Awakening Love

As I lay face up on the massage table, my personable and talkative masseuse chatted away about life, love and relationships. She was comfortable, giddy, and in need of conversation. Most of her clients had canceled for the day due to the weather and cabin fever was becoming.

After ranting for some time, she paused and must have realized that she’d shared so much about her and had gathered very little about me. I’m mostly okay with that.

I knew it was coming; it always does. It was my turn to share something of the subject. She asked, “So, do you have a husband or are you married?” Not sure what the difference was, but I felt something like the Samaritan woman at the well. Just kidding. Like a broken record on repeat, I casually responded, “no, not yet”. This seemed to thrust her towards the next question, “Well, do you have a boyfriend?” I casually responded again with a “no, not yet”. We both chuckled. I’ve done this many times before.

I asked her how she met her boyfriend and she embarrassingly shared how she bumped into him randomly at a store. I want to say it was Home Depot. They shared the aisle and she thought he was cute, so she asked for his input on 2 products she was trying to decide between. Smart girl. That was the beginning. A cute, and organic beginning.

I told her (and discovered simultaneously) that that is my fear. Though I say I would love for a romantic relationship to happen organically, it actually happening or almost happening frightens me. I get so awkward. I told her, I go into stores, see guys looking at me and think to myself…”please don’t look at me, I’m just here for celery.” I need to get out of my own way, but I just don’t know how to. This “leave me alone” sticker must be glued on. Anybody have some Goo Gone? Excuse me while I run to Home Depot, ha!

Maybe that’s an odd issue, and some would judge that it is an issue at all. Not wanting to be approached or addressed by attractive men?! Ridiculous? Maybe. I mean, I feel beautiful inside and out. But hear me out. I realized that fear of being approached was actually masked by this fear…

In my past romantic relationships, I have allowed men to lead me astray from my first love (God); we were unequally yoked. If there was a book about the history of me, you would see a trend of me choosing wolves in sheep’s clothing and constantly being preyed upon and deceived. Ugh. Over it.

He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. – John 10:4‭b-‬5 (NIV)

Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go… – Song of Songs 3:4a (NIV)

You have no idea what a safe exhale of relief that second scripture is for me. It is true of my First Love, and a hopeful testimony of my second. Inserts heart eyes emoji.

Okay, that’s it. Instead of being continually anxious about this whole meeting my heart’s desire thing, I need to just address it in prayer right now. If that’s you too, then let us pray.

Lord, forgive me for being fearful. Help me to trust the authenticity of my relationship with you, check for the fruit of your spirit in others, and heed Your God-given discernment. I know that fear and love cannot live together, so I kick fear out and welcome love in Your timing. Continue to prepare me to be the woman you have destined me to be on earth as it is in heaven, bringing glory to Your great name. May I be a sheep that heeds Your voice only; undistracted by the calls of a stranger. May Thy kingdom come, and Your will be done. In the name of Yeshua, my Savior. Amen.

That’s it. That’s all.

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

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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) ~

I met the finest man today. #Pseudo #Sike #Bozo #NotBoaz

I met the finest man today

who appeared to be better than you,

but somehow my heart knew that he wasn’t

and called him a brother.

I met the finest man today

who was humble and dressed to a t,

but somehow my heart didn’t let it phase me

and simply called it “nice”.

I met the finest man today

who stood regally next to me

sharing warm photos of what could be

but somehow my heart didn’t want it.

I met the finest man today

who smiled a contagious smile

but somehow my heart didn’t allow it to compare

to the challenge of making you do so even brighter.

I met the finest man today

who discerned that, actually, finest was she,

but quickly my heart whispered

that she was not for he.

I met the finest man today

who I may see again

but somehow my heart will only call him friend

for he is not you

and she is not me

and I refuse to carry on ominously.

I met the finest man today

who without a clue confirmed what Usher said

I got it bad.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

The Results Are In… #Relationships #DealBreakers

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my relationships past and present and I slowly began coming up with a list of things I’ve learned about myself (likes and dislikes) as a result of them. So, I’ll call them The Results. Some of them I’ve learned, some have moved up or down in rank of importance, and some I’ve re-learned. Here it goes. Order has no significance.

