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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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Where is Your Faith?

I used to cry when I couldn’t get in contact with my mom. Sometimes days would go by without a returned call and I was convinced something bad happened and I would cry.

Then we’d finally talk to each other and the cycle would start all over again. Eventually, I decided it was the phone that was the issue so I bought my mom a new phone. Eventually the same thing would happen and I finally realized it was me.

My faith was so small I was convinced that missed phone calls meant death. I know that sounds terrible but some of you know what I mean. If you have loved ones who’ve needed a lot of care or had specific health needs and you didn’t hear from them, it could create debilitating anxiety.

Since then my faith has increased even as her needs have become more pronounced. I’ve had to practice the faith I claim to have in real time and in real ways.

Jumping to conclusions hurts the person who jumps while the other is oblivious to the sentiment.

Take care of yourself. Find your mustard seed of faith and hold on to it. You’ll need it. Harder things may be ahead.

Love,

Tiffani

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Everything Changed at Midnight

Last Monday my mom had a really important surgery. Leading up to it, I’d called ahead to see if I could put my name on the list to wait in the waiting room you know, because of Covid.

After talking to the nurses’ supervisor I was on the list! I’d prepared everything – food for when she could eat again, water in the meantime and meds she’d need right after.

All of the preliminary appointments and tests were done and we were good to go.

On the day of the surgery, we approached the first desk attendant who said I wouldn’t be allowed inside. I assured him, I’d been put on the list and he let me go to the next station.

At the next station, I was told no, I couldn’t go in. Still confident, I shared that I’d talked to the nurses’ supervisor the week prior and was cleared to go in. He said he needed to call her, I welcomed it.

After realizing I wasn’t going to let up, he put me on the phone with the supervisor.

I listened in, explained what I was told and about a minute into her response I began to cry. She kindly and carefully explained that the Department of Health in California had added new restrictions since I’d made the call and……everything changed at midnight. I wouldn’t be able to wait in the waiting room like we’d planned.

For some, during Covid, this is business a usual but I’ve been acting as my mother’s proxy and the change was going to complicate things on a level I’m not yet able to explain.

With this news, I hugged my mom goodbye and told her I’d be back. I spent the next hour trying to understand why God let this happen.

God knew this was going to happen. Why did He allow it?

And then I reasoned that maybe He’s helping me transition back to supporting from afar – preparing me to be away and be ok. Then I thought about the time I’d already spent in California and how this surgery was the reason I’d stayed so long and here I was, there but not there.

Over the next hour or so I talked to my mom, my family, and the doctors and nurses as she was being prepared for surgery and everything turned out fine. But I can’t front, while I waited I was asking God why and attempting to understand His will in what has become the most uncertain time in most of our lives.

This year has presented a myriad of challenges and so many things are out of our control. How are you going to respond when things go left? What are you going to do when everything changes at midnight?

You’ve made your plans, and all of a sudden there’s a shift. What are you going to do?

I cried, acknowledged who is in control, and asked why. Ultimately, God wanted me to trust Him and He used this situation to show me that.

What is God asking you to trust Him with? Even after you question Him, are you still going to trust Him? I’m glad I did but it was hard ya’ll.

Try responding with faith. Feel the fear but keep circling back to faith.

And if things still don’t go your way, trust God. He hasn’t failed you yet.

Love,

Tiffani

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