the list

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela

 

{trauma:// an experience that produces psychological injury or pain}

 

It seems she can’t begin to explain and process the amount of hurt and pain the list of men have caused in her life. It started with a man so called her “father.” He came into her house where she felt safe and comforted and took her just because “you wanted to have us that weekend.” That’s just controlling, not a person who loves his two daughters. Would a loving father let his first born daughter stay in her room all weekend without food or water? She was a little girl who was scared of her step mom’s big dogs. They might not have been big to you but to a young child they were. Would a father let his step son lock his daughter out of her own house and watch as he laughed at her? Would a father just up and leave his family to go be with some other women he barely knew? This was only the beginning of her list.

 

Sophomore year of high school comes. An ex-boyfriend whom she thought she loved. The girl was young and didn’t know any better. She replays the night over and over in her head weeks following the traumatizing event. Standing in the door frame, the drunk guy grabbed her arms pleading for her to come outside. She was terrified. Looking at his friend she yells for him to get the guys hands off of her. Vulnerable and over caring, the young girl dealt with the drunk the rest of the night. Holding his hands, trying to protect him from hurting himself. He kept running into walls. Later she stands in the boys’ bathroom as his two friends demand him to eat the peanut butter sandwich. They sit on the bench. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and then suddenly his face turns green. A green similar to a grass stained football jersey. This was unlike anything the young girl had ever experienced before. Part of her felt that this could not possibly be real life. This night would be permanently implanted into her mind for possibly the rest of her life.

 

A few years pass and she had fallen in love much deeper and harder this time. The young girl reaches the house. He tells her to immediately go to his room. The belligerence cranked to full throttle. She has pushed herself as far into the corner as possible. The door was locked yet she was still frozen with fear. Deep down she believed her boyfriend would protect her but, as for the drunk, the feelings weren’t mutual. Eyeing at the window, thoughts of climbing out pass through her mind. She flashes back to that sophomore night. A man who was supposed to be a father like figure was reminding her more of her actual father. How could someone she loved and cared for so much act this way?

 

Another year or so has come and gone and the young girl was in a completely different stage in her life. Cross legged on the hospital floor, the nurse tries to hand her an Ativan. She refuses. Her emotions have reached overload and she simply just wants to cry. The young girl was ready to go home. This wasn’t the place for her. Alone, frightened, unsure and exhausted, physically and mentally. After repeatedly being told she couldn’t call her mom the social worker appears. They walk to her room. The social worker begins to speak, expressing his concern that she’s assaulted another social worker. Threatened to be sent to jail, tears flow unapologetically. “I would never hurt anyone,” she thought to herself. If this worker knew her in the slightest way, there would be no question of whether she assaulted someone or not.  

 

Now, several months fill the gap of the previous incident and the young girl was in a treatment facility. An ordinary day had turned into the unthinkable. It was like a switch flipped. What seemed to be an innocent bus ride to the gas station turned around to be the unthinkable. With the blink of an eye, the man at the rear of the bus shouts. Upset over something so little and out of his control. Turning around showing his butt for everyone to see. The bus pulls up to main campus and the young girl flies off as quickly as possible. Climbing over people and backpacks. She had done her best to fight back tears. Now the flood gates had opened. Shaking and hysterical the young girl was unsure what to do with herself. There was no way she could get back on that bus. She wanted to be as far away from that man as possible. Disoriented the young girl nearly flipped over the front railing of the bus.

 

Relaxing on the couch after a fun filled night at the museum her friendly giant didn’t seem so friendly anymore. The insults and hurtful words fly. Processing the events became seemingly impossible. What just happened? How could someone she cared for so deeply and thought of as a sweet, harmless soul say such damaging words. She was frozen with a surmount of raw fear and shock. The young girl felt numb. Sitting in the nurse’s office, the previous moments slurred together. Flashbacks from childhood issues come flying back. She’s hit a wall. Unable to hold it all in the young girl has become a complete mess. The day’s makeup and salty tears stream down her face. She no longer felt comfortable. Sitting in a chair facing several important people on her treatment team, what tiny bit of self-confidence she thought she was gaining back had been wiped away.  

 

Each incident added a brick to her crumbling backpack. The bag was torn and her body slouched over. The young girl desperately craved to divorce the load but it was as if the backpack was permanently attached. There was no escape. Each block of hardened clay brought reoccurring dreams and extreme resistance towards any male species. The young girl converses with her best friend explaining how she had reached a point where the thought of being touched with a 100-foot pole by a man sickened her. Then the image appears in her head. The Grinch. Her view of men could not be explained any clearer than this. The only difference between the Grinch in Whoville and the young girl’s Grinch was that she had multiple. Not only did she have several but these monster like creatures’ hearts never grew. The young girl has carried this backpack nearly her entire life. As the years passed the load grew heavier and her weak body crumpled even more. But this lifestyle was about end. The young girl had had enough of being controlled by these horrific moments. It was time to take back over her life. She was excited yet terrified.

 

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

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New year. New adventures.

