Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Slipping Through My Fingers...



"Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while

The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny

What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why, I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time..."

I can't listen to that song by ABBA without tears. Neither can my mother.

As I lie here in bed at 11 am (which is unusual for me, if I'm in bed at this time, it's because I'm sleeping), I am very aware that this is one of my last days in my own room, that the silence of the house is rarely, if ever, going to occur for me again.

I'm partly relieved and partly sobered...the sudden changes of it all is startling, a little frightening.

No intention of spending the entire day in bed...I'll get up, take some painkillers (for a headache) when I've done writing this - when will I write here again? - shower, sort out the presents, start the thank you notes, tidy my room...

The world is topsy turvy; I'm half inclined to dig my heels in and bawl loudly for it to slow down, and half compelled to laugh at the sheer madness of it all. When has life ever been straight forward? I wanted to dig my heels in when my parents got divorced...slow down everything, examine it, understand it, but life rushes on without ever giving a breathing space and one has to see, think, be thankful for what one has at a moment's notice.

So basically - I'm getting married. Not in a way or a place like anything that had ever crossed my mind, to a man I hadn't imagined and in a timespan like I hadn't dreamed, but that's always been life, for me. Never slow and always quick and life is so short, anyway...so quick...so brief...

I'm 23 years old, and in double my lifespan now, I could be sitting here tapping out another blog post about nostalgic feelings of my own daughter getting married. Now that is disturbing.

So short...so brief...can I raise kids the way I want to, pray to, hope to? Can I be a good mother? Life is made up of the infinite little moments...the short, the precious, the brief...that is where those defining little factors are that make up life, that influence a child, a life, an opinion, a grounding, a faith, a hope, a dream...

I try to capture every minute...so long since I last wrote in my diary but there are always people around...lunch break, travelling - hanging out with friends, phone calls, Bible reading, all the stuff I can't do because I'm constantly moving or doing something...get home and plan to do so much but end up collapsing in an I-don't-wanna-move heap on the sofa. Slowly, I'm coming to realise the fact that no matter how much rest or how much sleep I get, it will never equate the amount of tired I feel. I don't understand that. Maybe cause it's brain-tired and not body-tired?
The longing, aching to catch up with old friends as well as the terrified shunning since the rejection is still here. So is the passionate longing to work on From Self-Harm to Victory more. How?

Reception hall is booked...we viewed a house yesterday, too. Possibly changing the church because the reception hall was brilliantly low priced, thank God!
My parents are being very helpful and supportive, and have worked out a scheme for Atul moving in with us to save money for the wedding, for us to get our own place afterwards (he takes my room, I sleep in Mom's, etc.) They've even offered us to stay with them the first couple of months.

And this is December 29th, 2015...I never dreamed I would be here, like this. In pain, yes, with a broken heart, yes, but never this - life turning around again, upside down and inside out.

Life and change and excitement and adventure is good...I just wish the tired would catch up, but I don't think it ever will, now.

Praying and hoping and dreaming and thinking and rushing and walking and climbing and falling and...

I'm so thankful God is with me. The only stable and unchanging thing - Person - in our lives. For all of our claims to love change, we always search for that one security, the one stability - a permanent job, our own place, a stable relationship, a faithful spouse, a natural progression in life and in the lives of those we love.
Naa. Life is made up of storms and tornadoes and hurricanes, but there is always an Eye to the storm and a Rock, unchanging and unmoving, in the middle of it.
Christ.

In Him alone I trust.

Siân

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Different Path

"Why do you do this for me?"
"What?"


Well...why do you walk me 30 minutes to the train station every night, pay for my ticket and your return ticket, take me home on the train, walk me to my door, then leave, go back to the station and travel right back where you came from, then to take your own bus home and making your journey home over 3 hours longer?

Why do you look into my eyes and tell me that you know I'm not perfect, but I'm perfect for you?

Why, when I apologised for my clingy t-shirt, did you say it was okay, but please don't wear it outside because other guys would stare and you'd feel like you had to hug me and keep me safe?

Why did you promise marriage before sex?

Why do you spend the time you desperately need to make this university proposal succeed for your future career, studying with me when it's a lot crowded and noisier?

Why do you kiss me and never make a move to touch me inappropriately?

Why do you always put my needs first, try to keep me safe, promise to stay with me and protect me, support me when I'm stumbling, spend three hours in a dress agency just to make me smile and why does it make you happy to see the glow on my face when you tell me I'm beautiful?

Why is this so beautifully simple and what planet did you come from, please?

