I’m Baaaaaccckk!

It’s great to be back on the blog! I had some issues trying to renew, but that’s all taken care of and now I am ready to get to work! 😊 It has been TOO long! To be honest, the thought of not renewing crossed my mind. Something told me, “It’s not like you have a huge following anyway.” I admit, I did let that thought linger for a short time, but I recognized it to be the words of the enemy. What more could satan want than for me to quit spreading my belief in God to others? I may not have a bunch of followers for my blog, but the number of followers I have is not the issue! When I set out to do this blog, I said all I want is to be able to at least reach ONE person. I wanted to have an impact on multiple people, but if I was told just one person out of 60 something followers was moved by any of my blogs, then it would all be worth it!

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I appreciate all of my followers on here and I apologize for even entertaining the thought of letting this blog slip out of my hands. I have so much love for you all and I truly care to share so many things with you! Even though I was unable to get on here for some time, I was brainstorming about new subject matter. I questioned some people I knew personally that read, asking them what subject would be interesting to them to learn about etc. For some reason, I have wanted to do a 3 part blog series; diving into parts of the Bible and breaking them down. I was unsure of where I would go with it, and I did get some ideas from others, but the one I think I will end up going with came out of a simple conversation I had. I think dissecting the armor of God would make for an interesting read. I would love to know what all of you think about the idea! Also, if any of you have an ideas of topics for me to discuss or personal experiences for me to share, feel free to ask questions or leave comments/suggestions! Feedback is always appreciated and insightful! I’m so overjoyed to be back to my blog space!!!! Sending tons of love to all of you beautiful people!! 💚

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Much love and God bless!

Truths or Excuses?

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It’s been too long since I have last blogged, I sure hope you all are still out there and ready to tune in 😜

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today, a former high school teacher who I keep in contact with. I was checking in on him and letting him know my family and I were thinking of him and also how I missed chatting with him through messenger. You see, I have gotten rid of my Facebook for probably a year now and he also rid himself of it as well, but I still have the messenger part. He and I used to chat on messenger regularly, but since he only has a computer and no cell phone, he can’t have messenger if he doesn’t have Facebook. This brought up the subject of Facebook and how we are (personally) completely fine without using. There was a point that I brought up in the discussion and I said, why not blog on this topic!

In the conversation I said, “Imagine how different the world could be if we used all the time, energy and passion we give to Facebook and instead put it all back out into our world.” We all crave change. We all crave a better world. We are ALL equipped with some specific and unique God-given gift to make a difference in this world, yet we give excuses for not being the change we want to see. Trust me, some of the excuses we give are legitimate. We are too tired, too busy and we don’t have enough time in the day. While all those excuses may hold some degree of truth in our lives, are they more of an excuse than a truth? If we didn’t have enough time, like many of us claim, then how can we spend hours on social media? How is it that we can binge watch our favorite shows for hours or get lost in a good book and still claim a time issue?

 

Let me speak a little truth…if we truly desire to do something, we see that we do whatever it takes to make it happen and we rise above any obstacle that may stand in our way. Therefore, if we truly desired change, we wouldn’t find as many excuses as we could; we wouldn’t contradict ourselves by claiming there isn’t enough time, yet spend hours on our electronics.

We also spoke about how we found this specific site to provoke so many unnecessary feelings/emotions. My friend mentioned how it felt as if it caused many of us to try to relive our past instead of live in the present. I added that it’s a bit disappointing to see so many people fighting with each other over such insignificant topics, when there are so many other fights worth fighting out there and in much more productive and respectful ways. Imagine all that passion and energy to win arguments on social media  being put to use in whatever cause they are arguing over.

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All of this can be said about our attitude towards our relationship with God as well! Many of us like to believe we have a solid relationship with God based on simply believing in Him and speaking well of Him to others, yet we lack that intimate connection. We use all those same, worn out excuses for not sparing an hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes to spend with God and His word. It goes back to our priorities and how we organize those in our own lives. Just as we can take a certain amount of time daily to devote to our own personal interests, we can just as easily take the same amount of time or even more and devote it towards bettering our relationship with God, bettering ourselves and bettering the world around us. We can dive into our Bibles instead of the newest best-selling novel. We can talk to God about our day and our problems or simply extend Him our gratitude instead of posting all of it to people who mostly won’t give it a second thought. We can ask Him for guidance in revealing our calling and showing us the way to use it to both please Him and make the biggest, positive impact in our lives and world.

