Who Am I?
*Cues Moana "Know Who You Are" music*
Who am I?
If I'd written this in my younger years, I would've answered that question with a simple, "nobody." Not even worth capitalizing the N in the word itself. That's how little I thought of myself. I would've told you all of the things that I was. Not who I AM. I would've listed my past mistakes and heartbreaks that I thought defined me. A past that I literally felt was my true definition and identifier. I couldn't shake it, couldn't run from it, and people wouldn't allow me to forget it. (That sounds funny right- they wouldn't ALLOW me to forget it. As if I needed their permission to move forward with my life in the first place. Nevertheless, that was my state of mind.) Thus my blog would've looked a little something like this:
Hi! My name is Amber and there's really nothing special about me. I have a small frame, often confused to be 12 years old even though I'm old enough to be someone's mother. I'm just a southern gal from the hood with a huge grin and over bubbly personality that masks the fact that I'm hurting inside. I'm too afraid to allow people in: too ashamed that they will uncover the core parts of me and realize I'm not worth the time. Of course this is after I have allowed them to exhume my body, leave it wide open on the table until it's literally nothing left but a carcass. Then they dump me on the side of the street like road kill and a night time snack for the buzzards. And I allow the birds to eat away at me until you can't even tell that a human existed by the scraps. With full bellies they depart for the next meal and I can't even recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. I'm often filled with thoughts of depression and suicide. I cut my wrists enough to bleed, but never enough to actually die. Maybe it's a cry for help. Maybe one day I'll actually get the job done. But no one would miss me anyway right? When did it start? I was bullied every day in middle school. I told the adults, but no one would listen to me & I've never quite gotten over it. It's made me so insecure & doubtful of all people. I measure everything I am in what I see in the next woman. I don't like my hair. I don't like my skin. I wish I was pretty like her. I wish the guys looked at me like that... When it comes to women, I still give them the side eye because I'm wondering what their true intentions are based on my previous encounters. I root for you in your face, but from the sidelines I'm hoping that everything you touch crumbles so that someone can share the pain and sorrow that has become my life.
Professionally, I teach dance and music privately (but I'm not that good). I can point you to 1,000 different people that are better than me. I have 3 sisters and I'm the least of them all. Each has more potential, is prettier, smarter, more talented than I could ever hope to be. I'm unworthy in every sense of the word. I'm inadequate and unqualified on so many levels. No one needs me. People simply tolerate me because of what they believe I have to offer. But I have no clue what they see. I'm a wreck. Constantly falling on my face in agony from the pain of my life: failed relationships, failure on my job, in my home, with my business. And I feel alone. And too many times then I care to admit to, I devalue myself for a piece of an "I love you." Knowing he or she doesn't mean it. I don't care. I'll do whatever it takes to fill that void. Even if it's for a momentary piece of peace.
See, what's the point of being surrounded by all these people if no one can be a confidant? All people do is use me anyway, so at least I can get some action behind it right? What is their true value if no one can see past the smile that now is just a distant memory? Nothing left but anger and the scars from the wounds I've picked at until they're raw. I am now the embodiment of what everyone has done to me. Merely the product of rape, physical and emotional abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, abortions, miscarriages, fear, hatred, evil. Lost. Tired. Running myself in the ground. Running towards anyone that I think for a second could even possibly love me, only for them to eventually walk away and never look back, except for the occasional "hey big head" text of which I answer because I'm so desperate and needy for love and attention. Running away from any and everything that didn't feed my flesh. I am restless. I am weak. I am worn out from the thoughts that keep me up at night. Empty because I've allowed everyone else to drain the life right out of me. And there's nothing left. I am nothing. I am nobody. So that's who I am.
WOW! Please believe me when I say writing that top part took a lot out of me. More transparency than I care to show friends and family let alone strangers. Some of you knew me during this time frame and more than likely weren't even aware. Others of you I probably have never met, but you're thinking, "That's sad." Or even, "I remember feeling this way." But, I didn't tell you those things for you to feel sorry for me. I told you because I needed to go through those things in order to get to the good part. *REWIND* Yes Ladies & Gentlemen, I needed to go through those stages in my life in order to be completely fulfilled and have the purpose and drive that I do today. With every heartbreak I drew nearer and nearer to God until I realized that no Prince Charming was coming to save me. If I wanted to be loved and held, completely swept away in an amazing love story, the only Prince it would be was the Prince of Peace. I grew tired of looking for mere mortals to be the source of my happiness when all they could do (as mortals) was fall short. I needed for people to leave me high and dry after they'd devoured me like a 6th grader reading the latest issue of a Harry Potter novel so that Christ could come in and fill me up! He has restored me. With every cut I self-inflicted, I heard the voice of God whispering, I've already been cut for you! I was bruised and beaten so that you wouldn't have to. The price I paid for you: that was suicide. The thoughts you have of feeling heavy and burdened, weighed down with depression, I've already carried that on the cross. I've bore that burden so that you would never have to. My child, I love you with a love that is unexplainable: often incomprehensible. That's how amazing I think you are, yet you say that you're unworthy. I say that you're more than worth it. I will go to the ends of the earth to prove my love for you. There is nothing that I wouldn't do for you!
