God has spoken…

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies

Proverbs 31:10

I found one. And she is my grandmother. Outside of my mother, she is the most classiest, sassiest, funniest, loving, God fearing woman I’ve ever known.

My grandmother, Cora B. Jones.

Let me tell you, when I was a kid, my grandma would make my dresses and dolls. She took me on trips. My favorite one is when she took my cousins and I to Pittsburgh one summer. When I got into high school, me, my cousins, Bri and Arielle would meet up at her house and stay on weekends. Sitting on trash cans and taking over her house. She never complained.

She and my daddy would go fishing for hours and hours. I don’t know they could have been talking about but they did it up until she couldn’t anymore.

When I became an adult, I started to go through things that I didn’t want to talk to my parents about. So what did I do? I called my grandma. Nobody knows the amount of times I would stop by her house or call her and talk for hours at a time. That was hard to do because her phone rang ALL DAY! She gave me some of the best advice that I still carry with me til this day.

Follow your heart but take your mind with you”

My grandma would look nice EVERYDAY! There wasn’t a time that I can remember that she wasn’t dressed up. And on Sundays, there was NOBODY cleaner than Cora at church. From her hat to her dress to her stockings to her shoes! She was fresh! And she would be guest speakers at churches and she was always requested to mcee a program. She was the best one I’ve ever seen. Grandma would write down everything that was said in between songs or speeches and when she got back up to announce the next thing on the program, she would be able to bring everything that happened back together. The best. If you didn’t see her in person, you missed out.

Around 2012, my grandmother started to get sick. I remember after Chance left, that she came over to my parents house where I was and she was quieter than normal. I recall her walking around the house with the house phone in her pocket. But I was too grief stricken to really talk with her. We could have bonded more because she too lost a child. Unfortunately, we never had that opportunity.

She was diagnosed with dementia. And this is a sickness that I hate. My grandmother who read everyday. Completed countless 1000 pc puzzles. The one who did crossword puzzles because she was told that it would help her keep her memory. Unfortunately, she would forget. No matter how hard she tried to prevent it from happening.

It’s so hard seeing someone as vibrant as she was slowly deteriorate. Everyday, she would get a little worse. One of the most heartbreaking things to experience is to look at your grandmother and she doesn’t know who you are. Then she started to forget who her children were. I remember my daddy being upset because she couldn’t remember him. Next, she started to get smaller. My granny was nicely built but she became a shell of who she was. And that’s hard to witness. I can admit that I didn’t go see her as much as I could have but I didn’t like seeing her in that state. That wasn’t the Cora that I knew. But I would still go to the hospital when she would fall and hurt herself. I went to the rehabilitation center to visit her but it was hard. In my opinion, dementia strips you of all of your dignity. I commend my Aunt Ollie for taking care of her day in and day out. I can’t imagine how hard it was to witness it daily. I’m praying that now she can try to get as close to normal as possible. My grandmother lived with her and my aunt did the best she could with her. Thank you, Aunt Ollie.

Do you remember the story of Lot and his wife? Lots wife was the only one in the Bible to ever turn into a pillar of salt. I don’t know why she looked back but the moment she turned to look back, she was turned into a pillar of salt. And it’s funny that she turned into a pillar of salt because like salt, her presence was important. Like salt, her presence was holding the family together. Because a GOOD mama holds the family together. Like salt, she was the preservative. The only reason why most families made it through everything that we went through aside from God is that a GOOD woman preserved the family. A GOOD woman is like salt because she keeps everything from spoiling. She makes it work when it’s not working. She doesn’t murmur and complain. She just does what she has to do to make it work. A GOOD woman can make her children and grandchildren feel like superhero’s even when things aren’t going right for them. She makes them feel like they can still conquer the world. A GOOD woman makes you want to cuddle up under her because a GOOD woman is a shelter in your life. A GOOD woman is like salt because she seasons up the house. She makes it a better place. She turns a house into a home. She turns a crisis into an opportunity. She turns a tragedy into a moment for us to believe in God. A GOOD woman is like salt. The food could exist but it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t sprinkled in salt. She’s like salt because she’s a purifier and over the years she’ll take a wild child and purify him. She’s like salt. Everything is better when she’s in it. She cleans up messy situations and drives out bacteria. Telling the devil to get up out of her house! A GOOD mama will wake up and pray at 2 am while everybody is sleeping and cry and ask God to cover her family. You probably didn’t know that she was stressed because a GOOD mama never makes her kids worry. That’s a GOOD mama and a GOOD woman.

