MY DAUGHTER AND HER BEST FRIEND

My daughter and her best friend were in the back seat of the car. A man, who was black as coal, was driving the car. I had never seen him before.  I knew they were leaving. Running away with this man. A man I had never met before.

I sprinted to the driver’s side of the car and held on as he started driving, screaming at the top of my lungs. “HE IS STEALING MY DAUGHTER!”

He continued to drive away, as if deaf to my desperation. Slowly, but decisively, the car sped up and I had to let go, either that or be killed.

I needed help and I needed it fast. I turned around, running with the speed of panic, to the house of my daughter’s best friend. I saw a mutilated black truck in the driveway. The door to the house was open and I saw her best friend’s father approaching the front door with a force that would defy any reckoning.

I started to scream at him about what had happened to our daughter’s. He shooed me away. “I don’t have time for this right now, I have to deal with this psycho.”

I turned around and looked at an enraged woman who was approaching me with a mangled piece of metal from the truck. She took that metal and hurled it at my leg, slashing through my pants, drawing copious amounts of blood.

I kept touching my leg, screaming out to no one. “I am bleeding! I am bleeding!” I felt the shreds of my black pants disintegrating as they became saturated with blood.

Then I woke up and I realized one thing. My life is very complex and at times extremely difficult but it is a dream compared to this nightmare. Thank God for the dream I live.

 

BEING TRUE

Sometimes being true to oneself is the most difficult path to tread when you are on the avenue of love. It is such a pleasant idea to have someone love you but the reality of love can, at times, be very complex.

It is extremely difficult when you have a passion or calling on your life to become something greater than the relationship which so nurtures you.

There are times when a love can pull at your last string and seem to be capable of unraveling the tapestry which you have so yearned to leave the world.

I must be mindful that they have their own idea of what my tapestry  of life should look like. It may be our differing perspectives which  lend so much tension to our love.

It is not that you don’t love the other person but on occasion, they can seem to be an interruption. They are needy, insecure and require constant reassurance in one moment and in the next, they are everything you could ever ask for.

Those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time know that I have labored for many years to complete a rewrite of a novel.

The ghost of this novel is like a nagging Jewish mother constantly berating me for not spending more time penning the plot.

You may also be aware that I have had a very complex relationship with one man which has been the source of great ire in one moment and intense love in the next.

I love both my writing and this man with my whole heart and every single day I feel as if I am betraying either one or the other. It is the most miserable circumstance to endure because guilt has become my best friend.

I realized this morning that I have carried the calling of God on my life to become a Christian writer as a burden, not a blessing.

I have been haunted by a nightmare I had several years ago where I had died and I realized that I had failed to accomplish the novel completion. In the afterlife I was given the realization that this, indeed, was the main reason for my existence on earth.

I know I overthink things way too much.

I surrender with great resistance to anything which may nurture my soul.

I feel as if I need to let go of the hand of guilt, step off the cliff of my own self sufficiency and fall into the embrace of God.

Yet I keep grasping the hand of guilt as I struggle to jump off the cliff.

FEAR OF GOD

I have been perplexed as to why I should fear God. This is is mentioned 144 times throughout the Bible so I imagine God thinks it is pretty important.

First off, let me get something straight with my audience.

I am a sinner. Sometimes when I reflect on all my sins I don’t know how God puts up with me at all. I mean I knew better. It’s not like I haven’t gone to church most of my life. It is not like I don’t read the Bible. It is not like I don’t occasionally hear from God. It is like I am a dirty, filthy, rotten mess of sin some days.

So if you think I am righteous, let me burst that bubble right from the get go.

Yet, God is so close to me that I rarely hear him talk anymore. At this point we are so intimate that I know His thoughts when I seek Him. When He draws near to me and infuses me with his rational, it is so pure and honest, I am filled with a sense of peace.

Then why do I need to fear Him?

God has given me an example of the fear He desires in our relationship.

The example is the feeling I feel towards my boyfriend. This man is a man of God and we have been dating for close to ten years.

During the first half of the relationship he was anything but a man of God. I was not a true woman of God either.

