Being comfortable in your own skin isn't an easy concept. There are billion dollar industries whose sole purpose is to ensure that "regular women" feel inadequate and inferior to their counterparts. For women of color, or women belonging to marginalized groups, the rabbit hole goes even deeper than that. From kinky hair, to full lips to squinty eyes to tiger striped skin, not being what some see as "traditionally beautiful" can be a painful experience to say the least. I pray that following me on my journey (because I haven't arrived yet) will help you overcome areas of low self esteem, fear and doubt. So, grab a bottle of water and your sunglasses, cause we are about to get started. VROOM VROOM VROOM!
"This Year Will Be a Year Of..."
By Jona Nanette / January 22, 2020
"I'm Feeling Myself"
By Jona Nanette / January 22, 2020
Sometimes life takes so much out of you that you just stop feeling like your normal self. This can last days, weeks, months...even years! Sometimes this feeling is due to depression, loneliness, anxiety, grief or even daily routine.
I’ve been feeling this way for the last few years. Many people don’t know about my personal battle with depression and anxiety. I have been known to exhibit behaviors of anger and hostility, two symptoms nobody associates with being severely depressed, when I’m really overwhelmed by my struggles or when I’m triggered. One of my biggest triggers is rejection. It can get very lonely always feeling like you don’t belong. Sometimes the very people who are supposed to be your “safe space” end up being the ones who (knowingly or unknowingly) keep you locked in a cycle of mental instability and pain.
Lately though, I’ve been feeling like myself. I’m glad that God has allowed me to go through certain things and even allowed me to lose some very special people who were extremely close to me as well. The funny thing is, I now feel lighter and freer than ever before. It’s like weights have been lifted off my shoulder and I can now finally see the sky.
Yep, I’m feeling like myself again...the Jona I grew up with. The funny one...the smart one...the sexy one! I think I’m finally ready to put the past behind me and start something new. I want to love again, hope again...TRUST again! I’ve lost so much these past few years, but I’m still here! I know this new life won’t be familiar, but it is my new normal.
Life is funny. Just when you see the light at the end of the road, it’s like Jesus hits that light switch and everything goes pitch black. That’s ok though. That’s when the light He has placed inside of us gets to shine it’s brightest.
"He Has Made All Things New"
By Jona Nanette / January 15, 2020
It’s a new month, a new year, a new season, and a new decade and so you ALREADY KNOW that God has something NEW JUST FOR YOU! Now I’m not saying to let go of everything you’ve been praying for but have yet to receive, but I AM saying that ALL THINGS ARE SPIRITUAL. Maybe, just maybe, God has reset the clock or allowed it to run out on “that thing” because He has something better in store for you.
It’s funny because I just took a huge break while writing this to finish re-watching the movie “Jumanji”. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a movie about teens who get trapped in a video game. They are each given three lives, and at first this made them anxious and nervous, but eventually they readjusted and actually started using this to their “advantage”, even allowing themselves to be killed in order to escape dangerous situations. They realized that sometimes the best way to “LEVEL UP” is by starting over.
Unlike the kids in the film, we are only blessed with one life and when our time is up, the game is over. However, I urge you to consider that maybe it’s time for you to “START OVER.” Or maybe it’s time for you to “start up again” (ouch, that just pricked me lol). All I’m saying is now is not the time to stay stuck in a situation that you know is hopeless. Sometimes you just have to yield, look up to the sky and yell “REBOOT!”
I pray that 2020 brings you everything you’ve ever wanted, and I pray that God blows your mind by doing what He does best: exceeding our expectations. I also pray that this year you learn to finally let go of the past so that you can fully embrace the future. It’s a new year, yes, but it doesn’t work with old minds, thoughts and habits; we have to renew our minds so that we can LEVEL UP!
So, I say, out with the old and in with the new. Who’s with me?
LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
By Tamekia Lee / November 6, 2019
This article was originally published on the Gods-finest.com website on October 10, 2019.
Girl!!!! All that heartache you could have avoided looking for salvation and comfort in money and men! Ha! I don’t fault you because you didn’t know the sweetest love could be found in God. You just didn’t know. If you knew, you would have called Him Daddy way back then. You had no idea how many daddy issues you had until your God started waking you up at 2 a.m. in the morning to love on you and reveal your inner pain that was masked behind all that “pretend confidence.” Your biological dad was never there, but that was ok. You didn’t think you even needed his presence growing up. You will later find out that not only did you need him, but his absence started a domino effect that landed you right in the arms of your savior!!!
