Pressing Toward

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

~Phillipians 3:12-14

I’ve heard this particular passage of scripture several times; taught from several angles, but in this post, I want to focus on the “pressing toward the mark” portion. When you make the decision to FORGET those things that are behind you and press TOWARD the mark, you can’t continue to walk forward yet have your hand behind you pulling the rolling luggage of the past. I believe it’s easier for some folk to dwell on “those things behind” because those things are certain and to move forward means to abandon something you knew to be true and TRUST that what’s coming is better. It means you have to walk an unknown path filled with uncertainty and that makes us all VERY uncomfortable. Can’t we just perpetually stay in the “things that are behind us?” It’s very simple; we cannot. I mean you could, but the prize isn’t back there.

So about this pressing. Some of us bench press weights. Some of us just press buttons. Some of us press down on food items to make patties or mix well. The weight lifter can’t look at the weights and expect them to rise. We don’t just plop a glob of meat for a burger on the grill and never mixed the seasonings in; that’s not a taste that will be welcomed. When you press a button on the phone, you expect an app to open or the phone to perform a specific task. The point here is any type of press requires work – low or high impact, so pressing toward a prize is not going to be something that will come easily to you. You must put forth an effort to press. It takes nothing to recall, but it takes everything to press forward.

Your “things behind you” maybe failed attempts at making a relationship work. It could be bad experiences at the hands of “church folk.” It could be trouble with the law that resulted in prison time or other consequences. It could be health treatments that didn’t work. Maybe, it’s alcoholism or drug abuse. Whatever your “things behind you” is, I’m here to encourage you to PRESS TOWARD. Let go of the rolling luggage; loose the weight and PRESS!

Yes – pressing is painful at times, but even a broken arm will heal. An athlete doesn’t quit playing the sport because they were hurt in the past. Yes – pressing may mean old habits get left behind, but get free anyway. Yes – pressing may mean against all you want to hold on to that didn’t work and makes you believe moving forward won’t work, you give it one more shot – DO IT! Pressing may mean a new career path into the unfamiliar – take the job, promotion or business plan and make it happen! Staying settled in the “things that are behind you” closes the door on so much that God has prepared for you.

Your reality is one thing. Your PROMISE is another. Pressing toward the mark goes beyond the realm of what you know to be true because you see and feel it. Pressing toward the mark says, “God, I don’t know but you do and I’m going to trust you.” Thewpid-wp-1418915602340 one time you make up in your mind to forget those things which are behind you and press toward the mark will be when God’s promises manifest in your life. Relationships, jobs, business opportunities, healing, and more is yours, but it’s not behind you. Are you ready to press?

