Hey there… It’s been awhile.

It’s been awhile since I have written. It tends to happen when something big happens in life. In my life that is. I have to process things and spend a lot of time with Jesus. It’s a process of what ifs and why’s and then a lot of forgiveness. So what have I been up to since the last time I have written you ask?

After the sentencing hearing, I had spend a lot in time in prayer. Seeking answers and actual direction of where I am to go next with the knowledge that I have gotten. This new fresh wave of information of how fallen the world really is. How there is so many broken people in this world. Just because I am Christian doesn’t mean that I am perfect or anything, it means that I rely on Jesus to walk me through my issues. I have plenty of things that need to be worked on too. That included the brokenness that I had that day I walked out of that court house. But there was something great that happened in all that processing work, I forgave. I didn’t lean on my own understanding of the situation, but instead trust God that he is working it out for the good. I also started working on bringing some awareness of the dangers our children face in this fast world that we all live in. I had to let go of some controlling things about me trying to protect and reel in that passion a little. I can’t come guns a blazin on a soap box. That isn’t good ya know. I had to take personal inventory of where I was emotionally, mentally, spiritually and whether I am taking care of myself too in all this.

I leaned on the Word, Church and my church family, my friends and family through that time. My passion for bringing awareness won’t ever stop, I just needed to find a better approach to bring awareness. I want to help educate parents and be a soundboard of support. The same way so many others were there for me.

Another thing that happened while I have been absent was a great Bible study by Beth Moore, The Patriarchs. Wow, talk about being filled. I have a hunger as it is already for the Word but to go into such depth was so good. I have the most wonderful opportunity to meet new women at the study and get to know them. I’m so incredibly grateful for those moments and the moments to come with these ladies. They are my tribe. Not to mention the new friendships that I have been so blessed to have currently. I mean seriously awesome Women. They have been so there for me in a real honest way and so welcoming and some have been so impactful in my life and didn’t even know it. So here is a small shout out to some of those women. Dee, Tara, Ramie, Julie, Melanie, Lanessa and Lindsay. You ladies inspire me, motivate me, edify me, teach me, pray with me and for me, support me. I respect you and admire you and love watching all the great things that God has done for you, and all the great works you’ve done and called to do. Seriously amazing women. I’m super grateful that God chose y’all to do life with in some way or another.

Of course I’m still very much going through a difficult season but I try not to focus on all the negative, instead I focus on the work that He is doing within me. The stretch and squeeze to be a better person. I welcome these moments because I know that he is with me and walking with me through this very tough time. There is nothing easy about this walk, but I seek His face in these times. I have faced fear so many times since August, and it still doesn’t feel easy doing it. Because each time I have faced fear it has come in a new way. I know that God is working this out for my good however that looks like. He knows what is best for me and I don’t dare take that from him. Instead, I welcome the teaching moment. For instance, talking in open court was so scary, and allowing the words come out of my mouth was so incredibly hard. Or watching my daughter falling a part and feeling incredibly helpless in those moments and not knowing where to go with those emotions for myself. Or watching a close friend of mine being arrested and watching relationships fall completely a part and being judged myself alone for being a friend to this person. Or only having $40 to put food on the table. Or being blamed for things I have no part in whatsoever. Not once did I blame someone for what I was going through. Instead, I opened my Bible, my life manual. I literally searched high and low for comfort and instruction. I got it too. I trust God in all areas of my life. And I mean everything. Even through my tears of doubt, sadness, frustration, helplessness, I mean you name it. I have encountered every stinking emotion through this season, and still do at times. But the one thing that was given to me every time, was that I was not to be afraid. He was doing a great big pruning in my life and still doing so. I mean I have questioned myself on every bad thing I have ever done right down to stealing my favorite candy bar when I was six years old. And when I was praying about stuff and I am pretty sure I didn’t leave room to listen a few times, but He always finds a way to get to you doesn’t he? He will leave the 99 to find you boo boo. “Trust God and do good,” was a great reminder as I watching Joyce Meyers on the YouTube. So simple and yet so profound. And that was an answer I needed to hear right in that moment.

