When I turned 30, instantly there was this imaginary timer over my head. Society says, by 30 you’re supposed to be married. By 35, the doctors tell you that pregnancy becomes high risk. And now we have men telling women that our value goes down as we get older. Like we are cars. Like we are nothing more than a body.
From the beginning of time, our value has been placed on the ability to have children. Think about the Bible stories of Elizabeth and Rachel who were at first unable to conceive. Then there’s the story of Sarah who was so desperate to give her husband a child that she allowed him to impregnate their servant Hager. She got so tired of waiting on God’s promise that she made her own moves. But her plan led to confusion and resentment. And this is what happens with women when we try to met these invisible timelines on our own instead of waiting on God.
Despite the women’s ages and deviation in plans, God still rewarded these women with children. It just wasn’t on their timeline. Of course in these days, we don’t and shouldn’t wait until we’re 90, but we shouldn’t be panicking by 30 and 40 either.
My grandmother had my dad when she was 42. He is healthy, intelligent, and self-sufficient. Not only this, but she got to see it happen because she lived until she was 98. That’s 56 years she had with him. There are women who become mothers at 25 and die at 28. There are women like my grandmother who had children “late”, but lived long enough to see them get married and have their own children. These timelines we have in our heads mean nothing to God. We can plan out our whole lives, but be gone tomorrow.
What I am learning is not to stress over timelines. Not to be strict about life long plans. God is teaching me that I am not in control and when I try to be, He shows me exactly why I shouldn’t be.
ECCLESIASTES 3: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
I’m a black woman. I’ve always known I was black. From the moment I understood what race was. However, I never let it define me. I’ve just been a girl who became a woman. I never felt the need to put my blackness in the forefront. Never really saw how it affected me until recently.
When we talk about race, we automatically assume it’s about racism. Although I recognize that racism is all around us, this is not that kind of post. This is about me. A black woman. A black woman who doesn’t feel protected and I’m not sure if I ever have (with exception of my dad). And I’m wondering whose fault is that?
Protection does not just mean physically. It means emotionally as well. I have not felt emotionally safe in my relationships. I have not felt safe to rest. I have had to be strong constantly. I have had to be a work horse; always with 2 jobs or more. I have had to worry about everyone around me, take care of everyone around me, and neglect myself. I mention my blackness because this seems to be a theme for other black women I surround myself with and encounter.
And we are tired.
Who protects us when we have breakdowns? When we’re depressed? When we are exhausted? When we absorb all the anger and pain of our loved ones? When do we get to be soft and rest in our femininity?
Who takes care of us?
Is it our fault that we exude too much strength? Does it come from our distant past of being slaves? Working in the fields, in the house, taking abuse, being raped, breastfeeding all the babies, cooking all the food? Being ripped away from our husbands and children? Has that ability to take on pain just been passed down from generation to generation and we accept it as gospel?
Some could blame our men who have not learned to art of protecting, providing, and leading us. Most of them (including us) have been apart of broken homes and we have not been shown or taught what that type of household looks like.
I could come up with many excuses and reasons to why black women don’t feel safe. Many reasons why I don’t feel safe now. But the real issue is, how do we change it? Based on Malcolm X’s famous quote, this feeling, this issue is not new. But it’s something that needs to be addressed.
Protect the black woman.
We worry about who’s she’s been involved with, who’s he’s slept with, who’s hurt us before, if we’ll get hurt again. We worry, worry, worry. Especially when it comes to love. But rightful so. Who in their right mind would want to give all they have in the name of love, just to lose it all? I wish that pain on no one. I’ve experienced it before and never want to experience again. But who’s to say I won’t? We can investigate, build up a wall, and be cautious all we want to, but if we really want love, we have to be willing to risk it all.
The beginnings of relationships can be a beautiful thing. The period of getting to know each other; learning the likes, dislikes, wants, and needs of another person can be an amazing experience. But then you realize how much you’re investing; how it could all be snatched away in one moment. That’s when the fear comes in. Then the worry. Then the breakdown of the relationship.
We get so caught up in the beginning and so worried about the end, that we forget about the middle.
When we do that, we lose moments. We sabotage something that could be beautiful. There are no promises, we don’t know if things will last, but we can take current moments and enjoy them now. We all have a past and we should think about our future, but don’t forget to live in the present.
#love #hope #faith
I love looking at pictures of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. They just exuded love. In their time together, not only did they pour into each other, but their love spilled out into the world. They were activists who’s passion about love and life was not able to be caged. They fought together, and I imagine them crying together, laughing together, and bouncing ideas off of each other. They built a life together. Built a family together. I see them lifting and encouraging each other. Of course with all marriages and relationships, when you’re on the outside looking in, you never know what’s really going on. I’m sure they had their difficult times, but what matters most is that they got through it together.
Where is this love?
Am I a fool to believe that this type of love still exists? In a generation of side chicks/dudes and THOTs, Housewives who aren’t housewives, and the acceptance of cheating, lying, and no commitments, can real love be found? What are the ones who still believe in love and marriage supposed to do? I say keep believing. Keeping hoping. Keep praying. I don’t believe that one generation is better than the next. The same opportunities that were available in the past, are still there now. There are still marriages standing the test of time. Although we may not have many images of it, it still exists. We can still find it.