You say you're a normal guy; I have never met one as kind, unselfish, thoughtful, clever and yes, handsome to boot as you.

~~~
So you guessed it. A guy who had been there for six months walked into my life and turned it upside down. Literally. I now have to find time to study again.
There's one thing. He's not a Christian.

In my very tired soul and broken heart, I'm past the point of caring. The Christian men in my life from day one have been either self-absorbed, abusers, sex-starved, married, over-spiritual, too much theologically different, immature and leaning on me or repressed due to character issues.

I came back from Ireland recently with the faintest glimmer of hope that my past 'relationship' would heal. Based on nothing but hope and faith. A week later, I was doing the usual walk-and-cry to the Father thing. I told Him that I had no strength to carry on. No hope. Only faith in Him, and if He wanted me to carry on another five years, He was going to have to give me the strength.

Then Atul walked into my life. It was unexpected and I freaked out at first. Then prayed. And prayed some more. And...am at peace.

I'm losing friends. Why? Because he doesn't profess Christianity.
And yet, were I to be dating the other guys and answer yes, he's a Christian, everyone would be delighted - with probably the occasional caution of, be careful.
He has more of the attributes a Christian man should have than any other Christian guy I have known, but he won't profess to be a hypocrite - except he will come to church with me and pray with me, because he knows it's important to me and I want to share it with him.
I'm sure there are Godly young men somewhere in this country, in hiding, maybe...or maybe I'm just not good enough for a good Christian man. God knows.
Do I worry for his eternal soul? Heck yes.
My life has been hectic and insane. I cannot miss a soul bond/fellowship I have never known in family, apart from occasionally on visits to other homes. (Yes, with Mom when we talk about spiritual things, but it's different, somehow).

It is impossible to explain exactly how broken I was when he came to me. I was depressed, heading for suicidal depression again for the second time in a month and I was terrified of how dark it was getting. I've stabilised - I don't know how or why.
I prayed, and he came.
I don't know if he's God's answer; I'm praying so much about that.
I'm not in love with him - yet - and he knows it, knows he has to win my heart. But yes, we're intending this for the long haul.

A friend came to me and told me they'd been praying for Atul for a while.
My parents - Mom and step-dad - backed me up and provided the following examples for encouragement.

God wasn't surprised when Naomi and Elimelech disobeyed and went into Moab. He didn't fix the mistake with putting Ruth into Christ's genealogy.
Hosea married Gomer the prostitute on God's command.
Samson married a Philistine woman because of God seeking an occasion against the Philistines (not that...you know what I mean...) and he is in the hall of faith.

Am I making an unwise choice? In the balance of things, no. An unwise choice would have been to stay in any relationship with any of the previous guys.
Is it the best choice? I don't know.
Is it in God's plan? I'll leave it in His Hands. He comes first. He always will. And He will use a donkey when nothing else is available to His purpose.

Why does Atul do those things? Because he loves me. And right now...I need that. I need him. So very much. He's doing what no other man has been able to do - showing me the selfless love God intended, pulling the broken pieces of my heart back together, promising to stay - and keeping it.
And in some crazy way, he says I'm doing that for him too.

I don't know what God's doing.
But I trust Him. And I will keep praying and hoping for His grace, mercy and understanding, which right now is more than my friends can give me. And for that, I am very grateful.


In Him and praying,
Siân

P.S. I'm so very tired tonight...do hope this is readable/understandable. :P

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Dog's Taile

Here, enjoy a scribbling I did to enter a competition at my bestie's Pet Day last year. I'd forgotten I'd written this.

I have ridden on a train before. The noise alone brings back scary memories for me. My last owner used to take me to work with him sometimes, and he wasn't...wasn't very nice to me.
So to be sitting inside one, with the people and the noise and all the usually calm trees and buildings blurring...it was too much.
I sat there panting, shaking, so hot and dizzy. I seriously thought I might die.
My mistress tried to talk to me me. She told me that she loved me, that I was special and her good boy. She called me all her special names and pulled me onto her lap, tucking my head against her shoulder, trying to absorb my terror. I wriggled free, bouncing onto the next seat and attempting to climb over the edge of it.
She tugged me back by my lead until I was on the chair again, at which I gave up and curled into a ball, still shaking.
Don't want to be touched. Don't want to be held. I don't trust you. You brought me onto the train. It's your fault - all the noise and the people and the blurring trees and the darkness.
She sighed.
I think she was sad she couldn't hold me. I felt her cold hand ruffling my fur. There was a moment's pause.
"I think you're acting like me with God. But don't worry, Peps. You'll be okay and the journey will end soon."

Written for my dog, Pepsi



Friday, July 31, 2015

To Become Like a Child...

Note:
Trigger warning: If you're in a bad place, don't read this. If you think you can handle it...try. It may encourage you. I hope. :P

Depression-exhaustion. It's one of the things I loathe most about a bout of suicidal depression.
(If you need a definition of that, feel free to message me: fromselfharmtovictory@gmail.com)

First there's a tiny grey cloud, a mood change...flashbacks...sometimes panic attacks...random crying spells...intense sadness over the lost things/people...
Those can be triggered by, or exacerbated, by arguments, events (i.e., a person who dislikes/caused a lot of trouble for me married recently, and it triggered this bout because he was brought back into my life, albeit unintentionally, by mutual friends; aggravated by an argument this past weekend).

Then it literally feels like my mind is being torn in two. There's the one part which seems to be out of control, and the other which is logical and takes the rationale. It knows I'm out of control and it's scary. That's the part that keeps holding on, pulling me through a working day, forcing my reconcentration when I'm staring blankly at work. It's frightening. I'm trying desperately to hold down my "normal" lifestyle at work, when I'm in floods of tears in front of some managers - uncontrollably. A tiny little thing triggered it, and it wouldn't stop.
The pain turns physical; I'm drinking wine and taking painkillers to ease back on the mental pain.
Then my mind goes blank. I go quiet.
A bit more head pain.
I start to think, communicate again.
Still on painkillers.
Start realising I need to climb out and use the trip-switches - find something to be thankful for in the days when it's dark and grey, when I hate myself for being like this, for being so weak and unable to stop what's happening, for realising how much it bars me from a normal future - make other people happy, buying flowers, passing out smiles, trying to twist an amusing sentence - sharing faith or Scripture - prayer.
And keeping climbing.
Keeping "hoping" - that beautiful, painful shining future thing, ever reaching for, still not quite touching.
Maybe this time I'll be one step further away.

The depression spells aren't as frequent as they were last year, losing the guy I love/d and OYAN within four months of each other. I have never been that close to losing my mind and it was terrifying.
