I Gotta Do This

•June 10, 2012 • 4 Comments

This may seem really random, but I really feel led to share some things right now.

I know some of y’all aren’t ‘here’ for what I’m about to say, but I God told me to say it, so I will be obedient.

This morning at church, I became SO overwhelmed with the GOODNESS of God.  I was moved to tears at the knowledge of what He’s done for me.

I am grateful that even IN THE MIDST of my storm/circumstances/trials, I am able to praise HIM.

As few as six years ago, I would BEG God to take my life.  I felt hopeless and worthless and like the biggest screw-up ever.

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and in the past it was coupled with Depression.  Things that some would see as ‘life’ would derail me.

I didn’t know how to cope with stress and FEAR ruled my life.  I was literally PARALYZED by fear all of the time about EVERYTHING.

II Timothy 1 tells us that God has NOT given us a spirit of fear…but of a sound mind.  I DID NOT have a sound mind.  My mind was my worst enemy…

I grew up in the church, so people would tell me things I already knew, about the goodness of God, but it wasn’t sinking in.  I knew that SOME DAY in the far and distant future (Jeremiah 29:11) things would eventually, probably be alright, but I couldn’t hold out for that.

I would try to speak affirmations over myself, but I didn’t really believe them, so that fell flat.

I was motivated to nothing, but have a pity party for myself and invite everyone that I knew to join.

For years, I took matters into my own hands and for years, my efforts fell flat…

UNTIL…I gave it ALL over to HIM.  Everything that had me stressed and wanting to die, I gave to HIM.

And guess what? He took it.  I was carrying things that He NEVER intended me to carry.  (Matthew 11) His yoke is EASY and His burdens LIGHT.

Of course, all of this letting go stuff wasn’t easy.  It was a process because I wanted to pick my burdens back up after I laid them down.

BUT about a year and a half ago, after 32 years of fighting, I FINALLY fully SURRENDERED to HIM.

Since that time, I have seen MIRACLES.  REAL LIFE MIRACLES in my life.

As soon as I let it go and surrendered to Him and His ways, HE WORKED IT ALL OUT!!!

I have seen him make doorways through the concrete for ME to pass safely through.  His FAVOR is upon me.

He wants this for all of us – His children, but the choice is ours to accept.

That overwhelming, paralyzing fear I used to have at ALL times? GONE

My anxiety over day-to-day living? GONE  My needs? MET

I TRUST HIM!!!!

I thanked Him today for revealing Himself to me.  I SEE HIM and am SO in love.

Where I used to cry for hours, days on end in sorrow, I am now crying, rejoicing, praising HIM for His GOODNESS.

Where I used to BEG Him to take my life, I PRAISE Him for sparing it.  I HAVE PURPOSE.

Last weekend, I had at least 4 health care professionals looking at me in astonishment because I SHOULD  NOT BE HERE they said.  YOU WALKED IN HERE LIKE THIS???

They couldn’t believe it.  BUT GOD spared me.  I HAVE A PURPOSE.

YOU HAVE A PURPOSE.

You are running around chasing emptiness/nothingness.  You will NEVER be truly fulfilled until you surrender to HIM.

The choice is yours.  So glad I made the right decision.  I can NEVER go back.  Now that I SEE Him, I CAN NEVER GO BACK!!!

Instead of taking my life, He spared it.  HE HEALED MY MIND!!! I cannot express how grateful I am for that.

HE HEALED MY MIND!!!!!!!

Depression? Gone

No meds.  JESUS!

FULLY SURRENDER.   Let go of whatever it is that is keeping you from HIM.

It’s hard because for whatever reason, we feel inclined to hold onto our crap.  I was holding on to so much garbage, but IT WASN’T WORTH IT.

JESUS is waiting.  He wants you.  He loves you. He accepts you.  EXACTLY how you are.

