Category Archives: God

An Honest Inventory, A Worrisome Result

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Although I have a degree in Psychology and love the field immensely, I am not such a fan of labels.  First of all, I don’t think we all fit inside the parameters of any one box.  Our personalities and experiences differ greatly so there is no way that one size fits all.  Plus, I believe that when we label ourselves and/or allow ourselves to be labeled by others we fall into the pit of self-fulfilling prophesies which often times cause us to unconsciously begin to live in accordance with whatever label(s) we impose upon ourselves and/or accept from others.

Lately though, I have found myself often asking the question, “What’s wrong with me?”  And, as somethings have been brought to my attention and as I’ve taken some steps back to examine certain life pattens, I have learned that there may be a name for a particular set of  some maladaptive, repetitive behaviors that I struggle with.  I think this is significant because I need to uncover the “what” so I can deal with the “why”…which will help me deal with the “how to”, (hopefully) overcome and find healing and freedom.

So I recently read some information for this organization called Sex and Loves Addicts Anonymous that describes itself as “a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition oriented Fellowship based on the model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. S.L.A.A. is open to anyone who knows or thinks they have a problem with sex addiction, love addiction, romantic obsession, co-dependent relationships, fantasy addiction and/or sexual, social and emotional anorexia.”

I have never been a fan of 12-step programs as I don’t feel as though that particular method is right for me, but I was looking at their website for information and came across a self-diagnostic tool that I thought I would explore.

Below is a self-diagnostic type of  inventory that I took; I answered each question as honestly as I possibly could.  Here’s what I came up with.  It’s bitterly shameful (I may soon delete this post) but I wonder if anyone can relate to this or has opinions about this particular topic.

I don’t know if this is something that I need to do work on or not.  As a Christian, I genuinely feel that God is my ultimate Healer and that I just need to keep trying to give it all to Him.  However, some of the questions on this inventory hit frightfully close to home.  I don’t know what to think…
The fact of the matter is, I’m not a ho!  In the past, when I have been with men that I believed that I truly loved my sexual experiences were nothing short of cosmic.  When I think that I love a man and we have sex, I feel like it’s often this out-of-body, mystical experience and that our souls are completely intertwined in a way that’s hard to express with mere words.  And when I think I love a man I love him with my whole being…. The thought of being with anyone else makes me sick.
Unfortunately, I’m beginning to see that what I thought was love in my past relationships wasn’t love at all.  As a matter of fact, I question whether I’ve ever experienced true love.  Wild, unbridled passion and addiction to toxic people is not love.  I know that now.  I just don’t know which way to go now.
I'm just a few steps away...

I’m just a few steps away…

I don’t want to cut myself off from love and be one of those cynical ol’ man haters.  I don’t think that’s God’s will for me because I know that to be a true man hater I’d have to truly hate men.  I don’t.   Plus, I don’t think I’d be a very good, stereotypical cat lady because I do not like cats at all.

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Away Too Long

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ASHAMED.  GUILTY.  REGRETFUL.  FOOLISH.  LOST.  EXHAUSTED.

Well, here I am.  I’m back.  I wonder if you remember your ol’ pal Ava?  It’s only been 262 days since my last post.  I guess you could say that I’ve been a bit distracted and preoccupied since I last wrote.  Okay… Maybe obsessed and consumed are better ways to describe why I’ve abandoned my beloved WordPress family.  I doubt you guys even noticed I was gone, but in truth, I have really missed connecting with you as you mean more to me than you may ever know. 

Folks, I love writing more than you can imagine.  I sometimes struggle, more than I’d like, with devastating feelings of  inferiority and am, beyond the shadow of a doubt, my own worst critic, so it’s significant when I tell you that writing is something that I know I do well.  I know that it’s a gift that God lovingly bestowed upon me and I feel so connected to Him and wholly alive when I write.  So naturally, I don’t do it like I should or want to.  I mean, I am codependent after all and am typically consumed with fixing and serving maladaptive people and simply don’t nurture the things that are edifying to “me”.  I am self-sabotaging and sometimes downright self-destructive,  so it stands to reason that I am not going to do anything that would build me up, right? 

Now, you all know, if you know me at all that brevity is not a strength I possess.  I am too wordy.  I don’t know when to shut up.  I am uncomfortable with awkward silences and feel the need to fill the void with verbal vomit.  Admittedly, my posts are usually way too long.  This one won’t be too bad, so fear not.   Just know that I am having a hard time finishing anything I start as of late.  I feel that I just “need” to submit one post, connect with you, and get myself back into the habit.  It’s imperative.  This is becaus, there are people in my life who–despite my best efforts–did not get the memo about my awesomeness.  My Dad is one such person.  There is nothing that I will ever be able to do or say that will change his pervasively low opinion of me; for some reason, he just cannot see my heart.  You however, see my heart!  You’ve seen my filth, you’ve heard me bitch and moan, and you’ve watched me making colossal mistakes BUT you loved me in spite of that.  That’s major!

Several of you like Grandpappy Sky, Diane, Rod Arters, Arlene the Queen, Sabrina, and Scott Williams  I feel like I know personally.  You make me feel cherished, and I certainly cherish you.  You all inspire me to be a better version of myself.  I dearly love you and am so thankful for your presence in my life as it has served great purpose.  I am going through some struggles that I am working on harder than I think I’ve ever worked on anything.  I have been in bondage for so many years, particularly where my need for love and approval from unloving, disapproving men are concerned.   I have been addicted to sex and love.  Guys want to f@#k me senselessly, but they don’t want to commit to me and they sure as hell don’t want to fight for me. 

I officially reached the end of me and surrendered everything to God with my “entire” soul about 4 days ago.  Before that, the devil was whispering (more like screaming) lies into my ear… again.  When the bottom fell out a little over two weeks ago the fear that I was going to end up just like my mother, dead by my own hand at a young age, was in my face like never before.   After all, we seem to be twin souls.  Moreover, I can still envision the look on my father’s face and hear the sincere disgust in his voice when he’d say, “You’re just like your mother.”   I grew up thinking that being like her was an awful thing.  I’m not so sure it was though…

 I love the Lord more words could ever express and when I make a promise to Him, I take it seriously.  Therefore, I simply will “not” make a promise to God that I know that I cannot or may not keep.  With that, I am fasting from sex, including getting my freak on with myself, which I don’t mind telling you, “I quite enjoy.”   My power tools are about to be locked in my attic.  I am also fasting from booze, which makes me do really, really regrettable things that are out of character for me when I am feeling emotionally fragile and vulnerable. 

I was seeing this guy for about a year.  I stayed too long in the relationship (more later on that).  I could have walked away with my dignity, but “no”.  I did not.  I am fasting from my addiction, not to him, but to what he represents in my head as I have recognized that he, like so many before him, are mere symptoms of the root cause of my problem.  He was just a personification of some really old, deeply repressed shit that I never really knew existed in me.  Nevertheless, all lines of communication (e.g. text messages, phone calls, Facebook, etc) have been blocked and I will not make any attempt to communicate with him in any fashion.  The only reason I have the strength to do this is simply because of my affection for God and desire for Him to be number one in my life.

Enough is enough. The journey that I am embarking on with God is not going to be easy for me.  However, I am afraid that if I do not overcome it, that I may die.  I do not want to die.  So I’m fighting harder than ever this time. 

My goal is to write about what God is revealing to me, at least over the course of the next month, particularly since I am in the Word like I have honestly never been in my entire life…  I hope you’ll stick around and listen to me get honest about my not-so-pretty, insanely unflattering junk.  I believe that pain and the human will to survive is universal, so I’m betting that you may see yourself in some of my stuff. 

