I wasn’t going to write this blog, but the Holy Spirit convicted me to do what thus said the Lord. The sermon this morning was very specific to what I prayed about a rhema WORD from God. My gift is encouraging others and I figure that writing this blog will allow someone to see that hearing in the spirit is a necessary thing. You see, we often forget as Christians that we need to hear from the Lord in a way that only opening our spiritual eyes and ears can bring about. That’s what my impromptu trip to Los Cabos gave me.
There were lessons from this trip that opened my spiritual eyes. I wasn’t even going to go on this trip, because I thought my job wasn’t going to allow the time off. Then I remembered the words of my Grandmother saying closed mouths don’t get fed. It was the equivalent of the Bible verse of “you have not because you ask not.” I wrote it off as a no when I never even asked my supervisor if I could. Then I got brave enough to see about switching my schedule to go on a much needed break. My supervisor was on board from the get go and I was able to go on an adventure I needed for a break from reality.
The day of my vacation, I had a very difficult time. My GPS took me to the wrong airport location, I had to drive to the other side of the Atlanta airport, and the line was extra long. It got to the point where I was almost in tears thinking I would miss my flight. The woman in front of me was so discouraged that she gave up and tearfully booked the next flight. I kept praying and for the first time since my first time flying, I barely made it and they were already boarding. I lost my earrings, just had a few minutes to eat, but eventually got on the flight to my destination because I was determined and never gave up on pressing forward.
When I finally made it to my destination, my family was waiting for me and we were ready for our adventure. I pressed on because I knew that giving up wasn’t apart of who I was. Determination is what I’m made of. We had a great time and we did things we had never done before like riding horses on a beach or taking boat pictures on a glass boat. Giving up would have never afforded such fun. That’s why I enjoyed the excitement of new adventures and exploring a new culture. It was a refreshing experience and I needed it after such a coarse year.
When it was time to leave, I was very happy that I got to have such favor in a joyful and relaxing way. I spent time with family and loved the time away from day to day stressors. I went to the airport with my family, but came to the realization that in the end I had to take my own journey back home. I enjoyed their company, but I had my own path. This is what life is about, having your own path in life and remembering it’s you and God in the end. I had to see things in the spirit. Opening my spiritual eyes and ears is a choice, but I’m glad I decided to do it. It allows me to see God and let Him guide my footsteps to greater. Will you let Him do that for you?
I have a nine year old nephew who asked my sister what I did for work. Even though he’s a very smart kid, she gave him a pretty simple description that he’d totally understand. She told him that my job is to make people happy. In case most of you don’t know, I’m a mental health counselor and have been so for over 8 years. I wouldn’t necessarily say I make people happy, but I’d definitely say I give people the tools to ensure they realize being happy is an inside job.
Lately, I haven’t been myself. I can honestly say that I haven’t been as happy as I usually would be, even though I’m not miserable either. I feel like I’ve been waiting for something magical to happen or an act from the high heavens to sweep me off my feet and just immediately become happy. I coach people daily on coping skills, hobbies, utilizing support systems, and self care, yet I don’t seem to take my own advice. It’s shameful! I did, however, finally get a therapist to help me with gathering some personal thoughts. Her having me write out some prompted thoughts made me realize I’m not happy and it’s up to me to change it.
I’m still trying to figure out who I am (in the Lord) and what my next steps should be. I’m all about being in the will of God and living out my purpose. I’m so OBSESSED with it that it’s driving me up a wall. I mean, I don’t think I’m too far out of the realm of living my purposed life, but I’m just wanting it all to come full circle…like today. I know myself well enough to know that I’m not a patient person at all. Self awareness is a must, and I know my weaknesses. But it still doesn’t negate the fact that I want the fulfilling career, godly husband, and beautiful children now. I need to work on that patience and being in the now. God is not in MY hurry.
Even though I’m not all the way sure Atlanta is for me, I still need to live in the now for the next 6 months at least. (That’s when my lease is up.) At the rate I’m going, I’ll end up on the moon next. I need to “bloom where I’m planted” as my good friend advised. I need to find my “people” as the guy at the bar suggested. I need to give myself permission to live and grace to know that eventually life will work itself out if I keep pressing towards the mark. I need to calm down and take all of the wonderful advice I give to clients all of the time. It’s time to make Monica Richeryl Bentley happy!
