Silent Struggles

Some of us struggle in silence
Afraid to allow the world to see
All the broken pieces we hide underneath
Underneath our laughter and our smile
While deep down, we’re wailing like a child
Kicking and screaming, making a scene
Yet we don’t say a word because the world is so mean
They call us too sensitive
They say we’re too weak
These are the reasons we choose not to speak
To not say a word, to let it all fester
Instead of fighting we choose to surrender
Some of us struggle in silence
Afraid to allow the world to see
All the broken pieces we hide underneath
We keep them hidden
We keep them out of sight
So don’t always trust us when we say we’re alright

Did You Know?

Did you know she smiled through the worst times of her life
Did you know people left her, left her all alone
Did you know that she wasn’t safe, even in her own home
Did you know that she was bullied
Did you know they took her stuff and threw it in the trash
Did you know they spilled cold milk all over her head
Did you know they tried to jump her, seven girls to one
Did you know one girl even filled her hair with gum
Did you know someone pushed her up against the wall
Did you know that same someone spat at her in the hall
Did you know that she reached out, asked someone for help
Did you know that person told her to help herself
Did you know she didn’t want others to hurt so she reached out to them
Did you know that after she comforted you, she went home to be sexually abused
Did you know she tried to kill herself
Did you know she tried three times
Swallowing pins, drinking Clorox, cutting with a knife
Did you know that she struggles, even to this day
Did you know

Maybe, just maybe

Have you ever experienced an abrupt change? A sudden shift? I have.
A sudden shift can be scary. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the shift is negative.
Maybe, just maybe, it means that a new adventure awaits.
After all, life is all about adventures, right?

I cannot count the number of times I made a plan and when I say made a plan I mean I had every single detail down. Yet somehow it still seemed to spiral out of control, slipping further away with each second that passed.
It was no longer what I intended.
Instead, there was a scary, sudden shift. An abrupt change.

Maybe life hasn’t been the adventure you anticipated and maybe you’re not where you intended to go BUT maybe, just maybe, you have ended up exactly where you were intended to be.

Maybe, just maybe, that sudden shift didn’t really spiral out of control but rather set in motion something greater.

Maybe, just maybe, that abrupt change was the adventure after all.

That’s how I’ve chosen to see those abrupt changes.

Tap, tap, tap

Tap, tap, tap
The sound of my anxiety
My hand against the table
‘Cause life is overwhelming me
Tap, tap, tap
The beat goes on
As agony grows strong
Tap, tap, tap
You wouldn’t even know
‘Cause the second it’s over
I jump back into the show
Tap, tap, tap
Let you see a side of me
I’ve been hiding from society
Tap, tap, tap
But if I don’t speak
Someone will take that leap
That jump, that dive, that only way out
So ima keep speaking
I won’t shut my mouth
Tap, tap, tap
The episode is almost over
Hope my honesty has brought some closure

Reflection Connection 2018

Last Saturday I hosted my very first Reflection Connection Sisterhood gathering and it was sensational!

First and foremost I’d like to thank the lovely ladies who came and celebrated sisterhood with me. Without each of you, this event could not have been possible.

32349518_2016854328563044_373811198707105792_oReflection Connection is about inspiring women to shift the way we speak to ourselves and forming friendships with other women who will remind us how incredibly remarkable we are. It’s about gathering women of all ages and races and circumstances, examining ourselves, finding commonalities and creating bridges to restoration.

This was our message for Reflection Connection 2018…a282cfa919620b121dacdb00fa8f98fdProverbs 15:4 tells us that a “soothing tongue is a tree of life.”

Trees of life symbolize many things; a fresh start, positivity, growth, and strength. The Bible compares our spiritual journey to trees several times. For example, in Proverbs 13 it says, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles but [SHE] who gathers gradually by honest labor will increase [HER] riches. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Let’s read that last part again…
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Deferred – to put off – to wait – to postpone
What does God desire for YOUR life and are YOU honoring His expectations or are you putting them off?

