Good Grief, Leah Royster: A Reflection of my Grieving Process and Journey Part 1

Phase 1: Anticipation and Denial

My Gorgeous Grandmother, Montie Neblett

**If anyone has a prayer request or is grieving and could use an outlet to share their healing process you can email me at . Peace and blessings!

“She won’t take her medicine, eat and she’s been fighting the hospital staff” I said in an exasperated tone to my therapist on a chilly, gray January afternoon. 

My therapist paused and said, “What does that suggest to you, Leah?” 

“I’m not sure”. I said quietly, even though I knew exactly where my therapist was headed and I was determined to try to stop the freight train sized words that were to come next. 

“It suggests that she’s done. If she’s not fighting to live, then she’s fighting for the right to die, to move on”. My therapist continued, “ You have to make sure you do everything you can to make peace with your grandmother’s transition. Think about what you need to have closure”. 

Let’s rewind. 

My grandmother, Montie Neblett, passed away February 7th of this year. Rewind further; on December 29th, 2021, my grandmother called my mother’s house number; lately she refused to get out of bed, wouldn’t eat or drink, and weighed 82 pounds. I happened to answer the phone and was glad to hear her voice. Looking back, she sounded weak and fragile; I asked her how she was doing; the conversation was brief and the last thing she said to me was : “I’m going to get up because I have to poop”.  I told her to be careful going to the bathroom. I’m not sure if I told her I loved her.  

Part of me wonders if I should have called my aunt Emma, whom my grandmother was living with before she passed, to make sure grandma was ok going to the bathroom.  

Later that evening, around 9 PM, Aunt Emma called. “Grandma had a fall, we’re at the hospital right now”. 

The 6 and half weeks between grandma’s fall and her passing were the cliche blur everyone talks about after a traumatic, life changing experience. Grandma ended up breaking her hip, requiring surgery, survived the surgery, but declined shortly after she started physical therapy at the nursing home. 

After the conversation with my therapist (the first Monday in January), I retreated into the “denial” phase of letting go of a loved one. I didn’t call to check in about grandma. I didn’t pick up the phone when my mom called because I anticipated the news that wasn’t too far off. I thought to myself, “Mom would text me to call her immediately if something was wrong”. 

Perhaps I unconsciously let go of my grandmother during that period between December 29th, 2021 until February 7th. Maybe I was upset with her for letting herself decline so quickly, refusing to eat, or fight for her life. I expected her to be around forever or at least to 100. Then I’d be ready to let her go. 

Phase 2 : Grieving and Guilt

The day after Grandma passed, I went to work. The whole day I waded through reality and an awkward dream-like state. I taught, smiled and laughed with students, and went to staff meetings. The first day of the grieving process is numb; you understand the person is gone, but not all of you has processed the implications, the loss, the void in your life. 

The second day was the hardest. The night before I sent an email to my co-teachers, principal and other support staff explaining the situation. The email was matter of fact, to the point.  Next day, I received multiple condolences from the colleagues that knew. I cried a few times in the back of my classroom, but immediately painted on  a huge smile once students started filing into the room. I didn’t tell them my grandmother died and as far as they knew, the day was a regular instructional day. 

Another blurry sequence of events followed before, during and after the funeral. The flight to Greensboro, North Carolina (God blessed me with a cheap price. 183.00 round trip to NC!). Seeing my grandma’s sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and of course my mother. I hate the idea of funerals and witnessing grief up close. Crying and emotion triggers major discomfort for a multitude of reasons, which is why I avoided funerals in the past. 

The most tense moment happened during the funeral procession. Last time I saw grandma, she appeared chipper and eager to visit her house in Florida. My chest constricted the closer I approached her casket. She looked like one of those wax figures from Madame Tussaud’s. Artificial. In some ways seeing her so unlike how she looked made her transition easier. That wasn’t grandma Montie. I pictured her lounging in one of her long, silky,  nightgowns watching the news. 

