This month's Inspire Me testimony comes from another beautiful soul that I have known all of my life. We grew up in church together and have grown so much as mothers and individuals of Christ. Dalaiia is such a precious soul. She is full of life and my sis can SANNGGGG. She's probably not going to be too happy about me saying that but she will be okay (Love you!!)
She's so talented and I am so thankful to be apart of her life. Since my move to North Carolina, I have not been directly involved in her life but we have remained in contact and our catch up sessions are the best.
I am so thankful that speaking out about mental and emotional health are topics that are now supported and encouraged. We never know what another person is experiencing or where they are mentally and emotionally. I am learning how important it is to check, love, encourage and support one another wherever we may be in our healing.
Dalaiia, thank you sis for being so willing to be open and vulnerable about your experience. Trust and know that nothing that you have or are experiencing is "just because." There's so much purpose within you. I love you sis.
Clammy Open Hands
Trying to think of one cohesive way to tell my story has honestly had me stumped. Like, do I talk about my commitment to my family, friends, and community, the purposeful work that I love doing, my faith in God that is constantly being tested and growing, finding an amazingly, sweet partner after a long search, or just the fact that I convinced myself that I could go to both Las Vegas and Puerto Rico in the same week?!
At times, it feels like I’m running all over the place and doing so many different things that none of these activities fit together, but, as I’m reflecting, that’s not true at all. At the heart of the madness, I love to care for people and the massive web of events that is my life is a testament to that soul defining truth.
About 6 years ago, I started actively praying the prayer, “Lord, help me to love your people well” and, since then, each phase of my life has positioned me to lean into that prayer to greater depths. At first, it started with a mission trip to Guatemala where I was thrown outside of my comfort zone only to be met with some of the purest kindness I’ve ever experienced. From that trip, I met other women who recognized how broken the church is when it comes to race and we embarked on what has become a city-wide conversation around creating racial reconciliation through an organization called Be the Bridge (GOOGLE THEM). And, just went I was trying to sink into the background, I was tapped to be a small group leader to women I initially didn’t think I had much in common with. Through our discussions over the past few years, I’ve seen lives and hearts changed in a way outside of my strength alone.
Now, in case you didn’t know, Jesus is a major creep in the way that He can manifest the things we desire before we even have the courage or direction to voice them. For example, my “dream job” was to manage a clinic where I would be able to coordinate care for people in my community who typically don’t have equitable access to healthcare. For a while, it felt like a distant dream because I didn’t have the degree I thought I would need to get to that level and, the other jobs I’d been working in, didn’t relate to that goal very much. About a year ago, I started having angst about what I wanted for my next step and, all the while, I’d forgotten about my long term career goal. To jump to the end of the story, just a few months after I started looking for a new adventure, the perfect opportunity came along in a space I wasn’t even looking. Not only have I been able to live out my seemingly far off vision in my 20s, but it’s also on a larger scale than I imagined when the idea was first sparked. The work we do has an impact far greater than I could’ve ever wished to be apart of and when I hear stories of how people are being reached, I’m reminded who this is for.
The last creepy Jesus happening is my relationship. I’m normally tight-lipped with the masses when it comes to my love life, but, what I will disclose, is that the Lord CAME THROUGH. He brought together the things I wanted and needed in human form and had him spit game as I was taking the trash out in my workout clothes. Since that day where I was seen in my funkiest form, I’m still seen and known for me and receiving the abundant love I strive to lavish on others. He’s the best thing since sliced bread and I really love bread.
Don’t get me wrong, I have strayed more often than not along my journey, but the truth I always return to is that this whole thing is bigger than me and my shortcomings. All God asks for is a willing heart and open hands. Even though I often feel like Sandra Bullock in Birdbox blindly following the bells along the path, the opportunities I’ve encountered have been so randomly perfect that I can only chalk it up to divine intervention. So much to the point where I’ve stopped trying to make my own plans because they end up being so far off base it’s not even funny. Living with open hands is about as vague and cliché as it can get, but something I’d urge everyone to practice it. The results are mind-blowing and have turned the ripples of my life into waves that have washed over the lives of those around me in ways I may never fully realize.