What Not To Say To Single People

Please don’t tell us we should be happy to be single. 

Don’t tell us we should be happy because we don’t have the responsibilities of taking care of a husband and children. That we should be happy because we can go where we want, when we want, spend our money how we want, do whatever we want….. It’s like a billionaire talking to a homeless man telling him how hard it is to be a billionaire. The billionaire says “I have to pay bills. I have to answer to people. I have to tell them where I’m going and when I’ll be back. I have to go to work. You have no idea how hard it is to spend all that money! You should be happy to be homeless, you don’t have to answer to anybody. You don’t have a job you have to go to every day. You don’t have the responsibility of spending all that money. You have freedom you can go where you want when you want and don’t have anybody to answer to!”….And then the billionaire drives away in his Bentley.

Please don’t tell us that as soon as we’re “content” being single or as soon as we stop looking… That’s when we’ll find “the one”….. That really doesn’t make any sense.

Please don’t tell us how “easy” being single is. Yes, I may not have a man I have to answer to. But that also means that I don’t have a man to fall asleep next to at night and I am alone when I wake up in the morning….. There’s an empty space in the bed next to me. And there’s an empty spare bedroom, where children should be sleeping. I may not have anyone I have to answer to, but I also don’t have anyone, by my side, to live life with…… There’s NOTHING easy about that!!! 

Please don’t bring up examples of other people, older than us, that are still single and have no children…. Because chances are, they’re just as miserable as we are!

Don’t tell us that if we just change things about ourselves, that we will find “the one”. Lose weight. Gain weight. Dress better. Wear makeup. Get out there more. Stop smoking. Excetera..excetera.. excetera…… We may just end up changing so much, that we don’t even know who we are anymore.

Don’t tell us that we are just too picky. Don’t tell us that just maybe, we should lower our standards.

Please, please, please….. Be very careful when using canned “church-ease” answers. Please don’t tell me that I should be content in my singleness. That maybe God intends me to be single my entire life? Maybe He has other plans for my life?….. Because after all… “All you really need is Jesus.” (saying that to us doesn’t help at all!) in fact, most of the time it just makes us feel worse……. Most of the time, we don’t want to hear “Church-ease”…. We just want you to listen…. And just maybe feel a little sorry for us. 🙂

Dear Pastors: Please don’t quote
1 Corinthians 7:8 to us…
“Now to the unmarried and to the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” Because it doesn’t help and many of us think that the Apostle Paul didn’t know what the heck he was talking about in this case… No offense to the Apostle Paul of course. Lol….
I once heard a sermon, from a world known pastor. In his sermon he basically reprimanded single people for being upset that they’re single. How dare we be sad, how dare we not be happy being single. The sermon really upset me… And by the way, this pastor is married with children. 

Dear pastors: When you are creating singles classes for your church, please don’t forget the 30 and 40 something group. I myself, have called 40 churches within a hundred mile radius of where I live. Only two of those churches had anything for 30-40 age group. They have groups for teens and twenties. Then they have groups for 55 and older. But those in their thirties and forties, are left in limbo.


Porn: from the perspective of a woman who could never compare…

I have a question…When did normal become not good enough? I am very aware that Porn can be a very taboo subject. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to just pick on men.  I also know that this perspective doesn’t apply to all women. Nothing ever apples to ALL men or ALL women. But, I have spoken with a number of women, in the past, who feel the very same way that I do.

I am just writing from the perspective of a woman….. of a woman who could never and will never compare. You can think I’m a total idiot….. you can totally disagree with me. That’s perfectly fine. 

What business is it of mine? We should all be able to do what we want!…. look at porn if we want. Do everything and anything that we want! After all, we aren’t hurting anyone else right? Are you sure of that? From the images in fashion magazines to the pornography that assaults our eyes every day…. our sense of reality is distorted!

I can tell you a little bit of the harm it causes…… it causes many of us “average women” to feel like we will never be pretty enough…. never sexy enough…. never enough of anything. 

