Check Your Batteries

This week will mark a year since everything I’d come to know, love and even dislike was shattered. Similarly to other major, life altering events, where were you when what we’d thought of as a small virus far away, took root close to home? For me, at first it was sitting eating sushi with my spouse. We were in a restaurant where the news was playing and remarkably noticing what was being reported. A few days later, I was attending a zoom over in the night with the post graduate’s program informing me and other loved ones that we needed to make immediate plans for their return to the United States before the borders closed. My deepest fears began to set in and suddenly my normal shopping and preparing for her return morphed into a frenzy of securing paper towels, toilet tissue and disinfectant in addition to her staple vegan – gluten free foods. I was churchy enough to not allow the word fear to be spoken from my lips, yet I was also anointed enough to recognize that indeed, “Houston, we had a problem.” Like many of you, we began to put our fears into action, praying, establishing altars within our homes, checking on loved ones, entering more powerful relationships with internet carriers, for what was supposed to be a two week journey, that has now resulted in similar fashion to the S.S. MINNOW’s short boat ride. Yet even as things are seemingly emerging from our hunkering down, might we be encouraged to continue to practice those rituals that have caused us to triumph even amidst calamity?

I have a close friend that was in a home where it was time for the batteries to be changed in the smoke alarm. Aside from the risk that she was availing she and visitors to, the noise itself, for me, was incredibly annoying. As I attempted to visit her, I could barely concentrate on our conversation for the disturbance happening around me. She’d become immune to the sound, while it was driving me insane. Prior to the pandemic, what had we each nestled ourselves into, without regard for the trauma we were being subjected to? To what extent were we regularly, deliberately and constantly, “checking our batteries,” the reservoir that empowered us to have energy, to serve purpose, to hear the signal when harm was in proximity and serve as indication that our safety was being compromised? Deep, transparent sigh, for self here. If I take nothing with me, it is the practice ensure that I am always making the Lord my dwelling place – and that is wherever I go, and even more in the home to which God has blessed me to occupy. In Psalm 91, the Word affirms, “Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door.” So therefore, in response, it is only logical that I then assume the practice that is necessary to receive the blessing that has been promised, by regularly engaging in the practice of checking my batteries.

I have the ability to build my power source by ministering in dance, in my home. I was unable to go to the house of the Lord regularly to enact this practice I’ve become accustomed to over the last 16-17 years, but there is nothing stopping me in my home and I don’t have to stop for the service to continue. I’ve built my power source through building an altar for my prayer life. I rise at 5:30am before my daily workout to sit before the Father, to listen and gain instruction and direction for the day ahead. When I don’t engage, when I sleep in or just miss it, I can literally feel myself running on low, and I’m confident in those moments, those around me (even in the virtual world) can hear that disturbing, “beep,” because my batteries are blaring for everyone except me. After my prayer and meditation time, I’ve joined with folx on zoom for a daily workout. I have the option of turning my camera off, but the accountability factor of knowing people are expecting me to show up and encouraging me to take care of my temple has given me life that I didn’t know how much I needed. I’ve gotten stronger and been affirmed in realizing that I can accomplish more because of my faith in what I believe and not what I see. Your girl has been going up in her strength training, because she has been surrounded with those who grant grace and encouragement. Are others with you on the battery aisle or simply residing in beep filled spaces unaware of the harm that is lurking?

Batteries have capacity and so do we. Batteries in smoke detectors beep when they are low, batteries on our phones send notifications and then just stop working. The same can be said for us. We didn’t want to experience a pandemic. We are saddened for all the loss that we’ve experienced, we’ve witnessed and that we are still navigating; and it is likely that God was sending indication all along that unless we plug ourselves into the hem of His garment, we will not be fit for the fight. If you haven’t sharpened your weaponry, it’s high time you do. If you are still here, if you still have your righteous mind (or a portion of it), if you can still heed the warnings and hear the beeping – may we be compelled to trust Him all the more, live lives worthy of the vocation to which we’ve been called and ourselves to be prepared to operate as living sanctuaries – pure and holy, tried and true, brimming with capacity for the work that lies ahead.


  • Cassandra Williams

    I am so blessed to have this opportunity to sit and have this telepathic conversation with you and for a time as this. I too have been reflecting on the goodness we share in so many blessings that were challenging then and now! Today I am full as our ancestors would say, I trust God to hear my cry!

    • Stephanie

      Glory to God cousin!!!!!!! God most certainly does hear our cry, even as loud and downright heartbroken as we can be. He never leaves us by ourselves. Never.

  • Keila

    Yes the Pandemic has truly brought me closer to the word, my mornings begin with Devotion. Thanking God for giving me the opportunity to grow deeper and closer to him

    • Stephanie

      I love it! We have a shared practice. When I do not begin my day in prayer and meditation, I know it…and unfortunately everyone else too. 🙂

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