I often look back over my life and think about the many different things that have occurred. A few years ago I had to take a look at my relationships and why they didn’t work. See before I was quick to put the blame on others. There was always something about the other person that I couldn’t live with. Maybe it was me trying to find something wrong with them in order for me to walk away. But you can best believe it was never about me. Sometimes we try to walk around like we are flawless but we both know that is a lie. We are human so we all have flaws some are more evident than others.
So here I am taking the time to examine myself. First let my say this to admit that maybe just maybe I was the problem was HARD. But when I sat down I realized that I was the common denominator in every equation. Could I really be the problem? And what is it about me that was causing the problem? Now I have to go back and take a real look at how I truly view relationships. The honest truth was I don’t think I ever saw a healthy relationship in my life. Even the ones that looked healthy on the outside were dysfunctional in some way. Just because people stayed married does not mean they were a living example of what marriage was to be. And many times I thought to myself if this is the example of what marriage looks like I can do without it. I had programmed my mind from an early age that I didn’t need to be married because there was nothing good about it. So, why bother?
Now that brings me to why the relationships didn’t work. Well anytime it looked as if I was close to marriage I would sabotage things. Commitment was scary for me. My sister in law would often ask me if I had my running shoes on. At first I just took it as a joke but then I realized that she a valid point. I was a runner!! I also think that in that programming came with hearing the women in my family saying that we were cursed to be alone. You hear something enough you begin to believe the very thing you hear. What I have learned is that I had to reprogram the way I thought. Not just about marriage but men in general. I had to stop looking at things in the negative light and focus on what was positive. That marriage is a beautiful thing when you have the right man in your life. That marriage is work and you get out of it what you put in it. That I am NOT cursed to spend the rest of my life alone. So, now I am in a place where I look forward to one day being married to the man who is just for me. The man that will love and support me flaws and all while I do the same for him.
The moral here is that it is important to always examine yourself. Examine your mindset when it comes to relationships and that means all relationships. Are you being the very thing that you want others to be to you? Because we sometimes put standards on others and yet we are not living up to those same standards. Never look for something from another that you yourself are not willing to give to them.
Where do I begin? Well let me start by saying this little guy means the world to our family. He brings so much joy to us. In that I have to share that it has been a long hard road for us. As I think back to where we all started on this journey and look at where we are now I know it was nothing but God. So now I am going to share with you this journey of living with a child diagnosed with Autism.
Let me introduce you to Jahmez! Do you see that beautiful smile? This smile just feels my heart with so much love every time I see it. But what I need you to understand is that this was not always the case. Looking back at where he started I didn’t think we would see the day that he would be so joyous. I can recall a time when this little guy would not give us eye contact. It was almost like he would become anxious if you tried to look at him. I often wondered how life would be for him. Like God will this precious little guy ever be able to express love to any of us. Will he ever be able to allow us to show him love. Hugging was a no no for him. But I always would want to just pick him up and hug and kiss on him. I knew that would send him into a frenzy but he was just so cute! But I think one of the hardest things in the world was him being non-verbal. Having a child not be able to tell you when they’re not feeling well or that they’re hungry is hard. Just thinking of the everyday things that he may need but can’t express to you that he wants. Now as hard as it was for us can you imagine what it’s like for him or others like him? I can’t even begin to internalize what it would be like for me not to be able to express how I’m feeling.
Now let me jump over to the here and now. I am so excited about the progress that Jahmez has made over the years. The little boy who was once non-verbal is now putting words together. To hear him speak to me is a blessing. When ever I hear his voice I just smile. Watching him walk to the cabinet or refrigerator and telling us what he wants is amazing. But one of the best things is telling him that I love him and Jahmez grabbing my face, pulling it to him so that I can kiss his check. That is his I Love You to me. This was something that I once could not do. He is so full of affection until you just want to love on him all of the time.
My family is so thankful to all of the teacher’s that work with him. Teacher’s have the job of pouring into our children daily which I’m sure is hard. But as I think of teacher’s who have the pleasure of working with special needs children I realize they have to have a special heart. This experience has given me the chance to look at teacher’s in a different light and with much more appreciation than I ever had before.
I wrote this to say that if we as a family would have just gone with Jahmez is on the autism spectrum and just went with that would he be where he is now? I watched my mother fight for this little boy because she had so much hope for him. I have seen him grow in ways we never thought possible. Many times we have a diagnosis but does that mean that diagnosis is the end game? It is possible for life to be different from what you saw in the beginning. Don’t just take the diagnosis and give up. Fight to see your children progress in ways you never imagined. Even the small changes that I see in him make me excited because I know that God is an AWESOME GOD!!
Do you see that little girl looking out the window at the world? What is she thinking as she stares at the trees moving in the wind? Why is her eyes full of water? Is she okay or is she dying on the inside? From the outside shes looks to be about 8 or 9. But in truth she is a grown woman full of pain and anger. Shes looking out trying to figure out where things went so wrong in her life. How so many could claim to love her but continue to hurt her so. Was there something wrong with her? Absolutely not but that was a thought that haunted her all of the time. See we can look in at the life of others and think that life is great. But we really don’t know what is going on in the mind and heart of another. So we need to stop being so consumed with things that really shouldn’t matter and start opening our eyes to whats right in front of us. So many people are suffering from depression and thinking of taking their own lives. So when you see that fake smile on a persons face ask God to show the hurt hidden in their heart. What a difference you could make in the life of another if we could stop being so selfish with our time.
