Mental Wellness & Winning – Part II

As explained in Part I, for the purpose of this article, clutter is described as the frequent presence of memories of bad experiences such as failures, loss of something or someone which has left you broken and scared, disappointments, fear and anxiety and toxic environments.

Have you ever been at a place in your life when you were making the effort to replace your negative thoughts with uplifting thoughts and your family, friends or co-workers saw it necessary to stir up memories that accomplished the opposite? Toxic environments can be created by just any circle of association or groups, many times it is unintentional.

Consider Frank and Lisa once more. Frank finally decides to move on; he now practices Recognition, Dismissal and Replacing of negative thoughts with positive ones. It is not easy however. Lisa is often seen crying as she grieves over her loss. It has been now over three years but it has been difficult for her to move on. Frank’s closest co-workers would noticeably avoid any discussion relating to babies or pregnancy or any other related topic, once he is around or appears on the scene. They would apologize unnecessarily making Frank feel uncomfortable. Frank’s Mom would constantly warn him about getting pregnant again as she was scared that his misfortune could strike a second time.

All three sides of this scenario helps to create an environment that is not conducive to building a healthy mind. Instead, the behaviour of his family makes it difficult for Frank to let go. Frank would have no choice but to clearly communicate his concerns to his family. Here we take the steps of Acknowledge, Dismiss and Replace, to another level.

As difficult it may be to admit, Frank acknowledges that his family and co-workers are the greatest contributors to his inability to let go and move on. He arranges to meet with them and tells them exactly how he feels. He then forgives them and seeks to put it behind him, expecting to see a difference. Moving forward Frank begins to positively contribute to conversations with his wife, his family and co-workers by speaking words of affirmation and faith. He further supports his positive words with action. Frank begins to focus more on enjoying the company of his wife, suggesting fun things to do together to help her focus more on living.

It takes effort but in order for us to climb out of that ditch we must be determined and willing to do what it takes. It is imperative that we seek to place ourselves in a safe space where we could begin to blossom again and bear fruit.

I must hasten to add that sometimes it is not that easy to address the negativity that is corrupting our environment. Many times we have to resort to prayer and fasting, counselling and therapy. It is important however to do what it takes to ensure you are healthy.

Don’t let your negative experiences be the end of your joy, hope and living.

Mental Wellness & Winning – Part I

(Featured picture taken from google images).

Have you ever felt that you needed to de-clutter? When I speak of de-clutter, I am not speaking of your wardrobe, your personal documents or your desk at work. I am speaking of the mind. In order to keep focused, to maintain meaningful living and to advance towards God’s purpose for your life, it is critical to have a healthy mind.

I wish to describe clutter as the frequent presence of memories of bad experiences such as failures, loss of something valuable or someone which has left you broken and scared, disappointments, fear and anxiety and toxic environments. In addition to these contributors, lack of proper nutrition, fatigue and stress can further compound this situation and make it more difficult to overcome.

Let’s take this topic slowly to really give it the attention it deserves allowing ourselves to benefit greatly from the discussion. Let’s call this article Part (I). Part (II) would follow.

If we linger or dwell on negative experiences of our past, we would undoubtedly restrict our ability to think creatively, and to express our God-given gifts and abilities in a manner that would lead us towards GOOD SUCCESS. We would be more likely to feel demotivated, disinterested and doubtful about our ability to do things we once enjoyed or anticipated doing.

The process of lingering or dwelling on negative experiences involves overthinking or allowing yourself to think often about something that has happened in the past that makes you sad. An experience or the memory of an experience that you would prefer to erase from your mind; something you wish never happened. It is the practice of regurgitating those unpleasant memories within a mood of self pity and many times bitterness and ungratefulness.

The clutter is formed as you allow your mind to be bogged down with memories of these negative experiences leading to you withdraw into your pain and away from hope. Have you ever found yourself drifting in thought and had to literally shake your head after realising where you were and where you were heading? Shaking your head symbolises that desperate desire to be free from those unproductive thoughts that slows down and weakens your ability to think creatively and productively.