I said a few words in honor of her. Listened to the sobs of my mother and my grandmother’s sisters. My cousin, who is a pastor, delivered the eulogy. We had the repasse. Went back to my Aunt Emma’s house to reminisce. I stayed in grandma’s room, the same room where she made her transition. There was a rose scented candle that had been burning for 3 straight days. I remember mom whispering “Is that you mommy?”  The superbowl was that Sunday and while my cousin watched the game, I excused myself, went to the guest room and let out a series of sobs. I think I cried more that weekend of the funeral than I cried in years. 

After I returned to New York the onslaught of guilt rushed at me like a stampede. What if I called her more? Why didn’t I visit her during her final days? I thought of every missed call from her and all the time I thought “I’ll call her back” and never did. All the times I was annoyed with her.  All the times I said things out of anger. The times I forgot to send her a birthday or Christmas gift. All the times I forgot to say “I love you”. 

Then there were random moments of grief. One afternoon in March, I went to get a slice of pizza. Instead of ordering the rectangular slice, I asked the cashier about the square slice with basil. He said “Oh, that’s our grandma’s slice”. Cue the tears. On the subway I saw an advertisement about a new food delivery app. The slogan: “Delivering soup as good a grandma’s”. During Mother’s Day season, I walked into Target and immediately saw a journal titled “Grandma tell me your story”. A commercial with a grandmother and her granddaughter solving a mystery. All blatant reminders of the permanent hole in my life. 

Then there’s the fact I moved up the ladder in my family. Grandma was my last living grandparent and now it’s mom, then me. Seeing mom grieve, settle grandma’s estate, close out her bank accounts, cancel her cell phone service, make arrangements to bring grandma’s body to be buried in Florida became a grim preview of what I’ll have to experience in the future. 

Grandma’s resting place in Florida

Phase 3: How I’m coping and what helps me cope.

My therapist stressed to grieve in a way that’s healthy. One point she made stuck with me; “Leah, your grandma passed with dignity. She decided she was ready to transition and did so on her own terms”. 

Grandma left this life at 93. Saw 5 generations of grandchildren. Transitioned in a warm bed Peacefully. 

People are right when they say grief comes in waves. Some days I am smiling, blissful and then something random will remind me of grandma and I’ll start to tear up. 

Only this time I let the tears come. I lean on the Lord. Prayer and journaling have been a tremendous support. Scriptures such as Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” and Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” solidify that God is carrying me through this grief journey. 

I watch old sitcoms my grandma used to watch. When we went to her house in Florida, I grabbed some of her nightgowns she wore most often, a picture nestled in a gold heart shaped frame of her and grandpa, and her pink slippers. Having reminders of her helps me feel her essence, a piece of her still here. 

Then I enjoy my life. I reach out to family and friends more often. Plan picnics on sunny days. Travel. Take walks in parks. Sit by a body of water and breathe in the fresh air. Celebrate every birthday, every milestone and every achievement. 

James 4: 14 tells us unabashedly (gotta love the pragamicity of the book of James)  “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are but a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (English Standard Version). 

Somber as this sounds, I’m inspired to live the abundant life God has given me. Whether I live for another sixty years of if my time is up tomorrow, I want to know that I honored and embraced life. Loved others like Jesus loved. Gave. Supported. Comforted. 

If anyone is grieving a loss of a loved one, I am definitely praying for you! Everyone will experience loss and grieve. And there’s comfort knowing we all go through a shared experience. I’m grateful for grief; it’s a little reminder that we know how to love. One of the most profound lines about grief came from a Marvel TV series called Wandavision (Disney, 2021). One of the characters says “What is grief, but love persevering” (now I dare anyone to tell me Marvel has no substance after that brilliant line). The love I have for Grandma Montie remains. The memories. The laughs. The legacy. 

I am grateful for everything she taught me. Grateful I had her for almost 33 years of my life. Grateful she’s earned her rest. And grateful I get to continue to live to make her proud. 