In many cases we “average” women don’t stand a chance. Coming from the perspective of someone who has had body image issues, for most of her life, (and I know that many others have as well) the issue has touched my own life. I am very accustomed to having men smile my way, only to realize that he was actually smiling at the “hottie” standing behind me. Thru personal experience and things that I often see on Facebook, the subject comes to mind often. We have become such a “visual” society, it breaks my heart. 

I have heard stories, from a number of different men, who struggled with porn addiction for years. They said that it started out with Victoria secret…. until soon that wasn’t enough. So they moved on to Playboy and soon that wasn’t enough. So they moved onto the harder stuff, until yes, that wasn’t enough. Then they moved onto hard core porn. In the majority of the stories, their marriages fell apart. While they were in the bedroom (or in the strip club) watching other women… their flesh and blood wife sat at home alone, wondering why she wasn’t good enough. Why she wasn’t sexy enough. 

To any men who have ever wondered how it makes us feel when you compare us to porn stars, models, actresses…. to the men who would prefer to watch a dancer over your own spouse/girlfriend….. it makes us feel like dirt!

From the size 2 models, in Vogue, to the actresses in porn videos…. we are programed to believe that those things are what beauty entails. Yeah I think that Chris Hemsworth & Channing Tatum are gorgeous…. but I also know that they aren’t real….those men are all air-brushing, stage lights, and stage make-up. Porn stars are NOT real. Actresses in movies are NOT real. “Reality TV” stars are NOT real….. so when men compare us to those women…. we will NEVER measure up! We will never be good enough. Never pretty enough. Never enough of anything.

We real women have birth marks, rolls of fat, acne, birth defects, bad teeth, to name a few. We can never compare to the air-brushing, stage lights, and stage make-up of the women on the TV screen….. yet we are compared to it all the time.

Yeah, I can appreciate a beautiful man. I love big biceps and strong shoulders. God made our bodies to be a beautiful thing!…. but in far too many cases Satan takes our appreciation, for beauty, and twists it into a sick perverted thing! How could I ever hope to compare to those women in the pictures or on the tv screen? Most of us women never could.

So much of it is about lust… and how far does lust ever get us? Yeah great for awhile….. but then what? 

It grinds our self worth & self-esteem into the ground. Always comparing us to those women (on the tv screen or in the pages of the magazine)….. it often causes us to compare OURSELVES to the women on the tv screen or in the pages of the magazine.

Guys, it distorts your image of us and it, in turn, distorts our image of ourselves. 

I know, all too well, what it feels like to be looked thru…. not looked at.

I see the way that men, in the gym, look at the women dressed in sports bras and mini-shorts……….. yet I could stand on a chair and sing “Rama Lama Ding Dong” at the top of my lungs and wouldn’t get second look. YET at the very same time, it makes me feel bad for those women who dress like that, because very often they do it…… because if they didn’t, they’d be looked thru just like I am.

……….. and just to throw a “consider this” thought out there into the universe….. What would you do if it was your daughter, grand-daughter, niece, or whoever up there on the tv screen or in the magazine?…………. every one of those girls are someones baby. 

 


To the JERK who offended me…

Over the years, I have met a number, of people, who are offended by just about everything. Offended because someone has an opinion other then theirs. Offended because you didn’t like their new dress. Offended because you said something that they mis-interpreted, offended because- because- because….. It’s extremely difficult to be around people who are offended by anything and everything. It’s like constantly walking around on egg shells. Never knowing what shell you’re going to break next.

Like the person who says to their friend “Jane”….. “Oh hey I see your making it to the gym again, that’s great!”………… And “Jane” responds with, “What! Are you saying that I’m getting fat?” ummmmm…… huh? 

From my experiences in the past, people who are always offended, are people who are also always unhappy as well. They always feel like they have been slighted. Always feel insulted (when the other person didn’t actually insult them). They are always mad at someone (when the other person didn’t really do anything wrong). The offended person then wonders why people don’t want to talk to them anymore… why people don’t wan’t be around them. Then they are offended because of all of the jerks who don’t want to talk to them or be around them.

