So I got my nose pierced about five years ago. It hurt. The circumference of the stud was kinda big compared to studs and rings people wear.
I eventually changed it. I have struggled with studs and hoops since. The way my nose is set up and the location of the piercing. Not to mention the stones falling out.
I didn’t like the hoop I finally tried last year. It was studs til then. So I went and got a new hoop.
I wasn’t thinking. It is ribbed. I think my hole is smaller cuz the studs I put in after I took the original out are way smaller.
The thang HURT. I wanted to say nah. I’m done. Nice try. I like it but the pain. I thought I was done withthe pain after it healed. I’ve had bumps n stuff since. But I don’t recall pain like the initial piercing. This was similar.
But I stuck with it. My nose either stretched or realized this wasn’t a foreign object. I didn’t consider foreign til typing. Ima go with stretched cuz that was my initial thought and point of this post.
Life stretches us. We go through something. It hurts. Then it looks like we are onto something else. It may not be the same thing. But the pain feels the same. We thought we were done with the pain.
God allows things to stretch us. To grow us. To get us to where we need to be. It’s difficult. But, if we allow ourselves to be malleable like a rubber band. Man.
Rubber bands start at one size. Based on appearance, they can only handle so much.
Once we start using them, we see that they can handle more than their appearance would lead us to believe. So we keep adding. And often they just keep stretching.
We aren’t totally like rubber bands though. Eventually we can put too much in them and they break. Or they get old and break down. They no longer stretch.
Fortunately, with God, we have an unlimited ability to stretch. We won’t break. We won’t break down. We won’t lose the ability to stretch. We will never have too much to hold. God’s got it and us.
So. Go on and stretch. You got this!
Soooooo I used to go to church camp every summer. I spent seven years at one and one year at another one.
God gave me the precious gift of the Holy Ghost my first year. He started revealing His plan for me my third year.
So much of my relationship and view of God and church and whatnot can be traced to those eight hot, glorious weeks.
These are the lyrics to a song I haven’t remembered to sing in years. I may post some of the others I learned. Most were camp specific. A couple are songs that I discovered on CDs. Ion know if this one exists and I’m not searching lol.
Say the name of Jesus
Say the name of Jesus
Say the name
There’s no other name I know
That can calm your fears
And dry your tears
And wipe away your pain
When you don’t know what else to pray
And you can’t find the words to say
Say the name
I was cleaning the other day and there was rice everywhere in the pantry. I pushed it off of what it was on onto the floor. Some of it had already spilled and I needed to clean the floor anyway.
When I was done cleaning and it was time to clean the floor I couldn’t see the rice but I knew it was there.
I swept the floor and, as I knew, I gathered rice.
The point of my being in the pantry is because there was disorganized chaos.
We have a whole lot of stuff we can’t see because our lives and minds aren’t organized. Here I go with this again.
We haven’t taken stock and inventory of what is going on with us. We have trauma and pain, hurt and confusion, disappointment and abandonment hidden among so many other things.
That was the initial route I was going with this. But, while writing, the age old adage that is ever true came to mind. Even when we can’t see Him, what we know to be true, is that God is always there.
We have all of this mess and stuff that we need clean. We name it and put it out there. Or stuff we need. We know we place our petitions before Him.
But He isn’t moving quickly enough. Or at all. Or we just don’t see Him in the process.
Then all of a sudden here comes something “big” (big cuz it may be small but the smallest things can be big in the moment), like a broom to a pile of dirt, comes along and shows us God was there all along. Just like we knew. Just like He said He would be.
I didn’t publish this the other day and stopped writing because I was tired and felt like this didn’t make much sense. It still may not. I think the organization may be off. I dunno. But, this is just a thoughts post. Perfection is never my aim. I think all of it is important. Hopefully it makes enough sense.
The point is two fold. Just because we can’t see our issues and mess does not mean that they are not there. We need to clean it up so God can use us. We don’t use partially clean stuff in our lives why would God want to use a partially clean life for His glory? Especially when NOTHING about Him is unclean. And when nothing, no thing is hidden. He already knows. Just tell Him and let Him help and guide us into cleaning it up. Things will always be a bit off until we do anyway.
