Sunday, November 13, 2016

How this election season showed me the area in my heart that is still not surrendered to God.

This political season has been NASTY all the way around.   

This presidential election year was brutal both inside and outside our home. My husband and I were united when it came to supporting Ben Carson but once Carson was off the ballot and the only two real ticket holders was Clinton and Trump, the battle was on. 
My husband chose to side with the Don as suggested by Carson and I decided that I would stand with Hillary.  
For most women like myself, this was a battle of man vs. woman. Both candidates were power hungry and in a power grab I wanted a woman to win. 
I believe that a win for one woman is a win for all women. 

My husband was not the least bit pleased with my choice considering all that she had supposedly done. I say "supposedly" because the evidence was not concrete enough for me and I wasn't about to dismiss her until the evidence was so concrete that I could stand on a solid NO in voting against the first possible woman president. 

I have always been in favor of supporting women and their gain in powerful positions primarily held by men. This, however, does not include the church. 
I don't believe that women should hold power in church settings nor grasp at the chance. Jesus made this clear when He said to "give Caesar what is Caesar's and give God what is God's." 
So, for me and because it is written in the Bible, the church should always be led by men.
BUT the world, in the other hand, is up for grabs and women have just as much of a chance at the podium of power.

Standing with Hillary seemed right because she is a woman and I, as a woman, believed that it was time to put a woman in the White House.


I have come to believe that God uses these political seasons to TEST the faithfulness and obedience of those who claim to "love" and "follow" Him.  To show His kids where their trust and focus lie. To show what is really in our hearts. 
For me, the BIG question was -- am I surrendered to God's will or not?
Am I???

After several weeks of debating with my very conservative spouse I came upon a scripture that really captured me. 
 "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way." ~Psalm 25:9
When I read this scripture I had to ask Him if I was voting His way. 
Was I being humble enough to be taught by Him? 
So, as David did in Psalm 139, I asked Him to...
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
Point out ANYTHING IN ME that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."
Well, it didn't take long for God to show me the condition of my heart and where I was still being rebellious against Him.  

I'm gonna be vulnerable enough to admit the HUGE crack in my foundation of faith: 
I am (to this very day and as I write this) BROKEN and warring against OBEDIENCE in the area of FEMALE IDOLATRY.
  • I idolize my right as a woman MORE than being a follower of Jesus Christ. 
  • I love my womanhood MORE than I love Jesus. 
  • I have a stronger desire to protect my right as a woman MORE than I desire to please the God I say I serve. 
I knew what God's word said and I knew that what Hillary stood for in the area of gay rights and abortion was against Him but I didn't care. 
God's will and truth was not my focus. 

I was doing exactly what Romans 1:25 stated:
"They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!"
 Because of this idolatry -- I am a rebel -- not for God but against Him. 
So, how did God catch me in my rebellion and redirect my steps? 
How did He use my strong desire to advocate for women and their rights?? 
How did He help me to put Him back at His rightful place in all my decisions???

He sent me something I did NOT want to see but could not ignore.  
He knew what it would take to break my disobedience. He sent me a child. 

A little redheaded girl. Her name is Kathy Shelton.
Honestly, when her story came across to me I chose to ignore it as one of the many attacks that were not legitimate but as I went along my way her little face kept coming to mind until after a few months later I decided to go ahead and read her testimony.

After reading Kathy's testimony and doing a lot of research to make sure that it was not a fake claim, I knew right then and there that no matter how badly I wanted to see a woman in the White House, Hillary was not getting my vote.

Like I stated in the beginning of my blog: a win for ONE woman is a win for ALL women.

For me, Hillary left a woman behind.

A little girl that did not deserve the brutality of rape and then to be victimized again by one of her own kind. Hillary betrayed her and when you, as a woman, betray your own kind then you are traitor more than a woman.

I never want to diminish the value of one woman especially when that woman is a child.

To be a woman is of GREAT value. 

My Facebook post on election night to explain why I didn't vote for Hillary.

Hillary was not a good candidate to represent the beauty of women unity.

One day there will be such a woman and I will PROUDLY vote for her with a clean conscience and know that I didn't go against the God I love and serve.

So, with all that, I'll let Madeleine Albright close out my blog with her quote that she obviously did not remember to adhere to.
Oh, the hypocrisy!

    Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Thanking a saint for service.

    This week as I was strolling through my Instagram account I was hit with a very sobering reality -- there are parents that sacrifice their time from raising their children to reach out to my child to come to know the love of Jesus.

    Oh, the sacrifice of God's saints...
    Instagram photo by Charlotte Gambill (charlgambill)
      When I saw this photo I immediately was in tears because this woman, this mum, this servant, is the one who preached my daughter to Jesus and to see her daughter's sad face was all I needed to tell this woman how grateful I was for her families sacrifice. I was not expecting a back response because I didn't think that sharing our experience with her was that big a deal. Obviously it was...

