Thursday, November 27, 2014

Your Beautiful...


Sleep doesn't come easy post surgery - especially when all that you can do is rattle around, and rest.  It makes for much intermittent sleeping.  Two hours here - an hour there - but nothing solid.  
So I've been up for quite sometime, reading and reflecting over the past year.  I cannot convey how much life there is from/in my bible.  Passages that I've read so many times will just speak new truths to me as I re-read them.  There is such beauty in the truth.  I've always found there to be, but not everyone is in agreement with this.  For some, its become their life's passion to run from it.  Trust me, I know - when I was using, to a degree, I did the same thing.  It's a natural part of the disease.  Who can tell themselves the truth when your whole life is a lie?  

At least this is what your addiction is telling you.  And tell you it does.  The power over the mind that active addiction has is mind boggling.  I've known it to take men and women with PHD's to their knees.  So it certainly isn't about intelligence.  You can think all day and night about having an addiction and still not stop.  It is the one disease that tells you - you don' t have one.  Denial being one of it's greatest (strongest) features.  I talked to someone yesterday that almost blew their face off - and asked them how it changed their life - the accident - and I got an astonishing answer, "not much, really."  The brain's capacity to protect it's supply is amazing.  Even in the face of consequences that could have produced death --- we'll keep right on using or drinking.  I know because I've done it.  I've seen it in action right in front of me - heard denial's excuses, from my clients - and from people that I love.  I've watched it take the lives of those that I love, on too many occasions.  

I still wonder if someone had told me then that God wasn't mad at me, and that He's never been mad at me -- would I have believed it?  If someone had taken the time to tell me that we weren't under the law of sin and death any more -- would I have listened?  If someone, somewhere had have told me that I was loved more than I could imagine - more than I could ever dream... would it have made a difference?  I wonder this because I always loved God -- you see the best way that I knew how.  I read my bible -- high.  I have burn marks all over my King James Version - study bible.  How humbling it was to take that to church, and then to fall asleep during the sermon.  How horrible that was for my parents.  Not only did I have a machine giving me too much medicine ( pain pump) I had break through meds besides.  I'd often fall asleep in my food - etc.  I was a constant source of embarrassment to my parents.  Nodding off all the time, isn't normal.  Burning up everything with cigarettes isn't normal.  I've had few bedspreads that didn't have burn holes in them, or mattresses for that matter - because I'd smoke in bed.  The sight of my apartment living room was scary - and then there came the day I caught myself on fire....  

I want to tell you something today.  You're Beautiful.  No matter what you're doing, how far you think that you've gotten out of control -- how despicable you think you're life has become -- you are still loved by God.  He/She - (however you need to see It) has never stopped loving you -- since you came into existence.  You want to know why?  Because it isn't about us or our behavior!  It is about what Jesus did at Calvary!  He became sin who knew no sin, so that we could become His righteousness !  How do I know this?  It's in the bible.  We seem to think that we've done all of these horrible things -- and just can't be forgiven or saved -- and did you know that back in the Old Testament times they were offering babies for sacrifice?  Moses was a murder!  He had just murdered an Egyptian prior to his going before Pharo (spelling) to demand letting the people go.  We hammer at people the 10 commandments - the "moral law" and we aren't even Jews!  We are Gentiles!  And besides that there were 613 "laws".... not just 10!  What man has done to the bible is astonishing!  We've never been under such law.  Never.  Yet we've swallowed what these preachers had fed us for years and years, hook line and sinker.  We've felt the guilt, week after week, after week.  We've allowed them to tell us what's in OUR bibles and we haven't read them!  They take one verse here and another there and shove it down our throats.  And we've allowed them.  We've even allowed them to let our salvation be at risk, thinking we have to be saved and re-saved, week after week.  It's just not true.  All of that is really low-level Christianity.  

I want to tell you something.  Don't believe me -- check it out for yourself -- there are lots of grace preachers - just google it.  Find you're freedom.  I've written about it, but you don't even have to believe me.    The information is out there.  Andrew Farley is a great teacher/pastor.  Paul White my pastor, Creflo Dollar, just search for grace teachings and see what you get. 

