Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

amazing-grace

(Sorry! I slacked the last two days of my #Write31Days Challenge. So here is 1 of 2 to complete my series, “Daddy Issues”.)

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

Oh how thankful I am for grace. As you can see, by reading through my life story, I am most definitely a wretch. I’ve done things that were unqualified for forgiveness. Yet, by the grace of God and the blood shed on the cross by Jesus, I have been forgive. Amen! That’s the very definition of grace-the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings (Google Dictionary).

I once was lost but now I’m found.

Was blind but now I see

I used to be so far away from Jesus, but Jesus was never far away from me. When I didn’t know Jesus I did have this sense of being lost. Nothing made sense (and it still doesn’t some times) in this world, but Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). I don’t have to be consumed with earthly things. I can put my hope in Jesus and know that, no matter what, He’s got this. He’s had a plan since even before the beginning.

One of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkuert, in her book “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely”(by the way, this is an awesome book and is most definitely a MUST READ!) said, “God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God.” I need to let God be God and I just need to submit to His plans! (Most easier said than done-but it’s a daily decision).

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Without God’s grace, we wouldn’t even know that we needed saving. Our natural tendency is to live for ourselves and our own sinful desires. And that’s what I was doing. I wasn’t living for God. I wasn’t falling head over heels in love with Jesus day after day. But, even though I was turned away from Him, He pursued me everyday. Day in and day out and He never gave up on me. Eventually my heart was softened and I gave over the reins of my life to Him (even though, technically, they were His all along-I just quit getting in the way!). There is something so sweet about accepting Jesus into your life and feeling all that weight of shame, guilt, hurt, pain, you name it just being lifted up off of your shoulders and Jesus carrying that burden for you. It is unexplainable. It is GRACE!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Then when we first begun.

After ten thousand, or ten million, or ten trillion years, we are no closer to the end of eternity because there is no “end.” Eternity is a hard concept to grasp but it’s so encouraging knowing all of those terrible things I did or those awful things I thought and all of the mistakes I made cannot separate me from God and His grace. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). It’s hard to even fathom a love like that-so unconditional and powerful. But, I am oh so thankful that God loves me that much.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

Was blind, but now I see

Having an earthly father who wasn’t worth a poo most of the time really gave me a blurred perspective on my heavenly Father. For the longest time, I distanced myself from God because I was too afraid if I let Him in, He’d let me down like everybody else. But that’s not the kind of God He is. My God is never changing and His promises are forever true (Deuteronomy 7:9). Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior was the best decision of my life. No, things didn’t automatically change. But God has constantly been at work on and through me.

Oh Heavenly Father how very thankful I am that You are an unchanging God and that Your mercies are new each morning. I’m so underserving of Your love and grace but am beyond blessed that You give them to me anyways! I pray that if anybody who is reading this post doesn’t believe in You that my life can be a testimony to the fact of how magnificent You are. I pray that they would seek You out and get to know You and accept You as their Lord and Savior. You are such an awesome God! Thank you, Lord, for loving me and not expecting anything in return. I pray that I just lean into you  more and more everyday! In Your name I pray, Amen! 

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Seeking Him

Seeking Him

I had grown up going to church but, when I “came out” and started telling people I was gay, I quit going. I was so afraid I was going to be used as an example in Sunday school. I knew about God but I didn’t really know Him on a personal level. I spent most of my teenage years justifying my actions because I knew He was a forgiving God but I never repented of my sin. I was so angry at God for answering my prayers about my parents divorcing.

Once I had Mia, I finally understood, at some level, God’s love. I knew there was nothing Mia could do that would make me not love her anymore. For once, I truly believed there was nothing that I could do to make God not love me anymore. The feeling was overwhelming.

I accepted Christ completely into my heart and in my life November 12, 2014 and on November 30, 2014 I got baptized.

The significance about that date is that’s the day my dad killed himself (November 30th) and for so long I held on to the regret, the unforgiveness, and the bitterness that came from that. It was controlling my life.

But once I accepted Christ, things started lifting off of me. My burdens were no longer as heavy because I had surrendered them over to Christ. So, on November 30th when I was lowered into that water, I shed my old self-all the guild, all the shame, all the bitterness. When I was brought back up, I was given a new self, a new person, a new life in God.

I’m far from where I want to be or need to be and there are still things I need to surrender over to God but, I finally know Him personally. We have to best relationship that we’ve ever had. I still fall short everyday but I’m for once, actually seeking Him whole heartily.

 

Dear Lord, Thank You so much for always accepting me as I am no matter how many times or how badly I fall short. You never change. You never stop wanting me. You never stop loving me. Help me to seek You every day. Help me to put You first and to find my rest in You. Help me to come to You with my problems. Help me also to come to You with my praise! In Your name I pray, Amen!

