How many times have you used the words, “If Only”? It feels good saying it. However, it doesn’t feel good revealing the “what” behind the “if”. Why? “If only” is part of the bargaining stage. It is only meant as a temporary place of magical thinking in order to resolve our pain and hurt.
What are some of the “if onlys” that you are saying:
If only I had paid attention to how my body was feeling.
If only I had thought about how over the top the attention was.
If only I wasn’t so quick to sin against my body.
If only I had partnered with the Holy Spirit in discerning this person‘s character.
If only I had checked into his previous relationships and familial background.
If only I hadn’t mistaken his contemptuous, condescending, behavior for self-confidence and assertiveness.
If only I saw the eagerness for this person to be an ally for what it was and not what I wanted it to be.
If only I had not got caught up in the value that this person was bringing to the table instead of the messages that my intuition and discernment was giving me.
You can’t rewrite history. “If Only, Would have, should have, could have”, means you think you can. This will only keep you in victim mode. Standing and waiting at the port for the “If Only, Would have, should have, could have” ship that sailed a long time ago, never to return.
We could stay here all day long. It’s not going to erase the fact that what happened happened. You can’t change it. However, you can move forward and allow God to help you to write your ending. It does not have to look anything like your beginning. The choice is yours.
So, what is the cure for getting out of the “if onlys”. Four words: I can’t change it. Saying these four words means that you have come to a resolve and are ready to move on to releasing blame, guilt, unforgiveness, condemnation, judgment, etc. God is waiting for you to partner with the Holy Spirit in power to move from the “If Only” to the moving forward in life stage.
Why is it important to have a vision? How does the struggle as black women compare to the struggle of other women in general? Should you continue to hang out in “Egypt” (old places, ways, & mindsets)? What toxic relationships have you placed a comma in, that the Lord wants to place a period? Why do we feel the need to copy what other black women, and women in general, are doing? Why is getting “back to you” important?
If you need a place that is relatable, where you can pull off your masks, be real, dig deep, embrace your hair and skin color, release your emotions, and reveal your true identity and worth as a black woman, then watch Part 3 of this candid interview between Kyona Robinson and me in a new series of The Valley of Grace Podcast entitled, “The Black Woman Experience: Talking Through Our Stories” to find out the answers to these questions and more. Be blessed! #kyonarobinson #authors #blackwomen #blackmarriage #blackrelationships #reclaimyourpowerandidentity #youareenough #blacksuperwoman #blackskin #blackhair #blackauthors #theblackwomanstruggle
Sometimes the hardest part about creating an empowered new chapter of life is trusting God with each and every step. And part of trusting God involves learning to hear God’s voice, and then discerning the direction that he has for your life. Community is so important as you embark on your journey of reclaiming your power and identity. However, we also need discernment in knowing what advice we should and should not take. What does trust look like for you? Listen to Part 2 of my conversation with Cherlyn Decker to find out her stance on these issues.
Podcast Topics Outline Episode 119: An lnterview with Bestselling Author & Speaker Cherlyn Decker Part 2
Do you want to get to the good stuff? I know I do. We want a magic pill for everything. Forget about the healing and the pain. Later for that. It sounds like the perfect plan. However, if your plan is to go from where you are now, to where you want to be, skipping over the pain will only take you back to where you are now. It may seem counterintuitive. However, the only way to the other side is through. As Jennifer put it in this episode: “Healing is a choice.” Creating an empowered new chapter of life requires healing from past hurts. And when you are healed, you gain resilience and perspective that you couldn’t have gained otherwise. Listen to the last part of this series between Jennifer and I as we dissect healing, our need for instant gratification, not enoughness and so much more.
Blockage can be caused by a lot of things: injustice, homelessness, oppression, your move on a board game, something bad that you ate. The list could literally go on and on. But the question is… What if God is doing the blocking, and his way of blocking you is homelessness? This is no laughing matter.
When our fight or flight response kicks in, the natural thing to do is to fight when someone or something blocks us. But what if fighting being blocked does more harm than good when God is doing the blocking. What if what appears to be mean, unfair, and unjust is just what we need? What if God’s blockage is God’s protection.
Take a listen to this week’s episode to find out what happened when I was blocked by homelessness.
