I have decided to share some open, honest truths with all of you, inspired by Gregg, my older brother and hero. Basically, I want to explain one of my struggles that has been with me for a long time, and how I am seeking freedom.
It started a long time ago. You know, the "puberty years", when we all start to develop the crazy thing called "hormones". Being that I was a very insecure young girl, these urges and feelings were hard to tame. I longed for attention and affection, unfortunately, I rejected it from the people I needed it, and whom were giving it, most, my family. I pushed them out of my life, without even really realizing it. Then began the desperate search for it in the approval of others.
When I was about 13, I was at CRC (Christian Renewal Center - my favorite place in the USA, a Christian family camp) and was shown a picture of my life by a man who had the gifts of knowledge and prophesy. He told me that God had shown him a picture of me standing in front of a closet, desperately trying to find an outfit I was satisfied with. Immediately, I knew he was referring to the emotional/relational aspect of my life, and began to weep. He continued, "What you don't realize is that God is on the other side of the closet with the outfit that completes you, the perfect set of clothes. He is waiting for you to embrace the design He has chosen for you." This struck me really hard, and I knew that in my search for acceptance I had lost myself, and who I really was. Though I had been given this new hope and assurance, it still took a long time to fully "be" who God intended me to be, and I am still not there yet.
When I entered high school, I was on the Track team and soon found someone who would give me attention. I tried to not be so obvious, but it didn't work, people asked if we were dating, but we weren't. We flirted a lot, and sat together on the bus when we had away meets. Eventually, he moved away, and I got over it. It actually isn't that hard to "get over" someone, when you don't actually like them, but rather the attention they give you.
Hmmm, the searching continued.
That same year I met one of my brother's friends, but it wasn't until 2 years later that I began dating him - "behind my parents' back" (again it wasn't too hard to notice). That lasted about a month, and then I was ready for him to go. I wanted freedom; I felt like when I entered into the relationship, there was no going back. I thought I had found freedom when I let him go, which again was not that difficult for me, but really I had just found another open road. Where it was leading I wasn't really sure. Now, it's important to realize that I wasn't trying to blatantly rebel; I wanted to serve God and honor my parents. I volunteered in church, and even led my own small group. Still, something was missing. But, as a Christian I thought that when you feel like something is missing it's usually God, but since I had God in my life, I tried to ignore the emptiness inside me.
As strange as it may sound, I wanted something bad to happen to me. I thought that if something really bad happened, maybe people would notice, maybe people would care about me. To be honest, I even wished that I would be raped... I thought that maybe if someone could really see my pain, and that I was hurting, maybe then would someone show me they loved me. Well, outside this realm of contempt, my parents were trying so hard to reach to me and show me that they loved me. I was blinded by my own selfishness, my foolish desire to be independent and without regard. I wanted so badly to "be on my own", but at the same time to be surrounded with people that love me. The sad thing is, I was. I was surrounded with people that loved me, but I had built a wall between us, and could not see their outstretched arms, longing to embrace me, and show me my worth. I had even began using the internet to fulfill a desire in me, I wanted to feel "beautiful"; in all the distortion of what I saw online, I created in me a sinful hunger of lust.
My senior year of high school I went to community college full of ambition and confidence. But, once again fell prey to the temptation of hungry men, or rather, a boy. He misled me, and I fell for his pithy attempts to swoon me. I thought he really cared about me. Again, my intentions weren't necessarily wrong, I knew we needed to maintain "friendship" status, but couldn't see past his deception. Thankfully, we never became physical, not even holding hands - which was pretty much the extent of my previous relationship. I moved on from him too, but not without consequences. After just two quarters at the college, I was asked by my parents to come home and finish my senior year homeschooling. I knew in my heart is was for the best, and then began another journey uphill. I felt better connected with my parents and family, more open, and not so distant. Somehow my heart's desire for purity was not met with persistence and determination. Last fall, on a warm September day I accepted an invitation to be another guy's girlfriend. Through a text message of manipulation, I embarked on a journey that forever changed my life. Being that this guy was a Mexican, he said that he thought I would never date him, because of his ethnicity, and I wanted to proof him wrong, I didn't want to date him because he wasn't a Christian, but in order to prove to him that I was not racist, and that in fact the color of one's skin didn't matter to me, I told him, foolishly, that I would be "his girl". I didn't know exactly what this would look like, but the month that followed was not pretty. I was hiding in a web of lies, deceit, and secrecy. Once again, I felt trapped by my own actions. "How could I be so stupid?" I continually asked myself. But, just as if you put your hand in a flame and it would hurt the first time, the more you did it, the less you would feel, because of calluses. This became my heart condition, the more I indulged in sin, the less conviction I felt; it got easier, and the further away I slipped. Fortunately for me, God had impressed upon my heart before this decision to date, to join Dream Realization School at our church. I went every Sunday night and learned a lot. The only thing was that when I entered into this relationship, I jeopardized my potential to grow. But, after a while, things became known, what had been in darkness now was exposed. For one of our assignment from Dream School, we were told to read Neil Anderson's book, "Victory Over the Darkness". At this particular time of cleaning and uprooting in my life, that book was very appropriate, and helped much in the coming clean process.
I want to use a picture to show how I describe these years of my life:
My life was like a roller coaster, at one time I would be totally on fire and right with God, and then, as if suddenly, I would be falling at a rapid pace, and feel so distant from everything and everyone.
Finally, though, I was able to work through the Seven Steps to Spiritual Freedom book by Anderson. I was able to talk with my pastor's wife through some of the problems I was having and the stronghold in my life that I wanted freedom from. I wanted to have the chains removed from me wrists, and the grip of Satan forever loosed of my soul.
I still struggle with wanting to be wanted. I still desire to be desired. But, I know that if I keep God's best in mind, and remember His promises, and hold on to them, than one day, the Lord will fulfill the desires of my heart. I have come to learn, and am still working to put into practice, that in order for God to release me to intimacy with a man, I need to become more intimate with Him. Because in HIM there is life; in HIM there is freedom; in HIM I receive my reward in full; and in HIM am I made wholly complete and worthy to approach His throne. My sins are washed away, they're washed away...
In ending, I want to apologize to the people I hurt, and to those I held resentment towards.
First of all, Mom and Dad - I am so sorry for all that I have done to hurt you. How I betrayed your trust, and blatantly lied to you. How I used your computer for sin. How I built a wall between myself and the family, as well as showed that example. I am truly sorry for the grief I have brought to you both. I long to be more honest with you, and talk to you more about my life, and its struggles.
All my brothers and sisters:
Gregg - for wishing more from you, and holding resentment toward you, and for not heeding your words of wisdom
Cassie - for not allowing you to speak into my life and connect with me, and for, at times, being jealous of you.
Jeremiah - for thinking you were prideful, for holding resentment, and for not heeding your wise words.
Carissa - for hurting you, lying to you, and holding resentment towards you
Joshua - for not loving you, for ignoring you and making fun of you. I'm sorry I hurt you! Also, for holding resentment.
Benjamin - for not being kind to you, or giving you the time of day
Hosanna - I'm sorry for not setting a better example, and for not loving you enough, and for ignoring you!
Josiah - for not recognizing your tender heart like mine, i'm sorry for mistreating you.
Elijah - for not taking time with you and for ignoring you.
To Martin, Jordan, Drew, Sam, and all other guys I misled, flirted with, and was a stumbling block for: I'm sorry! I also forgive you, and hold no bitterness/resentment towards any of you.
Desiring More of Jesus,