Wednesday, December 31, 2014
And after such a long beginning sentence, I don't blame you if you've hit X. ;)
It's 22:38, 10:38pm, on December 21st, 2014. Not sure about you, but I'm still having trouble typing 2014 instead of 2013. Maybe I left my brain as well as my heart in what is still, right now, last year.
This year has been a year of new beginnings. Of false starts and many stops. Of broken hearts and despair. Of fresh hope and failed hope. Of a lost family and a new purpose. It's been, in short, a year.
I started 2014 with the determination to keep an A4 sized diary, filled with the markings of how I spent every day, determined to use time wisely.
That lasted til May.
I was going to keep a jar full of the books I'd read. I lost the jar before I started.
My journeys to and from work were going to be purposeful - books read some journeys, the Bible every morning, prayer and music fixedly alternated. But the roller-coaster of my much-hated emotions overrode those - despair hindered my prayers, thoughts drowned out the books.
I wanted to blog more, and have blogged least of all years til now - very surprisingly.
I was going to start learning the violin, find a singing coach, pick up my education and change career. Sadly, I only learned how much things cost in this world and sometimes, effort in one direction takes away effort in another.
This has also been a year for questioning everything; not just love verses idolatry, but my faith, my God, His purpose in my life, His hearing of my prayers, who I am, who He is, what I'm meant to be.
Even the steadfast things have not been that steadfast. I have come to accept that the world moves and change is a wind that blows all around me inside out and upside down. Fighting to accept the monotony of pattern in a world that turns upside down, a contradiction in itself, has been very hard to accept; when one has been forged in a whirlwind, living plainly is hard to grasp and sometimes, boring.
But it's been a blessing. A strange year, in its monotonous change, but a blessing.
From Self-Harm to Victory was started in June, something I thought up and started as a month long thing with some information and encouragement for both family/friends of self-harmers and they themselves, but which turned into a Facebook page, a Google+ page, an email address, a long-standing website with t-shirts soon going on sale - encouragement and people being encouraged.
I've been blessed with a permanent job, albeit in a tense atmosphere. And doing something I actually enjoy - God's reward for the two long and hard years in the call centre.
Friends have been made in places I wouldn't have dreamed. I've lost ones who were dear to me, but who I obviously wasn't dear to, and found friends in those who have drawn near to me.
The support group I have has been a crazy blessing to me this year. My friends are an immense blessing - and I am so, so blessed to have each and every one of you. Christian, atheist, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, seeker: each of you are in my life for a purpose. You might not believe in the God I know, love and serve, but I do, and I know that He loves you unconditionally. In His Name I will seek to do that too.
I've found the darkest places in my soul: despair and hatred. I've reached depths I didn't think I ever would and found security in Jesus in a way I never thought possible.
Anna in January, Jennifer in March/April, Katie in July/August - my American friends blessed me so much by coming to visit me in a year that I was struggling so much with "no more America". Each of them are so unique and special in their own way; the sweet one, the fighting one, the determined one. Actually, those qualities apply to each of them in their own special way.
You. Are. Special.
I hope you're reading these words as meant for you, because they are - individually. Thank you for being you. For being in my life. <3
And what year could go past without thanking the Lord for my Stephanie, the best friend any girl could want. Vivacious and kind, sweet and self-effacing, thinking less of herself than she really is - Stephanie, you're a blessing from the Lord. Thank you for taking so much time out for me this year. I really appreciate it.
Stephen, my chum, fellow Whovian, Comic-Con-er and banker...thank you. We've been through a lot this year and it's very safe to say ours is the only friendship in my entire life to survive what ours has been through. And that is mostly due to you. Thank you for your courage. And I pray the best - no, more than that - for you in 2015.
My Irish family...the Lausers. My safe place to run to, to collapse and recooperate before trying to handle life on its hectic level again. What would I do without you? My Beit HaShalom. <3
My American family...and international families...Grandma Pat, Mother Denise, Mama Tressa, and Mother Gatley and Mother Garner, even though they don't really have that much input into my life anymore, I'm so thankful for when they did.
And my kids. My wonderful amazing kids. Elizabeth, Theodora, Robbie, Havilah, Kathryn, Emily, Janeen...and anyone else who still calls me Mom - or a variation of it.
So many others to thank and love and praise...my mentor group - Sarah of the tender heart, Stephanie, Arielle (you rock on so many levels, girl), Serena-Bena (oh my knees and toes), Mama, Hannah with the courage and pen, Adrienne (so much we've been through together <3)...
The groups that we/I've been able to start:
The Clean-Up Crew (and what fun we're having...!)
Shalom Hesed - the prayer group
Storybrooke, Maine - for our rants about our beloved Once Upon a Time
Comic Con Convergers - but more on that later
Of course, there's the events, like Design-a-Sign T-shirt, which will hopefully bring in money towards the home I want to run for suicidal and self-harming people, and Single's Valentine, which is where we single Christians spread the message of God's love around social media all day!
I've started martial arts and continued with my work with the RAFA.
I've not written much, but what I've written has proved to more people than just me that I still have the blessing of the power behind the pen.
I've not sung much, but what I've sung has been used to bless others.
In fact, I've not been doing much, but it's been a forging year. I'm tougher. Stronger. Stubborn. More sarcastic and sour, in some ways. Less giving and forgiving.
I'm entering 2015 struggling with almost everything I struggled with this year, but on a different level. Christ is my foothold. There is no place so low that I can fall, that He can't reach. I still hate or have major issues with those people who hurt me, but I know He can, and will, give me the grace to fight it. My ambition and pride could still stand in the way of Him fully using FSHTV; I pray that He will trample on them for His glory.
What are the new year goals, I hear you ask?
Nothing too ambitious.
I've bought a new jar to store the names of the books I read in, when I can find it. :P
I plan to:
Spend every Tuesday that I can writing after work in a coffee shop
Turn one walk into a music walk and one into a prayer walk - Lord willing I stay stable enough to do it
Trip to America, Ireland and possibly Auschwitz
Learn how to handle money *cough*
Work more on FSHTV (www.fromselfharmtovictory.com) - please pray for it
Write more to people. I really want to do that.
Change and grow closer to God
There's a prayer walk to take before I enter 2015, but two more things before I sign out.
I learned this year that people fear me as a monster, and they made me terrified of myself - made me believe I was a monster and almost drove me insane twice. It's caused me to make some life-altering decisions. Tonight I watched Merlin. It doesn't change my decisions, but that TV show has been a lifesaver for me.
Merlin: Do you know how it feels to be a monster? To be afraid of who you are?
Merlin: You really don't realise how special you are, do you?
Freya: ...you're not scared of me?
Merlin: Being different is nothing to be scared of.
The boy who was afraid of himself learned of the power when he controlled it and used it. That's what I am trying, and will do, with the pain - including the pain they cost me.
This year has been a past track in miracles. I wish I'd documented every one on here, not just some on here and on Facebook.
Not even things like the rainbows, but just watching the Lord's provision monetarily, when I'd given all of what I had and He steps in with a little more from somewhere I wasn't expecting it.
When I'm depressed and convinced He's finished with me and someone somewhere pops up with an encouraging parcel or message or letter.
When I wonder what I'm doing with my life and a random chance to witness comes in...
When I think He's finished with me and He uses an experience from my life to help someone or my life to show them Jesus...
It makes me tear up, watching Him. In what most people would ungratefully dismiss as a bunch of random chances or pure coincidence (funny how we like to give the blame to God and not the glory), He shines so brightly.
I hope you see Him this year. In your life. In His glory. And in my life too.
Happy New Year. It's a fresh page. Pick up your pen and start writing.
And hey, don't forget - if your tearstains blot the ink, there's a new page coming the next day. It's never completely ruined.
Love you guys,
Monday, November 24, 2014
Writers. A forum. Testing waters, not yet knowing who we'd be.
Fighting. Backsliding. Growing closer.
Fought for me against them. Against the darkness.
"Give them my email." He who was so cautious about letting other people have his details, gave them to fight for me.
I gave stuff up to talk. Constantly demanding to talk. Freaked out if he couldn't talk. He always made time. Even got grounded a few times because he went over the limit.
Mentioned a girl he would like if he'd let himself.
Ran. Two guys apart, I accepted it. Compliments from him, kind words, meant the world to me. I began to save them.
A friend found out about it after the time that he said with me in the RAF and him at college/working, our friendship would probably disappear and I freaked. Then the friend let it loose to him.
We talked. Agreed a time to separate and pray. I offered to kill it, told him I was being stupid. He asked if that was what God wanted. I said I'd tried to kill it, and I'd prayed.
He said: "And, no matter how useless your parents or anyone else tells you that you are, I think you're beautiful, inside and out. And, I believe God has a plan for you life, and if you seek Him, He will reveal it and it will be fulfilling beyond your wildest dreams."
