2-0-1-7- Surrender again…

i prayed for this

If you have heard me speak at any point in the past two years, you know I’ve been single for a while. (Insert clip about situationships… yall know about situationships. Don’t play. Laugh, I did…) I have dated my way, done what I wanted, tried to placate truth for desires, had sex outside of marriage, abstained for five years and then gave in again… yea, I’m THAT honest. After waiting for five years, I gave in – twice. I wasn’t loud about it, but I didn’t hide my shortcomings either. I kept waiting for the heavy break down that I had spiritually, in years past. When it didn’t come, I knew it was because of the condition of my spirit. I’d allowed frustration to cause me to do what was right in my own eyes. You know what, I had to go back to God and say… my way doesn’t work. Seriously, it never does. I kept thinking I could “help God”… He’s God, He doesn’t need my help.

I don’t mind being honest. People need to know that being a Christian isn’t about being perfect. Perfect died on a cross and rose after the third day, over two-thousand years ago. Perfect is not a human condition, but a state of divinity. The Lord allows us to strive for perfection, but not without human nature, choices, and in my case – lust. You see some thirst for other things. (Insert your vice, because we all have some temptation to fight…) Once I allowed myself to close that door, the one that said it was ok, and to surrender – again (because that is a never-ending process), then I could find peace in God again.

In 2017 I met new people, continued cycles with old ones, and finally had a breakdown about being single again. Right before my birthday. While my birthday event was BEAUTIFUL, it almost didn’t happen. I was turning 34…alone…again. Another birthday celebration I had to plan. Single people plan their own celebrations. My sister, Jai, caught me as I fell. We had a conversation and processed the fear that I had allowed to rise up. That’s when I decided that we were indeed going to celebrate. I was SOOO happy that I had that party. It was a breath of fresh air.

At the end of the month, I went to Jamaica with friends. I needed that get away. I needed to lay in that salt water and be still. I needed to listen to the waves and talk to Jesus. I needed to surrender – again. I did. What many people don’t know is that I’ve been on several dating sites. One of the side-effects of the constant pursuit of purpose/school/business/work/ministry/mentoring/creating…and anything else that rose up in my schedule is not having the social time to be seen (because he that finds a wife…right??). Men weren’t just coming up to me at church/grocery store/Target/gym…or anywhere else, so I hopped on after conversations with friends. It had been successful for them, so I gave it a shot. In 2017 the taboo about connecting online has faded because we communicate online so much. Hence this blog – a way to communicate across time and space. I had not been previously successful, but I do have stories to tell from my experiences. I had to turn off my profile while I traveled because apparently, I was attractive to the West Indian men that were on that particular site. I didn’t feel much like Stella, so when I returned to the US I turned my profile back on. Only, after that last surrender, I decided to get off of the site. Wouldn’t you know…there was one profile that I had seen before and I was led to connect before getting off for good. I am so grateful to God that I did. It was one of the best things that happened to me in 2017.


I originally didn’t connect because…well… of his tattoos. Or at least, that’s what I remember being a deterrent. Funny thing, I have tattoos. I’ve dated guys with tattoos before, but he has a lot. I judged the book by the cover until I opened the cover and began to dive into to the content. The substance that this King exudes is beyond what I prayed for. And, once he explained the meaning behind his tattoos, I saw it for what it is. Art. As an artist… you would think that’s where my mind would go first, right? Wrong, people in my past shaped what I saw/interpreted and I needed to be corrected. I stand corrected and I am smiling because of it today. Truly, I am humbled that God stopped me. I am off the site, but I am also in connection with one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met.

dont save her

It took a hard surrender, an honest look at what my decisions allowed me to do, and a willingness to look at someone’s heart. It took healing, prayer, forgiveness, and being open to love again. Its possible to love after heartbreak. It’s possible to connect after the drought of singleness. God is still in the prayer answering business. I am grateful to be a witness to that.

In 2017, I learned to surrender to God’s way and allow love to rule.

Ivy Out

Next Feature: My Sis Brittney Wade. The question…How did God grow you in 2017?

Well, well, well! What a question for a year such as mine!

The # 523 comes to mind… Yes, this is my birth month and day, BUT unbeknownst to me, 523 has more meaning than the day that the world was blessed with me. In numerology, it represents new beginnings.  The number 523 came into vision at least twice a day- either it was the time 5:23, or an address, or part of a phone number.

