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“The day I broke up with my boyfriend, that was the day our friendship ended. We were so close, like two peas in a pod. To tell you the truth, I never focused on my other friends, because I wanted our relationship to be a committed one. But you see, after we broke up, that was it! Friendship ended! I threw tantrum on my Facebook and twitter page. I went Madea on him. But when I got over him, i realized how stupid I looked. We don’t even talk now, and that don’t bother me as much as it did a few years ago. ” Anonymous.
Unfortunate experience though! For the past three weeks, I was trying to understand why exes are no longer friends. I know, this is strange, but I wanted to do some research on this issue, to have a clearer understanding of why.
One of the main responses I got from individuals was ‘Hurt’. Obviously, we are indeed human beings who portrays a high level of emotions ( yes! men are emotional too, but not as much as females!) that can lead us to a state of emotional hurt when the people we once loved are no longer apart of our lives.
Lack of maturity and Emotional Stability’.
Now, after a break up, some individuals become so petty, it’s not even funny. Some may try to diminish one’s character by spreading lies about one partner, while another individual may have 100% hatred towards their ex partner for whatever reasons ( cheating, change of perspective towards the relationship, partner neglected them, the list can go on).
Probably the relationship ended on a bad note, and some sort of revenge may be an outlet to relieve pain. However, the two examples stated may come across as immature to some individual, and I can personally say they are callow to me. However, I have done my share of premature behavior after a breakup.
So here is an example ( it’s not that dramatic but I am sure you will understand lol!)
So, I broke up with a guy because he wanted two things: a flock of chicks ( I was the ‘ main chick’ ) and sex, and I was not having it . Who this guy think he was? I had and still have standards, and a reputation to uphold!
Well, partner decided he will tell people I left him for some other guy, and all that jazz. I was baffled by such rumors, I started to call the guy a ‘wench’ ( look up the word if you don’t know what it means) but that was not the Christian thing to do! Nonetheless, I somewhat painted a negative picture of him to so many people, it started to affect him, and I felt guilty about it. But! Thank God for His grace and mercies, I realized that name calling and public shaming would not get me anywhere. I was hurting, and I did not know how to deal with break-ups, cheating, or dishonesty on all sorts of levels. But I learned to let go and move on with my life. And by the way, I needed time to understand my worth, and purpose.
Now, Social media has thought me a lot about the ‘ Ex Culture’. I have come across a few memes like:
Savage right? Some individuals post the meanest things on Social media, with the intention to create hurt, but the only person they are hurting is themself.
Emotional stability is one thing that we should all strive for. Once we are at the place where we can deal with a change of environment without an outburst of negative emotions, then we can handle disappointments differently.
As Luke 6: 45 states,
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
If anger or lack of trust are embedded in our hearts, then our actions will be based on those two issues when difficult situations arise. As humans, we respond based on how we feel, and that can cause some permanent damage to individuals, even the person doing the damage. Unless, we learn how to control our emotions, then we can become effective problem solvers, and experts at controlling our emotions.
N.B. I am not saying that emotional stability is as easy as ABC, but the process of getting to that place is worth it.
Maturity plays a major role when entering a relationship.
“I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” ( Maya Angelo 2008)
For some of us, we go through adulthood before we become adults. molestation, abuse, neglect, rejection, has been the story of some people’s lives. Therefore, they carry the baggage of their past into a relationship, and upon disappointment they become immune to pain, so they never heal. So, every relationship adds more baggage, and that is unhealthy to that individuals well-being.
I personally, believe that perspective couples should seek counseling from a trusted counselor, or mentor when getting into a relationship, especially those who are victims of sexual abuse, assaults, and rejection just to name a few.
However, where breakups are concerned, some friendships may dissolve, but that does not give individuals the liberty to tarnish one’s reputation over something that was not meant to be. If feelings are still lingering, then it is best you avoid that person until you are comfortable with communicating with them.
Moving on is hard! Let us admit that! MOVING ON IS HARD! But lashing out at someone because you are hurting can lead to self destruction…….And we do not want that! No! No! No!
Some of us do not take the time to understand ourselves: We do not have the slightest idea of our weaknesses, strengths, and values.
