The gift of goodbye

“There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The Bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us.[1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay. LET THEM GO!!!”—-TD Jakes 

When a relationship ends, it can be hard to see the beauty and opportunity that lies immediately beyond that. I recently had a relationship end and I find myself strangely at peace with it. Maybe it is because after all of these years, I have finally realized that I am the prize and a child of the most high God and should be treated as such. At 35, I do not have time to deal with any one who doesn’t see my value and worth in their life. I can definitely be unhappy alone rather than being in a relationship where the guy treats me less than I deserve.

So now I find myself single and trying to understand the lessons that God wanted me to learn from this experience. Over the past few days, I have found myself listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon, “Nothing Just Happens”. He posits that everything, both the good and the bad things, are allowed by God to happen in our lives. He tells the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah and the trials that they faced. The part of the sermon that resonated with me the most was when he started talking about Orpah leaving Naomi’s life. He talks about letting the people walk away when they want to. Don’t beg them to stay because your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

Whoa.

When my ex decided to walk, I let him. I have never been the kind of woman to beg any man to stay. But it was helpful to be reminded that there is a reason for this relationship closing at this time. It means that his part in my story is over. That his chapter is closed in my life. Maybe he will be a future chapter, or maybe he won’t. But for this season, his role is over.

It is so interesting how much I prayed for the success of that relationship. But God did not answer those prayers. He closed that door. He told me no. Although it is disappointing, I do not want to be out of God’s will for my life. I want God’s best. He obviously was not God’s best if he chose to walk away.

At times we women will stay in relationships that are not as ideal because we feel the clock is ticking and we really want to get married. We don’t stand up for ourselves and express our emotional needs.We are so afraid of being single and alone that we stay in situations that are not the best for us. We are willing to sacrifice real happiness for the appearance of happiness and the chance at getting married. I do understand. At 35 and soon to be 36, I find myself wondering at times will I ever get married? Will I ever have children (in the context of marriage)? I do yearn for the experience of building a life with someone. But at the same time, I do not want marriage enough to be unhappy in it. I do believe it is God’s will for me to marry, but he wants me to marry HIS CHOICE, not mine.

So I enter this new chapter of my life happily single and completely open to what God has in store for me. I know it will be better than what I can hope or dream of.

xoxo,

 

Cosmo

 

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Trusting God

I can’t believe that a quarter of 2016 is almost over!  This has made me think seriously about the goals that I set in January and to assess if I was really making strides in this year of “becoming who God has called me to be” (check out my post from New Year’s eve here). I realized that I definitely have been making some serious strides in the vulnerability department (my third goal) and working on being wholistically healthy (my second goal), but not as much in my first goal, which is:

  1. To get really serious and focused about my prayer life.

I’ll admit, I haven’t completely dropped the ball-I have been praying for myself, my relationship, and friends and family, but I haven’t been as good with completely turning EVERYTHING over to God and trusting in his ability to work everything out for my good. So this week, I have been seriously meditating on what it means to truly trust God and to allow Him to work it out vs. me trying to always take the reigns and control things.

If I am honest with myself, I can admit that alot of my inability to completely trust God with ALL of my life stems from a place of fear. For some reason, I sometimes doubt that God is truly concerned with all aspects of my life. I believe that I NEED to step in and control things because that is the only way things will happen. However, when I truly reflect on the parts of my life that I have relinquished control to God, he has done exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ever hope or wish for.

To truly trust God means I have to give up the illusion that I am in control. What a scary thing for an overthinking control freak like me. But if I really think about it, it is very egotistical to think that if I let go of control things will not get done or work out. That I need to provide input in order for things to come to pass. But what would happen if I just surrendered EVERYTHING to God and trusted that he would make things happen?

Over the past few months, I have been amazed at the people that have crossed my path. All have come from different walks of life, but yet have delivered the same message: have faith, let go, and have fun. If I really pause, God has already been showing me His will for many aspects of my life and it is truly amazing.

So why can’t I just let go, and let God?