Nevertheless, I just want you to know that I love you… and that I’m so thankful for you.  I pray that you’re all still out there.  As it stands, I am feeling a bit:

ASHAMED.  GUILTY.  REGRETFUL.  FOOLISH.  LOST.  EXHAUSTED.

 

If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right!

-Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

 

Refuting the Lie: How I Fought Depression and Kicked its Ass for Good!

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Dear Friends,

Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of legendary writer, is one of the most fascinating people on the planet, in my humble opinion.  My life has been extraordinarily impacted by my mother’s suicide.  It rocked my world to the core.  However, I have had to carry the burden of just one suicide.  One is certainly enough, but Mariel has experienced at least 7, that she is aware of.  I simply cannot imagine how one could bear so much.

The most frightful thing about suicide in my immediately family for me was the terror and the gut-wrenching, incessant feeling of impending doom that suicide was my fate.  I saw it as this sort of tangible darkness that was just waiting in the rafters to eat me alive.  I thought I couldn’t get away from it…ever  And, do you know how many health professionals  told me that my risk of suicide was dramatically increased because of my mother’s suicide?  Why?  Why did so many people tell me this?  I mean, had any of them ever heard of the term self-fulfilling prophecy?

I don’t mind going on record to tell you that the majority of this blog has been dedicated to gloom and doom.  I’m sincerely sorry for that and thankful for the support that you all so beautifully and unselfishly gave me. I honestly don’t even know how long it’s been since my last post.  Do you know why?  It’s entirely because I am blissfully well and happy for the first time in my entire life.   I experienced true healing: body, mind, and soul.  I have truly been delivered and set free from the bondage of unspeakable fear.

My depression had been present since March of 2010 when a remarkably tough and insanely unfair even happened in my life.  However, from October 2012-March 2013, I was in the grips of a severe and seemingly unyielding clinical depression.  I was literally at the precipice of death.  I could barely get out of bed to use the restroom.  My hygiene even suffered.  Bar none, it was the bottom of the bottom for me.  I could barely make a fist at times.  And I was so scared.  I have never been more afraid, particularly for my children.

I fought like hell to get well.  I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my entire life.  A immeasurable part of the healing process came from the work I did at Onsite Workshops, in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee.  You can bet that I will write much more about this remarkably amazing, cathartic, mystical place… Right now, however, I just want you to know that I am no longer afraid.  I no longer live in constant, crippling fear and anxiety.  I know that I am NOT  now nor will I ever be a statistic.

I am no longer depressed.  I keep ahead of depression spiritually by praying, meditating, simplifying, expressing abundant gratitude, and not allowing myself to cultivate negative thoughts.  I work overtime to think positive, life-giving thoughts.  I keep ahead of depression emotionally by truly loving and honoring myself, avoiding toxic people who are psychic vampires, not allowing anyone to abuse me in any fashion, setting and keeping healthy boundaries, and by focusing on the people who have eternal significance in my life (as opposed to those who seek to harm me).  And I keep ahead of depression physically by putting healthy, non-processed foods in my body (particularly fresh fruits and vegetables), taking my Juice Plus+ (which I never intend to live without again), and exercising regularly in a way that I love and enjoy.

NO ONE, AND I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO ONE “HAS” TO ALLOW ANY SORT OF MENTAL ILLNESS TO DEFINE THEM.

I think that each and every one of you should watch this short video. It would sincerely mean so much to me if you did.  We all need to become advocates for those suffering in silence with mental illnesses and/or addiction.  It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kov2ZHrA04w

All my love,

Ava Elizabeth Wisdom 

How in the NAME OF GOD Did It Come to THIS?

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IT REALLY IS A SLOW, SLOW, FADE.

(THINK IT CAN’T HAPPEN TO YOU? THINK AGAIN)

 

How does a person go from living a wonderful life that is filled with love and beauty and is something that they are PROUD of to feeling like they are merely existing in a deep, dark pit? Well, it sure doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow fade .
 
You may be on FIRE for the Lord one day, but before you know it you may wake up and feel like God is so far away that you may never be able to find Him again. Of course, we know God NEVER leaves us. But how and why do we leave God? The answer lies in this picture.
 
little mermaid
 
Remember these eels from the Little Mermaid? Their names were Flotsam and Jetsam. The terms Flotsam and Jetsam are nautical terms that essentially refer to unwanted garbage that is floating around the sea.
 
Now reflect on the behavior of the evil eels from the Disney movie. First of all, they had a clear, strategically planned agenda. Second, although they were vile and wicked creatures, they didn’t jump out and scare Arielle nor did they pursue her with a chainsaw or an ax. Rather, they were patient and sly. The were smart, alluring, seductive, and convincing. They lied, made false promises, and soon had Arielle, who once feared them, convinced that the life she had was not good enough…and that she could have the desires of her heart if she would just follow them. 
 
Arielle’s greatest mistake was leaving the people who loved her behind and venturing off in secret…all alone and wholly unprepared, while she was vulnerable and desperate. Had the good people from Atlantis been with her she would have never wound up in the grips of Ursula, the sea witch.
 
In the same way, this is exactly what Satan does to us.  He very slowly and provocatively convinces us that what we have is not enough. He uses deception and Jedi-mind tricks to entice us into believing that greener pastures are just around the corner. He is cunning and mesmeric and makes that thing or person which is off limits to us appear beautifully enchanting and scintillating.
 
He did it to Eve in the Garden of Eden. At the time she was residing in Paradise with God Himself AND her beautiful husband. She TRULY had everything she could have ever needed or wanted BUT…somehow Satan managed to convince her that God was holding out on her. Thanks Eve for jacking it up for the rest of us {she was undoubtedly a blonde!!}  Did he con her in front of God? No. Did he con her in front of her husband? No. She was all alone…unsuspecting and unarmed.
 
Satan cannot harm us when we put on the Full Armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-18) nor can he do it when we are in intimately tight, AUTHENTIC relationships with other believers! In order to get us to the destination he desires he first must isolate us…ALWAYS.
 
He takes his sweet time doing it. He is so smooth and I patient that you may honestly have no idea what is happening to you… Satan can make a hideous, rotting, infected, and infested corpse look like the most captivating, beautiful creature you have ever laid eyes on. So that thing or person that is off-limits to you will literally cause you to become absolutely spellbound.
What you THOUGHT you saw.....
What you THOUGHT you saw…..
 
Your eyes WILL deceive you and your mind will play tricks on you as you lose all sense of reason. Eventually, your desire for that which is forbidden will become insatiable until at long last, it overtakes you! Once you’ve sunk your teeth into the object of your affection, the lights FLASH on!
 
PSYCH! Not REAL! {sucks to be you!}
PSYCH! Not REAL! {sucks to be you!}
 
 
In the dark what you were chasing was SO beautiful. When the lights come on though everything suddenly comes into perspective and you realize that you are in a rat-invested dungeon staring wildly into the eyes of a rotten corpse… And guess what, Boo? What you had before, which you realize now was the purest, most beautiful gift from God… that place that you left to pursue the corpse… Well, it might not be there anymore when you want more than anything in the world to go back to the beautiful place you callously and foolishly walked away from to chase a rotting, rancid corpse.
 
Oops! {Maybe the lighting was just bad...}
Oops! {Maybe the lighting was just bad…}
 
So Beloved, do everything in your power to protect yourself…Be vigilant and on guard at all times because the enemy of your soul is hiding in the shadows waiting to devour you. Stay close to God and other believers EVERY day….and never, ever allow yourself to become ISOLATED.

Nostalgia and a Longing for Simpler Days…

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Dear Friends,

My oldest son, Jeremiah is having some intense emotional struggle right now that I am not even up for writing about.  If you wouldn’t mind, I sure would like to humbly ask that you pray for him; he is 16.

