Tag Archives: Friendships

Big Girls Don’t Cry

I have been away from this space too long. This period of my life led to a long, severe bout of writer’s block that has made it nearly impossible to even think about blogging. I have attempted several times to share my experiences in this format, but every time I attempted to do so, I would find myself just staring at the computer screen. I had so much to say, but did not have the words to say what was in my heart and mind. I have previously discussed how important and therapeutic Writing is for me, and to not be able to do so has been very troubling. The last few months have been like riding on the most exhilarating and frightening roller coaster; filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. Let me start at the beginning…

I’ve indicated before that I am not overly emotional, nor am I one known to easily cry! To be more specific I viewed my tears as a form of weakness. I was always okay with the tears and emotions of others, but at some point I stopped allowing myself the same luxury. I am comfortable being a listening ear for people, and helping them to deal with life’s triumphs and trials; yet, it is not easy for me to allow people to help me process when I’m “going through.” Starting in April I begin to really struggle mentally and emotionally. H-Town sung, “Emotions make you cry sometimes!” My emotions made me not want to have any emotions. I reached a point where it hurt too much to feel, so I tried my best not to feel anything at all. I was pretty good at hiding my feelings from even those closest to me; I appeared to be so strong but on the inside I was weak.  I didn’t want to confide in my family, and I felt that my friends could not understand. I felt very alone!!!!

Life felt unfair! I had tried to live a life according to God’s will and commandments, yet it seemed very much in vain! What had living for Christ really brought me; what had I gained from doing it “RIGHT!?” Perpetually single and lonely, unfulfilled in ministry, jobless, hopeless, and unhappy; I was at my wit’s end! I was a minister who needed someone to minister to me; a counselor who needed someone to counsel me. I had been there for everyone else, and in my most desperate hour, I was seemingly ALONE! Where were the words of wisdom I had given, where was the person on the other end of the phone willing to listen to me vent! Countless hours spent being a beacon of light for other people, and now I was lost at sea! Lost in despair! Lost in failure! LOST! People implored me to just release it in tears, but that was not easy for me to do.

From April to early June, I secretly struggled! I pretended that everything was okay, but I was slowly losing myself. The breaking point was something that happened with my best friend. In retrospect, the situation seems small and not deserving of what happened. I won’t describe the whole situation because I would like to keep somethings personal and private. However, in the midst of our disagreement I felt that what I thought and felt did not matter to a person whom I thought should care. These feelings, added to what I had been going through, led to me ending our friendship and completely isolating myself.  The next few weeks were the hardest weeks of my life, as my life seemingly unraveled. Over the next 14 days, I cried 12 of them; I just couldn’t seem to make the tears stop. I felt that God was punishing me, I felt that my friends were punishing me, and most importantly I felt that I was punishing myself for not being perfect.

I wanted to give up on everything: church, ministry, relationships, and even life. I was not suicidal, but I was at the point where if death was near I was ready! I wanted to be free of this world, and its stress; and to finally be at peace with God! I strongly considered having myself committed to a mental institution, where I knew I could receive the help that I felt that I needed.

The lowest point also became the turning point for me! I went to a service one night and heard the worship team sing “He’s Able” by Voices of Unity! I sat in the audience, and it took everything within me not to scream! My heart and most of my head knew and believed that God was indeed able; but there was a small part of my brain that kept saying if God is able why am I still dealing with what I am dealing with. I didn’t have a response to that question…my seminary training and holy ghost sought to give explanations, yet that did not change the thoughts! I left service before the preacher got up to preach. As I traveled home, I asked myself ” What did I do to deserve this?” All I ever tried to do was to be myself, and be the best daughter, sister, friend, servant I could be! Yet those efforts seemed to be for naught. I was so TIRED! I didn’t know what else to say or do; I was done!

I decided to listen to Pastor Jason Nelson’s, “Place of Worship!” The song “I Shall Live,” started to play. As Pastor Nelson declared that he would live in spite of adversity and trouble, tears begin to fall from my eyes, and hope begin to bloom in my heart! There was no immediate change to my situation, instead each day was better. The tears stopped, and I was able to smile again. I was able to laugh and feel joy and peace. I promised myself that I would set clear boundaries in all relationships to ensure that I never reached this place again. Thankfully, after some time I was able to talk things through with my best friend, and we were able to begin to rebuild our relationship.

