Butterflies and Rainbows

Lions, Tigers and Bears…Butterflies and Rainbows. Earlier this year God has been bringing the word and image of butterflies to me time and time again and recently he’s added rainbows to the mix. He’s made several promises to me and quite often I doubt these promises will come true. I doubt he will use me in ex-gay ministry, I doubt he will use me to make a difference in the world and in my generation. I doubt he will use me in my hometown of Jamaica to change lives and bring about hope and change. I doubt he will change me and I doubt I am changing in this moment. I doubt I’m becoming a butterfly and that rainbows will show up at the end of all this. I read in a devotional this morning that who I am right now and where I am right now, my current version is the right version of me for this moment in time. So often we strive to become a better version, we strive to grow, we strive to be complete and God says rest my child you are good where you are…let me lead you in my time and my way. His word says he will continue the work he has started in us until his return, which means while we’re living this side of heaven we’re always a work in progress, we’re always growing and changing and that won’t end until he’s back. I won’t be complete until Jesus comes, so all this pressure and fighting to be “complete” is pointless. Day by day I am being renewed and remade and I’ll become a butterfly then i’ll grow into something else as God sees fit. A passage we looked at this weekend at church is Luke 6:40 “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” We focused on “fully trained” and what it means which is to be renewed, mended, repaired, restored, fixed or healed. Our teacher is Jesus, the king and we become like him as we are being healed, repaired, mended, fully trained in him and by him. This isn’t a one-time thing, I don’t get healed once and then that’s it for my healing, I go through healing every day whether it feels that way or not. I go through growth and restoration when I fight against my desires, when I say no to what feels right and go against the current of this culture. His promises stay the same and his vision keeps growing as he keeps healing me, the promise hes shared with me before are now larger and scarier – so large and scary that I keep it between God and myself because it almost seems absurd to think I can do what I think he’s saying we can do together. Who am I to dream and believe butterflies and rainbows will show up after these storms and drought? Who am I not to dream the impossible? Who am I not to hold onto the promises of my heavenly father when he says I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, when he says I will use you to make a difference in your generation? I am a child of God and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. The brightness of the future, the many colors of the rainbows and the beauty in the butterflies sometimes scares me, it scares me because I don’t feel like I match up with it all to step into it and wear that new coat of many colors. The conflict I feel reminds me of this poem that I first heard in the movie Coach Carter…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
Going back doesn’t scare me because I know there’s nothing back there, it’s tempting at times but the truth that I don’t live there anymore stops me. However, stepping into the future is what scares me. I listen to the lies that I can’t deal with the things that follow growth; the trials and temptations and the decisions and results. Resting in Christ, in the truth that he is with me and he will hold my hand as I walk into more light is more imperative as I keep going, it doesn’t dwindle but it gets stronger as his light in me gets brighter. I pray as I did yesterday that God will give me the strength to believe his truths, his truth that he is with me, I am not alone and I can do what he asks of him because he is in me. He is not man to makes promises and not come through, all his promises will happen because they’re his promises and he is not a liar. Butterflies and rainbows are all around me, here and now and I will walk into what he has planned because he is leading me to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. Similar to the Israelites, I will leave the desert, the valley, the wilderness – I will walk into his promise, with him as my perfect shepherd.
One of my fight songs….
NeedToBreathe – Hard Love (Feat. Andra Day)
“It takes some time to make your courage strong.”

