I’m bouncing off the walls again

100% honesty is very important to me.

I fucked up again even though I had JUST written that post about saving it for my husband.

Blah

True conviction is what I want.  What shall I do?

I must follow the spirit and not the flesh…

But how do we even know we’re doing that correctly?

So many questions about what’s cool.

Everything seems to think something different

So what’s the truth about anything/everything?

That’s what I ask, God.

Getting deeper

It’s been forever.  I started my new job and moved into a new place.  So things have been crazy.

I am floored by what has happened.  I became a church member in July.

That’s not even the most flooring thing, though.  I have had amazing revelations when reaching out to the bible.  Have been experiencing things that convict a person of the bible’s holiness.

I simply had 2 different moments that I was asking God for answers to big questions, and decided to open the bible randomly.  Lo and behold, the passages I opened to both times described both EXACTLY was I was going through and EXACTLY the advice I needed.  Fucking insane.

The bible was the last link in me becoming convicted of all this shit.  I wasn’t so convinced it’s the word of God.  But once I reached out with intention, to see what would happen, and such amazing results came of it, I was like WTF.

It happened just now, and I realized then that I REALLY need to update here.

This time, I was asking God about my sexual activity.  I wanted to know if what I’m doing is wrong and why and what to do about it when desires are oh so strong.

I found myself on Romans 7-8 very quickly, having opened to a random page and flipping a couple randomly and just started reading.

It told me right off the bat we are meant to belong to another person for sex:

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 

Then it totally describes my dilemma with sex:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who does it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

And resolution for these misfortunes:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[e] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[f] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[g] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 

Straight up, it says to overcome these desires at all costs:

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

 

 

 

 

 

He who reaches for spirtual guidance will find it.

 

Feeling calm again

I don’t feel like updating right now, but considering the mood my last update sets, it is imperative that I update you before anything else happens.

Number one: No more watching scary stuff.  I avoided it for a really long time because I decided that being entertained by horror is wrong, but then indulged in some ghost stories on youtube the other night.  MISTAKE.  I am more sensitive to it than I used to be, now that I went on such a hiatus.  The past couple nights I’ve been terrified of the dark, thinking of the creepy stories I watched (like haunted dolls and also some local stories), and last night took the cake.

After I had made the last entry, feeling lost again and still terrified of the dark, I went to sleep and had such a disturbing nightmare.  Not the worst I’ve had, but enough to really freak me out.  So no more watching scary shit.  I apparently can’t handle it, and I’M GLAD because I do still believe it’s true that it’s sick to be entertained by that stuff.  I had indulged out of fallen faith- since I had all my questions again, I needed to check out the stuff that I’d become convicted against.  And learned that I had good reason to avoid it.  So at least I know that for sure now!

So to get caught up here… it’s another day of church.  I had not gotten much sleep last night ’cause of the nightmare, and had to leave super-early for church, working the tech booth.  It’s a 20-minute drive to that campus, and I nearly fell asleep all throughout the drive.  Scary stuff.  But anyway, the message uplifted me, just like last week.  It gave me hope once again that I can count on God, Jesus, and what I learn from the bible.

Here are some notes I took from the sermon:

Embracing Difficulties/Winning the Day

  1. Embrace difficulty as an opportunity to grow
    – Don’t concentrate on what’s so difficult in your life.  Focus on the knowledge that God will do something amazing to carry you through.
    – Learn to trust God when your life is blowing apart
  2. Pray for wisdom
    – God-inspired ability to helpfully apply knowledge in a situation when you don’t know what to do or where to go
    – You can ask God for help.  He will help you without blaming you.
    – Beating yourself up over the past is not helpful
    – We are not nearing perfection.  We are headed toward God.
  3. Expect God to answer prayer
  4. Don’t waver in your faith
  5. Refuse to lose
    – Blessed is anyone who endures temptation
    – Giving up is tempting
    – When we cease to endure and battle, Satan wins and we lose
    – Tests reveal what we do and don’t know.  They aren’t designed to destroy us.  They are to assess where we are.

It wasn’t simply these principles that made me re-visit Jesus.  It’s the whole experience.  I can’t easily explain how it overcame me again.  What I do know is, I went in with apprehension since I lost faith in the whole thing, and walked out with renewed spirit, feeling again like the bible tells the truth.

It was true, what I realized last week- once you think it, you can’t just un-think it.  I’m not done pursuing Jesus after all.