My grandmother is the salt. I’m not saying that she looked back but I’m showing you her importance in our lives. She could know the worst about us but still believe the very best about us. When all hell was breaking loose she prayed us out of situations.

On Saturday August 11, 2018 at 2:00 am, like a thief in the night, God called her home. I know in my heart that she was ready. I’m going to miss her sassiness. I’m going to miss popping up at her house. I’m going to miss calling her so she could make me feel better. I miss the butter rolls she would make me when I asked her to. I’m going to miss the annoying way her and my daddy would answer the phone when they called one another “whatcha saying with your mouth open? Blah blah blah.” That’s literally what they said to each other. But that’s my flesh speaking. She suffered for a long time and I know now that she is at peace and resting in that mansion that the Lord had prepared for her.

Cora B, you finished your race. You left a great legacy. I know God is pleased. And while you had to suffer here on earth your last few years, your reward in heaven is so great that I can picture how happy you are. Now, you’re with Pop, your parents, your siblings, your son Clarence Jr and granddaughter Sydney Chance. I’m sure they welcomed you with open arms and beautiful songs. Your crown is beautiful and that robe is going to be fresher than any suit you had on here. And while my daddy and his siblings will miss you, your grandchildren will make sure that things get better. We will meet you in heaven one day.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‭

‭‭

We love and will miss you.

Why you won’t see me judging anybody

On social media, you won’t see me posting about mass shootings. Mothers killing their children. Fathers killing their kids. People committing suicide. You know why? First of all, I don’t know what anybody’s mindset is. Second and lastly, I CANNOT JUDGE ANYBODY!!!! The bible says,

1 Peter 3: Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brother and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”

Now, lets be clear, I do not condone any of it. It broke my heart when I HEARD(I did not watch. You have to be careful about the things you allow into your mind. That image will forever be there) about the video of the elderly man in Cleveland that was killed today. Like, always, I wondered what he was thinking when that situation was unfolding. I’m praying that his relationship with God is on point. But at this point, Heaven is so much better than this cruel world.

What I want to say is, MENTAL ILLNESS is real!!! And like I always say, you cannot see it from the outside. You know how I know? I battle with this daily. Severe depression. Post traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety. All triggered from things that I go through daily. ONE traumatic situation caused a series of mental illnesses. Again, I struggle daily! I’m just blessed with an awesome support system. My family and friends LISTEN to me when I’m having rough spells. They don’t understand but they don’t blow me off. All it takes is a few moments to listen to someone when they’re expressing themselves. Just listen.

Do you know how many people suffer in silence because of shame and embarrassment? Do you think it’s easy to admit to someone that you have a mental illness? Do you know the stigmas attached? Do you know that it’s by the grace of God that you’re not suffering? It’s free to be there for someone. But do you know that a few minutes of being there for a friend or family can save people a lot of heartache. It can deter some tragic situations. Example, what happened in Cleveland today. I didn’t watch the video of the man being killed. But I did watch the video of Stevie Steve talking to a friend and one thing that stood out to me was him saying, “I snapped. And when I try to talk to ya’ll, you blow me off like I’m just talking..” No one listened. Now, 14 people are dead. Likely 15 when the police catch him or if he commits suicide. No one took his pain seriously.

That’s just like when Shanynthia Gardner murdered her children last July. The first thing people did was condemn her to hell. They wanted her to be stabbed to death like her children were. They wanted her gone. But when I heard that story, my heart immediately asked questions. Why didn’t anyone see the signs? Why wasn’t she being treated for mental issues? Was she overwhelmed? Why did she snap? I didn’t judge her because I’m not God. I wish more people would look around at their friends, family and coworkers to see if they’re really ok.