A week and a half later, he came back to me.
"I would be interested in pursuing a deeper relationship in the future. But I won't do that now."
Me: The way things are...does it mean...you won't just walk out of my life now...? *thinks that that was not a good phrasing, but can't think of a better*
Him: No, I wont' "just walk out of your life".
I asked if I could wait for him. He said that was my call. I prayed about it and came to a crossroads. Either I could keep running from this and accepting other guys' attentions to hide behind, or I could face that I loved a good man who would consider me some day. I chose to wait and pray - to pray that God would teach me how to Love.
We talked. More than usual.
"You always make me smile! And you have been even more so tonight."
"I haven't talked to her since I heard that, (excepting some comments) pending hearing why you felt like you did. Bascially, it seemed that you were "jealous", which as I thought about it would seem to indicate that maybe I'm to close to her if it would make you jealous. Thanks for making me smile tonight."
"And you are not a pain to me, I'm glad you opened and told me all of that, it will make protecting your heart from hurt easier as I understand it better."
Him: And now, I would not let myself entertain any sort of crush on her or anyone else out of respect for you...that I didn't want to regard our relationship as a romantic one, such that me having a romantic (even if it was nothing more than a transient thought) interest in someone else would be wrong
Me: *winces* Have I put that burden on you now?...
Him: And in answer, yes, you have put "it" on me, but I regard it as anything but a burden. Really.
Me: Dad is being so horrible...the other day he was saying you can't be best friends with someone you've never met, and now he's saying maybe he should have a word with you to tell you what I'm really like because you don't know how useless I am because you don't live with me. I talk about you as my best friend, see.
Him: :( I'm so sorry. . .But, _I certainly wouldn't mind talking to him. If he really would like to, feel free to give him my email address. I dare him to convince me. . . ;)
I publicly said that people calling me cute was annoying/frustrating.
Him: And, BTW, You're Cute. :D
Me: *thumps* Don't you say that again. *threatens*
Him: Why not?
Me: Humph. Why not is because I'm NOT cute.
Him: No, you are cute, more than that, pretty and Beautiful.
Me: Is there anything I can do?
Him: No, not really. Thank you though, your support helps. :)
Him: I know your true colors Siân, and they are beautiful.
Then the emotional purity thing kicked in. The guy who was helping me suggested the principle even before this began, never realising until it was over the damage that would be done. I had asked him to get 'him' away from me, convinced that he'd end up hurt. The other guy was confused as to why I was so upset.
I visited the family, as a friend dropping in, when I toured. It went terribly.
But he stuck with me. We went on talking. We used Twitter's direct messaging system as a texting mechanism for two years.
August 31st, 2011 (He was really busy that day): May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. - Psalm 20
Him: Oh good. Now, get some sleep Mademoiselle. :)
Me: UGH. Yes, Milord.
Him: Thank you M'Lady
Me: YOU ARE SO ANNOYING!
Him: Do I care?
Me: *decides to shine most radiant smile*
Him: I'm still miffed that I never managed to get a picture of that smile.
Me: Maybe because it doesn't exist. :)
October 3rd, 2011
Me: Mr. Awesomeness! *singsongy voice* :P
Him: I think that's weird...
Me: What is? My singsongy voice? Now I'm hurt. :(
Him: No! The title! :P
Me: About as weird as Mademoiselle?
Him: Thank you though, this work isn't quite so drudgeurious any more. Mademoiselle isn't weird at all.
Me: Which was my intention. *smiles* Thank you for letting me cheer you up! Neither's Mr. Awesomeness, my lord. :P Here's a deal. You stop calling me Mademoiselle, and I will refrain from calling you Mr. Awesomeness. Agree? *sticks out hand* Because if you don't agree, I'll continue calling you Mr. Awesomeness. End of
Him: How are you doing?
Me: I'm fine, thanks. :) How are you?
Him: I'm doing really well. :) Tired, sore, and peopled out from the campout though. But it was really fun. :)
Me: grins - Tell me 'bout it? "Peopled out"? :P
Him: I've been around others for 33 of the past 48 hours
Me: That leaves you with 15 that you weren't? unhelpfully :P
Him: it just get's kinda exhausting. (I was sleeping) But it was fun. :) Kept thinking of you. you would of enjoyed it :)
Me: I'm the oldest person in here. *shrieks*
Friend: Not exactly by much
Me: I'm nearly 20....I'm old...
Him: You are nineteen, going on twenty-y. . .wow, that's weird
Me: *grins* I do sing that...
Him: I joked you about that when you were just sixteen. That's been a long time
Me: Four years we've been friends. :)
Me: DONT. TALK. TO ME. TONIGHT. Ttyt. Please.
Me: Because I'm in bits. PLease. Don't try. I'll ttyt.
Him: Why's that a problem?
Me: Do you really want a sobbing wreck on chat? No. Neither do I. Thanks. Ttyt.
Him: No, I don't. But I want no chat even less. Why don't you want to?
Me: Because I'll unload and I don't want to. Please. I'll ttyw.
Him: Not to be argumentative but, why don't you want to unload?
Me: Why do you think.
Him: Because I might not like it and pull away?
Me: Somewhat. And because it would be still more humiliating if you didn't like it and stayed. And because I could end up leaning on you. Neither of us want that. And because I don't know when you're going or not. Safety precaution.
Me: Precisely. *coolly*
Me (later): Kay. If you want to chat. I've closed down so leave it at fine and we can chat. :) Sorry about that. Was a better safe than sorry procedure.
Me: What in blue blazes are you hmming about?
Him: I'm contemplating and pondering what you've said.
Me: I'm chatting with Mama Lauser now.
Him: Cool :) Good to see you! :)
Him: I missed you yesterday
Me: O.o Who am I chatting to...? :)
Me: O... Thanks...I missed you too. :)
Me: I was going to give you the choice of three options while Jay was away....
To stop talking while Jay was away.
To chat once a week.
To carry on like this with me fighting you trying to be friends again, which neither you nor I could take.
Or for us to carry on with me closing off. I don't know what to say now. That was what I wanted to say.
Me: *waits patiently*
Him: Sorry. Bleh
Me: It's fine. I can go? :)
Him: Sian, I am committed to continuing our friendship. It's not something I take lightly. I know it's terribly rough right now, and I'm sorry for that. But I am willing, because I beleive it will be worth it, to persevere through that.
Me: I'm scared of Jay not being here. That's why I was going to give you those four options. And you could pick one. Now I don't know what to do.
Always other people involved. Some said he loved. Some said he didn't.
Never could quite trust he'd not abandon me, meant what he said. Never could quite believe someone could consider loving me. Kept pushing back, pushing.
Me: Why are you talking to me every day? If you wanted to be friends again, why not try over the once a week gap? Aren't you afraid I'll become more attached than I should be? *grins a bit* That was close.
Me: You nearly got an entire load of questions a year old. :p
Him: :P I like talking with you :) :P And I had the impression you liked me talking to you. (I still have that impression :P) And no, I'm not really worried about that right now, though I do think about it
He stuck through my brother's violence, my sister's divorce, my parents' divorce, the police battle where he was a potential witness because I told him of my dad's touching me, my self-harming, my inability to handle other guys' attentions due to my damage, my constant roller-coaster of happy-to-depression.
He told me I was beautiful, and though I didn't want to believe him, in the end, I did. He was 16 at the time he started dealing with my problems. To this day, I admire and thank him for that.
August 18th, 2012-
Him: That is who you are. You love God, you love others, you're cute. That pretty well fufills all the qualifications IMO. :)
October 6th -
Me: I know what Birdie thinks. But what do you think, should I cut my hair?
Him: I think it'd still look lovely. What do you think?
October 10th, 2012 - How're you doing princess?
Him: Thank you very much Siân
You spoke well :-)
With grace and discrestion
Thank you for standing up for me
February 28th, 2013
04:53 Sometimes, well a lot of times, I just wish we could sit on a couch, put my arm around your shoulders, and just talk for hours and hours.
I think that'd really help you
04:54 (And I'd really enjoy that...)
Anyway, that's my random thought of the night
God Bless Mademoiselle
I began to sense him going away. As an empath, I can detect when he feels further and when he feels closer, though I get confused because - well. He's one of the two most dearly loved people in my life. And when people are close to me, it's nigh on impossible to be always right about them.
Constant double-questioning - is this what he really is doing/feeling? Is this what I'm reading it as because I want to?
I got frustrated. It hurt so bad, this constant waiting. A friend convinced me I should take a three month break. I managed it for a month, after the below event. He wasn't happy, but didn't argue.
I couldn't keep away. Going back to talking to him felt like home. Felt safe. I knew I was safe with him, always.
August 4th, 2013 - A friend who stands more of a chance for certain reasons, totally unaware, admitted to her crush on him. I knew right before she spoke it, and the world went cold and empty. All that stayed in my mind was, "She mustn't know. If there's a chance for him and her, she must never know." So I joked. And inside I bled.
