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So This is...ALMOST

Welcome to the middle of your month dear Freebies! Right now I ask you to journey with me through the following four pictures. Ask yourself, what do they all have in common?

All of these pictures have a serious case of the "Silver Medal Face". What the "Silver Medal Face" is all about: ALMOST reaching your goals and your dreams. A moment that you have worked so hard for for the majority of your life, but you came just shy of taking it all the way; and now you have to wait at least four years to ever get close to achieving such a dream again. The "Silver Medal Face" is not the face of a loser, it is the face of an ALMOST winner, and that hurts even more than getting Bronze. It is the face of a person who will spend their next few weeks, months, or maybe even years agonizing about what little things they could have done differently to make up that fraction of a second/point that separated them from their wildest dreams.

This post was almost going to be titled "So This is...THEATRE" as I expressed my heart for the art form that I love so much and detail all of my emotions being in Atlanta and on my own for the first time the day before my first rehearsal; but as you can probably guess, the operative word in this sentence is "almost". A little over a week ago, while praying for a healthy dose of spiritual discernment for this next phase of my life, I felt enough of a tug from God to make the decision that I would not participate in the gospel stage play. Of course, that was a difficult decision to make and it certainly made me all the more nervous for my move, but in trying to look at things on the bright side, I pumped myself up with the knowledge that I was still moving to a place where opportunities were endless and I was sure to get something else when I got down there. Then, the brakes fully pumped. Right around midnight on the day that I was supposed to move to Atlanta, a text was received that the person whom I was going to stay with, was no longer able to provide housing for me.

Let that marinate...Selah.

I would love to be able to tell you that I "Silver Medal Faced" my way through the ordeal quickly...but that's not my testimony. I went to my basement and melted into sobs that were so violent until my whole body shook, the kind of cry that has not been outmatched by any other in my life thus far. I screamed. I prayed prayers of trust to God, then I changed my mind and sprinkled curse words in my prayer and took my trust back (just being completely honest). My heart was incredibly torn with pain and deep loss, and confusion wrecked my mind with questions I couldn't find answers to:

  • How could I have prepared my whole life for the moment of leaving the nest to pursue what's been in my heart for forever, just for it all to be dissolved in one text?

  • How could this be the third time in a full calendar year that housing fell through last minute, right when the gleam in my eye has recaptured hope?

  • How could I unpack my car and hang all of my clothes back in the closet as if the possibility of this move never happened?

  • How awkward and embarrassing was it going to be showing my face to the same people I just said my last goodbye's to?

  • Why would God allow me to get just eight hours away from the road trip of a lifetime just for this?

  • So...what do I do now?

I felt incredibly trapped in the "almost" cycle; the one where you get hit with a blow, but you get back up and see the pieces coming back together. Then right when the last puzzle piece is about to be placed for the perfect picture to appear, the table gets completely flipped upside down. Needless to say, the last week has been one of the most trying in every way; but then a funny thing happened....

The sun rose. And it set. It rose and set again, and again. The pain in my heart that I thought would surely kill me...didn't. The sun kept rising and setting, almost as if life could go on, and indeed it did. With each new day, I realized that I had some decisions to make and realizations to come to:

  • Life is only about 10% of what happens to you, the rest is about how you react to it. Emotions are so strong but through the power of Christ, I am no longer a slave of my emotions.

  • Trusting God is a CHOICE! Faith is not about what happens or doesn't happen according to our plans. Faith is a choice to trust God no matter what.

  • It's OK to cry. God understands our tears. He's near to the broken-hearted. I believe there's a special closeness that comes only in the roughest times of life.

  • God prepared me with what I needed before this trial. I found old journals that I haven't seen in years, all of them overflowing with faith extenders of times when I didn't know how God was going to work something out, yet He always did.

  • God is not a tease. What God has for me is something that cannot be stopped by human whims.

  • I have to practice what I preach. Every Monday I put out new videos of tips for people to use in order to experience their Freelife. I'm now in a position where I have to use those tips for myself.

  • When I said "God, you have access to my entire life", did I really mean it to the point of Him closing doors that I personally wanted to stay open? I may not have known it then, but yes, that's exactly what that means.

  • Sometimes the fight to choose God isn't day to day, but rather moment to moment. Some moments I win, and some I don't, but each day, I win a little more; and it always helps to know that through Christ, I've won the overall war.

  • My life is not my own. I am willing to go through the pain of what I went through and the potential embarrassment of it all if it goes to encourage even one of you Freebies to see that you are not alone.

In a weird way, I am glad that it happened. This is the beauty of what this blog was always supposed to be about; showing the real journey of what it looks like to be a post-grad black woman pursuing the arts while walking with God. I am happy to be able to offer what you don't normally get from a Facebook timeline with all of it's photoshopped perfection. This is my journey, and I have no idea where it goes but I know the One who does. Even while writing this post, I got two great phone calls of opportunity that were completely unexpected! Maybe that's how God works; when you feel it's all been stripped away, you have nothing left to hold onto so you're able to surrender and simply give Him yourself; all He's ever wanted in the first place. It's in that sweet and painful spot of surrender that He's able to make something beautiful out of you. As long as I reach His goals for me, I'll never be an "almost" success. On the contrary, I'll be fully the somebody that He's always promised and purposed for me to be, and that warrants something better than the Silver Medal Face. That tastes like GOLD!

So This is...ALMOST,

Mikhaella Norwood

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