I feel like, on and off, for at least 20 of my 35 years seven months and 11 days of life, I have dealt with depression. It’s hard to live life with positivity when you feel like your mother doesn’t like you, your father chooses his wife over you, etc. with family and friends.
That’s a big reason why I rock so tough with Jesus. I was introduced to him at an early age. When I had no one else in the middle of the night, I had him.
Life is just lonely when you don’t want to do the heavy lifiting in relationships. It’s either do all the work and be slightly annoyed but have time after chasing people down. Or just mind your business and do you solo dolo.
I have cycles. I accept that it is out of sight out of mind. Then I miss my people and reach out to them. We engage. Then they say I’m gonna call you. I’m gonna text you. We make plans. Blah, blah, blah. And then it’s crickets.
I reached out to several of my people this week. Some I hadn’t talked to since last summer. I called a couple out on the absence. Everyone had excuses. Most said we would talk later. I haven’t heard a word since the other day.
I lost it. Like lost it lost it. I dang near cried that night. I just told God I didn’t want to live. Like my life is hard. It kinfa sucks. It doesn’t look like anything I pictured.
And mind you, two of these people are my older cousins, one I’ve known since ’99, one since ’01, one since ’01 or ’02, and one since ’05 or ’06. DECADES.
I’ve been hurt by my cousins. Typical stuff. Fell out with ’01 and didn’t speak. Lost touch, lowkey got into it, and had our mothers’ interference with ’99. But, I let go and forgave it all. Because I LOVE love them.
The only one I’m geographically close to is ’99. So phone and text is really all we got. These ninjas can’t respond to a call or text. Or call back or text. Or don’t do the follow up. Just straight ignore me. It’s rare that they initiate contact. Truly out of sight and out of mind.
It hurts to be an afterthought or insignificant to people who claim to care and love you. I just didn’t want to deal with the difficulty of the loneliness.
I told Jesus I wanted to be done. Then I apologized. Natch. Of course. Obvi. Like. He chose me and loves me and how dare I want to waste and squander his investment?
But I was still mad pissed off when I woke up Thursday morning. I def cried. I called my aunt and had the vent session of all sessions. Then I turned on some Gospel music and went to work.
At some point this week I said I need new friends. I met three dope humans this week. I had instant connections with two Thursday. At the AT&T store. Third started regular Tuesday but took off QUICKLY Thursday. LIke texting most of the day and two separate convos that totaled four hours.
I saved this as a draft then went to do some stuff to start my day. I gotta shout out the great ppl in my life!
My aunt I vented to is one of my BEST friends and favorite humans. I love her so. I can’t wait til we have time in a few weeks to meet up. I realized the other day that I haven’t seen her since January of 2021. That’s toooooooo long.
My guy. I met him in ’99 in middle school. We don’t talk all the time but he is one if the most consistent ppl. We need to talk more. I made it to college during most of my sophomore year because of him. He’s never said it, but, he probably regrets helping me get my fist job at his job. I was a mess at first. Lol.
My adopted big sister. I get to be a baby sis and I take advantage. I KNOW I tap dance on her nerves. We been at this since ’08. And made it through a quiet time when I was fed up w folks. We didn’t talk for at least a year. I’m sure it was longer. But we stuck FA life.
And chiiiii. My younger sister. You know how they say siblings are your first best friend? Maybe up until when we were like two and four. The dynamic in our household played a part. We were NOT friends growing up. I bear responsibility for some of it. We have fought. Verbally and physically. The last physical fight was, I’m ashamed to admit, January ’21. In front of her, at the time, seven year old. At the big ages of 34 and 32. Clothes were destroyed. Jewelry was destroyed. I’m amazed by where we are. Cuz we didn’t even talk for months after that. But God is gracious. Whew. Grace is what our middle name Ann means. God gave us some and I feel like we have given each other far more. I truly, after some ups and downs the first time I thought I was there, consider her not just my sister but my friend.
If anybody ever questions the existence of God and why I would choose to have a relationship with Him, it’s the little stuff like this. I’d never kill myself because I feel like suicide is murder and I don’t know that I could repent before I completed it because I’d be dead. I just feel defeated and hopeless. But, as I’ve done over the course of my depression, I take it to Him and it gets better.