Fear is a powerful thing. Letting go is scary. Being ok with the unknown is frightening. But I also realize I can’t keep going on the way I have been. It isn’t changing anything in my life. All it is doing is stressing me out and wasting energy.

But I realize that I can’t do it on my own.

I think I erroneously believed that once I decided I would change, that it would come naturally. But, boy was I wrong. I cannot do anything apart from God. So I realized that praying to God to help me to release control has to be a priority. Daily, I have to die to myself and my normal way of thinking. I need to stop fighting to go upstream and just enjoy the cruise downstream.

So I exhale and ask God to help me in this area. Because, when I look back on my life thus far, God has never steered me wrong. He has given me beauty for ashes. He has done exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ever hope or dream of.

So like Dewayne Woods’ song, I am committing to focus on praying to God to give me the strength and ability to “Let go”(lyrics and video below) and get my peace back.  If you are like me and struggle in this area, consider dying to yourself and joining me in this prayer. Ask God to give you the ability to trust Him in ALL things. Let go of the thing(s) that you are holding tightly to and let God work a marvelous thing in your life.

[Verse 1:]
I couldn’t seem to fall asleep
There was so much on my mind
Searching for that peace
But the peace I could not find
So then I kneeled down to pray
Praying helped me please
Then He said you don’t have to cry
Cause I’ll supply all your needs

[Chorus:]
As sooon as I stop worrying
Worrying how the story ends
I’ll let go and I let God
Let God have His way
That’s when things start happening
I’ll stop looking at back then
I let go and I’ll let God have His way

[Verse 2:]
There so much going on
Sometimes I can’t find my way
And often times I struggle
Struggle from day to day
I have to realize that it’s not my battle
It’s not my battle to fight
I have to know if I put it in Your hands
That everything will be alright…..

 

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Not my will, but thine

Wow, it is that time of year again! For Christians like me, today (Palm Sunday) marks the start of Holy Week, the most important week in our faith. As I reflected on Christ’s triumphant ride into Jerusalem, I wondered what he was thinking?

By the end of the week, He would be crucified for all of our sins. To know you were marching into the city that you would ultimately die in, had to be interesting.  I can’t even image the weight of it all.  In anguish, Jesus found himself in Mt. Olives praying passionately to God:

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:42-44, NIV).

Jesus was tasked by God to carry out a specific assignment. But yet, He didn’t really want to do it. He knew his death would be horrible and drawn out. Crucifixion is not a quick death. After being nailed or tied to a cross, it typically takes several hours or days to die. Usually a person will die from a combination of heart failure or suffocation.

If I was Jesus, I would have been praying earnestly and sweating profusely.  But Jesus was resolute.

Not my will, Father, but thine.

Like Jesus, there are many times in our lives when we will have to “die to ourselves” and do things that we really don’t want to do. However, those very things show that we are in obedience to God and operate in His will and not our own.

What do I mean?

Well, sometimes you will need to get up early and go to the gym, study, etc. even though your flesh tells you to stay in bed.

Sometimes you will have to be a bigger person and extend an olive branch to the person that wronged you.

Sometimes, you have to eat a healthy option versus the junk food.

You get my drift. That still, small voice will speak to you and encourage you to be obedient.

Will you heed the call?

During this holy of holiest weeks, I encourage you to join me in obeying the call. Please take time to sit in quiet to hear what the Holy Spirit would have you do.

Not my will, God but thine.

Being in the will of God is the very best place to be in life.  I have made many mistakes in my own life doing what I wanted and then asking God to bless it. Begging him for it to be in His will, even though my gut was telling me no. I have learned that the times that I do step out of my own way, have a seat, and remain at peace, God has worked a marvelous thing in my life.

Wonderful experiences

Wonderful relationships

Exceedingly and abundantly above all that I can hope or ask for.

But it is something that I daily have to do.

Daily, I place my relationship, my worries, my fears, my hopes and dreams into God’s hands.

So come along with me on my daily walk this week. Let it Go and Let God show you His will for your life.

