As promised, here is Rebuilding with Unwavering Faith Part 2. If you have not had a chance to read Part 1, You can read it by clicking the link below:
As I put part 2 into words, I want you to know that it took my courage to continue but I didn’t reach milestone after milestone alone. My children were my driving force! Each day, I was able to wake up and put on my “No excuses armor.” Thanks to my Best Friend, Janelle. Janelle poured into me every single day and step of the way! She was my logic when I was leading with emotion. Her strength carried me on the days I wanted to turn back. Though she was many miles away she reassured me that I wasn’t alone. She put money in my bank account to help me survive and made sure my head was in the right space each day to continue to fight for the life I deserved. She contributed to me not waking up feeling sorry for myself or feeling like a victim. Instead, I felt Victorious!
If you do not have a best sister-friend that will celebrate your success and carry you during your losses, hold you accountable and love you for you, please pray for one and be a reflection of the type of friendship you desire.
I’m so grateful! My best friend is a pure gift from God.
On Fridays, I didn’t have a nice bus driver to take me all the way to the Rapid bus stop. This meant 3 buses instead of 2 in the morning and a 4 mile brisk walk. I would literally run from the bust stop in my business attire just to catch the last bus to get me to work on-time. I walk in the office exhausted, but I quickly put my professional game face on! I had meetings to run and a workload to conquer. It wasn’t anyone’s business to know the heaviness of my life. I intentionally carried God’s Peace and kept a smile on my face and rocked out. I let go of the “You are a failure if you’re not a full time entrepreneur mindset and met myself exactly where I was without holding on to any clichés of the past.”
I had little instances where I was tired and simply wanted to rest and have a pity party. But it quickly passed. I remembered my “WHY” and I continued to push forward.
You must make the decision to show up even when you don’t feel like it!
Because I kept showing up, God showed up. Miracle after Miracle would happen.
I met Lisa at a Park and Ride bus stop. I asked if she knew where the bus stop was. She was uncertain but managed to point me in the right direction. As I was waiting at the bus stop, she pulls up and ask, how far are you going? I responded and she said “It’s not out of my way, I can take you.” She dropped me off and we exchanged numbers. She would drop me off home on rainy days. This was the beginning to a genuine friendship. I am so grateful. She was an angel sent, this I know for sure.
I just needed to keep busy and not get too lost in my thoughts or caught up in the struggle. So, I joined the second Saturday bike riders where we ride bicycles for 12-22 miles site seeing downtown Phoenix. I met Kirsten, we just instantly connected. She said she liked hiking and invited me out on a hike. She offered to pick me up. During the ride, she explained to me that she was very shy and rarely take the initiative to meet new people. In her words, “this may sound weird…but, it felt as if I had to be your friend, like God told me to be your friend.” I smiled with tears in my eyes without going to deep into my journey and simply said Thank you, sis! We hiked the mountain and reaching the top overlooking the city symbolized so much for me. It was very hard, hot and there were moments I wanted to turn back. But, Kirsten and I made it and I knew that I too was going to make it on my personal journey. This was the beginning to a genuine friendship. I am so grateful. She was an angel sent, this I know for sure.
I remember getting a phone call on this day from a family member saying that my husband stated that he’s filing for custody of my son. So many people projected that I wouldn’t get my son back. I handled all projections with a mild temper and a definitive knowing that I was on a journey led by God and I will get my son! I remember making a silent pack with the mountains: “Mountains, as long as you keep showing me my ability to climb, I will keep showing you resilience with each step I take and honor your creation.”
I kept my goals in the forefront! My next big goal was to move into my own place by December 3, 2016.
The odds were against me as my credit was not in the best of shape. The closer I got to making my goals a reality I could feel how uncomfortable it made others feel. Some people can only accept you in a broken, vulnerable powerless state because it makes them feel powerful. There is always a flip side in every situation. Some people couldn’t handle me rising. They preferred to see me stagnant. You see, the challenge was not given to break me, it was given to strengthen me. So I couldn’t have stayed in a state of despair even if I wanted to. I showed gratitude for these people as well. I accepted that they have come as far as they were assigned and I couldn’t carry them any further on the journey. I realized that they have never done what I have. It takes a special kind of person and level of trust to go across the country with nothing but a suitcase, no family, money etc. I couldn’t take it personal.