So, as this New Year approaches, let’s try to spend less time on things that hold us back from growth (both spiritually and mentally) and peace. Let us prioritize more time for things that bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others around us, all while strengthening our faith and personal bond with God. I pray for anyone reading this, that they may think about how they utilize their time and energy and may they make necessary changes to improve not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them. I pray that everyone realize how special and unique they are in Your eyes and how much they have to share with the world. May we all look to You for guidance in all that we do, especially when it comes to using our God-given gifts to make a difference. Thank You for giving me this outlet to share my thoughts and personal beliefs with others! I pray all of this in Your name, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless 💚

National Suicide Prevention Day 1-800-273-8255

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1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They also offer texts and online chatting prevention services. Light a candle at 8pm and place it near a window ❤
A middle school girl locked herself in her bedroom. She often cried behind closed doors so no one else would see her. She sat there, gun in hand, finger on the trigger and gun resting against her temple. With tears flooding her face, she desperately wanted to pull the trigger, yet something tugged at her heart and for a moment she thought of all the people it would impact. All the times she thought to herself that so many lives would be improved if she weren’t alive, they disappeared in that brief moment. Scared, sad, ashamed and alone she took her finger away from the trigger and slowly moved the gun away from her head until it rested on the ground next to her. Wiping her face, she got up and unlocked her door and snuck off to return the gun to where it belonged. No one ever knew and no one would have ever known. I know she credits God for that moment of clarity in such a chaotic time in her mind. I know she would have missed out on so much happiness, happiness she never thought was possible; a wholeness she never thought attainable. I know she would have never experienced true love, marriage and multiple pregnancies/birth. She would have never been called wife or mother. I know all these things because that middle school girl was me.

Even the people who seem the happiest and always go out of their way to help others need help too. You never know what storm lies within another, so be kind and always show others that you care and they matter.

The topic of suicide should be freely discussed without judgment. It should always be a safe topic. It takes only a few seconds to truly ask someone how they are and listen to them. If anyone reading this ever needs anyone to vent to, I am always available.

There is a story that only you can finish, so please keep going and hang on because as much as you don’t believe it gets better….IT DOES!

;    Your Story Does Not End Here!

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Grateful Heart

Good Morning Everyone!

I’m not quite sure if today I will be able to continue blogging my notes from the sermon series I have been listening to, it may have to be tomorrow. It would seem today is leading me down a different path; I seem to have woke up with a message on my heart, so we’ll see how it unfolds. I’m sure God is leading me to this message for a reason, so it’s likely something to offer peace and comfort to all of us in some form. ❤ Wherever He leads, I’ll go!

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I woke up this morning with an urgency to discuss gratefulness. Many of us, like myself, would say they’d consider themselves to be a rather grateful person; always doing their best daily to thank God for the blessings in their lives. Honestly, some days it seems I give thanks constantly because I am filled with an unexplainable joy. Good times seem to cultivate more joy and without much effort. What of the not-so-good days? How can we remain grateful, with that same unexplainable joy when our days aren’t going well or our life has taken some unexpected sharp turn?

I know I may seem wise, but I don’t have all the answers 😉 I will, however use personal experiences to give my best opinion/views on the matter. I also love using Bible scriptures as a reference because the Bible is our cheat sheet…it has all the answers to any question we will ever have, we only need to look.

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Most of us would say, I have a grateful heart. I wake up each morning, thank God for the gift of life and for the health and contentment of myself and my family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario; it’s ideal! We should be thanking God as soon as we wake up because He is the reason we do. But, we have all had those times in our lives when we have gotten so deep down in our trials that we wonder if we even want to wake to face another day. Of course, to me, this is a form of bitterness; something has gone wrong in our lives and we are a bit bitter and confused. We think things we don’t mean wholeheartedly because we feel pain, hurt and sadness. We want to know why. Why God is something like this happening to me? Am I not a good person? Am I not worthy?

