Journaling, Quick Read, Transformation

Creatures

“God take these chains off of me, take the chains off of my heart off my body off my brain. Take these chains Take these chains off of me. God take these chains. These chains of consequences.

he raped my heart now I’m dealing with the consequences of low self-esteem no confidence. I gave him full reign on my body & mind. It’s all over now, it’s gotta be over. Cuz there’s no other way.”                                                                                               July 7, 2010

 

I wrote that in a journal I found in a box in my closet, literally and figuratively. A box inside my closeted soul. I wrote in the Purge how there was a time in my life where I teetered the line of crazy. That post was centered on a particular individual and the merry-go-round I rode with him.

This post however, I want to focus on myself.

I sat on the floor in my room reading these excruciating types of entries, recalling the events or being shocked at events I never remembered. Texting him in the middle of the night “delete my number and forget about me” and “tell me to stop talking to you.” Most going unanswered, unacknowledged driving me even madder. Never in a million years would I have ever admitted to being that crazy girl. In fact, I had like most people remembered the past as I chose to. Glossing over my own poor behavior and over emphasizing the poor behavior in the other person. After a text was ignored I wrote how I cried “all night” or “until I feel asleep.” This scenario saturated my journal.

I began to cry myself. Six years later, I am 31 years old and so far removed from the person I once was. My heart broke for the young me. Someone so lost. Lost in someone else. Lost in reality. I cried and apologized to God for not knowing Him then. I know YOU now though. You came for me, you never stopped coming for me. I felt shaken to my core.

I never truly saw the cage I was in until the other night reading page of page of utter nonsense. Pages of illogical and immature behavior. I was caged up in insecurity and rejection. An embalmed cycle.

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I told God later, I forgive him [the guy] even though I already have. Just in case there is something still there and I don’t know it. I release him. I forgive myself.

As I continued to process my thoughts and raw emotions, I believe God told me that it was not him [the guy] – it was not flesh and blood but principalities at work.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”    Ephesians 6:12

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only LIGHT drives out darkness. I was in some of the darkest rooms stumbling around, trying to find my way, getting bumped and bruised. The enemy liked me in the dark. Falling down and grasping, hurting myself. My sense of self hanging on the whims of another person [the idea of the other person]. Clouds and storms of dysfunction in between us. Looking back, I now believe there was only a small fraction of our real selves that were present with one another. We came to the surface sporadically only to retreat in fear moments later. What a sad way to live your life.

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The old me died a while ago, specifically on May 31, 2015 when I was baptized. I am a NEW creature and NEW thing in Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”   2 Corinthians 5:17

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”     Isaiah 43:19

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”      Romans 6:4

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—“     Romans 6:6

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”     Romans 6:12-14

new_creature_in_christ_by_marlacalandradesigns-d3hnpdz.jpgRelated Music: 

Once and For All- Lauren Daigle


 

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book review, Men, Women

My Wait

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The Wait is a honest depiction of celibacy in the modern age. Devon Franklin and Meagan Good give personal accounts of their journey, individually and as a couple. Whether your choice or consideration for celibacy is one of a commitment to God or not, The Wait offers so much  confirmation and assistance to one practicing the lifestyle. Devon and Meagan began their journey of celibacy separately and at different times. Each walking through life seeking God’s will. They did not know at first that they were for each other, but began a friendship that did turn into a marriage. I am approaching close to 3 years of celibacy and waiting in God’s time, knowing He is writing a beautiful love story- better than I could ever imagine.

Right away, the question of Why gets answered for us.

“But why? Why did we consciously delay gratification – not just sexual but emotional and spiritual- that would have come with diving headfirst into a passionate relationship? The answer is simple: we wanted God’s very best for our lives, collectively and individually, and we wanted it in whatever way he intended. This required patience (pg.xvii).”

“Because we waited, we exchanged immediate gratification for what we really wanted and who we really wanted to be. Because we waited, God was able to reveal things that we would have missed if we had been blinded by the white-hot light of lust, desperate to fulfill our own desires. Because we waited, we were eventually ready (pg.xviii).”

