I Woke Up in Love This Morning/ Jehovah Jireh
Wow.... I woke up this morning, and began to write this post as I stood outside on Broad Street waiting for the shuttle to take me to work. I woke up in an amazing mood; as cliche as it is, "I woke up on the right side of the bed". Actually, I woke up squished between the wall and my best friend while my other friend slept like a princess hogging the whole bed; BUT GOD! Lol jk that wasn't where the story got good.
Moving on, I got ready and left the house by 6:12 so I could make it to work by 6:45; that didn't happen but it's okay. As I was standing out there in the brisk/nippy weather, I thought about how great I was feeling. I was just so happy and I had no reason to be or not to be honestly; I just was. So the reason I decided to title this post "I woke up in love this morning" was because I did wake up surrounded and overtaken by the love of God, and I attributed all of my joy and happiness thereto. I just felt great; it wasn't because everything was perfect, and it wasn't because there was nothing that could be better; it was just "Cause God" (credit Felicia Henry).
Relevant Interjection: I currently live near my school's main Philadelphia campus, but yesterday I traveled with my best-friend back to the cities/neighborhoods/boroughs/towns surrounding our high school (I would say hometown, save for the fact that neither of us moved there until after age 11) to attend a few graduation parties. While catching up with a high school friend at one of the parties, she said to me:
We have all had a rough college journey, but there's something about being surrounded by the people that love you that makes you forget about all the bad things happening in in your life.
Without a doubt I agreed, but it wasn't until this morning that the weight of that statement hit me. Being surrounded by people that love you makes you forget about all the bad stuff that is occurring in your life; could it be that the reason I woke up in such a wonderful head-space was because two of my friends slept over? In short, the answer is no. I love them dearly but that wasn't my revelation this morning. This morning, I realized that I am surrounded by God. He is everywhere around me and He is constantly working in my life. It is being surrounded and overtaken by the GOD who loves me that makes me "forget all of the bad things happening in my life". No matter what I am dealing with currently in life, I have a new awareness of God's presence herein, and when I took on that new state of mind, I received a new state of being. God is amazing; my heart is bubbling over with joy writing this. JUST BECAUSE.
So I got on the shuttle and got to work (at 6:50) and went about my day as per usual. I am receiving my assignments for the day, going around and saying good morning to my bosses and coworkers, doing the typical Monday-in-the-Office things.
Relevant Interjection: Last week my boss and I were discussing hair ( I have four bosses and will henceforth refer to them all as "my boss" , so bear with me) and she told me her high-school aged daughter wanted to try a certain hairstyle. After our conversation, I went out and bought everything the hairstyle called for and did it to my own hair, (which may I add is a TWA after I did my second BC in July 2013, wore my hair shaved for 7 months and have been growing it out for 4 months. I am 6 years and 3 months natural and I am STILL loving the journey and hearting my hair) and I am pleased with the results. This was the first time I ever tried to do a hair style of this sort/magnitude on anyone's hair.
Moving on, this morning I ran into that boss at the Xerox machine and I pointed out my hair to her and told her I tried it on my own hair. She loved it and gave me many compliments; then she went to get her phone to take pictures of it to send to her daughter and she asked me to do her daughters hair. Boom, just like that I got a client. This, is also not where the story gets good. So, I am elated, because aside from my friends and sister, oh and ex boyfriend with longish hair, I've never done anyone's hair. So for me to be asked to do someone's hair who isn't in my immediate surroundings by any means, was a big moment in herstory. She did all of that;she took the pictures and whatnot and then went back to work as did I. I text messaged two of my friends though, (well three if you include the one that text messaged me and I told her in response) and my mother, and told them that I got a client and they were congratulatory. Of course my mom is the most adorable woman on the planet and she gave me her "You go girl!" text. By the way, this is indeed where the story gets good.
Of course, with a trade comes clients and with clients comes labor and with labor comes payment, so I was at my desk trying to figure out what I would charge people. I went through different ranges, realizing that the professionals charge between $160 and $200 per person. I said I could cut that in half and include supplies, so my range came down to $80-$100, supplies and transportation included. Then it hit me. Immediately on my heart I felt that I shouldn't "charge" people anything, and instead I should allow them to give/gift me whatever they believe the gift of my time and labor is worth. Of course I had to run this by my team, I needed to hear some opinions on what I felt I was called to do (sarcasm). I did run it by my team though, because in my flesh I needed to be affirmed by other people.
So I texted the besties; how juniorhighesque is that? And I told them I wanted to do it and not charge a set price. Their responses won't surprise you, they probably share your sentiments. There were a few smaller statements included in their responses that aren't necessary to understand their overall position on my decision, but I will only include the major statements below.
Friend 1 said: noooo lorae you have to make profit. ppl are going to tell other ppl that you can just give her anything she doesn't care. I would only give you 20 dollars if you told me that.
I said: if, as my best friend, you think my time and work and pain in my hands was only worth 20 dollars, then thats what you think....I think this is a great way to excercise faith and show people a different side of humanity....its actually beautiful to me. If people decide to take advantage of me then they will do so and live with it.
Friend 1 said: some of them will live with it n be quite alright. some ppl live to be con artists
I said: Well after we have our interaction, they aren't my concern anymore. If someone dupes me, then that is their issue to take up with God.
