My Brain

🧠 🌸💗
My brain.
Most of the beautiful things I have offered the world has come from it. It has led me a life of awe and wonder. It has gifted me the love of learning for my life’s entirety.
For as many medical concerns my body has endured in my 40’s – this past 6 months have been the most detrimental in healing as the very core of my existence. Some would argue its the heart – the brain is still the boss to it all. I have carried it like a newborn baby for the past 6 months – in its fragility – making sure I dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s – while also hurdling the MOST pain I have ever been in AND the most fatigue.
As most of you know last October, a brain surgeon locally wanted to do emergent brain surgery on me since I was in excruciating pain and losing my eye sight progressively fast. Lucky for me, a medication we tried on a hope and prayer not only took down the pressure in my brain, it also slowed the process of my optic nerve swelling and my eye sight dwindling. This medication is very hard on the body – it has given me fatigue like I have never in my life have had – but it has also gifted me time.
This time has created space to seek healthcare options with the very best in our country: The Mayo Clinic. To my surprise they took my complex case. Back in December I met with the Neuro surgeon via video and he disagreed with my local Neuro surgeon saying I needed to make sure we turn over every stone possible and find the reasoning why, before we rush into brain surgery. He referred me to get a special MRI that on my side of Florida is not available, and see a headache specialist/neurologist. Meanwhile I followed up with my local person, who decided upon reviewing my case, that – and this is his words: “I don’t need to see you anymore you are fine. All you have to do is lose 90lbs and you will be cured. Count your calories”. Need I remind you SAME person who wanted to do emergency surgery just months prior.
Fast forward to this week when I actually got to go to the Mayo Clinic for the the special 2 hour MRI at 6:30am so that it was ready for my afternoon appointment with the headache specialist. From the moment I walked into Mayo Jacksonville it literally felt like THE best of the best. The quality of care I received even in the radiology department was NEXT to none! My personal favorite was while stuck in a tube for two hours I was able to listen to my favorite Christian music and the head piece they locked my head into- had a mirror that let me see outside of the machine to help with feeling claustrophobic. Then later that day I get to the headache specialist who shows me the very detailed amazing MRI I just had that morning. It showed me a few things – my pituitary gland is empty and deformed, my optic nerve is still angry and swelling of my eyes still present, and the veins behind my brain and around my ears are swollen. Some of this is possible in being restored some are permanent. What was clear was I was misdiagnosed by the original local Neuro surgeon that could’ve done brain surgery for no reason because it wouldn’t have helped 😳‼️I actually don’t have a true Chiari Malformation it just looks like the back of my brain is hanging low because my pseudo tumor is pushing it out. Infact my pseudo tumor is making everything in my brain angry. Although the medication is helping – it’s not a long term – best quality of life – option. So the neurologist who specializes in pseudo tumors wants to find out the WHY and get me off the medication. So what does that mean? I need to no longer use retinol in my skincare, I can’t use doxycycline if I have a Lyme flare, I need to keep my anemia in check, I need to get tested for blood clotting disorders as well as sleep apnea, and the most common thing related to this – is I have to lose weight. Unlike how the other guy just flippantly said “lose 90lbs count your calories you will be cured”, this doctor said with my history of hormonal issues and severe inflammation- the typical way most likely won’t work in my favor. Especially since we are looking for fast acting results for fast relief – and she isn’t looking for 90lbs she is looking for 20% of my weight to be gone. So I will be going for a consultation at the Mayo Clinic at the Bariatric center – to hear about both non surgical and surgical options. If you are reading this and have had weight loss surgery – I would love to hear your own personal pros and cons. I am also obviously looking into non invasive ways if they will work for what I have going on with my body. I am so grateful for the care Mayo Clinic provided me the other day- so seamless between departments and labs- and so understanding. The Neurologist explained to me step by step what was happening in my brain and why I needed to take a few new medicines for now – while I go through the process of losing weight. And praise GOD – no brain surgery for me! 🙌🏻

I woke to a new year, staring at the wall of the old me. It had incapsulated much of who I had been over the past few years since I made it, but it was falling short of who I have become and where I am going. This vision board I once dreamed of, was now semi-history, yet it was the first thing i woke up to every single day.

