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Life-Changing Lessons from A Broken Leg (Part 1 of 2)

These past two to three weeks have been what I would consider ‘life-changing’.

On November 16, I caught a terrible virus from a family member and overnight I was in Urgent Care getting a shot in the ‘hip’ and contemplating if I could push through the work day or not. It turns out (per doctor’s orders.)  I was forced to call it a day HOPING I’d get better soon so I could get back to work.

It turns out, God didn’t plan it that way.

Tuesday afternoon brought on a new symptom (other than the sinus drainage and a terribly scratchy throat/sneezing) ……. one large order of VOICE LOSS! Nevermind that my job as an insurance agent requires me to TALK 95% of the time! ** insert a “what are you telling me LORD?!**

With one fell swoop, my entire year supply of sick days was wiped out and I was forced the following Monday to return to work, with a hazmat mask on, barely being able to speak above a scraggly whisper.d21b601d09f254a6301b0c4004f8045b.620x400x1

Most of you who read my blog know that I’m a freelance photographer and will undoubtedly feel my pain to know that in addition to being out of work and running out of paid sick leave, I also had to reschedule a slew of fall special shoots I’d already rescheduled due to an emergency family conflict. I was calling on the LORD (in my heart) heavy now! Appearing unprofessional and flaky was NOT my goal when I initially set up these shoots months earlier.

**in a 60-something year old black pastor voice** Somebody turn to your neighbor and say BUT GOD!

Thankfully God heard my cry and blessed me with my go-to videographer-friend Rashaad (who is my second photographer on weddings and events) and allowed him to be off work so he could step in for me.

# LIFE-CHANGING LESSON A: Be thankful for the good people God has placed in your life and be good to them.

One of the things that bothers me most as a business person is when a situation legitimately makes me appear as unprofessional or unknowledgeable. I love photography. It will always be in my heart; and while there will always be people who will try to “get over” on me or dislike my art, I don’t always take it well when “life” happens and interferes with how customers perceive my business.  This is why I’m thankful to have someone like Rashaad on my team and I always try to be a good as a friend as he is to me. He didn’t have to take on those shoots for me. He could’ve said “well to heck with you, I ain’t got time for it!”, and watched as I crashed and burned – but he didn’t. The importance of true friendship and partnership was illuminated to me in this moment. I was inspired to try and be there for my loved ones when they really need me (although I may not be able to help all of the time.) God divinely orchestrates certain relationships to help us live our best lives and live great.

 

Back to the sickness.

By the fifth day of week two, my voice was functioning at about 87% and while I was physically tired and still feeling icky, the week wasn’t overwhelming – UNTIL – I walked into my parents’ house ….

(to be continued)

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In What State Does Your Heart Live?

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While checking my messages and updating my Facebook business pages, I came across a post that simply asked “which one is your heart now?” You can imagine how many varied responses flooded the comments section. I was almost tempted to respond with whatever immediately came to my mind, but then the Holy Spirit ( yeah it tends to make you really think about some things) told me to pause. The following breakdown was revealed to me:

HEART #1 – WHOLE & HAPPY         HEART #2 – ONCE BROKEN, BUT PATCHED        HEART #3 BROKEN

A no brainer right? WRONG. I’ve been healing over the past several years from a few traumatic experiences and bad relationships — so my impulse was to choose 2. But the Holy Spirit opened my eyes a bit to notice that the heart was mended by band-aids; which means the heart is not TRULY healed. Just covered up. I’ve worked hard and have been through hell and high waters during the process of God healing my heart. Even though my love life is not PERFECT and a few ’emotional scabs’ are drying up….I can honestly say that my heart is #1. Yes I’m single. Yes I’ve been through a lot.  But it’s not enough to simply patch over your emotional wounds with a band-aid.

As a Christian, and a human being; a wound (especially deep a deep one ) can never properly heal if you don’t medicate it, give it fresh air, and treat it. Throwing a band-aid on it and keeping it there doesn’t allow the healing process to truly take place; it only creates an atmosphere for your wound to sit in the same residue that caused it in the first place!

When I allowed God to spiritually and emotionally heal my heart, that didn’t totally erase the fact that bad things had happened to me. Those terrible relationships DID happen and DID hurt me. Allowing Him to heal me meant giving Him access to the depths of my anguish. These past few years HAVE BEEN A CHALLENGE, but just like any wound that gets a little disinfectant and air — discomfort is part of the process. Now for the first time in a while, I’m exuberantly and wholly happy in being single! My heart is whole and healed for the man who will never demolish it.

So take a little time to really think about your current emotional state and how you would describe your heart. If you say #2 or #3, start opening up yourself to the healing process by letting go of unclaimed baggage, forgiving, renewing your faith in love, and most of all loving yourself.

– Joc

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Imagine a man SO focused on God….

“Imagine a man SO focused on God that the only reason he looked up to see you is because he heard God say, “That’s her.” 