Truly all things worked together for your good. You realize that no person, place or thing could ever take the grandeur role He plays in your life. If only you could have experienced His love, His peace, His true value back then like you do now. The fellowship and relationship will come 2nd to none!! You will be immersed in Him and He in you. You will come to know that He is sweeter than a honeycomb! He will show you the truest meaning of the scripture that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. See if you knew Him then like I know Him now, I would tell you baby girl, your validation comes straight from heaven and not some knuckle headed egotistical dude. I would pour all the love my Daddy has given the now me into you and tell you to keep your legs closed and your mouth shut. Listen to the wisdom the Holy Spirit is whispering in your ear. Meditate on it. Counsel with it. Allow it to become apart of you and you apart of it. Raise your standards and really seek the Holy Spirit for the purpose and plans He has for you. Don’t take anything personally and guard your heart as the very issues of life flow freely from it. Despite it all, I am so proud of how you kept your head up when faced with disappointment, devastation and rejection. You did what you knew to do in times of trouble and no matter the circumstances, you still came out on TOP!!!
Bless you Baby Girl!! You are a true King’s Kid!!
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
By Jona Nanette / October 16, 2019
Life. It gets better.
One year ago I was recovering from one of the lowest moments in my life. This year I've lost so much, yet I'm actually living in one of the best moments of my life. But what if I had given up last year? What if I had thrown in the towel and said, "well..that's enough of this...I'm out." Not only would I have not received the many blessings I now have, but I also would not have been given the many disappointments and the lessons they brought and those lessons made me stronger and wiser.
My challenge to you today is to not run away from the hard lessons. They may be difficult to endure, but not only can they be life changing, they can also be LIFE SAVING! Living a life of apathy, or worse yet, choosing not to live at all, is giving up right before it gets good. I know some of you may be saying "but Jai, my life gets worse and worse instead of better, so I doubt its going to get good." To that I say:
1). Are you repeating patterns and habits that end in destruction, praying that this time it won't?
2) If you aren't engaging in destructive patterns, yet life keeps giving you lemonade, have you learned to make lemonade yet? (Are you learning the lesson?)
3) If it isn't 1 or 2 that just means you either need to open your eyes to the good stuff happening in your life that you may be blind to, or God is just saving the best for last when it comes to you.
Most times us being miserable is based only on ONE or TWO things that we have allowed to consume our whole life and outlook. Maybe God doesn't want to change the situation. Maybe the thing He wants to change is YOU and how you handle disappointment because He knows that if you can't manage hurt, you probably won't be a good manager of the blessing you are waiting on. Sometimes because we haven't received "THAT BLESSING" we start blocking out all the other blessings that come our way. That is the purest form of ungratefulness, and that's the quickest way to block your blessing...even "THAT ONE". So again I reiterate to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS and not your woes! Making permanent decisions based on momentary pain is not only not wise, but also discounts the beautiful things (and people) already in your life.
By Jona Nanette / October 9, 2019
So many of us want to receive Unconditional Love, and that’s cool. Funny thing is though, you will never know if a person’s love for you is unconditional, until you realize it isn’t. The fact is, Unconditional Love is NOT just loving someone or accepting someone in spite of their flaws. It’s not just an emotion or a feeling. True Unconditional Love is an ACTION! That’s why it’s “unconditional”... because I’m going to still DO what I said I was going to do, DESPITE outside circumstances.
When you make me mad, I’m still coming home.
I made vows to you, so I forsake all others.
I love you as myself, so I won’t belittle, demean, hurt or abuse you, your body, your
spirit, your heart, or your trust.
I discipline myself so that my actions line up with my vows.
I forsake momentary temptation for a lifetime of commitment.
I trust that you are doing the same, but even if you don’t, my love remains the same.
Simply put, Unconditional Love isn’t what’s received, it’s what’s GIVEN. God our Father is the only One who truly gives Unconditional Love, and what did He do? “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him will NOT perish but have everlasting life.”
Stop looking to receive Unconditional Love and start looking to GIVE it!
So my question is...What will you give up to get the love you so desperately want to receive? So many of us want to find someone to love us just as we are, but the way we are actually may limit us in finding what we’re searching for. Let God do the work IN YOU so that YOUR LOVE becomes pure and complete, and not just full of empty words and promises. Your actions, sacrifices, and yes, even motives are what makes YOUR love unconditional. So the next time you ask God to give you Unconditional Love, realize that His answer may be to get your own heart right, so you can BE the Unconditional Love you so desperately want to receive.
Have a BLESSED DAY
LET IT GO!
By Jona Nanette / October 2, 2019
Hurt changes your DNA. It can rob you of your natural desires and steal your destiny. Stop letting people back into your life who constantly hurt you and rob you of your peace and joy. The Bible says that above all things, guard your heart because out of it flows the issues of life. Could it be that THAT thing you’re constantly struggling against is the aftermath of being devastated by the same person OVER and OVER again. You can forgive and move on. You don’t have to put yourself back in the firing line to prove loyalty or fealty to someone who has neither one of those things for you. You’ve chosen them long enough. Choose yourself this time. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Move on!
I can get real deep right now, but we ain’t got time for that. This is me virtually handing you some scissors...CUT THEM OFF.
THE EASIEST DEFENSE
By Jona Nanette / September 11, 2019
Yesterday was my brotherʼs birthday. I saved up all this money so he could have a day that he wouldnʼt have to think about money. Then the unthinkable happened on Monday. I had a fraudulent charge come out that took almost all of it. Iʼm not gon lie, I was NOT ok! My brother is my best friend and the most important person in the world to me, and to think the one day where I would get to celebrate him could possibly be ruined...well that was more than I could bear. Me and Jesus took a breather. I went to sleep mad, frustrated and questioning my faith.