Be mindful of the danger of dwelling or lingering on the bad experiences of your past and instead acknowledge them for what they are, recognise and embrace the lessons learnt from these experiences and use them to become a better person and to build a healthier mind.

It is going to take some practice and determination. Whenever these memories occur, acknowledge them for what they are and dismiss or diffuse them by counteracting these thoughts with positive thoughts. Here is a practical example:

Frank and his wife Lisa anticipated the birth of their baby boy. However due to complications with the pregnancy, Lisa had a miscarriage when she was three months pregnant. This was devastating for both Frank and Lisa. Frank has lost his drive to pursue his dream of being a Dad, as well as other dreams, and would often find himself going over the details of that fateful night. He often wondered who was to be blamed for his baby boy’s death and whether he did enough to save him. It is now four years since and Frank is having difficulty moving beyond this experience. Frank needs to de-clutter and begin living again.

Solution: Acknowledge, Dismiss, Replace with positive thoughts.

Acknowledgement: I lost my baby boy, it hurts. I feel sad and weak.

Dismiss: He is not coming back and worrying about the past would not help me.

Replace with positive thoughts: I am grateful to still have my wife with me. Many others have experienced what we have experienced and they have made it. There is help available! I can choose to trust God with our lives; He has a purpose for us. While I do not feel it now, I shall be stronger as a result of this experience.

Additionally search for verses that helps you to maintain a healthy mind. Here are two verses I have found useful.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Romans 12: 1&2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

To be continued……

Making Trades with Jesus – By Carrie Rogers

It has to be at least five years now since I met Carrie. It was during a Women’s Conference on the Island of Grenada, my homeland. Carrie was one of the Guest Speakers visiting all the way form Texas. Ever so often I am inspired by her postings on Facebook. This one in particular caught my attention and I remember thinking my friends should see this. So I recently reached out to Carrie and was honoured when she allowed me to share this special post with you. I describe it as short, sweet and from the heart..

Making Trades with Jesus – By Carrie Rogers8th April, 2021

Monday, on my morning walk, as soon as I rounded the first corner in my neighborhood (out of nowhere), tears welled up in the corner of my eyes. I quickly brushed them away (like I always do), and in reflex, troubleshot with God about the reason for my tears. (Mainly why they flow so freely these days, almost without cause.) “Here I am again, Jesus, apparently heavy and burdened and oblivious to my own need, but desperate for an exchange.”

Then I smiled at how often lately I come to Jesus to make a trade and how willing He is to meet with me. My burdens and confusion for His peace. My weakness and exhaustion for His strength. My doubts and fears for His faith. These are the good gifts available to me when I run to Him, so I do, over and over again.

And then I couldn’t help but think of you and wonder if this is one way you view prayer too. Is it the dumping ground that becomes holy ground where you make trades with Jesus? Your not-enough for His more-than-able. Your I-can’t-do-this-anymore for His I-promise-I’ve-got-this. Your heartbreak for His healing hands.

Because if it’s not, may I recommend my good friend Jesus to you. He really is the best listener, and He makes the absolute best trades.

Carrie Rogers is passionate about God’s Word and its impact on the lives of women. She is the founder of Carried Away Ministries, which seeks to encourage women of all ages to engage in a passionate pursuit of Jesus. Carrie and her husband, Erik, along with their three children, reside in McKinney, Texas.

Carrie’s Website Address: www.carriedawayministries.com

Thank you for reading and please do not forget to visit Carrie’s Website!

Final Chapter – The Love Dream

Chapter 30 – The Future

Jason gently placed the necklace around my neck; it was beautiful! I looked up at him still speechless and after seeing his radiant smile I managed to say, “Thank you!” Everything about the necklace and the moment was perfect. Jason pulled me into his chest wrapping his arms around me. It was our first time hugging so intimately. Jason whispered in my ear. “You do not need to answer me now, take your time. “I know,” I whispered back, “You never pressured me about anything, and we have been casual friends for a while now and I respect you for that.” It is just that I was pleasantly surprised and extremely touched by your actions.

