Happy Valentine’s Day Southernistas! I hope you are having an awesome day and that you are sharing it with you love one(s).
I must confess that Valentine’s day has never been one of my favorite days. After Christmas I always began to the countdown to February 14th with growing dread and depression. As a single girl it is hard to see everyone getting flowers and candy and all the other romantic and sweet gestures that go along with this day and not feel some kind of way about this day. For years my friends Beth & John would always send me a beautiful gift that had all kinds of goodies in it and it just made my day. Of course my daughter and Mom also gave me gifts as well as my sister and my best friend Lisa and I did appreciate it BUT my heart ached for a special someone to give me those things.
This year is different and it’s not because I’m seeing anyone but my perspective about February 14th has changed. Today I celebrate my ultimate valentine gift which is God’s love. I know this scripture is quoted all the time but John 3:16 tells us of the best gift this world was given: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. How can we ever top that gift! This morning in my prayer time I began to thank God for his son Jesus. Jesus loves us perfectly, completely, and whole. His love is without strings and everyday He gives us gifts and again its without any strings attached. Jesus will never break your heart, abandon you or hurt you but he will heal and mend your broken heart and let you know that you are loved with an everlasting love.
So today I celebrate that I am loved by Jesus so much that he was willing to die for me so that I could have eternal life. I celebrate His resurrection and how everyday I feel his love surrounding me and filling me and I know I am never along and I am always loved. Because I know Jesus loves me I allow myself to celebrate and be my own Valentine because I know I’m not celebrating this day alone. Today I celebrate the Ultimate Valentine – JESUS!
Until next Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Brave!
Dress from Lane Bryant | Shoes from Payless Shoe Source (old) | Pearls from Ashley Stewart (no longer available)
Hello Southernistas! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Hard to believe that 2018 is almost over and 2019 is almost here! I know it’s been a while since I blogged but I just wanted to enjoy the holiday season. It was my plan to start 2019 off with a new blog but a few months ago this date popped in my mind and I couldn’t get away from it no matter how hard I tried. I knew it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to share with you why this date has special meaning. I hope as you read this you find encouragement, that it strengthens your walk with Jesus (if you have a relationship), that it leads you to a relationship with Jesus, and that it will help you to realize you are not alone.
2013 was not an easy year for me at all I was living in a one bedroom apartment and everyday I came home to an empty apartment was depressing. I always felt like I lived such a solitary life at that time. I remember waking up every morning with a feeling of hopelessness and I just didn’t know how to handle what I was feeling. These are not feelings that just suddenly came up I had been dealing with depression for years but it was now so crippling I could barely function. I remember going to church and feeling nothing, praying and feeling nothing, it seemed like I was just going through the motions of my life but I wasn’t living.
I was in a really bad car accident early in the year and thank God he brought me, my Mom, and my niece out alive. I was sued for an large sum of money I didn’t have and so I had to give a deposition and go back to the city the accident happened for a mediation and God was on my side and delivered me from that situation but I was still so sad. I spent that whole year putting on a mask while I sat at home and cried my heart out.
When December arrived I had had enough of this life and I had made the decision to end my life. I had really good reasons, at least to me, for taking this step. Life had just gotten so hard and although I have a loving family, a loving Church, and friends I felt so alone and isolated. I believed that if I died no one would miss me and my daughter is an adult now and she doesn’t need me. I’m single and over 40 and it seemed that no matter how hard I tried nothing was working out in my life. At that time these reasons seems valid. I remember wanting to talk to someone but couldn’t because there were no words there were only tears. I remember how abandoned I felt by God and that this was as good as it was going to get.
I remember getting up that Sunday so sad and getting ready for church. I remember the feeling of finality that Sunday and after church I felt like I was seeing everyone for the last time. I laughed, I smiled, I said my I love yous to my Pastor & my Assistant Pastor. I remember hugging everyone because I was saying good bye to them for one last time. When my mother dropped me at home I remember looking at her and thinking this is the last time I will see my her beautiful smiling face. I said good by to my daughter although she didn’t realize it at the time because again I had on the mask.
That evening I got out the bottle of pills I had and looked around my sad little apartment. Just when I was getting ready to take the pills I heard a voice and I know it was the voice of God and that voice spoke one word and that word was…LIVE! In that moment I knew that I wanted to live that I didn’t want to die that no matter how my life was it was still worth living. I begin to just sob my heart out and with every tear that fell I knew God was doing something inside. I don’t remember how long I stood there sobbing but I do remember after while flushing those pills down the toilet going on my knees and crying out to Jesus and He reached out to me and touched me and healed me.
