Thursday, September 3, 2015

Is it You?

Walk to church every Sunday
and I put on my favorite dress
I lift my hands the best I can
but who do I impress

Is it you?

Oh, is it you?

Is it you that I'm choosing...
or is it me?
Is it me
that I'm losing?

Different disaster
Seems like the same day
I knock on wood...
it happens anyway.

but... is it you?

Is it you that I'm choosing
or is it me?
Is it me
that i'm losing?

All my friends have turned to foe
round and round we always go
all these circles
I'm not walking
They are found around my eyes

So pull the strings from my puppet hands
I'm tired of them making me dance
if it's not for you....

if its not for you....

Than it's just...not...true.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Confessions of a Meth Addict

I hesitated to put "meth" in the title, as if calling the drug something else would make it easier to stomach. There in lies the problem.

The drug is not offended when I call it by name. In fact, even when I say it, it still feels like it never happened.

 It feels as though that part of my life melted away...

But the damage... The damage to my body is still so very obvious....and  the damage I see it causing in others is so very obvious.

As a former user, I am not oblivious to the fact that I know some people that still use. They call for help, like I used to... in such a subtle way that very few... unless experienced themselves... would ever recognize. Or unless bold, would ever confront.

Those of us who have been addicted know what it's like to live tormented. We know what it's like to feel desperate. We know what it's like to feel alone. We know what it's like to feel like "the world owes us something."

So when someone challenges us, or attempts to take away the only thing that veils us from that which we are so desperately trying to avoid, we get angry. We get defensive. This is our "fun."

Even though we want to tell them the truth, even when we want to say, "YES, I AM AN ADDICT. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME." We don't first want to believe it ourselves... even if it is true.

The unknown in saying that is so scary.

What will I do if I give this up? Will I be able to pick up the pieces of my life that I've already wasted away? Will I be able to make it through the detox? Would I truly be able to change? Am I even deserving of anything but this? What will I do for fun? What will happen to all my friends?

A lot of us don't want to admit it. We know that someone knows the truth but we STILL try to hide it. We find it comforting when they go away... but then wallow "wishing someone cared enough" to help us.

It breaks my heart.

After almost five years of being clean, I am just now starting to see the full amount of damage I've done to myself... but it's not undoable.

Everything that has been broken, can again be renewed. It's scary. It's not an easy threshold to cross: From addict, to Freedom.

It's not always seen that way.... But why is it that when every addict finally goes to bed, or comes down, and it's just them ....alone.... depression sets in? We were never meant to live constantly running away from ourselves.

Sometimes, we just liked to call ourselves  "recreational drug users," but at WHAT POINT are we honest enough with ourselves to know that we don't want to live life without it?

There are a few of us that can maintain a front...for a while. We can do well in school, we can eat like normal, we can even go to our jobs and act like nothing happened...

But why submit yourselves to imperil. ANY drug is like a wolf.

A wolf may appear thirsty, so we go to give it some water. However, you will not receive appreciation. For indeed the WOLF is HUNGRY and will not politely drink, instead will ravingly devour. The fool thinks they have control when they are really consumed. The fool is the one who believes himself invincible.

As humans, we are not interested in torment until it reaches an undeniable depth that only then peaks our curiosity. When we see someone fall so hard or commit suicide, it is only then that we want to extend a hand.

We rarely see things in the beginning because of our own ignorance. Just like the addict wants to escape and be found; the helper wants them to be found but without being their escape.

All those times I thought I was living, but now I know what it's like to truly be alive.

If you or someone you know, needs anything. PLEASE reach out to me; either by phone or Facebook.... I'm desiring to pray for you or your friends.


Monday, August 24, 2015

A Reason not to read your bible

There is a thirst I have that cannot be quenched. An immeasurable hunger that cannot be filled. 

But who that thirsts gives away their water, and who that hungers gives away their food? 

My mouth has spoken that which I now witness with my eyes. I am just as guilty. 

I've seen it too much. Those of us who have heard a message or a good word and say,"this would have been perfect for so-and-so." As if them hearing it would correct some kind of behavior we don't agree with. 

Why do we read our bible for someone else before reading it for ourselves? We often read our bibles to change someone else instead of challenging our own faith. 

Why do we post scripture to condemn? Even the enemy used scripture to make others feel low. But Jesus came that we may have life and life more abundantly. 

There are words the world speaks to each other to hurt one another. Those words can only go so deep.