We both sat, and I explained to Jason that as a teenager growing up, I have never met a young man like him. I talked about dating two young men, one at 18 and the other at 20 and they both appeared to have no outlook neither were they interested in wholesome activities. I went on to explain that it was the norm for my friends to become sexually active after a few dates with the same person. For me I wanted more, I wanted true friendship, I wanted a commitment with someone who was focused and mature enough to establish priorities. “Jason Emery, you coming into my life was definitely God’s design, you fit the mould of what I desired then and now. I have heard your offer and I would love to explore the possibility of Marriage with you.”  I breathed a sigh of relief and we both laughed. We hugged again and as we remained entwined in each other’s arms Jason prayed and asked God to lead us and bless us with a relationship that would draw young men and women to Christ.  After praying Jason and his dad drove me home. I can see it was all planned and it all added to a wonderful evening. It was nice getting to know his dad and sharing more about myself. It was somewhere around 7:30 pm when they dropped me off. I felt like I had a lot to share with my family about my evening, but I knew the time was not right.  Maybe tomorrow, I thought.

Dad greeted us at the door and were quickly introduced to Jason’s parents who left right away. After saying good night, I retreated to my room. I felt that I needed my privacy to process everything that happened that night, to unwind. Without changing, I curled up with my pillow and prayed. “God my life feels like a roller coaster right now, so much is going on, please help me to understand how to trust you and give me peace…Amen!

As I laid on my bed, I felt the strong impressions of God’s presence telling me, “You are safe! I will never leave you!” That was enough for me. I knew at that moment that I would never have to face life’s joys, sorrows, and uncertainties on my own. That night I vowed to trust God with my future. That night I knew Jason Emery was the one for me; God’s pick for me and I submitted to God’s choice. The dream which I never shared with Jason was unfolding right before my eyes – The Love Dream!  I was beginning to understand the true meaning of Love and for some reason God chose Jason Emery to help me understand.  As I got up from my bed and prepared to shower, God’s peace overwhelmed me and I was comforted knowing that his plans for me was going to be just right.

The End.

Self-development – Development of one’s own capabilities or possibilities – Webster Dictionary

One of the things that puts a skip in my step, a twinkle in my eye and new energy in my being, is the opportunity to witness someone’s growth and development or transformation. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be involved in such success. These experiences often allows me to step back in gratitude and say “wow”!

In order to grow from one level to another, however, one must work, sweat and exert effort. It starts with the willingness to be honest about one’s bad habits, flaws, unpleasant characteristics or behaviours.

Here is a brief true story that inspired me when it happened.

One day I left my office and on my way to another section of the building I encountered an employee who appeared to be upset. The employee was expressing their anger out loud in the presence of non-employees. I went up close to the employee and quietly asked them to calm down pointing out that the environment was not the right one for such expressions. The employee listened and calmed herself and proceeded to complete what she was doing.

About 15 minutes after, she reported to my office in tears and proceeded to explain what transpired before. She indicated that she had an encounter with another employee and did not like how she was spoken to; she became really upset as a result. I listened to her story and then proceeded to point out that she needed to be assertive enough to tell the person how she felt.

I proposed that she proceed to do so as it can help the individual to grow. The following morning I heard a knock on my door, it was the said employee coming to inform me that she did take my advice and was pleasantly surprised how well she was received. She was apologized to and the person who offended her even requested her to act as her “buddy-checker” . As a “buddy-checker” she would be responsible for pointing out similar behaviours if and when it rises, keeping the person in check.