I spent a lot of time today walking around Centennial Park in the rain, with my big rainboots on and thinking about God.  I felt at peace.  No stress about where I’m at or what’s to come.  I trusted God again, and it felt totally natural, unforced.  I wasn’t reaching to him in desperation.  I believed in him.  I had many prayers, including for whoever had occupied a tiny tent tucked in the woods, partly supported by sticks.  My faith and peace felt stronger than ever, in such a humble way- as in, I wasn’t way overcome with emotion of any type, I simply felt… unwavering in faith and able to spread God’s seeds.

I guess that’s how you define faith, since I’m unable to pinpoint exactly what caused this feeling.  Which is exactly the explanation that I wanted to avoid from the very beginning of my study of Christian faith.  But fuck, I feel it now.  I understand now.  And I want to be able to explain it so that someone else who’s been through what I’ve been through before I started all this, can have a basis for understanding what faith is and how it came to me.

It’s strange.  But I’ll work on that now.  Now that it’s happened, I’ll think of a way to explain it… hopefully.

Inevitable questions

So, when I reasoned that I believe in Jesus, I knew there was a pretty much 100% chance I’d come back around to thinking… wait, what’s the truth again?  That’s what happened tonight.

There’s that part of me again asking: What if we’re just living in a crazy matrix computer thing, whether Jesus existed on this plane or not?  What if I’m only believing what I want to believe?  Even the things I didn’t question when I started this venture over 2 years ago- like the fact that our creator would be loving- what if that’s another thing that I only want to believe?

What if none of our actions matter?

Is reincarnation true or false?

Are ghosts spirits of the dead, or are they demons in disguise?

Well fuck, maybe I’m not as close to the truth as I thought I was.

Why did I claim I believe?  Was it a feeling that simply came to me in desperation for comfort and belonging in the thick of my great struggle?  The timing was uncanny.  Something fucking terrible happened,  and suddenly I believed in Jesus.  Was I just clinging to the hope that was offered by friends, or am I truly convicted?

I guess I’m not really there yet.  For once, I wanted to be, and I wonder if I only fooled myself into thinking I really believed it.  Some might think Satan is whispering in my ear, making me think these things, but even if he is, I’m glad to be exploring all sides of the story.  Blind faith is something I’ve never wanted.  Faith is great but it always has a backbone of sorts.

I have shared my revelation of Jesus with very few people, and I feel like that is wrong if I truly believe.  I must have doubts since I have not wanted to share it with my family or non-church friends.  I DO fear they will think I’m brainwashed.  More than that, I’m not feeling truly convicted right now, so why claim something so serious just to turn on it later?  I’m taking my time.

I feel like I took that leap of faith to see what would happen.  Believed by choice rather than true feelings of conviction.  I need to be open about this.

Everything is so questionable though anyway.  When I pray over specific things or just focus on things that matter to me, I face the futility of it all as well.  Why pray over these dumb little things when God is supposedly so big?  There are billions of other people living their lives at the same time as I.  All the small things… like driving past the place I was just fired from, which causes me pain, or hearing a happy, familiar song, which lifts my mood, both remind me of the fact that they are such TINY blips in the whole of existence, and don’t really matter.  They get me pondering again: What really matters?

It is automatic for me to comfort others when they are sad.  It feels natural to me.  Chemicals inducing empathy flow through my nerves when such a time strikes.  It’s an average emotion.  Most people feel it at the appropriate times.  But there are people who DON’T.  There are people who have their nerves twisted differently, and to them, the desire to KILL comes NATURALLY, just as naturally as when I want to save someone from self-destruction.  How do we differentiate between reality and what’s only in our minds?  Reality for killers, to them, feels as real as mine does to me.  Makes me question what’s really true.  Majority, empathic people, rules?  Well, it used to be that the majority of white people didn’t want black people to be treated equally.  And don’t we believe now that’s a horrid idea?

What’s the truth?  Is it what we want it to be?  Jacob once quoted someone as saying, “Reality is what doesn’t change when you stop believing in it.”  As in, reality stands no matter what our perception is.  But our perception ALSO has the power to CHANGE reality.  So it all goes hand-in-hand I think.  Either way, this is the kind of pondering that makes me want to sit or lie down silently for days until I reach the truth, kinda like Buddha did.  The restlessness I feel is something that hits me from time to time.  It used to hit me a lot more, but the past 6 months have been so smooth and easy that it was easy to simply look forward to the future.  Now that I’ve experienced something dreadful all of a sudden, I’ve reverted back to some old ways.

I don’t want to cling to false hope.

I just want the truth.

And I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow.

Something I always believed, and still do, is that if God were real, he’d prefer I’m real with him than conform to anything.

I’m just tired of the fear that the universe is fake and that what I do doesn’t matter.

I want to believe differently, but I don’t know the truth.