However, these spells now are both deeper and lasting longer - this current bout has been going for almost a month.
Which worried me, until a dear friend recently shared that in her battle with depression, hers had worsened as well, but she'd found it to be a natural, though painful, step towards healing.

It's hard to explain suicidal depression to someone who hasn't experienced it. Because they're going to think you're crackers. I sometimes think I'm crackers.
Don't ask my friends. *small grin* They'll happily tell you I'm nuts. But you know what I mean.
All the thoughts. All the "cleverness". The thoughts of a mad woman? But where does it end, and where does it begin?

Recently, I shared the following statement:
I hate being open and honest. *cheerfully* Indeedy, it's hard to believe. I am aware that anything I say can be, and has been, taken and used against me in the past.
I hate being weak. I try to masquerade to myself as much as anyone.
I would dearly love to pretend a life of complete victory over struggling with self-harming, over depression, but I can't.
_At the same time_, I believe that our lives and struggles are given to us for a reason. To be known. For God to be seen through our weakness as He gives us strength.



I still hate sharing about my struggles, though I know some people think I love it for the attention. (Sickos. No apology.)
Because here is the thing I mutually like and loathe about this battle. (Yes, I said 'like'.)
My faith.

I hate it because of the way it appears. For struggling Christians, the testimony of Christ coming through the blackness can be encouraging; for non-Christians, Christ is seen as the by-product of a diseased mind (we'll ignore the fact I've been saved since a child :P) and a crutch to lean on to get through the darkness.
I'm not objecting to Christ being my crutch - He is both that and my sword. I just hate that I'm not victorious and He is not shown in ability of skill, word, intellect, that I cannot prove Him beyond a shadow of a doubt and cause Him to shine in glory.
Me me me. The way I want Christ to be seen. The way I want to serve and to show Him off. Because that's what it is.

Suicidal depression, or any kind of depression, is one of the greatest battlegrounds of faith, where you can experience the power of God amid the greatest loneliness.
The small things can be fought to be found, or lost in the blackness.
And one's faith becomes that of a child.
His strength is made perfect in weakness. And for some reason, excruciatingly humiliating to me, this is the way He is choosing to be seen in my life.

A child toddles towards his father, reaching out for the hand extended to steady him...jumps off the side of the swimming pool, expecting his father to catch him...sits down at the table and expects there to be food provided for him.
In the great battles and intellectual picking apart of the Bible today, we find a lot of "did God really say?" and hardly any of "not my will, but Thine."
There is so much defining of battle grounds and picking apart of terms, creations of our own gods and not - Lord, I will trust You. I don't understand, but I will trust You.

When it comes to those last days and we, who have picked the Bible apart and accepted what we like, come to face those who have also picked the Bible apart and come to the conclusion that there is nothing solid - where will we stand?
"Did God really say?"
Or
"On Christ, the solid Rock I stand?"

"My faith has found a resting place, not in device or creed.
I trust the Ever Living One - His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument - I need no other plea.
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me."


In humiliated gratitude, clutching my head in my hands when the pain gets too much to bear, sometimes the only thing I can retain is "Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me."
And yes.

That is enough.


In Christ,
Love,
Siân

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

To Catcall Or To Compliment

Walking hurriedly along the street in the cool evening air, I glanced sideways at my reflection in the glass window, noting again my arms with dissatisfaction.
I barely had time to think, rushing madly as I was to get the 8:39 train in time, trying to take in and appreciate the surroundings around me (anti-depression technique), but my shoulders sagged a little, thinking of my dissatisfaction with the way I looked, trying to concentrate on it being more important the way I am inside and yes, I DO like my style. Including the trainers. It's independent looking, like I don't care what people think - and I don't, to some degree. But there are certain things about my body that I don't like. Since being rejected, that insecurity has gained a lot of ground, even though I try to ignore it.

Rushing along Broad Street, I neared three guys in suits sauntering along. Looking ahead, I went to go past them when one, on a phone, waved at me, in front of my face. I smiled at him as he grinned, continuing a quick pace past. His mate behind slowed up and pointed.
"Hey, you smiled!"
At which my smile went full and I laughed.
I carried on; so did they.

They weren't being chavvy, so I felt complimented by the attention - which changed my attitude and I stopped slouching so much and strode on. Then I began to notice the other sideways glances from other guys. The smiles at me from some.

Which all served to boost my self-confidence.

It wasn't bad attention. If they were looking at my body, if I'd been wearing something questionable, then I'd have had good cause to be concerned. But a black t-shirt and mid-calf black chiffon skirt? No.

Which then lead to the pondering - is the attention wrong? Was my reaction to it wrong? Should I be denying/blocking the confidence feeling, as in the past, and be feeding my confidence from God alone?

Some people would say Yes.
Men should control their eyes and mouths, and not pay compliment or court to a woman's prettiness/beauty, unless to wife or family.
Yes, I should have been covered up more - maybe not had my hair loose or make-up on, not worn a t-shirt. I shouldn't have noticed the compliments of looks, smiles and waves and I certainly shouldn't have let it affect me.

But...I don't think so.
God made men to appreciate pretty things - including women. Too often they are scared to - maybe we shout sexual harassment or demanding equal treatment. Maybe because as women, we tend to go - ooh he complimented me! Maybe he wants to go on a date!
No, it was an appreciation of beauty. Be proud of being a woman and accept it graciously.

There would be a problem if I allowed the attention to obsess my thoughts or prompt more preening in front of the mirror than usual - if I allowed the dissatisfaction with who I am to sink into my soul until I try and change everything external, forgetting or minimising the importance of focusing on my spiritual growth, character and walk with God.
There is a problem when the opinion of men becomes worth it more than the opinion of God.

But there is nothing wrong with accepting the appreciation of men when offered appropriately.

Nor does it make me less of a woman to take it graciously.

If I send it where it came from - to God, Who gave men their appreciation of beauty, and me, for these few short years, the appearance of external prettiness. Even if I don't recognise or appreciate it until a guy waves his hand in front of my face. :-P

I will praise Thee, oh Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and my soul knows it very well.

Thank You for putting people in the now to tell me physically when I get tired repeating to myself over and over.

Am I spiritualising the physical realm? Maybe.
I'd rather be directing what I consider to be gifts back to where they come from than taking glory for myself - for something I had no power to create or bring about.