A simple fact of life is, bad things can happen to the “best” of people just as they can to the “worst” of people. We are all human and no matter how good we are, we are never immune to the bad experiences in life. There is ALWAYS a reason, very evident or not, for why we are assigned specific mountains at certain times. In any circumstance, I can guarantee that a gift is hidden in the darkest of times. You’re being equipped to help someone else who will need you or your words. We can all appreciate and be thankful for people in our lives who give us great words and express care during our tough times, but in all honesty, don’t we wonder how they know how we feel when they haven’t been in our situation? We feel their heart is in the right place, they’re saying all the right things, but in a way their words are empty to us because we don’t believe they can relate. So, whose words can hold meaning to us most? Yes! The ones who have endured things we are going through. Someone who has personally been where we are at and made it to the other side! I believe any bad we go through gives us this unique ability to be someone else’s hope and light in their time of darkness. I know I sound repetitive with that statement, but it’s so true. Think of how many more people you can reach on a personal level, when you have been through some of the same situations they have. That is the beauty in our pain. That is where our gratefulness can come from in our darkest hours. We can thank Him for allowing us to go through this terrible time, because we know He has much bigger things in store for us. Trust me, in those hours, I KNOW it can be difficult and almost near impossible for us to think that way. It’s in our nature to question why something is happening to us, but remember we have tunnel vision and God has that panoramic view; He sees the whole picture, while our focus is what’s right in front of us at this moment.

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One of my most difficult times with maintaining a grateful heart during a hard time was when I endured the loss of my pregnancy in 2014. January 16th, 2014 to be exact; one never forgets. My husband and I had our oldest son at the time, he was approaching 2 years old, yet we were so excited to be expecting another child. We love babies and they’re an amazing miracle from God! Unfortunately, our baby wasn’t to be here on this Earth with us…we were unaware we had conceived a real angel. I feel we often forget that our babies are a true gift from God and they’re His before they are ever ours. Even with that knowledge, the pain didn’t seem to subside any. I was about 7-8 weeks when we lost our pregnancy. Some would say an insignificant amount of time to have such a tremendous reaction to, but no matter the size of the baby or the amount of time you carry your baby…it was still a part of you. You had plans for this baby that went years into the future; it was already a part of your life because it was a part of you. I remember going to the hospital because I had to leave work early that day because I started bleeding. Of course, some bleeding can be considered normal in the beginning of pregnancies, I however was not convinced. I guess I just knew in my heart where this was leading at that point. I passed some clots prior to leaving for the hospital and all I could do was cry. I do remember telling my father through my tears that if I’m losing my baby, it’s what God thinks is best for my baby and I. Still sadness was ever-present. There I sat in the hospital waiting room…waiting and waiting and all the while still bleeding. I felt like I’m losing my baby and no one is trying to help me. It’s an emergency! I’m in a hospital, I’m pregnant and bleeding and I can’t save my own baby and no one is coming to help; I must wait. What a sick and devastating feeling, especially as a mother, knowing what’s happening to your baby and yet you cannot do one thing to stop the process…all you can do is witness the unfolding of events. After waiting in the waiting room, being called back for blood work, then sent back to the waiting room, then called back to lay in a hospital bed in the middle of a crowded hallway and given an IV, I was finally seen. By the time they administered an ultrasound, there was no sign of pregnancy; like my baby never even existed. It was heartbreaking. At some point from leaving our home to waiting in the hospital, we had lost our baby. I had lost our baby. Guilt weighed heavy on me, as I felt I had failed at my job as a mother. I felt I had failed to keep my child safe and protected. They gave me a discharge paper which read in big, bold print: Miscarriage; then they sent us on our way. My husband and I got to the car and as we were leaving we just stopped the vehicle and held each other crying. It was such a long day, yet it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. It’s a sadness and pain I would never wish on anyone. I struggled with seeing pregnant women or babies. I am a person who has always loved children and babies and pregnancy etc, yet I developed this aversion to them. I worked in a grocery store so it’s not like I could escape them. I remember crying because I missed being pregnant and knowing I was having another baby, yet I also cried because I didn’t want to be that kind of person. I didn’t want to feel that feeling of avoidance when encountering pregnant women, babies and children. I knew miscarriage was a common occurrence but we never imagine it could happen to us until it does. I’m not going to say I did not struggle and still don’t shed tears for our angel baby, but I chose a grateful heart instead of accepting a bitter one. I thanked God for the short time I had with our baby and I chose to talk openly about it to not only help my healing process, but to bring honor to the life we had made. I chose to name our baby, although gender was unknown, I went with Uriel, which means “God is my light.” It was confusing and one of our toughest times, but I told others I would be open about it because God will use me to help others going through the same circumstances and that He did! I have be able to help several people since and was able to give them comfort, peace and hope that no one else could.

