prodigal.

i wanted to write this post a few days ago, but it was clear that God was saving some of these thoughts of mine until today. i went to go get my hair trimmed and straightened (i do it once a year, normally in may) mainly because i haven’t ent straightened it since i went bald last summer. my hair grows like a weed, but i wasn’t trimming and keeping up with the dead ends. my hair is natural, so i just figured it was as healthy as could be… even though i know in the back of my mind it wasn’t. as i mentioned before, i cut it off last summer in hopes of some liberation. new relationship, no man telling me “don’t cut your hair because it makes you who you are…” yeah whatever. so i shaved it. right back to the healthiest state it could ever be in. bald on the sides. a bit bald on top. it was new, black, so fresh, and so so clean. i took care of it. i made sure to always do my itty bitty twist outs, especially before church so i could give off a good impression. i deep conditioned that sucker so often i ran out of my deep conditioner every five seconds… but eventually it got old. i didn’t feel like deep conditioning it. it was too thick. too much. so, i got lazy. i would condition it every other weekend. i wouldn’t really do it. i blamed it on the “my hair doesn’t do wash n’ gos well”, but if you’ve seen my wash and gos lately… that was a lie. i stopped caring about my hair and she kinda died on me.

same thing happened to my life. my last semester of college i got a bit crazy. i promised to dissect this enigma, and this part of it was one of the most prominent pieces to understanding this story of mine. i took an easy semester because i didn’t “feel” like being challenged. i wanted to enjoy myself. i wanted my flesh to feel what the world had to offer. i drank so much to the point where if my friends and i went a day without drinking… we would find a drink. i was coping with other things as well, but liquor was my go-to. thing is, i didn’t even realize it was a problem. i thought i was just being young, wild, and free. turns out i was just finding ways to cope with my depression.

i was depressed for a long time before then, but i’m shawn. shawn doesn’t get depressed. shawn is crazy and outgoing and extroverted… the most cliché tale ever told. i would avoid going to get a true diagnosis for some other things i was dealing with (still am sorta) and just labeled myself with whatever i was feeling that day. i cant blame it all on the past relationship, but i can definitely blame it all on the past. i was stuck there and couldn’t figure out how to dig my way out. i took a page out of my biological parents books: both of my parents have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and i just knew i got the gene too… i really felt like it and still feel that way sometimes. but, i let it consume me. i let my mistakes consume me. i allowed small things like eating the wrong thing for breakfast or working out once a day instead of twice consume me. i let people talk me into being someone i wasn’t meant to be. i was far gone, and when i left, i left God too.

i’m a real big faker, or at least i was. redo the insta here and there to make it seem like life was good and i was still following scripture. change up what i said on facebook and twitter to make sure my image was still there, however, i promise you… i didn’t care. i grew up in church so i stayed out of obligation. i kept “reading” my Bible just to make sure i wasn’t gonna go to hell… to fast. i didn’t believe much that was said in church, and because of a few things that took place at my old church, it was easy for me to use that as my exit. John 10:28-30 says “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” but i just knew i was the exception to the rule. i tried to end my life one night, and no one was there to save me, and in hindsight, its because God wanted to.

why did i start with the story about my hair? well, i had a pretty insightful conversation with my hairdresser (ta’ler is bomb and she really dug some things out of me today), and while she was doing my hair, we were talking about how God will always get a hold of his children whether it be on earth or in heaven. i belonged to Him the day i proclaimed His Son to be my Savior but sometimes you (you meaning me lol) make empty promises and fill the air with words you don’t mean. when i did it, i meant it, but it was hard. i knew that God wanted me back. for me to be THAT far gone, it had to be it. He was going to get me one way or another.

it wasn’t until i left my former church (which, i’m not sorry, is still one of the best decisions ive ever made) and took about two weeks to get myself together. we are called to be members of a body, naturally, i joined howard’s church and it happened immediately. after visiting the church twice, i joined the body and my life changed. i listened to the sermons, i didn’t just hear then. i got involved. i wrote things down in the note app in my phone to remind me of certain things i may have needed during the week. i cried some. i danced. i cried some more, and God got me. it doesn’t seem like it should be that easy, but it was. know why? my foundation as always been rooted in God, however, it was always on me to make sure i was in right relationship with Him. He did His part. always. i didn’t care enough to do mine.

despite my mental health issues and physical issues, God still had me. i was still blessed with a new job, a new man, a new life and didn’t realize that it was God’s way of showing me that He still loved me, His prodigal daughter. there’s a lot of believers that have this testimony, and i wish we didn’t. i wish we could be on this journey and perfect it. i sometimes i wish i perfected it long ago, but i’ve said this before and prayerfully this is the last time, i owe it all to Him and He deserves it. it’s (for real) time.

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