 

Tonight I was going to leave a video on the wall of his Facebook to cheer my boy up and inspire him.  This song always made me giggle and I simply love the message.  Add to that, I’ve been over the moon for Frank Sinatra for as long as I can remember.  I love his music.  Of course, I love old-school music in general.  My favorites include Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole, just to name a few.

 

I’d like you to view the following video and note how it somehow lifts your spirits, regardless of what kind of mood you’re in:

 

 

Now, riddle me this, Batman? How can one be in a depressed or anxious state of mind and hear this song without smiling and feeling just a little bit better than you did before you heard it? And how profound is the message of this song?

 

This snappy, upbeat tune was introduced in the movie, “A Hole in the Head” starring the late, great Frank Sinatra, circa 1959! We are talking about 54 years ago!  One must reflect on the simplicity of the world during those times; which were inarguably just not that long ago.

 

I grieve for my beloved America, as we seem to be given over to abundant chaos and such confusingly busy lifestyles that we, much more often times than not, miss out on the simple things in life; the most important and the most eternal things.

 

 Unmanageable stress is literally subtracting years from our lives.  MOST importantly, our children, many living in low-income, single-parent homes are confused and brokenhearted to say the very least.

 

Once upon a time we yearned for scientific progress, which to me, simply equated to us having access to more luxurious “things” and “things” that we thought would make our lives more convenient and somehow more valuable. Well, that certainly has worked out well for us, hasn’t it?

Oh, how I really do miss the old days.  I miss the old console TV sets that had rabbit ears and only a few channels; the ones you had to get out of your seat and turn the dial until you found a program you wanted to watch or could get reception on.  I miss my Disco 8-track tapes, and my cardboard box of a portable record player that played 45’s  and LP’s (33’s). 

 

 

 I miss playing outside, getting dirty, drinking from the water house, peeing on the side of the house so you didn’t have to go in your house and take a chance of getting hounded by your folks about something, and  I sure did enjoy catching crawdads in the creek behind my house.  I miss those things and so much more.

 

More than anything, I miss the family time we all shared day in and day out.  I miss those sit-down, delicious, gravy-invested dinners we shared as a family “at the kitchen table.”  I miss waking up early every Sunday morning to the smell of my grandmother’s cookin’, which literally made me jump right of bed; I was somehow seduced by the aroma of breakfast. 

 

We did the same things every Sunday.  We had our yummy, Southern breakfast, got dressed nicely, hopped in the car, and went to Sunday School “and” church.  I never tried to negotiate with my grandmother about going to church nor did I ever complain and tell her I was too tired to go.  It was part of our established routine.  It’s just what we did.  And after church my grandmother either “fixed” an extravagant lunch or we went to eat at Furr’s Cafeteria.  Mind you, retail stores and most businesses were closed on Sundays then.  Today, Chick-Fil-A is the only business that I can honestly think of that unapologetically closes on Sundays because of the corporations unshakable faith, values, and public desire to please God.

 

Yes, I miss those simpler days.  Praise God, I have so many memories to cherish.  I’m thankful for these beautiful memories and for my Godly upbringing! What about you? 

 

Do you think that as we move closer and closer to end times that the world is becoming increasing dark, chaotic, and depraved or is this all in my head?  I’d love to hear your feedback and opinions (that’s my polite way of telling you that you’d better chime in! lol!)

All my love,

Ava

drinking from the hose

kid peeing outside

tire swing

catching crawdaddies

dirty kids

mud pies

ice cream truck

sprinkler

family prayer

big wheel

I Am More…

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Things are looking up!  As a matter of fact, things are looking WAY up!  Why?  ONLY…I repeat…ONLY because of Jesus.  I’m tired now but my next post is going to be a doozy!  Brace yourselves!  God has revealed SO many things to me that I hardly know where to start explaining!  I love you guys!!!

The Sky Is Falling…

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It’s been well over 70 days since I’ve written.  I know this because I’ve been counting the days…one day at a time.  I’ve wanted…no, I’ve needed to write but my fingers have just been paralyzed.  I guess things really got hard back on October 21st.  I tried to write about that day but to date, what I did write is unfinished and is just looming in my drafts folder.

I have loved writing on this darn blog.  I have come to believe that no one truly cares about anyone nowadays, but somehow you all….strangers to my world…have managed to make me feel so significant, so valued, and so loved.  I will never be able to thank you enough for that.

I don’t even know what to say…and I don’t even know if anything that I say really matters.  But I hope that somehow I can touch your heart and let you know that you are loved… I love you.  Even though most of us have never met, we are all brothers in sisters in the Body of Christ… We are family and we will someday get to spend eternity together.  So you matter to me…  You matter so much.

I am NOT looking for pity or attention and I want you to know that I am NOT a victim.  I just want to put that disclaimer out there before I write anymore.  However, I want you to know that, for me, the sky IS falling.  My life has been a house of cards and somehow I have always managed to hold everything together and give the illusion that I was happy and complete.  I wore that mask so well for so long.  The house of cards is falling down.  I’m afraid I’ve run out of tricks.  My charade is up and at this point, it seems everyone knows that I am a joke.

I was a Psychology major and I minored in Counseling.  I know the DSM-IV-TR quite well.  I was on a research team with graduate students and have devoted my life, and my studies to studying human behavior, especially since my Mother’s suicide.  In my studies I gravitated more toward abnormal psychology, and have always had a deep interest and passion for the ugly part of psyc….the pathology, I guess you could say.  Also, I’ve spent years studying the human brain and have become very knowledgeable in the neuro-psyc part of things…  I wholeheartedly believe that the human brain is the last, great, uncharted frontier in the realm of Science.  There is SO much that we don’t yet know… And I pray that Science will progress in a direction that takes a more physical approach to human behavior and issues of mental health. 

I have pondered the Nature vs. Nurture debate deeply.  I have researched it well… and have personally arrived at the conclusion that it’s both.  However, I would tend to say that the “nurture” part of things has the greatest impact.  In essence, I subscribe quite a bit to John Locke’s theory of Tabula Rasa, which as you probably know means that we are born a blank slate.  I know that this isn’t entirely true, but I think it’s mostly true.

I think babies are the closest thing to Heaven… Really, I think this about ALL children in general.  There is nothing more pure and precious than a childNothing.  And I know that Jesus Himself feels the exact same way. 

I can‘t make sense of the world we’re living in these days.  What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary has greatly affected me.  But the reality is that children are abused in a myriad of fashions all over the globe… constantly.  What’s more, most of the time they are abused, neglected, and/or abandoned by the people who were supposed to love them the most… and to protect them with every fiber of their being. 

The world is a nasty, depraved place and honestly, I don‘t know why we continue to have children knowing full well that we are living in End Times.  I compare my generation to my kid’s…and to my Mother’s…and for GOD sakes, my precious Grandparent’s.  It unraveling and changing so fast that I can hardly process it.  Our country, which WAS founded on GOD has, I’m afraid, become an abomination to Him as I KNOW it has become an abomination to the rest of the world.  I fear that God’s blessing is vanishing from our land…  He flooded the world once and I have to wonder, “Was it even half as depraved now as it was then?”  I ponder Bible stories that my grandmother used to tell me about Sodom and Gomorrah… but see, I know NOW that those weren’t just “stories“.  Do we as a nation think that we are invincible from God Himself?  Jonah tried to outrun God and he wound up in the belly of a whale.  How much longer is God going to tolerate the depravity of our culture?  I just really wonder.

