freedom?

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yolk of slavery. Galatians 5:18.


I know I’m not the only one…the only one who feels like they live in the tosses of life’s waves. It’s even a moment by moment thing for me. I make one positive change, and then lack the discipline to continue. Life can be heavy, and life can be calm. I find it hard to balance living in the waves of both. I know I am not the only one.

Certain days I wake up and I stand firm in the victory I have through Christ.
Certain days I wake up and my body is tense, and in pain.
Certain days I wake up and I dread going to my job.
Certain days I wake up and I have a relatively ok attitude about going to work.
Certain days I have my eyes set exactly where they should be.
Certain days I lose complete sight of what the point of having faith even means.

Most times I get alarmed at where I see my mind wander throughout the day. I see how rude, impatient, angry, and short I can be. Those are really ugly things. Those things hurt people. And usually, when this is where my mind wanders it is directly correlated with where my heart is standing, in freedom.

You see, when I stand firm in the fact that Christ has bore all my heaviness AND conquered it, the thoughts in my head change. My behavior changes. The thing of it is, what Christ offers me through His victory never changes. It is always my choice to stand firm in what He offers me. It is my choice to receive the freedom He offers. It is my choice to open my heart and have faith.

So, what does freedom feel like in my life?

Freedom feels like I am open to the world.
Freedom feels like I am unable to be offended.
Freedom feels like long, deep satisfying breath.
Freedom feels light.
Freedom feels like peace.
Freedom feels like calm.
Freedom feels like joy.

My goal is to start reshaping how I identify with myself with more of a focus on who I am when I decide to walk in freedom. I want to stop acting rude, impatient, stubborn, impatient, and angry. I don’t want to self identify with any of those things anymore. Those things don’t feel peaceful, calm, joyful, or open. Those things bind me and keep me down. They hurt me.


Challenge:
Self Identify with the victory and freedom you have through Christ. This is our true identity.  Stand firm, and do not accept anything short of that. We have been set free.

My process & present day.

I want to tell you about what my health journey has been like over the past 4.5 years. I choose this time period in my life because this is when I started becoming more of my true self. Here’s a short time line:


November 2012
I met a guy, and it was the last thing I expected to happen.

In hindsight, I was a traumatized mess at this time. I was drowning in my broken heart. But mainly, this was the last thing I expected to happen because I just started to pull my head out of my ass. I was finally walking in all of the promises I would make to myself about not sleeping around, partying a ton, and trying to figure myself out. Moreover, I was going to college at a very small, conservative Bible College where I was a scary girl. I wasn’t “churched”, I wasn’t soft, or approachable, or uber involved in campus life like the majority of my sweeter female classmates. And I mean sweeter. These women were so kind and gentle I could only dream of being that nice. Also, I knew pretty much everyone and I knew there was no interest coming my way; like I said the campus was very small. Y’all, you may have never guessed this if you knew me then, but since the day I got to that college I DREAMED of marrying a Godly man who would take care of my heart and show me more of Jesus. And again, just to drive this point home, I JUST decided to pull my head out of my ass. So, I really wasn’t looking to date or be with anyone. I wanted to sort my mess out, and grow in my faith. Those were the only two things I was looking to do at this point in my life.

Well, that guy I met is my husband now. What a journey we have been on. More on that later.

The reason November 2012 was the beginning of my healing journey is this- Kevin showed me safety. Kevin showed me what a normal life looked like. Kevin was my friend. Kevin didn’t run away when he saw my wounds. These things gave me a base to walk into my journey of undoing.



2013
Figuring myself out, figuring out how to be in a normal relationship, figuring out how to be with another human.

Kevin and I knew very shortly after we started dating, about 3 months in, that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives. We were very serious, very fast. I did my best to talk about what had broken my heart, and opened up about the many forms of abuse I endured. Although, at this time I was very much still living in crisis mode. To elaborate on crisis mode; it really is only something you can see when you get to the other side, which is balance. So, 2013 was full of uproar. Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual upheaval.

Physically, 2013 began the year of my body trying to detoxify the emotional poison I kept inside me. In 2013 I had reached the heaviest weight I had ever been, consistently felt sick, and I’m not kidding I was in pretty consistent pain all the time. I don’t mean aches and pains, I mean body hurt so bad I didn’t ever want to leave my house bad. At this point, I also gave up on western medicine and decided to turn to functional natural medicine because doctors, and those medicines were hurting me worse (this isn’t the case for everyone, but it is for me).

Emotionally, there was so much inside of me I had no idea where to start. My heart was broken, my spirit was broken, and my mind was broken. There was so much mess I didn’t even know how to navigate what was going on. I had no baseline for emotional health. I was frantic pretty much anytime anything in my routine changed, or something went beyond my control. Honestly, this is how things stayed for quite awhile. I was just a mess for a few years.