Poetic some would say, on how I had been living my life. One foot in the box of my past, the other in the present, and no eligible foot for the future. In order to make room for the future, i had to let go of what might feel comfortable, but no longer serving the spirit of radical transformation.

So I climbed up on the ladder and took it down. It wasn’t ”new year new me“. It was making way for God to press new things into my life, while letting the things He already declared dead, to fall away. I happen to be the worst at fall away. I want to carry it all in colorful life luggage with me, because at one point it served a purpose and I loved it. However, I am learning that carrying dead things impact your wellness physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are just to heavy when they no longer are baring fruit.

So for a few days I looked at this board and what I once saw as my future intentions. Some my spirit rebuked even at the sight, some I still longed to happen, and some I had already done but was still declaring it new. Today I decided my 2018 vision board would be updated to 2022 Aimee. I decided to keep the things I’m still working on, keep the things I intend for the future, and I added a lot of things that resonate with me. In 2018 health concerns weren’t in my wheelhouse, either was living in another state, or being transformed at such a rapid pace.

I added one of my favorite pictures of Jesus pulling out of the water, and this time I wrote my prayers/intentions underneath it as a declaration of my rooted footings in the present and the future.

Now I will wake up everyday to possibility.

No Resolve;Only honor.

This past year, 2021, has blessed me. It has given vision and perception I didn’t have the year before it.  Even in the moments it had scared me to the core with my own health scares, I rejoice in the blessing and the lesson it delivered. Although admittedly since moving down south to what often feels like an entirely different country, I have to say I have never grown as much as I have in the past two years. Removing myself from roots that only made me cling to what I knew, forced me to grow into something else. After scrolling through social media, I may be one of the only people that have paid credit to the years 2020 and 2021. They have truly laid ground work that I had never ventured on. They have also been the most confusing years of my life. I am not sure who I am here on this new ground or what I want to be, yet I am the most healthy (mentally) I have ever been. I have literally shed careers, characteristics, people, that no longer serve this version. I feel the most free of what was holding me back, then I have in decades. Even when I had months of worrying about my own fate, I sat in gratitude for the chances I had been giving. I even at one point told God in prayer, “if you decide to take me, I will going willing with a grateful heart.”   Starting new, with huge changes, has rewarded me in the deepest most rewarding ways. I have owned all of my past unhealthy habits and dissected them. I have been rewarded with optimism and resilience, that the best is yet to come.  However, there is still some major work to be done. 

Looking forward, I came to the realization that often I retreat in order to please others. For many reasons, I am having a hard time serving that to the world authentically when I am willingly abandoning myself. Finding my voice is still the hardest journey I have ever been on. Which is funny, I surround myself with brazen woman that often forget to filter before speaking their mind, never mind speaking it whole heartedly. I get caught up on the worry of what others feel over my own value. As we sit in such an angry, divided, cancel culture, world right now, suddenly owning my voice seems almost scarier then the idea of immediate brain surgery did. However, I must. Internally I have done the hard inner works. I have pulled all the roots poisoning me from my past, but not owning my voice, is making me ill.

Another lesson I plan to work on in 2022, is looking at the truth. I often like to perceive in my head an unrealistic world that feels so good and real. When often in reality it isn’t even close to my pretend one. I give to many chances to people that I should’ve let go at the third time they let me down, not wait until the hundredth. I can’t dilute others ugly in order for me to pretty it up in my head to hold them high. Sometimes, just like a job, a place, a perfume; you no longer fit like you used to and it shouldn’t be watered down and fluffed up. When the fragrance is foul, It just needs to be let go of.  

