Happy New Year!!! I know I’m a few months behind on saying that. Yep, it’s been a minute since you’ve heard from me. Where have I been you ask? Dealing with life. There have been some ups and downs since we rang in 2019. But that’s a part of life. While the beginning of the year started off with a bang, who knew that in just a month later or so, a tremendous blow would hit our family. My cousin who was only 40-years-old passed away suddenly. Even writing that sentence is unbelievable. I chose not to post about his passing on the social media outlets because it was just different…meaning it just didn’t sit well with me to post it on social media. I think because if I posted about him, it would make it more real. And quite honestly, for the last month I felt like I was walking in a fog…just going through the motions. My cousin’s passing was a tremendous blow to our family. There are only five grandchildren on my dad’s side and he was #4 in the lineup. My brother is the youngest. So, as you can imagine, we are more than just cousins we are like siblings. Now, don’t get me wrong I’ve experienced loss before, but this was a bit different. It was different because he was young, and it happened suddenly. Even today as I write this, I still can’t believe that he’s gone. In fact, when friends or family ask how I’m doing, I reply “It’s the new normal.” Life still has to go on. I can’t crawl up into the fetal position and just let life pass me by. I have responsibilities and I am still here, and I have to live my life, because one thing that I am certain of is life is precious and short.
When I have moments of disbelief that he’s gone, I choose to go to that place in my mind when I saw him last. The memories that I have of him make me smile and at times they make me laugh. I am thankful for the time that I spent with him. I saw him a few short months after he came into this world and even held him in my arms, and although I didn’t see him leave this world, I was glad I had time with him before he passed.
I opened this post by saying that the beginning of the year started off with a bang. It did indeed, but another reason why it started off with a bang is because I chose to embark on a new term for my life that is better than any New Year’s resolution. However, I can’t take full credit for what I am about to write. I have to credit my pastor, Dr. Craig L. Oliver. His word for the New Year is being intentional. What does that mean you ask? Being intentional. Don’t just say it, do it. Unlike, New Year’s resolutions I believe that if you are intentional, it won’t be fleeting. Meaning it won’t just be something that you say you are going to do…but don’t really mean it or don’t really do it. You know when we make New Year’s Resolutions, we say things like, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds,” or “I’m going start that business” or “I’m going to stop eating meat!” But often times, we start on the path of honoring the New Year’s resolutions that we set for ourselves and then something happens and we don’t complete that resolution. However, with being intentional – I don’t think it has to be so final. Here’s what I mean. You say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” OK, living the life of being intentional goes beyond that of losing 10 pounds. Be intentional about living a healthy lifestyle. Don’t just focus on losing the 10 pounds. Why put so much pressure on yourself? Focus on living better. Changing those bad eating habits, incorporate better sleeping habits, add some physical activity several times a week (walking, taking a yoga class, do some cardio etc.) that to me is being intentional. It’s not a one and done. This is something that can carry you through the years. You say you want to start that business? Again, don’t put all that pressure on yourself. There are several things that need to happen before you get that business off the ground. Be intentional about setting reasonable goals for yourself to start your business. For example, do you have a business plan? have you done research about the business you want to start? have you set up your business legally? Do you have any money? Like FOR REAL! There all kinds of steps that need to happen, so be intentional about putting your plan in motion. Once you’ve taken care of all of the steps then you can start your business.
Without going into too much detail, I decided to be more intentional with my time with God; and more intentional with how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. My time should be spent doing things that I like to do -whether that may be spending time with family and friends in my circle, traveling, working out, writing and also working on the steps to having my own business, but my time is valuable and wasting it is not an option.
I will say this, losing a loved one really puts a lot of things in perspective for me, but losing a loved one who was younger than even me really got my attention. While my cousins was on this earth for 40 years, he enjoyed his life. He was a son, a father, a brother, a nephew and a cousin. He will forever be missed.
It also hit me that by me saying, “I’m living the new normal?” what I realized is that I’m actually living with peace. God has given me peace. And not that my grieving has ended or that it’s not painful, but while I’m dealing with this lose, God has given me peace that surpasses all understanding to get me through my bad days. As you are aware, God didn’t say you weren’t going to experience pain. But what he did say is that he will be there while you are going through it. And that my friend is called PEACE.
The lesson today, don’t waste your time. Live a life of being intentional. God has blessed you with the strength and ability to shine brightly in this his world, don’t miss out!