Why I Walk by Faith, and Not by Sight

I am not a Golden State Warriors fan, but I know that as a fan it sucks to hear the commentator say, ” Curry dribbles…Curry shoots…Curry scor…MISSES…very badly.”

Now, I don’t know about him being the best shooter on the planet, but I felt a soft spot in my heart for probably one of the best shooters in the history of the NBA, Steph Curry, when I recently learned that he suffers from Keratoconus. Curry has admitted to suffering from vision problems during his entire career, and squinting had become the norm for him. But it wasn’t until he fell into a recent shooting slump that he felt the need to get help. That is when he found out that he had been living with the disease for years. According to a Twitter post made by the Bleacher Report on April 3, 2019, “Steph Curry broke out of a recent sub-37% 3PT shooting slump by putting on contact lenses to fix eye issues he’s had his whole career.” So yes….that means he was breaking 3-point records and wasn’t even able to see the rim clearly.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had perfect vision. Whether an image was near or far, I had no problem seeing clearly. It wasn’t until one random day back in 2009 while walking the grounds of my former college, Texas A&M University, that I realized that I couldn’t make out the faces of people from afar without squinting. I would get really bad headaches, but would attribute it to the late nights I spent studying. It didn’t bother me too much because my overall vision was still pretty decent.

Upon graduating from college, I noticed a dramatic decline in my visual acuity which prompted me to seek the help of a professional. Literally, one day I was able to see, then the next moment I was in dire need of corrective lenses and no one seemed to be able to help me. Three optometrists later and three failed attempts at fitting me for a pair of glasses, I was finally referred to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed me with the progressive eye disease, Keratoconus. Keratoconus causes the cornea of a diseased eye to bulge out like a cone instead of being perfectly round. The cone-shaped cornea causes my vision to be very distorted. Oftentimes, my vision consists of halos and ghost images, and my prescription changes very frequently. Having poor vision was new to me so the struggle was very real in the first couple of years of the diagnoses. There were many days that I broke down into tears because I felt trapped inside of my own body. Imprisoned by eyes.

Because eye glasses are not able to correct the abnormally shaped cornea of a Keratoconus patient, I was eventually fitted for a pair of Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses back in 2011. The cost was a whopping $400 per pair! Aside from being pricey and occasionally getting stuck underneath my eyelids, these lenses were my only solution at the time.

Fast forward to the year 2017, I learned that the RGP lenses were not the best for my vision, and that they had caused scarring on my left cornea… further blurring my vision. I was finally placed in Scleral lenses that I have been wearing for 2 years now.

My vision isn’t 20/20, but I am so grateful to God that I have been able to obtain nearly perfect vision rather than none at all with the help of my sclerals. Although I didn’t understand why my vision had changed so suddenly, or why it was happening to me, I have always trusted God during the process. My natural eyes were deteriorating everyday, but my spiritual eyes remained on the lesson that God had for me. I walk by faith because Lord knows my sight would lead me in all sorts of wrong directions.

Consistency: The Difference between Success and Failure

Up until today, I have been consistently inconsistent. Why? Probably because I didn’t experience the kind of success that I wanted fast enough. Or maybe because I always seem to convince myself that I will fail before I even begin. I would start a project but never finish, and quit a work out plan after putting in 2 whole days of hard work. I have been putting off attending Grad school for at least 8 years now because–well…because of absolutely no reason at all. I guess it’s just easier to give up when things seem to be a tad bit too difficult.

I love Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson for several reasons. Lawd, have mercy…that is a fine piece of man! Okay but seriously…He’s known as the #BrahmaBull and People’s Champ to WWE fans, but today he is my champion because he couldn’t have said the following words any better: “Success isn’t always about greatness, It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”

Everyone wasn’t born great and success doesn’t just happen because you’re just that good. It is a process and being consistent is a crucial part of the process. Think about a guy who pursues a woman. She is not going to fall head over heels for him simply because of his looks or his words. This guy has to prove his love for her by being consistent with having those same words match his daily actions.

