When One Door Closes… Well You Know the Rest

Well the seasons are in full swing of change. For the last nine in a half months I have been shaken, bent, twirled, turned up side down, beat down, and other description words that are in connotation of character building seasons. The enemy even tried to uproot my faith, boy did he mess with the wrong follower of Christ Jesus. I think he forgets that Christ already defeated him and that HE has given me the authority to cast out Satans crazy. #NotTodayDevil

So lets recap.

My children hit a season of crisis. My daughters abuser is sentenced. Daughter goes to get the treatment that she needs in order to learn how to cope and manage with said trauma. Friend ends up getting arrested for a crime on the same day daughter goes to treatment. Other daughter ends up leaving to live with her Biological Mother. Weird friend who claims he was trained from Santa Claus for the Name of Jesus. #WhatInTheWorld. Personal business hits rock bottom. Friendships lost. Money problems hit the fan. Car breaks down times two. Sleepless nights. Those are the highlights for the most part. I love you all but some of the things are to be private. Haha

When this door to that season cracked open… wait.. it burst right open!! From the moment I was leaving for my trip to New Orleans. Literally fifteen minutes!! My sweet Buttons (My SUV) was stolen by one of the kids. All my friends that were in the car just waited to see what I was going to do. The opening of questions came. I can laugh about it now but then I knew they were like ” Uhmmm Kristal what are you going to do?” Two of the gals that have known me a long time we’re just kind of laughing because they know how I am. They knew that my children would be having a coming to Jesus moment with me. But I needed to keep time of travel and we were set back thirty minutes. If you don’t know I am a time person. TIME TIME TIME. Gotta hit that time window just right lol. Anyway, then while I was in New Orleans I saw a new side of some friends I have never seen before. Like ever. So my eyes were opening to something that was going to happen in very soon weeks at this point. I had no stinkin idea what was about to hit me. NONE what so ever. #BoutToCrashIntoABrickWallPeeps

When I say that one event happened after another I mean that. One right after another. Sometimes within the same hour! But let me tell you something. Although, all these events were happening God was 100% in the middle of everything doing some major heavenly heavy lifting. I made some mistakes along the way. The one thing that saved me from the get go was the following.

On one of the days that two major events happened in the same day, within two hours from one another. When I got home. I didn’t really talk to anyone. I walked to my room, closed the door sobbing and absolutely feeling broken. I grabbed my Bible and opened it to Proverbs. I knew that through all the tears what was happening supernaturally and The Holy Spirit was able to set me up for success by the simple action of making the choice to open my #BIBLE. Amen!! All the answers that I needed where in my life manual. Every single feeling I was having and how to calm the storm was right there in my Bible. Everyday, sometimes for hours I was completely engulfed in The Word.

I needed to know if how I was managing the situation with my children in a Godly way, and what He deems as such. I mean everything I needed answered or needed wisdom and guidance on was all there. Then how to move through this fire place. All was answered.

It was the first time in my life I made the conscious choice to talk to God first before saying or doing anything. I was in a state of full firey darts flinging at me at all sides. The one thing I knew I had front get go was my faith. #Faith yes!! My faith is so deeply rooted and what was spoken and shown to me was this tree. This tree was deeply rooted, and full of branches and some green for leaves. This tree was being pruned, and shaken. Anything that fell from that tree wasn’t suppose to be there. Some of those branches that were cut were hard but surrendering the sculptor to do what He needed to do to get the tree just as He needed to be. I was shown that no matter the storm, no matter how many leaves or branches came off that tree, That tree would only sway in the storm winds. It would only be slightly bruised, and dinged up but the tree won’t break!

I didn’t freak out, I stayed calm and knew that I was going to be okay. Mentally, physically, and spiritually I was going to be just fine. I accepted this truth and put on my figurative knee high boots because these storms waters were about to get really high before the storm recedes. I also knew that the blessing was going to come after the storm. I just had to obey, dig deep, lean on Him, seek His face, and hold on. I hold on for dear life.

I dug deeper in my prayer life. I asked God to plant the right people in my path that He wants for me. I confessed. I forgave and will always forgive as often as they all come. I asked for forgiveness from Him. So as I continue in all His blessings He has given to me in this stormy time of my life, I just want to say how grateful I am of His faithful relentless love He has for me. How is protects me. He absolutely loves me to bits. It’s mind blowing.

So during this time… Our SUV’s breakdown and or about too. Robert is out there in the driveway kicking his car, throwing things and yelling at it as if that is going to fix it. Haha I calmly walked away and applied for a loan. I have never applied for a loan much less bought a new car before. I was so scared. I wanted to fix the problem and He knew of this great need at this moment in our lives. I applied for the loan and within seconds we were approved. Now I have to tell Robert the news. I knew it wasn’t going to go over very well. The money was already in my account. I was going to buy that man a new truck that day whether he liked it or not. When I told him, just like I expected he freaked out with a thousand other questions. At this point I filled with joy and laughter to be honest. because He knows the needs, I dont have any doubt what so ever that we find the right truck for his need. And sure enough. I was lead to a website, found the truck and its sale price was lower than what the loan was for, surely that was for a reason. Robert doesn’t believe it. I call the dealership and they are shocked that I called about that particular truck because it was literally dropped off and into their inventory within that hour, and it was currently being inspected. I told them that I was buying that truck today and I would be there within a hour. Robert couldn’t believe what was happening. I’m not going to lie but he was reminding me of Doubting Thomas. Still I knew exactly what was happening. God was at work here. When we got to the dealership, we went to the back to see the truck. Rob was all in that trucks business because surely this is too good to be true. This truck even has the side tool boxes and other storage spots. Y’all it even has air conditioning. Something either of the cars had. That in itself is a blessing. So Robert is happy and praising me on such a good job. Silly man that was all GOD!! On a side note, just before we got there my beloved Buttons knew what was happening. I was trading her in for this gift. Do you remember the meme of where Jesus is asking the little girl for the teddy bear while concealing the bigger teddy bear behind his back? And she tells Jesus ” But I love it.” It was kind of like that. I loved Buttons and all her quirky ways. Right at the light across the street from the dealership she dies in the intersection. I speak loving words over her and she starts right up and we reach the destination safely. I tell her all the good she has done for me and family. She was about to get a face lift and go to another family and that is where she will bring them joy too.

Robert picks out new shoes for his truck and a couple of hours later we have signed papers and keys in hand. Now, we emptied all of the contents of Buttons. Or so I thought. So my daughters competitions gymnastic Leo’s were in there still. I even asked the guys if they got everything. Of course they said yes. Long story short, after a few phone calls and a very disappointed daughter, I got a phone saying that they were able to find the bag of Leo’s and we can pick them up. So don’t tell that isn’t God’s work. And excellent customer service!!

So here is another blessing. After some time away from my church family. I was able to have a meeting with my Lady Pastor. We sat down and had a heart to heart about somethings and we were able to hear each other’s out and where things were at that time. In same time my daughter was still rocky but she needed a church family to be in her life as well. So we started going to church again. My home church. It felt so nice. The enemy was telling me bad things before church that first morning going back. It was so nice to get in the car and drive there that morning. I worshiped with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My empty cup was being filled. My very own revival is being restored. #ThankYouJesus My daughter ending up coming up with me the next time. She would wear her earbuds while in church in defiance. That was until God spoke to her directly. Our Pastor was delivering his message that morning something amazing happened. He mentioned a song Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks. My daughter is slapping my arm, and I turned to her and right when he was talking about that song that very started playing on her phone!! She dedicated herself to church from that moment on. She stays involved her in youth group. The stirring of God within her is a blessing not only to her but to me as her mother. She recently was baptized in front of our entire church family. #Blessed #NewSisterInChristJesus

Now for me, I have always wanted to be a part of my church family and serve in the way God wants me too. I have had a habit of running towards goals instead of walking with Jesus and his pace. So He would remind to walk, to trust in his work and what he was planning. I absolutely love the ladies in my church and as I dove into the very first Bible study with them, I have gotten the privilege of getting to know these wonderful women. The study was amazing. Then we started the last Bible study for the season, and I was so honored when I was asked to close out the session in prayer. That was a huge thing for me. I felt so humbled and honor from that moment. I was able to help in the upcoming events that the church was doing. I feel like I am serving right where God wants me to.

I love my church. I love serving in new fresh ways. It has been a huge blessing. In spite of all the crazy things that have happened and will happen. I have learned valuable lessons that God presented to me when the storm was all around me. He used the attack that was on me and my family and worked it for His Glory and he worked it out for good. I was able to stand firm against opposing opinions, I was able to stand firm in my faith, I was able to stand in my weakness because He made me strong. He makes me strong. I have a new fresh start at something, new growth on those branches.

