Beautiful Delight

I’m sure you all have noticed but I’ll state the obvious: Ive been on a long hiatus from posting on my blog.

Sorry, not sorry.

I’d like to shift gears a bit on this post and talk about some things that the Father and I do on a daily basis that keep me uplifted, encouraged and at peace. In this post, I’ll only discuss 2 things and each week, in addition to my “discovery” posts about my journey to the Father, I’ll post 2-3 more and go into detail, like I will below, about them and why they help me draw closer to Christ.

  1. I talk to Him. While this seems like a very simple concept, I’m baffled by the amount of believers who I see complaining about their day to day, their kids, their marriage, their house, their job and their overall morale on Facebook with their friends seemingly every hour but when you ask them if they have talked to God about anything all of those things, they are left with what I like to call, the um’s, uh’s and well’s. “Um, well, I mean God knows my heart.” “Uh, Kinda?” “Well, not exactly, but, to be honest, I just…” Talking to Him daily about your problems, concerns, heartaches, fears and struggles is the only clear way you actually come to know the Father’s true nature and character. And, I’m not talking about “God, I need this money to come through” prayers or the “God, if you would just do this for me this one time” prayers (though, there is nothing wrong with those prayers if you pray this way). I mean talking to Him…alone…you and Him. I’m talking about the airing all the dirty laundry (that He already knows about but you pretend like He doesn’t), all the junk, all of the questions, all of the frustrations, all of the discovery and curiosity of being with Him kind of prayers. I am so real with God that sometimes, I don’t even realize that I’m talking to someone who isn’t even there. I will, literally, carry on a 20-30 minute conversation with the Father and not even think about the fact that I’m using non-verbal gestures, laughing, smiling, crying with Him like He’s sitting right next to me. I fear the Lord but I’m not afraid of Him during these conversations. He’s my best friend and I treat Him as such.
  2. I “Be with” Him. Ok, let me say this before I get in too deep: Dear grammar/MUGS police, be at peace with how I phrased the first sentence of point number 2. Ok? Ok. When I say that I “Be with” Him, I’m not talking about physically. What I mean is that I am as present with Him as He is with me. The Father is omnipresent, meaning that He is always around, no matter where, what time, what place, what season or what mood you’re in. He wants to be with you and He proves it through simple things like giving you breath in your body and protecting you from things only He knows is coming against you. Because I am made in His image, I was designed to be like Him and how present I am with Him is vital to my growth in Him. If I’m too distracted by the cares of the day or what frustrated me an hour ago to be present with Him at all times, I’m not truly giving Him my all, and that’s a commandment from Jesus that we’re to follow as believers. “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NKJV.  Do I struggle with this 99% of the time during my “Be with” Him times? Absolutely. But, do I strive to overcome my flesh and cast my cares on Him because He cares for me enough to want to have them? Absolutely. The more time I spend pushing my flesh aside and have my “Be with” Him times, being open and completely present, the more peace I receive, joy I have and wisdom I gain from the Father. The Father wants so badly to pour into us but we block ourselves by not being present during our time with Him. I’m still mastering this and won’t arrive at “fully mastered” while I’m here on earth and I’m ok with that. The true believer never arrives at a particular destination in their walk towards Christ, they continue to journey on, learning new things along the way, until their time here is finished and the Father calls them into a new place where they begin a new journey, in closer proximity to Him.

You are probably wondering where this heightened sexual awareness came from at such a young age, so, I’d like to take you back to the very beginning.

I WAS MOLESTED.

Yes, my innocence was taken from me while I was very young by two different members of my family. The only way that I knew was from a dream that God gave me as a pre-teen. I don’t know how many different times the abuse happened, but I do know that it did occur. Growing up, I was always an extremely isolated and shy child. Most of my friends and teachers thought it was due to my personality, but when I was in elementary school, something happened that changed their minds.

A boy, with light eyes and light brown hair,

began talking to me about how he looked different than me. I, being naive, told him that it was because I was a girl. He asked me about what made girls different from boys and I, already knowing way too much too soon, told him that my “privates” made me different than him. He dared me to show him what they looked like. Witty old me, asked him to reveal himself first. He asked me to meet him under the slide to fulfill the dare. Another classmate of mine went with me. When we got to the “dare location”, he began undoing his pants. At this point, i remember feeling a tingle (that I later learned was arousal) in my private area and a rush of intrigue came over me.

“What does he look like down there?”

“Why does it look different than mine?”

