Pasture Experience

As I read my daily devotion yesterday morning, I was blessed by the words. Although it’s something that’s been heard before, sometimes you’re in a particular place where a word meets you right where you are. Or you can receive a word that will prepare you for what’s to come. I am reading a devotions series called Wait and See. It speaks on the waiting process.

Yesterday’s devotion was entitled, ‘Pasture Experiences.’ It talked about David in the bible. For those who aren’t Christians or aren’t familiar with the Bible text, the lesson talked about how David was anointed King. He was young, he wasn’t ready or experienced, but his time and experience as a shepherd prepared him to be king.

The devotion went on to talk about things that were promised over our lives or things that we were called to do or be. Things don’t always come in an instant. They don’t come right away. Most times we have to go through a period of waiting. We are all aware of this, but some times we don’t always like to go through the waiting process. Or sometimes the process is longer than we’d anticipated. It’s normal for us to get frustrated or even begin to doubt as we wait. But what this devotion encouraged was not to give up. Without even realizing in those moments or during the periods, we are actually being built. And everything that we go through, that we don’t always like, is giving us the experience that we need to be exactly who we are called to be, and to do exactly what we are called to do.

In the devotion, the lady shared how one of her friends knew she was called to write a book. But it took her years to actually make it happen. So many things came up against her and many doors closed, but it was necessary for her book and for her message.

It’s funny, but I can relate. I was called to write a book long before I began blogging. God called me to write, I was told to write everything, no matter what others thought (family and friends alike) and how this book would be successful and be a blessing to others. I was straight out of college. And I thought, if God wants me to write it, let me get started. One Sunday, it all came to mind what I should include in a book. So I went to work. But it wasn’t working for me. My computer crashed three times and it became so difficult to write it all out. I reached out to authors, received advice. I even had a meeting with an author who published two or three books to lay it out and get the advice I needed to be a successful author. But after a while, I was still stuck. I just couldn’t write this book. So I stopped. I gave up on it. But something wouldn’t let me give up on writing altogether. I began to blog and realized I needed to continue my book. Years later, and I’m here. I’m working on a book or two, but I know it wasn’t time to complete it. In the years after I was called to write a book, I experienced things I’d never thought I’d experience. I mean never. I was in places I could never see myself in, at the time I was called. I can now see myself reaching a new audience because of what I’ve experienced. Not everything needs to be in this particular book, but I know my experiences will help me to get to the place that I’m meant to go. I know my experiences will help me to share a message I’d never been able to share had I wrote the book at that time.

One thing I haven’t always done in my waiting that we must do is keep working. Keep doing good. We have to continue to work in the other areas in our lives, never giving up on what we know we’ve been called to. As well as working towards what we’ve been called to. I may not have finished that book or books I know that are in me, but I’m writing. I’m still tending to the area of my calling. I’m still reading, I’m still researching. The work isn’t dead.

In your waiting season, be sure to work. This is just your pasture experience. All that you experience between the time of your calling and the time of your promise, is building your character. Which help you carry out the promise. So I just want to encourage you to work while you wait. Always tending to the area of your calling. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Journey on!

-xo Miss Jones

What Did You Feed, In 2017?

When I looked back on this year, I celebrated those who have accomplished much and had a great year. Genuinely. But when I first reflected, I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a good year. This year, I struggled with depression, losing myself, trying to regain and pick up the pieces of who I was, and failure.

I was unhappy, but tried my best to mask how I was really feeling. I tried to push myself beyond my feelings, but in most cases I couldn’t. I was legit miserable. Came into this year, thinking I was living my best life. Living free. But I wasn’t Krystle. Which often left me feeling empty. Which pushed me towards depression.

I often wanted to give up in every area. I felt unaccomplished at work, in the beginning. Applied for grad school, but got rejected. I was dropped from Writing for EGL. I was on a roller coaster of emotions. People were in and out of my life. Those I thought I could depend on, weren’t there when I felt I needed them. I felt like I was alone in a sense. Like there was no one in my corner. No one who really cared, so I stopped talking. And often shut people out. I often felt that people didn’t care enough anyway so why even bother. I was disappointed. Failed as a youth leader. Failed those I was supposed to lead. Because I was constantly stuck.