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Let’s bring it back to elementary school for a moment and talk about the parts of a tree.
One of the first things we notice when we see a tree is its beautiful crown; the crown of a tree is made up of leaves and branches. The leaves are the part of the tree that converts energy into food – some kind of tree sugar – this sugar is stored in the branches. The branches provide the support the tree needs to distribute the leaves evenly and efficiently (based on the environment that particular tree is in). The trunk of the tree is the base, it provides the shape and holds up the crown. Last but certainly not least are the roots. The roots are only part of the tree that grows underground. Trees have tons of roots and the size of their roots are usually as big or even bigger than the tree itself. The roots are the strongest part of the tree. The roots are the support system.

During Autumn the leaves start to fall off and by winter the trees are essentially naked, bare, exposed, with nothing to cover them, nothing to keep them warm during the winter. But it is during that time, during that season that the roots of the tree dig deeper into the earth. They grow in search of the nutrients they need to survive.
We are like trees. The seasons we find ourselves naked, bare, exposed, lacking protection from the cold, the bitterness of the world, the schemes of the enemy – that is when our faith should increase, that is when we should relentlessly search for the nutrients we need to survive, to dig deeper, to grow closer with God and when Spring comes again, our growth will be evident, our crowns bigger and brighter than they were before. With each season we grow – sometimes that growth is hidden, sometimes that growth is slower than the others around us but just like trees, that growth cannot be forced to happen before it’s time.

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The good news is, we know that beautiful crown is coming.
In Revelation 22 it says, “The angel showed me a river of water, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing [not one but] twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations.” We are trees of life, called and created to bear fruit, to use our leaves (our gifts, our hurts, our joys, etc) to help heal others. BUT FIRST, we have to heal ourselves. We need to train our minds, we need to stand in the mirror and say, “This woman looking back at me is all I need because God is in me and because God is in me I am wonderful, I can capable, I am powerful. I can and I will” and adjust our crown as we say it.

We already know that beautiful crown is coming but we can’t have a crown without roots. We all want the bright, beautiful leaves but we gotta get deeper into the dirt first.

Which brings us back to our focus scripture, “a soothing tongue is a tree of life.”
Our words are powerful – our words kill or give life – they can be poisonous or prosperous – the choice is ours.

What words are you choosing?

What words have you chosen? What do your words reflect? How do you speak to others? How do you speak to yourself? If I’m being honest, I have spoken very unkindly to myself, even just this morning. I won’t hesitate to say harsh things to myself and yet I wouldn’t dare to say them to others. We as women have a tendency to self-sabotage. But why? Where do these toxic words and thoughts stem from?

Take a few moments to reflect
What words have others called you? What words have shifted how you see yourself? What words sting a little more than others? What words come with a negative connotation? What words have marked your life?

Now take a few moments to connect
Who else is affected by that exact or similar word? Why does it affect them? What’s their story? Can your commonalities provide the coverage they need? Can you help each other heal?

Watching these lovely ladies, who were essentially strangers to each other prior to this event, openly share some of their stories while simultaneously encouraging each other was exceptional. There is so much strength to be found in sisterhood. I believe that now more than ever.

See you at Reflection Connection 2019 

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When the roots are deep,
there is no reason to fear the storm. 

 

Subscribe and stay tuned for a Reflection Connection worksheet later this month

 

* I do not own the rights to the tree coloring sheet *

Brighter Than The Darkness

April 19th marks the anniversary of the last time I planned to commit suicide. It’s been ten years since then. Today I’d like to share something I’ve spoken about before with the hope that it reaches the person who needs it today…

For far too long I sought the approval of others and set my desires aside
Pleasing people became second nature
Yet as hard as I tried, I could just never fit in
Depression and insecurity overwhelmed me
Voices in my head telling me, “There’s one way to take the pain away”
Knife in my right hand and bathroom door locked
My mind was set on doing it until I heard a knock
It was my little sister
“Kim, how do you spell elephant?”
My heart sank
Tears streamed down my face
Everything that happened before that moment didn’t matter
Not the neglect
Not the molestation
Not the teasing
Not the physical bullying
Not the need to be accepted
Nothing
At that moment all I could think about was my sister finding me
It took a split second to change my life
Better said to save my life
You never know what someone has endured or is currently enduring
Don’t be the person that makes them break
Before you snap
Before you scream
Before you do anything unkind
Know that it took six words to save my life

To my friend struggling with thoughts of suicide, please know that you are brighter than the darkness that is trying to consume you on the inside. The world needs what only you can provide so take my hand dear friend, together we will survive.

