Life is Going to be the Death of Me

There have been so many heartbreaking reports of death by suicide in recent news. My heart hurts for the loved ones left behind. The people who have so many questions and didn’t have any clue that their loved one was suffering. I pray for the souls that have departed.

During the journey to who I am now, I too thought suicide was the best solution to my issues. I was 28, a single mother, my dad died that year, I lost a great job and despair was my daily mentality. I felt like I was worthless failure and no one would want me. As a result of this, I prematurely had my tubes tied. Nothing seemed to be good in my life. I couldn’t see the good because I magnified any issues I had.

How did the people around me miss it? I didn’t tell anyone. I put on a good front when I was with family and friends. I would go home and wallow in depression. I’ve always encouraged others and did anything I could to help people. But I couldn’t help myself. I had a therapist and was even taking antidepressants. Those things were only a band-aid for the wounds (some self inflicted) I’d collected over a period of time.

On a weekday not long after I lost the job, I dressed as if I were going to work, and set out to take my youngest son to daycare (he was 3 at the time). I came back home and carefully and strategically wrote death notes to a few key people. I had instructions on how to get my son to my mom, what to do with my stuff and other information. I then got my newly prescribed bottle of antidepressants and a 1/5th of gin to wash them down and I lay down for my forever nap.

Plan interrupted. One of my son’s cousins knocked on every door, window, and wall. I heard the knocking and thought I was dreaming. But I slowly woke up, looked around and remembered what I was trying to do. In the moment, I asked God why I was still here. I was disappointed, because the same things that plagued me before were still there.

How did I move past that? It’s a great question. I pressed. I considered who was left in my life in spite of the problems in my life. I had weak, but new resolve to be better. Work has to be done in order to change your mindset.

  • Pray. Accept the issues you have. Ask God to heal your heart.
  • Do something about the things YOU can fix.
  • Dwell on the good things in your life. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
  • Socialize. Isolation keeps you from a strong network and people that love you.
  • Be kind to yourself. Show yourself grace and compassion. Stay away from self depreciating talk.
  • If possible, make plans to do something fun; take a road trip, go to the movies, plan a weekend trip.

If you find yourself suffering with depression, anxiety, or anything that could cause you to think about suicide, I pray that you get the help you need. You’re not alone nor do you have to struggle alone. You are loved, cherished and valuable. Don’t ever forget that!

You will LIVE and not die!

Residue

**Please Note: This blog is actually a Facebook Memory from December 1, 2015. It’s still so relevant today. Here’s the Original Link: https://www.facebook.com/tanisha.w.taylor/posts/10208552099024229


I can’t stop thinking about the word #RESIDUE.

By definition, it’s a small amount of something that remains after the main part has gone or been taken or used. Oh, y’all know what residue is; The lingering smell of weed after you’ve sat in a cipher (Group weed rotation forth for the people who don’t know); the stickiness on your floor after something sweet has been spilled, but not rinsed; splatters of oil left on a stove after cooking an egg sandwich.. You get the picture.

But when I think of my life, and many of you may be able to identify, the residue is anything left from my past; anything that didn’t quite get washed away from my experiences. Regret, Shame, guilt, restlessness, hopelessness, brokenness, apathy, double mindedness…But what I love is just like the father of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, God accepts us with open arms, residue and all.

He doesn’t care about the stench of where we’ve been… He cares about us coming BACK. He cares about COVERING us, loving us, restoring us and using us for HIS glory. No matter what residue lingers on you, bring it back to the Father. The blood of Jesus is more than capable of washing you white as snow. You are still of value. You are still a part of God’s plan.

Most of all, you are STILL LOVED!!!! #WashUsLord#NoResidue#BeWHOLE#OhHowHeLovesUs

Lessons from Tybee

One of the greatest things about being at the beaches the sound of waves crashing on the shore, hearing the playful sounds of seagulls and watching the sun rise or set on the ocean. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being at the beach and when I thought of my yearly ‘me-cation’, I planned to visit Tybee Island, GA. For an overthinker such as myself, I researched everything I wanted to do, created a checklist for food spots, etc. What I didn’t plan on were so many in your face life lessons. For those who don’t know, I tend to look for the lesson in different situations, probably because this has been one way that God consistently speaks to me. Sometimes it’s a gentle nudge, other times, a smack in the face.

I got both of those today while exploring what is also known as ‘Savannah’s Beach’. First, In spite of my fear of heights, I climbed 178 steps to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Looking up from the bottom while in line to go up, I imagined every crazy scenario that could happen… Again, the mind of an over thinker. When I finally reached the top, the fear evaporated when the view of what God created came into sight. I could do a complete 360 around the top and see the entire island. It was beautiful.

