I did that… and it still didn’t work out

There have been times when I went through tough situations and no matter the advice people gave me, things didn’t get any easier. Maybe you have experienced the same. Doesn’t it seem like everyone has advice for you? Some of the advice I received sounded like:

  • Hang in there, girl
  • It’s only going to make you stronger
  • God has a plan and He is going to work everything out
  • You just have to be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table

To take it a step further, I took all of the encouragement to heart. I reminded myself daily that God is sovereign and in control. I told myself that I am a winner and the head and not the tail! I told my situation that God was going to work it out. I even said that I just need to rest in the promises of God and that if He closed this door, it’s because He is going to open another one. I did it all!

But I was still hurt. I was still frustrated. I was still confused and uncomfortable. So, what do you do when you’ve given your all, did your best, made sacrifices, and played every play by the rules of the book and things still didn’t work out? The answer to that question is complex, yet simple. You wait and endure. Yeah, I know. How anti-climactic was that? I don’t have a miracle cure, a magic wand or wisdom beyond my years to share with you. All I can say is wait and endure it.

I do believe that the troubles and hardship that we experience is not going to last forever. I believe that the God I serve sent His son Jesus to die on the cross so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. There was a woman with an issue of blood that bled for 12 years. She was depleted of her strength and resources for 12 years, so why can’t I deal with this discomfort for a month? Instead of wallowing or drowning in your sorrow, consider, “What do I need to get from this”? There is ALWAYS a lesson in the storm, especially if you can focus on the sunshine that follows the raging wind in the moment.

Be blessed and be victorious.

Peace

There is often a misconception that peace means everything is going well. Peace is when the storm is raging, but the impact of it does not harm you as much as it could. Peace is not external, it is internal. It requires work. It involves you coming to the conclusion that no matter what is happening around you, you are going to shine as bright as you can. Is it easy? No. But is it possible? Absolutely.

My Memories

My family and I laid my grandmother to rest today. She was a loving woman who took no mess. Her love was tough, but effective and geniune. I’m going to miss her laughter, smile and wit. Below is the poem I wrote and recited at her funeral.  I love you grandma.

God,

Please take care of my grandmother
For she is quite the lady,
She gave us so much joy and wisdom
And we’re going to miss her like crazy.

In my younger days
I remember us sharing many meals,
My favorite was Popeye’s Chicken
And oh how those biscuits sealed the deal.

I remember riding in the back seat
Of my mom’s car when she took Granny to work,
I would listen as she shared wisdom
As she walked away, the sashay of her skirt.

You see Daddy God
She understood family and wanted to leave a legacy,
That’s why when my cousins and I would argue
She’d make us hug and kiss on the cheek.

She introduced us to You
So we would not experience that eternal scorch,
She unapologetically signed us up
To participate in all the programs at church.

I called once to check in
It was sometime midday to be exact,
We exchanged pleasantries
And then she said she was driving her cadillac.

Knowing Granny didn’t drive
I wanted to confirm what she had said,
She laughed at my line of questioning
For the cadillac was indeed her electric wheelchair instead.

Another fond memory I have
Is one where I escaped with pure luck,
When she would call while my mom was sleep
She’d say, “I don’t care, wake her up!”

God, as you can see we have great memories
And would have been grateful for more in store,
But we know Your will is greater than ours
And we understand You love and needed her more.

As we prepare to say, “See you later”
Please share with her this piece,
We love you Retha Mae Knowlin
And we are happy you found peace.

So, to my family and friends
There is one last thing I want to implore,
Know that when you whisper “l love you”
Imagine her gentle chuckle, her smile, and her saying, “No, I love you more.”