Lacking Faith

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…” – Hebrews 11:1

I lack faith. Some people are ashamed to admit that but I know I do. My church did a class on faith recently, teaching from the book Hebrews Chapter 11, where we dissected the meaning of faith and the people in the bible who exhibited great faith; Abraham, Moses, and David. I was inspired but still failed a test of faith recently.

The test was simple, so simple that I knew it was a test, but still, I failed miserably. I decided to apply for something, which at the time I thought I really wanted. When I was rejected I was very angry. I’ve never been this angry in a long time. That anger turned into questioning the plans that God has for my life, those questions led me to feelings of defeat, and that defeat deflated me completely and I felt so discouraged and depressed. I didn’t have to react so poorly to rejection but I did. I could’ve gone totally against the grain. I could’ve completely remained confident that the next door of opportunity would open but I didn’t. I created a pity party for myself filled with negativity and a spirit that was not aligned with God.

I decided to go to church the next morning in hopes of an answer and I received one. The pastor preached about hindrances and what it means to be blocked from doing something. A hindrance can come from either God or the devil; you just have to be spiritually in tune to decipher who it’s from. I left church feeling empowered. Simply because having faith means putting your trust in God. Sometimes that’s extremely hard. You see other people doing great things and you want to know when your turn will be. You see people building great relationships and you want to know when your time will come. Navigating life with such uncertainty is hard, but that’s where faith comes in.

One of the many beauties of life is the mystery of it. One of the most challenging things about life is not knowing when your expectations will be met. Will it be a year from now or tomorrow?  That’s my struggle; I just want to know when. I wish this post was the answer to how I conquered my lack of faith but it’s not. It’s more about transparency than anything. It’s letting you know that as a Christian sometimes it can be hard to keep believing in God’s plans even if we know he wants the best for us. I know for sure God has my back because he always has. I know you’re supposed to be patient and wait on God’s timing for all things, but even though I know this as a fact, it’s hard to accept when it deals with the circumstances of YOUR life and that’s the trouble.

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Why I jumped off the Career Assembly Line

For the first time in a long time, I feel good about the direction God is leading my life in terms of my career. To be honest, I’ve fought it for a long time and for the most part kept what I do a bit private, for the obvious reasons of professionalism, but what I am about to share needs to be written down, not only to help myself understand God’s plan but also to help and inspire others. Right now, with a new year looming, I am reflecting on the growth I’ve made in my life and I am happy with it. This year has not been easy. It was filled with a lot of changes, some that I feared initially, but I am so excited for what’s to come, more so than previous years. The title of this post is called “Why I jumped off the Career Assembly Line.” I picked up a book recently, at Urban Outfitters (they have an eclectic book collection), and read a passage that talked about Assembly Lines in terms of your career.

Assembly lines, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a process by which things are progressively made in parts or work stations that add on to a sequence until the final assembly is produced. It reminds me of the car company, Ford, which built their cars using the assembly line in the early 1900s. One station was in charge of putting the wheels on the car, the next station was in charge of placing the doors on the car, and so on and so on until finally, the car was complete. But the idea here is that the process is monotonous, ongoing, and straightforward. No change can happen or else the car won’t be identical to the others. The same can be said for my life (career-wise), until I decided I didn’t want to be on the assembly line anymore.

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The first time I made a drastic choice in my career, and decided I would jump off of the assembly line, commenced while I was in college. I started school as a journalism major and by my sophomore year switched to pursue a pre-law/political science degree. It was a huge decision, one that I still question, although I know why I did it. Journalism was my passion. I love to write; I can’t shake that trait about me, it’s a God-given gift but my family wanted me to pursue a more stable career, so they told me, I should become a lawyer. I listened to them. I wanted to please them and so I did just that. I spent the rest of my college career, writing legal briefs, studying constitutional law in the library, and constantly on Lexis Nexis researching. As intriguing as the legal system was, I knew it was not for me. I didn’t get excited; I got anxiety. Literal anxiety. Now, as I reflect, I think it was a mix of knowing I was doing something unaligned with my purpose and being stressed by the course load.

