By Latasha Ferguson
God's Brave Women - Latasha's Story
As I was lying there covered in dirt and the wind knocked out of me, I heard a voice whisper, “Are you finally done?” For a moment, I felt like I was outside of myself looking down at what I had become.
I had allowed anger, hatred, and bitterness to cloud my better judgment and convince me to get involved in a physical altercation. Yes, friend, you heard correctly – a physical altercation with onlookers. It was a scene straight out of a reality television show.
This was a very public end of a 7-year toxic relationship that my parents and all who loved me opposed, but I was determined to make happen. It was a relationship that I allowed to pull me away from my first love (God) and left me unrecognizable.
As I hobbled back to my car, shirt ripped, hair standing on end, and dirt-filled tears streaming down my face, I heard the voice again, “Are you finally done?”
I had never cried so hard in my life. Wailing and groaning replaced words that just could not be uttered. My mind was racing. How did I get here? How did I allow myself to stoop so low - to come to a place where I no longer recognized myself?
As I drove home, I realized that the little, small voice was the voice of God beckoning me to let go and pivot. He had been calling over and over for years, but I would not listen, and I was unwilling to relinquish control.
"The little, small voice was the voice of God beckoning me to let go and pivot. He had been calling over and over for years, but I would not listen, and I was unwilling to relinquish control."
That season of my life was not one I had envisioned for myself. I was a 19-year-old single mom of two girls. I was on welfare, working a full-time job, barely able to make ends meet and trying to earn my college degree. There was a constant ache in my chest, a grieving, from witnessing dreams that I had held so close in my heart for so long shatter into a million pieces and slowly die.
As hurtful and embarrassing as that public altercation was, it broke my heart in just the right places and forced my eyes upward. I was at a crossroads. I had to face where my choices had led me, and I had to finally own all of them.
"As hurtful and embarrassing as that public altercation was, it broke my heart in just the right places and forced my eyes upward."
I now realize that God’s love was chasing me the whole time. He was right there with me on that ground, in that car, gracious arms extended, and he caught my tears as each one fell. Guess what, friends? Never once did I hear him say, “I told you so.”
I’d like to say that this was my first and last control tug-o-war with God. However, even after that situation, sometimes I have been determined to take control and do things my way. See, the thrill and rush that comes from getting things done or accomplishing a goal has made me feel like I knew what was best for my life (maybe even more than God). However, what my pride and stubbornness failed to tell me was that “my way” was only going to end up in temporary fixes, superficial success, and having to either: admit I was wrong, go back to square one, or work overtime to maintain what I made happen.
These are all very hard truths I have had to bravely own and do, what I call, the hard work of heart work. Heart work is not easy. It requires looking into the mirror (the Word of God) and digging until I get to the root of my thoughts and actions, examining my motives, and being painfully honest with myself. Most of all, it involves releasing what ails me so God can heal my heart.
"Heart work is not easy. It requires looking into the mirror (the Word of God) and digging until I get to the root of my thoughts and actions, examining my motives, and being painfully honest with myself. Most of all, it involves releasing what ails me so God can heal my heart."
Can you relate, friend? Have you been feeling the nudge or pulling of God to surrender in an area of your life? God does not just want to be Lord over certain areas of our life. He wants to be Lord over our hearts. He wants us to trust Him with every single part of our life – the good, the challenging, and everything in between.
“O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26 NLT)
I think Merriam Webster’s dictionary had me in mind when they crafted this definition of surrender: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting because you know that you will not win or succeed. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we know deep down in our hearts that doing things our way will never allow us to experience true victory in Christ Jesus. In our human nature, our flesh will always desire to be in control, to do everything separate from God, and take all the credit.
"If we are truly honest with ourselves, we know deep down in our hearts that doing things our way will never allow us to experience true victory in Christ Jesus."
Public victory starts with private surrender.
"Public victory starts with private surrender."
For me, surrender happens in the quiet spaces of the day that I’ve set aside to pray, read God’s word, sit still to listen, and journal. For me, establishing a quiet time is a not a luxury or an occasional self-care strategy. As I spend time in God’s presence, He shows me the parts of my life that I have a tight grip of control on.
Surrendering is a process, not a one-time thing. When we establish an intentional space to reflect and courageously allow God to do the heart work, we will experience a level of freedom we never have before.
"When we establish an intentional space to reflect and courageously allow God to do the heart work, we will experience a level of freedom we never have before."
God will take every broken piece we surrender to him and will create a beautiful tapestry – a true masterpiece.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Latasha Ferguson is a speaker, writer, podcaster, and coach. Her life is proof of this truth: our past, our imperfections, and our pitfalls do not have the power to diminish our purpose. She is passionate about empowering women to do the heart work so they can live and lead from the inside out.
She is also a passionate educator who has spent the past 18 years serving in the roles of teacher, assistant principal, principal, and now director of instruction where she loves to equip and coach aspiring and seasoned leaders.
Wife to her best-friend and mom to four beautiful girls, Latasha loves to run, read, spend time at the beach, and travel in search of great food that hugs her belly. Connect with her on her website www.latashaferguson.com, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and her podcast Overcome to Become.