Healing and Letting Go Gives You Your Power Back

How many times have you been told, or even told someone to “Let go, and let God” “Forgive and Forget” or “In order to move forward with your life, you have to let go of the past?” I know for sure that I have said all three of these statements and other renditions of them to my loved ones or even random people who I meet and converse with. It’s much easier to give this advice out than to do it yourself.

I typically remember EVERYTHING. I mean everything down to the time it happened, where it happened, and what I was wearing when it happened. With that being said, the whole forgetting portion of “forgive and forget” is tough for me. Lately I’ve realized one of the reasons forgetting is difficult for me is the trauma that came along with that moment.

On May 11, 2017, during my second pregnancy, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident. It was three days away from Mother’s Day, and I was four days away from being five months pregnant. It was raining, and I was on my way to pick my daughter up from her aftercare program. If you know me, you know that I’m pretty much late for everything so I made sure I left out in enough time to not drive crazy in the rain. I was five minutes away from my house when I stopped at a red light. I was in the right, turning lane, but still had to wait til the oncoming traffic ceased in order to go. As I began to turn my car, an off-white Chrysler 300 slammed into the back of me forcing me to turn the corner. Just as I put my car in park, the man driving the car backed up from the rear of my car and drove off. My heart was racing as I did my best to study his license plate and dial 911. I was in total disbelief. My car was fast enough to track him down, but it was raining and who was I to chase a man down who hit someone and drove off without a care? I would be putting myself in more danger. I have asthma so I did my best to keep my breathing under control, which was a struggle.

I began to panic because I couldn’t feel any pain and I thought that the adrenaline pumping through my body was covering the damage that had been done to my unborn child. There were other cars around during the incident, but only one guy stopped to help me. His name was Angel, he gave me all of his information and offered to stay until help arrived, but I told him thank you and he could leave. I didn’t want him to stay out in the rain, and to be honest I’m not that great at receiving help and support from total strangers. I hate feeling like a burden.

At this point, I’m holding back tears. After getting off the phone with police dispatch, I call my mother-in-law, tell her what happened and asked her to go pick up my daughter instead. Once the officer arrived I broke down. I told him, “I don’t know what to do! I’m four months pregnant and that man hit me!” He told me to calm down, we drove to a residential parking lot nearby and he proceeded to help. I gave him the license plate number and he went to search for it. While he did that, I called my insurance and gave them the rundown. Simultaneously, the insurance representative and officer told me that the plates had to be fake or not registered because nothing came back for them. I was devastated.

My husband was the last person I contacted. He was driving over the road at this point and I didn’t want him to hear me in the mist of my ugly cry. When I told him he was so hurt. “Are you okay? Is the baby ok? Where’s Taniya? Was she in the car? Did you call the hospital? What did the dude look like? What direction was he driving in? You need to go to the hospital!” and then we ended our conversation. He needed some time to digest the fact that his pregnant wife had just been involved in an accident and he was nowhere near. He didn’t have control over the situation so his go to was, tell me what he looks like so that I can find him when I get home. I’ll take care of it. At that point, I was all game. Usually I don’t want him to be my bodyguard, but in that moment, I wanted my husband to demolish the man who put me and my girls in danger. All I could think about is my daughter being in the back of the car if it had happened 45 minutes later, and that I would possibly see blood in my underwear later as a sign of my baby being hurt during the accident. Thank God my daughter wasn’t in the car, thank God the baby and I were fine, and thank God there was no damage done to our car. God really works. The bumper of our car should have been a mess, but it wasn’t.

I have to go through that light every day. And each time I’m staring in the rear-view mirror paranoid that someone will slam into the back of our car. Every time I see a white or off-white Chrysler I’m staring to see if it’s THE car. That accident was ruling my life. I just couldn’t come to terms with how that man could have ruined my life that evening, and he drove off and went on with his life.

Well, I got what I wanted. I was sitting at the light on the opposite end headed home with my girls in the back and I saw the car. His light was green so as he drove past I still attempted to catch the numbers on his license plate, but couldn’t get the last few because of the other cars around him. I couldn’t run the red light to catch him either. That was my moment to get justice for what he had done to me mentally and emotionally. So many thoughts ran through my mind. If I could just see where he lived, my husband could beat the crap out of him once he got home from work. If I could get his license plate I could report him to the police and they could get him for what he had done. If I could just have one civilized conversation with him, I would tell him how he could have taken the life of myself and my unborn child had that accident been any worse. But I had to sit at that red light and watch him get away AGAIN.

It was in that moment where I realized it was time for me to let go. There will be many times in life where someone will do me wrong and I will not be able to do a thing about it. It’s totally out of my control. I felt weak all over again watching that man drive past me, and I didn’t want to feel that way again. I’m over here distraught while he’s driving around without a care in the world. God blessed me the day of that accident regardless of the pain I endured so I knew that it was not my job to deal with that man, it was God’s. I felt my baby’s first kicks three days later on Mother’s Day. My baby told me she was ok. Why do we have to deal with the initial hurt of the situation as well as the pain you feel as you are healing and letting go?