2016 – There are No Words, But I’ll Write a Few

Ok, so here’s a moment of more transparency. Judging by the title, one might think here comes all the reasons I hated 2016. Well, read on because you tumblr_mhclt3xx1m1ruv2gqo1_500may be surprised at the turn it will take. While this year had glimpses of hope, happiness and even joy, it also had tough growing PAINS.
I spent the majority of the year teetering between thinking God wasn’t listening to a word I’m saying to I KNOW He wasn’t listening to well maybe He was cause He allowed things to happen to show I wasn’t forgotten. Then back to, “But God? Why give me this but not fix the situation?”
This year, anxiety attacks, chronic pain, depression, doubt, fear, insecurity all came thundering down a steep mountain, ran me over at times and brought me to my knees – literally. I laughed a little and cried a LOT. I had some fun but then couldn’t sleep. I was blessed with a new job after several months of unemployment and no income, but still no peace. My business had a few great moments, but still no joy. I was BROKEN. I felt like I was reading a book of me wishing I could revise the outcomes, words, characters. I was trapped outside of my own life wanting to desperately bang on the window to say, “NO! Don’t do that! Don’t say that! Don’t go there! SHUT UP! Are you paying attention at all, girl?!” 365 days of never feeling like I could woosah. 365 days of holding my breath thinking, “what next?”.when-you-find-yourself-in-the-desert-place
Now, please, believe me, there was much going on that was much more catastrophic, so I should have felt blessed beyond measure for those things there were NOT happening to me cause it could have been worse. Yes, I know that’s the attitude you should have, but sorry. This blog post is my truth.
I felt like most tears fell in vain. I wanted to scream at God, “Why won’t you do anything?!” But I submit that God WAS doing something. Not outside of me but INSIDE of me. The bible says, “greater is HE that’s in ME…” Problem is I wasn’t allowing the HE in me to be great. Sometimes, we don’t recognize when God IS working out exactly what you prayed for because while we prayed for it and so called “left it with God,” what we REALLY did was have in our mind how it would look to us when God has accomplished the task of answering our prayer. You’re your own blessing event planner. God, it should be done this day at this time with these people invited to the unveiling of how good you are – insert praise break! When it doesn’t look that way, we question, cry, throw tantrums, get angry or depressed. No…just stop!
I have always been very spoiled and self-centered; not in a mean girl, obnoxious sort of way but simply used to getting what I wanted and having my way. I have always wanted the approval and love of others because my love for me was based on their love for me. I had no strength of my own. I had no faith of my own. I was tied to a lifeline to someone or something – my parents, my relatives, my husband, my job, and more. I had to get a wake-up call, and God tried to drop things in my spirit to let me know I wasn’t heading in a direction He was going to bless. I felt it; was convicted by it, but was just dumb, for lack of a better term. Some of us will never truly understand who God is unless He breaks us, and that’s what I meant by growing PAINS. When God sent that wake-up call, I FINALLY took a look at ME, and I didn’t like all there was to see. I’m not a complete and utter lost cause, but I was thrust into finding my worth, strength, true faith, and love for ME outside of anything going on around me. It’s an extremely hard journey and it feels very lonely at times.
One thing I’m coming to terms with is I make mistakes, and I used to be unapologetic about it or try to justify it away. Apologizing isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows you care enough about the other person to make things right. Next, while I’m talented and gifted at certain things, I didn’t love myself and was insecure. I loved myself enough to know I didn’t want to hurt me or leave this world but not enough to believe I’m good enough. Selfish – I lived my life without much regard to those connected to me. I missed most of my son’s infancy doing everything in “busy”ness. And being a wife…refer to my previous blog post, Entering Lightly. All of this was in my mirror. Now, what was I supposed to do? I’m 39. Change is a marathon and not a sprint. I started this journey in 2015, actually, and continued on all year to a better, stronger, more faith-filled me. I fight through anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness daily. I miss the mark a lot. I try too hard a lot. BUT, I contend that I’m not the same person I’ve been. Believe it or not – matters not. My new ever-changing me is walking into 2017 with new hope and God as the guide without me as His co-pilot. It’s amazing that pastor’s message today was “When Was the Last Time You Felt Like the First Time?” The closer I get to God and the more I go after Him, other things have to get better. God is who I’m after – BETTER comes with Him. Happy New Year!

Entering Lightly

9828431ed4ede369b8709f478e1ac14a“Marriage is not an institution to be entered into lightly…” These words are spoken in most ceremonies when two are to be joined. We listen to it for its ritualistic value, but do we REALLY understand what’s being said in our hearing? Marriage is a big deal! Contrary to the way Hollywood, government, and society at large treat it, the covenant of marriage means something to GOD! Well, this blog post is a moment of transparency. I entered in lightly!

I love “love.” Meaning I believe in it wholeheartedly. I love to be loved. Blah blah blah…whatever and stuff. The kind of love I liked was make believe – the things that fairy tales, myths, and legends are made of. The kind of love I liked was one-sided – the prince loves ME and dotes on ME. He’d whisk me away and live life happily ever after. The end. NOT! This immature love concept blinded me to the true love I really had trying to make it a feat of grand cinematography. How dumb was that?! I’m going to help someone who is a wife now, has consented to be someone’s wife or hoping to be a wife someday. Just hear me out and not listen in judgment.

I saw a FINE guy walking down the hall in high school. He had blossomed from the year before into a muscular, dark, bald piece of art. We were friends and football was a bit of the glue of our friendship at the time. He was a defensive lineman and I was a varsity cheerleader. He was nice, clean cut, and cute but I was into thugs and “bad” boys. Little did I know that this nice guy, totally unlike what I thought I liked or would fall for, would be my boyfriend much less my husband in the near future.

September 20, 1994 – after a failed attempt at trying to go together (broken off stupidly by me still going for thugs and less-thans), Mr. Clean Cut and I were an item. There was something pure about him. In his eyes, I saw sincerity. I felt like no one mattered except me when we were together. And STILL, no clue what my part in love was…entering lightly. Fast forward, we graduated from high school, with honors (had to throw that in there; he’s smart too 😊) and were off to different colleges. Entering lightly…still no clue.