But we people can be so brutal. We have a power that few of us truly understand the magnitude of. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

When we post scripture to prove our own agenda and disprove someone else's, we not only ATTACK someone mentally, we attack them spiritually. 

The Word is meant to carve out the deep human nature roots that we have embedded in ourselves, it was never meant to be used as a weapon against each other. 

With social media, it is easy to post a Scripture with someone else in mind. 

However, I ask are we posting it to attack the way someone else is acting or to attack how someone had hurt us? Or are we posting to benefit the people around us and show the grace and forgiveness that Jesus showed us when he gave himself for us on the cross? 

Jesus loves us and cares for us deeply. He desires for us to look inward and seek His will for our lives. 

Jesus is not our "Teacher," he is our Savior that directs our future, forgives our past, and guides our present. 

The Words we speak are an overflow of OUR heart. They should reflect our imperfections not reflect others. 

The word is a lamp to our feet. It doesn't say use the word as a lamp for your neighbors feet. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Inscrutable Forgiveness

As I consider the consequences of writing this blog, I also understand that those reading it do not know, but suspect the following. It is not in shame I write this letter, but it is in power.

Darkness cannot hide if it is exposed by the light. Lies cannot hide when they are exposed by the truth. I continue to share the deepest parts of my life, the hardest, ugliest parts of OUR  life because I know that even if those reading this decide to 'cast stones', Jesus is Lord and He is the forgiver of even the sins we think unfathomable and unforgivable.

Recently, I wondered if I was too far gone. In my radical redemption, I found pride. It's not every day that a meth addict, sex addict, and chaotic person just changes over night. And In pride, I found The Fall.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11

When we are saved, the holy spirit comes and dwells within us. We start to listen and hear the spirit as it guides us through our daily lives. There is nothing that can take away His spirit in us. Nothing can separate us. NOTHING. So, than what power does the enemy have over us? 

The enemy knows he cannot touch the blood of the lamb, however, we are deceived when the enemy attacks the word of our testimony. He whispers in our ears knowing he cannot have our spirit, but that doesn't mean he cannot battle in our mind--It doesn't mean he doesn't invite his filth back into our thoughts. When the enemy gets control of our thoughts, he digs deep, and plants his seeds.

When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, 'I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before." Matthew 12:43-45

Each seed develops the more we water it. They grow and grow until they create an emotional, destructive war on anything that is good. We stop finding joy. We stop seeking peace. The world begins to look so different, so dark.

The enemy has one purpose and one purpose only: To steal, kill, and destroy. 

I would find myself awake at night, crying over the choices I'd made. Shame filled. Separated in my own mind from Jesus, finding myself constantly at his feet asking for forgiveness, but picking back up my sin and walking in it.

Satan promises the world. He says, "Take a bite, I will show you things you need to know. I will TEACH you things, I will GIVE you things." 

Thirsty as I am for knowledge and thirsty as everyone is for worldly possessions, he knew I would bite. I received more than I bargained for. It was as if in that moment I was no longer myself. It was as If I was an outsider looking into my own life and screaming for it to stop. The enemy is relentless, a roaring lion that given the chance, will devour. My state of mind got so bad that I contemplated taking my own life. 

Only two weeks ago, did it finally stop. I'd been calling out for help. I stopped posting photos of things I cared about hoping people would notice. I went to a small group so if I stopped going to church, maybe someone would realize I wasn't there and they would come and save me. I asked continuously for Austin to seek for us marriage counseling. I called my best friend and said, "I can't do this on my own." 

It is nearly impossible to describe the torturous thoughts I was having. And even now the enemy taunts me saying, "You have been unfaithful, there is no coming back from that. You have been a liar, a thief, and no one is going to believe that it was anyone other than you."

The more the enemy talks, the more He exposes himself. As a Church, we are pointing our fingers at the wrong thing. We try to make sense of the physical when the battle lies in the spiritual. 

Austin and I have been going through a very difficult time. We are newly healing. Healing our marriage and healing our minds. While it sounds crazy, I received deliverance and the moment I awoke from the seemingly drunken, uncontrollable, rage...My eyes were open again. I'm free. 

Every day since then, I am constantly reminded of this scripture: 

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

In everything that we do, especially the SMALL things. Resist the Devil. Understand that He has no power and no place in your life. Don't give in to his lies.  The consequences aren't worth it. The choices we make when we follow the enemy lead to death, heartache, and fear. 