I am not well right now.  I fear that I may be losing my mind somehow.  I am absolutely terrified beyond words, but I am finding that I have not been able to escape this perpetual downward spiral that I am wildly riding.  My depression is beyond anything I could explain…and probably beyond anything anyone would be able to understand.  I feel powerless and I feel utterly paralyzed.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but for me, hope is just not on the horizon.  I’m trying to fight but I’m very weak and I’m very tired.  My whole life has been a fight.  I will be 40 in January and NEVER in my wildest dreams could I have EVER imagine that I would be here.  I’m embarrassed, I’m morbidly humiliated, and shame and guilt are just killing me.

I have somehow managed to isolate myself from the world and the outcome has not been good.  The ONLY hope that I have is in Jesus,  but for the LIFE of me I cannot feel Him right now.  I am reduced to an absolute shell of the vibrant, charismatic woman I once was…  I don’t have much left.  So with every ounce of my soul I humbly beg that you pray for me and my boys.  Please intercede in my weakness.  Please beg God to help me survive and see my way out of all this.  I want you to know that I love my children more than anything on this Earth.  They are the reason I draw breath…  They are my whole entire world and I am so afraid that I am somehow failing them.  GOD HELP ME!

I have honestly never felt this way in my entire life and again, I’m just overtaken with complete terror.  There is a neuro doc whose primary practice is in San Francisco.  His name is Dr. Daniel Amen.  I have followed his work for years and know some incredibly reputable people who deeply believe in his work.  His clinic does brain scans that give CONCRETE answers to what is going on with a patient’s mental health.  That‘s what I want…of course I could never afford it.  But still,  I want CONCRETE answers.  Something is totally NOT right with my freaking brain.  I adore my counselor and my doctors too but diagnosing  neurological problems are really just a hit or miss….or a trial and error kind of thing.  I’m SICK of that. 

What happened to my mother HAUNTS me each and every day.  Her depression was real, but no one, INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY  ME ever took her seriously until she was dead.  She lay in her bed for THREE whole days before anyone even found her.  I will NEVER forget what she looked like.  She has the SADDEST look on her face.  My mother was an incredible, beautiful woman but something happened and when she began to deteriorate it  seemed, to me, to happened really fast.  I take this shit seriously and I wish to GOD that the rest of society would too!!  This isn’t something we can just sweep under the damn rug people.  Look, the Sandy Hook incident would more than likely have never happened if someone would have reached out to that young man and taken his issues seriously.

I thank you for giving me a venue to express my heart…  And I thank you in advance for your prayers.  Jesus is not just MY only answer… He is YOUR only answer as well.  Keep your eyes FIXED on Him.  Recognize that He does NOT make rules so that He can be a buzz-kill or because He is just very bossy.  God gives us rules to protect us from our stupid selves!!!  When we disobey Him and veer out in our own direction we are blindly veering out from underneath His Almighty protection.  We just cannot afford to do that anymore, can we?

All my love,

Ava

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?

 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

 I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

 Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

-Psalm 6

WHY?

WHY?

Really?  WHY???

Really? WHY???

Embracing My Role as the Black Sheep of the Family

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I haven’t written much lately.  The things I need to say are too deep and I don’t feel like reliving something that I’m trying to overcome right now.  So, I’ve been expressing myself through various forms of art. 

I made the picture above to express that I am, like it or not, the blackest sheep in my family.  And you know, as much of a pain and the ass as it is to be me sometimes, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

I am anything but ordinary.  Some see my eccentricity, uniqueness, and non-conforming spirit as a weakness.  On the contrary, the gifts I have are what make me an incredibly unique, beautiful soul.

I hope you embrace your uniqueness too.  Praise God for the gifts you were given, and never seek to be anyone but YOU!

All my love,

Ava

God Bless the Child…

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Beloved,

I have been totally absent from WordPress as of late.  The truth is, I have been totally absent from life as of late.  And for the love of God, I honestly started  this blog to inspire people and help them find healing!  That’s what my vision was. And  so lo and behold, would you look at what’s happened?  It’s been all about me.  It’s been YOU that have constantly encouraged and inspired me.  It’s like this:

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees (bastards…ooops!) and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.  -Luke 5:17-19

You see, that’s me…the sick one; the paralyzed one.  I’ve got some pretty phenomenal, devoted friends (like you) who have been carrying my mat for a while now.  While I am so thankful to have that kind of love in my life, I am starting to feel kind of shitty and ashamed.  I don’t want anyone to have to carry my mat anymore.  I really don’t.  I want to be able to carry my own and I want to carry yours, for a change.

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I’m having a rough time right now.  Not surprised, are ya?  It’s the same song I’ve been singing for a little while now…  My circumstances have been hard to bear, but Sunday evening, something happened that truly devastated me to the core, something I’ll write about later.    This week our cell phones were shut off, my power was shut off, and my car has been grounded with nary a drop of gasoline in it.  I got my food stamps this week, so Praise God, we have food to eat, but mind you, I feel like insane white trash every time I swipe that card.  I’m so embarrassed.  Today, I had to borrow a large sum of money from one of my oldest and dearest friends to get “one” of the medications that I’m out of.  And while I’m bitching about everything else, I might as well tell you that I’ve run out of clean underwear and have been going commando for two solid days.  

Now while all of that was the gospel truth, I have to be honest with you.  I don’t want you feeling sorry for me, friend.  What you absolutely have to know if that Ava Elizabeth Wisdom is by no means a victim.  A victim is an innocent person who bad things just happen to.  The victim doesn’t choose to be a victim…it’s out of the realm of their control.

I am not a victim by any stretch of the imagination.  Granted, my childhood sucked ass, like countless other people’s have, but I have to be real with you and confess that I’ve made far to many bad choices in my lifetime.  Most of those choices were made out of pain I didn’t understand and a secret, yet overwhelming desperation to be loved…but there came a time in my life where I knew right from wrong and chose wrong anyway.  

I guess you could say I have always been an experiential learner.  I used to never listen to wise counsel.  I was a rebel to the core, always hiding behind my furious, unbridled anger.  I was hellbent to feel something real…even it was only agonizing emotional pain.  

As a kid I had been violently ignored, ridiculed, and rejected by someone whose affection, approval, and attention I now realize I needed as much as I needed food and water at the time.  However, and I am truly ashamed to report this now, “I think I was pretty successful at making him pay the price for the years of hurt I endured.”  Mind you, I swear to God that I didn’t ever want to hurt him the way he hurt me (or my mom)… not then and not now could I live with myself if I ever (knowingly) hurt that man.  But I will say, I tore his ass up pretty good when I came barreling into my teenage years like a meth-induced bat out of Hades.    Holy God Almighty!  I was the worst, most impossible teenager in the entire world.  Historically, I don’t think anyone in all of North America could have ever compared to me.  Come to think of it, I don’t imagine South America or Africa could have held a candle to me either.

Now in my defense, I do believe want to go on record here and say that I wholeheartedly subscribe to the epistemological theory of tabula rasa.  Notwithstanding, of course, the powerful role that genetics play in our lives.  I do think that we are products of both nature and nurture.  But riddle me this, Batman…

Journey with me for just a minute to the land of make-believe.  Let’s pretend a child is born with a fully-functioning brain (God knows I was not!).  No pathology exists in this child’s brain…  Grandpa wasn’t an alcoholic and didn’t wasn’t out chasin’ women in the honky-tonks, Mom wasn’t bipolar, schizophrenic, nor did she have a history of panic attacks, or the slightest trace of Borderline Personality Disorder…  Daddy hadn’t done  any time in the pen for cooking up bathtub crank either … No family history of pedophilia, and no one’s great-great-great-great grandmother worked a whore in a brothel.  You hear me?  This kid’s brain is legit.  There are no genetic defects.  So, fundamentally, we’re talking about  a quintessential, genetic apotheosis here… (we’re still pretending)

So suppose that  a child is born with this remarkable brain and that she has no genetic predispositions to anything other than

1) Prolific beauty

2)Wicked intelligence…and

3) The disposition of Mother Teresa (mixed with a the slightest bit of my modern-day charisma and savoir faire-Just kidding!).  

