Transformation Tuesday- Spiritual Journey with Shante Walker "From doing the Opposite to experiencing the Breakthrough"
There are interesting ways of transitioning from one phase of life to the next. We tend to want to do things on our own and think that we know what’s best for ourselves, but God always knows that his plans are far better. So here I am, 19, with the love of my life. Someone I grew up with and knew I would marry. We lost connection for a few years after high school and reconnected once I went to college. I felt that God brought him back into my life for so many reasons. I just knew he was the one. You couldn’t tell me anything different. We started dating when I was 19 and he was 20. Three short months later, he proposed. I don’t know about you, but I was the girl that always wanted a man to look at me like I was the best thing that ever happened to him and treat me like I was his last breath or it could have been the daddy issues from my dad leaving when I was 12. I wanted to give this man the world, even if it meant sacrificing my own. I was so in love that I did not realize how much I was losing myself. I found myself trying to change him. I found myself cleaning up mistakes I didn’t make, taking fault for situations I did not create, even tolerating behaviors I always told myself I would never tolerate. I was head over hills in love while knowing what I was doing was not allowing me to be truly happy. Seeing him hurt made me feel bad for wanting to leave…so the story goes on. I wanted to become a mother, later in life of course, but found myself pregnant at the age of 21 while in college. I knew he wanted to be a father so I gave him a child, even if I felt I was not ready for one. I took on the responsibility as any woman should. You would think that someone who loves you and wanted you to have their child would stick by your side and tend to you being that it is the first child for you both. Opposite! I went to work part time as a cashier, standing on my feet long hours while also going to school full time. Being pregnant: I barely got rest, worked constantly, drove 45 minutes from school to work daily, and still came home to do household work. He worked as well but was just as tired. I, as the woman of the house, took on more responsibilities. One day while I was headed to work, I came across some messages from him and his ex. He was wanting her to come over while I was at work. Ha…because your pregnant wife is working and going to school and too tired to give you want, you go find it elsewhere? I don’t care how men feel about it, you have to give to receive. Women give out of love, not out of obligation and if I feel obligated to please you, I am in the wrong head space. Needless to say, I confronted him on it and of course he denied it. “You can’t control him,” is all I kept telling myself. I mean after all I am giving him a child right? How could he want anyone else? Opposite! A few weeks later I receive messages from a woman whom I didn’t know from Adam with screenshots of him telling her was going to leave me, he didn’t care about me, he only wanted his child, etc. Then I see pictures she took with him at her house. Mind you, we just finished a full day together since we don’t get the time to and the night before he had relations with another woman. What kind of mess is that? How can anyone say they love you and think with the other head on their body? Okay. Let’s just say I was hurt…but not hurt enough. I kicked him out for a few weeks, but the thought of being a single mother rocked me. The thought of not having the family I wanted rocked me. I wanted so bad to be loved by someone that I kept going back to what I thought was love. I took him back over and over again. The problems didn’t stop. He loved himself while I loved him but no one was loving me. I was empty. I felt alone. I felt like I was doing the right things for my child. It was not that he did not provide but him providing came with a sense of entitlement. He would tell you that I wasn’t giving him what he wanted, that I did not have the house cleaned and food cooked when he came home from work. He could tell you that while I was pregnant a second time and watching our first baby, I was lazy. After graduating college, it made sense to not pay for daycare. As I said, I was pregnant with our second child and again I just knew things were going to change for the better. Now the excuse is that he works so hard to provide for his family with his fiancé not working that he needed time to spend with his friends and go out. Coming home only to play the game console, eat, and smoke to unwind. I am not here to say I was perfect by any means but I did deserve to be treated better than I was.
I felt no value in myself because I felt he didn’t see value in me. I placed my value in his view of me. I should have left and trusted that God would keep me. Opposite! Not only did I stay but I married the man! Again, I just KNEW things were going to get better. It had to right? We have the kids he wanted. We are married now, so you can’t break that bond, right? I have the “family” I dreamed of. Everything was going to be perfect! Opposite! You can’t change people! They have to want to change themselves! Not even 2 whole weeks after we got married, he got arrested. I pawned everything I could think of, including my class ring, to get him out before he went back to prison. Again, here I am saving someone who could really care less about what I do and see my flaws before anything. He could say how I would tell my mom everything and gang up on him, when I was almost disowned by my family for him. He could say that I was nagging all the time, when all I wanted was to not feel that I was a single parent in a relationship. He could even argue that I made him feel worthless, when I only gave what I was given. Let’s resume. I get help to bail him out. He gets home and is upset that I am upset with him. Go figure. He knew better than to do what he did but guess what? That was my fault too. Because WE decided that paying for daycare did not make sense and with me being pregnant, I can stay home and watch our child. Now the excuse was “I had to do what I had to do for my family.” Guess what though, there are plenty of ways to make money! He just chose to make it the way he wanted to and he got caught up…like my nagging behind had been “nagging” about. Okay, so now I am nagging too much. He decided, after I bailed him out, that he would be better off without me…so guess what he does? Leaves….again! But what he didn’t realize, it would be him leaving for good. Leaves me with 1 unborn child and a 1-year-old. Leaves me with no job. No car. 40 miles away from my family. Yes. So that same family I was about to get disowned by, my biological family, had to be the ones to come bail me out of my situation. I terminated my lease and had to relocate to stay with my mom for a while until I could get back on my feet. How did I get so low? How did I lose myself and let someone treat me this way? You would think that I would have had it by then, huh? You guessed it, OPPOSITE! Here I was in the worse position I could have ever been in and I was STILL trying to make it work with the man. What in the world was wrong with me? I just could not let go of the “perfect family” thought. I was scared to start over. Scared to be hurt again. Scared to love again. So many nights I cried and prayed to God to get me in a better position. So many nights I lay wondering if I would ever be happy again. Many nights I looked at my baby and wondered what she thought of me. Many nights I stressed and prayed not to go into preterm labor. I was at my lowest point.