Until next time,
Transcript for the Hearing Impaired
Speaker 0 00:00:23 <inaudible> the valley
Speaker 1 00:01:04 This is the Valley Of grace podcast, helping women create and empowered new chapter of his life and how we’re doing that. We are breaking unhealthy relationship patterns. We’re building resilience and flourishing, and we are reclaiming our power and identity today’s episode is entitled, blocked by homelessness. Now, when you think of those two things together, when you think of them separately, think of homelessness, not having a home, no dwelling, and then thinking of blocked, the word blocked, being prevented from being able to do something.
So we’re being blocked by homelessness, prevented from being able to do something and homeless is how it was being used. That’s really deep when you think about it. So we’re going to go back to the year 2014. Uh, I was in a process of going through a divorce. The procedure was pretty much done and over with. And I had been looking for a place for 60 days.
Speaker 1 00:02:34 I mean, literally 60 days of looking, I had not found anything. I had money to pay the rent per month, but I did not have money, any extra money for the security deposit nor for the first month’s rent. So I kept thinking to myself, Lord, how am I going to be able to make it every month? What am I going to do?
And, my therapist gave me a list of places to go to. I went to those places and, um, well I went to one place, the very first place and that didn’t work out. Um, the place was very judgmental and critical. And so, I still have thoughts in my mind of trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do. And I remember leaving that place, being on the bus, the pace bus headed home, and my ex-mother-in-law called and said, I don’t want you and my grandbabies to be in a shelter.
Speaker 1 00:03:48 I don’t want you to stay in a hotel or to be out on the streets. So I’m going to let you borrow the money that you need. And I remember her telling me that gave me a feeling, this sense of calm and peace about it, but then being on the pace bus on the way home after that, and the holy spirit saying, well, if I want you to be homeless, that’s exactly what’s going to end up happening.
And so sometimes we think that just because someone else gives us what it is that we need to prevent us from being blocked means that we are no longer going to be blocked. However, when we are blocked, that is God’s hands at work, whatever door he opens, whatever door he closes is not in our control and it’s not in anyone else’s control. And the more we fight against it, the more we become unraveled with the situation, the more we’re like, I’m going to do it on my own, God since, you’re not going to let me do it.
Speaker 1 00:04:57 You’re not going to open the door. You’re not going to help me find a way another job, another home I’m going to do it on my own. And we end up being burnt out. We end up bitter disillusioned resentful, whether it’s, um, I guess God or whoever, but it’s not a good end result.
And so I had got to a point where I was just exhausted from looking and looking and looking and not finding anything. I had this glimmer of hope when she said that. But then after I heard the holy spirit is saying, if I want you to be homeless, this that’s what’s going to happen. But then a whole another set of thoughts start coming in my mind like, wow, I could actually end up being homeless on the day that I have to move out. I could actually end up being homeless, me and the kids.
Speaker 1 00:05:51 And what am I going to do? I decided I would go ahead and create this new empowered chapter of life of myself, move forward in the steps to reclaiming my power and identity, to break all of those unhealthy relationship patterns. I started that and my decision to go to therapy. That was the beginning of it. That was the one step I made to move forward.
And then it’s like, okay. So after all of this, this is what you give me, Lord is what I was thinking at the time. Just feeling very discouraged, discouraged because of that discouraged because of the dishonesty, um, with my ex-husband and court and just not knowing what I was going to do, we only have so much emotional and mental bandwidth and it’s just like, what in the world am I going to do? How am I going to make it?
Speaker 1 00:06:47 We were used to living a certain type of lifestyle, if that was what was going to happen, it was not going to be up to me. I was doing the very best I could and whatever God had planned was what he had planned.
And one thing about it was that, um, we ended up not finding a place before having to move from the marital residence. Okay. The short sale went through really quick and we had to be out of there. But a friend of mine already mentioned to me, if you guys don’t have anywhere to go, as you are pulling out from your place, just text me and let me know you’re on your way that you and the kids are on the way. And that really, really, really gave me hope and more of a sense of purpose.
Speaker 1 00:07:51 When you are facing loneliness, homelessness, and other factors involved, you’re just like, what am I going to do? So you start to have like an existential crisis and you just wandering, okay, “Am I still going to be, to carry on my purpose? That’s a lot of unknowns that come about and a lot of things as a result of poverty and homelessness.