Imagine, that someone had this perfect brain.  Now let’s shift gears a bit, shall we?

Imagine that, even though this darling creature is genetically perfect in every way, her mother becomes unhappy with the progression of her potty training and decides to glue her hands to a wall…and beat her…almost to the edge of death (we’re not pretending anymore).

So what about that?  And while we know that there is most likely no chance of the existence of the aforementioned brain that I dreamed up just now, genetically speaking, we do know  FOR CERTAIN that recently, 23-year Elizabeth Escalona, beat her baby girl so severely that there wasn’t a spot on her tiny little body that wasn’t bruised or bleeding.  She pulverized her little girl until the child entered a coma.  Mind you, this didn’t happen in Liechtenstein, Mozambique, or in the South Sandwich Islands that lie off the coast of  freaking Antarctica.  No.  It happened about 30 miles from my home in Dallas, Texas.

I TRUST God to provide SOME sort of healing to this beautiful, precious little girl…  But come on.  How will her little, human heart ever understand or make sense of the fact that her own mother hurt her like this.  

Friends I am very verbose.  As you may have noted by now, I am never at a loss for words.  But what happened to this little girl…  Well, I’ve got the words to talk about what happened…  It’s just that for once I am using what little self-discipline I possess to not write about this more than I have already.  Truly, I want you to know that I have played this scenario out in my head, far too many times.  I am a very visual person and I am also wildly analytic.  

All things considered, let’s just say that my mind has considered all things in regards to this little girl’s case.  I am aghast.  I am veritably horrified and afraid to let my children walk out of my front door.  What kind of depraved world do we live in, people?  What mind could even contrive such an atrocity.  Moreover, what monstrous soul could carry a thing like this out.  

Here’s the thing.  “Glue doesn’t dry instantly.”  It would have taken more than a minute for the glue to dry.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.  If you choose to follow my haunting, gruesome train of thought then I’ll let you go there without any help from me.  I’m just saying, the mother didn’t just snap.  Too much time elapsed to say this wasn’t premeditated, at least in some minute way.

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Now, back to the notion of tabula rasa.  You should know that I do think genetic factors play a substantial role into the development of a human being but I emphatically lean way more toward the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate.  I believe that children-being perfect, innocent gifts from God-are born with a relatively blank state.  It’s also worth mentioning that I was a Psychology major in college.  I’ve studied this issue to no end and hold firm to my beliefs.

Children come to us as these magnificent, blank canvases.  I love that about them.  Children captivate me.  I love them more than life itself.  Their pure, unfettered view of the world and their simple, but sometimes magical expressions of faith rock me to my core.  And have you ever noticed that a child will never debate you on the existence of God?  Never.  They’re wired to believe in what they can’t see nor even begin to understand.  Of course, I think kids are incredibly connected with supernatural things…and the Divine.  They just believe…   It’s magical to witness the faith of a child.  

With that, I don’t mind shifting my gears a bit and letting you know that I’m mad as hell right now.  I’ve been mad as hell for days.  Perhaps, you haven’t sensed my anger up to now… But don’t be fooled.  My lips have been clinched for days and I’m ready to fight.  I’m not kidding, I’m really angry and really on edge right now. I’m sick and freakin’ tired of the maladies that exist in our fallen world and I’m even more tired of the effect that they have on our children.  And at the risk of sounding like a crybaby pee-pee pants, I’m really pissed off about the things that happened to me when I was a child.  It wasn’t fair.  And I still have to fight tooth and nail every day to maintain my sanity and to give my kids any kind of normal life.  I’m bitter about that.  I just feel like things are coming into perspective for me and I am starting to see things for what they are.  

I’m not going to write about this now (I will later) but I got into a bar fight on Sunday.  I’ve never done something like this.  Something happened…something I can’t talk about now.  Long story short, this big ol’ , manly gal, who truly looked like Beth, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife was bullying me.  I was devastated about something that had just happened and she was there to make a complete fool of me and capitalize on my pain.  Now, I’m not a big girl by any stretch of the imagination.  And yes, I was wearing an argyle sweater, some skinny jeans, a cute little headband, and some gold metallic ballerina flats…  It was a biker bar and I suppose I stuck out like a sore thumb, particularly as tears were streaming down my face.  So Big Mama got up in my grill.  I mean, y’all, she really got up in my grill.  

NOTE TO SELF: Think before you engage in hand-to-hand combat! 

She was cursing at me and then I guess she shoved me really hard in my chest.  After she made contact with me… After she put her damn hands on me, it was over.  I was like a Pitbull on PCP with a side of bath salts.  It took several men to break up the brawl.  It’s like all my fury just showed up all at once.  I was told her face was messed up after the incident.  I mean, I didn’t break her nose or anything like that, but I did put a pretty good smack-down on the old broad which was, I think, was a complete shocker to everyone who looked on. Mind you, I hadn’t had a single sip of alcohol.  As a matter of fact, I had just got up from a little nap.  But when she hit me,  I felt like an untamed beast.  I am super lucky because 1) I didn’t have so much as a scratch on me, and 2) I was merely thrown out of the bar and the police weren’t called.  I would have definitely gone to jail if the police had been called.  God was really looking out for me…  Lesson learned, Ava.  

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On a softer less Hell’s Angels-like note, the picture below is me at my 2nd birthday party.  In this picture you can tell I was blissfully happy.  I was living out my little slice of Camelot but I didn’t know it at the time.  All the world was as it should have been for me.  You can’t fake a smile like that!   Who could have known that my perfect little world was about to change forever?  Who could have predicted that the Utopian bubble that I had been flourishing in was going to rupture in less than one year?

Friend, take a second to study my little face.  I was so innocent.  I was so pure.  In overwhelming contrast of how I am today, I was very quiet.  I was also very dainty and delicate.  I was shy and incredibly modest.  Not so much like the career stripper I’d later become.  I guess I always did know how to work a crowd at a birthday party!

   

Nowadays, there are people I know who’d swear that I actually possess a pair of testicles.  I can neither confirm nor deny these suspicions.  What I can say though is that “if I did“, you can bet that they’d be mammoth in size.

I want to make jokes and laugh the heartache away but the truth is, I grieve for the little girl in the picture above…as if she weren’t me at all.  She’s so far gone now, but I remember her.  I remember that she wanted to actually be Wonder Woman.  I remember that when her sisters took a nap-every day-that she would run game with her mom, pretending to be napping too…  In reality she’d quietly go into her room, close the door behind her, and go straight to the bottom drawer of her nightstand.  That bottom drawer contained an exorbitant amount of the most amazing make-up you’d ever bear witness to.  

It was with that make-up that she… “I” would daily transform myself into a beautiful, enchanting princess who had a life like the one I once knew.  A life before the isolation.  Sometimes I would pretend to be a lovely, graceful ballerina.  I would open the top to my cardboard music box and then emulate the little, plastic ballerina by spinning.  I’d spin around and around and around…  I don’t really remember where it was I would go in my head when I was little.  I just know that it was a place where I was happy.  It was a place where I was loved the way my grandmother and grandfather had loved me before my mom got remarried…back when my life was perfect…  Back when my dresses were adorned with like, 500 gazillion  jingle bells that were carefully sewn in just for me… Back when I was the center of my grandparent’s world and nothing else mattered.  

