Life update // Hope.

I haven’t written in months. Since July, actually. There has been so much going on. So, here is a quick update. 

Professionally, I reached a point at my last job where there was no more room for growth. This was a very hard thing for me because I couldn’t let go of the money I was making, but I knew it was time to go. I was absolutely torn. I would come home and sit on our couch and just cry. I was so afraid of what letting go of this job meant: possibly less pay somewhere else, learning new skills, changing my routine, and just a plethora of unknown’s.  Reluctantly, I ended up surrendering my job (I kept my job until I got a new one) while waiting for something else to come along. Shoutout to my Husband, who without hesitation, told me time and time again I didn’t have to work if I didn’t want to. After about a month of waiting, a new job fell into my lap and very literally was a gift from God Himself to me. This job has been a tool the Lord has been using to teach me my true strengths, what I can contribute to a team, and has pushed me in ways I didn’t think I would be able to handle amongst still healing and growing through life. This job requires a lot of myself, and time. Which is another reason it has been hard for me to write.

Emotionally, and Spiritually I have been on what feels like a freaking marathon of dealing with hard things. The Lord gave me a heads up though, which was nice. I had a really cool encounter with Him, unexpectedly, sitting in a teaching about prophecy (go figure). Long story short, the Lord let me know I was moving into a season of ‘exposure’. Naturally, I froze in fear- who wouldn’t. But, over the past few months life has been a deep, deep internal check pretty constantly. I have seen so many different lies, and wounds uncovered, exposed. It has been tiring, but, I would rather keep my hands open and deal with the crap now.

 //

Now, I want to talk about something I have been really struggling with during this time- Hope. But first a little back story. So, like I said the Lord has been really exposing a lot of things deep in my soul. 

The Lord has been showing me deep roots of getting my value from the wrong places/things, been showing me how much Fatherlessness has shaped my approach of God as “Father”, and how much I count on my marriage going well for my hope in life. These will be a work in progress for awhile. But now, let’s talk about Hope.

So, those things are big issues to navigate. They have been so, so hard to confront. There has been a lot of tears, doubt, questioning, and wrong perspective-seeing on my end. More often than not confronting these issues has raised the questions in my mind “Can God really fix this, can God truly redeem me, does God even deal with this kind of mess”? These are not questions that I have struggled with at the core of my being before. They have always been passing thoughts I have been able to push through with the help of Scripture, but these wounds have challenged my faith in ways I was not prepared for. These wounds have undone me at my core. They have left me completely hopeless most times. 

But, the truth is that my Heavenly Father can redeem all of these things. The truth is that Hope doesn’t change based on my wavering or questioning. Hope doesn’t change based on my wounds. Hope doesn’t change based on my circumstances. 

Because Hope is Jesus. Hope is God’s nature- sending His Son to reconcile us to Himself

Hope does not depend on my Husband, my marriage, or my circumstances

Hope is above me. Hope is beyond my understanding. Hope Is. It just is. Hope is the Lord. The Lord does not change.

My Hopefulness should not be dependent on my circumstances. Hope is greater than what is presently happening.

//

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made. Psalm 145:8-9

Advertisements

The messiness of exchange.

I recently read an article title by Jarrid Wilson titled Stop Telling Hurt People They Need to Pray More. It’s a great read, you should check it out. I wanted to expand on my experience with this.


I am very familiar with pain. It seems to be the theme of my life experience. That isn’t for a pity party, that just is what it is. And most times I don’t think I really talk about what that has felt like without hesitation about what others might think of me. But, I think a lot of people are in a lot of pain and I think so many would benefit with a more open dialogue about what pain entails.

But I don’t want to talk about the benefit of the dialogue.

I want to talk about the messiness of following Christ while your heart and mind feel broken. I want to talk about the importance of community when you’re in pain. I want to talk about being intentional when you know someone is hurting. And lastly, I want to talk about just being with someone without talking -OR- to speaking up if need be.


