The Cross, Transformation

the Purge

[to clear of something unclean or unwanted. to remove or eliminate. to rid (a person or thing) of something unwanted.]

I write this with hesitation. I don’t really want to write my story for all to see. Though the theme has saturated itself in my journals for years now. I am just Beautifully Broken. Put together on the outside. Adorned with lovely things. But inside this house, there is a dark room. A dark room where my soul has died more than once.
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There were times in my life that I walked into this dark room, gave the keys to someone else and allowed them to lock me inside. I became hurt, angry and bitter. Sometimes, they’d leave the keys in arms reach. After long periods of time, I’d take the keys and let myself out. I would give away the keys again and go back inside the room. Cry myself to sleep and ask myself Why does this happen to me?

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20

Finding this in the Bible was life changing for me. I was stuck on super-UNfun rollercoaster,  a merry-go-round of confusion, rejection, disappointment, heartache. I may have switched from the white pony to the giraffe to the zebra or even a unicorn, but it was the same ride. I AM NOT CRAZY. I AM CRAZY. I used to tell myself, I’m smart, I’m rational, why cant I figure this out? What is wrong with me?

If youre familiar with the Myers Briggs personality types, I am a INTJ. Introvert-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging. I needed to figure this out. I needed to find the problem and solve it. I needed it to make sense. But I could not make sense of my pattern of having sex with someone I knew did not care for me, value me, respect me, or love me. I could not make sense of walking right into the burning fire and being horrified at the 3rd degree burns. I could not understand my preaching, “I’m not your night-time plaything anymore” only to find myself in his bed yet again. My overwhelming insecurity drowning me two days later like clockwork. All the texts messages and phone calls that never came, that still haven’t because in a very twisted way, I am still waiting.
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Words unspoken, misunderstood texts, and consuming thoughts have turned to prayers but often I don’t know why I’m praying or who I’m really praying for. Me? Him? My prayers have been for God to take this away. For God to just take me away. For God to open his heart to me. For God to just open his heart to anyone. For God to snatch him up and run faster than he is running from Him. For God to come and fill me like I want to be filled by him.  They fluctuate and alleviate. I change my mind about 30 times a day. Another year is about to pass by and still this IT remains.

Its been a year and half since the last time, but I always analyze the years in between now and the beginning. When it began I was 21. This Elite Daily article sums up the state of mind I was in and how it all came to happen. They’re 6 Reasons Why You’re Only His Hookup, Not His Girlfriend caught me off guard this morning when I woke up. Reading through these main points had me feeling regretful.

  • You Enabled The Hook-Up Mentality
  • You Never Told Him What You Wanted
  • You Didn’t Make Him A Priority
  • You Ignore The Signs That He’s Emotionally Unavailable
  • Why Buy The Cow?
  • He’s Just Not That Into You

I enabled the hook-up mentality by trying to be the cool-independent, I Don’t Need a Man girl. I never told him what I wanted because I didn’t want to appear needy, and what if he says No? I didn’t make him a priority because I was afraid of getting to know someone that will hurt you anyway. I ignored the signs he was emotionally unavailable because I too, shut off my emotions. He didn’t want to commit because I never said he had to. Hes just never been that into me because if he wanted to be with me, he would.

Hard truths for sure. God can forgive you if you ask. Your life can change if you allow Him to change you. But some consequences remain. You will have to face problems you would not have had to face had you not sinned.

I receive frequent emails from a relationship-speaker of sorts after visiting his website and subscribing to the newsletter . In the email today, he discusses Common Mistakes Women Make When it Comes to Sex.

“Not saying anything about what it means for you to share yourself with him because you keep telling yourself that he feels the same way you do… and you assume he wants a relationship because he wants to sleep with you

· Not saying anything about your feelings or about wanting a relationship because you thought it might “weird him out” or make it awkward

· Not knowing exactly know how you feel and what sleeping with him will mean to you until AFTER you sleep with him and a whole rush of feelings hits you like a tidal wave

If you’ve ever felt hurt because you became physical with a man and he ended up not having an interest in dating or starting a relationship, then odds are you can look back and see that one or more of the above scenarios was at play.

Of course, it doesn’t seem like it’s you who is making a mistake in these situations. It feels like THE MAN you’re with is the one who obviously doesn’t get it, and is a player for not being ready for a relationship.”

