As night falls upon the hills ushering the last tangerine patches of lights to sit and wait for their turn to shine again tomorrow, I awake with a sense of disorientation. I don't know how much time has progressed since our last conversation (The Problem with Letting Go) but it surely feels like an eternity. I still don't know where we are headed, but being misinformed of such details doesn't bother me at all. It is the thickness in the atmosphere of my soul that robs my ability of speech and understanding. Writing helps a lot when these cactus emotions come barging in, like a dangerous cowboy entering a saloon. Since we're friends now, I think it would be beneficial to expand on the root of these unnerving feelings. Don't get me wrong, I am hopeful that better days are ahead. I know healing is a process, but regret is one painful thing to administer.
Open My Eyes Lord
And Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:17
There's people who live with no regrets, or at least that's what they claim. I kind of sort of possibly want to be them for one day. Wouldn't you too? Other than learning how to love myself, leaving regrets behind has been one of the hardest things to learn. If there would be an Udemy course for it, where I could review the material as many times as I want, then it would be easier to let go. I guess the best way to learn is through life college. At least you don't have to pay back with interest. My constant avoidance of the topic can easily be compared with a hesitant large dog who is afraid of baths. Nevertheless, the good Lord has been pulling my hind legs towards a divine bathtub called redemption because my arrogance has tried to convince me that there's no hope. His patience is unmeasurable, but my unwillingness has been childish and disrespectful towards change. I could just imagine Jesus, being so loving and calm, as any good pet owner would while I growl and insist to remain unmovable. How can a large dog be afraid of a bathtub? How can a Christian live a life of freedom when there's shame and guilt due to regret? But with salt encrusted deep in my wounds, in this case my eyes, how can I trust that this 'bath' will benefit in any way? It was the exposure of the sea that lead me to a bitter vision in the first place. "I'll never take a bath again” I thought as any hydrophobic Rottweiler would. (Animal lovers: this is just an example. No need to get defensive. Rottweilers are cool.) Only, I am not a Rottweiler nor afraid of water. I am a Child of God who needs to be delivered Pistanthrophobia every now and then. What was the sea? The opportunity for a relationship, an entrepreneur endeavor, the possibility of great moments, walking in integrity, good decisions, divine connections etc. What was the salt? Words I can't take back, unexpressed emotions, partaking in bitter conversations due to offense, what I did, what I didn't do, what I didn't say, rejection, threats, betrayals and the list goes on and on. How was my vision before everything went down? Well, I guess as clear as it can be before the in-crowd bully proceeds to kick sand in your perimeter, unmercifully blinding all optic faculties. You see, I think that's where everything starts; in the eyes. Our vision determines our honest intentions, preferences, and perception in life. It is the "window of the soul" as the cliché expresses. When offense comes into our lives, our vision gets blurred and the severe soreness makes us do stupid decisions due to pain. We are pain's puppets when we get hurt, only we don't know till the side effects are over…or when good friends proceed to smack logical sense into you. If you ever see random bruises on my arms and legs that's why! (Just kidding! I'm very clumsy.) I wonder what was the sea for you, what was the salt, and how was your vision before and after your situation? I'd love to live a life where I am constantly aware that angels are around me, waving glow in the dark batons signaling the nearest exit from a heartbreaking situation. Lord open our eyes to your help when we mess up. Open our eyes.
The 19th chapter of the book of Genesis is probably one of the most disturbing pieces of literature I've ever set my eyes upon. Not because it lacks insight of cultural differences or valuable lessons even with the existence of failure, but because of the mindless actions of its characters. There's two main characters we will be focusing during this study and those are Lot (Yes, as in "it's a lot." As in parking lot. It's weird I know.) and his wife who is nameless. Both finish their lives winning the race of misery due to the decisions they made. I believe the more we seek God, the more wisdom we will obtain and eliminate any chances of a. being enrolled in the misery race and b. getting to the finish line. I don't know what bad decisions you have made in your past, but know that God can forgive you because He desires to do so. Also, wouldn't it be great for once to stop running this misery race? I don’t want regret as the gold medal? Today, let's focus on Lot's wife.
A little context before continuing. (If you know who are the characters, you can skip this part.) So, there was this city called Sodom and Gomorrah. This city was completely messed up, and trust me that's an understatement. The sin of the people of this city was so great that God himself sent angels to destroy it. It was horrible. Lot and his family lived in this town. Due to their behavior, it is implied that their lifestyle was undoubtedly meshed into that ungodly culture. However, Lot was Abraham's nephew. I don't know if you have heard of Abraham. Probably, he was one famous dude in the Old Testament. The point is that God had already expressed to Abraham his intention of destroying the city, but was willing to save Lot and his family because Abraham pleaded God to be merciful. So, God appointed angels to go to Sodom and save this family. The angels came in disguised as travelers, so Lot gave them free Air BNB at his home. After an unfriendly confrontation between the townspeople and Lot, the angels proceeded to warn Lot about the destruction. The angels told Lot bring every family member with him to escape So Lot, took his wife and two daughters and ran for their lives. Expect his wife…
But Lot's wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
This is one of the saddest verses in the entire bible if you ask me. Now, I don't know about you, but if a firefighter, policeman, ranger, or any authoritarian figure shows up at my door saying to get out of my house and tells me to run in order save my life, I'd do so. Okay all of this makes sense, till the part where it says she became a pillar of salt right? Even that's difficult for me to imagine friend. Three words: raining burning sulfur. You can find that in verse 24. Although the bible does not say that this woman voiced her regret of leaving the city, we can infer that with her actions, she did. But why would a woman with two daughters and a husband not do everything she can to move forward? Why would she look back, knowing what was going to happen? It wasn't like looking back was going to prevent the devastation from taking place. I wonder what was her thought process when this happened.
