Category: Overcoming - His Porcelain Soldier
 
For those who are not familiar with the term "Aspie" I will enlighten you. It is a term given to people with a syndrome known as Asperger's Syndrome. It is a high functioning (for him) form of Autism. (He is too intelligent for his own good!) For many years I had never heard of it and neither had he. We've been together since I was 15, and needless to say, it's been one big major adrenaline rush of a roller coaster ride in our relationship. If you're not aware of what a person with AS is like then you can guess if you've been around him long enough, or read some of the symptoms I'm about to list:

The biggest factor in people with AS is that they do not comprehend or 'pick up' on what society would consider 'normal' social cues. Ex; They blurt things out at inappropriate times, and most of the time don't even notice the strange and confused looks on people's face when they do it. They don't read body language and expressions like 'normal' people do. They don't understand them and tend to lack things such as empathy when it's typically expected. They can come across as being very callous because of this. They don't usually 'fit in' anywhere, work, school, etc... They're often misunderstood, perceived as lacking common sense because of their lack of 'normal' social skills when in reality, they're gifted with intelligence. (What is normal anyway?) 

They're introverts. They don't like going on camping trips with the guys. They don't like going to the family BBQ's, church gatherings, work parties, etc. They are most happy in their own home, either alone or with their immediate family (and they can be perfectly content completely alone.) This is due to what is known in autism as a 'sensory overload.' Social gatherings as these trigger the sensory overloads. Imagine your computer when it crashes because it's been 'overloaded' with a worm or viruses, or even just too many downloads and uploads. It shuts down when it  gets too overloaded. Autistic people in general are wired differently than 'normal' people. Sights, sounds, touch, all the things we use to communicate is in overdrive for them. It's like some one just turned up the volume all the way. and everything our bodies sense is intensified for them. Social situations create stress and anxiety for them that will even bring on physical ailments such as fatigue.

They don't care for human touch. Again, it becomes a sensory overload issue. Something as simple as a touch just rubs their nerves and sensory system the wrong way. They prefer not to be touched because of that. They're somewhat accepting of it with a spouse or close loved one, but they also have a problem with germs. So they're not likely to be so accepting of others touching them.

These are just a few examples to give you an idea of what life living with some one with AS might be like. Put yourself in a relationship with one, and it can turn into an epic failure. Aspie's don't like to cuddle. If you try to sit near them and cuddle, they'll probably even get up and move (they will.) They won't want to go to your best friends BBQ with you or on the church camping trip. When you're excited and want to tell them all about what made you so happy, they won't share your excitement with you (that empathy thing I mentioned.) In fact, they might even get up while you're mid sentence, and just walk out of the room (I know this from experience.) They won't even show excitement when their wife gets published in a book ;) Oh, and they have very frequent mood swings, and they are unpredictable.

They can be quite neglectful to say the least. (Remember, they just prefer to keep to themselves, even in a relationship.) But when they love some one they are very loyal and committed to that person, and they love them very deeply. They just don't show that love. You will get your feelings hurt a lot if you're with an aspie and don't understand them. I spent many years living it. You will feel alone, even when he's there, if you don't understand him. It can be an extremely miserable and lonely relationship/marriage for the non aspie spouse. It is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. They tend to be obsessive for a period and then begin to obsessive over something else. This is to include their spouse. They are very loving and in tune to the relationship in the beginning. But with all things they obsess over, it does come to an end and they might get in to video games or puzzles. There's really no rhyme or reason to the things they might obsess over. This is their downfall in relationships. The non aspie spouse has suddenly gone from a blissfully loving relationship, when the perfect spouse loved to listen to her, do anything for her, and just became everything a best friend could be, to feeling alone, together with this now total stranger. That's what happens in the beginning anyway...

I'm barely scratching the surface here, but I needed to paint just a tiny picture of what being married to some one with AS is like and what an aspie is like in order to explain the rest of what I want to say. You see, Dale and I have struggled for nearly 15 years because of this disorder. As teenagers we were always on again, off again, on again off again... and I always had the same reasons for 'hating' him again every time. "You don't act like you love me. You don't pay attention to me anymore. You're mean and critical. (I didn't mention their negative nature, but they can be very cynical and critical, that's apart of their callous seeming nature.) You never show affection..." etc...etc... For years, it would be the same thing, over and over again, different situations, but always ultimately ending (on my part) for the same reasons. I always felt lonely and unloved. And anyone married to an aspie will go through this.

