I [God] need you to know that you can find safety and warmth in my loving arms. I see you! I know you! I love you through and through! That’s right… through and through!
This song seems to be coming on Google Play at just the right time these days. One day I had just had a conversation with my husband in which I walked away feeling unseen and misunderstood. I went up to my room and turned on Praise & Worship music, and this was the first song that played on a shuffle playlist. Another time I went to my room truly just seeking the presence of the Lord, and again this was the first song that played on a shuffle Google Play playlist. It was just what I needed… to feel safe in the loving arms of my Father… to be seen. For ALL of me to be seen, and for me to still be and feel loved in spite of me.
In December I had the opportunity to attend an encounter event at my church. I’m usually completely turned off by these types of events, to be honest. The thought of someone basically telling me I am going to encounter the Holy Spirit is just weird. I also try to be careful of attending events for just an experience, because I know my walk with Christ is MY walk with Him and I can encounter Him daily if I so choose to! Anyway, I attended. One of the encounter rooms at this event created an atmosphere such that we were to sit in His presence until He gave us a word. I’m someone who likes to journal (hence, this blog), so I sat in the room and just began to write. As I wrote, the word spoken over me by His presence was: CHOSEN.
At the time, I wasn’t really sure why that was my word. As I have sat with the word more and more, it is becoming more obvious to me why. Before I get into the “why,” though, let me give you a little backstory. I heard it recently said that “Motherhood can be an identity thief.” When I heard those words, there was nothing that rung truer to me in such a long time. The past two years of being a full-time mom has taken me for a loop, to say the least. I actually struggle to find the words to truly encapsulate the “transition,” as my husband and I continue to call it. Prior to being a mother, I was a teacher. Actually, that last sentence seems weird to read back to myself. Motherhood overlapped with my teaching career. I had two years in the classroom under my belt before I became pregnant with my firstborn. So, I guess I was a teacher before I became a mother but I was also a teacher while I was a mother. Not sure if that’s a relevant point to be making, but nonetheless, the point has been made.
Teaching was something I’ve aspired to do my entire life. It’s probably the most consistent goal I worked toward in my adolescence to young adulthood. There was and still is a huge sense of pride in having set a goal, worked hard toward it and accomplishing it really beyond what I wanted. For a long time, the classroom was my domain. My students walked in and had an expectancy for learning. I always wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to be able to empower young people. To empower is to “give someone the authority or power to do something.” I now acknowledge that authority looked different for each of my students. Yes, I was offering them knowledge but for some of them they sat in my classroom and were given the authority to think for themselves. They knew I was not going to spoon feed them an understanding that needed to happen through their own productive struggle with mathematics. For others of them, namely my black students, I was a relatively young black person who went to college and was now working in a career I loved. For those students I gave them the authority to believe college was an option for them too, and that they could and would work in a profession they loved. For others of them, namely my female students, I was a woman working in a field dominated by men. For those students I gave them authority to pursue whatever field they wanted without limits of their gender. As I finish this last sentence, I fear that this may not sound as humble as I’d like. However, I did not take my role as educator lightly. I did not take my role as a believer in the field of education lightly, and I can truly say I let my light shine on every campus I worked on and the Lord brought students to me that I was able to minister to! All of this to say, I was able to see the work I was doing as a teacher. I was able to feel a sense of accomplishment, and there were times I was able to even measure some elements of success.
Finally, as a stay at home momma, there really is no measure of success. At the end of the day, if I’m completely honest, I’m left wondering ‘how did I screw up my kids today?’ On an even more transparent note, I sometimes don’t even make it to the end of the day before I am asking myself that question. Just keeping it real here. Mrs. Melanin, exposed, right?! I’m chuckling at myself because when I sat down to write this blogpost, my initial intention was to write a love letter to women from God. Obviously, the Lord had other plans for what was supposed to come from my fingertips as I hit each button on my keyboard. Truth is, I’ve missed writing on this platform. I laid in bed this morning wide awake since 5:30am. I wanted to lay there longer, but I got up and grabbed my computer and came down to the kitchen table to write. I digress.
The point of this post is to encourage you by sharing what I, myself, am dealing with. I feel like my identity has been stolen. I feel lost. I feel confused. In my last year of teaching I have several girlfriends and a husband who know I was feeling torn between the classroom and my family. I absolutely loved teaching. However, I loved my family more! The truth of the matter is, though, I don’t think they knew that or felt it. My husband would often tell me he felt like they were “getting my leftovers.” No woman, wife or mom wants to hear that from the person she loves most! It sucked. That last year I was pregnant with my thirdborn. Something about her being a girl called me home. My husband had killed it as the SAHP with our two oldest boys. In hindsight, I know that was something completely orchestrated by God!!! However, with our baby girl (and our growing boys), there were things I just wasn’t willing to miss out on. After Anaya was born, I did not return to the classroom. Just recently I signed the letter terminating my employment with the school district I’m a product of and was able to sew into as an educator.
Recently, I went to scripture completely hangry for a word from the Lord. I started in Galatians reading about the fruit of the spirit, because I knew I needed more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life. From there I did a word study on the word fruit to find more encouragement. I ended up in Matthew and then John. I just kept reading and reading, and then the Lord slapped me in the face with this:
“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”
John 15:16 MSG
Y’all!!! I wept! Talk about being brought to your knees. In that moment, I really did feel seen, known and loved through and through! The Lord had given me a word all the way back in December for the year 2019. I received the word and have been trying to make sense of the word ever since, but this scripture. This scripture, right here, it wrecked me.
God said, “I chose you, Yvette Nicole! You didn’t choose me! I put you in this world to bear fruit! For a season that fruit may have been what came from your students, but IN THIS SEASON, your fruit is named… Theophilus Patrick, Uriah Beau, Anaya Zai and baby #4. Girl, you need to receive that! You need to know that because I chose you to bear these, MY fruit, they will not spoil. Why?! Because I am pruning you! I am making you new each day! My grace is sufficient to get you through this funk you’ve found yourself in! Baby girl, you are my daughter. You’ve got this. Really, I’ve got this! Trust me. Lean into me! Invite me in more! I chose YOU. I’m not going anywhere!”
The same is true for you reading this, God chose YOU!!! What is He speaking to you in this season? Invite Him in. It’s so easy for us to get distracted by the immediate needs of the day that we don’t always pause to listen, but we’ve got to do that! We are chosen to bear fruit. Our fruit won’t look the same. It’s not supposed to! So, let’s stop looking at the fruit this person or that person is producing and focus on the fruit God has pruned us to produce from our own branches.
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
More about me!