You see, my mom wasn’t able to take care of me when she first had me.  I suppose she was really young and she had  a lot of past hurts and traumas that she had to work through.   So, I lived with my grandparents.  I was the center of their entire existence.  And they were the center of mine…  

My biological father had split when his tenacious sperm cell burrowed its way into my mother’s unprotected egg.    Men tend to fall asleep after they blow their load (it’s actually called the refractory period) and I suspect that my biological dad could have dozed off during the early stages of my meiosis.  But of this I’m certain: the chromosomes hadn’t even had time to split and migrate to opposite ends of the nuclear envelope when that dude jetted and threw us the deuces and all but yelled out, “Peace out, biatches!!” People, I’m talking, the dude left the state to avoid being my dad.  

I wonder if he knew then that he was throwing me to the wolves.  If he had have known, would he have given a rat’s ass?  Nah.  Probably not.  He was a famous DJ in the Dallas area at the time; a hippie with a cult-like following of women.  I think my mother was outside of her damn mind getting involved with him!  He was a wealthy kid from a conservative, VERY Catholic family.  I guess they wouldn’t have mixed well with us.  

My grandaddy was a deacon in the Southern Baptist Church and my grandmother thought that people who raised their hands during worship were loco (I was raised thinking the term  Charismatic mean demonic or something).  She could have never gotten jiggy with confessionals, Hail Mary’s, and incense burning of any sort.  

And as far as I was concerned, the Virgin Mary was the coolest, most honorable chick on the planet.  It’s not like God would have ever chosen me to bear His only Son.  But dude, Mary was certainly all that.  I can’t wait to meet her when I come home to Heaven… But she was just a human.  I’m not going to pray to her.  Yeah, so I guess our families weren’t meant to blend.

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So back to my tabula rasa hoopla and ballyhoo…  I said all “that” so that I can reemphasize that I BELIEVE that  “I” was born a blank slate… a pure-white empty canvas.  I experienced things in my childhood that even those closest to me don’t know today.  But for fuck’s sake….WHY?  Why did these things happen to me when I was just a sweet, trusting, open-hearted little girl.  I’m so mad!  And I’m not feeling sorry for myself because the little girl who I’m defending doesn’t in any way feel like me.  I don’t know where she ended and I began.  

Now you’ve experiencing a lot of unfocused, overly emotional, senseless rambling up until this point.  Hang with me.  If you blew through this post praying that it would end, “That’s OK”.  If you don’t hear anything, hear the rest of this, please.

ALL of the unholy shit that I experienced is NOTHING compared to what some of these other children are going through RIGHT now.  My childhood was marred and maimed by pain, rejection, and abandonment.  However, the reality that I must face is that my life was a freakin’ Marti Gras compared to some of these babies out there in the world right now.  And don’t think they’re far away from you.  The child next door to you could be going through hell right now and you might never know it.

Oh my God!  I want to scream!  I want to kick the living shit out of that mean and nasty bar whore again and I want to scream at the top of my lungs!

I know I can’t go back and save myself, but oh God, I CAN do something for them.  I can help a hurting child today.  It’s so easy to do.  

So (at long last) I end by saying, “God bless the child…”  God bless the child who is suffering in silence.  God bless the child who is alone; that invisible little soul.  God bless the child who is injured or molested by the hands that are supposed to love and protect her.  God bless the child who cries alone in the dark.  God bless the child who is terrified and completely overcome with fear.  God bless the child who doesn’t have enough food to eat.  God bless the child who is cold tonight.  And God bless the child who is only 8-years old and is feeling the weight of being the protector and head of his household because his dad left!  God bless the child…  

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You know, I think to myself, even Adolf Hitler was a baby at one time.  I don’t care what anyone says, he was not born with a bloodthirsty aptitude and a desire to kill millions of innocent people.  I will argue that with anyone all day long.  

What if his early years were different somehow?  Mind you, I’m not saying that he wasn’t a monster as an adult.  There is this invisible line when your childhood ends and your adulthood beings.  That age is different for each and every one of us I suppose.  I think it’s the moment that you consciously accept who you are and what’s happened to you…to the child you once were.  That’s healthy.  But NEVER is it healthy to just accept your circumstances like a punk bitch and say, “It is what it is.  This is just the card that life dealt me.”  Hell no.  That’s not what you do.  You FIGHT…. you FIGHT to get back what was unfairly taken from you.

Look, I’ve come to realize that as much as I hurt for the little girl who was once me…there’s not a damn thing I can do to change the past.  I can’t build a time machine and travel back through the years and stop anything that happened nor can I protect myself,  my sisters, or my Mom.  I would have already done that if it were possible.  

But even though I’m getting old I have learned something profound.  Some would say my epiphanies have come too late in life.  After all, in my head I believe that I am on the cusp of menopause.  Plus, not that long ago I literally had to pull a coarse, gray whisker from my face…  

Anyway, in all seriousness, here’s the message of my heart: While I can’t go back and heal my own heart… And while I can’t go back and save the innocent little girl that I was once was, I can still find complete healing and experience total reformation with the help of my Lord and Savior.  Do you know how?  By loving kids today…  By loving all of them emphatically, like my very life depends on it.  I suppose in a way it does.

I have a particular calling and some crazy gift with emotionally disturbed, broken teenagers.  I can affect so much change in their lives.  I know because I’ve done it.  But I’ve been so depressed and out of touch that I haven’t done it lately.  I’m changing that tomorrow….

What’s YOUR calling when it comes to children?  Your calling may be with boys… or maybe just with girls…  You may identify best with a particular age group.  But please listen to me… I literally beg each and every one of you to find just one child… Find just one child and pour out your love into one of their darling little lives.  

If you’re a man, PLEASE hear me.  I believe that the obvious demise in the state of our nation has everything to do with the breakdown of the traditional, American family.  In Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” I remember vaguely that he said that love was spelled like this: T-I-M-E.   How do we expect a large majority of our fatherless children to lead anyone or anything when they simply have no leaders in their lives to model?  And don’t any of you overzealous single mom’s get up in my grill and start telling me that your kids are fine without a dad.  Bullshit.  I’m tough as nails and I love my kids with a burning, fervent passion.  I have tried to be everything to my boys.  But there is one thing I cannot seem to be: their DAD.

As males and females we each bring unique attributes to the table when it comes to parenting our children.  But we are different.  God did not create a woman to raise her children alone.  Conversely, God didn’t create a man to raise his children alone either.  We need each other   More than anything, our kids need us.  

If you’re like me, you can’t change your circumstances.  I’d LOVE for a knight to ride up on a white horse and save me from the world.  Well, no such knight nor anyone clad in anything that remotely resembles any kind of armor or even aluminum foil has come to call.  Granted, I sleep with a box fan on, so I wouldn’t hear if he came at night.  But there’d at least be traces of horse dung or something.  Right?  He’d leave me a note?   Aye, aye, aye…. I joke, but the truth is, he’s never come.  And I can’t bank on the fact that he ever will.

But about these kids….DO SOMETHING.  Please.  Pray…give it to God.  Ask Him to bring a child into your life that needs you…  Who knows, friend… just the tiniest effort on your part may change their world forever and ever and ever.  It’s easy to love your own children.  But I dare you to branch out and find a child who you didn’t know existed.  Pour out some of that love you have…  I PROMISE you that, even though, you may change a life, YOUR life will be the life that is transformed.

All my love,

Ava

PS….To Arlene, I’m sorry if the curse words burned your eyes.  To Diane, I know you get it…  Now talk to Arlene for me!  LOL!