Avenue to Salvation

Avenue to Salvation

I wish I could say that I was overjoyed to find out that I was pregnant but the truth was I was overwhelmed. The walls were closing in around me and I felt like I was drowning. I felt trapped. Stuck with no way out.

The countdown was useless. Regardless of the fact he was indeed leaving, I still had to deal with him the rest of my life because I was pregnant with his child. I felt like nobody understood me or the things that were going on. People wanted us to get married just because we were having a kid. I didn’t want that and I was feeling pressured on all sides.

I threatened an abortion.

I don’t think that I could have ever gone through with it. And I know that if I had, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. But at the time, I felt like it was my only way out. It was my cry for help.

I knew that I wanted him to be a part of our child’s life because of the fact that my dad was never around but I didn’t want to get involved with something for the wrong reasons just because everyone else thought it was the right thing to do.

Thank God I didn’t go through with that threat. I needed up having a beautiful baby girl and I honestly believe she (Mia) was the avenue that brought me to Salvation.

 

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life

-J. K. Rowling

Dearest Mia, 

If and when you stumble upon this, please know that I love you with every fiber of my being and I could absolutely NOT imagine life without you. You, baby~girl, saved me from my self and the destructive path I was heading down. God sent me you because He knew it was exactly what I needed at that exact time. You have been an absolute blessing. Please know that I am far from perfect and I make mistakes. I was completely self-absorbed and extremely selfish back then when I threatened that abortion. I hope you learn from my mistakes and never have to go through anything like that. I love you, baby~girl, more than life itself-more than you will ever know!

Love you always, xoxo, Mom

Dear Lord, Thank you so much for giving me a beautiful, healthy baby girl! You know what is best for me and Your plans are always immeasurably more than anything I could ever imagine! Thank You for being such a loving and forgiving God! It’s such a gift to see you take what I thought was the end of my life and turn it into the beginning. In Your name I pray, Amen!

Then There Were Three

Then There Were Three

It was only supposed to happen one time..png

It was only supposed to happen one time. We spent months, it felt like, talking about it. If that’s not a turn off I don’t know what is, but I guess it’s not one of those things that just randomly happens.

It was a disaster waiting to happen. This couple of nine years, NINE, approached me about a threesome. At first I thought they were just entertaining the thought without the intent of actually going through with it. Maybe thats why I played along or maybe I knew they’d end up following through but I just knew it was one of those situations that would NEVER work out. Plus, I find unavailable very appealing apparently.

I say this couple approached me. They weren’t random people off the street. (Even though, considering my history, that wouldn’t be that big of a shocker). We knew of each other. Even though they were a few years older than me, we did go to high school together. Plus, I worked with the girl. That’s where everything was discussed mainly. And if you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know everybody that works there knows or finds out everything.

Again, I say this couple approached me. It really wasn’t a united front thing. It was blatantly obvious the the girl wasn’t all in but the guy really wanted it to happen. That’s why we talked about it so much. She basically had to be talked into it.

I didn’t know, at the time, their whole relationship story. Obviously, anybody together  for that long was going to have problems-ups and downs. I just assumed their relationship needed some spicing up in the bedroom. It would happen one time, they’d be rekindled in whatever they were lacking and that would be that. But, that wasn’t how things played out at all! Instead, it ended up the three of us being in a full blown relationship-as if a normal relation isn’t hard enough!
Dear Lord, I should be well aware by now that when we follow our own desires over Your desires for us, things tend to get rocky-way rockier than they ever needed to be. I’m so thankful for Your unending grace and mercy. I’ve turned away time and time again, but You are always there to welcome me back. You gave us the commandments to help keep us safe from unnecessary heartache. Help me to view those as safety nets rather than rules I have to follow. You aren’t an unbearable God, You just want to keep us safe. And when I do stray, help lead me back to You! In Your name I pray, Amen! 

Right in the Middle Of My Mess, God Gave Me a Miracle 

Right in the Middle Of My Mess, God Gave Me a Miracle 

The count down was on. He got an opportunity that would take him out-of-state and I really thought she would follow him. But.....I ended up being pregnant..png

Things were just casual at first (if you can even call it that). I don’t even really remember how things transitioned to becoming more serious. But, next thing I know, they were both moved into my house. Occasionally, we’d stay at one of their places but not very often.

Some of you may be thinking, “How in the world was your mom okay with all of this?!?” She wasn’t. But, she tolerated it because, for once, I was home. For once, she knew where I was and wasn’t worrying about me. (Okay, she was probably worrying about me just not about where I was or if I was alive).

To say this was an adjustment was an understatement. I am a person who is all about my “me time” and this situation definitely put a damper on that. Luckily, I had a king size bed to fit all of us but, I was always stuck sleeping in the middle (how awkward that was looking back now).

In the beginning, everything for the most part, was pretty equal. It was an all-inclusive thing meaning we were all having sex together. But then things changed. (As do all relationships you take to the next level that aren’t supposed to be taken there or that are taken there too quickly). I started to notice that feelings were being developed. Even though we were all in a “committed relationship” there wasn’t really feelings there, they just didn’t want me sleeping with other people, because they weren’t. And anytime sex is involved, somebody is going to eventually develop feelings.