There are other things that He has taught me that I have a subject about at a later date. There was a time where I was trying to fix a situation and I was reminded to get out the way and let God do his thing because I wasn’t called to fix anything or anyone. So in that time as you found out last week that I applied for a job. I wasn’t sure at first because of the feeling I was having about it. Today I finished part of training for that job, but the momentum of this new thing that is happening is pushing me in a new way. IF you haven’t figured out yet, once I have tunnel vision on something there is no stopping this train of awesome called ME.

I love how God has used these situations for my good. Seriously, things that I doubted about myself. When I was rejected, opposed, judged, alone, scared and so many other things. He showed me that I was truly in fact accepted, that I wasn’t wrong and I was wiser, I wasn’t alone and that I was fully dependent on God. And with God with me under his protection, I was no longer scared and I was safe. I am embracing this new growth and seeing where it will take me. I have embraced this walk as a learning thing, and grew that much more in my faith.

If you are going through something right now, I encourage you to hold on. The blessing is coming. Just keep holding on. Don’t let go dear one. Don’t let go. Open your Bible and seek the answers. Prayer hard and boldly. Lean on His understanding and not your own. Take care of yourself. Take the time to see the blessings in the storm. Don’t focus on the bad that is happening focus on the new growth that is taking place. Look at it as an opportunity of learning something new about you and your situation. Hope. Faith. Love. Surrender it all to God. He’s got you. You’re loved, you are able, you are amazing, you’re stronger than you believe, You’re stronger with Him than alone, and you matter. You are valued, you are forgiven.

Side note… about a month or so ago I received a phone call from my Mom and Step Dad bought me a car. God knows your needs and He will provide!! When we bought the truck it was for Robert so we were down a car. Talk about blessings from Him. I’m grateful for my parents and all that they have done for me. They are so incredibly loved by me. God knows. #ThanksFather #ThankYouParents

Take care..

Kris

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Finally I can speak about it… It’s time to Rise UP!!!

I can finally talk about something that is close to my heart, that has affected so many people. I am finally going to open up about a very sensitive subject. I will talk about my story then go from there. Buckle up buttercups.

Like so many young women in my age group, and maybe its still a thing, but I wanted to wait to have sex until marriage. At the age of thirteen that was stolen from me by a young man I was going to end up going to school with. I can tell you all the things that I lost that day, my virtue was taken from me, my friends turned there back on me, I was quickly isolated, and I lost my boyfriend at the time. I was made fun of a lot and I was isolated and forced to find different group of friends. That event that happened in my life doesn’t hurt me anymore, because I have been healed and restored from that time. God was able to turn that bad situation into a good one.

So lets fast forward to present day. I now have kids of my own, and the danger of predators is on a whole new level. The world that all kids live in is a fast moving one. There is social media that has brought on a whole different disconnect and connect to people. From my experience there are a lot of kids that are not really into the connection of face to face interaction with other people. Especially new people. It is easier to connect to someone in what they think is a safer place over social media or other media as long as its not face to face in the moment. Talking on the phone is also taboo to them unless its their friends. My teens think that I am “Old School,” and that all of those things are old people ways. No one talks on the phone anymore, no one does weird old people stuff like that anymore. Nevertheless, I have tried to get my kids to be smarter about this day and age of things. Like don’t send “Nudes,” ever because those will never go away. Don’t be forced to do things are not wanting or ready to do. Make safe choices when you are away from home, and don’t ever feel that you can’t reach out when things go bad. That’s just to name a few. Now keep in mind that I am a young mom, and the age difference between me and my oldest is 17 years. That isnt really anything. I am aware that kids will do whatever they want in the moment it happens. We all want to believe that our children are going to use the tools that we have given them and make good choices in the moment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

So I am one of those parents that goes through my kids phones and rooms and whatnot. One day some time ago I went through my daughters phone, upon going through her phone I discovered a very disturbing text on her phone. It was through Snapchat, I didnt want to confront her while we were celebrating a holiday with family. I wanted to wait until we got home to ask some very hard questions. Unfortunately, she opened the message right after I did and other family members saw that message as well. Which started a very hard discussion openly. I sent her away after giving her a hug and letting her know that we will be talking about this when we got home. From that moment on there was a changing in our lives.

A grown man asked my daughter to send nudes to let him know that she was safe, and a picture photo of a grown couple working out with a caption saying ” this could be us but I would get a boner.” Now ask yourself what would you do? Where would you start? What would you ask your child? How would you feel? I will tell you exactly what I did, and what I felt, what I asked, and what my journey has been since then.

This has been a journey I have been on for quite some time now. When I saw these, I was in shock. Composed on the outside but shocked. Like was I really seeing what I was in that moment. YES I was!! This was happening to my child. This is happening this is really happening. What am I going to do and say to her? There was a plethora of feelings and way more questions than answers at that moment. But the one thing that was constant that I have to do something. So after a very hard discussion with my daughter and reading all the messages for nearly two years, of grooming, my mind was firm on what I was going to do. I comforted my daughter as much I can. I asked her if she was ever going to say anything to anyone about this and she told me NO. I’m sure so many of you are asking yourself, ” Kristal you just said that you are a parent that goes through your Childrens things, and this has been happening for nearly two years.” Yes that is true 100% but my daughter wasn’t living with me at the time. She was living with her side of the family. To whom were very close to her abuser. The very same people who blamed her, called her a liar, and eventually kicked her out of the house, and she came to live with me. But that is getting ahead of the story.

She saved their conversation over Snapchat for that time, the only thing that isn’t saved are the videos that come through. In another words, the Snapchat video are meant to not be seen again once they have been played, there are times when you can see the video again, but its only once more. And That’s it folks. Now, to disclose another tidbit about this man. This man had been a part of her life for a long long long time. He was the best friends of her family on that side. He was also in law enforcement. I will say right here and now, That I support police and all law enforcement. One “bad apple,” doesn’t overshadow the great works that law enforcement does everyday. You don’t have to like my opinion and I respect that. So what he had done was use her bad living situation as his way in. He used his authority status to build a deeper relationship with her. Hence grooming her, he had her isolated in a relationship via social media. He would visit her and her family on that side, and even help them out by helping buy food and pay for their rent. He would counsel her when her home life on that side got physical or mentally overwhelming or abusive. As their “relationship” grew he would say things like ” Just ask your parents how good of a man I am, I will always be there for you.” Or He would say ” Just remember that I love you, and you do have a cute butt, have a great day” So things like that, it went on and on, he would send memes that were relatable to the things or characters that my daughter liked. Overall, he was waiting for her to give him permission to “Be” with her. I asked hard questions like, Is this consensual? How does this make you feel? Her response was this, Its doesn’t make me feel good, I feel awkward when he sends things like that Mom thats why I started saving the messages because it feels wrong, and I cant tell anyone at my house because they are close friends with him, they will take his side. And he is a cop mom. That’s why I changed the subject or not talk for a bit to him.” Talk about heartbreak. She was completely alone. Then she disclosed that he also befriended her friends. I later found out that he also befriended another family member of mine. They were the same age as my daughter at the time.

She trusted this man at first. She would consider him an Uncle to her. That is how she identified him. He had no familiar ties with her what so ever. But lets face it, that is what Sexual predators do. They become a part of their lives intimately, groom them, create a trust between them, isolate them in some fashion.

So here I am with this information, now what to do with it. Here’s what I knew then.

  • He is a police officer
  • He is grooming my daughter
  • He is sending inappropriate messages to my daughter
  • He lives in my area
  • He is extremely close to her family on that side
  • She is isolated and will not have support on that side of the family
  • He has no intentions of stopping
  • She needs help, needs a voice to help her, I need to be that voice.
  • I need a plan of action

The next steps had to very careful and delicate. I had to reach out to someone I trusted and I needed courage. I reached out to someone that I trust with my life. They reached out to someone they trusted, and I said nothing to no one else. I met with a Detective the next day, and told the whole story of all that I knew at that point. I then called the department where this man worked and talked to his boss’s boss. I went as high as I could to tell them what was happening. That day I had a State Policeman who specializes in this realm and his boss sitting in my kitchen. There was a point where, I saw the disbelief on his bosses face and what looked to be confusion. I was asked what my intentions were for speaking about this. My answer was this. If he isn’t doing anything wrong then the investigation would show that, but if he is then I am bringing awareness to the situation and bringing it out of the dark and into light. People like him are sick, but I am not doing this for him, I am doing this for my daughter, and her friend. If he is doing this to her he is doing it to others. This is much bigger than just my daughter. If he is doing something this is for the victims of his past, present and future. No matter what, it needed to bring awareness.

Someone needed to be the voice. I learned that some of the laws for such an event like this are very gray. There are a lot of loopholes. He would eventually would “resign,” from his job, which set off another set of events for my daughter and her departure from that side of the family to live with me. He was not to talk to her, and yet he still did and in a group message with her parents on that side of that family. The last thing he told my daughter was this. ” If you want to talk to me, you will have to say ‘In regards to the family,’ and when you turn 18 we will resume our relationship.” She didn’t respond. My blood boiled.