 I saw this on a friend’s Instagram and wished I could quadruple tap this quote! I know as Christians living on earth we have to have balance; however, as for me, when it comes to keeping my eyes open for my future husband, men who are not of God will not be entertained.

“So you are judging now Joc? Nobody’s perfect and everybody falls short.”

And if you have this same response you are right, no one is perfect…BUT as a DEVOUT Christian, I am very aware of the difference between “struggling” with sin and “living” in it. Before I rededicated my life to Christ, I was without a doubt living in sin. I CONVINCED myself I was struggling, but since I knew Christ I was good. But the truth of the matter is, while on some things I was convicted enough to walk away…there was plenty of tom foolery that I took part in on a consistent basis – and enjoyed it. I felt ok with what I was doing. AFTER I gave up my old life of sin and got serious about my life with Christ, I still am not perfect, but I no longer participate in the sin that I once did. I don’t hang around the same places as I did before. I don’t spend as much time with the people I did before. I still have thoughts here and there if I’m flipping through the radio or see a commercial that reminds me of a fun time I had back in my sinful life, but then I think of how it was not worth the certain death that was coming for me and I brush it off. THAT my dear saints is “struggling”. I don’t curse or drink or club or participate in premarital relations any more; however, I may have flashbacks here and there or have a vengeful thought float across my mind after seeing someone who did me wrong in the store. I ask for forgiveness and focus on having the mind of Christ because I am CONVICTED and TURN AWAY from whatever sin is trying to grasp my mind at the moment. 

Which brings me back to the quote. Since I am not perfect, but seek to walk in the perfected, ordered steps of the Lord, one of my hearts deepest desire is to be gifted a man to marry that lives in the same way. If he is going to the priest of MY household, he will need to have God first in his life and will be able to conduct his business in a godly manner. I can’t have no ole drunk, smokey, abusive, wayward husband. What example will that set for our children? For me? If our future kids go astray, it WON’T be because they don’t have good examples at home. 

Yes, men should focus on other things along with God like security, family time, etc, but if a man doesn’t EXUDE the light that come from having a devout walk with Christ…that’s definitely not the man for me. I have most CERTAINLY fallen short and my past is riddled with too many holes to count; however I have been made WHOLE in Christ since I’ve turned from my wicked ways and have allowed Him to conform my will to His. You can be the nicest, sweetest, most attractive guy in the world; but without the God factor – I won’t and can’t bend.

– Joc

 

 

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Let Me UPGRADE Ya…wait, ain’t nobody got time for that!

So if you haven’t gotten up on Paul C. Brunson (modern matchmaker/life coach) you should. I was reading this around lunch time in which he spoke on the terrible misconceptions of ‘upgrading’ your significant other.

According to him these are the: “Reasons why Michelle didn’t fall in love with Barack’s potential and why you shouldn’t settle for potential either.”

Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake!

Posted by: on Jun 7, 2013 | Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake! 

I told the moderator of a panel I was on: “falling in love with potential is a mistake.” The moderator looked at me like I was crazy. He gave me the side-eye and said: “I don’t agree at all, Michelle Obama married for potential and look at her now.”

My jaw dropped to the floor, what a ridiculously misinformed comment.

The truth of the matter is when 25 year-old Michelle Robinson met 27 year-old Barack Obama he had the following in his favor:

 

  • Harvard Law graduate (a distinction they shared)
  • Former Editor and first African American President of the Harvard Law review (a much sought-after position)
  • Considered by many at Harvard Law and his new law firm to be a prodigy
  • Summer associate at a prestigious corporate law firm (where Michelle worked)
  • Shared values (discovered by Michelle’s time mentoring Barack at the firm)
  • Athletic and avid basketball player
  • Single and available…HELLO!

In other words, he had it going on. BIG TIME!!!

I won’t argue he didn’t also have a bright future ahead but no one can say he wasn’t compelling upon their first introduction.

This is my point, if the person who stands before you today isn’t compelling, don’t gamble your life on their potential to become compelling.

Also, don’t waste your time!

So often I see good-willed people focus much of their energy on attempting to “rescue” or “upgrade” their partner. They give unreciprocated time, love, money, energy, and advice. I’m sure you know someone doing this right now. If so, do them a favor and have a good Come-To-Jesus talk with them. The truth is they’re not in a relationship, they’re working on a science project. They haven’t fallen in love with the man/woman, they have actually fallen in love with the “ideal” of the man/woman. This is dangerous, simply because often times the “ideal” is never realized.

Having a healthy relationship with your partner means loving them for who stands before you today, not the hope of who they will be tomorrow.

 

 

Case made. Where’s a gavel when you need one?! If you want to read more from Paul for yourself, check him out: http://paulcbrunson.com/2013/06/falling-in-love-with-potential-is-a-mistake/

 

– Joc

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