Then a funny thing happened. When I woke up the next morning, I had this incredible peace. I felt Godʼs presence and this joy I cannot explain, so I did what any normal person would do: I shook it off and went to work cause I was not trying to be pacified, I wanted my money back! A few hours after questioning the existence of God and deciding whether or not this whole Christian thing was working out, I felt a tear come down my eye. And then another. And another. Soon I was in full ugly cry and I realized I wasnʼt just mad...I was hurt. Hurt is something I donʼt allow myself to feel often cause itʼs just such a stupid emotion to me. Most times we allow ourselves to be set up to be hurt, and so I try to live my life without being vulnerable enough for anyone to hurt me. However, lately, I canʼt hold on to those walls anymore. Itʼs getting harder and harder to stay angry and “strong”. Itʼs like this mask Iʼve worn for years is finally being chiseled away. And the funniest part of all of this is, Iʼm happier.
Emotions can be tricky, but Iʼm learning that every good and perfect gift comes from our Father. If He gave us emotions, then maybe itʼs time to start using them. ALL OF THEM! My challenge to you on this week is to find those emotions that you donʼt use often, and start building their muscles up. If youʼre always angry, try to let go of it and allow yourself to feel what youʼre feeling. If youʼre always hurt and vulnerable, try being happy and content. We have to keep evolving and adapting as human beings, but so many of us get stuck in our own ways. Movies are written about people being in a rut, then they meet someone and the person “makes them better.” Thatʼs cute. I however donʼt want to wait on a boo to be better. I choose to become a better person now. Its easy to get mad, angry, and upset. So many of us use those as the ultimate defense mechanism. However, its time we realize that sometimes those emotions only make things worse. We are hurting and so we want others to feel our pain. That's not cool. A lot of people are broken by people who are broken so my question is, who will stop the cycle? I had to ask myself this a few months ago, and immediately I felt a freedom I had never felt before. This is why I choose to seek vulnerability and even fragility from this point on. Its ok to hurt. Its a part of life. Just don't stay stuck in a cycle of pain.
And yes, Iʼm still a Christian lol. #Jesus is bae!
I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.
By Jona Nanette / September 4, 2019
It’s funny that you can give someone or something your all and still have nothing to show for it. Like literally put every egg you own in a basket, and the only thing you can do is just pray that it all works out. The funny thing about life though is that the temporary season of hurt and and discomfort you’re in is nothing compared to where God is taking you. You asked for growth and preparation. Well...VOILA...you got it babe! I think we often think God’s blessings are in the feel good moments, and a lot of them are. But it’s in the moments where we’ve given shall we can bear and we don’t know where we’re going to get the strength to journey on that God is preparing you for opening that business, for getting that job, for opening that Swiss account. It’s in those aches and pain that spiritual and mental (and emotional too) wall are being built that will allow you not only to make it to your dream, but also to flourish in it.
I said all that to say...it’s not God always punishing you when things don’t go your way. Sometimes it’s Him training you to conquer more territory. Building your defenses against rejection. Teaching you how to find hope in the midst of despair. Go through it so you and stop running from it. If it becomes unbearable it’s ok to say “ok God, I need a break.” Even the
strongest and most talented athletes need a breather during training. But don’t stop training! You’re so close to your breakthrough and you’re going to end up with everything God promised you...IF you faint not!
"Are You Expecting?"
By Jona Nanette / August 28, 2019
Sometimes...when we get disappointed in God (and people), we lose our faith. I’ve heard many ministers of the gospel tell people that their “expectations” were why they were hurt, so we need to stop expecting things to happen and we won’t get hurt.
Good theory...but it’s unbiblical...
FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR...the evidence of things NOT SEEN. Hope is what causes us to EXPECT that thing we cannot see...So...EXPECTANCY is the result of us BELIEVING and HOPING. So to expect something to happen is the
literal definition of FAITH! When we eliminate expectancy, we are actually eliminating Faith...and who do we have
See where I’m going?
Yeah it didn’t work out...I’m so sorry.
They hurt you...Yeah, that’s messed up.
BUT GOD IS STILL GOD!
There’s a difference in “I believe even if He doesn’t do it” and “He doesn’t have to do it but I still believe”. Ummm...what exactly are you believing in the second one? You’re actually doubting Him and without FAITH it’s impossible to please God. Fear is as strong as faith and whatever you believe will happen. Maybe that’s why you’re constantly disappointed. Only His Word will stand after the fire. We have to stand on faith and submit our will to His so anything He didn’t say or approve will get burned away. Even your doubt and fears. Stop hindering God because people hurt you. Keep expecting! Keep hoping! Keep believing and WATCH HIM MOVE!
