Victim To Victor: Remaining Open in a World of Slamming Doors

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Honestly, I’ve been avoiding writing since my last post.  I’ve gone through so much, have had so much revelation, and have been quite uncertain of how I should address these parts of my experience.

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I suppose I’ll start at the very beginning, as I heard once that it was a very good place to start.  🙂

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As of 5 weeks ago tonight, I have been medication free.  After a long 6 years on a cocktail of various psychiatric medicines, I decided one night to stop.  It was definitely a dangerously impulsive decision that could’ve been deadly in so many ways.  When I did it, though, that was kind of the point.  I had one last change in medications about a month prior, and had since sunken into a deep, deep depression.  When I stopped the meds, I did it in an attempt at my life.  As the following days crept by, something within me began to transform.  My anticipation of the end, evolved into my hope for survival.

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Let me STOP right there.  I want to say that medications can and do work for so many people.  I maintain, even now, that God would not have given us the ability to create such medicines so that the ability of healing could lay dormant within us.  These medications powerfully alter physical chemistry of the brain, thus affecting mood.  Stopping medications without the guidance of a doctor is dangerous, and especially so when done suddenly.  I have since consulted with my doctor, and remain monitored for sudden changes.

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What I did was not healthy, and very well could’ve killed me.  Somehow (God), it did not.

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The first place I went, after 2 weeks of staying in bed, was to church with some acquaintances who had been nagging me pretty relentlessly to go.  I’ve been asked to church before, but these people didn’t stop.  So I went, and continued to go in the weeks following.  I made the final decision to go one night a few weeks ago, knowing that if I showed up this particular time, they were going to keep expecting me to go.

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As it turns out, the people there were pretty amazing.  It wasn’t because of their devotion to scripture, or their claim of righteousness.  What struck me about these people was that, when everyone I’d encountered before them had given up on me at some point, these people stood by me through the worst of it.  I’ve been unintentionally testing boundaries since we met, and I continue to do so with this post.  (We’ll see where it goes.)

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I was also struck by the joy they experienced because of God, and the love they were capable of sharing because they were so filled with God’s love.  For the first time in my life, I felt I had found adequate examples of the God I’ve always believed in.

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They opened my mind and my eyes to God (love), and last Sunday, around midnight, I opened my heart to Him.  For the first time, I accept the ways in which God can work through me to help others.

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I now understand that I am only capable so much, but God is capable of everything.  I came to this point after years of single-handedly attempting to save a world that is largely uninterested in resolving the continuous destruction taking place.  I realize that I can accomplish more to confront this destruction with God, despite the numerous people who contribute to such destruction in the name of God.

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In the near future, I plan on explaining the extent of the torment of resistance that I experienced until the very last moment of that Sunday night.  I want to elaborate on the journey and explore why there is so much conflict within our surrender to God.  For now, I’ll summarize the event:  Last Sunday, I was mentally and spiritually tormented, and was feeling suicidal for the first time since I had stopped my meds.  I knew if something didn’t change, I would kill myself.  I had waited until I felt it imperative to make a commitment, because I wanted to be certain that these people truly lived by the image they portrayed.  I have to say that the majority of them do, including the people who invited me, and have stayed invested in my well-being.  Along with these friends, I continue to meet people who remind me daily of God’s love.  I’ve met people who have gone through many trials to get to God and people with souls so pure, it is strikingly beautiful.  I am so grateful for all of these people.

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As soon as your wall comes crashing down, however, some people’s true colors become achingly apparent.  I try to remain aware that judgement is one of the clearest projections of a someone’s remaining insecurity in God’s love.  This awareness raises my consciousness of everything I project, while also fueling my forgiveness of those who judge me.

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Because of those who have been living examples of God’s greatness, I’ve been adamant about holding true to my commitment.  The people who have shown me God, have reached me in a unique way.  I was not easy to reach and my mind had been closed.  As it is, I made a commitment to God, and He is my source.  That is unwavering.

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As I’ve been conflicted about the discrepancies I’ve heard within the ministry, I’ve tried to take an AA approach to what I take away from messages relayed from God, through people.  I am now capable of discerning when God speaks to me directly, and when people distort intention by playing telephone with the message.

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It is funny how people can say what they think you want to hear, until you’re reeled in, and then they change their tune.  I never felt judged in this church, before last Sunday night.  Immediately and ironically, after being told that satan would test my faith, I started to hear about all the things I would HAVE to change to be an adequate messenger of God.  After Sunday, I was basically told by several that I wasn’t good enough as is, whereas before that I had been assured that I was loved unconditionally as a creation of God.  I was definitely afraid at first, as though God would reject me now that I had given my life to Him.  I have experienced this pattern in so many relationships with people, but God is certainly enduring.

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I definitely feel without a doubt that God can improve me, but I don’t want to nitpick about insignificant details.

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I believe people interpret God in ways that make them feel safe, fill their voids, and protect them from dismay.  At the same time, instead of receiving what God intends from messages, they often try to conform God to a formula of perimeters according to how they’ve always known Him.

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I do not think mathematics are an accident.  The fact that so much can be calculated, I believe, is proof of God… to say that nothing is by chance, but rather, by design.  But to sum up God within mathematics is pretty ridiculous.  In other words, to say God is only capable of working within a formula, is selling God short.  Like REALLY short.

