Image

#DearHubby: A Love Letter to My Future Spouse 

On October 24, 2014, following an inspiring bible study on the topic of “The Unloved Woman”, I decided to write a letter to my unknown husband-to-be. I’ve gone back and forth on my decision to share it for the simple fact that it’s his letter and was originally intended for his eyes only. But, I gotta.  I guess this is what happens when your wife-to-be is a writer. Lord, bless him! Here’s what I wrote to my boo thang (giggles). I hope there’s another woman or man out there like myself who can relate to this post and finds it timely and refreshing.

Hey Dear,

I went to bible study tonight and returned home feeling both blessed and a mess! The speaker brought a word to us on “The Unloved Woman” and broke it down, identifying the why and this unloved woman’s characteristics. She said an unloved woman is dangerous because she is likely to cause harm. There are 6 types of this woman, and I identified with “the single woman never loved properly”. This woman says they don’t want or need things as a cover up. She doesn’t believe it’s genuine. Dang, that was me.

I received the word that FAITH HAS A VOICE. I realized that all of my “waiting” was due to a lack of faith. I’ve been saying I don’t want, what I do want. I’ve been nonchalant and complacent. The speaker has this ministry for single women. They (we) made baskets full of goodies for our husbands-to-be. Mine of course, is for you dear ☺. Before I let you dive in, I want you to know that I’m doing what’s necessary to get right, and tonight’s exposure was a great first step. God’s going to heal me for you. You’re worth my time and I am too.

So, I got a basket. Initially I got it because even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this whole marriage thing again, something in me knew it was right. So by faith, I will feel so right by the time it is full. I’m praying for you and me individually and collectively. I love you so much and truly want the best for you, so…I gotta do my part.

I don’t want you to have a broken woman. We will not awaken our love until it is time. I feel it won’t be long…so I’m working hard by submitting to God, being honest, and allowing him to make me whole.

Dear God, Please do not let my husband suffer on account of me. May I never blaspheme your word! Finding me as his wife WILL be good for eternity. 

I don’t want to be easy to love for just a while, I want to be easy to love for life. I bind the spirit of complacency. I submit to the Holy Spirit and say, “have your way, God.”

Any who…love you.

xoxo,
yo ☺

God, Man, and Woman #Feminist #Leadership #Power #Authority #GenderRoles

I recently finished up one of Ron Carpenter’s teaching series titled, “What Makes A Man”, and found it to What Makes A Manbe wonderfully insightful.  Initially the title brought some doubt about whether or not it was for me (a woman), but after hearing his introduction, I was convinced that he would share something that my heart was ready to receive.  By learning “what makes a man”, it became clear to me, that which does not make a woman, and therefore, what a woman should not seek to make herself into.  God has already done a great job.  You, woman, are beautifully made and there is no flaw in you!  (Song of Songs 4:7)  My heart was stirred, and any competition within it was getting squashed in my prayer closet!  Yaaaay!  This night…I was hearing, I was receiving, and I was getting. my. life!  God is truly for us.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
~ Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV) ~

My attention was drawn to the somewhat controversial topic of a woman’s role.  I want to flashback to Genesis and recall a story about us and for us.  My goal is to stir your heart and make you think about God’s word in relativity to the way we live (mind, body and spirit).  I’ve included many scripture references for you to do your own study (and I hope you do!).  I encourage you to test the spirit delivering this message (1 John 4:1)!  And If the truth stings, let it sting!  It is a small cost for liberty.

Men vs Women

Briefly about Adam…
Back in Eden, good ol’ Adam was placed there before Eve.  With his God-given glory and dominion, he reigned slightly lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7).  Adam was a man with great responsibilities, and therefore many requirements (Luke 12:48).  He named animals and tended an entire “garden” stretching across the Middle East!  It pleased God to watch Adam do his thang.  He came from God, “looked” like God, and walked with God; like Father, like son.  Gon’ Adam with yo bad self!

Briefly about Eve…
Without coincidence (on purpose, for a purpose), Behold! God had created the lovely Eve from Adam, for the purpose of help and companionship.  The woman’s role then and now is to simply help the man with what he needs.  Side note: This is why it is extremely important for a woman to choose a man who is Christ-centered and truly walking with God.  A wise woman once told me that the real ones are not trying to convince you, they are doing it.

