Bitter Fruit: Knowing The Season and Purpose of the Relationship You’re In

The Bible says that you will know a tree by the fruit it bears.

I want to continue from my last blog post. I never actually got to the thought that I had this morning, but this is WAYYY to long to have added it to the previous post. Actually, the thought I had was more of an interesting metaphor that came to mind when thinking about my two Randoms (from the last post) and plenty of men like them. Men (people in general) are like trees. The Bible says that you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. Regardless of your belief system, I think we can all agree that this statement is pretty spot-on. A lot of times, we as women find a man (note, he didn’t find US) as a tree that is still developing. He may have some beautiful leaves and even some fragrant flowers starting to bloom. Or maybe he’s still just a struggling sprout covered in dirt, trying to break his way through the ground. We see his POTENTIAL. I believe that as women, we have a gift (though it can seem like a curse) to see the potential in people and situations. We are visionaries. Though we have a seed, we see a strong, mighty oak tree. Though we have a man who lacks vision, direction, or action, we see Moses. Though he may lie like Jacob, we see Israel. However, though our vision can serve as a blessing to the RIGHT man, when used with the WRONG man, it can bring bitterness and frustration.

It is also important to discern and BE HONEST about what season a man (or person) is in.

You see, we get caught up in the potential of a man, and we do everything we can to make him GROW. We feed him, water him, nourish him, and sometimes change may occur. He may begin to BEAR FRUIT. We get excited because we feel that things may be looking up. He starts talking about going back to school. He starts mentioning the two of you getting married. He starts doing things that are evidence TO YOU that things are going to work. But what we fail to see is that though the fruit is there, it is not RIPE yet. So when we take it off of the tree and sink our teeth into it, our joy quickly turns to pain as we are left with a bitter taste in our mouth. Why hasn’t he gotten his act together? Why hasn’t he married me yet? Was all of this this just TALK? While in some cases, it may be, for many men, it’s not that he’ll NEVER be the sweet, delicious fruit that you long for. It’s that RIGHT NOW, he’s NOT RIPE. It’s not that he’ll never get there. It’s that he’s NOT READY. So you’ll get the excuses, the lies, the games, all the bitter fruit of a man who has not yet matured. And while none of this is an excuse to allow a guy to mistreat you, it is also important to discern and BE HONEST about what season a man (or person) is in.

The Bible says in regards to a seed that some plant, some come to water, some are like the sun shedding light so that it can grow, etc. As we mature, people come into our lives for various reasons. Some are meant to plant the seed of change in our hearts. Others come to water it. Some give us energy with the light that they shine onto our lives. Other give us nourishment when we need it. And finally, when we are matured, there are those who enjoy the fruits of all the others’ contributions. We need not get mad at those who enjoy the fruits of our labor because we too are enjoying the fruits of the contributions of someone, somewhere. And we don’t even know it.

Think about how YOUR past relationships have contributed to who you are today. Now, would you MARRY those people today?

Many times we try to hold onto to someone, failing to realize that our job was simply to plant the seed. We try to enjoy the fruit, when our job was simply to shine light onto their lives to help them reach maturity. We try to MAKE him OUR husband, when the truth is, he isn’t ripe yet. As difficult as it may be to accept, our part to play is in helping him become SOMEONE ELSE’S husband. You don’t think it’s true? Think about how YOUR past relationships have contributed to who you are today. Now, would you MARRY those people today? Probably not. They simply helped you to GROW. In the same fashion, many of us are trying to enjoy unripened fruits and wondering why we keep ending up with a bitter taste in our mouths. We keep keep planting, watering, and working ourselves to exhaustion to get a man to see what he will only see when he’s fully ripened- when he’s fully MATURED. And while sometimes God calls us to be patient and suffer long with someone, many times we just refuse to accept that our job was simply to cultivate. And now our job is DONE.

Friends, I urge you, please take time to evaluate those in your life. In the midst of all your toiling- your planting, watering, digging, fertilizing – all your nagging, complaining, pressuring, and arguing, take stock of the fruit you’ve been getting. When you bite into, is it sweet and satisfying? Then enjoy! You are reaping the blessing of the labor that it has taken for him to reach this place of maturity. Or do you have to spit it out because you can stand how bitter it is? Then it may be time to accept what your purpose was and move on.

Even Jesus put a time limit on how long the fig tree had to bear fruit before He cursed it. If it has been months, years, decades, and still NO FRUIT or the fruit is STILL BITTER, it’s time to accept that this man, woman, etc. is NOT your harvest.