Before he could even get his button undone, one of the teachers caught wind of our “secret gathering place” and called out to us. She asked us what we were doing. Thinking quickly, I said we were playing a game, hoping this would ease her curiosity. Instead, I was brought inside and received a “talking to” by not only the teacher, but my father when he picked me up from school that day. From that point on, I could no longer hide my inquisitiveness. A fire was ignited inside of me that could not be contained. Each day after school, I would run home to demonstrate sex acts on my barbie dolls, hoping that would stave the flames.

But, it didn’t.

And somewhere down the line, I discovered pornography.

For the longest time, I longed to be that innocent child again. To have the experience a “normal” child had, free from porn and free from sexual sin committed against me. I longed for it for so long, my heart would literally ache. I wanted more than anything to be whole again.

Free.

Before I discovered this freedom, I suffered (yes, suffered) through a long 9 month battle with severe depression. My joy was non existent. My days consisted of waking up disappointed that I even had breath in my body still (because I prayed the night before that god would just take me in my sleep), eating sugary poison and gluttonous snacks all day and barely having the energy the leave my room, let alone my house. I cried so much  that i honestly thought I would run out of tears. I felt numb; terrifyingly numb to the point where my Mom started to wonder what was wrong with me. Each time I got in my car, I dreamed of ways i could end my life. I figured that if I swerved and ran off into an embankment, that the news anchor’s could say that I lost control. That way, my family would know that my death was not “on purpose” even though it would have been. I convinced myself once that if I took a bottle full of Vicodin after my parents went to sleep, that they could be comforted by the fact that there was nothing they could have done to prevent my death, when they awoke to my lifeless body on the floor in front of my bed.

It was insensible. It was shameful. It was … my reality.

My breaking point was after the Vicodin incident. I remember sitting on the floor of my room, in front of my bed, tears streaming down my face, contemplating suicide. I begged the Lord to help me, to save me, by any means necessary. I was expecting a bolt of lightning or rumbling thunder to strike at that moment, but nothing happened.

Nothing happened.

This moment, in my room, was by far the most terrifying part of my journey. Our terror doesn’t terrify the Father, though. He brought me out of that night with a strange sense of calm surrounding my body. I recall walking down the stairs to get water for the pills and then, all of a sudden, grabbing a sharpie marker and drawing “X’s” on every single one. He saved me that night.

But i didn’t feel saved. At all.

I felt alone, confused and bewildered. That next morning, I woke up with the slightest bit of relief. Though I was sad I was still alive, I knew that there was some reason I still needed to be here. That day (unbeknownst to me) was the first day of my new life. I truly believe that without that “Vicodin encounter”, I wouldn’t be here writing these words.

From that day on, my life drastically changed. I found out things about myself and the Father that I never dreamed of. I can honestly say that I am an overcomer.

By His grace…

By His Mercy…

I survived.

NOTE: If you are reading this blog and are feeling similar or worse that I did, please know that there is nothing to be ashamed of. There is help and there is nothing you can’t do, even in the place you are in right now. Please trust the Father and go get help. Click on the link below and begin again. He is with you. He is for you. 

National Suicide Hotline

Part 2: The Unveiling

It’s at this point I’ll begin to peel back the layers of why this transformation took place, why it was necessary, and why each layer is vastly important.

If you’ll notice, the picture above shows a partially naked woman. You are probably wondering why I would choose this photo and why. I’d like to start off this blog by saying that if you identify with my struggle(or know someone who does), I’d encourage you to share this blog so someone else can get free like I did.

LUST.

So many things are wrapped up in this word. So many nights sneaking around at 3am looking up dirty videos on my computer.

I was 9 years old when I was introduced to pornography. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon it, all I knew was that I liked what I saw. I liked the feeling of thrill I’d get anytime I’d sneak downstairs and look it up on my parents computer. This was back when we had dial up internet and if you know anything about dial up…that struggle was real. As the little Aol man ran to the internet wizard (or as I saw it in my head), I found myself daydreaming about what I might look up that night. Looking back, I never really understood the magnitude of what I was looking at; the exploitation of sex in its rawest form. As I got older, my desire for porn slowly but surely increased and I began noticing changes in my behavior and disposition. My aggression increased, I rebelled more often and almost felt a sense of entitlement with my classmates because I knew something they didn’t.

Fast forward several years; now I’m a full blown pornography addict. By the time I went to college, I was viewing porn every single day. My daily routine was go to class…daydream about porn…go home…look up porn sites for up to 12-14 hours until around 7 or 8 am when I needed to go to class again the next day. By this point, my addiction was so strong, I literally did not have any boundaries or concerns about my life or what I was doing. I was doing things that I never would have done had I not had the addiction. At the end of that school year, I was on academic probation, I had little emotional connection to my family and I was (unbeknownst to me due to the desensitization of the addiction) suffering from a severe case of depression that nearly killed me.