    Thank you for your service!
    I think as Christians we are made to believe that these traveling saints are living a glamorous life of travel with lots of people attentively listening to every word that falls from their face BUT really these saints are called to a life of continual goodbyes, personal/enemy attacks, bad weather travel delays, and the constant reminder that tomorrow is not promised to them or their families. So, every goodbye could be the last goodbye.

    BUT....for the Gospel and Hope of delivering the Goodnews of Jesus they GO! They and their families GO! Sometimes together but most of the time apart. But nevertheless, for Jesus, they all GO!

    Praise God for families like the Gambills! Thank You Jesus for their love and obedience to You. May You bless their feet as they walk this earth with Your LOVE in hand. 

     If you ever get a chance to thank a saint that is traveling for the sake of the Gospel please take the time to say "THNANK YOU!!!" In Jesus name.     

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    Choosing to move Closer to God

    You ever have a time in your life where you get hit in the face by the sheer evil in this world and you fall down on your knees and the first words that come out of your mouth is "God, I hate you!" and God starts to tell you about how much He loves you and you tell Him that He's the reason for all your problems. Then as you sit in your pool of tears broken and tired from the weight of hate that you finally say "okay, help me. What do I do?" and He simply says "worship Me." Then He brings you that one song that becomes a light in that time of darkness. Ever have those days???
    Well, I did a few days ago and I literally had this song play until it became a part of me. Until I could believe every single word about His love for me.
    I've never heard of this song until that day and now, it's part of my library.

    Saturday, October 8, 2016

    The day God taught me the POWER of His forgiveness.

    This past weekend my pastor taught on the need for followers of Jesus to forgive and how the "F" word in church is FORGIVENESS.

    Now, I've heard him say this  before and my mind would usually retort with an automatic "no, pastor... the F-word for me is still a flat out f*ck!"
    Hey, I'm only being honest about what goes on in my head sometimes when I hear certain messages. I can lie and pretend that I'm super holy in my thought life but there's enough liars in the church. And no, I don't hate my pastor. My thoughts just have a way of running amuck and sometimes I don't bother to catch them especially when I'm tired.

    BUT this time his message hit me in a very unexpected way.
    As my mind was about to go where it normally does I immediately heard God say:

    "Surina, I want to bless you BUT not with that attitude. Mind your mind!" 

    He then reminded me of how and when He taught me the power of His forgiveness.
    It was the FIRST time I chose to trust Him as my Guide. Up to this point I had only known Him as Teacher.

    If you've read any of my other writings then you will know that sharing this is not easy but VERY NECESSARY.

    I truly BELIEVE that in order for God to grow His kids in acknowledging His power, in any area of their life, FORGIVENESS IS A MUST. 


    The first time I allowed my daughter to go near my brother. Forgiveness removes fear and shame. It reconciles.

    My lesson on forgiveness all started with a phone call around 2:30am in April of 2010. It was my niece:
    "aunty, I know you probably won't care but..."
    before she even finished her words I knew that it was time. God had awoken me seconds before my phone rang. Something in my gut was on fire and I heard "GET UP!" my heart was beating very fast and when I picked up my phone I could only respond with:
    "I'm coming. Where is he?"
    "Southwest ER. And aunty... the family doesn't know that I'm calling you. He's lost a lot of blood and the doctors are trying to save him."

    "It's okay. Don't tell them. I'm leaving right now."
    Everything that morning moved very quickly. I swear the call was less than a minute but in that time I had my shoes and coat on with my car keys in hand.

    Also in that time, my husband was awoken and ready to battle with me -- for me.
    "Pio is in the ER and I'm going to him."

    "No, you're not!"

    "Paul, I have to go. I don't know how to explain it. I just have to go to him."


    "He's bleeding to death and I need to be with my family. I don't know why but I believe God wants me to go."

    "Good! He deserves to die! I hate your family! They treat you like shit and now you want to be with them. If you leave -- WE ARE DONE!!!"
    I paused long enough to think of all the ways my husband has tried to protect me but at that time I knew what I needed to do. With or without him.
    "You're right. But I'm still going. You can talk to God about it but this is what I know He wants me to do."
    Arguing with my husband took about three minutes and by now he was standing in the kitchen and I was next to the front door. Miraculously, neither of our kids woke up. When he realized that he was not going to be able to stop me from leaving he finally said:
    "Okay, go. But be back before I have to go to work. I don't want to be late."
    And out the door I went.

    My drive to the ER was a very long twenty-five minutes. In that time I can not even describe the clarity of my mind. I was not in a rush. I felt a peace that I can not even explain. I knew that my life was about to change but I didn't know in what way.