Of course that example was one of many. Whether it’s my anxiety disorder, depression, struggles with self harm/ suicidal thoughts and tendencies and all that I have experienced, the same gift has come from all of it…the gift of light. In those times I often wondered the meaning and purpose of it all, but as time went by I had my “ah-ha!” moments. I realized God had better plans for my life. He might say yes, no, wait or simply not right now, but trust me when I say better is around the corner. ❤

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I sit here typing this to you at 30 weeks pregnant today with our 4th baby (3rd earthly baby). God is good 🙌 Nothing is impossible with Him! I know He cares for my Uriel until I am reunited with him/her later in life. I am still blessed in many ways! I am very blessed to be able to speak from a personal place to all of you as well! I pray my words always help someone who needs it! Let’s all be grateful in the good and bad times because we know God is for us, not against us!

Much Love and God Bless! ❤

An Anxiety Disorder Reflection

When I first started this blog I recall stating that I would comment and even write multiple blogs on anxiety and I’m here to make good on that promise 😉

Anxiety has been so prevalent in my life (the majority of my life) I now have to consider it a part of me in a way. Don’t mistake my statement as being accepting of my anxiety disorder, rather I have more of an understanding of it and know that although there may be times I am in control, it will likely lurk in waiting. I often describe it as going dormant or partially dormant, but I would never say I am “cured”.  I’m a firm believer in a person’s ability to constantly better themselves, and that is how I look at rising above the disorder. I have no issues with the anxiety disorder label hanging over my head, I do however take issue with the control it can have over me as a person; physically, emotionally and even spiritually! Let me state that I do not always have good days and I do backslide in my own personal journey with anxiety disorder (yes, even after all these years) but after enduring it for most of my life, I have learned a thing or two about it. I’m not a doctor or counselor or anyone with a title, I’m simply an individual sharing her experiences with anyone who wants to listen in hopes that it’ll help them in some way!

I was reflecting on the disorder earlier this morning and remembering how much it has impacted my life and even still does. Anyone with anxiety disorder knows how much time it can steal from you; how many moments you miss out on. In times like these with social media you see so many photos of people who are worry free and just enjoying life on their vacation time…it’s hard not to say to yourself, “man, I wish I could do that!” With anxiety disorder, especially in a peak time, it is SO debilitating. You are unceasingly paralyzed with fear. You opt out of anything and everything, even when you don’t necessarily want to. At one of my absolute worst times with the anxiety disorder, I was living in a continuous and never-ending state of panic and fear. I’m not talking every other day or even once a day, I am saying every second of every single day for more than a year and the disorder was relentless; it NEVER gave up. That year sure seems lost to me. I hardly remember anything else besides what the disorder caused and how it altered my personality and just myself overall. I would sit on the couch at my parents house and be like a zombie. I would be expressionless. I lacked personal hygiene because it felt like such a chore and I had no will or energy to get up and do it. I was terrified every day was my last day. I was convinced I would die every. single. day. Every move I did have the courage to make was over-calculated in my mind; the worst case scenario was always the certainty. I couldn’t go outside because some crazy accident would happen. I couldn’t go out to eat or even eat new foods or foods I hadn’t in a while because I would have severe allergic reaction and my throat would close up and I’d die. I’d like to add that I have no known food allergies. I ended up losing so much weight because I could only muster up enough courage to consume apple sauce, bread and water. I cried at every meal when my parents or husband would attempt to get me to eat because I was petrified. Night time was no different and could even be the worst time for me. Fear and dread kept me from falling asleep every night because in my mind I would have a heart attack and die in my sleep and no one would be able to help me. I would have such bad whole body tremors/shakes.  I can’t even put into words everything that I was unable to do. Simple every day tasks were forgotten and I was just this emotionless blob. I truthfully am not embellishing nor am I actually able to convey all that I went through. One of the worst parts was I felt like I was drowning in front of everyone. My head was persistently under water, my arms were in the air yet everyone was looking right at me and telling me I was alright. They couldn’t see the water. They couldn’t see me in trouble. So how could anyone help me if the people who loved me and knew me best couldn’t see how much trouble was surrounding me? They may have acknowledged my feelings but they truly couldn’t understand and therefore they couldn’t help. When I came to this realization, I knew there was only one person who could help me, that person was me…or was it?

