Healing Power

8:10 PM Shonell Bacon 2 Comments

Recently, God has me buying a lot of things - faith-based things. Books. CDs. DVDs. I know he's getting me ready for something, and I thank him for the preparation.

Today, I received Kenneth & Gloria Copeland's Healing & Wellness: Your 10-Day Spiritual Action Plan. There's a praise CD, a healing CD, and a sermon-laden DVD...in addition to daily readings and journal writing activities.

For each day, there is a morning devotional time and an evening devotional time, which I love because it encompasses my entire day with God.

Today was DAY ONE.

The purpose of this blog site is for me to chronicle my journey into new phases of my life...to, in essence, be bare so that I can see the flaws, learn to love them, and learn to keep on moving on to the wonderful life God has in store for me.

I thought it appropriate considering this was day one of this spiritual action plan to start by being bare, so...

This is a recent pic of me - bathed, sans makeup or anything that could "doll" me up. When I first saw this pic, I actually loved it (still do). There was something about the rawness, the untouched image that made me feel real. Straight no chaser? Definitely.

I want my insides to be as bare as this picture feels to me, and on day one of the spiritual action plan, I can already feel things taking shape.

You know what I realized today?

I hardly ever connected healing with God. Salvation, yes. Healing, no. I know that because I believe in God and because Jesus is my Lord and Savior and because I repent and because I work hard to walk the path God has placed before me, I am saved.

But I never once thought about Am I healed.

And I mean all the "heals" - spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically...

My faith has been very perfunctory, very single-minded. Faith=Salvation

And today, I realized I want Faith=Healing Wholly + Salvation

I have never dealt with spiritual health because I was only focused on salvation.
I have dealt with emotional health by going to a counselor in the past.
I have dealt with mental health by taking medication in the past.
I have dealt with physical health by seeing a doctor and taking medication.

But rarely have I ever, for example, looked at various parts Matthew 8, read it, and believed that the Lord's grace is immediate and far-reaching and just by believing, I can be healed and can be made to heal others.

Yes, counselors, doctors, and medication are necessary; however, to discount that the end of the thing (illness, disease, etc.) can be made done by God is to do yourself and your health a major disservice.

I've been clinically depressed most of my life but wasn't diagnosed until I was 30. About a year or so before turning 30, I felt the breakdown coming to pass. My erratic behavior, compulsions, major mood swings, fear, anything negative slowly built in me and then... the breakdown.

I was suicidal (not for the first, second, third, or fourth time), and for the first time in my life, a relative (my mother) suggested I see someone, so I did. After all, I was over a 1,000 miles away from anyone who loved me and was so alone. I needed an ear.

My counselor was wonderful. She was a Christian counselor and immediately began using faith in our sessions, but I wasn't ready to receive it. Was still battling with God and his Son.

I was on medication, and it with the therapy helped me greatly. After three years of psychotherapy, I was deemed "good to go" and no longer needed either the meds or the counselor.

And for the last four years, I've done well without them...no thanks to me. God does look out for babes and fools, :-)

Now, almost four years since my last session, I thank God for allowing someone (the counselor) and something (the meds) to be there for me.

However, I can't help but to think how quickly the Lord could have taken care of this if I had believed. One, believed I was worthy to be "fixed." Two, believed the Lord had the power to heal me.

Sometimes when I look back, I almost can't recognize the person I was because my life - my thoughts, my actions, my self-esteem - are so over-the-moon better than they were then.

But looking back with my new eyes, my heart, new mind, and new spirit; I can appreciate what God got me through despite my ignorance of him and his powers. I also can stand even more firmly on my beliefs that God and his Son are constantly there for me, and if I reach out and believe and ask, I can be healed and made well.


The "Peace" Within - Self-Inventory for the Soul

7:31 PM Shonell Bacon 0 Comments

One of my sisterfriends on Facebook posted 15 fill-in-the-blank statements that ask for you to take an inventory of yourself, your soul.

I did it and wanted to share my responses; might be a good thing for all to practice just to say hello to yourself - check in.

The "Peace" Within - Self-Inventory for the Soul
(my answers are italicized)

1. I feel that I have... desire ...within me.

2. I consider my work to be... very important, not only to me but also to others who can learn and feel not alone.

3. The last time I had a pleasant non-work related conversation was... last night with my SO (significant other); the conversation itself was of serious, not very pleasant material, but the sharing and relating was beyond awesome.