School of Hard Knocks, Part II

•May 10, 2012 • 4 Comments

Back in August and September, I alluded to the fact that there were some things in the works for me.  Very BIG works they were (and are)!  I’m excited to finally share the story.  Wanna hear it? Here it goes…

I guess this story starts several years ago when I decided to switch careers.  Since I was 13 years old, I wanted to be a psychologist.  I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology, began working in the field, and after 1 1/2 years into a doctorate program, I decided I wanted out.  I still find the subject matter very intriguing, it’s just that I didn’t want to do it anymore.  I felt the lure of ‘Corporate America’ calling me (even though I had no clue what I wanted to do).  Due to a smidget of banking experience I gained right out of college, I was provided an opportunity to rejoin the banking industry.  After a few years with the company (and having learned alot), I was feeling a bit stalled.  My department services a very niche market and is extremely specialized, so while I was gaining invaluable experience and knowledge, I felt as though it wasn’t enough.  Even more discouraging, I also felt that my educational background was preventing me from furthering my career at the rate I hoped to.  I strongly felt that it was time to make a move, but which way?

Well, in January of 2011, I started toying with the idea of going back to school to get my MBA.  I’ve contemplated it over the years, but let fear stop me.  I wasn’t afraid that I couldn’t do the work – I was afraid of the prospect of MORE student loan debt and the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to land my dream job even after the completion of the program.  So, despite this fear, I started researching programs.  I set my sights on the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business.  I went on line and began the application process, but for whatever reason, my determination fizzled…

Then, during a Sunday morning church service on July 10, I heard the message that would change my life.  My pastor spoke about the decisions we make in our lives and that where we are in our lives is the result of mulitple decisions we have all made that have led us up to the present.  She issued a challenge.  What life-changing decisions are you facing? Are you ready to trust God?  She spoke about Rahab, a prostitute, that had made a monumental decision that changed her life and changed history (Joshua 2) and how Jesus would eventually be birthed from her bloodline as a result of this decision.  I felt a SERIOUS tap on my shoulder and a whisper in my ear.  I heard it loud and clear – I NEEDED to pursue my MBA.  This is something I hadn’t thought about in months and now I was feeling compelled and almost burdened by this desire.  I left church and thought about it for a little bit.  The UGA program only accepted applicants for the Fall of every year and I remembered that their application deadline for Fall 2011 was sometime in May.  I was frustrated with myself for realizing that I would have to wait a whole year or find another program that I thought would meet my needs.  I was not too excited about this because I was pretty diligent in my prior research and felt that UGA was such a good fit.

The next day, July 11, I began to strategize my plan – to write my vision (Habakkuk 2:2).  To this day, I cannot tell you why (perhaps the Holy Spirit), but I decided to visit the UGA Terry College of Business website again.  I immediately noticed a blurb in red text that stated the deadline had been extended and they were still accepting applications.  I called the university just to be sure.  “Is it true?”, I asked.  “You are still accepting applications for THIS Fall?”

“Yes”, she said, “but you will have to get your application in very quickly because classes are scheduled to start next month”.  “No problem!”, I replied, “I already have my application filled out online.  I just need to submit it along with the supporting documentation.”

The supporting documentation I needed, were two letters of reference, my GRE/GMAT scores, and a personal statement.  I hustled and got my references submitted the very same day.  I wrote a personal statement that my sister and I proofread and perfected as much as possible because my goal was to have it submitted by that Friday, July 15.  Now, all I needed to do was to submit my official GRE scores and I’d have this in the bag!!!  Little did I know how God would test my resolve, determination, and faith to see this thing through.

Never Forget

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Some things about that day are fuzzy to me, but that phone call, I will never forget.  It was a Tuesday morning.  September 11, 2001, to be exact.  At that time, I was an undergraduate living in a four bedroom apartment with 3 of my sorority sisters and MBG.  If my memory serves me correctly, all but one of my roommates were already in class.  My first class wasn’t until noon, so I was piddling around in my room while MBG was watching Teletubbies on tv. I will approximate that it was around 9:10am when the phone rang.  It was MBG’s father.  He and his mother had been in town celebrating MBG’s first birthday a few days earlier and they were in the car, on the highway, headed back home.

Him: What are you doing?

Me: Nothing.

Him: Are you watching tv?

Me: The tv is on, why?

Him: Are you watching the news?

Me: No. We’re watching Teletubbies.

Him: Turn to the news and tell me what you see.

