Today was National Day of Prayer. And like most of these types of days, I had no clue until half of the day was gone. Seriously, do y’all subscribe to an email that I just don’t get? How does everyone know these things except me? I digress…
All day I had so many thoughts racing through my mind regarding my recent release from my job. While I am happy to be free and I know it was God who caused/allowed the shift, I believe the release was personal, not business, and that hurt me. There were many things that I could have done better there, but I did give my all for a long time yet their feelings for me flickered off like a light switch. They were done with me and threw me out like yesterday’s trash. The reality of that hurts, but the understanding that God has more for me eases my pain.
As I sat home today, I did what everyone has been encouraging me to do- work on my brand, my presence, and my future. What that really translated to was a Leverage marathon and frequent, yet brief, conversations with God. In speaking with Him, I realized that there are 2 very specific things that I would love to do for the rest of my life. Either one would be fine on its own, but both together would be a true blessing. Wanna know? Ok, I’ll tell you….
My first college major was Psychology. I had wanted to be a doctor and that was the quickest path to Dr. that my university offered. But then something came over me (I now realize it was fear) and I decided not to pursue that field because it would take too long to earn money. Yep. That is exactly what I told my best friend as I went to change my major to Business and Finance. So imagine my surprise when 13yrs later, I have decided that I want to be a counselor. Seriously Michelle, stop fighting God’s plan for you).
I had lunch with a friend yesterday, just to catch up, and I learned that she and her family had experienced a traumatic incident last month. As I sat and listened to her, I felt myself getting passionately enraged with the entire subject. I wanted to offer healing words to her (thank You, Lord) but I also wanted to make sure that what she and her family had experienced would never happen to another person. I poured the words that God had given me into her empty vessel while I silently said a prayer for her. She told me that I had helped her and I just gave God all the glory. After our goodbyes, I walked away thinking “if I could could that every day, that would be enough.” Point, blank, period. If I could spending every day of my life talking to people about God and helping them through their hardest moments, I would be content. Yes, that’s what I want. But….
….I also want to speak for the voiceless and raise awareness of so many things. I am a black, Christian, Jamaican-American woman. All of my life I was told that Blacks don’t see therapists, God can fix me, and to keep my problems to myself. Blank stare. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works! If we could do everything by ourselves, then God would have just left Adam alone in the Garden of Eden. But no, He knew Adam needed a helpmate back then and that we would need help now. I cannot stress enough how we need to seek help for the problems (physical, mental, emotional) that weigh us down. Stop thinking that you need to do it all on your own!
I want to be that person who goes around educating others like me on how mental illnesses affect our communities. I want to take the stigma and [perceived] stench off of Depression, Suicide, and Rape. Guess what? THOSE ARE NOT DIRTY WORDS!!! Those words represent what is KILLING our communities, one person and one family at a time. The time has come for us to regain our strength and heal…and it begins with addressing the problems that plague us. We (as in ALL of us- race, gender, religion, etc. aside) need to start fighting for our lives.
So what to do?….
I just finished my nightly devotions and decided to read something extra in the Bible. I needed to hear from God about what I should be doing with my time. I needed to know how I should be doing His work. Ask and it shall be answered. The Lord led me to Joshua 1:6-9. Quick recap: Moses, the leader of the Israelites, had died and was personally buried by God. God had just appointed Joshua as the new leader and was literally pouring His courage and strength into Joshua.
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; mediate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Wow. I love it when He speaks.
Hearing what He said to Joshua, I was reminded of what I needed to do. In that short passage, God told Joshua to be courageous three times. Three. Not once, not twice, but three times (3 is my favorite number). I need to be strong and courageous. I need to hold fast to His Word, being sure to mediate on it day and night. I need to know that God would fulfill the great work in my life that He had promised me and my ancestors. I do not need to be afraid, for He is with me wherever I go.
What about you? Do you trust and believe that God has destined you for something greater than your mind can currently comprehend? Are you trusting Him to shift you to the place? Do not doubt Him, Beloved- He does not break His promises. Talk to Him. Read His word. Hold fast to Him and He will guide you.