But most of all, I want you to know that you're beautiful.  Despite what your addiction is telling you so that you keep getting wasted - you aren't worthless.  You never have been - no matter who told you this.  Love and pain are universal.  You know pain -- why not set forth to know love?  A love like you've never known,  A safety and a security that is beyond explanation.  There just are no words for the peace that I have in my life today.  And it all begins with a single step into a different direction.  I won't tell you that it will be easy.  Nothing in life that is worth having is.  I can tell you if you'll take a step in love's direction -- love will be returned.    

I so hope this inspires.  I so hope that someone somewhere - chooses differently.  I so hope that someone realizes that they are loved and always have been.  

I wish someone had have told me....     






Please listen to video below...







Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lean times...with never ending love.


Hope.  It's a full time job sometimes, depending upon someone's station in life.  If that is the way that you believe.  If it's about the apple or the seed.  

I don't totally believe in our being predestined.  However my father was pretty enthusiastic about life and it's people.  He lived a happy  life with only the use of one hand and one leg.  My dad did more with one hand and one leg than most do with a full functioning body.  I know this is where I get my spunk.  Daddy had high hopes, as a matter of fact he used to sing that song to me.... "high hopes, he's got high hopes, high - apple - pie - in the sky hopes...".  Wow does that ever bring back the memories here on this Thanksgiving week.  How my life has gone from having so much family to my sitting here in front of this blinking curser, alone.  It is a difficult adjustment - these times.  There is nothing to prepare you for it, nor anything that could have helped you buffer  from these feelings - they just are.  Believe you me, I want to escape.  My mind is doing every last thing to try and get me to run from how I feel right now.  The inescapable part that I know is that I either feel this now, or feel it at another time because it's not the feeling that has to change, or adapt, it's me and my understanding of it.  The facts will still remain.  I'm alone, I no longer have close family, and I'm going to have to get used to it.    

I'm alone post surgery after asking a life long friend for help - and getting excuses.  He's been checked off the "I don't matter" list -- I don't care how long I've known him.  I mean, shoot - I'm three days outside of surgery and he isn't even working and he won't come.  Oh well...  Done with that mess of excuses.  I didn't ever matter to him anyway.  If I had, I wouldn't been here and him there...  

Alas, you all know me better than this.  I cannot put my faith into humans.  My faith is in Jesus.  He will never fail me!  No matter what things may look like, what they may feel like -- I love a God who takes the impossible and makes it supernatural!  People will fail you.  Expect that.  God never does.  He is the same today, tomorrow, and yesterday...

Sure I miss my Dad.  Sure it would be great if things were different.  But they are not.  I'm going to walk in faith in a new direction and see what happens.  There are quiet moments which call for me to reflect and draw near to what I know.  This is a time to reflect on my hopes and not wallow in my fears.  I've spent way too many years doing that...  besides what is that going to get any of us but more fear?  Haven't we all given fear much more attention than it deserves?  I know I have.  

I also know that when I just take even a baby step out towards my Jesus, he runs to meet me.  His arms wide open, He embraces me with all gentleness and delight.  He's been waiting for me to choose Him over fear, my whole life.  For once in my life, I'm doing it.  All things work together for the good of those that love God!!!  So even though my outward man may appear to be perishing, my inward man is being renewed day by day!!!  I may not have answers or certainty of how everything will work out envisioned all in my minds-eye, but this is the stuff that faith is made of.  It is stepping out and trusting even when all the ducks aren't in a row -- when my life isn't all pretty and boxed up with a Christmas ribbon on it.  Matter of fact, things are pretty grim right now -- if you really knew the truth, but I'm going to trust my Savior anyway.  I actually delight in trusting Him.  Jesus answers prayer in such unexpected and awesome ways.... I'm anticipant to see how this works out.  My heavenly Father is so (for lack of better words) amazingly awesome -- and so impossible to predict ... (in amazing ways- He is predictable for He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow in His steadfast love for us) I feel kind of like a child, waiting for it's Father to return home.  I just can't wait to see what Daddy does in my life!