We called ourselves breaking up in college for a few months but still only spent time and talked to each other. That break up was short lived. December 25, 1997 – a proposal! Plans were being made to build a forever life together. My story was being written nicely…entering lightly. He was loving me far beyond what I could imagine and I was loving him not even fathoming my reciprocal duty…just lost in it.

June 12, 1999, was a gorgeous, yet hot day. I was gonna marry the man of my dreams. He spoiled me and treated me like a queen. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for me. Me me me…and more me. “Marriage is not an institution to be entered into lightly.” I entered in light as a feather, but when that feather became a boulder, love came crashing down and I was faced with something that wasn’t the pomp and circumstance of a romantic, uplifting, whimsical and magical tale. I had to re-evaluate just where my love stood and what it meant to me to preserve it for who God sent to me. I submit to you that I had it all wrong, and by the time I got it – I found myself in one hell of a fight. If it helps even one person not have to go through this, then this post did its job. Strap in.

Our relationship was purely built on how my boyfriend loved me. As long as I was the center of his world, all was right with the world. I didn’t have to give much thought to how I felt about him. He loved me so of course, I loved him. He didn’t care about anything I had or anything I was doing. He honestly and truly just loved me. The problem with that is I didn’t know how to receive a love that genuine, so I wore it out and took it for granted. I didn’t think much of myself because I always looked outside of me for validation. You MUST love you or who God sent to findeth a good thing in you won’t even matter. Entering lightly…


 I did what I wanted when I wanted, how I wanted without much regard for the man in my life. I ignored what was said and what wasn’t said. Now wait; I know what you’re thinking – I can’t be a mind reader. This is true, BUT there’s a lot of conversation in silence. I was determined when I said I do that he wasn’t gonna tell me what to do. At that point, I was out of the will of God concerning my role as a wife. Ephesians 5 calls for wives to be submissive to their husbands and respect them. I did respect him but I was nowhere near submissive, so I guess in that regard, I didn’t respect him as the head. Ladies, it takes NOTHING away from your womanhood, feminism or independence to be submissive. God made man the head for a reason. Don’t buck His system! Your strength won’t leave you. Submission is not kryptonite so you won’t lose your powers. You are a team, but he is the head…period. When you’re out of order, it is bound to blow up in your face. I KNOW of what I speak. I was told I never listen and Imma do what I want anyway. After a while, it’s no longer a joke. What you laugh off and dismiss may be crying later. Entering lightly…

You are who you are. No other wife is like you and no other husband is like him. Comparison is one of the poisonous arrows that shoots through your relationship heart. I had the picture perfect relationship playing in my mind, but that wasn’t my reality. I wanted this couple’s reality cause he washes his wife’s car. I wanted that couple’s reality because he gets his wife’s hair and nails done. This husband compliments his wife in public and online and on and on. I didn’t know if they were smiling in public and fighting like cats and dogs at home. I didn’t know if that hair and nails appointment were to make up for something someone forgot or did that was hurtful. I didn’t know that she was being submissive and taking care of home. Point is, I had the perfect man for me just the way he was, but I didn’t take the time to see HIM right and when my eyes were opened, his were dimming. Entering lightly…

Wake up and understand, what you choose is not always God’s choice. He may not fit who we envisioned but who are we to say, “no God. Not him. Too tall. Too short. Wrong job.”? Check yourself. I have come to know when you enter lightly…

  • Your perception of love is YOUR reality and when your significant other doesn’t live up to the perception, resentment may well up and you seek to change what was really a God-send.
  • You take love for granted as if it will always be as magical as the day you declared “I do” in front of God and witnesses. Love isn’t one moment in time. It is a daily job and decision.
  • When things aren’t going “as planned,” you make other plans that could be turning to others, becoming a work-a-holic, primarily focusing on kids or anything to disengage.
  • You bring preconceived notions on how things gonna be and what you’re not gonna do and all the other person will (better) do – tall tales and myths…
  • You think that how you are coming into marriage is never to be changed. You can’t bring your spoiled, selfish, self-absorbed self into a union! It may be ok at first but it will wear thin…I KNOW what I’m talking about.
short-sweet-marriage-quotesI have come to learn and still processing…
  • I really do love my husband and it really is unconditional.
  • If it’s worth it, love your way through it and hold on until your fingers get locked up and then hold tighter.
  • Prayer changes things even if the thing is YOU.
Don’t wait until you have to put the pieces back together. Don’t enter lightly. Saying “I do” lasts far beyond the ceremony.

Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – Built to Last

In this “Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry” blog series, we have explored 3 gem characteristics – quality, authenticity, and being worth more. In this last installment of the series, we will take a look at being built to last. The last criteria of a gem is that it is long-lasting. Think about that for a minute. We’ve purchased costume jewelry in the past and after a while, it starts to lose its color; the paint starts to rub off; pieces of it fall off, or it pops all together making it unable to be worn at all, so you throw it away. You find it isn’t worth your time to fix it. You’ll just get a new one…no big deal, right?

External Builds

Often times we start out in a gem situation. Then as time moves on, any or all of these outside entities can start to show signs of wear.

  • Your career comes to a halt or you realize that it isn’t what you were put on Earth to do; the environment changes due to new management or administration making things difficult to accomplish.
  • He or she is the love of your life. You don’t see one without the other. You’re the best of friends and life is grand cause you’re in each other’s air space. Then the bomb drops…BOOM! Love as you know it has pieces falling off. Chains are popping and you can’t find your charms that rolled under some furniture.
  • The keys to a dream home are in your hands. You had plans to raise your children there, have huge family gatherings, and enjoy the outdoor space. Next thing you know, the roof pops – foreclosure looms, floods come with no insurance.

The gems of your life are falling apart? Let me encourage you AND myself. Just because it looks like costume jewelry doesn’t make it so. What distinguishes true gems is the ability to last through ALL that life throws at it. You don’t throw away a real diamond because the necklace popped or the ring no longer fits. Our cherished heirlooms don’t lose value because a small piece is missing. We still hold them dear and do our best to preserve them because they can be passed down to be of benefit to future generations. There’s a story in our treasures! Stay with me…

Yes, where ever we are in life is where we are and there IS a reason. BUT we still live and breathe. That means the gem can be saved. It is still just as real as the day you obtained it. Your career goals. Your purpose. Your relationship. Your whatever…is real and meaningful. Don’t give your gems over to be pawned for way less than you deserve. Even if the light is a little dim; change the setting and new life can spring forth. Put that priceless pendant on a new gold, silver or platinum chain. Now, what you thought was a lost cause lives again. Walk in your purpose. The road to it takes twists and turns, but keep going. An even larger gem is waiting.

Relationships can tarnish, lose color, have missing pieces, and look like cheap, useless, costume jewelry – tossed around and lost and no one cares to look for it because why? Who needs worthless companionship? I submit to you that there is such a thing as JEWELRY CLEANER and JEWELRY REPAIR. You NEVER abandon your fine jewelry when all it needs is a good cleaning and/or repair. I mean, if it means anything to you, but only you can answer that. Again, it’s still real…just fix it and let it shine. These are examples of things outside of ourselves, but what about the internal builds?

Internal Builds

There is a brilliance within each of us, but we allowed the costume jewelry of life to dull the gem within. We put this costume jewelry on and it wears in our skin like a heavy, tacky, bulky chain. We adorn ourselves in elaborate “jewels” like:

  • Fear
  • Failure
  • Loss
  • Financial setbacks
  • Rejection
  • Insecurity

The list grows until you’re weighted down in stuff that was never meant to last. We decided to wear it and never take it off. You are fine jewelry – a gem and you put the diamond you are in a weak setting! Fear can go, but you are built to last. So what you failed at something? Yes, it hurts. Yes, it stings. Yes, you may be angry. Yes, you may not want to try again, but if you don’t, you let the costume jewelry take over your prize possession – YOU!

img_3057Gems are long-lasting. Far beyond insecurities, rejection, or anything else that seeks to tarnish you from the inside out. Recognize those internal battles for what they are; they are temporary. They can never last unless you choose to wear them every day. Don’t pass them down to future generations. Build love, respect, worthiness, and strength because those precious jewels are here to stay. You, gems, are built to last. Be brilliant. Be great. Be a gem and LIVE ON!

Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – You’re Worth More!