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I feel it necessary to say, that whenever you limit the ways in which you presume God can speak, you therefore are minimizing His capacity. God works through all things good, whether He receives credit is up to you. Certainly, if you are having a hard time finding Him, there are designated places to turn, but if you REALLY OPEN YOUR EYES, you will see Him EVERYWHERE.

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There are so many presumably “secular” mediums through which God is working constantly.  I don’t know why people limit Him to one book, or one medium of expression.  I have met disciples in this church community who are far more convincing of God’s goodness than the disciples of yesteryear, with whom I cannot relate.  I also know, for a fact, that I have experienced God and God has spoken to me in many many ways in my life… throughout the 27 years leading up to this point.  If He had not, I would not be here (in this moment, or at this spiritual point).  In fact, I probably wouldn’t have gotten far past the age of 4 or 5.  For example, I have seen God in nature, art, and selfless acts of compassion.  Also, for the most part, I’ve been very aware of the sources of messages I’ve received.  The thing that has confused me for so long, has been the voice of a people CLAIMING God with words, and DISCREDITING Him with their actions.  Now I am finally capable of deciphering the people who claim God as their source, and those for whom God IS their source.  This is because, for the first time, I’m giving credit where credit is due.

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So, when I started to feel judgement being hurled at me after opening my heart to God, I was put off.  The difference this time is… I know God now.  I recognize messages that are not from God, even when they come from people who associate themselves with God.  It is usually delivered with an authority.  I know a lot about a lot of things: gender inequality, sexual violence, mental health, literature, and even spirituality–But I always try to avoid, at all costs, ever making a claim of authority.  I know stuff, but I don’t know everything about any issue.  A lot of people have trouble admitting that.

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That awareness is definitely challenging.  If I didn’t know better, I could say “Oh, ok! This is what God is really about? Count me out. Peace!”  But since I do know better, I’m reminded, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)  I refuse to let PEOPLE come between me and GOD ever again.

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I’m also being constantly reminded that I have a unique perspective to offer.  I know that this is true, both for those who reject God and people who presume to know God.  I feel drawn towards breaking down the barriers that separate these two groups of people.  I do realize that this is a hefty expectation, but I also recognize that with God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

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The scriptures I’m referencing here is very basic.  But sometimes getting back to basics reminds you of your Source.

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I used April Fool’s day to out myself as a new person in Christ on Facebook.  No one got it, mainly because people from my church loved it, and people from my past couldn’t figure out if it was a joke.  I also took the time to proclaim my ongoing commitment to women’s issues, which may not be number one in my life now, but is still my passion–Especially because of the overwhelming role the church has had in the oppression of women throughout history.  I cannot passively allow women to associate that oppression with God.  God has nothing to do with any of that!

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I think people got scared because I used the words Christ and feminist in the same sentence.  It baffles most, though it makes so much sense to me.  Look, we all believe stereotypes, whether it is about Christians or about feminists.  How about this: get to know a few before you form opinions.  I agree with a lot of feminism, while not fitting into the prejudices people thrust upon them.  I also recognize my relationship with Christ, thanks to a handful of Jesus freaks.  If I had judged all people associated with Jesus, based on the majority of Christians I’ve met… I wouldn’t have given Him a chance when He started revealing Himself to me about a month ago.  I claim feminism proudly, so that people may know that feminists are NOT scary bra-burning, man-hating, abortion-promoting lesbians.  And now, I claim Christ proudly, so that people may know His endless capacity for joy, love, and hope–rather than the wrath of judgment by people who mistakingly claim Him.

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Through this, I acknowledge my revelation that being open minded has nothing to do with remaining in safe discourse amongst people you agree with–But rather, open mindedness comes through recognizing stereotypes and the bias of your own experience, and challenging that within yourself.  I also accept that with this message, I will undoubtedly feel the impact of stones against my flesh, tossed by those who think that a forgiven sin, was never a sin at all.

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***GOD IS LIMITLESS***

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“Joy descends gently upon us like the evening dew, and does not patter down like a hailstorm.”

-Jean Paul Richter

 

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3 thoughts on “Victim To Victor: Remaining Open in a World of Slamming Doors

  1. This is a GREAT blog post. I just wanna hug you! My favorite part: “For the first time, I accept the ways in which God can work through me to help others.” <—– Literally brought me to tears. I identify with that so much. I remember the moment that happened for me. Thank you so much for sharing yourself. You're such an inspiration – and so real! I love you!

  2. I truly love this post and it brings back so many emotions for me as I read it. I just went through so many similar revelations in my own life. I cried tears of joy as I read this and I could not be more happy for you. Recognizing the Lord and inviting him into my life has been the most remarkable experience I have ever had. I do still get sad, very sad, from time to time, but even then, there is this little warm light in my heart that I am drawn to. It is a place where I can feel peace amongst all the chaos going on inside of me. I never had that before I found Christ. AND, I realize that had I not experienced so much pain in my life, I may not have even noticed that little light, I may not have ever felt that peace and I am certain that I would not be nearly as greatful for it. I know now, that everything will be ok. I know now that even this tiny sliver of light is enough to break up my darkness and give me hope. I know now that I ALWAYS have a way out and that the Lord will always find me even when I have lost myself. And I must tell you that the light get stronger and stronger as I learn to truly devote myself to the Lord and become his Disciple. We are always loved. We are always noticed. We are NEVER forgotten. I am so thrilled for you my friend.

    P.S. Have you ever read THE SHACK by William P. Young? This would be a good time : )

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