I have tried two write this post three times over the last few weeks. Always putting it off and writing something different. At first it was because I was reminded of past hurtful memories…
Heads Up*** This is a raw honest blog that will touch on my pains, joys, sorrows, happiness. Most of all it will talk about my hope. What I stand on, the cornerstone of my faith that has brought me through to today.
I had started to write this post two weeks ago, It was 1am and I was sitting on the couch.. nothing good happens after 10pm, I spoke on this a little in The Truth About Holiday’s – It’s A Roller Coaster I didn’t want to go to sleep, I didn’t want to think about the stress of the day, I was frustrated and tired.
It’s always seem that during the good times, darkness tries to come in and steal your light. To ruin your joy… I began thinking about this a lot recently. I have grown up in the church most of my life. I started my relationship with Jesus at the age of 3 hiding behind a couch in my families living room praying to Jesus while someone had left the tv turned on to TBN were a preacher was speaking on the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. This is my earliest childhood memories, Praying in tongues in secrete behind the couch. Not sure what I was saying but I new that God was listening and speaking back.
Act 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
I grew up as an only child until I was 7. After that my sister were born. During those 7 years our family was poor, but happy. I remember going to the food banks to volunteer one day and to get food the next. Out of all the struggles I say my family go through there was always joy in the house. I never saw my parents fight with each other (this was shocking to my foundational beliefs when I found out latter in life that my parents fight just like any couple in a relationship.) We were always surround by people, my parents became pastors and we had an outreach children’s church were we would go door to door inviting kids to come to church on Saturday. Saturday would come around and we would take buses and vans around to the poorer neighborhoods and pick of the kids who got permission and bring them to church. 100s of kids would come every week. I was never alone, it was always fun and I learned in that time that – I am loved, every single person is important, and if you reach out to others they will be excited to be in community with one another.
We lived in a trailer park for awhile and the kids in the neighborhood were not the best out there. I learned things a 5-7 year old should not know. My parents were very protective. Looking back that is one thing that I am overly grateful NOW. When I was younger all I could think was I was never allowed to do anything. We were at church every day, I wasn’t allowed to go to friends houses for sleepovers or parties. I could have friends over but not the other way around. I can think of so many times if this wasn’t the case, I would have been abused and used by the people I ‘thought’ with my young heart would treat me right.
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
As I got older I came to understand this. I have learned to have grace for those around me, but also have wisdom to know who’s house to enter and who to meet in public.
During my teens years I felt completely isolated. My life was church 24/7. I watched my family give every part of their lives to God. Their finances, their time, and their attention. My family loved me but this anger began to grown inside of my soul.
My family now recognizes the anger I was dealing with at the time. But it took many years of me bottling up all my anger, hurt, and thoughts, wavering many times in secrete, and learning what true peace is; before my family understood the torment I was going through. I thank God that today my family realizes I am working through my anger and my feelings. But when I was younger I didn’t know how to express my thoughts and hurts to anyone but myself.
I Was Alone…. But God Was With Me
When I started this blog it was because my best friends shared with me in full honesty that she was suicidal again. She has struggled with this and self harm all through high school. I stuck to her like glue, my heart was drawn to her, I wanted to see her find joy and a reason to live. As I have been writing I have begun to reflect on my own times of darkness.. In truth I had blocked many memories never to be shared. I am perfect, I am in leadership at church, my family all believe I am the perfect child, grandchild, niece, etc. Being “perfect” is a huge burden to shoulder. Sometimes we let people around us speak identity over us to the point that we believe it no matter what..
Some people feel worthless, some people feel alone, some people perfect, some people feel blessed. Words are powerful…
Proverbs 18:21New International Version (NIV)
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
What do you believe about yourself?
When I was young I believed I was not worth peoples time or attention. That life would be better if I was never born. If I would just disappear everyone would be happy and no one would miss me.
I believed this when I was sitting in my childhood home in the garage with a gun in my mouth (I used to shoot Olympically so I had access to guns)
I believed this when I laid down in the middle of the street waiting for a car to run me over in the dark of the night.
I believed this when I was driving and thought if I would turn my car sharp at the right time on the freeway I would get smashed to pieces.
I Was Never Alone
In every one of those situation something happened to me. The first time I ran away from home my father came searching for me before I could even make it out of the neighborhood… I was loved
When I was sitting in the garage God spoke to me audibly and said, “I love you, I need you here on earth, I have great plans for you.” I put the gun away and went back inside to do homework.
When I was laying in the middle of the road, it was 2am and our neighbor was a drug dealer. Every night there were cars all hours of the night speeding thought our neighborhoods. I laid there for 2 hours and not a single car that night drove down that road. I got up with the realization I was created for something in this life.
When I was driving down the road – a peace overwhelmed my in such an unexplainable way and music filled my heart. As I began singing the truth poured out of my mouth. From the tops of my lungs I was weeping and crying out. For the first time in my life I was honest about how I felt. When I said out loud that I was in ciaos, I was angry, I was hurt, I was betrayed. The chains around my heart broke and I felt free. I felt joy, I felt hope.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.[a]
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron.
Hope is Found by Those who Seek
Are there still days of darkness? Yes, am I held back and chained down to my struggles? Never, I have sought a hope that is greater than death itself. I want to live, I want to see the world, I want to eat good food, I want to experience all that life has to offer. When I think about what this life has to offer I cannot imagine being able to see every corner of this earth, being able to reach the highest mountain, seeing the wonders of the oceans.
But I am sure going to try, I will fight with every ounce of my will to seek life and live it to the fullest! In learning that there is a hope for me, I have stopped striving to be the “perfect” person that others say I am. I will rest and I will be happy.