Nothing was done at that point in regards to the texts because there is a huge gray area pertaining to such things via media like that. Soon thereafter, someone else came forward about him and regarding physical touch. Molestation. My daughter came forward as well. He touched her too. Keep in mind that a lot of victims do not come forward or it takes a lot of time for them to come forward. There is a lot of work that has to happen in order for anyone to feel safe to open up about it.

So, he would soon be arrested very publicly. There was even a live fb feed of his arrest. I did all that I needed to do to ensure that my daughter wouldn’t see it, but her step mother called to let her know that he was just arrested. Now she falls a part even more. I will get to that in a moment. In the moment of watching this story, our story on the 6 o’ clock news was a tough pill to swallow. No one tells you what it feels and looks like on the other end of things. No one can tell you what to expect. No one. It was the talk of the town, and I cant tell you how many people I came across that just wanted to talk to me about this case and couldn’t say anything or even let on that I was involved. I had to put on a very convincing mask and learn to have none committal answers. Very few people knew what actually happened or was happening. There still is some misinformation that surrounds what actually happened.

Well now this is all happening, I called the school and got some resources in place for my daughter including a therapist. Keeping her involved in the community and building a life here. But lets face it. Once her school peers found out at her new school that was it. You have no idea what its like to watch your daughter, or child fall a part because she feels so much shame and guilt. She blamed herself. She was told by peers that she enjoyed being touched by older men and to just accept it. Kids can very cruel to someone at times. Hearing her cry over the phone because her peers said certain things. Or some of her family blaming her, that she should of kept her mouth shut or lie to make it all stop because this is all her fault. Now mind you, she didn’t say anything, she was going to live with this darkness the rest of her life. I said something initially, I made the choice to involve police, I made the choice to speak. Not her. She asked me point blank” Mom what did I do to deserve this? Do I dress in a way that makes me a target? Why did he do this to me?” I would build her back up. But it wouldn’t last because her self worth, self esteem, her hopes, her dreams, her life was torn down to nothing. To a point where she has selfed harmed, and even attempted suicide more times in the last 9 months, because there is a constant reminders all around her, there are triggers all around her. She will do good for a little bit then it comes crashing again. No one ever wants to talk about how things like this affect someone. I am not afraid to talk about it, this is a life sentence for those who are victimized. LIFE SENTENCE!!! This is something she will have to work through the rest of her life. Rest of herrrr life!! A sexual predator doesn’t care about how it hurts their victims, they are seeking their sick pleasures. They don’t have empathy for what they’ve done. NONE!! The impact this does to a victim is overwhelming. The hard work for the victim and their families is overwhelming. So why am I talking about it now?

His sentencing was yesterday, and he was facing 25 years in prison for what he did. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, and 16 years of probation. Let that sink in a little bit. How does that make you feel? How does that sit with you? How does that sit on your heart? How would that sit with you if it were your child or children?

And with good time up to 85% means that he will spend less than that in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. How does that make you feel about the protection of our children? A person who is in possession with a drug gets more time than someone who sexually assaulted your child. My fight for this didn’t end yesterday. The chapter of that event closed yesterday, but my fight has not stopped. Its just the beginning for me and as for my daughter, the fight is everyday. Everyday she will fight for her life. Everyday she will fight to have a happy, healthy life where she will know that she is loved, worth it, and enough. She will fight everyday to know she Who deserves great blessings and beautiful life and love. My heart broke yesterday but yesterday standing in front of the judge saying what I needed to say, and I almost felt that I stood alone in that moment. I know there were others who felt the same way I did, and would have said more than I did. I know I wasn’t alone in fighting for justice for not only my daughter but any others. I was empowered to say those things because I needed to be a voice. I will still be a voice and I will continue to make awareness to everyone I can. Its time we rise up.

If you are a parent reading this, I encourage you right now, to learn all that you can about social media and what your child is doing. This includes not only social media but gaming. I encourage you to ask those hard questions. I encourage you to get involved. I encourage you to speak out and up. If you are someone who has been victimized, I am so sorry, I know what you are going though, I will empower you to reach out and say something, your story matters. You don’t know how your story will reach others to help them and empower them to stand tall and keep fighting the good fight of healing and restoration. You are worth it and worthy of great things. I encourage everyone to read and research all that you can about this. Its real and it really happens. More than anything you’re not alone. You need to have support and you deserve it. We can turn victims into overcomers and survivors. We can make a difference. Feel free to reach out to me.

My Christmas Card 2017

Merry Christmas everyone. We are just 9 days and some change away from 2018. I know! I can’t believe it either. I feel like the year started with a new beginning of a year of change. Yes the year of change. The year of growth. I know for me it has felt that way. My 2017 year started with quite a wake up call for me as a mother. I was given a load to carry and to see it through. That was my assignment. It was the start of many hard loads to carry. I knew I had to speak up for the one for the many. Due to its nature I can’t yet speak about it. But it is definitely something that I will tackle when I am told that I can. It was a situation where I was on the outside looking in, like ” This happens to other people, and now I know what other people feel like.” It was scary at first, but I overcame the fear of opening my mouth and saying something about it. I look forward to sharing that experience with you all in the future.

Then my daughter and step daughter came to live with us full time. We went from being an empty nest to having company. It was an exciting time for everyone. We were all getting to know each other and how things work in my house. Rules, boundaries, limitations and expectations. For awhile it worked like well oiled machine. Everyone knew what they needed to do and when. Then a quick shift happened. And that is when the new assignment came… survive! Hahaha. I have three teens and two pre-teens. I am a full believer in it takes a village to raise kids. If I had to go through this alone I might end up back in rehab. I’m joking. There are some moments where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I have learned a lot from my two teen daughters. Adolescents are toddlers with hormones. I mean that with all sincerity in my heart, but dang!! I learned that I really have to rely on Him all the time, otherwise, things might have gotten worse. But He doesn’t give us more than what we can carry right?! (John 16:12 NIV) He is pretty mindful of what you can carry, and He is able to help you grow through the rough stuff because He walks with us in all situations. I had referenced to the book of Proverbs a lot. To ensure that I am doing all that I can and I am being a good mom regardless how many times I was told otherwise. Which was a lot!! But I stayed within my faith first, and worked through it in confidence that I was doing the wise thing. I was super unpopular within these four walls, but in my heart I was okay with that. Teens in this day and age have a lot of new things thrown at them; much different than even seventeen short years ago. I so badly want to talk about everything that has happened, but what I can tell you is, It was a lot of darts at my back, my home, my kids right down to the dogs. It is a lot calmer, but nowhere close to being calm or peaceful. Having teen daughters so close in age is HARD!!! Like you need to be expert level in parenting. Especially since both girls have grown worlds a part. There is a lot of people affected, and we all have to work together in our own to make something work. I trust in my faith that we will work through it and we will survive. It takes a lot of work to keep the peace. A lot of letting go of certain things, and a large village. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of separation, but I feel that is temporary. God is working in everyone in their own ways. I learned to talk to others about what’s going on. Community is so important. I learned not to “Throw in the towel.” thanks Mom I learned how to step back when and where I needed too. Not an easy lesson to learn. I also had to learn was am I doing this for myself or for them. Was I wanting credit for knowing everything or was I maybe insulting the other adults in the same situation as me? It made realize that I need to really put myself in check at times, and allow somethings to happen. This has been the biggest part of my year, focused on the kids. I am blessed to have all my children, and my step children … even if they don’t know it, they were an answered prayer. So thank you Lord. Regardless of what they are going through I love them, and want nothing but the best for them.

Then I went to New Orleans for a few days, and was gone for about a week. It was a lot of fun, and which I then start noticing a new trend of things. Like my eyes were starting to open to a new light. I realized how much fun a road trip is across a thousand miles. Almost getting the Zika in Arkansas, the skeeters there are HUGE!! I was tired and I just shouted that in the middle of an empty convenient store. The poor clerk couldn’t stop laughing. It was also the middle of the night. In parts of Louisiana they farm their corn in sideways. It’s always wet, which is nice. I don’t mind that. That’s just some memories. I really wanted to go to Duck Commander and didn’t get to this time, but maybe next time. I also realized that my friend Kateri and I really didn’t sleep a whole lot. Haha. But I learned that I want to get to know so many people, I want to forge strong friends with others that I look up to, gals who are liked minded, I want to make memories with some new friends that I have been too afraid to tell them, ” hey I want to be your friend, want to hang out sometime?” That has been happening lately, and it feels good. This was a turning point for me in this year, when I came back from New Orleans there was a fast lane of life headed my way and I had no idea.

