hookup culture, Men, sex, The Cross, Uncategorized, Women

The Ties that Bind…

Rejection. Fear. Insecurity. Judgement. Inner Vows. Soul Ties. Shame. Identity. Sex. Freedom.

Please allow me to take you on a bit of a personal journey with me. I have just about always been a Christian but I became a Christ follower six years ago. You can scroll back in this blog and read for yourself the different landmarks of my journey from fornicating-party girl to celibate-small group leading-church girl. I have some links set up to help fill you in as I explain some things I have recently learned. After going through yet another transformative conference at a local church, (the same one I mention in a Lonely Girl’s Cry) more things have stood out to me.

First, it has been a quest to break a particular soul tie in my life. It started 10 years ago with a sinful situationship (The Purge). Although I’ve been healed since then and been celibate for five and a half years, there’s always been a pining in my heart for that person. Despite logic. Regardless of the prayers I have prayed for and against the desire. It’s been a secret to most. While recently watching The Heart of Man, as per the assignment in the online Journey into The Heart of Man curriculum, something one of the storytellers said was like a clue left for me to find. The person defined infatuation as: a projection of a fantasy onto another person. This is not how I have defined infatuation. This definition opened my eyes to see that is what I have done. My fantasy is what has kept me in the pursuit. The pastor teaching on soul ties explained we stay tied to a person through the physical, soul or spirit. The definition of soul (mind, will and emotions) was jumping off the page screaming for me to find yet another clue. I kept repeating mind, will, emotions, mind, will, emotions… will, will, will. The Holy Spirit allowed me to see that I kept myself attached to that person because I have put my will over God’s will. My mind and emotions have not been attached to that person in years but my will is what has remained attached. I see it so clearly now that I have willed this attachment into existence. Even to the point of making an inner vow and actually to God, “the only way I will stop wanting him is if he gets married or gets someone pregnant.” Now if this isn’t a bold declaration of my will to Yahweh, I don’t know what is. This is me telling God I will do my will first, then I will consider Yours. Sadly, I have yet to repent of this disobedience since coming to the realization. This is the first time I’m realizing what a terrible mistake I have made. I knew I was making an idol of that person and could tell you that I’ve apologized to God for thinking of that person more than HIM. But not only did I make that person an idol but obviously now I see I made an idol of myself. When we place our will above God’s will, we are making gods of ourselves. I for sure will be repenting of this.

Second, in Its Different for Girls, I wrote, “In front of him I was sand through his fingers. I wanted him to give me form.” During the session on Identity, this quote came to mind. I wanted him to give me form. That is very telling of the condition my heart used to be in. I could see that at one time I had been seeking significance through him. That is why I took the rejections so harshly. I used imagine when you go to the produce section at the grocery store and you start picking up fruit. I felt like the apple that gets picked up for a couple of seconds but after a brief examination, its deemed unworthy to be purchased and taken home. Just nobody apple. Nothing special. A faceless forgettable nobody. When we seek our identity in something other than Christ that is what we are led to see, a faceless forgettable nobody. There is nothing life giving outside of God’s will. Outside of God’s will there is no hope only despair.

Third, it stood out to me very clearly that I had held a judgement against that person. Throughout the conference we were given the task to keep track of anything (sins, memories, etc) we wanted to lay at the Cross on a blank paper in the workbook. After the session on Judgements, I wrote on the blank page, “Judgement- [man’s name]- is a selfish jerk.” Throughout that session the Holy Spirit was leading me to this truth: you only saw him as a selfish-jerk, through the lens of your rejection and insecurity, he was just another person living his life. Now I could recount all the details, replay conversations and words spoken, actions done which would lead you to determine that Yes, he was a selfish-jerk and poor me. However, within the massive context of my whole life and his whole life, we were people that collided and bruised one another, because we are broken humans. I projected my fear, insecurity and rejection onto him and it was a very real feeling to me. Every text ignored, every sexual encounter left open like a gaping wound in my heart left me with extreme feelings and racing thoughts. What I experienced was real but it was not the Truth of who I was, who he was or of what was taking place. I’m sure he is a good man. He most likely has a good heart, something I couldn’t see simply because all I could see was someone rejecting me and simply because he never showed it to me. I often tell women on my caseload that “most people, most of the time do not have ill intentions,” it us that perceive things differently than what may be actually happening. I want to emphasize that we must examine our hearts constantly to make sure we are seeing people for who God says they are, not who we tally them up to be.

Here’s where it gets interesting, before I attended this conference, I had a dream on October 21st. I woke up feeling strange. As my mind was warming up for the day, the pieces of my dream were coming together. I had dreamed that that person died. In my dream, I had read it in a newspaper article. I was trying to confirm it by finding a local newspaper article or asking people. When I woke up I went online to research what a death in a dream could mean. Some sites talked about transformation, re-birth, new life changes. I stopped there. I felt that God was speaking to me to say that the situation was dead and to leave at that. God was ending it for me. Since having this dream and discovering all these missing pieces, I know that it truly is up to me to lay my will aside. When I’m tempted to use my will to tie a shoestring back onto that person, it will be my conscious choice to do so or not.

God gave us free will to choose. He never said you’ll get to choose between two easy things. I’m finding out that our choices are usually between the deepest pit or the tallest mountain. Both look frightening. We often chase our temptations with vigor but pursue freedom as if we have already lost. We do a lack luster trot instead of a full run as if our life depends on reaching the finish line. I’m no runner, my goal for a 5k is to finish is under an hour. I have to change. We are a new creation in Christ. There should be nothing that resembles my old life, not even my inner life.

