Emotional Dumping Ground

I have always been that person, the one others call when there is a traumatic event or a major life transition. I take pride in knowing that others can confide in me and trust me enough to let me in during those dark moments in their lives. I value the friendships I have and take every opportunity I can to connect with each and every one of them regardless of my schedule. Why? Because that’s what friends do, that’s why I am their friend. It’s my job, I am fulfilled when I am supporting my friends.

But what happens when you become an emotional dumping ground? A place where you listen, receive and try to help them process their grief or concerns without a place to dump it?

When I look at friendships and the way many are built is that there is this unspoken understanding between the two people. It’s 50/50, we are in this together, we support, uplift and encourage each other. We weren’t designed to become a dumping ground for the emotional trauma and we are not designed to carry it.

Photo Cred: Trice C.
I have made this mistake so many times and to be completely honest I still struggle with it. Because I pride myself in being “their person” I oftentimes neglect my own emotions, feelings and traumatic moments because I have to be there for them. I have to focus on their issue and help them process it. There were many times that I would go to bed feeling drained, lost, helpless and upset with myself because here I was pouring out everything I had in me to be left feeling empty and disregarded. I have walked away from some pretty meaningful friendships because over time it was no longer 50/50, I wasn’t given a space to share my moments of happiness or regrets. I wasn’t allowed to have a “down moment or day” because somebody always needed something. In the end I began to resent the years that were spent cultivating the friendship and my inability to see that I was becoming a dumping ground.

Over the summer I had the chance to do some inventory and I evaluated where I was in life and where I wanted to go. One thing that kept popping up was my need to grow and my desire to grow beyond certain situations. That meant that I would have to come face to face with the reality that I outgrew some relationships. All that time I spent frustrated with myself and angry with my predicament could’ve been turned into a positive moment of self-reflection and release. See it’s much deeper than carrying the weight of someone else’s pain it was the unwillingness to own my own pain and to deal with it alone. I learned very quickly that in life there are seasons and, in every season, there is a change and a need for growth, I don’t have a choice to skip or bypass the process. I have to GROW through it. I had to take the emotional garbage and release it and I mean I had to really let it go.

I had to pray and I mean PRAY, for God to help me. Everything around me was so broken and fragile. I was no longer able to fully be present during the good times or the bad. I was becoming detached and unhinged. Resentful and ultimately a weapon of mass destruction to my future. I had stopped dreaming, I stopped hoping. During this moment God really began to minister to my heart and he reassured me that it was okay to let everything go and he understood that I would struggle but he knew I would try.

I made up in my mind to make a conscious effort to grab my shovel and to start digging and dumping every piece of emotional garbage that was hindering me. I am learning to reprogram myself and to encourage the ones around me to not allow themselves to become an emotional dumping ground. I learned that everyone comes to the realization in their own time, I cannot force others to see their mess just like they couldn’t force me to see mines.  I have to walk this thing out with them and to allow them to clean it up for themselves.

It’s not my responsibility to carry it and I deserved to be free and guess what? You deserve to be free as well, free from carrying the weight of someone else’s burden. Your road to freedom may look a little different than others but that doesn’t matter, just make sure you grab your freedom.

My friends and family deserve a whole, healed and compassionate version of me and that’s my mission. Freedom is my goal and I am digging and fighting daily.

Dancing With The Scars

From the day I was born up until I was about 6 months old I was given every opportunity to fight for my life. (Special thanks to every NICU nurse & doctor!!) As a result of being born prematurely I have permanent IV scars all over my body. As I grew older I began to experience some internal scars from the people I was surrounded by. Instead of them pushing me towards greatness they began stripping me of everything they didn’t like. It was no longer a life saving mission but a dream killing, spiritually threatening event. 

 I have plenty of them and I am grateful for the ones that are visible to the naked eye, they are apart of my story it serves a purpose.  But what about the scars no one sees, the scars where the wound was so deep I can still feel the sting of the intial impact? The scars that don’t belong, the ones I never asked for? 

We all have scars and whether or not we confronted the pain or swept it under the rug, we still remember. I struggle in silence with my scars and only the people who are really close to me know about my inner battle. I fight with the memories of rejection, loss, grief and unacceptance. 

I remember growing up and begging God to never let my scars from when I was a baby fade away & now I’m begging God to help me FORGET the scars that others can’t see. 

