Light and Darkness

“Faith is seeing light in your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.”

Lately I’ve been feeling as though all my eyes see involves darkness, dust, desert, dried grass and tumble weeds blowing in the hot wind. My eyes says it’s all dark and shouldn’t travel any further and my heart says something huge is going on so keep going. I don’t know where I’m going and sometimes I don’t even know what the 1st step is, because in a way it’s as though I’m blindfolded and I’m just sensing to step here or there. My eyes are covered with darkness, my mind is filled with fearful thoughts that says STOP! DON’T GO THERE, ITS NOT SAFE! What I’m learning is that it’s the safest place to be, it just feels strange and confusing because I’m not used to being there. I’m used to being over here, at this cut off point and crossing that line to venture into a new place seems like something I shouldn’t look at let alone step into. I had no idea this would be so hard, changing my thoughts and actions and moving away from same sex attraction, I thought I went through the hard part already. Nope, here comes another level, another onion peel that I am not quite ready to feel because it burns. Same sex attraction has many layers it appears, every layer being harder than the one before it. The only difference is the harder it gets, it seems I hang on a bit tighter and I know that strength isn’t coming from myself alone cuz if it were only me I’d give up ages ago. Who wants to go through so much pain and discomfort unless they know it’s leading somewhere that’s good? I don’t think anyone does, at least I don’t want to. I want to walk through this painstaking fire because God promises I will not get burnt, similar to Daniel in the Lion’s den, these Lions that are roaring will not devour me – no matter how loud their roar might seem. He’s promised to restore me and heal my wounds, to return to me what the locusts have eaten. To give me my heart’s desire of having healthy and real friendships with women without my issues separating us ever so often. I cannot share my other heart’s desire as yet, it’s too huge and scary to write or utter out my mouth but God knows what it is because he’s the one who put it there and I believe he will give me that too. 

Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil

For tho art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Tho preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies

Tho anointest my head with oil, my cup runnenth over

Surely goodness and mercy, shall follow me all the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen! 

That’s the only scripture I still know and prefer in the KJV

Thank God he is my perfect Shepard and he will guide me through what at times seems, looks and feels the valley of the shadow of death…dried bones will come alive in this valley. 

I Will Rise

To rise means one has to die to something or be laid low for awhile and I feel as though that’s been my posture for quite sometime now. I listened to a song today ” Take me to the king” and a section in it says my soul refuses to die and I think that’s the only part of me that refuses to die. Something in me says get up and keep going because I really just want to lay low and not fight or push forward at all. God has been showing me a reverse mental picture of things that happened last year; messy things are happening and I try to hold onto hope that chains will be broken and my heart will be healed. I sense and believe God is working but the crucifixion/death to life is as what it should be; painful. Jesus keeps me floating on the waves in this storm, I’m not drowning and my head isn’t barely above sea level as I at times believe but I’m actually on the waves. I am not quite sure how to leave the storm as yet and I don’t believe it’s time for me to leave. When I choose to stand on the truth and waves instead of looking at the storm then I believe I will rise and I will get through all this. I remember that God is faithful, that he is my shield and my defense, that he is fighting for me; his daughter and his beloved one. I believe that he is in the storm with me and I am not alone. I believe that I can hold onto his feet or hand when I get scared and he won’t push me away and say stop being a wimp, instead he will say do not fear, do not be discouraged for I, the Lord your God am with you. He will go before me and lead the way, because he is leading me I won’t get lost or fall by the wayside. I can rest on his shoulders when I get tired which is ever so often and he will carry me through. Every time I go through a crappy season I say yes, this will be part of my story, you will definitely make your way to my testimony because you’re worthy enough to write about and this is one of those seasons. Crap all over till it’s spewing over to the neighbor’s yard. Thank God he uses crap and messy stuff to create beautiful stories and that no pain goes unnoticed or unused for him, so this manure will be recycled and turned into a story, hopefully soon so the pain ends but I know it’s best when it ends in God’s timing. In church the other day our pastor mentioned that there’s an appointed time for pain to end, that gave me hope. I can’t see when it’s gonna end and maybe that’s a good thing because I’d probably panic even more when I see how long it’ll take or I’d give up on spending time with God when I see it’s gonna end tomorrow. It gave me hope because it means the beginning and end is in God’s hands, he knows when things will happen and when it’s going to end. He isn’t worried or panicked when it hasn’t ended after two days, he waits patiently because he knows what he wants to do in us takes more time than just having the pain end. I try to be patient but I’m human and sometimes I ask God why? Why is there more? Why hasn’t this ended as yet? Why is this happening again? Where are you? Why does my heart feel separated from you? Why am I still grieving and mourning? Why is there MORE stuff to grieve and mourn? Am I there yet? Is it finished now? *crickets* God doesn’t always answer the why questions, he will sometimes tell me what I can do. Tonight he led me to the book of Daniel, starting in chapter 10 which was very fitting, then worship and now this. There’s really no point in me fighting and wrestling with God because he will always win, I try to win but I can’t with him, in the end I choose what he wants me to do and it’s always what’s best even if the process feels yucky and doesn’t fit well with what I’m used to. He knows best and if he says I will rise and get out of this better than when I went in then I will fight to believe that, even when the enemy tells me otherwise. His eyes sees what I can’t see so he knows where he’s leading me and what needs to be done for me to get there because I can’t get to that place with my chains and baggage from years ago or even yesterday, I gotta drop them off somewhere. I can’t see it at times but the word says I am being renewed day by day, so I believe, everyday I lose a part of myseld that needs to go and I get something else in me that’s from God. I will try to hold onto and think about the new parts that God’s putting in me, instead of dwelling/thinking about the parts that’s being removed. Addition was always my favorite thing in Math, who wants things taken away? So I will be true to myself and continue to like addition in everything, especially in my life where God is adding a lot more than what’s being taken away or a better word in this case is “replaced”. Death is being replaced with life. So thank God for that, with him I will rise.