This again had me feeling regretful. Being reminded of where I went wrong oh so many years ago. Being reminded of how far from close I am with that person. How I wish I hadn’t thought I could handle casual sex. Opening up to friends through the years, I always get the same look. A look of disbelief. No, not Liana. She’s the one that holds it together when everything else is falling apart. She’s got it going on. A degree, an admirable career field. She’s definitely not crazy. Smart, Beautiful, Strong. [I’m not bragging, I promise]. Maybe they say she could have anyone she wants. She could take her pick. Why is she stuck? Why can’t she see she’s worth it? I’ve given my friends the look and the same speech. Leave him alone. Don’t text him. You’re better than that. He’s not respecting you. You deserve much more. Its never made sense to me or them.
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So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Romans 7:21-25

What a wretched woman I am. Whats good in me is Christ. I do not have it all together. Jesus died on the cross for me. So I don’t have to be a slave to sin. A slave to hooking – up with a guy that has no love for me. A slave to insecurity and fear. A slave to madness. depression. self-sabotage. failure. Wars are raging against you and I. Ones we can’t always see until it’s too late and you realize you lost though you don’t recall ever enlisting in battle.
A year and a half of a type of sobriety. Everyday I fight thoughts that lead to a relapse. I desire so desperately to do the right thing. To honor God with my body and decisions. But the pull remains.

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“This can get to be a kind of relational cocaine. A woman gets to a place where she just can’t turn down the possibility of the sexual, emotional stroke that being with a man gives.”
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“Allowing a man to enjoy sexual favor without risking real commitment in marriage invites him to remain a boy inside.”
Paula Rinehart- Sex and the Soul of a Woman

“1. Know Yourself And What You’re After
You said, “I have made the mistake of admitting to a friend that I have feelings for him.”
It’s NOT a mistake to share your feelings with a man. It IS a mistake to share your feelings with a man 1) too early and 2) in a negative context.
You set yourself up for failure by choosing and “tolerating” a situation that just doesn’t work for you.
That situation is being “ok” with a purely physical situation when in fact you need – and want – more.
Instead of being open with yourself about what YOU are truly after, you pursued this “friends with benefits” strategy to get things moving.
That’s why you’re freaking out.
You thought you could handle it. You thought you’d get something out of it. And for a minute, it was fun.
But then your feelings snuck up on you. Eventually you were reminded of what you’re really after with a man and what you value.
Right now you have two pictures in your mind: One picture is of this “casual” thing going on. And the other one is what you actually want. The two pictures are so radically different and far apart from each other, that it’s no wonder you’re acting “insane.”
Your expectations are completely out of line for what you’re ACTUALLY doing with this guy.
It’s time to stop creating situations in your life that you KNOW won’t make you happy or comfortable in the long run – even if they feel good in the moment.
2. Find Your Personal Standards… And Then Stick With Them
Starting things with a man in this “casual” way, is a SUREFIRE way to ruin your odds of creating something more meaningful in the future.
I’m a guy. I know.
But, more importantly, getting into a “casual” situation with a man you might want to date more seriously and exclusively, has a VERY HIGH potential to make you FEEL AWFUL.
So…
Unless you’re one out of a hundred thousand women that gets “swept off her feet” by an open, caring, great communicator, who makes moving into a committed relationship effortless… then you’re going to have to start asking yourself some real questions about what you really want from your love life.
And once you have the answers, actually be honest about them from the start. Here’s an important question to ask yourself:
“What are my needs?”
And I do mean YOUR needs. Not his. Not what you’re accepting or tolerating or hoping to get from a man just because there’s nothing better around right now.
Be clear here and think it through. I’ll give you a minute…
Most of the women I know who are dating have a set of subconscious requirements from the men they’re seeing:
That any man they’re involved with, in any way, isn’t dating or still involved with another woman
That he’s open and ready to explore a serious relationship once they get to know each other
That they share the same values and priorities – or he can at least appreciate and support her values
That it’s going somewhere, and it’s not just going to be casual dating forever
But these aren’t things they are willing or able to communicate directly with the man they’re seeing. So, they end up in a situation that is anything but what they were looking for.
They say, “This is fine for now. I’m just enjoying myself.”
They are not being honest with themselves about their bottom-line “must-haves” and therefore can’t express these things to the man, either.
So, how in touch are you with your REQUIREMENTS to feel good when it comes to men and dating? And how do you communicate these to a man?
Do you do it indirectly by acting frustrated and angry when your needs aren’t being met, after you’ve already become intimate and emotionally vested in the relationship? Or do you do it directly and in a positive context as things are GETTING STARTED, so you’re in sync from the get-go?
Remember, 99% of the time, a man is NOT going to make the right decisions for you, or magically and telepathically recognize and meet all your needs.
Sticking to a set of minimum standards and then communicating those helps show a man what it’s going to take to make you happy.
3. Radically Reject Behavior That Doesn’t Meet Your Standards
I observed something fascinating about people and relationships a few years back.
When we’re in a situation that causes bad feelings and friction of some kind, there is always some kind of “payoff” for one or the other person… and that’s why they persist in sticking with the bad situation.
Here’s what you’re getting out of the “casual” thing…
You get a safe and risk-free path to get close to this guy. Even though technically you’re not “close” at all. I call this “working it from the ‘friend zone”.
After all, how vulnerable would you be if you shared what you REALLY were looking for up front, BEFORE you slept with him? You might be disappointed or rejected, or you would be unable to continue the “friendship” that you have right now.
And maybe having to start over alone might actually be worse in your mind than having something crappy and low-quality that you’re “tolerating” now.
But if you look deeper, you’ll probably see that your desire for something more was there all along underneath the surface. Therefore, I doubt that you could have been “just friends” with him anyway, even if you never slept together, without you feeling gypped in some way.
That’s why you have to show a man that you’re strong and you know what you want, and you won’t settle for scraps or second-best or “good enough for now.”
-Christian Carter