So today I write you completely full with understanding of not only WHO I am, but WHOSE I AM!
Hey Kings & Queens! My name is Amber Jones and I am the daughter of the Most High God! I am His child and He loves me. I am fearfully & wonderfully made. I was created in His perfect image. I am loved by so many people and through them, my Father shows His love for me. He goes out of His way to show me that I rest in the palm of His hands. I'm a leader at my local church and in my community. I'm a believer. I believe that I am on this earth specifically to help children!. Because of the wonderful people that have touched my heart, I am a teacher. Both privately as well as in a local studio I teach piano and dance. My students have been accepted to various performing arts schools, winners at multiple competitions, and have been featured on television shows, tours, plays, programs, etc. locally, nationally, and internationally. I am the owner of ForeveRoyalTee (shameless plug: GO CHECK OUT MY STORE), an apparel company I started in August 2016 to show all people [but especially People of Color and Christians] how amazing our Creator thinks that we are. I wanted to create something that we could be proud of as a community. That little brown boys and girls could look at and see themselves in. That the natural sister who's considering perming her hair because of what society says, can see a shirt and declare that she IS beautiful! That the Christian who loves Jesus on the inside now has a dope shirt to sport on the outside. Why? Because we live in a world that thinks of us as less than. Not only POC, but also Christians. We are mocked for being too Christian or too judgmental. We love the Lord "too much," but that's for another blog at another time. I just want to tell you guys that you are so amazing! And so loved!! And yes, in so many ways we are so unworthy, but we serve a God that declares we are enough! He smiles on us in our efforts to be just like Him!
I am a worshiper. I am fabulous! I am beautiful! I am proudly on a journey to unveiling my best self. My BEST days are ahead of me and not behind me. I am ROYALTY!! A Queen! I am feared by Satan. That's right: HE FEARS ME! Not the other way around! I am a minister. A writer. A missionary. I creative. A composer. A builder. A servant. A worshipper. A prayer, and yes, I am someone's prayer! I am hope. I am love. I am kindness. I am gentleness. I am saved by grace alone. I am a faith walker.
I could go on and on, but more than anything, I am someone that truly cares about the next person. That's why I'm starting this blog! I have a voice and I just want to share it with others. I want to write for the younger girl that could learn from my mistakes. I want to write for the single professional that's wondering “Where is her Boaz?" For the woman that feels like she's struggling to become that Proverbs 31 treasure. For the "woke" Christian that is seeking to find a balance between society and their walk with Christ. For the man that wants to get a female perspective on the issues. For the Naturalista and the fashionista that are trapped in a world that screams "Be naked," while God whispers, "Cover up my child. I'll clothe you."
Please know, in so many ways, I fall short. I am so far from perfection! I don't always see myself in the most positive light. But how many know that even if I can't see it that day, that doesn't make it not so? I AM STILL THOSE THINGS even on my worst day! And the one's that I have yet to see, I say that I AM because I WILL BE!
I am so incredibly aware that I would be and can do nothing without Him! And with Him, I will not fail. That is something that sits with me every day in the very bottom of my being. It is so rooted in me. And I hope it translate through the screen & penetrates your heart. I hope as I type, I speak directly to YOU! I started this blog to show others that this is the time to speak out and share your stories. These are the days for transparency & authenticity. I have waited so long for this moment. Literally dragged my feet in writing this because I was afraid of what people may say. But I'm believing that this will help someone on the other side of my obedience. This is just the start of my truth & I pray that you will all walk on this journey with me to digging deeper and discovering more! So, in closing, I think all that's left to say is...
I AM A BLOGGER!!!!!
P.S. I'd love to hear your stories & thoughts! If you feel led, please leave comments! Can't wait to read them!! xoxo