Tag Archives: Spirituality

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 

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 1

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Beloved,

If you were able to read my last two lengthy posts you are now privy to the fact that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Not ever having a fully repentant heart I never managed to abandon my lifestyle of sexual promiscuity.  Sex had become my painstakingly warped way to connect with a man.  It was my subconscious way of getting love, although it would inevitably always bring me emptiness, more loneliness, and a host of other maladies.

I am a firm believer that men and women are wired quite differently when it comes to sex.  I am of the mind-set that men are more biologically driven and that the experience for them is almost entirely physical.  I’m not saying that men can’t experience love and sex at the same time.  There are always men who are exceptions to the rule (statiticians call them outliers).  I’m just saying that I think men are largely driven by physical urges, whereas for most well-adjusted women, it’s an emotional experience.

I’ll go on record here to say that I absolutely love sex.  I’m serious.  It’s a shame I’m not married, because I’d be a really good wife, if you know what I mean!  I don’t just love the physicality of having sex, I love the feeling of being that close to someone I love.  For this reason, I kind of feel like the universe has “Punked” me.  I mean, I hear about married women all the time who will not satisfy their husbands.  Or oftentimes, I hear of married couples who simply haven’t had sex with each other in years.

It drives me nuts that for me, a single women, sex is a sin that I commit inside my body, while for the married folk, it’s actually an act of worship unto the Lord.  Are you kidding me?  So here I am with all this drive and nothing to do with it at the present time.  And please, if you’re married don’t give me any advice on what to do with all this unused sexual energy.  There’s nothing you can say to make me think you understand.

If you’ve read Gary Chapman’s Book, “The Five Love Languages“, you’d know that Dr. Chapman has identified 5 love languages:

  • Acts of service

  • Gifts

  • Physical touch

  • Time

  • Words of affirmation

     

Well, I believe Dr. Chapman is right on the mark with his theories and research findings.  Now, can you guess what my #1 love language is?  If you guessed physical touch, you’d be dead on.  I’m off the charts.

Through sex with someone I love I feel an overwhelming sense of connectedness.  I feel mad love.  It’s a wholly cosmic, entirely spiritual experience for me.  But that’s with someone I love.  I’m proud to say that I am no longer a promiscuous girl.  Sex is too precious of a gift to give and I’m not giving this gift to just anyone.  Right now my stuff is on lockdown.

However, there was a time in my life where the opposite was true.  After my 4-year, abusive relationship ended with Jeremiah’s father in 1998, it was wheels off for me.  After a lifetime of inexplicable hurts and trauma experienced at the hands of those I had foolishly given myself to, I decided that I would turn my emotions off and just have sex like a man.  I decided that it was time for me to quit being so feelings-oriented and that I, like a man, would just divide and conquer.

I did this for some time.  It didn’t work out so well for me.  Regardless of how much I had hardened my heart, I wasn’t successful at being anyone other than the girl whom God had created me to be.  However, I learned that with enough drugs and alcohol I could numb myself quite well, ensuring that I could stay the course on my hell-bent, sexual binge.

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In 2002 I signed Jeremiah up for soccer.  He had just turned six years old and it was the first time he’d ever been involved in a team sport.  My intentions were pure!  It was at our first practice behind the elementary school that my own mother had attended that I saw him…  I was spellbound.

I would quickly find out that he was the assistant coach.  His name was Jake.  He was tall, had beautiful, thick dark hair, green eyes, and the absolute body of Adonis himself.  He was muscular and defined; you could have bounced a quarter of his perfectly round, alluring, bootylicious backside.  He reminded me of a Calvin Klein underwear model.  And he looked like he just might be a little bit naughty …

I looked at my sister and, like Babe Ruth pointing to center field–calling his home run in the 1932 World Series–I pointed to him, and confidently murmured to her, “I’ll bet you cash money, right now, that I will positively have him by the end of the season.”  I had named it and I had claimed it.  There was no stopping me at that point. 

It turned out that he was going through a divorce and that his son, only 8 days younger than Jeremiah had experienced so much upheaval during his parent’s  then pending divorce that he had ceased to function as a normal little boy.  None of the other kids on the team wanted anything to do with him.  At the age of 6 he was admitted into Special Education and would, for many years wear the damning label of Emotionally Disturbed.

I have always had a soft spot for maladapted children; they’re what I devoted my college years to studying.  Before I knew it his child and mine had bonded and I was either keeping both boys or Jake was keeping both of them.  Jake helped me by babysitting Jeremiah on several occasions when while I worked a part-time job.  I’d let his son spend the night with us and give Jake a much-needed break from time to time.  I’d like to say that it started out as innocent, but I know that, at least on a subconscious level, I had plans.

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There was a definite sexual tension between the two of us and it would be no time at all before we’d met in a motel room bringing to fruition our carnal, lustful desires.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was largely my idea, of course.  His brother watched the two boys, who were spending the night together at his house that night so we could meet up for a casual night of secretive passion and pleasure.

I wish I could say that it stopped there.  It didn’t.  Our meetings would inevitably continue for about two years.  They were usually late-night, spur of the moment affairs.  In most cases, I would drive over, slipping in under the cloak of darkness while his son was asleep.  I always enter his house through his dark garage, passing through his dark laundry room which led straight to his bedroom where sometimes, if I were lucky, there’d be music and a candle lit.  From there you can probably speculate what went on.  After the act, we’d spend quite a bit of time talking…about everything and anything.  We got along famously.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, but in spite of my best efforts to conduct myself like a man, my feelings may have begun to grow a little for Jake.  He was a responsible, professional man who made a great living at what he did.  He was laid-back and kind.  Add to that, he was a good father and was always wonderful to my son.  I tried to repress my feelings, but they’d keep popping up on me.  I think Jake picked up on them too, because he’d often make statements that let me know in no uncertain terms that he was in no way looking for a relationship.  What we had was just sex.