The authors clarify that the Wait is (sort of) about sex. Sex is always around us through tv, movies, music, blogs, magazines, talk shows, billboards. Lets to be real- sex is in our own minds and memories. When you decided not to have it [sex], not to entertain it, even fight against thoughts of it, now that is what stirs up curiosity and controversy. Singer, Ciara Harris and now fiance Seattle Seahawks QB, Russell Wilson stirred up media with their commitment to doing it Jesus’ way. Congrats By The Way!!!!

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God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.  

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Waiting is not passive. I’m not waiting for a prince to rescue me from some high tower of a castle. The authors, tells us while we wait we should be working on ourselves, “…letting love and purpose manifest in your life as result of you working on becoming the best version of yourself (pg.11).”It’s about focusing on becoming our best, the best God intended for us to be. Trusting God that He is working on your behalf at all times. This allows us to fill free from believing that we’ve got to make things happen NOW, “God has His hand on your life during this time, rearranging the scenery in order to set you up for good things to come (pg. 13).”

Waiting is not about ridding yourself of sexual urges. They will always be there because of our human nature. However, “your sexual urges lose their power over you. You gain power over them (pg. 16).” You have to want Plan A over all other things. Plan A is the very best God has in store for you, though based on our decisions we may miss out on Plan A.

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Chapter Two: Getting What You Really Want (Hint: It Isn’t Sex), reminded me of The Purge – my own struggle of discovering what I really wanted. The Wait is about removing yourself from that toxic cycle, running towards the things and people that continue to break you each time.  Are you suffering from post-traumatic relationship disorder?

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It’s about personal growth. Growing up. Improving yourself. Praying that God not only send you a spouse, but He work on you. Pray that God teach you how to be that spouse. Relationships, situationships all distracts us. Most of us. Most of us don’t do it God’s way (at first). We’ve gotten the person of our affection in our grasp and just stopped focusing on our priorities. In the past, its always been difficult to take care of priorities when there’s some guy I’m pining for.

Waiting reduces drama, conflict, and expense….Then there’s the post-sex conflict, expectations, and crises (pg. 64)… who wouldn’t love to say good-bye to the walks of shame, morning-after scenes, waiting on the call that doesn’t come, and feelings of being used?…. Waiting gives your better knowledge of your partner. When you’re not blinded by lust or the counterfeit intimacy that can come with premarital sex, you can see the person you’re dating for who they are (pg. 65).”

Temptation…something that I really loved was, “Sometimes wisdom means knowing when you’re not strong, ****so that you don’t have to be strong**** (pg.88).” WoW! I had never thought of temptation in this way!

Funny (but pathetic) story I recently recalled to a friend. I remembered years ago, I was on my way to see a guy [the one from The Purge]. It was a summer night around 10pm or 11pm or ??? While driving there, I was telling myself I wasn’t going to hookup with him. I wasn’t going to stay long. I prayed to God, done let me hook up with him- don’t let me have sex with him. The outcome? I was in his bed sooner than I realized. Easily melted into our sin and I never resisted. What a dummy. What a fool. I went knowing I wasn’t strong that’s why I included God at the last minute. Grabbing God at the last second isn’t enough. I was being unwise.

Knowing your triggers is extremely important. Page 99 gives us some good examples: Late nights, emotional trauma, intimate contact, alcohol, sexting/snapchat, travel. There can be more and we all have our own combination of triggers. Just like any behavior that you’re trying to keep in check, over-eating, gambling, shopping, drugs etc. We all have triggers that if not examined can lead us to acting out our weaknesses. This is about being smart, not putting yourself up against temptation- believing that you can outwit your own flesh.

Chapters Five and Six divulge deeper into why women and men don’t wait. In short, women tend to have a fear of being alone, “Scratch the surface of a lot of unmarried young women and you’ll find a layer of fear just below the surface. Fear of being alone. Fear of not having children. Fear of being judged and found wanting. Fear of being less of a woman. Fear of being inadequate, insufficient, not good enough. Fear of not being all you were called to be by the time you think it should happen (pg.110).” I wont go further because I think this is an easy concept.

