The title was inspired by an album by Contemporary Christian artist Josh Wilson.
I have a fear of being too vulnerable. I have no problem telling the world that I’m a mess, but it’s the details that scare me. I’m used to being ashamed of my fears, cares, issues and history. I don’t mind you knowing I have flaws, but don’t ask me to describe them. I’m easily intimidated, and particularly by my own fears. They haunt me, constantly reminding that I’m more human than divine. I don’t like it. Recently, I’ve feared the writing process, which I hope explains why it’s been over a month since you’ve last heard from me. Forgive me. It’s a new year and I have much to share.
Thirty days ago, my friend Kareem initiated a 30-Day Challenge. Excited to participate, I jumped at the opportunity. The premise of the challenge is to enter 2014 different and focused on that goal or thing you’ve been talking about doing, but have yet to set in motion. It spoke to me because at the start of 2013, I made some tough decisions that ultimately transitioned my life from emotions-driven to goal-driven. You may remember this post I wrote at the beginning of the year. I didn’t achieve every thing I hoped to achieve, but I did gain wisdom, integrity, humility, thankfulness, longsuffering, unspeakable joy and incomprehensible peace. Read this literally: your decisions direct the trajectory of your life. Likewise, choices you make, make you. I promise, there is no pixie dust that sprinkles throughout the world at 12am on January 1st. All you have are your decisions.
What I learned in 2013 is that there are not enough fireside chats, phone calls, pity parties, 12-step programs, self-help books, and conferences in the world that will teach us how to triumph in life. Just make a decision: to be happy, to trust God, to see things in proper perspective, to show compassion, to be optimistic, to be hopeful, to be confident, to love, to speak up, to get started, to finish, to let go, to hold on, to not worry, to tell the truth, to receive the truth, to seek understanding, to say no, to say yes, to get over it, to move on, to be disciplined, to keep, to let go, to heal, to rest, to be better.
“Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is a yes in heaven; a no on earth is a no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this: When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” – Jesus. When I read this, all I see is a call to make decisions.
During 2013, I endeavored to fit the entire ocean in a cup. I vision-boarded, took action, experienced fear and did stuff anyway. In short, I was determined to live differently so that I could experience life on higher ground. Here’s how it went:
- I told God I’d go wherever He wants me to go. My new address includes MD where CA used to be. That’s my physical address. If you ask me, I’ll tell you that I live at the intersection of Grace and Gratitude.
- I prayed over my purpose. I was invited to the Mandela Memorial Service in Washington DC last November. That celebration is one of the greatest inspirational moments in my life. I’ve never been so clear on the impact I am here to make. Well done, Mandiba. Well done.
- I asked God to help me appreciate the process. He taught me the unpopular gift of longsuffering and sacrifice. Last year was awful to everyone close to me and when you love someone, you suffer with him/her. In the end, I watched them overcome, heal, extend and receive Grace, rejoice and stand.
- I endeavored to save money in 2013. In actuality, I’d never been more broke. However, I’ll never be that broke again. I learned to trust God daily for manna and quail (Exodus 16).)
- I inquired to know the depths of God’s Love and Grace. We’ll never fully grasp the extent of it, but watching Him pursue my heart inspired me to live the rest of my life with Him as the lover of my soul. I’ll never settle when it comes to matters of the heart.
- One day I woke up and didn’t feel pretty. From that day on I stopped wearing makeup to become comfortable in my own skin. Now I wear what I want free from my insecurities and self-serving tendencies.
- I prayed for joy. God challenged me to launch the “Heart of the Matter Tour,” which flew me to Houston, Texas to minister before beautiful young women. Living purposefully brings joy.
- I needed to let go of feeling overwhelmed. I took off my homemade Superwoman cape and hung it in the closet. Since I was tempted to put it back on, I burned it. I am enough. Right now, in this moment, the woman that I am is worthy. God says so.
What’s in my ocean? It’s swarming with passion and divine ambition. I spent the last 30 days figuring out how to articulate the ways I tried to fit my entire ocean in one cup. What I mean is, I fought in 2013 for my future and joy. Perhaps I was too ambitious in the beginning, if that’s even possible. Though I couldn’t grab hold of my entire destiny like I intended, you can currently find the treasure of my sea marinating in the kitchen sink. In 2014, I am committed to serving it to you on a platter! Where I was previously nervous about being too vulnerable or disappointing God by inaccurately depicting this chapter of my life, it’s too good not to share.
Kareem challenged me to just write. So, here it is. On this second day of the year 2014, I’ll leave you with this which I think speaks to wherever you are in life: your ocean will never fit in your cup. It wasn’t made to be that small. Don’t bottle it. Don’t limit it. Just swim. #30DaysToChange #whatsinyourcup #happynewyear #siezethenext365 #itsyourturn.
Remember, God loves you and so do I,