A Daughter’s Everlasting Love #46

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20180924_215406I just looked at the clock, its 2:30am on a Monday morning and I’m awake for no apparent reason, but there’s so many things swirling around in my mind. I turn over and watch my mother seeming to be having a peaceful night’s rest. Yes, I am admitting to the world that I’m 36 years old and for the last two years I haven’t slept in my own bedroom. If you all knew and really understood what my mother has endured during the last two years then you wouldn’t judge me because I’m a grown-up who sleeps in the bed with her mother. Momma had two life altering surgeries back to back, one in 2016 then again in 2017. She is the only parent I have living in this world and right now I just feel the need to be close to her as much as possible without figuratively smothering her, especially at night because she suffers with Rheumatoid Arthritis so night time is the worst time for her.039B6E39-3CC8-454F-9F4F-3C3E24D3AB31 I have always thought very highly of my mother, I mean this is the woman whose womb God chose to send me into this world through, the woman who endured nine months of allowing me to develop inside her, the woman who underwent a Caesarean section so that I could have life in this world. Those things alone are reasons to think highly of my mother, but they aren’t my only reasons. My mother is one of the strongest people I know and she reminds me of that every day just living her life, she is constantly pushing through her pain and getting every job that needs to be accomplished in a day’s time completed. I am always telling her “Momma, just sit down, you’re always trying to do too much in twenty-four hours.

IMG_20180708_213951_389Nearly twenty years ago, on a Wednesday evening in the month of March, life drastically changed for my mother when she became a widow after 31 years of marriage. My daddy’s death has taken its toll on everyone who truly loved him. You see, if you knew my daddy you just couldn’t stop yourself from loving him, he was just that type of person, a real people person. My daddy was the light in our lives and on that Wednesday evening in March nearly twenty years ago that light dimmed to almost darkness for a long while. I always think about daddy’s death from my own perspective but this morning I am looking at my mother asleep and thinking about what indescribable pain she must of felt and may still feel. My mother and father were perfect examples for the definition of soulmates, they were each other’s right hand for 31+ years and suddenly she was left alone. She was forced to figure it all out by herself. She was suddenly placed in a position where she had to take care of everything in life alone, including raising a sixteen year old daughter with some unique medical needs and an eleven year old son who really needed something she couldn’t be, a father. That’s an extremely heavy load to suddenly be placed on one woman’s back, but my extraordinary mother has managed to make it through.

I think my momma tried to hide parts of her grief and sadness from my brother and I for a while after Daddy died but she didn’t succeed in that. I’m not sure if she knows that I know but my mother’s “secret” crying and praying place was her bathroom in the shower. I can’t tell you how many times I have been laying in my bed upstairs and I could hear my mother downstairs in the shower crying and praying. I have often felt like Luther Vandross sings in his song Dance With My Father, “I’d pray for her even more than me, I know I’m praying for much to much. But could you send back the only man she loved, I know you don’t do it usually, but Dear Lord, she’s dying to dance with my father again.” I know its beyond crazy but I’ve often wished that death wasn’t permanent and that Daddy could come back with no heart disease or any of the other health problems he had simply to continue living life alongside Momma.

Fourteen years after daddy died on the last day of her career as a teacher Momma had an appointment with a cardiologist and was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disease and told that she would eventually need to have surgery. Just to give you a little information about bicuspid aortic valve disease, it is a form of heart disease in which two of the leaflets of the aortic valve fuse during development in the womb resulting in a two leaflet valve instead of the normal three leaflet valve. It’s a condition that people can live well into their sixties or seventies without knowing they have it, because symptoms don’t start to show until one is in that age group.

Luckily it wasn’t until three years after her diagnosis in March 2016 that she would have to have open heart valve replacement surgery. The day of Momma’s heart surgery was definitely one of the most nerve racking days of my life, especially during the few hours that she was in the operating room. The night before I don’t think I slept at all, it was one of those times where God probably got tired of hearing from me because I was praying so much. When I think about it now I realize it was one of those times in my life when my faith in God was seriously lacking because I had prepared myself for something bad to happen. As I set in the waiting room, all that was on my mind was, my mother, the one person I have in my life who has loved me through everything, is laying on an operating table with her chest cut open and doctors working on her most vital organ, anything could have gone wrong. On that day I was “prayed up” and in those moments in the waiting room I felt like I could handle a bad outcome but thinking upon it now I know no matter how much I had prayed about it, I would not have been able to handle a bad outcome. I’ve been thanking God everyday since because Momma’s heart surgery was successful. Her road to recovery was difficult but thank God, she made it, those of you reading this who know my mother know she surely doesn’t look like what she’s been through.

