My Family Fantastic

Creating Experiences That Help Relationships Thrive

The Odds Are Against Us, But It Don’t Even Matter

 

The odds say that black women are less likely to marry.  CNN was kind enough to do an entire series on it in 2008. And a recent report by the Brookings Institute is reminding us of those dismal facts.

This is not new information.

But, I’m writing about this today because I had a conversation with a new friend about the topic. It was one of those conversations you walk away from and you’re like ‘Dang. I gotta DO SOMETHING.’ But, you’re just not quite sure what.

My new friend was explaining that she took the Mr. Right Quiz and she had some concerns. Because relationships are so much more nuanced, and there are so many things against us, and it’s just not as simple as I make it out to be.  I accept that.

What I found to be the most troubling were her recent interactions with so-called Christian black men. Men that live one way in the pulpit and another on the street. Considering the odds, I almost fell into despair again.

But then I remembered the times, that odds didn’t matter.

The Odds Were Against Gideon

Take Gideon, for instance, he was commissioned to lead the fight against the Midianites.  He was the least son, from a poor family, in the half-tribe of Manasseh. He wasn’t sure of himself. But he finally believed that God was calling him after a series of Divine tests. So, he gathered 22,000 men to fight the battle.

Here’s what the Lord said :

“You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me. Judges 7:2 (MSG)

You probably know the end of this story: Gideon and his raggedy band of 300 men won that battle. But, the Lord ensured that the victory pointed people to Him.

The Odds Were Against the Canaanites

The Israelites were on the border of the Promised Land–the land flowing with milk and honey. God had wreaked havoc on their enslavers, parted the Red Sea, and given them more quail than they could handle to bring them to this point.

Then the Lord said:

Send men to scout out the country of Canaan that I am giving to the People of Israel. Send one man from each ancestral tribe, each one a tried-and-true leader in the tribe. Numbers 13:2 (MSG)

Moses chose the twelve men to go and scout the land…that the Lord had promised. The thing is, forty days later, ten of the men came back and confirmed that the land was good. But that the odds were against them:

  • the cities were walled
  • the people were strong
  • and they were too small

Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people to trust the Lord and not to fear. In return, the people threatened to stone them. The Lord was enraged with the people and he pledged to smite every last one, but Moses convinced Him to stay his hand (Numbers 14).

The Lord was on the Israelites’ side.

All the odds were against the Canaanites.

But the Israelites chose to believe the dismal report…not the promises of their tried-and-true God.

The Odds Were Against Me Too

In January of 2006, I packed up all my stuff, left Nashville, and moved to far west Texas. El Paso to be exact. My grandmother had passed away the summer before. And I was moving out there because I felt like the Lord was telling me to go and help my granddad.

While there I enrolled in grad school and my second semester, I met this handsome man . At first we were friendly, but after a series of miscommunications…he kicked me to the curb.

Fast forward a year and a half, I’m leaving my internship at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., and there at the precise moment I’m rushing to catch my train, to catch my bus, to then walk for a mile to get home…is that handsome I’d met in class all those months ago.

On Our Wedding Day at the Train Station

On Our Wedding Day at the Train Station

This was God’s divine intervention, because:

  • I was one of only two people to get that internship (the year before I was rejected).
  • I usually didn’t go to that stop, but I needed to go to Marshalls.
  • 14,000 people get off at that train stop everyday
  • 750,00 people ride the train in the D.C. area every day
  • And Morris just happened to be waiting for a friend

Dearest Sister,  I am not special.

I believe in my bones that the Lord wants to do something miraculous for all of us…to point people to Him.  And when God wants to do something, He will orchestrate heaven and earth.

Our job is to listen and follow His guidance.

The Odds Don’t Matter, When the Lord is On Our Side.