This year was the first of many! B Exclusive Events coordinated its first wedding and curated a wonderful retreat. Not only was this my first experience planning a retreat, but my very first retreat in general. All firsts are not so glamorous, one has to take the good with the bad.

#Accountability. I had to acknowledge my weaknesses and address them. This is not my fondest moment but it was necessary for my growth. The Most High gifted me with the spirit of humility and I’m forever grateful.

I finally understand and can demonstrate LOVE… “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres”. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

rose gold love


#2017 Those I lost…


2017 showed me the real truth when it comes to people’s season in my life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds me that there is a season for everything. And while I knew this before, when you start losing friends it’s hard to digest.

I have been privileged to have some A-MAZING people to come into my life and plant forever roots. I mean, they are literally there no matter how beautiful or ugly my life has gotten. They caught tears, bought art and tees, they broke bread with me, some of them even supported my financial drought. I mean, I thank God the people that refuse to leave me, no matter how long we go without speaking to each other. Let’s be real, with some of our schedules and the schedule’s schedule it’s a great deal of awesome to have friends that just pick up where you left off. Thank you Lord for allowing each of these people into my life, in their proper season.

I also thank God for those who came in, even though they left. This is hard to type. Some people existed my life this year. We no longer talk. We don’t DM, or text, or message, or video, or smoke signal, or passenger pigeon…nothing. Once, heavy communicators are now memories and archives. Letting go is just as important as receiving. It’s hard. It can hurt. It’s still a part of life.

becareful with your words

Some of the people that left my life were men, and it just didn’t work out. That doesn’t make them bad men. They just weren’t the right one for me. That’s ok. Thank God for the King of my heart. He validates that the Lord DOES HEAR MY PRAYERS…and He answers them too! Some of the people that exited were best friends. I am not happy that we no longer talk, but I still wish God’s best for you too. I pray that this next season for you all is the best yet. I am grateful for the memories we made. While you may not speak to me, I still love you. That’s the truth.

2017 taught me how to let go, in love.

God knew i needed you

Feature Number Two is my Sis LaToya.

I asked my sisters how God grew them in 2017.

I believe reflection is a gift from God. I am a woman who likes to journal. That includes anything from prayers to lists.  Now the beauty of this is in the reflection.  To go back and read some of my prayer requests and praise reports amaze me.  What surprised me is the amount of prayers in my journals that were not answered and the joy that I had that God blocked my requests not only to protect me but because He loved me. In particular,  there was 1 prayer request (will discuss later) that was repeated umpteenth times and it just got answered this year.  It took 7 years! Yep,  7 years for God to finally say Yes. What’s funny is I wasn’t waiting on God,  He was waiting on me.  God didn’t just grow me in 2017. It didn’t happen overnight. Have you heard the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree? If you haven’t,  take a moment to visit this link and come back and finish reading…

Now that you have read up on the Bamboo Tree you can probably guess that I’m going to tell you, “I’m like the bamboo tree”. You see that prayer request from 7 years ago was for a husband.  Yep,  I was praying for a man y’all… and don’t act like you haven’t done it! Lol.  God didn’t answer until 12.17.17. 7 YEARS LATER. The number 7 represents completeness and perfection both physically and spiritually.  After 1 1/2 years of a Christ- centered courtship (abstinence until marriage,  relationship centered around Christ…we pray together and for one another) my love got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever as His wife!!!!! God is good y’all. Now let me tell you where the true reflection came in…. the CONGRATULATIONS on social media.  It was almost overwhelming. Everyone showing love and sending well wishes felt good but what really touched me were the private Facebook messages,  the texts and phone calls from those who really knew my journey up to this point…. those who knew and saw first hand the pain, hurt, prayer, faith and GROWTH that took over 7 years to get to this moment.