IF ANYTHING, KNOW THIS... It is not how much we love God that can save us, but it is how much HE loves us. 

There is no fear in love, but full-grown love turns fear out of doors and expels every terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and so he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love. We love HIM, because He FIRST LOVED US.  

I stepped away from writing, I stepped away from my mission, because I knew I could not continue to just pretend everything was okay when it wasn't. 

Even in my mistakes, my horrible choices I have made, I know that keeping silent is the last thing I should do. If no one is aware of the battle we face, then we are unequipped to fight. If we do not know our enemy, how can we know what we are being set free from? 

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:5

Austin has been more than gentle and forgiving in knowing the pain we have both gone through. While He recognized his own sin and did not condemn me for mine, we decided together that we wouldn't let the enemy win in our marriage. We have overcome and we will continue to fight. 

There is a beauty in knowing that we will never be perfect. There is beauty in pure, incomprehensible forgiveness. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Marriage Facade


   I hate this time period in our lives when everything is on the internet. Because Everything is not Truly "Everything".

What we see are peoples lives from a distance. We see the image that they want us to see. We see the truths they want us to believe. 

It's like going on a first date... every day with someone...never getting to know them deeper...but only learning the GOOD. 

But what happened to the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

When it comes to marriage and divorce... with divorce turning into a mundane daily activity... why can we still not share the behind the scenes

When you get married, you are not only making it about you and the other person. Other people are watching you. Other people are invested: your families, your friends, your acquaintances. 

I'm not saying "stay in an unhappy marriage because of someone else" but I am saying that even if you don't want to put your drama on Facebook or any other social media... don't keep posting like everything is just fine. 

What are you saying to the people younger than you? That marriage is easy? That its all fun and then boom one day... it just "doesn't work?" 

I don't feel like those of us getting married are fully equipt to be married when no one is willing to share the hard parts. The ugly Parts. The parts that you have to fight through. Not just the loving sweet parts--which may be few and far in between.

"For when I kept silent,  my bones wasted away. Through my groaning all the day long." Psalm 32:3

If we want to change a habit... or an outcome of generations...than we have to be bold enough to speak aloud what we are keeping silent.

Is a secret really worth keeping if on the inside it is killing you and causing others to have false hope?

The enemy only has power over whats in the dark. It's time we stop giving him that power over our relationships.

There is no healing when there is no honesty.

Message me. I'd love to pray over your relationship or your marriage. There's no shame in asking for help. In fact, when two people can't get through a hard time...remember that a "Three Cord Strand is Not Easily Broken." 

When we withhold talking about the struggles that we go through, we also withhold showing the world how the power of Jesus brought us through them. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Confessions of a Tyrant

I am no relationship expert. In fact, I used to go around breaking hearts just for the fun of it. To a lot of us that have been scarred, it's easy to get cold. 

Truthfully, in our recklessness, we get some sort of sick "happiness" out of watching someone else suffer the way that we did. After all, no one wants to be alone. 

That means that it's true that even in madness and chaos, someone will try to bring you where they are so that they aren't alone in their hurt. 

It's never personal. The person in the relationship doing the hurting is not doing it to make you feel low, but to make them feel high. There is nothing that you are doing to cause it. The sickness of the unhealthy relationship isn't found in your own soul, but in the one that feels betrayed. Like all sickness though, it will spread. 

I've been in abusive relationships. I've also been the abuser in relationships. I've seen both sides. It's not where anyone wants to be, but it's where we often times find ourselves. 

Relationships are delicate. It takes one break to damage the rest of them. It takes one break to feel insecure, self-conscious, and doubtful that you will ever truly be able to give your heart to anyone again the way you gave it away the first time. 

The first person we love will always be the person that we gave everything to without fear, without looking for it to fail, and without hesitation. When we fall from cloud 9, we continue down the path of searching for a love like the first, without wanting to take the risk again. 

Without risk, love isn't possible.

In all certainty, if you don't love yourself first, than you have no love to give anyone else. If you find that you are lost in the madness, don't take people there with you. Focus on you. 

What is it YOU need to be happy? If you can't answer the simple question, than you are not ready to be in a relationship. If you don't know what makes you happy, you will look at your partner to fulfill you and it will never be enough.

We all have our baggage. Are we trying to give it to someone else  or work through it with someone else? 

Everyone has a story. But everyone has the same opportunity-to grow from their past, to learn from their mistakes, and to be a victor instead of a victim. 