My turning point came around the time when I started looking to pursue law school. I started visiting legal college advisors for some advice and direction on my decision to go to Law School. One said, “Law school is for people who’s really passionate about the law, why do you want to go to law school?” I gave a politically correct answer to save face, but deep down in my soul, I knew I was being fake. I wasn’t passionate about going to law school or the legal system, I was just trying to please the ones I loved most. One time I was asked this same question by another legal college advisor and I told her I wanted to help women as a lawyer. She followed up by saying “You do know you can help women without going to law school right? Besides, what do you do now to help women? Your resume shows you haven’t done anything since last year, while you were still in college.” She called me out and she was right. That day on the train ride home, I was excited that this woman had the balls to call me on my bluff because I knew, my life would change. I could do many great things in my career without going to law school, but how would I break the news to my family?

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The day of my induction ceremony into the Legal Honor Society/Fraternity Phi Alpha Delta at Penn State

Continue reading “Why I jumped off the Career Assembly Line”

Ungodly Soul Ties

Kydee williamsSoul Ties have been on my mind and heart for a while now, but very strongly this past weekend. I learned about soul ties about three years ago. I was actually weaning myself off of one when someone told me what it was. The strong feelings associated with this person no longer being in my life made sense now. I wasn’t crazy. I was in a soul tie! Throughout this post, I am going to share some of the things I’ve learned about soul ties along with my own personal experiences.

To start, there are two types of soul ties, an Ungodly Soul Tie, and a Godly Soul tie. For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on the Ungodly Soul Tie. As always, expect complete transparency.

Soul ties represent a bond. These bonds or soul bonds are created through people and things. What normally ends up happening is that you become dependent and attached to them. The deeper the bond, the more difficult it is to break. Sometimes we don’t know how tied we are to someone or something until it’s time to give it up.

I was with someone for about 9-years. Now, if we are going to be real, I was only really with them in a relationship for about 4-years. The other 5-years we were in a “friends with benefits” arrangement. When it was time to break away from him, no one around me understood why it was so hard for me to do so:

“Yall broke up years ago, why do you still care about him?”

“He’s moved on and so should you!”

“That was just puppy love… that shouldn’t matter now.”

Their responses were callous. They didn’t understand how much it hurt to let this person go. I depended on him. I called him whenever something was going right or wrong and he was there for me. I sought his approval. I LOVED him. More importantly, they didn’t understand that I was in a soul tie so strong that it couldn’t easily be cured with a Girl’s Night Out or meeting someone new, it was deep. It was spiritual. It was warfare.

There are various ways a soul tie can form:

Continue reading “Ungodly Soul Ties”

I Will Not Settle When It Comes To Love

I am going to be really real right now and in my world, things are only real when I write it down. I love, love. I want to be in love. I want to get married. I want to have a splendid wedding. I want to have 1-2 children (Maybe just 1). I want to grow old with my husband, so old, I rub his big potbelly when we are 80 and find that sexy. I’ve wanted these things since I was old enough to remember. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, and I would sometimes ask God why he made me this way?

When I was 12-years old I started planning my wedding. I still have the binder filled with my chicken scratch of my future wedding plans. My friend Nikki is my witness; she was on the phone with me creating her own outline for the perfect wedding. I want to get married on a beautiful island or on a beautiful estate. I want the wedding to be such a love fest, there will be no dry eyes in sight. I never really wanted bridesmaids like that—I have so many great friends it would be hard to choose, plus I’ve always thought they were unnecessary (Thank You Gabbi and D-Wade for showing me I’m not alone). For my reception, I will change my dress of course, into something form-fitting and comfortable. Most importantly, the party won’t stop. I don’t want a reception that’s only 2-hours. This will be a celebration, so we are partying and drinking all night!

