• Briana Holmes

I ain’t Never had nothin’

For as long as I can remember, I ain’t never had nothin.

Sure, I had clothes, shoes, and material possessions, but those things were always acquired at the cost of something important—like bills that needed to be paid. I’ve never went to stores “just to browse” or just to check out a sale. I only go to stores with a purpose of purchasing something that we need. I’ve never had “extra” money to buy things and rarely have I ever had a savings account for long periods of time. And even then I doubt it would have held over a hundred dollars.

My children have never had an abundance of anything, kinda like me. We’re usually operating out of one or two pair of shoes and rotating the rest of the stuff we need. A lot of women I know with gracious hearts pass down their clothes, that we take gratefully and this helps out more than I could ever express. And there are people that do little things here and there- school supplies, birthday cards, purses, underwear (new of course), just little things that show up right when we need them-but least when we expect them.

Like I said—I ain’t never had nothin.

For as long as I can think back—whatever money and abundance were – I didn’t have it. I spent most of my young adult years trying to break free of this seemingly cursed life. I went to college three times and graduated, then I got a better job, then I got a better job. But before I got the better job, I got on welfare, then I got off of welfare. Then I decided that I was going to be better than the struggle. Except I didn’t know how. Rarely can something be torn down and rebuilt using the same materials. I had a new mindset but I was trying to use the same materials. Didn’t work.

Funny thing is, I had an all knowing and all powerful God (who was and still is on my side) and didn’t even know it. I had dreams and hopes for the future but I mean I barely had money for Christmas, how could I publish a book? How could I travel the world? How could I experience the world without the means and resources?

Like I said—I ain’t never had nothin.

I discovered that Jesus loved me in 2016. Like for real loved me. Like no joking. He wanted the best for me always and he was always somehow with me, even when I wasn’t doing the right thing. Interesting. So you mean you’ve been here watching me struggle while you ate heavenly popcorn or something? Where were my angels? Were they sleeping or something ? Or were they against me too?

Okay, so it’s 2016 and now I am beginning to believe that God loves me and cares for me. Except for one thing. Every time hard times would come –well I guess hardER times is more appropriate because things were always hard—I would go all the way back to PRE-2016 where I my mind would always remind me –You ain’t never had nothin! My mind would torture my heart with thoughts like :

– Haven’t you been through enough?

-SO this is how God operates?

-Just die and get it over with, at least then you won’t have to worry about what you don’t have

-And why did you have kids?

-Like why did I get THESE parents?

-I just wish I had more support

And I could go on and on with the thoughts that would plague my mind day and night. New mindset but using the same materials I had before-which were doubt, fear, lack, resentment, and anger.

So as 2017 rolled in and quickly let me know that LIFE was still happening, I would still struggling with my life. One day I was grateful for the trouble, the next day I was mad about it, one day I was content with my life, the next day I just wanted to be able to do “insert some fleshly desire that would probably mask my real feelings” and then I would be okay. Like for real. I just know it. That’s the main reason why I can’t be happy because things just aren’t fair. I just want this or that and I just KNOW that it will make me content. New mindset –same materials. Remember –I ain’t got nothing but bill money and a LACK of time and support. I mean what am I supposed to use God? Everything I have goes to bills and OUR children and I don’t have anything “EXTRA” so what materials am I supposed to build with?

As a parent or aunt/uncle or anyone who is ever around kids—I’m sure you can relate to how sneaky and coy they are. How one minute they’re across the room and then the next minute they are on your phone in another room and you were not aware of ANY of it! I’m convinced this is how God moves. Quickly at times-when he’s in a good mood. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “enough is enough. She’s never gonna get it, let me just give her the answers.”

This is how the statement, “I ain’t never had nothin” hit me. IT was so true but not in the sense of what I thought. The clothes I wanted so badly, the pink nails I HAD to have, the sew in that I would just DIE without, the Jordan’s my children desperately needed, and the neighborhood and school that my children absolutely, positively NEEDED to attend were all NOTHIN.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless of course, you fail the test?”

Wait Paul—you could have left the last little part off ! I can imagine Paul with the side eye saying, “I mean unless you’re not REALLY a Christian!” and then he would put his hands up and say, “I’m just saying”

But how right is Paul in saying this to us? The same person who spoke to Moses, impregnated a virgin and healed a blind man with spit—this spirit is within US ?

My second thought—so have I been roaming around the wilderness this year because I was still walking around with my old mindset and without the power of Christ that I had cried at the altar and claimed to have accepted?

Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives within me.” –

How powerful is this?

This means while I am busily running behind material things, I am fortifying the power that these things have over me and forfeiting the presence of God that is within me!!

