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life

My Easter Victory

My Easter Victory

WARNING: This is a very personal and transparent entry. If you don’t care to venture into that part of my honesty, click the “X” at the top of the right hand corner. I won’t even know;)

Easter Sunday, known to those in the Christian faith as Resurrection Sunday. It’s the day we celebrate Jesus Christ rising up! He defeated the cross, death, and sin. My salvation’s cornerstone is the Resurrection of Christ. My life however, also pays tribute to this day via a milestone. Thirteen years ago on Easter Sunday morning, I plotted to take my own life. My family had been going through a rough patch as it related to my child support/custody case. I spent part of my life with my mom’s side of the family and part with my bio-dad’s family. During the holidays, as most visitation laws agree, I alternated where I would be. This was the year to be with my bio-dad’s family, however my mom bought my Easter suit. It was a yellow two-piece skirt suit. I will never forget that because it was partially a part of the tipping point. My mother and grandmother are both brown skinned.  My mother grew up under the mantra that you wore black undergarments underneath your clothing. My grandmother came from the school of thought that said you wore white underneath your clothing. (I now know that because of my melanin, I wear nude) Since my mother bought my suit, she bought black to go underneath. As I got dressed on Easter morning, I go into it with my grandmother. She said something I will never forget. She said I looked like a whore because I had black underneath my suit. I cried as if my heart had been ripped out. I figured, ok, if I wasn’t here…everyone would be happier. Thus the plot to kill myself began. I grabbed the half full class of water and my old pain pills and went into my uncle’s room. I sat on the bed and continued crying.  Right before I swallowed a half a bottle of prescription Ibuprofen a song by Greg O’Quinn came on the radio, “I told the storm”. I stopped in my tracks, fell to my knees and prayed. I promised God that I would never take what He gave to me away. I was reassured that day that no matter what comes, God will help me endure and persevere.  I didn’t tell the one person I am going to make sure reads this post…but he (my Uncle Dwight) actually walked in while I was praying. He didn’t know what was going on. No one did. The song washed over me and arrested my plans. It’s as if the Holy Spirit intervened with the one medium that always moves me, music. I was in choir by age three or four, singing solos by six, and I began hiding my voice after I graduated from High School. (I do sooo many other things, which no one will let me do if they find out I sing)

The point is this: I TOLD MY STORM 13 YEARS AGO, IT WOULD NOT CONSUME ME. Today represents the day our Savior, Jesus the Christ, defeated sin for YOU AND ME. Nothing in your past can break you, nothing in your present situation can defeat you, and your future is ALREADY LOOKING BETTER. I will share the link to the song that ministered to me that day. I hope you realize the SON makes it brighter for us all.

I didn’t tell my mother until my senior year, and she made me promise that I would never again consider taking my own life. I never told my uncle. Publically, Uncle D: I am sorry for not sharing this with you. I carried this around a long time before I began to share it. I was saved by the ONE who saves!

Triumphant,

IVY OUT

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life

Speak life-SHOW love

The seriousness of our words are catastrophic. We can build or destroy with very few letters.
Most people remember very little from their childhood, but it’s near impossible for them to wipe negative words from the fabric of their life. Unfortunately once words are said, you can apologize, but not erase them. Unlike an unsent text message or email, we can’t take words back. It’s so dangerous that even the words that we say to ourselves are fatal.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)

That wasn’t placed in the Bible for us to ignore. I have to constantly remind myself to guard my tongue. Furthermore, I constantly ask God to guard my tongue and my mind/heart. Natural habits need SUPERnatural assistance to be broken. Ask GOD to put his SUPER on your natural and work at it. Be on purpose with your speech. Know that your words CAN HURT OR HEAL.

Speak life. Show love.

IVY OUT

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life

The Nineveh Experience

I have heard the story of Jonah a million times, but I can’t tell you how many times I read it for myself. I know I’m not alone. Most people take the word of credible people instead of getting an understanding from a personal level. Beyond that, I remember reading it, only this time I got a completely different revelation. 

