Masterpiece: Embracing All of Me

Please share with anyone you know who needs to walk in their truth regardless of those around them. Let’s help some folk get free today! Stop apologizing for being you. ❤️ Love you all…Marquita.

Sooo FYI Jazmine Sullivan’s album Reality Show is thee truth. A song I love from it that gives me hope is Let it Burn, about the fire the love I will soon have with my future husband (whoever he is) will give me! But alas, my anthems from this album are Masterpiece and If You Dare. Both of these songs have encouraged me in unforeseen ways to be all of me. And just this past weekend with some of my antics I was all of me. There have been many nights that I’ve listened to Masterpiece on repeat and woke up beaming with joy. And this is my truth, my new reality.

I had an amazing time at my linesister’s wedding this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed my time with friends who happen to be linesisters. And I walked in my truth. My tipsy, dancing truth.

This weekend I was met with a Marquita I haven’t seen in a while, the confident, social drinking Marquita that doesn’t care what others think…my current version of myself doesn’t care what others think anymore and I’m still very confident, but social drinking Marquita is sometimes very excited like a kid can be when all of her friends are together…and talkative😅. In the past this Marquita caused me a great deal of frustration because I often spent the days after those nights 😫 piecing together my memory of what I did and said the night before. This time I remembered everything I did. I had a great time, partying with people I loved. And I felt no shame or remorse. Thank God for freedom.🙌🏾

In the years prior to this one, I felt such condemnation and guilt for so many of my choices. For partying, drinking on occasion and not looking like what everyone felt I should look like. Growing up Baptist and even in my household, I felt there were things I was just destined to go to hell for and if I did those things the guilt and shame I felt would have me in my feelings for days and weeks on end…it was only until recently I was finally able to break the hold of it over my life.

As I was heading home yesterday I had an epiphany about meeting my old self this weekend and loving her as the foundation of my new self. There are things about old Marquita that definitely came forward, but I am so very grateful for all I left behind. It’s a beautiful place to see your own self as a masterpiece. To see yourself as a unique, original creation of God in all His glory IS what He wants for you. He wants you to acknowledge the greatness inside, the purpose, the passion, and the calling. He wants you to live an abundant life – as my focus scripture for this year reiterates (John 10:10). He knew all you would ever do and all you were destined to become. But He wanted you to allow Him to elevate you and your mind above it to become the you He molded and knit in your mother’s womb. He knew the trials and tribulations you would face and the situations you encounter. Yet as Psalm 139:13-14 says, you are wonderful and marvelous…so why not live that way?

Sadly it took me 30 years to get here. Even sadder is the fact that many men and women never get here. They spend all of their lives in the dark, in the shame, in the condemnation and never get free. It’s like I could walk naked (well I wouldn’t do that but hey I could now lol). Now I’m not advocating drunken debauchery or ratchetry, but I am saying be you…who God created you to be without shame. Remember before the serpent convinced Eve she was less without eating the forbidden fruit, she and Adam knew NO SHAME. Let’s get back to that life, one off constant communion with God without pretenses and manmade fabrications of who He is, one of truth and peace and a continual flow of love in all directions.

The bible tells us to constantly renew our minds. Truthfully, I’ve realized that this is a constant fight, a battle to the end lest social media, society, the news and junk TV brainwash you into thinking you are not worthy or are less than deserving. But the truth is, you are a King or a Queen. You are who God created you to be…it is up to you to take the challenge to break through the lies and dispel the myths created to keep you from being your greatest self. So today, on November 23, as I near the end of this year focused on living, I am so happy to be me. I hope you find the courage to be happy to be you, too.

Unappreciated Gifts

Until today, I never viewed being single as a gift. Sure I enjoy the fact of living alone (again finally yay!) – because I can come and go as I please without telling anyone. I can be as messy (or as clean is more like it) as I would like. I can eat whatever I want and when I want! I can pack up and catch a flight wherever whenever. If I decided to date someone, they can go home or never come to my home at all. I don’t have children so I don’t have to be concerned with the needs of another person. When I bring Parker up, he’s the only other living being I have to care for outside of myself (he is a grumpy old man of a dog that acts like a child). So I can say that being single and childless looks great on the outside looking in. And this is how I viewed it…that I’m supposed to say it’s a great thing when my feelings said otherwise.

However, I’ve always had a desire to be married. I’ve dreamed of my wedding day. I’ve imagined it extensively. I know the dress I want, I know what time of year and where I’d like to get married (given an agreeing husband to be), I’ve identified the participants, short of the groom’s side. So when I believed I heard God about a time period I allowed my already overactive mind in this area to consume me. Marriage became an idol for me.

When God showed me that, I had gotten to a point in several hapless relationships that I decided I wasn’t sure about it anymore. I realized I was attracting men that didn’t meet up to what I said I wanted. So I took a hiatus and focused on me and what I was doing to attract the guys. At that point, my focus shifted to law school and work and ministry so I wasn’t too pressed to date at all…truthfully I still don’t really like to date(the whole process of getting to know some stranger bleh).