How can we understand others when we do not understand ourself?
There is a place of discomfort that resonates with pain, hurt, and lack of self worth, so we jump into relationships without dealing with our issues, and that is emotional suicide, it is not sad!
Deal with your issues, before you deal with other people’s issues. It makes life so much easier! Sorry telling Jesus your problems makes life so much better! ( I just had to throw that in there, and I am not forcing anyone to do so.)
Maturity comes with a great understand of who you are, and the way you deal with situations and people. It is important to grow fully, than to grow prematurely. Allow your relationship with yourself to bloom, but most importantly knowing who you are in Christ plays a major role in building character and maturity.
What is you motive when going into a relationship?
We all have motives! Some are good and some are bad!
Some relationships are based on:
- The need for acceptance
- Peer Pressure
While some are based on healthy characteristics:
- God’s Love ( Christ sending His son Jesus to die for the World)
- Marriage as an end goal
- Both individuals ability to understand each other
- Healthy Lifestyle and attitudes.
Once a clear motive is established, parties can decided if the relationship is healthy or not.
Not everything we cross paths with is permanent. Jobs, friends, relationships, money (lol), fame….. these things may be temporary in our lives, but at some point we need to remember there is a lesson or a blessing in our pain. And most importantly, God’s plan is the best plan, and we ought to be ready for the things that are meant to be in our lives….. that includes that Kingdom man or Woman ( One woman to one man, and vice versa, just making that clear).
So, when it comes to the ‘Ex Culture’, do not drown yourself in an ocean of revenge, but accept that the relationship is no more, and move on without casting stones. If you guys remain friends ( not frenemies) then Bless y’all souls, it not then such is life, and thank God for life!
December, 11th 2017.
Oh, what a catastrophe I create!
When I Desire to do things that please me.
Not knowing it will bring some happiness,
And the people around you whisper sweet nothings,
About your little shenanigans.
Sweet little Christian Child,
mix up in street lullabies.
You see yourself wanting to break free from these hypocrites in society:
their stares and negativity.
But the rebel inside of you want to clap back with the words
“I HATE YOU!”
Sometimes you feel distorted from your dreams
You feel the need to scream,
and just blank out everything or persons in front of you
Frustration kicks in, Stress exhales from your mouth.
Steam through your skin,
And right about now you not liking the skin you’re in
You blow like a horn and puff like the smoke from a cigar.
Frustration just keeps going on and on,
You try to laugh,
But then the tears cascades down your cheeks.
The sound of exhaustion,
=Glides down your chest.
Take it to the Lord in prayer they say!
But you just continue to rant until your heart is too tired to rant anymore.
So you are left in despair.
Take it to the Lord in Prayer!
So you…decided to put prayer on pause and fear on play ,
And worst yet you plan to have another frustrating day.
You harbor negative feelings .
Turning your heart to stone…
Wax cold monuments that replicates pain..
Stored up in your bones.
And… you are stuck, between these dry bones,
that are about to crack,
if the enemy hits you too hard-
you’re afraid of not being able to bounce back.
So you breathe…..
And you breathe again…
And you breathe again…
And then screamed ” I need my that peacefulness”
This unforgiveness, is rupturing my soul.
With knees bent, and arms surrendered,
the heart that was once stone turned into flesh,
And that emptiness, began to fade,
and a soothe feeling began to cascade gush through your veins,
The frustration has left,
but you know it is not a permanent thing,
So you decided to put your trust in the King of Kings.
With heart wide open,
you accepted His heart, and from that day,
His Love never depart.
Tick tock, the clock is ticking
My ears are itching,
I am a bit uneasy
And I am ready to keep my mind busy.
Can’t wait to get home,
To watch ‘Game of Thrones’
Or probably put on the pS4
And pass my highest score in Fallout 4
Tick tock, the clock is sticking
And my eyes are twitching.
Don’t really understand
What the preacher is saying
Because my mind so busy
Daydreaming about Anime and Dragonball Z
Man, I need to take it easy because
I am starting to cold sweat on this bench.
Tick tock, the clock is stuck
Looks like I am out of luck
And I need to pay attention to the preacher.
