No man should have all that power… sounds like a line you would say to a young girl in the trance of pleasing a man… or you may just be singing Kanye West’s Power.  I was actually given this same advice at one point in my life.  Yes, it was because of a boy… which really surprised me because before this happened I always thought I was too strong to let some dude break me down.  I was not, (am not) that pathetic girl that needs a guy in order to be happy.  I didn’t (don’t) need a guy’s approval…and I was (am) good on my own…or so I thought… when I think about it now I still can’t believe I allowed it to happen.  It was like it came out of nowhere and there I was lying in bed… not wanting to be anywhere.  I couldn’t even eat… my little sister even looked at me confused… “Over some boy?”

I, of course am able to talk about this now because I am somewhat healed from it and came to realize the bigger picture at work.  I came to realize that the situation caused me to be vulnerable.  Not more vulnerable but simply vulnerable.  I have always played the poker face… smiling and never really showing my scars to anybody.  I was fine with hearing your problems but no need to hear mine… but the broken relationship led me to be more transparent… able to connect with others.  I am not sure how this block within me to not  fully connect with others came from.  Maybe it’s a generation thing… in which you keep it together in front of people and when you are all alone break down in tears and let Jesus hear about it.  I had the poker face thing going on but not the other part…   I never let Jesus know …and certainly didn’t cry about it to Him…I kept it together with my memorized prayers and sign of the cross… but it was the complete opposite of what He wanted.  He wanted me to let it all out… He wanted me to be totally honest with him… and the only way that I could accomplish this was to create a situation that brought me to my knees, in tears, in His presence.

So this whole idea of power was revisited when I witnessed a co-worker, now friend, transform in the three years we worked together.  I remember when I first started working at the school I thought she was the principal.  She had this presence about her.  She walked around with such confidence and joy… and on top of that she was funny, a true comedienne.  She made every interaction lively, which was easy for her because she had this booming voice that did not know how to whisper! On top of that, she treated everyone the same…no matter what position you may have held, she treated you as an equal.  She was simply beautiful.  Yet, I noticed with every year I was there, her light got dimmer and dimmer… all do to a higher authority in the school.  Everyday seemed like a struggle for her.  She resorted to putting on face, starting with a clean slate everyday with the person that only mistreated her.  She always upheld her professionalism and voiced her concern in the most diplomatic way… but had moments in private in which she broke down in tears…She was truly hurting.

This school year, we started taking walks around the neighborhood before school started.  I had always taken walks on my own… my way of setting the tone for the day and she would join me every now and then when she got to school early enough…which seemed to be pretty consistent in the last few months or so.  These walks gave her clarity.  She was able to release all that she was feeling in a very constructive way… exercise.  I mostly listened and didn’t say too much because this was something she had to overcome.  I was there for support, encouraged her to be open to whatever opportunity came her way, but never told her what do because, to be honest, I had no idea what she needed do!  So, in these walks, she had admitted numerous times her spirit was broken, but then she would always say, “Jesus come see about me.” Then she was confused on how to go about her day but then mention the message from Sunday service.  She even admitted she was not happy at the school, but then we would walk to the grocery store so she could buy one her students a birthday treat.  It all seemed a bit contradictory but it was quite evident that there was still something inside of her sustaining her faith.  And in time,  job opportunities started to spring up…I must add without her doing… that led to her attaining a position elsewhere.

In both situations, there seemed to be an oppressing power from someone heavily in our lives.  This “man power” brought us both to tears, took our joy, stripped our strength… seemingly left us defeated… yet, the man power did something unintentionally… it activated HIS power within us.

and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.  I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10







An Ode to Struggle


I was in the hot room… sauna with a friend of mine.  A daily ritual of taking a class at the gym, then heading to the sauna to chat with the girls.  One on one, or a small group… topics ranging from light and comical to heavy and serious, which are ususally ended with a dose of clarity and resolution.  I had always avoided this ritual of sharing a piece of me after class but lately.. for awhile now, it has become a platform in so many ways.  I am able to connect with others… the goal to transform my body then leads to a calling to connect.  The gym has become my ministry.  The women that have come along my path range from educators, businesswomen, mothers, wives… This is our time to release everything… the day… our woes…or frustrations…our whatever.  To laugh…to encourage, to soothe.

Recently, I had a conversation in which a gym friend of mine was ready to make a move outside of Texas to the same place I have my sights on.  She admitted to me that she admired my strength, my positivity in making the jump, after witnessing my “stand firm” approach in earlier conversation with someone that only discouraged my move… who, too happened to be a friend of mine.  Yet, the stand firm approach had all to do with my faith and His leading.  This was not the plan I set for me… this was the plan He set out for me… I have been confirmed over and over about it so how could I not stand firm and not allow the naysayers get the best of me.  It has already been done.  Then, the sauna conversation lead to the topic of struggle.  This friend relayed to me that she wanted to make the move but did not want to struggle…hmmmm…

The struggle is real…. and may be good for you.  I will admit I am technically in the struggle right now but I accept and love it…NOW! In the struggle I finding out who I am.  In the struggle I am weeding out those things that don’t belong and don’t promote growth.  In the struggle I am realizing hidden talents and skills… in the struggle I am loving myself more than I did when I had money.  When all was well, not really struggling… I used my time caught up in empty pursuits: shopping, being in the scene… I was not my authentic self.  The nothingness I am experiencing is helping me to remember that something that deep inside me…His plan.

The struggle takes me out of myself and helps me to see others more clearly… the struggle pulls me to help in other ways other than monetarily… the struggle brings me to a real place.

For a long time I hated the struggle… lack of funds, lack of a secure position in a career… I did not understand why things were so “in-between”…”I’m in transition,” is what I usually say when people ask… because I truly am.  The struggle is a transitional period… a process.  In this transition, a transformation is taking place. Perspectives are being changed and destinies are being realized.  Count it all joy (James 1:2)… I get it now.  I remember at the beginning of the struggle… the first year I moved back home, a close friend told me, “Don’t think of it as a struggle but think of it more as preparation.”  At the time I was so caught up in whatever I was caught up in…. I just wanted (and still want) the simple things: my own home, a career, and a family.  Yet, in the struggle I am gaining the knowledge and wisdom to uphold my destined career, to be a good mother/ wife and to manage my very own home.  The struggle is training me…..humbling me…and even bringing me joy.
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.  If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.

James 1:2-5