I’ll always be grandma’s girl. 

With Love, 


Security in Identity

Grand Etang National Park, Grenada. Being the beautifully and fearfully made person of God!

“You should ask the women how they see you”.

I sat across from my friend, ***Tara, as she took another sip of her drink. What she was referring to was for me to ask the women in my Bible talk how they perceived me. 

Earlier in the day, during the fellowship break at Sunday church service, *Tara approached me me all smiles and sunshine radiating in each step she took. I tried to smile away the unease that had been resting inside my stomach since I left my apartment. 

“How are you?” She asked. 

“We’ll talk”. I replied. “We’ll talk”, is code for when I’m absolutely overwhelmed or inexplicably lonely in a place where I’m supposed to experience love, friendship and unity. 

Tara and I made plans to meet around seven at night. She mentioned a craving for Wendy’s fries and the sugary strawberry lemonade. She picked me 

A little after 7, Tara picked me up in a cute black and white Mini Cooper and we drove to a Wendy’s close to my apartment.   After we ordered our food, settled in our seats, I spoke openly. 

“Honestly Tara, the only reason I think I’m still with the church is because of accountability”. Our church has a culture of “discipling” where each member meets with a man or woman who holds them accountable to the standards of the Bible. Each of us is  supposed to meet with our discipler once a week to discuss areas of spiritual growth, pray and confess any sin we need to get out into the open. Tara had been my discipler for 9 months at one point so I rapport was easy and light. I knew she wouldn’t judge or rebuke me harshly. 

I continued softly. “Sometimes I think I made a mistake coming back to the church”. 

Tara nodded at me to keep pouring out my thoughts. “It’s like people only like me for who they think I should be or who they want me to be”. I stared at my half eaten bourbon bacon cheeseburger. 

“I feel so pressured by people to be someone else”. 

Ever since I joined the church I currently attend almost four years ago, the members, mostly well meaning women, have tried to mold me into a gregarious, spiritually fruitful, bubbly social butterfly, hoping I will shed my bashful nature. 

 I remember one woman from my Bible talk told me that my love for the congregation will be proven by the way I hug the other members of the church. I’m a side hugger, but the expectation is that you greet each sister and brother with a full sized bear hug. 

When disciples coach me on how to be a more social member of the church, I smile, nod and do my best to take the feedback. Yet something inside me seems hollow, inauthentic and unnatural. As if I have to put on a performance or dress in a personality that is too oversized for how God created my fit. 

  I’ve grown to appreciate the quiet, reflective, and sensitive nature that God is cultivating in me. I’m not sure other people do. 

The topic is a recurring theme in my therapy sessions. My therapist repeatedly encourages me to “honor the spirit of God inside you”. I think the struggle with the culture of the church is that there’s an expectation to conform to a certain way of behaving. Of course I’m going to be obedient to God, serve others, and do my best to love like Jesus does. 

However, there are times that people are trying to be my potter when there is a perfectly capable potter in Heaven. One of my anchor scriptures, particularly when it comes to identity is Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter ; we are the work of your hand” (New International Version). I wish people understood that its not their role to mold other people into who they expect them to be. 

Too often I tried to mold my identity into what was pleasing to other people. Through prayer, therapy, and self discovery, I’m figuring out who God intended me to be. Turns out I’m royal, chosen, special and holy (1 Peter 2:9). That I am wonderfully and fearfully made (Psalm 139: 13-14). 

Of course God wants us to grow into a holy and righteous person. He made us in His image and He’s the standard for how we should live and behave. But the unique characteristics He created in us shouldn’t be stripped away for another person’s preference . I’m learning to set healthy boundaries when people offer me feedback about myself. I discern, take what’s useful and leave the rest at the door. 

With Love, 


Security in God: Managing Anxiety and Intrusive Thinking Part I 

La Sagesse Beach, Grenada. This spot is excellent for a quiet place to pray or journal

    One morning I woke up and couldn’t move my body. My brain was screaming “Get up! Get up!”. My body remained motionless, ignoring the directives  to move my limbs. 