Once I realized he had the disorder however, I began to learn everything I could about it. I googled everything about it. I bought and read books, and even cried reading the books on marriage with an aspie because it felt like I had been reading our entire relationship together. They were more tears of relief though. I learned that I wasn't actually alone. And I learned about him and why he was the way he was. I began to come to grips and accepting this disorder. Once I understood him, I was able to understand that he really did love me, and so I stopped feeling the hurt for awhile. Because if he didn't love me he wouldn't be here 6 kids and 15 years later with me.

And so instead of trying to 'change' him like I'd been trying for years (really just trying to make him love me, in my mind), I began to change myself. I thought, okay, I have some tools now. I 'get him.' So I can adapt to him now and understand that he still loves me, even when he walks out of the room when I'm in mid sentence. Because he has Aspergers. And once I brought it to light and he learned that he had it, we both began to use it as a crutch. He finally understood why he was so different and couldn't seem to fit in anywhere in life. He would say to himself, "oh well, that's just who I am, I have AS." So he felt justified in who he was and the things he did (or didn't do.) And I too would blame everything on the AS. It worked for awhile. It was a great thing for me to learn all the things I did and finally truly understand him. I made great attempts to adapt to his disorder and just accept that it was our life, and that was how it was going to be for the rest of it because he had a true medical disorder.

But then I found myself struggling again. I'd go to marriage classes alone. Read books on love languages and marriage, and yada yada yada... I tried to talk him in to marriage counseling... I was frantically trying to hold together a marriage that seemed to be falling a part, and he had no idea it was even broken. I was doing everything I could to change myself so that I could accept who he was. The problem with it is that I was sacrificing my own need for love and human nurturing in order to 'adapt' to his disorder. But by the time I figured that out, it had already become too late.

I became numb. In order to adapt to some one that doesn't need or give affection, or any kind of nurturing that humans need, you have to be numb. But that numbness turned into lack of love all together. I no longer felt any kind of love towards him at all. I was suddenly resentful, hurt, lonely, and I was tired of feeling those things. I was tired of fighting for something that was never going to change. He had a true medical disorder. How could it change? I came to a point where I was just done. I had asked myself a question, "Can I live without being loved the way I need to, for the rest of my life?" My answer was no. I wanted out. I had respect for him. But I knew that I couldn't spend the rest of my life being lonely in the same house together. It was a basic human need, nurturing that an aspie doesn't give.

I told him my feelings. It was a course of weeks, talking, explaining, and even planning. I was making plans on how to support and live my own with my kids...where would we live, getting a job, etc... But when it initially went down and I told him I didn't want to be with him anymore he said to me, "I don't want you to go. I haven't fought for you in the past, but I'm going to fight for you now." (Remember how I said they don't mind being alone? I was always the one doing the breaking up in the past, and I was always the one leaving. He never tried to stop me, even if he didn't want me to go. That's just how an aspie is.) I told him, "I think you have good intentions and mean what you're saying, but I've done this too many times before. I know how it ends. It'll be good for a couple weeks (remember how they get obsessed), and then things will go back to the way they've always been again." His heartfelt words at that moment weren't enough to change my mind anymore.

I didn't have plans of leaving right away. There was no physical abuse or danger to anyone's life (Aspie's are also very peaceful and non-violent.) So I didn't want to take off with no plan, a place for me and my kids to live and no way to support myself. I just began slowly making those plans. I didn't want to jump out of the plane without a parachute. But even though he knew my intentions, he still kept fighting. A couple weeks went by, and when I expected him to go back to his 'normal', he didn't. A couple weeks turned into a month, and at that point I thought, ok, he's making a conscious effort so I'll 'try.' But it half-hearted. I felt nothing, at all. I was going through the motions. Because I had already made up in my mind that it was just never going to work. He eventually noticed that I was going through the motions. He said to me, "...it's like when I try to hold you, you just can't wait for me to go away." He was right. I couldn't wait for him to go away. I had become so numb I no longer even desired to be close to him. But those words became a very defining turning point for us. Because the first thought that came to my mind was "Wow. Welcome to my world all these years." At that moment, it went without saying, that we both suddenly understood the other for the first time. He felt my hurt and rejection for so many years. And while our reasons weren't the same (me having numbed myself and him just having AS,) I felt his feelings of not wanting to be touched. While I hadn't intentionally been numb or meant to make him feel what I had always felt, I found a sense of relief knowing that he finally understood what I'd been begging for, for so long. It had finally been recognized and acknowledged. That made a difference for me. I needed it.

