Last night I went to this amazing restaurant called Milk River. It also had a lounge on the second floor. I went there with Jojo and our friend we meet at movie night through BT Transitions when we went to see Noah last month. Her birthday is Monday and we had a grand ol’ time. Let’s call her Milan because I’m convinced I was Italian in another life and I’m dying to go there. I love everything Italian and the men aren’t to bad on the eyes either 🙂 Also it’s the first name that popped into my head. Anyway, the food at Milk River was incredible, however, I wasn’t wise when I ate (amazingly tasting) sushi (spicy crabmeat, seafood and shrimp tempura) rolls a few hours prior. I honestly forgot how filling sushi was (well the cooked roles anyway, no judgment, but I’m not trying to get mercury poisoning.) Back in high school, about 80 years ago, I ate all kinds of sushi rolls (cooked, non cooked) what felt like on an everyday basis. Thank God I never experienced mercury poisoning, God was smiling down on me. As he always is because he’s truly an amazing God that I’m so grateful for beyond expression.
What inspired this post was a few events that occurred recently in my life. Let’s start with the most glaring that’s waving it’s imaginary hand in my cerebral circumference. A woman named Daffodil, that’s what we’ll call her. That’s an interesting looking flower and this woman has an interesting ideology. I’m a big tweeter, I mainly tweet about the amazing Lord and what he’s done through me and for me and it’s not even the tip of the iceberg yet. I’m just excited to be on this path called Christ. I recently made changes to my bio on twitter that says aspiring blogger/writer. And I suppose my love and praise for God increases by the day, so there are more individuals that are following me that also love God and other things, hey, no judgment again, because I’m not God the almighty. I’m aware we all have our own opinions and ways of life. On the one hand, I think God made us all unique for specific reasons so that we can contribute to this amazing world through the gifts he’s given us. And on the other hand, sometimes I just see it as okay, you’re entitled to how you feel but respect and be open minded to other views as well. Other wise you can come off small minded and ignorant. And they say ignorance is bliss.
Back to Daffodil. By the way, interesting doesn’t necessarily mean ugly, they’re just interesting and different. There’s no other flower that quite looks like a Daffodil… with that said. This woman, Daffodil doesn’t believe in abortion, which is an extremely case sensitive topic and every woman on this planet is triggered differently when they see or discuss this word: abortion. With that said, Daffodil, believes that abortion should be abolished. She initiated a conversation with me via direct message on twitter and asked me to I believe sign something that I’m assuming is an amendment of some sorts. I told her that I’m pro choice. I truly believe every woman on this planet deserves to do what they feel is right for their body and what is right to them in that moment. I personally don’t believe in abortion either. I cannot see myself ever doing that, but I was also never put in predicament that warranted to make a choice like that. As I said earlier this word triggers various emotions in women. I believe from the moment of conception the child inside is life. I know women who feel differently, and I honestly believe they’re entitled to their emotions because it’s attached to them. I also know women who’s had abortions as well, and they’re reasons are their own. I’m not going to judge them or think less of them, name call etc. A woman has her own reasoning for doing what she does. I’m also intelligent enough to understand there is also a term called medical abortion where there’s no other choice. As sad as all these circumstances are, that decision is one of the hardest decisions a woman would ever have to make. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that decision stays with these women for the rest of their lives. Again, I don’t have factual evidence based off my theory but it can’t be an easy decision either way. I’m just a forgiven sinner who’s heart goes out to those in these situations. I’m not God.
That’s what I told Daffodil, that I’m not God and neither is she, however, I supposed that didn’t rub her the right way because she sent me a page long rant about not being a real Christian and not being compassionate and it’s murder and I’m supporting murder. I’m starting to see there’s a thin line between opinion and judgment. This isn’t something I was aware of before. My ignorance to this notion was bliss, now that I’m aware, I’m definitely going to be more considerate with my words going forward. The most important practice in my life right now is staying on the path of Christ. On the one hand, I should thank Daffodil for opening my eyes to this notion, for that I’m grateful for. At first when I read her words, I was mad, naturally because it felt like an attack of my character and I wanted to naturally defend myself. Then I took a deep breath, possibly mumbled the word that rhymes with itch under my breath and THEN I spoke to my dad. He’s someone that I go to when my feisty side wants to take over and wreck havoc, which I like to believe is the devil. I know he’s a liar so I won’t entertain that side when I’m actively aware it’s attempt to consume me. After I ran the conversation by my father, he hysterically laughed. That gave me a calmness so I naturally started laughing as well. Plus, my father’s laugh is very contagious. My father said that’s a great way to see things Crysta. You believe what you believe but you also see that others have a right to feel what they feel. Then he told me Pope Francis caught a lot of flack for saying who’s he to judge regarding homosexuality. Roman Catholics went down his throat. My parents are devoted Roman Catholics, I grew up in the Roman Catholic world. As a young adult woman, I’m a devoted God lover that actively seeks his center and direction.