That was the first time I experienced sleep paralysis. I knew I dreaded the day ahead. That’s anxiety’s job; to immobilize your mind and body. I’ve struggled with the condition since I was six; I didn’t have a name for the condition, but I was a worrisome child. I remember if my mom or dad was late coming home from work or picking me up from after school program I’d start to panic, chest constricting and start sobbing. I knew that they had been killed in a horrible car accident or murdered in the mean streets of the City. My mind always veered toward the worst case scenario and I developed a form of insomnia. My mind kept replaying all that could go wrong, all the ways I or someone I love could die. I hated when the telephone rang; the dread would creep up my stomach and I rushed toward my mom, frantically asking “who is it, who is it?”. 

Anxiety filled other areas of my life. I purposely performed poorly in elementary  school because if I made honor roll, the principal would call me up to the stage in front of all my peers. I was afraid of being laughed at and booed if I walked across the stage. I had anxiety about crossing the street. Dogs. Being called on in class. Driving. Getting into a car accident.

Last year was the breaking point. I finally began therapy in September of 2020. I’m blessed to have a therapist who is a Christian. One of the first points she made was “Anxiety is not of God”. 

If anxiety is not of God, then it must be from the other guy.  

According to the American Psychological Association anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety usually have recurrent  intrusive thoughts or concerns”. 

God understands the human condition, so He specifically addresses anxiety head on. He knows that satan uses anxiety to rob us of our peace. One of my anchor scripture is in Philippians 4: 6-7 where the Word of God reads “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God; and let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (New King James Version) .

My therapist encouraged me to clothe myself with that scripture anytime my mind wandered toward worst case scenarios. When battling anxiety, helpful remedies included 

  1. Praying and reading scripture 
  2. Speaking or thinking of anchor Bible verses about anxiety 
  3. Taking an intrusive thought and speaking the positive 
  4. Journaling 
  5. Herbal tea
  6. Being in places that provide a sense of peace: a library or quiet part of a park
  7. Deep breathing and tapping exercises 
  8. Consistently seeing my therapist

I’m still learning various techniques to quell anxiety, but most importantly I understand that I don’t have to claim anxiety. I used to say, “my anxiety is flaring”. I do not have to own anxiety. Another scripture that helps is 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast your anxieties on him because He cares for you”. We are given explicit permission to let go of our anxiety and give it to God. 

I’m not 100% cured of anxiety because, like most mental health struggles, the condition takes time to subside. Supports like therapy, deep breathing, prayer and other techniques are extremely helpful. I’m grateful to share my story and help those with similar stories. To God be the glory!  

With Love, 


Social (In)security: A series of Reflections on Fellowship and Connectivity

Each Sunday I wake up with the same tightness in my chest; the thought of going to church is supposed to encourage and uplift my spirit. The church I currently attend laudes itself as “the fellowship of believers” or the “God’s family”. The culture thrives on intimate connection through Christ, which is 100% biblical. The church leaders expect us to be immersed in each other’s lives, no boundaries and with complete trust. Almost every Sunday service there’s a member tearfully expressing how much they are grateful for the body of believers. The scripture often quoted comes from Matthew 13:44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field( NIV Version)”. 

I sit in silence as church goers weave right past me. This is the part of the service called “The Fellowship break” where eager congregation members huddle, all smiles and hugs. I watch as women in flowery dresses squeal in delight as they approach another sister (in Christ). I watch brothers (in Christ) fist bump and bro hug. The cacophony of conversations swirls all around me and one part of my brain begs “Get up, go say hi to someone. This is why you’re lonely and don’t feel connected. You’re not trying”. Then the dominant, insecure part of my brain retorts “I told you we don’t belong here. No matter how hard she tries, she’s never going to feel connected. We’ll always be on the outside”. 