So we fought a lot. There were so many break ups and getting back together again, our relationship was like a see saw.

I broke up with him for good after dating him for close to five years.  Then after a year and a half I was put into a desperate situation and I knew that he was the only one who could help me. So we got back together for six months and I saw a few changes but he was still way too insecure so I walked away again.

Then he asked me for one last try. I agreed, thinking this was a good way to get rid of him. Except something changed.  I started seeing the changes that Jesus had made in him. I started loving him and I became uneasy. I was scared I was going to lose him.

So I changed how I treated him.

I now thank God for every little kindness he shows me. I am careful how I address him because somehow I started to respect him. I ask him to tell me about the things which he is interested in. (I know quite a bit about Iowa Hawkeyes now. That in itself is a mini miracle. lol) I am concerned that he is having a good time on our dates.

The fear I have about him is not that he will go to another woman. He has told me that I am the love of his life and I believe that. The fear is that I will not honor the remnants of Jesus that I see in him. I have realized that as he has drawn close to God, he has become more like God. This has made him so much more lovable. In the same sense he has also pulled such deep respect from my inner core that I treat him with gentleness now. I have a healthy dose of fear that I may lose him if I act a fool. That fear has fed my love for him.

I realize that my love for God is immature without fear.

To cuss like a sailor is not treating God with respect. I have become more aware of what I watch on television and listen to on the radio. I try not to watch or listen to things which cause separation between God and I. I crave the Word of God and use it as a guiding light to my journey through this life.

I know and believe that the blood of Jesus covers all my sins but I fear God enough to desire my sins to become fewer and fewer as I mature in Him. The fear that I have for God feeds my love for Him just as the fear that I have for my boyfriend nurtures the love I have for him.

I GOT GOD

There were more than a few people who shook their head at me. There were probably many more who judged me. But I couldn’t ignore the nagging in my heart. The relationship I had been in and out of for so long was not working and I had to walk away once more.

I didn’t cry, nor did I miss him. I just walked away. It wasn’t like I had someone better in the wings either. I had a couple of guys that were interested in me but I knew they wouldn’t fit the puzzle of my heart either.

My mother asked me why I didn’t love this man.

He took me to the top restaurants. My children loved him.  He was successful. Occasionally we would go to the Symphony. In addition, he always brought me flowers. I am not talking just on one occasion either. He brought me the most beautiful bouquet every time he walked over the threshold of my home. He took me on shopping trips. When I wouldn’t allow him to see me he would send me gift card to make sure I didn’t go hungry.

He fed and took care of my body and my worldly needs in exquisite fashion but my heart and soul was starving for true intimacy.

I paused for a moment when I responded to my mother and then spoke from my heart. “Mom, he doesn’t have God.”

My mother sighed as the truth sunk in. “Yes, I understand. You have always had God, even as a little girl you had a connection with God.”

Wait a minute… I walked away from a man who took care of my every need for a God I could not even see?

You bet I did because I knew that God had always had me in His hand. He has let nary a raindrop fall on my head in the midst of a torrential storm which tore apart homes and pelted cars with destructive hail. He has healed me from diseases which were supposed to kill or maim me. He has sustained my sanity through the most horrid evil of family court. I have felt the devil breathing into my face and God has sustained my breath.

If I was to have a relationship God had to be on the throne and that was all that mattered.

As I turned my back on this man. God did something I would have never suspected. He pursued him. It was like they became best friends and I was on the outside looking in.

I can’t say that I always made the right choices when I walked away. However, this man, whom I now love, did. He sought God like no other man I have ever known. He got up in the morning and read the Bible every morning and prayed for me.

When I would be ugly to him he would go to Jesus. I am telling you that dating him is the closes thing I know to hanging out with Jesus. We praise God on our dates and share the word of God together and pray quite often also. We need to pray and read the Bible more but we are just starting again on our wonderful journey so I must be patient.

I have turned around now. I have stopped walking away. I am now walking towards this man.

As the Bible says in Psalms 37:4 ” Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

This man  has what I have always secretly desired. He has God. And now he has me also.