She started excluding herself. I don’t know if she was doing it on purpose because she could tell things had changed, too, or what. But, sex started becoming just between me and him more frequently. I asked him a couple of times about his feelings but he insisted he loved us the same-his actions just suggested otherwise.

Eventually, I was just over the situation. There was more and more arguing, hurt feelings and jealousy. I wanted out but I was so worried about breaking them up or losing my friends when in reality we weren’t even really friends to begin with. The relationship wasn’t healthy for any of us. And even though he thought we could all be apart of some “big love” polygamy society, I knew it would never work and I think she knew that, too.

The countdown was on. He got an opportunity that would take him out-of-state and I really thought she would follow him. But……

I ended up being pregnant. 

That broke them up. But, I still needed my space after feeling trapped for so long that I didn’t want to be with him. Plus, the guilt of breaking up a nine-year relationship was something serious. I knew that I had snatched her dream of marrying him and starting a family with him right out from under her feet. Even though she allowed it to happen, I was still just as much at fault for going along with it.

 

Dear Lord, I am so thankful that you took this mess and made something beautiful come of it. At the time, I thought nothing but disaster could come from this but, You had bigger plans. Sometimes You allow things to run its course so that we will return to You. And I am oh so thankful that You are always waiting there for me with arms wide open-waiting there for me to return. Help me to remain in You, O God! In Your name I pray, Amen! 

 

Lake Deception

Lake Deception

Turn this mess of mine, O God, into Your message..png

I met a stripper in five points, ended up going home with her-wise choices, I know. It’s a miracle I wasn’t ever murdered or anything. I moved in with her shortly after that-another wise choice. I don’t know what my deal was but, I just did NOT want to be at home. I would stay with anybody to prevent being home.

I was invited to the lake with her and some of her friends. It was the first time I was meeting them. I somehow got blindsided into getting involved with her and her boyfriend. Going into this trip I had no idea they were an item. I really don’t even think you could call it that. It was one of those things where it wasn’t a committed thing (obviously) but maybe an open relationship or a no strings attached type thing. I really have no idea-to this day.

Anyway, we decided to go skinny dipping. It was just the three of us and it was some kind of ultimatum for me, “come skinny dipping with us and who knows where it’ll go, or don’t come in at all. You can watch or go back up to the house.” Okayyyy. So nobody ever really wants to watch other people (that’s extremely awkward) so, I went swimming. I could’ve gone back up to the house, but I didn’t know anybody. Yes, I know this would’ve been the perfect time to go and make new friends, but I chose poorly.

Long story short, things kept up for a few months. The dude ended up developing feelings for me, which made things awkward between me and the girl because she started becoming jealous (as anybody would). She began to avoid/ignore me, while I was still living with her (in the same apartment complex as the dude by the way). Just all sorts of messed up.

I wish this were where I told you that I learned my lesson but, I didn’t. I have a stubborn way about me where I just have to learn the absolute hardest way possible.

But, I’ve learned that where there is suffering, there is perseverance also.

 

Dear Lord, I have definitely had my fair share of suffering, but I am oh so thankful for Your unending grace and mercy. Your love knows no limits. It is so incredible to be able to look back on these difficult times and be able to see Your hand that I couldn’t see before-mainly because I wasn’t even looking for it. Help me look for You, Lord, in everything I do. Help me to see things from Your perspective in that present moment, so that when I do look back, remembering Your great works, I can remember how much smoother the journey is when I include you. I pray that I learn from my mistakes. Turn this mess of mine, O God, into Your message. I pray that people see You in this-that even though we make mistake after mistake, sin after sin, there is NOTHING that could separate us from You. Your grace abounds. There is never a mess too messy or a mistake made too much. You are always there! In Your name I pray, Amen!

Mom or friend?

Mom or friend?

When my dad left, mom didn’t really know where she fit into the equation when it came to being a single parent. She all of a sudden started becoming my best friend. She let me cuss, do more grown-up things, let me in on her conversations-just things I probably shouldn’t have been doing or been a part of.

But, I thought my mom was being cool when she was my friend. All of my friends thought she was the “cool mom” which made me cool, too! When I didn’t like her was when she would all of a sudden decide she needed to be a parent. Whoa! Where did that come from?

Once she crossed the line of being my friend at that age (middle school), it was hard to go back and be the mom. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I needed my mom then, not a friend. She did, indeed, come through as my mom when she needed to be and I really enjoyed being friends, but it’s so much easier being friends now when she doesn’t have to be mom (even though she will always be mom-you get my point).

I really think the whole crossing the line too early business really made our relationship a lot more rocky than it needed to be-especially during my rebellious years. It just made things a lot more complicated than they needed to be.