After spending eight weeks in Atlanta, I knew that it was not God’s will for me to be there. He was calling me home to Houston. There is still work for me to do in this city. Until that work is complete, I am not allowed to leave. My heart is here, so is my passion. I’m connected to a church filled with hope and believers and that pushes me to be the best person, the best follower of Christ, and the best example of Love I can be.
“I’m having to practice what I preach.” I told my brother when I spoke with him yesterday. Listen, I don’t know what God is doing in this season, but I know He is setting me up for a major blessing… and I am ready to receive it.
Usually my blogs start with a scripture, or an anecdote leading in to what my message is about. This day, I have nothing but my transparency, which I have always had. Hopefully, somewhere between these lines, you will learn as I have learned.
Yesterday, I was having a moment of uncertainty. I’m in a new experience that is outside of my comfort zone. I kept asking myself why did I leave what was comfortable? Immediately I went into prayer 🙏🏽
“God, Thank you for taking out of my comfort zone. For putting me in a position to where I have to trust you and lean on you for your understanding. It’s scary, but I’m grateful.”
I’m used to doing everything for myself. I make things happen. But in this season, God is showing me how to depend on Him for his wisdom, his strategy, and his plans over my life.
I love how God gives us free will. We have the power to make our own decisions, yet He is still working in the background to make sure that regardless of the choices we make, he can always get us to where he wants us to be, should we choose to take head to his voice.
God is a good God. We hear that over and over, but it’s another thing to KNOW IT. One thing I am sure of in this transition period in my life is that God promised to prosper me, and to give me hope and a future. For that, I have a blind faith in Him. I trust him fully.
As always, I pray my transparency helps someone who is reading this to be all that God has called you to be. Remember that fear is not of God. When you feel it, remind yourself of God’s promises. He’ll never leave or forsake you.
We naturally become scared sometimes, especially when we step outside of our comfort zones, but in the words of Pastoe John Gray, “Do it scared.” If you do this, I believe and declare that God’s favor will flood your life.
Peace seems to be a reoccurring motif God keeps stressing to me. It’s almost as if I can feel his hand on my shoulder, drawing me back, saying, “I’ve got this, Mister.” Lol…. I’m laughing because I’m wired to be a take-charge person. Always have been. For people like me, sometimes it’s hard to let God do His work – we feel we can take care of everything on our own – but God continuously proves Himselves as the Alpha, the omnipotent One, the God who is in control.
As I enter my last week as a resident of Houston, I’ve been faced with so much anxiety – The how’s, the what ifs, the what wills… But being in Arkansas this weekend has taught me several lessons that I almost ignored.
The first lesson is that GOD IS ALWAYS ENOUGH. When we feel like we cannot do it, that’s when God steps in to show us He has had the solution all along. He has already worked out our needs before we even know they are present. “All things are working together for my good.” That’s God’s promise.
My neice’s birthday party was yesterday in Little Rock. When I flew into Arkansas Thursday night, I had already made up my mind that I would leave Saturday night after her party driving the car I purchased from my dad. There were some issues with the air that needed to be fixed before I could drive it, so I had to wait until that was done.
I paid the mechanic yesterday and he disappeared, leaving me stranded lol. He had already taken apart the dashboard, so I couldn’t leave even if I wanted to. Initially, I allowed this to frustrate me. I wanted to get back to Houston so I could have my Sunday to relax before going in for work for the week. I told my parents they would have to take me to Little Rock to the bus station. There was a megabus leaving for Dallas at 12:30am, which would get me to Dallas where I would transfer to the 7:10am bus to Houston. I had it all figured out.
My card declined as I tried to purchase the tickets. I paused because there is no way my card should have declined, but right before I pressed the button to submit the payment again, God interrupted me. “What are you doing?” He asked. Was rushing back to houston that important to me, that I would risk my safety, my life? I was sleepy, and probably would have fell asleep at the wheel.
God knew what He was doing when he sent the mechanic away, and when He stopped me from purchasing those tickets. “Be still”, is what I could hear Him saying.
And this was reassuring. God is in control. And the anxiety I’ve been facing toward this move away from Houston is suddenly relinguished. God is in control. He’s already gone before me and worked everything out in my favor. And He proves himself time and time again.
This moment, I am so full of love & peace. I’ve spent a beautiful week with my nieces and nephews. They’re the most amazing beings I know. They make me want to be better, to be an example for them as they grow up.
Anyway, I hope everyone has an awesome Sunday. Spend some time with your Heavenly Father, and watch how your life begins to change.
😘 xoxo 😘
This is the first year in 4 years that I haven’t spent the 4th of July in Los Angeles. That thought appeared moments before I began this post. And I’m feeling a way about that.