A close  friend of mine point blank asked me “I wonder if you really value the Kingdom” (the members of the congregation). The more I ponder that question (and she asked me this almost a year ago), the more I find myself wrestling with the requirement of being bonded with a single fellowship. Naturally, I’m an introvert and coupled with social anxiety creates a cocktail of overwhelming feelings when I go to church for various “meetings of the body”. 

Instead of experiencing encouragement and love, I am ready to leave as soon as I get to the 3rd floor of the building where the service is held. Sweaty palms, fuzzy head and blurry vision I take my seat. Instead of clapping and bouncing along to the sounds of worship, all I experience is a hollow heartache. I wonder why I decided to come back after leaving the Church in May of 2021. It seems the more I try to connect with members, the more the emptiness and disconnect increases. 

My therapist attributes my social anxiety to the fact that I purposely made myself a wallflower to protect myself from being hurt by others. She said “You’re not used to putting yourself out there and initiating conversations. Oftentimes you’re going to have to make the first move”. 

There are times when I make an effort to connect with the women of the church. I smile, make small talk, but then the conversation stalls or feels too forced, inauthentic. In fact, I often feel like I have to put on a facade, conform to the person the people in the fellowship want me to be ; gregarious, talkative, peppy. Sometimes I feel like I have to be someone else to be accepted, to be chosen to participate in service or just plain seen. 

There’s a quote from one of my favorite movies “The Breakfast Club” (John Hughes, 1985). Andrew, the jock, says to John Bender, the trouble maker, “You know, Bender, you don’t even count. I mean if you disappeared forever it wouldn’t make a difference. You may as well not even exist in this school”. 

That sums up how I can view myself in the context of the church I attend. Invisible. Overlooked. There’s a desperation and longing to experience the same fellowship that is so praised by the church leaders and members. But I don’t. And there are many times I don’t think I ever will.  

Then I think of Jesus, how I belong to Him once I said “Jesus is Lord”. John 1:12 “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he became the right to become children of God”. I may be one of God’s shier sheep, but I have to remember “The Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture”(Psalm 100:3).  

Another important point is to know that I am not the only person who struggles with social anxiety, loneliness or feeling invisible. It can be hard to admit these struggles in an environment where instant bonding is celebrated. I’m reminded to pray and seek out those who are overlooked. 

One challenge I literally just gave myself as I conclude this post is for next Sunday; find someone who is sitting alone, who isn’t engaging in conversation and just say hello. We have a God who sees us even when people look right past us. I am 1000% guilty of staying in my bubble, too afraid to move when someone is feeling the exact way I am. Sometimes my I get so caught up in my owns thoughts, I need to have eyes like Jesus, able to see the Zacchaeuses longing to be seen from the treetops (Luke 19:1-2) 

I’m grateful to be able to write about this topic. Social anxiety, loneliness and the persistent feeling of being left out may not be the most comfortable topic within a church. It requires examination internally and externally. My prayer is that all those who feel like I do know how much God loves and cares for each of us. As much as I would like to at times , we are not meant to live life alone. God created Eve for Adam because He knew it wasn’t good for anyone to be alone. Perhaps one day the connections will come. For now, I’ll fix my eyes on Jesus, because I know He calls me friend. 

And with a friend like Jesus, who can ever be lonely? 

With Love, 


Something New

“I’m so happy for you!”

“I wish you the best!”

“We support you one hundred percent!”

“I hope you’re well and you take care of yourself during this time” .

“I’m sending positive thoughts your way”.

The well wishes of my parents, friends and colleagues uplift my spirit as I take a major step towards mental health wellness. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be undergoing a deep, intense therapy called “The Breakthrough Process”.

The purpose of the “Breakthrough Process”, according to my therapist, is to “release the toxic energy that has been draining you for so long” and that I need to release “the yarn ball of combined traumatic experiences”.

Scary part; this conversation happened right after our first session back on September 23rd, 2020.