Lesson 1: Stop allowing what if’s and unlikely scenarios to keep you from seeing what’s ahead of you. Every 25 or so steps, there was a landing and a window area where you could rest and acclimate yourself with the height and a different viewpoint. Once I reached the top, the feeling of accomplishment was high. (Trust me, if you are afraid of heights, you understand)

Lesson 2 was the slap in the face. I was venturing to downtown Savannah, found a great place to park and saw some awesome sights. I deliberated about catching a hop on hop off trolley to explore more of the city, but there were several other things I wanted to do. I went back to the car and found that I was sandwiched in between 2 cars that over parked… (so afraid to be in the middle of their space, so they were super close; THE NERVE). The crazy part was that the car in front of me came as I was walking away, so I could have asked them to pull up to the front of their space (Y’all, these were little cars and I’m so used to the Yukon, I tend to pick on people who can’t manage the itty bitties. SMH) Anyway, I didn’t say anything and kept going my way. Fast forward to returning to the car, I saw that I was STILL sandwiched in. SMH. There was a tiny margin of space, but even with my Yukon skills, I didn’t think I could get out. I sat there, talked trash, called names (don’t judge me), and prayed. Yes, prayed, because I literally felt trapped. I was overwhelmed and inconvenienced. The overthinking was starting again. It’s funny now that I reflect on it. But in the moment, I was pissed.

Why do we pray when we have an issue that needs to be resolved? Because we want a solution. I said out loud ‘Ok God, I believe one or two things will happen; one of these people will come back and leave OR I will be able to get out of this space with no issues. I moved the car forward and back, but the way I was parked on a busy downtown street and traffic was a hot mess, my nerves wouldn’t let me keep doing that. Then I proceeded to sit there and ruminate. Started that whole process over of talking trash, etc.. Then like a ton of bricks or in this case, a sharp back hand, I realized the truth in James 2:17 ‘Faith without works is dead’. What was I doing? Sitting there like I hadn’t already established what was going to happen. And the people didn’t come, so, option number 2 was still on the table. Move the car TT…

The lesson: You can have all the faith you want; you can even declare the decree of the Lord in terms of what will happen, but if you never take a step, God will also remain still. Don’t tie up his hands! Move! Take the first step! Open the business! Write the book ! (Talking to myself here) Register for the classes! Do whatever it is that you know you’ve been feeling the nudge to do. Stop making excuses and get to it. You can do It. And ESPECIALLY if God has spoken to you about it, MOVE! I hear you God.

I encourage you to conquer your fears. You’ll look back and wonder what took you so long to get that thing done. I even feel differently about driving over bridges after being here. Trust me, coming to an island will test your gansta if that’s a problem for you. When you pray, think about your course of action. Ask for wisdom and courage to make the first move. Don’t be afraid to fail. What seems like failure is really us getting our bearings before firm steps occur (think a child’s first few steps before walking). Above all, keep moving FORWARD! You only fail if you quit and you can’t move forward if you choose to stay stuck.

I love you and God loves you more! Be encouraged!

The Great Pretender

Because of my love of reading, I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I would spend summer days of my youth riding my bike (my car) all over town, climbing trees, playing in ditches, stealing fruit off of neighbor’s trees! I had limited time for dolls; After all, I was the cutest, best dressed tomboy ever! Outside was my playground and a whole other world.

As I got older, I used my imagination to block things that were bothering me. I wanted to escape my reality. I grew up in what many would label a normal 2 parent middle class family. Mom stayed at home, dad worked and all was well right? Yeah, all was well until I became a teen mom. From that point, this spoiled, only girl and baby of the family instantly felt like the black sheep. (Check out a previous blog about this.) Let’s be clear, NO ONE in my family called me a black sheep. It’s what I labeled myself. I’ve always felt like I was the sibling that had something to prove; I had to be ahead of everyone else; or I had to have just as many accomplishments as my brothers. However, I felt like I was always the one who lacked something.

Which brings me to my first point: When you feel like you’re lacking something, you will find a way to fill in that blank. I first filled it with reckless living. By the time I graduated college, I wasn’t so in love with my dream of being a fashion designer and live in NY. By the time I was 25, I had another baby out of wedlock from yet another abusive relationship. After a year or 2 of being the broken single mother, the cycle of “Doing Me” began. But guess what? I got caught up in my foolery and ended up pregnant by a co-worker in what was supposed to be just a casual sexuationship. SMH. I thought, How in the world was I going to redeem myself? I made the horrible choice at 27 to get my tubes tied. I became my own judge, juror and executioner. I’d decided my worth (or lack of) and didn’t think I’d ever catch the eye of someone who wanted me beyond sex.

