Where I Have Been?

Where I Have Been?

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.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Empowered to Say No

Empowered to Say No

For most of my life, I have been a BIG people pleaser. I just always wanted to make people happy at the expense of my energy and time. I would find myself drained and empty because I wanted people to love me. Bianca can do anything.

I thought for most of my life if I said yes to people, events, and opportunities, then I would be blessed ten-fold by others.

NOT!!!

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I realized in my late 20’s that there were “friends” and “people” who I would climb mountains for when they would not go a step for me. I performed for people who could care less about me. I would give 110% when they gave -100%.

I would feel so bad inside. I would be burnt out. I would feel terrible. I would outpour everything without any inflow.

Well. Not. Anymore.

I say no or no thank you. And it feels good. Sometimes I need to take a step back. Sometimes I need to think and clear my mind. Sometimes I need to worry about myself. I need to be selfish.

Yes, it hurts but self-care is good care.

I’m not saying to say NO to everything. I’m not saying you expect everyone to give you what you give them. I’m saying be empowered by the time and moments where you have peace, silence, and self-care for yourself. 

I had to realize that I matter. There will be opportunities to grasp, events to attend, and ways to serve others.

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I know what you are thinking…but Bianca, that was my only chance.

NOPE, I don’t accept it.

You can be selfish to keep your sanity. But Bianca, what should I do? I’m glad you asked.

You can:

have a day to yourself,

get a mani/pedi,

read a book,

turn off your phone, social media and email,

turn off the tv,

take a nap, 

go outside

Be empowered in caring for your A1 since day 1, YOU!

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Modern, Proverbs 31 Helping Hand

The Modern, Proverbs 31 Helping Hand

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She opens her arms to the poor and 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).

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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.

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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.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Wisdom from the Wise

Wisdom from the Wise

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.-Proverbs 1:8-9

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.-Proverbs 4:1-3

Remember that time in your life when you wanted to live your own life. When you thought your parents and older people were out to ruin your life and cramp your style. You think you know the world…

For me, I grew up with Haitian, Bible-believing Christian parents. To give you insight to my life,

  •  I was not allowed to go to sleepovers,
  • I was chaperoned everywhere with my friends (i.e. movies, malls, hangouts),
  •  Back to school shopping: reliable supplies took precedence over fashionable supplies.
  • At least a 20 question deposition before I could ever go anywhere
  • Summers were spent getting ready for the new school year
  • I could not share clothes with other people
  • And the list goes on…

I was not cool at all growing up. If anything, I was the plain jane girl who just went to school and church. I craved to be cool but my parents were not the ones to be messed with. They were a team. They were active in my upbringing. There was a standard to keep: go to school, go to church, serve the Lord, and be a good citizen.

I hated how strict they were.

Fast forward to today, my adult life is quite different. Yes, I am living at home. Yes, the rules still apply BUT…I value them so much. The parent-child dynamic is different. I seek their advice and they give me guidance.

I started realizing from college till now, my parents were right to be strict. I am not the person I am today without the structure, spiritual maturity, intelligence, and discipline of my parents.

My parents were both raised by single parents and had to make a way all by themselves. They had little support.  They did not have all the guidance I had or someone checking on them. So as new parents, they gave my siblings and me the upbringing they never had.

My parents really guarded me but also educated me about life. They did not want to make my life miserable; they wanted to prepare me and teach me for life ahead.

My parents were not rich monetarily, had privilege in their community, or had elite status. But they invested values that I did not depart from. 

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Whether it’s a parent, mentor, or parent-like figure, their wisdom is valuable. They lived longer than you or me. Yes, if they love you enough to give you tough love and Godly wisdom, listen. Take their advice to heart.

To have what I have is a testament to God’s grace in giving me God-driven parents. No, they are not perfect people but that’s ok. I am not a perfect child but they still love me.

So I do ask for advice for approval and support. I do believe they like the fact that I come to them for advice. But I know my parents truly have my best interest at heart. They KNOW me almost too well. I am an adult but I am thankful for them. No matter much I grow up, the instruction of my parents does matter to me.

So value the people in your life who pour life into you. 

If you are blessed enough to have your parents on this side of heaven, value them. If not, remember their instruction and the memories.

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Storm’s Blissful Lesson

The Storm’s Blissful Lesson

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You know those rainstorms that are wind, rain, thunder, lightning and everything in between.  You can’t see where you are. Speeding up can lead to uncontrollable hydroplaning. Even familiar routes are difficult to travel to.

Doesn’t that sound like life?

The storms of life can throw us for a loop. A friend once said people are either in a storm, about to enter a storm, or have left a storm.  We all have a storm.

It is easy to succumb to the storm and fall into despair. I have had my fair shares of storms. It feels unbearable.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.-Psalm 34:17-20

Though it is easy to throw in the towel, DON’T!

Though it storms, the rain will stop, the clouds will appear, the loud clashing of lightning and thunder will be silenced, and then sunlight.

For every rainstorm, there is sunshine.

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With any storm, God can overcome it. Jesus silenced the winds and the storms at His command (Matthew 8:23-27). Nothing is too hard for God.

What you and I cannot do is control our situations. Sometimes life is out of our reach. Things happen that are unexpected, from left field,  unplanned, and abrupt. And sometimes with as much preparation you do, you still fall short. But God can and is in control. 