So you see, it doesn’t matter what the odds and statistics have to say. We only have one of two choices:

  • Believe the odds (like the Israelites), or
  • Believe God (like Gideon)

Continue to be strong and courageous and press toward the mark for all that God has for  you. I’m praying that the Lord continues to strengthen your heart.  Love, Simone

 

30 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I love, love, LOVE this, Simone! My favorite part:

    Dearest Sister, I am not special.

    I believe in my bones that the Lord wants to do something miraculous for all of us….to point people to Him. And when God wants to do something, He will orchestrate heaven and earth.

    Our job is to listen and follow His guidance.

    You have touched on something so important–something we all need to remember! 🙂 Love you friend!

    • Simone

      October 17, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Laura! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You know I was really scared to write about this topic…for one, because I was worried people would think I was bragging. But, it is SO encouraging that you heard the “heart” behind my personal example. Because I believe God, in all his wisdom, wants to show Himself strong in each of our personal situations. Love you too, Friend!

      ps: I’m believing (and praying) this for our books too:-).

      • OMGoodness Simone I love this article. And it’s no coincidence that I read about Joshua and Caleb a couple of hours ago. The Isrealites had no hope and trust in God. In fact, they forgot about the miracles he performed and that God is The Lord. Based on what life looked like to them, slavery in Egypt was much better. God is Lord, he is in control of our lives. Just like he was in control of you being in DC on that amazing day, he is also in control of divine matters. The world’s facts and statistics do not measure up to what God can and will do in his children’s lives.

        • Simone

          October 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm

          TC! Wow…it is such a gift to have that confirmation that the Lord was speaking to you about Joshua and Caleb too. (That’s happened a few times with us, where the Lord is saying the same thing. I think it was Isaiah last time (?) Can’t even tell you how that make my heart happy:-).

          This is SO scary to me–>> They forgot about the miracles he performed…based on what life looked like to them, slavery in Egypt was much better. May we never forget what the Lord had ALREADY done. Thank you for reminding us of that, Sis.

  2. Thank you my friend for this encouraging message! I often worry about those statistics. As I get older. Get more degrees and accomplishments and discover more brokenness in my family history. But your words reiterate what God tells me. His plan for my life is supernatural and cannot be accomplished in the natural. Tx again!!

    • Simone

      October 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      You know, I was wavering about writing on this topic. And it blesses me to know that this post encouraged you, Nicole. Give all those worries to the Lord. Like Linda said, He sees all. Knows all. And He is intentional. What he wants to do is beyond what we can calculate in our minds…it is SUPERNATURAL.

      Last thing: We are ALL broken. But when we give it to Him…He can use it. Think about how many people your blog blesses! He’s doing something and I’m excited to be on the journey with you. Love you, Sis.

  3. AMEN Simone! Thank you for a reminder about the goodness of our God! He really does see us, know us and provide for us. I love the way He revealed this to us when we were against all odds at getting custody of our 10 year old son… He moved mountains to bring him into our home. 15 years later, we look back, see the miracles He has done and say “thank you Lord!”
    Thanks Simone! Love you so much!

    • Simone

      October 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Linda! Thank you SO much for sharing this story of God’s goodness and orchestration. I’m getting a little teary eyed thinking about it. God DID move mountains to bring him into your home. It was impossible without Him, and he’s a walking-talking miracle. We needed to hear this. Love you, Linda!

      Dear Sisters: If you’d like to read the full-length version of Linda’s story click here: https://knitogether139.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/street-sign/

  4. Beyond excellent, this emanates from the heart of God! Simone, thank you so much for proving the greatness of God and how odds pale when He’s in a thing. I loved how you set out the facts of the stories of Joshua, Caleb and Gideon. What an awesome reminder. My story: My life began mired in odds. When my mom decided to leave my dad, a lifestyle of fornication and return to the East Coast, my brother was three and I was still in her womb. My dad said as a single mom of two in New York she could never make it. My mom, with restored faith prayed that the Lord would be our Father. Now, almost 40 years later we’ve lived God’s provision. My brother graduated from Harvard and I from Princeton and we’ve never been forsaken nor had to beg for bread (as far as I know;) I will brag on God and how nothing is impossible for Him. I look forward to telling the story of the overcome odds of me connecting with my spouse as a Foreign Service Officer in Liberia. Now some may say those are some serious odds but in His eyes its just a stepping stone to the miraculous.

