Sing like never before, Oh my soul. I’ll worship your holy name”

The last 12 years have been the most trying of my life.  I have never been more insecure, self-conscious and just plain lost.  To date, I have not found a job that I have liked or could even tolerate for more than a year without said job giving me an ulcer or prompting daily crying sessions before work.  Each job has brought me closer to understanding what I don’t want or cannot handle in a career, but it hasn’t helped create a picture of what I am supposed to be doing in this life. 

To be sure, I made the decision to pursue a PhD in Sociology to study the intersection of race and popular culture; the only two subjects I know anything about.  While the prospect of pursuing the degree is exciting there is no guarantee that I’ll get in to a single school.  My track record for acceptance to grad programs is about 33%, and PhD programs are even more capricious than Masters programs, so my anxiety around finding the right career in case the PhD thing doesn’t work out is still as high as ever.  

I’ve taken this anxiety to the Lord in prayer more times than I can remember.  I’ve employed the prayers of friends and strangers alike. But regardless of how much I tried to beseech the Lord, I got nothing in return.  No answers, no real guidance, no peace. Nothing.  There have always been two parts of my life that I have been looking for wholeness in-relationships and vocation.  I couldn’t be happier that God heard me about my desire for a husband that is God-fearing and all-around amazing.  It does, however, feel like S/He decided to focus on changing that one aspect of my life and has ignored me on the other.  It’s a terrible feeling to think that God has stopped listening to you.  In the midst of my confusion about my purpose stands a never-ending wanderlust that doesn’t really fit with the stability and contentment with place required to start a family.  Read the rest of this entry »

Until Death……

October 26, 2013

“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”- Matthew 22:30

The past seven days have been without a doubt the most incredible of my life.  I have dreamed of and prayed for marriage for years.  My new husband is everything I ever prayed for and he possesses all of the qualities I ever wanted, even the ones I was too afraid to ever ask for for fear of over reaching.  On our second day of marriage, Alex reminded me that when we took our vows we promised to be together until death parts us and that Jesus said there is no marriage in heaven.  That means that not only will we be separated at some point in our life journey together, but we won’t be reunited in marriage in heaven. Read the rest of this entry »

Somewhere between

April 30, 2013

Somewhere between Gethsemane and Golgotha in the captivity of struggle and desperation is the life I signed on to.  The sliver between sadness and fear where the inmates run the asylum and the guards walk through with dead eyes and dubious intentions. 

Sick minds and dark hearts move freely about unchallenged, unmitigated; the makings of a sci-fi thriller one watches with secret longings for a  lack of verisimilitude hoping these things could never really be.  Read the rest of this entry »

I did it my way

April 30, 2013

“And more, much more than this, I did it my way”-Frank Sinatra

I was on the bus on my way to work one afternoon when a gentleman sat down next to me.  City dwellers know this experience all too well.  And in Chicago there’s the added bonus of possibly running into someone who wants to make pleasant conversation with you while you both ride to your destinations.  On this day those odds were in my favor.  Alonso sat down and wanted to talk, not an exchange in banter, but a real life conversation.  He wanted to know about my job, what an organizer was, was it like a politician because it “sure sounded” like a politician to him.  Or maybe a lobbyist, yes, a lobbyist for the community is what I was.  He was convinced of it.  He wanted to know where I got my hair done and what kinds of eateries were nearby the salon. Alonso clearly wanted to make a new friend.

What adds an extra wrinkle of oddness to this experience is that he wanted to have this conversation with me while I was CLEARLY listening to music.  In fact, he watched me pull my headphones out of my ears at least 4 times to answer his numerous questions.  His loquaciousness was no respecter of persons or listening device.  Read the rest of this entry »

This morning St. Sabina Church celebrated all of their graduates from Pre-K to PhD.  Indeed, there was much to celebrate.  The line of graduates spanned the length of the church from the alter to the door.  It was quite a celebration as the numerous high school graduates each received a token of affirmation from their senior pastor.  And in exchange for the gift, the students proudly touted the name of the college or university they will be attending this Fall.  Some students will be staying in Illinois while others will be going to Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Pennsylvania to continue their educational pursuits all to the glory of God and the edification of themselves, their families and their community.

CPS has much to celebrate this year as well.  According to Catalyst, Chicago Public Schools made history graduating over 60% of the freshman that began in the 2007-2008 school year.  This is a major accomplishment for the students and the teachers of the Chicago Public School System. There was an enormous amount of work on the part of the students, faculty and administration to make that a reality.  I want be clear about that first and foremost. Read the rest of this entry »

Retiring Tired Narratives

August 20, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a follower of Christ.  Most of my thoughts are couched in my own personal struggles of late and my inability to pray, hope, or will my way out of this 2 year-long “dark night of the soul” I’ve been experiencing.  This experience has shaken my faith and possibly caused some old, destructive patterns to manifest themselves in full force.  But when I look up from my naval-gazing I remember there is a world out there that is more important than my own problems and struggles.  And while I do not trivialize my issues, what I am reminded of is that the gospel is about the marginalized, the poor, the broken, the neediest who need vindication and care.  It is NOT about my inability to “deal with” monolithic churches that preach social justice, but still seem to resemble churches that don’t know anything about social justice.  Since complaining alone never solved anything for me, I instead decided to question the legitimacy of ideas/concepts/activities and traditions deemed normative  in the faith and hope something good comes out of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…… Ephesians 3:2.