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Related Reading: http://elitedaily.com/dating/6-reasons-youre-hookup-girlfriend/869942/
http://elitedaily.com/dating/hookup-culture-non-relationship-generation-getting-nowhere/664654/
http://elitedaily.com/women/every-girl-one-guy-shell-always-go-back/939666/

Related Music: Tug of War by Andy Mineo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uubPjUhxAyQ
When I’m Alone by Lissie: http://youtu.be/7G0_eN36QVc

http://en.gravatar.com/lmartinez85

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Gender Issues, Women

hey Slut: Part 2

m2Ladies, lets get real. Stop over dramatizing everything, its so cliche. I dress modestly and believe me, my shape is not sexless. My curves have curves and there’s no way around it unless I actually wore a bed sheet. I can up my shirt size to XL or wear a 1 in “plus size” and you will most definitely still know that I am WOMAN. Believing that the only way to express yourself is through wearing what you want is again, adolescent in nature. Are you a civilized First World Woman or perpetual rebellious teenager? Are you rebelling against all the daddies of this world while you prance around in your short skirt? Because “when you start acting like an adult, I’ll treat you like one” said every parent ever.

There are women all over the world that could only dream of something as Freedom of Speech, or freedom to peacefully protest. They fear for their lives, literally. In countries like India, where acid is thrown on your face.  Not only to cause physical pain but to mame you for life. No one will want to marry you, your family will reject you, and you just have to try to keep on living. In continents like Africa, where a female infants and female children are victims of female genital mutilation.

Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).

  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.

  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

In other African countries, young female children and teens can be married and become pregnant. Because of their young age and due to lack of prenatal care, major bladder tears/holes can happen during the birthing process. This causes fluid to leak outside of their young bodies uncontrollably. This causes the young girls/women to smell due to constant fluid leaking from their bladder. Because of this, they are deemed useless and disgusting. Their husbands do not want them anymore, their families definitely do not want them anymore. So there are left unable to provide for themselves, or attain resources.

http://www.aidforafrica.org/member-charities/fistula-foundation-the/

In my post the War on Eve, I discuss the enemy’s attack on Eve and her daughters ever since we were in the Garden. With these real women’s issues it is blatant to see. In my modest research, a few issues have surfaced. Some say Feminism is a class problem. I don’t doubt it.

While women struggle daily against systematic and institutionalized, cultural physical torture many of us feel royally offended when a man we don’t even know calls us a slut.

While these women just want to know they are beautiful, many of us call men “thirsty” if they compliment us.

While these women are being demanded of sex, many of us fantasize about a Valentine’s day lover.

While these women watch their daughters suffer the same cruelty, we watch our daughters at dance class in bows and ribbons.

While these women cook scraps in dark kitchens, we make reservations for a Girls Night Out.

While these women have their most sacred parts, which were designed by God, cut and sliced, many say “Its my body I do what I want.”

While these women drink dirty water, many of us have drunken black outs.