There is much more I can share but I want to pause here and zoom into the take-aways from this incident, providing tips for self development.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 1 – Do not shy away from confrontation when it offers you an opportunity to address something that is making you uncomfortable or is hindering you from developing a healthy relationship with someone else. Don’t stifle the discomfort hoping that the unpleasant behaviour experienced never occurs again. Initiate a conversation.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 2 – When someone approaches you and begins to express how you have offended them, be sure to fight the urge to become defensive. Listen to what the person has to say and immediately try stepping into their shoes; switch places in an effort to understand their perspective. Don’t allow pride to takeover.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 3 – It is a great idea to ask someone to help you develop by being the one to promptly pull you aside and alert you when you are slipping or showing tendencies of repeating unhealthy behaviours. It can be that nudge that is needed to help you outgrow bad habits and develop your character.

TAKE-AWAY No. 4 – Many times the opportunity for growth is found when we are willing to examine ourselves and admit that there are some things about our behaviour, personality or character that are unpleasant; selfish behaviours that fail to uplift others. Do not be ashamed to embrace the cracks in your life that needs fixing. Seek to be more concerned about becoming more like Christ and thereby building healthy relationships with others.

In addition to the take-aways above look for books or articles to read that would help you to grow. You can visit this blog for more inspiration!

The Love Dream continues……one more chapter left……….

Chapter 29 – The Gold Chain

My life as a new believer in Jesus took off as a bullet. Through Jason and Mrs. Jefferson, the Pastor’s wife, arrangements were made for two young women to mentor me. They visited me at home for bible study sessions and life counselling. All this started when I was at home with my injured ankle. My ankle healed nicely but the at home visits continued. My Mentors were Shirley Gibson and Maria Sykes, they were both women in their early to mid-thirties. Relatable and patient; they quickly became my new friends. With both being still single, I found our girl talks to be quite engaging; it really helped me to broaden my perspective on life in general.

Days, weeks and months went by and the changes in my life were growing more and more evident and undeniable. My life was now filled with bible studies and my reading material improved; it went from mere entertaining novels to books and articles that served to enrich my mind and soul. I even took on more responsibility at home, offering to pay one of the utility bills. I grew more understanding of my siblings and my love for them abounded. At work, I felt more purposeful and began actively seeking opportunities within the Company to expand my professional knowledge and experience. When the offer to cross train came, I did not think twice. This opportunity later led to a transfer to the Marketing and Promotions Department. It was a more challenging position and I found myself exploring my creative side.

I also felt my relationships with my friends deepen. I was able to share my faith with my old school mates. Nicky, while acting a bit skeptical, would attend church with me from time to time and that was always special. I was very much aware of the mistrust and hesitancy of many when the topic of “church” or “God” would surface. Because of that awareness, I deliberately sought to learn about the Christian walk and to be as practical as I possibly could, I never wanted to be a talker with no real example to show. I wanted my friends to be drawn to me because of the changes seen in my life.

Jason Emery, the man in my dream over a year ago, grew to be a constant figure in my life. We talked daily about my progress, about our dreams and our future. One Sunday Evening he invited me to his home, it was my first time visiting his family. By then, I had met everyone in his immediate household but it was my first time in their home. We roasted sweet potatoes, breadfruit and fish; it was delicious. Added to the food and the warm company, there was a beautiful moon that shined down on us in all its glory! What a wonderful night it was!

As the evening winded to a close and Jason and I got to be alone, I turned to him and expressed from my heart, my appreciation for all he has been and done for me. From the moment we met, all I received was unquestionable love. He patiently guided me to understand God’s love and to others who can help me do the same. While we were not always in each others’ spaces, he seemed to have taken up a permanent place in my life. We grew to the point where we celebrated each other’s victories and supported each other during the down times. We grew to be great friends and I couldn’t help but be grateful to Nicky for introducing us.

After expressing my heartfelt words, Jason looked at me and smiled and uttered the most beautiful words I have ever heard. “I am confident that our meeting was not by chance, the moment I met you, It felt special and filled with promise. You stood out to me as hope, as a bright light; there was something about you that was drawing me closer. As we talked and spent more time together, I understood why; your desire to succeed and to see others succeed, the way you considered others deeply, putting off your needs to make them happy, your level of maturity and your thirst to find truth, spoke volumes. I remember praying for you and asking God to help me to show you God’s love, and He did.