                                Daddy, Abba, Father, Friend -- all of these things are what my Savior are to me.   It's taken me a lifetime to truly understand that He will not fail me.  It's taken addiction, addiction to food, pills, booze, men, relationships, spending -- any and everything I could do to make the hurt subside.  Anything that I could TRY to make it subside... none of those things actually worked.  You know why?   Because you cannot fight feelings.  Feelings just are.  They aren't debatable.   We're the ones that try to mask, change, alter, and make them go away.  God gave them to us for a reason.  In all actuality they are a gift.  If we are living our lives in such a manner as to have or be in balance.  Feelings are our indicators, our pay-off's if you will, and our blessings.  They were never meant to be something that we try with everything in us to avoid.  This is something that us as humans have came up with because we've gotten so far out of the will of God.  Away from His word -- and I mean no condemnation there.  Most people do not even know of the New Covenant.   They do not even know about grace - or that they are gentiles, and not jews.  Don't get me started there.  I've other blogs for that.... (See Grace 101)

Friends are difficult to come by in this lifetime.  If you have one's that you've had for a long time -- hold on to them and cherish them.  Friendships aren't about quantity -- it's all about quality.  I'd rather have one really great one (which I do, praise God!) than a bunch of mediocre ones.  I guess I really have several but when the chips are down - we certainly know who we can depend upon don't we?  

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life; nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. "  Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

God/Jesus isn't, hasn't gone anywhere.  He is right here (in your heart).  All you have to do is believe.  (Questions?  Leave a comment at any time, and 'll get back to you, I promise.)

So, Gracie and I are going to have a fantastic Thanksgiving - post surgery - even with all of the things that I can't do!  Even though I can't really cook, and am in need of several things.  God will provide.  It won't be like it used to be, but I'm not who I used to be.  Praise God!!!!   All I ever wanted was to be loved.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The beauty of listening....

I never thought on the morning of surgery that I'd be at such peace.  I'm five days out of not smoking and I have no idea what that means in terms of withdrawal but I'm at peace.  My circumstances aren't all as I'd have them to be, but inside where it matters, I'm at such peace.  The peace that I keep finding is beyond words.  I'm finally fully understanding what my Savior would have for me, and that when I even take the smallest step towards Him in faith - He runs to meet me.  It is beyond words.

My pastor told me last night that I was glowing.... and it was funny because I'd been to Sephoria and had two different types of foundation on - one on one side of my face and another on the other -- to see which one matched... so I didn't even match!  But I KNEW that I was glowing...  I felt it.  I'd made through the most difficult day thus far and I hadn't smoked - and a big part of me wanted to.... a few times!  But I just kept repeating "I can't do this, but the Holy Spirit inside of me can!" -- and I made it.  Yesterday was the hardest day.

This is a much different transformation than I've ever gone through.  Much different because it is God that is doing the changing --- all that I'm doing is listening to His direction.  I'm staying out of the way.

I've lived my life full of worldly logic - Gina's smarts, and analytical mumbo jumbo... and you know what?  I've been doing the same work over and over again,  I believe because it was empty of any true direction from God.

I've always had the holy spirit inside of me -- and I've turned Him off a lot.  I'm not proud of that.  But something has changed.   I have matured.  I think I finally understand.  Glory be to God!  I was still not giving up my addiction for some kind of fear -- some kind of distrust of God.  I didn't even know it, wasn't even aware of it until now.

I was trying to live with half a "new man" and half my old ways!  And of course in grace - there was no condemnation!  Praise God the more that I heard grace, the more I heard the loveliness of Jesus -- it just crept into my soul and I could not deny it any longer - I had to let go of my old ways.  Perhaps they weren't horrible things -- and perhaps they weren't "sins" but it was not indicative of the real me as a new creation in the eyes of God!  I'd heard what the holy spirit had said to me, but I was not being obedient.  I didn't want to give up those things.  But now, I freely do !!!  I give them up and more if need be because I want to live as closely to whom God would have me be as humanly possible!  I've tasted this transformation -- walked in this light of the spirit and it's beauty is immeasurable!!  So much that I've no fear today!

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God to true righteousness and holiness."  Ephesians 4:24

I know that I cannot convey how I feel.  I'm renewed.  My mind and my spirit.  I feel like a little kid with awe and wonder.  The amazing part is that this is just the beginning...  and I have childlike anticipation!  Only God knows where He'll take me from here.  And He's in the miracle business.

To think all it took was for me to listen to the holy spirit inside of me.  Thank you Jesus for our internal version of You.  We are the most blessed humans on earth.  Thank you Jesus for where You are taking me, and for the patience that You have had with me.  I will forever glorify YOU.  Your mercy, Your love, Your patience, and especially Your grace.... I'm listening now..... In Jesus Precious Name. Amen.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vulnerable no more.

