Written by Min. Che’ri Humphrey, M.ED. 12/29/12
Founder & President of Diamonds In The Rough (DITR)…Finding The Spirit In Me!
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“Grace and peace to everyone who’s reading this article; I pray that all who have supported this column have benefited in some way by what they’ve read. I pray blessings upon you and your families. My heart goes out to all the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the victims and families of those affected by the mass murdering of those at Sandy Hook Elementary in CT. May God restore, heal, and tremendously bless you in this new season and forever more. May your loss be turned into abundance, your pain into joy, your violations be turned into spiritual release and divine protection; your circumstance and situations into a sudden and immediate double portion breakthrough of love in a multitude of ways.”
I wanted to speak on one thing in this article to set the precedence for the next article on abuse. That one thing is FORGIVENESS. You may say to yourself, forgiveness? I’ve know what that is and I know how to forgive, or I have forgiven, or I’m not forgiving. Well I believe the subject can’t be touched on enough. It’s the FIRST step in any healing process, easier for others than some. It may be harder for others when the loss, wound, pain, and or the violations run deep. I feel is relevant and critical especially after the killings at Sandy Hook. No, I don’t know how it feels to lose a child, especially in such a horrific way. However, I do know what pain feels like; a violation that penetrates your soul so deep you don’t know how or if you’ll every recover. Or the pain and sorrow of losing those closest to you by death or severing of a relationship you’ve cherished that has ended and you don’t know if it will ever recover.
When trust in any relationship or situation has been cut, divided, wounded, or has blown out the window most won’t go looking for it. It will only take the love of God and divine intervention within you to blow it back in; a process over time. Yet, it’s possible. Don’t get me wrong. It’s normal for us as human beings to grieve loss, to become emotional, or experience tribulations after such things have happened. Furthermore, I don’t believe you should be foolish enough to place yourself in harm’s way over and over again. You can forgive and trust should be earned back, but if the violation you’ve suffered by someone else continues or has become abusive-NO- don’t put yourself in a position to be violated again if you’re able to help it. Insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results, so in that aspect I guess a lot of us are insane (lol) in some type of way if perform In this fashion in any areas of our lives. Many times we go back into the same relationships with those in our families, friendships, on the job, in a church setting, etc. and put ourselves right back in harm’s way with the same people when no one has forgiven, attempted to changed their behavior, or learn from what they’ve experienced. I’ve done it many of times refusing to call the pink pig in the room a pink pig. It is what it is. If that person won’t change, you change the circumstance. One way to do that is forgiveness, and sometimes moving on in peace must follow.
It’s my belief that God and the Holy Spirit within will help us with forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you, but it’s FOR YOU. It helps you release yourself spiritual and allows the Lord to step in and handle the situation for you. Back in the day before I got serious about having a relationship with Christ you couldn’t find a person more enraged and revengeful as me. I wanted to whoop that behind if a person hurt me because that was the behavior I witnessed and learned, call it environmental, learned behavior, dysfunctional home-whatever. That WAS me, and I still have to catch myself when those feelings arise and remind myself that “…vengeance is mines saith the Lord.” He will fight our battles, and doesn’t have to be our job to put our foot in someone’s behind, or knock their teeth out. It doesn’t have to be our job to “teach them a lesson.” The lesson we must teach ourselves is that we, ourselves, must FREE OUR SELF FROM BONDAGE. That bondage is not forgiving. It releases us not the perp, or the hateful person who’s offended us in some way. Of course you ain’t gonna forget; we didn’t forget the Holocaust or the Transatlantic Slave Trade but we have to heal from it to move on. We have to learn from it so that it doesn’t fester and grow. However, we can forgive no matter how long it takes us to do it. It can be done.