And why is it so hard for people to understand that black people suffer from mental illnesses? Why are we exempt? When tragic situations like these happen, people automatically say, “black people don’t do that!”. Well, we snap like any other race. Why do you have to pretend that you’re ok? It’s ok to not be ok! We are killing ourselves mentally because we don’t want people to look at us funny. But guess what? When you snap, they’re going to talk about you anyway. So get the help you need.

My friends, when you ask someone how they’re doing, don’t accept the “I’m fines” or  the “everything is goods”. They’re not. Take five minutes out of your day and genuinely listen. Be sincerely concerned. Don’t run back and tell their business. That’s why people suffer in silence. We’re afraid that you’re going to tell everybody you know that I told you that I’m having problems. Don’t revel in someone’s misery. Don’t be giddy to spread a private conversation. Encourage the people that you love to seek the help they need. Prayer is great. God is a healer and He is faithful. However, I feel that he wants you to utilize the resources that are available.

I know people are going to rip me apart for this blog because I’m writing this from a different perspective. But at this point, I’m just writing what I feel led to share. I’m unashamed to say that I suffer. I won’t suffer in silence anymore.

You won’t see me judging anyone for their actions. I may not agree with them, but I won’t speak about what someone else is going through. We are all one situation from something tragic happening. I will attach some scriptures. I hope that people read and study these with open minds and hearts.

Romans 14:13 “So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall”

Luke 6: 27 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

1 Timothy 5:24 “Remember the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.

Love each other. Be compassionate towards each other. Pray for each other. Pray for peace of your mind daily!!!!

Keisha

Chance’s 5th Angelversary 

April 3, 2012 started off like a regular day for us. Brandon, Chance and I got up and got ready for school and work. But for some reason on that morning, she was really quiet. Normally she would be running around the apartment and not letting me comb her hair but on this morning, she was chillin. I asked her what was wrong and she said “Nothing…”She wanted to wear her favorite outfit. It was something I bought for her birthday. A purple peplum shirt with black and white stripped pants. And she had on her YELLOW flip flops that she insisted on wearing. I told her they didn’t match but as usual she did what she wanted Well, we dropped Brandon off at school and I was taking her to daycare. Normally, we would be singing and laughing but on this morning she was just looking out of the window. I call my Mom every morning and Chance would talk to her but again on this morning Chance didn’t want to talk. So I dropped her off and I went to work.

