Holy, Holes, Whole~Part II

Given the imperfect nature of life, the process of being poked, prodded and left filled with holes, reconnection with God, and subsequently made whole again is something that occurs during the continuum of a lifetime. Therefore, in my opinion, the goal shouldn’t be to attain a staunch position of holiness, but an ever-growing, ever-evolving posture of seeking to pour out the negative and refill with new vision and insight into the nature of God. Our stance should be one of earnestly seeking to know more of Him, to become more and more like Him daily with a humbly submissive, dependent nature that won’t allow us to become so Biblically elite that we turn away those who need God most.

So how do we do this?

1. Never forget from where you come. Remembering how much you’ve learned and grown over the years will allow you to remain humble, and thus open to learning and growing more. This will allow your spiritual nature to continually evolve.

2. Tell your story. By allowing those who may be struggling alone in the dark stumbling over the same lessons over and over to hear your personal story, it will normalize what they are going through and they can feel more confident knowing they aren’t really alone in their struggles. It will also give you a feeling of accomplishment knowing you were able to help another person begin the process of becoming whole. Sharing is healing.

3. Don’t get caught up in memorizing the text. Regurgitation by definition is a natural release of all that is bad, so why would you merely want to vomit out a scripture given the valuable nature of its content? Take some time to go deeper to understand the meaning and apply the meaning to how you live your life. Everyone who comes in contact with you should come in contact with the Bible through normal everyday interaction, not simply because you are “preaching a sermon.” Actions speak louder.

4. Throw out the notion that you have to be perfect. I’m not certain where this theory came from; perhaps it’s a twisted view of the concept of being Christ-like. While striving for perfection is perfectly okay, remember that the beauty of life rests in our ability to continually develop. Once that halts because of achieving nirvana, we die. In order to truly live, you mustn’t ever stop learning and given that there’s always something to learn; accept that you won’t ever be perfect.

5. Love more, judge less. To my knowledge, God hasn’t died (and remained dead, depending on your beliefs), which means His position isn’t vacant. If you focus more on loving your brothers and sisters as is (the way God loves you), then there will be less time to pick apart their faults. We all come up short at some point in time, so give a little grace and focus on loving the person despite their holes. Besides, how can you judge someone when you aren’t, nor have you ever been, or will ever be perfect? A wise man once told me, “I’m going to do the loving and let God do the judging.”

Through it all we must be thankful for grace and mercy because without it, we would have less bullet points on our list of achievements. The process of spiritual development is one on which many of us long to progress. Progression can be very difficult because rigid belief systems are by nature prohibitive. We must remember to remain open to new perspectives, new experiences, and new insight, as they all have a place at the table of righteousness. Your whole-self will thank you and before you know it you will be surrounded by wholesome people.

goodpeople

Advertisements

Holy, Holes, Whole~Part I

The Process of Spiritual Development

I’d be willing to bet we all know people who can recite Biblical scriptures as fluidly as they can say their names. Many times these people are also able to eloquently explain their interpretations of those scriptures. The ability to accurately quote scripture is held in high regard by many, as it is the expectation of those who choose to live according to this text to fervently study it daily, with the assumption they will be able to communicate what they’ve learned to others.

If you aren’t as well versed on the Bible, inadequacies can creep in during conversations with the Biblical elite, even when you know the message you’ve verbalized is well thought out, logical, and accurate in terms of the meaning and application of the Word. In some communities the inability to quote scripture is something that is frowned upon, and voice of those unable to do so discredited. There are others who are more concerned with living out the essence of what it means to “treat those the way you want to be treated,” as opposed to merely spewing the words. Of course we know those whose regurgitation raises more hell than heaven, which often times contradicts any good intentions, leaving many disenchanted with all things holy.

The last year of my life has been somewhat of a metamorphosis as I searched to reevaluate and make sense of my purpose and direction. For those who are looking to live a life of meaning, I’ve found we often reach a crossroad where we want to evaluate and reevaluate to make sure our lives continue on the right track and on task with the reason for which we were created. During my self-assessment, one of the most transformative lessons I learned was that God can’t use perfect people. A recent conversation birthed this message to me: “This isn’t for the holy. This is for people with holes who need to be made whole again.”

This was liberating for me because it allowed me to see the purpose in my pain, the value in my voids, and welcoming of my wounds. Sometimes we have to be broken down to absolutely nothing so God can show us how miraculously marvelous He is, all by Himself. When we have so many holes that all guilt, pain, disappointments, unfulfilled promises, closed doors, misunderstandings, abandonment, neglect, abuse, misuse, manipulation, lies, deceit, tears, loneliness, depression, stagnation, unanswered questions, and every toxin that poisoned our body can finally be poured out. After this purification occurs, God refills us with love, forgiveness, resolution, fulfillment, open doors, surplus, honor, integrity, enlightenment, renewal, joy, truth, smiles, laughs, security, forward motion, answers, and healing, thereby making us whole.