Now with everything, there are exceptions. If you feel that God has called you to bear with someone and love them to where they need to be, by all means, do not let me deter YOU from what the LORD told YOU to do. Also, do not consider this as a license to end your marriage. Except for certain circumstances (infidelity, abuse, danger, etc.), I do believe in sticking in there and FIGHTING for your marriage. But this is intended for those (particularly those who are unmarried) who know deep down that a relationship is not right and are having trouble accepting that their season has ended. Never be afraid to let go because you feel that you’ve put in too much effort. Unless you are reaping the FRUITS of that labor, AND that fruit is RIPE (mature), it may be time to reconsider. Yes, everything takes time, but even Jesus put a time limit on how long the fig tree had to bear fruit before He cursed it. If it has been months, years, decades, and still NO FRUIT or the fruit is STILL BITTER, it’s time to accept that this man, woman, etc. is NOT your harvest. You were simply a contribution to them becoming that harvest for someone else.

God promises us that we will REAP what we SOW. And even if we don’t reap it from the SAME person, when God blesses us with the RIGHT person, all of the labor and effort that we put in before will be WORTH IT.

I look at it like this: in love, we ALL must put in effort. Even if it doesn’t work out, we need not to become upset because somewhere, SOMEONE out there is putting in JUST AS MUCH as effort with the person that God has for YOU. God promises us that we will REAP what we SOW. And even if we don’t reap it from the SAME person, when God blesses us with the RIGHT person, all of the labor and effort that we put in before will be WORTH IT. Have faith. Trust God enough to believe that your labor is not in vain, and when you let go of the WRONG one, you can invest that energy into bringing the RIGHT harvest into fruition.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Love,

CC

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BLOCKED!!!: From Knowing my Worth to Actually Living It

As I get back to my grandma’s house after Thanksgiving dinner, I figure this is a good time to write a thought that came to mind as I was getting ready this morning. I started thinking about an unexpected (and unwanted) phone call that I got the other day from someone in my not-too-distant past. It’s not the first time it’s happened. It’s always random, out of the blue. And it always results in NOTHING. After the brief 5-minute conversation, with him suggesting we need to see each other (but not directly asking or making a plan, though I’m glad he didn’t), I found myself wondering what would happen next. Would he call again? Was he trying to open the door that I assumed was closed? Or was he, as usual, BORED and using this moment to call just to see if I would answer. Conveniently pulling me out of his back pocket with no intention whatsoever. Throwing out the bait just to see if I would still bite. After thinking about it, I’ve reasoned that it’s the latter. While I have no desire to go down that route, I still found myself wondering. Waiting for another call or text. Wondering what possessed him to reach out even though I already knew the answer.

This probably wouldn’t have been so strange if it hadn’t come on the heels of me running into (well more like having to see) another person of interest from my not-too-distant past a few days prior. Now unlike Random #1, I actually did develop feelings for this guy. Though our “situationship” was short-lived, I still find myself dealing with the battle inside that makes me go from “F him” to “I miss him.” From anticipating his presence to feeling foolish for even getting my hopes up. Things ended on “uncertain” terms. Basically, he was “uncertain” about what he wanted and I was CERTAIN that I was only an option to him. Therefore, I conveniently blocked his number and deleted it so that I could make things SURE for both of us. 🙂 But as bold as that sounds, it took me a long time to do this. I cried, I prayed, and I talked my friends in circles before I had the courage to do it. And even though I have, I still find myself agonizing at times about whether I made the right decision. Though some may argue otherwise, when it comes to those I care about, I can be quite patient and often too understanding, even when there’s nothing to be understood.

So, in the case of Random #1, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ll wait a few days, I said. I’ll see what happens. Then I came across this quote on social media. I don’t even remember what it said, but at that moment, I made up my mind. Instead of waiting to see if he would call, instead of emotionally exhausting myself waiting to see what his intentions (let’s face it, NON-intentions) were, I took my power back into my own hands. And just like that…I blocked his number. I never knew something could feel so liberating. I can only hope he doesn’t try to hit me up from his other number. (Side Note: What TRUSTWORTHY grown man has two PERSONAL cell phones? And KEEPS paying for both? I know there are exceptions but I doubt they apply here.) Anyway, but even if he does, I’ll block THAT one too. I know it may not seem like a big deal to many, but for me, it’s monumental. Instead of taking months, it barely took me 24 hours to close the door to what could’ve been another fruitless emotional roller coaster. I am finding beauty in the word NO. I am learning to set boundaries. I am learning not only to KNOW my worth, but I am learning to LIVE it. Even it that means that those who failed to recognize it before will no longer be present to see it on display.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