Did you catch the first two installments of the Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry blog series? To recap, please go back and read…

Let’s Talk Quality

A Look at Authenticity

The next part of the definition of fine jewelry is that it’s “often considered an investment or something worth collecting and passing down…” When we choose to invest in something, we’re saying you’re worth more than what I’m initially giving you, so therefore more will be returned to me. You’re saying you can get behind the grand idea because it’s a worthwhile effort. We tend to not give our investment of time or money to what we don’t consider to be worth it. Some of us may also possess things that have been passed down from other family members or we acquired it through an estate sale or auction. No matter the means by which you attained it, it’s worth a lot of money and truly is a timely treasure. Here, I’m speaking of things, but what about you? Do you realize that as a gem, you are worth more? Do you understand you are a worthy investment? Maybe by the end of this blog post, you will at least be on the right track to this realization. Here are 3 ways to demonstrate you’re on the path to realizing you’re worth more.

  1. Own your no.
  2. Opinions, trials, and current realities do not determine your worth
  3. Stand on your worth and know you’re worthy to take such a stand.

Own Your No

In an effort to be a gem, we turn ourselves into costume jewelry because we feel that saying yes to all requests helps us to shine. We feel needed or fulfilled in some way or that others will draw to us because of our gracious and giving nature. The real deal is that most people won’t think twice about telling you no despite the fact that you are their yes man or woman. You vow to stop doing stuff for certain people only to turn around and say yes again for fear of losing them as a friend or “influential” acquaintance. Maybe they’ll be offended or mad if you say no and stop talking to you. I’m here to tell you in this blog post – SO WHAT?! Some of these folks have a false sense of entitlement because they think they have done so much for you, why can’t you do anything for them. Forget the fact that you say yes to 9 of the 10 things they ask of you. The first time you say no, you’d swear the apocalypse was near. Now, you never do anything for them. You’re never there when they need you. Blah blah blah… The phone calls are few. The text messages are non existent. Blah blah blah…img_2986-1

Saying yes to most things caused me to lose way more than I ever gained. I lost time when my son was a baby. I missed grand opportunities to enjoy my husband. I felt I HAD to do all this “stuff.” People were depending on me. Who else would do it? Just craziness…I was well into my 30s and I’ll be 40 next year before I realized that no is NOT a 4-letter word. I take that back, it IS a 4-letter word and that word is FREE! Saying no frees you. Saying no keeps your integrity in tact because saying yes to a thing only to realize you can’t put forth the effort or expertise throws a negative light on you. Saying no shows those who really love and care about you that they mean something to you. You can’t get time lost back.

Don’t allow anyone to take you on a guilt trip. Don’t buy that ticket. You say no and you mean it.

Opinions, Trials, and Current Realities Do Not Determine Your Worth

Begin to understand who and what really matters. Some things and some people aren’t worth the time in thought you give them. The opinion of others are just that…opinions. Meaning, someone out there doesn’t feel the way they do, but you take so much stock in this one in particular that your whole world crumbles if “they” see you in a negative light. Perception is a quirky thing. How people see you is NOT your fault, so don’t base your worth on someone else’s thoughts.

You’ve been through some rough times in life. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you had to interrupt your schooling. Maybe you’ve had to move due to foreclosure or eviction. Maybe you’ve experience infant loss like I did. I don’t know your story, but if these things happened in the past, that means you got through it. More than likely the worst of the situation is over. Your worth didn’t diminish in those times of crisis. You’re worth more than a lost house. You’re worth more than time lost from school. img_2984None of these circumstances make you any less worthy than you were before any of it happened to you. Even now, your faith can be tested and your reality may not be what you want it to be. Or it could be everything you want it to be. Good, bad or indifferent – it still doesn’t determine your worthiness.

Worth is internal and eternal.

Stand on Your Worth and Know You’re Worthy to Take Such a Stand

You, loves, are worthy investments because God gave His son to save you. There is a purpose only to be fulfilled by you, and if you were worthless, what good would you be to God to carry out His purpose? I mean if you want to feel that way about yourself, He can always get someone else but His heart is for you to do it.

You declare that you are worthy and make no apologies for it. Yes, you’ve been through some things. Yes, you’ve had a plethora of successes in life. Yes, you’ve been on the mountain and below the valley. You are God’s worthy investment. You are a precious jewel. Diamonds make no apologies for shining. Rubies don’t let anyone steal their sparkle. You sparkle, shine and illuminate WORTH.

Worth More…costume jewelry – wear it, don’t be it.


Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

dae6476eb70f5a6fc578aba9c4c568dbFaith. Faith. Faith. No, it isn’t a typo. I meant to type it more than once because I have grown to have to be reminded that faith is what I used to lack and still sometimes chip away at when life’s circumstances spring forth. Again, God gives me the flow I need to write and He tends to speak to me through the word delivered by the man of God I sit under. It’s uncanny! I’ve written great stuff prior to ever knowing of this ministry, but now it’s like new life has been breathed into a gift God gave me so long ago.

“Living Hands Free” was the title of the message. I’ve heard a plethora of sermons on having faith, believing in God, let God handle it and so on and so on. I sat there and listened. I sat there and made a mental declaration that from here on out, I’m going to let God do what God does in His time. I sat there and LIED! It was more like, “God, I’ll let you do what you do for a little while, but if things don’t change, I’ll take over from that point. Thanks but no thanks.” How DARE I say that to the only sovereign God! Over and over again, God has shown the power He has, and it’s just an inkling of the power He REALLY has. He saved my and my son’s life from a fiery car crash by sending medical professionals to the scene of the accident who were just passing by (miracle). I used to be afraid to get out my car and go into work because I was afraid I’d have a panic attack. God brought me out of that. I could name other “But God” moments in my life, but this blog post would be extremely long.

ee6b2421cce4cdca9a7a0c9302b003f0There are truly things in our lives that we have no control over, but we will try to the bitter end to take the reins. We get tired and then go to God to say, please take over. The thing is we never HAD to take the reins. God didn’t ask for our assistance, but what He will do is let you do your thing, fail miserably, yet still love you enough to pick it back up for you. True faith is never putting your hands in it, but I’m confessing. I’M A CONTROL FREAK. This blog post is a Control Freak’s Anonymous group. My name is Vyce and I’m a control freak. The group responds, “Hi, Vyce.” Allow me to tell you how much having control of a situation meant to me.

I’m not saying I’m some obnoxious, bossy, mean girl. What I am saying is while I love God and believe in Him, I don’t WAIT for Him. I believe faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I believe we should speak things that be not as though they were. BUT…I may believe it’s true but I don’t trust it when it’s time to live it. Not until the “Living Hands Free” message, did I truly take a long look at myself and where my faith stood.

On May 19, 2006, my daughter, Triniti Lauren, was stillborn. There was nothing I could do…and I mean nothing. Pregnancy is one of those things that you might can control it happening but once the seed is planted, it’s out of your hands. After suffering this devastating loss, I was done. God? Where was God? Where was He when my child was fighting to breathe? I’ll take control of this and make it so I don’t have to have faith to believe I could have a successful pregnancy and delivery. When I developed fibroids, I could have just had them removed and tried again; however, I opted for a hysterectomy because then I knew I’d NEVER have to endure that pain again. You see, I took control of the situation and wasn’t going to allow faith to interfere. In the midst of this tragedy, my fearful and faithless decision, God was creating a path for a very special little boy to come into our lives by way of adoption. My faith was at ground zero and God still saw fit to bless me and show me He had a plan all along.

I haven’t had a steady paycheck since October, 2015. I gave my job a 30-day notice. In the back of my mind, I was thinking,”Ok, God has 30 days. 30 days is enough time.” I was giving GOD a deadline! I was riding home with a dear sister from church and we were discussing this. She said, “And even if He doesn’t come in 30 days, He’s still God.” I agreed but was secretly hoping and praying He would come through in those 30 days. What a testimony of “faith” that would be! Well, 30 days came and went. 60 days came and went. 90 days came and went. 120 days came and went. 150 days have come and gone. I still don’t have a job. A couple things…

  • Faith without WORKS is dead. Yea, I believed God would bring me a new job and bless my business financially, but I had no true plan of action. I didn’t know without a faith-without-works2
    shadow of a doubt what I was called to do.
  • We don’t tell God what to do, when to do, how to do. The bible says in Matthew 8:27 “What kind of man is this that even the winds and waves obey him?” Part of the hook in James Hall’s song “God is in Control” is “God can do just what He wants!”

God could have opened up the window of opportunity in those 30 days, but that wouldn’t have strengthened my faith. I would have had my chest out as if God did what I said and met MY deadline. God had a different method. He had to break me to make me live hands free. He provided for us being that we went from a two-income household to one. When I took my hands off it and got to work, the phone rang for 1st and 2nd interviews. People are calling me to do freelance social media and creative multimedia work. Every little bit is God’s doing. I came to understand what my calling and purpose is – I am an educator in all I do. I love to train people and see the lights come on when something I taught them becomes a little more clear. I enjoy making a difference and an impact through my writing and social media. That’s what I’m called to – to educate and enlighten others as well as invoke their imaginations through written word. Had I not taken my hands off, I would have never come to discover this and own it.