Regardless, if today was my last day on earth, I would die with zero regrets and a heart of gratitude. Even if I kept my mouth quiet more then I should have, or wore rose colored glasses when looking at people in my life that perhaps never looked good in rose.  On this last night of 2021 I regret not a thing. On this last night of 2021 I honor with love all the lessons God gave me to grow; even the ones that felt impossible. I resolve nothing. I honor and grow into everything. 


Yesterday I was 44. Today the branch I sprouted a year ago to the moment  is now rooted in maturity and depth beneath my being. Aligning me in ways I deemed impossible, changing me in ways I hadn’t expected, grounding me into places in this earth I hadn’t known existed.The start of year 44 didn’t feel different when it began. It felt repetitive rooted in the same soil I had been content in for years. I forgot how lethal this could be. Especially for a soul that was made for progression not stagnancy. Then I started to get ill. I would wake most days in pain, with constant flu like symptoms, and barely able to stay awake. I was literally sleeping my life away- unable to work – unable to do most things. When I had hope that the diagnosis of Lupus would be the “cure” I needed, I quickly found out in a matter of months this would be the least of my worries. Suddenly I was losing my eye sight rapidly, my entire body inflamed and angry, what I thought was constant sinus pressure ended up being a pseudo tumor in my brain and my constant pain in the base of my neck – happened to be my brain hanging to low out of skull (chiari). My entire being felt as if it was being attacked physically. I gained more weight in a year then ever before – not because of my deep love of chocolate and baked goods – because lord knows I also went months with zero appetite- it was and is extreme inflammation. Unwavering inflammation that didn’t change for diets or medication – and has put me in sizes I have never seen before. For a good month – the team of doctors working on my case thought imminent brain surgery was the only option. I wrestled with this monster of an under taking for weeks. I never prayed quite like this before. I had zero control or choice – I was in pain and losing my eyesight. I truly didn’t know if I could survive brain surgery. I started to get my things in order. I started to surrender to the fact that I may die at 44. In the middle of this desperate time of surrender to the Lord, I heard a sermon on how even when we are in the furnace, the Lord is able to break chains to things not intended for us. Meaning eventhough I was handing over my life/death, He was not only working on that one thing – but ALL things that were toxic mentally, physically, spiritually, that needed to be cast out. I knew in a hotel in Disney World when I was worshipping that something shifted in me. The fear turned to peace – I was no longer begging for my life, I was admiring the fruit He grew on this limb 44 – and how it cried out to Him “do what you wish Lord”.

So I opened my eyes to hear 45. Able to SEE. ALIVE. Without immediate brain surgery. My body has a lot of work to be done. So many answers still waiting to be uncovered. BUT… I REJOICE in knowing 🌱🪴🌳the roots are recalibrated, the soil freshly overturned, and I am no long in stagnancy. I may be in a time of rest but I have a feeling year 45 is about to bring me an unopened fruitful gift that I have been preparing for. 

I am grateful the core of me shook all the dead leaves to the ground when I was scared and alone facing mortality. 

I am grateful that I was able, even when I was physically the most ill I have ever been, to spiritually grow leaps and bounds that the nectar tastes so sweet from the fruit of limbs grown from seed to solid. 

I am grateful I learned what true surrender is. 

I am grateful that in the end I always choose Him. 

I am 45 today because He planned it as such. 

Today I am 45 planting a new seed in the soil waiting for the shoot to grow out- and see what is to come of this year ahead? 

One thing is for sure: growth is no longer an option; it is an observation. He will change me 1,000 times over for what He has called me for. All is well with my soul. 

Hallelujah I’m alive for 45. 

It’s another day. I am sick again. I lay awake staring at the ceiling wondering how I will rise above what my body is experiencing.