4. In a typical day I laugh... at least once -- usually more; I'm part of a family that has made famous the saying "laugh to keep from crying."

5. If our (me and SO) relationship were an adjective, it would be... blessed.

6. My partner and I would be happy stranded on an deserted island for... however many ...years... it takes to get off the island. We're both creative creatures and could find a slew of ways to occupy our time. We both also have lazy tendencies, so we could sleep a lot, too, LOL.

7. Our secret touches and phrases are... between us.

8. When I talk to my good friends about my Significant Other, I am... hesitant and try not to feel as happy as I am. I've never been in a relationship this real before, and I've always been the person to wait for the other shoe to drop in anything. I'm working to combat the pessimism that tries to creep in to my psyche.

9. If I find myself attracted to another person, I would likely... find that hard to believe. I'm a one-on-one type of person, and it's hard enough for me to WANT to like ONE person, let alone to be attracted to another person at the same time.

10. When I wake up in the morning I typically feel... like crap. I'm a night person, and I usually don't go to bed 'til WELL over midnight.

11. When something really wonderful happens, I think... and know God is there looking out for me, but almost instantly, I worry over how long the wonderful feelings will last.

12. Love is... hard work; there's not one person who hasn't been hurt in this world, and to trust a whole other imperfect human to love you is a courageous thing.

13. If I need someone to talk with,... I usually go to one of my TTSiC (Tag Team Sisters in Christ) for guidance and advice while also talking and listening to God.

14. My past relationships have taught me... a lot of bad things that I'm still working through so that my current relationship will be a long-lasting one.

15. My definition of "Peace" is... quiet within myself.


To Desire Not to Covet

2:04 PM Shonell Bacon 0 Comments

Yesterday, I was talking to a girlfriend, and I found myself jealous. I won't even get into the why because surely I would need a psychiatrist to analyze my mind afterward. It was for something extraordinarily petty, and what made it worse is this is a sister who is going through, so while I was comforting her over her situation, I was coveting something that in my eye didn't seem too bad.

I know, bad me.

And I use the word 'covet' above because as I was talking to her, that's the word that kept echoing in my heart. Every beat I heard, "covet."

And despite the fact I know the word means, I went to look it up. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, covet is:

To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's).
To wish for longingly.
See Synonyms at desire.

And when I saw the word 'desire,' I flinched. You can desire something in a wrong way, but the word has always had a positive connotation for me, not like 'covet.'

When I looked up 'desire,' I read:

To wish or long for; want.
To express a wish for; request.

So, in reading these definitions, I came to the conclusion that coveting involves the wanting of someone else's stuff; whereas, desire doesn't have to be for someone else's stuff. It can be to desire you own things.

Why do I even bring this up...and here on this blog no less?

Because in my eye, to covet is to be a "hater." One of the main components of a hater is the need to want something someone else has or to be what someone else is. The consequence of that is you hate on that person because you DON'T have what he/she has, you aren't what he/she is.

I don't want a "covet" to turn into a "hate." Hell, I don't even want a covet.

I want to desire. I want to desire good things for my life that solely belong to me. I want to desire wonderful things to be blessed upon all and not be upset because someone got something I think I might have deserved.

I want to believe fully that there's nothing no one has that I want because everything beyond what I could ever imagine is already there for me for the taking because of God.

God's not through with me yet. If I can confess the covet, confess my turn (if I'm being honest, TURNS) in front of the green-eyed monster, God can work it out of me in time.


Be Careful What You Ask For

1:39 PM Shonell Bacon 0 Comments

No, this isn't a horror piece. No mystery. Nothing scary. Well, not too scary, anyway.

It's about being ready for what you ask for because God has a way of making a quick work of some things, and you have to be ready for the call, ready to take the reins and do what's needed.

A few weeks ago, a TTSiC (Tag Team Sister in Christ) prophesied over me, something she's been doing a lot lately. One thing she mentioned was a ministry I would develop with my SO (significant other). She said it would be counseling-related, and I had received it because for about two years now, I felt a calling to reach out to women through faith and fellowship.

Fast forward to this past week, and she's telling me how she thinks her calling is elementary education, to reach children before they pick up all the bad habits of the world, making it hard to reach them.

And having forgot her prophesy, I said, "That sounds perfect for you, sis. Do it. Jump on it today because like my call is to women, yours is to the children."