If you feel like me, I dare you to find a Bible. Holla atcha girl (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need to talk. We all we got.
Okay so I DEF forgot about someone. She’s like an aunt and big sister all rolled into one. She listens to my foolishness, questions me, laughs at me, corrects me, and most recently called me silly because of what I said via text. UNTIL I explained it on the phone. Lol. We think so much alike that at times it throws me when sis be on a totally different page. I admire her soooooo much and am so grateful to have her for an example. Even if she stays super busy being the awesome human she is to the ppl in her life. I can count on her to make time despite the many balls she juggles.
My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.
Your Sex-and-Religion Obsessions
God’s Message came to me as follows:
“If a man’s wife
walks out on him
And marries another man,
can he take her back as if nothing had happened?
Wouldn’t that raise a huge stink
in the land?
And isn’t that what you’ve done—
‘whored’ your way with god after god?
And now you want to come back as if nothing had happened.”
2-5 “Look around at the hills.
Where have you not had sex?
You’ve camped out like hunters stalking deer.
You’ve solicited many lover-gods,
Like a streetwalking whore
chasing after other gods.
And so the rain has stopped.
No more rain from the skies!
But it doesn’t even faze you. Brazen as whores,
you carry on as if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Then you have the nerve to call out, ‘My father!
You took care of me when I was a child. Why not now?
Are you going to keep up your anger nonstop?’
That’s your line. Meanwhile you keep sinning nonstop.”
Admit Your God-Defiance
6-10 God spoke to me during the reign of King Josiah: “You have noticed, haven’t you, how fickle Israel has visited every hill and grove of trees as a whore at large? I assumed that after she had gotten it out of her system, she’d come back, but she didn’t. Her flighty sister, Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that because of fickle Israel’s loose morals I threw her out, gave her her walking papers. But that didn’t faze flighty sister Judah. She went out, big as you please, and took up a whore’s life also. She took up cheap sex-and-religion as a sideline diversion, an indulgent recreation, and used anything and anyone, flouting sanity and sanctity alike, stinking up the country. And not once in all this did flighty sister Judah even give me a nod, although she made a show of it from time to time.” God’s Decree.
Man. As you can see I have few words. It speaks for itself.
11-12 Then God told me, “Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say:
12-15 “‘Turn back, fickle Israel.
I’m not just hanging back to punish you.
I’m committed in love to you.
My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop.
Just admit your guilt.
Admit your God-defiance.
Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners,
pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves
While turning a deaf ear to me.’”
“Come back, wandering children!”
“I, yes I, am your true husband.
I’ll pick you out one by one—
This one from the city, these two from the country—
and bring you to Zion.
I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way,
who rule you with intelligence and wisdom.
But God is angry, judgmental, and unloving. 🙄 I think that’s just the people who wanna do what they wanna do….
16 “And this is what will happen: You will increase and prosper in the land. The time will come”—God’s Decree!—“when no one will say any longer, ‘Oh, for the good old days! Remember the Ark of the Covenant?’ It won’t even occur to anyone to say it—‘the good old days.’ The so-called good old days of the Ark are gone for good.
17 “Jerusalem will be the new Ark—‘God’s Throne.’ All the godless nations, no longer stuck in the ruts of their evil ways, will gather there to honor God.
18 “At that time, the House of Judah will join up with the House of Israel. Holding hands, they’ll leave the north country and come to the land I willed to your ancestors.
19-20 “I planned what I’d say if you returned to me:
‘Good! I’ll bring you back into the family.
I’ll give you choice land,
land that the godless nations would die for.’
And I imagined that you would say, ‘Dear father!’
and would never again go off and leave me.
But no luck. Like a false-hearted woman walking out on her husband,
you, the whole family of Israel, have proven false to me.”
I’m almost, or maybe I am, sad for God. The grace and mercy and the throwing it in His face. I’m guilty of it too…
21-22 The sound of voices comes drifting out of the hills,
the unhappy sound of Israel’s crying,
Israel lamenting the wasted years,
never once giving her God a thought.
“Come back, wandering children!
I can heal your wanderlust!”
22-25 “We’re here! We’ve come back to you.
You’re our own true God!
All that popular religion was a cheap lie,
duped crowds buying up the latest in gods.