    As I was driving I had a flood of memories.
    I remembered that in late 2007 God told me to forgive him for the sexual abuse I endured and out of obedience I reluctantly and silently forgave him. Mentally I had forgiven him but my actions displayed a whole different story.

    Although I no longer ignored his presence in the room I would, however, not allow him to come near me or to touch me or my kids in any way especially my daughter. My anxieties were VERY high in his presence and my fear made it uncomfortable for everyone in the room because they knew and hoped that I would just get over it. But I just couldn't get over it. No amount of alcohol could drown it out.

    Being obedient to God made me feel victimized all over again and I started to believe that God hated me even more. My fake "I forgive you" method wasn't working.
    I couldn't handle the pain of the secret, I wasn't strong enough, so I left my very large tight-knit family.

    But that morning, during my drive, I couldn't help but ask God to let him live so I could pray with him and tell him about Jesus.
    I told God that I'd do anything to see him in heaven and during my prayer I felt compelled to finally call him "brother".
    As that word came out of my mouth I felt a freedom and strength come over me. Like a strong invisible covering.

    I arrived to the ER and I felt ready to stand before my family. I am the youngest of all ten siblings but on that day I was not to play the baby sister role.

    When I arrived I was directed to a private waiting room. I took a deep breath and opened the door.

    As expected, my family was very surprised to see me. They usually always are (since 2002) because I tried to have this same bleeding-to-death brother arrested for sexual abuse and from that day on my invitations to family gatherings became nonexistent. I was the outcast. The black-sheep. The adopted one. The leak in their very tight-knit group.
    But deep down in my heart I knew that they still loved me.
    Strange, huh? Welcome to my family. Beautifully, horribly broken.

    As I stood at the door and looked around at all the faces, my heart was filled with compassion. I loved and missed each and every one of them. 
    I made my rounds to hug and greet each one (as is the custom) then I sat and asked for an update.
    My sister shared what had happened to him and that I could be next to see him since they were only allowing one visitor at a time. My number one objective was to pray for him.

    Within a few minutes I was given the okay to go into his room. As I made my way to him I kept asking God to do whatever He needed to do.
    When I entered through the curtain he was asleep with tubes attached to him. He looked horrible. He still had blood stains on his face. The drugs had taken a toll on his body. Sin was killing him.

    As I stood looking at him I was not angry in any way. All my hate was gone.

    I took his cold left hand and knelt down beside his gurney and prayed that God would give me a chance to tell him about Jesus and how I wanted to see him in heaven. I then arose and returned to the waiting room before heading home.
    I told my siblings that I had to go and send my husband and kids off for the day but that I would be back.

    As I was driving home I remained silent because I felt like I was receiving my marching orders on what the rest of my week was to look like. I was to serve my family until further notice.

    One of the ways I was to serve them was to make sure that they were fed and so when I returned later that same morning I took breakfast. At noon, lunch was served. Dinner, same thing.

    By the time I came back they had moved him to a private room. Several hours later I was told that he was awake and asked if I was ready to see him. After a deep breathe -- I was ready.

    When I entered his room he was surprised to see me and faintly said:
     "Rina, you're here?"
    I walked toward him, took his now warm left hand, and shared how much God loved him.
    I told him that I didn't hate him enough not to see him in heaven and then asked him the question I had been waiting to ask:
    "Do you want to receive Jesus today?"

    In silence, he slowly shook his head up and down. I went and got a chair and sat next to him. I told him to repeat after me. (I had never led anyone to Christ before that day.)
    A few weeks prior to this day, God had me prepare a salvation prayer for my niece (the one who called me) to read for when she was ready to receive Christ and never had I thought that this was to be the salvation prayer I was going to pray for this brother. I didn't know but God knew about this day.

    Within a few minutes Peace entered the room.
    From that day on I never spoke again of what he had done to me. I had forgiven him completely. My mental obedience now matched my physical responses. I hugged him with care and treated him like a brother that had never offended me. And my children finally called him uncle.

    However, if you have read any of my earlier blogs then you will know that this same brother today is in prison for rape.
    The day that I found out that he had continued in his sexual abusive ways I can not even describe the shot of pain that went through my body like a lighting bolt aimed to pierce a hole in my heart. I bled a massive sea of tears. No amount of alcohol could drown out the pain BUT GOD... He has carried me thus far.

    I don't understand what His plan in this is but I will continue to Trust in His goodness because His peace has been a shelter for me.

    So, why do I feel compelled to share this shameful story in my life?
    Because of the freedom my family truly needs. A freedom that begins with FORGIVENESS.

    My new F-word.

    Friday, September 9, 2016

    Remembering daddy

    Repost from an old blog 7/21/2012

    He was daddy.

    It has been a little over a week since I last saw my dad's handsome face and I never thought that I would miss him as much as I do today. I was so young when I was taken from him.