“And suddenly you know… It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – unknown

 

{new year :// the first day or few days of a year in any various calendars}

 

2016 was rapidly coming to an end and in turn 2017 was just around the corner. Emotions and memories flooded the young girl as she reflected on her year. Her life had been flipped completely upside down but she wouldn’t have had it any other way. 2016 was a year exploring and discovering herself. By no means was the journey easy but it was well worth the tears, sleepless nights and broken boundaries of comfort zones. The young girl reflected on all that the year was but her wheels were already turning for the new year.  

 

She sat in the oversized, cozy chair with a warm cup of tea in hand and closed her eyes imagining all that this new start had to offer. A wave of nervous yet excited anticipation washed over her. Shortly after the holidays came to a close, classes would begin and she would be on her path to a business management degree. Slightly unsure if this is the path intended for her to take the young girl was willing to dip her toes back into the water. The coming days would consist of learning the ropes of a new job, studying intensely and balancing the monster in between. She also imagined expanding her writing skills. Composing a book of her mental illness journey, raising awareness and breaking down stigmas. An abundance of florals and photography flooded her “free” time bringing pure joy and happiness to the people around her. A quaint little apartment with her best friend and a space to call her own. Little touches of her style scattered across the living space. She would travel to new places and experience new things. Exploring the world and following her Jesus more and more. There were more runs to be had and longer meditations to lose herself in. The young girl could conjure up dreams all day.    

 

A new year meant endless opportunities to grow and learn. In a way it felt kinda scary and overwhelming but the young girl knew she had a fantastic team behind her. With a little bit of tea and a whole lot of Jesus the young girl was ready to tackle the next chapter of her story.

 

Isaiah 43:18-19 – Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Complete Chaos

“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” -Anne Frank

 

{tumult:// highly distressing agitation of mind or feeling; turbulent mental or emotional disturbance}

 

Future plans. Comparisons. Triggers. Hurtful past. Sadness. It all filled her head. A bombardment of information. Where was she to begin? How do I break this down? Do I write or pray? Or do I just need to be still?

 

Her blinders are up and the negativity swarms like a mass of bees. She is consumed by what her life might fail to be. The voice of the young girl’s evil monster was shouting louder than ever. Feeding her continuous fabrications and mendacity. They wouldn’t stop. There’s a deep pain in her heart. It’s as if she is suffocating. Her physical body decaying in response to her lack of healthy emotional well being. She’s stuck in a whirlwind similar to the tazmanian devil. Shutting down seems like a reasonable option but there’s a part inside of her not wanting to go back into that devious black hole. The fight was still in her.

 

Emotional mind must be shut off and this swirling energy flipped around. The young girl knows she can’t do this alone. Each time she has attempted to fight alone she’s failed miserably. Her higher power was in control. The young girl needed to fully release the monster and allow Jesus to do His mighty work. That tiny ounce of fight was her trust. She needed more prayer and less worry. More scripture reading and less mindless talking. The young girl crosses a scripture that boldly catches her eye…

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

   neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

   so are my ways higher than your ways

   and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

 

Rereading this passage, she encrypts it into her mind. Each word uniquely soaking into her heart. She feels comforted and a sense of relief. Her father is with her wherever she goes. Let His voice be louder than the monsters. Allow His compassion and love outweigh her own troubled thoughts. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds the young girl that Jesus has a beautiful plan for her life. The chaos will soon slide away and be gently replaced with hope and prosperity.

 

Matthew 28:20 “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of age.”

World Travel

“I travel not to cross countries off a list, but to ignite passionate affairs with destinations.” -the cultureur

 

{fernweh:// an ache for distant places, missing a place you’ve never been, urge to travel}

 

A fire burned inside her soul. This overwhelming passion and desire. A longing for something she had never seen before. 7 continents. 50 states. National Parks. Wonders of the World. Palaces and Cathedrals. State Capitals. The young girl was going to conquer it all. Hiking wondrous mountain peaks and backpacking through swirling trails. Relishing in decadent cuisines. Back country roads listening to the gravel beneath the tires. Cozy cottages in quaint little towns. Fresh cultures and distinct languages. Runs from block to block in an unknown city. Long hammock naps swaying in the trees of the jungle. Floating down a river nestled between the foothills. Safari tours and boat rides. Various forms of transportation. Spiced up festivals and dressed up galas. Possibilities are limitless. The destinations she chooses vary in reasoning but one thing remains.

 

Her God has created a magnificent, indescribable world and the young girl’s desire to embrace it as much as she can is uncontrollable. She believes there is much to learn from the universe. The young girl’s Father has sent her to make disciples of all nations. He knows what all she has to offer but the truth will be unveiled in His creation. It is her duty to shine Jesus’ light to as many souls she can. As much as others learn from her, she will gain twice the amount. Her camera full of speechless photos but the memories and feelings in her head, incomparable. She journals her experiences and gathers souvenirs.