It’s the scars that people can’t see that scare me. It’s the memory of the impact, it’s the pain that creeps up to the surface on a random Tuesday morning, it’s the fight that it takes to rise above and to forgive CONSTANTLY. These scars are the ones that shape my outlook on humanity. 

While I’m entitled to feel the pain of the intial wound it’s not my job to cover up the scar. I can’t bury the pain but I can ask God to reveal his purpose within it. I was designed to heal, recover, release & forgive. I can still dance with my scars, I can still live a full life with these internal markings and I can bodly declare Gods goodness in every wound I endured. 

Every scar, every open incision & every infected piece of me that just can’t seem to get better or heal is subject to the powerful and miraculous name of Jesus! 

I am beginning to see that every trail, defeat & sleepless night served a greater purpose. My scars are a reminder of an event in my life, it’s not my LIFE. The scars don’t own me, they cannot control me and they will no longer stop me! 

My Prayer for You:
I am praying for every person that is reading this. I am asking God to give you peace and strength to release anyone or anything that may have hurt you. May you walk in your freedom and may you smile freely.

You will overcome!! Praise your way through it!

See you on the dance floor!  

Special thanks to Pastor Leroy H. for speaking such a life changing word into my life. This piece was inspired by him. 

Traveling 101: 2018 Summer Edition

With Summer quickly approaching I wanted to give you some updated tips & tricks to help you navigate your summer travels.  Here we go!

  1. Summer = thunderstorms!!! Lots of thunderstorms & lighting. Word of advice: Please be patient with your inflight crew & with mother nature (they want to get to their destination just like you!)
  2. Give yourself plenty of time in between connections (do NOT allow third party websites/ any website auto book your iternary. You have to give yourself a “grace period” for delays, mechanical issues, etc.)
  3. If there is a delay, take this time to update family/friends and to grab food
  4. Thunderstorms = turbulence which can make some travelers queasy (it’s completely normal just prepare yourself accordingly)
  5. Condensation is real & you may see a cloudy, smokey looking substance just flowing in the cabin (its the cold air fom the AC mixing with the warm air via outside/the jetbridge)
  6. Anything that you may need (medicine, chargers, laptop, etc) should be on your person or accessible when traveling. 
  7. Familarize yourself with any extensive traffic delays or TSA procedures before arriving to the airport (AKA!!! Give yourself plenty of time to check bags, clear security and grab food! Food is important lolPhoto Cred: Trice C

  8. Allergies affect everyone differently (be mindful when purchasing or bringing nut products onboard. Crew members are usually made aware of any LISTED allergies)
  9. If you have a nut allergy/ medical diagnosis that may require immediate attention please provide that information when booking your ticket/at the gate when you arrive at the airport  
  10. Babies are so special and wonderful! Parents it’s completely normal for your infant/child to be fussy or antsy (us adults know how to adjust! We don’t expect your infant/child to sit perfectly still for 2/ more hours)
  11. Always place car seat/booster seat at the window (its for your safety)
  12. Wear socks AND shoes (sandals are ok, just cover your feet) when entering and exiting the lavatory or restrooms (i think you can understand why) 
  13. Your crew is genuinely happy to have you onboard and we are usually caring for 200+ passengers at a time, so please be patient with us
  14. Balloons are wonderful and exciting but please ensure they are deflated before boarding the aircraft 
  15. Pack your essentials and at least one days worth of clothing in your carry on 
  16. Give yourself an extra day when traveling back home (delays, thunderstorms, mechanical issues)
  17. Your flight crew tends to work long hours without adequate breaks or downtime please be patient with us (our feet probably hurt lol)
  18. Familiarize yourself with your closest exits & restrooms
  19. Lower your window shade when you leave, helps keep the aircraft cool 
  20. Water is your best friend while traveling! Don’t become dehydrated!! 
I hope you enjoyed these tips & tricks! Have a wonderful summer and live it up! 