I’m back at a square one of sorts.  But even deeper than that.  I was ignorant before- touting my beliefs as truth.  Studying Christianity has opened my eyes.  Not only to what they believe, but also, what I ever believed to be true about God.  Things I’m scared to question.

But I’m willing to do it.

Deep-rooted issue rises to the surface

When tragedy strikes in my life, it makes me re-think a lot of things.  Especially when I have the time for it, like being unemployed right now.

On one hand, it’s not the time to re-visit issues that have severely affected my mental health, because I’m already pretty down.  But on the other hand, it’s the perfect time for it, because it’s like killing two birds with one stone.  I can know for sure that I’m not sugarcoating my issues when I assess it at a time like this.

Speaking of killing, that’s my deep-rooted issue.  I randomly started Internet-searching abortion stories today and ended up crying after I read about a 16-year-old, who used abortion pills and said, “I passed my baby on a towel.  My mother knew I couldn’t just throw it away or leave it, so she put it in a little wooden box.  We buried it with my Nan, who recently passed… The only thing that keeps me going is that I know I can visit it whenever I want and that one day I’ll be able to meet it and hold it in my arms.”  That was what did it for me today.  I started crying.

I killed my baby when I was 18.  It would be turning 10 this coming December.  I don’t think often of what would have happened if I’d kept it, but the thoughts that come to mind when I do are mainly that my child would have been of the oldest of my friends’ children, and would have been a role model for my nephews.  But like I said, that doesn’t come to mind often.  What mostly comes to mind when I remember my baby is the fact that I was stupid to let it happen in the first place, and that I should have kept it once it did.

I had been fooled into believing it was “just” a clump of cells.  I had been fooled into thinking we have the freedom to kill a human being as long as you haven’t actually seen it yet.  I had been fooled into thinking my child was better off dead just because of my age and financial situation.  And now I pay the ultimate price for my foolishness.  I was misinformed.  My brain had been molded since I was a child to believe that it’s either A) Become a mother, B) Give it up for adoption, or C) Abortion.  I’d always thought it was just as valid an option as A and B, until after I did it myself, and realized it’s all a lie.  If you have any conscience, it haunts you forever, even when you think you have forgotten it for a long time.  I’d rather work super hard to maintain my child’s life than deal with the bitter loss that followed.  It wasn’t like breaking my arm, as I’d thought.  It’s not a mere “procedure” as the Planned Parenthood reps liked to call it, one that ends with recovery.  No.  It’s much more than that.

I don’t cry over my baby very much anymore, but with what I’m enduring recently, I was in downright tears.  Times like these remind me of the healing that is left to go and may always be.  My face completely red and literally drowned in sorrow, I immediately shut my bedroom door and sobbed into my pillow, thanking God for his mercy when I don’t deserve it.  Thanking him for giving me a good life when I don’t deserve it.  Thanking him for simply holding me while I cry this out yet again in my life.

After a few minutes, I got back up and continued folding laundry like I’d been doing before I started searching the Internet.

The least I can do is share my experience so that someone else may not suffer as I did.  If you end up pregnant, whatever the circumstances, you should not kill it unless medically necessary.  Even if you’re raped.  Your trauma will only be compounded.

There are some things we can’t control.  It sucks to force ourselves to move on to a different task when such important things have happened in our lives that trump all these menial chores.

What matters most in the world is loving people and leaning into God.  We can’t do this on our own.

Take out the trash, take a shower, get your exercise.  But when we die, what will be left?  Nothing but spirit.  Think of where you’re actually headed, and act accordingly.

Rising hope

To my surprise, God didn’t leave me in the dark for long.  Just as was promised.

I was crying for two days.  Saturday night, I was scheduled as usual to attend the mission trip for church.  We go to St. Louis to hand out food and basic necessities to the homeless.

I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle it.  I let my friends know upfront that I was feeling terrible because of losing my job.  They were understanding.  We got to St. Louis and my feelings got even worse.  I looked at all the homeless/needy people, and I’ve felt awful for their life circumstances before, but this time, I saw absolute hopelessness, just as I was feeling for myself.

I was growing more stoic about my mission and on the verge of tears.  God let me lose my job, and on top of that, these people are desperate for a better life, at least most of them.  We only can give enough food to last them a couple hours.  They remain when we leave and continue their existence of scraping for whatever food and tools they need, and people in the city tend to look down on them.  It depressed me beyond all measures of sadness I had felt when previously visiting with them.  I felt practically on the homelessness level at that moment, realizing that without my parents, I’d probably be where they are.