The Fourth of July is about family. To me, a black man, the fourth isn’t indicative of “our” freedom, but as a celebration of black community and black culture.
For as long as I can remember, the fourth was a backyard, or front, full of aunties and crazy uncle George’s, brothers and sisters, mom and dad, GRANDMA PEARLIE’s BANANA PUDDING, Aunt Crystal’s or Aunt Jackies Potato Salad, and MY chocolate cake. Mm Mm Mm.
The fourth was burnt bar-b-que hotdogs, BBQ BONELESS chicken breast (for me), baked beans, and whatever desserts I could get my hands on.
I went to New Orleans this weekend, and the entire time all I could think about is my family. My neice’s birthday is this coming weekend, and I will see her then.
But I miss the fourth at my parents house. Volleyball nets, four wheelers, spades games, GRANDMA, and water hoses.
And this is the first fourth without my grandmother. And I’m away from family. But I did spent today with a ton of friends and new friends. And that’s all good with me.
Find the God in everything, friends! Happy Fourth of July.
I’d dealt with my emotions regarding the state of my grandmother when I last saw her in April. I told my coworker that I didn’t want the next time to see my grandmother was at her funeral. So I drove 7 hours from Houston to Little Rock to visit her in the hospital.
When I arrived to her room, she was eating her lunch. It was comforting to see her feeding herself. There was an instance sense of relief that swept over me. To go from being found unresponsive to having the full activities of your limbs is a miracle in itself. I was grateful to God for that moment. I will always have a pleasant memory of her as my last memory.
Although her memory was a bit cloudy, at first, it came rushing back once we began conversing. She kept telling me, and the nurse, over and over, how proud she was of me. “This is my grandson,” she said to the nurse, “and he’s going to be a school principal. I’m so proud of him, I sure am!” Shortly after, she asked me to bring her some ice to chew on. Suddenly, I was flooded with all the memories of summers in Crossett, AR as a child. Route 44 cups of ice from Sonic, backyard trampolines, pecan and pear trees, boundless flowers, honey suckles, ice cream trucks, bees and wasps, crazy cousins, annoying siblings, and leather straps!!!
It’s something about making your grandmother proud that no other feeling on earth equates to. Ms. Penix, the matriarch, the Queen of the family; only her opinion mattered. I do not have any other memories of her besides love.
She would always let me sleep in her bed. It felt like a cloud. I’d remember sinking into the covers and falling asleep. I’d wake up to her sleeping on the living room couch and my siblings asleep on the living room floor. When my parents would come pick us up, she’d slip me a couple of dollars into my hands. “This is between you and me!” She say staring in my eyes. Looking back, maybe I was her favorite lol. But I cannot take that credit. We were all her favorites, but I was her MOST favorite. #letsdebate
And now she’s gone. And to be honest, I cannot fathom a world without her. Some people you just never expect to be gone, and she was one of those people. But each time I look up at the summer sky and see the clouds graciously floating, I know she is in great hands. She was so good that God wanted her back. And that makes me okay with it.
I was in training earlier this week. We were practicing restorative circles. We sat in a giant circle and passed around a red duck. The duck gave the person holding it the right to speak and share a memory. We were asked to share our childhood nickname and how we received it.
Immediately, I wanted to cry. “Baby Jay!” my grandmother would call me. I was her baby. Even as an adult I was Baby Jay. I shared that and it was an emotional experience. I can still hear her calling me that. When the red duck came back around, we were asked to share our favorite childhood memory. Again, the first memory to come to me was summers at her house, sitting outside eating ice. In a circle full of 25 adults, almost each person shared a grandma story. It was hard to listen to. My hurt still heavy from my loss. But I got through it. It made me realize how precious all grandmothers are, not just mine.
So this is my prayer…
God, thank you for every memory I have with my grandmother. Thank you for allowing her to be an example of what a strong, black woman is. Thank you for everything she was to everyone: a mother, a friend, a provider, a confident, and most importantly, a grandmother. Lord, thank you for blessing her with a long earthly life, and now eternal life in heaven with you. There is not greater reward. I pray for the comfort of everyone affected by this loss. Give us beauty for ashes; joy for mourning. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
God never ceases to amaze me with the opportunities He continuously provides. Saturday, May 20, I was asked to speak at the Black Orchid Book Club meeting about my new book, “A Vision of Victory.” It was a time of fellowship, and talking about God – two of my favorite things!
I woke up at 1:53am in a panic. I’d had a terrible dream of being attacked by Lions in a river. I hadn’t eaten before bed, which is typically when such a horrific dream would occur, so I didn’t understand the cause of it. But the more it sat on my spirit, the more I realized that this was God at work.
“The best choices aren’t always easy, but we must make them to reflect the character of Jesus.”