Sometimes the offense is real. Sometimes people say things to us that are just awful! Some people are just mean at heart….. or maybe they are going thru a painful situation themselves and it manifests itself as anger towards others. From a Bible study I read: “The key to avoiding offense is NOT avoiding offense. It is learning how NOT to BE offended.” (Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.) I believe that much of it is “mind over matter”. It’s DECIDING to not be offended. It is knowing who you are, in Christ, and in yourself. It’s peace within yourself. It’s not letting it affect you, weather you FEEL offended or even if you really are offended.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

It’s learning that everyone is different. Everyone has different opinions. I think it also has to do sometimes, with figuring out (if you are always offended and angry) what you are ACTUALLY angry about. I have days when I just wake up angry. Nothing happened and no body offended me. I will sit and try to figure out why I’m angry…… and I come to the conclusion that there isn’t a reason and maybe I’m just having a bad morning. Sometimes, there is a reason, and I am able to figure it out and I come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with the current situation……. but some pain or injustice that I have suffered in the past. Something that I have not dealt with. An un-forgiveness, in my heart, that I have not dealt with. Maybe I’m going thru a hard time… and it bleeds over into everything else, making me angry at EVERYTHING. It’s a matter of getting to the core of the problem. Once the core is taken out and healed….. then many other things (that aren’t even related) are worked out.

I am very RARELY offended. I have my feelings hurt yes!.. but not offended. (Having your feeling hurt and being offended are two different things). You can call me a name. Belittle me for my faith. Don’t like the way I dress or the color of my hair. For the most part, I really don’t care. Part of it is because I am secure in who I am. Part of it is because of past abuse, that has given me a bit of a tough outer shell. But the biggest part of it is the peace that God has given me. He has given me confidence in who I am. I like me and am not ashamed of the person I am. (John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”) No, it’s not always easy to NOT be offended. It does happen sometimes. I remember once, I kept turning down a man who wanted to date me. Finally, he told me that he’d buy me a car if I would date him. YES, that offended me. There were some people who couldn’t understand why I would be offended at that…… let alone say no…….. Well, it’s because I’m not for sale.

My advice to you…… Be not easily offended. It makes life so much happier. I’m telling you this from experience. And when something does offend you, let the person know if you can. Maybe they didn’t mean to offend you? Maybe they had no clue that what they were saying or doing was going to harm you? Yes, sometimes they DID mean to offend you?…. and if they did, move on. Forgive them and go on with your day. If you choose not to confront the person… let it go anyhow. Easier said then done sometimes, but…… (Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.)

Offense comes in many forms:

We also have to be careful not to BE the offender! We were hurt so we decide to hurt others back. Or in some cases we fall victim to the “holier then thou” mentality.

I have seen it happen OVER and OVER again in Churches thru out my life time, (and I have been guilty of it myself, in the past, I will admit) when someone walks thru the door, that doesn’t fit the Churches idea of a good Christian. The person covered in tattoos. The homeless man who smells like too many beers. The girl who’s dress leaves nothing to the imagination. The teenage boys who dared to show up in jeans.

I grew up in a school/church environment that was good in many ways. But also condemning in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good things about it…… but in the years since I came to realize that many of the teachings in school (that I hope were from a good heart)….  were laden with condemnation.

Condemned for taking a drink, condemned for dancing, condemned for listening to anything other then Christian music, on and on. I asked a teacher once (on the subject of listening to music) If I come home and turn on Beethoven, is it a sin because it’s not Christian music? In a round about way… they said yes.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a person choosing to hold themselves to the highest standards possible. That’s between them and God. BUT when we start being offended and condemning “Joe and Jane Church”, because they have wine with dinner and listen to Garth Brooks…… that is when I believe it becomes a problem.

Please live your lives in the way that you feel God wants you to…… But be careful that you don’t fall into the “I’m holier then everyone else” trap. Don’t become “So Heavenly minded that you’re no Earthly good.”

I had someone tell me a story of something that they experienced years ago. They had decided to go to Church (after many years away) and had a NIV Bible with them. After the service, a stranger walked up to them and absolutely berated them for the horrid offense of not using a King James version of the Bible. It was years before this person darkened the door of a Church again. 