1982E03E-643A-4C3D-9C2E-30B592A46EDBA little over a year later, Momma decided to have the back surgery that she had been needing but kept putting off since sustaining a back injury in a car accident in the early 1990s. In all honesty, my nervousness wasn’t at the maximum level about this surgery like it was during her heart surgery. The time I had to spend waiting to hear the outcome wasn’t as excruciating as the last time, I guess maybe my faith was renewed and I just felt like Momma was going to be alright. Once again it was a successful surgery, but the road to recovery this time was even more difficult than it was after her heart surgery. Seeing my mother in all the pain that she had to endure was very difficult, but like I said before my mother is one of the strongest people I know and this was just one more time that she made it through a painful moment in her life, because persevering through pain is something that my mother is a pro at. She may shed some tears, but she is a tough woman who always finds a way to jump over the obstacles that life throws in front of her.

Watching my mother make it through the two major surgeries she has had recently and just being her daughter who gets to witness her journey through this life everyday has made me more grateful for her than I think I have ever been. I value her place in my life and I thank God for choosing her to give me life. We have a bond that will always be unbreakable regardless of what other people’s thoughts are of our bond.

If you have a good mother who goes above and beyond the call of duty for you like mine does for me and my brother, although we’re both well over 21, please give her praises while she can still hear them, because life is so extremely short. I thank God for every moment that he allows me to express the love I have for my mother.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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Quiet In Chaos #45

It’s that time of the week again when I get in my quiet place, try and push the rest of the world out of my mind and ask God to give me the words that will some how help the people who choose to stop by my piece of the World Wide Web, but this week I think I could use some encouragement and inspiration so please feel free to comment if you have some words that will change my perspective.

Some people say that the world changes when you become a parent, it is said that life becomes all about your child. For me life changed five years ago when my nephew was born, I began to really pay closer attention to life and everything occurring in it and I’ve been thinking about how I’m 36 years old and I don’t think I have ever seen the world around me in such a depressing, chaotic state as it is currently, it’s not the place I want my nephew growing up in, but unfortunately he is. It seems like every morning I wake up hearing or reading the news of someone’s life having been taken by the hands of another person with a weapon that wasn’t intended for the use of murder. We’re living in a world where terrorists’ attacks are happening daily. We are existing in a world where the president of the United States of America is a totally unprofessional entertainer/businessman who had absolutely no prior experience in politics and has in my opinion caused more divisiveness in this country than I have witnessed in my lifetime.

We seem to be living in a time where people display selfishness much more than kindness and gratitude. We’re walking around in a world where we aren’t at all accepting of one another. I’m sitting in my quiet place wishing that I could change this world for my nephew and other children growing up in it and wondering what God is trying to tell us by making us experience such chaotic times. I recently rode through what I would call an impoverished area of town and that ride made me realize that I often wonder why must we live in a world where we aren’t all blessed in the same ways. Is this the way God meant for the world to be right now? Once again I find myself asking why? Is there a lesson to learn in all this chaos? Is change near?

That’s just my perspective!💜

It’s Really Not About Me #44

While scrolling through social media today I came across a quote that said “God can use our simple words in profound ways.” I’m not sure who the author of the quote is, but if I did know I would send that person a thank you note, because those words made me think about the many reasons that I love expressing myself through writing so much.

I recently had a conversation with my mother about why I continue to share my thoughts, feelings and life from my perspective, if you know me then you know that my mother is my sounding board, my listening ear, my advice giver, let’s just say that my mother serves a tremendous amount of roles in my life. I know that she will always be one thousand percent truthful with me even if she has to risk hurting my feelings. Ultimately I always appreciate her brutal honesty. During our conversation, I was explaining to Momma that my reason for continuing the blog has become something that even I don’t fully understand sometimes. I feel very deeply, strongly compelled to share my thoughts and feelings. My mother is the one human being who I seek validation from, her opinion on any and every thing I do means more to me than that of any other person. I said to her “Momma, does it sound crazy that I feel that sharing my perspective on life is what God wants me to do and is leading me to do?” Momma’s answer was short, she very matter-of-factly said “No, it doesn’t sound crazy.” After blogging sporadically for nearly three years and always being very apprehensive about posting very personal feelings to share with anyone in the world who chooses to read what I post, it was my mother’s validation that I needed to feel comfortable with just letting go and letting God use me for his will. I think that writing for this blog has allowed me to go through a lot of personal growth but I realize that is not the only reason that God has led me to do this.