And thanks, guys, for making a tired, soul-weary woman feel sparkly, attractive and pretty for a few hours.
I appreciate your appropriate compliments.
And no, I'm not thinking you want anything else. For once.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

On Modesty and Objectification:

Thoughts taken from a Facebook post, written by guest blogger Gabriel Hudelson:


On the objectification of women...

I recently read a blog post about how, in short and brutal summation, girls should feel free from the legalisms of the modesty movement and guys need to get their thoughts under control and stop blaming and objectifying women.

And I agree. Sort of.

Guys, we do need to take responsibility for our eyes and our thoughts. We don't have the freedom to blame Eve here. Jesus didn't say "if any man looks at a woman to lust after her then she really should have put more clothes on." The truth of the matter is, brothers, that a lustful heart and mind *will lust*. Regardless of the attire (or lack thereof) of the object of lust, "the eyes of man are never satisfied." (Pr. 27:20)
Furthermore, we have no right to take our opinion and preach it as Gospel. "Thou shalt not wear pants." "Thou shalt not wear sleeveless shirts." "She is wearing a skirt that reveals a fragment of her KNEECAP. AAAAAAAAUUUUGHHH. MY PURITY IS MELTING OUT OF MY EARS. VILE SINNER!!!!!!!!"
Or something like that.

We may preach Biblical principle as doctrine... and that is all. Principles of Scripture like gender distinctions (Deut. 22:5), modest apparel (1 Tim. 2:9- and this specifically has to do with ostentatiousness, not just the display of flesh), and the need to cover nakedness (Genesis 3, Leviticus 18) can- and should- all be applied. And we can look, too, at practical examples given in Scripture- for example, the baring of the thigh is shameful (Isaiah 47:2).
But girls should not feel burdened by the rules of man- only blessed by the rules of God.

That said... ladies... sisters... please hear me on this. Just because a guy is prone to look at revealed female form and flesh doesn't mean that he is a woman-objectifying pervert. It actually means he's normal. God wired us that way. (If he keeps looking, or starts thinking things he shouldn't, *then* he has stepped into sin.)

The female form is like a magnet to our eyes. Even in the form of a pencil drawing or a poster. And that is a beautiful, wonderful thing, within the context of marriage!
(And actually it's not entirely a guy thing- it's also a rules-of-art thing; my Mom did an experiment once where she showed a group of women two pictures- a professionally dressed woman in a skirt, and a professionally dressed woman in pants- and she asked the women what caught their eyes. Even from a photographic composition standpoint, regardless of actual physical attraction, leading lines guide the eyes.)

So. Guys are responsible for loving girls as people, looking at them as friends and embodied souls and not just bodies. But girls... if you want a Godly guy to notice your face and personality and to talk to you as another person instead of spending the conversation trying... not... to look...
We appreciate the help.

Christian guys need to be told to take responsibility for their own thoughts. But they do not need saddled with guilt for being wired like men, just like Christian girls don't need saddled with guilt for not following man-made legalisms.

The blog post that I read also mentioned how girls feel shamed of their bodies because of modesty culture. And I think that's sad, and a misunderstanding of what the concept of modesty is all about.

Modesty is not about hiding the body as a secret or a shame, but as a treasure.

I wouldn't walk down the street waving all of my cash savings around in the air and displaying the stuff in my safe to strangers… Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because I value it.

And if a stranger grabbed the wad of cash out of my hand, he would be fully responsible for his actions… And, yet... I certainly didn't help things.

~Thoughts shared from a Facebook post of today's guest blogger, Gabriel Hudelson~

You can read more from Gabriel on his blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Defeat or Victory?

Looking around my bedroom, my shoulders slump - yet again.

The last two and a half weeks have been so, so wearying. It's a strange combination of tired joy, as my physical body gets more weary, learning once more to look to the Lord for the strength I need to get through the day on five hours sleep.

And now, tonight, my stepdad just wriggled through all the boxes and bags and more dumped stuff on the floor that, a month ago, was starting to look almost tidy. I sat on the bed, just watching, nearly crying but somehow keeping them back. That seems to be a well-developed habit, how to turn the tap off so it was never there. But it's still sad. He puts Pepsi up next to me because the kid keeps jumping around the floor and getting in the way, before carrying on pulling all the books off the shelves, pulling the bookcase up and over the chest, nearly at a horizontal angle because there's too much stuff in the way. I want to help, but there's not enough room in the messy cramped space to get two people on it.

The feeling of useless helplessness is threatening to drown me, even as I repeatedly offer for him to go out the room and me to do it myself...imagining all the retorts from people - why didn't you do it yourself in the first place...

He finds my phone and hands it up to me. The screen is cracked - on the front, UNDERNEATH the protective cover. I can type in three letters of my sixteen-character password and no more.

Great. No phone. And already more money coming out this month.

More guilt washes over me for the McDonalds and the presents and buying that movie. I really should just stop spending altogether and FOCUS on SAVING. But it's. Hard. I want stuff. Merlin DVDs. Books. Biscuits for colleagues, flowers to brighten days and that occasional McDonalds McFlurry...to treat the family to chicken'n'chips for tea. And I so want to send presents and letters overseas like they do for me.

I roll off the ladder and follow him back to the living room, he going for his cuppa tea and me to tap a message on Facebook to warn people not to contact me by phone.

I finish up doing a couple more things and take my laptop back to my room, playing John Waller music and messaging Kathryn while starting to restock the bookshelves.

A little bit of quiet peace starts to flood me as I'm touching the covers of my beloved books. New books, old books, rare books, paperbacks and hardbacks. Nothing like your own little library, and I'm so thankful for each of them...the stories inside, the heroes and heroines of fantasy, faith and history.

There's just one little gap left, so I pick up a book lying a little to the side, remembering the story behind it and my reaction to it when I first held it in my hands.

Flipping open to the inscription, I read it again.

"To Sian, for being the bravest person I know."

The bravest person she knows...she wrote me a book because she didn't know what to say.

I don't feel brave. Right now, I feel like a coward, with my messy life reflected by my messy bedroom. I don't want to get up. There's too much stuff in here and as soon as one thing is cleared, more stuff is thrown in and it's like something crushes the will out of me to try again. It's. Too. Much.

"And I will move ahead, bold and confident..."

I didn't deserve that dedication.

But the least I can do is try to live up to it.
Try to keep fighting.
Keep living for the One Who makes it worthwhile.

"Taking every step in obedience...while I'm waiting, I will serve You while I'm waiting, I will serve You while I'm waiting..."

Starting with a messy room, I guess.

So pick up the courage I do not have, pray for what must be granted and...

