His Love Is In The DETAILS!!!!

I was listening to a sermon this morning during my daily devotion and it struck a chord with me. Among other things, it empowered me to share a testimony I’ve been holding on to. Holding on to it because I felt it was too precious, too monumental to my life. I’ve felt like I couldn’t put its power into words, that doing so would be minimalizing it. I realize now though, that someone’s elses life may depend on me bearing witness to God’s goodness.

Back to the sermon though! At some point, the Apostle said something to the effect of, “Do you know how many people would be delivered if they knew God already knows their details?? When you realize God sees you, it will break you!” I took those words in, thought about what God Himself has done in MY life and wept right on the CTA bus I was sitting on. Why did I burst into silent tears on a crowded bus like a weirdo?? Well because that’s EXACTLY what happened to me!!

A long time ago, I was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. I surrendered all of myself that was humanly possible, or so I thought. I submitted. I also called myself giving my life to God, but saving ALL the tawdry details. He’s so awesome though, that He saw them anyhow. He saw the hurt I’ve endured, the pain I covered, the loss I thought was healed, the emptiness I swore was filled, and He took it from me. He came and met me where I was, and delivered me anyhow, right there in THAT space.

He knew what I needed to save my life, even when I thought I had a handle on that too. I told myself I just needed Him to do this, this and that and I would handle the rest of the ugliness myself. It’ll all come out in the wash, I told myself. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He came and got all that too!! All of it!! He saw ME, every single piece of me and touched that too. TOOK that too.

In that time, I was blessed beyond measure by my vast village. Christmas of 2016 showed me that beyond a shadow of a doubt no matter what I have seen in this lifetime, I am loved, cared for, I matter. At a time where I was reduced to one of my lowest points my village crouched down to pick me up, showing me there are people who will fight for me when I have no fight left. The Lord truly sent His team of angels down and healed me in a mighty way!! Removed every single doubt that my life didn’t matter much, and sowed into me in such a way that I would NEVER have to worry about that again. I knew before we celebrated the birth of Christ the next morning, that my life had been forever changed. AND. IT. BROKE. ME.

That aint all though. During that time, my life was changed, I knew I was different, but I STILL held on to some things. Even some people. There were some portions of my life, some matters of the heart I believed I can handle myself. I began to endure hardships of the HEART that I couldn’t believe. I felt like “Lord what else do you WANT from me?!?!? You done took, returned & took again all my WORDLY possessions, what am I not doing right??” I began to experience every single form of heartbreak I had placed on another person, every dastardly thing I have ever done to a former suitor was done to me. I WAS HURT, in each and every way I have ever hurt someone else. God would STILL get the glory out of this though. It was THERE that I physically realized, GOD WANTS THE THINGS YOU HIDING FROM HIM TOO!! He wanted my ugliness, he wanted the terrible portions of me too. He wanted to make me new, but He needed ME in order to do so. He saw me, in my entirety.

AND. IT. BROKE. ME. It silenced me, overwhelmed me. Left me where I didn’t have anything substantial to hold on to anymore, BUT GOD!! I wondered, why would anything love ME so much?? Why would anything or anyone go so hard for lil ol me?? Was I really worth all this work?? God sat with me, stayed with me in that space until I met the ME He knew!! I was changed!!! Changed in a way that’s indescribable, broken in a way that I never knew I needed to be & I was so happy about it. I met me in that space. & I fell in love with her. I was shown WHY I was worth the work, why someone would go so hard for lil ol me!! & I’m sure it was uncomfortable for those around me witnessing me being so different, but imagine my own surprise as I began to move throughout the days, weeks, & months to come.

I’m sure the transition has been weird for most, is still weird for me today, but to God be the GLORY for the changing, the pressing, the stretching!! The ME that I met? Yall she so beautiful, so full of life and love, so selfless and giving, caring beyond measure. Her heart is so pure, she is so light it’s indescribable!! Her temperance is different, her movements not the familiar, her cares not the same. She lost the need to control people and things and situations because she has seen for herself who truly has control over her life. She is more grateful than she ever knew was possible.

The Shannon that was changed by a world she resided in before she got a chance to figure out how to navigate it was taken back, restored by the Lord Himself. The Lord gave her back the gift of trust, of forgiveness, of love, true love. I was molded again. Touched in places I didn’t know I needed to be. He has reopened my heart, allowed me to trust FIRST, love anyhow, and has repaired where I was broken.