Breakthrough. So you know the saying: “be careful what you wish for”? God has a way of giving you what you ask for, even if you aren’t specific on how you want it. I wish I was more specific. Fast forward to my first born child’s 2nd birthday. She was having a party that day in which I told her dad not to attend. I knew the animosity that my family had toward him would not result in a good outcome if he had showed up. He agreed. I was content with how the party went and my baby had a fantastic time. As we are cleaning up and heading off to bed, I did not know lives would be changed forever. Breakthrough! As I lay sleep on the couch in my mom’s house, I overhear her on the phone. She sounded frantic! All I heard were the words: “…Killed…*his name*…..” I jumped out of my sleep with my heart racing. I was going into cardiac arrest. My mom quickly sprinted over to me to calm me down. Remind you, I’m still pregnant. I finally calmed down to hear what transpired. I won’t disclose of the details but let’s just say there was a confrontation that led to the senseless death of young woman that involved my children’s father and one of my siblings. I was in disbelief! It felt like a movie! I could not make sense of anything! Again, here I was defending who…..you guessed it….him! The one who aided me to be at my lowest point. I was still looking out for him. After all, he is my children’s father. After all he is my husband. I’m supposed to ride it out right? Hmm. If that is the case, I guess I would have to ride out the now 60+ year prison sentence also, huh? Breakthrough! Literally for 2 years, I stuck by his side. I just could not leave! I was going to do the prison sentence with him because I knew he would be home and that our family would be back together again. At that point, we had no choice but to communicate and hash things out. He didn’t have any other options. Now he could become the man of my dreams! Now he could treat me better and talk to me better and not cheat on me or not run off on me. Now he could find the right words to say to make things better. Now….only now. God never ordained this. God showed me the signs. God had to let me go astray…but not too far from his sight. While I was still trying to hold on to what was left of our relationship, I began working on myself. I began to get around like minded people that had my best interest at heart. I began to think about the future for my children. Was I going to be a single parent the rest of my life? Am I okay with being a parent by myself? Am I okay with being lonely and my children see me unhappy? I definitely thought I was. I weathered many storms, how hard could this one be?
Breakthrough! I began speaking with a friend about my situation and was introduced to mentorship. I had never been around people that actually had their lives together, for the most part. Honestly, as a now single mother, I could use some positive vibes and positive people by my side. I was already being blamed for everything that happened as if I was there and told him to do what he did. I sought after these individuals and found out that they mentor ambitions people on how to establish the cash flow, mentality, and lifestyle they desire. I had no confidence. I was stressed out. I had little time to spend with my children now that I obtained a career. Things were getting better for me, though. I moved out of my mom’s places into my own place. I was blessed to get a new vehicle. The other vehicle I had did not have A/C, the windows did not roll down, and it was the peak of summer. Although things were getting better, I wanted more for myself and for my children so that they didn’t have to feel the lack of a parent in the house. I knew whatever I did not overcome, they would have to face. I can’t begin to tell you how God had to remove me from one toxic environment and place me in a renewed, fresh environment. I am so much more confident in myself. I have found lifetime friends. I have guidance in life and will now be able to retire from my job in my 20s! Breakthrough! God had to remove him from me before I was ever going to remove myself. I am back and I am better! God has given me grace because he knew my heart. As hard as it was to get a divorce, I am now a free woman! Free to embark on this next journey and provide the lifestyle that my children deserve. The life WE deserve. Ladies, if you feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, please reach out to someone! A horrible feeling is sleeping in a bed with someone at night that you don’t feel loved by. There are people that have the emotional stability to help you through all of your fears, to nurture you back to yourself. I look back now at how broken and unloved I felt. How many people left my life because I was not willing to see things for what they were. How abandoned I felt and did not have anything to call my own. I love ME now and if no one else does, that’s beneath me. My children now see a happy mom that has been renewed by the grace of God. I am thankful for my testimony. I am now 26, a teacher, and a proud business owner. It can be done! You just have to be willing to give some things up so that, you too, can experience your BREAKTHROUGH!