Jason stood and walked towards me, “It is now over a year since we have met and I know now, more than ever that I want you to be my friend forever.” Jason’s voice began to tremble a little as we were now both standing on his Family’s porch with the moonlight glowing around us. I searched his face, reading his every expression and suddenly there was something dangling from his fingers, glittering in the moonlight with what seemed to be a white stone at the end. I gasp after realising it was a beautiful gold chain with a pendant. “Would you be willing to explore the possibility of marriage with me?” My jaw dropped after hearing the question and I froze, totally caught off guard; I was speechless.

My “2021” Mother’s Day Memory

It started when I visited my Facebook page a couple weeks before Sunday, May 9th, 2021, the day on which Mothers are celebrated all over the world. I clicked my notification button and noticed that one of my friends “Nashon Jeremiah Arts” had posted an Event called “Paint with Me”. It immediately caught my attention. You see recently I found my interest in painting growing and I wanted to feed this new appetite.

This Event was carded for Mothers. I read the details and thought to myself, what a perfect date for my mother and I. I immediately told her about it and was happy to hear that she was willing to embrace the challenge to “Paint with me”.

On entering the Studio, guests were offered a drink. I instantly noticed the setting of the room and became excited. The black and gold creative writing “Paint With Me” which was posted on what can be described as an accent wall, caught my attention and helped to create a positive first impression. The tables were well prepared for us with mini easels and nicely shaped wooden plaques on which we were expected to paint. Gold decorated bottles lined each table which were well supplied with paint, paint brushes, water and an apron. Background classical music could be heard as we took our seats and anticipated what was prepared for us. It was an intimate evening of poetry and painting within a friendly warm environment.

The featured poem of the evening was entitled “Envisioned” and was presented by Chemal Copeland of the Grenada Writers’ Association. Below are a few lines from that wonderful poem..

“How can I repay you for the aches and pains, nine months and days, nauseous and sore, moody and bored. Stiffness, cravings and so much more. Splitting pain and chance of death to give life in labouring breath; holding the gentle smiling frame. You knew everything would never be the same.”

Several other poems were read, which were all inspiring. My favourite moment however, was the featured painting. I got to paint with my mother and that was really cool. Mom was all into it, may I hasten to mention that my mom was 80; the oldest in attendance..

The Artist Nahshon Jeremiah, guided us to complete wonderful paintings of a mother carrying a child on her back. By following a few easy steps we were able to crate art that we were all proud of; there were twelve (12) participants in total.

Everyone contributed to the wonderful atmosphere. The evening was filled with creativity, humour and and giving. Mom and I were the top winners of the evening. Imagine that! Between both of us we won five prizes. I couldn’t believe it! I thought to myself, it was just our moment and we should embrace it with gratitude.

100% hats off to Nahshon and Princess for being awesome hosts and offering us the opportunity to create timeless memories. I am very happy Mom and I were a part of “Paint with Me”, the experience was meaningful and beautiful!

Today I inspire you to explore ART, you would be amazed how it provokes the creativity, fun side of you. Take the time out to create, to explore and to learn something new.

This piece was my favourite! It was done by Sharmaine Mc Meo. Great Job Sharmaine! Your painting is lovely!

Trusting God through the detour Poster

I believe it was sometime last year (2020) when I was reflecting on how my day did not go as planned. I felt myself becoming anxious then remembered that there was no need to . I created this poster to remind myself that I can trust God through the unexpected turn-offs, corners, ditches and even highways. It can be scary having to change direction suddenly; no warning, no time to contemplate. I have proven that God is reliable in these times.

I love the colours! It makes me feel calm and hopeful! Hope you like this Poster and it inspires you to enjoy your detours.

The Love Dream Continues….