I never though I'd be  able to say that.  How glorious it is to be at peace.  How delicious it is to be at rest.  The kind of rest that only the Father can give.  The kind of joy that only His mercy can provide. Mercy that I don't deserve, but that He freely gives, even to a once broken child like myself.

This is the first time since my earthen father passed that I've felt this kind of peace.  I've always felt so vulnerable in the world.  Like something was missing.  Something was missing, my Father was gone.  I couldn't make the transition from my earthen father to my heavenly Father.  Praise God... I think it's finally taken place.

Love for me, was a double edged sword.  It was a good thing, but more often than not, it was painful.  My mom used it so often to manipulate and serve her never ending needs.  I was never enough, no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I always failed.  This stayed with me into adulthood.  I've been facing these issues.  I've been battling these issues my entire life.  Because of this - I couldn't fully trust - not people and especially not God.  This hurt me deeply.  It seemed impossible for me to overcome this.  I knew intrinsically she did not love me, despite what came out of her mouth.

How I became a person with such high hopes, I'll never know.   My father's unconditional love and constant praise saved me.  My grandmother and my father were the source of love that literally saved my life.  If not for them, I really would hate to ponder where I'd be -- if I'd be alive today.  I was a hull of a person up until my mid 20''s as it was - barren of personhood.  I had no goals, no real sense of who I was, nor any idea how to find myself.  I just existed.  My life was a series of negative, risky  behaviors to try to elevate pain or fill up the enormous hole in my gut.   I tried filling it with anything and everything that seemed like it might be better than the shame and devastation that I felt.  Life or I just did not matter.  How could it?  I'd not mattered to one of the most important people in my life, my mom.  The really sad part was that I loved her so.  All I ever wanted was her time, attention, love, and approval.

I know now that it was not my fault.                          She could not give what she did not have.

What a miracle it is for me to not need her.  What a miracle it is that I'm okay.  That I'm better than okay.  That I don't have to fill that hole with anything any longer.  That there is no hole anymore.  That I'm whole now.  Praise God.  I can be alone and not lonely.  I can be alone and enjoy it, enjoy my company.

It's okay that my journey has taken me thus far.  It's been an incredible journey.  God's been right here the whole time.  As I look back, God and only God has gotten me through.  It's okay that I need God. This is a reliance that is healthy.  I've a healthy relationship with God.

I knew God at an early age.  I knew Him but not like I know Him now.  I need Him now.  It is okay to need Him.  He is everything to me.  He has taught me how to love even when I don't want to, because He did.  He has healed my heart.  I know that if I hadn't been through what I did, I'd never have needed Him so.  I praise Him for this. It has made me who I am.  I like me.  I no longer have lack.  I no longer feel empty.  I no longer feel broken.  I'm no longer vulnerable in this world.  Thank God for His mercy, His precious grace - for while we were yet sinners, He died for us....  There is nothing more beautiful than that....<3

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Because I Matter...

I'm learning.  I'm learning at an astonishing rate.  It's actually so much, I can hardly accommodate it.  There are so many theme's occurring, so many layers, that I know it will take me months if not years to assimilate all of this to my life.  It's okay - I knew that this would be the case.  It is just so mind boggling to be in the midst of such a transformative force.  

I am discovering that there really needs to be some changes made in my life.  Serious changes.  It may mean that I need to remove some people and make some different choices.  All of it is not completely clear.  However, I know that it will become increasingly more vivid as time brings it into perspective.  

You see, I've not really mattered to myself throughout my life.  As hard as that is to admit.  I say that with all candor.  I say that with all humility.  I say that to right the wrongs, and heal the wounds in my heart.  

I had a mother that did not give me love.  She did not give me affection.  She was cold and unfeeling.  She was distant.  In return - I felt unloveable.  I felt alienated.  I felt different.  I felt like a nonentity.  I did not have a sense of personhood.  I did not MATTER.  What I felt did not matter, what I thought did not matter, what I needed did not matter, who I was did not matter... and on it goes.  