Seven Years Later

May 2, 2011 I packed up and started my new life in North Carolina. As I reflect over the past seven years I can’t help but to thank God for keeping me. I left Virginia with a different perspective and goal in mind little did I know that God would not only strip me but rebuild  me.
When I first settled in Charlotte I didn’t want anything to do with singing or leading in my church. I wanted to be free from any expectations or unrealistic goals that others had set upon me. I was in a constant state of war between my assignment and my free will. I didn’t realize how hurt I was until I moved away from the source of the pain. Here I was a 21 going on 22 year old woman holding on to some serious church hurt and not knowing how to cope other than to not be involved and to not be to social at church. I figured the less they knew about me the less ammunition they would have to use against me, when in reality God was trying to push something out of me. 
I was making the decision to cut off the source of my greatest pain and in return I was creating a bigger wound. 
New Life Fellowship gave me the chance to breathe again free from the burden (or so I thought) of my assignment, I was being refilled and challenged daily in my faith. I was at ground zero and I had no idea. 

God was rebuilding me from the ground up and I had to release and forgive the ones who hurt me, I learned that forgiveness gives me the freedom to move on. If I keep holding it I am only doing more damage to myself. 

I lived in Charlotte, NC for five years before moving to Raleigh. I had a strong support system in Charlotte but God was calling me into a new season with a new perspective on life and most importantly church. I moved to Raleigh and life went into high speed there were so many changes and some more heartache but the difference is that I knew how to cope. In this season of my life I am giving myself permission to share my pain without fear, without the feeling of “what if I am saying too much?” “What if it doesn’t come across right?” 

SILENCE can be determintal especially if your testimony can help the next person. Church hurt is real but DO NOT let it stop you from functioning. Losing friends is hard but DO NOT let that stop you from embracing or cultivating a new friendship. Leaving a comfortable season in your life to walk into the unkown is tough but DO NOT become stagnant. 

These past seven years I have been under some serious construction and I have learned a lot. No amount of money, cars or jobs can give me the inner peace I so desperately needed in 2011. Living in a dysfunctional state prolonges the blessings God is trying to give you. I am so glad God opened the door for me back in 2011, I’m grateful for the people I have been able to connect to. I am thankful that even in my dysfunction God still pulled out the best in me, he still uses me but in a different capacity. He opened my eyes and showed me that there was so much more invested inside of me. God is a God of second chances and for that I am forever grateful. 
My prayer is that anyone who reads this sees that God can take you, strip you and rebuild you into a better version of who you were before. And although the memory of the pain might still linger around know that you have the power to forgive and to move on. People will always be people, we all have our shortcomings and we all have some growing to do. I pray that you don’t run from the pain but that you embrace it, I pray that your pain doesn’t become your crutch and that you are able to see past the hurt and realize that God is trying to pull something out of you. It may not always feel good or look good but it will be good for you! 

Walk in your peace

Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

I wanted to take a moment to remember my wonderful grandfather and the amazing legacy he created. Growing up it was my Dad & My Grandfather those were the two men I looked up to, and as I grew older I began to understand the life lessons they taught me.
April 4,2010 God called my Grandfather home and although a piece of my heart still aches I am rejoicing in the fact that he is at peace and completely healed. In honor of his memory I wanted to share some lessons he taught me.

  • Whatever you do for God ensure that you give your best
  • Always be willing to help when needed 
  • Your actions say a lot about you 
  • Matain healthy and thriving relationships with your friends 
  • You are never too far from Christ
  • Even when you feel like you have done all that you can do, keep going
  • Listen more than you speak 
  • Give freely, not expecting anything in return
  • Let the LORD fight your battles
  • Be mindful of the words you speak (there’s power in your tongue)
  • God has a plan for your life
  • Don’t do it, if your hearts not in it
  • You can’t act a fool Monday-Saturday and expect to sing on Sunday morning 
  • Forgiveness is powerful 
  • Its not your job to judge or seek revenge 
  • Even if you can’t find the words to say, God will still hear you 
Through every up and down my Grandfather remained consistent, loving and compassionate. The way he lived his life was a testimony in itself. I never once heard him talk down about anyone or condem anyone. While his time here on earth was filled with joy, love and pain he continued to depend on Christ and shared the goodness of Christ every chance he could. 

To my Grandpa, my Pappy, my Pops thank you for living a life that spoke for itself even after you left this earth. 
Love, Trice  

Life Lessons: Chapter 28

In celebration of my 28th birthday I wanted to share with you some life lessons I learned this past year!

It gives me great pleasure to share my annual life lessons reflection piece with you all.

