The Loudmouth Protestant

June 10, 2008

The Thing About Fathers

Filed under: dreams,God,love,relationships,singleness — nickisym @ 10:47 am
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My father and I have an interesting relationship. I liken it to a ride on a roller-coaster. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down but it is always guaranteed to be an interesting ride. He is always trying to tell me something that I feel I already know. Always trying to teach me something in what I consider to be my old age. Always trying to preach to me when I feel I am already full of the word. Always trying to warm up to me when I feel I’ve reached my maximum temperature of comfortability. I doth protest with him much. And I feel, in some ways, that my relationships with my earthly father, mirrors the one that I have with my spiritual Father. Abba Father. I don’t listen as I should. Don’t speak to him as much as I should. Don’t love on him or tell him I love him as much as I should. But nevertheless he never leaves me nor forsakes and always sends his message to me by any means necessary and at the most unlikely times. He did this last night.

As I tossed and turned in the night in the midst of the New York heat wave, I had a dream about God where God sent me a message. My dream involved a man who has been starring in my dreams for the last few years. An old friend who I have written about on this blog many times. In this dream it seemed as if we reunited. I don’t know how it happened, but before I knew it, he was at my parent’s old house in New York. We were meeting to have dinner–I was cooking of course. This would be the first time in years since I had seen him, so I was a excited and hopeful that this meant we could pick up where we left off.

When he walked into the house and stood at the entrance of our hallway, I walked quickly toward him to embrace him, but he gave me the weakest hug I have ever received. I was a bit dissapointed in his inability to tighten his grip on an old friend but nevertheless I pressed on and had him sit down for dinner. I prepared Kima Mutter, an Indian dish comprised of ground beef–or ground turkey–well seasoned with mixed vegetables and served over a bed of rice. But for a dish I have made several times for myself, I messed this batch up. In the midst of serving dinner, my father sat down at the table with my long lost friend. He didn’t bother to leave us alone. I rolled my eyes and told my mom to take him away, but she ignored me and walked into the other room. I don’t remember if I nudged my dad or asked him to leave but in a moment he said no because he didn’t like my long lost friend. And just like that my friend vanished from the table and my father proceeded to tell me that he is not good for me. I tried to refute the point but my mouth was closed shut and the case was closed. After my father’s last words, the dream was over and I woke up wondering if God had just spoken to me about this man. I didn’t think too hard about it and went back to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, something in my heart had changed. I had this feeling that God really did speak to me in the dream. He was speaking through my father, who many times has judged a man and been on target with his analysis. I couldn’t believe it, but I could all at the same time. God rendered his judgment quick and fast and in the moment he spoke, there wasn’t anything I could say.

For what felt like the first time in my life, I heard His voice clearly. And for what may be the first time in my life–well maybe not, but concerning this issue-I am hearing Him and heeding His word. There are far too many times in our lives when we think we know what is best for us and we refuse to listen to God. And even as single men and women, we spend lots of time wondering if the last good thing we had was supposed to be “the one.” But it is the last thing God says that sets the path for our lives and it is important that we hear Him out. I know I heard him last night and I am ready to let it go. I know what He has for me is so much better than what I had. Father always knows best.

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February 13, 2008

Considering God on Valentine’s Day

Filed under: God,love,relationships,singleness — nickisym @ 10:53 pm
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With Valentine’s Day less than a few hours away there is no doubt a faction of coupled people running around trying to round out their V-Day offering and yet another faction of single folks ruminating on their singleness–and regretting it. For the first time in years I am finally at peace with this day.

In years past I would regret the coming of February 14th. It was an ominous day that meant I had yet another opportunity to either spend it by myself or with my other single friends. I would dress in all black and just spend the day being jaded about love. But by the grace of God, this year is different.

It’s different because I found the love of my life or I should say he found me and let me know that there is no greater love than the one he has for me and the one I can surely attempt to have for him in this lifetime. Knowing this I face tomorrow much differently than I ever have.

<br. I am okay with the fact that I don’t have someone to spend the day with because I know that throughout the entire day and every day thereafter I have someone with me at all times. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. His love for me is unconditional. He is the lover of my soul. I don’t mind that I won’t receive any flowers, cards or candy because God has given me the greatest gift I could ever receive. And what I thought would matter so much–another person telling me they love me–doesn’t seem to matter at all compared to my knowing that God loves me more than any man could.

