I Think My Grandmother Was Onto Something When She Named Me

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20

Have certain passages of religious texts just irked the heck out of confused you?  According to the Bible Jesus made amazing wine, fed thousands with mere pieces of food, water surfed at leisure, gave life to dead things and promised us peace amongst many incredible acts. This matter of faith, being as small as a spec of lint is something to behold.

Yes, there’s an amazing story behind the circumstances of my arrival into this world. My maternal grandmother wanted to give praise to God for delivering me safely, as it was a touch and go birth.

Growing up, I came to fight the gag reflex upon hearing this story repeated, because no one (not even my parents) treasured this story of Grandma Sarah’s absolute faith that her first-born’s first-born was meant to be here.

Then there’s that George Michael song.

Having a ‘religious’ oriented name comes with its own set of costs and benefits, based on other people’s perceptions. In many ways, I have often felt my name was mocking me to have an understanding of “God’ that’s been ever-elusive and always out of reach. There’s a difference between religiosity and spiritual practice.

I observed all the ways personal prosperity played hide-and-seek or never showed up despite fervent prayers and strict church attendance. This applies to myself, immediate family and the world at large. This is where personal decisions that undermine progress might be ignored, blaming external circumstances can become commonplace or anger sets in.

This is also where a reliance on material goods, career, income or over-working may take center stage. Bragging can’t really heal feelings of inadequacy. Doubt eats away at you. People have been sent to prison for stealing or altercations that maimed or killed others based on greed.

I continue to seek a deeper understanding of who I am: as a woman, as a Gen-Xer, as an African-American, as a person of certain values, a particular class, First-born birth order, artsy-bent, philosophical, outspoken, coffee-drinking, travel-lover and a recovering ‘fixer’ who keeps being reminded to let go.

Trust and Faith often seem like the twin signs of abject life failure or repeated stumbling cycles. Yet, there’s tremendous value in living up to a powerful name. I want to manifest God’s abundance. I want to accept prosperity. It’s necessary for true spiritual (and life) growth. Not depending on situations requires reliance on belief in a benevolent Higher Power that guides and protects us.  That we get to work with, apply and watch unfold!

And yet….when you’re making changes after deciding to adopt higher conscious-thinking (embracing femininity, leaving Blackistan, letting go) feeling assured in that freedom may  sometimes hold a question mark. We have to visualize great things and know they (or something better) will be done.

If we keep going back to the old ways, how can we expect anything to be different? How content are you? Or are you a worry-addict? If you lost everything tomorrow how would you react? Do you believe suffering is divine? Do you confuse gratitude with settling for less? Are you enjoying heaven right now or waiting? Do you believe in goodness or have a boulder dragging along beside you? How do you move forward when you know you don’t believe? Where do you find misplaced/directed hope?

10 Replies to “I Think My Grandmother Was Onto Something When She Named Me”

  1. Pt 3

    Now, one BIG reason I love to plan is to manage discouragement preemptively. I already know that there will be times when I feel discouraged, disappointed, depressed, etc. So, I try to sit down and formulate a clear outline of what I want to achieve (I personally like to have a 2-3 year plan, in my mind) with steps that I am to take to meet my goals. Without going TOO overboard, I try to think of possible contingencies that may arise and establish a plan to address them in advance. Here is a basic outline of my planning process:

    1. Define (MAJOR) objective(s) (not too many, because the plan becomes overbearing, unworkable, and a source of discouragement--which is not the goal. I normally select 1-3).

    2. Outline the MINIMUM requirements to meet those objectives. (This is what you absolutely MUST do.)

    3. Think about your lifestyle, personality, work ethic, resources, etc., and set up a skeleton plan including all of the necessary requirements from Step 2. (This is VERY important for preemptively dealing with discouragement. This skeleton plan allows you to know that, no matter what, if you complete these steps, you WILL meet your objectives. I rely on this A LOT.)

    4. Think of other little milestones you can use to gauge your progress and encourage you along the way (I need to incorporate this more).

    5. Clearly identify what you will attain when you achieve your goals. Part of the outcomes may be indeterminable, but it is important to identify unambiguous outcomes, so that you can envision what you will have upon completion.

    6. Put your plan into a visual format (write it, draw it, paint it, sew it--whatever), and hang it in a location you can see it on a frequent basis.

    Now, I personally like to write out a list and check things off as I go. My list is hanging in an area I use to study on occasion. So, it's not on my mirror, but I always walk over to review it, when I need encouragement or to feel that I actually AM making progress. (Step 3, know that you WILL achieve your objectives.)

    I'm an introvert, so I usually do things by myself. So, I've come to realize that I need human support to make it through my upcoming "dry period". I was just thinking about this last week, and trying to plan for ways to deal with it. I know it's coming, and I don't want to be stuck in that state without the assistance I need. So, I was thinking of preparations. Wouldn't you know, I connected with a woman from my new job who has certain goals in common with me, and we've agreed to support each other. She wanted someone to connect with too, to achieve her objective. I think that is an example of God providing you what you need, WHEN you need it. I think I may have also started to form Napoleon Hill's "mastermind alliance". (Wouldn't that be great? 🙂 )

    This is how I think, anyway. Just know, there are many people who support you, if ever you need it.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY.