Do you know where you are standing?
When you read Genesis 19 you will perceive how this woman was practically absent from her family. This detail is kind of strange to me because women were considered less than men and would often stay home. The text narrates that it was Lot who welcomed the angels into his home and prepared bread for them. The cooking was not made by his wife, but him. Also, it states that the altercation between the townspeople and Lot happened during night time. The angels, Lot and his two daughters were mentioned. However, his wife was not home. It is enough to live in a rowdy city where "everything goes" but to not be established at your own home is a whole different thing. Now, I'm not judging her, just observing. The bible doesn't say what type of work she was involved in, but it could've possibly been the fact that she was a prostitute. Maybe she wasn't. Maybe she was just not mentioned when this happened. We'll never know. Sodom was a city that failed to subscribe to God's will, therefore their philosophy was rooted in greed, perversion, and idolatry. This means this family probably distanced themselves from God as they developed their lives there. It's kind of hard to live a life that honors God when you are exposed to all that kind of stuff anyways. Lot's wife was not standing in truth and love.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
If you think about it sand has a similar consistency as salt. If our foundation is on self-hate and condemnation from others, then we are on that race of misery. Her perception of life was flawed. She loved the city and her lifestyle more than freedom itself. Do you love more that failed relationship than your own mental health? Do you long for a missed opportunity, when God closed the door on your face? Do you feel so burdened by what you did that it hinders your ability to receive love from people? (I raised my hand at that one.) Do you keep revisiting the past so much that you've gained fast passes? Do you miss that dysfunctional friendship? Does your obsession with comfort keeping you from your future? Why are you insisting in pursuing regret when a certain relationship didn't come to pass when it was God you protected you from that person in the first place? Hasn't the thought occurred that maybe, just maybe that person didn't have good intentions to start with? Why do keep punishing yourself with silly mistakes when that version of you is gone? You know better now. You're different now.
Why you can't be friends with regret.
When I look back and see how I reacted to certain scenarios I look at that girl with compassion. She didn't know any better. And truth be told, we all mess up. I wish I could tell the people I hurt that. I wish I could apologize to the individuals due to the carelessness of my actions and words. Will they accept my apology? I don't know, but I'd rather live on good terms with my conscious and forgive myself. I wish I could go back but I can't. (Notice I'm discussing about mistakes we've done and not any abuse from other people. If someone abused you, that was not your fault.) What are your eyes seeing? Have you been seeing what happened in the past with a self-condemning mentality? Are you so bitter that can't even let go of it? Whatever your it may be… If I were a mother, which I'm not, but if I were I would be saddened to hear my child verbalize repeatedly how worthless they are because they broke a vase. Now, this seems like a silly example but if we think about it, how sad would that be? It's like "baby move on, a vase from Pier 1 Imports can't possibly possess more value than you." I believe that's what God is telling you today. The harm you did to others, what you failed to do, or whatever it is that you did is utilized as a solid accusation towards your identity. And who accuses? The enemy does. God convicts but the devil condemns. These are two different things. Conviction is correction out love, like parents when they correct their children. Condemnation says: You are a failure because you had a failure. Yes, you might have to face some consequences (depending on the situation), because forgiveness does not eradicate the absence of repercussions, but it's not the end of the world for you friend. Are you going to keep loving a past that God eliminated because it wasn't good for you or will you open your heart and receive forgiveness through faith? That last part is difficult I know. Stop persecuting the obsolete version of yourself as if it were John Marston. The outdated version of you is gone. Dwelling on it won't change things. The outdated version of you is only a fugitive of justice because you give it that role in the movie of your memories. You're condemning the outdated version of yourself who:
Throughout this study we will focus on David, Peter, Lot's wife, and other characters in the bible that dealt with regret. We will focus on why God doesn't want us to live in the past. And why looking back is not an option from now on. I hope this helped you today.
Thank you for your word even if it contains harsh realities. I pray that every person that reads this can change their perspective towards their past. I pray that they will be able to forgive themselves and other people for any pain caused. Jesus, help them not to look back and open their eyes. Help them be brave and love again even if they were heartbroken, help them enjoy life once again even after everything that happened. I pray that you would show them how endless your mercy is, and to remove all fear.
We pray in your name. Amen.
Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We will lift the cup
and the bread we will break,
remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
but You took on our shame
and nailed it to a cross.
as endless as the sea.
I'll sing Your hallelujah
for all eternity.
Mercy- Matt Redman
If you need mercy click here.