    I try to never remember too much from my childhood but watching my daughter mourn the loss of her grandfather reminded me that there was once a time when I too mourned this very same man at her age.

    I normally don't regret any decisions that I willingly make in my life but choosing to not reconnect sooner with my dad and not telling him sooner how I remembered our short time together is one decision I truly regret. Especially when he was always trying to reach out to me.
    Still to his very end he was asking for me and I still did not go to him even after being told that he was dying. Somewhere inside of me I did not want to mourn him again and so I stayed away.

    Ever since his passing I have asked God why this man was given to me as my first "dad" and what was his purpose in my life's journey. Why him?

    He could have said "no" when his eldest daughter found me and brought me to his home. But he didn't. Instead he took me in and claimed me as his. He gave me his name. 
    I never questioned his love for me because I saw it in his actions. I was his... then one day... he was gone.

    As a child I cried for him at night and prayed that he would come and take me back home but I was told that he no longer wanted me and I couldn't understand why. I asked myself, as any child in my situation would ask, if I did something wrong. However, I never found an answer because I think (even as a child) deep inside I knew it had to have been a lie because he was never unkind or harsh with me. I was his. There wasn't a day that went by when he wouldn't show me affection. I was loved every day in his care.

    We had our own special time after school together. He would stash candies for me under his pillow and I would come home from kindergarten with my milk carton and morning biscuit. We would have our exchange of goodies and stories followed by laughter and a warm embrace. He was daddy.

    But years came and years went where he was nowhere in sight and in the heart of a child, the lies of rejection became more believable.

    I was eventually forced to adapt to my new environment with my new "dad" & brother, new culture and new language. I was also reminded that I was disposable as most adopted children supposedly are. The changes were very quick. I instantly went from being daddy's princess to a servant.

    As a child I did not understand what had happened and questions were not allowed. Kindness was also very bare in my new home and love was not allowed. I learned to keep in line and do as I was told. Making sure to keep silent. The happy childhood I had known was as gone as my dad.

    When I saw my dad several years later he greeted me with tears and asked me if I remembered him and our snack exchange. I lied and said "no" because saying yes, for me, was just a stark reminder of a child that use to cry herself to sleep.

    I later learned of how he sought me out but my mother was too powerful and by the time I was found it was too late. I was no longer a little girl with a tender heart and too many years had passed and too many things had happened. I didn't know what to do other than to move on with my life.

    However, as he got more sick, I did tell myself that one day I would have the courage to reminisce with him so we could laugh together again. But my shame and fear of his disapproval always won out. I no longer knew how to trust anyone.

    (To this very day my emotional walls are still blocking people off (including my husband & kids) BUT GOD IS WORKING ON BREAKING THE WALLS DOWN THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.)

     Thank you, daddy, I'll never forget you!
    An hour before my dad took his last breath I prayed in his ear and thanked him for claiming me as his own. I told him that he didn't have to take me in and he didn't have to give me his name but I think I knew why he did it... he was adopted just like me. So, I guess in a strange adopted way, we were always bonded.

    I told him that I wish I was there at the hospital when he called out my name so that we could have talked when he was still able and in that moment I felt his hand on the back of my head. He heard me (reminding me of God's grace).

    I then kissed him goodnight and told him to go walk with the One he believed and prayed to daily - Jesus.  

    I have no doubt that my dad is walking with his Lord. He passed with peace on his face, in his own bed at home, surrounded by his family. Some would say that he had a smile on his face and I believe....he did. 
    Until we meet again, daddy.


    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Walk LOVE out

    1 of many more to come...
    I don't believe that there is anything more damaging to a child than sexual abuse. To me, it's the epitome of evil.
    For the past few months I've felt God's prompting to share the season I've been faced with again and I had 3 questions that I needed Him to answer and confirm that I was moving in His will and not my own:

    1. Why now?
    2. Why so public?
    3. How?  

    "I will walk at liberty,
    For I seek Your precepts."~ Psalm 119:44

    1. God, why now?
    For me, this was my #1 question because 15 years ago I tried to stop this person but I literally got my ass handed back to me on a platter of shame and fear for going against the cultural, traditional, and familial norms.
    Being shunned before, during, and after family events was a constant reminder to NEVER bring outside help in again. I did what I believed to be right and I was marked as wrong. From then on... nothing was the same. 

    So, what has changed in 15 years? 
    For me, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and His invitation for Him to show me why I was brought into this world the way I was. He invited me to know His purpose for me and although I refused His gift several times and tried to run away from Him like I was being chased down by a mass murder; I finally got tired and opened my hands to receive His gift. 

    His gift has many levels of unwrapping and this season of unwrapping has been the absolute hardest. But I will trust that He knows what He is doing because He has shown Himself to be faithful as I step into obedience.

