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Meet my Auntie Cynthia! Staying the Course

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The celebration continues!!!

In honor of Women's History Month, I am continuing to highlight some amazing women here on the blog. I am blessed by many people, but my family by far is one of my greatest blessings! 

Meet my awesome and amazing Auntie Cynthia!!! My Auntie Cynthia is my Mom's older sister.  As long as I can remember my Aunt has been such a poised woman. As a kid, I would admire how she walked in heels in hopes that one day I too could strut so gracefully! lol!

On a serious note, I am thankful to that she is sharing parts of her journey.

In her own words.... 

Staying the Course...

 How interesting it is that this is the topic for my expose in your blog!! My affirmation for 2018 is Never Give Up/NGU2018! Thanks for the reminder as we approach the end of the first quarter of 2018 already!!

My life in ministry began as a child being reared in the Pentecostal Church. It was not an option if you served or not. The option was — well sometimes there was an option  — where will you serve? So I served in the youth ministry, youth choirs, played trumpet in the church band and Sunday School. Because we lived south and our church was west, we often attended other church activities that other children may not have participated in such as the business meetings. Now, I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior when I was about 9! I received the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues at age 11. My desire to live for the Lord was passionate!! As a child and even a teen, living for Jesus was fun and interesting. Becoming an adult, I found my life spinning in circles of self-identity, self-worth, and value. I wasn’t sure who I really was. I still passionately loved the Lord and wanted to be who He wanted me to be based on my understanding of Him. Somehow, it wasn’t the same as my earlier years. Pray, fast and read your Bible is what I was taught to get through life's challenges; however, life’s challenges made it seem as if I should fast, pray and read 10 days a week 14 months a year!!

What I learned on this journey is that God really loved Cynthia just as she was — flaws and all! He wasn’t the rigid, angry disciplinarian waiting to crack my knuckles with the ruler or beat me with the belt or kick me into hell. How did I stay the course through ridicule from senior church leaders when I married quickly in an attempt to cover up my imperfections and a premarital pregnancy? How did I stay the course when my marriage failed 5 months in, seemingly proving the church folks right? How did I stay the course trying to identify with adult Cynthia without the “covering and protection” of my protective parents and overprotective spiritual leaders? I never stopped loving the Lord — I never stopped acknowledging His greatness in my life while I went through trials, making lots and lots of errors. I engaged people with impure motives, fell into deep depression, walked away from employment, didn’t complete college, and began to fall prey to government assistance and more.

Thank God for a praying mother!!! Oh, how I miss her but eternally thank God for the days she would come to my apartment and pray for me, pray with me! She rebuked the devil and prayed blood covering over my mind, body, and spirit. It’s interesting as I recall these details that I never considered myself a backslider — because I never ever stopped loving Jesus and didn’t give up my faith. I didn’t understand a lot of the journey but through reading and studying between the highs and lows, I gained a very personal relationship with the Lord. My imperfections continued in a quest for me to exercise compassion and forgiveness with others and to diminish the judgmental attitude I developed in my early walk with the Lord. I remarried my first husband and learned soooo much about myself and him that helps me immensely in ministry today. I remember once saying that certain events of my life were not God-ordained. What I came to realize is that if I hadn’t had those experiences I would not be the woman I am today, walking in the strength and peace of God. The sickness and death of my mother, sickness and death of my first husband, sickness and death of my father have each bred a tenacity of trusting God that I would never have known without those difficult times.

I’ve been in conflictive relationships with church folks, my siblings, and my children. The Lord, thank God, has taught (is teaching) me how to be “the me” He called me to be and stop looking at everyone else. In the words of my dear brother Sconi, “keep the focus on you!!” I never consider myself athletic or competitive; however, I’ve always felt compelled to be a great Christian. Staying the course has meant staying in the face of the Lord, hearing and receiving a relevant Word from Him and being engaged in prayer. So what does the transformation look like? I am true to Cynthia!!! Whew! That’s been a big part of the journey. I enjoy fun, laughter, harmonious relationships and respect for all. So my style of doing things is often different from some traditional norms. This is what has anchored my staying power. I respect and honor who God has created me to be—and I enjoy me and what I do. Lately, I’ve broken through some uncomfortable areas of growing ministry and this continues to grow my trust in God. I’m often reminded to trust God and love people. We have a habit of reversing those principles and becoming gravely disappointed, wounded, hurt and angry. As I learn to follow this process more often than not, my reactions and responses are different and I realize that God is governing my life and emotions. It keeps me staying the course!

Yes, I am human with feelings and emotions but they are not allowed to run me and cause me to run amuck. Proverbs 29:11 basically says that a fool gives full vent to their anger but the wise bring calm in the end. With all that I’m learning, I want to empower others — men, women, boys, girls, young, middle-aged and seasoned — so that the same mistakes aren’t made. My life experiences were/are not “just because;” they are because God has a purpose and plan for my life, to prosper and give me hope and bring me to a great future!

One thing I learned in my journey to truth, outside of traditions, is the unrealistic expectations and demands on the ministry leaders’ families. While everyone else enjoys vacations, sick days and the opportunity to put their families first, many ministry leadership families have been expected to serve and perform in excellence and with their “A” game regardless of personal stuff (family strife, death, illness, financial woes, etc.). Marriages have suffered; ministers’ children have walked away, not just from church, but also from God. Extended families feel neglected, social lives are non-existent or consist of church retreats, ministry luncheons and other church-related activities. And friends...what are those?? Seeing this imbalance while fighting for it in my own life, I always wanted a forum where the ministers’ families could release and rebuild in a safe environment for internal, personal and group healing and restoration.

Click Link Here To Register

The Lord is allowing me to host the first Ministerial Healing Symposium April 14, 2018. The environment will be loving, non-judgmental and comfortable — conducive to supporting newness of life in our leaders. We’ll hear from the ministers’ children, siblings, spouses and friends! Great breakfast, awesome music and powerful dialogue in a warm, supportive atmosphere where the attire is dress down comfortable.

God has been faithful to me for 55 years ... I’ll never, ever give up! Staying the course is not an option; it’s my mandate!

Keep scrolling for a couple of family pics!!!

Auntie Crissy, Mommy, & Auntie Cynthia!

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