Then something happened that I hadn’t planned on. I began to focus on my dreams and healing, forgiveness and living life, and really having a great relationship with God. As I began to change and evolve I wanted to focus on gratitude and gratefulness to God for each day. I’m certain now that this is as a result of praying for deliverance from a critical spirit and wanting to walk out this journey of focusing on embodying the way God wanted me to live with live as my focus word for this year.

I buy books any and everywhere I go. I got a book by Tony Evans – 30 days to Overcoming Emotional Strongholds – on my return from Atlanta two weeks ago and it has been truly a blessing. Today was a shift for me though. Today’s readings finished out the week of focusing on overcoming the emotional strongholds related to stress. The readings culminated with the instruction to focus on gratitude and being grateful for everything we have. Of course I was happy because that’s been my focus…more confirmation that I have been on the right path. This week ended with practicals that included listening to the following sermon: In it were several application points. It wasn’t a single focus on being married or single – but his words in the devotional and video collectively struck my heart majorly to the point of tears. Let me be real here. I have been spending the last 11 months with a focus on documenting reasons to be grateful. But today I realized a huge area of how I was being ungrateful. It was hearing this scripture, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows…" – James 1:17, referenced in the sermon today that I realized how truly ungrateful I have been at points in this season of singleness. Everything that God does is good. I didn’t see my singleness as being good. In fact at points I’ve had thoughts and feelings that I was unworthy and undeserving for some unknown reason, or that because I was damaged as a child that I did not deserve love, or that my successes would continue to isolate me and prevent me from meeting my future spouse. In the sermon he drives home the fact that God is the Father of lights and is unchanging. As this scripture resonated with me today, I realized that God used this period to shine the light on the darkness that was within me as a result of being molested and many other things. He has used this season to love me and teach me His love by learning so many things, among those things how to love myself so I could properly love others. I could not properly love others or receive love by looking at life in a distorted way. Immediately 1 Corinthians 7 came to mind because it’s been in this season of singleness that I received this revelation and the healing necessary to receive God’s love in the many ways He has sent it. In looking to God – the Light – I have learned the truth, which is that God is abundant and because God is love, love is abundant and able to manifest however God chooses it to do so.

I prayed last week that God would help me to be content in this season and He truly has answered in a big way today. I repented yesterday for how I haven’t been grateful and how I have been indifferent towards God about how I felt. I recognized yesterday morning and actually before then that the feelings I allowed to linger were a demonic attack. I’ve been guilty of wanting to rush things along, especially in this area and a few others, and wanting things when I want it…but who doesn’t. I have had many moments of being happy in this season but I ultimately looked past this place in life – what I feel I lacked in being single – outside of working and traveling. In anger and indifference I would ignore how I felt…which was that there was something wrong with me because I felt that I had done everything that God told me to do. I gave the desire back to Him. I immersed myself in studying and preparing to become a wife. I wholeheartedly pursued my goals and dreams. I observed and took notes in the various learning situations He has put me in. But then I got mad because it really seemed that God was not answering my prayers, in this area and in others. I would be bitter at points that all of my exes have moved on to happy relationships and that I was still alone. I have constantly questioned myself on whether or not I should just settle for someone I don’t want rather than remain alone. I didn’t see how I could be content or happy when I had to suffer alone through the low points and difficult times, often not having people to talk to about it especially due to my life’s assignment. I felt like I didn’t have a person to lean on at any of my low points and I felt something was wrong with me, that there was still something left to be fixed.

Today the sermon helped me to see that I fell victim to a grand orchestrated attack to focus on the things I did not have versus those blessings I do have. My frustration in this season has even tempted me to give up on this desire and to just live life as I wanted since it has appeared to not be a part of God’s plan for me. I was very angry; very indifferent towards God about this. Fortunately I am wise enough to ask for prayer and I am grateful now that I pressed in and decided to continue to document my gratitude, even being grateful for these feelings because it forced me into God’s presence.

If you’ve ever been at this point, whether in your singleness or in any other area, this is where thanksgiving and gratefulness comes in. I am able to be grateful to God for all the things He has done and is doing in my life. By choosing to see this season through the lens of gratefulness, I can see the silver lining and the abundance of God’s love to be seen in this season. I often have to remind myself of the prayers I have prayed up until this point. I prayed that God would heal my heart and mind totally and deliver me from everything that would potentially be something I could negatively project onto my marriage and future children as a curse. I realize now that by seeing my singleness as a curse instead of as a gift or blessing, I was not being grateful. It goes directly against everything that I stand for now so I am so grateful for the light having been shined on this today.

I don’t what’s next for me, but going forward today, I will choose to embrace this season as a gift instead of rushing onward. I will savor the hugs and kisses from my nieces. I will savor sleeping alone across the middle of my bed that I haven’t slept in since 2014 😅 (yesss again in less than a month!!!) . I will relish in being able to travel and to live where I want to live, listen to what I want to listen to, sleep in super late, eat however, party, or be a hermit. I will cherish this time of getting into God’s presence and to His heart for me because when that time does come for me, my attention will be divided.

Love you lots!!