     "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."~ Jeremiah 29:11 

    2. God, why so public?
     When I asked Him this question He simply responded back with questions. Over the past 6 months our conversations went a lot like this: Him: red and me: black:
    • "Surina, do you think that your family is the only one this is happening to?" --No. 
    • "Surina, do you believe that there is a sin so hidden, a darkness so evil, a pit so deep that I won't reach out for one of My own and give them a Way to KNOW Me?" --No.
    • "Surina, do you believe that My grace is sufficient to save everyone involved?" --Yes!
    • "Then, Surina, will you trust Me to do a great and mighty work in and through this?" --Yes.
    •  Is there an easier way? "NO!"  
     "Father... nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.”~ Luke 22:42
    3. God, how?
    I've been trying to figure out since my last post how I was going to deliver this situation with God's grace and mercy because at the end of the day GOD'S LOVE MUST SUPERSEDE my personal hurts. 
    The one thing that I have noticed about my commitment to follow Christ is that I don't know how He brings things around to be as beautiful as He does but; He faithfully does. 

    The only answer that I received to this question was (like a Nike ad) just do it. Do what? "BLOG!"

    So, there really is no other way to start the healing process then to just jump in and see what God does. My hope and prayer has been that God will set someone else free from the bondage of silence besides me as I walk to unlock doors and knock down walls. In Jesus Name!

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."~ Proverbs 3:5-6


    Tuesday, May 31, 2016

    Be moved by LOVE!

    The FIRST thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night.

    I never really thought of myself as a soldier. More like a prisoner of war. If you know my story then you know exactly why I feel like my life was hijacked from the day I was born. No matter how much I tried to break free, I couldn't. But that's a whole different blog for another time.

    Today I want to share the season that I am currently limping through. This season with Jesus has been the MOST difficult. 
    I do NOT believe that there will be a more difficult season than this current season. I DO believe that if I can get through this season then my journey of faith will be all down hill from here. Not just for myself but EVERYONE involved. 

    It is my prayer that Jesus will be glorified above all the pain and that the love of God will be in full display. I want everyone to heal.  EVERYONE!

    As I write and share this journey the #1 person I have in my mind is my first dad that passed in 2012 and how he tried to fix the family on his death bed. He knew he hurt his kids by being silent when he shouldn't have been and what he feared the most is here. And I'm done with it!
    I believe I owe it to him to finish what he was trying to fix.
    One thing I always tell my kids is that if you keep something in the dark then satan has every right to mess with you because YOU have given him a place to dwell. Well, I believe that he has overstayed his welcome in this family and it's time for him to go back to hell where he belongs. In Jesus Name!

    So, today I'm ONLY going to share the marching orders that I was given back in October but, family (if you're reading this), after today... I'm done with hiding in shame and fear. IT'S TIME TO HEAL AND GROW!! 

    Dad would be devastated if he was alive to see the crap going on right now. I know that I am the youngest and the "add on" to the family but don't be too surprised if this is why out of all the families that I could have been found by; it was you. Whether you all see me as a blessing or a curse is up to you.
    I love our family but I HATE what is happening. Lets begin to heal because our family is not the only one satan is trying to destroy. This is why I am making this journey public. WE ARE NOT THE ONLY FAMILY! 
    "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."~Hebrews 12:11

    I believe our family will be blessed if we allow God to heal us. In Jesus Name!

    Ever since 2011, God seemed to give me marching orders for the following year and they always came between mid-October and mid-November. It's kinda strange but every year I take notes and every word He had spoken was EXACTLY what I needed to make it through that year. And thank God because 2012 was a crazy BUSY year. This year is PAINFUL!

    These are the marching orders I received on 10/19/15:
    1. Surina, BE PRUDENT:  I need you to have an eternal perspective for those I give you.
    2. Surina, BE WISE:  I need you to Seek Me FIRST in everything from EVERYWHERE.
    3. Surina, BE MOVED BY LOVE:  Surina, You DO NOT take a single step until you recognize that My LOVE is in place!!!
    I believe that the time has arrived...
    Have I been walking out my marching orders since receiving them???
    Well, I believe that although I have had several break downs, I have done a good enough job of limping my way through this season and for 6 months I have not lashed out in anger worsening the pain we already feel. And now I am able to blog truthfully and do so in a way that is loving and honoring to the God I serve.

    Although I would like to ignore what is going on and just focus on my own little family (because it's easier) it would be Selfish and dad wasn't selfish when he took me in. Plus, I would be a coward and last I checked mom didn't raise me to cower.