Be easy fam! #hope #peace #love #andEXPECT
By Jona Nanette / 8/21/2019
Everyone wants to be chosen, but can you stand to be broken? Can you stand to go thru the process of being rejected by those you love? Can you stand to hear the slanderers criticize you and sling mud on your name? And can you stand by your brother or your sister as they are going thru the same? Parents, will you stand by your kids even if they’re not “perfect”? Children can you forgive your parents for not being perfect? Wives, can you stand by your husbands thru the shame; Husbands can you stand by your wives thru the pain? Cause if you can't stand during the process of being broken, you will never be chosen; because its only in brokenness that we can clearly see God!
"The Lord is near the broken hearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit". Psalms 34:18
So...Don't refuse to be broken because God is just molding you, reshaping you to be in His image. But again I ask, can you stand to be broken? I would say yes. God has promised to be close to the broken hearted, and he who has a contrite spirit, God has promised that He will not despise. In Jeremiah 3:14 God says He's married to the backslider. He also said thieves come to steal and destroy, but I HAVE COME so that sinners might have life, and life more abundantly. He doesn't want perfect people. He wants you. God isn't looking for a perfect vessel! He's looking for an empty vessel so that He can fill you up! He's looking for someone that's not trying to prove how saved they are so that God can use them! But He is looking for someone who would crawl their way to the altar...thru their mess, thru their dirt, thru their shame and say I WILL SETTLE FOR THE CRUMBS THAT FALL OFF YOUR TABLE, LORD! He's looking for someone BROKEN, YET CHOSEN! Hurt, but still chosen. Wounded, but still chosen. Limping, but still chosen. Almost gave up, but still chosen. A mess, but still chosen! Framed, but still chosen! Guilty, but STILL CHOSEN! A perfect God doesn't need PERFECT VESSELS! Only available ones! That's who gets chosen! The ones who hold on when everybody else let's go! When the Job's wife of your life tells you to just CURSE GOD AND DIE, but something inside of you says THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET will I trust HIM!
No matter what sin you have committed, God loves you. No matter how far you have fallen, God loves you. No matter who or what you're sleeping with, God loves you! No matter what "they" know about you, GOD LOVES YOU! No matter who left you...GOD LOVES YOU! No matter what YOU'VE DONE, GOD LOVES YOU! Nothing or no one can separate you from God's love! NOTHING!
Why? Cause, you're chosen!
"SPA-RRING With GOD"
By JONA NANETTE / Aug 14, 2019
A few years ago my mom kept dropping hints that she wanted a spa day...I caught them and planned to take her. Around the same time a few of my friends were in this fashion show, and I went to support. They had a raffle and one of the prizes was a spa day package. I literally was like “that’s mine!” I just knew I was going to win it and was not the least bit surprised when they called my number. I graciously got up to claim my prize and take pictures with one of the hosts, yadda yadda yadda. Then I went home and presented my mom with her gift. This morning I realized that I knew I was going to win it
cause it’s something my mom wanted. It wasn’t about me at all.
I wonder what God wants to do for you, but He can’t cause right now it’s all about you,what you can get from it, how it will benefit you. The funny thing is that most times what God wants to do in us or through us is not even about us. That’s why we have to follow His orders to the T cause God delights in ripping back up plans to shreds lol. He doesn’t need to use you, He WANTS to use you. And if you should miss it, just repent and make it right because you don’t ever want it to be somebody else out there who God trusts to carry out His vision and the purpose for your life better than you. He’s not sleep and He
doesn’t miss a thing. Just because He allows you to keep doing something doesn’t mean He’s still with you. God is the only boss who will fire you and still let you keep working.
By JONA NANETTE / Aug 7, 2019
So many times I go on Facebook and I see posts about disconnecting from toxic people and “getting over” and healing after you’ve been in toxic relationships, but...what if you’re the one that’s toxic? What if the BS the other person did was horrible and wrong, but your actions made things worse. Some of us keep relationships past their expiration dates and then we get sick from consuming spoiled love. Yes, love can make you sick if you’re not pure, healthy and whole. See love is like a vaccine, it injects you to make you more able to fight off certain diseases, but...what if you’ve already been exposed to what they are exposing you too? What if a previous relationship broke your heart or even parts of your mind, and now everything you think of is tainted by what happened? Then, a new person comes along with their imperfections, longing and wanting to get it right with you...and you poison their love with your antibodies that has gone rogue. Instead of fighting off the infected parts of what hurt you, it starts attacking the love the other person is so desperately trying to give to you. And Lord forbid if they hurt you too.