Second, though we may not be able to see Him, or trace Him as some say, the Word gives us a promise. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5 KJV). He keeps His promises. It may seem like all is lost and He has abandoned or forgotten you.
Look at Job. He was there. He allowed Job to go through it because He knew Job and knew he could handle it. That’s the not allowing us to be tempted more than we can bear in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I’m sure Job had more feelings than we see-despite seeing a lot of them. But God knew that he could handle the loss and the temptation to walk away from Him. He questioned God. He expressed his feelings. God could handle the messiness of it.
Then God reminded Job who He was. Job gathered himself and got it together. Then God blessed him with even more than before. God knew what He was doing, who He was gonna get His glory from.
Valleys don’t exist without mountains. Mountains don’t exist without valleys. But God is the Creator and God of them ALL.
I’s tired boss. I’m just copying and pasting the whole thing with some thoughts after. Kinda like yesterday. Kinda not.
1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense;
what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.
The author is letting us know that he knows what he’s talking about and it is beneficial to listen to his words.
3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
about who she is or where she’s going.
This makes me think of Delilah and what happened to Samson… I don’t think this is just about or can be applied to just a woman. I feel like this is a metaphor for sin or distractions, including the wrong people.
7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
don’t treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don’t want to end your life full of regrets,
nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me?
Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn’t I listen to my mentors,
or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”
Samesies with a side of regret.
15-16 Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel,
draw water from your own spring-fed well”?
It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.
The original minding my business drinking my water. Lol.
17-20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?
It as though he is saying you are the only you, live your life, worry about what your are tasked to do and who who are tasked to do it with.
21-23 Mark well that God doesn’t miss a move you make;
he’s aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.
God is watching and if you don’t live right death will be your portion.
Uuuuuuuh. I read it. Truly. I may come back and edit it with thoughts. But, I don’t have it in me right now. Lol. If you only knew… I’m just proud that I read it today! 🙂 *and did on 1-7*
Hate to break it to us…the change of the year isn’t some magic spell.
I’ve said I was ready for the new year, throw 2020 away. It’s been team too much.
What I’ve come to realize and understand about this year is so simply profound.
Some of us lost some stuff to grow. Some of us won some stuff to grow.
Regardless, the mere fact that we have made it through 2020 en route to 2021 is a miraculous blessing in and of itself.
Of all the things I’ve learned, the one I think matters most is this: miracles aren’t always big, huge, events.
The scale moving in the right direction was a miracle.
Keeping my mouth closed when I wouldn’t have before is a miracle.
Letting people go was a miracle.
Apologizing and welcoming people back was a miracle.
Forgiving was a miracle.
Moving forward in immense pain under stress was a miracle.
So, no, no magic in less than 12 hours. But another opportunity for another miracle.
I just thought that maybe somebody needs the same encouragement I need today. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly.
Now these tests and trials don’t seem like abundant life. If anything they seem like a death or jail sentence. But that’s kind of the point. This flesh has to die daily. If we are going to reign with Christ we have to suffer with him. This just dawned on me. Part of getting to know somebody, having a relationship with somebody is understanding what they’ve been through.
Jesus already went through for us. he was in all points tempted like we were yet without sin. He’s been where we are. And now we are going through what he went through. This enables us to relate to one another, to understand one another, to know one another.
If we resist the devil he’ll flee. Now I don’t know about you but it seems like it takes forever for him to flee or for Jesus to turn these things around. Sometimes there’s layers to our lessons. And sometimes the problem is still just us.
Sometimes we pray and we answer ourselves. Sometimes He answers but we don’t listen or we are slow in following through.
I am going to challenge us today. I hope we remember that all things, especially the painful difficult things, work together for our good because we love God and are called according to his purpose. I hope we remember that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgement we will condemn because this is our heritage as servants of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And our latter will be greater. Eyes haven’t seen and ears haven’t heard…
I was wearing blue sapphires and diamonds one day. Those are precious stones. Proverbs 31 talks about a woman whose price is far above precious stones.