Here’s where I’m deeply confuddled: (Crysta’s word for confusion) Who is any man to come down the throat of Pope Francis, the highest voted in the Roman Catholic world to say he was ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ to feel he’s not in the position to judge or saying anything? The reality is, he’s not. Neither am I, and neither is Daffodil. Only God is. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But where does the line stop drawing in the sand? And where do you begin to come off judgmental? Is an individual so tunneled in vision of their belief of pro life, like Daffodil is, that she doesn’t see she’s coming off judgmental? Are the Roman Catholics that went down hard on Pope Francis are? If so, what would get them to see to stop, be still and listen to God. I believe somewhere down the line, they stopped listening to that still voice of God. The way we listen affects what we hear. When we hear nothing, we must stop, be still and find God’s voice. Although, sometimes not hearing God is him working and preparing us, but in this case, I don’t think that’s what was occuring.
I also went to Transitions last night. It was a part two series titled: I don’t Know What to Do. Such an amazing service. I took away so much from it. Pastor Todd said that how we listen affects how we hear. He used this cool story about when he was driving, he was jamming to his loud music, and a cop car was trying to pull him over. He didn’t see or hear the car and by the time he paid attention there were six cars behind him. That automatically made me think about those individuals that came down hard on Pope Francis and Daffodil. At first, I would have called them ignorant and small minded but then I’d be falling under the same category of judgment. That’s not my role or place, it’s only God. I slept on this thought and I realized that I was judging Daffodil, and that’s not my place regardless if she’s judging me. I also realized that Ignorance is Bliss has a new meaning to me. We’re ignorant to certain views because they’re blinders on that haven’t been lifted. For example, talking to Daffodil taught me there’s a thin line between an opinion and judgment. I never made that connection before this conversation. God wanted me to learn that lesson and I’m glad I get it now. The last thing I want to do is step into a role that’s not meant for me. I no longer think Daffodil is small minded nor do I think those individuals that came down hard on Pope Francis are small minded. I believe they’re blissfully unaware they’re walking in fog of Ignorance. I could be wrong, hey I’m just man, walking around on this planet as a forgiven sinner who chooses to be in the center of God.
As I was writing these words Daffodil continued to go on her rant, and even me calling it a rant is judging. She sees what she sees because they’re her beliefs. She’s convinced in her conviction. Her trajectory is pro life abolish the rest. I cannot take that away from her. What I can say is, her beliefs are her own, she cannot make someone see what she sees. That’s not her place because she’s not God and God won’t even do that. God is a believer of those who follow me will be full of riches. It’s a choice left up to us. Of course he wants us to choose him but it’s still left in our hands. Pastor Todd also used another brilliant example of our amazing God. I swear, God is using Pastor Todd for astonishing things and he’s touching so many lives. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Pastor Todd. God is truly awesome. He has the cutest baby like ever. His son was playing with his toys and wandered off into the kitchen and was playing with an electrical cord. How Pastor Todd tied that in left me feeling in an aha moment. He said God leaves us with everything we will ever need, compassion, love, forgiveness, direction but we wander off and start touching things we have no business touching. That was such a profound life altering moment for me. I truly believe we all have internal battles that we fight; I know I do. If you don’t then you’re awesomely perfect. Rock out with your bad self and pin a rose on your nose. I don’t have that luxury. I now realize why I’m glad I don’t. Because I’ll stop having the feeling that I’m being taught by God everyday. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling. I don’t know more than God and I never will. I don’t want to know more than him because my brain will explode. The moment I stop feeling like I’m no longer learning from him is the moment I’m in deep doo-doo trouble and I gotta stay on my knees and Power Pray until I get back on track.
I just realized if I allowed the conversation with Daffodil to continue it would have never ended and it could have possibly turned ugly. I don’t want that. My last comment to her was Only God can judge. I told her to stop judging and I also told her it’s not Godly. Women have their own personal reasons for choosing that path. Daffodil can continue to send me messages and I’ll continue to not answer because the conversation is over. She believes what she believes, which she’s entitled to. And I believe what I believe. The bus stops there. Unfortunately, I had to block her because her continual messaging is excessive. Now, it’s coming off very forceful. It’s such a sad and unfortunate thing to see someone that calls themselves a Christian who quotes the Bible coming off so judgmental and forceful. It’s not fair because those that waiver and deeply want a relationship with God will come across people like Daffodil and be turned off. And they suffer because they won’t be healed by being in the center of God. There’s no hard feelings or lost love; I still wish her the best. Because I also know God is bigger than everything and he will find a way to prevail. Now that I got that off my chest I can move on. Back to my foodie swag.