Why men don’t wait is something entirely different and worthy of deep exploration. Men tend to prescribe to “The List… unspoken inventory of must-haves that plays on a 24-7 loop (pg. 141).” The List is as follows: Wealth, Power, Position, A hot car, Great clothes, A huge crib, Big toys, A beautiful, sexy woman on your arm.

The List is a placebo. 

“The man who recklessly gives himself over to his sex drive denies and distances himself from his divine nature. He courts chaos, drama, legal troubles, illegitimate children- everything this side of the plagues Moses warned Pharaoh about in Exodus. Worst of all, he becomes manipulative and callous, willing to do or say anything to get a woman into bed. He becomes addicted not just to the physical feeling of sex but also to the psychology of how sex makes him feel- and the game he must play to produce this feeling (pg. 147).”

God was telling me, “Don’t play with my daughters’ hearts.”  – Devon Franklin

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Are you ready to change? Are you ready to pause and heal your wounds? Are you ready to relinquish your sad imitation of power to the One that made you? It’s not easy. It took me one day a time to stop making the same mistakes. It took me opening up to a trusted group of young women in a small group and them praying audacious prayers over me. It took me getting on my knees crying out to the One that made me, and humbling myself to repent of insecurity. The reasons we do what we do all differ, but sin is at the core. Sin wheres a mask of insecurity and pride, even power and selfishness. Jesus took these sins to the cross. Stop taking them down and putting them again.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:30

Related Reading:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/i-gave-sex-three-years-ago-heres-what-happened

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Journaling, Uncategorized, Women

My Life is Not a Telenovela

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My life is not a telenovela and yours shouldn’t be either. I got tired of telling my friends stories of this guy and that guy. I also got tired of hearing their stories about this guy and that guy.

Did I tell you about X?

Did I tell you what happened?

Did I tell you what he text me?

Did I tell you what he did?

Did I tell you what he said?

Re-hashing whatever happened two weeks ago, bringing me up to date on what happened last week, and telling me what happened this week.

So he text me this.

I texted back that.

Then he said this.

So I said that.

Showing my friend text after text or just handing over my phone to let them read the entire thread themselves. Watching their face in anticipation.

Over analyzing every text, word, move from the flavor of the month guy.

So he text me at 8:52pm. So I saw it but didn’t reply until 9: 26pm. Then he said that. So I texted back and said that.

Over and over the same story lines, the same play by play rhetoric.

Still single.

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After reading Don’t Let Your Journal Turn Into a Soap Opera Drama from Girl Defined, I decided to look through old journals and find good examples of my stories. Though I have numerous journals through the past 10 years, 2008 was filled with drama and endless details of it. In 2008, I was 22 years old and had quit my job at a restaurant. I had been on a “break” from school and just spent my time going to parties and bars. Hopefully some of that explains a percentage of the drama. Remember my post, 21 Before 21? Yeah, I didn’t know any of those things yet! The following entries centered around three fellas over a two month time frame. I blacked out names of all involved to protect their identities.

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I had one thing right, “I’m crazy.” Shake your head because I’m shaking mine too. I actually blew up someone’s one phone at 3 am. I don’t remember that. I was “so mad cuz he didn’t try 2 come over” ???

I read these pages and more- shocked. I cannot believe I used to be that girl. I remember a lot of stories but apparently I don’t have enough storage space in my brain for al the other stories. I must be remembering the main headlines, the highlights, the bloopers. Pages and pages of who’s and when’s, the tiniest details of anything that happened. He didn’t call back. He didn’t respond to my text. He didn’t go to the party or that bar. Sad to say these stories did die down but just continued at a slower rate up until 2-3 years ago. Maybe you’ll think its lame but I can’t remember the last time I had a story to tell.