Some of us need to detox from all the ways new bacteria can enter our lives. We need to cut off anything that is not sterile enough to be around an open wound. We need to drain any infection from our system and check to make sure other areas are not affected as well. Simply put, we need a dating timeout. A dating timeout is when you just press pause on starting anything new that can distract you from being healed and becoming whole. I know sometimes that feels like you’re being punished right when you think you need someone there to love you the most, but the fact is you’re going to hurt them if you don’t get right within first. People are people and no matter how much a person loves you, they are going to do things that hurts, annoys, or discourages you...how you choose to deal with it shows if you are ready to be with someone, or if you need a little more time in timeout. No matter what your partner does or says to hurt you, do not do anything that you wouldn’t want done to you. Notice I didn’t say “well if a person cheats on you or constantly disrespects you then yea, wild out”. First, you shouldn’t be in a relationship like that and b) ANOTHER PERSON’S ACTIONS SHOULD NEVER DICTATE YOURS! Most people act in a civilized and mature way when they get what they want. The true character of a person is measured by how they handle it when things don’t go their way or when things blow up in their face.
If you are reading this and saying “Jai, come on, that’s impossible. I gotta let them know not to hurt me or try me like that”, then ask yourself why is that? Why can’t you just walk away or go your separate ways until you’re in a mental space to work your way through it? Is it possible that we have normalized toxic reactions to situations too? Ask yourself this question...how would you handle a messed up situation right now? Would you be calm and try to work your way through it, or would you explode? So many people think that anger issues are the only reason people “snap”, but we have a WHOLE SHOW that proves that isn’t always true. Major irritation, being easily frustrated, and even being overly sensitive can all be signs that it’s time for you to take a RELATIONSHIP DETOX!
There are three main reasons that taking time out to focus on restoring you is important:
1) In these alone moments we get to redefine who we are, discover who we have become, and recognize new needs and desires that are important to us. So many of us jump from one relationship to the next and are never satisfied because we are seeking things that we no longer need from our partners. OR, we don’t seek out the new things we DO need cause we haven’t taken the time to examine our lives, the growth we’ve made and what is important to us now. Taking time out allows you to discover you again as you take off the layers of toxicity that has clogged your soul. It also gets you to rediscover your own faults. Some of us try so hard not to do one thing, not realizing that thing is not even an issue for us anymore. You warn your partners about triggers that no longer affect you, but leave yourself wide open cause now there are all these new vulnerable spaces that you aren’t even aware of. You’re out here feeling guilty cause you think you got a smart mouth and quick temper but you actually don’t. Once you may have but you now are actually gracious and even tempered. You do however want to be held a little more when you guys are intimate. You never wanted that in the past and if you don’t do the work during these timeouts, you don’t even know THAT’S why you’re tripping. You don’t have an attitude problem, you just need a hug lol.
2) You get to regain control of your spirit. I actually put this one second even though most would put it first because I am a firm believer that your mind has to be clear before you can even focus on anything else. I don’t care how much God you have, if your mind and heart isn’t right, you’re still not going to be ok. God is a spirit and just like every other spirit we interact with on a daily basis, we have to make room for Him. Just living takes up sooo much of our time and energy, so any time we can grab a few moments to focus on God and our spirits, we should jump at it. Connecting with God re-centers you and cleanses your soul. Putting the focus back on Him allows everything else to get back into focus too. It also makes us better people. Anything you meditate on becomes what you become like. The more we focus on Jesus and His love for us, the more we can see Him in ourselves, and just as importantly, in our future spouses.
3) You get to heal. Just like in real life, when you get really really sick, sometimes you have to check into a hospital, a clinic or a rehab facility. We don’t realize the affect that break-ups have on people. The very definition of trauma is “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.” Going from being and talking with someone daily and having 24/7 access to them to not talking to them at all can be very distressing and disturbing to one’s mind, psyche, heart and spirit. Anything you do for 21 days becomes a habit, and most of our past relationships went on for months and years. You need to heal from just the fact that they are no longer there. That’s why when you enter a new relationship too soon, it doesn’t feel right even if the other person is doing everything right. Subconsciously, we are comparing them to our old partners and are now getting frustrated because they want to go home and take a shower right after work before coming over whereas your ex would come straight from work. We take them not coming right over as a sign that something is wrong, or that they don’t love us like our ex, or worse yet, maybe there is somebody else, and that one is true. There is somebody else...THEY ARE SOMEBODY ELSE. They are completely different from your ex. They may need a few moments to themselves so they can then give themselves completely to you, and that’s ok.
Relationship timeouts are needed to self-heal and self-soothe. Self-healing is not just scented candles and warm bubble baths. During this time of self discovery and reflection, it’s imperative that you rediscover who you are and WHOSE you are. This journey is needed to add value back to your life, and future relationships. Somewhere out there your future partner is praying for you just like you are praying for them, and they deserve the best version of you possible.
By JONA NANETTE / July 31, 2019
Even though Jesus was the divine son of God, He still had to endure the cross. Even though Mary had carried, birthed and raised a perfect son, it did not absolve her from having an “at the cross moment”. Seeing the hurt and pain in his mother's eyes as she stood at the foot of the cross, Jesus motioned toward John, the disciple He loved, and told his mother to behold her son, and then looked at John and said “behold your mother.” He knew they would need each other.
