Christian or Insecure

Quite often I am baffled by those who proclaim to be Christian. In my mind, a Christian is someone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. In order for this to happen, one must admit they are nothing without Him and in Him have everything. If this is truly the case, why would anyone who is a Christian portray themselves as better than someone who is not as far along on his or her Christian journey as they are (this is a loaded question in and of itself, as no one can really know the intricate details of the relationship between another person and Christ, however for the purposes of the point I am about to make; let’s assume these Christians are basing their assumptions off of the sins another has committed—I know, I know, but bare with me… ;))? How can you be better when, by your own confession and submission, you are nothing without Christ, meaning you are who you are and have what you have SOLELY because of Him?

(meditate on that for a minute)
Is it human nature to became arrogant and forget the dependent nature of a Christ-led life? Do we get amnesia and begin to believe we have what we have because of our hard work and good decision making? We’ve done the right things and viola, we have a great life! Why does there appear to be a need to put down another, however passive-aggressively, when professing the goodness of God manifested in our lives? Why not just give our testimony without the low-key snubs? What’s that all about?

Are we truly Christians or are we insecure in who we are? Or is it both? Insecurity often brings about unsolicited competition stemming from looking around at others and seeing in them what we wish we possessed. Not that the Christian journey is a perfect one, as there will still be trials; but if our lives are truly submitted on the altar, shouldn’t we always have joy even during our trial periods? We know God is with us right? If we truly have joy why put down another person?

There’s nothing wrong with Godly correction, that’s not what this is about. If I have learned a valuable lesson, it’s then my responsibility to share it with you. However, under no circumstances is it okay for me to address you in a manner that suggests I am higher up on the hierarchy of heaven than you are.

Comparison and competition is running rampant through churches. Sanctuaries aren’t always a sanctuary from the world. Sometimes the toughest battles are fought within God’s house because God’s imperfect people forget we are imperfect. We forget that it’s only through grace and mercy that we have the lives we have in the first place. No person’s decision making is so great that they can avoid all negativity. It’s not that we are good that great things happen for and to us, but that the God we serve is good that He allows His greatness to shine through us by granting to us favor. In turn, we are to give Him the glory.

Let’s try to remember that when we get so caught up in our seemingly perfect lives because in the blink of an eye, your world as you know it can change and you can be living a life you’d never thought you would.

I know this from experience.

Be humble and be honored. (Wash.Rinse.Repeat.)

AUTHOR’S EDIT: This post stemmed from a real-life event, however it would be less than fair not to point out that any situation in which a person has to put down another in a passive-aggressive ploy to somehow compliment themselves is an indication of low self esteem. We can pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishments if we so choose, however we should be able to do so without speaking negatively about anyone. The only competition that exist is within our minds, as each person has a unique purpose. Just because we both deliver pizzas, for example, doesn’t mean I need to speak badly about your business because it’s operated differently from mine. There are people only I can reach and the same in true for you.

God’s blessings are INFINITE ;~)!!!

christianorinsecure

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The First Delta I’ve Ever Loved

22 Founders of Delta Sigma Theta taken in 1913

22 Founders of Delta Sigma Theta taken in 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course my earliest memory of you is in your kitchen, the place where many of our insightful conversations took place. The place where you told me it was great to be intelligent, but I also needed to know how to cook. The place where I trained and became a chef in my own right. The place where love and nurturing took place for all who passed through the threshold of your home.

Shaped to its Purpose, a fifty year history of...

Shaped to its Purpose, a fifty year history of Delta Sigma Theta by Mary Elizabeth Vroman published in 1965. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Words aren’t adequate enough to express how much I miss you and wish you had lived long enough to see me produce your namesake, however as we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the founding of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; I can’t help but to reminisce about you.

As I remember the countless times I helped you deliver food to the elderly through the Meals on Wheels program, the countless clothing drives I assisted with at the church, or the times when you proudly strutted up to the voting booths; I never realized you were showing me the prototype of a woman of Delta and for what she stood and represented. I definitely can’t forget the times I would become angry at you when those women came to the house and I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen while you all did what I called the A E O (pronounced phonetically) work. I didn’t know what the heck that funny looking A E O meant, couldn’t figure out who would incorrectly write the alphabet and why they would do something like that, and didn’t even realized the letters weren’t A, E, or O; but I knew I wanted to become one, as these were the women I always saw doing the work in the community.

As I became older, I noticed many of my teachers were A, E, Os. Even a principal who paddled me often was one (back then we were given discipline in schools). I remember seeing a program for an event and learned the name was Delta Sigma Theta (I still couldn’t put together where the letters A E O came from–lol) and listed on the program were names I recognized from various schools, churches, and other businesses. WOW! This was an amazing group of women!

You never answered any of my questions about this group and now I understand why. You showed me who a Delta woman was through your work in the church, home, community, and through your work as a special education teacher. Thank you for letting me visit your classroom and teaching me that all children were beautiful, despite what the world thought of them. Even when the school placed you and the children in the basement because they didn’t think much would come of those children; you created an environment that not only incited learning, but it was a warm, nurturing and exciting place to be–I’ve never seen children so happy to be in a basement! I even wished I had class down there! You taught me creative ways to teach others. Amazing how that all works out.

Thank you for teaching me about Christ. Lord knows there are countless times throughout my life I wouldn’t have made it through without Him.

I feel so honored to have ever been in your presence because you taught through example. As few as they may have been, your words were always powerful, however soft. They also were cryptic, as you wanted me to seek knowledge instead of it being handed to me. You had a quiet passion that could erupt if provoked that let the entire room know you meant business!!! Thanks for showing me the many facets of womanhood. You didn’t let the times in which you grew up hinder you from becoming what God intended for you to be and while Delta was only one part of your life; I appreciate having an example that the mission is bigger than the aesthetic and fun privileges of the organization.

