Thursday, September 4, 2014

Interview over at Mindset Self-Defense Magazine

Have you heard of Mindset Self-Defense Magazine yet? It's a great magazine where their focus is on safety and well-being. I recently did a interview with them about The Ticket and childhood sexual abuse, and have came to love the amazing people behind it all. Go check out the interview starting on page 11 and show them some love, because any company that will shine a light on childhood sexual abuse is awesome. 

http://issuu.com/mindsetselfdefense.com/docs/binder-vol2issue2-impact-2014.09-wo/1

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Do you know?

Do you believe you have unimaginable worth the kind of worth that can’t be taking away by the actions or words of anyone or anything? Do you know you have more value than all the riches of this world or that you are chosen and deeply sought after by the creator of the universe? Have you ever stop to think about how the God of the universe calls you His child and part of His royal priesthood? 1 Peter 2:9  says; But you are chosen people,a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light. Do you know heaven celebrates with your victories and weeps with your sorrows and that heaven is cheering you on as you continue on this journey? Do you know that God calls you His beloved and has a special name chosen just for you, something unique just between the two of you? Do you know you were created out of love?
Does your heart believe all the above statements?


My husband and I have a special name and saying for each of our children. It’s a simple, but yet, sweet nickname and a special way we say, “I love you” to each of our children. We started this when our youngest was born, I had at the time, recently read a book about a father that traveled a lot for work and how he wanted each child to always feel special, unique and deeply loved by him so he started doing unique things just between them. The father in the book did this because he wanted his children to always know they weren't just his children but a special and unique person that he was blessed to be able to call his child. It’s been over five years since we followed in this simple gesture of love and my kids all use their individual “I love you”  to us and will correct my husband or myself if we simple say a normal “I love you” to them. Our children do that because even though they still are young they know the value of being treated special and unique. What’s even cooler to think about is God think that way about us, only it’s on a much larger scale, He sees each of us as special and has placed a “nickname” on you that is perfect to who you are and just as unique as He created you to be. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~ Mark Twain 

Many people struggle with forgiveness, I think that is because they believe if they give forgiveness to their abuser, they are giving their abuser a big thumbs up, as in, 'it was all okay what you did to me'. I believe forgiveness is completely different than that, it is accepting what has happened to you and no matter how much hate, anger, or bitterness you hold inside, your past can’t be changed. Yet, through forgiveness your future can be completely different.

That broken heart you are caring inside that is broken into so many pieces, I know you want it fixed and to become whole again. I know it hurts to keep your heart this way. I understand, another person caused your heart to be in this condition, so why would you ever want to give them your forgiveness? They don’t deserve it, you are right. What if I told you though, your forgiveness isn’t for them but for you? What if you releasing your hope that your past was different would set your future free. You can’t just stop being angry or remove the hatred you have for them instantaneously, but that can happen when forgiveness is present and activated in your life. Giving forgiveness does not excuse their behavior or allow it to appear that you are okay with what has happened to you, because frankly, you will never be okay with the action someone took while using your body for their pleasure. Their actions were wrong and one of the deepest and most painful ways a human can violate another human being. They took advantaged of your innocence and stole your childhood. It should never be downplay what done to you. It was awful and should never have been part of your life. The fact is, it did happen, he did sexually abuse you and it hurts. But today you can start the process to forgive, to except your past and to start letting go of the anger you harbor inside your heart. Forgiving is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The night my forever changed.

The years of 2001 into 2002 were by far the hardest times of my life. But even through that indescribable pain and heartache my greatest gifts and blessing came. Here is my story of redemption. 


Olivet Michigan Conjugation Church

I saw a glimpse of Jesus for the first time while I was living in a small town in Michigan at the age of nineteen. My own abuse had just came out and I didn’t believe that I was ready to have it spilled all over for everyone to see. I felt so exposed, judged and unwanted. 

I wasn't searching for God at this time in my life, or at least I didn't think that I was. While growing up, I always knew there was a God, I just didn't know Him and had no understanding of who He was.

The night that changed it all for me!