(Read Romans 8:5 below)
*Is someone who condemns others for not wearing a tie to Church working in the flesh? Or in the Spirit?
*We whisper about the un-wed parent that brings their children to Church. (But we don’t love them).
*Is someone who condemns others for wearing jeans to Church working in Flesh or Spirit?
Let me ask you…… Did Jesus wear a tie to temple? I’ll bet you ten bucks that He actually wore sandals and a bath robe.
*We murmur and roll our eyes because someone dared to shout out “Praise Jesus” in the middle of the service. Did Jesus openly praise His Father during the service? Maybe? Maybe not?
*Someone dared to clap in Church. (we are offended)
*Someone dared to go outside and smoke a cigarette after service. (Ghasp! We are offended)
*Offense because the teenage choir girl got pregnant… how could she?…… (but do we come around her and love her?)
*And don’t even get me started on what happens if you skip a Church service and sleep in one Sunday!

Who did Jesus condemn? The harlots and tax collectors?…… or the Pharisees i.e.: the “perfect” Christians?

I have been friends with/have known a wide array of people in my life (that MANY in the Church would condemn). A stripper- a strip club owner- a gang leader- drug dealers- gay men & lesbians- Wicken’s (White which craft)- among others. How could I (a Christian) be friends with people who do those things, you ask? My answer is… How could I not be? Let me ask you this… Which sin is worse then the other: Lying to your parents, sex outside of marriage in whatever form, telling a little white lie on your taxes, or gossiping about the girl who wears too much make-up in Church? THROWING STONES!

Am I so much better then everyone else? But for the grace of God go I!

Remember, we may be the only Jesus that people ever meet.

When someone makes a mistake… when they fall, do we see condemn them in the flesh (like the “perfect” Pharisees did?) or do we walk thru the Spirit, show them the love of Christ, and help them thru?

By all means I want you and yours to live their lives in a way that you feel is good and right before God……. BUT I also urge you to be careful!……. We are GREAT at throwing stones!!!!!

ROMANS 8:1    
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


One Defining Moment

At times, I have sat and thought about the events, in my life, that have made me who I am today. Most of them took place when I was only a child, but those moments have defined me and set the course of the rest of my life. 

THE FIRST WAS when I was only about 5 years old. I have always been a tom-boy, at heart. When I could, I always choose making mud cookies, playing in the creek next to the house, or searching for snakes…… over playing with Barbies any day. I was one of those kids, that you had to drag me kicking and screaming INTO the house. I can clearly remember being outside one day and turning to come face to face with a mouth-full of snarling razor sharp teeth. There were three Doberman Pinchers who had me cornered near the front door. The “alpha” dog in the front was snarling with his teeth exposed and that was the first time that I ever remember having my “life flash before my eyes”. lol. I know that I had to have been only around 5 years old, because I was directly eye level with his teeth.  I somehow made it into the house… scared to death. A few weeks later, it happened again. My Mom and I were going somewhere and she loaded me into our van and then had to go back into the house for something and left the drivers side door open. A few seconds after she went into the house, there was a Doberman, at the open door, snarling with his teeth exposed. He ran off when my Mom came back outside. Then it happened a third time. I was out playing, but this time saw them coming which sent me screaming, across the yard, back into the house. I was scared and crying when my Mom said “Well honey maybe you should just play in the house from now on?”

I remember saying something to the effect of “No way! The outside is mine and they can’t have it”….. A bit of stubbornness I’d say. I begged and pleaded for my Mom to get me a BB Gun (and of course she wouldn’t) but finally I had the idea of a Sling Shot. This she said yes to. So I got my Sling Shot. Not one of the fancy “Wrist Rockets” that they have now, but basically a Y shaped piece of wood with a rubber band. I literally spent hours outside practicing with it. I started with a big boulder we had on the property. Every time I perfected hitting something, I’d move to something smaller. Until one day I decided to aim for the electric wires, over the main road, and could hit those too. (I was determined, haha). I was a kid who was always working things out in my head. I decided to search for rocks that were round on one side and pointy on the other. The round side to not slice thru the band of the slingshot and the pointy side, to hurt REALLY bad when it hit a dog. I was never outside without the slingshot and some rocks in my pocket. 