    1. Formavitae…thanks so much! SERIOUSLY! Here's my core frustration: creating this forum has revealed ALL of my own flaws AND the power we have to transform our lives working with God/Universe. Since I want to live with integrity I've been raking myself through the coals but ALSO making BOLD moves. Not always with God, thus I've had some big falls. I've been relying on, hoping for and lusting after circumstances to fuel my life. And even 'choices' can fall under that because I think about possibilities in self-reliance instead of faith with action. When discussing how and why we could all use a mental shift to create our "best/less flawed" life, I haven't touched on reacting to less than ideal outcomes. It's been assumed. This isn't something I've personally handled well, though I hope everyone else does! I just want to be where I'm supposed to be and KNOW it. I'm questioning every aspect of my life (really for the past 3 years most intently) and it keeps coming back to me trusting God and letting go. I haven't wanted to do it. I can intellectualize it, but my resistance isn't working in my favor. So, now I'm consciously (albeit imperfectly) catching myself moment by moment. Anyway, people disappoint or things get wonky or take too long and I let it negatively impact me. I can't do that anymore. I have to believe God is truly with me and live it. We're all going to be FINE!!!

  2. Pt 2

    Now, something I personally struggle with is feeling penalized for having/acting on good integrity, principles, and character. That's why I often "rail" against the denigration of values in society. It never ceases to amaze me how so many negative qualities are advocated, admired, and cherished in popular culture. I think it's disgusting and detrimental to society. So, I disconnect myself from a lot of popular culture and media, and I'm much happier. I'm also more self-content, because I don't have so many external influences telling me who I should be, what I should aspire to, what makes me "successful", etc. It's a much more peaceful life. Disconnecting from the media machine has been a major asset in my life.

    Now, I certainly know what it's like to feel discouraged or like you're a "hamster on a wheel". I will say that my life has not taken the course I expected. However, I am happy with where I'm at (with intermittent discouragements, of course), and I find that things are opening up to me in ways I never anticipated. I think this is an example of the scripture which states, "A man plans his way, but the Lord orders his steps." I think that is true in my life. I feel that I am moving into my purpose and concurrently learning what that purpose actually is. Not to contradict my earlier statement about our freedom to choose, but I do believe there is an interplay between our freedom of choice and our potential destinies.

    When I feel discouraged, I plan. I'm a "planner". It actually makes sense that I have an interest in city and regional "planning". Lol. I'll be finishing that degree later, but that's another story. Planning helps me in a variety of ways, but there are two key ways in which it helps me the most: 1) it helps me organize my thoughts, so that I stay focused on my goals (rather than fret about what doesn't seem to be working out in the moment), and 2) it reminds/shows me how my objectives are feasible and attainable. These facts are important for several reasons. One, when you're striving for things that seem to be "far away" and "out of reach", it's important to know there are steps you can take to substantiate those goals and make them more than "wishful thinking". Also, it provides an alternative perspective on your activities to counter the negative and discouraging messages you may be receiving from those around you. It also helps you clarify any steps or adjustments you may need to make in order to make your dreams a reality. (To be cont)

  3. Good Morning, Faith.

    I haven't read your most recent posts, yet. But, from what I have skimmed, it seems you could use some encouragement. So, I wanted to send you a brief message, before I started my day. I planned to respond to this post, but hadn't done so yet, because my brain has been a little "fried" from ending the quarter and trying to learn what I need for my new job.

    First, I wanted to say, I think Faith is a nice name. Yes, I think religious thoughts, when I hear it. But, that's because I had a very religious upbringing.

    During my life, I have also struggled with things I believe and what I see in the world around me. When you're younger, you tend to see and believe things as they've been taught to you (or, rather, as you understand the teaching). I personally always wanted to follow "God's will" for my life, and I always had a difficult time figuring out what that was. After a few years of trying to sort it out, I finally realized that God gives us the free will and ability to choose what we will do with the life and gifts that He gives us. He only asks that we abide by certain principles in seeking out our happiness and pursuing our goals. He also wants us to produce the realities/acts He would want to see in the world (helping the less fortunate, standing for justice, etc.). At least, that's what I've come to believe, anyway. But, reaching that conclusion gave me a lot of relief and freedom in my life, because I realized that God wants me to honor Him in what I do. He doesn't necessarily limit my options for happiness and self-actualization. He HAS given me certain, unique gifts, so that says something about the way in which He wanted to design me and who He wanted me to be. Fortunately, I LIKE my gifts. I've hidden them away, but I realize God wants me to use them and develop them. So, I'm now working on doing so. I remind myself of the parable of the talents, to remember that God wants us to cultivate and develop the gifts He gives us. (To be cont.)

  4. Over the past three months, I have done a ton of deep thinking on similar questions about content and the conclusion was yes and no. My life is/was at a comfortable standstill (meaning all of my lower level needs are being met) but I want to reach for the stars! So I will have to push through this comfort zone, while it has served me well, will leave me with a bunch of regrets that I did not push farther 20 years from now.

    During this intense period of inner examination, I have had a wave a peace wash over me. I was a worry wort about everything before (family matters, prospects -- both personal and professional, national/local political climate, the list goes on)! Its not the best feeling to live your life in suspended angst mode even when everything is going fairly well. While I still have my 'go-getter' personality, the lack of worry is extremely satisfying. Its a different kind of drive I have now. This may sound very 4th-dimension like, but I truly do trust the creator/universe has my back and has awesome things in store for me 🙂 My trust and faith in this feels sound and not resignation.

    Onward and upward!

  5. I just got home from. My brain is on “tired” side. This is a good post. I’m going to think on it, then comment when I’ve gathered my thoughts.

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