While I was at work, I was on edge all day. Literally. Everything anyone said or did ticked me off!! I didn’t know what was going on. Well that day for some reason I felt that I needed to make amends with someone. And I did. I hadn’t talked to this person in about a year and a half. So that made me feel like I was making progress. My friend Erica and I planned to eat dinner at her house after work so I went to pick the kids up. When I got there, as usual, her hair looked like I never did anything to it. Lol. She ran up to me and hugged me like she did everyday and Brandon moseyed on to the car. This time on the way home she was singing and dancing like her normal self.
When we got home it was around 5:15. So I made the last minute decision to stay home and cook dinner. While I was cooking she was playing with Brandon and they were watching Netflix off and on. When I was done we sat down and ate. And she was super greedy but this night she ate everything on her plate. I said, “Were you hungry Chance?” and she just looked up and smiled at me. Brandon was picking at his food and I knew that he would want something else later. So I went to my room and I decided to wash my sheets because she slept with me that night and she had an accident in the bed and I knew that she wouldn’t sleep on them again unless they were clean.
After I put the sheets in the washer I went to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom they went into Brandon’s room to watch TV. Well she was running in and out of my room. And I would say, “Chance get out of here” and she would laugh and run away. When she ran out the last time, I hid by my dresser knowing that she would come back in and I was right. She came back in and I said, “what are you doing Chance?” we were both laughing and she said, “I love you Mama’. I said, ” I love you too Chance”. I went back into the bathroom.
Three minutes later, Brandon runs into my room crying. I said, “What’s wrong Brandon?” He says, “The TV fell!!!” I’m thinking to myself, “Ok, why is he crying because the TV fell?” But I look in his face and I know something isn’t right. I run in there and I see something that will haunt me forever. I see my Chance underneath the dresser and she’s unconscious. I don’t know where my strength came from but I picked that dresser up and threw it and picked up my baby. I scream her name and she doesn’t respond to me. I run out of my apartment holding her screaming for help. The neighborhood kids come and they see me holding her and they start crying. I call 911. I’m still screaming and my neighbor Robin comes downstairs and calls my mom and tells her that she needs to get to Little Rock. The paramedics came and they couldn’t get her to respond. She starts vomiting because she’d just eaten. Still they couldn’t get her to respond. So they call Arkansas Children’s hospital and they airlift her. I couldn’t ride with her so Robin and her Fiance drive me to Little Rock. While on the road, my Aunt Carolyn calls me and tells me that everything will be fine and that nothing can get Chance down. Honestly, I didn’t believe her. Not for one minute. I’m crying and blaming myself the entire time. So when I get to the hospital, she hasn’t made it there. But my cousins have. I’m shaking and wondering what is going on. Then a Dr. comes in and tells me that, Chance has arrived but that it doesn’t look good. I jump up and I say, “What the hell do you mean it doesn’t look good? That’s my baby! What are you saying?” He says that her lung was collapsed and that she has severe head trauma. I told him that the dresser didn’t hit her head, that it was on her chest. He then asks what was on the dresser. I said, the TV was. Then I remember that the TV was on the other side of her when I got in the room. He said, “well the TV must’ve hit her…” My parents and brothers got there in record time and when they got there my Mom asked what was going on. I told her that they said it didn’t look good. She was in a daze and she like me, was saying, “what do mean?”…. By this time more of my family makes it and they give us a big conference room to accommodate everyone. About an hour later the Dr’s come in and tell us that it doesn’t look good and that the damage was too severe. I know that they were supposed to say that. They don’t give us any hope at all. We’re finally able to see her and when we do, oh my God, she looks nothing like herself. She’s swollen and still unconscious. I break down and cry. My mom is crying because this is not our baby. This is not the same baby that was singing and playing with me. I don’t stay in the room long because I couldn’t take seeing her like that. My Uncle Milton goes in the room and see’s her and he says, “She’ll be fine. She’ll be just fine…” I go into a room and I start saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” That’s all I can say. The doctors tell us that we need to make some decisions. My Daddy says that we’re going to let God heal her. So the Dr’s say that at Midnight they will run more tests and they’ll check and see if she has any activity in her brain. Well Midnight comes around and they say they did a test and they detected some activity. So at 6 am they would do a scan on her to see if she’s getting better. Well that time comes and passes and they can’t do it. She has a stroke overnight. They say she’s stabilized and that at 10 am they will test again. This is by far the longest day of my life. Well she doesn’t get better and so they come in and tell us that we need to start making decisions. They say that she will never be the same. So I made the hardest decision that I’m sure I’ll ever have to make. I made the decision to remove her from the life support. I went in her room and I held her for the last time. I sang “Love on Top” to her. I remember singing, ” Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love, you’re the one I need, you’re the only one I see. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I’ll always call. When I need you, you make everything stop…You put my love on top…” While I’m holding her, she feels so heavy. And it seems like she grew overnight.
Everyone takes their turns holding her and at 4:44 pm on April 4, 2012, Sydney Chance Bowles, my baby girl, went to heaven. I’ve never experienced pain and heartache like that. I could not believe that I would be leaving the hospital without her. But I know that she’s better off but I’ll always wish that she was with me.
This year has been extremely hard. But I made it through. I never thought that I would. I didn’t think I would be able to live without her. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I remember the good times because those are the only times we had. There were never bad days with Chance. She was a character. She’s the funniest child I’ve ever met. The prettiest little girl I’ll ever see.
I told this story to let you all know that life is not promised. I never realized how true that was until this happened. You won’t understand until something happens to you. It ticks me off when people know my story and they still act like what happened to us won’t happen to them. You’re not exempt. We weren’t.
God makes no mistakes and everything that we go through is for a purpose. Even when we don’t know the reasons. I think about the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers into slavery. He was accused of rape. He was put in prison. But through it all, it was for a reason. His brothers thought that they were hurting him but God. God allowed it all to happen and in the end Joseph was the one that helped his brothers. When they finally saw Joseph years after selling him, they were afraid. But Joseph told them, don’t be afraid. God allowed this to happen so I could help you all! He kept them from starving during the famine. His brothers meant it for bad but God knew that it was for their good.
Now I’m not comparing Chance to Joseph but since this has happened, she has saved lives. A lot of people never really thought about the dangers of falling furniture. But because God allowed it to happen to us, we’ve been able to open up the eyes of others. Now do I think it could’ve been done with her still being here, yes. But does God know best, yes! My baby doesn’t have to suffer. She doesn’t have to live in this crazy world. She’s able to sing and dance in Heaven. What more could I ask for? Do I miss her? Yes. But I know that she wouldn’t come back. I wouldn’t want her to. I always wanted her to be happy and now I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is….