A DAUGHTER IN NEED

My daughter and I had a problem getting along. I am sure it was more my fault than hers. From the time she was eleven until she left home at seventeen to start working, our relationship was contentious.

After she had worked for a few years she asked me if she could move back into my home. I knew it would not be easy for either one of us but I said, “yes.”

The reason why I agreed to her request was because of a verse that the Lord had pointed out to me several years prior. It is Isaiah 58:7 “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”

She has lived with me for several years now. At first it was difficult. We both had to get past our poor way of communicating.

I had to learn how to walk a wide berth around her when she needed some space. I also am trying to learn not to pepper spray her with questions the minute she walks in the door.

She has learned how to clean up after herself in the kitchen most days. On the days she doesn’t finish, I do it for her.

The most amazing thing I have witnessed is the transformation of my daughter. She has changed from a hostile teenager, to a loving and respectful young lady.

As I have given her shelter and acceptance she has pursued a college degree while working part time. She has captured the heart of a man who is a gem. She has continued to expand her circle of friends and is very well liked in all of the circles she enters.

When I prayed about this I thought I was just giving her a place to stay but it was so much more than that. God knew that my daughter had wounds and her hostility was a poor band-aid for the wounds of her heart.

He led me to open my door wide for her to come in and live with me because He knew that she needed to know how much her mother still loved her.

I thought I was just providing shelter for her body. I had no idea that God was wanting to heal her heart.

Every single day I see her becoming more beautiful and self confident. She is one of my closest and most cherished friends now.

I give glory to God for all of the changes that have happened because without Him and His Word, I may have refused. I also thank God for my wonderful daughter on a daily basis.

THE BAGGAGE OF YOUR PARENTS

There are many things I have received from my parents for which I am truly grateful. They took me to church almost every Sunday. They taught me how to manage my money so that I would not favor debt. They have even shared financial blessings with me on occasion.

However, when I left home, I left home with a lot of emotional baggage. My parents have a very dysfunctional relationship. Something had happened in their marriage which caused my mother to have a nervous breakdown. According to my aunt she spent a year so depressed she couldn’t get out of bed.

When she finally did get out of bed she grabbed the hand of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness to give her the energy to keep living.

I remember her crying a lot when I was a little girl. That always bothered me. One thing I noticed early on though. She was never bothered if she made me cry. She could be pretty mean at times and then turn around and ask for a hug the very next moment. (kind of crazy right?)

She seeded suspicion of men into my heart. She also complained relentlessly about my Dad. She would scream  and yell at the least little thing that went wrong.

My childhood was quite unsettling to say the least.

The relationship that I am in currently is with a wonderful man who initially turned me into a replica of my mother. I complained about him all of the time. We would get into arguments and break up quite frequently.

The weird thing about it is that when I complained to people about this man my voice would change and I sounded like my mother. I, of course, attributed that to him and how he treated me.

I kept breaking up with him because something just didn’t feel right. I thought it was all his problem.

Until we got back together again and I realized my mother’s bitterness was working through me to attack this man. I was carrying the generational curse of unforgiveness that my mother had exposed me to all of the years of my childhood.

While we were apart my boyfriend would pray for me. When I was so ugly to him the Holy Spirit would comfort him and tell him “that was not who I really was.” He would bring to the forefront of his mind some of the wonderful memories we had created together.

The whole thing about generational curses is that they are passed down through generations that “hate God.” https://www.gotquestions.org/generational-curses.html

Well, anyone that knows me knows that straight off I love God. I mean I really LOVE HIM! So why was I carrying a curse?

Because I chose to. I lugged around the baggage full of bitterness, unforgiveness and anger for the majority of our relationship.

Don’t be deceived, my boyfriend is not perfect. He has issues to work through also but he is working on them with the Holy Spirit. My complaining about him didn’t help him work out his issues one bit. It was all Jesus.

So now, if I feel anger or unforgiveness creeping into my heart and mind I take those feelings to Jesus and ask him to help me sort through it. I have decided to stop carrying the emotional baggage of my mother.

Frankly if I choose to keep carrying her baggage I will keep lumbering down the path of heart ache.

