This is often the words uttered by a woman who has been a victim of an abusive situation. We are given many signs in our life to warn us about the energy we are letting into our lives. Even worse, the people in our lives have told us what type of person we are, so why should we expect anything different. “When people show/tell you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!” I love Maya Angelou’s quote because as I get older, it is a life lesson I am paying closer attention to in my life.
As a part of my radical 7even journey, I want to equip you with some tools to help you in your spiritual walk. No way am I an expert. I am still very young in my faith and have many things to learn, but I have gone through this lesson many times in life. So, I want to share it with you.
I think there are three types of warnings you receive throughout your journey that help you make decisions in your life and reveal to you characteristics about the people in your life:
1. Red flags. This goes hand-in-hand with the famous Maya Angelou quote. People please take your time to get to know people before you let them intimately into your life. I am not only taking about relationships, but I am also talking about friendships, business associations with co-workers, and even family. Pay attention to what people are saying to you and how they react to certain situations. I am not saying that you have to analyze every single detail about a person. What I am saying is that as you are conversing with people or engaging in social activities and there is a particular thing they mentioned or did that sticks out to you, analyze those moments. It may be red flags that this may be a toxic person and you should keep them at a keep distance. NO “KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER!” I actually hate that saying because you are allowing toxic energy into your life just to keep tabs on enemy to make sure that are not stabbing you in the back. Let go and let God handle them because He will definitely make your enemies your footstool. Now, I know that was a lot of information to take in so I am going to provide some examples of situations that have happened in my life and could have been avoided if I would have paid closer attention to the red flags.
(Example 1) I had a “friend” in my life who I thought of as a sister. We were cool and told each other everything. So, I told her about this great guy I was talking to. (MISTAKE!!!! Don’t talk about how great your guy is to other women… relationship survival 101. lmbo) First of all, she was totally obsessed with herself. She thought she was the most beautiful and deserve the attention of every man… including every other woman’s man. To her, every man wanted her. (Red flag 2- if your friend does not show concern about your feelings when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex, then don’t be surprise if she is the one to take your man.) THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME! lol. All the red flags were there. She was a little bit too interested in finding out more information about him and our interactions. She wanted to know a name, details, etc. Like an idiot, I told her. I know, I know…. red flag. lol. Come to find out, she had slept with him a few weeks later. I was crushed, but I did not pay attention to the signs… I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I would have recognize what type of friend I had in my life, and if I would have kept my big mouth closed. I know people tell you to share your blessings with other, but you shouldn’t share EVERYTHING… especially a man. lol
(Example 2) So, I really liked this one guy a few years ago (not the same guy mentioned above..). I really thought we had something. We bonded so well but just could not seem to establish anything solid. (Red flag 1- Sign from God that may be this was not meant to be.) I became frustrated because it seemed that we were into each other and I knew I wanted to date him. As we conversed over the months, I found out he had a mental disability that has a tendency to make him volatile. (…Red flag 2- not to say that having a mental disability is bad, but it does become a problem when the person recognizes it and decides not to get help). So time went by and eventually he entered into relationship with another female. I was hurt, but as I watched that relationship unfold I realized that God was protecting me. His relationship with the other woman became verbally volatile. They both pushed each others buttons and at times I worried about whether it could have led to physical violence… (Red flag 3- enough said.) I thank God that I did not enter into a relationship with this person. I know I can be a hand full… I am not afraid to admit. I will push buttons ever so often. I cannot help it, I can be very strong-willed and stubborn. So, I am certain that with his mental disability and my character traits, it would not have made for the best situation…
… (Side note) I will also go on the record to say that if a guy does not respect your decisions, and does everything in his will to try and change your mind then this may be another sign that he is a controlling person which could lead to problems later down the road.