Fast forward a few years… I’d sworn off men for a while, rededicated my life to Christ, was a faithful church goer and trying to get my life together and BAM! Out of no where, Mr. Right shows up on the scene. And he was interested… My next point: Sometimes when there is a promising situation, we think we need to make ourselves look better to fit in or seem more important. During our first real meeting, I make a comment referencing his organization and lied when he asked if I was a part of an organization. I shouldn’t have, but I said yes; It was an instant connector. We dated, we became close; Church, group outings… Where he was, I was. He shared secrets, I didn’t share enough, nor did I correct who I built myself to look like. After a break-up and re-assessment of what we wanted, marriage was on the table. I was the happiest I’d ever been, because not only did he really love me, but I wouldn’t be the sibling who was a lonely failure anymore. Something was going right with me for a change. Also, we discussed not having any other children right away (We had kids from previous relationships) and that was great because there was no way I could tell him about my tubes being tied! I would just have to get it reversed and let my insurance take care of it. (Or so I thought).

Happily ever after begins and then after a few years, the unthinkable: he asks me if my tubes were tied. Point 3: what’s the best way to get out of a catch 22 situation? There’s no good way. The lie had already done the damage; he already knew the truth. It was a big blow to our marriage and one I was haunted by until a few recent years ago. None of my rationalizations and explanations about how broken I was and how I didn’t think he would accept me made a difference. The fishbowl had a huge crack that neither tape nor gorilla glue could fix.

I couldn’t make up anything else. I had to face the lies that I told. It was the worst thing that could have happened. I’ve reviewed my life so many times, wondering how things would be if I’d just told the truth. And the reality is that if I told the truth, the tubal reversal would have been a small thing to do to have more kids. Just dumb. I also never had to lie about being a part of anything. What’s the lesson you ask? STOP PRETENDING!!!

  • KNOW YOUR WORTH!
  • Everybody will not like you, no matter how ‘perfect’ you seem.
  • The things you think you need to falsify or hide are likely not deal breakers. Discuss early and move on from there.
  • Know that your differences make you who you are. We all have something that no one else has; ON PURPOSE. God knew what he was doing.
  • Take your mask off and be YOU.

This broke me. I struggled for years to just BE. I hated myself before, and any progress that I made before even thinking about marriage was not enough. I never thought I was enough, period. But I know better now. I made a mistake that cost much. BUT GOD. He had to show me myself. Of course God will not just show you where you’ve been or where you are now; he’ll give you a glimpse of what’s to come. Take the time to have a serious relationship with God before trying to prove your value to anyone else. God has already validated you, qualified you and justified you. When we seek to get this from people, it will always result in loss, and disappointment. BE YOUR AUTHENTIC GOD CREATED SELF!

Now it is God who establishes and confirms us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and who has anointed us [empowering us with the gifts of the Spirit]; 22 it is He who has also put His seal on us [that is, He has appropriated us and certified us as His] and has given us the [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as a pledge [like a security deposit to guarantee the fulfillment of His promise of eternal life].” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 AMP

Lost and Found

When my kids were young, they’d sometimes come home with less than I sent with them to school – especially in the winter. New jacket, coat, etc… “Where’s your…..?” I’m sure if you’re a parent, you’ve asked this question many times! And kids RARELY know where they left something. So the parent then tries to ‘help’ them remember: “Where was the last place you had it? Inside/Outside?” Finally, the child is told to look in the Lost and Found area when they return to school.

/ˌlɑːst.ənˈfaʊnd/ The term ‘Lost and found’ defined: an office in a public building or area where people can go to retrieve lost articles that may have been found by others; practically all will either sell, give away, or discard items after a certain period has passed to clear their storage.

Why are you telling us this TT, we know what Lost and found means.

I’m glad you asked! It’s important to know where you are; where life and its experiences have taken you. What course are you presently on and whether or not it lead you to your God ordained destiny? This year has thrown so many for a loop. Sickness, Death, family drama and family destruction, catastrophe, pandemic, repeat… and not all of us have landed in the right places. I literally got the downloaded reminder from God today that I was rescued from Lost and found! I’m no longer in that place! The cycle that previously sucked me in was no longer holding me. I was reminded that the curse was broken back on Calvary… I just had to return (or be returned in this case) to my proper place…. GOD FOUND ME!

Just like the shepherd in Luke 15, he left the 99 to search for the one (us) when we stepped out of place and got lost. Who else searched for you when you were lost? Who selflessly left everyone else to make sure you made it back safely and didn’t get thrown away by the world?

Let this be your reminder that you are recklessly loved by God; he made you in his image; nothing can separate you from his love, He cares about everything concerning you; he has promised you a secure future, he rejoices over you with singing; His love for you will never change or end; He sacrificed his ONLY son to secure your connection to him; He called you righteous. I could go on and on about how much he loves you and me!

Be encouraged my friend. When you feel like you’re no longer necessary, that life has chewed you up and spit you out, when you think you can no longer hold on, GOD IS LOOKING TO RESCUE YOU!!! You don’t have to remain lost. You don’t have to be strong; I love the way Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me” The Passion Translation.

Live in victory….