Letting Go of Old things (Embracing the New Season Ahead)
Author: Melissa Barber
Happy Thirtieth (and Final) Day of Thanks
“To be blessed by everything you hate, to shift from suffering to ecstasy of ache. This is your year to no longer be who you were, to rise from the embers, to be guided by Her. This is your year to be carried by grace, out of the matrix and away from the race. This is your year to be the clear-visioned goddess, to bear the heaviness of a crown, a sacred promise. This is your year to live the life of your dreams, to heal, to witness, to be the one who queens. This is your year to forever change the rest, to un-tame, to shift, to lead, and to live blessed. Woman, This is Your Year.” –Tanya Markul (2019).
Today, I give thanks for the ability to let go in all of the necessary areas of my life to embrace the God given destiny that lies ahead. This year has been one of the toughest years of my life. I literally cried in this 2019 New Year. As I sat at midnight, crying, feeling like I had been completely forgotten about and passed over, denied some of my truest heart’s desires, delayed in so many blessings, was financially spent and not feeling like God was anywhere to be found, I hoped that the moment wasn’t symbolically representing my year ahead.
I wish the crying and the depth of my heartache was only for that moment, but it lasted for days and weaved throughout the year such that it has seemed like an eternity. I lost significant people in my support system. Four days into the New Year, I almost lost my best friend. Thirty days into the New Year, I lost my mom, Nehanda. A few days after that, I caught a flu that had me down for at least two weeks. And overwhelming life situations just kept coming. Everywhere I turned, there was something new to address.
However, in the midst of the chaos and pain, I kept pressing and fighting to take one step at a time and live each day in the present. (And if most of you would also tell the truth, sometimes it’s all about getting through the day and not worrying about a tomorrow.) As I got through another day and another experience, climbing the mountain to my destiny, I’d hear the whispers of my soul telling me that there was something or someone else to let go. For those of you who climb heights, you know that the higher you go, the lower the air pressure, which makes it feel like there is less oxygen. If it feels like there is less oxygen, it’s more difficult to breathe, and thus, there is no room for dead weight and unnecessary excess. As I was climbing toward the top of my destiny mountain, I was starting to feel all of the dead and excess weight that I was carrying and suddenly it became too hard for me to breathe.
I wrestled with myself (and God) about keeping those dead weights because I’ve always had such a hard time letting go of people and things. But, the cutting off of my air supply meant I had to take drastic measures and do what I dreaded to do. I had to fight for me and my survival. So, this year was my training ground to get rid of all the dead weight and let go of the things, ideas, and people in my life that couldn’t be brought into my new season. This was the year that I stopped caring about what other people thought (about me or the decisions I made) and stood boldly, telling my truth, ideas and thoughts, whether other people liked them or wanted to hear them. This was the year that I couldn’t be convinced to stay in a friendship or situations that did not have my best in mind too. This was also the year that I listened to my soul as it gently reminded me that there was another closure needed in another area of my life.
Although this year’s journey has been filled with so much pain, heartache,tears, much prayer and restless nights, I have never known a freedom like this before. It’s the strangest thing to say that in the midst of so much pain, I feel freer. But, it’s true. Putting myself first, doing the things that I love and have always wanted to do, setting necessary boundaries, gave me my air supply back. I went to the ocean (Day 28) and got my second confirmation that I had to let go of my current job and finalized letting go of someone I really loved. My third confirmation about my job came on the last day of an orientation retreat I was hosting. (It’s always amazing how God will use an unsuspecting person to speak to your heart in the rarest of moments). It was about 3 am in the morning when my friend’s nephew starting speaking to me. He said, “You are such a hard worker and do some really amazing work with these students. It’s evident that you really love and care about them. But, you remind me so much of my mother.”
I asked him to explain why and how I was like his mother. He said, “You both are so passionate about the things you do and you take care of and sacrifice everything for other people. But, you both never take the time to sacrifice for your own selves and your own happiness.” I interjected (proud that I had spent much of the earlier part of the year doing the work to be intentional about solidifying my happiness and sacrificing for me) and said that I was making sure that I was taking care of myself too. He said, “If you were really taking care of yourself and sacrificing for yourself, then you would do and have done what you know you were supposed to do concerning this job. I can’t and won’t tell you what to do because only you can make that decision for yourself. But, there is no reason that you should be stuck here, making this ridiculously low salary when you have a family to support and talents way beyond what this has to offer you.” (Talk about an ouch moment that was all God speaking through this 22 year old man child!)
Everything he was saying was completely right. Earlier in the year, I had to set hard boundaries about my work hours because I needed to hustle to find ways to complete other projects to make money. When I signed on to my current job years ago, I agreed to do thirty hours per week. The thirty hours easily became fifty to sixty (or more) hour weeks; the extra twenty to thirty hours of which I never got financially compensated. I worked for seven years without ever getting a raise or a financial bonus, even though my work significantly increased and I suddenly took on the work responsibilities of the many people who left. I had been doing the work of two to three people for a long time and saw no relief or help in sight. On my salary alone, I could not support my family and survived off of my credit card to make ends meet. (I’m in a ridiculous amount of debt now because I didn’t make the choice to leave much sooner.)
