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!!


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.


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”?!?!

It’s All In The Name

All my life I’ve answered to many different things,
Multiple monikers assigned to me by miscellaneous members of my memories.
Muffin, Yummy, Nana, just to name a few,
Oh and Shan, Shanny, Baby,
Any of those names will do.
None quite as special as “The Mrs.” or Mommy which always meant the most to me,
And although they weren’t spoken by too many I respond to those with glee.
I’d like to think I wear my badges proudly.
There was just something about the name YOU gave me.
Something more solid than any pet name given to me by any other lover,
Deeper than the way Shannon was connected to my mother.
One that fit better than the Renee in the center of me,
That matched my personality better than the Nina many have called on most recently.
An appellation that speaks to me deeper than the voices of my brethren.
I just know my spirit sings each time we meet again and you replace my given name with “Heaven”.

Touch Me

I want him to touch me…
But not the way that you may think.
I need the kind of touch that sends me to the edge.
That makes me feel like I’m dangling on a ledge.
You know,
that real small space between reality and ecstasy,
where happiness forms and settles in.
That tiny crevice in time where you’re unsure how your climax began.
I need him to touch me…
But again, not the way that you may think.
You see,
I need him to stroke the cervix of my soul,
To caress the depths of my being that have remained untold.
I yearn for him to touch me…
To pet my ego, hold my fears,
rub my pride and wipe my tears.
To poke my intellect and shake my faith,
To move my overstanding to a higher place.
I long for him to touch me…
To yank my subconsciousness to life,
To pull me in ways that just dont seem right.
To grab hold my senses and never let go,
To take my inhibitions in his hand and drop them real slow.
I only want him to touch me…

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!

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!”

The Boy Next Door

I see him daily, parading his pooch’s past me…
He always slides me this sly smile and I grin back gladly.
I mean he’s a sure specimen of sexy and leaves me longing whenever I look,
but when it comes to speaking my piece I just always become so shook.
This familiar ass stranger’s a winner in my book!
Check it out, he got this creamy cocoa complexion that makes me wanna take a bite,
& these mysterious ass eyes that look like thats something he might like.
He’s wearing these thick broad brows that tell of lengthy nights and longer mornings,
& perfectly sized ears to nestle my lips in when Im moaning.
Am I daydreaming of us boning?
Damn yall, I think Im jonesing!!!
Honey almost got me open, but shit I dont even know him.
Pshh, dont make me mention the mouth on him,
cause those lips definitely made for more than talking!
& I know yall thinking, “This crazy bitch stalking”,
but blame it on Babyboy cause HE that one got me gawking!!!!
All cause of this damn dog walking…
Im real scared to speak up cause I aint tryin to leave this up to luck.
Shit to be honest Im tryin to f…, wait, hold on let me back up,
before this manifestation of a marvelous man have me stuck!!!!
Hahaha, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?
I aint real good at this lil game, & dont wanna come off like no lame.
Real talk, if I let him just walk away it’d be a damn shame,
So how bout I just grab the gate for him & start wit my name?

A Heart’s Confusion

You always know what to say to make things right,
Always seem to be there, ready to hold me at night,
To wrap your arms around my waist, kiss my forehead and assure me it’ll all be ok.
Even though you know I never come to stay,
Cause I’m too wrapped up in that other man.
So stupidly I still refer to you as my friend.
Maybe its because I’m so afraid of being hurt again,
But even that don’t make much sense cause I keep running back to the wrong man.
Knowing you’ll be there to catch me when I fall.
Knowing in my heart that if I allowed you to, you would give your all.
Sensibility escapes me.
I know that with you is really where I’m supposed to be,
It just seems that I’m so torn that I even confuse me.
Maybe I am really afraid to be truly happy.
My eyes are wide open but I still can’t see.
You keep telling me you’ll stick by my side as I attempt to work things through,
I just don’t know exactly what it is that I’m supposed to do.
Its taking everything in me to figure out,
If I love him,
will I be able to love you too??

This Is Where I Get Off…

I must preface this by saying, I’m PRETTY sure I’m gonna ruffle some feathers this time, but I don’t necessarily give a damn. Yeah I know, its gonna be some MAD mofos, male and female alike, but dammit this is how I feel! Can I live?!

You ever been riding a train and the conductor said, “Enough of this bullshit!”, and just hopped off that joint?! What would you do? I mean, you’d most certainly be stuck without a way to get to your destination, and sooner or later you’d just walk off right? You wouldn’t spend time tryna track the conductor down and coaxing him/her to begin operating it again right? If you had any sense, you’d figure out what went wrong on THAT particular ride and try your best to make sure that same mistake doesn’t happen on the next train.

WELP people, that’s how I feel about this “dating game” train it seems I’ve been riding! This is where the hell I get OFF! Ain’t gon’ be no more passengers thinking they can ride for free cause we go way back (remember me from high school ass people!). Aint gon’ be no more million question asking ass people, you ride the same damn train everyday, if you aint figured out the route by now you SHORT! There will be no more folks pulling the emergency brake cause they nodded off and missed their stop and rode they tired ass farther than they intended to! Gone are the days where the strays and stragglers just ride the train day and night with no destination in sight just cause they have nowhere else to go and nothing better to do! I will no longer clean up your trash, store your baggage, be the lost and found for what you leave behind, or be responsible for giving you turn by turn directions to your life’s destinations! If you aint down for the ENTIRE ride, this aint the train for you!

I say all THAT to say this, (this for the people in the cheap seats yall), IF you want a place in my life, a seat on my train so to speak then it is YOUR responsibility to stand up and be accounted for! Come equipped with a plan, a road map of sorts, so you don’t have to rely on me for all the answers. Sometimes I just wanna kick back and take a ride too! Whew honey, I know THIS is gonna get me in some trouble but in other words, MAN THE F*** UP! I shouldn’t have to tell you how to do that! I aint NEVER been a man, so for me to have to play both roles in any relationship with one is ridiculous. If you aint really tryna be WITH me for the long haul, the best idea is to not be with me at all!!!

If you wanna do something nice for me, don’t ASK what I would like to do or have, take some initiative and DO IT! If you wanna take me somewhere nice, make plans & tell me where I need to be and when to be there. Don’t ASK me what I need, pay attention! Hell if it snowed outside, I need my snow shoveled. If its lunchtime then dammit I wanna eat. If its the 1st of the month, the bills are most likely due, get in where you fit in. If its Wednesday send me flowers. Saturday just lend your ear. If you like me wearing my hair straight, shit pay for me to get it pressed out. If you prefer I wear red nail polish, facilitate them getting painted that color. Do you see where I’m going with this?!

I’ve worked my entire teenage/adult life. I don’t NEED to struggle and be uncomfortable in life to prove my independence to anybody! I know for a fact that if the job needs to get done, oh I’m all over it by my lonesome! I’d be DAMNED if I said “I don’t need a man” though!! Now you can call me what you want because I said that, just don’t call me no damn fool! Um men, we need you, those other chicks be frontin’. We also need you to know though, if you gon’ show up, be relevant, be necessary, be the MAN we need. Support us, encourage us, aid and assist us, protect us, PLAY YOUR PART!

Its taken me some time to realize that this has been a runaway train I’ve been aboard. Just picking up random folks along the way, not following a specified route, making stops that don’t make much sense, being misused and taken advantage of, and overextended. Although its been wild, and one helluva ride, THIS is where I get off!!!

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