It’s taken me forever to write this post but here it goes.
I didn’t come to Cali to kick it and I didn’t come to stay. I came to help my mom.
Health challenges began years ago. If I’m honest, I saw it coming – and since April of 2016, things have been drastically different. Now, every year presents a new challenge.
Some of you know what this is like – you know what it’s like to be a caregiver – near or far – and to drop everything and go.
It’s been both beautiful and rough. I’ve had an amazing and incredible time with my family and two emotional break downs since I’ve been here. But still, I’m glad I came. I wouldn’t change a single thing – even this awful pandemic. Because in reality, it’s the reason I’ve been able to stay so long. It’s crazy how God works things out for our good.
Last year my saying was – live it up because you don’t know what’s going to happen next and this year the saying is – you gotta take the good with the bad. Grateful for the good. Working through the bad.
Still, I am happy to report that whenever you talk to my mom she says she feels fine, and you can hear her smiling through the phone. That brings me joy!
I am grateful for everyone who has prayed for my mom and family, for my brother and sister in law who’ve been holding me down this whole time, for extended fam that let me borrow their car, for all of the doctors and service providers who give me updates and know me by name, for the caregivers who stand in the gap and for God’s covering this entire time. It’s the hardest thing and the greatest thing. It’s the good and the bad and I’m grateful.
It’s been a faith walk like no other but one thing is for sure, God’s got a plan and we’re staying aligned. So what’s the lesson here? Whatever your situation is, walk it out. While it may feel like it’s destroying you, it’s actually designed to grow you.
Just about every financial expert encourages us to save for an emergency.
For the most part, they’re talking about home repairs, unexpected bills and even job loss. But a few days ago I experienced a personal emergency that nothing to do with bills.
I had a breakdown.
I had an uncontrollable, emotional breakdown. It was fight or flight and I chose flight because I had no more fight in me.
By flight, I’m not saying I got on a plane but I did get way. I needed a minute to myself, to think about myself, to checkin with myself.
For the past several years I’ve been processing drastic health changes on both sides of my family. After college I’d cry quietly on the phone while talking to my dad because he was different, his mind was different and I didn’t know how to deal.
Then, once I got a handle on that, my mom started to get sick. I noticed some changes in 2014/2015 but by 2016 she was in the hospital and things haven’t been the same since.
It’s like being on a violent rollercoaster and I don’t know whether to stay on or get off or what any of that even means.
I am tired. My soul is tired. And I need a break. I am having a personal emergency and I need a minute and if I have to pay for it, I’m going to pay for it.
I got an Airbnb and took some days off of work to get my whole life together. While I’m still helping my mom, I’m also helping myself – I need my help.
It’s all too much and I can’t help anyone else if I don’t help myself. Help yourself folks. You are worth the time away – Even if it’s only 10 minutes. Take the time before the time takes you. Don’t break. Take one.
But if you have to fall apart, do it with someone who is going to help you put the pieces back together. That person may be someone else, but that person might also be you.
Sometimes we wait for God to give us an answer He’s already given us. He’s really just waiting for US to come around to what He’s been showing us over time.
The answer could be wait, it could be “not now” or it could be “yes”. When it appears as if God isn’t responding I believe it’s Him asking us to be still – That He’s working things out on our behalf and we just have to wait.
One of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make to date is whether to stay in California or fly back to DC. I am grateful that over time God has shown me I need to stay which is both a blessing and a stretching because there are comforts of home that I deeply miss.
When God answers our prayers it isn’t always the way we want Him to and oftentimes it requires us to do what feels impossible but altogether necessary.
I am tired y’all.
But I know God is with me on this journey so I’m here…..carrying out the mission God put me on during this season.
I hope and pray you see God’s answered prayers in your life and that you see how He answered your prayers. But most importantly, I pray that you will listen, abide in Him, and move forward with obedience.
My brother and I handle my mom’s finances. And every month on the 3rd, my brother goes to the bank for my mom. He withdraws money from her account, gives her some cash and sends the rest of it to me to pay her bills.
Since I’m in town and was already on my way to her place, he suggested I take the money out. After all, it was the 3rd of the month.
While using the ATM, another woman walked in to use the ATM beside me. While on the phone talking to someone she said, “yeah, I’m taking money out for my mom” to which I said – I’m taking money out for my mom!
It wasn’t until the lady shared how much money she was taking out that I was taken back. We were both taking out $1,000 for our mothers.
It was in that moment that I realized, per usual, that this wasn’t a coincidence, this was God telling me I was in the right place at the right time – FULL confirmation that I was on the right path.
Has this ever happened to you – a divinely orchestrated stream of events that only God could arrange?
God gives us signs when we’re on the right path. He opens doors that only He can. Since that happened, there has been a flood of favor. During this unusual time I have so much joy.
Believe. It’s not a coincidence, it’s God. Walk in it and stay on your path. God is with you!
A couple of years ago I took the only picture I have with both of my parents and as soon as my dad walked away I cried. In that moment, after taking that picture, I felt part-of in a way I hadn’t before. My mom looked over and asked what was wrong but it was too deep to go all the way into it. In short, God has healed us in more ways than one and for that I’m thankful.
I don’t know if children who live with their parents but in two separate homes feel this way because that was not my experience. I lived with one parent but felt, even as a child, the tug from either side. It was so important for me to have this picture because – 1. I never thought it’d get it and 2. It symbolized our arrival, as a family, to a place I never thought we’d get to, a place of peace.
Family pictures are important y’all. Please take them, with everyone. And ask God to help you heal through it so the smiles in the pictures are genuine. I cried that day. It felt like a stronghold had been broken, a weight lifted and like we’d arrived at a place we all wanted to be.
Pray through it, cry through it and most of all, heal through it. Seek God’s guidance with it and be obedient to his call. Yours and someone else’s healing depends on it.