 

Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part II

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By now I was in my final year of college and still a single mom; Jeremiah was now 8 years-old. I could see the finish line! I was almost there. The University of North Texas was an hour’s drive for, which was too far given my heavy involvement in my research and whatnot.  So, that spring Jeremiah and I loaded up and moved to Denton, Texas to be near UNT. It was the furthest I had ever lived away from home.  I felt like I had set out on some brave new adventure. It was just the boy and me. I had worked hard for years in school and together, Jeremiah and I were about to conquer the world!

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I remember that time in my life well.  I was living solely on financial aid.  I wasn’t even getting any child support at that time because Jeremiah’s father was in jail.  We had food stamps and Jeremiah was on Medicaid.  I saw welfare as a means to an end.  I didn’t feel bad nor did I feel embarrassed about being where I was at the time.  I swiped my Lone Star card with pride!

Since I didn’t have health insurance, I found out that I qualified for a plan through the county hospital.  One afternoon I was at one of the local clinics…having my lady parts inspected. I was actually there to get an IUD. It had been forever since I was on the pill and I certainly didn’t want to wind up back in the abortion clinic for God’s sake. I knew that I was playing Russian roulette. I knew I had to do something.

My ob/gyn agreed that the IUD was a good option for me. We set up an appointment for me to come back in and have it installed the following month. I remember that it was during that visit that I complained to my doctor about my breast implants. I had had two breast augmentations at the time, one in 1995 and the other in 1997. The doctor who performed my surgery in 1997 almost ruined my entire world and my rockin’ hot bod.   When I woke up from that surgery I discovered that he had made my breasts the size of Dolly Parton’s. I’m not kidding you; I was a teeny-tiny stick figure at the time. I was 5’5″, 120 pounds and that quack had put 850 cc’s in each of my breasts. I felt like a freak show. I felt like Frankentitty.

We had SO MUCH in common!

Both of my breast implants had become encapsulated. Further, I wanted a full reconstruction done but didn’t have an extra $8000 lying around to make it happen. As I discussed it with my doctor that day, we came to the conclusion that because of the encapsulations, the county hospital just might afford me a full reconstruction for almost no charge. It was brilliant.

Much to my surprise, after I left the doctor’s office and was in my car, my cell phone rang. It was the doctor. I had just walked out of her office. She was calling to tell me that she was canceling the appointment for the insertion of the IUD. We’d have to put it off one more month because she wanted me to have an MRI on my breasts. She informed me that she didn’t want any metal in my body during the procedure; apparently the copper wire from the IUD might interfere with the results of my MRI. Although I wanted the IUD, I wanted a new boob job more! And plus, what was one more month going to hurt? I had managed to not get pregnant for over 4 years! I was close to graduation… I would soon be ditching the horrendously enormous tits… I had it all planned out!

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It had been a while since I’d talked to Jake. He was mad at me for something stupid and had been giving me the silent treatment for some time. But again, I wasn’t trippin’. While Jake was a phenomenal creature and had everything going for him, I had quite a bit going for me too. As a matter of fact, God had performed a miracle for me. I was wholly dependent on my financial aid to take care of Jeremiah and me, but during the summer of 2004, for some reason, I wasn’t able to qualify. Wouldn’t you know it, God showed up just in time? I applied for and was one of 9 people from around the United States to be selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholar. I would be paid over $3000 for both summer sessions to do research (something I loved doing anyway)! I had financial assistance for Jeremiah’s childcare and the campus was just one mile from our new place. The stars were managing to line up for me and my boy! Our dreams were coming true!

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One lovely spring afternoon I was strolling through the campus when I saw something odd. It was enormous and there was a crowd gathered around whatever it was but I could not make it out. About two-stories in size, at first glance I thought it was a giant McDonald’s menu. My curiosity led me toward the massive structure. There was something going and for some reason, my curiosity was piquing out of control. When I got closer this is what I saw:

There were guards around the exhibit. Debates were heating up everywhere. This pro-life exhibit was definitely ruffling some feathers.

When it comes to abortion, you can’t straddle the fence. You are either pro-choice or pro-life. I thought I was somewhere in between at the time, but in reality, I guess I would have to had classified myself as pro-choice. Ultimately, I felt that that if abortion weren’t legal that women would be getting killed in back-alley butcher shops trying to get abortions.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to walk up and talk to one of the volunteers who was sitting outside the gates of the exhibit. I am not one to push my views on others; you will scarcely find me debating about sensitive issues.

I remember the girl that I spoke with, although I couldn’t tell you her name. She looked really sweet and had a natural, gentle beauty that seemed to define her. I remember she had a tiny cross necklace on. It was evident to me, because of her demeanor alone, that she was a Christian, although this was not a Christian exhibit. We talked for a little bit and I took in the exhibit. As we talked, I opened up to her about my past abortion, something I never spoke about. She didn’t say too much. She just listened to me talk. Somehow or another I felt the Hand of God during that encounter with the volunteer. I had never asked for forgiveness for having an abortion, and I sure as heck didn’t have an ounce of repentance in me for the whole ordeal. But when I walked away from the exhibit, I did. I can’t explain it. It wasn’t guilt or shame… It was just a beautiful conviction… A renewal of my spirit… After walking away from the exhibit I felt I was seeing the world with a different set of eyes. I didn’t know I needed any healing, but I felt healed in some cosmic way.

As a matter of fact, I felt so transformed that afterward I met up with some of my best friends to tell them about my experience. We were all scholars on a particular research team at the university. All of them were amazing girls, but in hindsight, I noticed that these gals were liberal as hell. I say that with a chuckle because I loved them all (and still love them all) so much. They were my sisters, but they were also modern-day hippies.

I shared with the girls what I had experienced, which opened a discussion. For the first time ever I found myself taking a stance against abortion. I had known so many girls, particularly from my stripper days, who seriously used abortion as a form of birth control. I’m not a judgmental person, but I’m also not ok with the fact that you’ve had 8 abortions. I learned that day that I did consider an unborn child a human life. I acknowledged it had a soul. Something changed in me that day.

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Things were great in my life. I had the best kid in the universe, I had escaped stripperdom, I was about to—against ALL odds—graduate from college, with honors. I mean, life was good and the wind was at my back. I was sure I could do anything at that point. As a matter of fact, I was a Psychology major and I had just made the decision to stay in school and get my doctorate. I was going to be a clinical psychologist!

Wouldn’t you know something had to happen to rain on my parade? I mean, damn… I hadn’t been keeping track of my periods in quite some time, but I had this feeling that it had been a good while since I had had one. I waited… I waited some more, but the mofo never came. So I did what any girl would do, I took a pregnancy test.

Actually, I took many pregnancy tests. Wouldn’t you know that all of them were POSITIVE??? I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience as I read the results over and over and over. It was surreal, and I felt as if I had just been hit by a locomotive.

This was bad… I mean, this was really, really, really bad. I felt like a trapped rat as I began to mentally explore my options.

I had always told everyone that I met that I was a single mother. My mother was a single mother, so I saw single mom’s as strong, heroic women. What I didn’t tell anyone was that I felt like I had cheated Mother Nature somehow with Jeremiah.

There could not have been an easier child to raise. Oh my word, that child was a Lamb of God. Plus, I had managed to escape the karma that my mother had always cursed me with. I had it coming bad for being such a wretched teenager. What in God’s green earth was I going to do now?

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Was I the girl I was in 2000 when I had my last abortion?  No.  Absolutely not.  And was it an accident that the doctor had cancelled my appointment to get the IUD or that I had seen and been transformed by the exhibit?  No.  Absolutely not.

God had touched my life.  He had prepared me for this.  I was having this child.  There was no doubt about it.  I didn’t have a clue how I was going to pull it off, but I would make it…somehow.