Me: Um…it looks like the Twin Towers are on fire.

Him: A plane hit them.

Me: A plane hit BOTH towers? Weird.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  He is from New York and most of his family is still there.  I remember him telling me that he couldn’t get in touch with anyone.  We hung up.  I remember sitting on the edge of my bed watching Matt Lauer and Katie Couric relay what had taken place, but not fully understanding what had happened.  I was trying to figure out how a plane could possible hit two towers.  I mean, the towers were not hard to miss.  I was thinking along the lines of possibly a plane stunt gone wrong.  But the news anchors had a different theory-this was no accident.  I remember going to tell my roomie, KB, about it.  KB watched a little of the footage with me and then headed to class.  I remember not wanting her to leave.  I was already starting to feel a little helpless.

I sat there and watched.  By now, a plane has also crashed into the Pentagon.  I didn’t know what to think.  Nowhere was safe.  I was at home, alone, with a 1-yr old and I felt so helpless.  Then I remembered.  My good friend’s mom, had just moved to Washington D.C. to start her new position at the Pentagon on September 1.  I couldn’t breathe. I called my Dad.   He was in his office and had heard about the Twin Towers, but had not seen any of the footage.  He kept asking me what it looked like and I told him that there was smoke coming from both of the towers.  He asked me if I could see the planes.  I tried to explain to him that there was no evidence of planes.  They had disintegrated.  I specifically remember him telling me that there have to be planes.  He was insisting.  “Maybe they are on the ground somewhere and you just can’t see them”, he said.  He didn’t get it.  Then I remembered why I called him.  I told him that another plane hit the Pentagon.  He was grieved.  I could hear it in his voice.  I was scared.  At this point, I was seriously flipping out.  Don’t ask me what MBG was up to during all of this because I honestly don’t know.  I jumped in the shower to try to calm myself down and was overtaken by sorrow.  I doubled over in the shower and sobbed harder than I ever have.  It was as if all of my fear, sorrow, and pain were being released from my gut and out of my mouth.  I remember that shower.  I will never forget.  I barely had strength to stand. I finally calmed down a little and got out of the shower.

While I was on the phone with my dad, he urged me to let my friend know that the Pentagon had been hit.  I didn’t want to. I called a mutual friend of ours  because I was freaking out AGAIN.  I didn’t know if I should be the one to tell my friend what had happened.  Actually, I didn’t know how to tell her.  We decided to call her on 3-way so that we could let her know together.  She was already aware and had not been able to reach her mother by phone, so she was just sitting there…wondering if her mother was alive.

I sat on my bed and just watched.  I watched and learned of the plane crash in the field in Pennsylvania.  I watched as people threw themselves from windows to escape the flames of the Twin Towers.  I watched as both towers collapsed on live tv.  I watched the people running through the streets-running for their lives.  I watched as the smoke and debris overtook everything on the ground.  I watched…and I will NEVER FORGET.

I remember my roommates coming home, celebrating that classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.  They were still unaware.  I remember the looks on their faces as they saw the footage and realized what had taken place.  I remember us standing in the little kitchen of the apartment that we shared, crying and praying.  We were so afraid.  I remember all of us calling our parents debating whether or not we should go back to our hometowns to be with our families.  Was it safe to get on the roads?  I remember being thankful that I had chosen to attend college in a small town and that we were not likely to be targeted.  I remember my sister coming over and spending the evening with my roomies and me. I remember us all going out and filling up our gas tanks because we were told that there was going to be a run on gas and gas prices will be sky-high by tomorrow.  I remember eating stewed tomatoes and rice that night for dinner.  I remember finding out my friend’s mom was okay and had survived the attack on the Pentagon.  I remember how we all sat on our sectional for days watching the footage non-stop and shaking our heads in disbelief.  I remember lighting candles on our porch and in the windows because we were told to do so as a sign of hope.  I remember attending the assembly that our campus held a few days later to remember all of the lives that were lost and how worried I was about going because I didn’t know how MBG would behave.  I remember her behaving perfectly.  She was solemn too, as if she knew what was going on.