Rumi said it best: “When setting out on a journey, Do not seek advice from those who have never left home.”
Follow your inner compass which houses your innate ability to discern. When you set out on a journey, you will find that the people, even the ones you love, you can’t take with you. It doesn’t mean you love them less, it simply means you can’t carry their words, advice, opinions, energy with you. They’ve never done what you have so naturally they will project their fears on you. Don’t worry, because God will send every person and thing you need to continue your path. But you must also look within for guidance, quiet the noise in your mind and each move you make will be intentionally guiding you on your journey. ~ DeVonna
I knew my current living arrangement was reaching its peak and I had just enough money for my security deposit and down payment for my own place, which meant I could not afford a hotel. The weekend after Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving was lonely and sad… but, I’ll share more details in my book.) I had to abruptly re-locate! It was pouring down raining in Arizona. I went to Starbucks and cried and cried because I had no idea where I would go. I called my Best Friend Janelle and Aunt Pat for guidance. I didn’t know where I was headed, but I kept saying “nothing will stop me from securing a home for my babies, even if it means go into a shelter for 2 weeks. I scrolled down my phone and spirit told me to call Niki. She was my yoga instructor and I have not spoken to her in over a year and a half. I called. She answered. I was crying hysterically. I said I need you. Can I stay with you for the next week or so. She did not hesitate and said Yes! I get off at 8:00 p.m. I went to pack my bags, thanked my neighbor for her hospitality and continued my journey. I was emotionally drained by time I arrived to Niki’s home. I am so grateful. She was an angel sent, this I know for sure.
I had been denied for 2 apartments. I was distraught and knew that I was trying to accomplish this goal with my strength instead of God’s. I repeated daily: “God, didn’t bring me this far to leave me.” I’ve learned that it’s easier to give help and a harder to receive. The moment I removed ego and opened myself up to being vulnerable is when my power was re-ignited.
I found a duplex apartment on Zillow.com that was in my budget and close to where I once resided. I went to see it at night and walked in and knew this was our new home. I wasn’t too fond of the area, and the property grounds were not kept well nor did it have fancy palm trees, water falls, greenery etc. However, it felt right and it was privately owned which was just what I needed. I needed to be seen for the core of my being and not my credit score. Janelle told me to lead with my Greatness and not my brokenness. At the open house, I handed the owners a letter explaining my current circumstances, successful accomplishments and characteristics. I smiled as I walked out the door.
I got back to Niki’s house and we prayed together. She looked me in the eyes and said “Sis, you got it.” The next day, I received a phone call from the owners…DeVonna, we have another applicant interested in the property. But, if you can pass a criminal background check…we choose you.”
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! I cried and dropped to my knees! I thanked God!!! As I was one step closer to getting my babies and being back on my feet!
Be sure to trust the process! Life is about learning, evolving and moving forward. This process can be very uncomfortable — Growth causes discomfort. At times, moving forward can look like 3 steps backwards. Allow your setbacks to fuel you. Remember, the trials and triumphs are needed for you to become who you are destined to be in this season.
Part 3 will be coming next week here on the blog. Sign up for my email newsletter to stay in the loop
PS: I also want to extend a special thanks to my cousin Kenyetta who put $25 in my account, sister-friend Chrissy who sent $20 in the cash app, my play-mother Debbie who reached in her bra and gave me $100 while giving me wisdom to pick myself back up, my cousin Cathy who purchased my flight to DC, My sister-friend Rukiya who Whats Apped me daily and purchased my kid’s beds, sister friend Myrtis who paid for meals when we linked up and purchased toiletries before my first paycheck and rode with me when I was afraid of driving the UHAUL, my aunt Pat who colored with me and nurtured me and gave me her last $40 for a bus ticket, my aunt Theresa who wired me $100 from Portsmouth VA, my aunt Yetta who sent me $45 and gave me wisdom and love about my worth and my coaching client Nova who lovingly deposited $100 in my paypal with the most heartfelt thank you note, my friend Anisa who took me to Church and got me out of the house, my cousin Breeana who served as my transportation in Atlanta. My little sister Deja whose phone calls of her admiration and love fueled me to keep going. And to you, for being in my tribe and inspiring me to get back up to do the work I was created to do!
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