I’m sitting here in the wee hours of the morning of my birthday reflecting on my first 33 years of life. It’s crazy ya’ll! I’m going to try to put it into words so bare with me please. Many times, on our birthdays, we reflect only on our past year and give ourselves a “grade” on how well we did since the last one.
Did I accomplish all that I planned?
Am I happy with where I am at this age?
How many more years do I have until I reach “that” age?
Well, if I were to be completely honest I’d say if I measured my happiness on just those questions, it wouldn’t be the happiest of birthdays. Real talk! I know the saying “just be thankful to be alive” but I’ve always been the hardest on myself and I never just wanted to be alive… I wanted to live! Live to fullest! Yes, I haven’t done bad for myself and each year I get better but I still feel like I could be doing soooo much more! I have a feeling I’m not the only one.
So today, after I asked myself those three questions and began feeling a little bummed, I heard God say loud and clear “Think about all 33 years. Don’t start from the last one.” So I did and here’s what came out of my time of reflection:
I was born to a young mother who at the start had NO idea what to do with me! No really, she thought I was dead in my sleep many a day. But she got through it and excelled beyond measure! Never could I ever imagine a better bond between mother and daughter than the one we have. She gave more than her best, she gave her ALL and for that I stand here the woman I am today and see how blessed I am for God to have chosen her to be mom.
She may have raised me alone but she didn’t have me by herself. I am and will always be a true daddy’s girl!! My dad and I have the most loving, protective, and unconventional relationship ever and I love it! He may not have been in the house with us but he was never far and he always showed me the depths of his love in his own way. I just laugh at how much we would fight for each other. Even without the conventional family structure, I can say I have a bond with my parents that is unique and full of love. What more could a girl ask for?!
I used to pray to God for siblings! I always wanted a little sister and begged my mother to have another one until she broke it down like this… “Everything I give you will have to be split in half if I have another baby.” That cured me!!! Ha! But God knew that deep inside it was a desire of mine and he saw fit that my mom’s best friends would bring along my baby sister and baby brother just a few years down the line. I got to grow up with them and because they had their own parents I didn’t have to share! Best of both worlds! Hahaha!!! No really, God answers every prayer and makes it better than you ever imagined. Even more, I’ve met women throughout various stages of my life who are truly sisters. Not even play sisters. They are closer than blood and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! To top it off, God has given me the opportunity to pour into young women’s lives. A big sister role that I do not take lightly and am honored everyday to fulfill to my best ability.
I attended one of the most beautiful universities in the U.S. Far away from Southeast DC in a small town of NC with a 6% black student population. In the natural, it wouldn’t seem like I would have been there. I didn’t technically fit into that scene but God saw fit to allow me to attend despite my background and even allotted money for me to do so! I learned so much about myself during those 4 years! I met people from all walks of life, studied abroad in Australia, interned in NY, pledged a sisterhood that I’ll cherish until death, started my career path in the field I studied, completed my masters, and expanded my network over a 10 year span.
I’ve loved. I’ve felt love. I’ve lost love. But more importantly I’ve learned from love. I’ve learned what I want, what I need, what I’m willing to give, what I won’t settle for, and so much more. In our youth we don’t always see the big picture. We want the fairytale and when it doesn’t happen in the time that we expect it to, we think our story is over… But God used my heartache and turned it into my power. The strength I left with is immeasurable and I’m more ready and more open to allow Him to write my love story like no one else ever could! After it all, I still have love in my heart because He is in my heart forever.
Finally, this blog has been a blessing to many and I am one of them! God needed to break my shell. He wants me to be a voice and to use my writing to bring recognition to who He is in the world and how much we need Him. I have so much more I want to do. I have so much left in the tank and I’m ready to take off! This year was supposed to be my break out. I was relocating, leaving my security blanket, and taking on my calling. I literally did everything I knew to do and things just didn’t line up like I saw it BUT I haven’t given up hope. God’s not done with me yet so I’m not letting go. I’m focused on the year of 33 and allowing God to write out the vision before my eyes.
So on this birthday, despite all of what I think I should be, I’m grateful for who I am because of those things and so much more! I could literally write a book on why I’m truly too blessed to ever be stressed but I’ll just leave it with this…
Take it from someone who gets it. Yes, you made some mistakes. Yes, you’ve lost some things and people along the way but your purpose doesn’t reside in your past! You have more to your story. Don’t get stuck in the “what ifs.” Take an inventory of your entire life. Not everything is pretty and some things are painful to relive but I promise you if you ask God to give you fresh eyes to see it from His perspective, you will realize that God’s had your back since Day 1 and even in the tough times to come you can count on Him.
Well, that’s my birthday message version 3.3!
Happy Tuesday all!!