Not long after that, I was out playing one day, when here came the 3 dogs charging across the property. My first instinct was to run, but I stood my ground. I grabbed a rock out of my pocket, but dropped it (I was shaking pretty badly). I grabbed another one and aimed the best that my shaking arms would allow. I shot the rock and hit the alpha dog directly on the snout. I remember he came to an abrupt halt with dust flying around him. Turned and ran the other direction making that “Aarrr- Aarrr- Aarrr” sound (that’s the sound dogs make when they cry FYI) lol. I was scared spit-less and shaking… but after a few seconds I realized, “It worked… It really worked…..”. At that moment I realized that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to. I can remember puffing out my chest and proudly marching back into the house to tell Mom what had just happened. About a week later (same scenario as the last), but all I had to do was raise the slingshot and point it and the dogs ran away yelping (PS: I shot the alpha dog in the butt just for good measure!) After that day, I never saw those dogs again

I know that’s kind of a silly story, but those dogs could have really hurt or even killed me. You hear about dog mauling’s all the time. Even at that young age, I realized that me… just a small child, defeated three Doberman Pinchers. That moment defined the rest of my life, by making me realize that i can, in fact, accomplish anything that I really put my mind to….. Any one of us can!!!! ……that one defining moment changed my life.

THE NEXT WOULD have to be when I was 10 and was molested. I won’t go into that now… many of you already know the story…. but one of the defining moments to that was the next day. I remember this person sitting me down, and among other things, telling me that if I told what had happened, my Mom would die of a heart attack (because she was under a lot of stress at the time) and leave me alone. Being that young I, of course, believed that if I told, I would be the reason that my Mom was dead. As I got a bit older, I realized that wasn’t true and it was only a scare tactic. Now, if anyone ever tries to threaten or blackmail me….. my bad side comes out! If there is something that you want me to do and you decide to threaten me…… REALLY BAD IDEA!…..my stubborn side comes out and I’ll do the opposite of what you want, just out of sheer spite!….. I won’t be bullied!…….. that one defining moment changed my life.  

THE NEXT WAS at about 12 years old. At that age I had a REALLY bad temper (along with a pretty bad potty mouth). I never did it in front of my Mom…. I was smarter then that! But learning from then environment I grew up in, I would throw things, scream and yell at my siblings until my voice cracked, and cuss a lot. One day, my brother (he was 5-ish) got into my room (like brothers do) and got into my stuff. I remember, like it was yesterday, towering over him and screaming as loud as I could. I can see him looking up at me, with big scared puppy-dog eyes. Before I realized what I was doing I had raised my fist, in the air, and was just going to pummel him in the face. I remember seeing my fist raised and bursting into tears. I scared myself when I realized how mad I was and the fact that I was seconds from beating my little brother. 

At that moment I realized that I had to change! I had to get in control of my temper. I didn’t want to become the type of person, that I had spent my childhood always being afraid of. I was becoming a product of my environment…… and I refused to let it continue. I sat down, on my bed, and wrote down a list of the things that I saw in myself that I hated and vowed to change them. It took a LONG time…. but those that now me well, know that now it’s almost impossible to make me mad. Yes I get upset sometimes……but now I have the “Patients of Job” as my Mom likes to say…….  that one defining moment changed my life.

I HAVE WRITTEN in the past about some of the bad things that happened, to me, in my childhood. Verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse at home. Verbal and emotional bullying at school. Not to mention the internal abuse, from my own mind, that I had to contend with. Thru all of that I lived for MANY years with the “Victim Mentality”. I always felt bad for myself and loved it when other people felt bad for me. Sometimes, being the victim does feel good….. but after awhile, I realized that when it really comes down to it….. the feeling sucks! With me at least I used it as an excuse…… Woe-is-me, I’m not smart enough because I failed in school….. Woe-is-me, I can’t because I was abused and I’m worthless…… Oh I can’t because I’m ugly and gross just like they told me in school……. Woe-is-me because of “whatever”……

Then one day (I was in my late teens) I was watching TV. The Geraldo Rivera Show, to be exact. He was interviewing teen girls who (with their young children in tow) robbed and beat up people for money. One of the girls made a crack about beating up Geraldo for his money…. and he replied “You couldn’t do that” she smirked … Oh yeah, why not?….. he looked at her and said “Because I’m not a victim!” It’s funny sometimes, the things that make an impact on our lives! Yes, one of the biggest turning points, in my life, was because of Geraldo Rivera… haha. 