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
I want you to feel comfortable as we discuss how to get over it. Whatever that it is for you. As I write this at 2:57 a.m., what I wonder the most is whether there's anyone awake. I bet you're reading this at a coherent time, say midday or something like that. For comfort purposes, I imagine myself talking to you at this time in a big living room with a fire. I don't think Starbucks is open at this hour, well at least not around where I live. My heart has been silent during these couple of days. I've been thinking about this topic a lot. I hope today's blog helps you see things differently and to walk in freedom.
Fact: We all need to let go.
One of the things that I struggle with on a daily basis is letting go of my past. Whether that consist of unpleasant or irreplaceable memories, it is quite hard for me. A while back, I met with a friend. She told me that I had to let go of my past once and for all. I glanced at her as a small dog would glance at a peculiar thing. Only she wasn't peculiar nor a thing, plus she had a great point. I internally tilted my head to avoid any comparison with canine behavior. After the meeting, I walked out the coffee shop perfectly confused with her comment. I knew she meant well, but I had no idea what to do. Have you ever heard the phrase: "Just get over it?" I couldn't help but listen to the voices of those who have expressed this phrase for many situations in my life. I asked myself why is it so hard to let go. I asked myself what were the specific things I had to let go of. I pondered for days. I meditated on the phrase. I sat for countless of hours in silence just thinking about it. "Just get over it", I mumbled under my breath. "Just let go." "You can let go." Whispered my brain. Then I asked myself these series of questions: "If my past is so horrible, why don't I want to let go?...Because if you wanted to do it, you would've done so already. This simple act implies that you are content with embracing your past. What's up with that?" Do you talk to yourself like this? I hope I'm not weird. This was the data recollected after this introspective journey with honesty: I was terrified. You see, although things were bad, there were also good things in my past. Large family gatherings, sleep overs, hanging out next to the bay back home at 3 a.m., innocent school pranks, endless movie nights with my best friend, waking up early to go to the beach, high school inside jokes, certain songs, frequented places, favorite movies, friendships, school dances, piano recitals, dance recitals, talent shows, modeling, etc.
My problem with letting go:
I was scared of letting go of the good and bad memories because I had believed the lie.
This was the lie: Your best and worst days are in your past. It can't get any better or any worse than this. I had no hope. The saddest part about this is I discovered this recently. I am only 22. I wonder the amount of people believing that lie at age 56. I yielded the way for despair, hopelessness, and disappointment. These strongholds served as residency for the lie. If you would've asked me about having faith for a better future, I would've answered as my mother does when something is nonexistent in life, such as edible avocados in the state where I live in. (Sorry, had to throw that in there! Raised in a tropical island remember?)
"It shines with its absence" she'd often remark, turn around, and shake her head. She is one hilarious woman indeed. I was terrified that somehow, if I would "forget" the bad things that happened to me, that they would happen again. "Remember how that guy hurt you? Don't you even think about it this time. Don't you ever forget how your Prom Date never showed up. Don't forget about how the other guy just wanted your attention. Don't ever let those things happen again." "Remember how much fun you had that Christmas? This Christmas can't possibly compare."
Why couldn't I have faith to believe in a better future? Because of ignorance. It wasn't masochism. How can you describe light to a person who's never seen it? How can I expect you to recall the fragrance of patchouli tones in Giorgio Armani's Si if you have no idea what I am talking about? Ignorance, friend, is the killer hidden in plain sight. "Just get over it?" Get over what? To get where? Use what to get over what? The only convincing theory I had about getting over anything in life was building a bridge. All credits go to the British psalmist, Adele.
"If you're gonna let me down, let me down gently
Don't pretend that you don't want me
Our love ain't water under the bridge."
Water Under The Bridge- Adele
How can I have faith to have a better future when I've been in darkness for so long, that I don’t even remember much about how light operates? How to walk in freedom when it feels unusual? Bondage has been my companionship for so many years? Ignorance can hinder your perspective by using lens of uncertainty. Ignorance is one of the enemy's greatest weapons. Ignorance and Fear belong to the same family. Ignorance grows best in the dark. Ignorance grows in isolation. Ignorance about the important things, hinders us to live in God's will. Ignorance will distort the image of a true loving Father. I'm not talking about: "Oh I am not a doctor, I'm ignorant on medical procedures." That type of ignorance will always exist in this world, as we will never understand 100% how everything works. It's the ignorance of the things we are supposed to know that kill us. You have to turn the light on to see what you're fighting against.
Waking up from Ignorance.
I recently discovered I've had a breathing problem my entire life. This is due to my deviated septum. In simple terms, the cartilage and bone part that's in the middle of your nose, is not straight as it's supposed to be. This blocks air to flow freely through your nose. I thought well people surely breathe like this, I'm just overreacting. Now I understand why most things are so overwhelming to partake in. Recently, I haven't been able to sleep because of this. Not that I've always had a "normal" breathing experience, but it's been getting out of hand lately. I truly believe God allowed this recent discomfort to persist during my sleep to wake me up from ignorance. You have no idea how good it feels to know that what you've been dealing with your entire life
The doctor's report was the light turning on in the midst of darkness. Even if the wait for surgery is hard every day, I rejoice with knowing that there's a promise at the end of the tunnel. As I prepared yesterday for a nap, I thought about all the possible ways things could get worse. The Holy Spirit reminded me of Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 held the answer for my multiple questions. I can let go of my past because my future is better. God promises me that. I will hold on to that. Jesus went through so much, so I can rest my hope in Him. The other side of His suffering is joy and honor.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What a great way to find hope after being through so much! The problem with letting go is ignorance. (At least in my case.) Now I know I can let go. It will be okay. Even if it's a daily process, I can get over it. Get over what? Fear of going through the same. Fear of not encountering fulfilling moments again. To get where? Where faith lives. In the light, of course. Where promises are real and ignorance is a coward.