Trusting this message will be deep like the Atlantic Ocean,
Hoping my eye lids won’t start bating and my fake lashes bowing
Along with my neck
And my mouth starts yawning.
“A little sleep, A little slumber” the Pastor shouted.
As he proceeded with his message
“The Church is sleeping”
Young people are falling short
Because the older generation is sleeping!
“The Scripture reading for today’s session is taken from Revelation 3:1-3
“1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”
Tick Tock, Jesus is coming
And no one knows the hour nor the day,
So what are we really doing?
Fighting down each other?
Mother against daughters, Fathers against sons!
Congregations bad talking each other and the pastor….
Politics becoming poli-tricks
And the church is embracing political incorrectness!
What a mess!
Jesus is coming and our country is straying!
Referendums are changing
And Christian agendas are delaying
To give the world ways to change our perspectives!
Many of us have rejected the word of God
And succumbing to Black Christianity and debates about the color of our Savior’s skin
And the lost Israelite’s,
When we should be delighting ourselves in the word of God.
The Church is sleeping
And this social construct call race is taking over our pulpits!
They say we Christians are slaves to the white man
Who brained washed us into Christianity!
They call us fools
But Jesus calls us Sons and Daughters
Because we were inoculated with his DNA!
But, how can we say we say we are ready when
We are too busy doing the wrong things!
When we get tied up doing the wrong things!
When we say the wrong things!
And when we accidentally touch the wrong things!
Tick Tock, the clock is ticking
And we need to get it Right!
We need to stop entertaining the world
And start delighting ourselves and Ministering to the World!
We need to love our neighbors as we love ourselves!
Wait!!! We need to understand God’s love to know love,
So we can show love in the Right way!
We need to be like the woman with the issue of blood
And touch the hem of his garments and not doubt the hands of God!
For when we doubt the hands of God, we create problems!
Problems that tears the Church apart!
We need to revive dry bones and kill dirty habits!
So let us start with the older folk!
The supposedly praying Grandmothers, Grandfathers, parents and pastors!
The youth are in trouble!
We need to bring them home!
The Neglected ones!
The confused ones!
The ones with no visions
The one’s who faced molestation!
The Angry ones!
The Broken ones!
Each and every one!
Because the clock is ticking
And we need a Joshua generation!
We need some Gideons!
Some Ruths and Esthers!
But most importantly we need the Comforter,
To be comforted when persecutions arises.
We need to doubt our doubts and put to Not our stingy and feel we better than everybody mentality!
We need to put our trust in God, the God who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt….. Some of us need to leave Egypt and enter his promise land!
Tick, Tock, the clock is ticking,
And the pastor has finished his sermon,
The musicians start playing when the music fades…
So ask yourselves, what happens when the music fades and all is stripped away? What happens when the clock stops ticking?
Will you still be sleeping?
Written by: Renee (Afroray) Plenty
Member of the Writers Association of Grenada & Poet Out (Barbados)
Written in July 2016
I want to write to you like I have never written before.
I want to sing to you, with a voice of love.
I want to enter into your Courts with Praise.
I just want to worship you all my days.
But I have questions that seem to break my focus.
So they have a problem
They say I hang around guys too much
So they don’t like me
But that doesn’t affect me much
Women are just too emotional
For wrong reason
Sorry, we take offense for the wrong reasons
And then we blame it on the seasons
Imagine some of us see church as a play boyz mansion,
When there are no play boyz
But men who are praying with faith,
And dwelling in the word.
We put on our finest garments,
And cast our eyes on lustful imagination;
And if another sister utters a word to the handsome brother
We despise her with our eyes
And exhale her with our nose!
And the words that consciously exit our mouth!
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
And if that is the attitude of some of us then we ought to get back to the place of surrender!
To the place where God says come just as you are:
Broken, dissatisfied, terrified;
However you are!
But don’t dress up your situation with contempt to get attention.
With the application of all that make up,
To cover up what you need deliverance from,
Time to suit up with the armor of God,
And wait patiently for that extended rib.
Just push a little harder,
With every breath, see the finish line,
With every sight,
Feel the light glowing through the pores on your glistening skin.