I am writing this down because I don’t want to ever forget this. Sometimes, in life, we forget the things that we always dreamed of and we settle. We meet someone, we know they may not want the same things that we want, and just for the sake of finding someone or not being lonely, we settle for what they have to give. Well, I am saying today, I don’t want to settle. I don’t want no mediocre love over here. I want, what I want!

The following things are sources of inspiration that remind me that I can find the love that I want and never settle for mediocre love. Hope it can be a form of encouragement for you as well:

1.Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade’s Wedding: This post is inspired by this wedding video. I watched it and realized I love their wedding. I know it sounds surface and superficial but it’s not. You know how girls do, when we get into a relationship—we automatically think “could he be the one?” I do this all the time. In my last relationship, we talked about marriage a few times and I felt like I would have to compromise what I wanted because we didn’t have the funds to do something elaborate right now. Now I am realizing, I never want to do that ever again.

Continue reading “I Will Not Settle When It Comes To Love”

Feeding the Soul

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The other day at my Weight Watchers meeting, Toni, our leader, stressed the importance of finding things that you love and doing it. Based on our feedback, she created a list of things that we love to do or would like to do to have “Me Time.” The idea here is to use these ventures as a substitute for eating. See below some of the things we came up with:

  1. Painting
  2. Church
  3. Mani/Pedi
  4. Volunteering
  5. Exercising/Going to the gym
  6. Taking a new Class (Cooking/Language/Sewing/Knitting)
  7. Writing
  8. House Work/House Décor/Pinterest
  9. Bubble Bath/Shower
  10. Museums

A lot of revelations came out of this meeting. For one, if you know me then you know that I don’t have a problem with finding “Me Time” but more on that later. What was surprising to me was how many people in that room thought personal time for themselves or a creative outlet was foreign or something they could not fit into their schedules. That’s terrible!

There are so many people on this earth that are not living, they’re just existing. They go through the motions of life without taking the time to look up and see the beautiful, colorful, and multifaceted world that God created. They go to work, come home, deal with whatever they have going on at home, and do it all over again the next day. To be honest, a few years ago this person was me! I just focused on my job. I had no other goals and ambitions and did not even think about a purpose for my life as yet. I know how miserable that life is because you’re doing nothing to make an impact for yourself or others, you’re just there, existing.

Maybe I do these things too much, I thought.

While at the meeting, I questioned if I had a problem because I didn’t need someone to tell me the importance of finding creative outlets to just do what I love, I try to do something I love every single day, whether it’s writing, painting, reading, or going to museums, it’s definitely in my schedule because my soul craves it. Soul Food, or food for the soul, is the single most important thing you can do to bring happiness and fulfillment into your life. Tapping into what you always wanted to do and just doing it, no matter how good or bad you think you are at it, is such a beautiful thing and adds character to your personality and your life. Who knows you might even find your purpose in this. Matter of fact, I am sure you will find your purpose in just doing what you love.

Some people might think whatever you’re doing is a waste of time but that’s because they don’t get it. The first line of Ecclesiastics in the bible says “everything is meaningless,” and when you think about it, it really is. Life is so temporary, we are here one minute and gone the next and nothing you do, not that degree, that job, that house, or that savings account, can come with you. Why not make the best of life while on earth? Feed your soul with travel, feed your soul with time with loved ones, feed your soul with experiences, feed your soul with activities, feed your soul with all of the things you love to do because it needs it.

 

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Listen to Your Heart

Love yourself enough to know when its time to walk away…

I know a woman who wanted to be in a relationship. The pressure from those around her was getting too deep. Friends questioned why she was still single and why she didn’t give dating a chance. Their judgment pierced her heart. She didn’t let them know, but it hurt. She felt perfectly fine discovering who she was spiritually, mentally, and professionally. She was making great strides in her life and she took pride in working her way up the success ladder. But all of that didn’t matter to them because she didn’t have a man to validate her.