What happened in all that time from August to present has me even know in awe of this year and all that I have endured. Both good and bad. We were blessed with getting a new truck after a long time of not knowing if we could. We were blessed with that gift and that payment. Haha but now we have a reliable mode of transportation. I was sad to see buttons go ( my old ford) but it was time. Now we have Peter, the new white truck. I am taking better care of myself. I am looking fear in the face and telling it to kindly move because it is hindering my journey. I am going back to church, which is a blessing in itself. I am putting myself out there, and accepting when a door closes on something not to go back to it. It’s closed and it has served its purpose. I am getting better at saying what I mean when I say it. I hope to learn more about my gifts that were given to me. I was reminded of my purpose, which is to write, and write some more. Learn more, experience more, take care of myself in order to take care of others, love, be compassionate, be assertive, discernment and really getting my life back. It was highjacked for a little bit. But man to end this year like this is a blessing. I know that I went through this to learn these things and so much more. I am a better person for it. I mean I am really taking care of myself in a new fresh way. I am losing weight, both physically and in all areas in my life that I needed to lose some weight. I mean I inspire myself sometimes, ” Good job Kristal for treating yourself good today.” I am becoming disciplined in a new way. I know that all that I have gone through good and bad was setting me up for something in the future. I really believe that. Life is so much more than the enemy darts coming your way. (Matthew 6:25 NIV) I know I am taken care of. Love yourself that way you can love others the same way … Would you treat someone the way you treat yourself? (Matthew 22:39 NIV) I know I wouldn’t treat anyone they way I have treated myself lately…. So I take care of me first, and I don’t feel selfish for it. Because I know I am in a much better place to help others when the time is right.

This year has been a good one. I am able to see the joy in all of it. I look forward to what 2018 brings. No matter what, it starts with me and where I am going in this journey. I look forward to writing myself a letter on my anniversary thats coming up, and I cant wait to read it in a years time. But first Jesus’ birthday shindig first.

Regardless of all the “bad things,” that happened this year, it was a great season. I grew up a little bit more, became more mature in my walk. Learned so much. Weeding your theoretical garden of life is a must. If its a weed,pull it. It might hurt but your garden will appreciate you doing it. You’ll be able to grow something new in that good soil, because you made some room. Love yourself everyday. Forgive often, maybe a lot. But live!! Not just survive to the next moment. I rather have a floaty in flood waters than nothing at all.

Kristal xx

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What Is That Smell …

This is going to be one of those stories that will either make you or break you … So here we go … I was thinking of the post that I was going to do today… and there is just so much shit that is going on that it triggered a memory… A very embarrassing story but nonetheless a story that is true and needs to be aired out…

The story starts out like this… It’s a cold October night. I am having dinner with my parents with my infant son. I am there to visit but also to receive a car that they have generously given to me. Aren’t I a lucky duck! It was a great blessing because I really needed a car at that time in my life. Anyway, there are certain foods that I ate that night that I knew that I would later regret. Although worth it normally, on this night not so much….

After a great meal and said our goodbye along with safe travel wishes, my son and I were on our way back home… 60 minutes away. Normally this isn’t something that would shock me.. I actually like to drive, I was looking forward to it… Well, It was until I reached the point of no return. That is when things started… it was the beginning of the end for me.

So I am driving through the Jemez mountains and my son starts crying 15 minutes into our trip. Nothing that a little breast-feeding won’t cure, right?! NOOOOPPPE. I pull over and get in the back and nurse him, burp him and love on him. I put him back in the car seat and hop in the driver’s seat, I buckle in and BOOM!! The gut wrenching pain of ” I GOTTA GO POOOO NOW” hits me. I am not quite panicked just yet. I think that I can make it home before it’s all hits the fan .. If you know what I mean….

So I’m driving along doing all that I can to distract myself from the impending doom in my gut. I am singing and just enjoying the distraction, until the pain comes back… you all know that pain I am talking about… Then my son starts crying again… I pull over again.. to see if he needed a diaper change. Now mind you I am just 10 minutes into driving from the last stop. I check his diaper and he is all good, but he won’t stop crying! I check to see if there is something poking him in the car seat, make sure that he seated correctly. I mean I checked everything. Then I started to think maybe he is going through a growth spurt. He was close to the next growth spurt so I nursed him again, and it seemed to accelerate the feelings of having to go even worse!!

Now I have the poo pains and sweats. I feel that I am dying… yup this is how it ends for me… I finish nursing him and get him back into the car seat and off we go again… The wrenching that I feel is down right cruel and to the point where I was just going to pull over in the cold and go in the woods. But I can’t ever bring myself to GO in the woods to go. Not number 2 anyway…  Then I was even considering just going in my pants! I just want the pain to go away! I am desperate! At this point, I am at the half way point home… He starts crying again, and I am self talking my gut down off the ledge… if you catch my drift… I was at the point where you can’t trust a fart. I even turned down the radio so that I hear my own agony.

I pull over once more to see what could possibly wrong again… I am doing all that I can so I don’t mess myself, wreck and ensure that my child is safe. Finally, I figure it out. He wanted his pacifier, and there was a piece of his blanket stuck between his car seat and its base so he was uncomfortable. Success … For the win is me and my son… My son is content and now I can get moving… I have been on the road now for an hour, I should have been home by now. But now I just needed to get to a bathroom … Like 30 minutes ago!! You know those moments where you are so into what you are doing that you drive slower to concentrate… yea that was me that night.

With my son happy I was able to drive and talk to myself to encourage my nether regions to corporate… ” Just wait… you can do this!” or ” Just get to this mile marker…” and ” yay you made it through the last 15 minutes, good job!” I mean it was embarrassing and it was just me in the car. So I finally take the turn to get to my house. I was literally minutes away from a toilet!! My toilet!! And that is when my gut was ” You BETTER HURRY LADY, IMMA BLOW SOON!! LIKE NOOOOWWWW!!” Taking deep breaths and just talking a little louder to myself to distract myself… I am so close… I pull into my driveway… and That was it…. I get out there is hope for me… my body choose otherwise… Right there as soon as I get out my car, it happened, so involuntary.. I was humiliated… I scream for my then husband to get the baby… as I ran into the house, past my oldest son and into the bathroom… My oldest son yells from the other room… ” MOM DID YOU POOP YOURSELF?!” Then came into the bathroom to investigate the happenings, and while I sit on the pot in pure agony and humiliation, he tells me ” Momma you know how to go potty, why did you poop in your shorts?” I couldn’t do anything but laugh in that moment.

Then my husband, at the time, walks in and sees me there, and just laughs, then starts a shower for me. He then asked if I had the sopapillas. I said yes, followed by ” I thought I had enough time.” I got into the shower and he gathered my messed clothes and started the washer. After everything was all said and done… I was able to enjoy the experience of it all. Which brings me here to why this is reverent to the right now…

Shit happens… I went through many stages.. denial, bargaining, wishful thinking, thinking I could out smart the situation, frustration, humiliation, acceptance and finally humor in it all. Once I accepted that this was happening there was no more embarrassment from it really. I was able to tell this story to a few close friends and all my family. It was too good not to share, and now I am sharing this with you.

In the season that I am going through now, there is a lot of things that remind me of this moment. I have to remind myself that I am not in control and there are things that I have to surrender even though I don’t want to. I am able to see through the crap and just allow it to happen, because there is a blessing in it all.  I have a great story to tell, maybe not one that everyone wants to hear but equally entertaining. I find myself smiling because I know that I’m almost “home,” in the sense that I know that this is just a season in my life and that I am growing from all of this.

Once, my focused changed to joy in a crappy situation I was able to see the “Shower,” and enjoy the little moments of fun and laughter with my family. I know that the season will change soon and things are going to be different and a little more mindful of what not to “eat.” and what NOT to eat. Well I hope this story gave you a little giggle, and maybe some insight… I still eat sopapillas  but only if I know I am close to the bathroom…

Chapter 11 Divine Wardrobe Change Pt. 1

Have you ever watched a movie and there is that climatic part where the main character has everything around falling a part then bam something good starts happening and their life is great again? I never used to like those parts of movies. I would actually get so pissed that I would rant about it. Movie ruined for everyone haha. I did this because I wondered if that moment would ever happen to me. I have seen it done in a real world setting with real people but never me.  I was jealous of these people.

I wondered what it would feel like to have that moment of total nothingness to happen. Something so tragic would happen and my life would change dramatically. I had gone through so much in my years… When was my number going to get called? I was holding that ticket for a long time… the waiting was a killer.. almost anyway. I still won’t talk about all the moments that lead to my number being called finally. Not that I am not encouraged to talk about them, because I am. I am afraid of going through another set of judgments that I am not sure I am ready for.

One of them is just so unbelievable to me that I still hold on to it thinking I am protecting that person, but I am not protecting that person in the right way, and I am not trusting in Father to handle it for me. I will continue to work on that. But here is what I can tell you and willing to tell you at this moment.

When my number was finally called there were defining moments that I see now that were my path. I prayed harder than ever. Let’s tackle the first one. That was my Granddaddy’s passing. I know that I have talked about him before and this moment. It was so hard for me that he was gone. When I found out about his passing was so fast. One call was my dad telling me they are moving him to hospice then moments later was he is gone. I was absolutely crushed. This was during a community event that my husband and I were at with all the kids. It was around Halloween so everyone was in their costumes and having a good time. I didn’t want to ruin their fun but at the same time I didn’t know how to handle putting away my pain and leaving on the mask.