Andra Day – Rise Up

Emptied to be refilled

God has been doing some deep inner cleaning with me since last year, just when I think it can’t get any deeper, the word psych! comes to mind. A friend of mine told me yesterday or was rather praying that instead of me asking God why is this happening or why me? That I would instead ask what is he wanting to do in me or what am I to do during this particular time, at this very moment. I believe God just wants me to lean on him during this time, he knows it’s hard and that I get scared from time to time so he just wants me to rest in him. Rest in today’s culture or at least in the cultures I’ve been in don’t see rest as a good thing. My least favorite phrase that I’ve learnt from my childhood is “I’ll rest when I’m dead”, what a horrible thing to say and believe in. Since Thursday I’ve been practicing more and more to rest in the uncomfortable feelings, I listed them in a journal entry as I wanted to see what part of this process I should be resting in. These are the emotions I try to rest in – fear, anxiety, overwhelmingness and sadness. I find that very hard to do because they pop up ever so often now and I keep saying or thinking I don’t have time for you again, go away green monster! I say that but eventually I have to do it anyway because I honestly can’t get through my day unless I stop and rest in it. Yesterday I needed to rest in those emotions for hours and I tried to cheat that until I couldn’t anymore so I surrendered. It’s hard to stop and rest when all that needs to be done is screaming at you that it needs to get done right now or else! But, God knows what he’s doing….he’s that parent that sees all the way down the road because he’s been there and he knows what comes next. He knows what I need moment by moment and day by day. He knows what he’s talking about when he says you’re having a hard time my child, why don’t you rest on my shoulders? He knows what he’s doing when he cleans out all the junk thats been in me, when he says you feel empty because I’ve emptied you of all that doesn’t belong to refill you with what belongs. I am not sure which is more uncomfortable; the emptying or the refilling, both feels strange and painful. I am not sure which painful/beautiful activity he is doing at what time and I guess that’s not for me to know.  I just need to know that all he wants from me during this time is to rest in him and to trust him. To rest in him will be different each time throughout the day; one moment I will need to just sit and be quiet, another time I need to pray and ask for help as well as admitting out loud really for myself to hear, that he is faithful and will not leave me, one moment I might even need to just cry  – I don’t always know why I’m crying but sometimes I’m filled with such sadness that the tears can’t wait to come out and in the next moment it’s through listening of worship/bible reading/art & craft/ swimming/walking/journaling. So many things to choose from and so many times I choose to run away instead. God is faithful till the end so while I might fight to sit with him and my emotions, he is faithful to pursue me through all that and more. The key is knowing what he wants me to do and following that; similar to a baby learning to walk, I will trip and fall sometimes but my Heavenly Father will be kind and gentle in helping me to get back up, to walk some more until I’m standing tall. 