Anyone who views these blogs can recognize that I am no one who shies away from my faith. During this particular peak of the anxiety disorder a lot that got me through was my faith. I believe certain events happen in our lives to bring us closer to God when we have become complacent. When we start veering off on our own and although still believers, we lose some of that spiritual spark. Many believers can talk a good game, but they end up, even unintentionally, treating God as a genie. Your life is going great and you go on your merry way and you’re just idling in your faith. You call upon God only when you’re in trouble. There is nothing wrong with calling upon God in times of trouble, but we should always be calling upon Him even when things are going wonderfully! In my opinion, this anxiety disorder is in my life so that I can use it to help others. I can relate on a personal level out of experience! I would never wish it on anyone nor do I enjoy having it myself, but it has allowed me to get here where I can share my story with all of you and hopefully make some sort of positive impact on your life. I want to give others hope who have been in those worst times and felt so alone and not “normal”. You wonder how far you can go before you actually snap and go crazy. At times, we already believe we are crazy. The great part is we’re not and we haven’t gone too far. We can always put our minds in reverse and come back to center! We’re not lost, we just took a detour! 🙂 I know the fear of opening up about it and having this image of someone taking us away in this white straitjacket and locking us in some padded room somewhere. It sounds unreasonable, yet many of us with anxiety have felt that fear. This is one of the many reasons I share my story with everyone so that anyone else having the same feelings can realize they are not alone and their feelings are shared by many other individuals. There is such power in reading or hearing someone who doesn’t even know you express exactly how you have been feeling; it offers a sense of comfort when you need it the most. I mentioned my faith got me through and it truly did. I would pray often or sing older hymns or modern Christian music in my head at night or even recite verses over and over until I was calm enough to fall asleep. I kept a book of verses with me specifically on the subject of fear. It gave me the boosts of confidence when I would need it and assured me that I would be able to make it through this. I so often cried to my husband or my parents that I would never be the same, that I would never find myself again. Anyone out there thinking that they are permanently lost and will never be able to find themselves again, I am here to tell you it’s not only just a possibility, but a CERTAINTY! You CAN and you WILL! At times, all we can do is buckle up and hold on and know that this will pass. I even purchased books on anxiety disorder, both religious based books and non and it helped me to better understand my condition and in learning more about the disorder I was able to regain more control. I am convinced I’ll always be a work in progress, but I am proud of how far I have come. I have a lot to work on still, but this peak time I have been referring to was 2010 for me, so 8 years I worked at it and still continue to! It’s unreal to think that I was married for just 2 years when this particular surge in the disorder occured, and I could never express my gratitude enough for my husband. I talked about how much I have endured, but he also went through all of the ups and downs with me. He stuck by me when most people would have run the other way and he not only stuck by my side, but he encouraged me and did his best to understand and help me along. He did whatever he could to ease my mind at times, yet he gave me tough love when I needed it most.  It’s hard on a spouse to see the person they love the most suffer through something and not be able to help at all, just kind of sit back and watch and not even fully comprehend what is actually happening with them. My husband, Brandon, he’s definitely a hero of mine ❤  Yet another gift from God!!

I want to pray for anyone at there who is feeling anxiety to any degree, especially those of you in these peak times that feel hopeless and alone! I want you to know that not only God is with you, but I too understand and you can turn it around. It may take years for you to feel like you’ve gained even some control, but it will happen! I pray for you all to have peace and comfort when you need it most. My dream is that my words, whether now or in the future, help even one of you out there!

Much love and God Bless ❤

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A Tough Topic

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It’s very early morning, but I’m feeling led to venture down a certain path most people would choose not to talk about…

Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts and Suicidal Tendencies.

I get it, it’s not one of the most upbeat subjects to discuss, but not every conversation is meant to make you feel comfortable; some are meant to stir up your emotions and be thought-provoking and hopefully inspiring. Sharing our most vulnerable moments in life will likely be what other’s need to hear most.