Everyone was very understanding. I had called my brother later that night and we made our plans to head out the next morning. I still went to work and got all of those affairs taken care of and left. I made many prayers before picking up my brother. I was really hoping that a fight wouldn’t happen over their things. Now that Granddad only had us left in the family. Just my brothers, myself, my dad, my uncle and cousin. That was it as far as the last of the family line goes. We were it. Like I said I really was hoping there wasn’t going to be drama.

My brother and I enjoyed the drive out. I spent the whole time burning my right arm out of the window. The more we headed East the worse the heat came in October. But we laughed, and had good conversations on the way there. I was kicked out of the driving eventually. I hadn’t really slept apparently that made my brother nervous. It was kind of funny to see an almost seven-foot man squished up to drive in the explore. Haha.

Granddad in previous visits and conversations wanted one thing. He wanted his family together one last time in that house. He got his wish. We were all there one last time. When we got there. My dad and my step mom already got the rooms situation under control. They took their room, Uncle would have his room, I would have my grandparents room, and my brothers would have the living room, and cousin was sleeping at a hotel. I was little hesitate to take my grandparents room at first, but I accepted. With a little cleaning and quick change of the sheets I was getting settled.

There we all sat together. Just the four of us. Although my brother and I stopped on our way in to get some light beers. It was totally possible that we may want one later. We all hung out and just talked. Talked about the plans that were ahead of us. It seems so surreal. No one except my step mom sat in granddad chair. I sat in the recliner most of the time just enjoying just being there with some of my favorite people. We order some pizza and watched the Dallas/ Redskins game. Dallas lost. I was not that happy considering my brother is a Packers fan. It didn’t matter who was playing against the Cowboys as long as they lost. Which we did.He sure did rub it in my face. I wasn’t shocked at our loss but still when you’ve been a fan all your life, there is some sort of loyalty. Ok let’s be honest a lot of NFL Fans or any fan of any sport we are loyal until death. I was still very peeved but I was having a blast listening to the banter of my family.

I was happy that Granddad was getting his wish. I just wished he was there to be a part of it. Granddad was always my soft spot in my heart. No one had known what granddad had told me. They also didn’t know that all what we had encounter that last three years would lead us to where we were at that very moment. Including my brothers and myself talking to our father. That was a huge feat in itself. There was a lot of hope and resentment there. Confusing at it was that is what we all felt for our father. When I first talked to my father after almost 13 years of not talking at all, there we sat just a year before having the coming to Jesus talk with each other. I let my dad know everything on how I was feeling and he did the same. We were able to really get that junk out in the open and clear those skeletons from that closet. They were stinking up the joint anyway. Point being we both missed each other and it was long over due. I was able to talk to my brothers about the encounter and they were able to make those choices themselves about our dad.

So to be sitting in that house with my Nolen family was pretty awesome. However there was some major tension between my dad and uncle. I could feel it. We all could feel the many things that weren’t being said. Oh how it would come out. To me it was kinda funny how things happened.

It was after the showing of Granddad. After the several times I had to explain who I was to other family and friends of Granddad’s I just wanted my time with my Grandfather. I just wanted to be in the moment with him. I didn’t want to let him go… plain and simple. After people started to leave I finally got my moment with Grandfather. My dad and step mom were gracious enough to tell people that I needed some time alone. I just talked to him as if he were there… Like all the way there. How much I love him, to see all the people that love and care for him, and to give Granny a huge hug and kisses from me. How I missed him so much. How I didn’t get to be there for him or talk to him before he passed. Mainly I just cried and wanted to be with him. Not dead but with him. I am going to miss him but I also knew that he couldn’t wait to see Granny. He loved Granny and missed her more than what we could ever understand.

We were separate cars and the four of us went to eat. Even though I was the only one hungry. They obliged me anyway but that is when Dad was explaining that my Uncle was telling tall tales at the showing. My brother and I just looked at each other. We were finding out all kinds of nasty things that Uncle was doing. It was actually disappointing to hear. My Uncle couldn’t even wait until my Granddad was in the ground before trying to take all that he could because he felt entitled to. Now I don’t base my opinions based on what others say, I have to see things for myself. Anyway we get to the house after a quick stop at the liquor store just because it said Koch’s. Haha I love our sense of humor. Our other brother was with Uncle and our cousin. So he missed out on some good grub and laughter but at the same side of that token we missed the beginning of a funny ha ha that was sure to be my Grandparents doing… Or Father’s haha. We were all locked out of the house. There my brother and I started drinking making jokes. There was way too many chief’s in the kitchen.

My uncle is pissed. Talking about what each window costs, My brother saying there is always a way in. My oldest brother tags a long with my other brother talking a big game about how no house in Texas can withstand two ABQ boys. My Uncle still wanting to control the situation and now saying crappy things to my dad. My step mom getting involved to calm the situation which then lead to uncle saying awful things to her. Which is a huge no no… I am standing there on my way to my second beer. Dad and Uncle are arguing full-blown now. Step mom and me are just watching the train wreck happen. I was still giggling because it is not always fun to be right but when I am seeing this was just too funny.

I was laughing watching the truth and lies collide in words. Everyone trying to get a word in edgewise. My brothers finally get us in. I stayed outside because the arguing ended up inside. I was proud that my dad was sticking up for himself, and I felt bad for my uncle. Not bad in the sense that he was getting bombarded but because at this point they were trying to explain to him that these moments were about family, Not about guns, money, assists, the house, the furniture, the jewelry but FAMILY. He was willing to throw all of us away for his half of everything. At this point he is walking to and from the house throwing his stuff into his car. I wasn’t going to get sucked into it all…. I didn’t acknowledge the small jabs of insults that were directed at me or the others. I and the others just ignored what was happening as much as we could. At the same time we didn’t need anyone going to the hospital for high blood pressure. We just needed to get through a couple more days. We can do this.

We all took turns to trying to appeal to his softer side but the resented was strong with that one. He even got mad at me for forgiving my dad.  There was just too much resentment for me to take on and I left it in the arms of God or someone blindly. There was just too much. I finally just wanted to enjoy my family and all its glory. Drinking and snacking, laughing and making jokes. We even were able to go through some of their things. It was pretty awesome to see my Grandfathers letters to Granny while we was in WWII. Pretty cool huh.  And it turns out that it is a Nolen thing for us to pose for pictures with our butts sticking out. They are pretty nice butts … hahaha. Sounded weird but I was blessed with a nice ass. #BBB Big Bubble Butt haha..

Well we were able to calm the storm and Uncle was calm to start enjoying his self again. There we all were. The last of the Nolen’s. Dad, Uncle and us kids. Still the only girl. Haha

We had a great service for Granddad. It was beautiful. He lays next to my Granny in Texas. He had a military send off and it was just wonderful. We stayed until they put him in the ground. The others left but we stayed.I made inappropriate comments to our limo driver because all sad situations like that I cope with humor. I didn’t feel bad one single bit. The following day was harder. I had to go and get back to my job. I wanted to stay and help them go through the house. I knew exactly what I wanted and that is what I ended up with. I wanted two blankets that were made, and one of their bibles. I got Granny’s bible. and some odd and ends of books that I wanted.

They my dad, brothers went out another time to do stuff with the house. I opted not to go because my uncle and dad were once again fighting and they both stuck me in the middle. I had nothing to do with what happens with the house or the will and how I got involved in that whole mess is still beyond me. I haven’t talked to my Uncle since that all happened. It didn’t help that he was telling everyone in my tiny town that I was mentally ill and I attempted suicide. When he had no idea what was really going on. I have forgiven him but I choose not to have that sort of drama in my life and I stay out of that sort of thing. I rather have my father than things. My uncle wasn’t very nice. Nevertheless he is still family and I will love him regardless.

This was a difficult time for all of us, but it has been nearly two years and some change since his passing. My dad and uncle are still at odds and that is their business. So the next thing that followed was something that happened to one of my children. This is one subject that is so incredibly hard for me to talk about. I won’t publish it here as to what happened. But the event happened shortly after Granddad passed, it was the blow that broke the camels back. My back.

It broke my heart in such a way that I was traumatized again but this time I had no idea that it actually happened. I just saw the torment that my child was going through and how the event it would eventually eat its way through the entire family. One by one. For me I ran away to work. I drove myself so far into work that I didn’t have time to think of anything else. That tore through what was left of my marriage. I ended up doing and saying things that I am not proud of to my husband as a way to reach out for help. Wow saying it on a public thing like this is a lot of vulnerability. I made some huge mistakes.

I am not mad about it all. To me it is a story that I will tell because I feel that it is important to tell. The night that everything happened there was a supernatural war raging all around me. The signs were there, the voices were there… it was all there. The Holy Spirit was there in full force as was the kingdom of darkness… then there was little ol me stuck in the middle.