After a while he’d eventually disappear, not answering the phone nor returning any of my calls or texts.  And believe it or not, I honestly wasn’t trippin’.  I was a full-time student and was excelling in college.  I didn’t have time to pine over this guy, regardless of how great I perceived him to be.  He was emotionally unavailable.  I knew that full well, so I decided not to pursue something that I knew would lead to a dead-end road.  I had bigger fish to fry at the time.

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Eventually Jeremiah and I moved into a different apartment down the road from where we had lived when I was seeing Jake and where I had lived when my mom died.  It was time to move forward with our lives.

Fast forward to 2004 where one morning I was walking out to my vehicle to go to school.  I found a small note on my truck, tucked behind my windshield.  It was from him.  The note said that he didn’t have my number anymore (the bastard probably deleted it).  He left his phone number and requested that I call him.  Of course, I did.  And in a twisted sort of way, I suppose I was honored that he had sought me out.  Afterall, I don’t even know how he knew where I lived.

Jake and I picked right up where we’d left off.  However, the stifled feelings that I had for him, much to my chagrin, hadn’t gone away.   It seemed like out encounters became more frequent before they ceased altogher.  But I was somehow able to maintain my compsure and conduct myself like a man when I was in his presence.  Jake had a lot to offer, and I certainly liked him and was wildly attracted to him.  But somehow I had, with a lot of practice, managed to numb my heart.  When I look back now, I feel sad when I reflect on how desensitized I had actually become.

I’d find out later that Jake was truly a sex addict.  It seems he was numb and desensitized too.  After his loco divorce, he never really commit to anyone–he was so mysterious and enticing–he didn’t have to.  As I look back now, 8 years later, I find myself supremely aware that both of us were on paths that would lead us straight to the gates of hell.

He was the cool, collected, quiet one.  He seemed purposeful and disciplined in everything he did.  I was the wild, talkative, impulsive one who would always wind up being as drunk as a fidler’s bitch when we’d meet up for our adult time.  After a while, it became pretty routine.  Again, we were both on hell paths at the time.  But from the outside he was able to maintain things in such a way that, to outsiders, he had it all together.  This was not the case, I assure you.

I remember one afternoon, we were both getting dressed when I said to him, “What would you ever do if you got someone pregnant?”  He promptly and intensely replied, “I’d cry.”  I laughed at him. And like I had done in the past, I once again made my disclaimer, well you know I’m not on any kind of birth control.”  He just seemed to shrug it off as if he were invinsible. 

The next time I’d see him, it would be late in the evening.  I had downed several of those mini-bottles of white zinfandel and was unbelievably lit.  I was so intoxicated in fact that I barely remember the events that went on that night.  I sort of remember that for some odd reason that he had gone to the bathroom to get a condom.  This was odd because we never used condoms before.  As my good fortune would have it, Jake was fresh out that night!

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(please continue reading this post in, “Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part 2)

The Killer in Me: Part II

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One fateful, autumn night I ended up on one of my unintentional hell flights to the demon’s dwelling.  I was truly a tormented soul at the time.  My heart was aching so badly that I was absolutely desperate for somethinganything—to numb the pain.  I hated dancing, I hated my life, I had just been rejected by one of the greatest loves I would ever know, and I was drunk again

I wanted; no I needed just a few lines to get my head straight.  You see, when I did cocaine, it cleared my mind.  It helped me to give words to feelings that I could not label.  It sparked my creativity and I was quite simply, brilliant.  For the first couple of hours I was on top of the world.  We’ll talk about the opposite end of the spectrum another time.

So, in my raw, carnal desperation for the drug and the numbing properties it could offer my broken soul, I let something awful happen.

This fiend had been trying to have sex with with me for a couple of years but somehow I was always clever enough with my words to keep him off of me, while still keeping him intrigued with me just enough to supply my coke.  His product was pure and uncut.  As drug dealers go, he was near the top of the food chain.  I can’t imagine how much money I’d been snorting up my nose if I’d been paying for it.

Well let me tell you something, nothing except God’s grace is really free in this world.  You always have to pay the price sometime or another.  As for me and my coveted connection, my luck had run out.  He wasn’t falling for any of my bullshit anymore.

I was so messed up that night.  I was in agonizing pain.  I remember him becoming increasingly aggressive with me.  He took me in his garage and he saw to it that I paid for every last bit of cocaine that he ever gifted me with.

I had somehow made myself belief he was actually my friend.  And on that night I needed a friend but there wasn’t a friend in sight.  You him…and me.

He was sober.  I was not.  His moves were calculated and intentional.  I was being carried by the wind.  He was inherently evil.  I was inherently pure, despite the dancing, the drinking, and the drugs.  I could have never harmed a soul.  He was the personification of evil…and he meant to do harm to me.

I don’t want to recount the details of what happened in that garage that night.  All I can tell you is that it was in no way consensual.  It was a lucid nightmare.  I wish I could forget it all, but the memory has been forcefully branded in to the tapestry of my soul.  I still feel dirty as hell when I think about it.

My precious Jeremiah was just 4 at the time.  What kind of person had I become?  I wanted to die, but the love that I had for my son kept me bound to life, so even death couldn’t soothe me. 

To make a very long story short, some weeks later I ended up needing a pregnancy test.  That test, and the many other tests I took in desperation after that proved to be positive.

I have always been against abortion.  Jeremiah was the only pregnancy that I had ever had.  In 1996, when I was preparing to take my first pregnancy test at the age of 23, something compelled me to get on my knees on my mother’s bathroom floor and pray that I was pregnant.  My life was so off course and my spirit inherently knew that having this child would save my life.  Without this child, I would have had nothing to live for.  I would have surely died.