We’re back! Back to our true God,
the salvation of Israel.
The Fraud picked us clean, swindled us
of what our ancestors bequeathed us,
Gypped us out of our inheritance—
God-blessed flocks and God-given children.
We made our bed and now lie in it,
all tangled up in the dirty sheets of dishonor.
All because we sinned against our God,
we and our fathers and mothers.
From the time we took our first steps, said our first words,
we’ve been rebels, disobeying the voice of our God.”
But they left again. And this is why ppl say Jesus was necessary. The law could do little on its own to keep the people in relationship with God. But the new covenant. New Testament. What came by way of, through, and after Jesus that exists today…whole nother ball of wax….
1-2 “If you want to come back, O Israel,
you must really come back to me.
You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia
and not wander away from me anymore.
Then you can say words like, ‘As God lives . . . ’
and have them mean something true and just and right.
And the godless nations will get caught up in the blessing
and find something in Israel to write home about.”
Tuh. Actions aligning with words…. Getting rid of everything that separates them from God.
3-4 Here’s another Message from God
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow your unplowed fields,
but then don’t plant weeds in the soil!
Yes, circumcise your lives for God’s sake.
Plow your unplowed hearts,
all you people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Prevent fire—the fire of my anger—
for once it starts it can’t be put out.
Your wicked ways
are fuel for the fire.
Huh. Don’t plant weeds. Prepare it but don’t fill it with what kills the good that would grow. I’m not touching the rest. Ouch.
God’s Sledgehammer Anger
5-8 “Sound the alarm in Judah,
broadcast the news in Jerusalem.
Say, ‘Blow the ram’s horn trumpet through the land!’
Shout out—a bullhorn bellow!—
Run for your lives to the shelters!’
Send up a flare warning Zion:
‘Not a minute to lose! Don’t sit on your hands!’
Disaster’s descending from the north. I set it off!
When it lands, it will shake the foundations.
Invaders have pounced like a lion from its cover,
ready to rip nations to shreds,
Leaving your land in wrack and ruin,
your cities in rubble, abandoned.
Dress in funereal black.
Weep and wail,
For God’s sledgehammer anger
has slammed into us head-on.
9 “When this happens”
“King and princes will lose heart;
priests will be baffled and prophets stand dumbfounded.”
10 Then I said, “Alas, Master God!
You’ve fed lies to this people, this Jerusalem.
You assured them, ‘All is well, don’t worry,’
at the very moment when the sword was at their throats.”
Whoa. Talk about speaking to God honestly…
11-12 At that time, this people, yes, this very Jerusalem,
will be told in plain words:
“The northern hordes are sweeping in
from the desert steppes—
A wind that’s up to no good, a gale-force wind.
I ordered this wind.
my hurricane judgment on my people.”
Your Evil Life Is Piercing Your Heart
13-14 Look at them! Like banks of storm clouds,
racing, tumbling, their chariots a tornado,
Their horses faster than eagles!
Woe to us! We’re done for!
Jerusalem! Scrub the evil from your lives
so you’ll be fit for salvation.
How much longer will you harbor
devious and malignant designs within you?
15-17 What’s this? A messenger from Dan?
Bad news from Ephraim’s hills!
Make the report public.
Broadcast the news to Jerusalem:
“Invaders from far off are
raising war cries against Judah’s towns.
They’re all over her, like a dog on a bone.
And why? Because she rebelled against me.”
Sheesh. The last two parts in the quote.
18 “It’s the way you’ve lived
that’s brought all this on you.
The bitter taste is from your evil life.
That’s what’s piercing your heart.”
19-21 I’m doubled up with cramps in my belly—
a poker burns in my gut.
My insides are tearing me up,
never a moment’s peace.
The ram’s horn trumpet blast rings in my ears,
the signal for all-out war.
Disaster hard on the heels of disaster,
the whole country in ruins!
In one stroke my home is destroyed,
the walls flattened in the blink of an eye.
How long do I have to look at the warning flares,
listen to the siren of danger?
Experts at Evil
22 “What fools my people are!
They have no idea who I am.
A company of half-wits,
dopes and donkeys all!
Experts at evil
but klutzes at good.”
23-26 I looked at the earth—
it was back to pre-Genesis chaos and emptiness.
I looked at the skies,
and not a star to be seen.
