Black Christian Millennial Survival Kit: 2017 Edition

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I’m a Black Christian Woman.  I’m a Christian Millennial.   I’m a Black Millennial.

I’m Black. I’m a Christian. I’m a Millennial. And all that matters all the time.

But it feels like they matter even more with the inauguration of Billionaire Donald Trump being just hours away.

I kinda went into detail in Dear White Jesus… about navigating the life of an advocate who identifies as Christian, but I feel like we need a little more focus to help us make it through this year and beyond.

So here are a few things every Black Christian Millennial should have in her/his survival kit.

You have to…

1. …have right mindset.

Paul was serious when he said “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Last night, I heard my pastor say, “We need to train like soldiers, not athletes. Athletes train to play games. Soldiers are always preparing for a battle.”

That’s us, friends. Anybody who is tasked with loving people who speak, act and vote against us is engaged in a battle. But I’ve read the end of the book, we win.

2. …focus.

Who are you doing this for? I’m specifically talking to millennials who chose Christianity for themselves. Are you a Christian on purpose? If you are, what’s that purpose. Keep your focus on why you are doing this. Do not let church or church people push you away from Christ. It’s tempting, but when those thoughts come up, CAST. THEM. DOWN.

3. …indulge your creative side.

This is serious work. Already, you may feel depleted because you’re a lazy entitled millennial.

Contrary to what media likes to say, millennials are hardworking people. Many of us juggle multiple jobs. Give yourself time to just be. Sing. Dance. Write. Learn something new. Do not get overwhelmed.

4. …get drunk in worship regularly.

Lose yourself in the presence of the Lord. Really get drunk. Your mind will benefit from you taking a break from reality. The world will benefit from you bringing heaven down and changing reality.

5. [In all thy getting,]…get an understanding.

We can’t afford to be ignorant of political processes. Get involved in your community. Read articles from credible sources. Ask questions!!

6. …respectfully, challenge your loved ones.

We can’t afford to continue to engage in conversations with people whose perspectives we don’t understand. Don’t be so afraid of being offensive that you become comfortable being passive. We have to love these people for real. Love doesn’t always leave people with fuzzy feelings. (Think Jesus on the cross.)

7. Pray.

You have a God you can talk to directly. Don’t forget that. Pray for change. Pray for wisdom. Pray for focus. Pray for your leaders. Pray for our future. Pray for this nation. Pray for the Kingdom to come. Pray for revival.

Pray for yourself. Don’t feel bad for feeling bad about what’s happening. People on the outside don’t really understand the cognitive dissonance we deal with sometimes by being Black and Christian during a historical period when there are fewer religious people than ever before. Believing in holiness and fairness at the same time doesn’t always seem likes it’s allowed. Watching a Black president prep a racist, misogynist and every other ist is hard, but allow the Lord to heal you.

We gone be alright, OhCAE?!

Not *JUST* One, Just… One

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single

A friend of mine offered to give me tickets to a game before.
She offered to give ME ticketS to a game.

A couple years ago I won a contest. I sent in my application. People voted for me. After voting results came in I was given TWO passes to a festival.

When I was a kid, my friend called the radio station at the perfect moment and she won a PAIR of tickets to a concert.

I thought about all these instances recently because I have been trying to figure out why is that when I go to restaurants I get the strangest looks when I request a table for one. “JUST one?” they ask. “Yes,” I reply with a gentle smile. “YES!! Isn’t that what I said?Why is that so difficult? I’m only one person. Can’t I go eat by myself?” I scream in my head.

outside inside(google didn’t have a better picture conveying happy on the outside, irritated on the inside but anyway…)

I guess it’s not so weird when I consider the fact that our world clearly expects us to come in pairs. I think that’s why we see so many people who battle sadness and depression that is brought on by the fact that they are *cringe* single ESPECIALLY as they get older.

This year I turned 25. Someone called me on my birthday and said “Wow, 25 huh? You’re about to have a Master’s. You have a good job and you’re living on your own. You go to church. Now, all you need is a man.” #SideEye

single-woman

Why do we accept a world that tells us that we are not enough alone? Think about some of the language we use to talk about significant others. “Other Half” is my newest favorite. That basically communicates that at my very best, until I am in a relationship with someone else, I can only be HALF of who I really am. Um… whet? It took a while for me to realize it, but truly I’m a pretty awesome person, by myself.

Starting from my childhood days, I’ve been Claricha and somebody else. I’ve always had cousins and friends by my side in every social situation. It was great, but I’m learning to get used to being by myself and still being happy about it. There are plenty benefits to being by myself and dating myself. I always want to eat what I want to eat. I always want to see the movies that I want to see. I only want to go where I want to go. I only stay as long as I want to stay. Honestly, it’s a pretty good set up.

So, no hostess at my favorite restaurant not JUST one, just… one.

ASK

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When I was 17, I was in the Michigan State University Gospel Choir and we had an engagement at the Kellogg Center on campus. In the vestibule T-shirts were being sold for $15. One of them said “ASK” and had the Ask, Seek, Knock scripture on it.

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Me being the smartie I can be at times put my hand on the shirt, closed my eyes and said “Lord, can I have this shirt for free?” When I opened my eyes the man at the table asked me “What size do you want?” I still have that free shirt today.

I pray that I never forget that moment because it was such a simple situation that reminds me that if there’s something I want from MY Father all I have to do is ask!
If there’s something you’re desiring, by faith, put your hand on it and ask.
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I composed this post in 2012. Here I am two years after posting this the first time and nearly eight years after that moment and I’m still afraid to simply ask for what I want!

What is it about life that teaches us that asking is so bad? The worst that can happen is whoever we’re asking will tell us no. I’ve had innumerable experiences that have collectively shown me that rejection is not so bad and sometimes it’s actually good!

The hardest thing about being an emerging adult during the Great Recession is that it’s super hard to start a career. Millennials are the most college educated of any generation. Competition is everywhere. I have no idea how many jobs I’ve been turned down from and it’s even harder to know how many I never even received a call back from. What I’ve learned over the years since finishing my undergrad career is that it’s ok to be ambitious and it’s ok to be told no. Every opportunity is not a good opportunity and there’s often something better coming.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. And just like with my shirt, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!