I bend to pick up a doll and a coat.

"I will worship while I'm waiting."


Yours ever in our blessed Lord and Saviour,
~Siân

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wondering and Wandering

Recently, I've been watching so many people change, grow away, start courting, get engaged, get married, have their first child - or even their second, and/or go to university, start their job, start a company...

These are people I grew up with, people I knew, people I watched struggle through dark times or watched as they forged a path to their dream...or are still fighting. It feels strange to be on the sidelines, living quietly, watching them now. It is their turn to be the mainplayers on the stage of life.
Watching my friends and acquaintances form a new world...change this current one - both for good and for an evil they cannot even imagine is coming.

And there's me...
Trotting back and forward every day to work, going home, occasionally travelling, starting a project here and an event there, blogging here, posting there, watching the sky, always dreaming and somehow never quite getting done...

Someone can say a word, a phrase, and more and more recently, this song has started playing in my mind...  


Tell me where,
Where is it written
What is it I was meant to be?
That I can't dare...
It all began the day I found..
That from my window I could only see
A piece of sky.
I stepped outside and looked around.
I never dreamed it was so wide
Or even half as high.
The time had come
(Papa, can you hear me?)
To try my wings
(Papa, are you near me?)
And even though it seemed at any moment I could fall,
I felt the most,
(Papa, can you see me?)
Amazing things,
(Can you understand me?)
The things you can't imagine
If you've never flown at all.
Though it's safer to stay on the ground,
Sometimes where danger lies
There the sweetest of pleasures are found.
No matter where I go,
There'll be memories that tug at my sleeve,
But there will also be
More to question, yet more to believe..
Oh tell me where?
Where is the someone who will turn and look at me?
And want to share
My ev'ry sweet-imagined possibility?
The more I live - the more I learn.
The more I learn - the more I realise
The less I know.
Each step I take -
(Papa, I've a voice now!)
Each page I turn -
(Papa, I've a choice now!)
Each mile I travel only means
The more I have to go.
What's wrong with wanting more?
If you can fly - then soar!
With all there is - why settle for
just a piece of sky?
Papa, I can hear you...
Papa, I can see you...
Papa, I can feel you...
Papa, watch me fly!

Wistful words and haunting something...

The desire for more.

I guess I'm the ordinary one.
I wanted to change the world, but in the end, people who never dreamt that they would are and will.

It's my call to be an ordinary dreamer...what will I dream, and will they always be shapeless, half-formed wishes and words?
Probably. 

There's one thing that makes me a step out of the ordinary with a foot in both worlds - I don't crush the half formed dreams with the hard-stepping reality.


His always,
~Siân

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Independence Day

I've just got home after a ten and a half hour shift at work. It's 9:30pm and I have to be up at 5:30 in the morning. I've not yet eaten and have a bunch of household chores to tend to before I go to sleep - including packing.

Yet I'm happy. And kinda bouncy. And no, it really doesn't have anything to do with the Mars energy drink - that's just the thing propping my eyelids open invisibly.

So what's so utterly enchanting about the pile of freshly air-dried clothing on the kitchen table - apart from it being one of the best smells on God's earth?

Neither the 10.5 hour shift or the 5:30 rising are normal for me - I've spent the whole week living at my brother's house, both cat-sitting and house-sitting, and now tomorrow I'm off to Preston to spend the weekend with my best friend, Steph.

So why the bouncy? Because this week has proved something. I left home with fears and foreboding looming.
I hadn't cooked a meal in pretty much a year.
I'd never hosted a gathering either of friends or family for a meal.
I'm useless at getting out on time in the mornings.
I'm pretty much a couch potato when I get home in the evenings; I collapse exhausted on the sofa and stay there for the rest of the evening, more often than not.
I have never washed clothes for myself, except under Mom's guidance when she had her operation.
Never organised a day around chores, arranged hanging out with people...
Also, there is the loneliness thing. Being half-introvert, half-extrovert means I cope fine with being away from people for a short period of time - but not for a week. I was terribly afraid of feeling lonely.

In short, I was physically and mentally exhausted. And depressed. Convinced that I couldn't handle life on my own and that I would be thoroughly useless at attempting to do so.

This week has, in short, been glorious in that I have a huge self-confidence boost.

The living with meagre things has never been an issue for me - not since I lived on Sam's (my sister's) floor for three months with Mom and Joseph, when Dad locked us out the house. God taught me a huge lesson then in learning to be content with such things as I have, and gave me a deep appreciation for all that surrounds me that is extra - from clothes to bread to shampoo - that I don't have to borrow and is mine. It is given, and can be taken away, but while it is given, it is an immense blessing to be appreciated.

I haven't done a lot of the stuff I was planning to do. I wanted to catch up on shows (talking of which, I started and am up-to-date with Poldark - that's pretty good! and the new Thunderbirds is awesome ;) ), watch more Doctor Who, clear Facebook, reduce emails, arrange hangouts, chat more, curl up and rest.

And I am MEGA tired. Don't get me wrong. :D

And yes, of course I miss home.

But then...

The daily texts off my brother checking in on me, the daily phone calls with Mom and making sure they were all okay, the daily interaction with my sister and getting to spend time together - it's been such a blessing. I love my family, broken, flawed as they are - as I am. They are a gift from God to me, even when we hurt each other and forget that we're just human and hurt them too.

Highlights I will treasure from this week:

The knowledge that I can, now, live and act independently.
Getting up on time every morning - even if I haven't got to Sam's for exactly 6:30, it's not been far off either side.
Cooking meals
Planning a day ahead, knowing what needs to be done when
Washing my clothes
Getting into a routine of living
Money monitoring

Saturday: Washing my hair, running down the shop to buy food, spending the whole afternoon with Sam, Darren, Ayanna, Marian and her family on Saturday...that was really special for me. Thank you for that, Sam for arranging it and taking me, Marian for letting me come, Darren for driving, Ed for cooking, Ayanna for giving me so much demanding fun...and nursing practice...

Sunday: Getting to the bus stop and onto the bus for 7:12, to reach the station at 7:45 and realise there was no train until 9:08...altering plans to go back home...thank you, Mom, for giving me a lift into church, for feeding me and driving me back here - I really appreciate that! - my sister calling to check on me and chat...McDonalds breakfast - haha! - getting to church on Easter Sunday and watching Jesus of Nazareth in the afternoon - being able to call my twin to apologise to him for being mean and chatting about his day...

Monday: Going to the cinema with Sam, Darren and Ayanna to watch Cinderella - thanks for allowing me to come and for the fun we had - oh, and thank you, Sam, for finding the last creme egg in store for me to eat!
The photoshoot with Chris in the afternoon...getting to cheer him up...buying batteries and big tubs of icecream and sitting on top of the Beacon, watching the sunset as we ate it...