For many weeks before all that was told to me by the Holy Spirit was ” Wait.” I was holding on to whatever I had left in me to do regular stuff like shower. Even there I was attacked. The darkness would taunt me,” Let me in… Let me in… Just say it and we’re in.” It was constant especially when I was tired or running on zero sleep, the more stressed I got, the more I became inconsolable, the more I resented my husband. The more I blamed him and his ex-wife for why my kids had moved out. You name it the kingdom of darkness was there just trying to push me over the edge, But I held on to what little sanity I had left. My husband I split the next after Christmas. I knew that I was close to doing something that may be the end of our marriage. The big D. I pleaded with all my heart to him that I was going to do something and I wasn’t sure if I could stop myself. He tried so hard to hold on to me. He kept telling me to guard my heart, but I don’t think he knew that was long gone. Over the course of that year I had been depleted of everything. There was absolutely nothing left… I was an empty shell that was headed straight to the depths of darkness that I thought I deserved. He deserved so much better than me. I was going to die that weekend anyway and the attacks kept coming. I allowed it all to happen. He never really knew how much I loved him up to that point. He was the one that saved me. Twice that day as a matter of fact.

I don’t think he knew that at the time or if he even knows now. To be honest I don’t think I even knew how much I love him. He keeps asking me when I am going to write about him, I keep telling him in due time. There will be a lot to talk about there, because marriage is one of those things that is special to me. But my marriage to him as taken a whole different path than the one we were on. I don’t like blasting my marriage out there but it was something that I prayed about on whether to talk about it or not. I was encouraged to talk about it. because neither one of us is “Perfect.”

Moving past the time I was in treatment, to the months following. I knew that there was something that was urging me to look past the obvious. Look passed the depression and the rest of that fruit. To look into the supernatural of things. Y’all the look on my face when I was guided that way… I was like ” Uhmmm really?!” Yeah really. I just knew there was something much deeper than what was going on. It was time for a change of clothes, because I was about to walk out of my grave-clothes.

 

It’s time to walk out….

Chapter 10 Adult choices so young..

There isn’t a whole lot to talk about when it comes to my high school years. I was a normal as I could be kids. I spent most of my time in Texas during those years, but came back after a huge falling out with my dad. I choose to come back and the last thing my dad told me were, ” you’re going to end up pregnant and alone. You will accomplish nothing there, but you are just so like your mother. You betrayed me to be with her. I disown you and never want to see you again.”

Yes that’s right. At 17 that is what my dad told me. I realized at that moment that I don’t hate my dad but feel bad for my dad. He still held on to so much hurt against my mom. So what happened?? My dad was gone a lot of the time. I was really independent. I made sure to get to school on time, get good grades, maintain friendship and feed myself. But I was home alone all that time while he was away. My mom and step dad actually had to bring all my things from my house in NM. I think this is what actually triggered my dad. My mom and step dad bought me groceries, pots and pans, and all the other things that I may have needed. My dad I think felt less of a provider by them actually doing that kind gesture. My mom and step dad were literally trying to help me not so much my dad. My dad at this point has never had to raise any of us kids on his own before. So I think this was the blow.

I had just turned 17. In Texas, at the time you were considered emancipated from your parents but still couldn’t do things as if you were 18. My dad, was seeing a woman who was not his type at all. They met on the internet and she came to visit him. He tried so hard to make her stay as comfy as possible but I could tell he wasn’t into her. Anyway, that Monday morning, I was getting ready for school. It was super early in the morning. I had already had my own routine going. I had my radio going and I was about to start doing my makeup and hair. Dad walked back to my side of the apartment and asked me to turn down my radio. I gave his sass. He was never home and I treated our place as if it were mine, Not his. So by him telling me to turn it down I was not having it. I told him, as I was complying with his request, that this is how it normally is every morning. The next thing I know he has lifted me and has me up against the wall. My feet were off the ground and we are nose to nose! I just screamed. I didn’t know what else to do. My dad has NEVER done such a thing. EVER!!!

The onslaught on rage and anger came over my dad. He was telling me that everything bad that happened to him was because of me. I countered with, It was his fault not mine. He blamed me again for his divorce with my step mom and the break up of his last girlfriend was my fault and how embarrassed he was of the gal that spent the weekend with us. All of which I told him that it was his doing not mine and that I didn’t make his choices he did. Has he over reacted to everything that morning. I was still locked in my bathroom. Finally, he told me that he was taking me to school. I was literally in my Pj’s and all out of sorts. He drove like a crazy person to school almost hitting a couple of people on the road that morning. Then gave me a running start to get out of the truck and peeled out. Everyone was looking at me. My boyfriend at the time was there, he knew something was wrong. I was escorted to the office and I had to explain everything to my counselor she handed me her makeup bag and told me to finish looking presentable. I did what I could with what little I had. I finished my dad and went home. I stayed in other places than going home. Eventually, I put myself into a home in downtown Ft. Worth. To make a point to my dad. He told the people there that I threatened to kill him with a butter knife. I had remembered what my mom had told me about how I would start knowing who my parents were. She was right.

I finished my seven days at the shelter and went home and I was given choices, I could stay with my dad, I could move back with my mom, or I can move in with my friend Eric. I chose to move back home with my mom. I knew if I stayed with my dad things would eventually fall a part again, and if I move with Eric I may not stay strong enough to finish school and really be a responsible adult, so I went with door number 3 and move back home. I knew that I was in a good place to excel with my mom. I was more grown than the last time I was there. I can start  new … again.

That meant that once again that I was starting over again…. and leaving people I cared about back in Texas. I was leaving Texas again. Texas is my home. Damn. Once again I was packing all my crap into a trailer and driving back to New Mexico. That was the last time I would see my dad. I didn’t care either. I knew that I would always love him and would forgive him for this…again. But I was not going to be hurt or disappointed by him again.

So when I started my days there at my high school. It was just so easy for me to go see all my old friends. It was like I never left but I was still different from them still but I was welcomed anyway. Skip forward to the summer of senior year. I was going to turn 18 soon and my mom begged me not to move out until I finished school. A month later I told her that I was pregnant. I moved out shortly after that. She told me that I didn’t have to but I needed too. I didn’t want her to raise my child because I was young. My baby’s father and I were friends and nothing more. We had sex and it was unprotected. This was my doing and I needed to ” Man up,” and take responsibility. I was scared to death but excited. I mourned my life to some extent. I was giving up my senior fun year. I was losing a lot of things that I could be doing, but I am going to be a mom.

Little did I know how much my life was going to change. I gave birth to a baby girl in April of 2001 and I would graduate high school with a six-week old baby. I remember nights falling asleep in my books while nursing her.  Her father telling me that he was moving out because he wanted to have a baby with our neighbor at the time. I was okay with that because we were friends nothing more. He also told me he wanted nothing to do with our daughter and signed a piece of paper saying that. He also just had triplet boys 18 months before our daughter was born. Their mother and I choose to stay in contact just in case they were to ever meet one day. That we would choose to teach our children of their siblings. I choose to move on with my life and started dating.

I was also young and made some choices that were very juvenile with my daughter. I wanted to party and be a mom. I couldn’t do both, but I thought I could. My daughter spent some time with her father and I was getting married soon and would be moving from the tiny town we were living in. Life happened in 3….2…..1…BOOM!

I was served with a restraining order and my daughter was taken from me just like that. Over a fraudulent claim of domestic abuse. I had a lot of choice words for that man. But I was about to embark on a crash course of a custody battle for the next 5 years of my life. Guess who was hurting the most in all of this…. My daughter. Then eventually my oldest son, then my youngest, my marriage, me.

Every week I had to spend more than hour in personal mediation, that costs an arm and leg, at least once of month we were in court, huge amounts of money for retainers for lawyers. The more emotional I got the worse the hammer came down on me. He eventually married this woman who was abusing my child, and there was nothing I could about it. Everything was falling a part. So fast.  I was married and a baby boy on his way and I was being forced to live my mom during the times I had my daughter. I very much disliked his wife. I have known her since high school, and I didn’t like her then either. He didn’t like her either but she was there and he liked having her there. He didn’t really live alone. My relationship with his parents was now in shambles and I didn’t trust any of them. Eventually, all of this destroyed my mental wellness. I ended up with postpartum depression, my marriage was falling a part, I was isolated from family, my husband was showing signs of being controlling, he too was abusing me, and he was a weekend alcoholic. Great!! I won the lottery of bad luck it felt like. I reached out for help and no one was listening to me. So I helped myself, postpartum transformed into angoraphobia and not really allowing my son to go outside in the country, and OCD. It was the way that I handled a lot of what was going on. It finally became everything that I was.