    • Simone

      October 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Simone B, it took me a while to compose myself after I read your comment. What an amazing story of God’s faithfulness?! I can’t even imagine how difficult it was for your mother to make that decision…to leave what felt like “comfort” for the assurance that she was in God’s will. Just wow.
      This stuck out with me: “My mom, with restored faith prayed that the Lord would be our Father. Now, almost 40 years later we’ve lived God’s provision.”

      Living in God’s provision! AND the fruit of that Harvard, Princeton, A [SENIOR] Foreign Service Officer…positioned to rescue and bring healing during the Ebola Crisis. I know I’ve said amazing already…but isn’t it just like our Father to use the odds to bring hope to others. That is YOUR story, Simone. So grateful for you…thank you for sharing. I know it’s blessing this community and so many others. Love you, Friend.

  5. Simone, this was so encouraging and right on the money. There are a lot of sad stats out there that don’t do anything but beat people down and make them doubt themselves. What God has planned for someone’s life is so much bigger than those sad statistics, but we’ve got to believe. What a great story.
    Quanie Miller recently posted…How Do You Deal with Beta Reader Anxiety?My Profile

    • Simone

      October 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Yes! Quanie, I totally agree with this –> “What God has planned for someone’s life is so much bigger than those sad statistics, but we’ve got to believe.” Our God is bigger, we just have to remind ourselves that every odd against us is a chance for him to show up in an EVEN bigger way.

  6. Two things.

    First, I really need to try to make it through watching the movie 300, because now I finally understand how it’s kinda based on the Bible. I’ve tried quite a few times, but this time I’ll persevere.

    Second, I LOVE YOU for this Simone! It’s easy to get bogged down in the statistics and commiserate with your girls about how real the struggle is out here in these streets. Then I remember that I’ve beat the odds my entire life because of my faith in God. Why should my belief in the availability of a good godly man be any different?

    Well, I guess I have three things because I also appreciate how timing was everything for you and Morris. This confirms some things I’ve been praying about. And how romantic that you took pics at that train station on your wedding day? Adorable!
    Faith Simone recently posted…The Other Side of the Story + A Giveaway!!!!My Profile

    • Simone

      October 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I had no idea 300 was kinda based on the Bible. (I tend to steer clear of anything with too much blood and guts, because it robs me of my shut eye. No, seriously…I still haven’t seen the Passion of the Christ for that very reason. I’m just a wimp…so I can TOTALLY see why you haven’t made it through that movie:-).

      Second, I LOVE this Faith–>> “I’ve beat the odds my entire life because of my faith in God. Why should my belief in the availability of a good godly man be any different?” Uhhh…This just sums up EVERYTHING. Yes! God’s man for you is absolutely no different. It is just like our enemy to try and make us forget how much we’ve ALREADY overcome.

      Third, Praise the Lord…is really all that I can say, Faith. But I’m beyond grateful that our story confirmed with you’ve been praying about. Amen! It was fun taking pictures at the train station and even on that day there were A TON of people coming and going. But I think that was even a testament to Him, because people understood that something miraculous happened on the regular ‘ole train.

  7. I loved reading this post! I appreciated your encouragement to women, especially black women, that God is in control of our love lives. Upon reading how you met your husband, I definitely knew that was God’s work. To run into this man in a train station in D.C. Woosh, that is a divine meeting! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading more posts! 🙂
    Monica afrotasticlady recently posted…A Prayer of LoveMy Profile

    • Simone

      December 29, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks a bunch, Sis! It’s something that’s been really heavy on my heart. It seems that there are so many statistics and facts set up to beat us down mentally…and all those stats and facts have a place. But what you said is soooo on point—>>God is in control of our love lives.