So –I truly ain’t never had nothin- UNTIL I found Jesus Christ.

Because the thing is—yes, we live in a fallen world. Calamity, death and destruction are going to happen, but the day to day things that drive us insane—the rat race to the top, the accumulation of material possessions, the human efforts to promote ourselves, the lack of financial abundance, the lack of good hair, good bodies, nice shapes, nice cars and the list could go on and on. –all these things wanted for the wrong reasons are simply NOTHIN!!

I used to tell people that if I died the next day—I would lay on my death bed and say that I had a hard life—and that perhaps that’s just what it was meant to be. Hard. Tough. Extreme.

But now I know that there is a greater good behind the tough, hard and extreme. Now I know that when the God promised to send a helper to help us through these extreme times for his purposes that he meant it. Now I know that the Creator of the universe planned my life out just like the other 7 billion people on this earth lives.

So although He may be eating heavenly popcorn watching me, I know that he’s not watching me suffer, rather he’s waiting for me to search for him, connect with him and ask him for guidance as what to do. But he’s also expecting that I will grow in maturity and in faith as time progresses.

So if I am lying in bed about to pass on to live with my father in heaven, I will say my life was tough and I suffered a lot, but I will also say that towards the end I did my very best to please my father and that even though I failed lots and lots and lots of times, I can honestly say that I know that HE saw my heart and he knew how much effort I put into just being a better person because I lived for him. He will see that I once I knew that I could activate his power within me—I was beginning to walk a little more like him, talk a little more like him and just REST In all of my circumstances -easy or hard.

I rarely know if what I am writing will actually help someone out or if I just believe that I’m a awesome writer, but I just hope that if you are reading this and going through something that has threatened to knock you off your feet (or maybe it already has) I just urge you to remember the last time that He rescued you (or not) but you made it through that situation. But this time, let’s tap into that power that you have ACCEPTED that inside of you and say, “God, you know my circumstances, tell me what to do, show me how to get through this! I want to learn and move on! Tell me if I’m wrong, help me do the right thing next time” or whatever your situation may be.

I really never have had much—the yearning was and always has been to break the cycle of poverty—but if I can start with acknowledging that Christ is within me and HE gave me the desires to break poverty which means that HE will provide the resources needed to do so—I can live with the tests and suffering lasting a little bit longer than I personally like.

For as long as I can remember, I ain’t never had nothin.

Sure, I had clothes, shoes, and material possessions, but those things were always acquired at the cost of something important—like bills that needed to be paid. I’ve never went to stores “just to browse” or just to check out a sale. I only go to stores with a purpose of purchasing something that we need. I’ve never had “extra” money to buy things and rarely have I ever had a savings account for long periods of time. And even then I doubt it would have held over a hundred dollars.

My children have never had an abundance of anything, kinda like me. We’re usually operating out of one or two pair of shoes and rotating the rest of the stuff we need. A lot of women I know with gracious hearts pass down their clothes, that we take gratefully and this helps out more than I could ever express. And there are people that do little things here and there- school supplies, birthday cards, purses, underwear (new of course), just little things that show up right when we need them-but least when we expect them.

Like I said—I ain’t never had nothin.

For as long as I can think back—whatever money and abundance were – I didn’t have it. I spent most of my young adult years trying to break free of this seemingly cursed life. I went to college three times and graduated, then I got a better job, then I got a better job. But before I got the better job, I got on welfare, then I got off of welfare. Then I decided that I was going to be better than the struggle. Except I didn’t know how. Rarely can something be torn down and rebuilt using the same materials. I had a new mindset but I was trying to use the same materials. Didn’t work.

Funny thing is, I had an all knowing and all powerful God (who was and still is on my side) and didn’t even know it. I had dreams and hopes for the future but I mean I barely had money for Christmas, how could I publish a book? How could I travel the world? How could I experience the world without the means and resources?

Like I said—I ain’t never had nothin.

I discovered that Jesus loved me in 2016. Like for real loved me. Like no joking. He wanted the best for me always and he was always somehow with me, even when I wasn’t doing the right thing. Interesting. So you mean you’ve been here watching me struggle while you ate heavenly popcorn or something? Where were my angels? Were they sleeping or something ? Or were they against me too?

Okay, so it’s 2016 and now I am beginning to believe that God loves me and cares for me. Except for one thing. Every time hard times would come –well I guess hardER times is more appropriate because things were always hard—I would go all the way back to PRE-2016 where I my mind would always remind me –You ain’t never had nothin! My mind would torture my heart with thoughts like :

– Haven’t you been through enough?

-SO this is how God operates?