It’s funny because last night I had a dream about my mom. As some of you know, she recently passed. I saw a meme the other day that said “your mom has lived without you before, but you have never lived without your mom. Let that sink in.” Even though I can personally testify to the realness of it, I also know that it’s not a definite truth. Losing a parent is the worst pain, but losing a child is also detrimental and can affect parents in a myriad of ways because it’s unnatural to have to bury your child. It’s the kind of hurt you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, a pain so unbearable that Jesus paired his mom with his best friend because He knew she wouldn’t be able to make it through the grieving process alone. Watching your child take their last breath is an unimaginable moment of total despair, and yet Jesus has given us the perfect example of what to do at that moment: YOU CHOOSE TO EMBRACE THE LIVING and everything that remains. It also shows the community that WE should EMBRACE THE GRIEVING PARENTS AND TAKE THEM INTO OUR HEARTS.
I know some of you are thinking, but what if I haven't lost a child? What if what I lost was a relationship, a job, a spouse, a blessing? What if the miracle I needed just didn't come? Well, its time to embrace your new normal. Don't stop living your life waiting for what you wanted to happen to happen. It didn't...and its not. This is when you look and behold, for God has made all things new.
Life goes on. Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s actually remembering, embracing, accepting, and loving in spite of. It’s interesting that Jesus just didn’t tell John to behold his mother, but He also told his mom to embrace her son. He was telling her it’s ok to grieve, but now she had a new purpose, a new responsibility. He was telling her it’s ok to love again. It’s ok to keep living. So many of us die inside when we lose a loved one, lose something we loved dearly, or just "lose out". I understand it, TRUST ME, I lost both parents two years apart, but I have to remember why God brought me into the world. My parents’ purpose was fulfilled. Mine isn’t. It’s my job now to not let their lives be in vain and I do that by choosing to behold their legacies while I also choose to let go of the pain.
Life...no one gets out of it alive, but God has made us a promise that He won't leave us even when everyone else does. He loves you and He wouldn't allow anything to happen to you that you couldn't overcome. The pain you are filling from the emptiness that THAT void left in your life, well my friend...its time to fill it with laughter, hope and love. This life has always been temporary, and no one makes it out alive, lol, so in the meantime...choose to LIVE!!!
By JONA NANETTE / July 24, 2019
So...as most of you know, I’ve been natural for a few years now. I cover my natural hair with wigs and weaves because my hair is straight from the Motherland. I learned early after I left the creamy crack that my hair is 4D and any fantasies of luxurious curls are just that...a fantasy! I can’t do anymore wigs though cause I live in the south, a place of sun, heat, and dryness...which is the antithesis for people with hair like mine. So, after weighing my options, I finally said “Jai, it’s time to release the fro!” I started having these vibrant fantasies of me rocking this big gigantic Afro puff and being like this Nubian Melanin dripped goddess so, gleefully, I took my scissors and cut my hair!
Now this is where the story takes a turn. So after I cut my hair I proceeded to wash it. While washing, I saw some curls, but that was normal, so I kept on with my usual routine! By the time I made it to the conditioner, I had a head full of natural curls. I was like “Wow God, you really waited until I got ready to fro it out before you unleashed my curls?”
I learned THREE lessons that day:
1. Dead ends won’t curl...
B. God will sometimes wait until we’ve given up on a dream to bring it to pass.
iii. Sometimes God is waiting on us to cut some dead ends out of our lives.
God’s grace IS sufficient, but sometimes He closes the door to certain opportunities, not due to you per-say, or even other people, but because the demons you choose to play with can’t go with you to the next level. You can hang on to them out of love, habit or deceit, but don't be surprised if you look up years later and you are still STUCK! God can't release you because He loves you too much to set you up for failure! The veil between the heavens is getting thinner. People are being exposed left and right. It is His MARVELOUS GRACE that is keeping you covered, protected and UNNOTICED until YOU decide to cut the dead ends off and let them go!
By JONA NANETTE / July 18, 2019
I saw a homeless man holding a sign the other day. The sign basically said that he was an army vet who had fallen on hard times. I call people like him “the forgotten”. People who have done the “right thing” and been rewarded with derision and neglect. It broke my heart to see that a person who served our country could not afford his basic necessities.
It got me to thinking though, is that how Christ feels about us? Some of us have served in the “Christian Army” for years, and in our minds our basic needs have not been provided for. Christ is discomforted knowing that He Paid it all, but some of us are still broken. Neglect and rejection has us looking at God sideways because we did our best, and it still wasn’t good enough. And then there are people. Mean people. Evil people. Sneaky people. We see men and women use their platforms to “level up”, whole neglecting the very people they are supposed to be serving. We see predators looking for their prey and often times finding our hearts, and we just feel forgotten about. Some of us are literally holding a sign that is begging for someone to fill the void in our lives. We take handouts or “tips”when it comes to love because we are so downtrodden that the right smile from the wrong person can change the whole trajectory of our lives. This man served in a war for our country, and he is seen as a common beggar. We sometimes judge people like him, but how many of us are daughters and sons of the MOST HIGH GOD, yet people see us the same way.
