Before all the commercials, social media presence, and businesses promoting ” the black experience” ends, I wanted to share my feelings this Black History Month.
In January, I began a new journey: therapy. It’s been a long time coming but it was the best thing for me. Before you start asking, “What’s wrong with Bianca? Are you ok? Are you in crisis,” CHILE Y’ALL, ya girl is fine. It’s just that I needed to take care of my mind, body, and spirit.
The first thing my therapist and I dove into was racial identity. A lot of things came up. The thought of not being black enough and being too white has been the story of my life. I was always different and hurt by my own because I was “not black enough.” I did not realize how 20 years of struggling with racial identity came out in the first few therapy sessions. I was hurt, broken, and unworthy cause I was told that. Growing up I felt like I had to chose a color.Whether I wanted to be with the culture or not.
In our sessions, we went into experiences where I was hurt by my own people. I shared my childhood and school experiences. Things that happened 20 years STILL affected me. I was telling my therapist all the times and ways I was not considered black: my clothes, the way I spoke, my academic successes, my white friends, and others. As our therapy sessions continue and I divulged more, my therapist impressed upon me how my experiences do not make me any more white or black; it’s me. Let me repeat: My experiences do not make me any more white or black.
My life has caused me to be a bridge of unity. I get to be in spaces that are different. I get to experience life from different lenses, people, and perspectives. I just bring people together. I interact with everyone. That is fine. I’m Bianca. I am not black because I do XYZ. I am not “white” because I do XYZ. I choose to live because I am Bianca. I am forging a path for myself.
Being black is not a monolith. There are so many ways to express black excellence, black culture, and black life. For so long, ignorant gatekeepers made me feel less than thus I did not feel I could represent the culture or “be black enough.” Not anymore. I am responsible for myself and sanity. No one lives my life, only me. Why let that toxicity rule my mind? Why not live as who God made me. Why not!?!
I am enough. I am worthy. I am ME!
The experiences I have are unique to me. I am black and Haitian-American. I am a Christian. I have different perspectives in the way I move and navigate through life and that’s fine. I am my own black history. I get to be Bianca. No color nor culture should define me to be something I am not. I should just be.
I’m back. I have missed you. A lot has happened. The world is uncertain and going crazy right…am I right?
But in the mist of the chaos, I wanted to come back with the medicine of encouragement and Jesus Christ.
In recent weeks, the Coronavirus has been running its course causing social cancellations, social distancing, self quarantine, new cases each day, and uncertainty in the economy and life as we know it.
God has ways of getting our attention. We can see that clearly. He can strip all the excess and distractions until we are at the end of ourselves. Where we are at the end of our ourselves, God steps in.
God never lets anything happen without a purpose and reason. No season of life is without a lesson.
Trust. Yes, trust.
God is stripping away the physical securities for us to draw closer to Him. It’s like a back to basics. Trust God in every part of your life: your health, your family, your physical body, and your decisions. The things of this world is temporary. It is really clear.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.-Psalm 9:9-10
It is important to value and be a good steward of the blessings in front of us. Slow down. Take a look around. Value what God has given you. Maybe the lockdown and self-quarantine is the wakeup call. Stop looking at the temporary and look to the eternal: God.
The future is uncertain but God is a certain, constant force to keep living in this day in age. Trust in God. He provides all things and works in all situations. His provision is real and certain.
It’s ok to be scared. We are human. We have emotions but it is important not to stay there. Trust in the God who will comfort and provide in many ways.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.-Psalm 56:3
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Trust in God’s unchanging power and provision. God’s got us and will see us through
Mental health is real and it does not discriminate.
My Own Struggles
In my own life, I have dealt with depression and anxiety. Before, I always thought that Christians are supposed to be happy. God is in our life so everything is fine. Even when things get bad, Christians don’t fall into that pit of despair. Mental health is for crazy, unkept, people who are in strait jackets in mental institutions.
In my prior thinking, this was my thought process as a teen and young adult even though I was depressed and did not want to admit it.
Depression is not the same XYZ formula. It comes in different ways in different forms.
I lived putting up a happy, Christian, church-face mask to the world. I was happy on the outside but depressed and crumbling on the inside. I buried my burdens and insecurities deep within and dug myself into…
One of my favorite quotes is “bloom where planted.” It is important to flourish no matter what space you are in. As you can see, the painting is chaotic with plants and blooms that cover the letters. No matter how small the space, there is beauty surrounding the letter. It is beautiful chaos and a bloom overload.
Like a tree, it goes through seasons. There is a time of growth and change. It is green and full of life. The blooms and fruit come forth. It goes through range of reds, oranges, and yellows depending how close they are to the sun. All the leaves fall and die to make way for new growth.
With me, life has happened. I was employed for the midterm elections (early voting and election day) as a poll official which was an eye-opening experience.
Then, after that…I felt stuck. I felt depressed with the season I am currently in. As you know, I did not pass the Bar. At the beginning, I was positive and empowering myself that I will take it again and this won’t break me.
And then it broke me…
As I started studying again, my spirit felt damaged. I was doubting myself. I just felt stuck. Like God, I am right where I started earlier this year. I am an unemployed, postgraduate studying for the Bar again.
People I started with made it. And I didn’t make it.