I can say this all whole-heartedly now and admit that my change of mind has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God. He doesn’t have to do another thing for me. He could never send my husband and that would be just fine.

Tomorrow is about my loving God to the fullest and letting it be the start of a great love story. Tomorrow is also about me loving the me God created me to be. It’s about you loving yourself the way God created you. You don’t have to wait for anyone else to appreciate you, buy you something, tell you something, or do something for you. Take tomorrow to appreciate, buy, tell and do something for yourself. Treat yourself like the queen–or the king–that you are. Most importantly, treat God like the King he is in your life. Wake up with a new song in your heart for him tomorrow and tell him why he is your everything.

September 25, 2007

No The Blog Hasn’t Changed

Filed under: life,love,relationships,singleness — nickisym @ 5:34 pm

It occurred to me that I’ve been talking about singleness a lot lately and I’d like to say a little word about that.
When I first started this blog, I started on the premise that it would be all about my providing insight on religion news and topics of the faith. But it turns out that this happened to be a big topic in my life in which I couldn’t ignore. At the same time, it turns outs that writing these posts about my protracted singleness were actually quite cathartic and some of you have reported that you’ve been encouraged to read it.

It has been nothing short of a move of God that I would come back to this topic time and again because for most Christian singles this is the big question in their life. When will it happen? Why is it taking so long? And what do I have to do in the meantime? So it’s certainly been a pleasure to record my journey for public consumption. I just want to thank you all for sticking around despite my incessant sobbing over singleness. You’ve all been great and a blessing whether you think so or not.

Sometimes a girl just has to air her grievances in order to move on to more important matters. Now back to business…

September 24, 2007

The Language Of Tears

Filed under: christianity,friends,God,relationships,singleness,waiting on God — nickisym @ 2:23 pm

This was the weekend of my best friend’s wedding, so it was to be expected that I would end up an emotional mess. For over five years, she has been like a sister to me and has stuck with me through thick and thin and I to her. I was already emotional when she told me she was engaged…Imagining a life without being able to knock on her door at any given moment and talk was daunting. The prospect of not have my ace boon koon by my side was scaring me to death. After much sobbing the day after the wedding, my mother clued me in on something. She met my friend a few weeks ago when we all went to Jamaica and she told me that she understands why I am so sad because my friend was more than a friend, she was a sister to me. And it all made logical sense. But this isn’t even what this post is about…

On topic…

After my maid of honor speech and before I cut a rug I rushed to the bathroom all misty eyed–mind you I cried during my speech. On my way to the restroom, an older woman stopped me and told me that I would be blessed with a wonderful man just as my friend was. She also told me that I will have children despite my saying I don’t like them. When I finally reached the bathroom,  there were many of my friend’s family and friends in the bathroom and they knew where I was emotionally. Having mentioned my singleness and how I hope to be blessed with a similar sanctified relationship as my friend had been, they know where I was coming from. Some told me my speech was great, others told me to stop crying because my day was coming soon and others just smiled at me. But when I hit the stall it was like no one said anything of substance to me because I let it rip–not loudly though, I wouldn’t want them to think I was crazy.

As I sat there on the john, I cried and I cried and I cried until I heard something.  I heard of voice telling me to stop crying. And immediately I stopped, but then I was tempted to start again. The voice said “Stop crying,” again and I did. Then the voice said, “You should stop crying because your tears are telling me you don’t believe I am going to do what I promised.” I wiped my eyes and thought about what I heard and I thought about the implications of my incessant sobbing over my singleness.  It’s true, there is a part of me that doesn’t believe God will come through for me in this area of my life. I’ve also been victim to hearing too many contradictory words about singleness in the body of Christ. But at the moment, I decided only one person’s word counts. I received it and I stopped crying for the rest of the night and for a good portion of the last couple of days.