It’s so easy to complain about how hard the task is instead of “just do[ing] it” in the words of #Nike. But let’s remember that if you really want to do something, you will find a way–and if not, you will find an excuse.

Consistence is the difference between success and failure. Therefore, I am challenging you as well as myself to quit stopping short of the finish line. Focus on being better tomorrow than you were today by working hard every day to stay the course. Be consistent in the gym…consistent at the hobby you picked up this year… Consistent in your relationship…consistent with your children. Consistency shows that we truly value that “thing” that we are working hard at each day, and the end result will be SUCCESS!

Soul Ties

Ladies, have you ever found yourself running back to that guy that you know is not good for you because you just can’t stay away from him? …Still clinging on to that relationship when you know deep down inside he doesn’t truly love you, but you just love the way he makes you feel. He probably outright mistreats you, but you deal with it anyways because you would rather have a piece of a man, than no man at all. Or maybe you don’t actually run back to him every time but instead, you scroll through your ex’s Instagram page as you try to convince yourself that you are “so glad you’re over him…”

I have been hearing a lot about soul ties lately, and I am here to tell you that those ties are definitely real. So, this week’s post is my little spiel on the topic.

For those of you who don’t know what a soul tie is, it stems from the idea that when two people engage in sexual intercourse, their souls unite and their flesh becomes one. In a healthy marriage, when the souls of the man and woman unite during sex, positive energies are transferred and it draws the two of them closer together. However, we all know that everyone who lays down to have sex is not married and positive energies are not always transferred during the act either. I am sure that you know someone who simply has sex for fun like it’s their favorite hobby. That person could care less about drawing closer to or building a connection with the other person.

Recently, the gospel singer, Erica Campbell, posted a meme to her Instagram page that read, “Condoms will not protect you from Spiritually Transmitted Demons” causing a lot of folks to look within themselves.

“Condoms will not protect you from Spiritually Transmitted Demons.”

I know when I initially read her post, I thought about how some of us are literally sleeping with the Devil. We are falling in love with lies…and are giving in to the lusts and desires of the flesh. We are connecting with men in the most intimate way possible by giving them the goodies without requiring them to commit to us. Sex is deeper than a simple physical act–it is also an emotional and spiritual act as well. Therefore, when she went on to say that
“connection without commitment is confusing to the heart,” I felt that deep down in my soul.

I can only speak from experience and tell you my own truth. My truth is that I have connected with a guy in the past on an intimate level without requiring him to commit to me. I would engage in casual sex here and there where the only goal was to please the flesh. What I didn’t know was that an emotional bond was being created whether I wanted it or not, and I found myself wanting more from the guy even though those weren’t the original rules. Instead of feeling a sense of satisfaction, I would often feel empty, sad, used and confused. But I still went back to him hoping that he would fall in love with me if I gave him more of me. I thought about him constantly and asked myself daily what could I do to make him love me like I wanted him to. An unhealthy soul tie had been formed and this is the cycle I repeated for many years.

“God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Cor. 14:33) Even though I knew that the relationship wasn’t healthy, I could not turn off my feelings and separate myself from this guy. My feelings were telling me one thing, and my spirit was telling me something totally different. I definitely was not experiencing peace on the inside because I was not living in accordance to the will of God. Even though I knew better, I still chose to do my own thing.

Some of you are probably like me and didn’t even realize you had any unhealthy soul-ties until recently. Maybe you were left with that empty, confused feeling in certain relationships but you didn’t have a name to attach to it. Either way, it is important that these soul-ties are broken because they keep us from being able to move forward in life and in other relationships.

What are your thoughts on soul ties? Have you experienced any of your own that you struggled to get over?

When the Well Runs Dry

“Everyone is not your assignment. That’s why you’re drained.”

