others. And since I seem adept at getting what I want, why would i be anything other than my happy and silly, lovable self. So I extend mercy. I will treat others as I want to be treated! 

I will recover all!

I’ve said my fair share about others. Sowing seeds of discord amongst those who may need each other one day. I never should have.

Oh gossip. You won’t get me again. Backbiting even you will come into subjection to the Lord Jesus to follow his word and stop attacking his people with your behavior. 

Im done. Its official. We can’t be friends anymore. Find time with those who see nothing wrong with the behavior you produce in them. But as for me. I’m not going the places you want me to be anymore.

Sincerely,

Radiance J. 

Darling Doublemindedness. Its over.

I am a perfect juxtaposition with oxymoron like tendencies.

I wake up in the morning.  You dont love me by Gucci Mane blaring. Legs bent in 90 degree angle. Derierre parallele to the ground. As the bass in the song makes my back arch, flex, pop, juke. 

I am a classy chick with ghetto tendencies. I was raised west side of Chicago.  Just because i am a prodigy of the ghetto doesn’t make me a ghetto progeny. My story started there. It has not ended.

But I can’t be who I am not.

I have flown first class flights. Snoozing.  Not caring about upgrades. I have sat at 5 star restaurant’s tables. I have slept in 4 star hotel’s beds. I am unphased.

Material things have never blinded me, fascinated me, or moved me. I’m a kings kid. I been came from royalty.

But this is about my oxymoronic tendencies. 

I’m high/low key ratchet depending on my mood. But i can break down and intellectualize the fact that the propaganda of showing a black disenfranchised man being killed is only to stir up the masses. Creating racial tension. Causing a great divide. To ensure civil unrest in war like times. So the martial law Obama signed for peaceful times can be justified during the times of brutality.

But my twerk go hard.

I can praise and worship making a bigger fool of myself than David.

I love Jesus. But I cuss a lil.

Maybe the funny video i shared on my page that almost made people say they cant be bothered with someone straddling the fence for Jesus was for the young woman mourning a brother whose death will go unattended to by the media. His death was a black on black crime. But The murderers color doesnt have anything to do with her pain. 

All black murderers matter.  

See i was told to be all things to all people. The salt of the earth. I was asked to be light in the midst of darkness. All things to all people so I might win some. 

I was never told to stop being me. I was only told to repent from sin. 

I don’t know what code of law tou follow. But as a follower of Christ I was told to count it all joy. Rejoice, like Paul, during hardships. Maybe if we are more concerned with developing a relationship with God instead of always saying what so and so said, or being concerned with what so and so needs to do. Maybe we can be better off.

    God is not pleased with anyone putting anyone before him when he sent his Son so we could all acess him equally.

    Jesus!

    Jesus life matters.

    He says keep our eyes fixed on him. Not on the things in these troubling times. See I got a cheat sheet about the end times in his word, so I’m never surprised at what is going on in the world.

    Surprise causes anger. Which is a root of pride. Because anger breeds retaliation. And how can one pray and ask God to have his way and be the vigilante He can be when taking vengeance into his own hands when we be so busy facebook pulpiting to pray.

    I was guilty.  I repented. He got me real together quickly. And sent me to see the needs of his people dont stop with media coverage.

    People need the love of God.

    So when. I be me. Don’t worry. Its just me. If you think God isn’t pleased. Pray for me. Don’t break no laws and sin by gossiping about me.

    We will be better.

    I wish we could truly follow Gods laws and deal with murderers the way they did in bible times. The way they did adulteresses the same way. 

    But then let those without sin cast the first stone.

    The bible says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. How can i be who God created to me, if i keep reverting to fleshly thoughts and behaviors? And how can i go love, help, pray for those God sends me to if i keep doing what i want to do? And how do i become all things to all people if i am always concerned about what the religious sectors say i am supposed to be doing like i cant have my own relationship with God? How can i build a firm foundation if i keep flopping between hate for anyone and love of God. And how can i count it all joy if i am lamenting on Social media?

    I need stability.

    So darling doublemindedness. 

    Its over. I wont battle between caring what people think and trying to be something I’m not. Its okay to be one and the other. I never had to choose.

    But the pretenses and believing i do was always the problem.

    Im done son.

    Sincerely,

    Radiance J.

    Not so thirsty these days : Bye Bye Butterflies 

    ​Dear butterflies, 
    I recognize your futile attempt to get me to come and relive my garnished childhood. 

    I never had time for crushes. I was working. Or home alone. Or knocking on peoples doors declaring the Good News about paradise on earth and whatnot. (Bamboozling others when paradise is not a spiritual paradise in heaven and a natural one on earth. God is specific.  The devil authors confusion) Plus. I was brown in a culture where brown men celebrate fairer skin. I been too sleep to see. But having a light skinned daughter showed me how differently I’ve been treated.

    Dear butterflies.  It felt nice to have a flutter or two because i had some interest. 

    But (insert Beyonce formation fingers here) you!

    And i haven’t forgotten about you. Yes, you, the dude that only grab hold to fair skin women because of the aesthetic threshhold the images on TV won’t let him tear down.

    He looking for comfort and solidarity. But won’t give a brown sister pause. He looks past her beauty because of the images planted in his psyche about fair skinned being better. He doesn’t choose a woman based on how she will build his family, the community, or his suffering spirit. He chooses based on the perceived clout and credibility he gains from finding a mediocre chick gone glamorous. Regardless to what color she is.

    Its ok. When the purge happens. And her makeup is trashed. And her weave is tossed. And she screaming at you to curse God and die like Jobs wife cause she was weak enough to build her worth off of televised images, you gonna be praying for a Sojourner Truth. Truth is Assata Shakur. And truth is you seem better equipped at exiling the black woman way more than our oppressors ever could have.

    But I refuse to create the division. Or perpetuate it. Im just bringing light to it. Does one choose based on the images that have been depicted as right? Or because of what one needs? 

    Anywhoo butterflies. As always my inner self has decieved me. You, butterflies, heard his conscious talk and thought he had inner strength to not give in to the pressure. He can’t even be bothered long enough to show love consistently.

    The strongest bodies have the weakest minds. 

    Soooo Pineapple Crush is my favorite soda.  But I’m officially on a diet. My granddad had a good talk with me day before yesterday.  Im finally ready to stop being so stubborn and let him learn me something.  See. I. Yes me. I have a crush. 😮😮😮

     Lets call it a pineapple soda. 

     So I have a pineapple soda on this guy. And I accidentally ran into him twice in the past 7 days… I was trying to avoid him.  See the way the butterfly war (Alicia Keys style 🎼🎶🎤 you give me butterflyz🎶🎶🎶) is set up in my belly everytime I see him, I know trouble soon follow lbs.

    So. I can’t bring pop (soda) in my home while dieting.  Im trying to steer clear of my pineapple soda while on this no guys allowed year. I guess its a blessing I ran into him. I know exactly where not to be to make sure I dont see him. I just got a few goals to reach.

    I can’t let the butterflies get me distracted.  

    I can’t choose another man who is not made with the strength needed mentally to lead an intelligent and mentally strong woman.

    I will wait. I won’t continually allow my body to make choices for me my mind is going to regret later.

    Its over butterflies. 

    You bet not come back round these parts until you get good at choosin.

    Sincerely, 

    Radiance J.