Failure Is Not Final!

I heard an empowering and moving word on Sunday, August 26th at my church home. My Pastors (I have two Pastors) were on vacation but would be happy to know that Rev. Harold Hayes took care of their flock with his amazing message. The sermon title was, “Failure Is Not Final.”

His sermon title hit home for me in one area of my life. I had been dwelling on something for years and even before my mother’s transition she told me, “You’re not a failure.”

I was going to write about what I felt earlier in the week but I’m glad I didn’t because I heard one of my favorite gospel artists on the radio talk about her struggles. Vicki Yohe was on the Cory Condrey show and she said how her publicist told her, “You’re too transparent, you need to be more private about your life and what you have gone through.”

She said, “I can’t do that, people need to know what I’ve been through so they know that it’s not just them. That folks like me have struggles too.”

I feel like her and some people have made comments about my transparency but I can’t help it. I don’t put everything out there but what I feel needs to be brought to light so others can relate and know they are not alone. When I do spoken word I talk to the crowd in between pieces so they know what I was thinking…going through and what brought me to writing about that subject. When someone thanks me I know that my ministry (which is my writing) has taken effect.

I have felt like I’ve been a failure in the relationship department. Relationship after relationship I felt like I failed. Several people have told me I haven’t but until I know I haven’t that is how I’m going to feel.

The word that Sunday struck me because Rev. Hayes said, “FAILURE IS NOT FINAL.” Buckets of tears streamed down my face and when I saw people flocking to the altar because they wanted to be released of that feeling of being a failure I knew I wasn’t alone. I too went to the altar and got on my knees and just let it out. All of the emotions over the years was being expunged from my spirit.

The one thing I tell people is that I have to take time and reflect on me…yes me. What can I do so I won’t feel like this any more and I need to heal over the years of pain and hurt in order for God to send that individual to me that will be my husband and I to him.

Rev. Hayes said, “Failure is a refining process…it’s like the passage about the potter. He could have used a different piece of clay but he kept reshaping and remolding the same piece.”

I am that piece of clay, yes I have cracks in me and needed at many times to be remolded. I was that shattered jar at one point of time but instead of feeling destroyed years ago through emotions and ill mental thoughts of a broken relationship God reshaped me and has kept His hands on me ever since.

I had to share this because I walked out of church feeling a sense of renewal. I still have work to do and need to totally believe that I’m not a failure…but I know that I’m being refined, reshaped and molded like the lump of clay on a potter’s wheel and in time I will be able to look back and reflect on what I thought was a failure and note it as a process that God put me through.

Not only am I being refined but I’m learning to listen to Him even more so I won’t make the same mistakes again.

May peace be with you and I hope someone can learn from my story and look within and be honest with themselves so they too know that they are being refined and are not failures.

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A Simple Thanks

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. A lot has transpired in my life and I felt compelled to share with everyone that reads my work. Last year I was let go from my full-time job and my last day was June 30, 2011. It’s been a challenging time but despite everything I’ve been through I’m grateful. Fast forward…the organization that let me go rehired me on a part-time contractual basis because of my reputation and hard work from the last place. Although I suffered a salary reduction I’m thankful to even bring home a pay check as many in America have gone without. I was unemployed for 8 months before being rehired but I had time to spend with my son and that is priceless.

When times got hard I sometimes became fearful but I had to remember that fear equates to little faith. God doesn’t want me and whomever is reading this post to live in fear. He hears my cries and my prayers. I know that either a full-time job will come my way or He will provide me with other ways to make ends meet like getting my books off the ground so I can be published, teach part-time at a college and birth my dreams. Although some feel like I have accomplished my dreams I still have more that I would like to see happen. (Never limit your dreams).

I will end with a prayer that I wrote down in my gratitude journal:

God, I know you’re my provider and counselor. When I want to talk about “sensitive areas” just remind me that you’re always open to listening to me and I know you don’t have a judgemental ear. Before I even ask or speak you already my heart and that its (whatever my need is or what I have dreamt about) already done.

With that being said I say thank you in advance for a full-time job, thank you for my total healing of a broken heart in the past that grew into anger and that the anger be gone (I’m almost there God), thank you for allowing me to be able to provide for my son and thank you for those in my life that truly know me and what I’m about and know that it’s just not about me.

Thank you God, it’s because of your grace and mercy that I’m sane, loving, dedicated to my calling, passionate and prayerful.

As always…thank you for the daily protection over my son. Although I’ve been working for a few months I’m still not used to leaving him. But at the end of the day you know where my heart lay.

I love you God…and I simply say…thank you.

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Letter to My Son…Snippet

I wrote this in March in my gratitude journal a short while after going back to work after being with my son for 6.5 months full time. Enjoy the short read.

My life as a mom has shifted so much and for the better. I now know what Mommy was saying when she said, “It will all come together.”

I was so nervous while I was pregnant praying that I would be a good mother, provider and try to balance life. I’m still learning of course but when I pick my son up every day I know that although I’m still a student trying to master motherhood one day at a time that at the end of the day it’s all worth it.

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Let It Be Done

I wrote this poem 4 years ago for my sister Ayana who passed away in 2007. Today is her birthday and it’s also the last day of National Poetry Month so I wanted to share this piece again.