“And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:14 (NLT) ~

Eve’s deception led her to believe that she was missing something.  She sought after this forbidden knowledge and power that seemed harmless and good for her.  She sinned, she tainted her legacy, and she placed her family in a position of struggle for life.  We are descendants of her, and God has a word…

“To the woman he said, ‘…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'” ~ Genesis 3:16 ~

God spoke, and the fight of woman for the position of man began.  Now singles, you may think the above scripture is only true for married women, but not so!  You, my single sister, are married to the best of the best, God himself! Your devotion and submission is to the Lord, holy in both body and in spirit! (1 Corinthians 7:34).

We Can Do ItI believe many feminist, “shero”, and anti-male movements are examples of Genesis 3:16; women attempting to change an order that was divinely set in place.  Now I’m not knocking women’s rights; I am for me, and I know that my greatest and highest thoughts of myself cannot compare to God’s thoughts of me (Psalm 139:17).  The concept that God exceeds us in every way must be grasped (Isaiah 55:8-9).  It is extremely important for us to seek God to learn what is right before we cause a mess.  Why cause a mess when you can enjoy rest in His will?  Instead of fighting God and man, we as women need to arise and kill our flesh that attempts to control man and obtain something that does not belong to us.  That my friends, is liberation!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
~ Psalm 51:10 (KJV) ~

If us ladies are honest with ourselves and receptive to the word of God,  then we agree that there are a whole lot of us Evelets running around at fault; both single and married.  It is time to realign.  Awake!  Stop listening to the outside world and getting bound and entangled (See Galatians 5:1).  You can do this!

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”
~ Psalm 17:8 (KJV) ~

The truth of the matter is, whether or not the bible says  go”this way”, we all have the free will to go “that way”, and when we This Way That Waydo, although we become separated by sin, we will never ever ever be separated by the love of our Heavenly Father (See Romans 8:31-39).  I’m not okay with that, though.  I am in no way okay with a one-sided relationship on account of me.  Relationships that only take and do not give are not rooted in love.  Love keeps the commands of The Most High God, and God has spoken (John 14:15).  Protest THAT!

Eve lost horribly and I refuse to lose like that. I may lose, but it will be God’s way, with a humble heart of surrender.  It is time for us as women to position ourselves for the restoration of our proper place of worship in God’s kingdom as He purposed it.  God uses those who are willing to be used.  I believe God’s will looks different for all of us, especially since fewer men are unwillingly rising to their positions, but seeking and discerning His will is key.  We may survive outside of God’s will, but only inside can we thrive. 

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
~ Acts 4:12 (ESV) ~

I Surrender All

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
~ Luke 9:24 (NLT) ~

#SALVATION on repeat. #Grace

“For The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” – Psalm 149:4

I was maybe 10 years old when the teaching of my parents transformed into truth for me.  “I got saved”, or accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and professed that I have come to believe in Him.  I believe He was who the bible said He was and that because He is, I am.  Baptism quickly followed, and communion became a sanctified practice.  Today, the more I grow in the Lord, the more profound his revelations are (and I realize I’ve known nothing lol), and the more I come to realize that salvation isn’t a one time thing.  I don’t know about you, but I want more of Him, I want to be made whole, I want to be healed, I want to be right in His sight, I want Him to look at me and not help but crack a smile and shake his head like, “That’s my girl!”.  I want to be faithful unto Him.

Salvation in my life is on repeat.  Every single time I experience God’s love through His ever so sufficient grace, boom…I’m saved yet, again!  Every single time I repent, boom, there goes my favorite jam!  (ha!)  Every single time he corrects, chastens, and loves me, BOOM!  It’s easier to love someone who in your eyes doesn’t deserve it when you think about how God doesn’t withhold a drop of his love for you.  There’s nothing that we could do or not do to make him stop.  Gosh, that’s amazing! Hellooo..is this mic on? lol

My heart is full of gratitude.  I never knew there was a love like this before. I can honestly say that I know, that I know, that I know, that Jesus’ blood was shed for ME. I know, that I know, that I know, that Jesus is mine. I am here for His delight and find delight in that truth!  What an honor to be called His.  What an honor to work for Him.  What an honor to perform on a daily basis, worshipping in all we do.  What an honor!