I didn't realise how far the distance was across half of a country, but I cried all the way. Violently. Passengers moved out of the car, gave me funny looks. Praying. So hard. Wrote this.
"I keep thinking that the love for him, the deep, deep love is fading, replaced with friendship. Then there's nights like tonight. The pain, the depth, the pain, the pain...and the knowledge of what it means to me to let go...and the knowledge that I can because God will give me strength to love him the best. I am growing tonight. Two months – two weeks – a week ago, I would have said I had let him go and still be fighting unconsciously. But after that recent splash with both of them and his admittance he only loves me as a friend, and my telling him that I love him enough to let him go...
I have nothing left. I am not fighting for him. And this isn't a I-don't-care-I'm-not-fighting-because-I-want-him-to-pursue collapse.
This is an I-have-nothing-left collapse.
I am not messaging him, not shutting him out. Just...numb. Until now.
I have nothing to give, nothing to say. Only wordless sobs and tearful cries to God. Cause He hears me. He will heal me.
Though I pray I will not love again. And that will be a hard wish in years to come, but I do not wish to love another man. Not after the wealth of this.
It cannot harm him to love him for the rest of my life – nor her. I will pray for them both, that it will work out, for I think it will make them both happy. They...would go well together. *smiles a bit*
I have no internet on the train. No friend to rant to. Just the silence. God. Just the music. The "Him” folder on my MP3, which...praises God, and prays for him, and reminds me to keep loving. Songs like “Blessed be Your Name”. “Our God”, Tomorrow, “Worth the Wait”. It hurts. But it's a hurt that will draw me to God and not poison my existence in dark retreat this time. That is where Satan always drives me – and this is Godly love. Oh God keep me.
And my Bible. And my tears. And praying.
This is the night of my Gethsemane."
I guess he didn't believe me in the end, convinced himself it was a passing fancy of a girl's broken heart wound around him.
I visited again, but as I thought we were connecting for the first time in ages, he became convinced it was the end.
He didn't admit to it for months. Someone finally pushed him to. Because as often as I messed up, as often as I ran, I still came back. I still loved him. So much. I kept waiting. And they didn't think it was fair. I think he knew what would happen, he didn't want it to happen.
But it did. I lost my best friend, the man I trusted, the man who epitomised good men for me. As long as he was left, I couldn't help believing that there were good men in the world.
November 24th, 2013:
"How bad is it going to hurt me?"
"It's going to hurt bad. Really bad, sis."
The shell cracked.
Then silence fell.
I guess he was like everyone else after all.
I guess he grew up.
Run. Run, you clever boy. And remember.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
It was kinda a hard day, despite this place of constant peace and resting the Lord has provided.
It took a bit of pondering, over the past few weeks, whether or not to send a birthday greeting. After all, he totally blanked (probably forgot, you know what men are like :P ) my birthday this year, in spite of our past friendship of seven years.
The one part was going, "Well, I want to ignore him. He ignored me. Maybe I should just leave it to public holiday greetings from now."
The catty, angry, self-righteous part wanted to send him a greeting, just to say to myself that at least I did the right thing.
And both of them were holding back because, well, I don't want to give in to the self-righteous part. I want to love him right and purely.
In the end, I sent it. Because holding back isn't an option. When you love, you give all, whether or not it's returned. It's a rejoicing day because someone is alive, someone is unique, someone is special and so precious to the Father.
It's an adjustment of attitude, not a holding of action. It's choosing to send a greeting and to rejoice for the gift of a life, of being blessed with love for that life. Love is giving, not taking. Love is the way Jesus loved us. He gave all, knowing He'd get nothing in return, for the joy of loving us.
And that, tonight, makes me weep.
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing."
It doesn't matter if I feed a million people, bring joy through kind words, inspiration through struggle, hope through the blackness. Because half of that, unsubmitted to Christ, can be to bring attention and glory to me.
It's the constant seeking of His face, to know His soul and His heart, that will bring the truest love out.
Now as ever, I watch Him teach me through love. A love that brings me great pain, and yet turns my face to His and thus brings me great joy.
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."
I don't love him like this. I don't love you guys like this. I've tried and done wrong and hurt a lot of people that I love. But I want to.
I don't want to love like that for me. I want to love like that so I'll be closer to Him.
Fumbling makes sense somewhere, right? I pray He makes it clear. <3
In His love always,
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
So here's me, in sweatshirt, fancy necklace and Mediæval bodice fresh from work, earbuds dangling and still distantly playing Mandisa's "What If We Were Real" album, pj trousers on and perched on a chair, typing this while gobbling up some pumpkin soup - WITH CHEESE.
Scrummicking round the house, getting fed and watered before settling down to work at home for the evening.
Y'know, it's impossible to explain the joy and peace that's been here the last few days. The period I've just gone through has been the blackest, spiritually, I remember walking through in the past four years, since my backslide when I was 17.
I don't remember what jolted me to actually fighting again. I was convinced God wasn't going to fight for me anymore, and on being told that He was waiting for me to say no to doing wrong in the weakest area of my life and wasn't going to protect me, I was like, well, stuff it then. I can't see Him using me...He's given up...
Ha, it's always that usual stuff, isn't it...sometimes, don't you get that little shaft of doubt entering your heart when you're in a good place, and you shrug it off but you're like, that's going to come back to get me later...and then ALL of them are loosed at once when you're on the edge of collapse. Ha...
I wonder where the weak place in my armour is, because I definitely need to go to the Armourer and get it sorted...
There's a crazy amount of engagements and marriages going on amongst people who used to be pretty close to me at the moment. It started three years ago and it's just getting worse. XD
And I'm just...glad for them but wondering. Cause I don't know where my life is going. I'm living. Working. Coming home and eating chips and (working and) going to bed and wondering if this is it. Trying to make the seconds and the moments count, to make a difference with them in the lives of others, and...I really want God to use me in a big changing way. And then, every time I pray He does, because I know that God wants and will use a life fully surrendered to Him, I'm wondering if He will actually use me any more than He almost invisibly is right now. Because I know I'm weak on pride and thinking I'm doing stuff in my own strength. I know I come closer to Him when life is messy (don't know whether that's because it hasn't gone right for a long enough period to know! XD) and when it's okay, I think I'm stronger and go to Him less, and that I'm liable to take the credit for myself...so maybe He will just keep using me the way He is now. Or maybe this is the wilderness for Moses or the years before Christ came to His ministry or the years Noah spent being laughed at for building the ark.
Whatever it is. I know He's here. He knows. I don't but I will and I can look back and praise Him for the bad as well as the good - and with deep thankfulness, I was able to do that again tonight (rare moments, but so thankful when His grace is given me to do that).
Diary entry today: "It's amusing to be so much half child, half woman. Sometimes I can't recognise a child aspect, and that frustrates me a bit, but a lot of the time I can see both, although I('m not able to) change any of it. It's funny to play the idiot sometimes when people don't know me very well and they aren't sure where my child-naive side stops and the playful side starts.
Walking to the station down Corporation Street in a mismatch of grey patterned sweatshirt with a flowery cream summer skirt, white leggings, flowing hair, singing out loud to Mandisa, striding and swinging my bag...I could see people look twice. I know they probably think I'm crazy and it amuses me, cause I know I'm not and it's fun to watch their instant, unconscious pre-judging definition. Only few people actually accept me as I am for who I am without trying to alter me a bit, and it's entertaining figuring out who is who.
Of course, I understand some people (who want to change/adjust me) just want to protect me...
It's funny, though. The only thing that stops the child part of me is when I stop hoping and let anger take control. People always say I look/am acting grown up when my strongest emotion is contained anger. I wonder if it's hope, steadfast, given-and-renewable-by-God-alone hope that makes me still so much like a child in some ways. I don't know..." (We'll leave it there.)
Recently I got upset with my brother, who has a mental illness, for running off and disobeying my stepdad to go and debate some Muslims in the street.
Not for running off and disobeying, but for debating, because I know his style of ram-it-down-your-throat.
I was afraid that he'd make Christianity look like a religion of lunatics, and I have no desire to be locked up in a mental institute on drugs as a Christian, when persecution hits the West, because they think that it is the way he portrays it.
Well...knowing my brother...I was partly right. And partly, very wrong.
It's hard for me, being a rollercoaster. I hate it. It's hard for some of the people who deep-know me and it's hard for me because I don't understand it. I know the pain side is easier. In a month's time, it will be a year since I was pacing the streets with a throbbing pain so severe I wondered through my unwilled tears how the hell I was still breathing. The pain still comes but less regular. Settled mostly down to the long, quiet ache predicted that I thought would never come.
I hate the way I bounce between joyful and peaceful and dependent on God and hoping in Him to the next moment being utterly black and despairing. Usually there is a cause...sometimes, most frequently, a cause I can't share but one triggered by my past or one that I've mentioned so many times I'm sure people are tired of it.