Tricia Brock – Desert Song

Still Searching….

“Have you seen me?”

I noticed a section in a magazine today with that question written big and bold for everyone to see and I started to think. I thought about this person that has been missing since 1977 at the age of 17 and how sad that is. Imagine being lost for so long; you can’t find home, it’s not safe to leave and go home and your loved ones are searching for you. It also made me think of this post that has been in my draft box for few weeks now, and how fitting it is. We might not all be lost physically, unable to go home but sometimes we can be emotionally. The season or years I’ve felt lost the most, has got to be my teenage years, worst years of my life! I wanted to find myself in everyone and everything, I ran from fake source to fake source wanting them to define me and bring out that sense of lostness so i’d be found. Little did I know I wanted to be found by people who were also searching to be found, not a good mix. Couple Sundays ago I noticed some women enjoying the company of each other or so I thought, I started to get really anxious because they were all attractive and I felt like I didn’t measure up. I felt God tell me in that moment to look at them, doing that is the last thing I wanted to do because I was afraid my emotions would get out of control due to the attractiveness of these girls. I decided to look, I slowly looked at every person sitting at the table and I noticed something, they were all lost. They were so sad, they were speaking but no one was really saying anything and no one was really listening, slowly they began to leave one by one and so did I. So many times I think I’m the only one who feels lost or less than or different but we all feel that way at times. We all go through periods where we wished we were more like “so and so”, if we looked this way or that or spoke differently. In a way we are all searching, we all want to be found and stand out from a crowd, no matter how hard we try to hide we want to be seen and found. I know I want to, I try to hide not because I don’t WANT to be found, I hide because I think if I AM found then there’s a chance I might not be good enough and so I have to be placed back on the shelf until I’m found again. Thankfully I am found by the one who will never lose me or discard me, he doesn’t see me as useless or unworthy…he sees me and he wants me just as I am. 

God brought this verse to me today and I’m praying to hold onto it. Even though I at times might feel lost or stuck in the darkness, for one, it’s not true, and two he’s my lighthouse willing and ready to light my way back to shore. 

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

凌背saiah 9:2 胤IV砂
“The Lord turns my darkness into light”

Unfinished

I’ve been having some unbelievably painful days – I don’t even know if I said that correctly but imma leave it anyway. My brain is a fog, a haze so forgive me if my words sound the same. I’m at the moment sitting; listening to the birds, being close enough to the sun to feel its warmth but not get burnt and listening to worship songs. I just cried as I thought, all I wanna know God is that you’re sitting here with me cuz I can’t handle this pain and then the song Unfinished by Mandisa came on. I had no idea I’d be able to complete my goal of sending out a blog post this week and then the idea of Unfinished as a title came to mind….so here I am. I’ve felt anything but “Unfinished” this week…I felt finished but not in a “complete” way, more like I’m dead, this is it take me now! Pain, sadness and grief came upon me in such a mighty way since last Friday and it grew even more on Sunday. At times I’d think the sadness, inner rage and tears wouldn’t end. Yesterday I went in the bathroom cuz that’s my hiding place at times and screamed, I held a towel to my mouth and screamed! Normally I’d throw things but I guess screaming is okay. Today I felt peace knowing Jesus sat with me on that kitchen floor when I was 3, crying for my mother because I couldn’t find her, she had left.  I felt peace knowing he’s there but I was and am sad that SHE wasn’t there. I can see my grandma and daddy, I can see me but not her. I didn’t realize or remember I was abandoned by her or better yet, I didn’t know it hurt & affected me so much until this revelation. It makes more sense to me now why I think, feel and act the way I do. She was my hero and my safe zone, similar to what’s happening now – when she left my fragile world fell apart and crashed, the world I knew was no longer safe because she was no longer safe. It’s amazing what we hide and ignore as a way to protect ourselves, I hid this so well that I would’ve never believed this happened except that daddy would bring it up ever so often. I’d hear him talk about it but I didn’t know it affected me. Now I can’t get through a full hour without feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed, angry or tearful. I have to take breaks from the real world to sit in the quiet; sometimes the quiet is filled with sadness sometimes it’s filled with peace, I never know which one I’m going to get. Sometimes God takes me back to that kitchen, my least favorite place and he invites me to sit there because that’s where the sadness is. Sometimes it’s just my 3 year old self, sometimes it’s the grown up me holding her hand as we sit together, sometimes Jesus joins us – most times it’s Jesus and her, because she’s really the one hurting, grown up me apparently didn’t even know it happened. That probably makes no sense whatsoever to most people but it does to me and that makes it easier for me to know how to care for myself. If I know who’s hurting I know how to better treat myself. A three year old responds and receives things differently to a 20+ year old woman. If I know who’s hurting I know how vulnerable she is and what can tick her off to start screaming/panicking/wanting to run away. I know when I’m tempted that it’s not the object of my affection that I’m craving but whichever part of me is being affected. I want the apple dangling in front of me because my inner child needs tender love and care. I detached my thoughts and feelings from my body a very long time ago so it’s as if I became separate entities living in one body and now they’re slowly being put together again to form one. Trusting God and the process he has me on isn’t easy, it gets overwhelming sometimes and I think that happens when I ignore that small voice inside me that says “take a break”, “sit with me”, “feel”, “accept”, “embrace” or “cry. I’ve never been one to trust my thoughts or emotions, they’ve never felt safe/good so I ignore them. Through the healing process I think sometimes I need to trust them or at least weight them on Jesus’ scale and see what he says instead of always saying no that’s not true/good/needed right now. I’ll spend the entire day trying not to feel and the minute I allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel, I’m able to say “oh I get it now and I’ll be okay or I get it now I need a whole lot o help”. I hope and pray I’ll get better at this, I don’t want to live my life always running away from my thoughts and feelings because I think they’re not good/safe. I want to be able to embrace my emotions because they’re a gift from God instead of fighting them all the time. A friend told me today as I was being honest about feeling overwhelmed and sad, that I need a good cry and she told me to not fight it, those words alone made me cry. I’ve learnt to fight for so long that I tend to even fight myself and my emotions instead of loving and embracing them. This week and moving forward I hope and pray this will be something I practice more regularly; to allow myself to sit and feel and not fight this process of healing. 