Let me help you though; any time you do the right thing but get back evil for it, that’s a curse. Not saying “you’re cursed”, but that situation was: sometimes by man, sometimes by the evil one, but sometimes it’s God! He blocked those things that would kill us and not just make us stronger lol. My advice is to stop despising the season you are in and just GO THROUGH IT! Life happens, bad things happen to good people and it rains on the just and the unjust. Sometimes you get hurt, but just don’t give up! You’re a thermostat, NOT a thermometer. You change the environment, stop letting your environment, life changes, and hurtful situations change you.
Finish the race and your good fight of faith! Soldier on for you will win if you FAINT NOT! Keep serving and believing! God hasn’t brought you this far just to leave you. And if you think He has left, I assure you He’s not the one who moved.
Whoever is reading this, just know: You are not forgotten. You are loved!
"Great is Thy Faithfulness"
By JONA NANETTE / July 10, 2019
It’s funny, I had the idea of doing a blog a few years ago. I didn’t pursue lll though cause honestly, I didn’t know what kind of blog I wanted to write. I know that writing is a passion of mine and it’s extremely therapeutic, but I just didn’t feel the inaction to pursue blog writing just yet.
Then life happened.
Through a series of losses and failures, here I am choosing blogging and occasional journaling to be the outlet I use to express myself. For years it’s been the stage and film. This is the FIRST time since I released my book “A Single Rose is STILL a rose” that I want to use my words alone to help someone. If I just change one mind this week, I hope that it’s yours. I hope you forget about what they did to hurt you, use you, abuse you. I hope you can let the past stay behind you and let all of your fears stay buried beneath you instead of inside of you. God loves you, and He is FAITHFUL! I don’t know who needs to hear this but there are some people who will be LOST if you weren’t around. Your text and phone call brightens their day, and your smile gives them hope.
To the college student who is reading this, you needed to go through THAT thing. You know, the thing you thought was going to take you out! No it actually brought you to what God has for you! Don’t give up now!
To the person who is out there working, grinding, trying to get it...DON'T GIVE UP! People are watching and just because they don't seem to "support" you, it doesn't mean that they aren't inspired by you. Everyone is not supposed to be your customer or client. You need some fans in the stand as well. Let your light shine so that the hope you give will one day make its way back to you.
To the person working at that job and you are just SICK AND TIRED...PLEASE, don't give up! People see everything you do, and you are the standard of excellence others ascribe to. Just because you've been looked over doesn't mean that you always will be. Your time is coming and I promise you IT WILL BE WORTH THE WAIT!
To the single person who is tired of “waiting on the one”, please realize that YOU ARE THE ONE! Your mate is literally waiting on you. If you give up now, they lose out on the best thing they will ever have. We always think about the pain of our loneliness, but guess what...they are miserable without you too lol. Don’t give up now.
To the single moms reading this...those kids are your legacy. You’re doing it for them but you’re also doing it FOR YOU! Anyone can get married or have someone laying up under them so that’s not special. Your kids are though. Do what you have to do to get them where they need to be. YOU GOT THIS!
To my married moms who probably feel like they get overlooked, I get it. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have help; it doesn’t mean you don’t get lonely or feel like you’re all alone at times. You see your friends living their dreams and you just feel STUCK! But you’re not stuck. You’re right where God has placed you. In His time, in His way, He will exalt you!
And to the guy who wants love, but can’t get it from the person he wants it from...start over. Retrace your steps. Find where it all went wrong. Repent. Forgive. Let go. Love is like a butterfly...it changes. It changes you and the other person. Forget who they used to be or what they used to be and fall in love with who they are now!
To everyone reading this remember that there is always hope. Hope can be found in the peace that’s present in the midst of a storm. Just because it’s raining now doesn’t mean it’s going to always rain. Instead of grabbing an umbrella this time, I implore you to go outside, feel the rain on your skin, laugh, kick, dance and enjoy every drop. Life is all about what you do when the bad (and good) stuff happens to you. If you’re alive, that means you will have your happy ending. Just don’t give up. We serve a God who is faithful, even when we’re not!
"It Aint What It Looks Like"
By JONA NANETTE / July 3, 2019
So today was my first 5 am workout and it was a tough one. I’m talking about the kind of workout where you feel like you’re bout to hurl. I thought about the last time I had a good work out like that.
A few years ago, I started working out with one of my really good friends. We did some team exercises first, then went our separate ways to explore the gym to use whatever other equipment we wanted to work with. Well, it was this really good looking guy who worked there (think Channing Tatum eyes and body, Paul Walker’s smile and Keaunu Reeves’ hair). Well you know me, I’m a flirt so I stayed in his face (don’t judge me lol). So anyway, after we had gone our separate ways one day, I noticed that my friend was talking to my boo (in my mind). And they weren’t having just a little convo...they were in DEEP conversation! Well...she finally got through with her little ‘sation and headed back towards me. Now mind you I was PISSED cause home girl was a whole happily married and I thought she knew I liked the guy. As she made a beeline to me while grinning and skinning, I was trying to figure out in my mind how I could dry snitch to her husband cause I can be a hater lol. She came up still smiling and I asked dryly “what’s funny.” She was like “Girl, he came over asking me all these questions about you, what you do and I told him all about your shows and films. I even showed him how to subscribe to your YouTube.” I was floored...cause that was NOT what I had expected her to say lol.