One day, when she least expected it she met a guy. He saw her in the midst of a sea of women and wanted her. She was flattered. He wasn’t the type of guy she normally went for, but she was open-minded and his persistence was admirable. Turns out, he was exactly who she was looking for. He was educated, ambitious, and he understood her. It took a certain type of man to understand the type of woman she was but he did. Within a few months of talking, they knew a relationship was the next step and made it official. She was on cloud nine. Could this be her husband? Things were great until things weren’t great.

This relationship became a problem when she realized that he struggled with a problem. She went to his house one evening and his overzealousness was an indication that he had been drinking. Continue reading “Listen to Your Heart”

Lost Sheep

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. -Luke 15:1-7

Lost sheep. I was the lost sheep that Jesus talks about in the parable. I remember the very day when I wanted to be redeemed. I’ll have to save some of the details for when I eventually write my book (total plug), but I was in my bed at Penn State University. My “boy-friend” at the time just left after a weekend of total sin. He wasn’t really my boyfriend but we were together for two years. He strung me along and claimed he wasn’t ready for a relationship. In all actuality he was ready for a relationship, he just wasn’t ready for one with me. My soul was spent. I felt dirty. I felt like I was sleeping with a demon. I felt low, unworthy, soiled, and disgusting. I can’t describe the feeling but I had the weight of sin all over me. I cried from day to night. I felt so alone in that empty room in Pennsylvania. The feeling was indescribable. I called on God. Help me, lord. Get me out of this situation. Get the pain that I am feeling in my heart and chest out. Make me whole again. Nothing changed, I felt the same. I eventually went in the shower to try and wash off all remnants of him. I was with a man who wouldn’t even give me a title, yet I just spent the weekend giving him all of me. I would do anything for him. I was like the girl in Coming to America, who barked on Prince Zamunda’s command. If I noticed he was going to the strip club too often, I turned into the stripper. When he demeaned me, I tried to change myself so I could be more acceptable in his eyes. Every day that we spent not in a relationship but doing relationship things weighed on my confidence. I knew I deserved someone to respect me enough to claim me but I couldn’t break the shackles of this soul tie. It was a strong soul tie indeed. Continue reading “Lost Sheep”

You Are Worthy To Be Praised!

I found the original recording to my favorite song ever. I heard it for the first time last year when I started attending Tuesday night prayer meetings at my church, The Brooklyn Tabernacle. A warmth came over me. I couldn’t help but cry and lift my hands up high. Feelings of unworthiness overcame me. My knees slowly dropped to the floor.

You are Alpha and Omega

We worship you our lord

You are worthy to be praised

We give you all the glory

Just four simple lines to a beautiful hymn changed my life. My whole walk with Christ was reformed because of the anointing on this song. He loves us so much. I felt reassured watching others in this video with the same reaction as I have when hearing this; uncontrollable tears every single time. There’s something about this record. Not even Israel Houghton could get through his own song. Now you know there’s power in it. I give God all the glory; He saved me. He loves me.

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Asceticism

It’s been a year since I got baptized and the process has not been easy. I got baptized partially because I knew it was something I had to do to remain active in my church but also because I was ready to proclaim my relationship with Jesus Christ publicly. I was afraid. Apart of me felt pressured. I wasn’t ready to give up certain pleasures and behaviors. I didn’t know how to be the “perfect” Christian. The fact that I would think I had to become the perfect Christian once baptized is proof of my ignorance about its significance.

After classes and interviews to make sure that I was ready, the day came; it was time. I felt the presence of God during my baptism ceremony. An overwhelming warmth and burst of tears solidified he was there with me. Even before getting dunked in the water, I knew at that moment my past was forgiven and it has never haunted me again.

