Letting Yourself Be Seen
Today, I am going to let myself be seen. Today, I am going to declare that I am enough. For so long, I have struggled with conformity friendships. I desire to conform, but it is not me when I do. I lose myself in that moment and realize that I am doing this to fit in.
Sisters, you are not created to fit in. You are designed to be salt and light. You are made to be a city on a hill, not a face in the crowd. I was not only a face in the crowd. I had customized masks to wear for each crowd.
I learned very young that I was not like other people. I thought differently, acted differently, and believed differently than my schoolmates, roommates, boyfriends, siblings, and parents.
At the age of 10, I remember standing in the driveway of my grandparents’ house declaring that, one day, I would adopt from Ethiopia. How I even knew where that place was is still a mystery. I wanted to adopt, and I wanted to adopt an older Ethiopian boy because that is the child that no one wanted.
Storing Up His Promises
I kept that stored in my heart, never releasing it because my family struggled with racism. At one point, I was informed that I could choose my black children or my father. I thanked my father for the love and protection he had given me, kissed him on the cheek, and then told him I would choose my children.
Do you have any idea how hard that was for me? People-pleasing me.
Judgment of Others
The people that no one wants to be around are the people I am drawn to in my spirit. I have been told to be careful who I associate with because it could question my faith and salvation. I have also been told that I cannot be submissive to my husband because I’m loud. I have been told I am not worthy to stand in front of people because no one wants to hear what I have to say. After all, my hair is pink, and I have tattoos. I have been judged on my children acting like children and had horrible things said to me in regards to them. Things have been told, and I still struggle to forgive the words and the people who said them.
My best friend was 79 when we met. She was my Lady. That’s what I called her. It started as a mentor, then moved to friendship. Next, it moved to me being her caregiver, then a closeness that I cannot explain, and then I had to give her to Jesus. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My Lady saw me. She saw through the masks and the facades I tried to put on. My Lady loved me without abandon, and Ms. Jo treasured my family, though we were all different. She was my person.
That is What Everyone Needs
They need a Lady, a friend, a confidante who sees you, and you see them. It was beautiful but short-lived as she passed away. I miss her. She told me my tattoos were stupid, but she always wanted to look at them and touch them. She would wring my neck if she knew her name was on my body. I took Faith(i.e.), hope, and love to another level. There is a cross (love) with a semi-colon, doves (hope), and Faith(i.e.) because her name was Faithie.
I challenge you all to be you. Love you. Embrace your weirdness, and never do you have to explain yourself. Ever. Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no and zero explanations.