The type of mental health therapy I’m about to undergo comes at a price ( a hefty $3000.00 so thank God my parents are helping me finance the therapy) ; I think about the scripture in Luke 14:28, about counting the cost of battle. At first, I shirked at the price, thinking, “this woman is out of her mind”.

Turns out, I’m the one that has been out of my mind for twenty plus years. Anxiety and depression became appendages that took over my mind and eventually my actions. My smile faded. I jumped every time the phone rang, convinced of terrible news on the other end of the line. Then came a jagged symphony of insomnia, negative thinking, migraine headaches, diminished cognitive thinking, low energy, apathy and hopelessness.

So I had two choices; I could either have a breakthrough or I could have a breakdown.

I have no idea what tomorrow will be like. I’ll wake up at 5:00 AM, take an Uber to the Metro North and then a Bee line bus to my therapist’s office. The Breakthrough process takes a week and I have no idea who will step out of my therapist’s office when we have our final session of the Breakthrough Process.

All I know is that I’m ready for something new.

“And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”. Ezekiel 36:26

All Aboard the Love Train: A Journey Towards Biblical Self Love

“You need to love how God made you. And Leah, one of your main problems is that you don’t love yourself” my therapist said to me one afternoon during our weekly session.

This is one of those difficult and brutal truths that need to be heard, but causes your ears to bleed and your heart to tumble down into your intestines.

“I know”. A lump formed in my throat but I slowly gulped down the guilt. “You know something *Lucy?” I said confidently; the most confident and sure words I’ve spoken in a long time. “I don’t think I’ve ever loved myself. I then let out a dry and humorless laugh. “Heck, I don’t even think I like myself”.

The words came tumbling out of my mouth as a jumble of shameful admissions. The moment, a breakthrough for sure, both stung and soothed my soul. I didn’t love myself.

I’m writing this blog post two days after Valentine’s Day. By now department stores such as Target and Walmart have since ushered the boxes of sugary chocolates, gigantic teddy bears, heart shaped lollipops and oversized Hershey kisses in to a clearance section. In moves the new neighbors, the marsh mellow peeps, chocolate Easter bunnies and Easter eggs. But I’ve still got love on the brain.

I used to think self love was selfish. The root “self”, to me, indicated a haughty and hazardous narcissism. As Christians, we’re supposed to love God above all. Love others before ourselves. Self love, in my narrow understanding, was unbiblical.

Well, that mindset is slowly being debunked through careful study of God’s word.

Of course, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to “Love the Lord with all your heart and with your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27, ESV version).

In that same verse, the Bible reads “and your neighbor as yourself”.

I did a double take (or double read in this case) of that line. A proverbial “aha” moment went off in my head like a 5 o’clock in the morning alarm that startles you with loud successions of beep beep beeps. Love your neighbor as yourself. The ending of the verse carousels around my brain and comes to a halt so I can begin to understand what God is saying to me. It’s ok to love yourself! David even proclaims that “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”. (Psalm 139:14).

Love, I’m realizing, starts with loving God and his creation (that includes me!). If I can’t love myself, then I can’t love others. I’m starting to wonder if I can even love God, if I can’t love myself.

Such a sobering, yet enlightening thought.

My therapist often discusses retraining my thought patterns to challenge what she calls “limiting beliefs” (stay tuned for more on that topic). One of my main limiting beliefs is that I am wrong for loving myself; when, in reality, I have a sneaking suspicion that I use this mindset to cover up a truth I have long avoided.

My journey to self love is far from over. I still have a lot to learn about the topic from a biblical standpoint. However, like with any journey, starting with small steps is the best way to move forward. Here a four ways I am learning to love myself in a Godly fashion.