There are people who think a woman should buy her own things. Then when she’s ready for a man she can say what she is capable of doing for herself and he should be able to do the same and/or better.
In part, that’s why I bought mine. I also wanted some nice stuff. The thing is I have come to discover is that if I want something and I can get it for myself I shoule. You should only demand of others what you are willing to give.
Now I get that because of my future job and my dreams and goals my earning potential may be exponentially higher than a man’s. I’m not really talking about stuff or the cost of the stuff. I mean you have to be willing to treat yourself well, take care of yourself, love yourself, value yourself, be kind to yourself.
If you are broken you will either attract broken people or people who prey on broken people. And if you aren’t strong enough or careful enough you will allow others to change you. I’ve been guilty of all 3. It’s easy when you just want peace. It’s easy to repeat past behavior.
And then one day you will look up and not recognize yourself. You’ll look up and not like what you see. It’s true that sometimes you go through the same thing and learn different things. But it is also it is imperative that one guards their heart. That’s the essence of you.
Sometimes you can forget how important you are. Sometimes you forget how valuable and precious you are. I saw a fb post that basically said when you realize how much you are worth you will stop giving people a discount. It’s difficult to change for fickle people. Once you start giving pieces of you away, people will take pieces until you are left empty and broken with much of nothing.
And the road back to you or to a better you is hard and painful. I’ve looked around and assessed my situation. I’m chucking the deuces. If people aren’t adding value, no matter who they are, I don’t really need them around. I don’t need people questioning my decisions. I don’t need people criticizing me. I don’t need people who will make me question or doubt my decisions. I don’t need people who I will have to stop and explain the minute details of everything.
That is too difficult, painful, time consuming and stressful. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I choose me. I choose to live this precious life of mine.
I felt unloved. My mother compared me to a father she seemed to hate. She went around telling half truths, exaggerations. She threatened to put me out. She called and told my father and grandfather on me. She told on me in person. She talked to me however she wanted. She never listened. She let my sister talk to me any kind of way. My dad remarried. Because if the craziness post and prior marriage, and because he may be a little too saved, he put his wife and her kids and grandkids before me. Though my dad and step mother begged me, for a while I refused to move home and live with them. Well one day I decided to change some things, give away some things. I told my dad and stepmother what would probably happen. My dad told me to call the cops.
I wrote my mom a letter, telling the truth. It pissed her off. Not to mention me giving away my personal property. I refused to go take it back. At 22 years old my mother slapped me. And she slapped me hard enough to leave an impression long enough for me to call the cops, get a picture taken, talk to the cops, drive thirty minutes, text her for I don’t know how long. Maybe it wasn’t on there that long. The details are hazy. She put me out. Then she let me come back.
I went and talked to the first lady of the church I was attending. I almost lost my mind that night. I had been desperately trying to cultivate a better relationship with Christ, yet all hell broke loose. The first lady and the mother of the church told me the devil was attacking me. They wouldn’t let me speak. They sent me home to my mother. After years of being sent home, nobody helping me, nobody confronting her, the next day I had had enough. I quit my job. Packed my car and left. I went searching for a friend I let my mother talk me into throwing away.
I got lost on my journey. I changed my number. I told my dad and stepmother I was coming. I asked her not to give away my number. But she did. My mom tried to get me to go back. When the manipulation didn’t work she tried passive aggressiveness. I only lasted two months at my dad’s. My stepmother was a trip. She put me out. When my dad found out he asked her if she got the key. He didn’t come talk to me. He didn’t listen when I tried to tell him how she treated me, how she behaved. They wouldn’t let me drive one of their cars so I had to walk. Even though they claimed they would help me. And once I moved to my grandmother’s he came in twice. Never asked about me or came to my room. I will say my stepmother apologized. My dad hasn’t. I don’t think my mom has either.