Every joint in my body aches from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes. My fingers and toes sometimes result in tingling and numbness. I feel like I have a fever without actually having a fever. My vision is blurry and shaky, with a constant pain behind my eyes. My neck feels like it has a rock being carried under my skin full of pressure and ache. My spine feels like it is being pressed down leaving me with constant lower back and sciatic pain. I am nausous and exhausted. My entire body is inflamed, swollen, and I am unable to lose any weight. I haven’t smelled out of my nose completely since moving to Florida in early 2020. I have constant sinus pain and headaches. Sometimes I am so dizzy, disoriented, and brain fogged, I feel like I may pass out. I’ve become forgetful when I am famously known by all that know and love me to have one of the sharpest memories ever made.

It’s been like this for so long, I can’t remember what it is like to feel “normal”. I have lost my ability to work and be present in a lot of my daily life. I am literally living in a vortex of surivial every single day. For months I have dealt with doctors either brushing me off saying things like, “Oh chronic fatigue is what you have, and it’s called motherhood”, or clinically diagnosing me with a range of difficult diagnoses that aren’t so clear cut, like Lupus. What I refuse to give my sickness is my willingness to concede in counting my blessings and knowing the Lord will lead me through this. I have prayed daily for answers. A cry out of need, “Please Lord clarify what this is so I can get help and LIVE again”. Like the faithful Father He is, He answered. Sure it isn’t the path I would’ve liked. However, He answered, and I will not waver in my faith knowing I am drenched in His love.

I sat in a neuro ophthalmologists office, not even a week after going for a routine eye check up. During that routine check up last week, my new eye doctor noticed my optic nerve was severely inflamed. She showed me a picture of a “normal”optic nerve verses mine, and I welled up in tears. This picture defined exactly what I have felt like for months. It was a work of expressive art, while also screaming “HELP ME”! She referred me to this specialist, who also did a battery of testing. While I waited for him to enter his office, I prayed asking the Lord, ” Please God let this be the person with clear answers for me. I can not continue to live like this. I need you to work through him. Please give him the answers God”. The doctor enters and very matter of factly says, ” I believe you have Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in your brain and we need to do an MRI, MRV, and a lumbar puncture to fully diagnosis you accurately”. I walked out of that office full of unknowns, while knowing the Lord delivered what I prayed for, I was finally getting answers.

,I was laying in an MRI machine with my face caged in like a Hannibal Lecter scene, with loud 1970’s music blasting in my ears. A folk song came on talking about utopia and resurrection and I realize the Lord is with me even in the most uncomfortable moments. In fact, it is so easy to spot Him in the goodness in life, and not in the ones we struggle with. I take the time, with tears rolling down my cheeks, thanking Him for bringing me here for answers even though I am counting the seconds to get out of here. I ask Him,”Please lord let this test show them exactly what they need”. I go on to pray for others that are also in uncomfortable positions right now. I thank Him for providing them answers and next steps too.

Days later, the doctor calls to tell me, I am not doing a lumbar puncture, its to dangerous, because I also have something called Chiari Malformation, which means my brain is hanging low out of my skull. He refers me to a neuro surgeon. The neuro surgeon confirms both the pseudo tumor (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) and Chiari malformation. After examining me, he decides the best course of action is brain surgery. He warns me this may not be the entire cause of all my symptoms, but believes many of them will be relieved with these procedures. He tells me nothing will help with the pressure in my head or the pain except for possibly medical marijuana. He wants to do the procedure most likely next month, because the pressure is actively stealing my eye sight. If I continue without surgery, I could start passing out and have seizures, and even possibly go blind for life.

In two weeks time, I went from a routine eye check up to needing brain surgery, after months and months of suffering. Not the answer to my prayers I had hoped for, but certainly a clear answer. As I prepare for this mountain to climb, I praise Him for clarity and loving me enough to align all the right people in my path. I know the road ahead will not be easy for me or those I love, but it is necessary in order for me to live the way He has called me for.