  1. At the end of each of my therapy journals I am supposed to write down two things I like about myself , specific to the day. My therapist tells me what I like can be as “small” as “showering” or “cooking a healthy meal”.
  2. Look for ways that God shows us love everyday. As an addendum to my journals, my therapist has me look for God’s love throughout the day. She encourages me to look for His love beyond the obvious prayer time and quiet times (although speaking directly to God and Him speaking directly to you are main ways to experience His love). For example, today a gentlemen help me find Staples when my not so trusty Google maps kept rerouting.
  3. Remind myself I am worthy of love, even when I’m unlovable. If humans have perfected one trait it is imperfection. However, the Bible remind us time after time of God’s unfailing love. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Romans 5:8 “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners , Christ died for us”. I thank God everyday that he still love me, despite my sin. Because I’d be down the a sinkhole if he didn’t.
  4. Look for how you are loved by others. I love my parents and my parents love me. Often, I think that they’re the only ones, besides God Himself , who truly love me for me. Again, I have to train my minds eye to look for love. An example is when my friend wrote me a lovely Valentine’s Day note. Although she is married, she took the time to write the words ” *Jack and I love us some Leah because you are a great friend and sister …we are grateful for you”. Dang, she tried to draw up wells of joyous tears from my eyes!

As I take this journey towards self love, I hope to encourage those who read my words to seek out God’s love in all environments. I’m actually planning on studying out the ways God shows us love and why we all deserve love. For Christians, find your go to scriptures on God’s love and his creation. For those of different faiths, I recommend writing down at least two reasons why you love yourself. Lets ride this love train together!

With Love,


***Names have been changed to respect the privacy of the persons mentioned in the blog.*****

Scripture references come from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

On This Day Last Year

My 31st Birthday!

On this day last year, I published my first post on “The Bashful Butterfly”. Initially, my plan was to post weekly blogs, but teacher life is real, so I decided to post once a month.

I kept up with my blog schedule a whopping 5 months.

Truthfully, I didn’t have a direction for “The Bashful Butterfly” or any particular audience I was writing for. I know I’m Christian. Single. A Teacher. Reader. Occasional writer. Movie enthusiast. Perfecter of procrastination. The conundrum came when deciding how to combine each part of my identity. At first, I was excited for the challenge; for the first time, I made the firm decision to keep writing no matter what. The real goal, I suppose, was to improve my writing skills. To build an audience. And to what content people could be encouraged by and find relatable.

In Mid-may I lost my stride. The mental toll of Covid , long standing racial strife in the United States, and deep wounds from my subconscious attacked at once. I became paralyzed with dread and paranoia as I waited for the next disaster to befall the world.

Internally I wasted away and thoughts I thought I had long buried resurfaced. I retreated into my shell while also shutting myself off mentally, emotionally and worst of all spiritually. God became an afterthought and in retrospect, I detached myself from my Lord because I was disappointed. Discouraged. Despairing. And in some ways, disappearing.

And it scared me.

Come September, I decided to seek therapy after parrying with the idea for years (more on that decision in another blog post). One evening, I wrote a concerning and downright frightening journal entry which was my signal that I needed help.

After a jagged journey to therapy, I’ve hit my stride. I am grateful to God for revealing my damaged heart through my writing. The Bible tells us that when Joseph was reunited with his brothers after decades in Egypt (brothers who sold him into slavery) , he said these words to them “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20

I used to think my mental health struggles were a stain, a curse or a blemish. I was ashamed of the negative thoughts that kept creeping up even though I am supposed to be a daughter of God. My anxiety, depression and detachment meant I was unfit for God’s kingdom.

Well, the Bible is full of people who were initially “unfit”. So I guess I fit right in, huh?

If anything, I finally have a direction for this blog. Going forward, I’ll take on a wacky, nonsensical and downright odd journey I’m on to spiritual, emotional and mental healing. I’ll share what I’m learning about myself and God, what I learned already and what I still need to learn. And I hope people who read my blog will come away with nuggets, no matter how rusty, on how God’s love plays an essential part in my healing.

So keep your hands and feet inside the ride ladies and gents. It’s going to get bumpy.

With Love,