As most of you probably have figured out by the majority of my posts, I am, in fact, a Christian. I obviously do believe in God and I was raised in a loving home. From the outside looking in, most would wonder what would cause someone with a life like me to even come close to having to deal with this subject matter. Let me say this first, Christians definitely aren’t perfect, much like everyone else. We all have our flaws and we all deal with problems and hardships differently. Being a Christian doesn’t make any if us immune to any kind of problems in life, but it can change our perspective and how we approach our own issues. We definitely fall, and many of us over and over…but we’re all on a unique path and on different maturity levels when it comes to our faith. So with that said, I’ll share my own personal experience on the topic.

As previously mentioned, I come from a loving intermediate family. Two parent household and my parents have been together for many years and still are. I grew up with two older brothers, so being feminine was never really an option 😂 I had to keep up with the boys and being rough and tumble wasn’t an option, it was necessity! 😝 We went to church on a regular basis; every Sunday and almost every Wednesday. Our small church felt more like a family than anything else. It truly was one of a kind. I also went to one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, never changing schools, so I had that stability too. I even had friends who went through each grade with me from the start. I was always close with my parents, a handful of other relatives, some teachers and I had friends…so why did I get to a point where I felt alone and misunderstood?

There’s been a few instances in my life where this topic of suicide, suicidal thoughts and tendencies has been most prominent. First I start with a middle school aged me. When we’re younger, we’re led to believe adults are rather truthful. They tell us things that will help us out and they are there to guide us in life, but not all adults are good spirited and not all have the best intentions. I don’t want to seem as if I am bad mouthing my family, but I am being honest…parts of my extended family are very harsh critics. There are some whom have always been negative and hateful, not only about other people they know but towards each other too. They magnified your “flaws” yet conveniently forget to ever acknowledge their own. I was often compared to someone else in my family, whom I love dearly. As all of us know, every person is built different. I remember as early as 8 being ridiculed for how I looked in a swim suit just swimming at my grandmother’s house. Now when I was 8 I was about 57 pound and really wasn’t a “big” person at all. At 8, I didn’t have that thought process though, I trusted that I was being fed the truth by an adult who should have loved me, but obviously did not. We would have holiday meals and even meals together after church on Sundays at times, and you’ll even be criticized for how much you put on your plate and if you get up for seconds, “you’re gonna get fatter eating that!” Yes, fattER as in you’re already fat now and more food is just going to add to your “problem”. I think of how different it would be had I been the person I am today back then; but I was still young. All of this criticism was constant and repetitive and at such a young age you foolishly start to believe the words being said about you. You now grow up believing you’re fat, ugly and you are left with zero self-esteem. Broken even before leaving elementary school. Fast forward to middle school me. Many children I know all go through that awkward stage where they’re in the middle of growing and their bodies are fluctuating and maturing and that only further aggravated the issues I already had. Siblings tease you on a regular basis, although not trying to add to your pain intentionally, they can mimic some things you’ve heard for years now and the self esteem has no chance. I don’t believe my brothers to have meant to hurt me with their words deeply, but their words stirred the echoes of the ones who did mean to. After years of hearing so many things wrong with my appearance: my weight, my skin, my teeth, my hair etc. one day (in 8th grade I believe) I felt like I had enough. I thought to myself what’s the point of being here; being alive to be the punching bag for others? It seems so trivial, but look at how bullying has come to the spotlight. Bullying happens not just at school or by classmates but by family members at get togethers or even worse, for some it happens in their own homes by their own parents. I felt alone, I felt hurt, I felt confused and I felt like a burden. I somehow convinced myself that lives around me would improve if I took my own life. We grew up having guns in our house and being around guns, and our parents always kept the guns put up. Being in middle school, you are kind of old enough to find the gun and maybe even sneak it off. Now, a gun I got a hold of may not have killed me, could have hurt me bad but who knows if the handgun would have done what I intended it to. I found it, brought it back go my room and crying I held this gun to my temple with my finger on the trigger. All these thoughts flooded my mind instantly..a mix of insults and comparisons. In one moment, I felt a tug at my heart. I felt a presence with me and my mind went to people close to me and I could see clearly how they would be affected. What if it hurt more people instead of improving their lives. In an instant, finger still on the trigger, I had this moment of clarity and I didn’t feel alone in that moment. In my heart I 110% believe it was God stopping me because He had better plans for me and my life. So after more tears, I gathered myself and snuck the gun back and never spoke of that incident. I felt ashamed.