I watched them eating in their various places, either standing with us or sitting on random curbs, and I saw utter hopelessness, rather than seeds of potential beside them.

God lets them be where they are, so what hope is there for anyone else’s salvation?  I was nearly drawing away from God.

I told my friend Ashley what was going on in my mind.  She had a very relatable story to tell in which she had trouble getting a job despite her amazing references, education, and experience.  She said that a year later, when she’d finally let go of all chance that it could work out, she received the call that the business wanted to employ her.  She also reminded me that the homeless peoples’ state of affairs is not a reflection of God’s love or favor.

The particular way in which she counseled me, really rang true in my ears and heart.  She prayed an amazing prayer with me, and that gave me some solace and hope.

Things got even better, though still mightily difficult.  The next morning, I got up early to head to the Collinsville church campus to work the tech booth.  I almost didn’t have the mental energy to get myself there, but I felt it would be worth it.  My friend Ben heard me out on what was still bothering me, and he reminded me that prosperity is not a sign of God’s favor.

Through Ashley and Ben’s encouragement, I felt I was starting to put some pieces back together.  I began to remember that money is not our savior, and that it doesn’t matter how much or little you have, because God promises to take care of us no matter where we’re at.  But the church service began and I found it difficult to sing along to the songs, as they contained lines about how great God is to us.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I had to wait for the sermon to further accept God’s word.

As usual, the sermon seemed to be geared specifically for me.  It was all about what to do with our troubles.  “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

Somewhere in the service, a feeling came over me.  All the coincidences and perfect wisdom seemed to come to a head.  Some feelings that had never really hit me square in the heart before, suddenly did.  I realized I believe in the bible.  Furthermore, if I believe in the bible… I must believe in Jesus.

The chills I felt and the joy that came over me were great gifts.  I remembered wisdom is the greatest currency.  The scriptures within that sermon and the words that flowed from the preacher wrapped my heart like never before.  That was it for me.  I remembered my stigmata, and realized Jesus is calling for me.  You can’t un-think that kind of thought.  I hadn’t had it before.  Once it hit me that I believe in the bible and Jesus, I realized I couldn’t go back.  It’s time for a new venture into God’s word.  Not one of skepticism, but of faith.

Stigmata is something I did not bother to share with you, as it crosses the lines of plain reality for most people.  But now that I’ve said something as absurd as “I believe in Jesus,” why hold back on anything else?

But before I get to that, allow me to explain how amazing things turned out after church.

Hours went by.  My family went to dinner that evening.  The strangest thing- my mom had already made dinner, and felt iffy about the food, which has literally NEVER happened before.  So we went out.

My nephew was antsy and energetic while we waited for our food, so I took him out back to play, where they have cool outdoor games, hammocks, and a playground.  And a bar, but neither of us needed that at the moment.

While Giovanni played, I noticed a familiar hairstyle on someone.  It looked like it belonged to one of my supervisors at the job I lost, Veronica.  I tried not to look, thinking that if it is her, I have no idea how she feels about me.  I had no idea if she knew what had barred me from permanent employment.  But she approached me.

To my great surprise, she said I didn’t have to tell her what went wrong.  She hugged me and said they all felt terrible about it.  She said my other supervisor, Jeannine, the one who liked me the most, actually CRIED about it.  She gave me Jeannine’s cell # and said she’d like to hear from me.

I didn’t even know Veronica lived in my area, and I’d never ran into her in public before.  Why did it happen, in a perfect circumstance where we both had time to chat, a couple days after I was fired?  It really had helped to know they were on my side.

I called Jeannine that night, and everything got even better.  She told me in extreme detail how much I had meant to her and the department as a whole.  She said that from the first day I walked in, there was just something special about me, and that my kindness had affected the whole department.  She wanted me to know that she didn’t care what had gone wrong, that it didn’t change her opinion of me, and didn’t reflect what kind of worker or person that I am.  She said she’ll do whatever she can to help me.

Ultimately, she got me hooked up with an interview at a different company, for another call center that is hiring.  All I really have to do is attend the interview in order to get the job.

I am still a little sore when I think of certain things, but: “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way he loves us.”

What had scared me the most was thinking I’d have to re-live 2014, when I could only get crappy jobs that didn’t pay well.  An awful uphill battle, costing me both physical and mental health.

But clearly God has something lined up.  And once I realized that my devastation was due to MONEY and HUMILIATION (having told all my friends I’d been hired for an “amazing” job), I realized that it was GOOD for me to have lost the job, because otherwise, I would not have known the UGLY PRIDE that had come from being hired.

