No Feeling Is Final

June has been my least fruitful writing month in years. With bigger priorities, I didn’t care to write about bleh and couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for fluff.

Then, a week ago, I attended an online workshop led by my former student Monique Mitchell.

Monique was my student in sophomore English back in 2007. I’m not sure I realized at the time that she had moved from California to Texas to live with her aunt, but I remember her as a gifted writer. We just connected and stayed connected. I never suspected she almost failed her freshman year.  

Three years ago, Monique was living in LA, working for a literary organization, freelancing, and teaching writing workshops. She invited me to lunch at the airport Marriott in Houston, where she was guest speaking at a conference. In the hotel lobby, she oozed good vibes and embraced me with love. In the hotel restaurant, she told me how a job opportunity had presented itself in Ghana. She planned on moving soon. We spoke about our wildest dreams, the power of words, and self-limiting beliefs.

As we parted ways that day, she said, “The world needs your voice,” and she told me she loved me. I said it back. Speaking of powerful words and wildest dreams, I suddenly found myself pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing.  

While scrolling Instagram not long ago, I saw that Monique has returned to LA. She had created an online workshop called “Into Existence,” a beginner’s course to speaking your dream life into being. Needing inspiration for my dream life, I signed up.

Within the first six minutes of the course, Monique said so much that resonated. I wrote down these words:

“Life is a reflection of my beliefs. It’s a reflection of my language, and it’s a reflection of my choices.”

Monique Mitchell

This idea isn’t new to me. My dad always said, “Crystal, you can choose your attitude.” And sometime along the way I discovered Dr. Wayne Dyer’s teaching.

For years, I’ve said, “You can choose hope or choose despair, and who would choose despair?” Then that time after a hurricane flooded my home, I settled on a formula for life:

Faith + Gratitude = Peace + Hope.

But for the last year or so, after watching several of my loved ones suffer, I’ve felt justified in my anger toward God. Yes, things have gone my way, but I had chosen to wallow in worry and fear and anger and sadness. At the end of the workshop, I realized the need to uproot my toxic thoughts and plant some healthy ones—like a renewed faith and gratitude and peace and hope.  

A week passed and so did my father-in-law. He was the best dad and grandpa, kind and generous, an amazing golfer and a gifted joke-teller. Tommy fought the good fight and finished the race. Cancer sucks, and of course, I’m sad, especially for my family. Still, I’m thankful he no longer suffers. That feeling in my heart, the one that catches in my throat, means I loved him. And love is life, life is love, if we’re lucky.

Anyway, God, I’m sorry about being so angry for so long. Please forgive me and help me with that. And thanks for welcoming Tommy home. ❤️ P. S. Thanks also for your words in Jeremiah 29:11. “‘I have plans to prosper you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I’m open to receiving miracles beyond my wildest imagination.

45 thoughts on “No Feeling Is Final

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. Monique is part of your legacy, you can be proud of yourself as a teacher and person… as for anger, “Holding on to bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die” (Author Unknown)… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First, I want to say that I am sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers…. Second, one thing that really warmed my heart was the amazing connection that you had with your student. How wonderful it is to find special friendships…. And I also want to thank you for this encouragement. I needed it. I talk a big talk about being positive and thankful. But too often I allow negativity in my heart. I need to do better. So thank you so much for helping me get back on track. 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bridget. I’m tracking my progress in my gratitude journal that I picked up again for the first time since November 2020 and otherwise trying to redirect my thoughts when I catch myself worrying about the future or dwelling on things that can’t be changed. We’re all a work in progress.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law. These occurrences can be difficult to accept or understand, so anger can seem like a natural response. Words I read more than 45 years ago still resonate with me “Change your thoughts and you will change your world”. Still working on it. Sending hugs Crystal. Allan 🤗🤗


  4. Sorry to hear about the passing of your father in law.
    You have such a beautiful connection with your previous student Monique.
    God works in different ways and through different people.
    Being angry at God- I think we try and justify why we feel a certain way but he is patient with us.
    Hugs to you Crystal 🤗


  5. Wow. I know that feeling all too well. When my dad passed away I felt as if I was betrayed by God. I was so angry. It took a long time to heal, but I needed to restore my relationship with God. My dad always said that we can’t blame God when certain things happen. It’s simply a part of life. I’m glad to see you asked God for forgiveness as I had to do the same. I’m sorry to hear about your father-in-law as well. May God continue to grant you all peace and comfort.


    1. You have shared the message of an angel. Thank you! For me it was my mother who died a year and a half ago along with other circumstances that all collided. I’m tired of believing ‘life is hard’. What if I could truly trust that ‘life is good and generous’? Well, that takes faith. Suddenly, I feel something big about to happen.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Awww. You’re so welcome.
        I absolutely agree. I had to come to the realization that if I stayed in that mindset that I wouldn’t be able to get through life without my dad, it would just be detrimental for my mental health. My dad wouldn’t have wanted me to stay in that space. Life is absolutely good and generous. We have to be willing to see it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Condolences, Crystal, to you and to your family for the loss. Special hopes for Kody’s comfort on losing his dad. Similar hopes for all of you, actually. Sadness shared is sadness lessened, after all.

    Our time here is so brief, comparatively speaking, we measure its flash’s brilliance by the illumination it casts. As you and Kody look about you, you must shield your eyes. That’s an eloquent brightness.

    You bask in quite the glow yourself, as someone whose creativity you ignited now inspires yours. Monique’s progress over the last fifteen years answers the question of who encourages the encourager. Think of all the Moniques and of all the Crystals she’s sent on their ways. And you cast the initial rays. Measure their brilliance.


  7. I’m just now getting to read your post, Crystal. I bet there’s a few good golf courses in heaven, and Tommy can play them all.

    I’ve also spent way to much time in my life “awfulizing” about the past. It’s so easy to copy and paste such regrets into the future.

    The Apostle Paul wrote about “Taking every thought captive—to make it obey Christ.” It’s a worthy goal, yet even Jesus had His moment of agony in the garden.

    Thank God you have amazing former students to help you reboot. It truly takes a village, and yours continues to grow.


    1. When I go to the ocean, I watch the waves come and go. Sometimes they are gentle. Sometimes they crash harder. The waves remind me of so much about life. Emotions will inevitably come, but they need to go. It’s the same with people. Everything has a season.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about the loss of your father in law. Every critical moments we can converse with God, that is quite natural. Glad to hear about your former student.


  9. Yes! “…love is life, life is love, if we’re lucky.” And no feeling is final. Thank God! Praying you through this difficult season, Crystal.


  10. Trials and tribulations are the biggest tests of our faith. I’ve struggled too, so I’m with you there. Praying for healing and peace for you and your family, Crystal.


  11. wow this is so so good, like it got my chin up and gave me strength to keep on pushing since am a new writing enthusiast and honestly there is already hurdles and i can feel the heat.


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