To whomever is reading this post and is holding onto hurt, I pray for your release. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. For your sanity. For your future. For your loved ones. True healing and letting go of that hurt gives you your power back.

Let go Queen…

Watch Your Mouth, But Don’t You Dare Lose Your Voice

When you think of marriage, what are the top five things that pop into mind? Before my husband and I tied the knot, here was my list. Having my family together under God, spending the rest of my life with my best friend, travel, building businesses and brands together, and simply being in love and having fun with the love of my life. Negative thoughts never crossed my mind because I didn’t envision a negative future with James. But one thing he and I both agreed on was doing our best to model our union after what is described in the Bible. So although we were inseparable and confident in our future together, we sought premarital counseling to make sure we were headed in the right direction. During the class we took, one lesson stuck out like a sore thumb… SUBMISSION.

I’d heard about submission times before, especially during church services, but I never received the information in-depth. Before, submission sounded like the wife is supposed to wait on hands and knees for her husband even when he was in the wrong. In my mind, submission meant doing everything your husband asked or told you to do. What added to this notion was the fact I’d heard James and my friends’ boyfriends say this famous line… “You don’t know how to submit!” I would have a healthy savings for how many times I’ve heard that line before. The problem is both men and women don’t know what submission really means.

Here is my take on it in a nutshell. Submitting means yielding. A definition that I saw on Webster’s Dictionary for yield is “to give up and cease resistance or contention.” In a class at church, I was given this example. When you are driving and a lane is merging and/or ending, someone has to yield or there is going to be a big accident. That accident can be fatal. In this case, your inability to yield to your spouse can be fatal to your marriage. Many people hate using biblical guidance toward their marriage, but it has been the foundation of my husband and I’s marriage. It says clearly that wives are to submit to their husbands, and husbands are to love their wives as the Lord loves the church. So at the end of the day, we have to change our perspective and look at submission as ultimately submitting to God. In addition, men can’t look at submission as treating their wives like doormats.

I find looking to the Lord to be easier to be honest. When I know my husband is not making a great choice, I submit to God by closing my mouth and letting him be the leader of our household. Prayer becomes my best friend because I instantly want to yell obscenities at that man. In my mind I say ” Help me Lord because I feel myself losing all sense of control!” You don’t know how many times I’ve used my imagination, froze time and body slammed him like the wrestlers do in WWE. I love my baby though lol.

It’s important to know that if you have married a man of God, you cannot interfere in the plans God has for him. You have to intercede through prayer. I’ve seen this work for me firsthand. It’s when we start going off at the mouth and telling our husbands what to do when he makes decisions out of spite to show and prove that he is a man and knows what he is doing. Ultimately, our husbands are looking for partnership and respect, not for another mother. It’s not our place to nag and yell and tell him what he’s supposed to be doing. How will a man ever be able to lead if we’re always stepping in?

I’m still working on this til this day! My latest struggle has been knowing when to “watch my mouth, but not losing my voice.” I sometimes confuse stepping back with not being able to voice my thoughts all because I over think the process of surrendering to my husband. The fact that I do this on my own, and he looks at me crazy when he notices it means it’s a problem. I have to remind myself, “Tiana, watch your mouth, but don’t you dare lose your voice!” Timing is so important in this case. Sometimes you have to shut up and let God do the work. That takes trusting Him to handle his son. Also, submission doesn’t mean you don’t get to share your thoughts or feelings. It’s a matter of how you express your feelings. If you go into a conversation with negativity, the outcome will be negative.

I’ve noticed that men want women to be submissive BEFORE marriage, and it does NOT work like that. I really think we confuse submission with respect. A woman should not submit to a man she is not married to. There are ways where he can show that he is able to lead, and she can show that she can take direction. Some men think that a woman is supposed to just do what he says, but he shows no promise as a leader. That man needs time to develop. And then there’s the woman who is hyper-independent and doesn’t want a man leading her in any way. That woman needs time to develop.

All in all, submission is something you have to tackle daily. It’s not simple, but it can be pretty easy to yield to a man who has shown the ability to lead you and your family in the right direction. Everyone makes mistakes so you have to loosen up a little in order for him to grow during the times he fails. For my single ladies, when you are looking at a man as your potential husband, ask yourself can you submit to this man for the rest of your life? If he spent all of y’all money and the lights were cut off, could you still make his dinner, light some candles and feed him?

My First Go At Pregnancy: Part Three

In part two, we left off at how my husband and I’s car broke down and it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse. Well, I wouldn’t say things got any worse, but they sure didn’t go as planned. Isn’t it funny how you will make a plan and God will give you the side eye and say, “Now you know you don’t have that sort of power!” ? I feel like I should be nice enough to say “viewer discretion,” or I apologize in advance for any graphic details you may read.