God had planted the seed in me years ago, my sister had prophesied on me, and I had confirmed it while championing her.

And then God put me to the test immediately, and I almost wasn't ready.

In the span of a few days, at least five women came to me seeking faithful, spiritual advice. And when I write "came to me," I mean to say God had them call out, and I happened to hear it. Some came directly to me; some called out in general and having sensed distress, I answered.

Hours were spent on the phone, on the computer, in text messages, praying, giving scripture, offering advice, lending an ear to these women who were all in the same stage of life - about my age and seemingly "waiting" for the next big thing to happen in their life while dealing with all struggles that accompany being alive. Having been that woman...being that woman, I could relate and could offer advice.

But I almost wasn't there in time because God was so quick.

I was tired. I was moody. I was something that had me in my typical "Shon wants to be left alone" mode; even once, I let the phone ring and didn't answer when someone called.

And then I admonished myself, saying, "Reading the bible and quoting scripture don't make you holy. Helping and being there and putting your faith in ACTION does. When that phone rings again, I'll be there."

And no soon had I said those words, the phone rang again, and I stayed on the phone for three or more hours with a girlfriend, and in the end, not only was she better, but also I was better and had learned and confirmed some things for my own life.

I know this is only the beginning of what God has in store for me in regards to reaching out to women, and I have to commit my heart, mind, and soul now to whatever God puts before me.

And that's for EVERYTHING; if you want something, you have to make sure you're really open to receive it; you might not get a second chance to live out your dreams and wishes.


A Moment of Doubt

12:21 PM Shonell Bacon 0 Comments

Doubt is that ex-girlfriend of Joy that refuses to go away. Like the devil, it used to be angelic, which is why Joy (like God) loved it, but then negativity and evil began to fester within Doubt, and Joy had to kick it to the curb...much like God did the devil.

And like the devil, Doubt likes to rear its ugly head, especially when things seem to be going well and you're, dare I say...happy.

This is me today.

My brain, for most of my life, has been trained to accept defeat. This is worse than crying and being hurt over it. At least the latter shows emotion. When you're trained to accept defeat, all you do is shrug, say, "Figures," and keep on keeping on.

Reconnecting with God in a major way a few years ago and being baptized on August 20, 2007, brought Doubt to my life in a major way because now I had faith, now I had expectancy; I expected great things to happen because I had faith, because I moved in that faith.

And the devil hated it.

And so did Doubt.

Today, feeling at least thirty pounds heavier and being awfully emotional (thanks to that monthly...or not-so-monthly assault us women face), I vowed to get work done and set about to do it.

And then Doubt came in.

And it does it in tricky ways. It's not always a phone call riddled with bad news or the loss of a job or the worry of a loss of a job.

Sometimes, it's the whisper of a word, Finances.

Sometimes, it's the whisper of a phrase, Ending of last relationship.

Sometimes, it's the whisper of an entire sentence, You know, it's been a while since you've been a student.

Sometimes, when you keep fighting doubt, it's a banshee scream of poison: You know you're fat and no one will ever really love you, and if they did really love you, then you would find a way to screw it up because you think too much, and it's that thinking too much that's gonna cost you the man, the education, the money, and everything else you want, and then where will you be, huh, where will you be then when all this so-called good stuff is taken away from you. Back with me. No one can love you like I can. Didn't Doubt treat you good? Didn't I keep away pain. Didn't I numb you to it? Didn't I show you it's OK being just OK? Didn't I show you that you didn't need more than just waking up, moving through space, and going to bed? Why would you want more than me? Why would you want to do ALL THAT WORK when you can do barely nothing and have me?

And when Doubt and the devil co-mingle and get to the banshee scream stage and I know that I, as a mere human, cannot battle them alone, I reach for my Bible, I reach for a friend, I reach for a video like the one below so that I can remember that when in doubt, shout it out and keep moving toward my prize.

Doubt's right. It's kinda easy to be "nothing." You don't have to really do anything for it. But anything worth having is worth struggling for.

Which makes me remember something I read in my Woman Thou Art Loosed edition of the Bible; there, T. D. Jakes writes, "God has too much for you to do to waste any more time! Get up, breathe deeply of this moment. There will never be another moment in your life like this one. I can't spare you tears, fears, or trauma; each passion has its cost. In fact, it is the cost that validates the enormity of the passion. It is what you endure that expresses the depth of your desire."

