In February, I went with a friend to Mobile, Alabama, for the original Mardi Gras! I joined her family for a weekend of parades, moon pies and swinging out! I will never forget it, specifically because of how it changed me. While I thought I was going to turn up and party hard — God used this getaway to renew my perspective in a few major areas:
No. 1: Family.
Only recently did I started to entertain the idea of having kids. For the longest, I thought I would be the baddie aunite who traveled the world and spoiled my nephew. My rationale was that if my husband really wanted a child, I would give him one — but only one, lol. But I messed around at Mardi Gras and got big-family fever! My friends family is so dope! Seeing the love and pure joy they share gave me a longing to feel that in my home one day. I've just recently stepped out of my introverted shell to truly connect with community, but I didn't realize that that kind of community could be possible within families until I saw my friend and her family interact. My family and I have never been that close, and I know now I want something different for my kids — yes, kids! I want to create a home FULL of loves, laughs, deep conversations and friendship. I want my kids to know early the power of creating bonds with each other and with people in the world.
No. 2: Finances.
At the beginning of February, I was so nervous! With numerous birthdays and trips coming up, I really didn't see how I was going to fit everything into my budget. I paid my tithes and bills for the month, and literally didn't have any money left for a trip. I thought about canceling Alabama, but God kept telling me, "I will provide." He always shows up and shows out me, but somewhere in the midst of me setting some bigger financial goals (I have aggressive goals to pay off debt and by a home), I somehow forgot just had much God had kept me. This year marks 2 years since I've lived on my own, and I've never missed a bill and always had food in the fridge; plus, I even have spending money left over for a night on the town. So you'd think that I would trust him to provide right? Nope. My empty back account shook me into survival mode, yet again. Up until the day before I was supposed to leave for my trip, I didn't have any funds, soI reactivated my credit card, "just in case," God didn't come through. I had really started to believe that God was going to leave me stranded — what's even worse, I started to accept that he was.
But what do you know — I didn't spend ANY money on the trip. My friends family cooked all of our meals and the activities we did were free. God knew what he was doing. He provided for my every need, and he didn't need dollars or a bank account to do it. I felt so ridiculous for reactivating my credit card! I felt so convicting for feeling like I needed a plan B when it comes God, who literally owns the world. I felt so ashamed of how I tried to control How God was going to provide for my trip.
The whole situation showed me just how much I don't trust Him and just how much I limit His provision. It's challenged me to rid of the "plan b" mentality. It's challenged me to stop thinking that I need to take things into my own hands. As a famous TikTok lady once said, "If God doesn't do it, it simply won't get done." And I believe that a part of faith is also realizing that if it doesn't get done — it wasn't meant to.
No. 3: Revelation can be found anywhere.
Before my trip to Alabama, when I thought of Mardi Gras, I thought of turn up session. I totally didn't expect God to encounter me with a change of perspective on family or my finances. What would have happened if I would have brought 2015 Danielle on this mini-vacation? I probably would have been drinking and looking for ways to be rebellious, and I would have totally missed what God wanted to show me. I thought even deeper about all the past times God may have tried to reveal things to me, but I totally missed it because I was too wrapped up my dysfunction. I am learning that you can't hear God unless you are actively searching him out in every situation. Jesus said, "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand." (Matthew 11:15). He was preaching to a group who were so worried about what Jesus was and wasn't doing that they couldn't focus in to get their deliverance. The same is true with us. Sometimes we can't hear because we are focus on getting our needs met, turning up and maybe even worrying about everything that's going wrong. But how much more would we learn if we decided to focus on what God was trying to show us?
"Wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” (Matthew 11:19)
Thank God He hasn't given up on trying to reach me.
So yeah, my first Mardi Gras blew my mind. I can't wait to tell my children about it. I can't wait to look back on it! I thank God so much for healing me and showing me all the things I should really want in life.
Did you go to Mardi Gras this year? Good or bad, tell me your favorite memory!