The text made my shoulders droop. Queasiness snaked through my stomach. Her distress fell on me like a bowling ball and I sharply exhaled from the sudden weight of it all. I staggered into the office stairwell, my vision blurred as tears filmed my eyes.  My heavy sigh sounded hollow in the empty stairwell as I tried to deal with the heaviness sitting on me.

“Lord, what’s going on with my family?”

My 16-year-old cousin Lianna has always been such a quiet soul. She’s never really shared much about herself to our family, only allowing another 16-year-old cousin, Tia, into her world. She is a proud Mommy’s girl, never seeming to leave her mother’s side and tagging along happily on tedious and often unnecessary shopping trips and errands. 

We know that she is reserved. We know that she loves music. We know that she loves her family.

But we wondered. 

About her sagging jeans. 

About her triple X size hoodies and T-shirts. 

About her utter horror at having to wear make-up.

About how she had to be forced to wear dresses. 

About her distaste for wearing her shoulder length hair in curls and waves and desire to wear it in cornrows. 

We wondered.

 And we found out when she told her mother that she was interested in women. 

Her mother weeped from the lowest part of herself, her heart broken. Once I heard what happened, I immediately began praying for my aunt and her reaction/thoughts about this ordeal. I  asked God to watch over my cousin, to free her from that spirit and to restore her heart, mind, and soul.

But while pondering and praying about them, I had to insert a spiritual addendum for Tia.  

Tia is a natural beauty and charmer. Her honey colored eyes and smooth chipmunk cheeks have given her many a high school admirer, a fact that she unapologetically enjoys. She was born to delight, easily eliciting smiles and laughs from anyone she encounters. 

Life hasn’t been so delightful for her lately.

Tia’s relationship with her mother has been typical, both rocky and smooth. But their 18 year age difference has put them on a level that fosters deep affection but washes away important boundaries.

 Recently, her mother did something out of the ordinary:

She viciously cursed at her and her 8-year-old sister. 

While physically disciplining the younger girl, her mother turned on Tia, who had intervened. Her mother spat at Tia to 

“mind her f****** business. Who the f*** is she?”

She then announced that she doesn’t give a f*** what the two girls eat for dinner because she wasn’t cooking s***.

The anger and the language and the viciousness with which it was used shocked the two daughters. They spent that night crying from hurt and fear. Tia had decided that she had enough and wanted to leave home to live with a relative. 

Tia’s text about the events collided with Lianna’s already spinning tornado and absolutely knocked the wind out of me. I tried to soothe and mend as I could, asking God for guidance, for direction and for words to say. 

Soon, I ran out of words. 

And strength. 

It’s funny; sometimes you don’t think anyone else sees the strain you feel. 

I asked my life coach to add them to her prayer list, which she did. But she also was concerned about me and told me something I forgot (which I often do):

“You need to shift all this off you and onto God. Cast it on the One who is really equipped to carry it.

Though we are to bear one another’s burdens, we certainly aren’t built to bear them forever or for long.

Shifting it off to Someone with stronger shoulders…

For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.
-Psalm 103:14

1 Comment

  1. >Absolutely amazing my friend. I love how transparent you are and you tell a story unlike any other person I know. I look forward to reading more and I pray that everything works out. "Shift Jenesis Shift"

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