Hey. If you’re reading this and you haven’t read the two blogs that preceded it, we suggest you go back. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. :)
So here’s the thing about our vision. It’s limited. The reason why Maggie shared in week 1 about her rose-colored filters and our team brainstormed the 7 red flags in week 2 that are keeping us from moving in the direction that God has for our lives, is because we know that there are women all over the world that are trading the powerful guidance of God, for temporary fulfillment. And, that’s not how we want you to live. That’s not how we want to live. That’s not the life that’s been promised to us. There’s more, girls.
Quick story. When I was in middle school I wanted to do something different. I was a cheerleader, I was in acting and even the debate team. I wanted to do it all. So, I got the bright idea to join the swim team! That’s right, all of my black girl magic, swimming and doing my thing. Well, when I went home my mom had two pretty harsh statements.
“Baby, you can’t swim.” Real low blow mom.
But, she was right, I had taught myself to swim by jumping into the deep-end the summer before and I did nearly drown. And the second…
“Baby, what are you going to do about your hair?”
She was right again. As an African-American woman, depending on your hair type, the truth is it’s a little harder to do your hair after it’s been exposed to water and chlorine day after day. Washing it, blow drying and flat ironing can be really unhealthy for some. But, even though my mom had some valid points I REALLY wanted to do it. Plus, I’m a pretty strong-willed person. So, I convinced her to let me do it anyway. Young Michael Phelps in the making, you know.
It came time for me to do a practice swim meet. My coach told me that I would be doing the 100 meter freestyle. This was my moment. Four laps, up-and-down the pool in the easiest form. I thought I was about to kill it.
Let me just give you the high-level breakdown of what happened:
Lined up on the thing that swimmers stand on.
Put my goggles on. (The one’s without the nose because they don’t let you wear the ones with the nose that I was used to.)
Dive in, bellyflop.
Think I’m doing really well.
Look up and see that I’m only a ¼ into the lap and the other swimmers are almost done with theirs.
Finally get down to the other side.
Attempt the front roll, twist, push off the wall.
Miss the wall completely.
Have to go under water and push off of the wall regular style.
Get tired. Start breathing hard. Swallow water. Almost drown mid-race.
Look up and realize that I’m on my 2nd lap and the other swimmers are on their 4th.
Pretend that I’m on my 4th like them.
End the race with the rest of the swimmers.
Run to the locker room as my coach is flagging me down telling me I’m not done.
Grab my things. Run outside. Call my mom. Never go back.
Guys, my mom was right. The swim team was NOT a good idea for me. She knew me. She knew my capabilities, what I could handle and what I couldn’t. Because she raised me. She studied me and truly she wanted the best for me. She didn’t want me to experience the shame and embarrassment that it brought. Now don’t get me wrong, she believed in me and she encouraged me in so many areas. But, she just knew this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
While we used this pretty funny story as an example. The truth is, our God feels the same way about us. He can see it. He can see what we can handle and what we can’t. He created us. He’s studying us day in and day out. He wants what's best for us and He doesn’t want us to experience pain, heartache, and discontentment. He wants the more that’s in store for us.
That’s why we wrote this series. So that you would begin to take off the rose-colored filters, that you would begin to identify those incredibly loud and sometimes shockingly subtle red flags, and that you would walk boldly in the grace of God, even in the times you do make a mistake. In the times where mistakes are made and brokenness comes, we want you to feel validated that sometimes our vision isn’t clear because we aren’t perfect. But, we have the opportunity to serve a perfect God. That loves us. Fights for us. Stands with us. And is our 20/20 vision when we need it most.
LET'S DO THE HARD STUFF
Dive deeper with these questions we’ve put together to help you become more intentional in applying this content:
Toni is a host, communicator and consultant from Houston, arc. And, in this digital age of anxiety, she is teaching people all over the country that you can be young and a boss, and you can be broken and worthy. She doesn’t want you to just face your demons, she wants you to quash the illusion of your brokenness so you can live the most colorful life possible.Connect with Toni to learn more.