I had been afraid before to let people touch the rough patches, the broken places. Now I know to share them for the world to see. They are MY stripes and living proof, EVIDENCE that the God I serve is a healer and a redeemer!! I also realize now that someone is at a place in their life where they are seeking the answers to their own questions, they are struggling with the same things as I was struggling with, and they are waiting for MY TESTIMONY. They haven’t been brought out of the darkness they’re experiencing because I’m pocketing the light the Lord gifted me with to give others.

My life itself is a GIFT and I realize now that I am but an instrument of the Lord’s. Where ever you are, no matter how dark or bleak it seems, no matter how alone you feel you may be, no matter how dire the straits become, The Lord sees you. He knows the details, and He loves you anyhow. Give him your ugliness, your brokenness, what you cant get right about yourself and watch Him change your life!! As I’ve heard many say before, there is LOVE in the details!!

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A Prayer of Desparation

The violence in Chicago is suffocating, and sometimes this is the only way to breathe…

“I’m going up yonder, I’m going up yonder, going up yonder, to be with my Lord.”
I just hope that He’ll embrace me when I arrive.
That when I lift my head and look The Most High in His eyes,
He’ll stretch his arms wide and welcome me into the realm of a new life.
That He’ll erase all trepidation and memories of my previous plight,
Correct my posture and show me how to walk in a righteous light.
That with one touch he’ll wipe away the remnants of all the tears I cried night after night.
That in an instant, all wrong will be right.
What had died in me will come back to life.
That the song in my soul will no longer be quieted.
& I’ll be forgiven no matter what it was that I’d did.
I’d encounter a brief reminder of my inheritance and be given life again.
Since I was born into a system not setup to let me win.
A society that damns our boys to hell before they can even dream of becoming men.
Leading them to believe that making it includes a life of crime, countless trips to the pen, and making babies they’ll never see again.
Ultimately being murdered cause it’s supposedly honor in getting your face on a tshirt and being carried by 6 of your friends.
That swiftly sweeps our girls into a tornado of treachery and sin.
Telling them that the only way to win is by having a fat ass and weave that hangs down to it, and getting on their back and underneath some man.
That it’s ok to have baby after baby as long as they’ll accept you at the aid office again.
That they don’t need no help cause that LINK card is the secret to their plan.
& I know I just pissed some folks off but,
I’ve sobbed so often and toiled over the turmoil in the state I’m in.
& I ain’t talking about Illinois, I’m talking about the fact that I’m a Chicagoan…
That I have two boys and daily I feel like I place them up against the wind,
That letting them play outside on our block is like an unspoken death sentence.
Where yeah it’s cops walking our communities but we still lack the resources to bring about the change needed from within.
Where it’s 6 gang factions in a 3 block radius and fear of their foolishness has frozen our streets.
& day after day we’re shocked by the disregard for our lives and left in total disbelief.
So I’ll go first if I have to, just so I can beg at God’s feet,
To have mercy on mine and do a favor for me, by bringing CHITOWN back,
Cause it’s only our babies that are losing out, being casualties of Chiraq.

Bloodshed

I live every day with a crippling, suffocating fear. I fear that each time I walk away from my 2 young sons, I won’t get them back in the same condition I left them. Yes, I’m a God fearing woman and I believe in the works He has for us, I pray constantly and plead the blood over my babies. I also understand that even in this world we live in and God controls, bad things sometimes happen to great people, and my sons are NOT exempt. I also live in Chicago, a beautiful city full of life and culture, that is stained by the blood of our babies. Where youth and adults alike proclaim YOLO and the mass mentality is concerned about when the newest sneakers come out, or what other folk are wearing, or what celebrities are doing, and the SAFETY and SANITY of my babies and all the others just like them aren’t a priority. Yeah I know you grown folks gotta live y’all lives too, you only get one, etc etc, but I don’t want my babies to have to live fast and die young, nor should you. When do we have enough?!? The loss of life is already insurmountable! When do we recreate our sense of community? When do we reclaim our pride and dignity as a people?!?! When can mothers and fathers stop fearing, believing, coming to terms with the fact that they may very well bury their own children?!?! How do we get our “brand new day”?!?!