Friend, I will go to sleep now. Please pray with me.
I pray that the love of the Father reveals to everyone reading this blog, what things they need to be aware of in their life. I pray you will show them the areas where ignorance has taken over their minds. I believe things will never be the same from now on. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
I woke up today with the most unusual request from the Holy Spirit, and it was to write about transparency. Well, to be honest it’s something that I couldn’t dive into immediately since the concept of transparency was something I had to study. You see friend, transparency is not about saying everything to everyone, (We’ve had bad experiences with that, haven’t we?) or letting people see everything about you, it’s about living a life with no hidden agendas. I used to be that kind of person that wanted to be everyone’s friend, which can also be translated into ‘I-didn’t-want-to-be-rejected’ mentality. Being brought up in a dysfunctional system where I had to announce every little thing I had to do developed an unhealthy second nature lifestyle of oversharing. To be informative is one thing, to give away “free information” as my auntie would say, is a completely different thing. Because I was sometimes reprimanded for not living an “open” life, meaning sharing my secrets, privacy, and plans, I started having paranoid tendencies with my personal life. The constant questions of where I was, with who, why, and what was I doing became so normal to me that I lifted my hands to the sky while waving a white flag in sign of surrender. I surrendered my identity. The paranoid rivers and streams in my behavior traveled beyond I could imagine; it met an estuary of insecurity and frustration. I remember a couple of months ago I had written several things on my white board to remind me on the things I had to work on.
“Who are you?”
“The parts of me I show to people are important to identify. I cannot share all of me with everyone. There is a difference between being who you are and showing all you are. I can exercise the beauty of my personality within my identity in Christ without sabotaging myself. I can love people even if I am hurting. The extent of how far I am willing to love others begins with my perception of how God loves me right now. Just because I cannot share all of me with certain individuals, doesn’t mean I have to shut down. Limited trust does not mean limited love.”
I find it shocking how invested I can be when it comes to trusting more in people than God. Not proud of admitting that. AT ALL. The present struggles in this recovery; the journey of becoming the woman he called me to be has been hard. Everyone goes through hard seasons, but most people like to fake they’re okay. I want you to know you’re not alone, whether you’re a survivor or not. If we were best friends I would probably share a bunk bed with you in this train (or journey…whatever you want to call it. And yes, trains have rooms.) and turn on a flashlight and talk about everything that troubles this imaginative mind, what I think about before going to bed, what keeps me up at night, what are my fears, how I project my insecurities on people, who I like, and how ashamed I am of being me sometimes. I would also listen to you, sing some Coldplay songs to cheer you up, and empathize with you to the best of my ability. We would pray and worship God and just have an enjoyable time. Now that I think about it, we might not need the flashlight. We could just open the curtains and see the trees passing by as we reach our destination. (I have a thing for flashlights…I think you might noticed that by now.)
These are the things that I have learned about myself in this season:
I think everyone has struggled with one of these at some point in their lives. As I craft this delicate declaration of humanity, my eyes swell up in perfect dime sized see through bowls. I was not counting to be this open, but this might help someone.
I appreciate things that produce comfort, and if you’re human I’m assuming you do too. Comfort can be incredibly addicting and validating. There’s nothing like a beautiful view of nature, a big fluffy blanket, insured socks (the fluffy kind that have the plastic grips at the bottom of the feet to avoid any mishandling of 70’s dance moves. Yikes. The cat is out of the bag now.), fluffy PJs, hot cocoa, marshmallows, Bath and Body Work’s Warm Vanilla Sugar, and an unending playlist of the great Chopin. What about a good empanadilla de camarones or a mouthwatering alcapurria? Maybe an all-natural frappe or delicious tea, depending on the occasion? Well the list goes on and on…
I don’t know what you consider as comfort friend, but sometimes it’s best to let go of it. Being uncomfortable brings many blessings into our lives. I don’t think our Lord was comfortable dying on a cross for our sins. However, his sacrifice brought restoration and reconciliation with the Father. There is something that must be over any feeling of comfort, and that is a decision. Deciding to have boundaries, deciding to pray when you would rather watch movies on Netflix for days, deciding to love high maintenance folks, deciding to go to church when you don’t want to be around people, deciding to be established and rooted in love when your environment is hostile, these things come with a price. Decisions goes beyond feelings. Deciding on being transparent is a conscious decision that everything you do is rooted on the right motivations. Being transparent does not mean you have to share every detail of yourself with others, but rather opening your heart to God. When was the last time you sat at the feet of the Father and poured out your heart to Him?