Since I’ve been sharing my perspective on this blog I am always amazed first of all when people tell me they read it regularly and second when someone tells me that something I said within one of my posts helped them in a positive way. I know many of you amongst my loyal audience are people who have known me since I came from my mother’s womb, you all know that I am a very introverted, quiet, borderline shy young woman. I have trouble with accepting compliments, because I feel like I’m just being Zena and it’s not necessary to compliment me for that. Now, that doesn’t mean that I want you all to stop complimenting me, it just means that I don’t always know how to reply to your compliments, because honestly they sort of make me uncomfortable and make my heart happy all at the same time, I’m sure that sounds weird. I consider myself the far opposite of an attention seeker, but when someone tells me that something I have shared has made an impact on them and the way they think about life and/or the things happening around the world, well, I just don’t have the words in my vocabulary that can truly express exactly how hearing that or reading comments that express that makes me feel, it really means so much to me. I believe that making a positive impact on others is why God has led me to share my perspective and testimony about the things that I am going through or have gone through and gotten to the other side of.

This has become one of those posts that I think I will start calling my testimonial perspective posts, because it has really made me think a lot about life while writing it. It’s one of those posts that I am a little apprehensive about sharing online but I’ll share anyway. For many of my adult years so far, l have spent a lot of time thinking about and questioning my purpose and my place in this world, you all know, you read it, I am always writing about finding purpose and walking in purpose. As the tears roll while I am writing these words I realize that maybe part of God’s purpose for my life is to help others who are going through life’s trials, to look at the brighter side of things. I know from my own personal experiences that when you’re going through something difficult it can be extremely hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve learned that if you just keep on walking there are always brighter days ahead. I realize that there are so many people in this world who have been through so much more than I have and are going through so much more than I do on a daily basis, but I know that God has led me to share my life in words because just one of his children needs the words that he has given me to express to the world.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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There Is Triumphant Strength On The Other Side Of The Storm #43

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength . They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40: 29 & 31NLT

My goal for the month of August 2018 has been to post something that I deem meaningful every Thursday in the month, well it is only the second Thursday in the month and I’ve been racking my brain all week trying to come up with something meaningful to say today. Lately my prayer in regards to this blog has been “God please give me the words that you want me to give to others.” Earlier this week I literally found myself saying “God, what’s up, are you going to give me something to say to my blog readers, because I am drawing a blank, you’ve given me the mindset to post something once a week this month, so you have to help me out.”

Recently I have been dealing with having severe abdominal pain and no one who has achieved M.D. behind their name has been able to figure out what the exact cause is, so I’ve been feeling not at my best and procrastinating for most of the day. I said to myself “Okay Zee, you’re going to have something posted by noon today,” at noon I was still drawing a blank and had no idea of anything I was going to say in this post, so I decided to take a nap and thought maybe God will give me the words after I sleep on it for a little while. At 1:30, I was awake and a bit more enegerized than before my nap, but my mind was still blank as far as this post was concerned. All of a sudden it became real cloudy outside and started to thunder, you know, it was one of those pop-up thunderstorms that seems to come from out of nowhere and I thought alright its about to rain and writer’s block is still laying on me strong, maybe God has nothing for me to share today, maybe it is just not in his plan for me to post something today, so I’m going back to sleep.

FBD32AB6-CF1F-4D1B-8E9B-E1D463494EF6Now yall, I always wonder about people who say that God talks to them, but I think my mind has changed about that. I’ve been thinking about, no, honestly dwelling on all the aches and pains and sickness that I have had to endure in my life, but I had decided not to write about that because I don’t want my perspective to turn into my testimony. At that point in the day when I thought I had decided not to attempt to post anything today, God said “Zena, girl, now you know life doesn’t go your way, what I say goes, you are writing something today.” and he gave me the words/phrase your pain is the road to triumphant strength and there is triumphant strength on the other side of the storm. Scared into obedience, that was me. I started writing and couldn’t stop, so if this turns into the longest Perspective By Zena T. post that I have shared thus far just know that I am being obedient.