Messiness.

When you feel broken emotionally, chances are you are not doing hot spiritually. I will mention physically as that is just as effected, but that could be a post all on it’s own for me. But back to emotional and spiritual. When you are emotionally unable to find balance, it becomes nearly impossible to invite Christ into the mess (at least in my experience). This may feel like or look like consistent patterns of: desperation, blankness, indifference, deep sorrow, hopelessness, weeping, rage, self-hate, anxiety, or inconsistency in any of these areas in general. This is not a comprehensive list, it is based on my own experience and seeing my friends experiences as well. When someone is caught in those things it becomes very hard for that person to evaluate that they should invite Christ into it. Why? There is already so much going on for that person. AND THAT IS OK. 

I want to explain why it’s ok. It’s ok because God does not expect any part of us to be nicely put together. He does not look at us and think that we should be able to accept Christ as Savior, learn this or that, go to counseling, go to Bible College, actively serve in a Church, and then magically be able to handle the throws of life without struggle. I am talking about the lingering issues left from abuse, bad choices, and whatever you may have done that lead you to the messiness of the things listed above. Choosing to follow Christ may not fix your heart break, depression, anxiety, or broken identity right away. Quite frankly, don’t excuse my french, I’m tired of that bullshit lie being fed to Church culture that Jesus heals you once. Absolutely not. Someone show me where that is in the Bible.

Jesus heals you over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over.

He is continually involved in our process of being reconciled to Himself. He is reconciling all things to Himself, which means that desperation, blankness, indifference, deep sorrow, hopelessness, weeping, rage, self-hate, anxiety, and inconsistency are being worked on by the hand of God. And from what I know of my Jesus and how He has cared for me, He cares so deeply about those wounds the ways He will show Himself to you will blow your mind.

The point when life is far more than you can bare is still a place the love of God can find you. I promise. Therefore, when you are nothing but an emotional mess, friend if you are identifying with anything I am saying- Jesus is with us. He is above our instability. He is still the truth. He is still holding everything together. He is still unchanging.


Community.

I am blessed in this area, but most times I will find things to complain about. But, when I really think about what I have with my Church I realize very quickly I have something millions of people don’t have. I am connected to people deeply. I am cared for by people deeply. I can weep and be prayed for. I can jump with joy in times of gladness. I really do enjoy so many friends in my Church. Well really they are my only friends. LOL. Love yall.

This community has given me the space to be. What I mean is they have given me the support to be a human. They have given me the space to cry for hours if need be. They have given me the space to be challenged when I’m taking steps backwards. They have built me up and spoken truth to me when I didn’t believe it. They text me and tell me they love me and they are there for me.

These people have been the hands and feet of God in my life. That is the main reason is is important to have a Christ centered community when you are really struggling (and even when you’re not struggling). When you are a part of a healthy community you are adding to your life things you cannot give to yourself.

Shout out to Take Hold Church hollaaaaaaa.


Being intentional.

It takes 30 seconds to send a text message saying “thinking about you,” did you know that? Did you also know that being a Christian still means you are a human? Furthermore, that you don’t have to over-spiritualize things if you don’t mean it? For example, don’t text someone and say “I’m praying for you” if you aren’t praying for them. It is totally ok to text, call, go up to a friend and say “you’ve been on my mind a lot and I want you to know I care for you and love you”. You do not have to use the phrase “I am praying for you” as a magic word to love on someone. By all means, if you are truly going to pray for someone do it. Heck, go the extra mile and ask them what you can specifically pray for. If the Holy Spirit is highlighting someone to you, listen. We have a responsibility to bare each other’s burdens.


Just Be.

Here is something I have learned from being the person who is sitting, and being the person sitting with someone- people don’t know what to do when people start pouring out their heart.

And that’s kind of a bummer. Here are a couple tips-

It’s ok if it’s awkward. Don’t try to make it not awkward. That can make things even more awkward.

