Time to get Real

What I am writing is risky for me. I’m going to shed light on something I haven’t talked about much publicly but I feel like I am being led by The Holy Spirit to say something and share this part of my Testimony.

I used to be a cutter. To date right now I am 79311229782_10200629568778803_6439136047097770309_o days free of cutting.

I feel compelled to share this story because a lot of people would not have known this about me. I haven’t shared this with many people. To be honest a person going into ministry with a history of self-harm, may not look so good to a lot of people. If anything it makes a person look unstable. But All is Grace and I feel compelled to share this story and be honest because it needs to be said and it’s time to get real.

My reasoning behind why I did it was because I kept so many things inside of me and locked them down in a box, so cutting became something that I could control, because the feelings of anxiety and depression and the scars of my past as a survivor of sexual abuse, caused me to put up walls around all of the feelings that I was holding inside and not wanting anyone to see. To be honest it was exhausting, but I was so afraid to face the anxiety and depression and pain. Afraid that my emotional pain would consume me so much that I would not be able to breathe, controlling the blade was easier than having to do the hard thing and face me.

But May 25, 2013 I made a choice to stop completely. I chose to love myself and my body and decide that I worth more than a piece of metal and it would no longer have control over my life. I made the choice to stop and I surrendered all of this to God. It took sleepless nights of singing and praying to get through it all but I am here. I have overcome. And slowly the emotional boundaries have been broken and while it makes me uncomfortable I let myself feel the things I have been way too uncomfortable to feel and at the other end of that healing has occurred.

What I want to say as a person who is overcoming every day and is delivered from this behavior is this: The Church needs to be a place where addicts and cutters can come without fear, a place where they can be open about their struggles so they can overcome. The summer I decided to stop I started going to Wingate Baptist Church and it was there through the love and community of that Church that I found strength to be honest about who I was, about my struggles and the people there cared for me, loved me, and prayed for me.

I feel like there are many people in the Church today who have so many things they are carrying around and Depression and Anxiety are seen as things that are made to be the person struggling’s fault. Cutters are seen as weak, addicts are judged, when it’s not our job to judge the person struggling, it’s our job to point that person to the Deliverer, the one who died for their addiction, for their scars, for their self-hate, for their infirmities, for every person The Son of God says “come to me you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest..In me you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus breaks the chains, breaks the yokes that we are carrying, and He is the one who heals the brokenhearted.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick.”~Jesus

I overcame the Darkness by clinging to The Light of The World and I did so by prayer and going into a Church where I was loved right where I was at and given room for the Holy Spirit to work in me to free me. Freedom is possible. I now have a tattoo over my scars on my forearm and it covers my former identity as “a cutter” with the identity that God calls me and that is “Child of God” in Greek, because I think Greek is an amazingly beautiful language, but God calls me His daughter, His child. When He looks at me He doesn’t see my struggle, He doesn’t see who I used to be or my failures, He sees His Son who has redeemed me so I can be His Beloved daughter.

This is me being real I have struggled, and I still struggle with temptation sometimes when things get dark, but I am strong in Christ and He gives me peace, and a space to release what I feel inside. I am a Child of God and He walks with me through my storms.

This is me taking a risk to be real, I hope you all are blessed by my shedding light on something that needed to be said.

May the God who sees you and me bless us all,

Amen

Time to get Real

Lord May We Find Balance….

This post is for Christians like me, for Christians who are on the far left side of progressive, and for Christians on the far right side of Conservative.

This is an appeal to enact the very thing that I have struggled to find for most of my life as a Christian but as I grow I find myself being more comfortable with grey areas. I’m a Christian who has a lot of questions and I’m going to be authentically honest:

I HAVE DOUBTS! *cue gasp here*

As a person going into ministry one thing that has been communicated to me over and over again is the need to find the balance between one extreme and another. My Professor of Theology my Junior Year at Wingate introduced me to the very controversial theologian Karl Barth and the need for balance became all the more real as we discussed Church doctrine and the presentation of the Gospel and the role of the Gospel and how one can search for Truth. In Philosophy Dialectic is a technique that is used to consider both sides of something and find the truth within the mean of those two sides, that it’s a both and tension, a balance. Michael Raburn presented a truth that made me consider Jesus as a form of a dialectic truth. That He is fully God and fully man and that one part of Christ cannot be more elevated than the other, the truth is found in the tension between two things so other and in Christ Himself.

I know a lot of right wing conservatives who believe a lot of things in scripture to be literal. I too believe some things in scripture to be literal like the Virgin Birth and an actual Physical Resurrection if Jesus Christ.

I know a lot of left wing progressives who believe a lot of things in scripture are symbolic. I too believe some things in scripture to be symbolic like the majority of Revelation,

I have things that I wrestle with, that I am unsure of so I have doubts and questions. I feel like I’m more in the middle than anything else. My plea as a person in the middle is to ask people to consider the other side of things. To listen to one another and have a conversation with your brother or Sister and not degrade a person for being pro-life or pro gay rights and claim the other to be ignorant, bigoted, or foolish if they disagree with you. The fact of the matter is that within the Body of Christ doubts happen all the time, and everyone has their opinion on everything.