As the years have passed, i always strive to remember the raw emotions of that day.  I don’t want to forget.  It’s so deep inside of me and if I allow myself, I will still become overtaken with emotion thinking about it.  Even though MBG was very small when this occurred, I don’t want her to forget.  I speak to her about it all of the time.  I don’t want her or her generation to forget.  I don’t want her to be as naive as I was.  I never thought something like this could or would happen on American soil.  Many thought how I thought, but unfortunately we all know better now.  I grew up in a military background and have always been fiercely patriotic.  As many negative things as I remember about that day, I remember the positives too.  I remember people standing up for this country.  Being proud to be citizens of this country.  We, as a country, banded together as never before.  People spoke of God and praying and faith.  We prayed together as a country and, that, I WILL NEVER FORGET.

School of Hard Knocks, Part I

•September 6, 2011 • 4 Comments

My how things have changed since my last post.  Let’s see…where to start?  The last time I wrote, I spoke about MBG’s first day of middle school and how emotional it was for the both of us.  Well, she came home that day LOVING it.  She went to school the next day and came home LOVING it.  She even brought home a sheet for me to sign her up for theatre and orchestra.  It was all set.  Then came Wednesday… Before I go on, I guess I need to give you the back story…

Near the end of MBG’s third grade year, I started looking into getting her into a charter school, but when I looked online, I didn’t find anything in my county.  I mentioned this to one of my co-workers and she informed me that there were 2 charter schools very near where I lived and worked.  One started at Kindergarten and went to 5th grade and planned to add a grade every year.  The other one was an all-girl school that, at that time, had 6th and 7th grades and planned to add a grade every year.  I put MBG’s name on the waiting list for the first school and was told that there would be a lottery selection.  Long story short, we weren’t chosen.  I was fine with that because I really had my heart set on the all-girl school, Ivy Prep.  I prayed for two years that she would have an opportunity to attend this school.  Fast forward to January of this year, nearing the second half of fifth grade.  I was finally able to put her name on the list of prospective attendees.  We had to wait until March for the lottery.  I had my entire family, my co-workers, and my friends praying that she would get in.  We were all fully aware that there were 160 seats and that, traditionally, there were twice as many applicants.  The lottery day came and we waited for her name…We waited while they called 160 names that were not hers.  Devastation.  Then, they tell us that all of the remaining girls will go on a waiting list that was to remain open until Oct. 1, 2011.  We waited again…through 80 more names.  And there you had it.  We were #81 on the waiting list.  Devastation.  There were tears of little girls all over that room that were sad that they didn’t get in.  And though I wanted to cry, I didn’t.  Neither did MBG.  She remained hopeful, telling me it was still possible to get in.  But I knew better.  A seat in that school was so coveted.  How could #81 even hope to get in?  That would mean that more than half of the girls that were selected in the lottery, would not show up for class.  I knew that that was impossible to even hope for.  Devastation.  I finally told myself that God knew what he was doing and that there was a reason why we didn’t get in.  I came to terms with my disappointment and began to prepare MBG for attendance at the middle school in our district and figured we’d give the lottery another shot for the 7th grade. Well, Ephesians 3:20 tells us that [God] is able to do above what we can even ask or imagine. Boy, did he move beyond my wildest imagination.  MBG was scheduled to start school on Monday, Aug 8.  I’m not going to get into it, but Ivy Prep had been in the news a lot over the summer.  You can read about it here, if interested.  I had been following the school closely in the news and on Aug. 2, I Googled them to see what was going on.  On that same day I learned, that they had been approved to open up a new school in the neighboring county.  Ivy Prep, at that time, was servicing 2 counties.  Now each county would have their own campus.  I was excited to see this and called to find out if that would mean seats would be opening up.  I was told ‘no’.  The new school is only for the neighboring county and the lottery results would stand.  Devastation.  I had given it my last ditch effort…

