New Years Day 2015 and 2016

As I entered 2016, I was wrestling with a situation that was causing me considerable stress. I had prayed for clarity but until New Years morning, I was still very much embroiled in the emotion of it. I’d asked God a few days prior to help me trust His will with regard to the situation, but I was still wrestling. This morning, however, I resolved to trust God with it and remove myself from that roller coaster of emotions. God’s peace then showed up a little while later as I perused Facebook. Following is what I posted after reviewing events of New Years Day last year:

This was my situation on New Years Day last year—spending the morning on Tybee Island after bringing in the new year in Savannah with my sister Lyn and her family. I also got to spend wonderful time with cousins I hadn’t seen since the early 80s when they were in elementary school. Last night I brought in the new year in Maryland with my other sister Sheila, her family, my nieces Jennifer and Kariesha, and their families.

My journey since June 2010, when I resolved to learn to trust God completely, has been an amazing one, and I’m grateful every day for the adventure that is my life. I’ve released things I never thought I could live without and in return I’ve gained much that I can’t imagine living without. Letting go can be hard, yes, but I’ve discovered that trying to hold on to what we need to let go is much harder. It took me a few “minutes” to get that but the moment I accepted that “God’s got me”, the skies opened up, and I began to soar!

I may not know what tomorrow brings, but I know who brings tomorrow. What I know, too, is that God loves me and as His daughter, I’m destined for His absolute best; all I need do is allow Him. My new year wish for everyone is that you let go of the fear, trust God, and let Him do what He does: equip us to live our best lives and take us places we’ve never imagined!! Happy New Year, everyone, and more of God’s peace and His many blessings!!

After writing that, I came across the following on the wall of life coach Cassandra Nkem-Nwosu:

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how for you can go, just remember how far you’ve come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, all the fears you have overcome.” –Unknown

Then there was the Marianne Williamson’s quote I posted on my wall last New Years Day:

“Think of one person you are tempted, for any reason, to withhold love from, and pray for their happiness. In that moment, your pain will stop.”

I closed my eyes, prayed for happiness, and was enveloped in peace.

Journal entry: “Powerful! Amazing! God!”

Risk it, or not?

Life continually presents us with opportunities to take risks, to operate outside our comfort zone. The question then is do you take the risk, or do you stick with the familiar and stay in what is oftentimes the not-so-comfortable comfort zone?

I believe that the primary part of our life’s purpose is to allow God to operate in, through, and as us in order to “do something”, to intervene in not only our lives but in the lives of others.

I’m recalling the risks I’ve taken over the past several years, some of which I wasn’t fully aware and others to which I consciously surrendered.

Yesterday, the Universe presented me with the opportunity to take yet another risk: Letting go of the stuff that’s been stored in my sister’s basement since December 2011, or continuing to hold on to it for fear of not having it when I need it.

Here’s the thing. My sister is embarking upon an amazing journey herself and was moving her things from her basement to a storage unit yesterday. As we contemplated whether there’d be enough room for both our stuff, I considered letting it all go, except for those few boxes containing those items of sentimental value, e.g., my son’s first blanket, shoes, t-shirt, etc.; photo albums; the collector volumes of novels featuring my Grandpa Robin Bess as Adam; some limited edition artwork; and, of course, the two tool boxes brimming with my beloved tools and several power drills.

Just a few hours earlier, new friends had left with stacks of books that I believed I could live without. Strangely, though, a few of the books they didn’t select somehow made their way back into a box I’d previously taped shut. “How could I have put them in that pile in the first place?” I wondered.

Later, as a stood in the basement deciding the fate of my stuff and feeling excited at the prospect of letting go, I shared what I was considering with a few of my friends via text message.

My life coach friend Cassandra Nkem-Nwosu (@livingtheiam) shared with me her experience with having done the same: “I did something similar years ago…stored some things at my sister’s house, didn’t even bother to go through it–I just let it go!”

Shortly thereafter, a wave of sadness engulfed me as I faced the reality of no longer being able to dig through the boxes looking for those items I believed I couldn’t live without. Having my stuff, as little as it is compared to times past, gave me that familiar sense of security from times past and from which I had endeavored previously to detach. But here I was again, using stuff instead of God as my security blanket.

Cassandra added, “be present to whatever you’re feeling” as she also pointed out that our attachment to stuff oftentimes keeps us attached to ideas that no longer serve us.

My friend Linda responded with “….think I better let it go…let it go baby..looks like another love TKO….”, a line from a Teddy Pendergrass’ song, ‘Love TKO’.

My wellness coach friend, Star Waters (@grannygoneraw), responded with “That’s an amazing strength you have!! Surrender is awesome!!”, and I felt empowered.

My author and teacher friend Dianne Rosena Jones (@dijones247) weighed in with, “I know that’s right. “Let it go, let it go….” I’m singing the theme song from the movie Frozen.”

So, feeling empowered by having decided to let it go, my nephew John Micah loaded those six boxes onto the truck, leaving the rest to be dealt with later.

A few minutes later, my sister, nieces and I began the two and a half hour drive to the storage unit down near the farm and Mama.

On the ride back to Atlanta that night, I kept hearing “former life”, and as I thought about certain pieces of my stuff, I felt that I didn’t want to be surrounded by stuff from my former life. That whatever my new beginning is, I want it to be wearing a fresh coat.

Awake early this morning, I opened Bill and Beni Johnson’s book Walking in the Supernatural: Another Cup of Spiritual Java to the chapter bookmarked and titled, ‘He Gets to Do Something’, and it seemed to confirm my decision. Author Kevin Dedmon talked at length about how our pursuit of the seemingly impossible affords God the opportunity to intervene in our lives and circumstances by working on our behalf, which is precisely what my journey has been about since leaving my job, selling my house a year later, driving cross country for five months, living on the farm for nine, and with family and friends since then. What a ride it’s been!!

But instead of busying myself with getting rid of all my unnecessary stuff, I spent today reflecting on my decision, writing this blog post, and nursing this horrendous cold. Yes, I feel pretty miserable, but as another friend observed this morning, it’s giving “you the opportunity to get some much needed rest.”

Yes, I am indeed blessed!!

Included here are the few pictures I made while down home yesterday.