I have always believed in the existence of a higher power. I grew up in church. I was on the usher board and sang in the junior choir. I paid at every offering and participated in every program. I didn't have strong faith though. It's hard to have strong faith when you're obsessed with the logical and rarely trusting. It's hard when you don't have many strong relationships to lean on and spend too much of your time on the defense. I have been tested by God, but it was fair because I have tested God.
I have been knocked around by life. I have tried to do the right thing, but often come up short. I have made bad decisions, but I have learned lessons. I am not defined by others. I am defined by who I am, the choices I make, and the life I live. I have to protect my identity from evil to walk with God.
Recently, God has begun explaining some things to me. There are still tests and challenges. I still face obstacles. The difference this time is I can see why. My faith is building because God has given me time to mature enough to realize who He is. The first thing He has blessed me with is the ability to see past what some may call coincidence.
I met a man some years ago. I thought he and I were going to get married. I was walking around wearing his ring. Then, I peed positive on a pregnancy test. All of a sudden my priorities changed. I wanted to keep wearing his ring, but put my energy into my growing baby. When the engagement died, so did the relationship I knew. This man I thought so much of turned on me. I ended up in an abusive relationship before I knew it. I was scared, lonely, and pregnant. I was mourning the family I thought I was going to give my child. I was everything I never wanted to be. I was a single mother about to raise a son. I didn't know anything about bringing a son into a world that didn't always look kindly on black men. I did what I thought was best. I packed my life in cardboard boxes and came back home. I was devastated.
I'd lived in Dallas for almost five years when I left. I had established myself in that town. I had friends, a great career, and a life I loved. I felt like it had been riped away. I was mourning that life. I was hurt, and I was angry.
We came back to Texarkana. I moved back into a home with a mother that wasn't so fond of me, and a father planning his own escape. I had picked the safest of two battles, or so I thought. What I later realized was that God put me back here to enjoy the grandmother he was planning to call home, do my part to have peace with a tortured mother/daughter relationship, and to give my son a life without unnecessary chaos. God gave me a gift. My grandmother did pass away. I ultimately lost a friend in her, but I appreciated the blessing God gave me with that time. My mother and I are still often strained, but I did what I could. I was open and honest. I am kind to her. If she is not receptive, that's okay. I have done what I need to do to hear "well done," on judgement day. My son is happy and healthy. We're a safe distance from the unstable relationships brought on by his father.
Everything happens for a reason. No door will ever close without a window opening. God will never take you to anything He can't bring you through. There is no coincidence. The time we're given on this planet is brief. God can't rely on telling you the lesson. He can't expect anyone to just learn it on their own. God takes you through the lesson so that you will remember it forever.