Yet, after my baptism, the tests and trials began. Everything that I have ever stood for came to a halt this year. I gave up on myself and gave myself up. I became weak. I became lonely. I gave into temptation time and time again despite the feelings of conviction I had. I didn’t know who I was becoming. I was a functioning wreck without self-control. I no longer knew how to defend my beliefs because I was confused myself. What did I believe in? Was I still an advocate for celibacy? Did I believe in saving yourself before marriage or did I only believe it because someone told me I should? I began talking to old boyfriends. Boyfriends I clearly left in the past because their beliefs did not align with my own. I resented singlehood. I began to feel lonely and unworthy of a relationship. I let thoughts plague my head about being alone and a spinster forever. I gossiped. Loved celebrity gossip too much and reveled in the latest “tea.” I had no self-control; no inhibitions. I did things in the dark hoping it wouldn’t come to light. I was far from the perfect Christian. I struggled more after my baptism than I’d ever done in my whole walk with Christ. I was a sinner. I am a sinner.

I’m not perfect. I believe we sometimes go through these things to have an amazing story to tell that would one day inspire others. I am thinking I went through these things to share with believers that it’s not easy. The more you step forward in the light, the more the devil tries to bring you back into the dark. The closer I got to God the further I was from him.

Asceticism is the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons. This is my overall goal in year 2. I want to practice self-disciple and techniques in defeating the devil when prompted to give in to desires and temptations. However, there are other compartments in life that can teach lessons on self-control and I want to build on that as well:

First I will start with food. I come from the school of thought where we only have one life to live, so why deprive yourself of good food. Yet, as satisfying as this mentality maybe, I have no self-control. I eat brownies in the morning and dinner after 10PM. If I create some sort of control in my eating habits, it will resonate with me spiritually as well.

Secondly, waking up in the morning. I am a snoozer. I will set the alarm for 6:45AM and will not get out of bed until 7:45AM. I need to start waking up when the alarm goes off, no excuses.

Lastly, I want to be intentional with the amount of time I spend with God. Sometimes we let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way with our relationship with God and that’s unacceptable. If I know I can’t go to bed without reading the word, marinating on his blessings and teachings and saying a prayer then I will carve out the time throughout the day to spend with God. No excuses.

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Peace. Love & Let God.

As the holiday season is among us, I am reminded of the immense work that God has done in my life. Unfortunately, by the people around me who are doing reflections of their year and overall life and feel like it’s not enough; they are not doing enough; they are not fulfilling a purpose; My heart is heavy as I hear their pleas of inadequacy, searching for the right words to calm their discontented spirits.

In November 2013, I was in the same predicament. I had no peace in my life nor in my heart. I wanted more. I worried about the past, the present and the future. I had very little hope that change would come. I found myself in Barnes and Noble one Sunday morning, wanting so desperately for my life to change. I spent the whole day reading books. Books about travel, books about pursuing a higher degree, books about writing my own book and books about relationships and wedding planning. What exactly did I want out of my life? All of these things. The question was, how to take the first steps towards attaining my innermost desires? I found that the answer was in humility. My number one issue was that I was not happy with my present. I felt stuck. I didn’t feel like I was progressing as fast enough as my peers. I hate to admit it now because I always consider myself my own competition, but I was looking at others and comparing their success to my own, which is the worst thing to do. I didn’t feel like I was growing professionally, I felt more than competent to take on more responsibility at work but didn’t see an avenue to pursue this growth. I’d never traveled beyond the Caribbean and I wanted to see the world so bad, I didn’t have my own apartment nor did I have a car (which was a personal choice) but hey it could’ve been nice, and I was single and hadn’t been in a substantial relationships since I was in my late teens. Humility came with acknowledging that I was more than capable of having everything my heart desired simply by putting my life in God’s hands wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t complain about my job, I would thank God for it. I wouldn’t pout when hopping into a friend’s new car I would thank God for their blessings. I shut my mouth and continued to pursue excellence in all aspects of my life even though I didn’t see nor did I fathom the plans and the ways God would shake up my life in 2014. I found peace, not only in my present but in my future. My security in God grew stronger and I learned how to truly forgive. Forgive my past, forgive those who said something to me or did something to me that did not align with how God defined me, now all that was left to do was watch God’s plans unfold and it did.