Sometimes in life the answers to our prayers are hard to digest but are still prayers answered. I can not even begin to imagine walking this path ahead without faith. As, the only way for me to survive daily is to surrender it ALL to Him. I refuse to let the fear own me, when whatever the outcome is happens to be dripping in Jesus’ love and desires for me. This my friends, is the ultimate test of faith. If He knows all the details of me, including how many hairs are on my head, He will not leave a stone unturned in this process.

For now, I am pausing in helping to heal others through my hands, for I arrived in a season of rest. For this healer, needs the ultimate healer to heal her. I have no doubt He will deliver.

It has been a long time since I filled this space. It certainly hasn’t been for lack of words, or creative things to write about. By now we all know my greatest way of expressing myself is when I give myself some room to write it. It is my sacred raw art.

Art seem so vast when considering what an artist is. When you create you are art. I recently have received this in my heart knowing that my creativity, what I birth into the world, is my personal artistic expression.

A young beautiful spirit helped me to recognize and honor this recently. I was laying on her table as she tattooed my shoulder and arm for hours. She was discussing her own journey as an artist. She was not born to only be a tattoo artist, but a beautiful botanical water color painter and all around creator. There are things even she has not released about her potential or what will move her that is to come. She knows, however, she does not need to be defined only on what pays her bills for the moment. As she discussed this with me, I felt a deep kindred response in spirit to this.

My nine lives that people love to kid that I have lived in one life, isn’t because I give up easy, it is because I need to create new. I need to grow an change. I am forever budding and blossoming. I can never stay in stagnancy and create. I can never birth to the world my best self when I am sitting in repressed pain and numbing. I need to feel it all, heal, and rebirth.

I haven’t been missing from this space because of lack motivation or inspiration, but because of movement. The past year I have finally produced what God has asked me to do for decades. I finally wrote a book proposal of my memoir. It has plucked every part of my being out of me and into my art. I literally poured my heart and soul into it. Today my friends, I deliver it.

It contains all of who I am, and how God has moved me through it. It released generational pain that I repressed in hopes it would disappear. It reshaped my art as no longer inspirational, but of my deeply raw core, clutching for mercy upon the reader. My art for the very first time, exudes all me, in all nature.

Not so surprisingly, the tattoo I recently got from the beautiful artist, symbolized this. Not only was it an ode to the major women in my life and how our favorite flower is a peony, it was about growth. The beautiful artiest portrayed the story of how I often bloom in beauty, but also struggle in a bud waiting to bloom.

Life as an artist, regardless of what it is, is the ebb and flow of allowing room for the “and both”. We must continue in honoring what helped us to blossom, while also sitting in the process of the bud to bloom.

I am grateful to be able to birth words into the world that impact others, simply by being who God has created me to be.

Self Havening For Everyday Healing

I continue to learn the same lessons in different ways. It’s so incredibly hard to break cycles – especially the ones we create. 
As for 2020 – it wasn’t a cursed word for me – it was a perspective I didn’t expect. It blessed me with learning how be independent not only in my thoughts but in my life. It re rooted me to a space that is new! I’m really learning to grow in it while not forgetting WHO I WAS MADE TO BE! Perhaps the resolution to a new year, or reminders of lessons we are in need of (or still in need of) are not perhaps to slay the cycle but alter it a bit little by little. Its like hitting the refresh button but still relying on it to be the same internet. We can expect to change from 11:59pm to 12 am. We must allow ourselves the grace to re-live the lessons if we must, while celebrating all the things we have overcome.

Here are some lessons I wrote circa 2018 that I still find incredibly valid in the now. Perhaps this list will get shorter over time, perhaps it will grow. Most likely it will waver year to year on what is needed, and what has been let go.

*I can’t read minds nor can others.

*If I expect someone to know how I feel I must use my voice even if it’s whisper it is MINE

*it’s ok to let people leave out of your life without explanation. Sometimes there isn’t one. 

*love doesn’t actually always win but it always matters 

*boundaries isn’t a dirty word it’s a SAFE word 

*find some type of exercise that makes you feel strong not for weight issues but for mind ones.  