As I began to reflect, I realized I gave too much life to those negative places in my life. I only spoke on those times, not as a way of encouragement and reflection like I am now, but just to highlight or pinpoint them. I was so stuck in those moments, that that was all that would spew out. I rarely looked at the upside of things. I barely wrote. I pushed myself to encourage, but not as much as I knew I could. I sometimes felt like I was too off to even write. To even share words of encouragement.

But in between all of that, there were high moments. In January, Lovely Miss Jones became an official company. Something I had to push myself into doing. I was asked to speak to the students at my alma mater, Seton Hall University. Anyone who knows me, or knows my story, knows how big of a deal this was. I often share of my shyness and insecurities. This engagement forced me to go beyond my comfort zone. And the response was rewarding. I was literally on the verge of tears to have heard how the students were touched by my workshop. That same month, I returned to a high school to speak for the third time. (A consistent engagement. Which said that I was doing something right.). I had an idea to have an event for women’s health month in May. Somewhere in my mind, I told myself I couldn’t do this alone. So I reached out to someone I consider to be a mentor to collaborate. She then introduced me to someone else. When we got together, the ideas came together. And we were able to pull off a successful event. The room was full, and people left with information, inspiration, and encouragement. It was amazing. The help that was sent my way was great. And I definitely felt as if I needed it. I couldn’t have pulled it together without them. But in that, God showed me that I was capable of doing this. He literally spoke to me and proved to me that I can’t continue to doubt myself. When I rely on Him and trust what He’s given me, I can do what I thought was impossible. In July,I was able to experience a new culture in Cuba. Only the second time being outside of the country, but I was grateful to be able to travel, experience a new culture, step outside of my comfort zone, and making myself comfortable in areas I wouldn’t have done at another time in my life. I celebrated LMJ’s third anniversary in August, along with my 29th birthday. The last of my 20s. Which was big for me. And I celebrated it the way I wanted to, with the people I wanted to celebrate with. The people who I want to be in my life. There were some bumps a long the way that month and the months that followed, but those people remained consistent in my life and showed me that they were for me.

Again, I’ve realized is that I put too much life into my low moments that it sunk me in deeper. I was allowing myself to go deeper in a depression, go further away from who I really am. Rather than pushing myself in the direction of positive change.

I didn’t look at the positive sides to this. Maybe I wasn’t ready for graduate school. Maybe I needed to experience all that I’ve experienced with my job. The low points, being unfulfilled. Maybe it was meant to teach me something a long the way. Maybe I could gain more experience after I survived those moments. I was upset after I was no longer writing for EGL.I gained so much by working with EGL. But I needed to be in a place where I wasn’t obligated to anyone else’s business if I wasn’t putting 100% into my own. Those people who were in and out of my life, I didn’t need them anyway. It was my connection to them that caused me to lose myself. No it wasn’t their fault, but those connections weren’t healthy for me. Which caused me to be something I wasn’t.

I keep seeing this post circulating Instagram, “God broke me down this year. I needed that.” I can relate. Although I may have felt like this wasn’t a good year at some points, I was going through a process. I was being broken down. It didn’t always feel like it. And yes some things that I went through was because of Krystle, I was still broken down after. And I did need it. Didn’t feel like it in the moment, but I’m seeing that I did. It’s setting me up for something. Whether it be a message to show who God is, to show others that they too can make it through, a word of encouragement, and simply a testimony to others.

I knew for a fact that this was what I needed to share after hearing Joel Olsteen this morning. He said we have to stop feeding certain things. Stop feeding the hurt. Stop feeding hate. And stop feeding betrayal. This year I fed those things that I was going through. I gave them way too much life. And I kept getting stuck. Over and over again. Sometimes we have to just let some things die. When you don’t feed it, it’ll die out. But when you keep feeding those negative things, it’ll keep living. I just want to encourage you, in 2018, let’s stop giving life to things that we need to allow to die. Let’s stop feeding our hurt, our pain, and pushing ourselves into a depression. Let’s look at the positive and keep feeding those things. Then we can flourish. The more we feed into the positive, the more positive we will begin to see. We will have a year of fulfillment when we feed the positives rather than the negatives! Wishing you all a Happy New Year, filled with giving life to things that will push you towards greatness!

-xo Miss Jones