Looking back, I realize that this time in my life was a necessary part of my journey. Without this pivotal realization of the damage pornography had done to me, I would not have encountered the Father like I did. The Father specializes in redeeming our brokenness. His great pleasure is to give us the Kingdom. His greatest accomplishment was creating us; we are the literal personification of His creative essence. It’s my understanding that the Father sometimes will allow us to get to the deepest pit we can dig ourselves into, so that we have no choice but stop and look up; not to gage our progress but because we can’t go down any further.

Its in this place, where the Father does His most amazing and transformative work. And, it was in this place, where my journey began.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Part 1: The Awakening

If you don’t know anything about pain, it often can be a extremely transformative force. Most people equate pain with something negative. But, there’s something to be said about experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and it not consuming you. For myself, I’ve found that in pain is where my true strength is discovered. It’s in the twisting and aching of a painful moment, that I came to discover who God truly is.

In my life, I’ve experienced some extremely painful moments. Molestation. Abuse. Lust. Betrayal. Rejection. These words haven’t made me bitter. They haven’t made me curl up into a ball and hide. They haven’t prompted me to give up. Each one of these words has served a real and incredible purpose in my life. Each one of these words have broken down some part of me so much so that the only one I could rely on was Him. I’ve learned that true strength lies in the arms of the Father. True strength is found in the beautifully broken moments; the moments of shame, guilt and sadness.

I’ve come to a place in my life where I’m not ashamed of what I’ve been through anymore. I’m not falling victim to a victim mentality. I’m not so damaged that I’ve convinced myself I can’t be used for His work. This was only achieved after years of sleepless nights, feeling undervalued and unimportant. Years of wasted time trying to fit in and be liked. Night after night of tears and snotty tissues asking God, “Why is this happening to me, again?” It was after years of awkward conversations and embarrassing moments. Years of sitting alone at the lunch table and attending school dances “stag”. Honestly, it wasn’t until very recently that I could look into a mirror and actually like what I see without nitpicking every stretch-mark and pimple.

What I realized is that as a daughter of the King, my self worth and acceptance could not be found in my personal appearance. It can’t be defined by how many awards I have or how many gigs I book. It isn’t found in my job title at work. It’s not in the level of happiness I have in my marriage.

It’s in Him.

He defines my created value. He redeems my spirit. He molds my character. I am beautiful in His eyes. I am worthy in His eyes. I am everything I am supposed to be and then some if I keep my focus on Him instead of on me. He taught me that I am a warrior whose weapons are only supplied by the artillery of Righteousness. He showed me that what happens to me is not always happening because of me. Nothing that ever happens to you, no matter what it is, has the power to destroy you. NOTHING. Your value doesn’t lie in the culmination of your life’s events. Your true value can only be discovered in the trenches; the horrific experiences that have been sent by the enemy to overtake you and overthrow your destiny. Your human strength alone is not enough to bring about any real change within your life. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve more than likely found this out the hard way. Our own efforts are fleeting. Our own strength is ineffective. Our choices usually don’t lead us back to the Father. We are self absorbed, self assured, self defining and self projecting.

But, He is Love.

And we were made in His image. We are chosen royalty in the eyes of the Father. We are never failures. We are never mistakes. We are never an inconvenience. We are never a bedevilment. Not in the loving eyes of the Father. Over the past few months, God has taught me just how real and powerful His love really is. He has taught me the importance of putting myself aside and putting on the mind of Christ. I’d like to share some of the revelations He’s shared with me about Himself. Things I was unaware of for far too long. If you follow my posts on ViZion United, this series will seem akin to it. But, the difference will be in the stories, the context and the scenarios used. My hope is that you’ll get a stirring in your heart to discover the secrets of the Father like I did, or that you’ll just enjoy a different perspective on the matter.

If you feel led, please like, comment and share this blog with your loved ones.

Get ready for the transformation.

The Beginning.

If you are not aware of who I am, allow me to inform you. I am a daughter of the Most High. I am a queen endowed with royalty and grace. I am the essence of my African and and Native American heritage. I am the culmination of thousands of years of pain, sacrifice, love and redemption. I am the personification of the atonement of Jesus Christ; the literal representation of God’s love. I was chosen, from the beginning, before my mother and father were even thought of, and my destiny and purpose was known. I am who I Am says I am.

I am Carina.

Welcome to my journey.