As the warm breeze hit my face I knew then that, “It was done.”

All my problems, burdens and inequities

Were conquered

God told me years ago “Wait on me child and I will see everything through.”

Nights I cried wondering how bills would be paid

Days went by wondering why my sisters health was fading away

God kept telling me, “I’m coming to rescue you, walk with you to get you through.”

Watching the sun leave the sky

As the moon peered through my blinds

Still wondering how to get through

Suddenly I felt a presence

In my space

Not understanding what or where it stood

My Grandma once told me, “Chile there are times when God is in your space and you will know it when you feel Him.”

God began to work through me

Around me

All for me Burdens were lifted

Unanswered problems resolved

Bills were paid in full

As I understood that God comes in His time

He heard my sister asking for Him Take me with you God For I am done

Her failed health faded away

As she went to Him

And when she left me physically

I knew then that her battle cries were no more

And her job here on earth was done

God said, “Let it be done, let her be whole and may this life be complete.”

I listened to Him

As He conquered not just my worries



But He also reached back and conquered Ayana’s too As He said, “Let it be done.”

June 27, 2008

Ayana’s job is complete. God you are worthy as you continue to heal us.

Copyright 2008 Serena Wills All Rights Reserved

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I don’t think I’m done with this poem yet but wanted to share…peace.

God you have cleaned up my mess
As I’ve steadily stressed
About things I can’t fix
Is always given even when I can’t erase
My woes and challenges
Running in this race
Called life
I’ve been through strife
Emotional damage
Yet you always seem to manage
To give me grace and mercy
Times when I don’t think I deserve it
Constantly showered on me from heavens above
Continuous love
Surrounding me
Beginning to remember that I have to lean on the word
Trust the unseen
Know that times might be tough
And I alone can’t fix all things
Because I’m on a level that’s humanly
Thank you God for Grace and Mercy

Copyright 2012

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Whimsical Moments

I began writing this right after my mother passed away and finally finished it. Enjoy.

Whimsical Moments

You’re my air
Into your eyes I glare
Knowing that I received the ultimate prize
You as a mother
And I as your daughter
Still moments in time will be remembered forever
From watching you grace the stage with dance
Having deep conversations with me about forgiving people and sometimes giving them a second chance
From the night you held me tight when I heard my father died
Wiping away a steady flow of tears as I cried
Being my warrior through many battles
Dry days to stark nights you were my water
Pouring energy into my valley like a streaming river
Yet I don’t know what I would do
Without you when God calls you home
What I’ll have left are memories that will float through my brain as whimsical moments
In my heart you’ll always be
Like cherry blossoms petals that travel through a spring breeze
Blooming Marguerite flowers in France
Praying to God that as the seconds, minutes and days go on that they will come more with ease
But for now let’s share the time we have left
Creating more memories that will be kept
Whimsical moments we will always have
Beyond your last breath

Written By:

Serena Wills

Copyright 2012

Posted in cancer, daughter's tribute, family, Inspiration, Love, memories, mother's love, sickness, Transition | Leave a comment

Once Upon a Time

For National Poetry Month I’m Going to Publish a Poem Every Week. Enjoy this first one.

Once upon a time
You loved me
Adored me
I would get music in the middle of the night and throughout the day
Various songs that kept me wanting more of you…making me want to stay
In your life forever
And take on an endeavor
To build a future with you
I would jam to songs that was a mixture of R&B, Jazz, Sexy House, Caribbean and Latin tunes
Waking up in the morning I felt your presence next to me
Miles away I would still feel your spirit breathe
Every song told a story
Expressed a feeling
Showing your heart completely
Or so I thought…
Once upon a time
I felt like a fairy tale as we connected in the park
I told my heart no but over time it said yes
And as the music kept coming daily
Telling me your history
I fell for you deeply
God told me He could be the one
Praying day and night I so didn’t want my feelings to jump the gun
You kept me laughing, smiling and in the midst of it all you were healing
Our connection seemed unreal like some of those beautiful story book endings
But like a party our connection played its last song
Crying oceans of tears over what I once I felt
In a snap all of the feelings you had for me left
I’m left with a broken heart
Reminiscing about that day in the park
Sweet memories that we shared now seem so dark
Once upon a time you loved me
I’m now left in silence
And no music to listen to

Written By:

Serena Wills

Copyright 2012

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Getting Ready for the New!

I went to Reid Temple AME in Glenn Dale, MD on Sunday, November 13th to witness my friend’s son get baptized. I was intrigued with the sermon and it came to me at such a delicate time of my life.

The pastor spoke about bringing old things into the new. There are some old things you can bring with you into new places. The old things that “work” and then there are those things that should have been left behind.

Friendships, grudges, emotions of a love gone wrong or feelings for someone who doesn’t appreciate you are examples of what he spoke about. He used the perfect metaphor which I thought was funny at first and then when he brought it home everyone stood to their feet.

He collects old hotel keys (lol). The plastic ones. His wife hates that he does that! He said he went into a city to preach and pulled out an old key by accident to open the door. Of course the door wouldn’t open he tried again and realized he pulled out the old key to open up a new door!

