Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting my daughter who is away at school. Her roommates live locally to the university and already moved home. So, instead of staying in a hotel, I elected to stay in her campus apartment during my visit. It was a surreal experience to the say the least. I haven’t stayed in a residence hall in quite a while. I shared in a Facebook post that the feeling of nostalgic overwhelmed me. We ate pizza after 11pm and I paid for it hours later. Happy Mother’s Day indeed. During my visit, the residence hall environment allowed me to reflect upon my own memories and reminded me to be uber grateful for grace.
I watched my daughter and the utility of wisdom in her daily activities. She parks in a garage and is super vigilant and mindful of her surroundings. I was the opposite. Although I grew up in the city, the migration to a small college town, encouraged me to develop a sense of comfort that did not display the best judgment. If it were more than 3 of us at a time, we would hop a ride with a stranger…but you know, not a “real” stranger, because we’d seen the person at parties and events on campus. I listened to her speak of difficulty with roommates on issue such as cleaning the bathroom. I was in awe of her stating that instead of getting angry and addressing every issue, she pauses to reflect and asks herself if its really that serious, and if not, she ignores the behavior. My roommate Kieshia and I reacted completely different while in a similar situation. There were several other instances during the weekend that allowed me a glimpse of God’s grace and hand upon her life. The growth that she demonstrates at her present age is far and above what I did at her age. The only place of dissent we had is our appreciation of music. The womanist in me is in complete denial and rejection of the music in her playlist. We finally agreed to disagree on one artist in particular. I thought to myself, if only I could change her mind about this music thing, she’d be the perfect revised version of me! Let’s just say I was feeling myself a little too much, and God in his perfect way (and love) had to bring a sister back to center.
Before my trip, I went to through an old cd collection and loaded the player in my car. On my drive to visit my daughter, I listened to the radio. On my return, I elected to listen to my cd player. The first cd was Luther Vandross Live in Concert. Winning! The second cd opened with Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name.” I was like, cool. When a second Alicia Keys’ song failed to play, I realized that the cd was customized. Because I’ve always been the friend to make cds for others, I knew that the compilation was created by me. Let’s just say that apparently in 2003, a sister was going through some stuff. I do recall that was year that I declared my year of suffering. I can recall proclaiming that I was 33 and I was determined that I would experience as much trauma did as Christ at the same age. Sidebar: Be careful of the words you speak over yourself! I was completing my dissertation and my relationship was a bit troubling. Let’s just say my playlist was sad. Of course like a train wreck waiting to happen, I refused to move to the next cd. Instead, I listened and realized that the womanist in me was in her very early stages at the time that cd was created. I was reminded of God’s grace and appreciative yet again for his covering, and perhaps more significantly, his love for me that moved me from such a difficult space in time. I thought, I wonder what my daughter would think if she heard my playlist. In that moment, God allowed me to move from a place of judgement and instead, yet again, restorative trust in Him to do for her what He did for me.
The playlist of my past isn’t confined to one cd. There are many elements that I am Godly proud of, and other moments where I’m pleased that it was only a one hit wonder. Yet looking back, some of the most difficult moments and lessons I learned are established as an oldie but goodie, a timeless song that played a key role in becoming the woman I am today. I liken this experience to Joshua 4:21, and prepare myself for the time when my daughter comes across my cd collection, or my book collection or in general conversation. I am prepared to share that the Lord dried up my rivers and allowed me to cross over on dry land; that his hand is mighty and that you should fear him. Let me put that on repeat.