My Empowered Black Girl Magic Self

My Empowered Black Girl Magic Self

On the grand stage of media, current events, and social media, I feel the frustration, anger, discrimination, and marginalization of being an African American and being a woman.

Having police called on African Americans who are living their own lives .

Women of color gone missing and no one is making a big deal about it.

Victims of sexual assault being ostracized for speaking their truth. 

The lack of criminal justice for minorities.–particularily unarmed African Americans shot by police officers.

The gender pay gap between men and women

The list goes on and on.

If you think that I am just complaining with violins and making excuses, I’m not. I am speaking from my perspective and based on the shoes I walk in every day. If you think I am lying, then you are part of the problem and in denial. Rub your eyes, clean your glasses, and look into the world we live in.

Some days I am so powerless of because the world’s rhetoric and attitude. It does give me anxiety. It makes me feel worthless. The words people say, post, and act on is so unbecoming…especially “Christians.” It’s like I am a walking target wherever I go.  I am not safe in my skin as a woman and as an African American.

But God…

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God says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)  So even though I may feel worthless or powerless, God reminds me who I am and whose I am.  God made me uniquely as an African American woman “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.-Isaiah 43:11

God called me to be Bianca. Though the world may say all it says, God calls me redeemed, wanted, and valued. That goes to every person on this Earth. You are redeemed in Christ. It does not matter if the world does not like you. God makes you worthy.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.-Ephesians 2:10

God did not create me to be nothing. God created me for His purpose. I am skilled with gifts and talents for good. Though man may disqualify me, God established me, Bianca, to work, to provide input to humanity, to serve others, and to have a voice. All the things God creates in me, He uniquely made you for the same reason and purpose. You are somebody. 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.-1 Peter 2:9

God never said white people are God’s chosen people. God does not say anything about a race being superior to anyone. No race has dominion over an entire people…that’s God arena. When I accepted Christ into my heart, I became His. God said, “You are chosen. You are mine.” With that, there is an eternal victory I have. Jesus paid that price to cover my faults and failures. Thus, I have a place in heaven with Him.

So I empowered by my physical features and gender because God made me uniquely. I am the Princess of a King. I have a voice. God did not create me to be silent but to work and hustle for His glory. I am not perfect but I am redeemed by the Savior of the Universe.

No man can cut down who God promotes.

There is no door God opens that man can shut.

So I use my God-created self to be awesome. Yes, I still get weird looks for being an outspoken woman or for being black, or being too ethnic. But it’s whatever. If God likes it, then imma be Bianca. I am empowered black girl magic.

And that’s it.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Empowered Even Though I Am Not A First-Time Bar Passer

Empowered Even Though I Am Not A First-Time Bar Passer

15 minutes. 

15 minutes is how long my mom gave me to sob and let my emotions out. She held me as I let out the worst cry of my life. I received the news that I did not pass the Bar. All the hard work, sleepless nights, studying, and sacrificing my social life and I fell short. I felt like a failure and the prayers and well wishes were in vain. I just cried. I could not believe it.

But after those several minutes, my mom said, “Now we are not going to pity ourselves. No more crying. You tried your best and it’s just not God’s timing. You tried. You’re still my favorite lawyer. You will be one.” 

What a mom…I know she is really great.

(P.S. I took a nap, my mom made me fried plantains, sweet potatoes fries, and gave me lots of hugs. I took a week-long break from social media to clear my mind and refocus.)

So life has been interesting. What I thought was the plan is not the case. It will be another several months to prepare for the exam. It will be awhile before I get another set of results. I will be in-between states again. I will not be sworn in yet. I will not have the attorney job I have dreamed of.

Sounds like a powerless situation.

But I choose not to pity myself. 

Jeremiah 29:11 states: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Even though the bad news hurts, it’s not to harm me. I had to remind myself if God did not want me to be an attorney, He would not have allowed me to live 6 hours away from home. He would not have allowed me to pass each semester of law school. He would not have allowed me to graduate law school. And many other obstacles I faced.

I do have a hope and a future. My season is temporary even though it feels like forever.

By Morgan Harper Nichols

I am not the only person who did not pass and I won’t be the last. This is a very hard exam. Florida is one of the hardest states to pass. My outcome from the Bar does not indicate my fitness or capacity as an attorney.

This does not stop me but empower me to fight.

Just because I did not pass does not mean I lost everything. I have wonderful parents who are still willing to help me and allow me to live with them. I have a wonderful support system and church family. I have my health. I have breath in my body. I still have a purpose.

So I will be empowered because God said I can do all things in Him, including passing the Bar and being the best attorney I can be. 