I realized that in all my planning, I hadn't thought to include God thoughts. And the thoughts of his that came to my mind were, "With God all things are possible.... even a marriage with an aspie." Dale kept fighting. I was still very reserved as I spent many years losing faith and trust in his abilities to give me the love I needed. I still didn't trust it. That trust needed to be rebuilt. Dale finally starting attending the marriage classes I had long given up on. I had begged and begged him to go in the past until I just stopped going myself. But suddenly he just decided to start going, and I didn't have to fight to get him there. I began to see true changes in him, not necessarily anything we were learning in the classes, but everything as a whole. Having learned everything I could about AS, I knew how hard it is for him to sit in group settings such as the marriage classes. I recognized the sacrifice he was making just to do that. I knew that social situations like that overload his sensory system, causes him anxiety and makes him uncomfortable, and so it meant that much more to me that he was going. Because of that, I didn't mind so much when he didn't want to go to the last social shin-dig with me (my brothers homecoming.) I didn't feel unloved when he said he didn't want to go (like I would've in the past.) But he was respectful even in that. He would've gotten an attitude in the past to let me know he didn't want to go. But this time it was just, "Will you be upset if I just stay home?" I said "no'' and it was sincere.

He has consistently been showing affection... from listening to just giving me a hug for no reason. I know that those things are especially challenging for him too, more so than some one that's just having to learn their spouses love language. He has to do more than consciously make the effort. He has to fight against a medical disorder that not only doesn't give him the natural ability to communicate in these ways, but even causes physical problems that I know are uncomfortable, anxiety, and an overload in his nervous system that isn't wired like mine and others. But he does it anyway. To me, this is the equivalent of some one who runs a marathon with a missing leg. Those people usually have a prosthetic device to help them achieve their goal, because even though they can't do what others can naturally, they don't let it stop them from achieving what they want out of  life. That's Dale. That's what he's done for our marriage. He has put on a 'prosthetic device' and put his heart and soul in it, and that makes all the difference.

I finally put my walls down and trusted in him again. He worked to get that back too, and he kept his word. He fought. I recognize what he fought to get there too, and it wasn't just me. It was Asperger's. He will always have to live with it just like some one with one leg has to live with that. But he's proven that he won't let it get in the way of his life anymore. He overcame that obstacle and has learned how to nurture despite it. It's become a marriage of give and take now, with a mutual respect and understanding of each other's needs. I've always been proud of him even when I didn't feel too loving towards him. But of all the things I've been proud of him for, I've never felt more proud of him than I am right now. He is beating all the odds that are against him. He's showing me and every aspie out there, that there is no excuse not to give your spouse the love they need. Where there's a will there is a way. He is an inspiration to me and I feel blessed to have him.

I now have more than hope for the rest of our lives together, I have joy in knowing we get to grow old together.


 
"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29

Weeks of training led me to my graduation day in boot camp (Air Force.) I had left (at home) 4 kids and a husband while I was away. I missed them terribly. I'd never been away from my kids before, ever. Boot camp was a little easier for me than others, considering that I was older than most of the others who had just come out of high school, and considering that I was married with 4 children already, and had already been through a lot of life's "boot camp." The TI's didn't scare me nor did they change me. But I still learned a lot of valuable lessons, and there's one I will never forget.

I had to run a mile and a half in less than 12 minutes in order to graduate boot camp. I have never been a good runner, and I certainly didn't become a better runner after having 4 kids. I was nervous about that run test, because I knew that if I failed, I would be recycled back into a flight who was a couple of weeks behind mine, thus, having to wait that much longer to see my family...my children.. whom I missed most of all.

My TI knew that I was worried. We'd had more than one private conversation in his office about my children & worries of not graduating on time. I had done well to get through those long weeks of training... but sometimes, usually at night time, when our day would slow down & we'd have time to think, I'd cry to see my kids. I'd cry just to hear their voices, because we were lucky if we even got a 5 minute phone conversation to home once a week. At one point, my TI called me to his office and offered to give me some extra phone time to call my kids. As bad as I wanted to take the offer, I declined. I told him that I knew everyone else missed their families just as much, and that I just didn't feel right about getting special privileges to call my kids. He said my situation was different, but honored my feelings on the matter.