Number 3 was there for me. Pushing and supporting me. But when I tried to return the favor that didn’t go over so well. I struggled to maintain friendships with those my age and younger once I moved. I was loopy and trying to sort through the turmoil and crazy that was my life. I said one thing but wanted another. The whole destruction of three relationships occurred not too long after this.
Number 1 was struggling. Another not so great friend was refusing to be there for him because he couldn’t forgive get over what Number 1 had done, and Number 1 had no idea. Number 1 ended up in crisis and the friend refused to help. I was incredulous. I had decided to start throwing away some things myself. I ended the friendship.
I could no longer be surrounded by people who didn’t want to me. I was no longer to beg, buy, borrow, or steal friends. If I wasn’t good enough for you to pick up the phone and call or respond then deuces. I could no longer surround myself with “Christians” who know nothing about the message of Christ. Or should I say who knew about it but weren’t trying to accept and display it. Again, I’m not perfect. But I try to forgive. That’s why I can talk to my family, though they almost destroyed me, and constantly threw away the pieces I gave them. I was already lonely surrounded by people. Why not celebrate, and embrace me? Why not actively decide to have peace?
So here I am today. Everything isn’t perfect. But I’ve tried to perfect accepting things. I don’t need people. I am fortunate with the few I have that accept me as I am and love me for who I am. I don’t think I accomplished all I set out to do in this blog as I attempt to wrap it up. Maybe I’ll do some ISSUES or WORTH blogs. I dunno. But as the Donald Lawrence and Company song “Happy Being Me” says:
“So happy being me, I’m regretting nothing
To busy living life giving love… freely
I’m so happy being me” http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/donaldlawrence/happybeingme.html
Ok. As promised, here is this blog. Throwaway, as a noun defined by google means: a thing intended or destined to be discarded after brief use or appeal. I’ve been thrown away a time or few in these short 28 years of life. The first time I actually remember being discarded was in fifth grade. I had been at the school for the past two years. I received the gift of salvation. I don’t recall being any different. But something must have been. What began was many years of hurt, betrayal, and displacement. I belonged to a group of girls thick as thieves. All of a sudden they turned on me. The wouldn’t be my friend anymore. I still remember trying hard to get the fearless leader to like me. I had been by her side all day trying to get into her good graces. I came back from the restroom. I overheard her say something along the line of being her pet. Dejected, I went to the cafeteria to eat lunch alone. That school year was rough. My mom had conferences with my teacher. It was also the last school year before I had to move. I didn’t want to. I had a life. I volunteered to stay with my dad though he wasn’t my favorite.
We visited the south every summer for my grandfather’s pastoral anniversary celebration. I knew of the kids. They knew who I was. I didn’t really hang with them because I had my cousins and sisters when we would go visit. Well, I hung with one set of kids and that was pretty much it. Once I got there permanently it was disastrous. I remember one of the boys asking me why my legs were so big. I guess I need to write a blog about WORDS.
I thought these kids were my friends eventually. A set of cousins seemingly didn’t get along. They played me for a fool and put me in the middle. I had a boyfriend, crazy but common in the sixth grade. He treated his friend, the one he was supposed to be with according to the “church” folk, better than me. He felt he could do whatever but let me do the same thing and it was awful. That lasted off and on for about two years. He didn’t treat me well. I promised to be done and that I didn’t need another bf. Well, I have had one since the ninth grade. And tons of infatuations that were fruitless…sad. (Sidebar-he tried to, in an email, get back with ya girl freshman year in college. I knew better and said no. And, though I don’t recall, he tried again later before he proposed to his wife. Again no. Glad he seems happy with his wife and kids.)
School friends got better eventually. The few that I had. At least in middle and high school. The “church” friends not so much. I tried with all my might to have friends by showing myself friendly. I was there when I didn’t have to be. All I wanted was attention in return. Maybe I attempted to buy their love. Maybe I was “too saved.” I admit at times I was. It took me a while to ever need GRACE. But when I did, boy did I ever.