Given the imperfect nature of life, this process of being poked, prodded and left filled with holes, reconnection with God, and subsequently made whole again is something that occurs during the continuum of a lifetime. Therefore, in my opinion, the goal shouldn’t be to attain a staunch position of holiness, but an ever-growing, ever-evolving posture of seeking to pour out the negative and refill with new vision and insight into the nature of God. Our stance should be one of earnestly seeking to know more of Him, to become more and more like Him daily with a humbly submissive, dependent nature that won’t allow us to become so Biblically elite that we turn away those who need God most.

holyholeswhole

Life Happens

In 2005, I was given the vision of the business I wanted to start. I came up with a name and outlined the services that would be offered. My target market was outlined, and I began making partnerships with other professionals with whom I would work to fulfill the vision.

In 2006, I completed my graduate program and relocated to a Charlotte. My goal was to become a business owner, however as a new graduate; I also needed the consistent flow of financial resources that came in the form of a traditional job. It was my intention to save money that would be used to launch my company. Life happened and I got bogged down in the hustle and bustle of working, and because I was in my field, it wasn’t as if I felt totally unfilled in my life. While I wanted more, I became comfortable with feeling content. Eventually, I became unhappy at work, because I wanted more and did not want to be confined by a job description. I also hadn’t saved as much money as I had wanted, nor had I conducted the proper research to learn the steps I needed to take to build the type of agency I wanted.

In 2007, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and my aunt, who had been sick for quite awhile passed away that year. Feeling overwhelmed with life, I opted to resign from my position and relocated back to my home town of Florence to assist in the care of my grandparents, as my dad wasn’t able to do as much as he could normally, given his prognosis. This was a major turning point in my career, as the change in the atmosphere of our economy rendered me unable to secure employment. As the savings I had acquired dwindled, I became more and more sad and feelings of worthlessness crept into my consciousness On one hand, I was happy to be able to help out my family, but on the other hand, I knew I wanted more. I knew there was more to my life than working for $10 an hour with a Master’s degree, because I decided a little money coming in was better than no money. Nevertheless, per usual, I decided to keep on my happy face, masking what I was really feeling inside.

In 2008, my dad passed away. Obviously, it was a very sad time, but what many don’t know is I felt more useless than ever. Still not working in my field, I felt like the major reason in my moving back was no longer there and yet I was still stuck there. I made the decision to open up my job search to Columbia, and within a short while I received a job offer and moved. I was still making considerably less than my education and experience would typically dictate, however I leaped at the opportunity to start at the bottom and work my way up. That’s what we are taught, right?

In 2009, my paternal grandmother passed away. Despite the fact she was more like a mother than a grandmother to me, if you been keeping a tally; her death marked the 3rd death in 3 years in the same family. All people with whom I loved dearly. My world was shattered and many familial relationships ruined, something quite typical when death occurs. While I was employed, eventually that unsettled feeling crept up into the pit of my stomach again, and when it became obvious I wouldn’t be promoted; I reignited my job search, deciding to return back to Charlotte as a representation of the last time I was most happy with my personal and professional lives.

In 2010, I accepted a job offer in Charlotte and was ecstatic about my “new life.” Well, the transition wasn’t as smooth as I’d like for it to be and I found myself once again working for someone who wanted to stifle my greatness. I was more determined than ever to start my business, but the consistent setbacks convinced me I needed a business degree so that I would be equipped with the proper information to run a successful business. I began working on my MBA and while in that program, I finally penned my business plan. I knew what I wanted to do and became obsessed with opening a nonprofit program designed to assist young ladies with enrolling in and successfully completing college. Through my years of work, I knew this was the best population for me. Additionally, I knew college was a major turning point in my life, so helping others accomplish the same was my way of giving back.

In 2011, I was looking forward to finishing my degree and launching my business. While I wasn’t working in an ideal setting; I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be doing what I always dreamed I would. In November of 2011, I received some information that would forever change who I was and how I viewed myself. A positive pregnancy test will do that to any woman, but for me, it sent me into a state of denial because in my mind I went from being a positive role model for young ladies, to the person I worked hard not to become: a single mother. While it wasn’t death sentence, it took me some time to accept that I had let down God. I revisited opening a nonprofit and was led in a different direction. Through my pregnancy, I was reminded that my story can help many, as I was able to reconnect with some true friends who showed me how great of an impact we had on each other. I also had the opportunity to meet some really awesome people who were motivated and refreshed by my story.

I began to look at my purpose more broadly, realizing I limited my God-given gifts while He wanted so much more for me.

In 2012, I gave birth and my vocabulary is too limited to describe how she changed every fiber of my being. I’ve learned so much about myself through motherhood. My desire to be a beacon of light led to me changing my business plan, as the type of business I wanted to opened changed. Researching life coaching was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because it showed me how I can change the world, without limitations.

In 2013, my newly-inspired vision came to life with the launching of Infinite Fortitude LLC. It took me many years, many tears, many trials, and many obstacles to bring faithfulness to fruition. Probably because it took me many years to learn to lessons I needed to in order to become the person I’ve been created to be in this world. I am grateful for it all, as it has prepared me for where I stand today.

Life happens. Let me help you become who you were meant to be through the services offered by Infinite Fortitude LLC. Your consultation is free. Don’t let life continue to make you ignore that feeling in the pit of your stomach. It took me 8 years to get my dream off of the ground, but it happened because I didn’t give up on myself. I can’t promise you the journey will be easy, but I can promise you that I will be there with you through it all.

Sincerely,
Shanika

Visit www.infinitefortitude.com to learn more!

079 (2)