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
This morning I couldn’t help but to ponder of the underrated wonders shower liners possess. Not curtains. You know the ones for your bathtub? The plastic see through kind? The ones resembling vinyl are the best, dude. I can only imagine your facial expression right now. Please stay with me. There’s a point in this. They’re sturdy and maintain its shape most of the time, unlike the cream or white colored liners that tend to be thinner. And to further sustain its appearance these liners have little magnets at the bottom that works like magic when you accommodate them on the inside of your bathtub. Where were these magnets during the second half of the 90’s!? I would love to be as anchored and transparent as my shower liner. I get so envious every time I catch a glimpse at it, because it reminds me that my life is more accurate with the outer curtain. If you would be given a dollar for every second you invest hiding the real you from your friends, family, and God, what debt would you pay off? I would’ve paid my student loans and bought a lake house in Italy, sweetheart. So many times, we pray for God to use us, but we lack being vulnerable with Him. Is the following familiar?
“Okay I already prayed for this, that, her, him, this personal issue, Siri (because Lord have mercy she can’t never understand a word I say), I prayed for my friend’s test, my mentor’s sanity, that person’s healing, my willpower to finish college and for-” Blahbity blah blah. What about your needs? What about those places in your heart in need of desperate healing? Remember the more transparent we are with Jesus, the more transparent our motives and vision will become. Hiding the real you take a toll on your emotions, it blinds your perception, and robs you the ability of being consistent. Transparency have these characteristics:
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
This exactly how Jesus is. I don’t know what things you are struggling with friend. Maybe you have to reconnect that deep friendship you had with the Holy Spirit, open up and address your hurts. He already knows, but assuming He already knows does not mean He will work certain things on your behalf. I encourage you live a transparent life and be specific in your prayer life so that you avoid the pain of unmet expectations down the road.
It’s getting dark. My eyes are closing like those curtains. Tomorrow is another day. Sometimes when it’s time to go to bed and being transparent with God is difficult I imagine Him singing this to me:
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
Click here if you want to start living a transparent life.
Thank you for transparency. We believe your love will engulf us as we go to bed tonight. We thank you for your ability of believing we can win the race you have called us to run, as you cheer for us enthusiastically. May our lives glorify your Name. We love you. In your name we pray Jesus Amen.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
Now, before I begin this blog, may I announce a couple of things.
RAINN: RAPE ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK:
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673)
(Live Chat is also available on the website)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LINE:
THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE:
(Live Chat is also available on the website)
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
(Live Chat is also available on the website)
CRISIS TEXT LINE
TEXT 741741 (USA ONLY)
I can feel the multiple chains of ligaments tensing in your body as you silently hope this sentence finds with hungry eyes an imaginary exit sign. Do not fear. We’ll make it through this. I would like to address this subject today not only because of the existing ignorance that dwells upon society, but also for your own good. Let’s break some barriers and lift the rug. I’ve brought brooms; one for you and one for me. The Swiffers are ready to encounter dust and any amount of lies hidden there. I’ve brought a flashlight too just in case things get difficult to decipher by the naked eye. The first step was speaking out on the abuse and telling someone you trust. I hope and pray that you did. Now, we know what happened, but we downplay it because we don’t understand the depth of it.
What is one of the most repeated thoughts in a survivor’s head? “It was not as bad as so and so’s experience.” It doesn’t matter what you experienced, it doesn’t mean its impact is less. Let’s unpack that. Many people have different experiences of sexual abuse. It’s not just “one way”.
First Misconception: Sexual Abuse is experienced in only one way.
This is False. There’s many ways a person can be sexually abused. An individual does not have be naked to experience this type of violation. What are some elements that are included in sexual abuse? You’d be surprised. When I use the term exposed, I mean as in being watched.
Second Misconception: It hurts physically.
In many cases this can be physically painful for the victim. On the other hand, there are people that have not experienced physical pain during the abuse. This is mostly because abuser distorts the nature of sex and instead of inflicting pain they try to produce pleasure. Why is this so? Well if the perpetrator gets away with the abuse, the victim will be called a liar because he or she has no physical marks of resistance.
Third Misconception: The victim didn’t speak up because he or she enjoyed it.
This is so false, and it makes my heart so heavy to think that some individuals can arrive at such erroneous conclusion. We must understand that the body was designed for pleasure within the confinement of marriage. If a person’s body responds in a certain way during the act, it does not mean the person wanted this abuse to happen. In addition, many people don’t confess this until they’re older. Many like me, were threatened by the abuser. Such threats include: manipulating the truth to other adults, withdrawing affection, money and time from the victim, more intense sexual acts, etc. The person that abused me threatened to tell my dad I was a liar and that she would do it again to me. Some don’t tell because the brain suppressed the memories This also happened to me. We will discuss memory suppression in another blog.
Fourth Misconception: This only happens to women.
Again, this is false. Many men have experienced rape, molestation, and sexual assault in their lives and remain silent due to shame and fear of being humiliated. Many men that have been abused, abuse. Hurt people hurt people. Now, this does not mean that all men that were sexually abused go around abusing others. If you’re a man reading this and have been through this, I want to let you know that there is hope and you are not alone.
Fifth Misconception: Only men abuse sexually.
No. Women can abuse too. Women can abuse males and females. Males can abuse males and females.
Sixth Misconception: Only strangers do this.