CC

***Disclaimer: Though I used the term “random” in my post to refer to guys, I do not truly believe in calling guys (or anyone) “randoms.” I believe that no soul is random; we were all fearfully and wonderfully AND INTENTIONALLY made by God, and we ALL have a purpose. Regardless of whether a person is a sinner or saint, no matter what stage they are at in life, each person is significant and loved by Him. Even if their purpose is fulfilled in YOUR life, they still matter to HIM. I simply use “Random” as an easy way to refer to some guys because it’s easier to say than explaining who someone is. If I offend you, forgive me. ❤️***

My Natural Hair Story (and a few pics)

If you would’ve asked me a few years ago if I’d ever consider going natural, my answer would’ve been a resounding NO. Why? I probably would’ve rattled off a few of the following:

“I’m not about to be looking like no slave!”

(YES y’all, I was THAT ignorant. Forgive me, for I have since learned the error of my ways.)

“I’m not hopping on the bandwagon. In a few years when this fad is over and everybody’s getting relaxers again, I won’t have to worry because I’ll be ahead of the game.”

“Going natural looks good on SOME people, but it’s NOT for everybody.”

“My hair’s too thin. I’ll look like a cotton ball.”

“Nah.”

As you can see, I wasn’t convinced. At that point, nothing could’ve pulled me away from my silky-straight relaxed hair. However, as time went by, I began realizing that the “natural movement” was not “just a fad.” Yeah, some people went back to relaxers and many never left #teamrelaxed, but, after a few years, I realized that natural hair was definitely not going anywhere. Still, I wasn’t convinced that it was for ME.

A lot of my resistance was rooted in fear. Most of my life I’ve dealt with a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Honestly, what woman hasn’t at some point in life? I’ve struggled with my weight since childhood, and I’ve never felt exceptionally pretty. However, regardless of how I may have felt about myself or my appearance, I always took confidence in my hair. Well, after I began getting relaxers, that is. Before that, I was just the fat girl with the “nappy” hair who only rocked braids or a frizzy puffball ponytail on a daily basis. But after my first experience with the “creamy crack,” my life changed. By the time I actually learned how to wield a flat iron, child, you couldn’t tell me nothing. My hair began to give me a sense confidence I didn’t have before. However, this confidence was unstable. On days when my hair was “laid,” I felt great! But on days when I got caught in the rain, or slept without a scarf, or it was time to get a touch-up (and the list goes on), my hair would be shot…and along with it, my confidence. I balked at the thought of not being able to grab onto my security blanket when needed, even if it was covered in chemicals caustic enough to melt a can of Coke. I wouldn’t be cute anymore. Instead of just being fleeting, my confidence would be completely gone. I just couldn’t go natural. Or so I thought.

I always took confidence in my hair…however, this confidence was unstable.

I got my last relaxer around March of 2014. At the time, my hair was beautiful, and after a fresh trim, it began to grow quickly. And you know that that means…so did my confidence. It didn’t help that I was also beginning to lose weight at the time, which gave me an extra ego boost. I relished in compliments from friends and coworkers about how great I looked. I was snuggling that security blanket tight y’all. But, like a bad plot twist, these moments were short-lived. After a few months and attempts to stretch my relaxer as long as possible, all that growth was gone. My hair was extremely damaged and broken. It was so uneven that it looked like I had finally given in and let my 5-year-old cousin play hairstylist with hair. Honestly I’m still not completely sure what happened, but I knew I couldn’t keep, in the words of dear old Mr. Brown, “looking like I was looking.” With my security blanket hanging on by a thread, for the first time, I seriously began to consider going natural.