The day of the run had approached. I was on a track, with hundreds of others running the same track and the same test. We had 6 laps to run to reach a mile and a half. We wore ankle devices that counted our laps because it's just impossible to make sure that many people run their required laps at the same time.

So I ran. I was in tears by about the 3rd or 4th lap. When you have to run that long with a short time limit it hurts your body. My face was red and I was ready to give up. But I kept picturing my kids faces in my mind, and did my best to keep pushing forward, knowing that I could see them if I just passed this test.

My TI was watching me as I ran every lap, but I didn't know it. As I crossed the line and ended my 5th lap, I saw my TI running right beside me from the corner of my eye. He could see that I was about ready to give up. He could see that my body was tired & I'd become too weary to finish. He began to yell at me, "Come on Cameron!!! You can do this!!! Come on!! I am not going to let you fail! You are going to see your kids!!!.... " His encouraging words was just enough to keep me going, because my body had already given out on me. His words kicked my will power in, and my mind finished that run.

He did this with me all the way around the track until I finished that last lap. He could've been watching and running with any of the others. But he didn't. He watched me, and he ran out onto the track to run with me and only me. I passed my run test in just over 11 minutes.

We all get this way spiritually. We become weary and ready to give up. Our bodies get tired. Our minds get worn down by the enemy, and some of us even quit. But God is watching each and every one of us and counting every lap we run. None of us are needles in the haystack on this track. He sees everyone of us and he knows where every one of us are. Some of us just stop listening for his voice when we get tired. What would we all be if we really KNEW that he's running right beside us and pushing us along?


He never gives up on us. He never leaves us. He KNOWS we get tired. He KNOWS the enemy attacks us. But he believes in us just like my TI believed in me. Even when our feet are dragging the pavement and we're ready to fall over and quit, he still believes in us. He won't run this race for us, because it's a choice we all have to make for ourselves. But he'll run with us, and he won't give up on us.

There is an end to this race, and only God knows when. YES, you're going to get tired! You're going to want to quit! The devil is going to do all that he can to wear you DOWN. But keep running! Keep pushing forward!

The day before my graduation, we ran what was called the "Airman's Run." You'd think that after all those weeks of NO sleep, constant training, and running a mile & a half in under 12 minutes just the day before, we'd be too exhausted to run TWO miles for the airman's run. The mental exhaustion of boot camp alone should've been enough to make us quit. This run was special though. We ran with our flights in a steady formation and sang jodies all the way, and towards the end of that run, our families were waiting on the sidelines, cheering & hollering for us as we rolled in... heads held high, smiles on our faces, pride swelled in our hearts, and renewed strength! We weren't tired because just knowing that everything we'd gone through was worth it, and knowing that we'd finally made it gave us back strength we didn't know we had.

I can just imagine that THIS is what the end of our race will feel like one day. Our strength was renewed by the beautiful sounds of our jodies and the beautiful sounds of our loved ones on the sidelines. All the weeks of training & tears were behind us...we had made it to the finish line! We finally got to march across the "Bomb Run" the next morning as we graduated. It was the first time we'd been allowed to even see the bomb run during our weeks of training. Heaven is waiting for us to march across its gates too! We dreamed for weeks about seeing the bomb run for the first time. That is an airman's goal, to see that bomb run for the first time the morning of their graduation. It's sacred ground at Lackland AFB.

Don't stop running! Don't give up! God is with us. God is in us! The heavenly Bomb Run is our final destination, and we're just passing through this world! This isn't going to last forever! Heaven is forever. The WORD is forever. GOD is forever. Push through your tears! Push through that burn! Push through your pain! Push through your sweat and KNOW that GOD won't let you fail if YOU DON'T WANT TO FAIL! I passed my run by the mercy of my TI's voice, but only because I DIDN'T WANT TO FAIL!

Keep RUNNING!! You WILL BE RENEWED! DON'T GIVE UP!

Devotional reading: all of Isaiah 40 (It'll bless you to read about what a MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!)
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The Bomb Run & My flights in the distance, getting to ready to set foot on it!
 
Got the devil's DNA in er'
An' the white dove in her heart
Quite the combination
With quite an ugly start

But hold no regrets dad
It's everything you coulda' been
... everything you shoulda' been
... everything she is
...everything you're not.

