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  • Writer's pictureDedeStewart

"In His Perfect Timing"

Hi, welcome or welcome back to Discussions with Dede! (applause noise). I am finally back from my very long (and well deserved) break from writing and I am so ecstatic for what’s to come.

Honestly, since I have started this blog, I have felt so much pressure to produce this amazing content and suddenly become this amazing writer/blogger. Nobody has put this pressure on me at all, all of this is from me. So, I took this time to step back from all of that and come back to writing when I remembered why I started this in the first place. I started this blog to show people, especially dark-skin Black women, that they are not alone in their experiences and thoughts. And I lost sight of that trying to be this perfect blogger, with those “Instagramable” quotes (y’all know what I’m talking about). But… I’m back now so what did I miss lol.

Today, I wanted to talk about God’s perfect timing. I do not talk about my faith much on here; it’s been under- construction to say the least. I grew up in the church and I’m a PK if you did not know already. Every Sunday we were in church come rain or shine. Every Wednesday was Bible Study, and that was just what it was. Growing up, we went to two churches: our white church from 8-10ish and then we went to our Caribbean Church from 11-3, if we are lucky. On the days our Caribbean church had an extra service like during the holidays, we would literally be at church all day because my sisters and I were on the praise dance team and my dad would preach sometimes. So for me, church became like a routine instead of something that I enjoyed or wanted to take part in. My faith became the same thing, like I kind of just saved my Bible reading and prayers for Sundays. I did not know God for myself and so it was easy for me to just show up for church and not do any more than that.

I decided on my 20th birthday that I wanted to start living my life differently. No more complacency. I wanted to regain my faith in God. Usually every birthday I just wanted to make it through the day without crying lol. I never really make goals or resolutions for the upcoming year so I knew that this was obviously not coming from me. On my 20th birthday, my goal was to make the coming years better than the years that have passed. I spent a lot of my teen years unhappy, living in the shadow of others, and honestly hating myself. Those former years were very rough, so my 20th birthday was bittersweet because I was happy they were over but I felt like I wasted what was supposed to be the “best years of my life.” I decided on my birthday that I just wanted to grow. I wanted to discover more about myself and shed the labels I had put on myself or what others put on me. I wanted to have a stronger relationship with God, find genuine friends, and truly love who I am.

I made that declaration on October 16th, 2021 and I felt like nothing happened. I guess I was expecting it to magically happen like it did in the movies but I got nothing. I continued on with my goals. I tried to read the Bible and pray but I felt nothing. I just felt the same emptiness I had always felt. I tried to listen to Christian podcasts but I would just turn it off and go on TikTok instead. I tried to listen to more Christian music but I would end up just putting on Brent Faiyaz or Summer Walker. I just felt… empty. Nothing would speak to me. I wanted the fire that I saw in other Christians but I literally felt nothing. I expected God to reveal Himself to me like He did for others in the Bible. Like God, send me that burning bush. I expected a sign of some sort just for me to know I was on the right path. Guess what I got? Nothing but more stress and confusion.

Same thing with my goal for making more meaningful friendships. I moved to Washington state 5 years ago and I still felt as lonely as when I first moved here. I have always longed for that group of friends that can pour into me and feed me emotionally like I had done so many times for others. I was always the “Therapist Friend”. I was the advice-giver whose sole purpose was to listen to the problems of the group and help answer them. I was that person who knew everything about everyone else but not many knew a lot about me. It was not even on purpose, people just did not care enough to know anything about me. The worst part was that I was giving all this amazing advice FOR FREE! Like at least if I’m gonna overextend myself emotionally, I should’ve been compensated for this. That was my role in most of my friendships, and it became tiring for me to continue in this way. I just felt used and it was not a good feeling. So I started on my journey of making more meaningful connections but it felt like I was starting from scratch. I would comment under posts, DM people, and I felt like nothing stuck. I even got out of my comfort zone on campus. I started to go to more club meetings to meet people but not much came from that either. This is how it would go: I would go to a club meeting, we would ki-ki for the rest of the meeting, I would ask for their snap or IG, we would talk for a few days and then it would fizzle out. I tried this a few more times, but I gave up because I felt like it was becoming one-sided and I had enough experience to know when I was forcing the conversation or connection. I would try to make plans for hangouts and meetups and it felt like I was begging people for the bare minimum so I had to dead it. The whole point of this goal was for me to create MEANINGFUL connections and it was already off to a bad start because it felt like I was the only one wanting that connection. And I became angry at God; I felt like I was trying everything I could on my end, but He was not giving me anything. I did not understand, I was going out of my way to foster these connections but the connections were not giving at all.

My last goal for 20 was to start on my self-love journey. This one was very hard because as a kid and especially into my teen years, I hated myself. I mean HATED. I wanted nothing to do with myself, I used to pray that one day I would wake up as someone else. Someone prettier, cooler, just all-around better. I had always struggled with my self-esteem and it just got worse as I grew older. I hated the one thing that I could not really fix: the very essence of who I was. I hated who I was like my literal personality. I think my very low self-esteem caused me to stay in situations and friendships that I shouldn’t have been in because that’s all I thought I deserved. I did not think I could do better than that, so I took what I could get. I really wanted to love myself, so I started this journey of self-love and discovery because at the end of the day, it’s only me in my corner. I could have the greatest friends, community or whatever, but I’m the one who has to live with myself 24/7. I should be able to enjoy my own company without being repulsed with myself every second. This goal did not go very well. I learned a few things about myself but I just found myself in that self-loathing stage yet again. I still was questioning God on why He made me like this. Why couldn’t He have given me that undeniable beauty like other girls, or that charisma, or just that overall confidence. I wanted that “swag” that others had but instead I got that “Why did I say that?” personality.