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I’m not saying that I am not upset, hurt, or feel inadequate. I am human. But I am saying  there is still hope for me.

I still have God’s power to make it.

And I will.

Blissfully,

Bianca

 

Thank You Again

Thank You Again

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Growing a blog is not easy.

I am still learning the ins and outs.

But I write.

I write for my own therapy.

I write to encourage and inspire.

I do not know the outcome when I press “Publish.”

But I publish.

Readers, I thank you for the following:

For reading

For commenting

For allowing me to be on hiatus

For riding this journey with me

I love you all. 

Thank you.

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Parts of My Belief

The Parts of My Belief

So I want to share some of my convictions and set apart way. These are my convictions as a 28 year old Christ follower. This is a “no preaching” matter. I just want to set some things straight.

With my lifestyle, I remember this verse:  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;-1 Corinthians 6:19″ I am not my own. I was made and brought with a price. So I try to honor God with how I live.

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  1. Sex and Relationships

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.-Genesis 2:24

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.-Hebrews 13:4

Yes, I am one of those. I am waiting for marriage. To me, sex is not man-made but God-designed. God made it for a special time in a special way. I am willing to wait and save myself for the person God designed for me . And once I am married, I can share that part of me with him.

Yeah, I know…weird to most. I have been told:  That sounds like a fairytale or unrealistic. Nobody thinks like that. You don’t even know what you like? Won’t it be awkward doing it on your wedding night? But what if your husband is not good in bed…all that waiting for nothing.”

Yup…people are cruel. But it does not matter what people think. God knows what I like and what I need. I don’t want to give pieces of me to men that don’t deserve it in the first place. My heart could not deal with the heartbreak.

I know…I have weeded out a good bit of the male population. That’s fine. I am not their type anyways.

God loves and cherishes me. I love me and respect me. So I will not settle and it is not up for discussion. I’m waiting.

2. Drinking

Mhmm…I know. Jesus drank in the Bible. It is one of the first miracles of the Bible. But here is where I cross the line.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.-Proverbs 20:1

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit-Ephesians 5:17

I have seen alcohol destroy people and lives. I may occasionally enjoy a glass of wine but I only have one. I never want to lose control where I am not thinking straight or can’t make decisions for myself. Yes, Jesus made it but it’s all about how you use it.

3. Clubbing

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.-Ephesians 4:17-24

So I never desired it. Parents never did it. I don’t feel like I would be comfortable there because it is not in my nature. I am called to live set apart and that means to me that I don’t go to certain places like bars and lounges. A restaurant that has a bar is fine but that’s it. And if you try to invite me to one, I will politely decline.

Am I still tempted anyways? Of course, I am human. But God does not give me more than I can bear. I can always find a way out through Him.

Like I said, these are the ones I am questioned about the most. I have strong convictions about them. Not every person is the same. We are all a work in progress.  God convicts us all in different ways on different subjects.  We will not be perfect until He comes back.

Not preaching but saying that I encourage you to keep trying and ask God to help you. He will do it but you must be committed to Him first. You can do it. I believe in you and He believes in you too.  

Blissfully,

Bianca

Set Apart

Set Apart

It is easier said than done…

As a kid, I thought to get to Heaven, I have to follow my parents and do good things to get to heaven.  As a pre-teen and teenager, I found myself depressed because I was trying to be as “Christian” as possible but fell short often. I thought that if I did enough, God would bless me and I would be in Heaven and not in Hell.

Fast forward to college, I still had this “I can’t do this because my parents said so” mentality. I knew I was saved but being in college was a lot. Of course, my peers always said, “you’re 18, you can do what you want,” “why do you do everything your parents say,” “you are your own person.” Like ya’ll, I felt attacked. Like I am trying to check all the boxes of Christianity and follow my parents’ rules. I was being tossed on all sides that I was naive, traditional, weird, and being controlled by my parents yet trying to be a Christian.

It was not until the first night of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) where my eyes were truly open.

The BCM President said, “I know that some of you did grow up in a Christian home. I know that your parents told you to go to church, do missions, and  read your Bible. You have been protected under your Christian parents but I want you to know that your parents are not God. When you stand in judgment, you cannot assume that you will be with Jesus because your  saved parents or grandparents. You must give an account for yourself. You must know what you believe. Being a Christian is having a relationship with Jesus, not a list of rules.”

Wait what!?! I have to have ownership for my faith….my mind was blown and that was the defining moment for me.

So throughout my freshman year, I decided to read the New Testament as a quiet time to truly know why I believe what I believe. I wanted to have my own Biblical foundation.  So throughout college, I read and kept making personal choices for myself. Once I began to understand that Christianity is not a checklist to heaven, I began to experience a little more grace and freedom in my relationship.