I was depressed and my anxiety made me lower. I had to take a break from social media. And I just stopped blogging. My spirit was not in the right place to write inspirational posts. I don’t want to fake it. It would not be fair to my followers. I want to be as authentic as possible. So I just stopped…
I did not want to let you all down but I couldn’t go on. I had no inspiration or theme to post about. I wanted to find the peace that surpassed all understanding. I wanted to be content in this season. That this is not the end for me.
I am feeling better. I had to take my own advice: get back in the Word, pray, talk out my feelings, and keep positivity in my life. I am still going at studying for the Bar. I am still living and breathing by God’s grace. I still have purpose.
So my lesson in this struggle is simple: God will not let you go.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”-Joshua 1:9
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.-Isaiah 41:10
It always seems to me like God is watching this unfold but He is not. God knew this before the foundation of the world. He knew that I would not pass the Bar the first time around. He knew that I would be between states once again. He knew that I would need my family to get through this. He knew I would be serving on my church’s worship team. He knew it all.
I have to remind myself that I am not a failure. I’m not dumb. I am still meant to be an attorney. It’s just that my journey is not over. I will get there in His timing by His strength.
It’s just not my time now. I am still in the autumn stage with beautiful, bright, colorful yet dying leaves. But I know it will spring up into new blooms soon.
So with this season, I will not be posting blogs till Spring 2019 (i.e. after the Bar). I am focusing on Bar studies and myself for the time being. I hope you all understand. I love and appreciate you all for reading. Keep reading my old blogs. Send me a message, follow me on FB, and keep being inspired. God Bless.
She opens her arms to the poorand extends her hands to the needy.- Proverbs 31:20
A woman who gives sets the example of Jesus’s heart for service.I’m not talking about the family but other people. A giving spirit produces reward and blessings. Not saying that you do things for something in return but God sees the obedience to His will. You are an ambassador of Christ. What people see is what you give.
I am not the person I am today without my mother. She gave and still gives so much to others. She has given hospitality to relatives, to a pregnant woman in a domestic violence situation, survivors of the Haiti 2009 earthquake, and many other people. She uses her medical knowledge to benefit others even though my sister has her own medical problems. She goes on medical missions to share her gifts. She translates for Haitian immigrants and is willing to give time and energy to them. No matter what her life situation was, she served with all her heart. (Yes, she is amazing).
I witnessed her servant’s heart. Yes, she told me about Jesus but she acted on what He is about. She always tells me: “Your gifts are not for you but for everyone.” She inspired me to practice immigration law when I am an attorney. To give to immigrant communities the way she does. I may not have the same spiritual gifts as my mom but I try to act as the hands and feet of Jesus. God gave me talents in music, art, and writing. So I share my gifts from the example of my mother.
I’m not saying women need to do lavish acts of kindness and service. But use your gifts.Women are talented. Give according to Christ’s commands and the way God convicts you. If you are alive and breathing, you have talents and purpose. People need you. Not everyone can do what you do. Extend your giving to many and reap heaven’s rewards and blessings in your household and beyond.
I am honored to be nominated by the wonderful Specscladeyes for two very amazing awards! I want to thank you for thinking about me as a worthy person for these nominations.
THE CRAMM AWARD
TheCramm award was created by Liv, the owner of theCramm.
Include a little bit about who created this award (with a link) and mention the person the who nominated you.
Share 3 things that motivate you to blog and share 3 people that motivate you to blog as well
Share one thing you hope to do that will improve the world
Answer your challenge question
Nominate your choice of bloggers and give them a challenge question.
Three Things that Motivate Me:
Three people Who Motivate Me:
My Friends and Peers.
One Thing I Hope To Do That Will Improve the World:
I hope to give encouragement and joy to people around the world. Life is hard. There are many things that can go bad, so I chose to reflect on the good. I want everyone to know that they are loved, valued, and heard.
Answering my Challenge Question: What is your strategy to stay positive during the tough times?
My strategy is Jesus. There are many times in my life where my anxiety and depression weigh me into a deep, dark pit. The strategy is to pray for peace in the situation, seek truth in God’s Word, and hold on to the people I love and trust to help me in the valleys.
Challenge Question for the nominees: What is your creative process when you post?
THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
The Story of Blissfully Bianca
Many friends and peers kept telling me how I give great advice and encouragement on Facebook. I have been told I should write a book or start a blog. I was skeptical about being one of those bloggers so I asked other people who blog. I looked on Pinterest for ideas. I listed pros and cons. I asked my sister and parents if they think I should do it. I asked my friends if they would read my blog and if they could come up with a name. If you did not notice, I do not make decisions lightly. In August 2016, I took a leap of faith. I looked up words that would match my name and I can across blissfully. I looked it up in the dictionary; it defined blissfully as in a manner characterized by extreme happiness or joy. That was the message that I wanted to convey: I wanted people to be who God created them to be. God blissfully created the universe. I want people to know their worth. I want to be that voice of love and encouragement.
Advice to New Bloggers.
My important advice is love what you write. There are days where the words and encouragement flows out of me. There are other days where my words would seem fake and not from my heart. I made a rule that if my intent is not based on God, love, and encouragement, then I do not post. I clear my mind. I take a step back. In the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 16:14, it reads “Do everything in love.” So love what you write. Some days you will not feel it and that’s ok. I take my time and get inspired by the littlest things and the Jesus, Love Factory gets me writing.