With the storm, there is provision, safety, and sanity that God provides. He does not lead you where He will not provide for you. He knows what you can handle even though you think you can’t handle it.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:19

God will bring you out of the storm into the sunshine. I can’t assure that life will be exactly what you expected but all storms will strengthen you and your testimony.

So hold on even though it’s raining, God will give you the umbrella (i.e. provision) and the direction.

I leave with this: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.-2 Corinthians 12:9

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Wherever you fall short, God will fill in the gaps.

The storm is temporary.

It will pass.

God will bring you out of whatever tried to end you or break you. 

The sunshine will come. 

 

Blissfully,

Bianca

A Word From Mama B!

A Word From Mama B!

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A Word from Mama B: Don’t Let Someone’s Insecurity Stop Your Greatness.

I realize how insecure people can be. They have this cloud and attitude to bring people to their lowly, miserable level. Know that there will be people who don’t wish success for you, who wait for your demise and failure like a season finale, who find a “dig” to make you feel less, who try to find ways to silence you, who call you by your name.

Don’t be bothered by their hatred. Sometimes people are jealous that they did not live up to your now successes. They hold a bitterness which holds them back. It should not affect you.

A higher level of you will come with a level of haters. But, stand firm in who you are and whose you are. You have purpose and a spot that God put you in for a reason. 

Don’t disappoint yourself due to a person’s insecurity and small opinion.

If God approves, no man can deny. 

Blissfully,

Bianca

Mental Health As A Christian

Mental Health As A Christian

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 a pit of despair. I felt worthless and alone. Even though I could dig my way out, I would go back to digging deeper and deeper in despair.

As a teen, after church, I would try to sleep the day away. Not much of an appetite. I lost weight. I would pretend everything was ok.  But I would not admit that I was depressed.

There were boiling points in my life where my depression was seen and I had to face myself. Whether I was confronted by my family, friends, or mentors, my struggles were revealed and I could not hide it. I was found out.

The “Remedy”

Pray it away…just pray about it and you will be fine.

Well I would do that but then I would still feel depressed. I was still in my pit. I was still hiding from people. I would fake it till I made it. Just pretend everything was fine…(but I wasn’t).

Like I said, I did not want to seem “crazy” cause Christians weren’t supposed to be that way. Wrong thought process…

How I Do Function

Yes, I still pray but I pray differently. I pray for relief and comfort, some reassurance from God. I still read the Bible for counsel, relief, and comfort. I still seek Godly counsel and fellowship with other believers.

I had to learn to talk about my problems. Talking it out helps. Easier said than done but still it helps. I have received counsel from my pastor. During law school, I did see a counselor to talk out my stresses and insecurities. I would try to talk it out with my family (not easy but I get brave enough to talk to them).

List positive affirmations to myself. When I post scripture or encouragements on social media or when I blog, it’s therapy for me. I remind myself:  Bianca, you are not perfect and you don’t need to be. You are not a disappointment. There are good things in your life. Count the blessings you have. I know they exist in your life. Don’t forget that.

Sometimes I have had to remove myself from situations or people because that can cause stress. In my sophomore year of college, I had a major meltdown because I was overly stressed, depressed, and just failing. As a result, I took a semester off, went to a junior college, and lived at home until my junior year. I had to take a step back and clear my mind. I was not in a healthy place spiritually, emotionally, or academically.

Some sort of medical help may be necessary. I had a chemical imbalance so I needed to take something to balance me. Nothing to be ashamed of. I function like a human.

An outlet can be therapy. I started painting to help me. It is a wonderful escape to be active and make something beautiful in the process.

I am in no way saying this is easy. I do not have it figured out. I have to fight to love myself and value myself enough to face each day. I know I have tools and resources to keep going but sometimes I am not fine.

It’s ok to seek help. It’s ok to feel bad. But try to find an outlet. You are not alone in this world. Know that it’s ok to seek help…even Christians too.

I believe Jesus knows that we hurt and He hurts for us. I believe Jesus has gifted individuals with the ability to counsel and encourage in life situations. Jesus is the ultimate Counselor but He calls people to be His hands and feet. God created medicine for a reason and some people need it. God made resources for a reason.

Biblical Outlet

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.-1 Corinthians 10:13

There is a way to endure with Jesus. There have been dark moments where all I had was myself and I could have hurt myself, but there was a still small voice telling me to hold on. When I could not sleep, I felt someone wrap their arms around me. When in my despair,  I felt angels surrounding me. Something was in the room but I did not know what. Nothing scary but I know it’s God.

Sometimes I function and survive because I am holding on the hem of Jesus’s garment. Even if it is a thread, I know I can never go wrong with turning to Jesus.

My Go-To Psalm is Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Hold on to Jesus. He won’t let you go. Even in the darkness moments, He is there. You may not feel like He is but He is. Even if you don’t love Jesus or believe in Jesus, He is still watching over you. He still wants you.

To Close

There is no perfect solution. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all human. As Christians, we are still human. We all fall short. God is the Ultimate Counselor and Sustainer. And God created ways to be at peace.  I still struggle my insecurities but fight each day the best I can. It’s ok to not be ok. Remember this:

You are not alone.

Hold on.

You will make it.

I believe and have faith in you. 

Blissfully,

Bianca