Maybe it looks like I'm crazy. I'm always hated myself for my emotional side ever since "The Dude" left, who was ever-so-ultra-logical. It sure is a good witness for Christ, isn't it?
Unable to properly form an apologetic battle and just bleeding helplessly inside as I'm watching Christians rip each other apart in defence of the world...
Unable to stay stable and balanced emotionally at least, if I have to be emotional, and be positive and pointing people to Christ... that I've had several people who are atheist or of another religion point me back to my God... #shame I should be pointing them to Him...
Fact is, I'm a mess. I look, and probably am, emotionally unstable. Fact is, you're a mess. You're a living, breathing, masking mess.
Jesus came to save the messes. He ate with the most hated tax-collectors, Jews who'd sold out to the Romans and enforced their taxes for them. They were despised by the Romans and loathed by the Jews. He spoke to the whores and the outcasts - the man in chains prowling the seashore and totally controlled by the darkness - the woman condemned to death for adultery - the Samaritan woman who went to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the mockery of the town, married so many times and just living with her new guy cause - what's the point? He healed the lepers - not a charitable thing to do, to touch the lepers, oozing with sores and with skin rotting, their stench so bad that people had to wear masks when they brought food to a safe distance.
He ate with a Pharisee and a woman of the street came to pour the most expensive thing she owned at His feet. He reproved the righteous and loved her - He said go and sin no more. He came to bring hope where there was none, where people no longer believed there was anything more. Not to where they thought they were all right, that they're in a good place and okay with God and everything. He comes to the gutter.
Ever since then, in books like the DaVinci Code, etc, He's been portrayed as a good man to a bad man, a man who lived with a whore as opposed to one rescuing her. The stain stuck with Him forever, to be jeered at by the ones who, of course, know so much better.
I'm glad He stooped to our level, people who need so much more.
Don't you love that He is a God Who wants us because we need Him so much more?
Anyway. I've spent well over an hour writing this, so I'd better get back to work. And eating my soup. And generally scrummicking. ;) Before signing out, though, I just want to leave you with this quote.
"It's not their pain you're afraid of; it's yours.... And as frightening as it may be, that pain will make you stronger, if you allow yourself to feel it, embrace it. It will make you more powerful than you ever imagined. It's the greatest gift we have, to bear their pain without breaking. And it's born from the most human part. Hope. Please...we need you to hope again." ~ Professor Xavier - X-Men, Days of Future Past
Hope is the longest tenable thing.
But it is killable.
But it is God-renewable.
And it's beautiful.
In His grace and love,
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
For the first time in two months, I have inexplicable hope in my heart. I'm starting to weakly seek after God again in action, instead of stumbling blindly, hanging off maxims and knowledge and repeating words that ring dusty in my mouth, groping for a truth that I'm too tired to seek.
Satan sure knows the places to shoot the Lord's servants down. Without the shadow of a doubt.
Two months of being shaken and too tired to care. Giving up. The motions were those of moving forwards, when everything in me wanted to sit down in the road, cross my arms and refuse to do. Spiritually, emotionally, I had, and was wondering exactly how long it would be before it became visible to everyone. Spiritual decline is very quickly visible.
The last weekend away at the Lauser family's home in Ireland really...helped. To stop. To look. To listen...to be forcibly embedded in God again. To see a little more than just hanging onto the rainbows. To force myself to want God more than anything, to be willing to make a choice that costs, to know that God counts for more than anything else in my existence. At the same time, I fought a battle of letting go and realising that...my life is truly not my own.
What I want more than anything else in this world is the one thing that would make me truly happy - but at the same time means that, perhaps, I would devote all my time and energy and focus to it. While I currently don't, and haven't in the past, maybe God knew that. Maybe He is supplying lesser to fill the gap enough so that I must still seek Him for the greater.
What God desires is my holiness - my purification. What I desire most in this life is to become like Him and live out for Him. Sometimes my desire for pain to stop drowns that. But God would never force us against our will, though we're often left yelling at Him because it didn't work out as we wanted, only later to discover that it was a perfect and wise choice. We may think it's forcing, but if the ground is not there for His will, He doesn't move. He calls, but He doesn't force.
Meh. Wandering. :P
Scuffling out of work today, feeling terrible with the gaping hole of fear starting to open its hungry jaws again...
Read my Bible on the train this morning through awkwardness...I hate feeling awkward about it! Praying...consistently...openly...talking about everything...I need the lines clear. I tend to cut Him off way too much.
Praying...hoping...with the very consistent and loud fear in my heart/head that He may not answer, that I may have gone too far, I may be at a point where He's pushing me to do the right thing and He's not going to move to help me.
It was raining, but I was singing...music is such a choice to listen to...so many times I don't want to listen to the worship songs...I want to sing/listen to songs that reflect my mood...sometimes that is good, but sometimes I need to change my mood and make myself adore/fall in love with Him again.
"Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God, You are higher than any other.
Our God is healer, awesome in power..."
I don't need to make Him move for me. I just need to worship Him and trust - yes, blindly - that He will do what He says. I hate blind trusting. I've done it every time and He's never let me down, but I still hate every next step. :D
It seems weird to share it, but He blessed my soul so much through this.
Have you ever been in a situation...a physical one...where the sky seems to lighten around you? The clouds were heavy and the rain thickened, and lifted, and thickened...
But as I looked up at the sky, the entire twenty minutes walk home...the sky seemed alight around me.
Here's some photos, as I tried to capture it...
I hate feeling like an idiot, which I do sharing this, especially as I've been dissed so much for having a relationship with God through emotion, but His presence was so close. I knew I was secure and safe in His Hands...uncertain as I still am of His choice and path in my life.
Truly, the God of angel armies, Who sent His Son to die at Calvary and rise again from the tomb the third day, the Lord of Hosts Who has guided my life and protected me from so much worse that could have happened, surrounded me with those who love and pray for me deeply and dearly from no matter what quarter and walk of life...truly, He is with me.
Thank you for your prayers.
Especially Mama, Dri and Arielle, who know somewhat of what's been going on recently in my life.
And I had to laugh when I came home to Ellie's message tonight:
""You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12 <--- I'm praying that this is a reality for you tomorrow, even if it is only a glimpse. Also, it reminds me of The Sound of Music and that musical magically creates smiles from thin-air. "
I had no idea she was praying that over me today.
God is so tender. It just all hangs on the way you look at it.
No, the rain didn't stop when the sky glowed. Sometimes it pelted thicker and sometimes it faded a little. But I was still getting nearer home.
No, the rainbow around the aeroplane didn't stop the heartbreak at the end of the trip. But I was still flying.
The only time you stop changing in life is the time you become like the pond. Stagnant. Green. Algae clogging every part of you.
It's just possible the rain and the heartbreak might be worth it. Especially if they're turning me into a crystal clear river. A river that will reflect the Lord.
Stones get polished through a waterfall, not through lying safely buried under dirt.
Diamonds look most beautiful after being chiselled and shaped thousands of times.
Gems are found in the most unlikely places.
Because after all, you get the glowing sky and the rainbow to remind you on the way of where you want to be. Who you want to be - like. What your goal is - to reflect Christ and to serve others.
And how can I do that if I'm being a rock or a pond or whatever keeps me safe from pain?
Ramble over. Hope it encouraged you somehow. :)
The Lord's there for you. Look for His reflection in the small things, and remember that His mighty Hand is somewhere in the great - even if you can't see for the darkness. <3
In His Love alone,
Sunday, September 21, 2014
I have tried to be meek and mild Siân, to the point of getting hurt a lot by avoiding the arguments online. I wanted to help people, even when the rest of the world told me it wasn't my business and I should leave it to older people with more maturity and responsibility.
Two huge betrayals this year - and one last year - left me floundering.
1) The entire incident with Mr C. (Nov 2013)
2) The betrayal of OYAN (Feb/March 2014)
3) The near loss of my job (July 2014)
I don't trust people any more. I can't. I can't even do what I was doing before and trust them to some level. I still talk to people about stuff - at all levels, but when they walk on me, it just doesn't bother me any more. I accept - even expect - everyone who walks into my life and wants to talk about the deep things is going to walk on me. That's just what people do.
Doesn't stop them being beautiful. Oh yes, people are still so beautiful. Just like a diamond with all those facets. I love talking to the people I pass on the street - they are so amazing. So are all of you.
But no one stays in your life. No one.
Recently, I've had two remarks - ignoring all the raw comments on the Scottish vote - that have decided me to leave social media. That includes deleting it off my phone so I don't just come back online.
The first was: "I'm sorry, dear, but your opinions and things usually harm me more than help me, so..i'm afraid not"
The second: "You've bitten my head off more than once in chat when I've tried to talk to you about things and it's spilled into public comments with her now. She won't chat because she's mad."