SAMSUNG

My boyfriend had bought me the Samsung 7 when it first came out. He was so excited for me to use it. I put it in my closet and told him I didn’t need it. I had a Samsung 6 that I was more than happy with.

He kept mentioning it to me off and on and I told him I still didn’t want to use it. I knew if I used it I would have to let him come over to show me all of the in’s and out’s and at that time I didn’t really care to see him.

So he waited and mentioned it on and off and we actually had quite a few laughs about this situation. In addition to having to see him, starting to use a new phone was going to take some time to learn. Any free time I had I wanted to use to blog or write in my novel.

I have never really cared that much about techy things but he is nuts over every new device that comes out. He is so outrageous in generosity that I happen to have quite a few tablets and techy things scattered through my house that rarely, if ever, get used.

I am saving them for when I retire and if I have any free time during that portion of my life I will start using them. (HELLO NETFLIX!)

Well I was dead set against using this Samsung 7 (I can be totally hard headed and stubborn over the silliest things sometimes.)

Then a tragedy occurred.

I LOST MY SAMSUNG 6!!!

This was during the time when I had secretly decided that seeing him wasn’t the worst idea in the world. We had so much fun together. We had been off and on for 9 years and the on was much better than the off in that department.

So I called him and he jumped on his white horse (actually drove his red Camry) to my house to whisk me away to the AT&T store so as to activate my Samsung 7. Just one problem, since I hadn’t backed up my contacts I lost all of my contacts.

Which meant that all of those names I no longer recognized in my contact list were now gone, along with all of the men I had dated that had not made the cut.

Hmmm, now I know why I waited so long.  I was waiting on Jesus to cause me to lose my phone so that I would no longer be distracted by losers because the winner that had pursued me for 9 years was the one who was now helping activate my Samsung 7.

Thank you Jesus! Love you!

MY COMFORTER

Recently I have been dealing with an issue with my house. The background of this story can be found in this blog post. http://www.spotublog.com/home-warranty/ This has been a ten year ordeal and after ten years I usually blow a gasket.

This time I made a conscious decision to take a different path. I took my problem to my comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Then I did what I could. I asked my boyfriend to document all of the issues with my home. My boyfriend came over and took pictures of each crack and wrote down the location of each and every one.

As my former post revealed, the construction company analyzed my property several times and they didn’t think it was foundation related. They came to the conclusion that it had to do with either the irrigation system or my plumbing.

My boyfriend remembered that we had found an irrigation spout about a foot under the ground, when planting a tree, so this was a very strong possibility.

He felt so bad that he couldn’t do anything more for me. I told him not to worry. At that point I was considering a lawsuit. I told him the only way he could help me was if he was a lawyer and for the record I would never consider dating a lawyer.

Thank God I couldn’t find a lawyer who handle these kind of cases. I backed away from that idea.

Then in the still of the night, I heard the counsel of the Holy Spirit. He drew close to me and explained to me that the issues with my house were plumbing related. This confirmed the suspicion of my construction company.

So what was the purpose of God telling me what I already knew?

It eliminated my suspicion of deceit on the part of the construction company. If God said it was plumbing then I do believe that to be the truth. It also brought peace to my heart knowing that God was involved in this mess.

I am not by nature a patient person but I have been patient and kind to everyone involved so far. This is due to the fact that I have faith in God that He is more than interested in my plight.

In 1 Peter it talks about us going through various trials  in order to test our faith. If I start blowing my gasket now I would indeed be saying that I had no faith in the construction company but more importantly I would be doubting God.

To be a single mother for as long as I have been and to have a God who has protected me and provided for me is the most amazing life I could ask for. To hear his counsel in the still of the night is a comfort to my Spirit. To know that I am going through trials to test my faith makes me want to stand my feet on the rock of Jesus.

In John 14:16-17 the Word of God says:
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

I am thankful for God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son but I am truly loving on the Holy Spirit right now.

Him

I can’t say why I pushed him away for so long. He kept trying to get me to talk to him or to go out with him. I kept telling him no. I was really very, very ugly and mean. You think he would have given up right?