1) I can wear flats for the rest of my life and be a happy camper ha. Ridiculously learned.

2) The absence of affection in a relationship with me is a deal breaker. I love being touched and if I tried, I bet I could remember every last one.

3) I really do love comedy. Such a beautiful ministry serving the best meds all day errday. Re-learned.

4) Emotional support and validity of feelings is a big need for me. Deal breaker. I didn’t know this until I didn’t have this. Sometimes I don’t need advice or something to be fixed. I just need a hug and a reminder that everything’s gonna be alright.

5) I don’t like doing the same thing over and over unless there’s a good reason. I’m adventurous and like to do spontaneous things big and small. Let’s Go!! Re-learned.

6) No matter how much I’ve been hurt, I know that I can love again, and even harder than before. It’s a miracle. Learned.

7) I’m old fashioned about a lot of things and the complete opposite about other things. I know, that kinda made no sense.

8) I believe a guy should always open doors for his lady (and walking down the stairs first is a plus). She’s his queen forever. Do it forever.

9) I believe a lady should serve her man his plate before her own if that’s his preference. He’s her king forever. Do it forever.

10) I’m a sucker for a gentleman (duh!) and I’m grateful to have been with one who set a standard for many things.

11) Speaking of standards, I have a hard time getting down with double standards.Ugh.

12) When a man is protective of me in a caring way I feel delicate and right; a purposed type of feeling. Love it. Learned.

13) I’d never ask for them, but I really like receiving flowers. In fact, I like them so much that I take random pictures of flowers all the time — I guess it’s my way of giving them to myself ha.

14) Quality time is my primary love language and my love tank is on E without it. Deal Breaker.

15) I’m a woman with a plan who loves a man with a plan.

16) I can’t compromise with a non-compromiser. Oddly, those are the ones who always seem to want you to compromise. They win without an argument. I don’t think there’s a valid justification. Deal Breaker.

17) Pleasant surprises are the best and make for excellent memories. Grateful to have some of those in my memory bank. Got Ginkgo Biloba?

18) I don’t like my man driving my car if he has one of his own. Matter of fact, If he doesn’t have his own, he’s not my man. LOL…Deal breaker. Learned.

19) I don’t like unexpected interruptions and change of plans. They’re inevitable, I know, but the ones that aren’t and are just a result of poor planning, inconsideration, or selfishness bother the heck out of me even if I don’t express it.

20) I believe a man should assume that he’s paying and be prepared to do so unless he’s told otherwise.

21) I’m still a planner and I still like to know all the details. I’m willing to compromise, but I would love for you to not make me lol. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with who I am and how I’m wired. Truth.

22) I still can’t stand being cut off. I know many don’t, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t because I’ve never been a big talker or one to waste my breath any way. So when I do choose to speak, it will be just as wise of you to listen to me as it is for me to choose the timing and content. Respect.

23) All of that goes out the window when I’m sleepy. Shut me up please lol.

24) I really like thoughtful gestures (both tangible & intangible). They’re gifts and non- verbal ways of communicating that I’m loved and still as special as the day you met me.

25) That being said, I loathe “I’m Sorry” gifts. Especially if you’ve never gotten me one for any other reason. Fellas, “Just Because” all the way..I’m tellin’ you!

26) I’m still not a tic for tac type of gal and I hope I never become that. That would be conditional love or expression.

27) A great preference of mine is to not go to bed upset or with unresolved junk and I put effort towards it. Proud of myself. Learned.

28) I can live out of a suitcase and travel with the love of my life forever. I guess my creative side enjoys the rustic challenge. Like making yourself look sexy and taking care of business with just that. Yup, that’s all I had. I know, somethin like a G (haha). Re-learned.

29) I need a man who will pray with me and for me. I need a man who loves the Lord as much as I do and will not compete consciously or unconsciously with that relationship. Deal Breaker.

30) I’m still a sensitive being and I don’t apologize. I’m grateful for the knowledge of #4 (scroll up) and I’m focusing on the pros.