In order for God to have grown and blessed me with an answered prayer in 2017, I had to surrender in 2010, be obedient 2010-2017, be steadfast in prayer,  faithful in God’s word,  a believer in God’s promises and apply it to my everyday life.  God grew my senses. I ate on His word everyday and let me tell you,  NOTHING tasted better.  I read His word daily to make sure I could see Him working miracles. I listened to my Pastor preach sermons that seemed to be just for me… sometimes it was like fingernails scratching a chalkboard but more often than not; it was music to my ears. I would take walks in the park or lay out on a blanket to mediate and the smell of the fresh flowers and the feel of the breeze would remind me that God was always with me and would never leave me.  My roots are what grew most this year.  Deeper in connection with the source, God.  Dependence on Him changed my life. My Faith sprouted beyond what I could see or even imagine. Thoughts became praise reports before I could even make them prayers. A journal entry prayer request in 2010 GREW into a praise report in 2017. If you want God to grow you, you have to FIRST surrender and then the growth will be limitless.

A Grower in God,




#2017TaughtMe …

At the end of the semester, many people post grades and testimonies. It’s a time to jump up and down and celebrate great grades and awesome effort, for some. Right now is not one of those times for me. Why did I lead with that? Because I don’t ever want to be unauthentic. I got my first C this semester, in graduate school. I had two classes and I got a C and an A-.

grad school hell

Let me tell you why I can still praise God…

The class I got the A- in, I originally took four years ago. When I first started my program, too green to be in this particular seminar, I took the class and ended up gracefully accepting the I. For those who are unfamiliar, that means incomplete. That incomplete meant I had a year to retake the course to remove that grade. The problem was that I wasn’t equipt for that class yet, my masters degree was in sociology. Therefore, I had to take leveling courses geared toward preparing me for the counseling coursework to come. In sum, I was able to register but didn’t possess the requisite information needed.

grad school meltdown

Honestly… almost five years into this program, I am tired of school. YES, this happens. It doesn’t just happen in high school or in undergraduate programs. I am HONEST. 99% of the time, you can catch truth like “these hands” aka urban threats commonly circulated on social media. While I use humor to lift the load, I am serious. 100% serious. (Throwing percentages around like NYE confetti.)

School is draining. Growth can hurt sometimes, you know? I’ve said this before, circa almost every other blog post, but ask a mother about pregnancy. The truth about it. The part that doesn’t show up dressed and primped for the baby shower. When I had some candid discussions with family and friends, pregnancy wasn’t so glamorous. However, no one regretted the life they were nurturing.

I don’t regret the doctoral degree, but this is the tough part. Close enough to the end to see an end in sight, and far enough away to realize I can’t snooze. I got an A- in a class I retook years later and I am grateful it’s no longer an I. I welcome the A-. I am grateful for grace.

The C was in research, insert your opinion *here*. Honestly, I still have work to do in that area, after taking the second research course in my program. I’m not defeated. Getting through the class means I can now work on the purpose that the class listed as a required course in the first place: the dissertation. My professor always said you learn research by doing, now I get to do. I get to sit down with him, other experts, graduates, and people who can see outside of my frame and work on the project set to launch my career. I thank God for this C too. It will be the last one I get… I have two classes left, the rest of my practicum hours, my comprehensive exam (*Insert dramatic movie theme music here*), and then my dissertation. I refuse to be ABD (All but dissertation), so I have to internalize learning when I don’t win. Let that settle in your spirit. Am I alone here? (No…no I’m not)

grad school reading 2

Lesson One that 2017 taught me… how to learn and live to tell about it. 


I will be sharing several posts about my growth moments in 2017 and share some lessons from some awesome sisters in my life. Stick with me… we will take greatness into 2018, together.


Feature One:

Sis. Stacy – “How did God grow you in 2017”

Time for most will come with change. As for me, 2017 is the year of ignition. A few years prior I wouldn’t have ever imagined a life as such. I aimlessly wandered my world of pity, guilt, anger and resentment. Yes, I believed in God, yet he wasn’t my Lord. My spiritual growth was impeded by distractions. Friends, football tournaments and everything in between. Then all at once I was mentally and physically exhausted. I had to say ENOUGH! I asked myself, Did God bring you this far for you to live this?  It took me quite some time to get my life in order. I finally accepted my boyfriend’s proposal, set a date. I immediately went into my CLOSET for absolute concentration. I got on my knees and prayed for forgiveness, direction, and mercy. For the first time in my life, I finally accepted that belief and forgiveness are one in the same. I didn’t grow up in a household with God first. Sad to say at 43 there’s a plethora of God’s word that I don’t know although I will continue to grow in Christ as long as I have breath in me.