Sometimes life gets so hard for us and it becomes unbearable but I encourage you who are reading this blog to seek help don’t try to go it alone like I did. Seeking help is not admitting you’re weak or that you don’t have a strong faith in God it means that you are strong enough to realize you can’t do it on your own. It means that you realize that how you are feeling is not how you want to fee. There is nothing wrong with getting professional help.
That was 5 years ago today and I am still single but in these 5 years I’ve learned how to be single, I moved back in with my Mom, and life is good! I think about all I would have missed if I had ignored God’s voice calling me to live and not die.
December 29, 2013 was suppose to be the day I died but it became the day I lived and I have never looked back.
Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all are having a great weekend so far.
Last week I went to Homecoming at my alma mater, Campbell University, and it was my 25 year class reunion. OMG! I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since I walked across the stage and received my degree! Where oh where has the time gone?!
It was good to go back to the Creek again (Campbell is located in Buies Creek) and see how the campus has changed. To say there has been a lot of change is an understatement. The dorm I lived in my sophomore and junior year no longer stands and in Kitchen’s place will be the new Student Union. With Kitchen’s demolition there are no more dorms located on the quad anymore and it was a little bittersweet. Where the Office of Admission use to be there is now an auditorium.
Going back to Campbell and seeing all the changes that have taken place made me think about the changes that I’ve gone through over these last few years. My time at Campbell was wonderful in so many ways: I served in Student Government all 4 years, I was politically active, and I made some life long friendships but I was also very depressed. There were times when I just couldn’t face the day but I forced myself to get up and go to class and wear the I’m okay mask. I remember once I was so depressed I just couldn’t get out of bed thank God for Beth & John who got me out of bed and got me the help I needed! They were my life line and they still are to this day. So were Donna, Allen, Derrick, Leanne, Sharon, Monica, and many others who will never know how much their genuine friendship meant to that girl.
So going back to Campbell to see classmates I haven’t seen in 25 years except on social media was exciting. I missed my 10 year and 20 year class reunion and I was determined not to miss my 25 year class reunion and I’m glad this is the reunion I didn’t miss. I’m not the same Regina I was 25 years ago back then I was not just depressed but I had no self esteem and I was desperate to be liked so I became a people pleaser and I was constantly on a diet. I was criticized about my hair and clothes and although I was told it was done from a place of love the ones who did the critiquing tore pieces from my soul and destroyed what little self esteem I had.
I remember crying and pleading with David, the Junior Class President, to please let me skip the Homecoming dance because 1. I didn’t have a date (not one date the whole 4 years), 2. I had nothing to wear, and 3. I just couldn’t face the event but David was firm but gentle with me and reminded me as one of the Junior Class representatives it was was mandatory that I attend. Again thank God for Leanne and Nicole who held my hands through this and we all went together as each others dates. Plus size fashion back then was not what it is today. My mom and I spent the weekend before Homecoming running all over Durham trying to find formal dress for me to wear and we ended up settling for a black and white dress we found in the bridal department at Belks and then I had to diet and exercise like crazy to loose almost 10lbs so I could wear the dress comfortably. Needless to say I had a miserable time at the Homecoming Dance.
Fast forward 25 years later when I stepped on campus the memories, good and bad, flooded me but it was still great to be on campus and to see some of my classmates and professors. It was good to know within myself that I was no longer the people pleasing, low self esteem, no self confidence woman I was then.
It was great to see the changes that had taken place and to see the growth that has happened since I left Buies Creek in 1993. Campbell and I have a lot in common in that respect we have both grown and changed in these 25 years for Campbell where there were parking lots, dorms, and open spaces they have now been replaced with new dorms, new programs and schools, new green spaces, traffic circles (still no traffic light), a Starbucks, a little strip mall, and old buildings have been renovated. For me I am no longer that insecure, no self esteem, lonely girl who was so desperate to be liked and loved by people who could care less about her that I would do just about anything for their acceptance. I have grown into a confident woman who now realizes that the most important person I must please is Jesus. I’ve learned how to be a friend and how to make friends. I’ve learned that I am a pretty awesome and cool woman but most importantly I learned to love myself, love life, and appreciate the people who loved me when I was at my lowest and worst point in my life.
As my best friend Lisa Bruckschen once told me and I agree in 25 years I’ve come a long way baby!
Until next time Southernistas remember to Be Bold, Be Fearless, Be Confidant!