It then happened that as I was driving home after the wedding, a song was put in my head. It was Tonex’s “Cry No More.” The song is actually about losing a loved one to death, but the refrain that played in my head was “God understands the language of tears, he knows all abouts your hurts and your fears.” It blew my mind because at first I wasn’t very sure about why I was crying. I didn’t know whether it was feeling like I lost a friend or feeling like I was destined for singleness forever, but God set me straight and for that I’m thankful.

So the next time you find yourself in a puddle of tears crying about what seems like a overwhelmingly long season of singleness, remember that He will do what He says. And he can do it even more so when you correct your disbelief and doubt and stop crying.

September 20, 2007

Therein Lies the Problem…

Filed under: God,life,relationships,singleness,waiting on God — nickisym @ 3:43 pm

A few hours into my visit home for my friend’s wedding has given me some real insight into why single people feel the burn while in their singleness.

As I stood in the service department of my car’s dealership, I was telling my mother about a conundrum that had come up with the color of the groomsmen’s ties not matching the bridesmaid dresses. I then told my mom that the bride was actually in the process of getting her marriage license, to which my dad said, “Ahh, the greatest thing in life.”

I was immediately taken aback at this comment because after years of being single, I don’t acknowledge marriage as the greatest thing one can achieve in life.

Then on the way home it happened again as I told my parents what some of my high school friends were up to. I remarked at how they are all married with children and how it’s funny how time changes things. Then someone replied, “That’s life.”

Of course my impulse was to rebuttal and say “That isn’t life.” But thankfully my mother cleaned up the statement and said “For those who are fortunate.” Shortly afterwards she mentioned a survey where the consensus was that married people lived longer. At this point I was ready to throw my hands up but then I realized that this is the problem.

Not only do most single people have folks asking them why they are so–as if it is some disease, but then they have to deal with statistical data that says they might not ever get married–you know the stupid one that says 49% of black women aren’t married and might not ever be–what is the margin of error on that?

It’s really too much when faced with the thought and this is where I believe other people must learn how to measure their words carefully. We are to use our mouths to speak life to one another and that includes how the married folks speak to single folks and how single folks speak to one another.

None of us have to struggle in singleness, but somehow the enemy puts these stumbling blocks of using our closest family members and friends to trip us up.

Being single is okay. You can be happy in singleness. You can buy a house, a car, a dog and a diamond in singleness, if you would stop listening to what the world around you is saying.

Be comfortable in whatever season you are in and God will do the rest.

August 13, 2007

Sobbing in Singleness

Filed under: christianity,love,singleness — nickisym @ 8:12 pm

Yesterday morning as I sat waiting for the bus something unusual happened. This woman came up to me and tried to hand me a tract. I’ve seen her on many occasions before, but I usually took the tracts deciding not to decline. But on this particular day, I felt that I needed to help her save paper by giving it to someone who really needed to read the fundamental message that Jesus Christ died for our sins and only he can make us whole. So as she reached in her bag to hand me a tract, I swiftly put my hand up and declined. She then asked me if I was saved and I told her “yes.” She said “God Bless You, you hold on to that salvation.” She proceeded to walk away but then she doubled back and told me this:

“If you are praying to God for a husband, keep on praying and wait on Him. Don’t try to go out there and get one for yourself. And don’t worry about what everyone else has and how fast they got it. You just know that God’s a keeper…”

As she—Donna, we exchanged names because she wanted me to keep her in prayer and vice versa—continued to street sermonize me, I was taken aback at God’s ability to use the most unlikely people to speak into my life. This is the same woman that used to just hand me tracts and not say a word, but when presented with the opportunity to speak, she let herself be an oracle of God.

Now, my singleness is a topic I bring up periodically and since my last post on singleness I have been coping very well. God has given me a certain peace about it and I just haven’t thought about it. But after Donna’s words I did think about it again and it brought a mist to my eyes. Actually it was a waterfall. I sat there on the bus crying for reasons unbeknownst to me. Was I crying because I am single? Crying because I feel like I’m losing my best friend in the world? Crying because maybe I am starting to realize I am bound to singledom? I seriously don’t know why.

