Restored

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I haven’t written in forever…which is funny because I always make it a point to encourage others to write. Anything I have written has been a bit depressing anyway, guess I was on my Ecclesiastes grind. (Laugh with me ya’ll). Today is the last day of July, I have a few weeks until school starts back up…in a few semesters (God willing) I’ll be done with school. (Praise dances through the kitchen because it’s taken me 5ever). In the last year, I have learned so much outside of school. I’ve seen a lot and been through some pretty tough things, but I finally feel like I’m in a good spot.
If we’re friends in real life then you probably know how pumped I am about what’s to come next. I have so much confidence that I’m about to witness God move in a spectacular way. I’m out of that dark tunnel and it feels SOO GOOD. I know for sure that God redeems and he restores. Even if the circumstance looks so bleak, with no good outcome, if you place your TRUST in God, if you love Him with all of your heart, the outcome will be GOOD. God has really humbled me recently, I’m always reminded that self-reliance gets me nowhere.
I’m no stranger to illness but the past few months I have gotten sick more than I’d like to. Even though being sick is quite the drag, God has used those days to really remind me how much I need Him and how valuable slowing down is.
So I’ve been deliberately choosing to live in a space of gratitude. Life is never going to get easier. As I grow older my responsibilities become more, people expect more of me, and difficulties seem to always arise. I’m learning to be thankful, even on the really hard days, because as long as I have breath in my lungs, legs that take me places, hands that write words, and a voice that speaks the truth, I’m fine. I’m choosing to take moments to step back in awe of what God is doing…even if I can’t see it in focus. I’m choosing joy, especially when it’s difficult…because the truth is it could always be worse.
I have no idea where God is leading me in the future. But I know that wherever it is it is good. So on my hard days, my really hard days, I’m gonna cling to that promise, that promise of GOOD. So here is to what is next, even though I have no idea what that is, I know it will be good.
Also, I believe I owe a huge thank you those in my life who have prayed from a distance, who have encouraged from afar, and who have wished me well. I honestly think that one of my love languages is prayer, I know that’s not a thing in that book, BUT I feel really loved when I know someone is praying for me, so THANK YOU.
-Bea

The Process

I’m a huge Sixer’s fan, actually, I’m a huge fan of the players of the Philadelphia Sixers. I’m not much of a basketball fan, but I like the players and I really like the culture. For a long time running my favorite basketball player has been Joel Embid for a number of reasons.
  1. He’s African and us Africans in America have to stick together. #WeAllFromAfrica
  2. He’s a savage, the guy does not give a CRAP about what you think or say, he’s committed to being himself.
  3. He trusts the process.
A few years ago I had the privilege of learning some new things with a great group of people, I did this thing called Protege and somewhere in the middle I got to share my heart with a bunch of rock-solid people. I talked about trusting HIS process or rather His plan for your life.
Now I find my self in a place where I need to take my own advice…again. I’ve been struggling with what God has called me to do. Actually, I haven’t been struggling with deciphering what the call is but rather with how it’s all going to play out. I’m not much of a planner anymore, but I’m an anxious person who likes to be prepared and who likes to know what’s going on ahead of time. It sets me O F F when I feel like I’m walking into something blindly.
But here is what I’m learning about God, He doesn’t like to give us too much information regarding the future. I think if He did we’d all be scared out of our minds and we wouldn’t do what He wants us to do. I also think He withholds what’s next to help us build faith, in walking blindly I have learned that God, who sees all, hears all and knows all, is ahead of me, that He’s walking with me, and that ultimately everything will work out for good.
The Process, the road, the journey, it’s all beautiful and unique to each of us. There is a lot to be learned from the journey in which God assigns us.  What I have been learning recently is that God is a promise keeper. The other day in church during prayer we sang the song ‘Way Maker’ (which is a certified B O P). The chorus of the song goes like this:
“Waymaker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You Are”
I learned that God was a Way Maker when I accepted a position doing something I never thought I’d be doing, He was the one who made a way for that to happen, and I have grown and I have been stretched, but I have seen His glory in all of it. I learned that God is a miracle worker when I was fifteen and I was healed from Avascular Necrosis. I learned that God is the light in the darkness when I grieved the loss of a friend. Right now, I’m learning that God is a promise keeper, that the promises He makes, He keeps them because He’s not like you and me. God is not wishy-washy, He means what He says, He is a God of His word.
September and October were difficult for me. I had to re-adjust to a full schedule and got really really sick, I spent close to a week in the hospital due to pain and turned 24 soon after that. A part of me forgot that I had a purpose. I have had this chronic illness for 24 years and honestly, I just got tired. I’m going to be real, pain SUCKS…it really does. It’s not fun. I hate it. But I have come to a point (a point that I have to revisit often) that if there is a purpose in this pain then, in the end, it should all be worth it. (but like don’t stop praying for healing peeps, a sis still wants to be healed). Anyway, this is all to say that for a little while I forgot that God has called me to do something bigger than myself and I’m believing that God is a promise keeper and that He’s always moving, even when I can’t see it.
I know that God is a way maker and that He’ll continue to make away.
I know that God is a miracle worker and that He will perform miracles in the future.
I know that God is the light in the darkness and He always will be.
I believe that God is a promise keeper and I’m clinging to that.
The process, the road, the journey, it is all beautiful and unique to each of us. It’s not linear. Sometimes there are really high highs and even lower lows. But I trust the process. I trust the God of the process. I trust the God of the promise.
-Bea.