Milan, Jojo and I all ordered a dish called chicken and waffles. The chicken was so deliciously battered, whatever secret remedies the chef used had me wanting to create a crime of breaking in and finding that recipe. It was that real. My taste buds swooned. It was love at first sensation. Saliva and seasons were finally one. Milk River is a bit pricey but it’s worth it to me. I highly recommend the greatness. Not to mention they have a live band, that plays amazing songs and they sound so wonderful. If you live or are near the Brooklyn area, on Fulton Street going past Barclays Center, check it out. You won’t be disappointed. That wasn’t the best part of the night, our amazing conversations were. Milan is a pretty incredible woman, who’s so strong and a go getter. I admire her so much. She’s been through a lot. But what’s the most inspiring part about her is the fact that her inner light shines so bright it’s beautifully blinding in the midst of all the dark hurdles she’s been through and survived. I know that we all have our battle wounds, they don’t make us weaker, they make us stronger. Milan tenacity just leaves me in awe.
Milan is in a similar season currently that I was in when I was involved with Anderson. She’s so beautiful and powerful beyond her understanding. She doesn’t even get a fraction of her gifts and purposes on this planet. Very very similar to how I was with Anderson last year, which he tried to contact me a few weeks ago; i just blocked him. I refuse to let that poison back into my life. It’s interesting and funny, I didn’t hear or feel God’s presence that strongly when I was around him. It was a faint whisper. The moment I cut Anderson out of my life, my spirituality grew tremendously. I became so centered and at peace with God that I never ever felt when I was involved with him. In fact, it was like being around lies, what the devil tries to do. He tries to feed on anxiety, worry and insecurities. It took me a long time to realize that Anderson’s aura is wicked, emotionally manipulative, secretive, and all things of darkness. Yet he called himself a man of God. It’s scary to think that’s his perception. I pray he does truly become a man of God. But he can do it far away from me. I never want to cross paths with Anderson again and I truly believe God wants that for me as well. There were so many signs in the beginning that I just ignored, because I didn’t understand that was God’s voice warning me. The shivers every time Anderson said something dark, I just shook off.
I’m so glad God was patient and loving enough to stick it out with me until I finally got it. He had to break me down to build me back up, stronger, better, wiser. I’m so grateful to God almighty for giving me this second chance of clarity. I’d rather die than to ever waiver from God ever again. It’s a no brainer for me to stay on this path of purity and righteous of God because this is the best option. I lived the other path and it’s dark, empty and lonely. God’s center is so fulfilling and peaceful. With all that said, I see so clearly what Milan struggles with, it’s like a replay of Anderson and myself. I truly believe everything is predestined. Like God knew I wasn’t going to listen to him, because he probably knew I’d come back to him. My test with Anderson is his testimony for Milan and other amazing women I’m sure he’s going to use me to impact. I’m proud of the hurdles I went through because they’re being used to uplift others. I’m just glad that God gave me the strength and the endurance to be built back up again.
I’m starting to comprehend even more my stories are going to be used by God to be messages and testimonies and I’m honored and proud to contribute to God in anyway I possibly can. It’s freeing, peaceful and true happiness. My mess is now seen as a message to inspire and help others. My heart swells with pride with knowing that. I’m no longer ashamed of these experiences. I was so mortified before. At times before, I used to want to die because I felt like such a epic failure. But I now understand they’re messages and testimonies that will be used by God. That’s how awesome God is. He’s the biggest and better than anything else. No matter what the devil tempts, once you stick with God you’re unstoppable and untouchable. Milan unfortunately doesn’t see that the guy she’s currently dating is toxic in her life and will only attempt to out her light within. He wants to damage her like how Anderson wanted to damage me. Broken people break. But God is so much bigger than that dud’s attempt. That’s why he’s put me in her life. And that’s why Jojo’s in her life too. When we saw a picture of this guy last night she was amazed at all we pointed out just by seeing his picture. Jojo’s reaction was priceless. She was silenced. I glanced at the picture and immediately turned my head away. Milan wasn’t aware of what I did but realized what Jojo did.
I have learned through a series of events that my ability to express myself can be very well, not so nice sometimes and it leaves me thinking: I just have diarrhea of the mouth. With that said, I’m learning how to articulate myself so that I won’t rub anyone the wrong way anymore. I’m a newbie at it and in that moment I had nothing nice to say or the ability to express myself that wouldn’t come off offensive so I turned my head away. Luckily for me, Milan was paying more attention to Jojo. Jojo also had nothing nice to say but she’s better at this articulation than I am. And she said he’s a waiver that’s conflicted. That’s nice pretty, fluffy and savvier than what I would have said. My dude is dark and toxic to Milan. Later than night we had a two hour conversation in her car in front of my house and it was so needed and I think she sees things a bit clearer. There was a lot she needed to get off her chest. I’ll keep praying for her and being that positive whisper in her ear because that’s the role God wants me playing. It’s so amazing how God can conquer all. I can’t wait to see what happens on the next adventure. Until next time, this path called life.