Things between my husband and I are in limbo. I eventually asked for a divorce, little did I know that he was seeing my sister and my daughters step mom behind my back. I wouldn’t learn of this until later years. Once I was done going through my self destruction phase, He and I got back together to attempt to make things work. I would get pregnant again. He wasn’t happy about anything. More than once he would beat me, the last time he did he was sober and did it in front of my daughter and my son. I was pregnant when he did it too. He would eventually tell me that he had a credible source who told him that I was not pregnant with his child but someone he called ” Sancho.” He denied our youngest son for almost three years. In that time he would also tell me that I was worthless and I didn’t deserve my children. I should just kill myself. He threw a knife at me while I was 8 months pregnant. I seriously thought about it. This was the first memory that my son remembers of me. I was sticking up for myself against his father I took that knife and stuck it in the wall and said no. Then his father struck me down onto the bathroom floor and there I laid. It sucks that is what my son remembers of those times. Is all the abuse and then his mom is gone.

I asked nothing from my ex-husband but only to be a good man and treat me good. That wasn’t happening. He had nothing to do with our new baby, and eventually he called him an abomination. We ended up leaving, and I couldn’t take my oldest son because of our divorce decree. My ex-husband would eventually help my daughters father in custody which ended up with me giving her up to them to save her from anymore hurt.

There is a bible story that it reminded me of this sort of situation… 1 Kings 3… A wise ruling. IT was this story in the Bible that got me through this moments in my life. I don’t want my children cut in two. This would surly bring them death in a worse way. I love my children with all that I am and I had to put them on the altar for God. It was the hardest thing in my life. But I also knew that my daughter would eventually come home to me. One way or another. I will never forget what I said to them the day of the adoption. Her father and his father tried to comfort me as I just signed over my rights to a woman who had ruined my life a few times at this point. I told them ‘ Get off me! You may have won this battle, But one day our daughter is going to want the truth. I know she won’t hate me at the end of this!” I walked away with all the energy I could muster at that point. I hated them. I hated myself for what I did but I knew at that moment it was the right thing to do even though other people didn’t know.

I was publicly shamed for it over and over. Little did those people know that they were only hearing her side of the story. Not mine and not my daughters. I had no need to explain myself. I took comfort that I did the right thing because I had prayed about it. I knew that I didn’t have to explain myself anymore to anyone else. Little did those people who judged me didn’t know that she was having an affair with my ex-husband for almost 6 years. When I finally confronted the whole situation with her. She told that she did have the affair and how sorry she was. I asked if her husband knew, my daughters father, she said yes, that I was the only who didn’t know. She kept saying sorry disingenuously and I told her that the apology goes to my kids because not once but twice it was split because of her actions. She later that year posted about me in a passive way on Fb and I finally fought back.

For a long time I wouldn’t dare think to cross them just in case I get to see my daughter I didn’t want to ruin that relationship by sticking up for myself. That day I had enough of bad mom bashing. After all the years I didn’t talk crap about these people, I didn’t disrespect them, I was at their mercy. I allowed them to say bad things about me and allowed people to believe them. That day was different. I flat-out said that I would tell our daughter the truth. Their response was that if I did that I would NEVER see her again. My daughter ended up calling me moments later. She wanted to know. I asked her to take some time to really think if she wanted to hear the truth. She took some time and I told her everything. Right down to every bad choice that I had held shame for. EVERYTHING!!!  I didn’t blame her step mom, dad or myself solely. It was all of our doing as well as the influence of her former step dad. It was all of us who have made her life complicated. I apologized a lot to her and knowing that my sorry’s weren’t enough to take the pain away. But what I did what done out of love for her and thought at the moment that I was doing the right thing.

After telling her all that had happened throughout her life, pieces of her life started to fit better. She was able to make sense of what was truth and what was lies. They were telling her that I was going to abort her because she was worthless before she was born, they were telling her that I gave her up because she was a pain in ass and that I didn’t want her. I mean the list goes on and on of all the crappy things that were said to her but still she held her head high and she went on her own survival mode. Her grandmother and I finally were able to work together for the betterment of my daughter. I may not have been there everyday of her life, and I have missed out on a lot of her achievements, but the moments that I did have with her I made sure that she knew how much she is loved, missed and that the teachable moments are impactful.

She now lives with me and I will help her undo all the damage that we did to her. But for once she feels like she means something to herself, and to others. She has a long road but I know that I am here with her through it all. Her grandmother and grandfather love her so very much, but they need to enjoy retirement and allow me to finish raising her. They are so loving towards my daughter and I am grateful that we were able to work together to raise such an awesome young woman.

As far as her step mom and father go. I have forgiven them. Sometimes its a lot over time of forgiving them. I still won’t talk crap about them but rather that they seek the help that they need, to seek a life that they love, that they learn to love and practice love,and to pour into others with life, I also hope that find where they are happy and less hatful towards the one person who just wanted to be loved and accepted. I pray that one day they learn to forgive themselves and who ever has caused them pain. I pray that one day there will be peace. I pray that one day they can see what a beautiful lady our daughter is but for now I am glad there is a pause in this relationship for all of them. God is working on them and that is all that I can ask for.

In all of this Father was there to help us all through. One day my daughters story is going to touch someones life. What my daughter went through was not in vain, and their story is going to matter to someone else. It was that passage that has impacted my life to make one of the hardest choices in life. Children are so precious. I know that Father loves me the  same ( A lot more) as I love my children. God had a plan the whole time, I just need a little bit of faith. I still don’t hate her step mom or dad and I won’t. It’s just not my thing.

I was wanting to go further into detail of what she’s gone through. I opted not to because there is way too much and I don’t want people to think of her step mom and dad are bad people. We don’t know the extent of their path, what we do know that we are not fighting flesh and blood but rather the demons that had taken residency within their home. We know that a young girl of 15 soon to be 16 took 10 second of courage and faith to make a choice that was best for her.I had the audience of the Holy Spirit and the knowing that Father has a plan. I just had to listen and get out-of-the-way.

When we bring things to light, the enemy can’t use them to hurt us anymore and when the enemy tries we can discern and get the guidance from The Holy Spirit. Just gotta have faith. Now my daughter has the chance for real healing and to live instead of survive. Gotta break the cycle. I am proud of her. It’s funny it has come full circle…. It started with me making adult choices as a young adult to my daughter making different adult choices now.

 

Much love…

Chapter 7 The Wall

There comes a time during the moments of change. Almost all self-help or personal development books, the journey leads to a place to overcome. I know that I have been to this place many times. I call this the wall.

The wall is a place for me that has huge signs of DO NOT ENTER! DANGER DANGER! That wall is a place of things that I don’t want to encounter ever again. I have lied to myself over and over that I don’t need to ever look over that wall ever again. Much less break it wide open all over again. F that noise. That was my exact thoughts about The Wall.

Envision the great brick wall that seems so tall and wide. That is where I kept all my shame and guilt. All the burning desires of anything that I thought was wrong and bad. Every bad thought I have ever had, every bad thing I have ever said. You name it, it went there. To me it was massive. Every bad thing that ever happen to me that I blamed myself for, went in there. So to me when the books told me to confront the things in my past that were holding me back, I envisioned me looking up at this huge brick wall then looking down in despair. I made a choice to try to go around it. I refused to revisit that place ever again. I did this for many years.

So there is a moment for me when I built this wall. I was fifteen. I had already experienced my virtue taken from me and now feeling alone. There were many guys that have ” tried,” to get in my pants as a result of this news in the tiny town I lived in. I started my freshman year that year and I met a young man my age. I didn’t think of sex like my peers did, I could care less really. He was a virgin it made it safe for me. He was scared but curious and I didn’t care. We ended up having sex, and I ended up pregnant right before summer vacation. Oh lucky me.

Sex was awkward for me to be honest. All I could think about was hurry up I feel gross. I really didn’t want to have sex. I was like reliving the trauma all over again. In fact I would stop and push him off me. I hate it. The whole darn thing. So when I got pregnant talk about a shocker. I was with my Dad and I happened to have been bucked off my horse that summer during a poker ride, and ended up needing to go to the doctor. Little did I know that my dad suspected so much more when he took me. I was sleeping more than normal. I was sleeping in the car which I never have done in my life. Showers were painful. I did tell my dad that as well. I could tell my dad anything.

So when the doctor came in she told me the news,”you hurt your back and you’re pregnant. Do you want to tell your father or would you like me too?” Whoa!  That is a lot to take in. I told her to tell my father for me and I walked out. I walked past my dad and said she wants to talk to you, and I waited in the truck. I was trying to process everything that was just told me and what was going to be told to my father. OH MY GOD!!! He is going to be so disappointed in me. He’s walking to the car…. Keep it together Kristal.

He hops into the car, and as happy as he could. “My baby is having a baby.” I lost it! I start crying and saying sorry over and over. Like it was going to change my fate in any way. He then has this bright idea that he needs to tell my mom. That was the first time I ever cursed at my dad. “Are you F-ing crazy?! She will kill us both!!” He laughed it off like I was joking! This man is insane. What the heck am I going to do, and my dad is to kind to me to tell me what he is really thinking. I am a royal screw up. A+ for me on this. In all fairness though it’s not like I was educated in real life situations to handle such things. Sure I passed health class with an A but how do I talk to my parents about this sort of thing. My sister was the one who was experienced in this arena of life, and I am not telling her crap anymore. I vowed at this point that I would not do the same thing with my kids. I would make it a safe place to ask for the things that they need in these situations before there is a baby on the way.