We live in a society that loves to celebrate. This can range from graduations to new babies on the way to marriages. We love getting together with people we love to celebrate a milestone and a new journey in life. It’s only right to show others that we absolutely care about them and hope their next steps in life are fulfilling. It gives us a reason to break out the bubbly, throw a party, or grab a bite to eat. Celebrating others is a happy part of life that I’m glad I get to be a part of. Makes my heart smile to see my loved ones happy.
We congratulate so many big things, but what about the ones who are just living a stable life? It’s common to congratulate a woman having their first child, but we don’t do that for someone who is waiting to be stable to have a child. We are overjoyed by a person who has a new job, but not the one who has held down a job for years and doing well in their career. Same for a person who is getting married, but not the single one who is enjoying life until the meet the love of their life. Why is that? What keeps us from celebrating normal every day living?
This blog is for those who are enjoying their lives. It’s for the woman who doesn’t have a significant other, but travels and explores the world. It’s for the man who doesn’t have a child, but enjoys taking his dog to the park and getting in some exercise. It’s for the single one, the childless one, the one who gets up every morning and just does the best they can. It’s for the ones who don’t compare themselves to others. It’s for the ones who don’t have any big announcements, except that they lived through another day and they’ll do it again tomorrow. I celebrate you and wish you well! Be sweet.
As I sit here having a personal praise and worship moment in my apartment, I decided to write a blog about turning 36 this month. It will be short and to the point. If you’ve been keeping up, you know 35 was a struggle. But I am so glad that I have been reading the Bible for myself since I was a child. I knew that most times struggle was when I would get a better relationship with the Lord. When you need a breakthrough, you have to truly seek God with your whole being. That’s what age 35 was all about.
Now that I’m 36, I will take what I have learned in my hardships and allow it to shape me going forward. I will never doubt the power of God. I will continue reading my Bible daily, praying for wisdom, and operating out of love. I thank God for the infamous grace and mercy twins. I will cherish life and continue to not survive, but live in every moment as if it’s my last. Continue to pray for me and you know I got you. Be sweet!
I said it before and I will say it again, testimonies are meant to be told. I can post all the scriptures in the world, a million cute memes, and sing a hundred gospel songs, but nothing compares to a testimony to help someone else along the way. People are truly encouraged when you tell them how you made it through a difficult time because they get a feeling that they can get through too. A lot of times we try to be so secretive that we forget that our main goal on Earth is to help someone else along the way. We aren’t living for ourselves if we’re Christians, we’re supposed to be disciples who lead others to Christ.
After a year in Atlanta, I surely have some testimonies of how God brought me from a mighty long way. Around this time last year, I was preparing myself for another big move to a city I’ve never lived in before. I wasn’t scared at all, but just praying that I would be in a better place financially than I was in Los Angeles. Oh how I loved (and still love) L.A., but I had to make a tough decision to get out before I started to drown. It was a true grown up decision and moving to a city I never thought I’d live in was another big girl decision. I wanted out of survival mode!
As most of you know, moving to Atlanta was nothing short of a miracle. I had so much support and blessings just fell in my lap. I was very excited to already have a job lined up and also get an apartment on my third day in Atlanta. Never once did I know that this transition would be one to make a fighter out of me. After 3 months, I was already over Atlanta. Things started to go wrong left and right. I was in shock and I did what I knew to do, I called on the Lord for help. Let me say from roughly May to November, I went through hell. But trust me when I say, the devil now knows I can take a punch and throw one too!
I won’t dwell on the bad times because I knew without a doubt that God was on my side and working on my case. I know my family and friends were completely worried about my well-being, but I refused to give up. Sometimes your faith has to be stronger than even your loved one’s doubts. That’s not to say anything bad about anyone, but sometimes it has to be between you and God. Now I wasn’t out here completely destitute, but I surely wasn’t living my best life. My goal is to always live and not just survive. And suddenly God turned it around for my good after a lot of pruning and preparing. It wasn’t easy, but was surely necessary.