 

Passport in one hand and plane ticket in the other. An airport busier than a small town. The young girl slings the loaded backpack over her shoulder and heads towards a terminal. Security was a breeze and the utter excitement could barely be contained. A passenger service agent’s voice comes over the intercom. Boarding will begin in ten minutes. Starbucks rests parallel to the terminal. She grabs her fruity tea and light snack. A quick prayer before take off. Prayer for safety and the coming days ahead. Prayer that the fire in her soul will spread like wildfires. Prayer for the future masses she encounters. Prayer for the land and the community. A quote comes to mind. “We must have adventures in order to know where we truly belong.” This is her new adventure. She is now His disciple.

 

Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

I Dream Of…

“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and actions louder than your words.” – unknown

I dream of a farmhouse. A farmhouse with a large open kitchen and a spacious farm sink. Mini fridge in the island for kiddos.  A farmhouse with beautifully stained hardwood floors and a large rustic farm table. Fresh cut flowers rest on the counter. Shiplap covers the walls. A master suite and bathtub for bubble baths to end long, tiring days. French doors and cool colors. Office/craft room filled with endless supplies. Chalkboard paint and wooden crates.  A white wrap around porch with rocking chairs waiting to be sat in. Oversized porch swing. Wide land for farm animals to wander and a luscious green garden. Vegetables, cows, chickens, fruit, and goats. Dogs chasing butterflies and rolling in mud. The barn sits off in the distance. Spacious patio for entertaining. Walk down the gravel path; reach the labyrinth. This is a safe haven.

I dream of a family. Mommy. Momma. Wife. Honey. Children running around barefooted. Climbing into treehouses and dressed up for tea parties. Husband and friends huddled around the tv hollering over football. Honey Do lists. Proverbs 31. Family dinners around the table. Extracurriculars. Traditions. A husband that takes me just as I am. Imperfections and all. A husband with an infatuation for Jesus larger than I. One that my soul loves. Homework and bills scattered across the counter. Family movie nights with buttery popcorn and nectarous treats. Beach trips and Disney World. Blessing before dinner. Strands of popcorn and cranberries cover the freshly picked Christmas tree. Wintery snuggles. Pumpkin carving and pudding jumping. Bed sheet forts and picnics. Laughter and memories fill the home.

I dream of a flower shop and café. French meets Country. Pictures of lavender fields and fresh sweets line the walls. Banana bread and tea cakes fill the glass case. A place where people gather happily and share coffee and laughter. A place where men and women come to pick out pulchritudinous arrangements for their lover just because. Large windows to gaze out at the city and watch the world go by. A patio filled with seating to absorb the rich environment. A “mug wall” where regulars hang their favorite cup to use when they need comfort from a warm drink. Endless tea and coffee combinations. A booming business that allows us to give back to the world. Open floor plan but a distinct separation between perennials and confectionery.  Arrangement bar meshed with sacchariferous aroma. Succulents and java beans stuff the room.

I dream of a profession that I deeply enjoy. Making a difference in children’s lives by bring education and psychology together. A field designed to break down barriers and stigma of special needs. Bringing financial stability and providing my share to the family. A job that is more than something I love. Empowering young minds of future world leaders. Fluent in sign language. Watching them grow and learn even when kids don’t realize it. A classroom becomes a second home. Not just to me but for the kids also. Students become scientists, historians, authors, explorers, creators, and thinkers. Bright smiles light up the room. My creative side and motherly intuition comes out.    

I dream of traveling. Setting foot on all seven continents. Reaching all 50 states and embracing the freedom of my country. Standing under the Eiffel Tower breathless and riding elephants in Thailand. Embracing each adventure. Expanding my palette with delightful new cuisines. Snapping thousands of photos capturing each moment. Road trips and flights. Check off another box on the bucket list. Camping in the mountains. Log cabin tucked away in the woods. London. Tokyo. DC. Oregon. Australia. Great Lakes. I want to see it all.

I dream of a never ending relationship with Jesus.  Constant prayer. Alone time with Him. Striving to become more the King. Comfort knowing that it is all in God’s hands. Church family. Bible studies. Faith. Hope. Commitment. I am a friend of Jesus and a child of God. He created me in His image. All of my sins are forgiven. Finding strength. Tackling life one day at a time but by the side of My Father.

I dream of writing. A book of life lessons. Blossoming blog. Getting lost in other’s words. The freedom of expressing myself without judgement or fear. Pen meets paper. Typing for hours. Journals and books piled high every corner you turn. At times there’s no other way to get the message across.

I dream of good health. Crossing the finish line of that marathon. Thrilling. Running and yoga. Mental and physical; equally important. Appointments. “Me” time. Balance. Daily meditation and positive vibes. Health is more than just fruits and veggies. It is a lifestyle. Filling my body with water.

I dream of an education. Graduation. Fluency in world languages. Psychology and Special Education. Expanding my knowledge. Learning new information. It does not stop after college. Growth in every day. Fun classes just because. Knowing that there is always something new out in the world.

I dream of changing the world. Spreading kindness and affection. Making that slight difference in giving others hope. Small steps in making our country a better place. Fill it with love not hate. Random acts of kindness.  

I dream of adopting. Becoming a child’s forever home. Incorporating their background with mine. Flipping their world upside down. One less orphan. Building a family. “I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” -the alchemist

I dream of dreams.

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13