Time

The difference between the past and the future is merely a matter of days.
Passing glances, amazing memories, faded pictures and words that have withered away.
Presently living inside the arms of years passed,
Wondering at times what we could have done to make us last.
Catching hell in the right now each time we cross paths,
While driving my damn self insane trying to figure out the math.
Totaling up all our wins and losses,
Dividing the rights by the wrongs,
Multiplying that by the love we once shared,
And attempting to subtract the pain.
Somehow it seems to all be in vain.
See my sensibility tells me we’ll never be the same,
And my heart is constantly being overridden by my brain,
While the sentimental side of me suggests I just try it all again.
Then we bump heads in the present and I just acquire new reasons to complain.
When I look into our future I see more days of discontent, a few laughs, some long discussions, maybe some great sex, but ultimately more arguments.
Disagreeing about exactly how our puzzle fits together,
Stepping into storms knowing we don’t have the equipment to withstand the weather.
In our former days we loved without protection, no barriers or fears,
Yet in our now we’re only left with open wounds, heavily structured walls, and pools of tears.
It allows me to see real clear…
I loved you with everything I had in my yesteryear,
Now all those emotions today are tainted with resentment even though you remain so dear.
I try to convince myself we can make it in the tomorrows and although I really hope it could be true,
I realize in my heart of hearts, there’s no place in my future for you.

A Child’s Tragedy

Children living in urban war zones,
Too complacent to be complainants,
Cultivated into a culture where killing is common.
Not given an option to use their mind as a sword,
Living a life heavily protected by body armor.
Our future heroes are being hunted,
Stalked and slaughtered like prey.
Not even slightly aware they deserve better,
Cause they started life out this way.
We’ve replaced our youth’s books with babies,
Taken their literature and given them live ammunition.
And as much as it hurts, its hard to blame them for their dastardly deeds because we’ve placed them in these positions.
Each time a kid’s cut down, we complain, cry, and sing the blues,
Only to continue the next day despite life’s harsh reality,
Until the next time we hear about it on the news.
We expect them to raise themselves,
Become men and women of valor without giving them values.
We rely on teachers to discipline and impart wisdom,
Instead of parenting them ourselves.
Not equipping them with life skills and legacies,
Just hoping they do the best with the hand they’re dealt.
What we fail to realize is,
its imperative that knowledge is inherited,
That we continue to give our children a chance to choose.
Instead of being comfortable living in a society that keeps graveyards and prisons in business,
But doesn’t have a problem closing down our schools.

Where I Wanna Be

I stopped briefly to take it all in,
Could immediately feel the hairs stand up on my skin.
Its like I started to hear noise previously silent to me,
Began to notice things I forgot how to see.
Like the melody of the wind as it dances through the trees,
How the sweet scent of rain took over my nostrils as I breathed.
How the sun tinted sky offered so much joy and glee,
And if I slowed down long enough how the wind seemed to lift me off my feet.
My senses opened up and it became plainly clear to me,
I’m in love,
And this is exactly where I want to be…

What’s YOUR Definition?!

Is it baby with the slanted eyes, full lips and broad back,
Who is real easy on the eyes but his conversation is real wack?
Could it be the smooth operating playboy with sensuality oozing from his pores,
Who sexes you like crazy but thinks romancing you is a chore?
Maybe its the debonair dude with plenty dollars,
That lives lakeside and drives the Range,
Who let’s you “Throw It In The Bag”,
But won’t ever offer you his last name.
I’m just trying to get in your head, just playing a lil guessing game.
We aint necessarily gotta name names, but throughout this process my question remains the same,
What’s YOUR definition of a good man?
Do you believe he’s the intelligent streetwise fella that makes sure you know he’s your #1 fan,
But got caught up in the streets and forgot to formulate an exit plan?
Who always seems to have your back and support you if he can,
Just happened to leave for a stretch,
Which wasn’t necessarily in your plan.
Did jail make him stop being a good man?!
Oh I got it, I got it!
Its the Ivy League Grad that charms other with his sly grin,
Highly educated, well versed,
But is sinister within.
The guy who looks real good in public but is a monster behind closed doors,
Lays his hands on true goddesses,
Treats ladies like they’re whores.
Before I go too far, lemme just make it clear to you.
Often times we measure our men in what they HAVE and what they DO.
We forgot to take a look at who they ARE and could possibly BE,
And I’m not knocking anybody just calling out what I see.
Just saying that maybe its our job to attempt to build with whatever type of man we choose,
And not get so caught up in appearances that we almost ensure we lose.
Just remember no man’s perfect and it may be something that each one is missing,
Just do what works for YOU and remember the question,
What’s YOUR definition?!