I looked at the mountains—
they were trembling like aspen leaves,
And all the hills
rocking back and forth in the wind.
I looked—what’s this! Not a man or woman in sight,
and not a bird to be seen in the skies.
I looked—this can’t be! Every garden and orchard shriveled up.
All the towns were ghost towns.
And all this because of God,
because of the blazing anger of God.
27-28 Yes, this is God’s Word on the matter:
“The whole country will be laid waste—
still it won’t be the end of the world.
The earth will mourn
and the skies lament
Because I’ve given my word and won’t take it back.
I’ve decided and won’t change my mind.”
You’re Not Going to Seduce Anyone
29 Someone shouts, “Horsemen and archers!”
and everybody runs for cover.
They hide in ditches,
they climb into caves.
The cities are emptied,
not a person left anywhere.
30-31 And you, what do you think you’re up to?
Dressing up in party clothes,
Decking yourselves out in jewelry,
putting on lipstick and rouge and mascara!
Your primping goes for nothing.
You’re not going to seduce anyone. They’re out to kill you!
And what’s that I hear? The cry of a woman in labor,
the screams of a mother giving birth to her firstborn.
It’s the cry of Daughter Zion, gasping for breath,
reaching out for help:
“Help, oh help me! I’m dying!
The killers are on me!”
Yo. This last part…….
You Don’t Know Tomorrow
1 Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
2 Don’t call attention to yourself;
let others do that for you.
3 Carrying a log across your shoulders
while you’re hefting a boulder with your arms
Is nothing compared to the burden
of putting up with a fool.
4 We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
but who can survive jealousy?
5 A spoken reprimand is better
than approval that’s never expressed.
6 The wounds from a lover are worth it;
kisses from an enemy do you in.
7 When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert;
when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.
8 People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon,
are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.
9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends
and run home to your family when things get rough;
Better a nearby friend
than a distant family.
11 Become wise, dear child, and make me happy;
then nothing the world throws my way will upset me.
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
13 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.
15-16 A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it.
Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
17 You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.
18 If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit;
if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.
19 Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.
20 Hell has a voracious appetite,
and lust just never quits.
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested
by putting them in the fire;
The purity of human hearts is tested
by giving them a little fame.
22 Pound on a fool all you like—
you can’t pound out foolishness.
23-27 Know your sheep by name;
carefully attend to your flocks;
(Don’t take them for granted;
possessions don’t last forever, you know.)
And then, when the crops are in
and the harvest is stored in the barns,
You can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool,
and sell your goats for a profit;
There will be plenty of milk and meat
to last your family through the winter.
I had a blog in mind. It’s a draft. It may get written it may not. Oh well. Been dealing with a lot of foolishness this past month. There is one common denominator.
I’m stuck in a situation. I thought I prayed about it. I was slightly pushed into it. I may have reacted to little things too hastily. I definitely wanted to help not just me. But it’s been a point of contention and difficult for me far more than it has been pleasant.
Though life could have robbed me of my heart and kindness, I chose to let go and strive earnestly to be like Christ. My situation isn’t as dire, but it reminds me somewhat of Hosea marrying his unfaithful wife.
I can’t say with certainty this situation was at the leading or in the will of God or even that He told me to do it like He told Hosea. But Hosea’s intentions were honorable like mine. He kept at it.
I’m sure people called him crazy. Nobody’s called me crazy to my face about it. They are concerned and feel bad for me. I’ve had to constantly defend myself. I’ve tried not to “go there” but when you poke a bear…?
This situation will be over in less than a year. I’m going to honor requests that have been made that go against my nature. And I’m going to stick with it even if back peddling occurs.
People teach you how to treat them. I’ve tried to teach how I want to be treated. The lesson isn’t being learned. But I’ll learn the lesson I’m being taught. And I’m gonna try to be angry and not sin. I’m going to try to let the Lord repay the vengeance that’s his.
Jesus was confrontational without being disrespectful. His existence before he even spoke a word confronted the nature of the world as it existed then. And when he opened up his mouth? If I can’t stand firm and hold to my convictions in this space what will happen if a bigger space opens? I won’t be able to handle it.
God equips. It’s up to us to pay attention, learn the lessons, and be prepared to move into where He takes us.