Chapter 28 – The Decision

Nicky had some chores to get done at her apartment and headed home. She planned to return to spend Saturday night with me as well. I was a bit anxious about not being able to move around freely. The bite marks were about a quarter inch deep and due to my desperation to loosen the dog’s grip the flesh was ripped creating jagged cuts on my ankle. I had no choice but to adjust to my temporary limitations. I was going to be home for the next two weeks. The good thing about me is that I was never much of a complainer and found ways to cope with challenges as they arose; I was my Father’s daughter.

Dad came up to my room with Joel at his heals. They looked quite happy to see me and after looking closely I understood why. Dad then revealed the crutches he was holding behind his back and as Joel stepped away from Dad’s shadows I saw breakfast attractively displayed on a tray. Wow, I exclaimed, someone loves me!

I felt really grateful to have caring family and friends. The support at home was always great, something many of my friends wished they had. Dad showed me how to use the crutches and notwithstanding the discomfort experienced, after about twenty minutes, I was able to move around without placing pressure on my ankle. That Saturday consisted of crutch training, reading, journaling and painting. I managed to starve my boredom after all doing things I love.

As I sat in the living room I reflected on my most recent encounters. From the accident at our front yard to the pit bull scare. I couldn’t help but see God’s protection through-out my life and especially in recent weeks. I wondered what it all meant. The phone rang intercepting my thoughts; it was Jason. We updated each other on the latest. Jason was dumbfounded after hearing my encounter with the bad dog. We ended our conversation with a prayer.

That night as I knelt alone at my bed side I prayed asking God to forgive me of my sins and to make me new. I made a decision to be a follower of Christ. I didn’t understanding everything about my decision but I was tired of searching and wanted to experience more of what I already encountered. There was no doubt in my mind about the truth of God’s existence; I had heard and seen enough. My search for something deeper was only escalating and I felt a need to yield to the tender beckoning of that sweet still voice that Jason called “the Holy Spirit”. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Chapter 29 – The Gold Chain

My life as a new believer in Jesus took off as a bullet. Through Jason and Mrs. Jefferson, the Pastor’s wife, arrangements were made for two young women to mentor me. They visited me at home for bible study sessions and life counselling. All this started when I was at home with my injured ankle. My ankle healed nicely but the at home visits continued. My Mentors were Shirley Gibson and Maria Sykes, they were both women in their early to mid-thirties. Relatable and patient; they quickly became my new friends. With both being still single, I found our girl talks to be quite engaging; it really helped me to broaden my perspective on life in general.

Days, weeks and months went by and the changes in my life were growing more and more evident and undeniable. My life was now filled with bible studies and my reading material improved; it went from mere entertaining novels to books and articles that served to enrich my mind and soul. I even took on more responsibility at home, offering to pay one of the utility bills. I grew more understanding of my siblings and my love for them abounded. At work, I felt more purposeful and began actively seeking opportunities within the Company to expand my professional knowledge and experience. When the offer to cross train came, I did not think twice. This opportunity later led to a transfer to the Marketing and Promotions Department. It was a more challenging position and I found myself exploring my creative side.

I also felt my relationships with my friends deepen. I was able to share my faith with my old school mates. Nicky, while acting a bit skeptical, would attend church with me from time to time and that was always special. I was very much aware of the mistrust and hesitancy of many when the topic of “church” or “God” would surface. Because of that awareness, I deliberately sought to learn about the Christian walk and to be as practical as I possibly could, I never wanted to be a talker with no real example to show. I wanted my friends to be drawn to me because of the changes seen in my life.

Jason Emery, the man in my dream over a year ago, grew to be a constant figure in my life. We talked daily about my progress, about our dreams and our future. One Sunday Evening he invited me to his home, it was my first time visiting his family. By then, I had met everyone in his immediate household but it was my first time in their home. We roasted sweet potatoes, breadfruit and fish; it was delicious. Added to the food and the warm company, there was a beautiful moon that shined down on us in all its glory! What a wonderful night it was!

