Today I AM faithful in prayer. I had learned over the years that when one prays, they are to first be thankful…second be intentional…and third be faithful. As I have been reawakened by various life circumstances, the slight prayer education I received has played a major role in how I am able to still stand. The thankful part is simple and the intentional part is pretty easy too. It is that faithful part that messes up the whole thing. But I am learning quickly that the faithful part is just as important as the prayer itself. When you step to God with gratitude, purpose and intention, walk away knowing that it is already done. Expect the change. Expect the favor. Expect the answer you so boldly sought. It might not come when you want it or how you want it but it will always come when you need it.
My girlfriend (we will call her Tobago) called me last night on her way home from work. She hardly ever calls me. We are texters more than phone talkers, so when she called me I knew she wanted something.
Tobago and I met while training for a 10k. It was our first big race and we really didn’t know much about running. What better way to learn about something than with another person who doesn’t know much? At least you won’t look stupid by yourself (smile). We trained together, joined a running crew together, and even daydreamed about more races together. She often comes to me with crazy ass ideas usually pertaining to running and I don’t question saying yes until I am at the starting line. “We just ran 6 miles…we could do a half with no problem. It’s only two 10ks together” “We just ran a half….we can do a marathon with no problem. It’s only two halves together” Yes…those are actual conversations we have had, and on several occasions I have found myself standing at the starting line of a half marathon saying “Who’s dumb idea was this anyway?!” I have fine tuned my spidey senses when it comes to Tobago and her “simple” ideas, but yesterday she snuck me.
Tobago: I’ve got to lose like a hundred pounds by next year
Me: (clearly knowing that she (a) was exaggerating and (b) knew I have been complaining about my weight too I said….) Girl, who you tellin? Me too.
Tobago: We gotta do it. Like, seriously this time I have got to do something and stick with it.
Me: (still foolishly not connecting dots yet…) Ok then. Let’s do this. What are we doing and how are we going to do it? (I’m always down for a challenge…fault numero uno)
Tobago: For real? Ok (uh oh…here it comes) remember that thing I was telling you about, Carnival?
Me: Yea (now completely distracted by burning dinner)
Tobago: I am going next year, but I need to weigh like a hundred pounds to wear the costume (laughing).
Me: (Carnival? Oh yea, I remember her saying something about that…sounded super fun. Oh and costumes too?! I love costumes…I could lose weight too and maybe fit into one of those costumes. I could look like a Vegas show girl and…oh no…Oh God, here it comes…word vomit…) Oooooh! I wanna go!
Trinidad: For real?! (I think she almost squealed) Alright girl! This is going to be so much fun!
I know…it was crazy for me to jump on her crazy wagon, but the truth of the matter is life is to be enjoyed. Honestly, I jump into this crazy crap because I will say yes to anything once. The space in which I am living my life now is open to all possibilities–even Trinidad Carnival with scantily clad beautiful people walking around in the streets.
Saying no is for drugs or sex with sketchy people. It is for people you don’t like or for spoiled children. It is for family members who ask for too much. It is for food/shop-therapy when you are either too fat or too broke. The rest of life is open for discussion and sometimes a big, fat, loud YES! Besides, my passport is empty–who wants to live 10 years of their life with an empty passport? If that’s not depressing I don’t know what else is.
I have been a lot of things in my life, but being Sadie full time hasn’t really ever been one of them. I have seen glimpses of her from time to time but totally lived in her space–never. After my marriage ended and I found myself on my own with two teenagers to raise and I wasn’t quite sure which end was up. I had no idea who I was, where I was going, or how to even get to the core of either one of those major life issues. And then…
Growing up in school, you called your classmates by random nicknames. Some are peer-inflicted while others are old family names (i.e. Peanut, Pookie, Girly, Lil Mike Mike and so on). Usually, on the first day of school, the teacher would ask if you wanted to be called [insert your government name here] or [insert nickname here]. Some kids had shorter versions of their names they preferred like Will or Maddie, but there were those lucky ones who chose to display their nickname like a shiny new toy. I hated not having a nickname. I wanted to be one of the lucky ones. It never occurred to me until searching for myself, that I wasn’t just one of the lucky ones–I was pretty damned special.
My father called me one thing (which technically is still my nickname–grown up with children and all) and that felt like a nickname but it wasn’t something I wanted to put on display. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but years later when the movie “Babe” came out about a fat cheery pig I thought it best to save myself the onslaught of inevitable jokes. Besides, your English teacher calling you “Babe” would sound way more odd than Lil Mike Mike or Pookie. So, I kept it to myself. My mother called me something entirely different from my dad and it always seemed like just another part of me–sort of like a leg or an arm. It’s there, you know it, see it, use it and move on with your day. It wasn’t until I had been faced with an enormous question (who am I…really) that I found the gift in something as simple as a nickname.
When searching for yourself, especially after a marriage has dissolved, it feels somewhat like groping around in the dark. You know there is a light switch somewhere, but you just can’t seem to find it. You are there somewhere, but it just seems too dark to tell your hand from your face–your role(s) from your core self. I thought about the people who loved me, I mean really loved me without abandon, and being a mother, I understood the value and the depth of a mother’s love. When I reflected on how my mother loved me, I found the light switch.
My mother heard a song that help her to articulate her depth of love for me in just two simple words day in and day out. Sweet Sadie, performed by the Spinners, was the essence of love without abandon–only it was a declaration of love from a son to his mother. When my mother heard the song for the first time, she felt the love in the music, beyond the words and immediately connected her love for me. From that moment on I have been Sadie May (uh, don’t ask where the May comes from–I’m not quite sure she knows either).
When I asked the question ‘who am I really’, the only thing that popped up and carried peace and light was ‘Sadie May’. My mother (much like most moms) sees a goodness, an honorable quality, a worthiness no one (other than God) can appreciate and she loves it all, good and bad (I am a Gemini afterall), deeply–beyond measure. The more I reflected on her love for me, the more I realized I am good. I am light. I am worthy. The nickname I had become numb to hearing, the nickname I had never really bothered to share because it didn’t seem anything other than just another name, the nickname that was an open, simple expression of love suddenly seemed to mean more than life itself. It is the space in which I am creating my new life. It is the space in which I am comfortable in my value. I am happily, excitedly, lovingly creating living, breathing space in being Sadie May.