Apparently people are angry at me and backing off more and more. Those who aren't are too scared to tell me that I'm appearing angry at everyone. And people just aren't talking to me about this stuff - it's left to me to realise and deal with, because those who love me see the reasons for it and give grace.
That's rather unfortunate a view, cause I'm not angry with everyone. Recently, with more guy issues, I've totally despaired of the entire thing with Mr C. I don't see a point in it. I don't regret it - as I promised I wouldn't years ago. But it seems pointless. I seem pointless. I watch the people I adopted as kids and they only come to me when they think I need encouraging. Or else they're rejecting God and I don't know how to handle that. I don't see a point to my life, and I don't see the point to what I've gone through.
Recently, a don't care attitude has come over me, and while it's shielding me from some pain, I'm aware I'm appearing more angry to people. I thought it was just IRL, but apparently not.
Also, people keep poking into my life. I don't know how often I have to say that I talk to the people I want to talk to about issues and deep stuff and pushing/poking/prodding me to talk when I don't want to is going to ostracise you further, but here - it's on a blog post - come back and read it as often as you like.
I think I have a right to be angry about some of the stuff - particularly the abrasive comments on the Scottish referendum, people publicly attacking me and on people forcing me to talk, but it's something I wouldn't have permitted myself previously. My family and best friend think I have a right to be angry, but I still don't know.
I don't know who I am anymore.
My entire belief system has been constantly shot at without let-up. As soon as I post something I care deeply about online - be it politics or religion or abortion - I get yelled down. When I talk about stuff I feel deeply about IRL, either everyone agrees with me or I get talked over - including personal insults. I've always tried to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, mentally, and tell myself I'm wrong. That's lead to an entire life of uncertainty and insecurity.
I'm crying as I'm writing this, but I don't allow the luxury of tears any more. So I don't even know what that means - except there's some deep hurt here that I don't think will ever heal.
I'm sorry I've failed you all as a friend, sister, daughter, mother. I'm sorry is all I can say. And before you tell me that I haven't failed you, remember I wouldn't be writing this blog post if your reactions hadn't convinced me it was necessary.
And I don't want to take my anger out on everyone. I need to figure out who I am again, and I need to rebuild a relationship with God. I need to work a way around this without struggling with self-harm or suicide.
So I'll see you all around. I'm accessible on email. Anyone wants a video call with me - yes, that includes you older folk <3 - arrange via email.
Juliet will look after my blog page on Facebook - as I will still blog, occasionally - and Serena will be managing the From Self-Harm to Victory page.
In Christ Alone,
Friday, September 12, 2014
It's me. Well. Not really. You don't know me. To some I'm a clump of cells, or to others I'm a living being from conception. You've yet to meet me, but I'm a baby growing inside my mommy. I'm supposed to be born in a few months, but there's a word she's using.
She says it with a pained voice, but at the same time, it's disgust. Disgust towards me or the abortion? Doesn't she want me? I'm a girl! I want to wear dresses, run through the yard and tackle my daddy when he comes home from work, and pick wild flowers for you, mommy.
I keep growing, and I'm moving too. I feel mommy's hand next to me and she sings to me. I can hear her and daddy's laugh. They sound happy for me to arrive. But why does this abortion keep coming up? Don't they want me?
I just want to see their faces...
Won't you keep me?
My name is Adella. I'm sixteen years old and am a survivor. Of cancer? No. Of abuse? No. Of a physical disorder? No.
I am a survivor of Roe vs. Wade. My parents were faced with the decision of "If you have an unplanned pregnancy, you can rid yourself of it! Just come on in to a Planned Parenthood and we can take care of it for you!" because I was that unplanned pregnancy.
Ever since 1973 when abortion became legal, every child born from then to now is a survivor. My mother and my best friend's mother had complete access to have one of these abortions. My team mate's mothers, or my class mate's mothers had this same access. But we're here, and what a beautiful thing is it to be able to see my best friend, hear her voice, and to see my friends...But something is amiss.
Each day, over one hundred thousand abortions happen in the world. That's one hundred thousand children that don't get to be doctors, nurses, animal trainers, parents, Olympic athletes... Today's society is more focused on animals; animal rescue, animal abuse, the horrors of BLM round-ups, and so much more...Why can't the unborn be that focus? Maybe if would use that enthusiasm towards the unborn, we could save millions.
"Save the dogs, kill the human babies."
"Save the whales, kill the human babies."
"Stop inhumane animal handling, kill the human babies."
A dear friend once told me:
"As humans are given stewardship over the earth, we have a responsibility to try and make sure that animals, even ones intended for meat, are healthy and in good living situations.
But we also have a larger responsibility toward humanity--our brothers and sisters."
When did the generations that are going to take over when we are through not wanted? I'm alive, and there should be so many more too. If you're forty-one or younger, congratulations because you are here.
I'm here, and I'm telling you, I am alive. Open your eyes so they can be too.
My name is Adella, and I'm a survivor of Roe vs. Wade, and the legalization of abortion.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
So, here is the way to start a guy-girl friendship.
Joel Parisi adopted me as his new big sister, though we're kinda more contemporaries.
A little further on into the conversation (which is part serious, part fun):
Joel: You really should get back to him. Even if you... don't feel comfortable? Skyping, just keeping up a correspondence would (I think) mean a lot to both of you.
Me: *nods* Poke me until I do? Please?
Joel: LOL yeah, I was totally going to fly over there and follow you around, poking you. :rofl:
Me: *facepalm* Joel. Srsly.
Joel: I's teasing!! Look, I'm not your usual oblivious guy.
Joel: If you say something that's a bit unclear, rest assured, I've usually got it.
Me: *faints* YAYYYYYY.
Joel: Oh hush, you. *laughs* Well, except where romance is concerned. But that won't be an issue, right? *stern glance*
Me: I can't talk about romance!?
Joel: . .. now look who's playing oblivious.
Me: We can call it the r-word. It's as bad as a swear word....
Joel: *sigh* that's not what I meant, silly. I have no troubles discussing it.
Me: Alright then. Talk. ;)
Joel: I have had issues in the past where I've become close friends with a girl and she's taken it as romantic interest.
When that was not the intent.
So I've learned to 'clear the air' before starting any such friendship.
Me: Joel, if I ever thought you had a romantic interest in me, it would be loudly and exquisitely crushed before it even had chance to breathe.
Joel: O.O Wow. Okay.
Me: Men can be...okay. Until it comes to romance. No offence.
Joel: *laughs* that was abrupt. LOL
Me: Well, you wanted it that way.
Joel: *can't stop laughing* *relieved*
Me: I would actually. Really. Really. Really. Like a friendship. With a guy. Where I can be open and honest and talk and be close without him freaking out or me thinking he's taking it as romantic interest.
Joel: So that works both ways then. :)I can tell you you're very pretty.
And you won't take it as me 'hitting on you'?
Joel: Good. Then you're very pretty.
Me: The last time a guy told me I was beautiful, he broke me. So.
Your mission is to make me believe in a good man who can stay a friend and a close friend without freaking out about mush.
No mush allowed.
*sticks hand out*
Joel: *shakes heartily*
You're supposed to shake my hand.
And the conversation continues.
State what you don't want in a friendship like you would in a relationship. CLEARLY. LOUDLY. AND VERY FIRMLY.
State any issues you have or might have with the friendship. CLEARLY. LOUDLY. AND VERY FIRMLY.
And then, what the heck?
THAT's the way to reduce backlash and damage.
Frankness and honesty.
Not hiding behind codes and layers of Pharisaical law.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Because you don't think He's real, because you deny His existence because you don't want to, because He doesn't fit in your little code of right and wrong, because He doesn't do what you want Him to, because you simply "can't see Him", doesn't make it acceptable in the slightest to go mocking Him in public to those who DO believe in Him.
If you had a relationship with Jesus Christ, you would have some idea exactly how much these comments hurt and upset me. But you don't. And I'm sorry - so sorry - for that.
But I'm not forcing God on you. I answer questions when I see a genuine heart for questions, someone who is really searching for answers - not someone who simply wants to deride, mock or leave a trail of hurt in their wake. I preach what the Bible says and try to live as Christ taught. I'm not demanding everyone see or live that way. I might wish you do; I'm not forcing you to. You have free will.
I have the right to express my opinion on my social media. You have the right to express your opinion on yours. You do not have the right to deliberately, and intentionally, try to create hurt to others on my social media.
And I know some of how much He took from sinners before and still. I would die for Him. I will defend Him when and where I can, but I will not respond to pointless mockery any more than I try to create it.
So stop it.
If you can't respect what I'm asking, please leave. Leave my circles, leave my chat, stop talking to me, leave my life.
Abusive comments to each other.