But you know what God is bigger than all of that. This past Spring in Haiti I got to work with so many people from so many different backgrounds and serve the people of Haiti. I got to serve with people from Texas who were very conservative, and in the same group I got to serve with a group of people from a very liberal Church in New York City. The conservatives and Liberals put their opinions and differences aside to achieve a balance for the week to serve the people of Haiti and conservative and liberal together presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ by feeding, loving, and caring for orphans, widows, and the poor. They achieved balance because of the power that is found in the balance of Jesus Christ and His good news. And when balance was achieved, the miraculous happened. Mouths were fed, hearts were filled, and the love of the Gospel was shown.

Everyone has their opinions but they should not impede anyone from hearing the good news of Jesus Christ and inviting people into the Kingdom of God.

My Brothers and Sisters may we find balance with the Body and Bride of Christ no matter our differences, no matter our labels, no matter our doubts. May we find balance so we as a Church can continue to Shine the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person who needs it.

May The God who Sees you and me bless us all,

Amen

Lord May We Find Balance….

Be Careful of Your Words

Today out on the job site posed a challenge as a Missions Intern leader for Resort Area Ministries. One of the girls in the work crew that we were working with was a challenge, so to speak. If anything she seemed to be carrying a lot of pain only I did not recognize that at first. She told stories, and I mean obviously wild and crazy stories that could not possibly be true for attention. She did her own thing, she did not listen to instruction, and to be honest she was working my nerves. I did my best to engage her, to talk to her, to try to get her to work but she really was not having much of it. She didn’t want anything to do with this Jesus everyone seemed to be talking about too. No one knew how to handle her or take her, so they just ignored her and overlooked her and gave her a cold shoulder. At the job over and over again I felt like the Lord was impressing on me to love her despite every dig at my patience. From what I could tell is this girl was trying everything she could to be heard, but to be honest I wasn’t really listening, in fact it wasn’t until l evaluated the day that I realized how much that girl needed someone to just love her where she was at. That she was hurting behind the smile, behind the wild stories, behind singing weird sings at the top of her lungs, and all she wanted was someone to see behind the mask she was trying so hard to put up. I saw myself in her when I was younger and I tried to pull the mask on and fool everyone else to hide my pain, If I could do the day over I would, but the chances are that I probably will never see that girl again, but I know that since this experience happened, the compassion and empathy that it takes to be sensitive to the pain of others will be present, because my own pain right now has blinded me from being able to empathize with another’s pain.

Today I said some things to her and about her I probably should not have, that I thought she was annoying and that I just wanted her to listen and get to work. I was cold to her when I should have been warm, I slipped up as a Christian and as a Missions leader.today and I know God is faithful to forgive me, but I am choosing to learn from this mistake and to be honest and tell others. What you say matters so much, be careful how you speak to people, be careful how you treat them, for their only exposure to the Kingdom of God may be by your example. How do you represent Christ in the way that you treat people you do not like, in the way that you treat those under you, in the way you address authority? All of it should point to how Jesus lived and acted.

When we pray for God to show us how to love the unlovable, reach the unreachable, and for our hearts to break for what breaks His heart be ready. Because today I feel like I missed it big time. You love the unlovable by loving them anyway, through not any power of your own, but by the power of Christ through His Holy Spirit. a favorite quote of mine is from a famous old Pentecostal Evangelist and it says:

“Be filled with the Spirit; that is, be soaked with the Spirit. Be so soaked that every thread in the fabric of your life will have received the requisite rue of the Spirit. Then when you are misused and squeezed to the wall, all that will ooze out of you will be the nature of Christ.”–Smith Wigglesworth

The fruit if the Spirit is first and foremost Love, so let us speak with love, live with love, act with love toward others. And be aware of when the opportunity presents itself to love, because when it does happen it’s beautiful.

This is my reflection and confession. Hope it blesses you.

May the God who Sees look upon you with His everlasting love and Grace,

Amen

Be Careful of Your Words

Something Needs To Change

Poetry is my language to express what I find to out into simple words. I hope this touches someone. Feel free to share with whomever you like to bless someone.

“Something needs to Change”

Something is missing

Missing desperately

I hear their voices

Their deep agonizing shrieks

I hear their cries

I feel their silent screams

Who? You ask?

Who is in pain?

Who needs help?

There… right there

You see them?

The girl who has been raped

The boy who’s been rejected

The gay man who’s been beaten

The homeless man ignored

The orphan child hungry

The divorced woman judged

The beaten boy lost and misunderstood

I hear them

I hear their cries

I hear their piercing shrieks

And it’s killing me inside

I want to save them all

But I can’t

Abba give me strength to be obedient

Give them strength to fight

May they encounter Your love

May we stop playing church

And help the oppressed

Abba I can’t do this alone!

I need You

They desperately need You!