Mentally, I was in so deep I basically had no skills for being able to work through things not in panic or crisis mode. I couldn’t do things like communicate through a serious conversation. I remained at the surface of mainly all of my interactions, and was scared out of my mind when things would get serious. I couldn’t listen without protecting myself or becoming automatically defensive. Kevin couldn’t tell me how I hurt him. Kevin didn’t have the freedom to express how he felt. Kevin really couldn’t approach me with damn near anything. Any kind of vulnerability on his end about how he felt was only a failure in my eyes.

Spiritually, (this is always my foundation for everything as I view myself), I was a blur. I would sit in church and be honest about where I was at. I would have open conversations with mentors, counselors, and professors about how badly I was struggling. I did my best to fumble through and articulate how broken I felt.

I was so disconnected from myself that any kind of consistency from me and my pursuit of the Lord was absent. My view of Him was broken. This doesn’t overlook all of the ways the Lord was making Himself apparent to me- I saw Him doing things. I saw Him moving. I just didn’t have any kind of capacity to receive it.

[presently, I stand firm in the victory Christ has won for my heart, mind, and body].

2013 was the year I began seeing my pain, and the brokenness that I made my norm.



2014.
The hated year. But not all of it.

Kevin and I had been dating for about 2 years at this time. Still fumbling our way through my baggage and trauma. Positively, we had continued growing as best we could. And more than ever, it became apparent that no matter the baggage that I carried we were staying together. On July 11th, 2014 Kevin rallied our group of friends and he asked me to be his wife. It was a wonderful day. So began the wedding planning, and the premarital counseling.

Then, in September, I had to rewrite my narrative.

There are a lot of details regarding abuse I am not going to openly share with the internet. To be succinct, this conversation was a disclosure between my mother and I about the ways I had been abused by my “father”. This conversation made me rewrite my story in the following ways:

-there was now an understanding about why I was so destructive and aggressive as an adolescent
-there was now an understanding that my mental instability was based on something
-there was now an understanding for the reasons I pushed away any kind of love trying to be given to me
-that anger wasn’t what I had been feeling  my entire life, it really was heartbreak

From this conversation, came a lot of answers for my heart. You may be thinking, why did it take you so long to talk to your mom? I will tell you it was nothing on her end. My mother would have listened to me any day I would have talked to her about this. It took me so long to talk about it because of what I will explain below.

My Father had already shown me what my value was to him. I was worthless in value to him. This was proven by his reckless ability to abandon my mother with 3 children under the age of 5. This was proven when my mother and her 3 young children had their home and car repossessed and had to go live in my grand parents basement because of  my Father’s selfishness for his income. This was proven by his disgusting habit of touching me in places that he didn’t have permission to. This was proven when I was beat up by him at 15. This was proven when I attempted to confront him about all of the ways he hurt me, and he laughed in my face.

Because he had shown me how little I mattered to him, what was the point of talking about those things with anyone? I saw no point. His abuse defeated me as an individual. This isn’t something you can really understand until you’ve been there. And if you’ve been there, you get what I mean by defeat.

[presently, I stand firm in the victory Christ has won for my heart, mind, and body].

September 2014 made a lot of things better for me because I was able to piece together things about my story that I wasn’t able to reconcile before. But, it mainly opened the flood gates of my abandonment and abuse issues.

2014 was the year I got answers, an had to rewrite things.


2015- September 2016
vulnerability laser beam, aka, marriage.

In 2015 my head was still spinning from ways I was trying to piece together my life. I got myself in counseling immediately after that conversation with my mom. Kev and I started our premarital counseling to try to discuss it as needed. Lots of things were done to be proactive about the huge cat out of the bag moment. But, straight up, nothing was helping. I just kept crumbling. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t breathe correctly. I would panic instead of cry. I couldn’t hold down a job. In fact, I didn’t work for quite some time because I was so depressed.

The beginning of marriage was incredibly hard for me. My heart, mind, and body consistently resisted, and ran away from Kevin. This was the darkest part of my undoing process. Marriage did this laser-beam-focus-thing into every nook and cranny I kept to myself. Marriage highlighted  how broken my ability to let love into my life was. Marriage required unity, and my entire relationship with myself was full of discord. Kevin did not insight any of these issues, these were all my problems that I had to come to terms with.

Marriage is now a state that I am able to live inside of- my heart, mind, spirit, and body are able to be married with joy, and the ability to be vulnerable.

[I stand firm in the victory Christ has won for my heart, mind, and body].


 

October 2016- present day
The other side of the mess.

This undoing has been a long, arduous process. But, I would do it all again to be standing where I am in my wellness. Yes, I am doing that well.

Presently, there is peace.
Presently, there is wholeness.
Presently, there is deep, deep satisfaction with my identity.
Presently, my heart feels like it is safe.
Presently, I am more familiar with calm than chaos.
Presently, my body is not as consistently plagued with aches and pains.
Presently, I feel like I have reached a new level in my overall development (emotionally, mentally, socially).
Presently, I understand that any kind of fears I have in my views of God are on behalf of my own brokenness.
Presently, I feel the sweetness of freedom.
Presently, I have hopes and dreams for my future.
Presently, there is a resounding joy in my heart.
Presently, I am learning the beauty in vulnerability.
Presently, I am open to receive love from the Lord, and others.
Presently, I feel renewal of my entire self.