As the evening winded to a close and Jason and I got to be alone, I turned to him and expressed from my heart, my appreciation for all he has been and done for me. From the moment we met, all I received was unquestionable love. He patiently guided me to understand God’s love and to others who can help me do the same. While we were not always in each others’ spaces, he seemed to have taken up a permanent place in my life. We grew to the point where we celebrated each other’s victories and supported each other during the down times. We grew to be great friends and I couldn’t help but be grateful to Nicky for introducing us.

After expressing my heartfelt words, Jason looked at me and smiled and uttered the most beautiful words I have ever heard. “I am confident that our meeting was not by chance, the moment I met you, It felt special and filled with promise. You stood out to me as hope, as a bright light; there was something about you that was drawing me closer. As we talked and spent more time together, I understood why; your desire to succeed and to see others succeed, the way you considered others deeply, putting off your needs to make them happy, your level of maturity and your thirst to find truth, spoke volumes. I remember praying for you and asking God to help me to show you God’s love, and He did.

Jason stood and walked towards me, “It is now over a year since we have met and I know now, more than ever that I want you to be my friend forever.” Jason’s voice began to tremble a little as we were now both standing on his Family’s porch with the moonlight glowing around us. I searched his face, reading his every expression and suddenly there was something dangling from his fingers, glittering in the moonlight with what seemed to be a white stone at the end. I gasp after realising it was a beautiful gold chain with a pendant. “Would you be willing to explore the possibility of marriage with me?” My jaw dropped after hearing the question and I froze, totally caught off guard; I was speechless.

Chapter 30 – The Future

Jason gently placed the necklace around my neck; it was beautiful! I looked up at him still speechless and after seeing his radiant smile I managed to say, “Thank you!” Everything about the necklace and the moment was perfect. Jason pulled me into his chest wrapping his arms around me. It was our first time hugging so intimately. Jason whispered in my ear. “You do not need to answer me now, take your time. “I know,” I whispered back, “You never pressured me about anything, and we have been casual friends for a while now and I respect you for that.” It is just that I was pleasantly surprised and extremely touched by your actions.

We both sat, and I explained to Jason that as a teenager growing up, I have never met a young man like him. I talked about dating two young men, one at 18 and the other at 20 and they both appeared to have no outlook neither were they interested in wholesome activities. I went on to explain that it was the norm for my friends to become sexually active after a few dates with the same person. For me I wanted more, I wanted true friendship, I wanted a commitment with someone who was focused and mature enough to establish priorities. “Jason Emery, you coming into my life was definitely God’s design, you fit the mould of what I desired then and now. I have heard your offer and I would love to explore the possibility of Marriage with you.”  I breathed a sigh of relief and we both laughed. We hugged again and as we remained entwined in each other’s arms Jason prayed and asked God to lead us and bless us with a relationship that would draw young men and women to Christ.  After praying Jason and his dad drove me home. I can see it was all planned and it all added to a wonderful evening. It was nice getting to know his dad and sharing more about myself. It was somewhere around 7:30 pm when they dropped me off. I felt like I had a lot to share with my family about my evening, but I knew the time was not right.  Maybe tomorrow, I thought.

Dad greeted us at the door and were quickly introduced to Jason’s parents who left right away. After saying good night, I retreated to my room. I felt that I needed my privacy to process everything that happened that night, to unwind. Without changing, I curled up with my pillow and prayed. “God my life feels like a roller coaster right now, so much is going on, please help me to understand how to trust you and give me peace…Amen!

As I laid on my bed, I felt the strong impressions of God’s presence telling me, “You are safe! I will never leave you!” That was enough for me. I knew at that moment that I would never have to face life’s joys, sorrows, and uncertainties on my own. That night I vowed to trust God with my future. That night I knew Jason Emery was the one for me; God’s pick for me and I submitted to God’s choice. The dream which I never shared with Jason was unfolding right before my eyes – The Love Dream!  I was beginning to understand the true meaning of Love and for some reason God chose Jason Emery to help me understand.  As I got up from my bed and prepared to shower, God’s peace overwhelmed me and I was comforted knowing that his plans for me was going to be just right.

The End.

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