The key to my relationship with Christ is it was all me. It was not just what my parents said (which was correct). It was my convictions that were given to me by God. It was me seeking truth rather than relying on someone else 100%.

But living in my convictions was not easy. It was manageable in my undergraduate life because I had Christian groups that I was involved with and I was mostly around my Christian friends. We were all weirdly Christian together.  The challenge was when I graduated and went to law school.

Law school was unchartered territory. I left my Christian bubble for something I had never experienced: real freedom…like 6 hours from home and comfort.

I promised myself that law school would not change me but grow me into a better Christ-follower. The first year was hard to be honest. My Christian demeanor stuck out like a sore thumb..like I wore a shirt that said, “Hi. I’m a Christian and I wore this shirt to let you know.”

There were moments where people looked at me weirdly or whether intentionally or jokingly made fun of the way I talked, walked, dressed, and lived. I felt bad because I wanted to fit in with my classmates but I did not go to bars, nightclubs, or lounge and I don’t drink. I don’t curse in my regular dialogue. I went to church almost every Sunday I could. I posted scripture and encouraging things on social media because that’s just me and I want people to feel good. I like to paint and have sober fun.

I felt very alienated because I felt alone in my faith. I realized that I decided to live for Christ which meant that I would be unpopular. But I am reminded of this: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15: 18-19

Jesus knew what I felt to be hated. He was perfect in every way but even his family, disciples, and followers did not understand him.

So, I am no better. If I am hated for being set apart, then I am probably on the right track.

But know what the wonderful thing is: the same people who were weirded out by my Christian demeanor have asked for prayer, like the encouraging things I say or post. Some don’t allow people or themselves to curse in front of me. My mom has told me that, “Bianca, people respect you because you stick with who you are. And you don’t change your stance.”

So I treat my walk with God as a banner to the world. Yes, it is strange, uncommon and traditional. But it is me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

A Year In Retrospect

A Year In Retrospect

No, you are not dreaming, it is me, Bianca. It is a special day to get out of the rock called Bar Prep to write. 28 years ago, I became an addition to the human race by the Creator (in layman’s terms, I was born).

Though it is a rainy, June 28th, the weather reflects my outlook on my life. With each new year God grants me, God cleanses me of the past year and give me a new start.

27 was a life-changing year physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically. I graduated law school and added two letter to my name, J.D. I transitioned in many ways than I can imagine: from FL girl to GA girl, from law student to graduate, from graduation to bar prep/post-grad life. Though I had my own blueprint, God, as always, is changing my path but always keeps the purpose and goal at hand. I have had very high highs and very low lows but I keep holding on to His truth and keep fighting another day. And I made it another year.

28 is another life-changing year. I am quite scared to be honest. I take the Bar next month (praying to be a first-time bar passer). I will be applying for employment (with benefits, vacation time, PTO, and all of that adult stuff). I will be starting my career. 8 years of college education for a career. I am literally in uncharted territory. I don’t know where God will put me after the Bar: still in Georgia, back in Jacksonville, Central Florida, South Florida, who know!?! Thankfully, God knows my outcome cause I really don’t know.

But I am excited because I am 28 on the 28th (that’s cool) . I am really finding my voice and not dealing with people’s nonsense. I have learned that I will have to stand alone. That everyone will not like me. But as long as I am happy and God’s pleased, I could care less what other people think of me. My family always says that I dress better now that I am a lawyer (they always tell me I am their lawyer even though I am not licensed but it’s a good confidence boost). My perceptive is changing with the ever-changing times: more kingdom-minded than life on earth.

My hope for 28? Pass the Bar, work, travel, maybe online dating (maybe!!).

But all in all, God has not given up on me yet and has greater and immeasurably more in store for me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

See You Later

See You Later

When God has the plan, you must do your part. 

You must work for your success.

Sacrifice in the short term for success in the long haul.

As of today, Blissfully Bianca will be on hiatus for me to focus on my Bar studies. This is not goodbye forever. I will be back at the end of July. God really convicted me on this and has used people to call me out on my distractions. If I want victory and success, then I have to fight with everything I have.

The Bar is a tough, scary monster but I know all things are possible through Jesus. I know He has a plan and a purpose for me. But I need to be obedient, make tough decisions, and make tough sacrifices.

You have all been such a great, fun community of friends. I will miss your presence and all of your stories. Keep reading my posts. They are still there to encourage and uplift you. You have been a beautiful distraction to me. Love you all.

You are worthy in God’s eyes.

God has a plan and purpose for you.

Keep encouraging yourself and each other.

Live and be thankful each day.

Be unapologetically and blissfully you.

 

Blissfully,

Bianca