Never Lost

Somehow I lost her wrapped inside of you.
It took too long for me to even realize that much was true.
I sat her down at your doorstep, a mansion of broken promises and deep pain.
Left her like a mother’s abandoned baby, never to return again.
I thought I lost her when I loved you, but boy was I wrong.
I simply loaned her to you, just left her there too long.
Well Im back here at your doorstep and the loan is way past due.
I don’t know how much interest you thought you could accrue!
So liquidate your assets, sell your soul if you have to,
Cause Im back for what’s mine, u better do what u gotta do.
See I thought I lost her when I loved you,
I merely let her go to grow;
And she’s blossomed, she’s bloomed much more than you’d ever know.
She loves the woman she is and everything about where she comes from.
She looks forward to her future and the Queen she will become.
I really thought I lost her when I loved you, but boy, was the joke on you.
I mean we thank you for your time, even all the shit you put her through.
Truth be told you made her better, we owe it all to you.
Haha, I was afraid I lost her when I loved you,
but she was NEVER there to stay.
She just vacationed at your place, kind of a retreat so she could find her way.
Well this trip has come to an end, the ride has really been a blast.
Now Baby Girl go on and pack your things,
Cause we got a flight to catch!

Reminiscing

This is what happens when I sit back and do a lil Reminiscing…

There used to be a different time, back when the air still smelled fresh.
Before life got polluted with broken hearts and regrets.
It was such a simpler time then, before sonnets and soliloquies,
When a simple Haiku about your hair was enough to set you free.
It was an easier time then, back when intercourse was still electric,
And even now thats too deep for some of yall to get.
It was a nicer time then, way before Keith Sweat started whining about losing you,
When hearing Frankie Beverly say “I Love You Much Too Much” was enough to soothe you.
Time was much different then, and life didn’t seem so bleak.
I’m talking bout before love became bittersweet.
Back when promises was actually made to keep.
When we was all still wishing on stars and rainbows, not caring which way love may make us go.
You know, before folks start keeping everything on the down low?!?!?!
Back when Curtis, Aretha, and Gladys were all singing bout “The Makings of You”,
Way before Lil Weezy liked her, and liked her too.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing stones,
I’m simply speaking my mind,
And wishing I had a machine that could take me back to that time.

It’s All In The Message

I had to just started to walk away, when something crept up my spine.
A feeling I had suppressed, even ignored, many many times.
I was afraid to jump at first, apprehensive about what I might find;
But I was gon’ be damned if I continued to let love keep me so blind.
And there it was, sleek, shiny, and silver; teasingly, temptingly calling out to me.
Whispering, “Lil Mama nows your chance. Control your own destiny.”
So caution was not as conscious and a little bit closer I came.
Hell, didn’t I just tell you I heard it call my name?!?!?!
I soon lost all apprehension and grew a pair of balls.
Negro I wondered WAYYYY too long about all those late night calls.
I yelled your name aloud, which was ignored although you were only in the next room.
And from that second forward every realm of our relationship was doomed.
I quickly sat down so I could take it all in,
all the while being sure this was the beginning of our end.
Opened it up and realized it was locked before I could even start,
but I been wit yo ass 4 years, I KNOW you aint THAT damn smart.
Good thing I know your social by heart. 😉
Got cozy, entered those predictable four digits and when I saw what I saw almost had a fit!
I couldnt wrap my mind around who the calls and texts was telling me you been wit.
And I wasn’t on no “Woman to Woman” type shit but I swear I was bout to call that bitch.
Wait, let me get calm and handle this situation right,
cause I was gonna get to the bottom of it all before the end of the night.
I was shocked, shaken even, and had no clue where to begin,
I mean fine you cheatin, but this heifer was supposed to be my friend!
Had to stop, had to think, even pray and ask God what this was about,
and plead for the strength not to destroy you and everything in this house.
I decided to put my emotions aside and let my voice of reason prevail,
cause Heaven only knew I was ready to go to jail.
I gathered my thoughts as well as my things, and before you could blink I was gone.
Leaving a simple note on your pillow that told you,
“I bet you’ll wish you never walked away from this damn phone!”

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