Thursday, February 26, 2009


My church's first observance of the Lenten season began last year.
I remember the excitement, the joy of celebrating something new.
It was the first time I received the "imposition of ashes".
I came straight home to take pictures of myself.

Ash Wednesday 2008

Last year I felt transformed by my experience.
But somehow, some way along this year, something began to shift in me.
I felt a lost connection, disorientation set in, a sort of aloneness emerged.

This year I probably would not have made it to service if I didn't have to go.
I was exhausted, feeling like another cold is beginning to weigh my body down.
But then the preacher got up to speak,
And I heard his words... his topic... the message:
"Grow Your Way Out"

I'm going growing through so much.
From relationships to finances to stress to work to my parents...
And I've actually been looking for a handout, praying for somebody, anybody, everybody...
Save me!

Tonight I became conscious of the fact that I haven't prayed or meditated in months.
With haste I've been attempting to handle all of my problems.
And then wonder why nothing is changing or improving.
Why I'm tired and overwhelmed.

I realized that the perfect man, millions in the bank, a prime job or the sweetest parents wouldn't make my life complete if I didn't have a divine relationship.
And it's because of that relationship that I know I am where I am supposed to be at this precise moment.
I am going through all of these things so that my relationship to Him can become closer, stronger, sharper than ever.

I've been in my "wilderness", wandering confused, looking here, there and everywhere and unable to grasp my lessons.
I've yet to stop, silence the voices in my head and physically still myself.
I've yet to seek Him instead of relying on my own methods.
Otherwise I'd know that ... God provides, preserves and through it all He is perfecting me.

Oh I can't wait to look back this time next year and rejoice over my triumph.
Like gold, I go through the fire...
My impurities (fear, anger, resentment, aggression, insecurity, greed, gluttony) are seared.
Like gold, I am malleable, able to transform yet sturdy when combined with alloys (love, nurturing, positivity, creativity) I am refined and yet I'm purified.
Like gold, I am valuable... precious.

Ash Wednesday 2009


The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

First . .completely of the post subject.
I saw the title of the post and the first thing that popped in my head was Jill Scott's Golden.
My daughter has been playing that song over and over for the last few days.
I thought she was sending me a message.
I don't know.

Anyway, Amen to this post.

I am always trying to do things my way on my own and it is not going to happen if I don't call on God.
And why I continue is so mind blowing to me because he has helped me get through some dark situations even when I felt like I was alone.

Maybe this beautiful post(and the one entitled . . it could be me) and my daughter's choice of song this week are trying to tell me something.

Kiayaphd said...

This is a well-needed reminder. None of my plans, goals, or whatever can possibly be successful without a solid and secure relationship with my Lord.

I also realized that I was moving way too fast and I checked out of my life for about a week. I cut down on the calls, emails, closed my office door and just LISTENED.

It makes a big difference.


Ms. Liryc said...

I really loved this post. I got my ashes yesterday and I also realized that it has been months since I've made any efforts to converse with my father in heaven. I've stopped going to church period because I think that I can handle things.

I remember this quote "God laughs the hardest when he hears what we have planned" and I think its so true. We need to remember that we aren't in charge. We aren't the ones that make the plans for ourselves and that through it all sins and turning our backs on God that he is always there. Ready with open arms to welcome us back.

Thanks for this.. It truly is GOLDEN!!

Peace and Blessings.

MsKnowitAll said...

Actually Queen... I think the song Golden and the post kinda coincide. I don't usually come up with a title first and post, it spills out mid-post or when I can't think of nothing else, I pull something.

Me and the True Urban Princess and working together for Mommy's sake...

But I thank you. I wrote this post very late and I was very tired but I wanted to post something and this was on my heart.

MsKnowitAll said...

Kiaya... silence is GOLDEN. Haha! We get so caught up and busy and purposeful when making changes and transitions that we forget about being still and allowing ourselves to be vessels. Thank you Sis!

Liryc... Thank you Mama! A hard learned lesson. Well YOU know somma what I'm going through and last night's service was an eye opener. When people say that they've experienced a breakthrough, I never understood. I had a breakthrough last night.

Peace and Blessings to you!

ChezNiki said...

Im Baptist, so every now and then somebody tries to put water or oil on my forehead but not ashes (smile). My family does fast for Lent, though.

Boston is a very Catholic town, so as I walked to work last Wednesday, it took me a while to realize what was going on with people's foreheads! They had gone to service BEFORE work. Baptist services are usually so long, we'd never make it out in time if we went before work!

But anyway, I thinking that this was a visual way to show your faith to the world, like the yarmulke or hijab. It makes it stronger to proclaim it, I think.

MsKnowitAll said...

Chez... Hey GURL, how are you?

2ndly, I'm a Baptist too. My church is slightly esoteric and we are down for anything hence ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Now you ain't lying about the church service, which is why our service began at 7:00 p.m. and we got out of there by 10:00 p.m. and I posted this post after 2 in the mo'nin. Geesh!

But I didn't even have a chance to sport it all over the trains and at work like some people. :-(
They say that at Grand Central they had people in place to mark heads as soon as they exited.