Pain is Ugly

Life starts when you aren’t constricted to what you thought it would be but you become enthralled with what it could be.
As of recent I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the delicate balance between the reality that is and the hope for what could be. In the past, however, I spent a lot of time pretending that things were ok and running away from my own truth. But now I’m 23 and I know that freedom comes when I share my story and when I allow myself to be vulnerable with those around me. There’s a great feeling that one has when they accept what is but hold on tight to the hope that it could be better.
In September I dealt with the very real reality that there could be a possibility that I would have to have surgery to replace both of my hips. I walked around in excruciating pain but chose to work through it, too rise every day because dangit mama ain’t raise no punk, and I was going to use it to encourage those around me, even in my own pain, because I knew for a fact that I wasn’t alone. I knew that there were people around me who could boldly (or meekly) say “Me Too”.
Those few months of uncertainty were scary, I had an MRI scheduled and as the date drew closer I found my self shriveling in fear. What if they came back and the results were that the bone death was too irreversible? What if I had to have surgery right then and there? (These thoughts were reaching and as I look back made absolutely no sense because both scenarios just sound nuts, but that’s just where your head goes when you become crippled by fear.) The MRI came back clear, no bone death! To say I was relieved was an understatement. I didn’t have to have surgery.
In those few months, I learned a great deal about life.
  1. You need people in your life to help you make sense of reality and to help you carry your burdens when they’re too heavy. I’m so thankful for the people in my life because I couldn’t have gotten through that time without them.
  2. Pain is just a part of life. I need to let go of the lie that because I believe in Jesus that my life will be easier, news flash, Jesus Himself said that we would suffer as we follow Him.
  3. Fear is ugly. I hate it. But I’m learning how to embrace it, dance with it, even, and then let it go. Because quite frankly, ain’t nobody got time FO DAT OKURRR.
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I wrote this back in November. I have a nasty habit of holding on to things for too long. It’s now April and this feels like so long ago. Anyway, here it is! I’m working on posting more often and writing what’s real, even if it hurts.
-Bea

Faith VS. Fear

IMG_1654The past year has been an interesting battle. If you know me personally, you know what a whirlwind it has been. I’ve felt as though my life fell to pieces in a few short weeks. I lost people, I watched people suffer. I have had almost a whole year to process all that has happened. I feel as though I am at the end of the tunnel, I can see the sun on the horizon, and its beginning to feel warm and look bright. I am excited for all that God has in store for the future.

I have had a lot of time to think through things and really dig deep into my relationship with God. Like with any other relationship, sometimes turmoil is good, sometimes you need to go through a rough spot to know that the other person will really be there in the end, that they won’t abandon you (or that they will). That is what I feel like the last year has been. It has been hard, but I never felt as though God left me or had forsaken me, for the first time I went through a major life battle KNOWING that God would see me through. Knowing that He was for me, that He loved me, that He would redeem all that has happened. I wasn’t alone. The God of the Universe was with me.

A bunch of what I have been learning in this season is what true faith is and what it looks like. Since the beginning of time we humans have been plagued with what we like to call today “Trust Issues”. Adam and Eve, The Israelites, The Disciples, …many of them had trust issues. They had a hard time trusting God, trusting that He was (and is) who he said He was (and is). God literally told Moses “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14-15). HE IS WHO HE IS. The Old Testament is full of stories of God moving and doing great things, only for His people to turn around in lack of faith to worship idols and lead lives of sin. Reading through the OT always baffles me because people were so quick to abandon the God who loved them. He split the waters (TWICE), He made food fall from the sky, He was with them in battle, He guided them with fire…but still when their lives became a bit harder they went and tried to make things happen on their own. However, when I begin to think “how could they!”, I remind myself that I too am an Israelite, I often lack faith and find myself scrambling to fix things with my own might.(News flash it never works.)

What would happen if all who said they loved God truly loved Him by abandoning their fears and stepping out in faith? I say this as someone who has suffered terribly from social anxiety, fear is a pointless “self-imposed prison” that inhibits us from being bold. I spent a large portion of my 22 years of life living in fear of the unknown. It hindered growth in almost all aspects of my life. Here’s some truth: Fear is the opposite of faith. Jesus spent a large part of His ministry pleading with people to have faith and rewarding those who did have faith. Jesus knows God The Father intimately and wants us to know Him as well.

I rest knowing that when I step out in faith that God is with me. He truly wants everything to work out for my good because He loves me. I don’t want to let fear stop me from doing the things that God has called me to do. I want to be faithful…I want to be bold. I also want these things for the people I care about, too.

Brokenness


My first ever blog post was in August of last year, I expressed my excitement and thrill that I would be apart of Protege, a 10-month apprenticeship program at my church. My prayer at that time was that God would stretch and challenge me, that He would use me. And He did.