    So, today as I sit and write this blog I'm in awe of how DEEP God's love goes and how FAR He is willing to reach out to His kids. But don't be fooled... like the days of Noah, He will bring judgement if rebellion continues. He disciplines His kids out of His great love for us:
    "My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
        and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
    12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
        just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
    " ~Proverbs 3:11-12

    Family, we must heed to His discipline!!!
    Honestly, I don't agree with His methods nor do I agree to the ones He extends His hand of mercy to BUT... I WILL OBEY HIM because I don't know what the future holds and I don't know how He will use it to heal others BUT what I do know is that when God says that He...
    " NOT willing that any ONE should perish."~ Matthew 18:14

    He means it!!! 

    God is MADLY and PASSIONATELY in LOVE with YOU and He wants to heal YOU!!  IN JESUS NAME

    ***If you're wondering why I keep highlighting -- In Jesus Name -- because He is the ONLY WAY that can FULLY HEAL ANYONE.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    My BIGGEST lesson as a Carsonite

    What a journey it has been to be a Carsonite (a.k.a. Ben Carson) campaign supporter. Now that his run is over I've had a chance to sit back and really think about what I've learned along the way. After all, I have never been in contact with so many churched people outside of a church wall.

    I have never openly supported any presidential candidate. Ever.
    Especially, someone running on a Republican ticket. I share a lot of my views with the Democratic party. But when God speaks to me, sometimes it's in a still small voice that doesn't let you sleep a wink.
    I will have to say that in the beginning I was trying to figure out why God would have me walk this journey and man, am I glad that I finally said "yes".

    I have known that for the past couple years God was trying to teach me more about His people and where I fit in. Well, (being the smart arse that I am) I complained to Him that He was asking me to support someone that had no political background and whether or not He was aware of that.
    I mean every Christian I spoke to said that I was making a mistake and that I am wasting my time. BUT... my reply was simply, "if God tells me to hold him up and be still then I guess I am going to hold him up and be still."

    Then I would get the pitiful, confused look of -- well, you're young and dumb. Good luck.


    Well, I didn't need luck because God was trying to show me why He had me raised the way He did. He was staying honest to His promise to me. A promise that has always been the driving force of my obedience. Another clue of His purpose for me.

    It all started after July 4th, 2015. I couldn't sleep a wink...
    One of the BIGGEST issues I had with God was that I was stolen during a visitation that led to me being raised by a man who stripped me of my culture and the only language I spoke. Then I was forced to call him dad and live as a new and completely different girl, in a new and completely different culture. I, eventually, adjusted to my new person and America.

    As a young girl I was heavily influenced by my new dad's views on politics and religion (or lack thereof since he claimed atheism) because I really wanted him to accept me. He loved America, guns, beer, women, movies, political news, and the power of "white". He was a proud vet that survived with several wounds and earned several medals to prove his service. He was adament that his kids take a daily vitamin and he advocated for us to break our bedtime schedule to stay up and watch the Simpsons. He loved to laugh.
    He died in June of 2015. His death shook me. 

    We had not spoken in 18 years and although he was my step-dad, he was the only dad I knew. I met him at about seven years old and I wanted him to love me like the dad I was ripped away from but it never happened. Although he was very kind to me and treated me well, he also avoided me to appease my mother. I know that now. I was never to be his, no matter what.
    Because of that strained relationship, I had a very hard time believing that I could ever belong to a good father-like God. Especially, a God who could possibly be accepting of me. So, when God came towards me I rejected Him and His people immediately. I learned well from my dad. 

     So, what does this have to do with my journey with Carson? 
    Well, the dad I was stolen from was a man of prayer and religion. He believed in God. The man I was then raised with was the polar opposite.
    He didn't believe in a god and the church, to him, was full of mindless idiots. He thought all clergy were crooked, people-pleasing, perverts hiding behind a fictitious being. I'm putting it nicely but in his defense, he wasn't wrong. There are such clergies. I've met them.
    I just wish that we had connected sooner so he could have seen the other clergies I've had the pleasure of meeting. Clergies who really did love God. A living God. Jesus.

    Anyways, as I journeyed as a Carsonite and spoke to several "godly" and churched people at rallies and booths and through phone calls, I realized that a lot of these self proclaimed "Christians" were just as atheist as my dad.
    They claimed to believe in the biblical God but when it came time to stand on that biblical God and trust His written word -- He didn't exist.

    Was my dad right? DOES GOD NOT EXIST? Is He a fictitious being?

    I will admit that I was quite shocked to hear from several professing Christians (especially the "seasoned") that "Carson will never win because the world is too evil. He's too nice of a guy. He's too good."
    And then some Christians would say "His life story is too unbelievable."

    Repeatedly I would hear the same responses from Christians and I couldn't help but wonder -- did they not read their Bible where in Romans 12:21 it says...

     "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

    Or the parts EVERYWHERE in their Bibles that say...

    With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26

    This incident was one of MANY eye-opening moments for me during this journey. Talking to people about their faith in God and then hearing them speak on politics was jarring. Especially from the "seasoned" Christians.