With every touch, embrace the hand of God,
As He gracefully places every tear in His jar of collected tears.
And every heart break,
He gently places the pieces together,
To make you stronger.
Life is about putting the broken pieces of clay together.
Mending every meaning into something that is worth living for.
Every kiss that is worth waiting for.
Every tear that is worth drying,
And every heart that is worth loving.
Just push a little harder, and you will see how strong you are.
How bold you are.
We’ve all had that one childhood friendship which we have cherished. We can still call on that friend and it will be like old times.
Not everyone shares the same story.
Some of us
Probably that was just a fickle thought in our imagination that allowed us to fit in with the rest of the world.
“Well, it is time to grow up and ask God for wisdom,” that is what I told myself. I needed to grow up, and stop living in my imagination.
Growing up, I was a resourceful person, well I still am, and that can be a bit frustrating. Huh? A bit frustrating, no it is darn frustrating. Most of my friends at that time, used to ask me if my mother knows any schools that needed teachers, and of course being the nice person, my mom would always assist them. Not that I was jealous or anything, but now that I am almost hitting the lovely thirty, I had to do a lot of thinking and, most important, I had to search my heart.
Some of the questions that popped up in my head,
“Was I always being used by persons whom I called friends?”
“Was I ever a friend to them, or a friend with resourceful benefits?”
“If I had to identify one person whom I can call a true friend, will I be able to identify such?”
I have always wondered, who is that one person who has been there for me. Gladly, I can say I know that one person, but I would not identify them yet.
One of the memories that lingers in my jar of unwanted collections, was when I found out that a young man I was dating, or I should say “I was in a relationship with” decided to break up with me because he needed to get closer to God, but we all know how those lies go, he really wanted to get closer to a young lady who would have given what he wanted.
I hated the dude, and it was evident. I hated him for not being honest with me, and for neglecting me when I kept asking what was the matter?
Now, the story gets interesting here. Around the same year we broke up, I attended a retreat with some of the band members (I was a part of a gospel band, in my college days) and that same young man was there. One night I walked in on a conversation, that made me furious. Some of the females were gathered in a room, and one of them mentioned how much feelings they always had for that said young man, that’s as many details I would go into.
I felt hurt, betrayed, and I realized how dangerous women are. They came and ask for forgiveness, but I wasn’t sure if I understood what it meant.
Then Christmas came along, and we had our usual Christmas Eve Dinner at one of the well-known Restaurant and Bar in town. By that time, I was in a relationship, with a young man, who I saw as a true friend, but honestly, he wasn’t, because his best friend came first, and we both know his best friend will always come first, but that is not the discussion at hand here. So, back to the dinner.
Now, I sat there, and I observed each of them, especially one of my closest friend, and asked myself, “did I miss something?”
While heading to the bus stand to get the bus, my friend told me after that said young man and I broke up, he was checking her, and they went out a few times. Listen, I did not want to hear the rest, so I played dumb, and ignorant and just ignored it, even though I was angry at her.
This story among many, made me wonder. I was confused! I got a reality check, and it occurred to me, I had no friends! None!
Now, a few years later, I can say the same thing.
Listen! People will only want you when they need something, and that is all I have been to most people, a resource! A friend with creative benefit!
Thing is, I don’t mind being a comforter, but at the end of the day I am human, and I need a shoulder too, a listening ear, an accountability partner, and a mentor.
I am sure most persons can relate, but let me stop ranting now, because I have a tendency to do so, and let me just say that God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
When I look at Jonathan and David’s friendship in 1 Samuel 18, I longed for that friendship with someone. A friend whose soul will be knit to mines, as mines to theirs. A friend who will cover me with prayers, as I do the same, and one who will be there even in the good and bad times.
In this relationship, God was at the Center! He was the focus.
In times like these, when we feel desperate, rejected, neglected, and even to the point of suicide, God wants us to push through! We may be away from those whom we truly love (family), but one thing God has thought me, was the ability to stand alone, because where feet may fail He will surround me! Where words may hurt He will heal me!
Last thing, in all this mess, I have learned to not let people walk over me, so I distanced myself from those who distanced themselves from me, and I asked God to not make me bitter but to make me bold in love.