This pregnancy was the stark opposite.  I literally felt as if the demon seed of hell had infected my body.  I had no emotion toward the innocent life that was growing inside of me.  I just wanted it out.

As luck would have it, I was broke at the time and didn’t even know what abortions cost.  I had friends I danced with who had had as many as 8 abortions.  A few of the girls I worked with unashamedly had made abortion their primary form of birth control.

And not surprisingly, there was a customer who frequented the club I had left in 1998, the one that burned down—he was an obstetrician/gynecologist who was known for performing all the girls’ abortions.

He was a kind, educated man who I had spent time with on a few occasions when he’d come in to the club for a cocktail.   And he was the only doctor who performed abortions that I even knew of.  I had never been anywhere near an abortion clinic.

A very concerned, dear friend loaned me the money and took me to the clinic on a Saturday morning.  It wasn’t at all what I was expecting.  It bore no resemblance to my doctor’s office which was full of life.  This place was full of death.  

Friend, hear me when I say that there were so many women there that I could not keep count of them all.  It was in fact so crowded that the office could barely accommodate all of the women who had come to terminate their pregnancies.  Everyone looked so afraid and hopeless.  A spirit of despair filled the air. There was even one young woman who was pleading with her boyfriend over the phone to come and help her.  It was obvious he had abandoned her.

Almost every single woman in that clinic was alone, except for one couple.  Where were all the damn men who had contributed to these pregnancies?  It was the story of my life!

The first part of the procedure involved a nurse violating me with some sort of phallic-shaped sonogram.  I didn’t know this then, but I think there was some sort of a law passed that they must show the mother her baby via sonogram before she makes the final decision to terminate her pregnancy.   

When I first saw Jeremiah’s heart beating on a sonogram in 1996 I was filled with joy and began to cry. 

I saw this child too.  I saw its heart beating.  I felt nothing.  On the monitor the embryo just looked black to me.  I saw this little, dark figure as the spawn of hell and felt no emotion whatsoever nor did anything in me prompt any kind of reservations about going through with the procedure.  No maternal instinct kicked in.  All I wanted was for his seed to be out of me.  I felt like the demon who had victimized me had now taken up residence in the most sacred part of my body.  I wanted it out.

After watching an informational video and undergoing the sonogram I was literally herded to a hall where 10 other women were lined up waiting for their abortions.  This is where I was medicated; my friend paid extra for the sedation.

The last thing I remember was lying down on the examination table, putting my feet in the stirrups.  From what I remember of the doctor, he was harried due of the high volume of patients who were waiting—there were several doctor’s performing abortions in close quarters of one another—but he seemed quite nonchalant as he carried out his daily routine. 

People who work on assembly lines form routines at work.  Their bodies are so adept at doing a repetitive task that they become almost automated in a sense.  This man was not working on an assembly line though, he was killing babies.  He seemed to have his routine down so well that I suspect he may have been able to do it with his eyes closed.

I wonder how many tiny souls left that wretched clinic on that Saturday, October 7, 2000.  I wonder how many babies were called right back to to the Maker, who had just recently created them and released them, in order that they would fulfill their own unique destinies, carrying out His plans and His purpose for their lives.

I know God chose us each individually before the beginning of time.  I know that He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.  And I know that He intricately knit us together in our mother’s wombs.  He even knows the exact number of hairs on our heads.  I wonder how His heart breaks each time the lives of one of His precious babies are violently taken—at the hands of their Mommy’s, no less.

A mother’s love is an awe-inspiring force.  I would personally give my life to save Jeremiah or Jonah in the blink of an eye.  People can hurt me all day and all night long.  However, if anyone should be foolish enough to bring harm against one of my children they had better prepare for a battle to the death.  If you want to evoke rage in me, just hurt one of my babies…  You may walk over to me, but (if you’re lucky) you’re limpin’ back.  And that’s if I let you live and don’t physically scratch your eyes out.

Now riddle me this, friend, “Why did my maternal instincts fail to show up and protect the life of my unborn child?  Why didn’t I fight for my innocent baby?”

I am ashamed to say that until recently I have rarely felt an ounce of remorse for what I did.  And I have never cried a tear for my child.  I wish I could tell you that the opposite were true, but I can’t.  I know God will continue to work on my heart.

Please don’t think that I escaped unscathed though.  Conversely, poetic justice was duly served.  You see if I would have carried that baby—who I believe with all my heart was a girl—to term, she would have been born a week or two before my mother killed herself.

I’m not saying, nor do I believe that God punished me for having an abortion, but the fact of the matter is there is no way in the world that my mother would have left me with a newborn baby.  You may think that I can’t make this statement with certainly, but I know what I know.  I also know that my mom has a grandbaby in Heaven.  I praise Almighty God for that and pray that my mother will hold my daughter in her loving arms until we can be together forever.

-Ava

Giving the Greatest Gift: The Power and Love Behind Intercessory Prayer

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Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. 

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. -James 5:16

While I’ve made it quite clear, in no certain terms, that several thousand dollars would solve many of the daunting, insurmountable problems I’m facing these days, I’ve discovered that there is a gift that you can give me, and that I can give you that’s absolutely priceless.  It’s worth more than gold and it’s value far surpasses any stack of cash that I could ever begin to envision.  And trust me, party people, having a solid decade of stripper experience under my belt, I’ve seen some pretty fat stacks of cash!

But this precious treasure doesn’t have to be wrapped nor does it require one of those grossly overpriced gift bags that you always get suckered into buying when you’re late to a party.  No… You don’t need a cardboard box, fancy or otherwise to send this gift in. This gift doesn’t even require one single, square inch of bubble wrap to wrap it in  nor  would you require those pesky, Styrofoam peanuts to protect this treasure.  You won’t need FedEx, UPS, the US Mail,  a bicycle courier or even so much as an envelope and a stamp to send it.. 