Today, I've had to deal with a situation because of something I shared on a networking site - something that helped my mother and myself, both struggling with depression and people throwing innocuous Biblical support lifelines at us. Yeah, sometimes that's all that can be said - I get it. I've said it myself, when struggling with helplessness because I can feel their pain, but cannot ease it. It's hard for people to know what to say. Biblical quotes/sayings don't always help. They don't always reach into the inner darkness and hollowness.
Someone disagreed with my post - a very beautiful, dear lady I love and respect as one of my adopted mothers, who has walked through a path of constant pain in her own life and is still fighting victoriously.
Someone very much agreed with it - a sweet friend who has courageously battled her own pain to reach out to others, and is fighting her path to healing.
It ended up as a flame war. The lady is blunt, forceful and has a habit of speaking her mind. The girl is passionate and fiery about what she believes in - and this is a sore point to her.
Both parties settled amicably enough in the end. Other parties got involved.
The girl messaged me, upset and angry about the response she felt she received.
The lady (adopted mother) messaged me in the end, hurt and emotionally crippled by the private messages she had received as a result of this, and has said she will not be getting involved in any more discussions on my social media.
"It's okay. Though I cried for a while, it wasn't at all because of what they said. It was because I was so upset about unknowingly possibly hurting others. God knows my heart and it is He that matters. But I will definitely be working on this. I am always open to constructive criticism and I have taken yours to heart!"
This has really hurt me.
I love and respect both of these. I am glad - very glad - they settled amicably. I understand, even, battling opinions getting heated.
What I CANNOT understand, and do NOT tolerate, is the name-calling or character abusing of my friends - EVEN BY MY FRIENDS. What you THINK you see in a person's character may not be what is actually the person's character.
I try to always leave room for second guessing in a person, always giving them a second chance. While it may appear vacillating and weak, you never know a person until you have walked in their shoes.
You cannot think you know a person so well that you can attack them and call them prideful and arrogant. You can gently say they're appearing that way - and if you can't gently say it, shut up until you can. Because otherwise, that's all you appear to be.
And trust me, it's taken me years of trying to bite my temper to get to having a slight right to say this.
Think about what you're saying and who you're saying it to.
Remember you never know exactly what's behind a person's smile or the pain they've got through to get to where they are.
And bite. Your. Tongue.
Hard, if you must.
Because this really hurts, and there is absolutely no necessity for it.
And if you want to know how badly it's hurting - my spelling in this post is haywire.
Friday, August 22, 2014
"You want me to be evil? Fine, I'll be evil."
I raised my hands towards them, the pink sepphalite now flickering visibly between my fingers, revelling in the release of the power I had chained back for so long.
"No, we don't want you to be evil! We just want you to be good, to give you a second chance. Why lie to us?" Snow asked me, tears rimming her lids.
"You know what your problem is?" I watched the light grow stronger. "It's not that you want me to heal. It's that you want me to follow your kind of healing. No matter how hard I try to be good, it will never be good enough for you, because there is a certain route you won't be happy unless I take. You want me to kowtow and bend, to grovel and you want to see your final victory - good vanquishing evil. The knight slaying the dragon. You want me to be completely destroyed, humbled on the ground, because that's the way every good fairytale ends. And then you'll graciously extend your forgiveness and allow me to live in a closely guarded environment where you can watch my every move because I can never be trusted."
I clenched my fists, the sepphalite growing into a crackling ball, surrounding my hands.
"You've never understood me, the route I've had to take. I've had to endure pain beyond what you could imagine, make choices and survive situations you couldn't even dream, because you've never, ever been there. You can't understand that there can be another way to heal outside of your own prescription, to become good. Because you'll never accept a change that you've had no chance to dictate. You will never believe that I can heal outside of the realms of your control."
Pink fire emanated from the ball in my hands. I glanced at all of their faces. Fear. Shock. Hatred. Jealousy. Laughter flooded me, as did a great weariness.
"You'll never understand. A person can completely change. A person can fight to be good. You think judging every action and controlling every move will help me - fine, be that way. I have enough to do with changing myself, not trying to change the rest of you. And believe me, you need it as much as I do."
A flip of my wrist was enough to send the sepphalite crashing into the ceiling. As the debris started to tumble downwards, I began to run - far from the fleeing crowd, far away...to a place alone. A place where I could learn how to be good.
* * *
Walking home from work the other day and enjoying the beauty of sunshine and sky, I felt the first glimmer of hope in five years that I could actually heal, that life wouldn't always be this hollow and painful.
A person I once knew described the feeling inside as a ball comprised of shards of broken glass and bone, rolling around inside the hollow, tender part of your heart. Pretty good description.
Five years ago, I chose to backslide and allow myself to fall in love with a non-Christian I'd been fighting feelings for over two years.
Then I lost faith, hope, trust, love.
Then three years ago, my dad.
My best friend went to jail.
My family is messed up.
I blamed myself. I hurt myself. I couldn't cope with the pain outside and inside.
Then I lost the guy I love.
My friends - OYAN - gone because I was/am "dangerous and unhealthy".
It's a lot for three years, and there's more I haven't detailed.
So this day, that consciousness that yes - yes, I can heal, someday - was a pretty shocking realisation. And a peaceful one.
I tweeted it - "It's days like today when I feel that glimpse of fragile hope, for the first time in forever, that there can be healing-even for me."
(NOTE: I would like to say that I am aware that there are people worse off than me. Far worse off. Sex trafficking, worse physical abuse than I had, worse emotional abuse and far worse sexual abuse. However, it still scars, and scars deeply, no matter how much you receive. It alters your perceptions of life, people and sometimes even God.
I know there is healing. I know people who have been healed. I know I'm no different from other people, but there are times when blow comes upon blow before you have time to even recover your balance from the last, when you think you will never have chance to heal.)
And a friend responded, "Of course there is healing. You're no different than any Christian. But are you READY for healing?:)"
That took up more thought processing than I was expecting. :P
Of course I WANTED to be healed. Even if I didn't think it would happen. I mean, who would want to live in the constant thralls of pain if they had a choice?
To revert back to Once Upon a Time for demonstration, Regina tried to kill her grief for Daniel by vengeance upon Snow, losing more and more upon the way - people's love and respect, the chance at true love, even in the end (SPOILER) her own father. She gained a huge hole in her heart by enacting the Curse to destroy Snow's happy ending, and tried to cover that by adopting Henry. When she lost Henry, she lost her reason to live until she found someone who was about to destroy all that was left of her life - and motivation to destroy that person then filled her hole. But her entire life was running - running from grief, pain, emptiness, lack of a mother's real love. It became an obsession, that if she destroyed this one more thing, just one more thing, she would gain her happy ending - and it never worked.
She chose ways that were an easy way out, but it only brought her more pain. She wanted healing, but was unwilling to take the hard path - the path that would bring her a lot of pain at once, and for a long period of time, but that in the end would lead her to healing. She wanted healing - now.
(Sheesh, I'm actually learning from this as I'm typing. :P There are reasons Regina is pretty much my favourite character in Once Upon a Time.)
John 5:5-8 - A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”
I read somewhere once about the oddness of Jesus asking that question. Who wouldn't want to be healed from lying on the ground for thirty eight years? Being able to have a chance to walk, to travel, to earn a living?
Actually, quite a few people.
Lying on the ground doesn't just mean that you're helpless, being kicked, spat at, ignored by the righteous. It also means people will take pity on you, help you, think they've done a good deed. It means you get attention - negative or positive. It means that someone else is helping provide for you.
Thirty eight years of that - that can easily break pride of independence.
Being down can become an identifier - like I mentioned before in "Suicide and Self-Harm". It can become a twisted positive. You can go from preaching down everyone who puts down those who are sick and helpless, to becoming proud of being sick and helpless, to the point where - yes, you don't want to heal.
(Here's a link to a blog post that shortly puts what it said.)
Every choice in life comes with a price. Including the choice to heal.
People won't like that you're fighting your way back up. They say they want you to heal, but if you don't accept their help, their advice or their way/method of healing, they try to kick you back down. Backbite you. Minute managing every single action, every single step that you take - including the ones where you fall.
"Oh, they don't really want to heal, or they would be doing..."
"If they wanted to heal that badly, they wouldn't have gone back to doing..."
Every step in life, you'll find someone who wants to kick you down. Healing isn't an exception. I wish it were.
You'll fall. You'll slip back to where you were, perhaps even a little further. You'll hear the judgmental cries - YOU DIDN'T WANT TO CHANGE! YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE IT OUR WAY!
You may have to heal away from almost everyone. I'm choosing that route - though not completely. There's a very few people I'm allowing close to me during this. Because no one can heal completely alone. That wouldn't be healing - that would be building walls.
The thing is, you have to choose to get back up.
Choose to heal in the face of those who want you down even as they say they want you up.
It will cost. The question is, is it worth it to you? Are you ready? Or do you want to be identified by your pain for the rest of your life?