As a result of this one can only imagine the consequences that followed.  When a person does not know who they are, or have a sense of self, they will search to find, and fill the empty spaces with anything that gives the appearance of fulfillment.  They will look to anything or anyone that appears to have the answers, unwittingly search, seek, touch, taste, and tempt any direction that seems to fill the empty vastness within their void.  

I've written about my addiction -- which was an automatic reaction to my plight.  I sincerely believe this.  Without genetic predisposition - which I had - the most natural response to the emptiness that I felt would have been to reach for a substance to make me feel normal.  I am not excusing myself, in any manner, shape, nor form.  Not that addiction needs an excuse, it is a disease.  A "dis- EASE."  A dis quiet of the soul.  It is a screaming of sorts out of our inner most being, to relive the pain.  At least it was in my case.  Feeling numb was the only answer to not knowing who I was.  Or where I belonged.  I had to quiet the questions, I had to quiet the devastating, unending pain.  

Now having been taught, after two treatments, a different way to live; I did excel.  Yet, I still did not feel like I fit.  I still had not hit upon the heart of the matter.  I became "sobriety".  I attacked it with every fiber of my being.  I mastered it.  So much that I became "queen".  I became a "Counselor."  It wasn't my job - it was who I was.  It was my identity.   I was damn good at something for the first time in my life.  Well, actually as I recollect, I had became good at everything that I aspired to be, even a drug addict.  I had to, because I had nothing else.  If I was someone's girlfriend, I had to be the best.  It had to cover my shame.  The shame of not knowing who I was.  The shame of all the past mistakes, things that had happened to me, shame that I wasn't lovable, shame that I did not matter.  My life HAD to outrun the shame.  

Now if you know anything about AA - you know that you deal with this in the 4th and 5th step - and then in the 10th step.  I worked those steps until my minds ached.  But I got too good at it.  I got arrogant.  When I became a counselor -- I thought I did not need AA anymore.  Alas, I relapsed.  My life went into a terrible shame-filled spiral.  I worked living a lie.  

Now I won't bore you with the whole story.  One can read past blogs and find that three years ago I found grace.  Grace and peace through Jesus Christ.  The only One that can give it.  I am no longer under the condemnation and shame that I once lived under.  This has brought me to where I am now.  I am free from the addiction, and able to define myself in His grace.  

My journey is brining me to a quiet, still place.  A place where I am at rest.  A place where I can look at my past but not be defined by it.  Where I can examine losses and feel my feelings with out fear.  I can communicate effectively what needs to be said in the here and now.  I know that my Savior holds me in His hands.  Me.  Not who I think someone what's me to be, but me.  The one who matters.  

I have a spirit, and I have a soul.  I do matter.  I finally matter to the one that matters!  ME!  I matter to the one that's needed to matter my entire life!  As silly as this may seem to others, it does not matter to me, because all that matters is that I matter to me!  Oh what a  transformation this is!  What a declaration this is!  What freedom.  No longer do I have to feel the emptiness that I felt and search for meaning.  I am home.  I am here.  I matter.  

Why did I write this?  I wrote this for anyone out there that struggles with feeling like they don't belong.  I wrote this for anyone that might struggle with feeling like they don't matter, for whatever reason.  I know that I am not alone.  I know that there are others who's mother did not give them what they needed.   Others who must struggle with this in adulthood.  I know that people are wounded.  We're a wounded society.  I write so that others will find hope in my struggles.  That others will find strength in my battle.  Find encouragement in my truths.  Because I matter.  


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Becoming...and the spaces in between.


Isn't life just a series of becomings?  It seems to be to me.  I suppose it's mostly about the rebirthing process, out of some sort of mental darkness into clarity of personal truths.  There are some times in life that are more illuminating than others, and that happens to be one of those times for me now.

It's interesting how things come to you, and it begins a path that you did not know that you'd take, and all of the sudden your right in the midst of it.  This is magical living.  I don't believe in "magic" - I akin it to the supernatural of Jesus.  Answers to prayers.  Oh, how God answers prayers in such mysterious ways, with such amazing people.  I cannot express this enough.  My life right now, is filled with them.  Amazing people.  Amazing people of God.

