If it's too early to declare 2018 The Year of My Unleashed Life, I am going to do it anyway. Simply because my life has been hectic since 2014.
My memory of the year 2014 is a bit foggy leading up to the day before Christmas. December 24th, 2014 is literally a day that will forever be engrained in not just my mind but my family’s and so many others. I was home for Christmas break from Texas Woman's University and I'd just woken up from a nap, to what felt like the Twilight Zone. My mom came to me telling me to try to get in contact with my older brother Brandon who lived in Clarksdale Mississippi, but I couldn't so I attempted to call one of his friends who I also could not get a hold of. Apparently, a family friend had called my dad while he was on the road (he was a truck driver) and told him that there had been a fatal shooting at the Walmart in town, and my brother was reported as the victim. When I found that bit of information out my world shook, sadness, hurt, anger, and confusion began to swirl around me.
I began to question God, my grades in school began to slip, nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Knowing that I'd have to enter the New Year burying my brother seemed absolutely unfathomable and set a very destructive and unfortunate domino effect in my life.
I started 2015 out burying my brother, and an aunt. I thought I was free and clear of death but then my grandmother fell ill and passed away that July. Yet again my world was shaken to its core. Only this time it hurt a little worse. I'd grown up with my grandmother and loved her dearly so that loss was incomparable to any other. I'd yet to fully recover from the first pain of losing my brother so I couldn't quite grasp how to shake back from another heart-aching loss.
I started out 2016 in what I thought was a good place, but after a bit of self-reflection, I now realize I was in a toxic and unhealthy relationship, that honestly was doomed from the start. So it was no surprise to me when that relationship came to a close and I felt as though someone had ripped my heart out my chest, a mere week before my birthday. Over the summer that year I found myself burying yet another family member and making a decision that would forever change my life. I also found myself coming to the realization that someone I thought was a near and dear friend was really a snake that meant me no good, simply wanted to use me, and who would throw me under the bus whenever the opportunity presented itself. That was a tough but necessary lesson. My family was also stalked and harassed by the people we sold our old house too. Crazy year huh? Yea, I know.
Things started to really look up for me at the start of 2017. Then, the unthinkable happened. I found out I was pregnant! I was a bit taken aback by that fact, but eventually came to grips with my unplanned pregnancy. My pregnancy was the longest and hardest nine months of my life, having to deal with the stress of my dad being injured on the job that May and finding out that my pregnancy was high risk and possibly fatal. But God had other plans for my son and me, and in November I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy. I also got married in 2017 which was pretty amazing!
After listening to Sarah Jakes Roberts Unleashed sermon that she preached at The Potters House LA, I began to think differently about everything I'd been through over the past years. I now know that every trial and tribulation I've endured has prepared me for where I am right now in my life. Those heartaches have prepared me to finally begin to walk in the purpose that God has for my life. You see, a lot of times when we go through things that we see as unfortunate in our lives, God sees those things as pivotal and defining moments that ultimately are preparing us for our purpose.
Through every situation that I've been in, I've had moments where I wallowed in self-pity, and let my feelings toward issues engulf me and lead me down very destructive paths. But last year something in me changed. I don't generally like when people say "oh, I've changed my life for my child" because I don't believe that is real change. But, I have to be honest ... Part of me did change for Josiah, but I mostly changed for myself. I got tired of letting things that happened to me run my life and hold me back from the promises of God that I know are mine. I got tired of having a smoldering fire deep down inside of me that could not be unleashed because I was standing in my own way.
So I approached this New Year with a brand new mindset. I decided that I was going to pray, grind, and fight to finally walk in the purpose God has for me. I decided that I was going to begin to pray that he would Unleash my mind, my heart, my eyes, and my hands and that is exactly what he's doing.
How am I living an Unleashed life?
For starters, I now take full responsibility for my faults and my failures, but in taking responsibility I no longer let those things hold me hostage. I deal with mishaps differently now. In life, things are going to happen to us that are beyond our control and understanding, how we handle those pivotal moments can cause a catalyst in our lives.
Another thing I am doing to live my Unleashed Life, is I am working double time on building my spiritual life up. Faith for me is extremely important because I serve a God that sent his son to die for my sins ... And trust me I've sinned. But through God's love and grace, my sins have been forgiven and I've been made whole.
I'm also working on my mental. I feel like if I am mentally strong I can overcome anything life throws my way. I've been practicing feeding my spirit and mind things that are uplifting and motivating. I wake up each day prepared to handle anything life has for me. Overcoming the fog that inhabits the mind in times of trouble is half the battle of living an Unleashed Life.
Finally, I've been working on my physical. Health, as you will learn in upcoming blogs, is extremely important to me and should be important to you as well. I want to live a full life, and in order to do that, I have to be healthy. So I work each day to ensure that I will have as long of an Unleashed Life that I can.
My journey hasn't been easy but it has been worth it and I wouldn't trade any of my experiences because they have made me who I am today. I'm excited to live my Unleashed Life!