I don’t know who this is for but I just want somebody to know, IT AINT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. Be still and let the Lord fight your battles! God is about to BLOW YOUR MIND as He turns THAT situation completely around. And it’s not because you did it the right way, you fasted or prayed, or you were faithful, but just because HE IS GOD! He doesn’t need you to be
good to bless you. He’s good enough all by Himself! We don’t always get it right, but we serve a God who always gets it right when it comes to His grace and mercy towards us. It is the GOODNESS of the Lord that brings people to repentance. Thank God for being faithful even when we’re not!
"Meditate on This!"
By JONA NANETTE / June 26, 2019
Unless you have been living under a rock, you can tell that a spiritual awakening is happening all around us. From people learning about burning sage to new age religions coming forth every day, people are seeking to find God using many different paths. I, for one, am a Christian. I was raised on Jesus and prayerfully will die still screaming “JESUS” lol and I’m ok with that. However, I find it extremely frustrating that many Christians are so busy taking care of their souls and spirits that they often neglect their minds.
Anxiety and depression is alive and well among the Christian conmunity, and what is hilarious to me is that even though meditation is mentioned several times in the Bible, many people act like it is a form of witchcraft. It is NOT witchcraft! God actually tells us that its something we should be doing daily. To meditate simply means to “think upon”. Meditation is a “spiritual” practice that empties our minds of negativity and toxicity and teaches us to focus on those thoughts that point towards the direction that you want your life to go. And even though the traditional way to meditate is sitting cross-legged style on the floor, you can also meditate laying down, standing up, or just sitting in a regular chair, or any position that your body is relaxed so that you can cut off your mind from the outside world. The goal is to give your mind
the chance to reset and regroup. Meditation helps cut down on anger issues, depression, anxiety, paranoia and fear because you purposefully release anything that you’ve been struggling with and replace it with your inner peace.
Check out these links to find out more about meditation and comment below if you have any suggestions or other facts on how meditation can help all of us.
Well...Until eagles eat pumpkin pie or whatever Brian McKnight said...lol...Have a blessed week!
"Friends...How Many of Us Have Them?"
By JONA NANETTE / June 19, 2019
I have a heart of gold and that's no exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination. My heart bleeds for other people. There's just one problem with that. People ain't shit sometimes. People don't mind hurting you as long as they warn you first. OR they front load you with so much honor and praise that by the time they are ready to show their true colors, they feel like you owe it to them and the friendship to put up with whatever they dish. That's not how I work. When I love someone, everything I do is to not hurt them. I put their feelings and needs above my own. I will walk away from the friendship before I hurt them within it. For example, I once found out a "friend" I was working with was lying about a lot of things, and I knew he would never be upfront about it. So I gracefully resigned and walked completely away from him so I could be free to tell my side of the story when questions started being asked without betraying our "friendship' because we no longer had one.
The funny part about that is that when we hear the word "friend" we oftentimes remember the bad friendships instead of the good ones. I've decided that I will no longer waste time on friendships that front load honor just to download pain in the end. And no, some people blindside us and hurt us, sometimes unintentionally, but a lot of the people who hurt us, we actually see it coming. I choose to no longer ignore red flags. When I feel something is off, I choose to pay attention to it, pray about it and ask God is my discernment going ham because he wants me to see it and know its there so I know what to pray for, or is He warning me to RUN! Some people feed off of misery and you being happy pisses them off. Those kinds of friends, I just don't need.
On the other side though, I have a wonderful support system who shows me the love of the Father, and who helps me through all of my cloudy days. I love them and they love me! My girls (and guys) ROCK and the have my back.
No one is perfect, but there are some friends who are designed just for you! Make sure you "try new friends on" before placing them in your life. A true friend is hard to come by and even harder to lose. Always remember that!!
"SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!"
By JONA NANETTE / June 12, 2019
The other day I was walking to an elevator in my building, when this lizard ran out and crossed in front of me so fast I told it “watch it little buddy, I almost stepped on you.” Immediately I realized that I wasn’t afraid of it because I’ve killed several lizards in my lifetime (don’t judge me...me and nature have a deal...I stay out of it, and it doesn’t come inside my home, that way everyone can stay happy--and ALIVE lol). Any who, I immediately heard the Spirit say “it’s hard to be afraid of something you’ve already defeated.”
David wasn’t afraid of Goliath because he had been fighting lions and tigers and bears OH MY all his life, so when the other soldiers quaked in their boots, his question was “who is this uncircumcised Philistine?”
How many giants have you seen fall in your life? So why are you still afraid? You have defeated MANY foes! It’s time to see yourself as a WARRIOR instead of a WORRIER! From this point forward, that’s how I choose to live my life: UNAFRAID!
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