And so her telling me that gave me hope. And, um, I didn’t know, but God knew that if I had moved the kids and I right away, we would have suffered even more trauma. I was so emotionally and mentally exhausted from packing at the last minute and getting things already.
So, sense we had to leave out of there on that Friday, I would not have had the capacity to move again and unpack all of that stuff. And then try to just start out living everyday life. Again, we needed a layover, but I did not know that at the time. So a lot of times God will block us from being able to do things that we want, but there is a purpose behind it. There’s always a purpose, you know, and I remember my therapist telling me even years ago, when I first started going, you’re going to be pulling back layers for years.
Speaker 1 00:09:29 God blocked me so I could have a place of rest, physical rest and spiritual west, minus any emotional risks. He did this for five weeks.. But after, um, three weeks of being blocked, we found something, but wasn’t going to be able to move for another two weeks.
We needed that break. And so, a lot of times when we were right in the middle, we were right in the thick of things. We don’t see that. We want the instant gratification, you know, and we see God, we think he’s punishing us, but he’s not. It’s all within his will for a specific purpose in mind. And so, when my friend and her husband took us in, um, we felt the peace, the warmth, the fellowship of God there, and we were able to have our own rooms.
Speaker 1 00:10:35 My daughter and I shared a room, and my son was able to have his own space down in the basement, a full-size basement, like an apartment down there. So, it was the blessing that God gave us. Yes, you’re going to be homeless, but you’re going to be comfortable. While you’re in this state of homelessness. God’s grace is there.
He was even when I felt that he wasn’t and sometimes people will come up to us when we’re in whatever state we’re in, we’re already broken already, already trying to get some grounding, and then say, “There must be something you’re doing wrong. Otherwise, this wouldn’t happen.
You should just do this, this and this. You didn’t apply to the right places. Um, you know, apply it in the right areas. It’s always something that they’ve got to find, especially when you are a woman of God and they know how you are, you know, there’s gotta be, it’s gotta be something you’re doing because they can’t come up with any reasoning, which is natural when you think about it. Why would God allow his people to suffer more when they have already suffered?
Speaker 1 00:11:48 It was like with Job, when he was sick, his friends, all of a sudden, they had to say, “He’s got to be something wrong. Otherwise, why would this happen to you?” There’s not always something we do that causes it to happen.
Some things is just that God knows best. And even if his best is homelessness, that is his best for us for any particular reason. And like I said, we needed the rest and didn’t know it. None of us are exempt from being blocked by homelessness or any other thing that God decides. Okay. And so we can be honest, and open up and say, God, I’m angry. I don’t like what it is you’re doing.
Speaker 1 00:12:43 I’m really upset God, please help me. As I walk through this journey that you would have me walk that is very unpleasant, please help me to continue to do your will because you know, best. This is what I would want in my calling and my job, whatever my profession is, or this is what kind of car I want , what kind of house, what kind of neighborhood, but you’re blocking me from having it for whatever reason, I accept it.
And the more we resist, the harder it will be for us to learn whatever it is God wants us to learn. To be able to develop our character in order for us to grow, thrive, and have that empowered new chapter of life, to be able to reclaim our power and identity. And just because we made those decisions, we made that choice to do that does not mean it’s going to be easy.
Speaker 1 00:13:38 It does not mean that God would not block us for certain periods of time for us to grow and to learn and to protect us for whatever reason. So, I hope that it’s something that was said that would resonate with you.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been blocked by homelessness yourself. Um, if you are enjoying the valley of grace podcast, where we’re helping women create an empowered new chapter of life, do me a favor and leave us a review. If you could tag your friends on social media and let them know to listen to us on iTunes, apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon music, and podcasts.
And if you are feeling like you just cannot go on, and you are tempted to go back, turn around, you need some type of music, some type of encouragement to keep you going, so you won’t revert back to the way it used to be, as the song says, “ Download the valley of grace song. It is on iTunes. And it’s also on Amazon music.
As you have those words resonate in your head, I won’t go back to the way it was again. You do not have to repeat cycles of unhealthy relationships. You do not have to repeat that. And that song is there to remind you. I won’t go back to the way that it was again. I want to thank Timothy Horton for bringing the intro and outro music. Until next time. <inaudible>