After months of successful prenatal appointments, at 37 weeks we hit a bump in our smooth sailing journey. Our princess Taniya was no longer measuring on target. She was actually measuring 3 weeks smaller, so our baby was now deemed small for gestational age. My once-a-week appointments then turned to three times a week. One appointment was for our normal prenatal visit, the other two were for an hour-long fetal monitoring. We went to the doctor three times a week until my induction.

Unfortunately, my nurse practitioner became concerned when it seemed the baby wasn’t growing anymore. She requested that we meet with one of the high-risk doctors, and we did. It was by far one of the worse and pointless medical appointments I’ve had in my life. I’m actually grateful that I can say that being as though many women have had several terrible appointments in their lives.

It was August 2nd, three days away from my due date. As soon as the doctor came into the room with James and I, he gave us a negative vibe. He went on to say that according to my previous prenatal visits the baby was no longer growing and was in the 39th percentile. I was approaching my due date and the baby was measuring about 35-36 weeks in size. He said that it was most likely due to my placenta no longer working properly, and that it was important that we scheduled a c-section that day. At this point James and I are holding hands, shaking and confused. I told him my due date was only three days away, and asked if we could at least wait until then to see if labor starts on its own. I also had a hair appointment scheduled the next day and didn’t want to miss it.*Kanye Shrug* I had planned on going into the hospital and meeting my baby with my hair looking fresh!

The doctor went on to say, “Let me tell you this… labor and delivery is a matter of life and death for both the baby and mother. Our job is to make sure that both you and the baby are as safe as possible. But we can not make sure of that if we don’t get that baby out as soon as possible. If your placenta is no longer functioning, it is no longer a safe place for the baby. At this moment, there’s a chance that something could happen to you or the baby.” He should have never said that. It took everything in me not to break down and cry. But before I could, he then said, “Let’s take an ultrasound to get a look at the baby.”

He began to look. “Hmm… your amniotic fluid looks great.” “Let’s check out the heart rate… Wow, the heart beat is perfect.” “Okay, well let me get an estimate birth weight for the baby… I’m actually seeing that the baby is about 7 pounds 12 ounces.” “Your baby and placenta look healthy.” Nothing but God! I was so disappointed that the doctor would tell us all those terrible things before taking a look himself. But when I think about that appointment today, I wonder if what he said could have been true, but God turned it around for us in that room? With all the knowledge I have today, I’m 100% sure that the medical staff didn’t have it right. During my earlier appointments, Taniya would be super active and run away from any attention. I mean literally move to one half of my stomach during the measurement and Doppler reading. I was also told from a specialist that my baby measured a week or so smaller from the sonogram. I didn’t think anything of it though. Near the end of my pregnancy, I’m also convinced that she was engaged in my pelvic area and had dropped so low that the measurements were off. BUT I’m also 100% sure that God was with us and blessed my baby to show up on the ultrasound and shut that doctor’s negativity all the way down.

My due date arrived and there were no signs of labor or baby. My nurse practitioner decided that I would be induced the following week. I can’t say that I tried everything to get the baby to come naturally now that I am aware of all the options. I definitely tried to walk a lot and even jogged a little out of desperation. We tried having sex in order to soften my cervix, but to be honest once my third trimester hit, I hated kissing and having sex. Kissing and sharing spit was disgusting to me, and having sex seemed like it was more of a business ordeal. Poor James…

Before you know it, it was time to be induced. I couldn’t sleep and barely ate because I was so nervous. I kept on anticipating the pain that I would be in, and I feared what life would be like once the baby was born. Would my daughter love me or cry whenever I tried to love on her? Would I be a good mother? Was I capable of having someone’s life depend on me? After James and I checked in (at midnight on August 12th 2011), I broke down in the room. I was so scared! Being induced was not a part of the plan. In mind, I was walking into planned-pain. When you start labor naturally, it catches you off guard so you don’t have the choice to run away from it. At that moment, I could have run out of those hospital doors!

After getting setup on all the monitoring machines, the first nurse on shift said “You’re actually in early labor, you don’t feel any contractions?” I told her no, and she responded with “Well you’re about to feel them once I start this Pitocin.” She was right. Moments later the pain began to hit. A few hours after that, the first doctor on duty ruptured my membranes (broke my water for those of you who support and may not know 🙂 ). When I tell you that was also painful, I mean it! It was like she tried to stretch my cervix open to aid in dilation. When she broke the sac, James watched and he began to gag. I laugh at his reaction now, but I got nervous when I saw it that day. There was meconium (poop) in the sac so he watched it ooze out. (I couldn’t think of another word outside of ooze. I know it sounds nasty.) Boy oh boy, when she broke my water that really increased the amount of pain I was feeling. Not to mention, every few hours, the level of Pitocin being sent in the IV was increasing. I was losing it, but I was not going to give in. I couldn’t start labor naturally, but I was going to deliver that baby naturally. I insisted that I did not need an epidural.

Finish reading in My First Go At Pregnancy: Part Four!