Finishing up Poldark in the evening. :P

Tuesday: Hehe...what good to say about the first day back at work! Except that I love my job, getting to drive into work with my sister in the mornings has been a huge blessing, both in quality time and in actually starting work early to get more done, as this week has been so heavily pressured...
Dropping in to spend time with Ayanna on the way home from work as she went to bed...
Watching The Hunger Games...

Wednesday: Remembering to take the cheesecake out of the freezer, getting to talk about Christ and heaven with Sam...the wonderful coffees she makes first thing in the morning...coming in from work and being able to cook a tasty meal for (thankfully late!) guests (thanks for that!) including a dessert, decorated table, and a film together afterwards...
And starting the washing. And Mom helping me with the dishwasher. And stuff. :D

Thursday: Today...haha...today is my last day. I've just brought the fresh-smelling washing in, and now it's 10pm and I have to pack, clean the house, clean out the cats' litter...eat tea - I keep forgetting that one... ;)
Today has been such a blessing; making two new friends while training them, so thankful for Jasmine's help with coding and a good manager to redistribute a heavy workload, remembering during the middle of raging over a twice-returned project to "do all things without grumbling and complaining", thankful for Atul and Kwesi making the overtime so easy and passing so quickly, thankful for getting to speak to Ash's baby daughter on the phone, even if she did go all shy on me...checking in with Mom tonight...

And you know what, I'm pretty sure it gets routine. Maybe like the adventure of boarding a plane, if it happens every day...or like any part of living. But it's new for me, and I can see the small things and it's so rewarding.

I know I can _live_ and _be thankful_ and _be joyful_.
I know I can live _alone_ and _it's not going to cause something to die inside me_. I feared what must happen later in life when the parents pass away, so much. And now I know my joy does not depend on my not being alone, because with God, family and friends, I am never alone.
And this week, I've been so blessed to remember that.
I hope and pray it's brought me closer to the Father, in some ways. And a step closer to healing.

In Him,
Ever yours,
Siân

Thursday, February 12, 2015

An Open Letter Regarding the Pennington Family From an Ex-Conservative Christian

Sheesh, that was a long title. Okay.

This post is addressing the current situation regarding Faith's FB page, Help Me Prove It, and her YouTube video which has gone viral.

I've been a friend of the Pennington girls - Grace, Hope and Faith - for three or four years. Not intimate, just your general bog-standard friend.
The first thing I heard about this was when my best friend called me, upset, and reported that there had been a kick-off between mutual friends over the video on YouTube.

To give you a brief on my own background, I was born and raised in a strict evangelical Christian home. I never left the house alone until September 2010 (I was 18) and my father, a Christian minister, later turned out to be a paedophile. So yes, I do know thereof which I speak.

I met the Pennington girls through a writing forum - One Year Adventure Novel - and later on, met them in person at the Summer Workshop in Kansas. When I revisited America for the final time in October 2013, Grace, Hope and I hung out for a day in San Antonio with their grandfather.

Hardly the sort of lifestyle you'd be expecting from girls kept under lock and key.

I am fully aware, more than most, of the issues caused by psychological/emotional abuse; how living with it day in and day out can affect your lifestyle, your way of thinking - the condemnation if you think differently.
I'd also like to point out that a large percentage of the population emotionally abuse - majority of the time, unthinkingly.

I don't know the ins and outs of the situation - any more than do most of the people posting on the blog posts or Facebook posts of the Penningtons.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that only Faith and her family know the situation completely, even if they are seeing it from different viewpoints.

In trawling the web regarding information on the situation, I came across a couple of threads on Free Jinger that completely disgusted me. 26 pages of so called anti-fundamentalists doing nothing more than gossip about a family that they know nothing of, except for drawing assumptions from blog posts of Mrs Pennington?
You can be anti-fundamentalist and anti-conservative Christianity without being anti-human.
Yes, I know you've been hurt by fundamentalism and conservativeness. I also know that the Pennington family is not the visible and easy scapegoat to vent your anger and hatred on. There's people behind the blog posts and the chat faces.

This isn't an army of soldiers gathered with the splintered family at the warhead of each. This is a broken family that needs our love and support - as a whole.

The other night, I chatted to some of the girls still within the Pennington home. Both were in tears, terrified because of hate mail and threats made against their family. Can you imagine what it must be like to have your family held up for mockery in a society that already disdains Christianity in public media?
Can you understand that what you're condemning them for putting Faith through, you're now doing to the other siblings by terrorising them and threatening their home and whole life?

Calling Faith a liar, lazy and attention seeking won't get anyone anywhere. It will just hurt her and distance her more.
Sending hate mail to the family does nothing except create fear and mental abuse to them.

Psychologically, when attacked, people get confused and don't know what to do. Personally, while I don't interpret her father's video as any more than a rehearsed speech, I can also see that there is no way he can phrase it that will stop the haters hating.

Faith doesn't have a birth certificate, that much is obvious. Yes, she needs to prove her identity, and Faith-girl, I'm 100% behind you doing this. <3 From my own experience in this country, I know that she needs it for a lot of things.
Faith, however, hasn't taken her parents down publicly once (that I've seen) during this, apart from stating that her parents are denying her the help she needs.

The rest of the hate-mongering is your own doing, guys. And it has to stop now, before in your blind and eager, zealous defence of Faith, you destroy so much more.

All I'm seeing here is defensiveness, passionate venting of past hurts, fear and a lot of mess. On both sides.

People are human. Humans mess up.

This isn't your business. Helping Faith get her stuff is. Supporting her privately is. Badmouthing her family certainly isn't. Supporting her family emotionally, even if you don't agree with them, is. You don't have to agree with them. You have to love them.
Don't make Faith into the tool that you are claiming to try and free her from being - the tool in your war against conservative Christianity.
You cannot prove the Penningtons - any of them - are liars or truth-tellers. All you can do is support the wounded - and I suggest you start it and stop the gossiping.

In Christ,
Siân

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Foolhardy Declaration Using Freedom of Speech

In this country of free speech, we are starting to see, more and more, the intolerant intolerance which is known as "tolerance".
The more people fight for "freedom of speech" and "equality" for minorities, and not for all people, the more we see people losing it.

I understand where they are coming from; I really do. From a Godless perspective, it is very easy to see.