NO! He didn’t. He kept loving me. I refused to go out on dates with him. He would send me cards with gift cards in them. I didn’t always read the cards but I never threw one away. I stuffed them in a drawer and figured if I ever got to the point where I could stand this man I would read them.

He wanted an exclusive relationship. I told him I had been in exclusive relationships most of my life and it didn’t really suit my personality. I wanted to date around. (That doesn’t mean sleep around, just date other men) I begged him to date other women when we first started dating. He dated a few and during the date he said he kept wishing it was me. (rolling my eyes)

Then he lost a lot of weight and got so totally hot I fell head over heels in lust with him. His abs made me swoon. He was a pure total hunk of hotness back then.

We both had hot tempers though and we were miserable at resolving conflict. We dated for close to five years with a lot of flip flops between not speaking to each other and telling each other we loved one another.

I never told him how much his anger scared me. I have been taught at a young age how to become invisible when someone is in a rage. I know that rage only knows how to rant and not how to listen so I would clam up.

Although he had a problem with anger, never once did he lay a hand on me. He never cussed me out either. He did call me the B word once but considering how I treated him I don’t blame him one bit. If he got angry he would stomp out my door. Sometimes that is the only way to deal with a situation and we had plenty of situations.

I am not saying that all of the times were my fault but I definitely need to take responsibility for what was my fault. There were many times I was insensitive and did not communicate well.

However after close to five years of dating we broke up and I had no lust left to resort to. I can honestly say I was finished and ready to move on. I didn’t miss him one bit.

I moved on to other men and went on several platonic dates. I mean I couldn’t just sit at home and waste away now could I?

He had a lot of hurt and bitterness and was starting to ruminate in it, when one night the Holy Spirit spoke into him and said, “You need to forgive her, deep down in your heart.” He said he could just feel the burden being lifted from him in that moment.

That dear sweet man then started pursuing God. He started a habit where he wakes up early, reads the Bible and prays every morning. You know who he mostly prays for? Yep that’s right… ME!

I still couldn’t stand the guy though. He started to text me these mushy text messages. He would tell me that God loved me. Yeah like I already knew that okay? I mean He did sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, for all the shit I have done in my life.

He would also keep saying that I was the love of his life. I figured that was his problem not mine.

I kept dating guys.

He kept bringing me gifts. My front porch would be loaded with gift bags some mornings. I appreciated the gifts but I really wanted him to just kind of disappear.

He kept praying for me and I kept hating on him. I mean he had lied to me a few times and there were other memories that kept knocking on the door of my mind that fed my bitterness.

Then some time ago I agreed to give us one last chance. It was  a make it or break it chance.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how great I was at beating bitterness. That was a downright blatant lie.

I realized what a hypocrite I am. I could forgive others who had verbally and physically abused me.

I had almost forgiven my ex for all of the total crap he put me through over the course of knowing him.

Yet this man who had loved me more than anyone else ever has, throughout my whole life, I held in contempt.

He took every bit of hate I threw him and laid it down at the feet of Jesus and Jesus told Him to keep loving me.

I accused him of stalking me. Except the legal definition of stalking includes threats. He never once threatened me.

Somehow in my twisted reality I felt that unconditional love was a threat. Try telling that to a police officer. “Could you please get this guy to stop loving me?”

He kept praying and praying and would read the Bible every time I threw him a curve ball. Like when I scheduled a date with a guy friend right after spending an afternoon with him. That hurt him so deeply I almost lost him in that stupid move but he read the Bible and was comforted.

I think if I asked him to forgive me for all of the wrong I have done him I could  go on and on for years and years but he has such a sweet heart he doesn’t hold any of it against me.

The very coolest thing about his transformation is that he is so close to Jesus it is kind of like I am dating Jesus now. I am praying that I don’t fall into lust again because I still think he is the hottest man ever. It is just that this time around I want to fall in love, not lust. Because to fall in love with a man who is so close to God that he just emanates the love of Christ is the closest to heaven I have ever been.

A CHANGE OF HEART

For those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time you may be aware that I have struggled to gain clarity regarding a relationship I have had on and off for nine years. I must say this journey has been one in which I have had a change of heart.