Keisha

Dear Chance 

Chance…

It’s been five years since I’ve seen you. Since I’ve held you. Heard you say Mama, Mommy, Brannon, Daddy, Shishard or Memo. Since I heard you ask for a Thomas the train toy or seen you dance in the back seat to “Love on Top”. Five long years since you ran to the door to greet Barney. Or wake TeeTee Erika up while she was trying to sleep. Or punked me when it was time to go to your God-Mommy Lynn’s house by crying until you got five inches down the street then laughing like you were going to Disneyland. It’s been 1,825 days since you kicked me while we were sleeping or cried when Granny tried to comb your hair. I haven’t had one of your wet kisses in 43,800 hours.  But I’ve missed everything about you in the 15,678,000 seconds that you’ve been gone. I’ve felt your absence and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve come to realize that I will never be. Not having you here has changed everything for me. (here come the tears I was trying to keep at bay…)


When I was pregnant with you, I knew you were special. I knew you were a mess when I had to walk around with an IV because you wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything. I was off from work my entire pregnancy. Now I realize that we were developing a deep bond. When I found out you were a girl, the name Chance immediately came to me. People tried so hard to talk me out of naming you that. But the name stuck with me. I relented and put Sydney as the first name. When I saw you, I knew I made the right decision. I wouldn’t realize until later what “Chance” really meant.

You came into this world with so much personality. I knew that you would give Brandon and I a run for our money. While, he wasn’t that excited to know that you weren’t going back to the hospital when you came home, his words were, “When is that baby going back?” In time you two developed a bond that was so unique and strong. He talks about you everyday now. And he finds a piece of you in everything. When you left, some of him did too. It’s so obvious. He doesn’t laugh as hard. Or smile as much as he did when you were here. We try to spoil him with all the love and attention that we can but he misses you. You are his sister and your energy and spunk gave him spunk and energy. He will be fine though. We will all make sure of it. So don’t worry about your big brother. He’s going to grow up and invent something that will make you very proud.


Mommy still can’t watch a video of you. It’s weird to me because most of the videos we made have you saying her name in them. It’s been hard on her. She tries so hard to be strong for all of us Chance. We sometimes forget that she has emotions and feelings too. She loves you like she birthed you. And I know you knew that. She made it apparent in the way she cared for you. Like, when we went into TJ Maxx and you wanted these sippy cups and the princess costume. I said no but Mommy made sure you had it. And when we got home, you had to put it on. Whatever you wanted, she made sure you had it. I can’t wait for the day that she will actually be able to sit and watch a video of you with me. I know it will make her sad at first but I know that sadness will dissipate when she can see your love for her.


And Daddy misses you too. I’m so glad I was able to record you two washing the truck. Or you saying his name. The Christmas videos we have are you are in his possession and I know that he watches them on his own. I think he’s still mad about that yogurt you half ate of his. Lol! He allows me to call and cry when I’m having a bad day because I’m missing you. I’m sure he would have had you bowling or fishing by now.


Shisard(Darrick) and Memo, I can’t even describe the way they feel. Darrick honors you in everything he does. He’s really coming into his own. He took pictures a couple of months ago and he saw this butterfly mural and he took the most beautiful picture in front of it. The first thing he said is, “I have to take this for Chance”. I cried of course.  The ABC’s will never be the same for me. Darrick sang it to you so beautifully. And Memo, he had a tree planted in your honor in Osceola. His school had an entire ceremony, just for you. His wife Tassha even carried your picture around her wedding bouquet. Memo, has pictures of you everywhere. And I watch the video of you all often when you were in the hot tub and the Embassy Suites. You all were having so much fun like you always did. I’m almost sure that we will have a baby named after you at some point. They love you that much.