A chill came over me and I had a epiphany. So very much changed in my life at that moment. I realized that we can’t always prevent ourselves from being victimized……. BUT we don’t ever have to BE a victim!!………. that one defining moment changed my life.

THERE ARE OTHER defining moments in my life, that I won’t list here now. We all have those moments in our lives. What makes the difference is how we choose to use them. We can continue down the bad path… or we can choose to listen to what God wants us to learn from them. Use them to change for the better. Some of the moments may seem silly, like the whole Geraldo thing, but it changed my life. We can’t always choose our “defining moments” BUT we can choose how our moments “define us.” 


FORGIVENESS IS NOT A FEELING

I was sexually abused, as a young child. One morning I was a happy child with straight A’s in school. The next morning I was a broken, betrayed, shell with failing grades by the end of the year. Sexual abuse is a deal breaker. It is, in my book, an ultimate betrayal by someone who I should have been able to trust. Someone who should have protected me from predators….. not become one themselves! I spent the rest of my childhood afraid. Never knowing if there was going to be a “next time”. I struggled with un-forgiveness for 11 years.

Thru the years I have encountered quite a few people who also struggle with forgiveness. People tend to open up to me, weather it be a close friend or the lady behind me in the grocery store check-out line. I guess I have one of those trustworthy faces? Every one of us has dealt with un-forgiveness at some point in our lives. Maybe it was nasty names a classmate threw at us, sexual abuse, or infidelity?

I always knew that I needed to forgive him, but didn’t know how. It would have probably been much easier to forgive him….. if he had wanted forgiveness. But it’s hard to forgive someone who doesn’t think that there was anything wrong with what they have done. I think, according to him, it had happened to him as a child, so it was something that was normal. Isn’t it amazing what we can come up with to justify our own actions?

I wanted to forgive him. From all of my years, in Church, I knew I was supposed to….. but didn’t know how. I wanted to forgive him, but every time he would tell me that I was going to grow up to be nothing, every time he would he would tell me “You do know that your going to be pregnant by the time you’re 16, right?”….. every time he would fly into a rage and break things around the house, the anger would come back.

Finally when I was 21, I came to a place in my life where the forgiveness came. I don’t really know what brought me to that place, but I am so thankful that it did!!! He has never asked for forgiveness. But I gave it none-the-less. That was one of the first times that I remember realizing that forgiveness was a choice, not a feeling. I didn’t “feel” like forgiving him. The pain was still strong…

……that pain will be with me for the rest of my life, but it doesn’t have to define me. Sometimes, the other person doesn’t even know that they hurt us. Many other times, they know that they hurt us, but don’t care. Sometimes the hurt comes from someone we haven’t even seen in years.

I heard a story that I really liked. It’s the story of a little baby who had been sitting in a rancid poopy diaper for days. Every time his Mommy wanted to change his diaper he would kick, scream, and fight. Finally she said to him “But sweetheart your diaper is disgusting!” when he wiped off the tears he replied “Yes I know that, but it’s warm and it’s mine.” Sometimes we hold the pain close to us… we wrap it around ourselves like a warm blanket. It’s familiar. In some cases it makes us feel “safe” because if we keep it wrapped tightly around us, it acts like a barrior from letting ourselves get hurt again. We get people to feel sorry for us. We get consoled. It feels good.

When I forgave him, it set ME free. At that point, I realized that I had been holding MYSELF captive for years and years. The pain of the betrayal was a brick wall that was holding me back from the rest of my life. My abuser still had his clutches in me…. even though it had been years since the abuse.

I realized , at they point, that the forgiveness had NOTHING to do with him…… it had EVERYTHING to do with me. It didn’t set him free… it set ME free!!!!