I have been Jonah a few times. I would always get stuck with the boat to fish experience until today. I asked, “What happened when he got to Nineveh?” I couldn’t remember. So instead of going to the commentary, I went to THE BOOK. Literally, (insert big grin here).  I am going to share the Nineveh experience through my eyes, praying that God speaks to you personally through my words.

1)    Everybody around you, who doesn’t believe what you believe, isn’t out to get you. This seemingly can be difficult to digest for some. The sailors on that boat were going where they set out to go. Apparently they all believe in several different things. They knew that Jonah was running from God, because he told them (Jonah 1:10 NLT), but their initial thought was to save everyone involved. How do I know? In verse twelve, Jonah TELLS them to throw him overboard. What did they do? They started rowing against the storm. To push that point even further, they ended up praying to God, when they realized his solution was the only option left.

 2)    I could continue to deal with the entire…. “who on God’s earth has been able to successfully run away from God….(not one anybody)…” but that would be an entirely different post. I could even deal with questioning, “How in the world did he get to sleep? Sound Sleep!?!”. But again, that would take another blog. But I will submit: Sometimes your SITUATION is what brings others to God. Once they witnessed the power of God (controlling the start and stop of this violent storm), they begin to believe. Their conversion came when the waves subsided (Jonah 1: 14-16). Storms don’t come to last, they come to pass. Pass it did, bringing along a new bunch to the kingdom. Don’t forget that God is sovereign. He can use any part of your mess for a message! (and by YOUR, I mean MINE! I don’t claim to be put together perfectly…)

 3)    In Jonah 2:10, God orders the fish to spit Jonah out on the beach. From three days and nights in the mess to dry land. It doesn’t mentioning the fish hesitating, rebutting, or refusing. History tells us that it is very seldom that beached whales survive. God can do the miraculous. He doesn’t fit in our box. Jonah’s situation served our savior when mentioned in a parable later. This parable serves us as well. After you come out, you will be placed in a dry place. That doesn’t always mean a barren place. When you have been drowning in water, the sight of dry land alone brings joy.  Jonah was delivered from the belly of the fish in three days, our savior was delivered from the grave in three days.

 4)    When Jonah gets to Nineveh, finally the message. Jonah’s message wasn’t a happy shout. His message wasn’t sweet greetings and prosperity. Apparently, Nineveh wasn’t a moral hot spot. He brought a message of despair and destruction. This message: “FORTY DAYS from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” I could deal with the significance of forty days…but in another post. Unlike the people of Nineveh, who believed at once, I have rebutted messages of destruction.  If you open your mouth again Andonnia… If you do this, he’ll do that. You probably should slow down. You’re moving too fast. Did you think about? I have seen warning flares attached to warnings given to me. My cyclical self didn’t listen the first time. (MESSAGE) Even more powerful, in verse five the people acquiesced and began to fast and pray. In verse six, the KING got the message. He HEARD what Jonah was saying and stepped down from his thrown to fast and pray. When you’re carrying the message of God in obedience, it gets the attention of the high and the low. The king obviously feared the Lord enough to declare both humans and animals would fast. They were seeking the Lord’s mercy. It worked, God spared Nineveh, and then Jonah pitched a tantrum.

5)    Have you ever seen, personally experienced, or watched someone get mad at God’s mercy? I have. Easy to identify after the fact, I have been Jonah many times. The word says Jonah was angry and complained. God has delivered you from the storm/fish/death, sustained you while you delivered a message, responded to the people’s repentance, and you have the audacity to complain? Yea, we do it. We pray for a job, spouse, house, child, blessing… get it…and then find something wrong with it. Better yet, someone else gets the blessing we’ve been praying for. (*cue bitterness*) Not only does this poor prophet complain he starts requesting death.  I began to give Jonah the side eye right here. I have complained, travailed, cried out, but I’m not requesting the final curtain call. (God still spared him –mercy)

6)    Before teaching Jonah a powerful lesson, God asked, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” Instead of the Almighty granting emotional requests, instead of punishing the activity, He asks a question. God gives us opportunities to redeem ourselves out of our muck. Jonah 4:5-11 just brought me to tears. God’s response to Jonah’s tirade about the “shady plant” that died, that he didn’t plant, that he didn’t water, but only enjoyed, reminded me that selfishness has many forms. God can be merciful for even a nation in spiritual darkness. They turned to Him and He responded. Nineveh gives us hope for these times. Jonah gives me hope that God’s mercy still covers me: mess-ups and all.

