Thank God For The Rain

While talking to my aunt recently she said, “you won’t know until it rains.” We weren’t having a relationship-related conversation but that statement hit me in a supernatural way.

Think about the last time you realized someone was a good friend. Now, think about other significant relationships. When did you know it was real?

Whether it lasted a season or a lifetime there was a point in time when you knew that person was for keeps.

One of my all time favorite songs is Can You Stand The Rain, by New Edition.

Here’s my favorite part,

On a perfect day, I know that I can count on you/when that’s not possible/ tell me can you weather the storm..

I’ve grown to realize this –

How someone cares for and comforts you while you’re in a storm is one way to determine if you should keep them around.

I remember instances when I really needed the person I was dating to come through for me and for whatever reason, they didn’t.

Now, as someone who is actively dating – I know that’s a sharp turn from what I’ve said before – I’ve been wondering, how do I know? Then, the other day, while talking to my aunt it became clear – you’ll know when it rains!

There is going to be rain. Rain signals a change in seasons (hopefully), encourages the growth process, and in some ways, makes things new and beautiful. Rain also reveals.

Rain can show you what works and what doesn’t and what’s growing and what isn’t meant to grow. Rain is powerful!

Can they stand the rain? Only time will tell. You’ll just have to wait it out. God will show you and when He does…believe Him!

Whether it works or not, whether you get married or not, whether you’re still single or not the Lord always reveals! Regardless of how it turns out, make sure you thank God for the rain!

Happy Waiting

The Talk

I went on a date with a gentleman the other day. Prior to meeting up, I had been thinking about how I would let him know I’m celibate before things went too far.

Well…the opportunity came faster than I thought it would. The conversation went something like this…

He asked a series of questions about how conservative I was and since I was unsure whether he meant politically or relationally, I probed deeper.

What I didn’t know is that he had intended for the conversation to get to this point. So seeing this as the opportunity I had been anticipating, I told him – “I’m celibate.”

He asked a series of questions about how I had gotten to that point. Then, he asked why I was celibate, and I said, “Because I’m worth the wait.”

“In an environment where everything is negotiable, taking something off of the table and making it nonnegotiable can be empowering.” – DeVon Franklin, Produced By Faith

I said it plainly yet pleasantly and confidently. And then, to my surprise he smiled and said, “you are with the wait.”

I left the date feeling good. I knew we still had a long way to go to really get to know each other but I was glad the conversation happened.

Then, over the next several hours, I was reminded of how this conversation shifted things with guys I had dated in the past.

Some guys were unphased by it while others disconnected. Some guys treated me differently because they didn’t understand it. Some guys stayed and some guys got ghost.

More than anything I’ve realized that waiting comes at a cost.

While waiting you could be pouring into someone, getting to know them, being vulnerable, taking a risk and they could just walk away. And the reason they walk away could be because they don’t want to – Or don’t think they can – wait.

They could literally say, “I don’t know if you’re worth the wait” which has been said to me before.

Knowing that in the long run it will all be worth it doesn’t completely stop the sting today. It’s the space in between that can be difficult.

But I’ve gotten this far. I know I’m near the finish line. It’s been years of waiting – I’m ready for my king!

So, if God provides space for the talk go into it confidently. If things don’t work out feel the sting and press on.

If you’re waiting there’s no way to get to the other side without having this conversation. You may need to practice having it with yourself. What are your whys? I said what I said to him above but I also said more. How can you tell someone without sounding arrogant or better-than but with genuine sincerity?

At the end of the day you have to know your whys! Regardless of how the conversation goes know this – you’re worth the wait. Be confident knowing that God will help you through. What He has for us is exceedingly, abundantly above ALL that we could ask or think! Activate your faith and watch God MOVE!

Happy Waiting!

A Fighting Stance

Last weekend I went to the movies. That same week I was meditating on whether or not I should open myself up in a way I hadn’t in the past. While watching the movie I heard this quote –

“You can’t love with both of your hands up, covering your face.”

When I wrote my New Years Eve post, Lessons Learned in 2018, I wrote that I had taken some risks. One of those risks was online dating.

I had a bad experience with online dating years ago but when a good friend suggested it, I figured it was time. So I signed up, uploaded a couple of pictures, and gave it a go.

I met some guys and went on a date but it didn’t work out. So, I tried another site. I didn’t put any pictures up for a month. I reached out to guys I saw who had qualities I liked but didn’t get very far. After all, I was covering my face – afraid of that level of vulnerability.

Then, on January 1st 2019, I got some courage and added some pictures. The same day, I paid to keep them private.

Typical me.

My rationale was – I could let people see me only if I wanted them to and everything was still on my terms. While I met and went out with a couple of guys, I was doing all of the looking and getting nowhere fast.

Then, about a week ago, I made my profile visible and as a result, I’m being found.

Now, all attention isn’t good attention (trust) but I do expect to meet some good people this way – and it’s all because I took my hands down and let myself be seen. I got out of a fighting stance and allowed vulnerability in.

While this may or may not be the way I meet my future husband, I’m learning to be open to the possibility that God wants to bless me this way.

A couple of friends were shocked when I told them I was giving online dating a try because it’s so unlike me but I figured I’d try something different and possibly get a different result.

I don’t know how you’re navigating the dating world but I will say, lowering your hands and opening your heart is the best way to invite someone in.

If you’re navigating through life with a fighters stance, you’ll always be ready to fight but not quite ready to love.

Online dating might not be your thing – it may not be my thing either – but the point is, let your guard down a bit. Then, when you’re ready, collect your courage, lower your hands and let love in. Love is waiting for you!

Happy Waiting!