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These years have been the most peaceful years. I’m not worried or stressed about some guy, what hes doing or not doing. I’ve got no time to become a detective or private investigator. Investigating, scouring the internet to “figure” him out. I can no longer analyze a picture posted on social media and decipher text messages. I can no longer decode a guy’s behavior to “figure out” how he feels about me. We’re definitely not called to be play special investigator even though we make great ones!

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God wants our eyes on him. If we are playing detective on some guy, then our eyes are not on God. If you consider yourself a Christian girl or woman, you should not be obsessed [and don’t use your own judgement to discern if you are obsessed or not]. You’re just going to rationalize every move you make. Talk to a mature friend and ask her if you’re a bit obsessed, even just a little. God deserves our full attention and a full-time relationship. I don’t judge you, I struggle with this myself. But we have to stretch our understanding of relationship and love. It’s not just a Nicholas Sparks novel. Whether its God or a guy.

Here is 20 Important Bible Scriptures About Priorities-http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-important-bible-scriptures-about-priorities/

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When it comes to relationships and love I have a new set of standards and guidelines, Proverbs 18:22 is verse that I firmly hold onto.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

He who finds a wife….  I don’t need to be out searching my city for a man. I definitely need to be prepared to be found!

not She who figures out a man will get to marry him,

not She who finds a husband.

He who finds a wife… I need to be asking God to prepare me to be wife.

not he who finds some chick,

not he who finds some girl that figured him out, that solved his inner mysteries.

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Instead of filling our journals with endless and mindless details of who’s and when’s, let us allow God inside those pages. God is thee author of all things. He created us and knows who and what we need in our lives. He is not the author of confusion! If we have to spend hours deciphering the hieroglyphics of texts messages, online messages and overall messages that are being communicated by a guy- most likely God is not involved in that situation. When you leave God out of your relationships, you also leave out his protection and provisions. When you act as if you can figure it all out with God and continue towards unstable relationships, you will not have the appropriate foundation that will be a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship. Sure you may have a relationship, but it won’t be from God’s design or have  his co-sign and it will not be blessed. You’re out on your own, leaning on your own understanding. We are told to lean NOT on our own understanding in Proverbs 3:5.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Trust in the Lord…

definition: one having power and authority over others. Welcome His authority over your life and know that you won’t have to strain and strive so hard for the right guy.

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Related Reading:: http://www.girldefined.com/journal-turn-soap-opera-drama

Related Music:  Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli – https://youtu.be/ecV1NHmELuA

P.S. Don’t be this girl!

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Gender Issues

hey Slut: dissecting Slut Walks part 1

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I have never been called a Slut. To my face, online, or anywhere for that matter. That I know of. I have not been raped or sexually assaulted. I tell you that to be honest. So you know where I am coming from and where I’m not. Today, many people protest and leach onto to causes they truly have no heart for. They get caught up in the divisiveness and loud noises. Like Brick Tamland here.

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If we told people that in 2015 Obama was in the process to scrap July 4th as a national holiday to be more Muslim-friendly as part of international relations, groups and individuals of all interest groups would be taking sides of an octagon. The United BasketWeavers of America, The National Association of People Against Everything, along with the ForEverythingPeople would be taking to twitter, facebook, youtube, AOL Hotmail, Morse code, and anything else they could get their hands on to get their “message” out there. Sadly, the average American is not able to decipher between satire, truth, fake-truths, bias, and bait. We are the most privileged country in the world, we have First World Problem memes, and have knowledge at our fingertips. But we collectively have the maturity level of a 15 year old.

During my early twenties, I always killed the vibe of that one drinking game. A list was always drawn up on the spot, 2 through Ace, each card had something for you to do. King: guys drink, Queen: b****es drink or hoes drink, 4: I never…, 7: person to your left drinks, and so on.  The tasks varied, but there was always the demeaning term for women used. If I drew that Queen, I wouldn’t take a drink, “I’m not a hoe, so I’m not doing it.” AHHH, COME’ON! OKAY, GIRLS DRINK THEN! I apparently I was taking it too serious. I hated drinking games anyway.