This situation was both a challenge and a learning experience for me. It challenged my faith, my beliefs about myself, and my mental and emotional fortitude. I learned to really take the time to care for myself, and that it is okay to do so. I also learned that real friends will tell you when you are wrong, and also forgive you when you make mistakes. Most importantly this lesson showed me that my tears do not suggest weakness. Instead, I learned that there is strength in being able to release these emotions in tears. Big Girls know that not only do they cry, but they embrace this ability because those who sow in tears, really do reap in Joy!

I want to thank: my parents; my twin sister, Deandra; my BFFF, Maranda; my friend and brother, Jamil; and my sister-friends, Cordelia and Renata. These people listened to me, prayed for me, corrected me, and showed me the meaning of real family and friends. Things are looking up in my life, and I’m grateful to know that God really is able!

I’m enjoying the journey and always striving to Make It Plain!

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I’m Doing Me!

Happy New Year! I’M BACK!!! I’ve been away for well over a month, as I needed some time to regroup and refresh. I found myself in a new and unpleasant space during this past holiday season. I was drained: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! EMPTY!!! I was incapable of dealing with my own thoughts and emotions, so I was completely uninterested in coping with anyone else’s STUFF! On Thanksgiving, a day set aside to show gratitude for family and friends, I let my inner circle know that I needed a break from everybody, including them.  I indicated that I needed time away to discover what had led to this weariness. I’m grateful to them for their understanding and that they allowed me time to think, feel, breathe, and just BE!!

My time away allowed me to do some serious soul-searching, and deep introspection. I learned some things about myself and what I had allowed in my life, and I honestly didn’t like what I saw. I had to come to grips with the fact that I had placed my needs and wants on the back burner to care for other people. I was no longer participating in the activities that I enjoyed, and setting aside serious time for prayer, devotion, study, and writing. I could write more about what I discovered of myself, but I won’t belabor the point. Just know that I did not like all that was uncovered, and I had come to a crossroads. I could continue down this path that was leading to my demise, or I could redirect and refocus on the path that leads to destiny. I’m not dumb so I chose the latter option, and it has been one of the greatest decisions. I have had a renewed passion for God, ministry, writing, my family, my friends, and myself! I have resolved to be focused on doing things for myself, and not just for others. If I am able to meet the needs and desires of others, I will; and I’m going to do what is necessary to meet them for myself. Basically, I’m doing me this time around…Thanks Fantasia!

So stay tuned and always Make it Plain!

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve decided to take a mini-vacation from blogging to catch up on school work and things of that nature, but I wanted to pause briefly to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope in reading my blog you have sensed an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. I have much to be thankful for and so I appreciate this day set aside to say Thank you! I also enjoy the wonderful food that I am guaranteed to enjoy on today lol. Although, I will be away from my family this Thanksgiving I am grateful for friends who have decided to share their families with me.

So as I prepare to celebrate and take a much needed rest, remember this: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Happy Thanksgiving and Make It Plain!

Everybody Needs a Friend

This week I want to showcase another of my favorite preachers, Dr. Claudette Anderson Copeland.  After having served as Pastor and Co-Founder of the New Creation Christian Fellowship of San Antonio, Texas for 23 years, she now serves as Co-Pastor, giving her ministry attention to the evangelistic field. She received her undergraduate education at the University of Connecticut , where she concentrated her studies in the field of Psychology. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree, she went on to earn her Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta , Georgia . She earned the Doctorate of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton , Ohio. Check her out at http://www.claudetteacopeland.org/ Enjoy and stay tuned!

Friends…how many of us have them!

My friend came to visit today; she is my oldest but not so dear. We’ve been friends for so long and we’ve never gotten along, yet no matter how I try I can’t bid this friend goodbye. When I’m strong, this friend makes me weak, in times of happiness, this friend makes me weep. Some have wondered, while analyzing this relationship, why I have not bid this friend a fond adieu. Honestly I have often wished that such a dream might just come true. However, when I look back in retrospect, I must admit that this friendship does have its benefits. For this friend reminds me that I am WOMAN, a unique and interesting creation. Most importantly, in light of all the people who I have called “friend,” this is the friend who has never let me down. So, friend, hope you enjoy your stay and I will wait for the day that you go away.

Make it plain!