I’ve learned that there are some really dangerous prayers, ones that seem ‘harmless’ like “use me”,”stretch me”, “challenge me”, “give me patience” …etc. These all seem fine and light-hearted, but the truth is if you pray these prayers sincerely, God will give you opportunities where you can grow, learn patience, and be stretched, but often times, if not all times, they are not easy, in fact, they are really hard. God will put you in situations where you must grow, where you must show patience, where you will be stretched.

I’ve learned also that these dangerous prayers are the ones that make you more dynamic and deepen your relationship with God. 10 months ago I was willing to jump all in, I didn’t know all that was ahead of me, but I prayed in faith that God would be with me through it all, and He was, even when I didn’t feel Him, He was. I had a lot of crazy things happen in the past few months, from losing people who meant a lot to me to have my dad have a stroke. I was forced to rely on God like I never have before. God made me come to a point where I HAD to choose Him and trust that He would work everything out. That He would redeem these situations.

Life isn’t meant to be easy. We have choices. We make mistakes. But through it all, through our wavering, indecisiveness, and fear, God remains the same. In my brokenness, God chose me and told me that He loved me. I am so undeserving of the grace, love, and mercy He shows me. SO SO UNWORTHY, but yet He still chooses me every day, without doubt, He goes: “There is my beloved”.

I’m still in a season of grieving and processing all that has happened, but I I know that God carries me through it all, even when the weight of it all seems too much to bear, He carries me.

-Bea

Tough times?


When everything is up in the air, what do you do?

I have seen and experienced so much just in the past three months. I can tell you with certainty that I am not the same woman I was just a few months ago. Experiences, they shape you and alter your perception of the world. They make you analyze and look at things differently.

I have lost people, I have witnessed people suffer and go through pain. I have had everything fall beneath my feet.

I have also learned what love is and the importance of being there for people. My definition of Church  has changed, for it is not just a group of people who want to pursue Jesus, however a group of people who are willing to step up and come together when life falls a part, when our friends become too weak to carry their burdens.A group of people who believe in Jesus and have true compassion for others, who care and lift one another up.  We are called to fulfill different roles at different times.

I asked God to strengthen and stretch me. TO make me a better leader. He has. It’s funny because we pray for things, thinking the road to the end goal will be light and easy, but the truth is, it is hard. It is naive to believe that fixing a struggle or gaining new strength will be easy. Often times it requires a complete breakdown and the hard work of a rebuild.

I have been broken down and am in the process of being rebuilt. I am trusting the promises that God has given those who love Him. My love for God has evolved, I believe it is more dimensional now-more relational. I have questioned why He allowed such horrible things to happen, He then showed me why and how He planned to use it for good. I asked Him if He was with me and if He truly cared, He showed me He did and that there was purpose in all that was happening. I was reminded that although it may be good to plan, that nothing goes as planned. That His plan is great, that trusting Him is vital. I have been stripped of my pride and will boast in Jesus alone.

I am definitely a work in progress. An ever-evolving masterpiece created in His image. My strengths are in my flaws.

When everything is up in the air what do you do?

You love Him and trust Him, that is what you do.

Do you even Sabbath?

Note: This was written in early November, I just never got around to uploading it. So when I refer to my last post I’m actually referring to “Au Revoir”. Life has gotten the best of me, and I have neglected to upload consistently. Anyway, I’m on break now, so expect consistency, for a month, ha! Enjoy this short thing about rest and how exhaustion made me realize it’s importance.
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     What has been three months has only felt like two weeks. My last post was an emotional one regarding my brother and his departure to Liberty. For those of you wondering, He’s doing fine and loves his school! The time following that has been so busy and jam packed with places to be and tasks to tackle. September was an interesting month, as I had something to do every single day. I have never been as busy as I am now. Don’t get me wrong, all of the things I am doing I truly enjoy, God has been so faithful during this season, because I have a new found energy to get through the weeks.
     That being said, I am a person who genuinely enjoys downtime, time to reflect and process and shut the world up for a moment. However, for the first few weeks of the semester I didn’t have that time. I was on go go go 24/7 with out a moment to step back and breathe. This was entirely my fault, as I could have had days off, but chose to fill them with other things. Two weeks ago, God used people to remind me that I needed to Sabbath, to take a break and enter His rest.
     God created the whole entire world is 6 days and RESTED on the seventh. God rested!! I have no idea why  little ol’ me, thought I could go on without resting. I find it interesting that God calls us to do things that are good for us, because HE knows us, but  for whatever reason, we choose not to (sarcasm).
     Anyway, I don’t want to be a person who sacrifices herself and wellbeing all for the sake of getting stuff done. I want to do stuff efficiently and well while taking care of myself. A large part of me not finding the time to sabbath was saying yes to everyone! I have to set boundaries and say no more often, which if I am honest is so hard. I’m just a people pleaser by nature so this is going to take earnest work on my part. However, life wasn’t meant to filled with events and things to do all the time. The best part of life are those moments I get to spend alone in silence. Clarity and new ideas come from those moments.
     So, I’m going to say no more often and get away from all the hoopla.
-Bea