Back to Egypt

Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” – Exodus 4:19

There are days when I don’t want to write, i’d rather color or do something less emotional and thought provoking but since I gave myself a goal of writing 1 post per week….here I am. God is amazing with the way he arranges things and brings about his plan in our lives. I won’t share every single detail because that will just take up too much time but this week I felt like this note and picture I handcrafted without expecting it to begin or even end up this way….

I started reading Exodus on a day to day base last year summer when I was feeling overwhelmed by the racial division, bias and injustice in the world – I won’t even say the US because this is a worldwide problem whether we choose to admit it or not. I remember feeling less than, as if my skin color says I am unimportant and I can be treated like dirt by others because im black and black means you’re inferior to whites (LIES but lies that are told and believed, once again whether we choose to admit it or not). God knew I needed hope and so he brought Exodus to my mind time and time again, an escape story created by God to free slaves that were being oppressed – a feeling I know very well but in a different way. God showed me through this story that he sees us, that we’re created in HIS own image whether we’re black, Asian, Indian white etc. He showed me that if his people are being killed, abused and mistreated no matter their skin color or gender he will rise up and save them because we matter to him. He wanted to give me hope and I found hope through those pages, so much that i’d keep going back to the beginning and re-read the Exodus story. I wouldn’t always read the entire book, just the story of Moses’ birth until they came out of Egypt because that’s what I wanted, to leave Egypt and enter the Promised Land. So much to my surprise that when I got to that section this week for the millionth time, they left Egypt and I wasn’t the least bit excited to leave with them. I didn’t want to stay because I enjoy being oppressed and wish to stay in bondage but in my heart/gut, I felt I had unfinished business,  I wasn’t complete and I need to stay a bit longer, the “fixing” in me needed more work before I could leave only to return for another task. Through doing this masterpiece that clearly belongs in a museum I realized that by leaving Egypt, similar to all the times before, it doesn’t mean I am  “fixed” or “complete”  and it doesn’t mean I am a mess unable to move. Each time I go “back to Egypt” now that I think about it, its never due to the depth or length of my healing after I’ve crossed the Red Sea but because God has more he wants to show me and heal within me that’s still back there in Egypt. My past is my Egypt, it’s my childhood and my growing up years where I felt a lot of rejection, guilt, shame, fear, loss of identity and no sense of worth/value. Egypt is where the ones who should’ve loved me didn’t know how to give or receive love themselves so, in different ways, they told me I wasn’t worth their love and affection and I believed them. I believed I was less than because of my skin color and my gender; women should be seen and not heard and being black means you’re cursed by God, as a family member once told me when I was much older – and he too is black! I go back to Egypt so God can remove all those lies and paint a new picture for me because the one handed to me as a child was torn and ruined. The painting didn’t represent him or myself, it didn’t speak his words or sing of his joy in having me as his daughter. What’s back there in Egypt didn’t kill me then and it can’t kill me now so I can go back as many times as God sees fit so all parts of me, not just bits and pieces can get to the Promised Land eventually. I’ll keep going back until  all parts of me can cross the Red Sea, go through the wilderness, enter the Promised Land and kiss Egypt goodbye FOR GOOD!!! 
My sister joked around about my art because there’s rain, dark clouds, lightning and a sun shining bright in the corner. I believe my drawing worked out that way because God’s letting me know that even with all the chaos and pain – his glory is still shining upon me and he’s bringing up life and blooming flowers through it all. 


