Thursday, July 27, 2017

When the devil's move is obvious

Have you ever gotten into a fight with someone and in the midst of the fight, out of nowhere, your adversary attacks you in a way that you know -- that you KNOW -- they have come to a place of desperation because they're losing ground and they don't know what else to do but make stuff up???
And right when you thought that they were winning the fight and you were growing weary, all of a sudden you gain a burst of energy and strength and you can't help but bust up LAUGHING...?
BUT... not just any old laugh though; ohhh, no... it's a bust-a-gut-laugh-out-loud-utter-relief laugh in knowing that you were just being hit by an inflatable kiddie bat?
You know the annoying ones you win at the fair and it squeaks when it makes contact with it's target? Yeah, those ones.

Well, several weeks ago I was feeling like a complete failure and wondering if I'm really hearing God correctly in my decisions. Decisions that make no sense to me and where I felt like I was walking in the dark with only a voice directing me. I was struggling to separate His voice from my own and doubting my closeness to Him. Where is He!?

Then all of a sudden I see a light of Hope.

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12

When I first decided to be a follower of Jesus Christ I was NEVER warned that I had also entered into a spiritual war. And that this war between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness has existed since the beginning of mankind.
This war happens on a DAILY BASIS and most people have no idea that they're involved in it no matter if they believe in a god or not.
Those who are made aware have a choice to fight or die. Sounds dramatic, huh? It is.

We have a REAL enemy out there that hates us and will do anything, in his (limited) power, to take us out of our God-given purpose. His job is to make our lives a living hell through deceitful lies planted in our minds.     

Well, it has taken me several years in my walk to REALLY recognize this enemy.
He has several names: Lucifer, Satan, father of Lies, etc.... you get the idea.
I call him the devil and I have, for the most part, chosen to ignore him.

I never wanted to give him any credit or acknowledge him in any way just in case God was testing my faith or disciplining me for being self centered. 

Well, this time I will give credit where credit is due because he must be getting desperate for my attention to recognize his presence and give him some acknowledgement.

Okay then... hello stupid!

"I keep my eyes always on the LORD..." ~Psalm 16:8

That was my exact thought when I opened my email that morning to receive my daily devotions.

I couldn't help but bust out in laughter because over a year ago I would've fallen straight in the hole of darkness I have been scraping to come out of.

You see, I had NEVER in my over 25 years of having an email account gotten anything so blatantly pornographic. Ever! In almost 3 decades!
Even when I was not following Christ and living in that lifestyle did I even receive any porn.
I've got great filters for this junk but somehow it got through for the first time ever and (I believe) that because God knew this day was going to come, at this very difficult season in my life where I'm left very vulnerable to sexual sin, He made sure I was protected in every possible way with His word and His people.

For the past 2 years I've sat in a room to learn about sexual purity and relational wholeness and for the first time ever I felt the need to ask my group to hold me accountable for porn and masturbation every week since my husband and I were abstaining from sex until we went through counseling.

This would be, for me, the first time in my life that I would walk out sexual purity. It was really strange because my first memory in life was sexual. Sexual immorality was very normalized for me. I recognize it fairly quickly.

Purity is what's foriegn to me. I had to learn about purity.

And then what made me laugh even more was the scripture that Christine had right below them. Psalm 16 is all about the hope of the faithful and the Messiah's victory.

It's all about our victory in Jesus. 

That morning I laid there after a few minutes laughing and just felt the joy of the Lord pour His salve on my heart. He was SO near and because of Him...

I survived this battle.

Psalm 16 (NKJV)

1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. 
O my soul, you have said to the Lord,

You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.
As for the saints who are on the earth,
They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Before all my parents die

After my last blog I found a lot of relief and comfort in knowing that there are others out there with messed up beginnings like mine and, like me, they're trying to change that mess into a message of hope and healing for others.

It's very encouraging and healing. 

I miss my dad terribly and talking about him has gotten easier especially knowing that I have a tribe out there who understands the complexities of our story.
I know that my story will not be very common in it's totality but I want the parts that people can relate to to be heard.

Who knows... I may have been created to have several tribes.

For instance, I'm a throwaway and not everyone is a throwaway and so one of my tribes could possibly be a ban of orphans, state juvinials, adoptees, loners, introverts, isolated peeps, and so on and so forth.

Along with that messy tribe then you've got the child abused tribe (sexual, spiritual, emotional, physical, psychological, etc...) you get the idea.
Doctors and so called experts have called my abuse "extreme" and have placed labels on me like "bipolar", "manic...", "compulsive..." "victim...". Got the idea? Good because their list of labels for me goes on.
It's their list. NOT MINE!
I've had to fight long and hard to not internalize their labels upon myself and to remain free of their prescriptions.

And last but not least is, what I believe, will be my most important tribe and that is my ragtag team of messed up parents tribe. This tribe will most likely consist of adults that have grown up in homes having addict parents, religious parents, atheist parents, gay parents, divorced, cheating, abusive, domineering, good grief.... the list goes on about bad parents.

I have yet to meet anyone who has been given the diverse group of parents that I was given BUT I KNOW YOUR OUT THERE. Somewhere.

I really want to find you. The journey of life is easier when you've got company.

So, lets continue... 
because I don't want to travel alone!

"Son, even if your father and I abandon you, the Lord will hold you close" ~Psalm 27:10*

Yesterday I was reading a memoir that really got me thinking about how important it is for me to write out my story before the rest of my parents die.

I've actually read several memoirs about kids growing up and finally when their parents die they all of a sudden want to write about the horrors of their childhood and making peace with what happened.

I don't like that AT ALL!!!

There's always two sides to a story and that's where I come in.
Plus, I don't like the idea of poking at someone's character behind their back especially when they're dead.

I want them alive and able to respond to me. I'm not scared.

I ain't waiting until they die. I want to make my peace with them while they're still alive and have the opportunity to change the course of our (currently nonexistent) relationship.
Hey, a girl can hope. I mean for goodness-sake they're suppose to be my parents. The ones that should love me the most.

I don't want to wait until they're all dead for me to allow them the chance to know that I forgive them and that I'm thankful for my life and that (God willing) I am willing to have some kind of cordial relationship.

Out of the five parents I received, the three parents that remain are "the ones" whose decisions have impacted my life the most. They are my two mothers and my biological father.

I don't want them to die not knowing the impact of their choices.
I want to give them an opportunity to change the direction of how I tell my story years from now. Lord willing.

Nothing from the past can be changed BUT there is a God being glorified through the pain of my life.

"Angel, even if your father and I abandon you, the Lord will hold you close" ~Psalm 27:10*
Parenting is hard. I get it.
  • I want them to know what I learned from their abuse, neglect, abandonment and rejection. 
  • I want them to know that their hate has taught me how to love. 
  • I want them to know that their abuse has forced me to fight against abusive situations because I know how negatively it effect children in every aspect of their life.
  • I want them to know how their racism, partiality and biases have taught me to be more inclusive with others especially with how I teach my own kids to see other races and classes.
  • I want them to know that I learned a lot about the destructive aftermath that takes place when you're not faithful in your marriage. My pain-filled childhood going through two divorces and then being blamed for the first one keeps me aware of never blaming my marital problems on my kids.
  • I want them to know that I survived the destruction of their choices and that it has become a catalyst for how I parent my kids, how I function as a wife, how I serve my community, and how I serve, walk, and breathe my Lord and Savior:
Jesus Christ.
Last but not least... I want to be FREE!


I want nothing that is short of what Christ died to give me!

(*) verses were personalized.