I also understand where I, and so many others that feel frustrated, bitten down and like they're treading on thin ice, are coming from.

I am of sound mind and body. I am intelligent, without meaning to be arrogant about it, and I'm a Christian.

To many people, I am a threat, simply because they see what I believe as a threat. This problem lies with their perception, not with me.
I am not a nice person; by nature, and it shows rather frequently, I am selfish, arrogant, vain and self-interested. However, if you know me, I am unwavering in what I believe, attempt to love unconditionally, hope and bring hope to other people. This is tied in, and inextricable from, my faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as my Saviour from sin - my Hope, my Deliverer from all that I have been through and continue to trek through.

I understand that He is not this to everyone. That is their right of choice. I will not back down from declaring that this is what He is to me, why He is this to me and that I believe He can help and bring freedom to others. That is my right of choice.

I am tired of seeing and hearing people expect me to use social media to not think, to brainlessly churn out photos of food, cats, memes, gifs and Farmville/Candy Crush adverts.
We add "people" as "friends" and then don't treat them as people or friends. We sit back and turn our individual, intelligent, God-given minds into mindless, melting mush because it's easier than standing up and using free speech, getting bashed by intolerant tolerant people and paying the heavy price that they will causally bring down on our heads.

Today, I watched as I was attacked by (what must have been) an extremely sensitive person, who is probably very much afraid right now, because of a humourously-slanted post I put up about a Muslim colleague attacking Christianity, and my trying not to get involved in it.
I watched as two Christians posted that ethics and morality were not based on religion - ie, Christianity. While the knowledge of good and evil is found in everyone, there is still no one righteous. Man may do good works for his own satisfaction, but he will never reach the level of perfection required by a sinless God, and to say that the foundation for morality is not based in God - all good and all just - is nothing short of heresy. This is the watering down and wandering away from the faith that Christ talks about which will happen in the last days.

I do not, and never will, agree with pointless arguing. With people who genuinely question God, Christianity and my faith in a non-confrontational manner, who are looking for real answers, I will happily discuss what I believe and why I believe it, and consider what they say. Unfortunately, most of the time, the arguments are started by self-confident people who think they know it all, who are attacking my views to try and make me look stupid. Those arguments are pointless, endless and cyclic; they benefit neither party nor any of those reading it. It makes no difference to humanity and worsens the relationship between two people.
What I post is what I believe. People who like it agree with it. People who don't either don't see it, don't care or don't like it. There is no necessity for response unless something I post is actually dangerous or threatening to other people. (And I don't mean to conservative Christians who don't like seeing posts about victory over selfharming or pornography.)

I do not believe that all religions lead to God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father but by Him, and there is no other Name under Heaven by which we can be saved from sin.
I do not and cannot commend good works as a way of reaching God. The only way that we are saved is by the grace of God reaching down to man who cannot save himself. Every other religion teaches that man can work his way from badness to God. Christianity teaches that God has already done the work.

Do I agree with Christianity? No. It is split, dissected, divided within itself over and over.
Why is it still standing? Because of the grace and mercy of God, Who understands that we are frail humans with quarrelsome and proud tendencies. Accepting the redeeming work of Christ at Calvary does not make us instant paragons of goodness.
Do I agree with all that has been done in the name of Christianity? No.
Neither do I agree with judging Christ by His followers' actions, as the world - and Christians - are so prone to do.
I follow Christ and seek Him and a personal relationship with Him - not through other believers, not through the church - through the Bible, which is His inspired Word written down by those who followed Him and through prayer, which is our communication to Him.
I identify as Christian because that is the closest thing for people to understand what I believe. Maybe it's time I start embracing it too, flaws and all.

I know the difference between disagreeing with homosexuality and homophobia. Most pro-marriage equality people - including Christians - do not. I was pleasantly surprised to find this article on the Internet earlier from an admitted pro-er.
I have a friend who is homophobic. They are scared of gays changing their way of life, of the minority controlling the majority and the way they react is through fear and hatred. When they find out a person is gay, they don't want to be anywhere near them and have gone so far as to wish them dead.
That's homophobic - fear of gays.

I disagree with homosexuality and have made no bones about that, though not well publicised for obvious reasons.
I am useless at apologetics, as has been admitted previously.
I know that Christ fulfilled the keeping of the Old Testament law.
I know that people use the excuse that we are not under law, but under grace.
I also know that if suddenly we're discounting Leviticus 20:13 - "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them," then we need to discount Leviticus 20:15 - "If there is a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal. If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them" under that same standard.

Am I proposing we start stoning adulterers? No! You can go to John 8:7 for that: "But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'"

All I'm saying is, if you are discounting Biblical standards and turning to your morality, get rid of your prejudices against paedophilia and bestiality. Why? Because fifty years ago, we had the same prejudices against homosexuality.
By atheistic standards, morality is subjective.

Since we have legalised first homosexuality and then homosexual marriage, child protection issues have soared through the roof. Why? Because now the paedophiles will be fighting for the same rights. And so will the others.
Don't believe me? No, of course you wouldn't. You wouldn't have if you'd been born fifty years ago either.

My most antagonistic attackers on gay rights have been Christians and straight atheists. Some of my staunchest defenders on Biblical standards have been people who classify themselves as gay. To me, they're people. People with a sin nature just like mine but struggling with a different kind of sin.

(Before you attack me on the above, I know from firsthand experience about the negative influence of paedophilia. Thanks.)


I am pro-gun rights.
To quote the much hated saying, "People kill. Guns don't." It's the same as with the "tolerance" thing. Really tolerant people don't flare up at every single thing that could be taken as an insult. They stop, think about the situation and the ways it could've been taken.
I believe that if you had a test (which of course, at some point, would fall into government hands and would be an unfair test :P ) to check mental health and aptitude, courses to ensure you knew the correct way and licence for usage of a gun, then an armed civilian population would be a good thing.
Would the murder of Lee Rigby have happened? No.
