Langre’ Michele | goldthelabel.com
It was back in 2011 when I made a commitment to change my life.
(How’s that for a dramatic introduction?)
I note the year because it is a reminder for me that CHANGE is hard. Change is work. Change takes time. When I think of the date, I can acknowledge how far I’ve come, but I it also humbles me to remember that every day is a process. Every one should be given a a measure of grace that we, ourselves, have been given. It’s a marker for me to remember a lot can happen in a few years.
So, where to begin?
Firstly, my name is Langre Michele.
I am passionate about using everything within my hands to transform a thing into something bigger and beautiful than its original state. I am the owner of a budding photography business, an abstract artist, a speaker and an aspiring author. I am also very much single, but perhaps not as the current culture would define it. (we will dive into this more later)
Let me begin with some context…
In 2011, I wasn’t single. I also wasn’t in a relationship. What I was, was all over the place. I tend to joke and say that God was tired of me being that way too, because from the time I returned back to Bermuda, He started to work on me. I was only on the island for 5 months before the tug on my heart was so strong that prompted me to realize “life cannot continue as it is”. On Sunday, August 28th, 2011, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
This may shock more of the traditional minds, but it wasn’t through a church or any other organization. It was a decision I made because of a nudging I felt in my heart to commit to ‘Trying God’ because I genuinely hit my point. I personally felt that I had already tried everything else. I knew there had to be more to life than what I was currently experiencing. And, I was fed up with not being remotely happy.
No one beat me with scriptures; I didn’t do it because my friends were doing it. It was a sole decision I made for myself. A liberty I pray each one of us will have the courage to exercise at some point in our life.
Although, reflecting on it now, there are several instances where I could recognize God’s hand at work in my life. It took one lady to officially set the final tip into the domino motion. This lady happened to be my coworker. All she did was live what she believed and that drew me to want the peace and joy that she had.
Live what you believe, unapologetically.
That is a lesson in itself. Live what you believe, unapologetically. Or as others would say, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
If I were to give an honest assessment of myself leading up to this point, I would say I was hurting so deeply that the average person could not discern as a result of the chaos I was living in. I busied myself so that I wouldn’t have to slow down enough to address that things were out of order. I escaped the things I didn’t want to deal with by using sex, weed, and alcohol. Of course, I did not view my life as ‘confusion’ until things started to force me to take inventory of who I was and what was I becoming. Internally I found that I was now asking myself two questions:
Do you like who you are becoming?
If you stay on this current path, where is it leading you?
Those two thought provoking questions alerted me to be more observant of my surroundings and myself. One of the first things I noticed was when I started trying to give advice to friends, we were all in the exact same shoes. None of us were helping each other. It was a continued cycle of venting, giving mediocre advice, feeling good for a moment, and then repeating. I could no longer point the fingers at others because I had to consider where my position and role was in the midst.
Many situations that I encountered in the beginning where mirrored reflections of my own choices and decisions… I was watching others do exactly what I doing, and to be transparent, I did not like what I was seeing. It dawned on me that I had no business judging anyone else when my own hands weren’t clean. I realized the same hurt and suffering I witness my dear friends going through, made me weep for myself because I carried and successfully masked the same pain. My speeches no longer worked. My advice had fallen on death ears because they had no evidence and no power behind them. I was encouraging another woman in something I was incapable of doing myself. I was preaching what I did not practice. I felt like a fraud. Yet, I was convicted that someone had to do something differently.
God knew exactly where I was.
Since I began this journey, I realized that majority of the women I spoke with were dealing with issues in the area of relationships more than any other area. I can relate! For us, our relationships (whether romantic or platonic) carry so much importance in how we function. So, I had to crucify my instincts to judge anyone else because I share the same heart and desires as you. For years, I have felt ashamed or unable to express effectively the longings of my female heart.
Its one of the motivations for writing my book. There has been a lot of focus around how to get a man, or to position yourself for your husband, but I do not believe they are getting to the heart of what it feels like to be single and how to navigate through the terrain of dating, disappointment, and feeling flat out discouraged. Basically, all of the highs and lows that come with the territory.
Even with my experience in church, there was acknowledgement that I was single, but the solutions I was presented seemed so shallow and barely scratched the surface.
“Don’t sin”, they would say, “and, don’t settle.”
It has taken time, lots of patience, prayer and encouragement. Despite it being an intense process of being stretched, purged, and refocused there is a purpose behind all of it. The very purpose is what I will unravel and reveal through the course of my service to you, Gold The Label audience. Writing to you all is what makes all of it worth it.
It is my great honor to share my life, my faith, my hope and my light with you all! Until we meet again my friends…
(Bonus nugget: Here’s a poem I wrote back in 2012)
I used to compromise who I was to be accepted by others
Bend over backwards to be apart of the crowd
I used to think that if I could dance them or dress like her, I’d fit in
But I was only fooling myself
I used to always wonder what if…
Instead of focusing on what was
Blinded by sensual affection, I confused for real love
I used to think if only I had this or that
Then my life would be complete
And even with my friends I would subtly compete
Stealth jealousy kept me wanting more
So I’d explore and explore every opened door
But I was depriving the real me, masking my true identity
And suppressing it into bottles that only left me empty
My perception was like congestion and I needed to cough it up
And I was sick and tired and had enough
Of always feeling rough
I had an inner enemy whose name was ‘myself’
And no matter how hard I worked, there wasn’t any wealth
So I took back my identity through the renewing of my mind
And now I accept who I am;
An individual, who is one of a kind