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!

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Lessons in the Wait

I hate waiting too long for anything. Who doesn’t? And I’m not one of these super humans who pray for patience and all that nonsense… Because trust me, God KNOWS how to test your patience. And that’s exactly what he did to me on July 16, 2020, when we were scheduled to go view my mom’s body at the funeral home. It was something I didn’t think would be happening for quite some time. 2020 literally knocked the wind out of us. The pain of her loss was nearly unbearable… Nearly, because I’m learning that when we give up, or stop wanting to move forward, God is carrying us along, recharging us, loving us and giving us peace. During the near hour wait, so many things came to mind. I asked God what he wanted me to see in this situation, Where was the lesson or message? (I know that may sound weird, but fellow over thinkers understand)

  • The first thing that came to mind was that sometimes the wait keeps us focused. Some of us are extreme over thinkers and we nearly ‘what if’ ourselves to death within minutes. In this instance, I was super focused on one thing: why did my mom have to die? That was the only thing I could think of. I was hyper focused on how I would respond to seeing her in her final slumber; how I regretted not coming home in May for Mother’s Day or her birthday; how life would now be without her. FOCUSED. While we are waiting, we are sometimes consumed with the thing we’re waiting for. This could be good or bad. We’re in a constant battle to ‘capture our thoughts’ as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:5. We’re in charge of what we think, so we need to make sure we accept toxic thoughts and that we need a renewing of our minds.
  • The wait will either create unnecessary anxiety or a patient heart. Experts agree that occasional anxiety is normal, a part of life. It becomes a disorder when the triggers began to interrupt your life. An over thinker could be in danger of an anxiety disorder as we tend to play out many scenarios in our heads, excessively worrying. Patience, on the other hand, is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. How to practice patience? First, know that Patience is a FRUIT of the Spirit. If you have received salvation, you have the fruit of the Spirit operating in you. The level in which they operate is based on your relationship with God and knowledge of and obedience to his word. Are you focused on the issues of life or the God of our salvation, who can manage anything that plagues us? Being rooted in HIM causes our level of patience to grow, because we know his track record.

Back to the story. As our immediate family and a few close cousins waited in the foyer, (masks on of course), the owner of the funeral home called my name and asked me to take the first look at mom. Even after almost an hour of waiting, I was NOT ready. I wanted to melt into the carpet, disappear, shrink back into the chair I was sitting in; ANYTHING but be the first to go in… BY MYSELF. Oh the joy of being the only girl. Immediately, my sister in love Marcia’s voice blanketed me.. “You will have peace during all of this”. I went in the parlor where mom was, expecting to fall out, completely melt down… But the peace of God that passes all understanding met me. I simply walked over, saw how great mom looked, inspecting every single thing, and motioned to the funeral home owner that all was well. And he brought everyone else in.

Pheww! I was relieved. I felt the anxiety and worry about this moment fade away. And guess what else I learned?

You’ll have to wait until next week.

I know, I’m wrong for that… But while you wait, think about some things that have caused you great anxiety. What are you doing to combat that? What is something you’ve been waiting on? Are you exercising patience?

“Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD”

Psalm 27:14