But what about Jake?  I had to tell him.  So on May 4th, 2004, I sent Jake the following email:

Jake,

You and I really need to talk. If you choose, I can write you a letter, but I think it may be better to talk to you in person.  That’s just my gut feeling; I may be wrong.  I have a final in the morning at 10:30 and won’t be available until tomorrow, after this test.  If you choose to delete my message and not reply in anyway that is your choice, but be warned that you are making a big mistake.  Again, this is not some tactic…this is “really” serious.  I don’t have time for games.

Ava

Much to my astonishment, I didn’t receive a reply.   This pissed me off, so I sent another email (this one not so delicate):

Jake,
Since you have chosen to completely ignore me I have no other choice but to tell you this way.  I have no desire to see you or speak to you about this.  My respect for you has gone out the window
It is the consensus of all who know about this that I have a “responsibility” to inform you.  Consider it done; it’s just ONE less thing I have to worry about.  I would have been a little more sensitive about telling you but you denied me (and yourself) that opportunity.
There is no possible way that you are not the father as you were the only person that I had sex with even close to the time of conception.  But don’t worry…the Attorney General’s office will provide a “complimentary” DNA testing when the time comes.  I found out a while ago and have taken several home tests and have seen my doctor.  My due date is the 29th of December.  I am not happy at all, I am very afraid; my nerves are more screwed up han you could even imagine.  However, I will continue to put my faith in the Lord and acknowlege that He doesn’t make mistakes.
Your selfishness, snobbery, and complete disregard for my feelings in general have absolutely blown me away.  If it weren’t for this issue, I would have “completely” written you off after you said such hateful things to me the last time I had contact with you, especially after I asked your forgiveness.  That is all I have to say to you.  I am “livid” with you Jake–you just have no idea. 
Ava

Ol’ boy still didn’t repond.  What was going on?  Weeks later I spoke to his brother.  His nonchalant attitude toward me told me that Jake must not have told him.  I was so confused.  Finally, I boldly let the cat out of the bag.  I, with a fierce barage of hormones cheering me on informed his brother that I was pregnant.  Further, I unloaded on his brother as to how furious I was that I had told Jake a month prior and that he had chosen to ignore me.  His brother’s response: “Let me call you right back.”  I knew he was calling Jake.

In no time, I received an email from Jake that read, “My brother says you have something to tell me.”  I wanted to write back and say, “Why yes, dipshit.  I certainly do.”  But I chose to take the high road.

As it turned out, he had blocked my email address.  Why, you ask?  Well this is the part that’s kind of humorous, I suppose.  Additionally, it’s a tad bit gross.

Since I was a child I have possessed an affinity for picking at things on the bodies of those I love.  Yes, I know it’s a sickness, but I’m a picker.  Each and every time my teenage son has a mild outbreak of acne on his face, my eyes light up….and he runs the other direction.  I’m not kidding, I honestly should have been a dermatologist.  Do you know how many videos on ruptured cysts and boil removals that I’ve watched on YouTube?  I would love to be able to do that and get paid for it.  The science of the human body; it’s fascinating to me.

To make a long story short, the last time I had had a rendezvous with Jake, he had a pervasive (awesome) cyst on his back.  Alrighty…so remember I was over the moon with my Berringer that night, so I advised him that I would help him. 

A day later I received a nasty email from Jake.  He informed me that the cyst was 10 times larger and that he was in serious pain.   He advised me that he wanted no further contact with me (lol). From there he blocked me.  So, he could have actually known about our baby earlier, were it not for that damned cyst (glorious as it was)!

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Although Jake has more than stepped up to the plate these days, he wasn’t so considerate before Jonah was born.  It was a devastatingly depressing, lonely 9 months and I was often sick.  As it turned out, I would not see Jake for a single day of my pregnancy.  I saw him the night of conception, and then I saw him the night his son was born.

So if you read my last 2 posts, you’d see that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Praise the Holy, Soverign name of the Almighty Lord that I didn’t lose this one!  On December 22, 2004, I delivered this little man:

I was severely depressed and unhappy when I was pregnant with him.  However, the moment I saw his beautiful face, I was in love.  I was absolutely, madly, head-over-heels in love!  This baby literally took my breath away.

I had Jonah between the Fall of ’04 and Spring of ’05 semesters.  I remember during the spring semester that I was taking an ancient literature class.  I have fond memories of bouncing Jonah around–while he was attached to my chest in one of those baby strap on things–reading “Gilgamesh” to him in a tone that was a little like Dr. Suess or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”  Raising two kids without a husband was not an easy task, but I proved to myself and everyone else that I could do it.  The road has been really hard, but it’s been absolutely worth the ride.  I’d do it all over again if I had to.

My extraordinary children, Jeremiah & Jonah

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I’d like to give props to the organization who boldly sets up exhibits like the ones you saw earlier on college campuses around the United States.  It may offend many.  However, it saved my baby.  It saved him.  I cannot help but collapse to my knees and praise Jesus for that.  My child could have very easily been a nameless angel, sent right straight back to God.  But he wasn’t

The name of the organization who I encountered on that beautiful, spring day in 2004 is Justice For All.  Many years ago I looked them up and sent them an email expressing my gratitude.  I sent with it a photo of Jonah.

Would you believe that the Executive Director, David Lee contacted me immediately.  He and his increidble posse asked to meet with us and take us to breakfast.  It was a wonderful time. 

Some people would call my friends whack jobs, or at best, extremists.  I don’t care.  You should have seen the look in their eyes when they met Jonah for the first time.  As a matter of fact, here’s what happened to the photo that I sent to the organization:

He became a little poster child for the organization.  The photo above was used on Facebook to promote the cause.  Out of “800” challenge causes, Justice for All placed 6th, raising over $25,000 in 2009.  My child has a purpose.  Every child has a purpose. 

I spoke with the Executive Director, David Lee on the phone today.  He told me that he’s been traveling all around teaching teens about abortion.  He said, “I want these kids to know about abortion before they’re even in a position to ever consider one.”  I found his words poetic.  I feel that this organization gets to the root of the root on this controversial issue.  They’re solid Christian people who are peaceful.  They don’t go around blowing up clinics. I feel like they give people the facts beforehand.  Because friend, I can say with absolute certainty that the abortion clinic that I went to in 2000 did not give me all the facts.  If you have a moment, please check out Justice for All’s webpage at http://www.jfaweb.org/HOME.html

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As for Jake and I, although we never went on on a date prior to Jonah being born, we became very close.  God killed two stubborn, hell-bent birds with one, single stone.  For me, he began a transformation in me that would eventually cause me to abandon my sexual promiscuity.  Further, through my relationship with Jake, I would learn my own self worth and how to begin to let go of a lifetime of crippling insecurity.

Jake is doing well now too.  He married a few years ago and is expecting another child within the next couple of weeks.  Through our experience together, Jake abandoned a deeply involved lifestyle of sexual addiction.  After Jonah was born, we began going to church together.  What’s more, Jake would eventually  accept Christ as his Savior and be baptized in my church.  To this day he still says that I am responsible for his salvation.  Do you know how much this means to me?  After all, he is the father of my son.

God can do inexplicable, aweinspiring things in our lives if we’ll just step back and let him have the reigns.  As humans, we carry so much unnecessary weight that we simply do not need to carry.  Jesus paid the price.  It is done.  We can put our worries and burdens at the foot of the Cross and leave them there.  If your situation seems impossible, I can tell you, mine did too.  Beloved, ALL things are possible with Christ Jesus.  Know that.  So whatever you’re carrying today, LET IT GO!  Surrender and give it to the Lord.  He will not fail you…He can’t. 

All my love,

Ava