This gift is guaranteed to be love by the receipient so you know your gift won’t be seen again at next year’s Dirty Santa or White Elephant party.  This gift is easy to access and you don’t need a good credit score to give the gift to a friend or loved one.  As a matter of fact, this gift is even highly suitable to give to an enemy!

If you give this gift I can promise you that you will incur absolutely no out-of-pocket expenses.  WHAT IS THIS REMARKABLE TREASURE I SPEAK OF?

It’s simply the gift of a heartfelt prayer!

And this, Beloved, is what a FIERCE Prayer Warrior looks like!

Meet my dear friend, Arlene who is beautifully pictured above.  Arlene means the world to me.  I’m not kidding, I’d gladly give her a kidney, some bone marrow, or half of my liver if she needed it.  She is my sister in Christ.  Her presence in my life is a prodigious blessing from God.  I am a person blessed with many, many friends and acquaintances and consider myself to have an abundance of love in my life.  Regardless, the older I get, the more cautious I am to call someone my true friend.  I have an inner circle, and you can bet that those who comprise that small, sacred circle I treasure beyond comprehension.

What I think you’ll find interesting about my Arlene is that we’ve never actually met face-to-face.  Can you believe that?  Arlene resides in California and I reside in Texas.  We actually became friends via the WordPress community. 

You may, at this point, be questioning the authenticity of our friendship, but she is my sister.  You can bet the farm on that.  And why could this be difficult to believe, I wonder.  Should relationships be hindered in any way by geography?  I think not.  We are the body of Christ, and the body is vast and not restricted to one central location.

I would love to be in my friend’s presence someday, but until then I rest in the knowledge that we’ve got plenty of time.  You see, Arlene and I have trusted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Since we possess this commonality, we get to spend eternity together.  So for now, she lives solidly in my heart.  Someday though our mansions of gold may actually be on the same block!

And, how do I know this friendship is the will of God?  As soon as Arlene first stumbled across my blog she began to pray regularly and intensely for me and my boys.  She literally covers us in prayer.  Like the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself intercede for us when we are too weak to pray, Arlene intercedes for me and my darling boys. 

I recently checked my Facebook account.  Arlene and I hadn’t talked in a few weeks.  Would you believe that, out of the blue, Arlene left a message on my wall saying, “Praying for you always…”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.  It still gives me chills to think about this, but what I want you to know is that Arlene left that message on my wall at exactly the time that I was being informed that I wouldn’t be able to keep my job.

I replied back to her, “How did you know to pray for me and to contact me at the moment you did, Arlene?  I am about to cry right now.  How did you know?”  She wrote back saying, “Sweetheart, He knows what we have need of.  I have not stopped praying for you.”

Mind you, this was at the moment that I had contemplated ending my life.  This was at the moment that my world had come crashing down around me.  This was at the moment when I thought God had not only forsaken me, but that He actually detested me and had been ignoring my prayers.  You see, God will use you, like He used Arlene as a vessel, if you’ll just allow Him.  God speaks through people…  It’s something that delights my soul. 

Yesterday Arlene and I had the opportunity to speak on the phone.  She informed me that God had called her to intercede for me; she was merely obeying Him.  I told her that her prayers were the best gift that she could have possibly ever given to me.  I also shared with her that I believe that a mother and a grandmother’s prayers are highly potent.  My mother and grandmother have passed on… My grandmother prayed unceasingly.  I believe that her and my mother’s prayers literally kept me alive on so many occasions where I should have certainly been dead.

With that, I thanked her from the bottom of my heart for the gift of her prayers.  As a matter of fact, she prayed on the phone with me so hard, with such fire and authority that I felt led to put the phone on speaker and walk through my home in an effort to cleanse it.  I knew that with her bold, authoritative prayers ringing out through my house that the enemy had no choice but to flee!  As a matter of fact, Arlene prayed with such intensity for me that I firmly believed that Hell itself was silenced for a good minute or two. 

God tells to pray unceasingly, but, as a wise man once pointed out to me, He does not call us to pray for everyone.  The difference between Arlene and me is that Arlene knows how to be still and quiet long enough to actually hear God.  I’m working on that.

In conclusion, when you see someone in a seemingly hopeless, impossible situation and feel helpless, like there’s nothing you can do…REBUKE the Devil because He IS the Father of Lies!  Pray your face off, friends!  Prayer works, and it’s the absolute best gift you can give anyone. 

If you’d like to check out Arlene’s blog, “Armoured Up,” you can find it at http://armouredup.wordpress.com.  I highly recommend it!

All my love,

Ava

At the End of the Road With an Empty Bag of Tricks: How Death Seemed So Seductive

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The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  -John 1:5

Beloved Friends,

It’s been almost one month since I’ve written.  I’ve wanted so much to write each and every single day, but certain life circumstances have left me just plain depleted and wholly exhausted.  I suppose my pervasive depression was the driving force that has kept me wrapped tightly in my favorite blanket…in bed.  You see, that’s that majority of what I’ve been doing since I last wrote–sleeping or working.  When I’m not working I’m sleeping and when I’m not sleeping I’m working.  That’s the long and short of it, friends.  I have become a hermit lately with no social life or fellowship to speak of.  As a matter of fact, my hygiene has even suffered a bit!

You see, a few months ago before my gross reduction in income,  I used AG, Biolage, Purology, and Philosophy products to care for my hair and body.  In the realm of make-up I prefer Mac, Two-Faced, Smashbox, and Urban Decay, just to name a few.  Men, this may mean nothing to you, but ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about!  More than any of my physical traits I love my hair and for years upon years have only allowed the best products to come near it.  I mean, I was using a $55 bottle of conditioner and a $30 glaze to keep my hair from being frizzy, while giving it just the perfect amount of volume and texture to put me in a close 2nd in a  “best hair” contest with Jennifer Aniston herself!

