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A Letter to my Younger Self

Dear Marisha,

You’re such a sweet heart… I wish you would allow more people to see it.  Imagine how different things would be if people knew how much you laugh and joke behind closed doors and circles!  Sometimes life has a way of hitting hard. Don’t lose that smile. Don’t lose the life in your eyes.  We both know that parents don’t know everything, but they know a great deal. Listen to them. It will keep you out of harm’s way.  It’s imperative that you get to know and accept yourself as soon as you can.  This will prevent you from being put in boxes, seeking validation and acceptance, or all together pretending to be someone you aren’t.  Size 3 or 13, you’re beautiful inside and out.  You have always been a dreamer-never stop dreaming.  Use your passion for words to help you during hard times but more importantly commit that passion and gift to God.  You will encounter malicious people.  The world is full of them.  Some of them will pretend to love you, others will blatantly show that they don’t.  Do not allow them to change who you are unless its for the better.  Otherwise you have let them win, and we both know how much you hate to lose!  Guys are a dime a dozen.  The one that really cares will respect your convictions and will show interest in your goals, he’ll admire your physique without objectifying it, and he will value your soul.  Should you encounter guys that present qualities other than these, and you will, don’t entertain them.  You know your worth.  Do not be ashamed to assert it.  Heartbreak may or may not be inevitable.  I haven’t figured that part out yet,  just know that God heals broken hearts and spirits and you don’t have go through life broken.  It’s okay to cry sometimes.  You’ll find that a “good cry” will do you good from time to time.  Appreciate life, God, peace of mind, family, Godly connections, and even chaos.  Make the best of every situation.  Don’t be lazy-you’ll have plenty of time to sleep.  Love God at your tender age and don’t be so anxious to see what all the world has to offer.  Don’t be fooled by the appearance of riotous and carefree living.  It has it’s consequences.  The devil wants to sift you as wheat.  He’ll try to do anything he can but remember that your heel will bruise his head.  You are a winner through Christ Jesus and every thought and plan He has for your life is good.  Continue through life with hope or you will die without it. Love love in everyway imaginable.  God will see you through every situation. Be courageous. Everything will be fine.





My Beef with Transparency

I've been mentally vacillating on this topic for some time.  Although I believe it is intended to be simple, somehow, I find it multifaceted.  I understand it to mean being open (to some degree) and honest about what may be occurring or has occurred in one's life. It's a form of keeping things 100.  I have a theory that everyone has been a criminal at some point, its just that not everyone has been caught (littering, dishonoring the speed limit, whatever it may be.  everyone has done something). Nevertheless, sin is the same way. Everyone has been a sinner at some point.  I take issue when some present themselves as they have always be "spotless."  The main reason being that there will never be a time in this life that any of us are completely clean. It's always something. The Bible instructs believers to confess our faults to one another so that we may be healed. The two concerns I'm examining at this moment are 1) false humility projected as transparency and 2) lack of discernment with what is revealed. I believe the enemy can take some of the most beautiful situations and pollute them. This is why he is able to take someone being honest about a flaw or struggle and convince them that their decision to keep it real is worth the pat on the back.  Please understand, it is not my intent to make anyone feel some type of way about being transparent. I am in agreement with transparency in the proper context. I am an avid user of transparency. Its just that as with anything else, the motive of the heart should be examined.  It seems that transparency has become an overused term that is transitioning into a fad.  Again, I'd like to stress that this is not the case for everyone that shares the content of their hearts.  

Secondly, simply put, stop telling everything! There are some things that should remain between a person and their Lord unless he leads them otherwise.  Truth be told, not everyone can handle what some people have to say.  Allow me to elaborate: a person stands up amidst a congregation and discloses severely personal information.  "I'm not ashamed to say that I ..." you fill in the blank. We've all seen this.  Later the person wonders why they are getting side eyes and in some cases, ostracism.  The word tells us that we overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb and testimonies.  Case and point; however, there must be wisdom exercised in what we share.  Lastly, I wonder to myself if accountability and transparency are twins.  If I confess what I have been experiencing to a sister or friend, should it be difficult to accept sound counsel, warning, or the truth? No shade, but I was very disturbed to see the Periscope video of Leondra Johnson and her follow-up interview.  She told the interviewers that she intentionally put herself out the way that she did because she wanted to be transparent.  Time and time again I have flipped that situation in my mind and questioned if that was a situation in which transparency went "too far."  The lines seem to be blurred when deciphering what is appropriate and what's not.  Specifically when interpretations of scripture are the deciding factor as people understand things differently.  However, I can't help but think how many people may be led astray by someone else's transparency with an issue that is unbiblically justified.  The systems of our world and society are changing abruptly and there will be a time that people will no longer be able to hide behind "maybes" or jump sides of the fence. Therefore, there is no longer time to justify our unaddressed weaknesses with "God's knowledge of our hearts."  There must be something beyond transparency, and that's my beef with it.  It's just put out there and left to morph into other things-sometimes a stumbling block.