In the eyes of a victim, everyone is out to hurt them. Every action, every word, every effort from their lover is done in vain. A victim is looking for a hole to be filled by the efforts of another instead of seeking a way to fulfill themselves. Happiness is unfathomable. There is never a recollection of what someone has done, but rather the mind set of "what have you done for me lately?" Their emotions are immediate and they react without thinking. 

In the eyes of a Victor, they know their self-worth. They are secure in their position. They look at the positive in every circumstance, take responsibility for their actions without blame, and think before they say and act. Happiness is found daily because it's in the small things. They don't seek approval because they know who they are. They are grateful for the gifts they are given and wake up looking at the opportunities that await them. 

Recognize that YOU are a VICTOR. 

While, I've been hurt and have hurt others, I know that there is no escape from yourself. 

Be who you want to be because it is yourself who you will spend the most time with. 

Listening to Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Confessions of a Backslider

 "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet, God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins." Romans 3:23-24

I've been on a journey the last few months...Undedicated to the things I once was on fire for. But I asked for it.

There are no regrets that I have, and honestly, while I've found myself looking through the lens of shame, I've realized it is not a lens that God wants us to see life through. 

I say that I "asked for it" because as a new Christian, I've only known the goodness of God. I've only known the mercy that He gives and the blessings that He provides from an obedient heart. However, as we start to walk deeper into a relationship with him... things that were once simple and clear can easily become muddled and overcomplicated.

 I used to say "I don't understand how ANYONE can be depressed when they know God. I don't understand why ANYONE would turn away from him." I believe God wants us to have understanding...

When my relationship with Christ is no longer about Him and I... it turns into a relationship that relies on me being with Him for other people.

 It is no longer a relationship that is going to be healthy or solid. In fact, it is no longer a relationship that has any passion or drive, but begins to burn on the fire that other people feed with their words, their actions, and their view of my  words and actions.

Eventually, the flame is fed the wrong words, poisoning what was once thriving. Because the flame is being fed by people and not the Holy Spirit, inside it starts to be put out.

It's not all at once though. The first lie comes slyly... first asking us to Walk away from the Body.

The enemy attacks in a very "subtle" way saying, "It's okay if you miss church this week. They want so much out of you. They expect a perfect person. You can't give them that right now. It's okay, go back again when you get your life together."

Since that flame inside of you is reliant on other people, this makes sense. Church is no longer about me wanting to go or about me enjoying praising with other people, but about other people judging you...waiting for you to mess up...

There's a jealousy. A sickness in the Church... when someone seemingly walks closer to Jesus than someone else. We become targets instead of saints. Instead of being encouraged we get torn down. When the relationship is already dwindling, this is the last motivation that the enemy needs to keep you out of the doors that were once a refuge.

The second lie comes in stronger than the first. 

"You don't need to read your word. It just makes you feel bad. God can't be close to someone who sins so much. Remember the bricks that get built up. Remember that He turns his back on sin. So how can he look at you? Don't read your Word. Don't you want to be happy? He can't talk to you right now. He's ashamed of you."

The judgement you felt from other people is now shifted from just other people to the very God you found your sanity in. Not only did you turn from the body, but now you are turning away from the Head.  There is no more dangerous place to find oneself...

Once the Head is completely detached, you are no longer living. There is nothing left of you. You have been isolated. People reach out, but through the lens of defeat, everyone looks like the enemy. 

When the third lie hits, it hits the hardest. 

"See, you don't go to church, you don't read your bible. You don't even listen to worship music anymore. YOU ARE THE SAME PERSON THAT YOU USED TO BE." 

Nothing. Nothing in the world. Nothing on Heaven or on Earth will make you feel any smaller than believing the lie that you are the same person that you used to be.

All the progress. All the mistakes it took to get where you are. All the victories. All the Wins and Here we sit.... LOST.



Seemingly, just like before.

 You know what.... God never stops pursuing you. He never stops crying out. He never stops reaching.

"Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" Luke 15

There is nothing that will ever separate you from the love of Christ. No sin. No mistake. No person. 
Even if we have turned away from God, He will never turn his back on us. 
Let your relationship be for HIM and watch as He changes your heart back to HIM. Don't do it for other people, do it for you & realize that He uses everything for GOOD. 
There is no such thing as "backsliding" because we are never moving backward. Time does NOT move backward...

God is providing to you an understanding that not everyone will receive if they live their whole life thinking they are perfect.

You are the sheep that He will Find & you are the Sheep that He rejoices over!