I’ve sat still for so long AFRAID of stepping out of my comfort zone. The fear of not trying the things i want because of what i believed would happen. “There is no way i am doing that. It will never work and besides people will look at me crazy.” Keeping myself locked up in this box of how i think others would accept me. Afraid to try something different because I may FAIL. Afraid of failure and wanting validation is what it all came down to.

Perfect example: I have been following my Mentor Mia Ray for about three years on social media. I always admired her drive, confidence, and ability to go for what she wants no matter the outcome. Just sat back and watched as I sat still and did nothing to better myself. Thinking it was impossible for me to succeed at anything I put my mind to.

Back then,  I never understood why I was this way. Growing up as a adolescences , I lacked encouragement, ambition and motivation. I rarely tried to the best of my ability and did the bare minimum. Always doing the “shortcut” version completing homework and projects because going into it, my expectations were LOW. I will say the people around me could have done a better job providing with the tools to believe in myself more. I never had a problem voicing who to blame for along time and STILL using that as a excuse as to why I felt stuck where I was as I grew into adulthood.

It’s much easier to blame others for why we are where we are in our lives. Our parents, our workplace, our peers, you name it, we blame it. For whatever reason, we will hold on to all the wrong that was done to us. The ultimate every day battle I have is with MYSELF and letting go of the hurt others did to me . My self confidence and worth was damaged. I want to be who God is bringing me into BUT those old ways tend to show its ugly face. I couldn’t let go of what “everybody” else did and ignored what I could do to change my situation.

The battle became harder when I DECIDED I no long wanted to continue to blame others for where my life was and make the changes necessary to start living life abundantly. I knew it wouldn’t be a easy process being a creature of habit but I was FINALLY ready to try.

I was finally ready to live a happy life.

The more I seeked God and the relationship I DESPERATELY always wanted with him, the more the enemy tried to knock me down. I didn’t stop getting back up and continuing to go to HIM . The more I connected with and became the better version of myself, the worst version tried its hardest to overcome, I didn’t stop pushing and fighting to be my best self. I made the decision to never give up on myself and battle who I once was with who I’m destined to be.

I finally didn’t need validation from anyone but God and myself.

I finally know now that no matter how impossible things may seem, I can do whatever i put my mind to. I may not always succeed but as long as i believe in MYSELF, i will never give up on myself! I am no longer AFRAID and that is what I call true FREEDOM!

 

 

Bernadette McIntosh Stephens was born September 16th , 1962 in Barney,  Ga. She gave birth to Laura Elizabeth Tard and Alexandria Stephens,  both in Trenton , NJ. 

 My mama was creative, intelligent, loved writing poetry , loved music 🎶 and dancing 💃,  hated taking pictures 📷 and would dodge the lense with a quickness. I remember hearing my mother singing 🎤 and snapping along to her favorite songs. Even as young as I was,  I admired my mother more than anyone or anything. She was simply beautiful inside out. ✨
She held a type a strength that I always looked up to. No matter how much hurt or heartbreak she may have endured,  she always kept her beautiful smile shining. She always put my sister Laura and I first and kept the things that mattered important.
She was the strongest woman I ever knew. 💪 

I remember every other weekend she take my sister and I to spend the weekends with our granny 👵. Granny’s house was home. All my cousins would be at Granny’s while my mama,  uncles,  aunts and older cousin would play cards all night filling the small home with loud laughter,  trash talk and unconditional love. ❤ And the fish frys with the fresh fish granny would prepare herself everytime we got together.  She too was my best friend and I always looked forward to watching her “stories” with her and spend quality time. 
We’d run around barefoot getting into everything. Climbing trees and terrorizing everything. Granny would threatening us with a “switch” to the behind. Granny didn’t play but she loved all her grandchildren hard. Those were the best times and memories I will forever cherish. 

Even with the hurt and fear of what may or may not come next,  my mama never let it show. She was so genuine and wanted everyone around her to be happy. She didn’t play about her family,  especially her children, not one bit. 
I remember one summer my mama,  who I might add does NOT swim,  jump in the deep end to save my bad ass after I jump inside the pool. She showed the true definition of what a Mom will do to protect her child and how selfless she was. She saved my life. 
She was and still is my role model. A true definition of a queen. 👑
But in the blink of an eye she was gone. God had other plans for Bernadette.

 One afternoon after a beautiful day spent with her and my sister,  God called her home. I remember being numb and so young I didn’t really understand what was going on. I remember being scared and so confused. 
When I lost my mother, I lost everything. My sister and I were seperated and I didn’t see her again for years. I remember being so angry for so long because I didn’t understand why was this happening to us. 

 I always felt so guilty think what could I have done different for her to still be here. 
I lost a piece of me when she left,  when my sister left and I suppressed all of these feelings and thoughts for a long time. I was silent for a long time, and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to face it. I would isolate myself from everyone and everything growing up. I let anger and depression take over my life for a long time. 
But I had to stop blaming God for taking my mother from us.  I didn’t understand then that what I went through needed to happen for me to get where I am today and where I will continue to go. After years of feeling the emotions I endured,  I learned ways to gain my happiness again.
I talk to my mother ever single day even thought she’s not here physically. I ask he questions,  share my thoughts with her, laugh with her and she’s everywhere I go. She is by my side as I raise my very own daughter.  My little girl sees her picture everyday and knows that’s here grandma and smiles at her. I know she is with us always and I’m so grateful for that. 🙌

I love you mommy and thank you for being my hero and my forever angel.  You put everyone’s happiness before your own. You made so many sacrifices and I am so grateful and appreciative of YOU! You had alot of pain that may have been ignored but now that I understand, I AM SO GRATEFUL! I strive every single day to be an amazing mother just like you. 😘

To all the mothers out there:  Happy Mother’s day . Enjoy your loved ones today and know that you are loved,  appreciated,  and I see all you hard work.  We see all the sleepless nights,  the prayers made,  all the tears shed,  and all the laughter shared. I love you ❤
To all the daughters and sons:  show you mother or a woman who is special to you in your life you love and appreciate them. Don’t take them for granted even if you don’t agree with them,  see their point of view and have that respect for them. Cherish them and keep them close❤