You think people fear your eyes
Then maybe they fear mine too
Do you think when they look at me, they see you
Nah... I got another set of eyes dad, didn't you know

At a glance, they might look just like yours
...an' maybe when I'm mad
But eyes are the windows to the spirit
An' that ain't your spirit behind my eyes, dad

Let's have a showdown ol' man
My eyes against yours
Let's stare til' our faces fall off
An' then see, which one of us is left in fear

You ain't nothn' ol' devil
...nothn' at all.

Got the devil's DNA in er'
But The Blood runnin' through her veins
Quite the combination
...quite, the combination.
 
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Have you ever wondered why the groom lifts his bride's veil towards the end of the ceremony, right before the big kiss? (And sometimes her Father lifts it before handing her over. It can vary.) 


It is such a common tradition that most people don't even acknowledge it anymore. It's practiced. But it's not acknowledged. It's just something that people do... but let's venture into WHY it's done. 


In Judaism (ancient) the veil wasn't even lifted until right before the couple consummated the marriage. It symbolized the couple becoming one flesh. Today, the unveiling in the ceremony is a symbol and foreshadowing of what will take place on the "honeymoon." 


Lifting the veil isn't just a tradition. It's a significant symbol of becoming one. Since ancient times veils have been used to separate something from another, and to symbolize the use of that person's or objects personal space. 


In Genesis 24, Rebekah didn't wear a veil until right before she knew she was going to see Isaac face to face. Perhaps she was following tradition in the same manner we still do today. But I believe there is something to be learned from this seemingly small and insignificant verse (24:65.) She put a "wall" or separation between herself and her soon to be husband. She acknowledged the separation between herself and Isaac because they hadn't yet become one. 


I think of sin as a veil between ourselves and God. And the very moment He took His last breathe on the cross, for our sins, He tore the veil hanging in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Sin was no longer allowed to separate us from Him! But just like a bride on her wedding day we still have to walk down that aisle. We have to walk through the entry where the veil was tore, into the presence of God, to become one with Him. (This is where Acts 2:38 becomes significant in your salvation.)


He has already removed the veil for us. But some of us still try to put it back on. We live in sin and try to cover ourselves from God behind a veil. We put a wall there because we feel like a failure as a Christian, and that's how sin separates us from God. 


But let me reiterate... HE HAS ALREADY REMOVED THE VEIL FOR US. His mercy says, "Come on in!" Why do we have to let the devil make us believe that we're not worthy enough to enter that tabernacle? Why do we allow the devil to keep putting our veil back on? God already took it off. 


Walk boldly into His presence! Never put that veil back on. Die daily, and trust in His love and mercy.


(Photo borrowed from flicker. Click photo to go to its author.) 
 
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The waves crash against my chest, and I can't breathe.
They roar as they roll and knock me down.
I get back up and run with all my might... into the waves again.
BOOM! CRASH!! ROAR!!
The mighty waves toss me under the water and throw me into the sand.
I scurry to the top and gasp for air...
Before I can breathe out the waves pounce against me once again.
Silence. Seconds of silence underwater last forever
And I'm tossed around under the roaring waves.


And then His gentle hands reach down and He says "be still."
The waves obey his command.
The waters are silenced... peace... peace...
That's where He keeps me.

 
I spent a lot of time around cameras as a child. I often went to work with my Mom, a (then) portrait studio manager, and watched her in action. I fell in love with the art of photography.

Some where in my memory boxes I still have the photos of my first "photo shoot" stored away. I was about 10, and my little brother was my subject. I posed him, added props, and did everything I learned from observing in my Mom's studio. I even made sure my subject was "centered."

I eventually found my own style for photography. Every artist has their own unique style; we are all intertwined copy cats of each other too.  I became a portrait studio manager. I was promoted to studio manager 3 months after being hired, and it was my very first "real" photography job. I had been taught well as a child how to be a good (studio) photographer. I grew up with those cameras. I knew how to center my subject, to add variety to each pose, be creative, and make sure each picture was in focus. I was passionate about what I focused my lense on, and that made a difference too. Without meaning to, I "booted" the current studio manager out of her position. My sales averages were doubling & trippling hers. I was being sent to other stores in order to bring up their sales averages for the week, and I would tripple their weekly goals in one day. Of course I was promoted to studio manager.

I knew from the beginning that the most important factor in a photograph was the person aiming the lense. That's why I knew how to take a good portrait. 
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I learned more about photography in college, and I left the basic rules of portrait photography and learned how to be a photo-journalist. I learned how to tell a story with the photos I produced, how the slightest change in angle can make all the difference in a good picture or a beautiful picture, and how to lead my viewer's eyes to my main focal point.