I have deep desires. I have deep passion. I shall expect to endure "deep" tears, fears, and traumas because of it, but I know my end, so I know I will be OK. I'm reaping the harvest God promised me.


A Place to Lay One's Head

9:47 AM Shonell Bacon 2 Comments

When I moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, eight years ago from Baltimore, I had about $50 on me, some clothes, and an apartment waiting for me to move into. I arrived in Lake Charles having no clothes because the bus lost them, and then everything that could break down in the apartment did - from refrigerator to air conditioner (and it was 100 degrees with 100% humidity when I arrived).

For about a week, I was beyond depressed and quickly wondered why in the hell I was in this town.

Though I went to bed that first night hot and in tears, I went to bed on a bed, for there was a bed and a dining set already in the apartment, and I was blessed to have them.

That blessing couldn't compare to how I felt two days ago when I learned I was approved for the apartment in Texas.

For weeks, I had been worrying about it because of the credit check. Was so sure something would happen to thwart my advances. Friends and family kept telling me God don't take back; He GIVES. He gave me Texas Tech. He gave me the fellowship, the opportunity to leave, thus He would give me the place to lay my head.

And when I checked out the site for the apartment complex months ago and saw pics of the apartments, something in me said, "This will do."

Yet, I worried.

And I worried for naught.

Two days ago, I was at a restaurant, tending to a girlfriend in need when I checked my voice mail and heard a leasing consultant inform me that "We ran your application, and you've been approved. Congratulations!"

I pumped fists, smiled, hooted, and praised God, all while people stared at me, smiling, wondering what had me on Cloud Infinity.

Yesterday, I called the complex and let them know they could mail the contract to me to sign. I got the apartment furnished, so I don't have to worry over where to get to get furniture. I don't know if I'll be there a year or longer, so I didn't want to buy all this furniture to have to move somewhere else.

After I got off the phone, I sat and reveled in the happiness I felt. I thought about picking out bathroom accessories and bedding. I saw me, sitting on the sofa, a textbook in one hand and a highlighter in the other, prepping my notes. I saw me dancing around my apartment and singing and praising God and not worrying about a sibling coming in and disturbing my praise time. I saw me at the dining table, eating a great dinner I cooked for me and Hubby who'll be coming to visit in August before school starts.

I felt what I knew was the beginning of my reawakening, the coming back to myself.

It felt good.

It felt so good.


On Tablets, a poem

11:57 PM Shonell Bacon 0 Comments

This poem was a spark that moved me to think about developing this blog and remembering the visions I wrote.

I wrote this at the end of May after reading Habakkuk 2:2-3.

On Tablets

I once had a tablet full of dreams,
but at my darkest hour, I snatched
it from its secret place and ripped
it to shreds, for dreams are for naught.

Naught for a person like me; others got
their shine, seemingly at the right place
at the right time while I stood in a grocery
line, making provisions for me and mine.

I was working my fingers to the bone,
making sure lights stayed on in the home
but not on me, not on me and my dreams
that I allowed to be ripped at the seams.

I was making sure everyone was okay while
I put a delay on me and my life ’til years
ticked by and I realized I had stood still
and took care of everyone else’s ills.

I was sick in my heart, mind, and spirit,
but had no one to hear it for they were
making plans, and moving on, and seeing
a future I helped to shed light on.

In my darkness, with nothing left for me,
I wrote visions on tablets to abet dreams
into fruition and show the devil he didn’t
have me because one light still beamed.

That one light, My Father, showed me dreams
had not died despite my darkest hour; seeds
I planted flowered into a beautiful garden
to tend, to mend the broken parts of me.

And those dreams upon tablets will keep me
when I can’t keep myself and will move me
when life keeps me still and will teach me
when others try to kill my spirit and hope.

And those dreams, those visions will come
at their appointed time, shouting their truth
for they don’t lie, and I will be there, smiling
and waiting for them to come to pass.


In the beginning...

8:22 PM Shonell Bacon 2 Comments

Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk 2:2-4

Throughout the course of a lifetime, we go on many journeys. I know I have. Not enough fingers and toes to list every journey that makes up my life. These journeys cause us to question every action, to make choices, to follow paths, to make mistakes, to accomplish goals, to - inevitably - be changed as a result of each journey.