-Just die and get it over with, at least then you won’t have to worry about what you don’t have

-And why did you have kids?

-Like why did I get THESE parents?

-I just wish I had more support

And I could go on and on with the thoughts that would plague my mind day and night. New mindset but using the same materials I had before-which were doubt, fear, lack, resentment, and anger.

So as 2017 rolled in and quickly let me know that LIFE was still happening, I would still struggling with my life. One day I was grateful for the trouble, the next day I was mad about it, one day I was content with my life, the next day I just wanted to be able to do “insert some fleshly desire that would probably mask my real feelings” and then I would be okay. Like for real. I just know it. That’s the main reason why I can’t be happy because things just aren’t fair. I just want this or that and I just KNOW that it will make me content. New mindset –same materials. Remember –I ain’t got nothing but bill money and a LACK of time and support. I mean what am I supposed to use God? Everything I have goes to bills and OUR children and I don’t have anything “EXTRA” so what materials am I supposed to build with?

As a parent or aunt/uncle or anyone who is ever around kids—I’m sure you can relate to how sneaky and coy they are. How one minute they’re across the room and then the next minute they are on your phone in another room and you were not aware of ANY of it! I’m convinced this is how God moves. Quickly at times-when he’s in a good mood. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “enough is enough. She’s never gonna get it, let me just give her the answers.”

This is how the statement, “I ain’t never had nothin” hit me. IT was so true but not in the sense of what I thought. The clothes I wanted so badly, the pink nails I HAD to have, the sew in that I would just DIE without, the Jordan’s my children desperately needed, and the neighborhood and school that my children absolutely, positively NEEDED to attend were all NOTHIN.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless of course, you fail the test?”

Wait Paul—you could have left the last little part off ! I can imagine Paul with the side eye saying, “I mean unless you’re not REALLY a Christian!” and then he would put his hands up and say, “I’m just saying”

But how right is Paul in saying this to us? The same person who spoke to Moses, impregnated a virgin and healed a blind man with spit—this spirit is within US ?

My second thought—so have I been roaming around the wilderness this year because I was still walking around with my old mindset and without the power of Christ that I had cried at the altar and claimed to have accepted?

Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives within me.” –

How powerful is this?

This means while I am busily running behind material things, I am fortifying the power that these things have over me and forfeiting the presence of God that is within me!! So –I truly ain’t never had nothin- UNTIL I found Jesus Christ.

Because the thing is—yes, we live in a fallen world. Calamity, death and destruction are going to happen, but the day to day things that drive us insane—the rat race to the top, the accumulation of material possessions, the human efforts to promote ourselves, the lack of financial abundance, the lack of good hair, good bodies, nice shapes, nice cars and the list could go on and on. –all these things wanted for the wrong reasons are simply NOTHIN!!

I used to tell people that if I died the next day—I would lay on my death bed and say that I had a hard life—and that perhaps that’s just what it was meant to be. Hard. Tough. Extreme.

But now I know that there is a greater good behind the tough, hard and extreme. Now I know that when the God promised to send a helper to help us through these extreme times for his purposes that he meant it. Now I know that the Creator of the universe planned my life out just like the other 7 billion people on this earth lives.

So although He may be eating heavenly popcorn watching me, I know that he’s not watching me suffer, rather he’s waiting for me to search for him, connect with him and ask him for guidance as what to do. But he’s also expecting that I will grow in maturity and in faith as time progresses.

So if I am lying in bed about to pass on to live with my father in heaven, I will say my life was tough and I suffered a lot, but I will also say that towards the end I did my very best to please my father and that even though I failed lots and lots and lots of times, I can honestly say that I know that HE saw my heart and he knew how much effort I put into just being a better person because I lived for him. He will see that I once I knew that I could activate his power within me—I was beginning to walk a little more like him, talk a little more like him and just REST In all of my circumstances -easy or hard.

I rarely know if what I am writing will actually help someone out or if I just believe that I’m a awesome writer, but I just hope that if you are reading this and going through something that has threatened to knock you off your feet (or maybe it already has) I just urge you to remember the last time that He rescued you (or not) but you made it through that situation. But this time, let’s tap into that power that you have ACCEPTED that inside of you and say, “God, you know my circumstances, tell me what to do, show me how to get through this! I want to learn and move on! Tell me if I’m wrong, help me do the right thing next time” or whatever your situation may be.

I really never have had much—the yearning was and always has been to break the cycle of poverty—but if I can start with acknowledging that Christ is within me and HE gave me the desires to break poverty which means that HE will provide the resources needed to do so—I can live with the tests and suffering lasting a little bit longer than I personally like.

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