*it’s not only important to say no, or to stop apologizing for everything – it’s imperative for self worth 

*don’t make yourself little for others when the king of kings made you to be mighty 

*it’s ok to realize things that once brought you joy can come to end. You have served your time. Keep moving and seeking for what makes your heart dance in the fire 

*first the pain then the rising. Personal growth doesn’t happen over night or in a linear way. It is messy and necessary. 

*I can never have enough amazing friends —- there is room in my heart for the world 

I lead into 2021 with honoring the pain and forgiving those that caused it by being grateful for the lesson they have provided me. 
And for those I caused pain to… forgive me. I am human. I hope in some way it will serve you too.
2020 has been a hard year on people’s hearts and minds. It has wrecked havoc on feelings of connective worth. Let’s be BOLD in taking on – holding the hearts of humans – no matter where they are at or what they choose to believe. More love 2021 – MORE LOVE!

God Aligns Us With Those In Pursuit Of His Glory And Helps To Set Our Souls A Fire In Our Earthly Vessels

My humanness sometimes gets the best of me. I forget that it is limiting. Often times this human self, strangles the beauty of my soul to fall away and unalign with what I am made of. However, on earth I am not allowed to live as my spirit but as a human. So my humanness gets in the way of me quite often. My spirit, since dying, scourers the earth seeking anything that reminds or connects me back to heaven. My greatest joy in my even scavenger hunts. I seek them in peoples, places, and things. I find them rarely.

I have noticed in this new space that I now call home, that parts of my humanness have become highlighted. The need to be seen. The need to be understood. The need to assimilate. The undying cross to bare for all humans, the need to fit in and be included. Just writing these words absolutely exhaust me and admittedly bring me shame. Shame, because I know better. If I have learned anything in my 44 years of life it has been many will not see me, most will not understand my being, I should NOT EVER assimilate, and 99% of the time I will never “fit in”, because Jesus made me in a particular way to not fit the mold. I was born against the grain, swimming up stream, only catering to what He has called me to do.

Finding ones people can also come on varying levels of need. I can easily be a chameleon in the level of fun friendships. I can adjust to not needing to divulge all of who I am to everyone, all the time. I can just wave a hello to neighbors that simply just want to say hi. I can adjust in a group even though I prefer one on ones. I can allow space and time to grow true depth with people because most of the time, the real juicy goodness we all yearn to have in our lives, doesn’t come with fear of missing out on a party, but time diving into someones spirit not human. It can not be rushed, nor labeled as truth, without bing nurtured and honored first.

Sometimes, however, connections are made so easy and seamless, that there is no other question to what it could be other than God. Sometimes, it takes zero effort to conform or whittle my circle self peg into a square one. Sometimes, on earth, our spirits actually lead, and our humanness fall away, when we find our Godly people. Its a needle in a haystack. It is my favorite schavenger hunt that I have only won at a handful of times. However when I find that person, the winning piece is not having to explain who I am and why. They know because our souls know each other before our humans ever did.

A few months ago, I was blessed early in my move across country, to encounter a bright beaming heavenly light, surrounded by artificial earthly color. I had joined a church group of woman that met on the beach every Saturday to speak of the past weeks sermon and reflect on our lives. It was nugget of gold in my new found world. One of those Saturdays, Nicole sat across from me. I never met her, but I knew her. My intuitive self knew immediately that she would be a great friend of mine. Last time this happened to me, a now pillar of my faith circle and dear friend, was speaking at a room full of woman at my old church. When a moment like this happens I know it is only God aligning my biggest treasures. It took all of me to not stand up, press my hands to the sky, and say “Thank you Lord for doing this again”! As the group progressed, it was clear we had a lot in common, including our passion for prayer. We exchanged phone numbers and discussed briefly getting our daughters together. I texted her when I got home full of excitement and wonder. Then life happened and we lost contact for a moment. She didn’t come to any other beach church groups in the weeks after. I didn’t want to bother her by saying seemingly scary things like “Jesus told me we need to be friends”.