The “BEFORE” photo!

Is this my fate?

My $20 sugar and hemp-infused body scrub and $20 shower gel left my artificially tanned skin as smooth as a baby’s backside and smelling of an organic rhapsody of lavender with subtle hints of warm, toasted vanilla.  After my rejuvenating power showers, I used to like to smooth on some of my deliciously decadent Philosophy body cream ($28) before hitting my pillow which I even misted with a light Bath and Body Work’s fragrance. Now, I buy Pantene products from the Dollar General, and adorn my skin in Wal-Mart’s generic version of Dove’s mildly-exfoliating body soap.  My razor is one that my former reprobate of a roommate left behind accidentally.  It isn’t the sinfully sharp, quadruple-bladed razor that I’m accustomed to; it’s one of those Bic disposable numbers.  So, like I said, my hygiene has suffered a little; I can admit that.  But in my dirty defense, “bath time is no longer a spa-like experience“.  Shoot, as of late,  I’ve been so down that I have even had to remind myself to brush my damn teeth each day.  The loss of my beauty products hurt a little but I’m proud to report that my hair and skin have held up better than expected… and I still have all my teeth (in spite of my recurring nightmare that I’m missing my front one–we’ll talk about that another time).

I suppose that being separated from my elite beauty products aren’t really my biggest issue though right now.  As a matter of fact, although my skin is a bit ashy and my hair is somewhat wiry I must say, I have much bigger fish to fry. 

Surprisingly, money is not now nor has it ever been a great source of pleasure for me.  I mean, sure I like to shop sometimes, but I simply do not love money; never have.  I have dated wealthy men; wasn’t impressed.  Hence, I can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I will never marry a man for his money.  I like to have money for reasons related to financial stability.  You know what I mean, friend?  I desperately want to be able to comfortably pay my mortgage, car note, and my other giant mountain of debts.  I want to comfortably be able to give my children lunch money each day and not have to worry about how I’m going to get groceries from week to week.  I want to be able to save my money too like normal people seem to do…  And I want to be able to tithe.  But more than “anything” I want to be able to help others who are in need.  “Especially” single parents and their seemingly indefensible children. 

I often joke with God about Him not ever allowing me to win the blasted lottery.  I mean, my church would receive more than 10%, I would do mission trips to Africa and South America… building educational facilities all along the way, putting shoes on bare, calloused, little feet–and I could certainly ensure that an exorbitant amount of hungry, suffering children never feel the pangs of hunger in their little bellies again.  I could effectively share and spread the Gospel and even put a sizeable dent in the monstrosities that make up the sex trafficking industry.  I could pop a few caps in the asses of some of the cartel too!  In short, I could help so many people.  So why in the world would He not trust me with a bit of money?  It just doesn’t make sense, does it?  Even if he didn’t choose me, He could at least chose someone with a heart like mine!  Ugh!  Money is the root of all evil!  It’s come to a point where I am disgusted by it and what it represents.  I kind of hate it actually.  I hate how it distracts people and keeps them from experiencing face-to-face encounters with God.  You see, if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that poverty causes you to lean on Jesus, which deepens and sweetens your relationship with Him.  In that way, I feel kind of sad for the majority of rich folks.  (Disclaimer: I’m not saying that all rich folks don’t have precious relationships with God!)

But I suppose my theories on money and religion aren’t so important right now.  You see, I have to admit something, friends.  Late Sunday night… early Monday morning, I was in a place of such deep, devastating sorrow that I was, in all sincerity planning my great escape.  I was planning on ending my life.  My pain was so agonizing and unbearable that night and I had cried until my eyes were almost swollen shut.  All the suffering that I had experienced in my life just came together, forming one indescribable but all-consuming ache.  I had a plan and began subtly saying my goodbyes to those that I love in the wee small hours of the night.  Were it not for my beautiful son Jonah who was peacefully sleeping near me, I know that I would be nothing more than a memory right now.  Praise Jesus that I was able to remember back to the night my then, 5-year-old Jeremiah (who was sleeping) and I  drove up on my mother’s house to see why she hadn’t been answering the phone all weekend.  It was on that fateful night that I discovered that my mother had committed suicide. 

I reminisced upon the moments and hours that passed after seeing her lifeless, pale, white body laying in her bed.  She had the saddest expression on her face.  She looked like her heart had been broken.  She had been dead, laying in that bed for three days. 

I also reminisced upon her funeral.  She asked that we play a few songs, namely “Please Remember” by LeAnn Rimes.  It’s a beautiful song, but my heart broke into a thousand pieces when I heard it play at the service.  I vaguely remember that I literally let out a moan so deep and so loud during the song that my precious grandfather had to take his focus off of mourning the death of his child, and focus on consoling me.  It was one of those soul cries…I just couldn’t maintain my composure sitting there looking at her casket.

Then my mind wandered back to the days before her funeral, pre-visitation.  I got my mother ready for her funeral.  With the help of my cousin, who is a physician, we managed to get my mother’s body dressed.  And mind you, we didn’t pull the easy, funeral parlor trick where you merely cut a slit down the back of a shirt or a dress…we literally got her dressed, from head to toe.  She was bloated and had Frankenstein-like stitching all around her head from the autopsy.  Remember, my mom was a cop…  She once had to participate in an autopsy during her training at the police academy and was happy to report that she “got to crack the skull-cap“.  I remember her telling me that the human face is peeled back away from the head and that it simply looks like a mask as it is pulled down and then pulled back up toward the end of the procedure.  Add to that, I was also keenly aware that the deceased’s brain and other organs are taken out and weighed–among other things during an autopsy– and then tossed back into the chest cavity which is then sloppily sewn back up. 