      I’m grateful for your kind words about our story, I truly believe God wants to do something miraculous for ALL of His children. We live in a trouble-filled world, but with our lives we get to point people to the ultimate Peace. ps: thanks for reading and participating in our community. I so appreciate you.

  8. Hi Simone
    I live in Australia and moved from Zimbabwe when I was 20 and I found your blog through Bold and Fearless. I can so relate to your article and having spent most of my life living in a country were black people were the majority, I never knew what it felt like to be a minority group in a community and for so long it felt like the stats were against me and as I arose to position of leadership in my community it felt like it was getting worse, I began to resent my success and didn’t want to disclose fully when asked questions about my work or career because I feared these were the things that made it hard to be found by that person. I am now on the journey of embracing my trueself without holding back and for the first time in a while the opposite sex are beggining to notice me. I thank God and make he use you to multiply your beautiful ministry.

    • Simone

      January 14, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Ichitz,
      Reading your comment, blessed me SO much. I cannot even imagine what it was like to go from Zimbabwe to Australia. My husband and I visited the Continent for the first time a couple years ago, and it was my first time in a country where I was the majority. It was beautiful! And I will never ever forget the sense of community and the kindness I felt in, Benin. Thank you for reminding me of that, Ichitz.

      When the stats are against us, it is the PERFECT time for our God to show Himself strong. Manny of us can relate to that feeling of rising, but feeling like the stats are getting worse for a potential mate. Please, please don’t resent your success. Promotion comes from the Lord (Psalms 75:6 and 7). And I am SO happy to hear that you are no longer holding back. Praise God! I loved reading that you are getting noticed by the opposite sex…doesn’t it make you just want to smile? Continue to be bold and fearless!

      Thank you for stopping by, I’m so grateful that God is using this blog to encourage. Much love, Simone

  9. Thanks for writing this message from a Bible-based perspective, Simone!

    I needed to hear this today. It gave me a better perspective on life regarding dating and relationships.

    God bless you! 🙂

    • Simone

      January 19, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Hey Alexis! Thanks for stopping by.
      I’m so grateful this post encouraged you. You know there’s so much negativity out there.
      But I believe that the Bible gives us a source of hope and how to overcome no matter what is against us.
      Blessings to you also!

  10. Thank you so much for writing this this! I feel some much needed encouragement!

    • Simone

      March 13, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      All I can say is…Praise the Lord, Jessi! That is my heart, to encourage my sisters in Christ as the pursue ALL that God has for them. Thank you SO much for reading and stopping by. Peace and Blessings…Simone

  11. Thank you so much for sharing. My heart is filled w/ joy and hope. God bless you all.

    • Simone

      May 14, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Hey Ty..all I can say is praise the Lord! It makes my heart happy to hear that this blessed you! Thank you for stopping by.

  12. Awesome post! When God ordains something, there is nothing that man can do successfully to orchestrate against it. The WORD reminds us that “No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)”.

    How amazing is God’s magnificent work – to ordain what seemed to be a coincidental meeting at that particular stop, at that particular time, on that particular day!

    What a mighty God we serve!!!

    • Simone

      June 20, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Hey Trinity! Thank you SO much for stopping by and the kinds words. That verse you shared is key. Because regardless of ‘the odds’ or whatever else our enemy tries to bring against us. God’s plan is supreme and it will come to pass. We just have to be obedient.

      All I can say is Praise the Lord! He’s proven to me over and over and again that His timing is perfect. Even when, I am in a hurry…

  13. Hey Monie Pie, just looking at your blog and I love it. What a blessing and such insight. God bless you honey

    • Simone

      February 13, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Hey Aunt G! Thanks a bunch for stopping by AND reading. It makes my heart so happy to hear that it’s blessing you. Things get really REAL over here:-) And I’m so grateful God can use my mistakes, trials and blessings to encourage. Only He could do that…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

CommentLuv badge

© 2017 My Family Fantastic

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