A New Day…A New Chapter…A New Season!

***A quick suggestion…if you typically just read this in your e-mail, please check out the blog itself.  I’ve posted an amazing video that I want you to see.

That being said…I received some awesome and absolutely amazing news this week that is going to launch me into an amazing new chapter and season in my life!  After much prayer, moments of confusion, and moments of wanting to give up, I was blessed to receive an offer for a new job opportunity!  And not just any ol’ opportunity, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.  I’ve been offered a position in the NIH Management Intern Program.  For many reasons, this is a big deal.  This program is over 50 years old, and graduates of the 2-year program have become some of NIH’s most respected administrative managers.  I’ll get to identify a senior-level mentor, go to trainings, and regularly interact with NIH leaders.  It’s an amazing opportunity…but that’s not really what I wanted to focus on, and you’re probably asking how the above video about marriage meshes with me and a new job.

I’m over the moon today because this opportunity signifies the door closing on a challenging, and frankly BAD, season of my life.  Let’s be honest, for the past 2 years, my life has been hard and it has sucked!  I didn’t stop existing, but the reality is, in those years, God was allowing the life and breath in me to be squeezed out and there were times when death felt like an easier option.  My view of life always came from a negative perspective…I didn’t expect things to go my way, I didn’t expect moral support from others, I always expected the worse, and doubted myself so much.  After life beats you down enough, it’s hard to look up, it’s hard to do more than exist.  But…I had enough sense to hold on to a remnant of my faith and trust God that the pain I was feeling internally would only last for a season.  It was a long season of hurt and suffering, but it was just that, A SEASON!

But I’m excited because a new season is on the horizon for me, and the God who allowed me to feel like all of the breath was being squeezed OUT of me, has turned around and breathed new life INTO me.  God showed me how He would not allow the enemy to prevent me from reaching my destiny, He reminded that we go through tests so that we’ll recognize that what we go through is for His Glory and our good!

I had this awesome picture that I was going to post today…it was a picture that I’m going to call Night Light…because in the deepest and darkest moments of the night, God’s light still shines all around us, but then I stumbled across the above video on Facebook.  Little did I know that this video was going to tell the story of a fellow Morgan alum who lost his wife shortly after they were married from the awful disease, cancer.  Yes, I wanted to post my picture…but I had to share the story of he and his new wife, because while their circumstances are different from mine, they share the same story of being in a place of happiness, to falling in a pit, and at a divinely appointed time God stepping in and breathing new life into them.  They share the same story of not dying in the valley, but rather, walking through the valley of the shadow of death and still managing to survive.

I’m beyond excited…I truly believe in my heart of hearts that everything in my life is on the verge of shifting for my good!  In an instant I’ve gone from feeling hopeless to seeing how God has used situations and circumstances to bless my life, AND if He did it in one area…I’m convinced He can do it in every area of my life.  It’s truly a new chapter and new season in my life!  I’m excited about the possibilities.

Until next time…

DMW

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Releasing Isaac!

Perhaps one of the most amazing stories (to me) in the Bible is that of Abraham and Isaac.  It’s a story that chronicles the life of a man who greatly desired to be a father, a man who was told that he would father many nations through his son Isaac, yet it also tells the story of a man whose faith is greatly tested, a man who is asked by God to give up that thing which meant the most to him as a living sacrifice.  While I don’t have children and have never been faced with the challenge of such a sacrifice, I still ask the question, “How does one respond to such a request from God?”  It’s truly a battle between letting go and letting God and holding onto one’s own will!

I’ll be honest, I’ve been working on this post for a few weeks now…I had some thoughts, but then it didn’t flow as seamlessly as I had hoped, so I just decided to let this post go, but then…the Sunday after I started writing this post, the sermon at church was focused on Abraham and Isaac…then today, as I was speaking with a fellow church member, she starts speaking to me and ministering to me about Abraham and Isaac…after a while, it’s easy to figure out that God is speaking.  And so…I find myself giving this post another shot.

Over the past few months I have found myself in an Abraham place, not in the traditional sense, but I’ve been in a place where God is challenging me to sacrifice my comfortable place, embrace new experiences and opportunities, and put my trust solely in Him to see me through.  My Isaac is not material in nature, it’s not a person or a thing, rather my Isaac (the thing which I cherish greatly and struggle to release) is a wall of protection that I’ve built around myself.  My Isaac keeps me in an isolated bubble, my Isaac prevents me from shining my light in the lives of all of the people around me.  I only allow select people into my space, and even with those individuals, I control how close I allow people to get to me.  I share small bits of information, on occasion, but typically, I keep things superficial with everyone, both family and friends.  During the past week, I realized just how isolated I’ve become…while on vacation with my family, I found myself just wanting to be alone.  Being in the presence of 7 other people was so overwhelming and I felt myself becoming agitated several times, not because someone did something to me, I just needed some alone time.  Despite being in the comfort of family, in my mind, I still felt disconnected.  The crazy thing is this, I think I’ve had this protective wall up so long that despite how people truly feel about me, I’m convinced that people are not supportive of me, people don’t care about me, and it’s always me against the world, so I tend to have a very defensive response to all people.  This is a sad reality!

In this season, I believe God is testing me to see if I am willing to let my wall fall down, sacrifice my defense mechanism and trust that He won’t let me get hurt in the midst of my vulnerability.  I’m being challenged to sacrifice a mindset that has sustained me since my middle school years…a mindset that allowed me to overcome being picked on by other Black students when they teased me because of the way I talked and the classes that I was in, a mindset that allowed me to overcome never quite fitting in with my White peers while growing up, a mindset that I allowed me to overcome being picked on by the neighborhood kids, a mindset that allowed me to keep my mind focused on my academics when it seemed I was a social outcast, a mindset that allowed me to keep my head up when I was mistreated or judged because I didn’t fit other people’s idea of perfection, a mindset that sustained me when in the depths of my heart I felt like my brother was everyone’s favorite and my family simply tolerated me, a mindset that has allowed me to live even when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel on my life.

In this season, I believe God is testing my willingness to let go of my will and my way because He truly has some amazing things in store for me…but I have to let my approach go in order for Him to reveal all of His glory in my life.  I believe God is challenging me to let people, both friends and family, into my space even if it’s simply to have an extended conversation, I believe God is challenging me to feel comfortable doing something as simple as crying in public, I believe God is challenging me to trust that there are individuals in this world who have my best interest at heart who will not judge me, and who will love me unconditionally.  Releasing my Isaac, letting down my wall of protection, and trusting that God isn’t going to fail me are perhaps some of the greatest challenges I’ve yet to face in my life…but it’s a process for my good, so I embrace it and simply trust God to not fail me now.

Until next time…