Pain has made me who I am. It's forced me to make choices I am thankful to God I made, and choices I grieve to this day. But pain is not me.
Healing freaks the heck out of me.
Especially because, as I'm learning, people will kick you the hardest - intentionally or unintentionally - when you're trying to change.
It's a bit like salvation in Christ. It's a long route to get to, and a terribly hard one to walk.
But in the end, it will be worth it.
Oh, and. Find a motivation. I want to heal so I can help others. So I can glorify God. So I can live as a signpost when I meet someone suffering and say, hey, I know it's not going to be easy, but you can do it with Christ.
You can heal without Christ, but a part of you will always be missing.
In Christ, you can heal. Completely. Because He is the God Who changes things - even preconceptions and misconceptions - Who changes a prostitute into a woman of faith who is in His own human lineage, Who heals the broken hearted, Who binds up every wound.
Let go of the things that are hurting you, the things you bring close to shield you, the fears that are holding you back. Trust Him to heal you, even when you're blind with suffering and fear, convinced that He cannot have the power to fill those holes in your heart. Have faith. Be courageous.
You can make it.
These are all words.
Words you hear in every service. From all sources.
They don't mean anything until you learn to live them.
Everyone can get a second chance.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
I originally started this blog to talk about my adventures in the Air Cadets. Quickly, it became a place to share my thoughts and glimpses of my life, fun and laughter and occasionally tears. As my world turned upside down, it expanded to embrace a new mission - what I'd learned, how I'd grown, to reach out and try to help others to see that they are not alone.
I started OYAN around the same time that I started the Air Cadets; later on, during my backsliding period of 2010, I was convinced to join the Rebelution - as well as make friends with a guy called Jay Lauser - and I made a bunch of new friends.
Blogger was popular, and I added many of my friends as bloggers. Then Wordpress kicked in, and Blogger was past top-dog. One or two moved to Tumblr. Some moved to a different blogspot. Some created their own websites.
I kept them on the little list to the side of my blog, for people to go to after they'd read my blog. Didn't really want to admit that they'd gone...moved on...most not even in my life any more.
Today, I started going through the blogs. Because it does look a little ridiculous, having blog links on the side when their last post was two, three or even five years ago.
It's funny watching where people have gone. I've replaced people's blog links where I can, where I can see them still active on their new sites. Other people have been completely removed. Some of the new sites were never even started; some were excitedly begun, but no new posts since that first. Two people I've had to chase through several different sites before finding they don't even post anymore! :)
And one person I really looked up to has completely changed her viewpoint since her last post on her blog two years ago.
So it's time...and I'm nostalgically packing up the blogs...deleting the final links...letting them fade into oblivion. Old friends...married friends...grown-up friends...gone friends.
And it's all right. :)
They'll be great, wherever they go, as long as they're continuing to pursue and follow God.
And me, still here, still doggedly posting away...well, I've new friends. My blog list's updated. Feel free to look at it. :)
Someday they'll go. And that's okay too.
After all, this is about walking with us - God and me. Everyone fades. Everyone goes. Time, circumstance or choice - it eradicates everything.
But God doesn't go. Not now, not ever.
As long as He's with me, through my life, through my blogging - that's all I need.
Goodbye and God be with you, guys. <3
Friday, August 15, 2014
And I would love to climb mountains. In my dreams, I do. Sheer drops, clear sharp air, stunning views...sunset, sunrise, physical tiredness instead of mental weariness, good times with friends...
But my body struggles with a twenty minute climb up a hill.
It requires fitness, energy, resilience to be able to climb a mountain. A lot of training. Preparation. To be able to make it from that struggling, panting walk of twenty minutes' steep slope to scaling peaks.
We face mountains in life. Rugged, stony, crooked mountains.
And we get a lot of painful training beforehand.
Never regret the pain you're going through now. You don't know what mountain it will enable you to climb in the future. Climb the hills with prayer, and God will grow you to fight the mountains.
Monday, August 11, 2014
I felt sticky, and ugghy, and grotty and bleh as I stepped outside of the office building where I work.
It was another dragging high pressure day, and as much as I love my job, the atmosphere (and the worry) sometimes gets to me. Pulling my phone out of my jacket pocket as I began the twenty(ish) minute walk to the train station, I tried to catch up on a few people's posts, shielding the phone from the glare of the sun.
A dear friend and sister posted about how some cruel people had laughed and called her fat before running off, and how broken she was feeling. Couldn't do much, but posted a quick note and walked off praying for her.
It's been a beautiful day, in the between. And the between is what counts, isn't it? For right now, I'm in the brightness, the sun shining bright and the world glowing with colour and hope and beauty and ideas all swirling and tossing in my head. God knows the days - or the day, rather, for I don't like looking too far ahead any more - that are coming; I don't - that's a beautiful mix of stability and adventure.
Depression comes like a mist for me. Cold, long fingers that are almost invisible at first, slowly fading out the sun.
One day, I'll be okay and bright with these hopes and so many exciting thoughts racing round in my head, and then, later in the evening, a faint dark dread of the next day, of having to get up and face the same routine again.
Maybe the next day will be a bit duller, a bit more dreary.
Then the weariness - the constant tiredness, maybe the nightmares...falling asleep for hours on end and still being tired...just wanting life to be over and to be home. I'll look up and see the blue sky and the fresh green leaves and the sparkling sunshine but I won't see them. Just be struggling to stave off another panic attack, drag my feet up the hill, wondering if I'm dying...hoping. The memories sometimes hit. Sometimes it's too dull. Sometimes I'm suicidally depressed, but not so often any more. I just want life to end because it's so dreary, such a burden. Reading God's Word is a chore. Praying is nigh on impossible. Couple of whispered words slipped past my lips that seem to be hitting the lead sky. Is He even listening? So alone...there's so many people around me and they care, but it's not reaching that dry, lonely, empty part.
Then a crack of hope - not the ones that occasionally break through, brighten the dreariness and then fade away into the dullness - but one that stays, and lingers...then widens...and hope creeps through the door to blaze for a while before the mist comes back.
But you know, if it wasn't for the mist and the darkness...I wouldn't appreciate the relief or the blessing of light and hope and colour. It would just be another one of those things in my life. And it takes the shadow to make the light that much stronger.
I've prayed for God to take me through certain paths so that I can experience what I'm trying to minister to others. This was one I definitely didn't want, but with my past, unsurprising that I've had. Trying to find ways to conquer it that bring God glory - it's a blessing. It really is. In an undefinable, beautiful way.
By the way...seeing the beauty in it is a choice. Don't forget that. You have to look for the jewels before you find them - look hard.
As I walked back home from the train station without my MP3, I looked up with a half shy grin. "Hey Lord...do You want a date?"
(I have this thing where I walk along as though the Lord is next to me and just talk out everything I'm thinking and feeling, praise Him for the beauty around me or anything special in my life right now, just like a date.)
We haven't done one in a while, and it's been some of the times where I've been the closest to the Lord - whether it's been a laughter one, a glowing one, a quiet one, a tear-and-screaming one or one that has been so beautiful it feels like I've come close to the gates of Heaven itself. The feeling, if one can use that word, is indescribable.
So we walked back home, the Lord and me. I talked out thankfulness for what's around me, for His love and His using me in spite of who and what I am, in spite of my selfish self-centredness most of the time, how I'm feeling about my job, my desire to serve Him in another capacity and in a place where I'd be more focussed on others and Him and less on myself and pleasing others. Then (of course) I brought up Mr. C. Sometimes it's okay to pray about him; sometimes, when he's constantly in my thoughts and weighing heavy on me, it isn't. Hard to explain.
I thanked God for the love He's given me, and the beauty of learning how to love him purely and pray for him and want God's will for him, for him to become a mighty man of God and used by God above all else. It is. Truly. A blessing. Still gifted with this love. It's taught me so much. No, it hasn't. God's used it to. It's beautiful, and as I said to the Lord the other day, I don't regret it. No matter how many times I beg God to bring him back into my life, to erase all memory of him in the darkest hours, when it comes down to it - I don't regret it. I regret a lot of things in our friendship, but not that God gave this love to me for him.
But even the calling to love him still may be wrong.
Once more, I recommitted it to Him. "I don't want to give him up, Lord. But I want You more than anything, and if this is in the way of You in my life, then remove it."
Then the rain started. Not a spattering, but thick, heavy drops that increased until I was soaked through. But I who hate the rain walked on smiling. Because I was walking towards the sunshine, still bright and warm and strong. And I knew exactly what was forming behind me.
When I went to America last year, when I saw him for the last time - as I flew into New York, praying and asking God if I was doing the right thing, I looked out of the window and saw, on the clouds, the shadow of the aeroplane. It was circled by a bright rainbow. One of those beautiful little things that God does...I was in the circle of His promise and I knew, no matter how the trip went (and I've never been so uncertain of doing the right thing in my life, even though God moved a bunch of things for me to go), that I was right where I was meant to be.