So I sat there in a puddle of tears for the second day in a row at the thought of singleness. The first day in misty-eyed contemplation took place at my dearest friend’s bridal shower. We were closing out in prayer and each one of us prayed for her. While each person in the circle prayed—quite a few of whom were married—I asked God to give me strength to hold myself together just long enough to get through the prayer and not fall apart. He did indeed keep me until the last minute of my prayer when everything became inaudible, my tear ducts flooded, I hyperventilated, my nose ran, etc. It was like the ugly prayers that my young adult pastor says we all need to have in our private time. There it came out in the midst of a group of woman that I don’t know and after all was said and done, I felt a little at odds because the emotions that overcame me were so inexplicable.

I’m better today. Not crying although I got a little emotional as I wrote this. I chock it all up to a regular emotional catharsis during singleness or maybe raging hormones…

July 25, 2007

Moment of Transparency: Last One Standing

Filed under: love,relationships,singleness — nickisym @ 2:12 am

Moment of Transparency will pop-up from time to time. It’s a moment when anything I say can and probably will be held against me, but it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

Do you remember what it felt like to play team sports in elementary school? You’re up for a game of dodge ball and everyone gets picked except for you. You end up getting chosen as a last resort and thus you play like a last-round draft pick. Well I had that kind of experience this past weekend at an event that a friend of a friend threw.

It was called “The Three.” The concept is that the host of the party invites three guys and three girls and each of the three invites an additional two people. I loved the concept upon being invited but I didn’t put much thought into what would happen if I was “The Last Woman Standing.”

The night begun like any normal party, we played ice-breaker games and Taboo–my personal favorite. But then, a group of men walked in that brought the vibe of the party down from a 10 to a 2. I admit that sometimes I do jump to conclusions before giving the benefit of the doubt, but since I actually prayed before I went to this event I trusted my discernment that the 5 new men that walked through the door were all jokers.

As the night continued, the lights got dimmer, the music got a little sexier–as sexy as Blackstar can get you–and people were coupled off. I started the night off with potential and that potential floated off to another potential. I guess it was naive of me to believe I made a connection that secured my potential for the night.

So there I sat in front on the chips & dips. It was like a scene out of a movie. I couldn’t figure out if I felt sorry for myself or if that was my exhaustion talking, but I tried to look like I was having a good time by myself. I pressed on in my chair and bobbed my head to the conscious rap playing in the background until W.I. came along.

W.I. was a sweaty young man whose eyes were half shut from imbibing cheap liquor. But though his eyes were all but sealed shut, he managed to pry them open long enough to give me the X-ray vision stare. For those that know me, you are well aware of what my default face looks like, but couple that face with the “I am tired, bored and ornery” and I could honestly say I wasn’t sitting pretty.

Despite all of this, W.I. decides to sit down and attempts to engage me in conversation all whilst looking down my top. In my head I was thinking, “God, why does this always happen to me.” I couldn’t figure out why of all the people that I could have been talking to in the room–or even not talking to, this is the one person that comes to speak to me. I was disgusted and practically on the verge of tears. That’s when I felt like the kid that got picked last on the dodge ball team. Everyone was at least entertained by the potential in front of them while I was in disdain with the lack of, sitting next to me.

While he was talking about wine importing, criminal records and spending the night, I was having an internal dialogue about why in the hell–yes I said it–do I attract absolute losers.I continued this inner dialogue until the wine importer asked me why I was sitting by myself. I said “It just happened that way.” He asked me why I thought it happened that way and I said, “It always does.” Immediately his drunken face turned into one of sober disdain as he started to ruminate on why I should be by myself. And I’ll tell you what…I actually agreed with him. I didn’t bother to argue the finer points of why I am by myself–like it’s just not God’s will, it’s circumstance, etc–but it made me realize that I don’t desire to be by myself.

It made me think about the fact that I do feel like I am always last picked and the late bloomer in many areas of my life which further annoyed me because it reminded me of the fact that I could very well be single until my mid-30s. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s difficult to fathom when most of my closest friends are on their way down the aisle, in established relationships or at least going out on dates periodically.

I know that I shouldn’t try to understand why I am single because this is where God has me right now. It’s just that when you are put in the position to think about matters of the heart it is actually heart-breaking. That’s the honest to God truth. I am like India.Arie in that “I Am Ready For Love” and I am just wondering why it is hiding from me…

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