One day I was dropping my daughter off at basketball and I saw her light from across the parking lot. Low and behold, she was now officially the first person I ran into by accident in my new town, that wasn’t someone living in my neighborhood. She looked at me and said “aren’t you the girl I was supposed to get together with for coffee”. We laughed at the coincidence and made plans. Plans we would later cancel and reschedule a few times. Here is the thing. This lovely woman is not only a mom of three, but a nurse, and someone from this area. She doesn’t need to make time for the new girl, (which happens daily in this town by the sea), nor does she have moments to spare in her busy day to day. She still does though, because her soul knows too. We schedule a month out in hopes it works.

One day I was driving to my new gynecologists office, in a city about a half hour or so away from the town I live in. Nicoles name came in my mind and I asked God why. He said what she and I were both seeking in church, we would find together. He told me some specific things I made note to text her about later. I arrived at the office. Everyone is masked and I see this woman staring at me. The girl in me that lived in New York City wants to ask “what are you staring at?”. Luckily, before my pre-coffee grit came out, she squealed, laughed, and said “Hey girlllll”. We hugged in a waiting room full of people masked and distanced, because opps the spirit moved us. In that exact moment she was leaving, and I was coming. Another moment God was like, “Ladies I did it again and put you in the same place at the same time. Have you gotten the message yet?”.

We texted like crazy after that, because I had to discuss what the Lord had pressed into me. She randomly asked me if I knew anyone that had a litter of puppies because she was on the hunt for one to surprise her kids for Christmas. I wondered why on earth she would ask me? I was brand new to the area and barely know a soul. The next day a girl I knew from high school that lives about an hour from me posted her litter of puppies. I could not believe it. Although it didn’t end up being the puppy for her, I was very aware of the lesson. God can make anything happen. He works beyond my ability or awareness of “knowing people”, and reminded me all the answers and all the power is always in Him.

Our original plans for months have been to get our kids together, which to date we haven’t. I wonder if this is a secondary of Gods plan because it seems He keeps aligning she and I first. Not so ironically, my daughter switched schools, and now our daughters are in the same class together, noting this is a very large school system. Gods work at its best.

Recently, Nicole invited me to a church service in our quest to find the most Holy Spirit filled house of God. Which, honestly, I never thought I would miss my church so badly up north! While we praised the Lord, I felt instantly He was full of joy knowing we finally showed up purposefully together not only in a space, but HIS space.

I don’t know what mighty plans He has for us. I do know, they are vibrant and heavenly. I do know that although it was instant and seamless, we still need to make the time to nurture and honor. I do know, I already won this round of the heavenly scavenger hunt and everything else is a bonus!

Note to self and to my readers: never under estimate a “by chance” meeting. A single moment can alter everything. All things are possible when our focus is aligned with the Lord.

I have had so much to say in my silence.

Silenced by other peoples opinions on how I should think or feel. I have sat with it, wondering, when in my life I ever let that stop me from speaking. I came to the conclusion it is when people I love are now sitting on the opposite side of me. Perhaps I will lose some, while I peel back the mandated mask of facade they call love, I call conditions. This is a risk I must take not only in tip toeing around peoples delicate feelings, but also to reveal and cherish those who truly love me without conditions.

