The past two months have been interesting and a bit much.
Hence my slacking on what I planned on doing.
I am not the best with structure and sticking to a schedule. I did a great job for a while.
But then things changed. I was doing well at first. Then I totally fell off. I have not adjusted the best.
Cuz life man.
But the great thing is that I can learn and reflect and figure out how to get everything done.
Just because life comes and changes our plans doesn’t mean we have to quit on stuff or even ourselves.
We can evaluate and make a new game plan and still be great.
Let’s not focus on the perceived failure but focus on what it teaches us and where we can go.
To quote India.Arie’s The Truth, there’s a blessing in every lesson.
Failure can teach us more than success at times.
Failure shows us who we are.
Failure shows us where we went wrong and how to get it right.
When done right, failure brings us closer to God. He shows us who He is and how is is capable of helping us get it right.
We gotta try. And if it doesn’t work, assess, take stock, learn, and try again.
Failure is fruitful.
Failure shows us what we are capable of.
Dust off those failures and go win!
Faith y’all. Faith.
Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.
My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.
“What if I don’t get into law school? What if I don’t pass the bar?”
I vividly remember uttering those words as a 16 or 17 year old child half my life ago. As far back as the 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
I don’t think it’s because my dad is one. He never practiced full time. I just felt, and feel, it suits my personality. Also, depending on the field of choice, lawyers have the ability to help and bring about change.
It took me a while and some detours, but I made it to and through law school this time last year.
I said I couldn’t take the bar in February because that was too close to my finishing school. I was going to take it in July but I said I didn’t feel like I was retaining the information.
I signed up to take it this February. But I’ve been flirting with not taking it or only taking it once and reevaluating my goals if I fail.
When I talk about taking the bar my response has been if I pass.
But here’s the thing. As a Christian, this is in direct conflict with one of the main pillars of my belief system. Faith is a requirement to walk out this relationship thing with Jesus.
Faith has gotten me here. I had to have faith after being rejected, wait-listed, and accepted with no money to makr the choice to apply for the 4th time two years later.
I had to have faith after I was a horrible student and received a letter stating that I was in jeopardy of being dismissed from school based on my GPA.
Yet, I think that teenager still lives on the inside. I never really struggled until college. And that was minute compared to law school. The bar is a beast that is entirely different from anything I have ever done.
But all these faith scriptures pop up in my head. Not to mention, my coworker question if being a lawyer was my passion versus my plan yesterday.
I believe it’s the tool to walk out my passion. I’m gonna evaluate that. But I am going to take the bar in February.
And who knows. Maybe the issue isn’t fear so much as not wanting to have to pay aaaaaaaaaaall the money it costs to take it again.
This was my Facebook on this day yesterday: failure is merely [a]n opportunity for another chance to do something better the next time. I don’t think I should embrace this in this instance.
I don’t want to fail. I’m going to push this fear as far back as I can. And set myself up to succeed.
So I just tweeted back to back to back. Reflection is not usually a fun or pleasant thing. Especially when your past was not fun and unpleasant. I spent much of my life unhappy, depressed, and I think angry. I was a kid when my parents divorced. Younger than ten. But I remember the counseling and the arguing. I do remember having fun. I had friends and people I considered family that I went to church with. My relationship with my dad wasn’t that great. I know now that it was due in part to factors we could not control. My friends at school ended up being enemies. Fifth grade was the beginning of a long period of a struggle with the isolation that came with being me.
The other day I realized a lot of my personal struggles began shortly after I received the gift of salvation. I didn’t know what I was setting myself up for. I think the church, at least the churches I grew up in, romanticized salvation. The truth about the struggles, the issues, and difficulties that come along with serving God are often hidden and buried. The salvation, the God, the church I was given was one of ignorance and blind devotion. The human side of salvation is replaced with a domineering subservience. If you didn’t think everything was going to be okay, if you didn’t trust God, if you succumbed to humanity you weren’t good enough. The arrogance of the Biblical Sadducee and Pharisees was alive and well in the 20th and 21st century church. Jesus wasn’t taught or shared much after I reached a certain age.
The certain age would be when I left home by force with my mother and sister. Moving was the absolute worst for me. I had carved out a belief system, an understanding of God, Jesus, and life in ten, almost eleven, short years. I was allowed to be a certain way, to ask certain questions, and to live a certain way at home. I had to change almost everything overnight. I didn’t want to move. And once I moved I hated it. School was horrible. Church was horrible. Home was barely tolerable. Eventually school and church got better. Home got worse. I told people at church. They listened. And sent me home. Some saw my point of view. While others told me the devil was attacking me and I was wrong. I told family members. They listened but rarely agreed or did anything. One made things worse by mentioning things I thought were told in confidence. I almost, or did actually somewhat, lose my mind. How could the God I read about, the God I tried to have a relationship with despite so called “Christians'” behavior toward me, allow so much. How could I be trying my best yet still feel this way, go through these things? I wanted to die. I begged him to kill me. The only thing that prevented me from committing suicide, outside of people praying for me, was the thought that I would be committing murder and would not be able to repent for that.
I denied who I was, what I felt, what I wanted, what I believed because people told me that I should. I changed, I caved, I merely existed because I believed it was the right thing to do and that one day things would change and I had to stick around and see them through. NOBODY called a meeting to address my issues or concerns. NOBODY truly stuck their neck out to defend me and make my world a better place. The church, at least from my experiences, hides. The church has amnesia. The church doesn’t really help its members. The church just tells you to go pray about it and you have to hope it gets better. The church only loves you if you are a certain way or bring a certain thing. The church I know is a failure.
Christianity means to follow Christ. If you follow, in that sense, you strive to be like Christ. You exemplify his example. I am not perfect. I am not the best Christian or human. I strive to be. But I know I will fall short. Yet I keep trying. I’ll never figure it out. But what I do know is that I will not be a failure. I will not idly sit on the sidelines while others hurt and die. I will not tell people to just accept things. I will not send people to a life of emotional death and suicide. I will help. After all, Jesus came to heal, he came to help, he came to teach. Jesus came to fix what was broken by showing a better way and then proving his love by his death at Calvary.
To succeed the church must take off the blinders and admit, like David and Job and others, that there is a human aspect to the lives we live. We hurt, we cry, we have issues, we have pain. And then the church must accept people, serve people, LOVE people, and help people. There are churches that do this. At least on the outside from what I have seen. I am so completely and thoroughly jaded, not to mention holding onto a strong set of criteria, that I don’t even belong to one. I have decided that there are things that are nonnegotiable when it comes to a church home. After joining several because they looked good on the outside only to find out they were rotten on the inside, I am taking my time. But while I wait, I choose to try to be the best me I can be, based on the example Jesus gave me, and hope he’s pleased. Only once more of us begin to exemplify Christ in the earth will the church be anything more than a failure.