It was a Thursday night in December, it was cold and I was hanging out at a house that was full of other people like me; lost, intoxicated and just trying to dull whatever pain we were currently facing all while pretending we were enjoying life. I left the the house stumbling and completely intoxicated. I was walking home and heard live music coming from a church as I was passing by. What caused me to stop and go in, I can only assume was God. I walked in and sat in the back of this large, beautiful, old style church building. On the stage was a group of collage students, performing the most beautiful songs of worship done through a style of hip hop music. It is amusing to me now, because this church is a very conservative church, not one that you would typically see or hear hip hop worship coming from. That is what’s awesome about God, He isn't concerned with all the laws, rules, and logistics that people have in place. He is concerned with the hearts of His children and that night, one of His children was lost and broken and He knew just what would reach her heart. I didn’t talk to anyone that night, I just watched and listened then slipped away unnoticed. So I went back the next Thursday, but this time it wasn’t hip hop, it was a youth worship night that lead by a different group of collage students. I almost didn’t stay because there were more people and many familiar faces sitting in the seats. I sat in the back again unaware that the people singing on the stage would be used to change the course of my life in a dramatic way.




There were three people on that stage that Thursday night in December that chose to come down and love in a real, messy and up close and personal way. It would have been easier to go home and ignore the mess that walked into their lives that night but they didn’t and because of that, I met God through these people. They quickly met me and loved me exactly where I was, a complete mess with a lot of baggage. They walked with my cousin and I through the abuse and the trail of our abuser. They chose to act in love and through that love I saw and met Christ. My forever has changed, largely in part to them. I began to see God in a radically and freeing way and it was something I wanted. I wanted Him more than drugs, more than the lies I hid behind, more than the fear of letting people into my real self. I wanted more, I craved more and He continually opened my eyes and heart to Himself.

God has used many people since that night in December to help me in being able to see His vision for my life. I belong to a church family here in Arizona that no matter where God takes me through this life, the people of that body will always be my home, my base of faith and my spiritual support.

God created out bodies so amazing, the mind is capable of regenerating and fixing itself if given the proper nutrients. The heart, under normal circumstances, will never rest, sleep or take time off. It will work every second of every minute you are alive and your body can heal a deep and open wound completely on its own. Your body is this way because God made it amazing and completely capable of surviving, even in the worst of circumstances. He did that because He cares and loves about the details of your life, every detail.

He also made your soul, which is something that never ends, it will never die. Your soul, one day, will leave this earth and go to eternity and he desperately wants that to be with Him. That’s why He chose to die a horrific and painful death on the cross, so you can have that opportunity. He is the maker of both body and soul and He is greatly concerned with the health of both. He will go to great length to reach you and show Himself to you. He created every hair on your body and He supplies every breath you will ever take. He is not an angry Father or one that is unapproachable. He is always waiting with arms wide open for you to fall into the safest and strongest arms you have ever and will ever know. He is the safest place to be and the only one you can fully trust with your heart. He adores you and smiles with just the thought of your name. He didn’t cause your abuse, or desire for it to happen for His greater good or purpose. He wept along side you, He held you in His arms as you laid there alone at night. He gave us all free will and your abuser used his freedom very wrongly. Gods purpose for you is so much lager than you can even imagine. Seek Him and He will gladly give you the desires of your heart. He is the game changer we all need!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When deep cried out to deep.

Through deep cries she shared her story of childhood abuse, a long list of drug abuse and the demons in her life she just couldn't seem to walk away from, and for the first time I realized something crazy and so simple, she wasn’t a demon, she was a human, a mother, a child and a friend. A broken one, like me. She wasn't my enemy, she was actually somehow, someway, my responsibility. Her shattered past became my inner prayer. Her brokenness broke me. Her tough exterior softened mine. Sitting there I saw it, I knew it, her pain came out through hurt, her sorrow slipped through her lips like a sharp dagger of words. Her blank and bitter stares were caused from years of feeling a deep and lonely emptiness that none of us could ever fill. She was broken and she didn’t need advice or critical words. She needed my ears to hear her. My hands to hold her. My shoulder to lean on and my chest to beat on.
I may know her personally but so do you. She is in each of us. Each of us is carrying the baggage of our life. Even though our baggage is different in size and color we are each still dragging, holding, pushing and throwing them along lives path. Stop and take a moment to see through veil to what hides behind it. It just might surprise you with its hidden beauty!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Now what?