If we’re going to rely on the overly dramatic films that were shown in the 80’s, then we will never fully comprehend how serious is this epidemic. In the 80s, movies portrayed white vans and creepy old men with face masks hanging out around playgrounds searching to kidnap random children. Can this happen in 2017? Absolutely. Nevertheless, that’s not the only kind of abuser we must be aware of. The people that are closest to us can be pedophiles, have severe sexual disorders and wrong appetites. These types of people don’t wear a face mask, hang around playgrounds, kidnap random children and is not necessarily a male. Who can abuse children, teenagers, and even adults?
Seventh Misconception: Sexual Abuse is not in the church.
Yes, it happens in church too. Please find someone you can trust if this happened to you. If you were abused in your childhood by a “church person” you might have encountered fear because of many reasons. Maybe the church where you grew up in was based on a very strict doctrine and may I suggest legalistic? Maybe you felt as if no one would believe you. Hey I do! And many other people do! And there is help for you too. If you are experiencing this at your church, I would tell you to first find someone you can trust and if you must, call the police. If you don’t know who you can trust, ask the Holy Spirit. He can show you who to trust. However, some of you wouldn’t do so because you might be mad at God. I understand. I will also write another blog regarding what God thinks about sexual abuse and what does the bible says about it. Remember: Just because the bible records sexual abuse, it does not mean that God endorses that type of behavior.
Eight Misconception: You can’t be married and be experiencing sexual abuse.
F is for false and for F minus. This happens too much unfortunately. I know of friends who are married, go to church, and have been through this. Ephesians 5:22 and 1 Corinthians 7:3 are two verses that if used out of context, can be the “green light” for forcing a spouse to have sex. To understand the context of these verses, it would be beneficial to read Ephesians 5 verses 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. I thought about discussing this matter in another blog since it can become lengthy in this one. If a man is submitted to live by the standards of Jesus Christ would he be volatile, aggressive, manipulative, and abusive towards his wife? Obviously not, friend. Ephesians 5:25-27 says that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church. A healthy marriage consists of desiring to honor, respect and please each other in the way God designed it to be. There’s many things about this that I can’t expand on since I am not married. However, if you’re married and you’re going through this, it’s not okay! Communication is the key for great relationships, not coercion. Find a friend. Look for help. You are not alone.
Ninth Misconception: Sexual abuse only occurs when a victim is unconscious.
This is not true. While in many cases the victim was either under the influence of drugs and alcohol (voluntary or not voluntary), this gives no reason for a person to take advantage of the situation. Some experienced touching while being asleep. Others were fully aware of everything without being under the influence of drugs. Most survivors that were fully conscious were ‘groomed’ into participation. Grooming is a process in which the abuser tries to gain the trust of the person by getting to know their emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual needs. After having a basic knowledge of that, they try to meet their needs and then start the process of abuse. I will talk about that in another blog.
Tenth Misconception: The victim caused it.
This is the most vicious lie a survivor can believe. It doesn’t matter how the person was dressed when this happened, it was not the victim’s fault. The perpetrator sinned against the person. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t met anyone who walks around announcing: “Hey human beings! I want to be robbed, betrayed, lied to, and severely traumatized for the rest of my life!” Unlikely.
There are so many elements of this topic that I will be discussing throughout this blog. I won’t share my experience with this topic, because to be honest it’s quite disturbing and disgusting what was done to me. I know other people can discuss it and kudos for them because they can connect better with others. Hopefully, this can help you understand that whatever was done to you is not put on a scale or measured with a yardstick. Do not downplay what was done to you. You deserve to express your anger, sadness, grief, and frustration in a healthy way. Belittling the experience equals suppressing your emotions. Yes, probably your story is worse than mine, but did the abuse cause trauma in both of us? Yes.
If you need hope and need something to believe in, click here.
See! That wasn’t so bad. I’m proud of you for getting this far. There’s nothing better than a clean rug! If you’re still tense and feeling awkward, you should probably use some IcyHot on your shoulder to relax. If you think this can help someone please share. Let’s pray.
Thank you for your presence and concern for those who have experienced any type of sexual abuse and or assault. We pray that everyone reading this can experience the healing light of your love. We pray for every person that has survivor friends. We pray that they would be rooted and established in love, so that they can give that same love to others. We pray for the healing comfort of the Holy Spirit; to mend broken hearts and spirits. We thank you in advance for open eyes and clear perspectives. We thank you for healing in advance. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
Do you want to know a secret? Secrets kill people. I compare them to a clever clan of misfits that quietly invade the city of your thoughts. Next thing you know they overthrow the dopamine and endorphin in your neurological system. These outlaws kidnap your dreams and brainwash your conscious. This sounds like the initial scene of an action movie. Oh dear, but it is so real that it’s far from being theatrical. Both of us know what secret we’re talking about. That thing or those things. What happened. Whatever code word you want to use, we both know.
Now, suppose that we were discussing this matter at a coffee shop. Not the silent kind where even silence is paranoid of the slightest noise, but an amicable place. Somewhere where people are so drawn into their conversation that they wouldn’t even realize of our existence. I would honestly ask you if anyone knows, if you have told someone you can trust. If you haven’t then I understand. It’s unnerving and overwhelming. If you haven’t told anyone about the abuse, it can be due to the following reasons:
Whatever your reason may be, I understand. My dear friend, I’m sorry for your loss of innocence and privacy. However, I love you too much for you to stay in your personal Patmos; exiled by the enemy itself and condemned by lies. May I submit under your consideration that God cares? You might be thinking: “Yeah right.” “Where was God during the abuse?”