Some women use “Hey B****” or “hey slut” just as casual openers between friends. Hearing women use those words towards each other always appalled me. Those words were meant to hurt us, why use them towards each other for fun? Or the infamous, I can say it but you can’t philosophy.

So this “taking Slut back” movement confuses me. I just want to say, Honey, why are you calling yourself a slut? To show Men that you are Not a slut? To prove to those that judge you, that you are Not a slut?

Its like middle school or high school logic. Call a girl a slut and watch her try to prove that she isn’t one. No matter what she says after that makes her look like she’s lying. Its like calling someone crazy. BUT IM NOT CRAZY! Well, that’s what crazy people say. IM NOT AN ADDICT! Well, that’s what addicts say. IM NOT A CHILD MOLESTER! Well, that’s what a child molester would say. I DIDN’T KILL THAT PERSON! Well, that’s what someone that killed that person would say. Its never ending. Theres no way out. If someone accuses you of having sex with someone that you did not have sex with, you cannot prove that you never had sex with them. All you have is your word.

Words are powerful. To re-label yourself a slut in effort to prove that you aren’t one doesn’t make sense. To bathe in hurtful and vulgar words does not show self-actualization, enlightenment or wisdom. If you are not striving for either of those three terms, what are you shouting for then?

Now I remember I have been called names. Working with teenagers that are “locked up” in facilities, you will be called anything and everything. The worst of the worst, C**T.  I’ve been yelled at, cussed at, threatened, and postured towards. I’ve had chairs thrown in my direction. Being the victim of physical and verbal aggression was nothing to be shocked by. Within the last week, I was called a “Mexican hoe” by teenage boys. Was it ridiculous? Yes. Was I irritated? Yes. Am I a Mexican hoe? No? I am Mexican so…it doesn’t matter. I continued on with the expectation that they did not follow, but I practiced emotional intelligence and judged them solely on their merits of being teenage boys. I did not break into anger, and political protest. I’m not raging against teenage boys or men.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… James 1:19

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.  For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. Psalm 37:8-9

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32

Verse after verse, the Bible reiterates this message about anger. In case you think the Bible is crap, here is some psychology:

“Anger can make us blind to the truth and unable to accept what’s sensible and correct. When anger is the primary emotion being felt, we become less able to think and act rationally and in some cases, even our senses do not work properly because of extreme anger.”

http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/emotional_problems_psychologist/pyschologist_anger.htm

Some people live day to day with chronic stress, presumably anger. Some do their best to keep their anger at bay or manage it as an active volcano. I am certainly not one of those people. I get truly angry about once a year. I let things go and forgive even when I don’t always know it. I wasn’t supposed to talk to her, dammit. Oh well.

Anger is considered a secondary emotion. Secondary to HURT/PAIN. We mask our hurt feelings with anger. Anger pushes people away. Ive struggled the most with trying to help many teenagers with their issues all the while they are doing everything they can to push people away. Angry people make it hard for us to help them. They push us to the point where we consider walking away. And many people do walk away.

In effort to redefine a hurtful term, as one of twisted sense of empowerment, you have made the people you are shouting at turn away or look in amusement. See they are saying they are sluts, proving us right. Calling yourself a slut will not make others realize they shouldn’t call you a slut. Escalating yourselves will not teach others how they are wrong. It will not intimidate them into changing their ways. It will not shame them as you have been shamed. Your aggressive language towards yourself (and those you claim to be fighting for) does nothing to them. You cannot change others. You can only change yourself and I suggest taking the word Slut out of your vocabulary to start.

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In reaction to a man touching (rape/assault) your body (your most sacred parts) without your consent, you expose your body (your most sacred parts) to even more men in public with pride. Circular reasoning.

Related reading: http://www.girlsgonewise.com/five-problems-i-have-with-slutwalk-marches/

http://theprayingwoman.com/2014/12/08/because-he-knows-my-pain/

http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Gaslighting.html

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/showing-grace-era-cultural-outrage

http://en.gravatar.com/that1liana

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