Now onward we go into high school years. I was definitely not a “school spirit” type of person. Wasn’t part of a popular group nor did I desire to be. I was very much my own person and I wasn’t afraid to let my differences show.  Still had friends, made good grades yet I fell down the same rabbit hole again. In my opinion, high schoolers are still confused on who they are as a person, but I was already there, I knew who I was and I had for a long time. You meet people who try to convince you that you would be better if you were different from how you are. I always had confidence to tell those types of people to take those conversations elsewhere because I was stronger than that. Why as a teenager do we let people we think we “love” alter our perceptions of ourselves. Our willingness and eagerness to change becomes annoying. Trust that we rarely give is suddenly freely given and then shattered into a million pieces. Previous friendships we believed we may have had before dating are betrayed and broken beyond repair. Here we are again, rejected, criticized, hurt and alone again. The story repeats itself. I let some people into my life and my heart that never deserved it. I was essentially that 8-year-old girl again, hanging on every word this person(s) said. Trying to fit into their image of what “pretty” or “beautiful” was. Little changes here and there and before you know it, you’re not yourself at all, but the person you believe you love is now more interested. That should be a red flag telling you to forget all of this, but sometimes we are simply ignorant. Persuasion and pressure, they cause you to find yourself in situations you have no way out of. You can be told “if you do this, then I believe you like me” “if you so this I probably will date you” “if you don’t do this I’ll never talk to you again”…yet, either way, you end up alone so it never really mattered. I know I am somewhat vague on this specific circumstance, maybe I will open up about it further in the future because it is something others go through as well. This situation led me to lose all care about myself and my well-being. I began being reckless and stupid. I would get sloppy drunk and find myself unable to lift my own head out of my vomit. I would once open my eyes and be laying in the middle of a road at night, anyone could had hit me and been unaware I was even in the road. I once went to climb off a 3rd floor balcony, but luckily was stopped in the process. I believe my lowest point was being so drunk and sick that I was shaking and unable to get up, so I had to crawl to the bathroom and no one would help. I remember laying there and thinking what am I doing? I was so scared and again, felt alone. All I wanted to do was call my parents to come get me, but I didn’t want to disappoint them because I had already disappointed myself enough. I prayed, CONTINUOUSLY, for God to let me survive that night; let me get out of here and I promise I’ll never drink again. To this day, I choose not to drink.

At some point in high school, I would start with the self harm. What would be categorized as “suicidal tendencies”. I started down the cutting route. It got to a point where I could walk in a room and see all the options of sharp objects I could use. I always cut in places you couldn’t see or that would be easily concealed: Bottom of the foot, palm of the hand, upper arm and hip. I used items like: seam rippers, broken pen shafts, scissors, broken cds, just whatever I could get my hands on really. Luckily, for me, it never went too far. It was many times about numbing myself. Feeling the physical pain would help me escape the emotional pain I felt at the time, thus the appeal. An escape. An easy way out. I met my now husband not long after that period of time and I credit him for opening my eyes and making me realize this could not continue.

The quote at the top of the blog represents advice I would give my younger self. There will be very dark times in most everyone’s life, but knowing that the darkness will eventually fade and the pain that’s consuming you today will ease and even subside, that information can make all the difference. Even the people you find to be the happiest and funniest, the ones who thrive on building others up and making others laugh, the ones who come from great homes…those people struggle too, in fact, they may just be some of the ones who are struggling the most. My story did not end and now I can be that light in someone else’s darkness. The beacon that leads them out of the water and onto the shore. Your story doesn’t have to end and it DOES get better. You are worth more than you believe.

Go out and speak with love. Go out of your way to let others know they are loved and cared for. Do something nice for a stranger. Ask someone if they need help, if they’re okay. You never know the profound impact one simple caring act can have. You may just restore hope in someone who believes there is none left.

My prayer for everyone today is that you have confidence in who you are on the inside and out. I pray that when you’re facing difficult times you find someone and confide in them. My hope is that you pray and know your prayers are important enough to be heard. I want all of you to acknowledge your strength, courage and importance. We all have a purpose for being alive. Each one of us has a unique gift and we can’t give up before even finding out what it is. Our gift will help so many others as well as ourselves. You are loved. You are important. You are cared for. You are seen. You are heard, even in your silence.

It does get better…that’s a promise.

Much love and God Bless