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Behold New Roads

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.凌 – Isaiah 48:10

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.凌 – Isaiah 43:19

I’ve never thought about writing this before but I believe this might be a good idea. Since sometime late last year I’ve been facing some strong sexual temptations, temptations I’ve never faced since recovery.  In recovery I’m learning to not self medicate or try to find quick fixes as a way to escape pain or discomfort which means sometimes I’m forced to SIT in the pain and discomfort until it passes. I’m learning to find new ways to deal with it; which right now involves listening to worship songs, worshipping out loud, praying, listening to messages online, going for a walk, taking showers and my all time favorite when all that doesn’t seem to take it away – I cry! Tonight I prayed for the first time for God to take away these sexual feelings that I don’t like and attractions that I have towards women and place it on the man I would end up marrying. Ive prayed many times about the removal of my attraction to women, I’ve spent many days and nights crying, not eating and praying – most of this durin my teenage years because I wanted it to be removed since yesterday. It’s a first praying about it going towards a guy, I’ve never used those words, I’ve asked to be normal but what is normal? We are created as sexual beings so the uncomfortable feelings I have inside me is normal but what is not normal for me and what I hate is that it’s towards women, people I know I can and will never be with so basically it’s like torture to go through. The enemy jumps on this and tries to give me a way out but I know his way out will only drag me further in so I force myself not to listen to him by thinking on what’s good, right, true, pure, nobel, honoring to God etc. Sometimes that in itself is hard so I sit quietly until God gives me something to think on, sitting quietly in the uncomfortable feeling IS NOT EASY! I don’t know why this is has been happening for so long, I don’t know why I got a semi break for awhile and now it’s back, I have no clue if I’m doing the right thing – if I am doing the right thing it would end by now right? I doubt it. Sometimes I can do all the right things but the work God wants to do in me will take time and it won’t be finished until he says it’s time. The title of this blog came about because I fell asleep to Hillsong Worship’s album – Let There Be Light and I woke up to Pastor Brian Houston’s message on “Behold new roads”. I’ve never listened to this message before, honestly I’ve always skipped pass it but this time I listened to some of it and I knew I had to write. I dunno all of what God is doing in me through all these temptations but I believe every time I say no to what the enemy whispers in my ear, every time I choose to worship God to the point where I’m literally crying out to him asking for help, I believe he’s remaking me and building new roads. I believe he’s already coming to my rescue every time I ask for help, he says no temptation will overtake me except which is common to man and he is faithful, he will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bare, but WHEN I am tempted he will provide a way out so I can endure it. Falling asleep to worship songs and writing this right now is a way out that he’s given me, it’s not an escape but a way to stand. I sometimes want a full escape but my God deals with long escapes, he takes his time. He could’ve softened Pharoah’s heart from the first visit but he didn’t, Moses and Aaron kept pleading and going to the King. Moses and Aaron weren’t failing or messing up, it wasn’t because Moses didn’t hold his staff properly or because he didn’t speak with special words and a firm voice – Pharoah kept saying no because GOD hardened his heart. I’m in this season of sexual temptation not because I’m a horrible person who didn’t say the right words in a prayer, or didn’t read the right chapter in the Bible, or didn’t yell loud enough at the devil to leave and stay out, I’m still here because it’s not time yet for God to release me. I’m not a huge fan of that truth but who am I to force God’s hands into doing what I want him to do, all I can do is continue to seek him, ask him for help when I’m tempted and pray I’m closer to that release today than I was yesterday which actually sounds good. I am closer to a release today than I was yesterday. I’m getting closer to that new road today than I was yesterday. I see a new road up ahead, I see beautiful trees with butterflies flying around, I see a waterfall beating down on beautiful rocks, I see new lights that I’ve never imagined or thought of, I see bunny rabbits leaping in a forest nearby – dunno where the forest came from but it’s my vision/God’s vision and I see it, I see home. Home isn’t a building or a country but a place where I can finally be at rest, to just be me; where I can fly around like those butterflies and leap like the bunny rabits in the forest. I’m getting there; slow and steady wins the race so in the end I’ll get that crown not because I finished the race 1st, come to think of it I will always finish 1st in my race because I’m the only one in it. It’s not about the speed, similar to what I wrote in my earlier post, it’s about perseverance, it’s an endurance race and I will always win as long as I don’t give up. I have a crown waiting for me in Heaven, fitted perfectly just for me, there’s a purple robe with my name on it that shines as brightly as I do and a ginormous hug that awaits me from my Heavenly Father as he says well done my good and faithful servant. Writing that made me cry, all this pain, suffering and hardship has a purpose and even though I fight it so much sometimes, I’m grateful that it’s already serving its purpose and that my Father in heaven is pleased with me. 

Thank God for the rocky roads that leads to new roads. 

Ps. After publishing this post I see how the forest ended up in the vision, God directed me to the main image before I even wrote this post and in the image there’s a forest surrounding the road. God knows what he’s doing even when I’m confused as a bat

Stormy Seas

“A ship in turbulent waters needs to drop anchor in a safe place…when it is dropped there, the ship is secured – even though it is still in rough waters”- Jesus Today by Sarah Young

During this season of my life I have the opportunity to care for a 94 year old man as a job, this week I said something to him that resonated with me and the current season I’m in. He’s able to walk but due to several injuries what used to be easy and a joy for him has now become painful and not enjoyable at all. As I encouraged him to walk a little bit, I told him not to worry about the speed as to which he walks but “just walk”. Isn’t that what life and recovery is about, it isn’t about how fast or slow we get through certain things but to just get up and walk. I haven’t felt like walking for months now, I haven’t felt like standing either but somehow I keep getting up even when I don’t know where I’m getting up to go. So many times I’m focused on my speed, why isn’t this over as yet? Why am I still sad? Why am I still hurting? Why am I still doing the same stuff over and over again without even realizing when I took that first step to cope in an unhealthy way? Why why why? God doesn’t always answer the why questions, at least not the way I’d like him to. He would instead tell me who I am, who HE is and who I am in him. He will tell me yes you’re in a storm right now, you’re in the midst of a battlefield but i’m there with you and I have already won. He tells me time and time again that I don’t have to try so hard, that I am enough, I should rest in him because this fight isn’t mine to fight and when I choose to listen the winds and waves gets quiet around me. When I listen to his voice, my mind is clear enough to see myself in his arms as he’s holding me tightly…if only this happened regularly but it doesn’t. Sometimes I choose not to speak to him because the pain is so much, the only place it resonates are my heart and mind. I don’t share my heart and thoughts so easily, people think I do but there’s so much that I hold back on because of fear I won’t be accepted or liked and instead feel rejected. I’ve had so many times where I’ve shared both those and it was either ignored or rejected so I’ve learnt to keep them to myself, even if it’s towards God. I’m learning though to offer my heart to God, to trust him with my heart and to trust that it is safe with him. It’s easier for me to trust God with my heart, mankind is a different thing – mankind doesn’t always treasure treasures, they instead take them, use them and discard them. Mankind looks at the outward appearance while God looks at the heart, so what better way to restart sharing my heart than starting with the safest person there is? I offer my heart to HIM first and he will carry me through the different storms I’m facing in my life. It’s scary to do that because while God will keep my heart safe and never hurt me, I can’t stake my life on never getting hurt again by “man”. That alone feels like a storm to me where I’m going against the winds and currents (my own understanding) – I keep asking for a lifeline but the lifeline I’m seeking is an escape so I know that won’t happen. I will get freedom, healing, new life, peace and light which in all honesty, is far better than an escape. So I keep holding on, I fight my desire to lead this ship and I continuously choose to let my King and Captain steer me to shore. I am not sure if, similar to the Apostle Paul I will crash INTO the shore, I just know I have hope and belief at this very moment that I will make it to shore alive. With Christ in the vessel I can smile at the storm as I go sailing on…sailing sailing on, sailing sailing on. If only I walked in THAT truth more regularly but…progress not perfection! 


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”