I am not a religious person. I don’t know bible stories or scriptures. My prayers are not eloquent or well-said. I don’t go to church or watch live stream services. But I have always had a spiritual connection with God. When I was a kid, I loved going to church. I would attend church with my grandparents’ neighbors, and they would also round up the neighborhood kids every summer for vacation bible school. I sang in the children’s choir and even dabbled in praise dancing. I was so compelled by God’s spirit as a child that I joined every church I visited. I even got baptized on my ninth birthday without my parents permission. I just came home after service all smiles with my baptism certificate.
My relationship with God has developed to a more intimate level. I used to wonder what others meant when they said God led them or spoke to them. Like how? But the more I began to have faith, the more I began to understand God’s language. As I learned which questions to ask, He gave me signs or put people in my path that gave me the answers I needed. For example, I get nervous when driving in inclement weather, so I play gospel music. It helps me feel safe. My favorite songs are The Battle is Not Yours, In the Midst of it All, and Encourage Yourself. I always shuffle my playlist, but I will skip to those songs if I need a little a more Jesus to make me feel safe. Whenever those songs play back-to-back on shuffle, I look up towards the sky and smile. Because I know God is telling me that I am covered.
God continues to lead me on my journey to best self and He gives me exactly what I need when I need it. I bought Shonda Rhimes’ book, “Year of Yes” probably couple of years ago but I never cracked it open until a couple of weeks ago when I read the first two chapters. If you’re not familiar with Shonda Rhimes, she is the creatively genius creator behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, How to Get Away With Murder, Station 19, and most recently Bridgerton. She’s amazing. Any who, this book is inspired by her making a conscious decision to LIVE and not just be. Because simply having “everything” doesn’t make a person happy.
Last Saturday, I got out of bed and decided to pick up where I left off. I sat on the couch in my robe and just read. I read the whole book. This is not an emotional book, in my opinion, but there was so much emotion that I felt while reading it. I finally found someone who I completely identify with and it literally brought me to tears. Her words connected with my experiences and gave me the relief I needed. I read aloud the commencement speech she delivered to the 2014 Dartmouth graduates. When she said she’s a working mom who doesn’t always have it together because if she’s killing on her TVs shows, it’s likely she’s missed an important event for kids and vice versa, I hollered. The tears streamed as she explained that she wants her daughters to see her as a working mom. That having ambition and doing work that is fulfilling to her does not make her any less than the “traditional mom” who’s only goal in life is to live and breathe for her children. When reading books, I usually just read a chapter here and there. But since I’m intently working on me, I needed to read those words at this time. That ain’t nobody but God, Y’all.
So let’s talk.
What are you led by? Do you walk by faith? Or by sight?
Listen. I get a tingling in my body just thinking about the work that God is doing on my behalf. My relationship with Him is unwavering. Even the time I was angry with Him and didn’t look to Him for guidance, He still kept me and my family. We were still blessed, and when I finally called on Him, He was there with open arms. God nudged me to read Year of Yes now because He knew I needed Shonda. I understand her. I relate to her, and in so many ways, I am her. I’ve been bursting at the seams to live and live boldly. . .to stop living in fear or by others’ standards. I’ve already been on this path but reading this book now affirms that I’m in going in the right direction. So no matter what you believe in, if you believe in anything at all, I urge you to pay close attention to what you need when you need it. Be aware and vigilant of anything that might get in your way of being your best you. And no matter what, keep going. You got this!