I love a saying that I heard not too long ago “Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison, but expecting the other person to die”. In the Bible God tells us to forgive. When He tells us to forgive, it’s not a suggestion. It’s not a “Well if you feel like it.”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

One of the things that many people don’t realize, is that forgiveness isn’t always external…. sometimes it’s internal. Forgiveness also includes forgiving YOURSELF! Every one of us has done something that we regret. Something that we wish that we could take back and un-do. I have talked to people who have spent years beating themselves up over things that they did in the past. I think that sometimes, forgiving ourselves can be even harder then forgiving others.

Like the poopy diaper that the baby refused to take off… we hold the guilt close to us. How could we have been so stupid? How could we have betrayed the one we loved? How could we have said those awful things? Sometimes, we don’t feel like we deserve the forgiveness, even if the one we hurt has long ago forgiven us.

Like with holding onto un-forgiveness against others, holding onto un-forgiveness against ourselves can be a brick wall or handcuffs keeping us from living a full life. If we can forgive others, we need to make the choice to forgive ourselves as well. At one point, in my life, I had been beating myself up for something that I had done. I was down on my knees praying and pleading to God for forgiveness… when He spoke to me and said “I forgave you a long time ago, why can’t you forgive yourself?”

When we ask God for forgiveness, the Bible states that He forgives us every time.

Psalms 103:8-12 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us”.

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins”.

I encourage every one of you to forgive!…………..

“But I have the right to hate him!”

“I have a right to hold this grudge… don’t you know what she did to me?”

“But what I did is unforgivable!”

…………. Ok, yes maybe you do have a good reason for hating him. Maybe that grudge is justified, what she did to you was pretty awful! Yes, what you did was pretty bad……..

and when all of that is said and done… FORGIVE! It’s not a feeling, its a decision. It will set you free. It will release you from the bonds you have worn for years or even decades. Make that choice and then go on with your life.

The pain of my sexual abuse may always be there, even if it is tiny. But I have gone on. I have forgiven…. (that does NOT mean I will forget!) I will never leave my children alone in the same room as the man who violated me… but I won’t let that part of my past rule my future. Forgiveness set me free. Forgiveness will set you free.

 


It’s never too late………. to overcome fear!

March 2010

It’s never too late! Your never too old! Your never even too young for that matter. . . to go after your dreams. To accomplish what you want out of life. I’ve had this discussion twice, in as many weeks. To start off, I think that one of the very first steps to going after your dreams. . . is to delete the word “CAN’T” out of your daily vocabulary.  Far too often we use the word “can’t” but what we really mean is “don’t want to”. (if we realize it or not).  And allow me to explain what I mean by that:

You may say that you would love to quit your current job (to go back to college maybe) and further your education. But you can’t.

Your single and want to explore Europe before you start a family. But you can’t.

Your working a 9 to 5 job, but it’s your dream to open your own (cupcake shop, dress store, daycare, auto shop) whatever. But you can’t.

You want to move closer to your Grandkids, but your on a fixed income and. . . “you just can’t”

You want to (fill in blank) but you never even graduated high school. So, you can’t. . .

And let me add that sometimes you really and truly can’t because of forces out of your control. But I think that, more times then not, we can. . . but the sacrifices we would have to make, is where the “don’t want to” comes into play. I was talking with someone just yesterday who said that they want to be closer to their Grandchildren. But they are on a fixed income. And by moving closer to the Grandchildren it would cut their income in half. They wouldn’t be able to afford living there.  So they just can’t.                                                                                                                                                                                But I explained to them that it’s not that they can’t. And that yes, they would be able to afford living there. . . just not in the lifestyle that they are used to living in here. If they really-really-really wanted to be around the Grandchildren badly enough, they could find a nasty flea-trap studio apt with a community bathroom down the hall (that would fit their new lower fixed income). . . and be closer to the children. They just “don’t want to” have to do that.