Renee C.S Plenty – 29/10/17
Hurricane Ivan was something else! Of all the days in the week he chose to come on the 7th of September 2004, on my little brother’s birthday, my second day of Secondary school, ah matter ah fact, he shouldn’t have made landfall in Grenada at all, but you know what, God is still GOOD.
The day started off sunny and peaceful, at around 11 am, some people were boarding their windows with plie wood, while others used thick plastic coverings (I guess they couldn’t afford to get wood). My Parents were busy storing water, covering important household items and documents, storing away food, while my brothers and I were watching my baby brother, he turned one that day, unfortunately.
I remembered well, around after 12, my dad was arguing with his mom, because she wanted us to come by her because she thought it would be safer for my baby brother’s sake. Note well, we lived on a slope, with a clear view of the Marina by True Blue Bay, and my father looking at the sea, said “We will be good,” well I honestly thought one can determine the depth of damage a hurricane can do by looking at the sea! I was young and knew nothing about hurricanes, so I trusted that all will be well because they seemed to be taking this thing too serious when the weather was looking fine and dandy.
Change of plans, I was convinced this weather was bipolar! In the twinkling of an eye, outside just turned gloomy, dark clouds rolled across the sky, dogs started barking, people started rushing to the nearby shop, and there and then my dad ran outside to cover his car, while my mother told us to pack a bag just in case. Honestly, I thought this was the end of the world, so I started to pray, I am so serious. The transition from sunny day to a gloomy day in a matter of minutes seemed unreal to me.
Around 2 pm, the winds picked up and the trees started swaying hysterically. Galvanise and tree branches started flying, electricity poles were thrown down by the strong winds, windows were shattered and roofs flew off buildings. My cousin’s house roof lifted three times before it was completely blown off and then I saw a small figure dashing through their back yard to get to the neighbor’s house. A few galvanizes from our roof were rooted up and sent away with the wind, so parts of the roof were leaking. In that moment, we were preparing to go to the neighbor’s, so we had to wait for the calm of the storm.
I remembered getting two slaps from my mom because she wanted me to put on my new white Reebok sneakers to run across by the neighbors, man I was furious I cried because I really liked those shoes and it wasn’t worth all that mud! Lol! However, we had to cover my little brother so he would not get wet. He was crying through the thunder and the lightning, I couldn’t imagine how terrified his little ears were feeling, with those loud cracking sounds and those bright flashing light. I remembered, jumping over branches and tree trunks to reach the neighbor’s house, and mind you it was 2 minutes away, but the debris from the trees and houses made it seem like a long journey.
About six families from my area were housed in the basement of my neighbor’s house. There were mattresses laid out for us, food stocked and candles, flashlights, and a portable radio to keep abreast with the weather. While the adults were busy listening to the updates, a few of us children, as well as teenagers, were telling jokes and stories so we won’t be bored, some of them were scared because their house was completely damaged. As we went through the night, some of the adults were telling stories about Hurricane Janet, half of us wasn’t even born yet, so our ears were inclined to the stories until we fell asleep.
Wood, galvanize, trees, electricity poles, fences, glasses were scattered all over the place. The village of Frequente looked dilapidated. Houses were without roofs, windows, and doors. Some roofs were placed on top of other houses, some concrete structures were caved in, roads were blocked and then you had the crazy people who looted from courts struggling to bring their looted fridge, stoves, microwaves, television, and other appliances to …. I cannot say I know where they put it because most of their houses were in shambles but they stored it somewhere.
The sight in Frequente was appalling! Some families lost most of their belongings, some were crying for the pain Ivan cost, while some were just gathering the remnants of the storm, to start rebuilding. As Children, we were not allowed to stay outside for too long because electricity poles lying over the place, so the adults ensured we were kept inside. Our house was not severely damaged, but we lost some stuff. A few days after, I remembered seeing SSU officers patrolling the area. I remembered one of the officers told us to go home immediately, with his rifle in his hand, and his tone was not pretty at all.