TeeTee Erika misses you. That woman will call me out of the blue and just tell me about things you two did that I never knew about. She has a video of you eating a cupcake when she let you skip daycare one day. And I have so many videos of you and her arguing back and forth that keep me laughing. She loves you so much that her son Scatman knows you. He never even met you. That’s unconditional love right there.


Your God-Mommy Lynn would have had you all over the country by now. She loves you so much that you’re an honorary Girl Scout. People from all over the country bought cookies in your name. She still has you as her cover picture on Facebook. She misses you too. And again, she has shared many pictures of you that I never saw. You punked her and her family too. They miss their “Candy”.


Your spirit is always around Granny/Aunt Linda It’s nothing for her to call me and tell me about a butterfly that came up to her in the dead of winter. Or when she’s in her yard doing lawn work how you will send her a breeze to cool her off. She has a wall for you in her house. And every Christmas, your tree is put out before any other tree at her house. Paw Paw has a hard time talking about you but he wore a wristband for almost three years from your walk everyday until it broke. He actually never took it off. They miss you.


Poor Barney. You left this earth on his birthday. I have pictures of you sitting in his lap watching cartoons. And I remember how you would run to the door and say his name whenever he would come into the house. He was the best father figure for you. I think you had his heart before I did. The bond you two formed will never be broken. He misses you more than anyone will ever realize.


You have a host of family and friends who have lots of great memories with you. People all over the world know you. You’ve saved so many children, Chance. So many. That’s why, no matter how hard it is, I tell your story. I don’t turn down any interviews or articles that people ask me to do. I have to keep going.  And I won’t pretend like I don’t have bad days. I’ve had plenty of them since you’ve been gone. But I always get a push from you to keep going. And I try everyday.


I ask myself often, “Why did God take my baby?” I’ve asked other people to ask Him for me, because I didn’t think he heard me. I felt like you didn’t do anything wrong that it must have been something that I did to make you have to leave. I wonder what I did. For five years I’ve asked myself what I’m supposed to do now. You are my baby. I carried you for nine months. You were so beautiful. I wonder if you knew that I loved you? I did. I love you so much. I held you when you were born and I held you when you took your last breath. I hope you knew that I was the best mother to you that I knew how to be. I had so many plans for you. But God had other plans. His plans are always best even when we don’t understand them.

Five years since I’ve lost my baby. What’s going to happen to me? I don’t know but I know that losing you is something I’ll never get over. I’ll just continue to learn how to deal with it.

Just remember the last song I sang to you. “Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love. You’re the one I need. You’re the only one I see. Baby, its you. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I always call. When I need you baby everything stops. Finally, you put my love on top”

I love you Sydney Chance Bowles. Save us all a seat in heaven with you. I can’t wait until we’re all together again.

Love,

Your Mom.

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s fighting for you?

Do you sometimes wonder how you’ve made it through certain situations in your life? Like, why your situation didn’t kill you or make you just completely give up on everything? 

That’s because you have someone in your life that’s fighting for you. Even when you don’t see it or feel it. God is still there. Always! Fighting those battles that you don’t even know you’re in. Battles that Satan are trying to take you out with. 

God loves us so much more than you’ll ever know. He’s waiting for you to put all of your faith in Him. He wants you to trust Him wholeheartedly. 

Isaiah 12:12 I trust You to save me Lord God and I won’t be afraid…

When you can’t figure out life and you’re stressed out beyond belief. Look at, 

Proverbs 3:5 trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding…

Stop trying to figure out everything on your own. 

Also, He blesses those who depend and trust Him during these trying times. It’s not in vain. 

Jeremiah 17:7 but blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence 

He protects you because you believe in Him. 

Psalm 91 the Lord says, l will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name..