When you forgive you do yourself a great service. Your heart is lighter and your smile is brighter. Get on your knees as a friend told me in 2001 who later became my mentor and best girlfriend. She said, “CHE’RI-GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY FOR THEM. FORGIVE THEM AND WATCH GOD TURN YOUR SITUATION AROUND!” She was right. I later learned at a former churches retreat I had to forgive God whom I was angry at many years back, and forgive me. Here I was on the verge of my master’s, owned property, had two cars, able to travel, partying all the time, had a stable job and lost it all in the blinking of an eye the year of 2000, along with almost losing my soul and mind. I look back now since the times spent praying on bended knees, serving the Lord, paying tithes, being committed to what God instructed me to do with Diamonds in the Rough, etc. and am amazed at how HE HAS WORKED IT ALL OUT FOR HIS GOOD. How He has opened many, many doors for me and I sit in awe at His love towards me. Twelve years ago you couldn’t tell me I’d be doing ministry or I would’ve laughed in your face, or ran one. You couldn’t have told me that I’d stand in front of a crowd speaking about anything, never mind doing spoken word, acting, singing, in places and for small audiences or multitudes of people. I would’ve laughed and probably joked with you until you felt stupid and ran out the room. However, the Lord Jesus Christ has a way of turning things around meant for evil for His good in our lives. One key and critical method of allowing it to happen is through forgiveness.
When you don’t want to forgive, forgive. When you shouldn’t forgive, forgive. When it hurts and your can barely think about forgiving, forgive. When you’re right and they’re wrong forgive. When you want to curse someone out go into your secret place and get down on your knees and pray God breaks up your stony, bitter heart to enable you to forgive although you may have every right to not want to forgive, forgive. Racism is real and some folks can be cruel whether Christians or not, whether family or not, but do it for you. When it hurts you, when you been used, when you been abused, when you been persecuted unjustly, talked about, lied on, blocked, have jealously family or friends, picked apart, ostracized, ridiculed, despised, hated on, unloved, or mistreated FORGIVE. RELEASE YOURSELF SO GOD CAN BLESS YOU IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ENEMIES, SO YOU CAN BE FREE!!!! I said forgive not be a fool. If the situation calls for you to leave, move on, break off relationships do it. You can still forgive and love that person from afar, but LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO USE WISDOM. It won’t be easy believe me I know from experience, and when I forget I forgave someone and the feelings come up again. That’s when it’s time to go back on my knees in my prayer closet and forgive again until those angry feelings don’t come up again. It takes time and patience. Sometimes the person we need to forgive is ourselves, or we’re angry at God. WE MUST FORGIVE for there is NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS. I don’t make a habit any longer of holding on to guilt. Repent, try your best to change you or the circumstances around you and keep it moving. Accept when things are out of your control. I can honestly say there’s nothing I feel guilty of, maybe disappointment at times, but no longer guilt. The charges were dropped on my cases long ago, and Jesus bore all my sins on the cross. Don’t let no one condemn you so much so you can’t forgive yourself, and allow people to remind you of who you were and what you did. As I always say, “Yes. I did it. It was me. Now what?” God has taken me greater heights spiritually and higher ways of thinking. That was then and this is now, so what. It’s a trick of the enemy and not of God. God knew what the deal was before I was born, and He knew who I was when He called me while I was in my mess, so if He still wanted me I guess He knew what He was doing so I don’t make myself feel condemned or guilty of my shortcomings because they sure ain’t what they used to be! I’m sure you can same the same. People and things change praise God!
I’m gonna give my testimony and tell you what forgiveness having given me and how I’ve benefited from learning to love me enough to forgive those in my life (old and new):
• 7 years celibate this year
• Almost 7 years alcohol free
• 8 years no marijuana
• Almost 8 years with no bouts with the law as a result of intoxication
• 11 years no experimenting with drugs any longer
• My siblings accepting Christ at DITR’s Resurrection in 2009, and little brother a year later
• My mom beginning her healing from years of physical abuse and the losses in her life
• My younger siblings all with good stable jobs and businesses
• All 13 of my nieces and nephews are loved, fed, clothed, and have a home with parents
• After a 8 year hiatus from 2000-2008 finally receiving my master’s degree with no money
• Having had 9 cars, although I have none as of yet right now, and teaching others to drive
• Losing some “mothers,” caregivers, friends, and my father who passed away
• Having had cousins stop drinking and drugging as a result of me being the oldest cousin stop
• Winning souls to Christ adults and youth alike through God’s grace and believing in Him