This relationship was with a man who said I was the love of his life.

Yet I didn’t know if he was the love of my life.

He kept drawing close and I kept pushing him away.

When we first dated I had confusion as to the importance of sexual purity in a relationship so we fell into sin. There were some wonderful times of intimacy but I knew they were not blessed by God because they were not covered by His covenant of marriage.

I wanted more. I wanted a relationship which put God first. So I kept running… thinking I would find someone who would straighten out the twisted and tortured path to my heart.

He kept running after me; stumbling over the hateful words I threw at him.

I am sure that I hurt him many times in trying to push him away. Yet every time I talked with him he was full of forgiveness. He kept telling me that he loved me.

There was more though. He told me that he read the Bible and prayed every morning for me. He used to turn to alcohol when I pushed him away. Now he was turning to God?

He had lied to me. I can forgive quite a bit but lying is a difficult sin for me to forgive.

I had asked him to stop talking to one woman that he had been friends with. Just one woman and he could not stop talking with her. He told me he would stop talking with her but several years later I found out he hadn’t.

I had a choice. To turn away and hide in my unforgiveness or to seek understanding.

After one of the blog posts I  penned on bitterness, I realized what a hypocrite I had become. I had become cold with bitterness towards this man. I asked God to change my heart.

As the veil of bitterness was lifted from my heart I realized that she was the one woman who kept telling him to go after me. She gave me much more validity in his sight than I ever deserved.

She is now getting ready to marry one of his best friends and the Lord has sown a seed of deep love for her in my heart. I am now praying for her and the wounds that I know need healing in her heart.

Yet, I still pushed him away. I accused him of stalking me. I had looked up the definition of stalking and it includes threatening someone. Well, he had never, ever threatened me. I guess in some strange way I felt unconditional love was threatening. I hadn’t experienced anything like it in the past.

So this year he asked me for one last chance. He promised me if it didn’t work he would leave me alone. I agreed, but in my heart, I was just thinking this was a way to get rid of him for good. So I started dating him again.

He helped me bake and decorate Christmas cookies. He not only helped me put up my Christmas tree but also helped me take down all of my decorations and lugged the boxes upstairs even though his knee was hurting so bad he couldn’t bend it. How many boyfriends do that?

Not only did he help me with all of those activities but we had a blast doing them together. He is so much fun!

He has bought me thousands of dollars in gift cards to make sure I have enough to eat. He has never said,”NO” to anything I ask him to buy. He does without so that I can have.

I don’t ever want for anything but many times I beg him not to spend money on me because I don’t want him carrying the burden of debt. He assures me that due to my influence he has learned to budget wisely. I don’t think it has anything to do with me teaching him how to budget. He just does without to spend money on me.

There was one morning when I hadn’t talked with him for a few hours and I started getting scared. Did he really mean it when he said he would walk away this time?

I was terrified. I couldn’t imagine life without him. We had been together for so long. He was my knight in shining armor. Anytime I had difficulties he was the one I would run to.I called him quickly, crying on the phone. I needed to know he was still there for me. Thank God he was.

Then last night we celebrated Valentine’s day. I gave him a gift card to help pay for some of his pet supplies for some of the kitties I have gifted him over the years. I also gave him a gift card to Mardel’s so that he could buy a new Bible. That was one of the few things he had said he wanted. To have a man who values the Word of God is to have a treasure worth more than gold. He is so valuable!

He gave me two boxes of chocolates, a load of gift cards, then he took me out to eat at a very classy french restaurant in Dallas, called St Marten’s. While we were eating I told him that I thought he was the very best. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a box.

It wasn’t an engagement ring but a promise ring. It was the most beautiful ring in the world. He had given me one before but that was before he had devoted his life to serving and worshiping God. This ring symbolized so much more than the first had. This ring symbolizes our need for God first and each other second.

I feel blessed beyond measure to have this man in my life and despite all of my shenanigans and rejection of him I believe he may just be the love of my life also.

It was truly the most remarkable Valentine’s celebration of my life. Thank you so much, Dan, for this one last chance. I don’t deserve it but I hope that someday you will consider it the best decision you ever made. I love you!