You may want to move your family to (fill in the state) to pursue your dream of (fill in dream) but you can’t because you have a mortgage on your new house, payment on your new SUV, huge Macy’s credit card limit, payment on your new boat, the kids are in the middle of a school year. . . etc. . . etc. . . etc. . . “you just can’t”                                                                         YES, YOU CAN! You can sell your house, get rid of the new SUV (even if you take a hit on it) and you can go out a buy a used SUV, cut up the Macy’s credit card (sorry ladies, but it is possible to buy a new pair of jeans at WalMart), sell the new boat (yes boys, it is possible to just rent one for the day), and kids are resilient! I’ve moved schools in the middle of the year and my head didn’t explode. So, yes it is possible. . . it has nothing to do with “can’t”.

If you want something badly enough. . . you just have to decide what sacrifices your willing to make to accomplish your dreams. . . and stop using the word “can’t”!

And sadly, I think that far-far too often we truly believe that we “can’t” because we have been made to believe that we aren’t smart enough. . . .or talented enough. . . .or pretty enough. . . .or we never even graduated high school. . . .grew up poor. . . were abused as a child (or even as an adult) and have no self worth or confidence.

I was abused as a child and it almost destroyed me. I went from straight A’s in school to straight F’s. Turned in within myself. Had no self worth, no self confidence, and at one point in my life I hated myself so much. . . .that I literally (for about a 6 month period) wouldn’t even look at myself in the mirror unless I didn’t have a choice. The sight of my own reflection made me sick.                                                                                                                                                                                           But, praise God, I also had a good family foundation to counteract the bad. My Grandpa expected each of us girls to be the strong women that God created us to be. . . not doormats. That we were smart and we were expected to use the brains God gave us. It was a battle that lasted for years, but I came to realize that I am a child of God. I’m beautiful in God’s eyes. . . .I’m not worthless, or dumb, or a failure. . . .and I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do.

And so CAN you! It doesn’t matter if you never graduated high school, are a single parent, flip burgers at McD’s, have a million-dollar trust fund (but no self confidence). . . .whatever. There are a billion different people with a billion different stories. But what I do know is that if we begin to replace “I can’t” with “I can” a whole new world can open up to us! Just know thatYOU are good enough. . . YOU are pretty enough. . .YOU are smart enough. . .  God loves YOU no matter what your past holds. So I challenge you today to begin paying attention to all of the times during your day that you use the words “I can’t” and purpose to replace them with “I can”.  It’s never too late!


Sex is the new purity……

…….. like 40 is the new 20. I sit here looking thru facebook posts & I see pictures of (friends of friends) that break my heart!!! A 12 or 13 year old CHILD who has almost no clothing on, with a sensual look on her face , posing in a sexual way. She is beautiful (for a 12yo child) BUT the world tells her she is sexual like a 25 year old woman. INNOCENTS LOST! Where are her parents… the ones that are supposed to be there to protect the preciousness of childhood? Barbies and tea parties……. replaced by free condoms in Elementary School. Who are their roll models? Tyra Banks….. who tells girls on her show to be “fierce” and embrace their individual beauty…… AND THEN votes them off of “Top Model” because they won’t pose nude????

In this age of celebrity…. you don’t have to be talented anymore! No more Greta Garbo’s or Bette Davis’s or Katharine Hepburn’s. Today, your sex video just has to be dirty enough……. or you have to just have sex with the right politician.

Oh for the days when you wanted to buy a cheese burger because it tasted good……… not because of the model who who shoves her breasts in the camera to promote a $6 burger.

oh for the days when a girl was taught to cherish her virginity……. and a boy was taught to cherish a girl who felt that way.

we saturate TV, radio, video, books, magazines, Cd’s, and DVD’s in sexual stimulation…….. and yet we expect our men to not be tempted.

in days of old, a girl was shunned because she was promiscuous…… today she is shunned because she isn’t. Time and time again I have lost out on a relationship because I hold my values dear. NO I’M NOT PERFECT…….. but if you choose a different girl over me because you can have sex with her & not with me……… are there any guys out there that have respect for someone who wants to wait? I sit in Church year after year praying that I will find a man that will cherish me…………. and what I have found are a whole bunch of single men who use the Bible as a “Get out of jail free” card. Does anyone value….. value’s anymore?

Where are the Clark Gable’s and Cary Grant’s of the world???….. murdered by the 60’s.

this generation has been raped of it’s innocents!