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This Year

Written on April 14th, 2021

While in the shower today, I’ve been in deep reflection about the happenings of this year. This has been a challenging start to the year. It’s been both revelatory and extremely hard. Through it all, God has shown up in incredible, Word-confirming ways!

You haven’t heard from me for a while because I didn’t have the energy to write. I couldn’t settle my mind long enough to get the words out. It wasn’t until today, April 14th, that I was able to write more than a few words.

From battling Covid in January to finding my mom unresponsive in March (she’s better now), it has been a trying year.

Anxiety was a mainstay. Heart palpitations, racing thoughts, running scenarios, afraid to sleep, and watching my mom as she slept to make sure she was still breathing. It brought me back to a time in my childhood when I did the same.

Now that I’m older, I can clearly see the roots of anxiety, where it began and what I need to do to fight it.

But I don’t want to sway you the wrong way, this is not a sad story. It’s one of growth, through incredible turmoil that has produced, in a lot of ways, a new me.

Cancun, Mexico – April 2021

I have watched God work ALL of this out for my good. And I promise you, God will do the same for you.

So as I come down off of this vacation high (or not), I am reminded that God promises beauty for ashes, enough of everything for each day, and a love that is unmatched!

Things have been incredibly hard. I hope you see the good in what you’re going through.

Love, Tiffani

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Poison

I had an issue with a friend that took days to resolve. It was the kind of disagreement that could damage a years-long friendship.

While processing it all, I became even more upset and decided not to talk about it. But then I realized, if I held onto the anger I’d continue to be sick.

It wasn’t until I felt backed into a corner that I spoke about the dispute with said friend and that, along with another rift, put me in a really bad place.

Sometimes I don’t know what’s better – talking it through or letting it go – but one thing is for sure, if I didn’t find my peace with it, it would’ve eaten me alive and it wouldn’t have been good for anyone involved.

Unforgiveness is poison. Sometimes we drink it and keep drinking it because it’s what we’re used to. It validates us and our emotions without offering the other person the benefit of the doubt. It makes the other person a villain in an effort to justify our pain. BUT NOW especially now you and I have to do a new thing. This world is crazy and the last thing we need is a heart filled with poison.

We have to bind our thoughts to what’s good and true not what’s heartbreaking and bad. And within that, we have to find our peace with others. Whether that means letting it roll or letting it go.

Be well and take care of your heart.

Love,

Tiffani

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Survivor

A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with Covid-19. It’s been a roller coaster of sorts with the kind of ups and downs that are hard to explain. While talking to a friend who I see regularly on MarcoPolo, she said I don’t look sick at all.

But I can see sickness in my eyes. I feel it in my body when I walk up and down the stairs and even while standing. The only time I don’t feel it is when I’m laying down – but even that’s not entirely true because there was a time when I had to lay on my side. Now I can lay on my stomach and it’s the only posture where I feel like my body can fully rest.

Covid is not a respecter of persons. I’ve felt more fatigued than I’ve ever felt, emotionally drained – even angry at times, dizzy, nauseous, unable to smell or take a deep breath and to keep it short – bad. I thought I was doing all of the right things. And people close to me did too because even they were shocked when I shared I’d tested positive.

I’m the person who got tested before she got on a plane to go home to California, who wore two masks and a face shield and wiped everything down.

I’m the same person who got an Airbnb for a week so I could get tested again before being around my family and the same one who wore a mask in the house with them until I got my results.

I’m the person who after my mom had surgery and after I’d found out the same day that I’d tested negative again, slept with a mask on in the living room of her small one bedroom apartment so I could keep an eye on her throughout the night.

I was around two people without having my mask on, the same two this entire pandemic and both of them tested negative. The only way to explain this is that I must have gotten it while having my mask on and with that, I am certain this was going to happen to me.

I don’t think we realize the deep mental toll Covid takes on us. How early on I’d ruminate about how or when or why. How even me, as what society considers a healthy person, could be sat down by Covid.

But God is a healer! And He’s sent so many people to check on me. From daily calls and texts to deliveries to my house – God is a provider! And He’s doing it through all of you and I am grateful!

So please, don’t judge people or what they do. Some folks are doing all of the “right” things and still testing positive. Do wear your mask and stay socially distant, get tested regularly and be safe. This is a wild ride but thank God I don’t look like what I’m going through.

Stay safe y’all.

Tiffani

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A Double Portion in 2021

Tonight while on a call the facilitator asked for prayer requests. Over and over again I rehearsed my prayer requests only to decide not to speak.

And then she asked again.

And again – and again and every time she asked I bit my tongue and hid my requests in my heart.

After others had shared their prayer requests, she shared her own and then asked twice more for prayer requests. Still, while weighing the cost of vulnerability, I decided not to share and instead readied myself for prayer.

She led with a devotional – one that included the scripture I have on my cell phone’s lock screen. Then she said “worry is worthless and praise is priceless” – a sentiment similar to what a friend and I’d discussed hours earlier over text.

Lastly, she said, as she was praying over us “…and a double portion for those who didn’t share their prayer requests”. It was at that moment that I knew I was in the right place. I felt heard without speaking and loved beyond limits.

You see, I was almost an hour late to this call. I’d saved it in my phone weeks ago, saw the reminder earlier in the day and still managed to forget until I checked my email 50 minutes into the call.

But God!

He knew I’d miss everything else that was discussed but that I’d be right on time for the blessing!

With that said, there are many who follow this blog who I don’t know personally. And as a result, I wouldn’t know where to start if I wanted to offer prayer BUT I don’t have to know, God knows!

So I pray, that for every unspoken prayer, the ones you hold deep down in your heart, the ones you only share with God, that HE…in ALL of His might would give YOU a double portion. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Love,

Tiffani

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Save Yourself

My last year in college I dated this guy and for the most part he had his life together. I remember questioning what my purpose was in the relationship because I couldn’t help him. It’s as if my value (to myself) was dependent upon how much I could help him.

Fast forward some years later when I graduated with my master’s degree. There was this deep rift that had developed in my family. At the time, I was using my graduation as a meeting place – an event I could use to get everyone involved in the room. I hoped we could discuss, mend, and heal – together.

I didn’t share this plan with anyone – not that sharing it would have helped it succeed – but I felt defeated when the plan didn’t go as planned, the two didn’t reconcile, and we were back at square one.

I remember planning my life accomplishments around this reconciliation. I started to plan when I’d get my next degree so we could be together again, and think about when I’d get married – being careful not to allow too much time in-between. All of this to help mend an issue I didn’t have.

I’ve spent a lot of years in therapy trying to understand my role in all of this. And in therapy, in the early 2010’s and up to last year I remember my therapists – different therapists – saying, “You can’t save them.” Everyone’s relationships, healing, and lives are their own.

You can advise and suggest but ultimately people have to do their own work. They have to fix their own relationships, get their own therapists, and find their own jobs. You can help but you are not their Savior. Take your hand off of it. Some things aren’t for you to carry.

If you identify with any of this, please seek help. I know it’s hard to see someone hurting or relationships broken but you can’t fix everything or everybody.

Now more than ever you need to focus on you. Do what you can and set some boundaries. You can’t save them. You can only save yourself.

Love,

Tiffani

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