• Building a ministry which started as a business from nothing that has reached so many people
• Winning multiple awards for pieces I’ve written
• Having had the nerve to stand in front crowds up to 20k and speak
• Playing in 13 plays, writing, and directing with no formal experience, except one class
• Having been locked up 6 times through it all behind alcohol
• Having survived sexual abuse by over 6 different people; family members and friends of family included since age 3 or 4 to 12
• Having been taken (stolen) at age 3 or 4 without no one knowing where I was
• Having been severely beaten at age 4 and hospitalized for a week
• Having survived losing all I’ve owned in 2000 and now in 2012
• Having been suicidal in 2000-2001 and survived a nervous breakdown
• Having been an award winning spoken word artist who has spoken at over 100 venues since 2000 and published my poetry collection and two EBOOKs currently out on amazon; doing venues such as Apollo, singing at the Apollo, A Tribute to the Apollo, Nells, Nuyorican, Ida Maes, Foxwoods, the McDonald’s Gospelfest, the Staten Island Gospel Festival, on multiple TV shows and radio stations in CT and tri state area
• Having interviewed great artists such as: Vickie Wynans, Cissy Houston, Pastor Shirley Ceasar, Lil Jon, Lil Bo, Damien Marley, Elephant Man, Travis Simms, Dr. Jamal Bryant, Bernard Jackson of Surface, Kevin Monroe, JJ Hairston, and many more from a media group God enabled me to developed
I’m not sharing this information for bragging rights, but I’ve always been blunt and transparent enough to let you know my road was no easier than anyone else’s, and that I have my share of disappointments, failures, and regret. But the God in me is still able, and the God in me is special, a BAG OF CHIPS AND ALL THAT, and if I’m in Him and He’s in me then guess what it doesn’t take a genius to know that if He made us in His image and likeness than we are heirs, blessed, and highly favored.
I have been blessed, and through these experiences good, bad, ugly, and FANTABULOUS; I have enough confidence left in my heart to know God isn’t finished with me yet. He’s merely has only set the stage of preparation while helping me clean myself up. Sometimes it will feel like you’re taking a step backed or being punk’d because of what you’ve had to endure and how many times you’ve had to forgive the same people in your life. Yet, our reward is great because it says to bless those who despitefully use you and persecute you and pray for them. I give God His undivided props and say thank you to Him and He knows how so very grateful I am to have had all these experiences that has led to so many successes. He knew and made me who I am before I got here and He did the same for you. Furthermore, He put in me the wherewithal to be able to able to have encountered these experiences and receive His spirit and Holy Baptism in 2002 that sparked the initial fire to continue on and not die in my mess.
He enabled me to be able to forgive my perps after confronting them all for the most part, and let them know I forgave them before they passed on. It was my Heavenly Father’s grace, mercy, love, and kindness that helped me to love those who couldn’t stand me, and to bless people I know who were using me or couldn’t stand my guts, family, friends, and church folks alike. It was Him who helped me forgive when I knew the person who was harming me standing right in my presence smiling in my face. It was Him who helped me forgive myself for all the stupid, harmful things I did to myself and others. God forgave me so many times of the same foolish mistakes, and things I’ve done. So it’s my responsibility to be able to forgive those who trespass against me whether wrong or right no matter how much I don’t want to or how much it hurts me to do it when I’d rather show them exactly who they messing with.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean weakness or being a punk, or even being a fool, but it means I recognize I have faults too and have done some dirt and God forgave me, and that I love myself enough to release myself from the pain and offense. Feelings of anger are normal initially, remorse, regret, confusion sometimes, but then God enables you to do what you know is right. It’s the least I can do as a servant and witness to Christ. IF I CAN FORGIVE, SO CAN YOU. YOU CAN HAVE SELF LOVE, YOU CAN BE FREE, YOU CAN WIN, YOU CAN RECOVER, YOU CAN REDISCOVER YOU, YOU CAN FORGIVE, AND YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU CAN LOVE AGAIN!
So, I say this as witness to what forgiveness can do when you accept Christ, receive His Spirit and allow it to work out of you what’s not for good you and work in you what’s necessary for you to move forward. That one thing is forgiveness. I’m just setting a precedence for “ Breaking What’s Breaking You,” article coming in 2013. Moreover, setting a precedence to help you be “FREE IN 2013” because God has enabled me to have the opportunity to use writing as a method of reaching others, so I use what He’s given me in hopes that it might help someone not make the same mistakes I’ve made and set them free spiritually. No one has to put me on blast because I’m confident in my relationship with Christ to know this is what He’s given me the ability to do to help someone else by my testimony and being real unlike like some Christians might be.