Recently I was watching an Instagram video on a wildly popular author that I used to idolize. A year ago I would not ever think my feelings or portrayal of her would ever change. In fact, I went on a limb calling her retreat as being the single most life changing event in self discovery, I had ever experienced. When actually, the discovery was, it wasn’t a discovery after all. It was a desperation of belonging and willingness to believe her words had more power than mine. It was an agenda with a fluffed up version of Christianity that was to fit the needs of idolizing thy self. Honestly, I kept feeling this truth often, and pushing it aside. I identified her story as my story. Until, one day it so wasn’t, and was so telling. This idolization of self was dangerous and dark. For months, I felt a guided push away from her. I would read things she posted and my spirit would rebuke what she said. Then, this day happened. I was watching her Instagram video being streamed from that same state I live in. She was literally whining and complaining how she didn’t feel “loved” in her community because they were voting a different way from her. She discussed how in the same community people want pictures with her, read her books, and like her. However, this poor girl, a white millionaire woman, with multiple New York Times Best Sellers, didn’t feel loved. She didn’t feel loved over other peoples right to vote. How does that the only qualifier of love?

For me, this was a breaking point. It wasn’t because of her political choice I was willing to no longer buy into her self-help Christianity. It was because this woman who I used to think was the epitome of inclusive, togetherness, was actually part of the divide. Did she know why all of those people in her community were voting the way they did? Why is the right vote ONLY about what she considers to be most important?

This struck a chord in me because weeks prior I felt completely betrayed and let down, by many I love or had at least liked, on social media. I had posted a reference in being kind to even those who vote a different way than you. I received a backlash of bitter disgust, that as someone as sensitive as I am, had a hard time digesting for weeks. I gently explained I didn’t know who I was voting for at the time because I had varied amount of policies to consider. I was told I was a homophobe and racist nearly because I considered not voting their way. After serving as a huge advocate for decades in social justice, choosing to work only in communities that were in need of such advocacy, and personally identifying as love, I was shocked to see such venom. Especially knowing many hadn’t ever spent a day in these communities helping others find housing, or employment, or food. Social justice suddenly became a movement that was no longer focused on togetherness, but on “who’s side are you on”.

I considered sending that author who had the privilege to stream from her million dollar home on the water, with her healthy kids, about how unloved she felt, a letter about perhaps she didn’t know the whole story for ALL the people. How my husband and I barely kept my son alive for years! How the CDC regulations on Lyme disease worked against us and nearly killed him. How we spent thousands of dollars out of pocket, on a prayer and hope. How when I left Connecticut a few months ago, the Democratic Party, I once felt completely aligned with, wanted to take my rights away from saying no to vaccines that could cause my son his verbal and/or physical ability or possibly death. I want to say, I voted for my son because I need to keep him alive. Mandated vaccines are dangerous for kids like him who aren’t “sick enough” for a medical exempts. Frankly, I wanted to say, how is it I can get an abortion in this country, but not have a say in my childs health. What happened to “My body my choice”? Suddenly that only applies to one sex and one part of our body? I wanted to say, I will continue to send you love and grace because that’s what we are meant for. I wanted to say thank you God we live in a country with the freedom of choice and the right to vote. I wanted to remind her that Jesus loves her, she doesn’t need to be filled by humans love. I wanted to tell her, the things she preaches against, was exactly how she made me feel. Alone. Not included. Not accepted. She did this by saying “if you love me you will vote the same way as me”, while negating everyone elses story. Including my own, that I felt torn between voting for my son, and being a “good person” she had taught me to be.

Not so ironically, it was the people I met at her weekend training that decided to unfriend me and write posts about how I should “f*ck off” or degrade me about my sexuality, Christianity, and my race. That I was no longer loved or a part of them for saying I didn’t know who I may vote for. This my friends, is what happens when we buy into a collective endorsement of divide. We lose the understanding and the depths of peoples hearts. We stop asking why, and we decide our agenda is the most important. We place people into “the right ones who care for people” and the one “wrong ones who don’t care for people”. Without asking the person who they care for and why?

Love should not come with conditions over a political stance, just as we should not over a religion, or a race, or a sexual identity, or parental views, or career choices, or what we do or don’t do to our own bodies. Love is saying “I see you and hold you” no matter what.

An easy answer for some may be I have changed. However, to live and experience life, it to not stay stagnant. What should remain the same if the love is true, is love.

True love stays. Facade conditional love can be left to the box on the left.