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I learned how to operate my lense, and how to use the manual settings in order to change the focus in the picture. I learned how to make people see exactly what I wanted them to in a scene through depth of field, and I learned that as a photographer, I control what images are captured in my lense.

If I don't like what's in front of my lense I can change it without having to change the object. Objects aren't always easy to change. But it only takes a second for me to change what I view through my lense or how I focus that view.

I learned that it takes more than "point and shoot" to create a good image.

I am learning in my own life that I have the camera in my hands. I can set the camera on auto and point & shoot if I want. Auto is the setting for people who choose to let the objects be in charge of what they see.

Or, I can change the settings to manual and decide for myself what I want to be seen through the lense.
 
"Life is such" when people hurt us.  We have two choices in any enviroment we're put in: We can set our camera on auto or manual.

When we choose to use manual we give ourselves the ability to change what is viewed through the lense. We can't change the people we see in our lense. But we can change how much focus we put into them or if we even want to focus on them at all. We can change how we view them by simple changes in our angle, focus, and style. 

 
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In this photograph I chose to do a "depth of field" shot. I didn't blur the images behind & in front of the stamp with an editing program. I used my manual settings to put the focus where I wanted it; though, I can still see the surroundings, and they are also important to me. But I wanted my focus in this photograph to be on the "forever" stamp. Slightly above & to the left of the stamp you can still see a marriage certificate and mine & my husband's names are carefully displayed as well. But the sharpest point of my photo is the forever stamp. I wanted the focus of this photograph to be on the "forever" of my marriage.

I didn't adjust the objects in order to get it focused like that. I adjusted my focus. We tend to look at people in life and we think they need to change in order for us to have peace within ourselves or to overcome the hurts they may have caused us.

I have learned a lot in my lifetime about photography. But the most important lesson that photography has taught me is that I don't have to change the objects in order to view a beautiful picture. God already made this world beautiful, even with its ugliness in the mix. I can change what I view through the lense by changing the controls I have in my own hand.

I don't need to change people who hurt me. That's not even my job. If I have a problem with what I see in my lense then I need to change myself. I can't change people. The grace of God gives me the wisdom to know that. But I can change how I view them. I can change what kind of focus I want to put on them. I can change how I see them in my lense simply by changing myself. My subjects don't decide what I see...unless I have my camera set to auto. We are "auto"matically born with flesh that chooses to allow the subjects who hurt us decide where we aim our lense & how we focus on them.

A simple switch to the manual setting, and I decide where I aim my lense and how I focus it. I decide to make everything that I see in my lense beautiful, even when "ugly" is a part of the composition. When you know how to use manual properly you can even make "ugly" look beautiful.

Life is beautiful when you keep your settings on manual...because you choose to adjust yourself rather than the objects around you. You realize that adjusting yourself is all you need to do.

(All photographs in this blog © of Tara Cameron.)

 
Ashamed.Violated.Belittled.Degraded.Worthless.
Hurt. Angry. Afraid. Weak. Depressed. Cold. Timid. Anxiety. Outcast. Embarrassed. Abandoned.  Afraid...afraid... afraid...

Dear God,
These are just some of the ways they made me feel. Dear God, here is my shame. I give it to you.
Here are my feelings of violation. I give it to you.
Here are my feelings of belittlement & being degraded. I give it to you.
Here are my feelings of worthlessness. I give them to you.
Here is my hurt. I give it to you.
Here is my anger. I give it to you.
Here is my fear. I give it to you.
Here is my depression. I give it to you.
Here are the walls that have made me cold. I give them to you.
Here are my timid and anxiety filled nerves. I give them to you.
Here are my feelings of being cast out. I give them to you.
Here are my feelings of embarrassment that my feelings of shame have brought on. I give them to you.
Here are my feelings of abandonment. I give them to you.
Here is my fear... my fear...my fear. I give it to you.

Dear God,
Please forgive them for what they've done to me. Dear God, never hold them accountable for their sins against me. Please wipe it off their record permenantly. I forgive them. I ask you to forgive them to with no conditions... wipe it all away.

Dear God,
I forgive myself for allowing myself to carry the shame that I didn't cause. I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel guilty for sins I didn't commit against me. I forgive myself if I ever hurt anyone because of the person I became. I forgive me. I forgive me. I forgive me in spite of me.  