It takes me back to the Hero's journey -- the delve into the unconscious, and the helpers that the hero discovers along the way on his/her  path to transformation.  Each and everyone has a particular role to play - a part to the puzzle of life, if you will.  It it so with us.  We are all unique individuals with special talents and gifts -- sometimes sitting on the sidelines waiting our entire lives for just that brief encounter with someone, that affects their life in amazing ways.  I can attest to this, I've had it happen too many times to discount it.  God gives us not only a lamp unto our feet in His word but living, breathing testimonies to help support and guide us along the way.  Jesus shows up in the neatest places!

I'm going through two therapies right now.  I'm in process of completing a grief/loss therapy and I'm in regular therapy also.  Both are weekly right now.  It's pretty intensive as one could imagine.  I'm not afraid of change.  I've not been afraid of change for some time now - for I know in Whom my peace lies.  Alls I'm trying to do is heal some of the emotional scars that are present in order to be as open to life, and love more fully.

I want to "taste" each day.  I want to rejoice and be glad in it.  There are just days when I don't and I want to release whatever this might be... and let my light shine.  I want to live, love, give, serve, confess, everything and anything that the Lord might have me do... and I don't want anything to be in my way.  Nothing.  Not in my past, not now, not ever.

Now a person might say, "aren't you trying to fix everything?"  No, actually it isn't even I that does the changing.  It is God.  I've been through some pretty difficult things.  I think my "part" is to look at it.  I believe I have to feel the emotion that is involved, that is my responsibility.  There are  those that think they can just "jump" over this, that there isn't any need in healing emotionally.  I do not agree.  My health and my wholeness is a process of being emotionally honest with myself.  Grief, loss, what ever may be the case -- needs to be addressed before I move on, or else it's like excess baggage that I carry with me, unkempt and undone.  I cannot live life fully, nor entirely alive.  I will not be fully alive.  And I want to be fully alive!  I'm tired of things happening and my responses to them being off kilter.  I want to be free of the past to not reach back for OLD tools to solve todays problems.  I want NEW tools for the present moments!!!!  I just happen to believe that for Gina, the chest of losses needs to be cleaned out.

I want to be open to fully love.  To fully feel.  To  not expect what happened in my past to repeat itself because I've not healed.  I earnestly believe it drags me down.  I'm tired (sick and!!!) of the recollection of pain in my life.  I'm drawing back the curtain on these past losses and letting them know that this is the last time that they will haunt me.   This is the last time that they will have power over me.  I'm forging a new horizon, a new path --- one that is free from the bondage of past drives, reactions, and negativity.   I will become the woman that the Lord has destined me to become -- free from the shackles of that  misery.

Times of transformation are exhausting.  Everyone will not be in agreement with you.  You will have those that think that you are nuts for even taking on such a journey.  There will be those that believe that God can change all this in an instant.  I believe that He can too -- but for whatever reason, this is MY PATH.  I don't expect anyone else to understand and I don't care if they do.  It's my walk with Jesus, not theirs.  I don't walk around "all healed up" --- and FINE.  I don't believe that in the first place.  Fine is a  lie.  Fine is a shield that people put up to discourage others from asking what's really going on.  It creates distance-- that's what it's designed to do.  No human is "fine".  We are much too intricate, alive, and vast beings to simply be "fine."  It's a cop out.  It merely means, I'm not going to tell you......

I'm not your average grace believer.  I'm seriously okay with this.  It makes me an oddball.  I don't fit in, but this is totally okay.  It's my journey with Jesus.  I wouldn't take anything in the world for it.  I am not stressing over it, because I know who my Savior is, and I know where my help comes from.  I'm not deluded enough to think that I can do this alone.  I would have never taken this on, if not for Jesus.  He has led me down this path.  Jesus and only Jesus knows why I need to do it this way.  This is all the validation that I need.  I don't need a church, nor it's people to tell me what, nor how I need to live my life.  The holy spirit inside of me leads me.

So for now -- I'm in the spaces in between.  I'm in a somewhat painful place.  It won't last forever, and I encounter those that don't understand.  It's okay --- they don't have to.  It's my journey.  God keeps giving me what I need as I go.  So far, it's been pretty amazing.  The things that I'm finding out about myself are painful at times, and healing must take place.  This is okay too.  God's got me.  It I did not have the relationship with Jesus that I have, I'd never be able to take this on.  I'm learning so much, and there's great peace in the truth.  There is solace in the pain of becoming.

Just ask the butterfly.....