Written by: Marla Duncan
One day, my dad told me that I am like an onion you have to peel back one layer at a time. He said he watched it in a movie and immediately thought of me. Now that my volunteering days are over at Uncommon Grounds things are different. Things have 100% changed for me for my life and for my spirit. It has been a kick to my ego. It terminated my cockiness. It made me completely humble myself.
As the days go by, God gives me a new challenge. To speak the truth in love, to love unconditionally, and to love in ways that I never knew to love or wanted to love in my entire life.
Hate, bitterness, and anger were always something that I lived by because of certain situations that happened in my life that put me in the position to just want to hate. But I always wore a smile and put an I'm okay in front of everything that I did wishing and hoping it would change things.
Every morning before work, I would look in the mirror and say "Ok Marla time to put on your happy hat". And day after day after day, I would become more and more exhausted. And more and more sluggish to the point where the spiritual warfare was unbearable. And the layers slowly started to peel back.
When I grew up my mother was a Jehovah's Witness and we lived by rules: no holidays, no sports, no doing anything that would hold you from studying the truth. Then when I became a fruit of Islam, you had to live by the rules of Allah and the honorable Elijah Muhammad. And that's the thing, there were so many rules but one thing that was never taught to me is that God loves me unconditionally and as long as I have that relationship with him and I live by his word, pray without ceasing, and open up my true heart of who I really am, things will look up. And things will get better.
I am just rejoicing at the fact that I can now be me because I got exhausted from always being someone I'm not. And knowing and understanding that it’s okay that I don't have it all together. Because I started feeling as if I've been exposed kind of like standing in a room with no clothes on. I was hurt, I was embarrassed, but now I'm confident in knowing that I "GET TO" love on the weak, the strong, the big, the small, no matter the gender color, or the race. But most of all, I get to do all of this by just simply being simply who God created me to be and that right there, my friends, makes me excited about learning who I am as a person and who I am in ministry. Thank you, Father God for putting me in the position to learn who I really am and helping me work on the imperfect person that I am and still love me unconditionally. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Uncommon Grounds Cafe