There’s three things you need to know about Jesus Christ:
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely, he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a]lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
If you need hope and need a new kind of relationship click here.
The first step towards healing is telling someone. I know the death you are experiencing inside your soul. If it can be described in one word, it would be hopelessness. When you were abused you were snatched from hope twice; while you were being abused and afterwards when the threats of the abuser came. Proverbs 13:12 states the following: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Your heart has been sick by the silence and what you’re longing for is to express everything without feeling judgement and further shame. You also long for justice, but do not worry because God will take care of that too. We can discuss that in another conversation.
Partnering with silence is like befriending your enemy. Silence is a concept to be discerned. Silence can be helpful at times, but it can also lead to frustration. You may be wondering how it is easy for me to talk about this. Well I’ve been in your shoes. I was 16 years old when I started having weird flashbacks. Much of my childhood I felt violated and unrepresentative. I never understood why, because I was never approached with lewdness by a male. And then after a thorough introspection of this disturbing suspicion I realized it was all too true. I remembered everything. My memory was bombarded with close ups of white foam from violent waves. The kind of vision you get when you get distracted on the shore and before you know it, you’re swept away gasping for air trying to direct your eyes towards a safe place. I was still confused. You know why? Because it wasn’t a man who sexually abused me. Surely, I was emotionally, physically, and verbally abused by another male relative, but not sexually. Who did this was a woman. My grandmother to be exact. After this alarming exposé, I texted my sister. She reassured me and told me I wasn’t crazy because other people have experienced the same thing that happened to me. For months I felt like a dirty walking failure. This reminds me of the birthmark on my knee that is similarly shaped as Cuba. I remembered as a girl how I’d vigorously try to wipe it off with a wet Bounty paper towel. I cried because I felt dirty. I hated that birthmark. That’s how I felt for months. I thought If I’d tell my parents about it they would not believe me and kick me out of the house. It’s hard confronting your parents and expressing between the lines that one of their parents is a pedophile. I did tell. They hugged me. They cried with me. My dad was furious about what happened. My mom wept and wept. They asked me why didn’t I tell. Along with the reasons I stated just now, I can honestly say that the memories were suppressed until I was 16. They came out of the blue. I think something triggered my mind that moment to remember everything. We can discuss the suppression of memories in another conversation.
If you have a good friend you can trust, then great! However, if you’re skeptical about the whole reaction thing, I would suggest for you to ask the Lord to show and guide you. He will lead you to talk to people that are trustworthy. It may be the pastor of your church, a neighbor you’ve known for years, a family member etc. If for some reason the person doesn’t believe you, makes you think you made it up, makes you feel as if it was your fault because of what you did or didn’t do…please find new friends! I’ve had my share of awkward experiences of people that didn’t believe me because they thought I was narrating a Lifetime movie instead of my life. Some people think you are searching for attention, but I know what you are searching for, and that is validation. Don’t let the responses of people with low emotional quotient discourage you. You would be surprised of how supportive and loving people will be towards you once you share. The right people that is! Many people you consider as acquaintances or friends may have gone through the same and you might not even know it! I dare you to be brave and step out of the boat. Leave Patmos behind and peace out!
Well it’s getting kind of late. The customers are clearing out their tables and throwing their cups away. Those baristas look exhausted. I think we should probably get going. They deserve to go home, relax and watch Netflix. Before we go will you pray with me?
Thank you for this time together in your Word. We thank you for your presence. We thank you for your grace and compassion. Thank you for the revelation of freedom. Please guard the hearts and minds of those who have been humiliated with peace. We ask for courage as those step out and confess to a good friend what happened. We pray those friends will be understanding and loving. May your Spirit comfort them with your peace and hope.
We pray these things in your precious name Jesus. Amen.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.
When I mean relationship with God, I am not talking about the boyfriend/girlfriend kind of deal. That would be awkward to say the least. I am talking about an intimate relationship. Think of your best friend and then close your eyes. I'm sure you share secrets, dreams, goals, inside jokes, sad moments, good moments, irritating moments, and know everything about each other. Do you know that Jesus wants to be YOUR friend? Maybe you've been to church or don't believe. I understand. I'm not trying to shove religion down your throat. I am though, offering you an invitation to the greatest relationship you'll ever have, and that's with Jesus. Know this friend: You don't have to. You have a choice. It's not about how Jesus will get mad at you if you decide not to. He'll still love you. But for your own sake, may I submit under your consideration that it's a good choice. You might think that you don't need God in your life. The voids you've been trying to fill with relationships, addictions, people, material things, career positions, degrees, money, sex, fame, etc... Has it worked for you? Do you feel peace when you go to sleep? Let me break this perception of salvation. So, basically you don't have to do anything based in actions or works to gain favor with God. You see salvation is not about how good you are or how many good things you do. It's a free gift we can receive with faith through grace. We all have short from the glory of God because of sin. Sin can't be in the presence of God, so technically speaking we both deserve death. BUT good news is that there is a way to be reconciled with God and that is only through Jesus. The bible says if you confess with your mouth that you believe in Jesus you will be saved.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Friend, I am not implying you won't ever have hard days or difficult moments. I do promise you that you will have a mentor, father, redeemer, friend, counselor among all other wonderful things 24/7. You will have peace and Visa can't buy that. I prayed a similar prayer to the one I will post below. I prayed it in a bathroom on Valentine's Day 2013. I was depressed and contemplating suicide. My life has radically changed since then.