As we celebrate 100 years of Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service; it is most appropriate I send up a shout out to the first Delta I’ve ever loved!

Thank you for being you!

 

thefirstdeltaieverloved

the beginning

your smile,

your laugh,

your eyes,

your lips,

your voice,

your touch,

your feet,

your hands,

your smell,

your strength,

your loyalty,

your conscience,

your determination,

your spirit,

your humility,

your diligence,

your promise.

the beginnings of why i love you.

divineappt

The Promise

Tomorrow isn’t promised, but if we have life right now in this very moment, a promise has already been fulfilled. Therefore we should show gratefulness by making the most of each day we are allowed to breathe.

 

So often we make excuses for not doing what we should do or doing what we should not. If you really don’t believe there is promise in tomorrow or are one of those people who use the phrase “we have to die of something” as an excuse to make poor choices; what’s the purpose of  being granted the privilege of living today?

 

While none of us know the exact time or manner in which we will die, we should take delight in LIFE. When we awake each day, we should live with purpose, intent, diligence, positivism, and make choices that will aide us in having a brighter tomorrow.

 

 

 

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The Next Lesson

I think it’s easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself. At least I know this is true for me. I am so hard on myself that when I do or say something I think isn’t the best representative of my true self; it is virtually impossible for me to let go and forgive me. I set the bar so high for myself that when I miss it, it’s hard to bounce back because I beat up myself for missing the mark. Why is that?

Forgiveness lesson from flowers

Forgiveness lesson from flowers (Photo credit: juliejordanscott)

Control~I am control freak. Since I am in control of and responsible for my choices and because I am not the type of person to play the victim, when I make what I think is a bad decision; I consider it solely my fault, even if others are involved in the situation. I will forgive them and make provisions for them I don’t allow myself to have. So how do I forgive myself, given I know God will forgive me if I ask?

I don’t know, but I do know that I want to know. How do you forgive yourself? What does that process look like for you?

 

Forgiveness of self: the next lesson for me to learn.

thenextlesson

 

 

Divine Mirror

Quite often we are told if we look back it can hinder forward progress because we are concentrated on the past, instead of focusing on the present and future. A visual metaphor often associated with this common belief is one turning his or her head looking back while walking, unable to see what’s in front of them, and either  falls or becomes paralyzed with fear because of the inability to see where he or she is headed, resulting in movement stopping altogether.

As a counselor I see the value in looking back, as it can help us understand a variety of things that can assist us in letting go, making better choices, and moving forward. Clearly, if one becomes too fixated or preoccupied with the past, looking back can become an unhealthy behavior. However, today I received further confirmation that there are times when we should look back. A few reasons could be:

1. To see how far you’ve come & appreciate where you are.

2. To reminisce over great times.

3. To reflect over lessons learned and embrace them.

4. To remember that time flies so you can appreciate each moment.

5. To motivate you to keep working on your goals so you don’t move backwards.

6. To share stories so your offspring are knowledgeable of the family’s lineage.

7. To remember you once were, in fact, skinny ;).

 
This evening I was looking at my 25 week-old’s newborn pictures, taken the day after she entered this world (I can’t believe how much she has grown!). After 14 hours of the induction process, 12 hours of active labor, and 42 minutes of pushing; I gave birth to the most beautiful cone-headed alien ever created! It’s amazing when I reminisce over the very first moment I laid eyes on her, how I could see familial resemblance, but at the time she really didn’t look human. Therefore I could not really say who she looked like because “her look” wasn’t distinctive (although we did start claiming body parts~my eyes, my nose, my lips, my hands, my feet, oh my, my, my!). We were very eager to stake a claim in that precious princess!

Looking back and comparing how she looks now, I see in the picture of that 1 day old angel every feature she possesses today. Obviously, today those features are more developed and will continue to as she grows, however it’s amazing to me how in those initial moments following 2:01 pm on July 10, 2012; I couldn’t fully make out exactly who the alien-girl looked like, but now equipped with clearer vision, I see what was there from the beginning.

Motherhood has truly been a spiritual evolution for me, beginning the moment I read the positive results on the home pregnancy test (both of them ;)). In falling in love with my daughter, I understood through manifested personal experience how God loves us, so pure and unconditional, as for the first time in my life I loved another person in the same exact way. A mother’s love isn’t tainted by life’s challenges that naturally occur during the building of adult relationships. It is void of faults, fights, the blame game, projection of personal issues, baggage, compromise, and all the things that become the foundation of the walls we build around ourselves as a result of the aforementioned. The things that causes us to block love.

Perusing my daughter’s newborn photos today taught me this: when we are going through the storms of life unable to appreciate any beauty in those moments because we choose to focus only on what is wrong; once God has delivered us from the storm and we look back, we are able to see in us what He saw all along.

There is beauty in every dark moment of life. Look for the light and see yourself how God sees you.

divinemirror

you…her, she, me…you

you remember what happened to me before.

i got her and we became close.

we were together, inseparable, day in, and day out.

she was my joy and i was her everything.

hearing that simple word made my heart melt every time she said it.

my every action was in consideration of her.

and then she came and took her away.

i never felt pain like that before.

or since.

so i’ve decided i wont get close to you.

i don’t ever want to feel that way again.

but you are so beautiful.

you remind me of a time when love was pure.

you are reminiscent of the joy that once was.

i can’t enter into a place without coming to see about you first.

i want to talk to you every chance i get.

but my words are tasting too bitter right now.

seems like my premonition is coming true.

i knew i was right not to want you.

but i want to want you.

actually, i want you.

but i can’t be with you because of me.

and because she won’t let me.

 

the power of words: you can’t be with her, because she is me and you are you.

youhermesheyou