Don’t overcompensate. If you don’t have experience with what the person is upset about, don’t try to warp something you have dealt with to match their situation.

Don’t talk at them. They are not your project to fix. They do not have to be “better” after talking to you for your time spent with them to have value.

Don’t ramble should you decide to talk. In the moment is not always appropriate for a dump of wisdom or advice.

Be an undistracted listener. When someone is pouring their heart out to you, they are offering all of their vulnerability. Your phone, lunch plans, other people talking are not important in that moment. Obviously, emergencies happen.

Be sensitive to what hurts them. It may not sound like a huge deal to you, or you may not relate. But just because you don’t “feel” what they do doesn’t mean you have an out to not listen.

Be careful. Unless you are a trained counselor, or pastor don’t make recommendations that you aren’t licensed to.

Be proactive. I can’t believe I even have to say this… but I do. When someone has opened up to you about their hurt, you are responsible to be their friend. Be decent and call, or text them and tell them you are thinking about them and that they aren’t alone. So many times in my experience I have opened up to someone at Church and then I don’t hear from them again until we’re at Church the next week. PSA- loving others should happen outside the walls of the Church Monday-Saturday.

Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Go reach out if you should, and don’t if you shouldn’t. If you are unclear and can’t discern what you should do, go ask someone with the gift of discernment to pray for you for direction. Then, be obedient. Side notes, I have missed opportunities to reach out because of fear, and that’s not right. And I know there are plenty of moments when I need someone but they aren’t being obedient in reaching out- and you guys, that hurts. Listen to the Spirit, and be obedient. It’s simple.


So, back to my first paragraph. Jarrid’s article was beautiful and simple- stop telling people to pray more. People- that is so hollow, so unloving, and so not compassionate. I realize the reason that answer happens is because there are so many Christians walking around emotionally broken. So many believers can’t reconcile their emotional self with their spiritual self. I believe that causes  responses like “you should pray harder”.

This quote is from the book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero…

 

Few Christians committed to contemplative spirituality integrate the inner workings of emotional health. At the same time few people committed to emotional health integrate  contemplative spirituality. Both are powerful, life-changing emphases when engaged in separately. But together they offer nothing short of a spiritual revolution, transforming the hidden places deep beneath the surface. When the emotional health and contemplative spirituality are interwoven together in an individual’s life, a small group, a church, a university fellowship, or a community, people’s lives are dramatically transformed. They work as an antidote to heal the symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality.


Challenge:

  • Evaluate your responses to people, or lack of responses to people. Could you do better? If so, what is holding you back? Do you possibly have to reconcile your own emotional issues?
  • Read the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. It really is something all believers should read.

 

flowers

loving God = loving others.

bridge2

This one is gonna sting a bit for me.

So, amidst the trauma of my childhood there was always one thing that always remained blatantly obvious to me- Jesus. There was a disaster on all fronts in my home. The one place that I felt secure and safe was with Jesus. There were nights I lay awake crying myself to sleep, but the presence of God was so thick I could physically feel arms around me like a hug. I could feel the compassion, understanding, and safety of the Lord in so many moments. From the time I was a child, Jesus has always made sense to me. I would by lying to myself, and others if I said Jesus wasn’t blatantly obvious to me in my life. He just has been. He is very visibly, and was very visibly, at work in my life.

As I seek the Lord, and remain honest with myself of areas of development I need to surrender to Him, loving others has been a theme that He has been gently urging me to get better at. This started In January of this year. To elaborate, January of this year was a huge milestone in my healing. I find it no coincidence that as He made me well and spoke some things in January, I was then burdened to begin loving others better.

There are a lot of reasons why loving others is hard. I have my reasons, and you have yours. But, right now for me things boil down to obedience. I am being asked to love others better. So, in writing this I hold myself accountable.