Each time I thought to leave my job, I thought of all the students and how my leaving would impact them. Most everyone who is familiar with my program convinced me that I needed to stay because I was doing great work. Or, I had negotiated something for the program and didn’t want anything in the new negotiations to fall apart because there would be no one to pick it up. In essence, I thought of myself as too important or essential and let others convince me that my role was such as well. Ultimately, the truth is that regardless of how difficult a transition would be for my job if I left, I am, in fact, replaceable and there is always someone else who can learn to do the job. And this job should have been paying me accordingly as the work and demands increased but it had not and was not thinking about compensating me for all of my work.
As you could imagine, after that 3 am conversation, I had a great deal of thinking and decision making to do. God had spoken loud and clear through this vessel he had chosen. Here was yet another area in my life of which I needed to let go of something to embrace new opportunities for my own business growth and development as well as financial wealth.
In this year’s training ground, as I climbed further toward destiny, I realized that ALL of the users, deceivers, and life drainers have also been dead weight dragging me down and preventing me from feeling and getting that oxygen supply I needed to climb. The people in my life who only called me or appeared when they wanted or needed something kindly got told that they no longer had access or got completely cut off or blocked. The bitter people, like my mom, who couldn’t get completely cut off but who only had negativity to spread got placed in a location that was at longer than arms distance away and loved from there. Tiny feats I conquered gave me a little more of my lung capacity back.
I discovered that I was being completely deceived and undervalued by someone who I thought loved and claimed to love me. He had a secret life with a wife and child in it and, I guess, imagined that my love for him would allow him to play games and have me take second place and receive his sloppy seconds. While Love can make people entertain and contemplate dumb and crazy things, I was way past the stage of being that kind of stupid for a man. And as much as my actions shocked the heck out of us and the people around us, I let him go too. I ignored his “I love you” and “you mean everything to me” messages. I stopped entertaining his suggestions of meeting to discuss things. I had to tell a member of his family that I did not need or want updates on his life or for him to be a middle man to filter me information. I was really done. (Can you imagine me co-signing to get someone’s sloppy seconds? Puhlease! That V-8-dose of mental clarity-couldn’t come quick enough!) That move gave me so much more of my lung capacity back to climb further up my destiny mountain. I took all the time I needed to purge myself and my heart of that situation, continued to work on decluttering my life, and have become more open and intentional about meeting and dating people. (I’m taking it slow but it’s been going really well in that department so far.)
One of the hardest things I’ve had to remember (and learn) during this season of training is to look for resources and blessings to come in the most unexpected ways and from the most unexpected people. I found myself depending on specific people who committed to do certain things for me but all too often found them MIA when they needed to produce. Some of these were great people, who were totally reliable and dependable before, which allowed me to trust in them. But, I’m sure you can image my heartbreak when they didn’t come through and didn’t even give an explanation of what happened and why they didn’t come through. I prayed about these situations so that my heart was full of forgiveness and that God would provide a ram in the bush. God did it every time and whispered another valuable lesson to my soul. Instead of counting on/depending on specific people to be my source, I had to remember that God is. (He will always be my ultimate source for everything in my life!) That is going to be a nugget that I will have to keep near and dear to me as I charter into the new, unchartered territory of this coming season. My spiritual ears and sight will have to be so fine-tuned to not miss even the smallest of crumbs from God’s mouth and hands.
So this new season I’m expecting and embracing involves the reaping of the fruit from the decades of years that I have sown seeds and watered them with my sweat and tears. A new job(s) is/are coming that will increase my finances three fold (and get me out of this debt!); I’m working on doing some things that I have always wanted to do and am passionate about. (Yay!) I have about $1100 more to give the publisher so that my book will be printed and released. (And I don’t think I’ll have to resort to dancing on a pole or being a lady of the night! I have faith that the book is going to be released much sooner than later because I know and believe that the resources are coming even as I write.) When my book is released, please support it and find your way to my book signing/release party. Start saving your money now for bus, plane, or train tickets to NY because I want you all here to celebrate that moment of destiny with me. Be prepared for a real party too!
(What if it’s a best seller that jump-starts our thanks movement onto a national and international platform? Hey! ya never know! Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard nor can minds comprehend the great things God has for those who love Him.)
I’m willing and expecting for God to blow my mind.
Ms. Diva, Delilah Christina, has had some challenges this year but God has been so faithful. Her mama remains the fiercest advocate for her that she will ever know. She remains completely successful on her keto diet (when maintained by the other caretakers in her life). Her seizures have been kept to a minimum; she is finally on prescribed Epidiolex (which now saves me $300 out of pocket every 3 weeks. Hallelujah! because that financial burden was drowning me). She is working on job training skills in school, still loves fashion and modeling and will officially become an adult in about ten more months. We’ll have to start the guardianship process soon. (Please pray that there will be no hiccups or hindrances but a smooth process.) I’m still expecting God to blow my mind with her complete healing and fluency of speech. I know that the dream I saw of her on the platform of that packed out stadium singing and declaring some things that shook the earth completely awaits her and I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes.
Today as I give thanks for letting go of old things and embracing a new season, I ask that you highlight your own organization to give. (Sure, it can be one previously mentioned on the journey that you haven’t given to yet.) I also encourage you with the words of one of my favorite Toni Braxton songs: “Let it go, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. Everything’s gonna work out right, ya know.” I’ll keep you posted and can’t wait to see you all at the book signing party.
I truly am thankful for you!
Have a great day of Thanks!