She was so brave when she was a cop, so I had resigned to be brave like her during this sacred time to ensure that it was “me” taking care of her sweet body, ensuring that she was handled with supreme love and dignity.  The Holy Spirit definitely guided me as I prepared her body because I was so much stronger in that moment than you or anyone else could ever imagine.  I felt like she was with me and that God was bringing a much-needed sense of peace and understanding to our relationship.  Still, there were subtle reminders like her sad-faced, lifeless body reeking of formaldehyde, which was literally oozing from her pores and causing her beautiful hair to fall out as I curled and styled it. 

Praise the Maker that was able to successfully get her hair and make-up done.  I had managed to get her ready for her funeral all by myself, except for the help that my sweet cousin gave me in actually dressing her body.  I was proud of my cosmetology skills but what was bothering me was the fact that she had fallen after taking all the medication that she took.  I think she attempted to overdose but discovered that what she had taken did not kill her.  I think she sedated herself heavily and then woke up, disappointed that she was not dead yet.  I believe this is when she dizzily got up to grab for more pills (the ones that really killed her).  When she did she feel into a box fan thus breaking some of her acrylic nails. 

I said to myself right then, “MY mother is not going to see Jesus needing a fill!”  Hastily and with great determination I called a nail salon that was located across the street from the funeral home.  I asked them to please come and help me get my mother’s nails repaired.  Now apparently the Vietnamese culture does not play well with the dead, because a timid but traumatized little Asian voice echoed back at me saying, “D-no, we no do dat foe yew mudda!  We skeead!”   I couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit.

Finally though, my tenaciousness and perseverance had paid off.  With the help of my cousin, we found someone from a local hospital who was willing to give my mother her final fill.  I tell you what, that girl did one heck of a job!  She had my dead mother’s arms all sprawled out with “forms” on every nail.  By the time this gal was finished my mother’s nails looked amazing and the whole damn funeral home smelled not of formaldehyde, but of acetone!  I know it’s not funny, but the entire place smelled like a nail salon!

All this to say, the memories of my mother’s suicide are fresh.  So, the question is how could I do that to my Jeremiah and my Jonah?  How could I do it to my family?  How could I even entertain such thoughts?  Who would have found me?  Would I have had to have had a closed-casket because the left side of my head was missing from the exit of the bullet? 

I know these are maniacally morbid thoughts, but I thought of them all as I weighed out my unspeakable options.  Truth be told, I prayed and prayed for Jesus to come back.  I desperately wanted the Rapture to happen so my kids and I could just fly away from such an ugly, senseless, evil world.  I guess Jesus wasn’t ready to mount His majestic, white horse and ride to my rescue though.   Or maybe it was on account of the Battle of Armageddon hasn’t occurred yet or we haven’t all been asked to receive the mark of the Beast!?!  Either way, we’re all still here and aren’t winged and singing with the Hosts of Heaven.  I apologize if I have offended any of you by prematurely trying to end the world.

But you see, I’m really broke and struggling.  I stand to lose everything.  My home was literally one day from foreclosure.  My attorney met me at 7 am on Labor Day (September 3rd) to allow me to file for bankruptcy; I did.  Shortly thereafter, my boyfriend did some things that were absolutely appalling.  I had to send him away as his addictions and alcoholism were consuming us.  He was also becoming abusive again.  Add to that, I found two condoms in his suitcase… We “rarely” have sex and when we do, we don’t use condoms. 

I remember clearly back to September the 3rd because it was my late grandmother’s birthday that day.  I had been having some problems with dizziness and fainting and that afternoon, I got up too fast I suppose and I fainted.  Jonah was standing next to me when it happened.  I hit my head really, really hard on the closet door behind me.  Jonah screamed “MOMMY” in a tone that affected me to my core; still does today.  He was so scared and was crying.  I’ve never seen him get that upset and lose it like that.  Let’s just say that, in that instant it was painfully clear how much Jonah loved me.  It was also the memory of his cry for me that prevented me from making an irreversible decision the other night, which was the morning of the 24th.

What happened that night?“, you’re probably wondering, that could have taken me to the edge of a cliff like that.  I’ll tell you what happened, I found out that I lost my job.  Friends, I am yet unemployed again and I have to make a mortgage payment soon PLUS my monthly bankruptcy payment to the trustee.  I’ve depleted all of my resources. 

I took this job with the hopes of moving up quickly.  I don’t mind telling you that I went from making $50K a year to a little over $19K a year.  I was literally pulling in $9.53 an hour at the airline I worked for, with all my education and experience.  But you know what?  I loved that job.  I loved the people.  I loved working from home, which was a first for me.  I worked and trained so hard and it was all taken away in a flash. 

So here I am.  I do not know what’s going to happen to me next.  I have never been angry with God before the other night.  However, on that night I felt as if he had completely betrayed me and that all the prayers that I had humbly prayed to him…and I also felt like the time that I had spent on my knees were all in vain or that he was simply choosing to ignore me.  Today, I have decided to put up a little bit of a fight…as much as I can.  But know this friends, I HATE the devil.  He seems to want to devour me and my precious children.   It’s getting hard to take.  Just when I started feeling connected to the Lord again today, I turned on my computer to write on this blog.  I was going to praise God at that time.  As soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, my power went out.  Our electricity was shut off.  I owed $436.  Frightful times….

I am going to be writing a lot more in the coming days.  This is going to be an interesting ride but I invited you all along a while back.  God is going to move in my life.  I just don’t know how right now and I am overcome with grief and fear.  Please pray for me and my two children as we walk through this horrifically perilous time.  I’m running out of tricks, friends.  I’m getting older and I’m running out tricks.  As a matter of fact, this is how I feel (dramatic, but true nonetheless):

I love you all and will be writing again soon.  Sufficed to say, you are loved.  The very fact that you are reading this right now, wherever you are…humbles me in unspeakable ways.  If you only knew how much YOU keep me going!