There are times when it won’t be pleasant, but God ultimately promised us that he would make everything work together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Have a wonderful week!

xoxo,

Cosmo

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of a recovering overthinker

I can admit, I am an overthinker. I can think of thousands upon thousands of ways things could not work out. I can think about how a person may or may not react to something I may say or do. Most of the time (well, all of the time I can admit..lol) I end up spinning around and around in my head burning needless energy like the man in this video (click here).

But when I really think about the root cause of this “overthinking”, I realize that it stems from a need to have control of the outcomes in my life. I figure that if I can think and determine how things will turn out, then I will not have to deal with uncertainty. That I won’t have to be disappointed.

Somewhere in my childhood, I learned to protect myself by thinking that the worst things would happen, so I wouldn’t get disappointed when the things that I truly wanted didn’t come to pass.

Not healthy, I know.

However, over the years I have been really trying to fight this way of thinking and have been getting better everyday. But every now and then, a new experience, person,etc., will trigger that part of me.

When I make a mistake, I overthink.

When I find myself developing deep feelings for a man, I overthink,

When I am not sure which way to go, I overthink.

The list can go on and on.

But this morning, I was reminded again of the words Paul so eloquently wrote in Philippians (3:12-14):

 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Paul is so right. I haven’t become the best me yet. But everyday, I wake up with the intention of being the best me.

I am not perfect, but I press on.

I may stumble, but I press on.

I may even fall, but I dust myself off, pick myself up, and press on.

Every morning that I am blessed to open my eyes serves as a “reset”.  Daily,  I strive to forget all of my past mistakes that are behind me and strain towards the things that God has in front of me. All of the blessings that He has in store. Consistently asking God to help me to release control to Him and trust that all things will work together for my good (Romans 8:28). Ultimately, trusting that in the end, I will win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

xoxo,

Cosmo

 

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The (wo)man in the arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”- Theodore Roosevelt (the man in the arena)

When it comes to love, we all should strive to be like the man in the arena. Yes, you will stumble, you may even give your heart to a person who doesn’t deserve you. You may have critics that judge you that might say, “Oh, I wouldn’t have done that, or Why couldn’t you see he or she wasn’t worthy of you?”

Some people definitely are lucky. They find their Mr. or Ms. Right early in life. They don’t make many of the mistakes that I or you may have made. But the majority of us tend to find love a little later in life. The time in life  where we are battle worn and have our armor of fear and worry around us. We can be afraid to reveal ourselves to the next person that enters the arena with us, concerned that they may pierce our heart in a way that we may not recover.

Vulnerable. To be exposed. To show a person all of you–the good, bad, and ugly.

Will they run? Will they understand? Will they realize that you are more than the mistakes that you have made in the past?

But  you and I, being the brave ones that we are decide to stand in the arena time and time again. We show up for love. Hoping that the next person that enters the arena with us will be worthy of our vulnerability. We take the risk and expose ourselves, trusting that God will not allow them to deliver a death blow.

Each risk that we take stepping in that arena brings us closer to finding that person that will stand by us in the arena. We can be vulnerable and exposed because they have decided that we are worth fighting for. That we are the person that God has intended for them. That we can do more together as a couple than apart. That person will see your scars and think them beautiful because they will realize that you have “dared greatly” and have tried to love to the fullest.

Because to love and to fail is better than not having tried at all. Do you really want to spend your time on the sidelines criticizing every other person’s failures in love? Do you want to spend your life in fear, afraid of love and giving your heart to someone that could hurt it? Yes, you may fail, but what if you don’t? What if the next person that enters the arena with you will protect your heart? What if you experience a joy you never known?

I don’t know about you, but I think great love is worth this risk of having your heart broken. It took me a long time to feel this way, but I am tired of living on the sidelines of love. I want to experience love whole-heartedly and have a person know how much I truly love them. I want to know what it feels like to have that love truly reciprocated.

So here I stand in the arena. Hoping and praying that the man who will join me in the arena will be the one willing to protect my heart and love all that I am.

 

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2016: The year of becoming who God has called me to be

Gosh, I can’t believe it is that time of year again to sing “Auld Lang Syne”, write down New Year’s resolutions (that we may or may not keep), and potentially go to watch night service (or another church service if you are religiously inclined).