Help me to help them

You are my Lord and God

May I do what I can

To bring them Your Peace

Only then could I even begin

To silence their shrieks

To those who cannot hear

Listen and listen closely

Open Your eyes to see

They are crying out

The very least

The marginalized

The forgotten

The unwanted

And You know what?

God wants them

We need to want them too

I hear their shrieks

I refuse to be complacent

I refuse to be indifferent

Wake me up God

Wake us up!

Only then can we awaken

The ones who need Your Love!

Something Needs To Change

The God Who Sees

This may be weird but it’s been on my mind and I cannot hold this in any longer:

So what I am about to write addresses what I believe to be one of the most overlooked texts in scripture, because it deals with a very overlooked person in scripture, that person is Hagar. I believe that Hagar gets a very bad reputation in scripture through no fault of her own, but from what Paul mentions about her in his letter to the Romans in Chapter 4. Because we talk about in Church the inheritance from the line of Isaac through Sarah and not the line of Ishmael from Hagar, we often overlook Hagar, some even consider her an evil character, but I would like to offer a new perspective this “bad girl” of the Bible.

Hagar was a foreign slave that Abraham and Sarah acquired after deceiving the Egyptian Pharaoh because since a curse was brought upon Pharaoh and his people for cursing Abraham, everything that Sarah and Abraham touched and came into contact with left with them, so Hagar, who was Sarah’s handmaiden in Egypt became a part of the  “things” to leave with them in Egypt. This is the first time the scripture gets introduced to Hagar:

Genesis 16:1-3

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.

Through no say on her own, Hagar was given to Abraham to have a child for Sarah, because Sarah could not conceive herself. Hagar had no choice in what she was forced to do, She submitted to her mistress and was given to Abraham against her will (Technically speaking Hagar was given as a sexual slave to Abraham for the sake of conceiving a child), and once Hagar got pregnant, again through no free will of her own, she was given to Abraham so that a child could be conceived, Sarah hated Hagar and dealt with her harshly because when Hagar was pregnant, Hagar despised her mistress as the scripture says, but think about it for a minute, the woman sold you into sexual slavery to her own husband so she could get you pregnant with a baby that was not supposed to be yours but hers and Abraham’s, I think her anger was not fully unwarranted. Hagar was human and she had real feelings. (Genesis 16:4)

Sarah then gets mad at Abraham for getting Hagar Pregnant:

5: Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

Abraham tells Sarah to deal with Hagar in her own way, since Hagar was Sarah’s slave… then Sarah treats Hagar harshly, perhaps she’s abusive toward her, and Hagar runs off into the wilderness.

And a miraculous moment happens for Hagar. Hagar is one of only 4 women that the Angel of the Lord appears to in the Old Testament. Hagar is tired and thirsty and lonely, and feels like no one hears her plea. She feels like no one can see her, no one can hear her, and the last thing she asked for was to be put in this situation. And God has compassion on Hagar:

Genesis 16:7-15

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward[b] all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

What happens here is incredible. God shows up to a foreigner and pronounces to her that her child will be a son and that he will be the father of a nation. That God hears her, He told her to name her Son Ishmael (God has heard). And more importantly Hagar realizes that God sees her and that she has seen him, she names the well where He met her what it means in Aramaic as (The God who sees).

Maybe you have felt like you were given a situation beyond your control, maybe you can sympathize with Hagar and you feel like God cannot hear you, that God cannot see you. I know I have felt like that before, I have had seasons where I have doubted, but I know that God sees me and He Hears me and His plan for my life is good, it is powerful, and bigger than I ever dreamed. If he can take a no consequence foreigner and make her the mother of a nation, then He can use someone like me when I feel at my worst to carry out His call to be an Apostle for the Gospel of Christ and a Missionary. Perhaps my vision for “The God Who Sees” Rehabilitation Ministries for Sex Trafficking Victims overseas will become a reality because He sees me and He hears me, and He is faithful to bring about my calling even when I cannot see it because I’m blinded by the darkness of my circumstances.

God sees you, God hears you. God is with you and for you. find inspiration in Hagar, like I did, his plan may be bigger than anything you ever expected, and perhaps you cannot see it right now because the darkness of your circumstances beyond your control may blind you, know that God sees you and He keeps His promises and His call.

“He sees you, He’s near you
He knows your face
He knows your pain
He sees you, and He loves you
He knows your name
He knows your name” from “Name” By: Fireflight

God knows you and He sees you and He has it all in His hands and in His control

God bless

The God Who Sees

Hello world!

This blog will include different opinions on scripture texts, poetry, some inspired devotions, and maybe a little bit of theology breakdown of music and songs.

I am a writer at heart, and I believe God has called me to be, an Apostle of the Gospel of Christ. I have a vision that has been borne in me and I believe one day it will all come to pass.

There are days when I am a visionary and an optimist, but some days I’m just a realist who wants to think about practically making the vision that has been borne in me come to pass. If you have questions or comments about anything that I write feel free to comment.

Come along for the weird but honest ride and be blessed. God bless you and encourage you.

Hello world!