Will you pray this out loud?
I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe you died on a cross for my sins, bearing my shame, blame, guilt, addictions, and broken heart. I believe you rose again to give me new life. Today I turn away from my sin and ask you to cleanse me with your blood. Forgive me. I open my heart. I give you my life. I receive you as Lord and Savior. Fill me with hope, joy, and peace. I pray this in your name Jesus. Amen.
You are now officially a Child of God!!! Congrats!!
I recommend you to be planted in a local church. It will help you in your spiritual journey.
Have a wonderful day!!
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Can you do me a huge favor? If you prayed this prayer for the first time send me an email or DM on Instagram. @justcallmelolli.
I would love to send you a gift! <3
The Art of Receiving
The Art of Letting Go
The Art of Generosity
The Art of Silence
The Art of Forgiveness
The Art of Transparency
The Art of Maturity
The Art of Patience
The Art of Humility
"You're So Tiny"
Deceived and Poisoned
Preventing Abuse: Tips For Parents
The Power of One
Void Fillers II
Void Fillers III
Void Fillers IV
Void Fillers V
This Is What The Ship Brought!
Being Honest I
Being Honest II
Where Was God During The Abuse
The Opposite of Love Is Not Hate
Broken Mirror James
Childish Things I
Childish Things II
Childish Things III
Winter Season IV
Winter Season V
Misconceptions of Verbal Abuse
Misconceptions of Physical Abuse
Misconceptions of Emotional Abuse
Misconceptions of Financial Abuse
Misconceptions of Spiritual Abuse
The Problem With Following Your Heart
Duality of Spectrums
Do You Want To Get Well?
Where Did You Get That From?
Rainy Day- Tips for hard days
Intimidation: The Exaggerated Threat
Isolation Is Not Your Friend
The One Person You Need To Love
Why I Forgave
I sit ever so quiet in my usual corner. It's not any kind of corner you can randomly choose in a partially empty room or the only option you have left in a messy room. I like to call it my ‘War Corner’. For those of you that have seen the movie The War Room, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you that have no idea, go watch it. You can thank me later. This cozy place of mine seems lively with the comforter that serves as a rug. The vibrant colors make journaling, praying, reading, and drawing more comforting experience. Stuffed animals, pillows, a large whiteboard, and a convenient wall power outlet are the witnesses of my laughs, tears, profound conversations, and silly ones too. The walls surrounding me contains little to no décor. This is the only prison like element that exists in my bedroom. That will be fixed sometime soon as the holidays are right around the corner. This bedroom of mine is my boarding station. Today I decide to start this blog, to help others as much as I can. I would be lying to say that this is exciting; writing this first entry. It is nerve racking to say the least. But I feel the necessity of sharing my inner thoughts and reflections on this topic. This blog will be discussing topics such as verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. This blog is a train, and you the reader a passenger. Of course, only if you would like to be one. There’s plenty of room here for those who enjoy partaking in long road trips with friends. And if you’ve read till this point, then I may I suggest that this may be the birth of an awesome friendship. I must advert to the possible obstacles of this journey. To do so would be very irresponsible on my behalf. There will be times where the view won’t be of beautiful mountain ranges, clear skies, well maintained sidewalks, and big traffic signs. I will share bits and pieces of my story and things I’ve been learning in this healing process. For those that may have not experienced some of the things that will be discussed, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you and discard it. It would be very helpful to share with friends and loved ones that have been through the same, this way they won’t feel alone. I am no expert in healing, since that is God’s area of expertise, however I have pondered how the lack of it as affected my life. Survivors will often say this: “I went through that, and turned the page.” Well after repeating this statement for years, I realized that neither I had turned the page, or even caught a glimpse of the exit sign of such events. Because sometimes the memories come back, and it’s like reliving everything again. God has been putting this blog on my heart for a while and time after time I’ve been postponing it. One word: disobedience. This is a fitting example of how the root of procrastination is not always based on laziness, but fear, intimidation, shame, and anxiety.
With no idea how, this blog will turn out, I humbly invite you to sit wherever you like. I don’t know if you like trains or not, but we’ll make it through this journey. If you’d prefer to be on a cruise ship or an airplane, that’s up to you. (I personally like trains.) God has been teaching me the power of vulnerability and that courage is not the synonym of pity. Although sadly, in this society there are those who prey to shame individuals for their testimony. This ruthless and outrageous world we live in is contaminated with lies and voices of shame. I think it’s time to step up as children of God and take hold of the truth with no shame. Also, huge disclaimer: you don’t have to believe to belong. I am no Neo or a Marvel superhero. I am no certified counselor or therapist by any means. I am a 22-year-old college student, who is sick and tired of hiding and putting on hold the dreams of my life due to what was done to me. My name is Lolli, and this is my journey.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."