Thursday I joke that “God was trying to tell me something” because three difference places I regularly walk had tree branches in them. Tree branches that were big enough to cause damage. One in my regular parking spot ( legit right where I park my car, on the drivers side, where I get in and out!), anther on the walkway that takes me to my cabin (this one tripped me out because when I went TO my cabin, clear, however 10 minutes later as I’m waking out of my cabin, there it was, fallen branch on the ground), another by the archery range on camp which I was at earlier that day ( AND I NEVER GO OVER THERE ((ever)), another ( though smaller) right behind my table in the dining hall.
Moral of the story is that God was not trying to kill me, but definitely calling my name. He was speaking to me and I wasn’t listening, until He very loudly interrupted my regularly scheduled program. Even with the obvious calls, I didn’t hear His message. I knew he was calling me. I knew He had something to say. I just couldn’t exactly make out the message other than he was telling me something and POSSIBLY telling me my time of death was near. One could even say it was “one fall way,” bad joke.
Then I stepped on a scale. The number was less than a million but right around 999, 999. I know we are told don’t let the number on the scale define you but in this moment, it did. It defined the measure of TRUE RUIN I believe my life to be in. That message was a little less subtle, but needed.
It was 243. I WEIGH 243 POUNDS OF PURE CHAOS.
This made me, hurt. That’s not taking care of myself. That’s not healthy. That isn’t love. I dedicated 2017 to be my year of all encompassing health.
• I wanted to go natural and le my hair grow wild and coily ( can we just envision me with a bomb ass ‘fro!!)
• I wanted to finally get in shape and be a healthy weight/ body type that might not be 120 lbs but a comfortable weight (below 200) and able to do the adventurous things my mind and heart think they can.
• I wanted to grow spiritually and develop my gifts and calling and purpose in God’s story. Learn more about Him and inevitably about myself.
• I wanted to grow mentally and get to a stable state of mind. Not stable as in not moving but not constantly ebbing and flowing into depression states, overly high confidence, ( mental bi-polarness as I believe it to be for me)
• I wanted to grow emotionally. Confident in myself. Loving every fiber of my being, the black woman of the Word I am. Embracing that which is culturally different ( see black), that which is suppressed and unvalued ( see woman), that which is unknown ( see Word). I wanted to be Woke to my reality and love and embrace it, but also change it and allow other girls to realize their gifts in their beings.
• Include financial health. Get out of excess debt and learn the value in financial hibernation prep.
Total health 2k17 was my goal. I don’t know if you got the update but lets run through it. So far, 2017 has all BUT given me what I thought I was working towards ( insert title here).
In 2017 I got :
• A gaping bald spot in the center of my head! I’ll attempt to post a picture later) but lefts just say you could clearly see the future with the amount of baldness I had. It had a 2 inch radius right where the head curves and its actually a little flat. Legit, my crown was gone ( because the bald spot is on the crown of my head, and the crown is the hair- either way, its all gone!)
• I current sit weighing in at 242.8 lbs. (sigh)
• Spiritually, I’m learning tons about Jesus, history, and now the holy spirit and pastoral care in class. In life, different story. In life I’m learning that God is good, just not to me. ( kidding part 2). In life I’m learning….God is in control and I’m not.
• I’m less stable now than a baby separated from their mommy for the time. My only characters I’ve gotten to now are my defensive characters ( Kermit the Petty, Stelleto the Beyonce, and Phlanel the needy). All side of me that come after being challenged or fighting for something/ just fighting.
• Emotionally, I am constantly fighting the urge to cry. And when I finally do, its ugly cry and yelling. I’m either mad or overly “pura vida” when in inward reality, Carringtopia is on fire, burning to the ground with a combination of everything being under water and only the problems are floating on the top.
• Financially, I’ve paid off 1 debt and chopping away at the others. I’m down to 2, I started with 4. I had a savings, then life requir…you know what happened.
2017 = 0 Carrington = -0 God = too many to count
The branches thing, the (not so) subtle messages of my shambling life, the score board, tells me that I’m not doing to well.
Then my friend-boss Alyssa came back with another analogy for the tree and life and message thing. She said God could be showing me that He’s pruning me. Pruning as in shedding what is dead so strong healthy branches can grow. The “already and yet to come” in the story of Jesus ( the whole illuminating thing on the mountain before He goes to be crucified [ whaddup Bancy I listened]).
I like this image in theory. In my life, I HATE THIS CRAP!!!! Because what is dead in/on me are things I’m somehow desperately attached to ( figuratively and literally). And I’m over here fighting God to let me keep somethings but he is telling me to let go.
Can I tell y’all the truth about God? He always wins. He’s gentle and He’s sweet but He’s strong and powerful.
He hasn’t ripped things from me, but he is slowly taking things from me that allow me to hide. I hide behind my appearance. I hide behind my emotionally and mental strength/ ability to not share myself but “help” others in their vulnerable states. I hide behind the bible, class, and books. I hide behind my lack of financial discipline for immediate comfort/pleasure. Now I know why my life is falling, I can no longer hide the fact that being healthy means vulnerability. Being healthy means being honest, authentic, truthful. Being healthy means loving myself to the core.
The truth is the core of me is a hurting, struggling, confused, and angry black woman.
I can’t hide anymore.
I can’t hide the fact that I am a broken person. I can’t hide the fact that I am not comfortable in my own skin, the black skin I have makes me angry. I can’t hide the struggle it is to be a woman. To be black. To be broke (ish). To be a follower of God. I can’t hide that I believed the world/ society.
I’ve been fighting to save face. I’ve been fighting to make it look like I am okay, put together, different, rock solid.
The truth is when you take away my fighting point,
– my worldly shield of hair, nails, weight, clothes, make-up;
– my bank account ( it was never that great anyway but now what gets put in and taken out [ to fight] are very opposing forces)
– my control, “privacy,” ( room, schedule, lifestyle, social situations)
– my immediate ability to run from my problems ( anything that allows me to leave the here and now ( drunkenness, being high, sexual release)
Y’all I crumble. Without these worldly things, I crumble. God is pruning me and I’m fighting to keep something. Things from the past, from the world, from anything familiar. Without these things I am forced to look at my nakedness in shame, a little guilt, and a lot of pain.
I’m fighting because I am being made new, but the things that are dead , that are killing me can’t come to the promised land that God promised me. I am headed to this beyond utopia. This heavenly state God has for me with Love ( true love of God, self, and others), Joy (Unspeakable unwavering joy), Peace ( serenity), Faith ( promises of what is to come), Patience ( in all things), Steadfastness ( in those seasons of growth, to grow gracefully), AND THEN all the earthly things I want like a FIONE man, beautiful kids ( 10’s), a house to call my own, a career that has purpose!
Pruning sucks! But I’m working on NOT fighting for the old. I’m working on fighting for the promises of the unseen. I’m fighting with my faith in the right place now.