Hurricane Ivan brought out the best and the worst in some people, the thieving thing was a real real thing! We had to lock down our water tanks at home because people were thieving water too and secure most of our appliances that were not damaged. But, on the bright side, I saw togetherness in the community- people assisting with rebuilding houses, pot luck vibes, and a bond between the young and the old.
Despite the destruction and the ghastly memories, Grenada was restored to normalcy, well the buildings I am referring too, not sure about the systems.
Written by Renee Plenty (Afroray)
Thursday 7th September 2017.
I walked into a bridge,
With the perception of it being robust.
I thought my faith was strong,
So, I walked along that bridge with such confidence,
If anything were to surprise me, I will be ready.
The weather decided to take a 180 turn,
And the rain came down,
I ran towards the end of the bridge,
And there the water came gushing down.
I was trapped,
And so was my faith!
Trapped between death and life,
I quickly thought about death.
I felt like Peter,
I doubted God when he told me to continue walking.
All I saw was water flowing rapaciously,
Capturing every moving or stagnant thing in its way.
In that moment,
My faith wavered,
Anxiety came in,
And I started to shout where are you, God?
Where shall I go, Lord?
I am trapped, Lord!
I sat on my bed wondering what’s next?
T- minus two days till my rent is due,
And my bank account says $2.99.
Two days ago, my faith was as small as a mustard seed,
But today, anxiety crept in,
I tried to ignore it but I just couldn’t.
I started to panic,
I started to cold sweat,
Like McGregor when he lost to Mayweather.
Tried to think about quick fixes,
Until Jesus told me there are no quick fixes but permanent fixes…
I felt a peace,
When I heard that voice,
But two hours later,
That peace faded when I allowed distractions to grasp my attention.
A young man I was entertaining,
Simply let me down in the best way possible.
I thought he knew what he was about,
But clearly, he was confused about decisions.
Good thing is before that bridge burnt,
I refused to build it,
However, I found a stream of wax flowing through my veins,
when I decided to walk away from this sinking ship.
But I had to dissolve it with prayers before it turned my heart cold.
The need to be loved by someone,
Is one that will always swim through my mind,
But in those moments,
God always reminds me of how much he loves me.
His love is like sweet perfume on my skin.
His ears are always open to my concerns,
Even when he knows them before I utter them.
His heart is undeniably unconditional.
And the best part is he will never reject me, nor neglect me.
He emphasized the need ‘to not awaken love until he tells me too.’
He accentuated these words, ‘guard your heart, and trust in me, for His ways are higher than mines.’
And most importantly to flee the very appearance of sin (lust)
So, when that guy told me he can’t wait until marriage,
I simply, fled before I gave my sound response.
I learnt, there are certain things we don’t need to articulate,
Because God already articulated it through our actions.
So, before I allowed that bridge to burn, I refused to build it.
Other waves came crashing,
They were long lost male friends, exes who never apologized for their disappearance,
finances, crazy landlords, inefficient people who played a crucial part in my development,
and my nosy conscience.
But amidst all the anxieties, the tripping over air, the headaches, heartaches,
And unnecessary priorities,
Those waves never drowned me.
As the Psalmist David expressed in Psalm 93 verses 3-5
The floods have lifted,
O Lord, the floods have lifted their voice;
the floods lift their waves.
The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters,
than the mighty waves of the sea.
Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house,
O Lord, for ever.
So, when the waves come crashing in,
God is never sleeping,
He is either waiting on us to trust in Him,
Or cry out to Him.
When the waves come crashing in,
We should not give in,
But remember that the testing of our faith brings patience.
When the waves come crashing in,
God will never let us drown,
Because he does not give us more than we can bear.
He gives us the strength to get through those waves.
When the waves come crashing in,
Just praise God,
Just worship him,
Just thank Him,
And say it is done in Jesus name.
For he alone can calm those waves,
For Him alone that can burn those spiritual bridges that try to lead us to temptation.
For Him alone that can bestow that peace that passes all understanding.
Trust in Jesus, for he is the radiance of the Glory of God.
He is majestic, worthy,
And he is to be magnified through it all.
He is not a man that He should lie,
So let him,
Let Him be that wave of joy that brings comfort, healing and restoration in your situation.