    No wonder my generation denies God and reduces Jesus Christ down to a secular "homeboy" who loves public sinfulness. My poor generation was seasoned with these "Christians". Yikes.     

    When God put it in my heart to support Carson it was only a month after my dad died and I was still in a place of grief but God was adamant that Carson was my next step. The lesson I learned in this journey was that God was right to have me raised by an atheist dad. He had a legitimate reason.

    It was hard to be ripped away from a dad that accepted me as his but to see what I now see amongst God's church is that there are a lot of atheists in the church body. They read their Bible but don't believe a word of it. It's amazing and not in a good way.
    God's people have just grown so weary of waiting on Him. So weary, in fact, that they will now seek their own understanding through a human that will speak whatever words they want to hear. Words that give them instant gratification but will suffocate the livelihood of future generations. They know it BUT they don't care because they're scared. Lord, help us.

    Unashamedly donning Carsonite gear :)

    At my Washington State caucus I was greeted by an older woman in tears who grabbed me and hugged me before I could say a word. I was the only person wearing my candidate gear unashamed. Through her tears she said: 
    "we don't deserve him. We, as a country, don't deserve God's blessings. We have abandoned Him and Carson is such a good man. If he gets in office I don't think he'll be able to turn us around because our people are evil and God will give us over to what we want."

    That lady was the most honest and repentant Christian I had met on this journey. She was scared for her children and grandchildren. I told her that that is EXACTLY why Carson entered this race. We are a generation walking to our own destruction. A destructive path we created and will continue in if we don't TURN AROUND.
    "IF" we... then God will. God NEVER forces His will.

    I first heard of Christianity from someone who was calling me a "child of the devil" in 1997. Then I  discovered the "land of Christianity" in 2009 and began exploring it in 2010 but I didn't claim land until 2012 and OH....MY...GOODNESS...... I have a long way to go and a lot of land to cover. There is so much to learn about God's people and why I have been called to join such a messy group. Am I getting closer to my purpose? Absolutely!
    The people of God and their politics are something else and, unfortunately, they ain't walking towards the biblical God. Plainly, they are walking FAR AWAY from what Jesus died for.

    Sunday, February 14, 2016

    God, I'm a mess!

    I remember the first time that God put it in my heart to start blogging my journey back in February 2012 and I was like "hell no!" because people already thought that I was weird and that the comments that I made always made waves that I never intended. Both good and bad. 
    I also got more attention than I wanted. I hated it. I didn't like good attention but I really loved bad attention. I felt more deserving of it. Plus I liked fights and pissing people off. It was almost a hidden gift.

    So, when God started to show me that I can do good and that I'm worthy of positive affirmation I immediately pulled away. However, because I wanted God to continue to grow me in my faith of who He was... I was willing to write. BUT only under an alias. I didn't want to be stung by the pain of acceptance or feed my rebellion on rejection. I was able to freely write my thoughts and prayers.
    Eventually, over a year later, I felt a deep conviction for hiding my growing love affair with Him and decided to start this blog attached to my real name because our relationship is very real. 

    However, before I closed down my alias blog I saved all my posts and decided that I would keep it for memories of my journey. 

    Well, this morning one of my pastors preached a very strong message about being real with God in prayers and said to "be honest about being full of lust...". 

    I immediately thought about my #1 viewed post where I shared a prayer that I truly felt like God wanted me to share openly. 

    Here it is:

    Title: I’m a mess but… I’m His mess. 4/7/12
     If you have ever felt like a mess then tell Him!
    Me:  God, I’m a mess.
    Hugely flawed in so many ways and yet, Lord, You still want me? What for? 
    Just throw me away like the worthless trash that I am. I came to You haughty, prideful, and full of anger and yet You say “come”?
    I have yelled at You and cursed Your name and still You say “come”? 
    I’ve stabbed You in the back and denied You openly, mocking Your ways and yet You still say “come”? 
    Father, what do You see of me that is remotely worthy of Your kingdom? 
    What do I have that You see of use? NOTHING! I HAVE NOTHING! I AM NOTHING! 
    I’m a disgusting human full of selfishness and lust. Yet, You still say “come”? Why??

    God: Because, Surina, I LOVE YOU!

    I knew you before you were ever born. I predestined your path before you ever took a step. You were made for My perfect will. I Am your Father and you are My daughter through the blood of Jesus Christ. In His blood I made  you worthy. In His blood I will make your nothing into My something. 
    Surina, JUST TRUST ME!!!

    Me: Father, help me then to be willing! I’m tired of trusting in my own ways and the ways of this world. I'm tired of failing to be perfect. Have Your way with me, Lord. LET YOUR WILL BE DONE!!!