I’m hoping to make this post short, but profound. Earlier today I was thinking about a relationship that had a false-start.  Thinking about this relationship that never was brought up all the negative things I have said about love and the future. OK, not all the negative things, just the most recent like “There is no one ‘coming for me’. This awesome guy ‘for me’ doesn’t exist.” Or what about this little number: ” I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that says, there is no man out there for me. I don’t see the point in hoping for something that is obviously not going to happen.”  And who could forget this classic: “God doesn’t owe me a relationship, a husband or a family.  I don’t see the point in having faith for something that is too statistically implausible when I can focus on the things that can and will actually happen!!”

But before I succumbed to those thoughts, I made the conscious decision not to spiral into negativity.  I also completely subverted my inclination to fantasize about a future husband or relationship.  I think it is dangerous and naive to move from one extreme to another-especially when neither one has proven itself to be the truth.  Read the rest of this entry »

Today is the first official day of my thirties and I am enjoying them a great deal.  Now, I am well aware that the only difference between today and two days ago is the matter of science, the earth completed another rotation from the first time I existed until this point.  I also understand that birthday celebrations are excellent placebos and act as a faux demarcation between our puerile and mature selves. 

But that said, I have to admit, that when I turned 30 yesterday I did tangibly feel different.  I also made a couple of new year resolutions.  I find it hard to do at New Year’s and always end up throwing some meaningless words together that I have no intentions on following.  But birthdays….yes, birthdays are a time I seem to take a bit more seriously.  So I decided to make 2 very important and seemingly dichotomous resolutions: discipline and total surrender.   I made a commitment to be more disciplined in literally every aspect of my life as heretofore none could be found. No! None!! The second resolution has to do with my posture toward the Most High. Read the rest of this entry »

Had an awesome visit yesterday from my dear dear friend from Chicago.  What a fun day we had.  I, of course, bogarted the conversation and played confessor and priest pretty much the whole time he was here. Like a true friend, he laughed at the funny stories, admonished me at the not so funny stories  and made honest, insightful observations.

As an external processor (which is a nice way of saying I talk entirely too much particularly about my life and my problems to anyone who will listen), it’s helpful to hear how others hear how my life is going right now.  To be sure, no one I have spoken to thinks its going well, but sometimes we have to go through these trials to see where we need to improve ourselves; what tools we need to sharpen or pick up.  I have a lot of improving to do.  I’d hate to think that all the progress I made in Chicago has been undone.  But if that is the case, and the evidence to that fact is mounting, then I will have to start again.  That’s ok. Sometimes, we have to start again to be stronger than we were before.

As the best days of my life come barreling at me, I can only be hopeful that I will pursue emotional, mental and physical health with integrity and determination. More importantly, I will pursue the Most High in ways I have not tapped into heretofore! I pray that God will give me the grace to continue to grow and learn in baby steps moving out of darkness into marvelous light!! Praise God!

And it goes on and on and on and on…………….

There are exactly 15 days until I turn 30 and in the spirit of my 30’s where I plan on being more open and honest about who I am, I write you this update.

In the last few months I have been incredibly pre-occupied with having a relationship.  Meanwhile, over the past 2 years I have felt spiritually lifeless.  Don’t get me wrong: I love my church and my pastor in Chicago, but level of spiritual growth and accountability I was looking for simply never materialized.  In fact, if anything, I felt spiritually stagnant at best, backslidden at worst.  I actually really understand backsliding; it’s not what we think of-the Sunday School teacher turned stripper.  It’s a slow and steady slip backwards away from closeness with God and refinement by His Spirit and a precipitous decline into old (and sometimes new) bad behaviors and ways of thinking. 

While my soul was sickening, I pursued the idea of dating. Blessed as I was I met a couple of very nice Christian men in Chicago and I went out on a couple of dates.  They were very respectful and kept things above-board.  But their personalities or other things were not what I was looking for so neither worked out.  However, this experience did give me a little more hope than I had before.  I realized that if I trusted God to deliver He could.  I have no doubt of that now. 

Flash forward 8 months to now. No boyfriend in 3 years. Only guys who seem to like me are one’s that are ridiculously incompatible. Somehow, even while keeping this holy and upright, love was roused well before its time.  I don’t know how nor why.  So the loneliness is starting to choke me.  All the while my spirit is going through stage 3 terminal illness and I’ve done precious little to save it. Read the rest of this entry »


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