Have you ever tried pouring from an empty cup? I know it sounds like a silly question, but seriously…I know I have to raise both of my hands in response to that question because I am definitely guilty as charged. Like many of you, I have a habit of taking on other people’s issues as if they are my own. I am not one to sit around and simply talk about a problem all day and night. I have always been about allowing my actions to speak louder than my words. So when someone calls me with a problem, I am quick to jump into action and help them look for a solution. Oftentimes, I AM the solution.

Time, money, free labor and a whole bunch of other randomness that I know they wouldn’t dare ask of anyone else are just a few of the things that I am called upon to do for people. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy giving back to those who are less fortunate than I am. In fact, I remember a time (not that long ago) when I was down to my last…lacking the mental capacity and physical strength to go about each day…lacking adequate financial resources even with a full time job. So trust me, I know that the struggle is definitely real. I know that the roles can be easily reversed one day and that I could be the one in need, but I thank God for his favor. I thank Him for being a miracle worker and a provider.

I have always felt like I was doing the will of God by helping others. All of my close family and friends know that I will give them the clothes off of my back–even my last dime if they needed it. I help out of love…I give out of compassion; however, the problem occurs when the giving becomes an expectation or when people become dependent on me helping them. They know that they can count on me to be the “Yes” girl who saves the day every time they call…all because I am too afraid to say, “no” out of the fear of being a disappointment.

I recently stumbled across a quote that read:
“Sometimes you don’t even realize that you are actually drowning trying to be everyone else’s anchor.” I really hate to admit it, but this is how I have felt on several occasions. Because I give so much of my time and effort to others, there is nothing left for me at the end of the day. After being stretched out thin and in so many directions, I am out of energy, money and time and I have nothing to show for it. For almost 10 years I have allowed this to be my story…drowning deep in the depths of my own kindness.

It actually kind of hurts knowing that certain people only reach out to me when they need me for something. I know that it may seem like common sense to some, but it has been a lesson learned for me. I simply cannot pour from an empty cup–filling the lives of others when I am lacking myself. I can’t continue to drown myself because I am constantly putting all of my energy into saving everyone else. No more going broke because I am paying everyone’s bills. No more trying to be everything to everyone for the sake of their happiness. No more doing so much for others that I lose myself in their problems and lose sight of my own. Someone told me long ago that me attempting to play savior to everyone may very well be me blocking the lesson in their life that God is trying to teach them. Therefore, I must remind myself daily that everyone is not my assignment and somehow, someway they will be okay without me coming to the rescue all of the time.

I must learn to be selfish and take care of ME first. If not, then we will all drown.

(C) 2019, L. M. White (Shy Girl Speaks)

Living Out Loud

“Stop holding yourself back. If you aren’t happy, make a change.”

~ MJ Harris

Today I was told that my life isn’t exciting enough to blog about. My feelings were hurt momentarily, but I quickly reminded myself of the “why” behind my new journey into the world of blogging. No, my life isn’t peaches and cream and everyday is not an exciting one. But that doesn’t mean that I have nothing to contribute to the world. I don’t think the person meant to hurt my feelings but this is an example of what I have experienced my entire life. Negativity. A nonexistent support system. Isolation.

For far too long, I have let people tear me down with their words, both directly and indirectly. Their actions have made me feel like I was less than a person at times. Some people make me feel like I am straight up invisible to them and I find myself asking, “Am I really alive?” Instead of confronting people, I’ve learn to deal with my emotions silently…keeping everything in my head. I smile at people on a daily basis who I know don’t like me, and I L.O.L. (laugh out loud) to keep from crying because I am simply misunderstood.

The goal of my Shy Girl Speaks blog is to help free up some space in my mind by sharing my thoughts with the world. Instead of keeping everything on the inside, I am choosing today to begin “Living Out Loud!” In doing so, I am also learning to be a little more confident in who I am so that I can grow into the person that I was meant to be. This blog is for ME and for those of you out there who can relate to me.