I cut no corners with giving it to you raw and real. Love me or leave me it really doesn’t matter, but as long as I know in my heart I’ve tried to help someone, and tried to love someone, and leave a legacy of doing what others wouldn’t do, or couldn’t do to better myself and others I’m cool with me and content with that even if I never accomplish another thing in this life time. This point is I made efforts to and stuck with my dreams and God. My life wasn’t easy it was and is rough, but He has always put rams in the bushes to help pull me through. You know who you are. I appreciate you and thank you so much for your genuine love and kindness not looking for anything in return.
I thank God that His Spirit lives in me despite of how it may look. The best is yet to come. Blessings, love, and hugs to all. Have a blessed holiday season.
Accept Christ-Romans 10:9-11 is the main bible verse you need to know.
CHECK OUT MY TWO NEW EBOOKS ON AMAZON.COM/AUTHOR/CHERIHUMPHREY at $5.99 and $8.99
DVD COLLECTION AVAILABLE FOR ORDER: ASIB 2009-2012, PROMISES 2009-2011. There was no Promises Banquet in 2012 due to hiatus and lack of funding. Call for special price for the entire collection. AJF MEDIA HAS YET TO COMPLETE THE EDITING AND PROJECT OF THE PROMISES 3 2011 DVD, SO ORDERING WILL BE DELAYED. HE HAS YET TO INFORM ME WHEN THIS WILL BE COMPLETED, UNFORTUNATELY. REVAMPING AND CHANGES WILL COME IN 2013 IN JESUS NAME.
DITR is in need of funding, donors, angel investors, videographer, website developer, and photographer for the next upcoming event. We are also in prayer for new team members to come on board. DITR reaches our youth via the arts, and adults in the CT region and tri-state area. Will you help us help our community in 2013?
Send monetary contributions via PayPal to Cheri Humphrey at CLHUMPHREY@ROCKETMAIL.com or Diamonds In The Rough or Cheri Humphrey at CHUM308@hotmail.com. Postal address will be changing soon. Keep posted for further notice.
To send feedback for this column write to: email@example.com Keep in mind. I don’t respond to NUTS or ignorant comments.
Every vision, ministry, or business requires finances to make it happen and see things come into fruition with God’s power, of course.
For Minister Che’ri Humphrey’s services/products, or consultation in the following areas, call 203.952.9807 to book, or contract DITR out in 2013:
1. Consultant/Life Ministry Coach for survivors of abuse
2. Producer/Event planner & Organizer/Emcee
3. Artist Developer of “Kinky (hair) Creations Entertainment”
4. Fine-Artist (oils, pastels, charcoal, pencil, spray paint, acrylics)
5. Poet/Spoken WORD Minister
6. Preaching and/or speaker, educator
7. Actress and Theatre Play Director
8. Writer (columnist, reporter, musical lyrics, poetry, novels, screen and theatre)
9. Singer (a member of the McDonald’s Gospel Choir since 2007)
10. Instructor to teach DITR curriculum call the above number.
“TALK 2 ME!” RADIO BROADCAST- THE FASTEST GROWING ONLINE STATION IN CT REACHING US AND ABROAD with over 5,600 LISTENERS since APRIL 23, 2010. Please contact same number or if you’d business/personal write up on you or your business. Fees do apply for all services through this organization, and vary based on individual or company for radio interviews, or articles written.
TALK 2 ME MEDIA Working sites:
http://www.youtube.com/Cheri328 DITR clips, commercials/spoken Word ministry
http://www.talk2cheri.blogspot.com products (not updated yet)
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/talk2cheri (Monday’s at 6:30-7pm, 2-3x per month -ON HIATUS)
(RIL description of teleconference groups & RIL workshops given annually (ON HIATUS)
(This page) rootshed.com/christianity-in-hartford/che-ri-humphrey
(Facebook deactivated for revamping)
ProducerChe’ri Humphrey (personal page will be revamped this Fall) or
(business& the arts) at Che’riHumphreyDiamondsintheroughFindingthespiritinme.
Linkedin account was deactivated months ago, so please connect at working sites. The names up on linkedin are NOT me.
DITR WILL BE TAKING A HIATUS STARTING THIS SUMMER 2012 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, EXCEPT FOR THIS TALK 2 ME COLUMN; taking a rest, focusing on personal things in my life long over- due, and need to establish funding for the New Year. Thank you!
Under construction: cherihumphrey.net and ditrfindingthespiritinme.org