And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions. – 凌胥xodus 12:51

Gungor – Beautiful Things Lyric Video
賅樹

What’s in a Friend?

 I remember doing some inner child work through a book last year and it was suggested to read or watch the movie “Anne of Green Gables”. I loved this movie, I cried, I laughed, I watched it again and read the book after. But, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the friendship between Anne and Diane, it just didn’t make sense. What the heck is a bosom friend and is all that even healthy? I remember watching movies and every time i’d anticipate girl friends would become girlfriends, I would hope they would because in my mind closeness and intimacy led to sex. So when I watched Anne of Green Gables, after leaving that way of thinking behind, I started to think is this for real? Can women really be close and all there is, is pure closeness? What kinda surreal living is this?! It’s the same with David and Jonathon in the bible, at times because our mind has been distorted for several reasons we assume they must be gay because apparently only guys who are gay can say the things they did to each other, men can’t be loving and gentle especially to another guy and if they do they’re not a man. UGH! Our poor world is so messed up and harsh its insane. But for me, because I struggle with same sex attraction, I have a hard time seeing true friendships with women as pure. My mind says something is wrong when we get close and start sharing our hearts, when we say I love you/I miss you, in my mind it means something else. I trust the other person, but I don’t trust my thoughts/feelings – I second guess them every time , which is good sometimes but another time it keeps me paralyzed in fear because I’m afraid if I share what’s on my heart it somehow means I’m attracted to her when it just means I like you my friend and I like that you’re my friend here’s how. Im afraid of what it means if I say it and also how they will perceive it, will they somehow think there’s an attraction, am I unsafe and should I be pushed away and left behind? This is what i’m currently working through and fortunately I can work through it with safe friends but at times my fears of being pushed away gets the better of me. I have safe friends but my fears of being abandoned or left behind or getting hurt distorts my view and I can see these friendships going over a cliff of unhealthiness. What makes up a true healthy friendship? A safe friendship? I recently realized that its about give and take, one person shouldn’t always be giving/taking. Give and take with honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, empathy, forgiveness, humility, self-control, love & courage. I almost didn’t include a few of them, especially the last 3, maybe because i’m not used to them being in my friendships or I just don’t think they’re important to make a friendship healthy. When I think about it, how can a friendship function in a healthy way if there’s no self-control, love, empathy or courage in the midst? Each person needs to showcase these characteristics and if its not there, then proof they’re actively growing towards these qualities makes up a healthy and safe friendship. For so long friendships for me were all about give give give or take take take, never you scratch my back i’ll scratch yours. I think that’s what scares me and seems strange to me, because doing it the right way is new and I’m sitting thinking what the heck is this?! If someone shares their dreams and fears with me, then it’s okay for me to do the same if I see them in a safe light that is, not everyone is safe for me to share certain things with and that’s okay. Speaking of that, discernment is needed and should be practiced because I could be out there sharing my heart with every Tom Mary and Alice only to have my fears of being hurt come true. God has a vision for me that i’m seeing and taking to heart this year, to have true healthy friendships. Im in the beginning stages I think, of enjoying these friendships instead of always fighting through them, sometimes I flip flop from enjoying to fighting but I keep getting back up on that horse. I fight to enjoy these friendships because I now have friends who have qualities I need in a safe and healthy relationship: honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, empathy, forgiveness, humility, self-control, love & courage. I guess that’s what’s in a friend, a safe friend.

“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships…” – Abraham Lincoln