Don’t worry about what people think about you. Don’t be concerned about who or what they want you to be. Trust that God knows what He’s doing in your life. He knows what’s best. Even when you don’t understand. 

Have faith in yourself and have confidence in your abilities. Follow your dreams. If you want to be a writer, don’t let anybody censor you. If you want to be a singer, sing your heart out and make sure you’re giving the glory to God. Sing for Him. If you want to start a business, start it. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t make millions of dollars your first few months. Perfect your craft and keep going. 

No matter what people think about you, know that God is fighting for you. He doesn’t want to lose you. 

Fight for your marriages. For fight your family. Fight for your friends. They can’t be replaced. Fight for your dreams. Just keep fighting. God has the rest. 

And also, so many are rooting for you. We have to support and generally love each other. Let’s fight for each other. Listen to this song by Mali music 💜

I know they see you and they want you
I know they see you and they want to

Make you who they want you to be

I know that life is tryna to get you

I know that life is calling out to you by your name

But don’t listen, resist it

Keep running, don’t you stop for nothing

Just keep kicking, remember where you came from

Don’t forget what you already know

What you got is amazing, hold that, don’t you let it go

You hold the light, you hold the light
You hold the light and it’s shining

And making darker places bright and you lighter

You hold the light, you got a lot

You bring a lot, you bring a lot

And it’s evident they can see it, they want in it

But it’s not for the taking, it’s not for the changing

No it’s not for remixing, it’s not for remaking alright.

So they lining up to take it alright

I can’t let them take my you, you know I write for you yeah

I won’t let them take you, I won’t let them
I won’t let them take you, I’ll be your protection

I’ll be your direction yeah, I’ll be your protector

You know I’ll rather fight for you, I’ll fight for you

I’ll fight for you, you knowing I’m fighting

Cause I refuse to lose you 

Fighting cause I refuse to lose you…

Going up…

Brandon and I were driving home tonight and I had my music playing from my phone. Now, I have some of everything in my library from Evanescence to Beyonce to Tupac to John P Kee, lol. I love music and if I can get meaning out of it, even better. 

Well, it’s quite ironic that this song I grew up hearing came on. I haven’t heard it in a while but it’s so befitting right now. So many people are suffering from painful, life threatening, difficult illnesses. They want to get better and they try so hard to hold on. Or they are involved in freak accidents that leave them on ventilators and leaving family members with the heartbreaking tasks of removing them from life support. (My family and I have been there with Chance). A couple of months ago, I lost a relative to a motorcycle accident. He fought for a few days. Until he couldn’t anymore. (Another blog for another time)

Anyway, we want for them to make it out of these situations. For us. But they are going through so much. It’s almost unbearable for them. They hold on in pain and agony for us. Because they know how hard their leaving will be on us. They love us that much that they’ll go through the chemos, the therapy, the surgeries, etc just to be here for us. But they’d rather be free from the suffering. 

Back to our ride home. This song came on that most people in my age group( I know my brother Zrano knows it because our parents played it ALL the time) and older know. It’s called “Going up Yonder” by Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir. Now, when you’re a kid, you can’t really understand the meanings behind these songs. But when you get older and you experience some things, these words can speak to your heart like nothing else. The part in the song that completely broke me down tonight’s says, 

I can take the pain

The heartaches they bring

The comfort in knowing

I’ll soon be gone
As God gives me grace

I’ll run this race

Until I see my Savior

Face to face

So to me, what this says is, our loved ones can endure the pain of their illnesses. They will take on the hurt but they find comfort in knowing that once it’s over, they’ll be safe in the arms of Jesus. They know that God gives them the strength to gracefully enter His Kingdom. Once the temporary suffering is over, they’ll be face to face with Him. 

Let me tell you that Brandon had to ask me if I was ok because I cried like a baby. I told him I was great because as long as we have breath, we have another “chance” to get our lives together. 

So for those that are facing illness and possibly death. Those who have lost family members. Those who have family members that are in pain and facing some difficult situations, pray for peace for them while their transitioning. For those family members that have gone on, they’ve gone up yonder and we wouldn’t want them here in the state they were in. God has made them whole and new. They are soooooo happy. Be thankful for that. 