Dear God,
If I ever held resentment for you for allowing bad things to happen to me, then I forgive you. Dear God you have always kept me. I understand that mankind does evil to the innocent because evil co-exists in this world with your goodness. I understand that you give man free will to choose right and wrong, and because of that, some have done evil to me. You allowed them to. I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.
 
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She Stood.

Some have hurt my heart and made me cry.
Words, and even silence can devastate a soul sometimes.
Still, I stand.

Endless nights in prayer, endless weeping, humbling myself before God and those who do me wrong, and often, not even understanding why...
Still, I stand.

Hurricanes blow my way. The devil and his demons taunt my soul and try to whisper in my ears...
Still, I stand.

Those spirits try to attack my marriage, my children, all those I dearly love... in desperate attempts to knock me down.
Still, I stand.

Sometimes I get weary and discouraged as I walk this path to righteousness. Sometimes I feel like I can't make it anymore and that I was never meant to win this race. Take back your thoughts devil.
Because still, I will stand.

Sometimes I feel unworthy and insignficant. Take back your thoughts devil.
Because still, I will stand.

And there are times I feel like I can't ever do anything right, that I'm so clumsy on this spiritual road. Take back your thoughts devil.
Because... I will stand.

Oh, you think you'll overcome my spirit with doubt? You can have back your doubt... I'll stand.

And do you really think sending guilt and condemnation from my past this way, will break me? Keep your nonsense! I've been forgiven! Regrets are for idle saints.  
I'll stand!

When you're stumbling on your own walk and thinking of taking that other road my brothers and sisters...think of me, and know, I stand. Think of me and know, you too, can stand. Find your salvation again in knowing that His soldiers can stand, because they're covered in His blood!

And when my Maker has called me home, honor my written wishes, and don't hold a funeral for me. Have a singing, shouting, and dancing worship service in His honor, because you've been given your freedom! 

Celebrate my homecoming the way you'd celebrate any soldiers! Wear colors of freedom, and forget any garments in black...

And when someone stands behind a pulpit to give a word in my memory...
 
...just simply say, "She stood."  

 

 
Tightly swaddled in your wrath you wonder how you'll move on from here.
Submerged in your afflictions brought on by flesh and evil malignant spirits...
you ponder... who loves your soul more?

You doubt that you will ever turn back and somehow ought press on.
But the laceration in your heart says, "no, no more."
Mortals who've inflicted the wounds turn your window panes cold.
The frost drips morsels down into your gut who escorts them fiercely to your soul.

Your carnal and savage will loathes the sight of them.
But your metaphysical God pricks your cheeky conscience back into submission.
You desire to spew your agony back upon those who placed it there, tenfold.
And then you recall the plank in your own eye...

... and how many tears you... you...you, must've brought your God.

...and how many times he embraced you even when your heart was ugly.
...and how many times he loved you when your mouth was depraved.
...and how many times he reached for you even when you had no loyalty for him.

...and how his unconditional love for you drew your heart into remorse, and that personal responsibility and anguish extracted the compassion back out from the depths of your soul.

...and your heart was once again free to adulate your God in complete ecstasy.
And so you were reminded that if you are made in his image you shall also love as he loves.

And you learned that this is how you shall move on.
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I believe that when I pray, God hears me!    

I believe that when I pray, His spirit moves & an annointing falls on who ever my prayers are for.

I believe that when I pray, I have the authority of the Holy Spirit... And with that authority, comes great power! It has the power to move mountains. It has the power to bind demons and shake all of hell into submission!

I believe that my prayers never go unanswered. I believe that when I pray, my prayer is already answered before I even asked. There is no such thing as unanswered prayers! They just aren't always answered the way we thought they'd be. But I do believe, that GOD answers them according to HIS will and according to what is best for us & those we pray for. And sometimes, it's not God, but it's US & free will choosing not to accept His gifts.

 I do believe, that ALL THINGS work towards the good for those who believe in HIM. I do believe then, that every prayer is heard and every prayer is answered towards the good in my life! I fully trust in and believe that no matter what, GOD is in control when I pray!

I believe in the POWER of prayer. I have seen it's power work in my life and those around me. I have learned that prayer is more than just a few words uttered from our mouths. We're talking to a KING, King over all things and earth... !  Can we even fathom that?! Can we fathom the power in our prayers?!

I believe and pray, that anyone who reads this will feel His spirit right now and SEE the power of prayer in their own lives as they believe and pray, in Jesus name. Let it be so!