As I said in Perspective #42 The Road To Loving Me, one of the things that I have questioned more than any other about me and my life is “why did I have to be born with Spina Bifida?” and “why do I have to have so many medical difficulties?” Having been born with Spina Bifida has not at all been the most awful thing in my life, as a matter of fact at times although I feel like its a bit selfish of me, but I find myself thanking God and being grateful because I don’t have as many health problems as most people who were born with Spina Bifida. I’ve never considered it a curse or placed blame on anyone because I was born with Spina Bifida, but throughout my life I have found myself very often asking God, why he chose to make being born with a “disability” and having to deal with being sick so often a part of my journey through this life? In the last year and a half with all the reflection and introspection that I have been doing I have been trying to not allow Satan to gain a grasp on my left hand while loosening God’s hold on my right hand (see perspective #35). I will honestly confess that in the last few weeks there have been several times that Satan’s strong hold took over me and had me once again asking God “why am I having to endure all this pain, why did you choose me for this?”

If you have read any one of my previous posts then you know that God has made me realize that there is a lesson in every trial that he sends me through, so I have taught myself instead of asking “why” start asking God, what is the lesson in this trial, what is it that you are trying to show me by presenting me with this difficulty or this difficult time in my life? What lesson is embedded in this experience? I have never thought of myself as a strong person, mentally, emotionally and surely not physically, but now that I have had thirty-six years to go through asking “why?” now that God has given me a chance to reflect upon all the surgeries and everything else that I have been through I realize those things in part have shaped who I am, how I think about so many things and how I see this life.

A27A90B6-6A31-4534-A513-CDE402576696In this moment I have come to realize and believe that God has been trying to show me that I am much stronger than I have always seen myself or thought that I am. God made me strong because he knew that I would have to endure a lot of pain and it would take that pain for me to see my strength. I guess that’s the lesson that I am supposed to learn from my current and past pain. There is triumphant strength to be rewarded at the end of each storm life brings my way. Wow! What lessons you can
learn from just being obedient, listening and doing what God is telling you to do.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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The Road To Loving Me #42

matteo-paganelli-157464-unsplashI always have a really hard time when God lays something very personal on my heart to share with my Perspective By Zena T. readers and this has been one of the most difficult perspectives for me to put into words thus far. As always I pray that God has given me the words that he wants me to share with others, even if I don’t fully understand why he fills my mind and heart with certain words to share.

A couple days ago I saw a snippet of an interview that the entertainer Bobby Brown did recently, the interviewer asked him the question “what’s one lesson that you’ve learned that has aided in you being able to move on from all the bad times in your life?” Bobby Brown’s reply to this question was “learning to love myself.” I thought that was a very profound statement. Hearing those four words made me think about how the journey towards completely loving one’s self is not always an easy journey and I started to reflect upon how I feel about myself. I am at a place in life where I am able to admit that learning to love myself completely has been a gradual, endless process that at times goes at snail’s pace with many setbacks. Honestly right now at thirty-six years old I think I am just beginning to accept myself yet I am still trying to figure out who I am. I’m not even sure that makes any sense. There are many things that I love about the person that I am but after reflecting upon it I am just not sure I honestly love myself as wholeheartedly as one should.

nick-fewings-532590-unsplashPlease don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying that I don’t love myself, let me repeat that, I am not at all saying that I don’t love myself, I just feel like there are parts of me that are easier for me to accept and love than other parts are. I think I’m a great girl who has a good heart with a big capacity for love, caring, kindness, compassion and many other good characteristics. The reason that I say I’m not sure if I love myself as wholeheartedly as one should is because I always find myself asking God “why” in regards to who I am and my life. Why can’t I do this or that? Why can’t I be like this person or that person? Why did I have to be born with Spina Bifida? Why do I have to have so many health trials? Why am I such a deeply sensitive person? Why am I antisocial? Why can’t I be a better daughter, sister and friend? I’m not downing myself and I don’t want anyone to think that, I’m just telling you what God has placed on my heart and being truthful with myself and anyone reading this.

I have come to realize that there are parts of myself that I’ve always had a great deal of difficulty accepting therefore I am not able to thoroughly love all parts of me. I always feel like although there are things I don’t like and/or love about me and my life I am grateful for my life, but I wonder if having problems with parts of me ultimately makes me an ungrateful person, which isn’t who I want to be. I am beginning to recognize the fact that I dwell too much on my imperfections and not enough on the good parts of who I am. I admire confident people who seem to be in a place where they have learned to wholeheartedly love themselves, imperfections & all and are completely comfortable walking through life in the skin that God placed them in. I pray that God continues to work with me on my journey toward completely loving myself and allows me to some day look in the mirror and wholeheartedly love the person looking back at me and who he made me to be.

That’s just my perspective!💜