While these women just want to be treated with kindness, many of us carry a spirit of arrogance.

trSlut Walks discriminate. Rape does not. Who are victims of rape?  Men, women, girls, boys, babies, elderly adults, married people, single people, those with developmental disabilities. Who are rapists, probably every one of those except babies. What about incest? Sibling molestation? Family friends? Rape is not just man against woman. Women rape also. They are pedophiles also. Rape and molestation can be traced back to the offender’s past. They themselves may have been raped, either through  a grooming process, or violently. Exposing a child to sexual behavior immediately puts them on an entirely different path.  A path of self destruction, self-hate, aggression, depression, attachment issues, drug addiction, violence, and so on. It kills something inside of them. Those that rape have a voice too. The enemy will destroy one heart after another, one soul after another.

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One of my favorite and unpopular scriptures is 1Peter 5:8.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

There are times when you think there is a great distance between when the Bible was written and now. There were no cell phones, or apps,  Buzzfeed, Peppermint Mocha Lattes etc. But there was alcohol. There have always been people that want to use substances to make them feel different. There has always been behaviors that get in the way of our best selves. This “Be sober, be vigilant” is constantly in my mind. I have been drunk, tipsy, buzzed and whatever else in between. I never liked being drunk. The first party I went to I got drunk after three plastic cups of keg beer, I was only 17. In my drunkenness, I realized three guys staring at me. Watching me. Immediately I knew they were observing me and rating me on my level of vulnerability. I could feel it. I have seen hundreds of men since, in every bar and in every city do it. They are wanting to find the drunkest girl and go off with her to have sex. That is the truth. Are they slime-bags for it? Yes. Do I blame them? No. Our young men are socialized to have sex and to partake in a woman’s body. They are not socialized to mind their boundaries, court a woman, and then marry her. Provide and protect her. We as young women are socialized to have sex and to partake in a man’s body. We are not socialized to mind our boundaries, allow a man to court us, to marry a man. To allow a man to provide and protect us.

And we wonder why everything is so wrong with everything. Or is just me? The world tells us Its not That bad, go ahead, it wont hurt you. Its fun. There comes a day when it all stops being fun. When your tears come with every Adele song, when your heart aches from rejection. This could be your run of the mill one night stand, a breakup, or something worse, a physical and sexual assault-that you may or may not have been aware of due to your physical state of intoxication. My parents never taught me that the world was made up of rainbows and lollipops. They taught me, if someone hits you-hit ’em back. Now, when did we all of a sudden think nothing bad would ever happen to us? Did your parents sit you down one day and tell you that everyone was going to be nice to you? Mine never did. I learned people treat you how you teach them to treat you. I have had to re-teach some.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18
Lets go back to alcohol. Even in my drinking days, I would cut myself off if I did not like my surroundings. If I found myself to be amongst people I did not know or even those I did know, but did not like. I rarely, if ever, “stayed over” a person’s home instead of driving. I kept watch on my friends and did my best to make sure nothing bad happened to them as well. I distinguished between the good-guys and the others. The good-guys were the ones you could trust to not violate you if you were grossly drunk or if you fell asleep. I knew I never wanted to be one of those girls. The ones that get passed around, the one that you can take anywhere and she’ll do anything. There were so many times I thought to myself: Wow, if this guy(s) wanted to rape me, he totally could. I wouldn’t be able to get out of it. How did I survive this era of my life without being assaulted? The only thing that makes sense is God’s mercy.

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Mercy: an event to be grateful for, especially because its occurrence prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from suffering.

Related reading:

http://m.clarionproject.org/news/150-isis-sex-slaves-commit-suicide-some-fed-dogs
“we all live in a world raging with sin, and I’m not immune to its affects.” http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2002/july/i-was-raped.html#bmb=1

“Nothing has made the glories of heaven, a place where God “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,” sound so sweet.” http://goodwomenproject.com/rape/god-saw-my-rape-and-he-didnt-stop-it
http://www.gotquestions.org/favor-of-God.html
http://carm.org/where-does-god-ever-show-us-mercy
http://rightwingnews.com/crime/the-problem-with-the-slut-walk/
http://indianmuslimpost.blogspot.com/2013/08/slut-walk-mocks-indian-women-real-issues.html
http://www.girlsgonewise.com/five-problems-i-have-with-slutwalk-marches/
http://www.yasminnair.net/content/slutwalk-end-feminism
http://www.aidemocracy.org/students/the-issues-with-slutwalk/

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