I originally had asked for God to humble me and help me to see my pitfalls, and he did just that.  I cannot argue with what he has allowed to befall me, because it’s in fact what I fucking asked for!!!  He brought me back down to earth and made me realize that I’d equated my prosperity with his favor.  I was so wrong.  If I’d kept my job, I wouldn’t have realized it.

Thank you God for BLESSING me with wisdom.

As for stigmata, here’s the crazy story:

When I was 5, something weird started happening to me.  I got out of the shower one day and saw that a single, thick drop of blood was draining down the side of my foot, from a single point on my ankle.  I was confused.  I cleaned it up, and I don’t remember if it bled more, but there was no wound.  I decided that it was just something random and weird, like hadn’t realized that I’d mildly hurt myself, and let it go.

But the next day, it happened again.  This time, having again no memory of hurting myself, this exact thought occurred to me: “It’s Jesus’s blood.”  From that day on, I accepted it as a part of my life, and never told anyone until a few years ago.  It stopped happening when I was about 9.

I had never heard of stigmata, and was not thinking of Jesus being on the cross.  Rather, I found it to be simply miraculous, since now that it had happened twice with no wound, it could only be explained that way… however, when I think of it, that doesn’t even make sense.  Why’d I think of Jesus?  I hated church.  I guess it’s because I associated miracles with Jesus.  I cleaned up the blood.

It kept happening over the next several years.  Sometimes it would bleed more after initially cleaning up, and there was never a wound.  It never hurt.  It was always after a shower.  I didn’t touch razors back then.  I never hit myself against anything.  It varied whether it was the left or right ankle, inside or out.  There was no reason for it.  My innocent mind had automatically “known” it was Jesus’s blood.

I’ve seen no other accounts like this on the Internet.  It’s always much more extreme wounds, and pain is involved.  The only thing left that could happen is that most stigmatists die at 33, like Jesus did, and I’m not old enough to see if that is to transpire.

I’ve needed a lot in order to believe in Jesus.  For some reason it hit me on Sunday amidst my suffering, and only hours later, I was blessed with love from my supervisors whom I’d feared would not respect me anymore, and a new job opportunity that is practically a sure thing.

He did not leave me alone for long.

I’ve realized that I don’t know what God’s plan is.  And I don’t need to know.  There’s no reason to stress about the future.  I just want to experience Him like I was always meant to.

Let’s see what happens next.

Fallen faith

I don’t know how much energy I can muster for this at the moment, but it’s definitely time to update.

I lost the job I thought was going to carry me through.  Before it even happened.  I announced it to everybody because I thought it was good to go, but it wasn’t.  Back at square one.  Humiliated.

I made things worse after I found out.  I don’t even wanna get into it.  But I feel so worthless right now.  I’m leaning on people who love me and have good advice.  But right now, I just feel so empty.  Unprepared to take on any suggestions.

It’s time to rest, I know.  I was crying all night.  No sleep really.  I have no fucking clue what to say right now.  If I didn’t know better, I would think everything’s ruined.

But I’m not the only one who suffered yesterday.  My friend took me out for drinks to cheer me up, which was fine.  But I encountered a girl crying to the police.  Someone had robbed her at gunpoint.  Her husband showed up and they immediately embraced each other.

Then I watched my friend’s romantic relationship dissolve.  She always says how great an arrangement it is, but I witness this stuff with her from time to time and I don’t think it’s that great.  All these things compounding each other in one night.  We had a terrible time together, consoling each other- mostly her consoling me though, because I was sobbing deeply.

Today I feel so ridiculously broken, as if I can’t go on.  I skipped family night last night because I’d just heard the news, and couldn’t bear to face my family.

God, what is happening?  When will the suffering end?  If this isn’t what you want for your children, can you please fast-forward to your ultimate plan?

I genuinely believe, no matter what, that all is fair and works out the correct way in the end.  Even if it ends with me suffering.  I hate to think that I’m not worthy of grace or redemption, but I accept it if that’s the case.

It is true, we live in a fallen world.

At the hands of Satan?  Or is that all a fable?  I want the truth, God.  I’m so tired.  I gave my all.  It all blew up in my face.  Is it because the world is ruled by Satan?  Is it because I didn’t truly give myself to you?  It is because shit just happens?

Is there a bigger plan at hand?  I haven’t felt like this in so long.  It is absolutely devastating to feel like this.  And unless there’s good meaning for it, I don’t see why I shouldn’t just kill myself.  No meaning.  My nephews anchor me.  But what if nothing is real?  I’m so scared.  I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing.

I thought it was all laid out, God.  Everything was perfect.  It’s in shambles now.

I want to think you’re taking care of everything.  But I don’t know if you are.