So I am thinking of everything and anything all at the same time, and I just want to eat my emotions. Pizza it is. I make my dad take me to pizza hut in Hillsboro OR. I sat there quietly, and my dad is encouraging me to talk. I am just sick about the whole thing. The guy in the matter was the last thing on my mind. I was overwhelmed, full of pizza and exhausted. My dad comforted me a lot that night but kept telling me that he needed to tell my mom. I yelled at him not to, and beg him not to. That I would tell her myself.

Little did I know that back home, there were problems on the home front. My step dad accused my mom of cheating on him, and they have been fighting. There were in a midst of a separation. The crap had hit the fan back home. I had no idea what I was literally flying back too. Which by the way, flying a four-hour flight while preggers sucks!! I threw up the whole time. I even had to throw up in the little bags behind the seat while taking off. It was so humiliating. When I arrived in New Mexico I was welcomed as usual but my mom wasn’t there. She always is there to get me from the airport.

I raced to the bathroom and threw up again. This made everyone suspicious of me. I have never done that. EVER!! So once I was cleaned we went to Olive Garden as usual and my step dad was wearing his sunglasses still. I was confused. I looked at my boyfriend and my brother. Neither of them knew haha but I knew something was wrong. My guilt comes rushing to my face! Did my dad tell on me?! My step starts to cry while at the table. Now I am confused. Now mind you I had no idea whats been happening while I was with my dad. Then my step dad laid it out for me. It was the hardest thing for me to hear.

“Kristal your mom and I are getting a divorce.” Oh my gosh NOOO. “I have this suspicion that she has been cheating on me.” hahaha that’s a joke. I did giggle because that was outrageous claim against my mom. She maybe a lot of things but a cheater. NOOOOPE try again. So he tells me the whole story of what he suspects of my mom. I explained to him why those were all false. Anyway that was not good enough to him but I see now that I was a teenager with no real life experience with this sort of thing… YET. They still don’t know that I am pregnant. Maybe I should have stayed with my dad. This is not going to end well. So part of the tradition of picking me up we either go shopping or to a movie. I opted for a movie because then no one had to talk. We can sit silently in our guilt and joys. My step dad and I had a lot on our minds and my brother and boyfriend know nothing. Super. So my step dad picks the movie. He picks ” A Perfect Murder.” I remember looking at my brother then my step dad as tears rolls down his face as the movie plays. Now I am concerned. He walked out and after I gathered my thoughts and my own feelings I had the rest of us follow. I felt bad for the man. There was no way my mom would ever do anything  like that to him. She actually loves this dude. He has is facts all wrong and he was on the bad end of my mom. Then there is me and my bundle of news to deal with. I knew that I couldn’t wait very long to tell my mom. Otherwise, she would be even more upset that I didn’t trust her enough to tell her right away, even though she has her own issues to tend too.

We get home I call my sister right away and talk to her about it, she told me the same thing. I needed to tell mom, but they were arguing in the dining room. I went out there to make sure my brother wasn’t in the room while they were arguing. My step dad had told my mom about what we did at some point. The next morning I was laying on the couch sick a dog and tired, and there stood my mom. She always had this look about her when she had something on her mind. I knew right then she knew. She asked me if I was up for shopping. Like I will turn that down. ” Are you feeling good enough to go shopping with me today?” she said so tenderly. I felt calm enough to tell her once we were in the car. It was just me and her. We rarely had me and her time. So I knew she knew for sure. I sat in the car, and she was backing out of the garage. ” So how far along are you?” I am stunned. Ok we are going to talk about it right now right now. I tell her that I only had found out a few days ago. To which she said that I was not going to keep it and a lecture that I am happy to never have to go through again. She then realized that I needed the How To instructions to sex. Always have condoms, don’t share my body, and the dreaded birth control talk. She asked if my boyfriend knew and I said no. She told me I had to tell him before she calls his mom. OOOOh crap a doodles, she’s calling his MOM!! Better her than me I suppose.

Later on that night, I was called to her room. She had just gotten off the phone with his mom and they both agreed that I was to get an abortion. There was no negations. Now this is where the wall is built-in a day. That choice they made for me was against everything I have ever believed. I was killing a baby that God had given me. I was committing murder and premeditated at that. There was a date and time already. There was no talking about it anymore. I was so upset. I didn’t even get to really make the choice on my own. I see where my mom was coming from. We were young and had our whole lives to have children. Which is all understandable. I get that logic but my relationship with God might change. What if he hates me for this. I am a failure at this too. They all agreed except me. I finally accepted the day before we went.

I remember the sonogram before the procedure, seeing that baby in there. Hearing its heartbeat. I remember it all. I remember being sedated and telling them no as they sucked the baby out of me. That is what it felt like anyway. They told me it was too late and to get up and get dressed. I threw up and sat in the recovery room with other women who hung their heads low. I walked out aware of everything and we went out to eat. It was the first thing I was able to eat in like a month. The after effects of that drug made me feel happy. I wish it could have lasted a lot longer than that day, because that night I felt a darkness over me and it stayed for a long time. I haven’t been able to talk about it until this last year. There were so many unanswered questions for me. I needed to know that I was going to be okay at the end of all of this and no one could tell me. I reached out for help but the therapist wanted me to talk about it. There is that wall again. That stupid tall brick wall.

I stare at the wall, as the therapist is asking me to talk to my dead baby. What would you say to that. I just stared at that brick wall that I couldn’t get over. So I left. I left that mans office and didn’t look back. I was ok. I can get past this. I know that I can. The last thing the therapist kept getting at was forgiveness. That is a strong word for me at that point. How can I forgive this? How can I forgive my boyfriend? How can I forgive my mom? How can I forgive myself? How can God forgive me? So many questions. So many choices had to be made for my future and yet there was this large darkness that had overwhelmed me once more. Maybe it was always waiting in the wings. Maybe God was punishing me.

Well these are all questions that we ask about our Creator isn’t it? Why does God allow bad things to happen? He has to be testing me, right? How can He can forgive even the worst people? Well I may have answer for ya. I had all the same questions throughout many events in my life. Some you will get to know soon enough, but those questions above in these moments I have an answer for.

God, our Father, He allows situations to happen because he has bestowed us with a blessing to cross paths with someone else and our testimony is going to impact that person’s life. Or because we simply didn’t listen to his answer about something he said no to, so he allows us to go through these situations. Always remember that you’re never alone in your situation He already knows how its going to end, and He doesn’t walk you to your situations doorstep just to leave you to go on the journey alone. It’s all about faith that you know He is going to be there to help you through. And at the end of the journey the glory goes to God. Your story matters. You have to have the courage to open your mouth to speak it.

God didn’t leave me in my time of my abortion. I left me. I left everything behind that stupid wall. God was there all along He was waiting for me to take his hand so he can help me out, but I never took it. I went along a very dark path. Dark to me anyway. I acted out. I smoked weed, I had sex again, I drank a lot. I lied. I stopped caring. I was going to do what I wanted to do regardless who it was going to hurt. I went to parties and eventually I went back to my Dads. But God never left me. He walked right by me the whole time just waiting. Telling me softly to not do what I was about to do. Telling me that I was worth it, I shut him out. How can he forgive such an unforgivable sin. That is what I thought for a long time. So how did all these answers come to me.

There is a story that will come later but here is what I will tell you now. The day that I met Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and heard God once more is the day that all those answers came to me. I asked God for forgiveness for the abortion, and he said with a loud Yes. I was asked if I could forgive myself and I started crying. I said Yes. I felt Him hold me close to him. I was being hugged by my Father. I have not ever felt love like that. I learned right at that moment…. What love was. Unfiltered love. I just cried in that couch and cried. I have not ever felt something so pure in my life. I was told that I would one day meet that baby and he was safe. I know how why we go through the things we do. One way or another people come into our lives or we are called to serve Him in ways that we didn’t think were possible. Philippians 4:13 I know now what I am called to do for him. That is to tell you my story. He got me out of the darkness in such a way.

So I am writing this out today because I knew that this is part of the wall that I am knocking out of my life. This is the start of the hard stuff that is yet to be written about. So all week I knew I had to write this part out, and I was staring at that wall in minor defeat. But I knew that I can do this because this is my calling. I will no longer have this brick wall to stare at in defeat but to stare at this wall knowing it’s already been defeated and it is no longer there. I will walk through that shame and guilt with my head held high because my Father has already defeated the enemy and the victory has already been won. All you need is a little bit of faith and courage. I know that my story is going to reach who it is meant to reach. I say there is hope even if your faith is a small as a mustard seed. God can do a lot with that mustard seed. I love you all.