This made perfect sense! Too many times people bring old stuff into a new opportunity that God grants you and yet they don’t understand why it isn’t working.

Today I need to start sifting through some of my own old things. Although it might hurt to sweep out these old things…I have to because I’m going to block God’s blessing and new opportunities if I don’t get it together.

Some of us are given opportunities right in our face (God might bless you with a mate that’s right for you) and because you’re so hung up on “old things” you miss the new opportunity. The pastor left us with this, “Don’t let God see that you under appreciate your new opportunity whether it be a mate, work, finances, etc. He can take it away and you may never get that opportunity again.”

Think about what you keep dragging around, any new opportunities you’re letting slip away and begin the work. It’s not easy (I know) but its necessary.

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Being a writer to me also means being transparent in a lot of ways. I feel as if God wants me to write to release my creativity to the world but also in some shape or form to help heal people and let people know that it’s not just them that feel the way they do.

These past few months have been a total blessing with the birth of my son but it has had its challenges as well. Patience was truly needed as I suffered a job loss that caused me to really become even more humble than ever. I’m a pretty sincere and humble human being but when I was told back in early spring that my organization was being taken over by another and 24 of us (1/3 of the staff) were being laid off and I being one of them; I began to pray heavily.

I asked God, “Please keep my heart light and mind sane since I’m carrying one of your angels. It’s easy to get derailed off the track these days.” I knew times would get financially tough and that they did.

I hit rock bottom, not knowing where money would come from to even pay rent because I anticipated having a job by mid October. I almost lost hope. However between waking up to my son and having beautiful people in my life…God kept me. He provided my needs. He showed me things in people who I didn’t want to see so I knew who was in my corner, who loved me despite my circumstances and who to keep away.

When you hit rock bottom sometimes ugliness will rear its head. Backs were turned on me and I even felt like a charity case at one point.

If my brother or sister fell down I wouldn’t want to kick them even further down or walk all over them. I was judged and ridiculed. I realized that I needed to pray for those that turned on me and to forgive. I asked God to not punish but to heal them.

Prayer and patience paid off. Being unemployed gave me more time to bond with my son. I will never regret having spent several months at home. I’ve been able to refocus and shift my priorities and emotions during the time of stillness. I spoke to family and friends more (on the phone and in person) and we breathed life into each others dreams! The power of fellowship is very real.

I want the best for my son and during this time I realized that I was (and still am) hurting from things that happened to me in life. I want to heal. Its time for the broken pieces to be put back together.

God gave me this time. One day I walked along the river front and told God that I wouldn’t even mind a part-time job so I could still be home more with my son and work on my business ventures. I told him, “Have your way with me.”

The next day (Thursday) I received a message about a potential job from the organization that took over my previous one and laid me off, by that Monday I received the offer letter. Now I’m gainfully employed. Although I still have work to do (hey I’m a work in progress) I have a road map that has been reworked. I’m looking forward to the future. I can only pray that the healing continues, that love will breathe into my spirit and soul like it’s never done before and that my/our dreams will blossom!

Times may be hard right now. Believe me I know. So if this piece is talking to you, just know that you will be fine in His time. Be still and refocus. Sometimes we get lost in ourselves or even in other people. What I’m doing now is focusing on God instead of the storm. A shift from my prior thinking as I used to focus on the storm and then God. I pray to remain humble, be a reflection of Him, be a good mother and pursue my dreams with even more fire and desire! I pray that I can be an inspiration!

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Dream on Dreamer!

I’m learning about where to place my energy in regards to love, the same applies for dreams. Some people might think a person got it made looking from the outside…but it probably took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there. It might look easy to some, but it’s not. An example is the fact that I’ve been published 5 times to date and more to come. It looks great as people flip to a page of one of the books I’m in and see my poem and/or story. However, it took a lot of work behind closed doors to get it from my brain…to my laptop…to being published.

I’m learning that I’d rather put a lot of energy, time, money and thought into making my dreams work, getting my writing published, cafe going, business plan for a bed and breakfast, etc. than putting it into a person or thing that doesn’t appreciate me and/or the gifts I have.
Watching relationships, and being in a couple that didn’t go right, has taught me to be careful about who, what and where I pour energy into and where I just shouldn’t make the investment. Investment in this case is personal or financial. This year – 2012 – needs to be a year of focusing on self, my son, dreams and those around me that truly appreciate who I am and will give that energy back to me.

I want people to see I’m working hard for my dreams, and even though it might look nice from the outside, behind closed doors I’m working hard to make it both personally and financially. Unless you want to put in the work from behind the scenes, then don’t put on a facade from the outside like it was easy. Also give props to those that helped along the way too.

Some people want to learn…they are hungry and eager! And some…well…they think they know everything, and that to me blocks the learning process. Those are the people who I think “talk to dag gone much.”

Ask yourself, are you a person that wants to learn all about your gift, craft, etc. OR are you a know it all? It’s hard for people to come to that realization. I encourage each of you to keep learning, watch what and who you put your energy into and reach back to teach someone else. As my friend DMoe says, “Stay Thirsty My Friends”

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