 Ivy Out

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life

Jesus is the original remix..

God is BIG. God is PEACE. Jesus is REAL. Testimony. We are going to be ok. Faith. ( Playing in the background is Kierra Shierd’s “Indescribable” )

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life

Simply put…

I am confident that emotions without discipline isn’t pleasing to anyone..including God. As a woman I am prone to being emotional (and extra at times). While emotions can serve me well, they can also imprison me. When they get out of hand, I usually end up having a real, candid, and blunt conversation with God. We are open books to the Father, no need to hide anything from Him. Trust me, I don’t attempt to. I have found some areas of my life that God is still pruning in my life. **newsflash** There will be areas God is working on until I meet Him in glory. That’s the flesh life… no one is perfect. However, I am clearly working on keeping a bridle on these emotions. Especially matters of the heart. We are surrounded daily by what seems like love and when reality sets in…we discover lust, infatuation, smoke and mirrors, and disappointments. Usually these are in relationships we thought were perfect…none are. 

IF you are like me, you will be working on putting emotions in check this week. 

Love and Light!

Ivy Out

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life

ignorance isn’t a plea…

I am both confident and convenced that some use ignorance as a safety blanket. 

(Got to the punch fast, huh?) I was supposed to share this on Saturday, when it was first given to me, but that didn’t happen. It was actually confirmed before my eyes by the end of Sunday night. People have but to ASK God for wisdom to receive it. We know by reading James 1:5. Very plainly stated… ask for wisdom. So why are some still not wise? I believe it was Maya Angelou, or Marguerite Ann Johnson, who said “when you know better you do better.” I think the crowd in question chooses to hide behind the speculation of whether or not they know. Instead of getting closer to the safety zone…they play hop scotch on the “danger zone line”. Then when asked about their acts of foolishness, or comments, they claim ignorance. This is NOT court, this is life. If you take F out of life you get LIE. If you take Faith, Feeling, and Future out of LIFE you get LIES… what people tell to feel good about themselves…

Yes, I know this is heavy and late. It had to come out of me before I entered Monday. Ask for wisdom. Act wisely. Walk with the wise. Be better for it. 

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life

Right before you open your mouth…

So… I’m reading Acts 18:1-18 today and I am dumbfounded by the FIRST phrase in verse 14. “AND WHEN PAUL WAS ABOUT TO OPEN HIS MOUTH,”

Preceding this verse, God told Paul not to be afraid to speak. He told him that he was protected! He did indeed protect Paul in this scene of judgement.

MESSAGE! Andonnia doesn’t have to open her mouth All of the time. Do you know why that’s good news? Just like Paul, some people “know” the old me. They can’t fathom that I’ve grown. Instead of cowering or having to fight, I just have to be obedient. I don’t fight every fight. Some just require me to stand.

I hope that’s good news for you too!!

Ivy Out

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life

My Resolution…God

There are a few situations that perplex me. They involve other people, and we can NEVER decipher the decisions of others without them. All we can do is regulate self and pray for them. (and PRAY I DO) I realize that in these times, God is the best to talk to anyway. He can do something about the situation…either changing them…or changing you (in this case: me). 

I pray that you have turned to the source for the conflict resolution in your life. It feels much better when the one thing you can do, is the best likely to produce a yield. 

Love first. Love, period.Image

Ivy Out

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life

Uncommon silence

The week I have had is not close to common. However, this is “uncommon me”….(cue song by Isaac Caree) “. However, sometimes I feel the need to reach out…to anyone I trust for comfort. The reality is…often times that reach is in vain. For no other reason except one: the one I should call on…I did. I should stop there.

This isn’t a “low post” or a jab at my loved ones. I realize that some things I only need to say to God.

Have you had that moment? When your cum-ba-ya audience is God alone and it’s a-ok… Once you realize it, recognize it, and relate it to your mountain top (not a valley)… You smile again.