Presently, I stand firm in the victory Christ has won for my heart, mind, and body.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away; and the new has come!” (2nd Corinthians 5:17).


Challenge:

-Question your questions about God. Your wholeness could be on the other side of that question.
-Be brutally honest with yourself about the state of your wellness, and satisfaction with your identity.
-Open up to someone trusted to begin your journey of healing, if you are ready to begin.
-Pray, “Jesus, be personal to me and show me who you really are. Show me what I mean to you”.

Last words: Living with a broken heart is much more painful than not challenging yourself with the above. I can promise you. 

Wassup.

This first post is dedicated to a short run down about who I am, and the point of my site-

I am:
25, still figuring life out.
Married to the most patient man on the planet. Love you Kev.
A millennial who’s seen the changes in our world; from Nokia box phones to present day.
A Semi- health nut.
Passionate about women’s health.
A fighter of chronic illness.
A baby kisser.
Throw back hip-hop and R&B connoisseur.
An ex-Athlete.
A Singer.
A listener.
A personality test junkie. Also a health blog junkie.
A weeper, I love a good cry.
Equally on team Nsync, and team Backstreet Boys.
Intentional.
A person who has seen the benefit from vulnerability, and surrender to Jesus Christ.

My Personality:
DiSC Profile- CD
“D”
“C”

Capture2

Enneagram- 6w5

What’s important to me:
Kev. He’s my husband.
My community at church- Take Hold Church, Grand Rapids, Mi.
Friends and family.
My wellness balance: spiritually first, emotionally second, physically last (as a by product of the first two).
Striving for excellence in stewardship of money, time, and relationships.
Personal development, and growth.
Tacos.
My leadership development.
Cultivating my gifts and talents.
Talking about hard stuff.
Listening to others.
Encouraging others in their faith.
Consistency and faithfulness.
Sitting outside.
Plants.
Medical research.
Comfortable pants. For real.
Dancing.
Baby animals.
Honesty and vulnerability.
And, Kev, again. He gives me heart eyes.

Why am I blogging?
Well, this has been a long time coming. Talking about my experiences, and sharing my story has always had a sacred place in my heart. But, most of my journey has been full of suffering, and pain (mostly self inflicted *eyeroll*). Therefore, I have not been in a place to speak from the other side of the mess, so to say. I can confidently say, me and Jesus have begun a new page in my life and wellness, and I am in a place to share the triumphs (and mostly my failures) on how I got to where I am. Another huge reason why I’ve started this is to practice my vulnerability and openness. This blog is more for me than it is for any viewers (minus the resource blogs I will post about women’s health issues). At this point in my growth I am still coming out of my shell- which is- fairly automatic fear, defensiveness, and negativity. As we talk, you’ll know why. Me talking about my growth, and reflecting on the progress Jesus has renewed in me keeps me positive and thankful- and these two things are things I desperately need more of in my heat attitude/ mind. Lastly, this coming Fall I will be starting a Spiritual Direction program to become a certified Spiritual Director. The program is going to be a doozy for me because I will need to really dig deep into lingering issues I have, and face them head on. Oh (actual last thing),  I am blogging to give some glory to the lover of my life and wellness- Jesus. In my story, the hand of Jesus can be seen in some pretty dramatic (lifetime movie dramatic) ways. And the world needs to be encouraged by how personal He is.
Disclaimer: I will not use this blog to defend my faith to those who want to challenge me and my relationship with God -BUT- If you want to hangout and have a conversation in person, email me and we will chat. 

Warnings:
I am very to the point. You will see that as you get to know me. Know that though things are fairly blunt, it’s just how I talk and think. If ever anything is too harsh for you (or you question if I am gentle or kind) please remember this is the internet and words can be interpreted a million different ways. But, also please know everything I say is intended to be said with love, peace, and gentleness. Most times I’ll need a lot of grace ya’ll. I’m a bit rough around the edges. Remember- this blog is about honesty 😉

Warnings on health issues:
I am going to be talking about vaginas. This is because I am going to be talking about women’s health issues. I have a chronic illness called endometriosis. I also will discuss menstrual cycles at length because I am so passionate about women being able to be in their best health. If you’re a male, this is also really great information for you as well. Especially if you are married. My husband has been my greatest support. Most men could learn a lot from him when it comes to cultivating a marriage when one partner has a chronic illness.
If you don’t want to read about female health topics, and only want to focus on other parts of this site, don’t worry. Things will be clearly titled if you want to skip ahead. But, I encourage you not to. The female anatomy is truly fascinating, and highly misunderstood.

Challenge:
Be brave. Face things you don’t want to face. Talk about your broken heart. Be vulnerable. Be willing to connect your heart and mind to the present world. Be deeper, and less superficial. Be honest.