I Already Have A Crown

I was having a conversation with someone recently and they said I was a queen and needed a crown. In true Tiffani fashion I said (because I do), “I already have a crown.”

You have to know who you are.

I learned this more than anything last year when my identity was challenged in all areas of my life – my views, my ways, who I was and where I came from. I remember people saying “no you’re not” after I had explained who I was.

It’s easy to believe what people say about you if don’t know who you are.

It’s also easy to get trapped in a bad situation when you haven’t fleshed out your values and don’t know your worth.

Don’t let someone else determine your worth. Know it for yourself. So if someone comes along and doesn’t know your worth, they stand out like a puff coat on hot day.

Knowledge of self is so important when determining who could be a potential life partner. While no one is perfect, there are people out there with good qualities who still aren’t a good fit. Knowing you means knowing what works for you and what doesn’t.

Stay strong during this love season. Don’t feel pressured to move in the wrong direction just to have someone on the day.

Choose you. Decide what want, become that, and hopefully it’ll come your way soon.

Until then….dust off your crown! Put it back on and don’t let anyone define you. You define you. Be your best self and watch God’s blessings overflow in your life!

Happy Waiting!

The One

There was a point in time when my confidence was really low. I may have looked pulled together on the outside but I was constantly scoring myself against the other women in the room – how they looked, what they said, how they carried themselves…and I never measured up.

So, I prayed for confidence.

Initially, I didn’t know how else to get it – but over time I learned that accepting myself and loving myself the way God made me, helped my confidence to grow.

Now, I affirm myself everyday. I don’t wait for someone to tell me I’m beautiful, I tell myself.

I also take care of myself – I eat right, exercise and try (really hard) to lead a good life.

When people talk about The One, they’re usually talking about finding (or being found by) that special person they’ll spend their lives with. But in this case, I want you to shift your idea of who The One is from a significant other to You!

You’re The One! You are The One you’ve been waiting for! You’re The One who can change everything in your life! You can decide to be (and pray for) more confidence, you can choose to take risks – to learn, to grow – it’s all on you! And guess what? You don’t have to do it alone!

You have Someone who is ready, willing, and actively trying to lead and guide you.

So, before you look outside of yourself for love and validation, look inward and then, most importantly, look up! Not only are you The One, God is THE ONE!

Abide in Him and He’ll comfort you. He’ll make you brand new! He’ll bring you the desires of your heart.

God can (and will) change EVERYTHING if you let Him. He can make you a better YOU! Let God transform you. If He did it for me, He’ll do it for you too!

Happy Waiting!

Cherished

A couple of years ago around this time I met a guy – a really nice guy. He was kind and caring, considerate and attentive – just an all around good person.

One day in particular, after we got off the phone, I rested in my thoughts for a minute thinking, ‘what is this feeling?’. After mulling over it for a few moments I realized what it was.

Cherish(ed) – verb

To protect and care for (someone) lovingly.

Synonyms: adore, hold dear, love, care very much for, feel great affection for, dote on, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire, appreciate. – Dictionary.com

I felt cherished.

It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was through dating him that I learned what it meant to be treated really…..really well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d dated other guys in the past who had a host of good qualities but this was the first time I was cared for in this way. He didn’t objectify me which was important especially since I was waiting. He listened and was patient with me. He truly cared for me and showed it through his words and his actions.

That standard of care changed the game for me.

Years ago a friend of mine was talking about her now husband. After dating him for a while and then getting engaged she said something like, “I can’t believe I let myself be treated so badly for so long”.

Oftentimes people treat you the way you allow them to, or people treat you the way you treat you.

With that said, if you don’t step your you game up no one else will.

Some years back I had to have a very necessary talk with a family member about what I would and would not allow. How I would and would not be spoken to. And while it took a lot of courage to have this conversation, I haven’t been treated that way by that person, since.

While talking to a friend recently she said, “there’s the gold standard of care – treat people how you want to be treated. And there’s the platinum standard of care – treat people how they want to be treated.”

Love languages fit here – And treating people how they want to be treated fits here because everyone experiences love in different ways. Share how you want to be loved and as long as it’s not hurtful, love others the way they want to be loved.

Everyone deserves to be cherished. You deserve to be cherished but you have to start with cherishing yourself first.

So get real with yourself. Do you want to be doted on or discarded? Loved or loathed? Criticized or cherished?

You get to decide.

And once you decide, make sure you treat yourself that way. It all starts with you.

Happy Waiting.

Reveal

About a month ago while listening to Erica Campbell on her show, Get Up Erica, she encouraged listeners to pray this prayer – Reveal, Remove, Repair, Replace. She prayed this prayer everyday and asked God to help improve her team. She had launched a career as a solo artist and wanted God’s help.

You can find the Ericaism here.

Intrigued and moved by this, I prayed the same prayer except….I couldn’t remember all of the words! So, instead, I prayed – reveal, remove, replace, restore – and that’s exactly what God did!

Since then, God has revealed things and people in ways I would’ve never imagined. The revelations were both good and bad and some of the revelations were so real it made me anxious.

What’s interesting is that once certain things were revealed a pattern emerged and I could see more clearly.

Some relationships changed while others improved. Familial relationships became stronger and I realized more than ever where my help comes from.

I’m so glad I prayed that prayer. I suspect this isn’t the last time I’ll pray this prayer since this is one of those prayers you pray throughout your life.

Do you need to take inventory of who is around you? Are there relationships that need repair? Are you praying for restoration? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, this prayer is for you!

Although some of the words were different in both prayers, God still answered our prayers and in my case, He continues to answer them. And surely, if He did it for me, He’ll do it for you!

So, ask Him!

Do you want Him to remove, reveal, replace, or restore? Give Him the authority and watch Him work!

Happy Waiting!