Would the Charlie Hebdo shootings have happened? Far fewer would've died.
The restaurant in Australia - would those people have died if they had been able to take out the gunman hours before - one armed man against how many armed people?
I don't believe in shooting for the hell of it, no. Where there is serious risk of loss of life, ie., an immediate, present and recognised threat to another and innocent person's life such as a knife to the throat, a gun to the head, strangulation, stabbing, etc, there should be legitimate reason for that usage.
Do laws stop criminals having guns? No.
Do they stop good people having guns? Yes.
What happens when bad people get guns and good people don't? I think we're looking at it.
Yes, there will be mistakes. What on this planet doesn't have those? Weighing balance, gun rights is a legitimate action for protection in severe times.


I do not believe the entire world will come to Christ, especially before He returns to take those of us who believe in Him as Saviour and Lord home to Heaven in what is called the rapture. I grieve very much and pray very hard for the souls of my unsaved relatives, but I believe that my life as an example is the witness I am called to bear.
And I'm human. I falter. I make mistakes, and bad ones. I do wrong, say wrong, hurt people, and I so wish I didn't. But I do, because I am human with a sin nature that I cannot get rid of as long as I am mortal.


I don't believe in forcing Christianity down strangers' throats. I know other people have found differently, but I also know that people have seen Christ in my life and come to me asking questions. I believe that God opens doors for me to talk about my faith to others. I also believe in expressing what I believe, openly and clearly.
Posting on my Facebook wall, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me,'" and posting on a Muslim's wall the same quote are two entirely different things.
The one is my Facebook wall, expressing my belief. The other would be a deliberate attempt to provoke an argument, unless previously and provably invited to do so.


This is, of course, unlike the prevalence of Islam promoted in the UK. No other religion imposes its belief system on a nation like Islam has been doing over the last twenty years.

Yes, look at it. Halal food. Halal meat is sold in almost every store. Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Somerfield, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, KFC, ­Nando’s and Subway have all sold halal meat without telling customers.
Fish and chip shops by the score sell halal meat with no alternative option. The only way that one can tell is by looking for the Arabic script. To be honest, I don't look.
If we as Christians know that meat is sacrificed to idols, we are not supposed to eat it. Halal meat is sacrificially slaughtered to Allah, who to Christians (not Chrislam; Christians) is a false god.
Is this offensive to Muslims? Yes.
Is this offensive to Christians? Yes.
Who complains louder? Muslims.
Who gets their demands met? The ones who the government know will complain the loudest and have no hesitation at using force to get their demands met.

Sharia law. How long ago was it that the Archbishop of Canterbury said that Sharia law should be enforced in the UK ON A LEVEL with British law? So we should enforce a law in this country (that is, illegally, already enforced in some areas) that recommends stoning for adultery and chopping off hands for stealing?
I thought we were going for human rights and equality?

Do I hate Muslims? Absolutely not. Some of my favourite people are Muslims. My favourite manager ever was one of the cutest, sweetest and funnest people I have ever known. One of my favourite people at work is a Muslim girl who comes over to me for a hug, and gives me a hug, every time we both need one. She's one of the sweetest people I know.
Do I like them in spite of their religion? No. Their religion is part of their make-up.
Do I think they don't grasp the full meaning of Islam? Yes. And yes, I have studied Islam and am reading the Qur'an.
Am I Islamophobic? No. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"
Do I believe Islam to be wrong? Yes.
Am I afraid of what those who take Islam to its fullest extent can do? Yes. So are most Muslims who want a peaceable life.


Does God shape my worldview? Yes, He does.
Is God the reason I am still alive? Very much so, even if you wish I wasn't.
Am I using my right to freedom of speech? Yes.
Am I hurting or threatening anyone? No.
Am I going out and expressing my views on someone else's posts, wall, social media with intent to start an argument, use force to change them or hurt their feelings? No.

This is an expression of what I believe, and a statement.
This is who I am. I post regularly, I speak unorthodoxly, attempt to love unconditionally, stand for the unaccepted and am 100% in love with Jesus.
If you don't like anything about this, or that I post, feel free to get rid of me at any point.
I don't like fake people, I don't like liars and I don't like spies.Take me or leave me be. If you cannot accept me as I am, then you may go your separate ways. I believe we have a lot to give each other as humans. The people who attack me, well. I'm really starting to wonder.

What people take and feel emotionally about this is the issue. This is what leads to people losing their jobs, their livelihood and increases fear and rebellion.
I can control my actions and decisions. I cannot control the emotional overreaction of those around me. Reactions are either positive or negative - what we are watching in the intolerant tolerant is a negative reaction, controlled by fear - exactly what they accuse us of. Either that or blind hatred for disagreeing.
You cannot change what I believe by arguing. You cannot change it by battering or threatening me. You cannot change it, period. You can alter and twist and distort the reality of it, but it is no true change.
You can only stop it by killing me. Because, you see, until the end of the world there is someone who believes differently. Don't get me wrong; I wish people could get along. I also know we never will because we are all different and believe different.

And to create 'the whole of humanity with the face of Mr Finch?
Call me old-fashioned, but I like things the way they are.'


Here I stand; I can do no other.

In Christ alone,
Siân

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Message of Grace

I just finished reading an encouraging note sent to me by Sarah Beth regarding a question I'd asked about From Self-harm to Victory earlier in the day.

I don't know about you, but messages of encouragement always make me cry. And feel guilty.

As much as I publicise my weakness so that people see who I am and who Christ is, I still feel like a fraud. That I'm blazoning myself for glory and my actions as good works.
That people still can't see the real me.

They're suspicious of me, and so am I.

And it's hard to carry on being me and showing so much weakness. Do you know how hard it is to be openly weak? To listen to others discourage you and to despise yourself for it?

She praised me for humility and I could only cry knowing how much I fight with pride.

Then I stopped and listened.

Because Someone was telling me to let go of my guilt and shame and accept what she said. Not as praise for me, but as praise for Him in me. Praise from Him to me.
No, I'm not humble. Yeah, I fight with pride. But the Lord in His mercy let His humility show in me.
And I'm thankful.

Thankful for the message. Thankful for Sarah Beth's blessing and for her. And thankful for the grace of the Father and the care that He showed me in telling me to stop raising the barrier of shame and guilt when confronted with words of encouragement and praise. To let go on my fear and to praise Him for who He is in me, and to thank Him truly for the blessing.

In His love always,
Siân