I have some other personal situations that only God can handle. Getting in God’s way is only going to delay His work. He continues to work on me and through me because Vyce is the only person I can control. Changing yourself internally will change your external environment. I’m stronger than I ever thought I was because I’m learning one day at a time to live hands free. I titled this blog post “Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak” because it is a daily decision. I like to know that I have things together in the way I want, but God doesn’t work that way. He will shake all you knew to be together in an effort to get you to worship Him, His way and His will. Our flesh wants to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, and God will let you do that. He’s not pushy or invasive, but when your T is an X and that I comes just short of that dot, God will be there to pick up the pieces. I thank Him for covering and loving me through all my hands on living. Faith in God with an assist from me is not faith. I get it. I got it. One day at a time, I’m recovering.e87152a7cbeb2c3262d51598e1de52d5

A Friend Indeed?

il_340x270.446304490_tu9iDuring the month of February, my pastor did a teaching entitled “REALationships.” In it, he quoted Proverbs 17:17, and it is from this premise that I’m writing this blog post. Before I get into what’s on my mind and heart, let me give this disclaimer – this is my blog, my space of expression. The tag line is “writing when there’s something to say” for a reason. Life happened and I didn’t have anything to say about anything for a while. Nothing was flowing and no new ideas were springing forth. Words can’t roll out of a clouded mind – at least not for me, so I’ve been silent. However, during this written silence, I sat under this teaching and my mind started to get clearer on this idea. So here goes…

As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that we throw around the word friend like loose change. It has no meaning to some. During the “REALationships” series, pastor said a lot of what I’ve been thinking and have had conversations with real friends about. You can’t have friend degrees and categories. You do for this one but that one is kinda ok; this one you’ve known forever but that one you’re still feeling out; this one I can tell stuff to and that one not too much. On it goes. The truth of the matter is whoever you’re crowning in the friend court is really just an associate or acquaintance; colleague or neighbor; basically – someone you know of but not someone you’d “loveth at all times” because that would make them a friend when in fact, that’s not what they are to you nor you to them. Let’s be real.

Even if you have been the Proverbs 17:17 kind of friend to someone, you may have missed the memo that that’s definitely not what they are to you. Case and point, when the “friend” calls you or texts with a request, no matter what the request is, a Proverbs 17:17 friend will drop everything to meet the need. When the reverse takes place, you have to check your phone to see if you put it on mute because there’s no ring, no ding. Did the battery die by chance? When life hits you hard and all you need is a listening ear, the “friend” rejects to voicemail, yet you will awake from your sleep at 3am to listen through their tears and cries for understanding. If your car breaks down, I pray you have enough strength to push because the “friend” won’t even call AAA for you because they will miss your call or simply ignore it. Get the picture? Yes, you missed the memo.

One thing that I believe strongly is if I call you friend, that’s exactly what you are. However, it’s very hurtful when you do all you can for them and your thank you is their “busy”ness. You support them in every way you can, and when you need just a pinch of the same support, they’re silent and nowhere to be found. It doesn’t matter to me if I met you two months ago or twenty years ago. I don’t pick and choose with my loyalty. It’s a very important quality – loyalty, and when it’s abused or unappreciated, it dissolves. No, I won’t be petty and blast you all over social media or verbally to mutual friends, but what I will do is nothing – meaning, I have nothing for you; bye; it’s been real.

We must be ever so careful who we deem friend. Your true Proverbs 17:17 friends are few and far between. Pray for discernment because folk will try to squeeze the blood out your friendship turnip and before you know it, you’re dry and they’re all filled up with your free flowing goodness. A REALationship in the form of friendship isn’t always one where you talk every day or hang out all the time, but as the scripture says, it “loveth at all times and born for adversity.” I take that to mean no matter what, love abides in a true friend. In good or bad times, up and down times, celebrations and corrections – love abides in a true friend. Tears and fears, distance and time, hype and hoopla – love abides in a true friend. We can’t place high expectations on others based on our personal character traits. Not everyone has your heart. Not everyone is going to give back the same level of loyalty you give them. Such is life. Watch the actions of others, not the speech.