If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
1 John 4:20-21


Hate is a pretty big word. When I think of people I might struggle with, I know in my heart I certainly don’t hate them. But, in my mind am I being the following? —

Patient
Kind
Humble
Gentle
Truthful
Compassionate
Sacrificial
Long-suffering (bearing their burdens for them)
*read my note at the bottom of the post

If the answer is no I am not loving them, therefore; I am not loving God.

Shit.

This is the part where I said it stings. Most times I think I love Jesus so much. He’s the center of my affection. I really, really enjoying spending time with Him. I really enjoy talking to Him. Welp, leave it to the Bible to keep you in check. Straight up, if I am not loving people, I am not loving God. They are one in the same.

Our relationships with Christ call us to actively engage our surroundings.  We are not bystanders waiting for Christ to come back. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ cost too much for us to have neat lives. Love is messy. Love is hard. Love is action. Love takes a lot of action. It is not a feeling according to the Word of God. These things patience, kindness, humility, gentleness, truthfulness, compassion, sacrifice, and long-suffering take effort. They take an act of your own will to put into motion.


Challenge:
–Take time to sit down with the verse above and contemplate.
–Pray this, “Lord, please use your Spirit inside of me to highlight if I don’t love people well. Please illuminate circumstances where I could love other people better, and through your Spirit give me whatever might be necessary to love that person in that moment.”


*These things: patience, kindness, humility, gentleness, truthfulness, compassion, sacrifice, and long-suffering are not a comprehensive list of how to love people.

 

bridge1

feelings & circumstances.

I have come to a point in my faith, and growth where I have noticed how poisonous my lack of faith, hope, and trust can be. Quite honestly, when I lack in these 3 things my over all health starts declining. My hope with this post is to shed light on the process that leads to the lack of these things, then tie it all up with how to practically tackle growing in faith, hope, and trust.


See for me being hopeful, having faith, and trusting the Lord are not automatics for my heart. Frankly, my root of self-centeredness runs so deep I can barely see it, and this is not a good thing. Let me explain the process of how I wind up without faith, hope, or trust. First, all of my attention is on how I feel. Then, when I am consumed with my feelings that leads to my focus being on my present circumstances. When your mind only sees these things- feelings, and circumstances, it can create a recipe for self-sabotage.

Straight up, the enemy has won a majority of battles in this cycle because I have not been able to see exactly what was going on. It is really hard to catch what is going on when your battle is going on with your self, in your own head. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can confidently say I have been able to see how my self-centeredness comes to be. Now, to be proactive about it…


Growing in faith, hope, and trust is no overnight gig. If it is for you, praise the Lord. For me it has not been a quick thing. It has been years of toil. Years of hot and cold. Years of diving in head first, then years of running away. Months of “getting it”, then months of “what the hell is going on”. After some time of walking with Christ (which it has been many years for me), this just should not be. And I say that with the utmost empathy, and gentleness. If anyone on the planet understands a need for time to heal, and Jesus to move you through seasons- I GET IT. But friends, there comes a time when we have to put into motion the grace we are given. We have to walk boldly, straight to the throne of God. And we have to put every ounce of our perspectives on Jesus.

I am going to walk in my grace, and fix my perspective on Christ. That is exactly is how I am going to grow in faith, hope, and trust. I am going to stop focusing on my feelings, and my circumstances.  Instead, I am going to fix my eyes on my sweet Savior, who gives me the freedom to look at Him, rather than consume myself with myself. Flat out, I can’t even tell you how sick of myself I am. I cause more drama for myself than anyone else in my life does *forehead slap*


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

[…]let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2


Challenge:

Pray this- “Father, I ask that you use your Spirit inside of me to lead me into discernment for when I am consumed with myself, and when my perspective is fixed away from Christ.”

Questions to ask yourself:
Do I feel overwhelmed with how I feel or my circumstances the majority of my day?
What are the majority of my thoughts on during my day?

Memorize any of these verses:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

[…]let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4: 6-9

 

 

 

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.