The pandemic changed many of our lives because it caused us to truly have to look introspectively on who we really are as people, opposed to who we projected to be in our intimate circles whether personally or professionally as well as online. For me, it caused me to look deep within Carla to discover hidden pain and traumas that had been tucked away for so long that I had learned how to busy myself to keep from spiraling out of control. I quickly learned that what you don’t deal with, will eventually catch up and deal with you.
In September 2021, I was diagnosed with depression and a mild cause of PTSD. I remember sitting in my psychiatrist’s office with so many thoughts running through my mind. Maybe my family was right. I am crazy. I am the issue. I was quickly greeted with warm words that were encouraging to my soul as I unveiled my truth to my psychiatrist, that I grew up hating therapists and medication because I was forced to take it during my adolescence without anyone actually asking me how I felt or what I needed. While on medication as a child, I became zombie like and no one in my family seemed to notice as long as I was quiet and out of their way. This pained me for many years. I suffered mental, emotional and physical abuse from my mother’s second husband who was supposed to love and protect us, but instead I watched our family get ripped apart right before my very eyes.
Some of you who have followed me over the years may wonder, why do I continue to share this story? I too ask myself the same question, but the truth is, it’s my truth and my story that has played a major part in why i am committed to doing the work as a professional coach and entrepreneur. I was able to transform all of my pain into my passion by helping others overcome traumatic experiences but little did I know, I still had more work to do.
The truth is, the work is never really done. We will continue to peel back layers, heal and grow as long as we live. I am encouraged each time I listen to my spiritual mentor, Joyce Meyer, because you will rarely find a broadcast where she does not share her story of being sexually abused by her father for most of her childhood. Why is that? Because she understands that our story is the connector to our community. That’s why the more ashamed you feel about your past, the more you’ll try to hide it, when reality people are dealing with real life issues and they need to hear from someone who has overcome the very battles they are currently dealing with.
I share my story to inspire others to tap into the truth of who they really are, not who they have once been called. When you are desperate for acceptance, you will become whoever people tell you that you are. I’ve been ordained and licensed as a Minister and I am grateful for the experience, however, I never needed a piece of paper to define who I am because in reality we are all called to be ministers; helpers of one another. Over time, I grew tired of trying to be perfect or feeling as though I had to carry the weight of the world on my back because so many women looked up to me.
We live in a world where everybody wants to be somebody and I get it. But here’s the more important question: Who are you destined to be? We often focus on doing while having no clear idea of WHO we are to be in a world filled of hatred, crime, trauma, comparison and much more. Now I’m not saying the world is a terrible place, but we can’t turn on the news or open any app on social media without hearing terrible news of someone dying or something tragic happening.
Today when I opened the Instagram app and the first thing I saw was that no one was being charged with the death of Shanquella Robinson who was a Charlotte, NC native and was killed while in Mexico with friends. I immediately had to close the app because my heart dropped. We live in a world where it seems as though the bad are prospering while those with pure hearts are constantly getting the short end of the stick. It can be downright sickening. But then I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 that tells me that God knows the thoughts that He thinks towards me that are thoughts of peace and not of evil; to give me an expected end.
I’ve always been a God-Girl and will forever be and I find comfort in His word and presence knowing that He is still in control even when the media wants us to think otherwise. I honestly believe this is a time for us to seek the Lord like we never have before, because only He knows how our lives will pan out. We can plan, strategize, connect with others and still if God is not in it, we may appear to be prospering while an inner emptiness remains.
As I find myself beginning to transition out of my forties real soon, I have been glancing back over my life, people I’ve met, those I’ve helped, who has helped me and asked God, what’s next? Honestly, I haven’t heard a word. But while spending time in His presence, I learned that He first wants me to take in all that has happened in my thirty-eight and a half years on this planet. We tend to move on quickly to the next thing, while chasing the next goal or next BIG thing when God is like, allow it to settle. Revisiting the resume’ of God has been extremely encouraging for me as I am in transition not only professionally but also personally.
In October 2021, when I decided to share the truth about an aspect of my life I received a ton of support, but as you know, I received kickback as well. When you share your truth publicly, you open yourself up to public opinion and I am very well aware of that, however, it also requires the courage and wisdom to allow people to think and feel how they feel and not allow yourself to feel as though you owe everyone an explanation, or anyone for that matter. Because at the end of the day, no matter how much you try to explain, people are going to think what they want about you and no amount of explaining will ever change that.
So what do you do? You live your life. Refocus on what’s important: Your personal health (mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically), your family, your children, your purpose; etc. Focusing on what others think of you will cause you to experience a downward spiral that will only push you further away from your dreams and goals. When life happens, I’ve learned to ask God for insight and revelation rather than look to others or the media. Having a personal prayer life and connection to God has kept me sane throughout my many transitions.
I’m sharing all of this to say, when life happens or when life doesn’t seem to be happening for you, lend God your ear because He just may have something important and personal that He wants to share with you and only you. Be encouraged on your journey and know that you are not alone and God has not forgotten about the promises He has made concerning you. And whom God has called, no man can cancel.
May God’s peace and blessings be upon you…
Thank you for sharing your story. I am in the middle of a very stressful time in my life. I am a primary caregiver for my husband and my adult daughter. It has made me stronger as a woman who loves her family. There are really good days and really bad days. But even on the bad days God is good.