2. Dream, Confirmations, and Peace. You have to be careful with dreams because they can become misleading if you interpret them incorrectly. This is my rule of thumb with dreams. If it is dream that wakes me up and I cannot go back to sleep, then I know it is a warning or revelation from God (but I have to remember every single detail from the dream. If I do go back to sleep but dream the same dream 3 times consecutively (either back to back in the same night or three nights in a row), then I know it is a warning or revelation from God. TRUST me, it has happened both ways and all have came true in my life. If I don’t get three consecutive dreams, I will get confirmation from an outside source (i.e. a random person to mentions something that happened in my dream) WITHOUT PROMPTING (meaning I never mentioned the dream to them)!!! See, this is where a lot of people get confused. They start asking everybody and their momma to interpret a dream. Just like God did with Joseph, he will SEND someone your way to interpret your dream for you and you will have peace. You know the famous saying about opinions… everybody has one. God has a certain way to reveal something to you. He may not interpret that dream until years later, but you have to wait on Him to reveal it. But just like you, most people will guess the interpretation instead of asking for wisdom. Wisdom is followed by peace. And by peace, I don’t mean the dream you had will always be a favorable dream. What I mean about peace is that no matter if the dream is predicting something bad or good in your life, you have peace because God has warn you to prepare yourself and that He will get you through. To me it is quite scary to be experiencing these kind of dreams (especially since I have had dreams like this since I was a kid), but I have been saved from a lot of adversity or heartache because I started paying attention. It was revealed to me when some of my friends and family members became pregnant. I was warned about death and conflict in my life. I will just give you some examples… 🙂
Odd dreams: snakes in my dreams represent toxic people in my life and that I should wedging them out of my life; fish = someone is pregnant, but for the past few years instead of dreaming about fish, the dream consist of me holding a baby; situational dreams where the details of the dream are exactly the same in every dream (these dreams let you know what is going on in real life… examples: someone is cheating, someone is about to leave your life, someone is hurt, etc.)
When I was younger (starting at the age of 10), I use to have reoccurring nightmares about me free-falling in the sky. I would wake up in a cold sweat. The feelings was so surreal. I could feel myself falling with no destination. I never knew what this dream meant. Fast forward into my 20s. This dream has came to fruition. This dream was about trusting God and fear of failure. I was scared because I did not know where I was going to fall (this is can translate to I still am trying to plan my life). Me being scared showed my lack of trust in God. I am still trying my best to trust Him with the direction my life is going. I don’t have a plan anymore… THIS FREAKS ME OUT (free falling). Everyone has a five-year plan, a ten year plan, but I feel deep down in my spirit that God wants me to do away with planning and just live and let Him take care of the details… (haha… remember when I mentioned earlier I am strong-willed…. yep… it’s been a rocky road in my relationship with God. lol) So, God warned me about this at a very early age. I am glad He prepared me…
3. Promptings and Feelings: You have to be careful with this as well because feelings can be fickle. That is why I added promptings to this because it is a feeling that you cannot shake and the more you ignore it the stronger the feeling gets. Oprah calls these promptings whispers, but I think it is the Holy Spirit speaking. These promptings can warn you when it is time to move on, how to make a decision, etc.
(Example) Dating back to my junior year in college, I was in the process of making a decision about the next step. My spirit was telling me to just wait, but I would not listen because I knew I had to meet deadlines, etc etc. So, instead of waiting on the Holy Spirit to reveal my next step, I made the decision to go to law school AND try to get my master’s in business. I was studying to the GMAT and the LSAT at the same time until the wee hours in the morning (don’t forget I was also doing my schoolwork too). It was very stressful to the point that I got really sick. I started getting really bad headaches. I could not lay down at night and would have to slept in the recliner. It was bad, but I did not listen (my strong will at it’s best… one day I will learn. lol) My mom became so worried she suggested I take time off from school after I graduate. I sternly said no. So, she said I had to choose between business and law school. By now, you should know which one I picked. lol. In my spirit I knew I should have taken time off from school to allow God to plan my next step, but I didn’t. I started getting promptings before I even started law school that I should not be there. I ignored those feelings because most people said they questioned their decision as well. But I knew in my heart I was not suppose to be there. Well, at the beginning of this year (2011), those feelings turned into voices. I could literally hear a loud voice throughout my second semester saying it is time for you to move on. To be honest, I did not want to listen. I had invested a lot of time and money, why would I walk away? I would be crazy to walk away!!! But when you ignore these promptings, it has ramifications. Other areas in my life started to fall apart, I started to get sick again, and life just became unbearable. So, I finally listened to that voice, and decided to discontinue my legal studies in the middle of finals. I was devastated. I worried about what people would think. It was the most controversial decision I have ever made in my life, and I am so glad I did. I don’t get those bad headaches anymore. 🙂
I know this blog is very long, but I really wanted to give you examples. I believe in using my life as a class (yes, another quote from Oprah. lol) God warns us about the things to come in our lives. We must be open to receive these warnings in order to prepare for a storm or even how to avoid one. I hope you all have a blessed day. Love you bunches!