Secrets of a Sinner

I’ve cried
I’ve prayed
I’ve tried
Yet nothing’s changed
All the pain still feels the same
Are you happy God?
Are you entertained?
Feels like I’m about to burst
Might be better to become one with the earth
They say we’re born to die
And I’ve tried three times
Yet death I cannot seem to find
Screaming out, “Why God! Why!”
As I stare in this mirror
Satan starts to whisper
It could all end today
Just pull the trigger
Fourth times a charm
It won’t take long
Why hold on?
You’re already gone
He removed the cloak
Now I’m seeing clearer
No one can help me
I am a sinner

If Only

Areas on a surface, unlike its surroundings. Lesions left on one’s body where a wound occurred and fibrous connective tissue has now formed. A visible stain. These marks are known as scars. Most scars are spotted almost effortlessly. Most. There are also scars you can’t see. Are those also spotted almost effortlessly? No.
It took me quite some time to realize that not all wounds are visible. Some people are seared in scars that have no physical evidence. I have scars. Scars that make me feel inadequate. Scars that make me feel ashamed. Scars that make me feel damaged and dirty. Scars that make me feel undeserving.
These feelings often cause us to obstruct our own future.
The thing about scars is, they already happened, they’re part of the past. Past by its very definition is what has happened previously. But we can still be haunted by what has happened previously.
I am.
There are parts of my past that I have tried extremely hard to suppress yet I still have very vivid memories, some would even call them out of body experiences. It’s like I’m there again, watching myself, seeing the scars as they form and I’m yelling at myself to run, to hide, to scream, to shout, to ask for help. Sometimes I relieve those moments over and over and over again. Sometimes those moments seem endless. Sometimes I feel trapped in what are now only memories. Sometimes I can’t sleep. Sometimes I can’t breathe. It’s overwhelming.
And that’s where they want us. Trapped in things that have happened previously, unable to see past it, blind to where and what and who we could be if only we would stop allowing our scars to have sovereignty.
If only.
If only we could see that scars are merely marks. If only we knew that our scars told a story. If only we believed that our scars showed us that although we have suffered, we have also survived.
Our scars shouldn’t bring shame. Our scars shouldn’t be hidden. Our scars should be shared. Our wounds prove that we are warriors. Brave men and women who took a stand, who fought even when it seemed like every area of our lives were simultaneously infiltrated. The invasion may have marked us, but it didn’t stop us.
Areas on a surface, unlike its surroundings. Lesions left on one’s body where a wound occurred and fibrous connective tissue has now formed. A visible stain. These marks are known as scars. Most scars are spotted almost effortlessly. Most. There are also scars you can’t see.

Are you seared in scars that have no physical evidence?
Please share your story with me.
Comment below or write anonymously.

Predators and Prey

There’s a place I know
I once called it home
It’s supposed to be a safe space
Yet predators freely roam
Watching, waiting, planning their next attack
Throwing people into pits
Amused as they try to climb back
Laughing as they stumble
Cheering when they crack
Offering a helping hand
But only to push them back
This time further down, deeper into the ground
They invite their friends to gather round
“We’re here to help you”
That’s what they claim
But in reality, we’re just their prey
Hiding behind the name above all names
Trapping more and more people in their game
But if you point it out, they tell the world that you’re insane
Brothers and sisters this is NOT okay
If you’re experiencing this please know I feel your pain
It’s hard and it hurts
Damn near breaks you
But if I can overcome, you can too
Stand strong in your faith and your Father will set you free
He’ll send a flood to fill the pit
And with the waters, you’ll rise above it
Above the predators
Above their games
Soon they’ll see the error of their ways
But even then, extend them grace
Because it was their own pits that made them predators in the first place

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