One thing I can say is that my church really gives me nuggets of wisdom to help me along the way. Bishop Willis recently said something that was powerful as I was working on this blog. He said, sometimes you have to rest in God’s presence before you get to deliverance. That’s some mature Christian thinking because everyone wants the blessing without a test. I have come to realize it’s not about me, but about the mission God has for me. With that, I also need a better attitude about Atlanta. Life is all about what you make it. It’s not about location a lot of times, but where you are mentally. For 2022, I want to have real peace in knowing my work is not in vain. Pray my strength in the Lord.
I feel like 2021 was a horrible ex-boyfriend who tried to do me dirty but ended up making me stronger. This year started off with me coming to the conclusion that my dream of living in Los Angeles wasn’t going the way I’d planned and I needed to make a huge decision. When you dream of something for so long and you finally get it, you are overjoyed. But when it’s not all glitz and glam, you come to a shocking reality. But one thing is for sure, ever since I made that 27 hour trek across country from my comfort zone, I have felt like I can do ANYTHING. I’m proud of myself for not giving up, but instead leveling up.
Atlanta was a struggle for me. I’m sure most of you know that by now. I didn’t want to move from Los Angeles to common Atlanta. But when you’re mature, you have to have an understanding that sacrifice is a must. I had to give up my dream and face reality or I was going to lose my mind. Moving here was a very smooth transition to be honest. It’s just that the enemy (devil) knew that I’d have a breakthrough and wanted to test me. That test wasn’t easy by any means and many times I wanted to throw in the towel. But defeat wasn’t in my plans and I kept on by the grace of God. It was only Him that kept me up those first six months and continues to keep me now.
I had to come to the realization that after my test, God gave me what I asked. I wanted my own place, a better paying job that I actually enjoyed, and a city where I could socialize and explore. I didn’t see it at first, but my prayers were definitely answered. Atlanta was the place where I would truly see what I was made of. It’s one thing to talk about faith, but to exercise it is another. That’s exactly what I had to do. And I’m thankful to this very day that 2021 didn’t break me. Oh I was bent out of shape, but breaking wasn’t part of the plan. Now I must continue to walk by faith and see what 2022 has in store. I’m prayerful that it’s going to be amazing! Get on board and have high hopes with me. Be sweet.
Most times when we go through a bad season, we assume that it’s the devil. That may or may not be true, but sometimes it will be your test to see if you can endure and trust in the Lord. The move to Atlanta was smooth and everything worked in my favor for the first month. When I didn’t have a clue how I was going to relocate from Memphis to Atlanta, I decided to sow a seed. I remembered Elder Sherilyn Williams saying, ‘if you have a need, sow a seed.” It sounded really churchy, but I needed an act from God. I only had $10 to give, but I prayed over it and left it alone. The next day, a “destiny helper” came along and let me borrow $2000. You can’t tell me God isn’t real, even with my sometimes mustard seed faith during hard times that’s clouded by doubt. I even got to move into my apartment on my third day of living there. I mean it was mind blowing and I was on a roll. I started my job the next week and it was all going well. Then all hell broke loose about a month afterwards. My birthday wasn’t even what I expected. I was in need of the peace that only God could give and trying to keep up appearances so I didn’t get any naysayers feedback. I was in a bad place mentally. This is my testimony and as Pastor Sherri Brooks states, the way to win souls is to tell of what God has done in our lives.
I began to take multiple hits, especially financially. My job was too overwhelming and they had no structure, plus the pay wasn’t helping to sustain me. I looked for other jobs and had multiple interviews and nothing would work out. I was devastated and I began to cry out to the Lord. I wondered why I was struggling in a place called the Black Mecca that was supposedly set up for black professionals to thrive. I cringed at the fact that a woman with 2 degrees in her field and over 7 years of experience was not doing as well as she had hoped. I cried a lot and each week something bad would happen to me. I was sinking and I mean quickly! And when that wasn’t enough, I began to get sick. I started having allergic reactions to where I thought I would have to use my EpiPen twice in a week’s time. I was literally drinking out of the Benadryl bottle because I refused to go to the hospital. I didn’t have the money to go! The following week, I woke up and couldn’t talk and had a fever of 101.6 and had to go to the doctor immediately. I thought my throat was closing due to the second time of an allergic reaction. It turned out I had strep throat and had to get about $100 from my parents for medicine and the doctor’s visit. I was desperate for God to help me.