So where is that love? It’s all around us. Waiting to be found.
I’m seeing the dear future wife/dear future husband hash tags and posts everywhere on social media. Some people take a humorous approach to it, some think it’s cute to do, while others like myself believe in it. For me, it’s not meaningless. I am actively speaking into existence the things that I want in my husband. I am actively praying for him whenever the mood strikes. It’s because I believe in him. I believe that he is somewhere out there actively looking for me. Praying for me. It may sound crazy, but that is what faith is about. Speaking to the unseen. Speaking about things as though they are.
So if a spouse is what you desire, pray for them (to show up) and pray for them (their well-being).
Do not be ashamed of what you desire. If you want to be married then speak it. Put it into the atmosphere. Pray about it and believe it will happen for you. Don’t fall into the statistics and reasons why it can’t happen for you. If that desire is in your heart, it was put there and it will be fufilled.
#love #hope #faith
I remember a few years ago, I interviewed for a position within my company that I thought I would be perfect for. I aced the written test and did great at answering the interview questions, so I thought the job would be mine. Unfortunately, my coworker got it instead. I cried, I screamed, and acted like a total brat after I got the news. A few weeks later that same coworker was complaining about how difficult the job was and that there was only a small increase in pay. She quit after only working a few months. I found myself thanking God that I didn’t get it.
We never know what God is blocking us from.
Just because we feel like we should have certain things or even someone, doesn’t mean that it’s best for us. Thank goodness god sees the bigger picture. We should seek God in all things and ask for his protection daily. We may not realize it, but His will and purpose is much greater than ours.
#love #hope #faith
I must admit, I move a little slow when it comes to letting go of people. It’s the Scorpio trait in me I suppose. If I’m having trouble removing you out of my life, it’s because we’ve built great memories, I’m thinking about how you used to be, and I’m desperately hoping you will change. But once I’m tired of the lack of phone calls, text messages not being responded to, and actions not being aligned with words, I finally wake up. Once I finally let go, I let go completely. You are nonexistent. You are a non-factor. The love is still there, but simply IDFWY. It’s interesting because its only when I get to that point, people start coming back around. I start getting those, “Hey stranger” texts.
No. Wait. Pause.
I have the title of a “stranger” only because you gave it to me. You only see the distance that’s there, but not what was done to create it. People who are like that love to place the blame on you somehow, just to guilt you into letting them back in. But if I gave you a space in my life and you choose the lose your place by your own actions, don’t try weasel your way back in.
#love #hope #faith
My friend said this to me the other day and it hit me like a lightening bolt. Every single relationship I’ve ever been in, I’ve fought to hold on to. Even in my marriage when I knew it might cost me my life if I stayed, I still battled with the decision of divorce.
I hold on to love for dear life because love IS my life.
It still is and will always be. I still love with all that I have in me, but I finally came to the realization that if I had to fight that hard, if I was fighting by myself, and if I was the only one holding on, it couldn’t be love. If it was, that’s not the kind of love that I wanted. I want someone who values me and the relationship just as much as I do. I want someone who respects me and is grateful to have me in their life. I want to be celebrated, not tolerated. I want someone that I will not have to chase, but will run towards me. I have not had that. When I finally let go because my hands were aching and bleeding from keeping things together, that’s when they wanted to come back. It’s not fair. Why should I give my heart back to the same person that broke it? What I need is someone who is going to hold on to me and never let go. And that’s what you need too.
#love #hope #faith
I think we all at some point have had a picture in our mind of the type of person we would like to be with. Or at least an idea of how we would like our relationship to be. So when someone comes along that we like, we can sometimes try to fit them into the vision we have created for ourselves. We overlook habits, traits, and flaws that would otherwise be an issue, but we choose to ignore them because we want “them” to be “it”.
They become our mirage.
“So what if he smokes and drinks, thats not a big deal. I can get him to quit”.
“She might go out a lot now, but I’m sure I can change her”.
We start plotting ways that we can change them into the mold that we want. Eventually, we find out that we do not have the power to change anyone. In that discovery, the relationship falls apart and those things that were overlooked, soon become apparent. So we must be cautious in our choosing. We must be responsible for our choices. And we must not fall for our own illusions.
#love #hope #faith
My sister Melissa and I had a great conversation about this story last night. It can be found here: http://madamenoire.com/506085/houston-woman-marries-herself/
A 40 year old woman (which is not old by the way) decides since she is single with no prospects, so she is going to marry herself. Some say she was desperate. Some say she was bold and showed self-love. I say she gave up.
When I thought more about this, the story of Sara and Abraham came to mind. Sara laughed at God when she was told that she would have a baby at her old age (Genesis 18). She even chose to move in her own effort by allowing Abraham to impregnate their servant Hagar, because she believed she was incapable of having children. Even through her moments of doubt and devising her own plans, she still conceived a child just as God had promised.
So guess what? Even when you try to move in your own effort (like give up on love and marry yourself), you can still receive the promises God meant for you to have.
Why would he put a desire in your heart without providing a way to fulfill it?
May you never lose sight of the vision God gave to you. If you want to be a wife or husband, it will happen. If you want to have children, it will happen. Find the scriptures that coincide with the desires you have and meditate on them each day. Hold on to your faith and the promises that were given to you by any means necessary.
#love #hope #faith