In less than two months, I will begin a journey, a new phase in my life, and the preparation for it began a little over a year ago, at a time when I was tired and done with a lot of things in my life; I was sure my life was placed on serious hold.

I wanted to be a published "solo" author but had stopped submitting because I was so disenchanted with the publishing industry.

I wanted to be in a relationship but had long ago stopped trying because I wasn't sure I was worthy of a relationship.

I wanted to be healthier and lose weight but I had started and stopped so many times in the past I stopped fully trying...or caring.

I wanted to be "made new" but had stopped believing that was possible.

I was 35. I was doing what I had always been doing. But I wasn't sick. But I wasn't altogether miserable. So, I figured I could do this same ol' same ol' for the rest of my life and just be happy to be alive.

But God had other plans for me...thankfully.

He had me write my visions. He had me state my visions. He had me repeat my visions. He had me believe that once I stated and moved toward these visions, He would be behind the scenes, working on my behalf and making things come to fruition, for faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

And so I wrote.

There were five things I wanted to accomplish within a year's time:

1. To meet someone
2. To be accepted into Texas Tech University's online Ph.D. program in technical communication and rhetoric
3. To move out of the home I shared with my siblings and finally be free to be ALL me
4. To be recognized for my literary talents in SOME way
5. To work on my health and finances

The year wasn't easy. there were many nights I cried, that I turned from God, that I went into sadness so profound I thought my heart had stopped beating.


In May 2008, I added exercise to my regimen and worked to eat better. Again, not easy. Lost, gained, lost, gained, gained weight, and losing it again. I get a little down when I see pounds return, but I know I can lose, and that keeps me determined.

In July 2008, I met a man who approached me initially because of the God he saw in me and knew he needed. Again, not easy. I had to let loose (and still let loose) a lot of my past issues and he had to realize he deserved more than what he had been getting in the past, but we love one another and plan to have a life together, so we learn to weather storms. For the first time really in my life I feel comfortable and at ease with a man I love, and it makes me feel like a giddy schoolgirl. Who knew?

In April 2009, after a blissful vacay to see Hubby, I returned home and learned I was accepted into Texas Tech. Again, not easy. GRE score kinda sucked. Out of the blue, I received a call informing me I had by the end of the day to get them a letter that was supposed to be there already; they lost it, someone never sent it, whatever the case, it put me in a tizzy. Things tried to keep me out, but I stayed the course and got in.

Later that same day, I returned to finish reading the acceptance letter (I read the first paragraph and had to go scream and shout somewhere); they offered me a fellowship to come study for a year at the university. Not only did this provide me money to pay for my education, but also it offered me my out of my home and my ability to be on my own again. Again, not easy. I'm a worrywart by nature and worried about how I would get there, would I get an apartment (my credit's not great), would all these wonderful opportunities actually come to pass? Whatever I could worry about, I did (and still do).

At the end of April, I received news that an independent publisher wanted to publish my novel, Death at the Double Inkwell. Again, not easy. I wrote DDIW nearly ten years ago. It's been revised nearly every year since. I've submitted it to too many places to name and though I had gone on to write about nine more novels (all looking for homes), it was always one of my favorites (and my mom's, too). But on a what the hell moment, I submitted a query to the company and they wanted to read sample chapters, then they wanted to read the novel, then they wanted the book, then I received a contract, then I signed the contract, and now DDIW will be coming out June 2010.

Though my finances are still shoddy, I've been working to right things and hope to have a lot of that taken care of within the next three or four months.

In a year, God has shown me that He does move in mysterious ways and He can make ways where there seems to be no way; if we believe and if we keep moving forward to accomplish those things we've written on tablets.

I've written on tablets.

I'm on my way to Lubbock, TX, in a few months knowing my debut solo project will drop in a year, knowing I have a man that loves me, knowing I am healthier, and knowing my financial situation will be made straight.

But the thing about tablets is you always need more of them because you can't rest on your laurels; there's still work to be done from the minor of things (last year, one of those for me was to stop biting my nails; now, I have girl hands - lol) to the major of things (like picking up the whole life you've led for eight years in one place and moving it somewhere else).

I've been so happy, so completely beside myself with joy over accomplishing these visions I've hardly had time to think of new ones, and that's OK. We need time to revel, to thank God, to hug ourselves for a job well done.

But don't worry...I have my tablets at the ready, and pens are new and ready to write.