So I just tweeted back to back to back. Reflection is not usually a fun or pleasant thing. Especially when your past was not fun and unpleasant. I spent much of my life unhappy, depressed, and I think angry. I was a kid when my parents divorced. Younger than ten. But I remember the counseling and the arguing. I do remember having fun. I had friends and people I considered family that I went to church with. My relationship with my dad wasn’t that great. I know now that it was due in part to factors we could not control. My friends at school ended up being enemies. Fifth grade was the beginning of a long period of a struggle with the isolation that came with being me.
The other day I realized a lot of my personal struggles began shortly after I received the gift of salvation. I didn’t know what I was setting myself up for. I think the church, at least the churches I grew up in, romanticized salvation. The truth about the struggles, the issues, and difficulties that come along with serving God are often hidden and buried. The salvation, the God, the church I was given was one of ignorance and blind devotion. The human side of salvation is replaced with a domineering subservience. If you didn’t think everything was going to be okay, if you didn’t trust God, if you succumbed to humanity you weren’t good enough. The arrogance of the Biblical Sadducee and Pharisees was alive and well in the 20th and 21st century church. Jesus wasn’t taught or shared much after I reached a certain age.
The certain age would be when I left home by force with my mother and sister. Moving was the absolute worst for me. I had carved out a belief system, an understanding of God, Jesus, and life in ten, almost eleven, short years. I was allowed to be a certain way, to ask certain questions, and to live a certain way at home. I had to change almost everything overnight. I didn’t want to move. And once I moved I hated it. School was horrible. Church was horrible. Home was barely tolerable. Eventually school and church got better. Home got worse. I told people at church. They listened. And sent me home. Some saw my point of view. While others told me the devil was attacking me and I was wrong. I told family members. They listened but rarely agreed or did anything. One made things worse by mentioning things I thought were told in confidence. I almost, or did actually somewhat, lose my mind. How could the God I read about, the God I tried to have a relationship with despite so called “Christians'” behavior toward me, allow so much. How could I be trying my best yet still feel this way, go through these things? I wanted to die. I begged him to kill me. The only thing that prevented me from committing suicide, outside of people praying for me, was the thought that I would be committing murder and would not be able to repent for that.
I denied who I was, what I felt, what I wanted, what I believed because people told me that I should. I changed, I caved, I merely existed because I believed it was the right thing to do and that one day things would change and I had to stick around and see them through. NOBODY called a meeting to address my issues or concerns. NOBODY truly stuck their neck out to defend me and make my world a better place. The church, at least from my experiences, hides. The church has amnesia. The church doesn’t really help its members. The church just tells you to go pray about it and you have to hope it gets better. The church only loves you if you are a certain way or bring a certain thing. The church I know is a failure.
Christianity means to follow Christ. If you follow, in that sense, you strive to be like Christ. You exemplify his example. I am not perfect. I am not the best Christian or human. I strive to be. But I know I will fall short. Yet I keep trying. I’ll never figure it out. But what I do know is that I will not be a failure. I will not idly sit on the sidelines while others hurt and die. I will not tell people to just accept things. I will not send people to a life of emotional death and suicide. I will help. After all, Jesus came to heal, he came to help, he came to teach. Jesus came to fix what was broken by showing a better way and then proving his love by his death at Calvary.
To succeed the church must take off the blinders and admit, like David and Job and others, that there is a human aspect to the lives we live. We hurt, we cry, we have issues, we have pain. And then the church must accept people, serve people, LOVE people, and help people. There are churches that do this. At least on the outside from what I have seen. I am so completely and thoroughly jaded, not to mention holding onto a strong set of criteria, that I don’t even belong to one. I have decided that there are things that are nonnegotiable when it comes to a church home. After joining several because they looked good on the outside only to find out they were rotten on the inside, I am taking my time. But while I wait, I choose to try to be the best me I can be, based on the example Jesus gave me, and hope he’s pleased. Only once more of us begin to exemplify Christ in the earth will the church be anything more than a failure.