I’m going to leave the song here for those who’ve never heard it. I promise, it will bless you. 

K. Bowles 

Life and death..

Life and death. It’s inevitable that eventually we have to die and spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Most of us hope for heaven. People that are close to me know that I don’t deal with death well. And it got worse after I loss Chance. I try so hard to rationalize and make sense of death but I just can’t. No matter how hard I try, most times, I simply can’t. Maybe one day but I seriously doubt it. 

Well on Thursday night, one of my church members was killed. And when I heard about it, I was absolutely broken. Not because I was close to him. I wasn’t. But he was someone I knew and I knew only good things about him. And when I found out how he died, I was even more hurt because it just didn’t make sense. His name is Ronny. And whenever I would make it to church, he’d be standing in the vestibule smiling and cracking jokes. He was a man of few words but I always felt that he had a great spirit. 

This is the question, what will people say about you when you die? Now like I said, I don’t know much about his life outside of church. I know people can live different lives. And I’m not here to speculate or gossip about what he did. I can only go by what I saw. Ronny hadn’t always been saved. I know a lot of people feel that they walk around with a halo on their heads 24/7 and that they’re just so upstanding and righteous but Ronny never put on airs like he was perfect. But….from what I saw, he was trying to be better for himself and his family. When he started coming to church a few years ago, he would sit in the back of the church. Then he started sitting in the middle. Eventually he ended up on the front row as a deacon AND an usher. A lot of us that grew up in church only go to say we went and because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do. 

Ronny was faithful to his pastor. He was faithful to his church. He tried his best to not do the things he used to do. And again, this is where I get flustered. It seems to me that when you try to turn your life around you’re met with many obstacles. Many tests and trials. You’re attacked spiritually. But to whom much is given, much is required. Ronny was trying to live the best way he knew how. And from my understanding of him from bystanders, He used to be in the streets. And I’m sure that he thought he should have been gone a long time ago because of how he used to live. But God…He took him when He was ready for him. When He allowed Ronny to get to know Him for himself. When He allowed Him to feel His grace and Mercy. To feel His love. How great is our God? God is going to get His glory anyhow. 

When you’re a believer, you have to know that God has the best and the final say. And we have to pray for His will to be done in our lives. We have to understand that just because we believe in Him doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from trials. From hurt and pain. That just means that we have to know that what He’s allowing is for our good. And that his purpose for our lives have to be fulfilled. Even when we don’t understand. And you have to go through things. Life works in God’s time, not ours. 

“I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 So Ronny, I’ll miss seeing your smile at church. I’ll miss seeing you standing there looking serious. I hate that I didn’t get to know the great man that I’ve heard you were. But I thank God for your life. I thank Him for allowing you to grow in Him. I’m thankful that He didn’t take you when you didn’t know Him. I hope that one day I’ll see you again in that perfect place we all want to go to. I believe that you were good. If I was able to say where you were because of the fruits of your labor and from what I saw, I’d say you were in heaven and that I’m envious because being there is so much better than being here. You’re good. People have said so many good things about you. You’d be happy from the genuine love that has been expressed. People really love you. Your light definitely shined here. You will definitely be missed. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. 

To those of you reading this, it’s not too late for you to give your life to God. He’s waiting. We all need the right foundation to stand on when life takes us on the confusing twists and turns. You have a choice. And remember that you want to be remembered by your good deeds. Not because of messiness and being a hard person to get along with. It’s not too late to turn your life around. Love each other. Help each other. Don’t think that you have tomorrow to get yourself together. Repent of your sins and give your life to the One that gave it to you. Like a thief in the night God is going to return for you. Remember that you’re not promised tomorrow. But you can be promised a wonderful eternity. He’ll welcome you. He’s waiting. Don’t let your opportunity pass you by. 

Be blessed. 

Remember, the race is not given to the swift. Nor to the strong. But to the one that endurith until the end. There will be problems. And sometimes you may have to walk alone. But I know that things will work out for the good of them that love the Lord…

What will your legacy be? Think about that. 

Please pray for all of the families involved in this tragedy. They need prayers as well.   
Photo: Linda Nicks-Mahan, Facebook