Yes, I understand that we all go through something but what I have learned is that when I’m going through there is another who is suffering worse than me. Everything that we endure in life is for the benefit of another. When will we stop being ashamed to tell our story raw and uncut? Granted there are some things that you may not want to share and I believe you should be guided on what to share. As for me I was purposed to share my story and not the story of another. A story that tried to break my very spirit but God would not allow my spirit to die! He has given me strength in my weakest moments. He has loved me when I couldn’t stomach loving myself. He has guided me when I lost direction. He has protected me when I placed myself in danger. See one thing we must understand that God is almighty but the choices that we make will have a negative or positive outcome. Then there will be things that happen to us that we have no control over those things you have to turn around in order to free someone else from the prison they live in. I have never claimed to know it all and there are things that I am still walking through but I do know that God didn’t spare my life for me to waste it feeling sorry for my suffering!! What will you do with your suffering?? Will you let it imprison you or will you set yourself free?
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking up our driveway, it was in the evening time somewhat dark outside. As, I was walking I saw this man he came from the side of the house. He got close to me told me he had been watching me and I didn’t even know it. Before I knew it he grabbed me covered my mouth and dragged me back to this shed we had. I tried my best to fight him off. He told me, if I scream he would kill me. I was in the fifth grade so of course I was scared and believed him. After it was over I had to get myself together, walk into my house as though nothing happened. I never said anything about the incident for along time, when I finally did it was too late. Meaning no one believed me.
This damaged me beyond what felt like could be repaired. I really didn’t know how to handle what had happened to me. My life from there just become a roller-coaster ride. It changed me in more ways than one, but most importantly it shaped me in a bad way . I became depressed wanting to kill myself, even tried to on more than one occasion. This made me angry causing me to deal by holding everything inside.
I am now about to be 32 years old and this still hurts me to this day. I found it difficult to trust at one point in my life I even turned to women. I didn’t trust men when I would meet them I would sleep with them, because I was scared to say NO. Because saying No meant the possibility of them just taking it from me. I still don’t allow people to get close to me because of the fear of getting hurt. I have even damaged some relationships which I’m not proud of because of the hurt that I was feeling . I’m very guarded causing me to build this wall which has an affect on my relationships today. I was told that I have BPD which is a mental illness .
However, I believe God and as I go through this process called Life this is one of the things that God has to heal me from. As a child I never dealt with this I just tried to covered it up in the hopes of blocking it out. Listen that never works!! One thing that I have learned is that you can’t fix won’t you won’t face.
This story was shared by someone who wanted to remain anonymous. I would like to take the time to thank them for allowing me to share their story with others.
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Why is there so much competition among women in the Body of Christ? This is a question that crosses my mind often. It is also something that I don’t understand. Are we not here to change the lives of the unbeliever? Well how can that ever happen when they are witness to so much discord in the Body? Is this a competition of who can be seen or is it about the winning of souls? Are we not suppose to lift one another up? Now is the time to check yourself and truly know what your motives are for doing what you do!
Is it important for you to be seen? When we are truly doing Kingdom work it should’t matter if you are ever seen. That should not be the motive for doing the work that you do. If you have truly been called to do a work the thing that should be on your mind is how is this pleasing to God. Seeking Him and the direction that He would have you go in should be first on your mind not how many people can see you doing the work. It sickens my heart to see such foolishness in the body. Then we wonder why unbelievers have such a hard time trusting us at our word. When they live in discord in the world why come to the Body of Christ to live in more discord and hurt. It is time to make a change because whatever it is that you do to help build the Kingdom is not about you!!! Did you get that?? Let me repeat it then IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!!! What I have learned that all of the suffering was not about me but about how I could help another overcome that pain.
I don’t know why she is trying to be like me! This statement makes my stomach turn. Get over yourself because sometimes it’s not that another is trying to be like you they just may admire you. Maybe they see themselves doing the type of work that you do and just want to learn. But in learning you must find your own identity. It is very important to know who you are before trying to step out to help another find who they are. I was at a workshop and the speaker said some things that rang out loud and clear to me. One of those things were ” BE YOU” because no one can be you like you. Own who you are ” I AM CHRISTINA SAUNDERS”. The last thing I want to say is that we all can be doing the same thing but do it being YOU. This is not a competition what it should be about is how many lives can you help change by showing the CHRIST that you serve!!!!
I wrote a blog once about my up and down battle with depression and I was real, honest and raw about it all. See when you are sharing your story be real with others about what you have been through. Your realness will open a gate for others to be real with themselves about where they are. Some of you may not be comfortable with sharing your story and that’s okay. But I am in a place of comfort and I share what God leads me to share. I have heard some say you tell to much of your business. Well because of it I have had others reach out to me and want to know how God brought me out. That alone is enough for me to continue to share and be real about my life. Will there be people that will try to hold my past against me? Absolutely, and I am truly okay with that. The reason I am okay with that is because they can’t share anything about me that I haven’t already shared with the world.