“My beloved is mine, and I am His…” – Song of Songs 2:16

I heard this beautiful song at church last week and my spirit can’t stop singing and dancing to it.  I’ve been singing it in the shower, the hallways, the car, you name it.  I thought I’d share it with you today. Have a fabulous weekend enjoying Him!

I danced for the Lord last night. #Intimacy #Poetry

 

I danced for the Lord last night.

I don’t know if it was like David,
But I can assure that it was certainly like me

As with strings my arms moved
As on stilts my legs grooved
With my mouth, with my praise
I inevitably set the mood

I danced for the Lord last night.

He smiled
And I smiled back
But our smiles were not crooked
This ain’t that kind of track
It’s a track so narrow yet somehow set perfectly straight
By a King so timely
By a King not late.

Ruler of all
How excellent art Thou!
And this precious time in your presence that I humbly bestow!

I danced for the Lord last night.

A last minute invitation sent
I just really wanted to see Him, I just really wanted to repent.

As usu-al,
He arrived on time
Grace did too,
And yet again,
I was able to call Him mine.

I danced for the Lord last night.

It served my soul well
And made perfect sense
To exalt the very one
For whom all of this is meant!

© 2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Charm and grace is deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! – Proverbs 31:30 (AMP)

Completely different books with the same color pages. #Christian #Poetry #Friendship #MothersDay

So once upon a time, back in high school, I was a popular tri-athlete. I was involved in every club imaginable and so-called friends with many and all. It was no shock that I won the title of homecoming queen and unanimously deemed me as “Unforgettable”, but ending my Senior year of high school and beginning my college years I was feeling the total opposite.

I went through some repeat back stabbings with my best friend at the time that lead to the demise of other relationships in our circle of friendship as well. Though I started college with high hopes in our relationship, I was stabbed for the final time. Ouch. I was done.

I used to cry and beg God for just 1 friend. “Just one, Lord!”, is what I would say. I thought if I had just one genuine friend, who would stab me in the front and drive me to the hospital afterwards, I’d be good.

I was a mess. Imagine…
A girl wearing her heart on her sleeve. So unknowingly desperate for a friend that she perceived every new person she met as an answer to her prayer. “Yes, they must be it!”, she thought. Poor people, they didn’t know what she’d been through. And it just led to another lonely night of her dorm room cries for “Just one friend, Lord!”

4-5 years later after becoming content with who I was and more in love with who God is, an old friend gave birth to my now God-son, whom I adore. His name is Zephaniah.

There’s something about babies that ignite changes in us adults.

The Lord restored our relationship and his mother is now my best friend. I’m grateful that even when we forget things, God doesn’t, and has our prayers stored away for a divine time to answer.

‘Til this day I’m so appreciative of our friendship. I am grateful for the experience of the rough dorm days when I was without a true friend. It definitely allowed for this level of appreciation for when one would arrive.

Never underestimate why God has you go through the things that he does and when He does. He’s building your character, chipping away the unnecessary, and preparing you for something greater that you will appreciate. He is shaping your testimony so that you can help others.

So in the spirit of gratefulness, I decided to write about one of my most cherished relationships. Not only is this woman a great iron and wise counsel to me, but she’s an amazing, admirable mother who I know one day will write a best-selling book for us all!

We’re so different, yet similar. This poem is for her.
Happy Mother’s Day, Shanté! I love you so!



We…
read completely different books with the same color pages,
White.

Captured by the light
to shine
when we dine
and feel inclined
to share
just how much
our Savior cares
And dares
not to stop,
even when we do.

We’re unworthy you see,
To walk this earth
And continue to make history,

We should be done!

But he is not,
and so, with grace,
we keep reading, friend…

Completely different books with same color pages,
White.

We…
have plenty of space
to write,
in the margins of life
about
the ups and the downs,
and all these demons around.
To write
about
our hopes and our dreams
and the way it all seems
to unfold
like valuable gold,
Before our eyes
can be blinded
by the glitter
that we shan’t choose
to make us bitter
because that choice
actually isn’t sweet at all!

We…
wage war together.
And slit throats on our knees
While planting seeds
that grow trees
Yup, simultaneously…
Somethin’ like a G.

Satan tries to attack
but we call each other back
And tag-teamin’ we give him yet another smack
DOWN.

We…
stand tall together.
despite whether
or not
we got a ‘tude from that
little comment made
so rude!

You…
are such a blessing, friend.
And even so, it’s not my prayer,
that you were here
or I was there.