It didn’t take long to make up my mind, but now that I had made a decision, I had yet another one to make. Do I transition or do the chop? For those who don’t know what I’m referring to, this article basically explains it. I am quite impatient, so I wanted to cut off all my ends at that moment, but I was afraid to make a rash decision and ultimately regret it. So I talked to my friends, read blogs, watched YouTube videos, and everything in between. I tried some of the transitioning styles (like twist outs, flat twists, etc.), but it seemed like all my attempts were in vain. I ultimately ended up having to resort to my go-to hairstyle that got me through when I was relaxed: twisting my hair up like Celie from The Color Purple. After weeks of this, I was not feeling it anymore, AT ALL. I finally gave in. I figured if I was gonna look/feel crazy anyway, I might as well do it with one texture of hair. Whether I cut my relaxed ends now or later, either way I’m going to have to part with it, I told myself. So why not now? And so I did. On September 12, 2014, I decided to do the Big Chop.

Doing the BC has been one of the most liberating experiences for me.

Though I thought I would live to regret it, doing the BC has been one of the most liberating experiences for me. Yes, it’s only been about 9 days lol, and my hair is currently covered up with a crochet style, but I can’t wait to see how my hair will grow…and how I will grow. I’m looking forward to this journey.

Maybe I’ll finally retire that security blanket too. 🙂

Love,

CC

 

I am NOT Ready for Love

One of the best songs, hands-down, is India Arie’s “I am Ready for Love.” I don’t know how many times I’ve sat around with my friends listening to this song or serenading my one-day husband with every flat and missed note.

It’s no secret that I want to be married. Like most people my age, if I made a list of “the desires of my heart,” it’d be pretty close to the top. To be honest, as time goes by, I feel this desire climbing its way over others, vying for that #1 spot. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not…

I don’t think my request is unreasonable. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants that one they can be 100% themselves with, flaws and all. Someone they can share their deepest secrets with. Laugh with, cry with, struggle and triumph with. Someone they can give their all to without fear of it not being reciprocated. One they can trust without reservation. Someone they can feel safe with. Continue reading

Doing the HARD Things

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It takes courage to do the hard things. To face the parts of you that you don’t want to face. To look deep within you heart and soul and ask the tough questions. To hold the mirror to yourself and your life and honestly evaluate what you see. To be your own critic. To play devil’s advocate to yourself. I’m cringing as I speak (type, whatever).

 ©2012 curtnerart.com

 ©2012 curtnerart.com

It’s easier to lie. It’s easier to run. It’s easier to live in a hand-crafted fantasy in which everything, including you, is perfect. And if it isn’t, it’s any- and everybody else’s fault. It’s easier to ignore reality, to just medicate (with your drug of choice) to numb the pain that is killing you. Because feeling the pain means acknowledging that something is wrong. And if something’s wrong, that means admitting that something may will have to change. And who’s responsibility might that be? Continue reading

Perfection Ends HERE

I’m a perfectionist. A procrastinating, wait-until-I-have -all-my-ducks-in-a-row-before-I-act, perfectionist. With that being said, I wanted to wait until I had everything together before I started writing for this blog. You know, the perfect blog title, a dynamic magazine-esque layout, a specially tailored theme….blah ze blah blah BLAH.

Perfectionism Pic

Steven J. Seay, Ph.D

The only problem is, it was KILLING me. I had this CRAZY desire to write; it really was *in my Rance Allen voice* like fiyahhh shut up my bones!! But because I didn’t have all the details together, I kept putting it off. “When I have the time, I’ll do it,” I conveniently lied to myself. Problem is: I NEVER have the time. That is, I never MAKE time. My hope truly was being deferred, and it was simply because I was too afraid to make a move. I mean, I might FAIL. And who wants that?

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

However, today is the day I say goodbye to perfectionism. I’m not waiting another moment. I’m stepping out and doing what I most likely should have been doing a long time ago, and that is, writing. Continue reading

Test Post

Blog- Test Post Pic

Hello world!

Here is the first of hopefully many posts on this blog. I look forward to sharing my journey of weight loss, healing, and self-discovery with you! Please bear with me as I get the hang of this and get the blog up and running! Thanks!

Love,

CC

How To Undermine A Rape Victim 101

The Belle Jar

Trigger warning for talk of rape 

Preface the victim’s open letter about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father with a statement saying that he deserves the presumption of innocence. Always approach situations like this with the thought that the victim might be lying; remind yourself and others that the burden of proof is on her.

Insist on referring to the victim as the rapist’s “adopted daughter,” as if that mitigates what he has done. Using subtle language cues like this, imply that though it might be rape, it’s not really incest because the the rapist is not the victim’s biological father. Pretend that adoptive parents somehow feel differently about their children than biological parents do.

Like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, insist on your ability to differentiate between an artist and their art. As a spokesperson for the organization said, “The…

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