Friend 1 said: lol it's funny that we were taught completely different things. you're on "the world is a great place" side n I'm on "the world can be bad place" side. You're too trusting I'm too cautious.
Friend 2 said: Nahhhh I would give you $30 then. Slaving in my hair all day lol
I said: I just told (Friend 1) that people might try to take advantage of me and that will be on their conscience and not mine. It is on my heart to do this and so I will. Whoever would scheme someone like that will be able to do it and live with it.
Friend 2 said: it's not scheming lmbo it's just thats what i would give you. I would prolli give you like 40 if I didn't know you. That's why you need to tell people prices.
These two people are important to me, but there are very few people whose opinions on my actions hold water. However, my mom is on that short list. I text messaged her and said "I have a plan for repayment that you're not going to like". She said, "Not free but maybe you will say whatever they want to give you is OK too".
Boom. That was it. The confirmation that I didn't need. As if that weren't enough, my other boss came over to me and complimented me on my hair right after I received my mother's text; she also asked me how school was. I was somewhat leaping for joy on the inside and was getting out of my seat to call my mom so I told her "just a minute". But I calmed myself and went to talk to her in the Xerox station. I handed her the printout of my final grades that I showed my other two bosses earlier this morning, and we began to talk. I told her everything that had just occurred. I told her how I ran into my one boss who wanted me to do her daughters hair, how I discussed payment with my friends, and the resolve I'd finally come to. I told her how I text messaged my mom and that that's what I was doing when she came over to me. I told her that I really felt like this was an opportunity to show that I believe in the good of humanity and that even though my friends didn't support, I was very excited to do it. I also told her how my friend said that we were raised so differently and she believes the world can be a bad place and the people in it are not innately good.
She had tears in her eyes; she was so supportive and so affirming. She put both hands on my cheeks and said "You are so beautiful. You are so mature and I LOVE that your mind works this way. I love you". I smiled and said "I love you too". She went on to talk about her previous relationship and all of the things she has been through in life and she said
"Through everything I've been through, there were two things that kept me going. My faith and humanity. I never wanted to let a person, a job, a situation or anything change the way I treat people or the way I view the world, and I am glad you are already thinking like this."
Honestly, I am MORE than glad. I told her that I understood, and that in everything I went through with people during Sophomore year, I did not let it take away the trust and care and love that I would invest into others. I told her that yes I try to be less vulnerable and more aware now, but I am not going to stop being a "nice person" because people have hurt me in my past. We hugged and then talked about my grades and how they were pretty good with the year I've had, and then she told me to remain cognizant of all of my other achievements this year.
After that, I went back to my desk and told Friend 1 about that interaction and how joyous I was. I also told her about the freedom that I've found in having a positive and optimistic worldview. She said, and I quote, "amen", "lol yay",and "lol ok". So, as a twenty-something, I know that those are responses for when you don't necessarily feel like rehashing your point and the reason you don't agree/ you agree with some parts but still not the original action. It's okay though, no love lost.
So, I was sitting and reflecting after she kinda swerved me, so I was like "I need to blog about this, because no one wants to hear what I have to say right now". Then I was like,"well I already have an empty draft titled "I woke up in love this morning", but this isn't necessarily about that so how do I tie them together?" I took the easy route and did a good ole slash, as you can see. Now to explain why the portion after the slash says Jehovah Jireh. I am pretty sure most of my Christian readers know that Jehovah-Jireh means "The Lord will provide", if not, you might know the familiar lyrics "Jehovah Jireh, my provider. Jehovah-Nissi, Lord you reign in victory" . Anyway...since this decision about repayment is tied to being provided for, this made me think about a sermon I heard yesterday entitled "Obedience, Faith and Provision". One of the quotes I noted as important was, "A calling from the Lord always starts with a calling to faith in who He is. If you're ever going to walk in faith, you have to be prepared to feed people with something that you need". Mr. Watts also said, "We want God to give us stuff that we would never give to anyone else".
Can I just stop right here and tell you how much my mind was blown when I began to recall yesterday's sermon? I was NOT thinking about obedience, faith or provision in depth when this whole idea came into play. It just happened. It just happened that I felt it laid on my heart to provide this service to people and allow them to repay me in whatever means they felt sufficient and appropriate. It just happened that after I talked to my team, I decided to be obedient to what I felt I was called to do, and have faith that the God who created and orchestrates humanity would work through them to help provide for me and sustain me. I told Friend 1 and 2 that this would stretch my faith, that it was an opportunity to show people the good in humanity; all the while this required me to already believe in the good in humanity. And then us having to be ready to feed people with something that we need? My testimony isn't directly about food but it is indeed about sustenance. Because I decided I would supply the materials needed and my own transportation, that means dipping into my own pockets to gift this service to others. This also means, that in the even that they do not repay me enough to break even at the minimum, I am taking a loss to the money that is required for my own sustenance. This all became relevant after talking to my team and my bosses, but it makes even more sense now, and if I didn't already feel wonderful, I feel ten times better.
God is crazy amazing, that is all I can really say. He is constantly growing me and molding me to be more like Christ and I am honored that He has counted me worthy.This is something so small to some, but it is monumental to me in my walk; I'm deciding to do the "difficult" and "unusual" thing, even when other people close to me tell me I shouldn't.
Why? Because it is on my heart to do so.
Why? "Cause God"
Grace and Peace,