After getting baptized in January and declaring publicly that the lord was my savior, I soon booked a trip to Europe that changed my life. I planned my first event for my organization Reserved that turned out to be a success. I went to a seminar that taught me how to write and publish my own book. I went on to travel through Europe and all the cities I only dreamed of seeing. It changed my life and showed me that all things were possible through God. I came back from Europe only to discover that I was getting a raise and a bonus at work…what? I wasn’t expecting both. I completely bounced back financially overnight, it was as if I never took money out of my bank account to pay for Europe; all was covered. I started dedicating my Tuesday nights to prayer meetings at my church. The thing that I enjoyed about prayer meeting was that it taught me how to be selfless. We didn’t spend two hours praying for ourselves and our own problems, we prayed for others. We prayed for those individuals living in Asia, Haiti, and the forgotten Native Americans suffering from alcoholism and poverty on reservations. We prayed for women caught up in human trafficking and for people whose family members were suffering from cancer, mental illness, and other serious ailments. I learned that the world didn’t revolve around me, I learned to pray and I learned to worship. I even began listening to gospel music. Alpha and Omega by Israel Houghton is my favorite song ever. Eventually, things began to look up for me.

I began to take the idea of going back to school seriously. What I would go to school for was still a mystery but I knew I was beginning to love business and entrepreneurship and I always wanted to be a writer and write for a magazine.

I stopped partying as much, matter fact I didn’t party at all, yet one day I decided to go to an event called “The Greatest Day Ever” and met my boyfriend. Turns out he’s so gentle, giving, and intelligent, a little bit CRAY-CRAY, very introverted but overall a great person and I am happy he’s in my life. I soon realized in order to pursue a new relationship I would need to make sure my closet was completely cleaned and all skeletons were gone. I co-hosted a sister circle with some of my closest friends. We spent the whole day forgiving; forgiving our past, confronting skeletons that were holding us back, and praying for one another. We wrote our insecurities on an index card and released it out of our souls. It was one of the highlights of my year. All was forgiven.

Later on in the year, I began to plan to go to South Africa. Africa was just a mere dream of mine and it was just about to become a reality when my manager left the company and I was promoted into her position. Promotion comes from God, and that had God’s promise written all over it. Now, I am sitting in my bed pretty much typing my year in review anticipating my conclusion so I can thank God for his blessings. But before I do that, I want to share the inspiration for this post. I was listening to a sermon today by my Pastor Cymbala and he preached about peace and the four types of peace we need to have in our lives and in this New Year:

  • Peace with God (When you have peace with God, there’s an understanding that you’re covered)
  • Peace that covers our past (Letting go of the recriminations and sorrowful memories that might be holding you back. It is what it is; you can’t change your past all you can do is forgive yourself and others)
  • Peace that covers the present (Letting go of those feelings of inadequacy and desires of not having what you want at a certain age or not being where you want to be. Be content in what you are blessed with but continue to pursue your goals.)
  • Peace that covers the future (being secure in that all things work together for the greater good)

In life, there are ups and downs, highs and lows, good days and bad days. But one of the things God has shown me this year is that he has a plan for each and every one of our lives and it is not chance or coincidence that we are where we currently are in our lives. We are exactly where we need to be. The present, no matter how monotonous it might be, is preparing us for our future and our past cannot be changed so let go of the baggage. God has mapped out our life from when we take our first breath to when we take our last and we have to be secure in knowing that he knows what’s best for us and he will provide beyond our innermost desires. He will unleash dreams we never imagined could unfold in our lives. So get ready.

Peace, Love and Happy Holidays!

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