The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:5).  I can’t understand it right now either…

All my love,

Ava

“It Was Then That I Dragged You”: Footprints, Ava Style!

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I saw this cartoon on Facebook earlier today.  I cannot tell you how much it made me laugh!  In all seriousness though, I wonder what God goes through with me on a daily basis?  Do I wear him clean out from having to “drag” me down the road of life? 

Things are still tough right now.  Mind you, I never ask God things like, “Why are you punishing me, Lord.”  I honestly don’t think He is.  I firmly believe that He doesn’t operate that way.  Nothing could convince me otherwise. 

I wonder how many of you have read, “The Shack“, by William P. Young.  If you haven’t read it, you should definitely pick it up.  It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. 

I think that the book has been controversial amongst some Christians.  IT SHOULDN’T BE!  It is a fiction book, plain and simple.  In short, it’s about a man who experiences something so devastatingly tragic that, as a mother, I can hardly stand to think about it. 

It reminds me of the lyrics of Natalie Grant’s song, “Held”…  She sings:

Who told us we’d be rescued?  What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?  We’re asking why this happened to us to who have died to live.  It’s unfair.”   Then she begins singing the chorus, “This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred it torn from your life..and you survive.  This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything feel…we’d be held.”

So let’s just say that the main character in the book is certainly held by God.  As a matter of fact, he has an encounter with the Trinity that is so aweinspiringly intense that it leaves the reader to wonder if the author of the book has some Divine insight into the mind of God that we don’t have.  Yes, this fiction book is so brilliantly written that it leaves the reader truly wondering if it is fiction or not.  The author personifies the Trinity with three, unsuspecting characters that, for me, demonstrate the magnanimous, overwhelming love that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit burn with for us. 

Again, it’s a fictitious work!  Mind you, the author never postulates having all the answers to the mystery of Godliness.  However, as a writer, I can appreciate a brilliant mind when stumble across a work like this.  And I will go on record to say that I think the plot is nothing short of brilliant.  The fact that one, little, human mind could conceive of such a story completely baffles me. 

I love this book because it veers away from the legalistic, Pharisaic views of some Christians that I have known (who have damaged my faith at times) and dares to attempt to explain the Agape love that the Lord has for us.  If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t read it, I urge you to. 

I also love this book because, even though it isn’t real, it drew me in closer to the precious heart of our God.  It is wonderous and full of imagination.  It helped solidify for me that God IS Abba…or, my Daddy. 

That being said, I once again would like to state that God is certainly not punishing me.  Rather, Ava Elizabeth Wisdom is just living out the consequences of many years of bad decisions.  You see, I recognize that God didn’t create His Word, His laws, or His commandments to be a buzz-kill or to rain on my lonely, little parade.  Rather, God gave me…and you rules so that He could merely protect us from ourselves. 

Again, I am reminded of another song.  In Tim McGraw song, “Grown Men Don’t Cry” he sings:

I pulled into the shopping center
And saw a little boy wrapped around the legs of his mother…
like ice cream melting they embraced
Years of bad decisions runnin’ down her face.
All mornin’ I’d been thinkin’ my life’s so hard…
they wore everything they own, livin’ in a car.
I wanted to tell ’em it would be ok
But I got just got in my suburban and I drove away…

You see, this is how I feel right now.  Except, I feel like a mother with TWO little boys wrapped around my legs.  And yes, every tear I cry represents the years of bad decisions that I’ve made.  Oh, how I don’t want my children to live in the wake of consequences that were meant for me.  I can take a smack-down pretty well…but this is getting too real, people.  As it stands, I don’t know how I’m going to buy them the much-needed school clothes that they need to start school this year.

I’m not having a pity party for myself over here; the pity party is for my two boys.  I wasted years of my life being a stripper and avoiding things in life that were uncomfortable for me.  I wanted the easy way back when I was younger and now I’m getting old and I fear I’ve run out of tricks.  I’m just so tired.  I want my boys to have the lives they deserve.  I chose them, for sure…but they didn’t get to choose me. 

Oh, if you had any idea how much I love my boys.  I’d die for them in a heartbeat.  I honestly would.  They are the reason I draw breath.  They are perfect gifts from God.  I just don’t want my babies to suffer for the lousy mistakes I’ve made in life.  And I am just overwhelmed with the feeling that ALL my mistakes are catching up to me right now.

Psalm 37 says, “I have never seen a righteous man forsaken, or his children begging bread.  That might bring me comfort…if I thought for one cotton-pickin’ second that I might actually be righteous.

Nevertheless, I know that God remembers the widow and the orphan.  And I have been told that the single mother is the modern-day widow.  I suppose the same applies for single daddy’s too.  He showed me this verse earlier in the year.  I may have already written about it, but I don’t care.  I’m going to write about it again.

From the book of Isaiah, in chapter 54…  God showed me this:

“For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit-

Like a youthful wife, when you were refused”, says your God.

“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,

But with great mercies I will gather you.

With a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment:

But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you”, says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“So have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed,

But my kindness shall not depart from you,

Nor shall my covenant of peace be removed”, says the Lord who has mercy on you.

“Oh, you afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted,

Behold, I will lay your foundations with sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal,

And all your walls of precious stones…

ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN SHALL BE TAUGHT BY THE LORD,

AND GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF YOUR CHILDREN.

In righteousness you shall be established;

You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;

And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.

Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.”

In that truly wonderous piece of scripture I feel like God is telling me that He knows that I have been rejected and forsaken.  He acknowledges my grief and sorrow and tells me that He isn’t going to leave me.  He tells me that, although I may not feel righteous, that He’s going to make me righteous… And above all, He assures me that my children will be taught by Him and that they will have great peace!  I PRAISE Him for that!