My honesty about me has given me the opportunity to help others. When I log into Facebook and have messages from people who want to talk to me I know that I’m doing what God purposed me to do. I feel like when God has delivered us from something don’t act as if that thing never happened. Don’t walk around like life has always been perfect and you have never had any wrong in your past. Please people take the mask off and let others know that if God delivered you He will do the same for them. Your story could mean life or death for someone else. There is a person out there just waiting for you to be transparent with them about your testimony. So am I willing to take the backlash from the “Holy High Rollers” yes I am if it will help one person.
I realized some time ago that God did not call me to be confined to the 4 walls of the church. I knew that I was going to be to raw for some people. Some may say you keep it to real but I say I’m just being transparent. The things that have happened in my life is the reality for many right now so why not talk about it? Just think about it this way if someone had been transparent with you what difference would that have made in your life? And don’t be so quick to look at another and think that they are beneath you because of where they are right now. They are still human and we are to love them as Christ loves us. Watch your words to them and how you react to them. Just because they are not where you are doesn’t mean that you get to treat them with disrespect. If you only knew how many times I have heard ” I have been mistreated by those in the church” and that hurts me to my heart. When a person is sick, in an accident or dying they go to the hospital for help to get better. Well when people are hurt, broken, depressed, addicted and lost they should be able to come to the church for healing not for “church hurt”.
So I will leave you with this your transparency will help another come out of where they are!
What is anger? Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance displeasure or hostility. It is also a problem that has no limits on who it latches onto. It doesn’t care about age, race, social status or educational background. When you allow anger to fester inside it can become a factor in destroying marriages, the breakdown of families and the weakening of communities. You must identify the root of your anger. Usually the anger stems from past hurts and guilt. Anger comes in when new offenses remind us of past offenses. We have to remove the thinking process that because it was in the past you should be over it. There has to be forgiveness in order to let go of anger. If not anger will continue to consume you every time your tension points are triggered.
Factors that can contribute to Anger:
- False Accusations
- Abuse (physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and mental)
Because the pain of certain offenses we establish attitudes and actions that lead to guilt and anger.
- Expectations of others
- Generalizations of a group due to one person
- Taking up offenses on behalf of others
It is time to rip the mask off and acknowledge that you are angry and what you’re angry about. You cannot continue to live in past reliving the offenses that happened back then. As long as you live there you will continue to be angry and never learn to forgive. Don’t you want your power back? It is time to be free from the bondage of anger. Are you willing to work towards your freedom? If you are continue to join us on Facebook www.facebook.com/luv2beu.
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)
As I read this scripture I thought about the root of bitterness and I see it as being under the surface. Bitterness is not something you see right away when you look at a person. It is more like when poison enters your body and attacks your internal organs. It lives inside that person. You may not be able to recognize bitterness since it’s not a surface problem. This takes me back to the root of this poison. From the root of bitterness grows branches like anger. But that is a topic we will address later.
Many people become bitter about the things that happened to them years ago. Often times this is because they have not forgiven the offense committed against them. When you allow the offense to take over that is when you leave a gateway open for other unhealthy feelings, such as bitterness and anger. Now you become bond by your emotions holding it all inside letting it fester and grow. I want you to understand that you do not have to be in bondage to bitterness.
Steps to overcoming bitterness:
- You must first forgive. Ask God to help you forgive those who offended you. But also ask God to forgive you for holding on to bitterness. Forgiveness is not an easy task so it is important that you seek God for help with this.
- Stop reliving the offense. You will never overcome the bitterness if you are reliving the offense in a negative light. Do not dwell in that negative place.
- God’s Grace. When you find it hard to let go His grace will give you the power to overcome. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Join us this week as we continue to discuss the root of bitterness. You can stay connected to us at www.facebook.com/luv2beu.
According to the Webster’s Standard Dictionary the meaning of insecure is uncertain; lacking stability. We have all had an encounter with insecurity whether it was someone we know or ourselves. Many people put on the mask of security but all along they are truly insecure. Wearing that mask can be a full time job. Why work that hard when there is a solution to every problem.
Last week I wrote about rejection but I want you to see how rejection can cause insecurity. My father died when I was only six and that one event changed my life. In my mind as a child I thought that God took him because I wasn’t good enough to have the love of a father. And that made me feel rejected which caused me to want to please others. Children may perceive things differently from what they really are. But that feeling of rejection caused a deep rooted seed of insecurity, feeling like I was never good enough. It wasn’t until I started to deal with the root of rejection that I realized just how insecure I really was.
A lot of people base security on materialistic things. She/he must be secure because they live in a mansion or drive an expensive car. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a million dollars or wearing designer clothes that does not make you secure. Take a true and honest look at where you are and what has caused you to be insecure. We don’t have to be ashamed about where we are. Just know that God can help us through anything.
Understand this others my reject us but be secure in the fact that the Lord will not. Psalm 27:10, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Join us at www.facebook.com/luv2beu as we discuss insecurity this week.