    This prayer was written during a time in my walk where I was doing everything right and I was walking with people that I thought were godly (the churched) and yet, internally, I felt like I was dying. 
    I didn't know what was happening. I just knew that a part of me, internally, had stopped growing and was dying. I hurt.

    Just today (2/14/16) I realized that God answered my prayer within in a month after this prayer was posted. 
    The way He answered my prayer was not what I expected and so I put up a HUGE fight because His direction was towards a new church and a new church body. 

    I loved the church body I was in and saw no reason to move but I'll have to blog later about fighting that year long losing battle. 

    A month after this prayer post I followed His lead and was met with this message called: Patriarchs: The calling of Abram

    Whatever was inside of me needed to hear this message because when it was time for communion I went down and dropped to my knees to cry and kiss the steps. 
    I wasn't sure if that church allowed what I was doing but my body was starving for whatever I had received that I stayed there until the pastor came back out again. 
     "As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God.  
    I thirst for God, the living God." ~ Psalm 42:1-2

    Today as I sit and write this, I'm so glad I lost the battle against God in that season because I would have never seen my life the way that it is today. 



    Friday, January 1, 2016

    2016 - Bibles for everyone - we're gonna need it.

    Having it personalized was a special reminder that our relationship with Jesus is personal.
    God speaks to each of His kids differently.

    Every year, since 2012, I would always talk to my husband about getting personalized Bibles for the family since I felt that God was trying to do something in my life and with our family. BUT every year I would fail to follow through with my intention because, in all honesty, I really didn't see the point. 
    The urge I "felt" would eventually subside and I'd realize how silly I was to purchase something I could get for free.

    Besides I had better things to buy with my money and spending it on a book I didn't fully believe as "Truth" was not on my priority list.

    If I really wanted one, all I had to do was simply ask the church for one. Obviously, I didn't really want one.

    Then in 2013 a church I was visiting gave me a real, brand new, still in the wrap, full Bible. :)

    I don't know why they felt that I needed it since I had only visited a couple times but God's timing was perfect.

    My first real Bible. :)
    If there was anything I needed at that time it was God's written word, in my hand, to help me. I was lost, scared and confused as to why my little family of four was being uprooted.

    For a few months that year my daughter was traveling with me up north and my son stayed home with his dad. 
    That was a tough year but when I look back to that time -- so much spiritual growth happened for all of us. God knew what He was doing.

    Thank God for technology! We stayed connected mostly through texts.:)

    When 2014 came around that Bible became my biggest comfort as I walked with a friend who was dying of cancer. He got his diagnoses and within 3 months he was gone. 
    Weeks before and after his death I slept with that Bible on my chest because something inside of me hurt so bad that I literally couldn't sleep without it on me. I needed it even more when I was with his kids. 

    During that time God's word became VERY precious to me. I needed it more than food.  

    I lost a lot of weight during that season because I had no desire to eat. Not a good way to lose weight but a LOT of things changed inside of me.

    My heart and my mind were no longer the same... I had changed.
    He was gone too soon!

    Then 2015 came with a whole lot of EVERYTHING. Some ups but LOTS of downs. Lots.

    If I could title my 2015 year it would be: The year I held on!

    Oh, I can not even begin to share how many times God has had to hold my head up so I wouldn't drown in all that was coming my way.

    Just these past two weeks alone a tree almost fell into our living room, our pipes busted on Christmas Eve, our refrigerator decided to stop working and the holiday festivities are at home again since no one else could accomodate the occassion.
    And the worst... I was recently notified about an evil act against children that I can't discuss right now because there is an ongoing case. My past is back. 


    I know God has a plan. I know it... and I WILL WAIT!
    The tree should have fallen into our living room taking out my year round nativity. But God....

    Every time I dropped down to pray all I could hear God say was: 

    "Surina, just hold on to Me. I got you."

    What was I holding on to?? EVERY SINGLE PROMISE IN HIS WORD!!!
    •     His promise to protect
    •     His promise to redeem
    •     His promise to guide
    •     His promise to provide
    •     His promise to vindicate 
     and so many more promises to HOLD ON TO...
    Actually, I've held on so much and so hard to the Bible given to me that it has started to fall apart. 
    I tried to be more gentle and I thought about gluing or taping it together but I truly felt like it was time to finally INVEST in the ONE BOOK that I saw no point in purchasing with my own money.

    Now, God's word has become so precious to me that I consider it absolutely PRICELESS.
    It has LITERALLY become AIR for me! I need it DAILY!

    It keeps me sane in this insane world!!!

    I know that my family is entering 2016 with a FULL plate of challenges ahead of us but I BELIEVE GOD has us in the palm of His hand as we STAND FIRM on His written promises in our hands!

    "Your words were found, and I ate them,
    And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
    For I am called by Your name,
    O Lord God of hosts." ~Jeremiah 15:16