Honestly, I feel like that piece of scripture was written for no one else but me.  But that’s how God works.  And that’s how the Holy Spirit speaks.  I love that about our God…

You know, I think I was actually writing tonight so that I could bitch and complain about my circumstances.  Oddly, I don’t feel the need to do that now.  Writing is cathartic and just thinking about the Lord and being in His Word has given me some respite.  What’s more, I love all of you, my readers so very much!  I certainly don’t want to weigh you down with my burdens or my grumblings.   Just know that God loves me through you.  I am very fond of you all in the WordPress community.  And I sure am thankful for you too…

As I end tonight, I want to leave you with a photo of my Jonah and my little dog, Poppy.  Both have fallen asleep under my desk as I’ve been writing.  They look pretty dang peaceful.  Maybe I’m not the worst mom in the world after all! 

 

All my love,

Ava

PS…Please PRAY for my little family…I promise I will pray for you.  If you have specific prayer requests, I ask that you send them to me!  xoxoxoxoxoxo

I CHOOSE to Praise Him…In Spite of My Circumstances!

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PRAISING GOD THROUGH THIS STORM

I love the above video.  In the song, “Shackles”, Mary Mary boldly sings, “Take the Shackles off my feet so I can dance.  I just wanna praise Ya!” and sings things like, “I’m gonna praise You through my circumstance!”  

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  There’s a definite reason for that.  I guess there’s no better way to say it, “I’ve been in a dark place“.  I wish I had the strength to shake some of this stuff off, but I don’t.  Sometimes major life circumstances get us down.  However, one thing we can do is to CONTINUOUSLY praise the Lord for the blessings that He has given to us.  Our flesh has a tendency to focus wholly on the things that are going wrong and on the hurt and sorrow our hearts feel.  Beloved, this is just want the Enemy wants us to do!  But we can make a conscious choice to praise God through our darkness, heartaches, and through our times of fearful uncertainty!  And be advised, when we praise God through our adversity, we confuse the hell (pardon the pun) out of the Enemy!

I just found out last week that my beautiful home is in foreclosure.  This is the first home the boys and I have ever owned.  We built it approximately 4 years ago.  I picked out everything in it, down to the color of the grout for my ceramic tile.  It’s my sanctuary.  More than that, it’s my children’s sanctuary.  We also had a roommate move in last week.  I moved Jonah, my little one out of his bedroom and gave that room to my new roommate.  Jonah and I are now sharing a room.  Each time I come home and press the button on my garage door opener, Jonah and I are faced with a garage full of all his things.  This breaks my heart…but not Jonah’s!  God has done something in his little spirit and he actually feels excited about the whole thing!  Jonah, who is just 7, chose to trust in the Lord and praise Him through all of this change.  If my baby can do this, so can I and so can you!  

The bank won’t take my payments anymore, so we are just going to save up what we would normally pay toward the mortgage.  And, I have an appointment on Wednesday with a bankruptcy attorney.  Through all this, I realized that home is where my babies and I are.  Shoot, we could move from luxury into a trailer park home and I know we’d be OK.  It would hurt us, and it would be an inconvenience, but the Devil will not steal my joy nor will He put a wedge between me and the Lord!

I have thought a million times about going back to work in a strip club.  And don’t think that even prostitution hasn’t crossed my mind either.  I have made a living on my looks in the past, but I refuse to do it now!  I want God to bless my efforts!  Further, I want others to see that, while I am suffering, I can still shine the light of Christ!  I choose to praise Him!  My water was shut off a while back and I have warrants for my arrests because of traffic tickets I can’t pay, but I choose to praise Him!  

My boyfriend has been away from me since mid-June and has been living back in Las Vegas.  He is living in hotels and gambling incessantly; he’s constantly drunk and I know he’s even been doing drugs.  He assures me how much he loves me but yet hasn’t taken my calls or responded to my texts in days.  He could very well be with another woman and my heart aches from the pain of the loneliness, rejection, and constant abuse…but friend, I choose to PRAISE the Lord anyway!!!  After all, he is the only One who can deliver me from this cesspool of drama.

I’ve got to get out of this utterly painful relationship but I guess there’s an intrinsic yearning that I have inside of me to be loved by a man.  I feel SO bitter that other people have husbands and I don’t!  I want a companion to love and to be loved by!  I want to have someone to split the bills with!  I want a male role model for Jeremiah and Jonah!  And for GOODNESS sakes, I want to be able to get laid every day and it be an act of worship unto the Lord…rather than a sin I commit inside my own body!  I know that last one didn’t sound too Godly… But hey, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have that edge!!! Please pray for me.  Please pray that God and only God, and only God will fill every deep desire of my heart.  Obsessing over my boyfriend feels like idolatry to me.  I don’t want anything to come before God!  

Speaking of that, I am reminded of one of Beth Moore’s sermons (I adore her).  She asked the question that Jesus asked of his disciples: “What is it that you WANT?”  Really, what is it that you really, really want that you perceive that you don’t have?  What is it that your heart yearns for?  “That“, she said, “is the point of spiritual warfare in your life!”  And oh, how right she is!  Let us not live from a cycle of lack!  When we do we give the Devil a powerful foothold and it greatly affects our relationship with our Father!

So, what it is that you want?  What do you think is the point of warfare in your life?  Where are you leaving an open door for the Enemy to attack you?  Pray for God to strengthen you in that area, and don’t forget to praise Him through the storms life.  I’ve never felt more blessed in my life when everything seemed to be falling apart and I praised Him through it anyway.  I hope you’ll do the same.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  I know this, and I hope your heart can internalize it too!

Before I end, I wonder how I can pray for you?  If you have any prayer requests, please share them with me.  I having been praying harder than ever lately, and I’d love for you to be able to get in on some of the action!

God bless you, Beloved.  Keep your eyes fixed on the Cross.  Trust me, If “I” can do it, I know you can to!

ALL my love,

Ava