That first moment after its out, really out and you know exposing this secret will change your life now that its been exposed. You breathe, you second guess your decision to tell, you even think about going back and covering it up with another one of your old lies. Your heart is pounding, your palms sweaty and your voice seems weak. Then it happens, your emotions let go. You are now filled with tears, anger, and fear. Your legs can't seem to hold your weight, while sitting seems unbearable with the emotions running wild inside of you. There was a reason you kept this a secret so long, right? This is going to hurt, but could it possibly hurt worse than what has been happening? You cry yourself to sleep in hopes that when you awake it will have all disappeared.  You awake and now it seems that more people know and more people are staring. You feel shame, guilt and the most exposed you have ever felt. You wonder what they are thinking and what their emotions are hiding behind there sympathetic stairs . The looks in their eyes feels like judgement, causing guilt to rapidly grow in you. All the lies your abuser told you suddenly seem true. No one will believe you, you wanted it and you are the dirty one. Then you realize, he is going to find out everything you say. The panic sets in as people start talking to you and asking detailed questions. The questions you mastered at suppressing and hiding from others. You have never felt so tired or alone yet you are surrounded by so many people.




Breathe, you did the right thing. You showed great courage and strength. The looks you are getting are heart break for what you have endured. The judgement you feel in the room is what they feel towards themselves for not knowing and speaking up for an innocent child. It’s true, your abuser will know most of what you say in the beginning, don't let him silence you any longer. Just know it scares him to be exposed and maybe a part of you still doesn't want to hurt him. That is okay and normal because he groomed you to feel that way. The feeling of loyalty and betrayal is powerful in the beginning. Loyalty to your abuser? That doesn't seem natural or right! It couldn't have been so bad or wrong if you find yourself wanting to protect him, right? Wrong, your abuser had a way of getting into your heart and mind so that he could create a false sense of normalcy. How could he have convinced you of so much and created in you such a sense of love and loyalty towards him? Pedophiles have a PHD in manipulation and grooming. It will take time for your brain and heart to fall on the same page but have trust that it will happen. Give yourself time and trust who you are becoming. The person that is inside of you is amazing and full of endless potential. that is why he tried to silence you for so long. You are powerful beyond your imagination. You will change this world, I know you probably can’t see that just yet, but trust me you will. You were not created for someone else's use, don't believe that lie for a moment. You were created to affect this world, to change it for the better. Your worth and strength is endless!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sharing my past with my daughter


When I started writing The Ticket, my oldest child which just so happens to be my daughter and my mini-me, would frequently ask me why I wrote a book about such a sad thing. The usual response was, “My heart is very heavy for children that have been hurt deeply by adults in their life.”  That sentence seemed to hold off the inevitable conversation.The conversation I had always told myself she was just to young to know, but the truth is, I was just not ready to share that part of myself with this perfectly intact little girl. 


In our home, it’s a normal conversation for us to talk about modesty, the sacredness of their little bodies, and the appropriate behavior of trusted and non trusted adults. My children are comfortable with using correct body part names and talking about their bodies and what they feel is appropriate. I have never shied away from educating them in healthy and age appropriate ways about their own bodies. Even still, I knew this conversation would be different, it wasn’t just telling her there are some bad people in this world that hurt children, it would be telling her that one of these bad people not only is real, but existed in our own family and that he hurt her mom in horrible ways. I struggled with wanting to keep her young longer and not having to bring her into the sadness that does exist in this world.

This past week, I was writing in my office, when my daughter came in to see what I was doing. While sitting next to me she asked me what I was writing about. I told her, “I am writing about the courage and strength that a lot of amazing people have.”  Suddenly, I knew it was coming. I could see it in her eyes, the question that my heart knew was time to talk about with her. She asked me a similar question to what she has asked before, but this time I responded with “I write about this topic because I was one of these children.” I looked calm and spoke softly but my heart was racing. I thought telling her would be nearly as hard as talking about it had been when my abuse was first exposed. My daughter’s first response was asking me if it hurt? I told her that it hurt my heart much worse than it hurt my body, but yes, it did hurt. She asked a few more simple questions that I was able to answer, then she went on her way. A few hours later as I was cooking dinner she walked into the kitchen, hugged me and said, “I am sorry that happened to you." I responded with, “me too”, and then she was off playing again.

That was it, it was all she needed to know and all I needed to hear. The simple words that she spoke meant so much to me. I also realized telling her wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. She is an amazing young lady and I am so blessed to be her mom.