For I do understand
that for this season
for this race
for this fight
for this chase
God deems it
absolutely necessary
that

We…
read completely different books
with the same color pages,
White.

And I,
just want you to know
that it’s my honor to do so.

© 2013 •Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

There is something about nighttime. #GoodMourning #Poetry #Grief #Sorrow

I’ve smiled every day since I remembered you were here
But then long after sunset
my eyes shed a tear

There is something about nighttime.

I’ve laughed many moments before the high tide of darkness arrived until, “Bam!”, the news…

was prescribed
I sighed
before I cried
and denied
then realized that…

There is something about nighttime.

I thought you were just dancing to the beat of a hip, fast song
But all this time, the lights were dim,
And I was totally wrong.

Man.

When I prayed for your fire
And I prayed for your faith,
I had no idea how much was at stake
Believe me when I say, I knew
not at all that…
ashes would await.

Gosh.

Lord, you said that joy cometh in the morning but for all of us, I am requesting an exception for tonight. Because…

There is something about nighttime.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

CARPE DIEM. #Mothers #Daughters

What the heck?! I don’t know what just came over me.  I just went to say goodbye to mom before she departs for a short business trip and I felt my eyes well up.  I’m so sad.  I miss her already.  I have really gotten used to spending time with her.  This precious, invaluable time.  She’s only gone for a bit, but I guess I’m just thinking about the near future.  Geesh.

move-forwardI’ll never forget the vision that I had when living on the East Coast.  Without going into too much detail I will just say that in it, my mom needed me and the Lord gave me an option to stay or go.  As usual, I said yes to God’s proposal and easier said than done, I moved back.  Let me tell you, moving forward mentally is way harder than moving forward physically.  Especially when your physical move is literally back! Haha.  It’s like, really Lord?  I think so often we forget that we’re spiritual beings having natural experiences and that in actuality, none of the things that the world says are valuable mean much of anything to the Lord.  He delights in our obedience and lavishes in our love.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

So many people want to do what makes sense when in reality a lot of our blessings in obedience require us to take leaps and do things that don’t make sense and possibly make us look a little crazy at times.  People want to be and do what they think is great.  Instead of loving their neighbors, they’re coveting after their neighbors.  People want to be or do what looks and sounds good.  Instead of respecting a person, they’re respecting a title.  But we need to forget about those worldly things that don’t matter start finally chasing, or re-chasing those eternal things of true substance.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. – Colossians 3:1-2 (AMP)

be yourselfWe have to deepen our relationship with the Lord so that we can find our true identities through Him.  So that we’ll know who we are and in turn how to be.  So that when all in this world is stripped away, ha…not our identity.  I’m so sick of seeing a whole bunch of “turn up” copycats *rolls eyes*…have a seat already!

But yes, I was going to talk about my relationship with my mom…

Mother/Daughter relationships are so beautifully intricate.  So delicate like lace or something.  They go through ups and downs in milliseconds.  There’s battles between respect and assertion and assist and diversion.  So complex.  Figuratively speaking, I think the Lord definitely hand washes them cold and hangs them carefully to dry.

motherhood

Since my move back to the West Coast, I’ve really enjoyed the growth and transformation I’ve experienced in my relationship with my entire family, but my mother especially.  I believe every Mother/Daughter relationship suddenly hits this “Freaky Friday” growth point  where the daughter, now a mature, adult woman with her own life experiences, comes to this realization that her mom, who she for decades was thought of as this flawless, invincible superhero, is in actuality not *gasp*, in fact, she is just like her daughter who has become just like her mother, a mature, adult woman with her own life experiences.  This place of truth does something great (and rightfully so) and God does something greater as the relationship accepts and adapts to it accordingly.  We love and respect each other way more these days.  It’s so refreshing for me to see my superhero mom without her cape quoting Tamar Braxton saying things like, “You tried it!” and “Getcho life!” haha…oh goodness.  She’s truly my best friend.  I can’t wait to bless her with early retirement and a trip to Italy.

heartbeat

The other night I hugged her and rested on her chest for a good while; because I could.  When I did, I heard and felt her heartbeat, and it was like hearing an old, favorite song.  At that very moment a tear fell and I thanked God that my mom was alive and that I was too.  That we were here for this and the best is yet to come.  Now that, my friends is what I call Carpe diem.