Honestly, this year was such a blessing. God truly answered many of the prayers that I prayed in 2014. I have met wonderful new friends, had wonderful new experiences, and even had my unapologetically singleness challenged by a wonderful man. Yes, it is amazing the things that happens when you step out of God’s way and enjoy the season that He places you in.

As I reflect on this year and begin to cast my eyes on 2016, I decided that I really need to keep it simple with my goals for the new year. So my plans are:

  1. To get really serious and focused about my prayer life.
  2. To be healthy: mind, body and spirit
  3. To be completely vulnerable. To allow certain people to completely see all of me. The good, bad and ugly.

Focused prayer life

If you haven’t had the chance to watch “War Room”, I highly recommend doing so immediately. For me, that movie was a wake up call to show me that I really need to go to God first for all things and to trust that he will work it out on my behalf. I want to open my eyes to see the tiny things that God does for me everyday, not just the amazing things. I want to reach a higher level of spiritual growth and continue to become the woman that God has called me to be.

Wholistically Healthy

As I will be entering my 36th year on this planet in 2016, I really need to step up my wellness game. I have to learn to fight the urge to turn to junk food when I am upset. I have to learn to be better at resting when my body needs rest, and working on stress reducing techniques. My body showed me this year that I need to treat it better. So in 2016, I am focusing on a better diet, relaxation techniques, and staying in touch with God.

Vulnerability

Gasp. Showing a person all that you are. Honestly, that has been difficult for me over the years. Anyone who has been hurt knows that the natural reaction is to protect themselves. You can even doubt that you are worthy of love. You can do things like sabotage relationships, become cold and aloof, or be mean to guard your heart.  I am sure that not being vulnerable has prevented me from having the love that I have always wanted. Oh, I have wonderful family and friendship love. I have even loved a man or two in my day. But I have honestly never given any man my whole heart.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I wanted to experience the deep love that can exist between a man and a woman. The kind of love where both parties are all in and love each other in spite of each others mistakes or imperfections.  But, to experience that, I have to be willing to be completely open, to be vulnerable. to trust that, no matter if I fall and get hurt, God has me. But it also takes a special man to deserve that level of me. There is a special man and I do believe he deserves that from me…

So I am looking forward to 2016 and all that it brings. Whether it is good or bad, I chose to trust God and His plan for me life. I know without a doubt that it is infinitely better then anything that I could imagine for myself.

Goodbye 2015. 2016, I am ready to embrace all that you will be to me.

 

 

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Giving up control

This morning as I sat in the presence of God, I felt myself drawn to Psalm 139:16: “..all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Literally, I repeated that out loud to myself several times to let it truly sink in. I think after the 20th time, it finally did. God has already lined up my future. He knows who I will marry, if I will have children, what my future job(s) will be, everything. He knew and knows every mistake I have and will make and still has made provision for me because he loves me. I am his child.

After I read the scripture, I moved to my morning devotional and I started laughing. The title of the devotional was “Giving up Control”.  God really has a sense of humor. Friends, I recognize that I truly struggle in this area. I honestly have slight anxiety at times about the unknown. I like to feel like I can think through and figure out every outcome for everything in my life. I love plans! I love knowing what comes next. But God knows this about me as well.

He knows that I want to know everything so for that reason, I feel God tells me things on a need-to-know basis. I have never been that person that God has told that they would accomplish something 5 years from now. God literally lets me know in the moments or days leading up to something.

I think He wants to remind me for the twenty thousandth time to rest in Him. To trust that he has plans to prosper me and not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11). To trust that his perfect will is working in my life and that for every heartache, for every mistake that God can give me beauty for my ashes.

As I get older, I feel that life brings a lot more unknowns and new experiences. This year has brought so many blessings and experiences that I never even dreamed about. I know God wants to do more for me and through me. But he can’t while I am trying to control things.

So, with a “Woo-sah” I exhale and let go. I let go of all of the stress and fear associated with the unknown. And I trust God to work his perfect will in my life.

xoxo,

Cosmo

 

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