Then came Wednesday, Aug. 10…and a call from Ivy Prep.  ‘Congratulations’, the voice said, ‘your daughter has been accepted!’  Apparently, the opening of the new school did mean there would be more seats.  The girls that were initially accepted in the lottery that lived in the neighboring school had the choice to attend school in their own county.  And apparently they had accepted because at least half of the girls vacated their spot in my county and moved to the new school.  They were so excited to be telling me this great news.  My initial reaction to this answer to a 2-year prayer was anger.  I can’t really put my finger on it, but I was so pissed that they would have the nerve to wait until school started to call me and ‘bless’ me with the news that my daughter had been accepted.  I was at work when I received the call and my co-workers were literally jumping up and down for me because they knew what this had meant to me just a few short months ago.  But yet, I was angry.  I wasn’t going to send her.  After all, she had just signed up for theater and orchestra.  We were embracing where we were.  I knew that my daughter would be distraught at the prospect of having to start over.  I stepped outside and called my sister for perspective.  She had been there with me at the lottery and experienced our disappointment first-hand.  She, too, thought I was crazy for even considering to keep her at the middle school in our district.  I called my mom-same thing.  My head was spinning.  I had just bought school shoes and clothes and now I was going to have to purchase some very expensive uniforms. 

By the time I left work that day, I knew I had to send her to this new school.  It is what we had been praying for.  I dreaded telling her.  I broke the news to her when I got home and of course she was mad at me.  She cried.  I felt horrible.  She said it was the worst day of her life.  I felt guilty.  But I knew I had to stick to my guns.  So, she finished out the week where she was and started Ivy Prep the following Monday, Aug. 15.  It has been an adjustment to say the least.  She is getting used to the very structured environment and much higher expectations that have been placed upon her.  She still claims that she hates it and I’m still struggling with the decision.  Like I told MBG, this is something we prayed for and it was given to us, therefore we can’t just waste this opportunity.  I mean, who could imagine that God answered our prayer by opening a new campus-literally the approval from the State came down days before school was to start-just so my daughter could have a seat!  Wow! We are definately experiencing some growing pains in our household right now, but I have the utmost confidence that this will soon become our new normal.  While she maintains that she hates the school and misses her friends, she has handled this transistion like a champ and I couldn’t be more proud.

Especially since that’s not the only change that has occurred in our residence over the last few weeks.  More on that later…

Oh, yeah…and today is MBG’s birthday! She’s 11!

 

Wordless Wednesday

•August 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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I got to sit in on a historic hearing this afternoon and hear my Grandmother speak to State representatives.

Wordless Wednesday

•August 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Cheerleading practice. Go Broncos!

Full Swing

•August 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After being off mommy duty for 2 months, last week hit me like a train.  MBG started cheer camp last week and with that came activities for EVERY SINGLE DAY Monday thru Saturday.  There was no easing back into the swing of things for me.  On top of that we had Open House for school and a few last minute school items to pick up before school started today.

Saturday and Sunday were full of good friends and food (two of my favorite things)!

Then came Monday…the dreaded day has finally arrived – MBG started Middle School (6th grade).  Despite my worst fears, we both survived.  As we drove up to the school this morning, I could tell that her nerves were getting the best of her.  As she watched the other children enter the school she said, ‘Wow, really big kids go to this school’.  And as I pulled into the student drop-off, pick-up line, she said her heart was beating fast.  I said a little prayer with her in an effort to ease her nerves and she got out of the car.  As I was attempting to maneuver my way out of the drop-off line, I looked up and saw her standing with the door open frantically waving for me to come in with her.  *sigh* My heart broke for her.  I cannot ever remember seeing her this nervous before.  She is always so cavalier and I admire that about her because so often I draw my strength from her.  I ended up having to park and escort her through the breakfast line and to her homeroom.  On the way, she ran into many of her friends and I could see her confidence coming back.

She rode the bus home and came through the door declaring that her Careers teacher is the meanest person she has ever met in her life, but other than that everything was ‘cool’.  After chatting some more about her day, I have no doubt that she will thrive and that any apprehension she felt about starting a new school is long gone.

On another note…my day did not go well.  At all.  I waited in a government office for 3+ hours only to be told that they could not help me.  Talk about devastating!  I wanted to cry, but what would that fix anyway?  Hopefully I can find a solution…and soon.  I can’t wait to let you guys in on the reason behind the visit, but that will have to wait until next week when all the kinks have been worked out.  Until then!

 
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