  1. Listen to your body (rest when needed)
  2. It’s ok to not be ok!
  3. Write your truth
  4. Own it (Don’t make excuses for your mistakes)
  5. Allow Christ to lead you 
  6. Never make a decision based off someone else’s views/opinions 
  7. People will always show their true colors, just give them time
  8. Silence is golden! 
  9. Be in the moment 
  10. Life doesn’t go according to plan 
  11. When you feel anxious, remember to breathe
  12. It’s ok to not know the answers (take the time to listen & learn)
  13. Removing yourself from a friendship/relationship is not a bad thing 
  14. Be bold, always show up with your head held high 
  15. Life is full of change & uncomfortable moments (Rise to the occasion)
  16. It’s okay to be uncomfortable if it leads to growth & development 
  17. Never question the path God has you on
  18. Your support system will always be there for you 
  19. There’s no place you can go where Christ cannot reach you
  20. You are never too old to make a change
  21. Drink lots of water & take your vitamins daily
  22. Never let anyone throw dirt on your dream
  23. If people don’t see your vision, its not your responsibility to drag them with you
  24. Carrying dead weight whether it be emotionally or mentally can be deadly and detrimental to your future
  25. Christ sees your HEART
  26. Always speak the truth in love 
  27. Healing takes time, give yourself the space and time to heal completely.  
  28. Live a life without limits 
A special thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my material, it truly means the world to me and I don't take it lightly. I promise to continue to give you quality, thought provoking piecs but most importantly I will continue to shine the light on Christ!
Cheers to new beginnings and a brand new chapter!! Hello 28 I've been waiting for you!

The Ultimate Staycation

I must be losing it because I definitely planned a staycation in New York City when the high was a cool 30 degrees with wind which made it feel like 15 degrees or LESS!
Staycation- “a vacation spent at home or nearby” 

I love living in New York, there is always something new to discover and amazing food! (I am all about the food. The very first stop I made was Times Square and although I have been to Times Square a few times I really wanted to visit some stores and stop by my favorite restaurant “Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co.” (Random Fact: Forrest Gump is my favorite movie) Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co. is an experience all in itself, from the restaurant d├ęcor, souvenir shops to the trivia game you can’t beat it! After I left Bubba Gump I took a stroll into the center of Times Square and visited a few department stores which were four of five levels filled with amazing fashion and a wide variety of items I knew I wouldn’t be able to find at home in North Carolina. It definitely took some self-control not to go crazy buying everything!
I ended my first night with a burger from “Satori Burgers” the Seamless app made it simple and easy to order a custom burger right to my front door!
Day Two: 
The second day of my staycation consisted of lots of great food and a Grammy Celebration Concert hosted by Bishop Hezekiah Walker and SOB’s. After months of trying to catch Maranda Curtis in concert, I was finally successful! If you get a chance I highly recommend that you attend the Maranda Curtis Experience and download her new EP!
Day Three:
One of the things I wanted to do was to get tickets to “Good Morning America” and “The View” and it’s pretty easy to do! The tickets are free and I requested them about a week in advance, a lot of times you are placed on a waiting list and as space opens up confirmed tickets are sent out! Lucky for me I was able to grab confirmed tickets for Good Morning America on Thursday January 25th!  Now one thing I didn’t consider was the morning commute on the subway and the time I had to wake up! My alarm went off at 3:30am and it was go time, my commute was about an hour and there was no wiggle room on the subway. If you haven’t ever experienced what a packed subway car feels like just imagine being in a small concert venue with no A/C and standing room only and filled to max capacity (like Fire Marshalls showing up max capacity) It was freezing outside but burning up inside each and every subway car and of course with every stop two people would get off and twelve people would cram in. Once I arrived in Times Square I headed over to 42nd St and Broadway to check in and get my wristband, the part that they don’t tell you or that I failed to realize was that you are standing outside at 6am in the cold waiting to get it. Once I got through security around 7am I was able to defrost, run by coat check and grab the seat.

While the real news is taking place downstairs on the lower level the studio audience was upstairs having a great time, the staff at GMA not only woke us up but ensured that we were camera ready. Once eight am hit we were rocking and rolling with deals and steals and the off camera photos!
All in all I had an amazing staycation and I can’t wait until the summer hits and I can enjoy the warm weather and continue my adventures. I am pretty sure that I am still defrosting from that eventful week.