I continued to post positive messages, scriptures, and all the while having the worst time of my life. I often wondered if I should have stayed in Los Angeles, but it was too late to go back. Family and friends were visiting and I kept it together every time. After they would leave, I would cry because I was absolutely MISERABLE, but giving up wasn’t an option. I couldn’t go back to Memphis because that would put a dent in my credit from breaking a lease and I still needed money to pay my bills with the help of my parents. I felt like I was failing in life, but I refused to give up. I began to seek the Lord more and more every day. I watched church every time they went live and took notes during Bible study to look over when I felt overwhelmed. I was even doing UberEats so I wouldn’t have to ask my parents for money on the small things. It was the worst time of my life and I kept decreeing good things over my life daily just like my New Life of Memphis church taught me. Every time I wouldn’t get a job, I would be devastated, but I kept on applying for jobs like a mad woman. Even when the people on my job were doing me wrong, I kept on pressing. If it was a test from God, I was going to pass. If it was the devil, I was going to show him who I was in the Lord. There was absolutely no way I would quit.
I remember when I went back home for my niece’s birthday and was determined to go to church that weekend. I walked in that church and felt great immediately. I cried the whole service because I was spiritually in need of a change. Towards the end of the sermon, Bishop Willis began to ask the church to sow a seed. I looked at my bank account and it was empty. I felt bad, but I just figured I would sow a seed the next time I got paid. Then Bishop asked if there was anyone in the congregation who wanted to sow a seed, but was financially unable at the time. It was like my feet began to move on their own. I didn’t care who knew I was broke, I needed God to bless me. He gave me $40 to sow so that I could reap something good soon. I went back to Atlanta recharged and ready to fight for my life, because in essence that was how it felt. I was fighting to have a fruitful life and be successful for God, myself, and my family. That same week, my sister saw a job posting and sent it to me. I applied and the next day I received an interview that same week Bishop gave me money for a seed. God was working! Then and there the interviewer stated that I would get a second interview. I prayed because it was a job that would be in my field and pay good money with benefits. I aced my second interview and claimed that job as mine. It was time for a new season in my life. Being in lack was not my final destination.
I wrote the part above the day I had the second interview…in faith. Now, I am writing the rest because I was offered the job today. I told myself that I was going to brag so hard on God and tell my testimony when I was done with the test. When I got the call and was told the salary, I screamed in the stairwell of my job. It was more money than I had ever made. I attribute that part to Prophetess Alisa Gibson who proclaimed that I would make more money than I ever had a few months before. I put my small faith at the time with her big faith. To get the news that I can pay my bills comfortably and pay my parents back some of the money they gave me during these last 5 months is so satisfying to me. God is truly somebody to me and I will never stop telling of His glory no matter how up or down I get in life! My take away from this test is to never stop “faithing” your way through. I had to get into a spiritual mindset and fight that way. That meant opening my mouth and decreeing the Word over my life. I posted scriptures all over my house and said them aloud every day no matter how depressed I was. No matter how many times I fell to my knees crying and screaming, I gathered myself the next few minutes and kept moving. My haters may laugh, but take a look at Micah 7:8 (Don’t gloat over me…I will rise). As the Apostle Kevin Davidson sings, “I’ve never been through a storm that did not pass over.” You may be in a tough season, but best believe those seasons Do change! Be Sweet.