I know it has been kind of sad up until this point, but this is where it turns around because I learned the importance of waiting for God’s timing. It will happen when he wants it to honestly. Unfortunately for us, we can not race ahead of His process because it is all in His perfect timing. I kid you not, I just felt all my goals coming to pass a few weeks ago and I set them in freakin OCTOBER and even way before that.

Full transparency, my goal of building my faith in God is literally still a work in progress. Up until today, I could not listen to Christian music. I just couldn’t. I did not feel that spark I wanted so I would turn it off. I would use the excuse of “Oh, I do not feel connected” and turn on some worldly music to just feel something. But finally today, I turned on my Christian music to write this post and I have never felt more of a spark before. I can say that when I was not listening to Christian music, I would find that spark from my Christian podcasts. I absolutely adore Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts so I listen to her Women Evolve podcast. I also listen to the To My Sisters podcast by Courtney Daniella and Renee Kapuku and the Welcome to the Kingdom podcast from the one and only, Karren Ata-Korra. All 3 of these podcasts have literally changed my life, and God has used them to speak to me when I was literally running from Him. I still struggle a lot with being in the Word and praying daily, but I believe I am taking steps in the right direction by listening to these podcasts and allowing Him to speak to me. I still have a very long way to go, but I know that I am on the right track.

My goal of friendship has been one that I have done the most work on, but it was when I least expected it that it fell into my lap. I truly believe in the mantra “what’s meant for you will come to you”. But now, I understand that saying in the lens of God’s perfect timing. In all these friendships, I definitely saw myself as the victim like I was the perfect friend when that could not be further from the truth. I was a great friend, yes but not all the time. Sometimes, I was the one who was hurting others and I never knew that until I looked back at my past friendships. When the pandemic happened, I did not have many friends and that caused me to examine myself closely. I had to get out of that victim mindset, to grow and acknowledge my own shortcomings in my friendships because there were things I too needed to improve on. I did a lot of growing and even when I thought that I was ready to have these meaningful friendships, I was actually not. I was going on my time and I rushed ahead of God because I thought I was ready. He kept me waiting for another couple of months because He knew I was still not ready to receive it. What’s so funny is that it all happened so fast. When I waited for God's timing, everything came together perfectly and quickly like in a matter of a few weeks. The people that are now in my circle had always been there, I was just not ready to accept it at that time. I had alot of growing and maturing to do and I can see that now. Listen, the road to good friendship is one I’m still on, but I trust that God is going to bring the right people for me in HIS PERFECT TIMING.

Lastly is my self-love journey. I can proudly say that I am on the road to loving myself. Like, I really like me lol so that’s amazing. That sentence alone shows my growth, and I’m so proud of myself. I think I just started by accepting that I honestly can not change how God made me, so I have to learn how to accept that and that helped a lot. As a result of learning to accept who I am, I am also able to extend grace to myself. This journey is a life-long thing and I’m glad I have started while I am still young. I have learned to start doing things to heal my inner-child and to choose happiness for myself because I deserve it. I DESERVE HAPPINESS, and no one, besides God, can give that to me. I have learned so many things which means that this will probably get a part 2. This all happened in HIS PERFECT TIMING, idk how many times I have to say it lol. I will say it as many times as I need to until you start to believe it. Yeah, you!

All in all, just trust Him. I am still a work in progress, but I know that I am a perfect example of this honestly. I was in a spot feeling helpless and I felt like God was not hearing me. I was angry because I felt like I was doing my part, but He was giving me nothing. Nada. I pushed Him away because I wanted to punish Him not knowing I was just punishing myself. It got to the point that everytime I would see someone talking about God, I would roll my eyes and unfollow. I could not understand why they were hearing from Him and I was not. I felt like they were getting special treatment, and once again He was showing me that I was not special. But that’s not true. I was so special to Him that He waited until I was ready to receive what He had for me.

( Please listen to this song called "Firm Foundation" by Chandler Moore &Cody Carnes. It spoke to me and I hope it will speak to you too!)

I want to say to you that your time is coming. What you are waiting on God for, it’s coming. If He hasn’t given it to you, you are not ready to receive it. Wait and listen to Him. If you are like me and you are too impatient or angry at God, He will use anything He can to speak to you. He might use your favorite song, podcast, or a stranger… literally anything but He will speak to you, so listen for Him. Most of the time, He does not even use Christian music to speak to me. It will be the most random things like 2 TikToks in a row that say the same thing and I know that it is from Him.

This was a very long and vulnerable post, but I am so glad I listened to Him because I was gonna write about something completely different. Thank you guys for being here as always, I hope you got something from this post.

This sermon from Belong Church ATL was completely spirit-led and I know someone needs to hear this message from God.

Question for the comments:

What are you waiting on God for?

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