Lastly, it’s easy for some Christians to get freedom in some areas of their life but still remain shackled in other areas. I’m not one of those Christians, or at the very least, I maintain a firm hope that I will take as much freedom that God will allow. I believe Freedom isn’t given, it’s taken. It’s not given by those that hurt or oppress us. It’s taken from Alpha and Omega. Just like Grace is a free gift from the God that loves us, so is Freedom. Just as we exchange ashes for beauty, we can exchange bondage for freedom. You may find my statement freedom isn’t given, its taken…freedom is a free gift (which is implied a gift is given) as contradictory. I don’t see it as a contradiction. When you look at oppressed people throughout history or now, so often the oppressed outnumber the oppressors. Quite often those in bondage are shackled by nonphysical chains, but shackled by mental and emotional chains. Spiritual, financial are some others.

“As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.”

The elephant in the story thinks his freedom depends on those that tie the ropes but if the elephant knew that it was an Elephant with tree trunks for legs, it would exert just enough strength to pull that rope off of the spike.
If you knew that you were a Child of God, you could exert enough strength and praise to pull the shackles off the enemy’s vine.

The very last activity of the conference is a prayer tunnel, the pastors and leaders anoint you with oil and pray over you as you walk through with your eyes closed. You most often don’t remember everything that was said nor does anyone praying over you actually know what is going on in your inner life. However, the first thing that was said over me was straight from Heaven. A pastor said “bring freedom others.” As this was spoken to me, I immediately united with God to take this as the other part of my calling. (Read more in Be Brave). I’m called to free the captives and fortify the weak.

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Must Watch: The Heart of Man film- https://heartofmanmovie.com/

My current reading: Unwanted by Jay Stringer- http://jay-stringer.com/

Worship: New Wine- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbJaM_EneMw&list=RDQbJaM_EneMw&start_radio=1

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hookup culture, sex, Uncategorized

The Faux-Intimate Generation

As I was driving home from a work event I was listening to Clean by Natalie Grant. A memory came to the forefront and I figured I would have to write about it. I was trying to think of title but I didn’t like, “Don’t be a Cheapskate” or “How I knew I had to Stop having Sex.” Another song I like is a country song called Every Little Thing by Carly Pearce.

“Every little thing, I remember every little thing, the high the hurt the shine the sting of every little thing…”

I love it because I’m one those people that remembers. I remember those little things, all the things that never mattered to the other person.

One of the last times I slept with a particular person (about 5 years ago), I remember we didn’t use any protection. Surprise- Surprise. At that time, I was (pathetically) okay with it because I only did that with him. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone else nor did I want to. I was okay with there not being a boundary. I’m not condoning unprotected sex here but explaining my own poor choices.

The next days after, I realized we should have used protection because although I knew where I had been- I did not know where he had been. I could not account for what he was doing with other women or not doing with other women. He was a wild card. I decided to text him.

“Just so you know I only do that with you.”

His response went something like, “Yea me too…I’m clean…trust me.”

He asked if I was on the pill and I said no.

He said if I got the Plan B pill he would “reimburse” me.

reimburse

Reimburse

REIMBURSE

REEEIMMMBUUURSSSE.

I said I wasn’t worried about being pregnant and joked “we’ll see what happens in 9 months.”

He didn’t think it was funny.

I didn’t think REIMBURSE was funny. I didn’t think REIMBURSE was appropriate. I didn’t want his money. I didn’t like the way he so casually used the word REIMBURSE. How many other women had he REIMBURSED? Reimburse is not something you say to someone you slept with. Reimburse is reserved for business transactions. You get reimbursed for office supplies, mileage. You get reimbursed from petty cash when the vending machine won’t give you your Funyuns. I had been given money to purchase Plan B years prior and I vowed that would not be an experience I would repeat. (The Time I Went to the Abortion Clinic)

I was NOT a transaction.

But I was to him.

This exchange of communication was monumental in my quest. Right now, I can thank God for the word choice of that person. Obviously, it has stayed on my mind all these years. It was another reminder of why I could not keep sleeping with him or anyone. Especially as the times have changed and young men have become even more gluttonous for sex as women have become even more feral.
This is the generation of soul-less faux-intimate transactional sex.

I wondered if the new normal was to sleep with a girl unprotected, and then utilize Plan B as a plan a. Just reimburse her later. I remembered when I was younger the mantra was Do Not Get Pregnant. Do Not get a STD.

Had that changed? Had the plan changed so much in less than a decade?

It seems as though as the years pass on Responsibility has become an outdated tenet. How could that be? You would think that as we get older we get wiser.

As our culture has come to worship sex we’ve placed responsibility under personal self-indulgence.

We began to desire the benefits and none of the responsibility. Men and women equal in foolishness.

That *REIMBURSE* conversation led me to see that I had better get out of the game. The game had changed and it wasn’t for me anymore.

I never want to hear the word Reimburse from a man that I have been intimate with. God never intended for men to run amok reimbursing women for Plan Bs or abortions. He intended for men and women to make a covenant with Him at the center to care of one another. To represent Christ to one another. Anything short of that is faux-intimacy. It’s a foundation of quicksand, you lose your footing before you know it. You’ll be left feeling played and cheap. Don’t be a cheapskate. You’re worth more than $50 for Plan B or the $500 for an abortion.

Ladies, a man isn’t taking care of you by throwing money at what he or you may deem a “problem.” The problem happened before the conception. The problem is your lack of purity. You lack a firm and full understanding of who you are.

Men, what happened to you? When did you begin to sell out? Generations before you welcomed responsibility. Welcomed the opportunity to showcase your provision and protection. Being a man meant taking care of someone other than yourself.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. – Proverbs 31:31

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