New York you never fail! Thanks for the memories and the fun! Now back to work I go


A year of faith!!

At the end of the year my Pastor, Steven Furtick challenges every person and family to pick a word for the following year. Ive been picking my word every year since 2015 and sometimes I have to pick two words. For 2018 I picked, “Faith” I knew that if i had more faith then I would have less stress. More faith means less room to become so easily frazzled when things don’t go my way or when the plans seem to fall through.

I must admit that although this year has just started I have been stretched, pulled and challenged in my faith. I find myself saying, “God I trust you.” But my mind will immediately start planning a back up plan for the two back up plans I already had.

With winter storm Grayson I was reminded that you can NOT have faith and stress at the same time. While i was sitting in the airport I began thinking of who I could call to just vent about my commuting struggle. As I was scrolling through my contact list I started talking to God, I was so frustrated with myself for not having faith in the small things and areas in my life. God knew I would be pushed to the limit with all the flight delays and cancellations, God knew I had to be at work super early and not once did he leave me hanging.

He favored me every step of the way and gave me time to rest. I say all of this to remind you that although you want an immediate change in a specific area of your life/personality it doesn’t happen overnight. That is one of the hardest parts about choosing a word like “faith”
I know in order for my faith to grow I have to go through some tough situations and I have to stay diligent when my mind and emotions go left. I have to constantly remind myself that FAITH the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.
Photo By: Jenny Garrett Photography
It doesn’t matter how bad it looks from the outside I know Jesus will meet me in the middle of the mess and he will carry me to the other side. He was with the three Hebrew boys before they ever stepped foot in the fiery furnace. He was with the woman at the well when she went to the well not knowing she was going to meet Jesus there, he was with Jonah when he was in the belly of the whale. He is with you even in your dysfunction, failures, triumphs and disappointments. He is the God of miracles and a rewarder of those who seek him daily.

2018, will be my year of FAITH and I know that through every test, tight space, negative feeling and failure he will guide me through.

Stand boldly in your truth!

Is It Too Early?

1989-Trice C.
My father sent me a photo of my ultrasound the other day “dated 1989” and as you can see in this photo I was there but there was a lot of development that needed to take place. I made my grand entrance in February and the rest is history. I am one of the lucky babies who not only survived but I kept defying the odds.
I was reminded that in life we plan every detail of our lives but what about those unexpected things that happen in life? I’m sure almost twenty eight years ago my parents were not planning on welcoming me into the world so prematurely but they adjusted and they were focused.  I must admit I like to plan and even if I allow someone else to plan something for me I make sure they have a clear picture of what I want, I still want control without the responsibility.
When it comes to my dreams and my aspirations I don’t give myself a date to complete it because let’s be honest, life happens and dreams can be deferred. The plan I have for my life took a back seat once I accepted Christ. I still have hopes and dreams but I trust in the plan he has for my life. I can’t see every single twist and turn but I trust in his timing.
February 25, 1990 God showed not only my parents but every doctor and nurse that was over my case that he was in complete control. His timing is perfect, his timing is sure; I can always depend on him. I learned very early in life that in every season there will be good and bad days it’s just up to us to trust in the plan he has set before us.
When I first saw ultrasound I said, “Well that doesn’t look like much but that’s a gift.” Whatever you have in front of you may not look like much but it’s a gift, it’s a blessing, it’s apart of the plan.  It wasn’t up to me to figure out why I was born early I am here, I am healthy and I am gifted.
Photo Cred: Jenny Garrett Photography 
Every gift, dream, aspiration and plan you have for your life will come to pass in his time. You may have to make a move quicker than expected but if you just hold on, it will be worth it.  Never doubt the plan that God has for your life, seek him in the early stages of the plan and allow him to guide you. He will never leave you or lead you into a place that you weren’t graced for. I was graced for an early delivery. My mother was graced with the ability to deliver me, my father was graced with the task of praying for me and every doctor and nurse was graced with the knowledge and skill to care for me.
I went from a premature baby with a low chance of survival to a thriving young woman who is unashamed of her shortcomings, failures, victories and defeats.  It’s in the premature, unexpected moments in life that we learn to depend on God like never before.

Never doubt those rushed moments, those moments where you felt like you didn’t have enough time. The season you were and are in was predestined before you were ever born, stay the course and remember with God its never too early.