Just when you think Kevin Samuels is done, you see some psychotic guy on one of these dating sites calling himself a “high quality man.” Now, I have no problem with men who think highly of themselves, but I do have a problem with those same men who tend to belittle women because of their status. I often wonder why black women are so hated. We are the backbone to an entire culture whether people want to admit it or not. We hold it down for our men and our children. We are moms, entrepreneurs, we create beauty trends, we don’t take no mess, and we make you want to step up your game. We carry a lot of weight as influencers and sometimes we don’t even try to do it. We are just majestic! Now that I think of it, I guess there is a reason to hate on us, but Kevin Samuels takes it to the next level.
Kevin Samuels hates women to the point where he has to degrade them to make himself seem like such a high valued man. Who hurt him? And where is his mother, grandmothers, sisters, or aunts so they can tell him to go sit down? I heard him tell a woman that she would never get a good man because she was divorced and had children from that failed marriage. I often wonder if he is in the “he-man woman hater” club from The Little Rascals! He would surely be the president because he takes the cake. He irks my soul and his followers are even worse. Any man who thinks talking down to a woman is okay and calls it being an “alpha man” is crazy at best. I can say that, I have degrees in mental health and it can be justified…or deemed narcissistic. Seek Help!
Who determines high value? I get that nowadays people put a lot of emphasis on their degrees and money, but is that it? Degrees are cool and money is necessary to survive, but what is high value in it? I thought a high valued man would be someone who treats a woman with respect, understands that a man who finds a good wife is highly favored, and treats his woman like a queen because she is his helpmate. I think I can speak for a lot of women when I say that a woman does not want to be treated like an object and surely not treated like an option because you have a few dollars in your pocket. This is a rant blog, but I am sure lots of women can agree with me. Kevin, get you a boyfriend and go sit your tail down somewhere. Where is cancel culture when you need it?!
When I tell you it took all that was within me to write this blog, I mean it. Lately, I have not had much motivation to write a blog. I feel like all of my energy has gone into really seeing what it is that I want to do with my life career wise. Have yo ever felt like you wanted to take a U-turn, side road, or a whole other path to something else in life? I surely have been thinking about that lately. I moved from Memphis to Los Angeles, and from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I really thought that I heard the voice of God tell me that this was the move for me. So here I am, but I am struggling to see what God wants me to do. I feel a little lost and need some direction from God on what it is that He wants me to do and not what I want to do. I have figured throughout my life that it is better to go with God’s will and not my own.
I have been in the mental health field for about 8 years now. I have worked with every population there is in this field. I have worked with homeless, Veterans, children, families, and adults. I don’t think what I am experiencing is compassion fatigue at this point. I think I want to have a career change. Not that I don’t feel like I have made an impact on lives, but I feel like there is something more for me. I feel as if a career change would do me good at this point in life. I want to consider seeing if a life in Corporate America would be better than one in nonprofits. I am definitely sure that there would be a difference in pay. I just need to see how the skills that I possess would shift in a different field.
I typed all of this to say that I am unmotivated and tired of getting paid very little due to the field that I am in. For years, I have heard people say that this is not the field you join if you want to be rich. I don’t necessarily want to be rich, but I do want a job that will sustain me. This is where this blog gets very personal and possibly takes a turn, but stay with me. I feel you may possibly agree with me. I feel like I was lied to as a child. We had so much focus on education and how it would afford for us to have better life. I got a Bachelor’s degree because that is what I felt society asked for. Then when I wanted to move up in my career, I got a Master’s degree, but I feel like all I got from that was student loan debt. It sucks to go through all of that education only to feel like a failure. Yes, I said it…a straight up failure. I know I’m not, but I’m in my feelings now.
I understand that education is a great thing, but I also see that it clearly has not helped me over the years. I’m not sure if it’s the field that I am in or the cities that I have lived in. Los Angeles paid me the most I have ever made, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me. Memphis didn’t pay me enough, and Atlanta is sucking in paying people what they are worth in mental health and social services. You would think that after a pandemic, my field would be booming, but they refuse to pay anyone their worth. I have to get out of this field ASAP! I have been seriously revamping my cover letters and resume to see how my wonderful skills can transport into something different and clearly more lucrative. I understand that life is not about money, but it is necessary to have money to live. Just keep me in your prayers. This was my venting blog. Be Sweet.