I crossed the street and turned to check - behind me, there was a bright rainbow. As I fumbled for my camera, a guy called out as he passed, "It's a double rainbow!"
But it wasn't even a double rainbow. It turned into a triple rainbow.
And I couldn't help dropping to my knees a little further up the hill to thank Him. For the rainbow is His promise. I know He is with me. And I know I'm right where He wants me to be.
I don't know what the heck He's doing. I'd often do things differently, only to laugh down the line about how perfect His timing is, even the bad things that come into my life at seemingly the worst moments often only shine out Him. But He's God. :) And I trust Him, because I don't know everything. He does, even if I don't understand that. Even though the depression will return.
The Son and the rain always form a rainbow. It just depends whether you're looking at the puddles or at the sky.
~It's funny what You use to help me grow...
I can see a silver linin'
When the sun's not shinin'.
Even when You choose to bring the rain
Oh, but there's freedom believin'
And trustin' Your leadin',
'Cause You're Lord of all my joy and all my pain.
So I'll learn to love these days
Life along the way
In the middle of the crazy
God, your love is so amazing
Through the ups and downs
You're the only hope I've found
Lord, You meet me in the madness
So I'll learn to love these days.~ Mandisa
In Christ's love,
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Christians tend to blur up the Bible in an attempt to accept everything they see around them.
"Oh, God can't have said. God didn't mean."
Well, maybe He did and you just don't want to accept it because you're putting your little code of what you think is right and wrong before His.
While our faith is based on historical facts and logical processes, most of the day to day living is a sheer walk of faith. After all, isn't that why it's called our "faith"?
Faith like a child. Trusting. Simple. Daddy loves me enough to catch me when I jump. Mommy loves me enough to keep me away from the hot iron and the cars on the road.
Faith that while we don't understand and maybe never will understand God's ways or reasoning, He is right and just.
Faith means grasping the simplicity of life and leaving the confusion in His Hands.
Faith means that we can love everybody right down to their core, no matter their sin, because that's what He commanded us to do and that's what He's given us grace to do, without accepting their sin.
Faith is strong; don't make any mistake about that. It's hard to get to that step. It depends whether your reasoning has brought you to the place that God must be Who He says He is, and your belief has accepted that He is right and worth the cost of being condemned as a fool for the rest of your life.
People expect to be attacked by us when they stand up against certain issues that the Bible condemns and proclaim their own understanding and moral code to be right (don't ask where that moral code originally came from). We need to break that by loving them anyway while still gently, kindly and truthfully standing up for what is right.
We need to pray for them and let them know they're safe with us, because although we don't approve of the sin, we love the people - for the Lord.
He loved the whore, ate with the tax collector and the Pharisee and touched the lepers, but He asked them to leave it all behind and come, follow Him. Which is how we need to live. Why do we expect to do this differently?
Christ left all for us. Why do we refuse to leave all for Him?
Several years ago, I created a survey called "Uncomfortable Honesty." In it, I asked people (anonymously - I still have no idea who took part, except for people who told me they did) to talk about issues they considered taboo, that the church considered taboo, and how these had affected them.
Question 10 was the most revealing of the pain that reactions to these issues had brought them. I'd like you to take a moment to click on the video link below.
Loving people doesn't mean beating them over their heads with a poker or running shy from them because you're too scared to handle issues. It means accepting them as they are, with all their flaws, and praying for them. Encourage them to trust without betraying it (i.e., talking about them behind their back without their knowledge or permission); help them with issues as the Lord brings them forward. Don't pretend you know all the answers to their issues; outside of what's stated in God's Word, no one does. Don't jump in the mud puddle with both feet - it tends to make nasty messes everywhere else.
For an example: I love and accept my gay friends and they, to an extent (like everyone else), trust me. I don't accept that their homosexuality is right by Biblical standards, and they know this (and agree with it, by their own decision) and have defended me against both straight and Christian people.
I think that's what it means to live Christ. Make the impact in their lives, but sound the call to "come, follow Him." If you accept the sinner along with their sin, they will have no need to come to Christ for salvation.
This is so very complex, and I've only barely touched the surface, but I hope you will understand what I'm saying.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Don't look for a man, look for God.
God can fulfill all your deepest needs and meet every desire.
The best man you can marry is a man that's looking for God more than you.
And you believe it. You innocently set off to try and follow God to the best of your ability, to pursue and look for and love and serve God.
You want a good marriage. You hope and pray God brings you a good man.
You watch other people start out - couples of faith with faith in God that falter...and fall...because a unique trial tests them at their weakest point, their most vulnerable point...and. they. fall. They stop. Give up.
Parents intervene. Oh, he wasn't for you. She wasn't Godly enough. Look at this flaw, look at that flaw, your friends say. Generational curses! Developmental faults!
Oh my gosh, why get married at all!? The fact that some people even are is a miracle.
Look at what you believe and look at the human race. Seven thousand years or so ago, God made two perfect people. They chose to disobey the one and only command God asked they comply with and unleashed a world of evil. Suddenly, their bodies are weak, and their children's bodies are inheriting genetic weaknesses. Physical. Mental. Emotional. They aren't perfect. And they deteriorate from generation to generation. Breakdown of genetics. It's going to happen. Result of the curse.
The idea of the perfect couple is mocked in all Christian circles, and so it should be. But is it really?
You can do better. You can do better. You can find someone who fits you right, who meets your needs, fulfills your desires. No, that's not what they're openly proclaiming. In fact, they're openly proclaiming the opposite. But they're not living it. Which is actually rather psychologically damaging.
You don't need someone who physically looks good! - but you need to be attracted to your spouse.
You don't need to find someone who is perfect! - but you need to make sure you're emotionally whole and well before thinking about marriage.
Where did the idea of laying your life down for the other person come into it?
Don't get me wrong, I haven't got all this figured out yet. I refuse to marry a man while choc-full of holes because all I attract - and all I do attract - are guys with holes. And they aren't mature guys with holes.
So maturity is a whole different level to having holes. It's not the holes you have. It's how you deal with the holes you have.
Post from Facebook earlier:
"Hey boys, stop pursuing holiness and start pursuing God.
Recognise the woman you're pursuing isn't an incarnation of holiness and is a flawed sinner just like you."
Deep down within us all is the knowledge we're missing something. Ever since the Curse. And we're looking for more. Always looking for something more.
Even when we are saved in Christ, we're still looking for more.
We're looking for the lost perfection that we should have, that our ancestors lost for us. We hope to find it in so many things.
Because we can't accept ourselves. Accept our holes. Accept who we are. To fully embrace the knowledge of our sin, we have to embrace the knowledge of who we are because of sin.
Accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour does not wave a magic wand over us and instantly complete us and remove our flaws. (I know I'm verging on heresy to some here, but seriously, guys, knock off your blinkers a sec and walk through this with me.) Sin removal and life change is a life change. Literally. It takes the rest of our lives to try to become like Jesus. Why? Not so we can achieve some level of random holiness.
"HEY LOOK! I SCORED POINT ELEVEN ON THE HOLINESS SCALE!"
Get off your scales and stop watching your holiness!
We try to become like Christ because we should love Him with all of our hearts and every essence of our beings! When you love someone, and how I know it, you want to be with them. (In a normal situation. Sin's created a few messed up scenarios around love.)
You want to know everything they're doing, what they're saying, study their emotions, facial expressions, what pleases them.
That's why we want to become like Christ. Not to gain perfection. But because we love Him. In Christ IS perfection. Accept you're not going to get that. In any source. Because you're missing it in yourself isn't going to mean you'll find it in your girlfriend. Or boyfriend.
Remember you aren't looking for completion, you're looking for a complement - someone who will push you towards God. Who will take every part of you to devotedly love and cause you to focus on Christ to love them.
And when I say devotedly, I mean devotedly.
Now go chew on that before you let your "attraction" and someone's "holiness scales" drive you to pursue their hand again and then dump them because they aren't "good enough".
If you aren't ready to step into marriage, quit pursuing a girl.
Not if you think you're ready for marriage. When you're actually ready for a commitment and a marriage.
Which actually usually means admitting you're not.
Also. Girls get very quickly attached. Even unawares. Just be aware of that when you step forward to pursue a heart openly.
Am I trying to scare you off pursuing a girl? Heck yeah.
Because men are the ones who admit they aren't ready. Admit they make mistakes. Admit that they'll never be able to do what needs to be done.
But say that I'm right, this is hard. Impossible. But I'm ready to love this woman like Jesus - selflessly. I'm ready to pursue her - to the end of my life. I'm going to fail - but I'm never going to stop trying. Because God thought she was worth it and so do I.
That is a mark of a man.
I'm trying to scare the boys from the men, and the man out of the boy.
I have seen too many broken hearts this year.