The one thing I can say is this, through all parts of my life and all seasons, I will always rely on Him.

I have been diving into the new book by Christine Caine called Unexpected. And let me tell you …. this book is so right on. She talks about #EmbracingTheUnexpected. Because of course the unexpected is coming!

She talks about her own story and the overcoming of hardships in her life, and there are other people in the book that share their stories of how God has been sooo in the middle of the pain, chaos, sadness, I mean you name it. Fear, I mean the list goes on and on of all the crazy emotional roads we can go on, but more importantly how God was totally in the middle and working things out for their good. Anticipating the unexpected and trusting in God in all of it, really releases a new kind of management in the situation. We dont have to rely on ourselves to get through the situation. We have to do work of course through those moments but God does all the heavy lifting. What is super amazing is that He knew it was coming and knows the end result. The victory is already won, the path was already made straight, He knew all the players and how it was going to turn out. You’re job is to hold on tight, scoot close, press into, TRUST HIM as he stands with you, walks with you, and delivers you out of the situation. Even when you encounter a situation that is NOT Gods doing He WILL give you an exit out of the situation, and still use that situation for something great and good. HOW wonderful is HE!! I mean seriously. He is AWESOME!

There are so many times that I wish I could share in detail of what I am going through so that maybe someone would understand how He has gotten me through so much and still does. Like I keep telling myself this season will be over soon, It’s coming to end and then something else happens. Now I just giggle and accept and dig in and on the days that its not so easy to giggle I seek Him first. I used to be afraid to ask for God’s mercy, but he knows my heart better than I do. He knows exactly what I can handle, and He makes me strong in my weaknesses. He has a purpose for me and my life. He knows what I am doing, and He knows where I am going.

I have been blessed in that a couple of years ago, before my deliverance was complete, I asked Him to show me a glimpse of what my future was. I will never forget what He showed me that day. But I did, but not in the way that you may think.

Genesis 12:1-3 is where God was telling Abram (Abraham) of a promise. He told Abram that he would become a great nation. That is the short end of it. Even through all that Abraham gone through there were times where fear was very much there too. At times there were moments that they would forget that God has given them their promise when in the midst of the chaos, then they would remember and have an Oh yeah moment.

This is so relatable to me because I have been blessed in that God showed me my promise and I forgotten that when I was knee deep in yuckiness in this season. And the more I got to know Gods Word I felt more at ease because He already showed me where I was going to be, but I still have to go through things. I have learn what He wants me to learn. I still have to trust in Him in all ways good and bad and all things in between. There are even things that I have had to accept radically and trust that it was the right thing. I have had to learn that I don’t need to take everything on personally, that some journeys are for that other person to go through and its not my place to fix it. Or when I was called to help someone I was scared to help. Learning balance and making that active in my life. To fully step into my calling and declare it. He didn’t ask for my qualifications, He asked me to trust.

For instance, I am a writer. I know that I have a lot of work I need to do to be a better one, but I was called to write. I can’t tell you how many times that writing has come up in my life. The first real writing I started doing was when I was twelve on a vacation to Jamaica. I have been writing since. Not only that, I talk all the time. I have to be mindful to not talk so much. My first words were shut up, so from the very beginning I was different and meant to be so. I am not sure how God is going to use that but I know he will. #KristalTalksTooMuch I was called to be this way. I am more comfortable in my skin today than I have ever been. That’s because of Him and trusting. But I wasn’t given these gifts to stay quiet about them. I haven’t been comfortable talking about myself as a writer until recent times. There is a reason for that. I was afraid of being judged and rejected. And through this season I have been rejected a lot and judged, but God was there for me and made me strong. He showed me that I am stronger with Him and in fact that I don’t always have to be liked to be accepted because my anchor isn’t in their opinions and rejections. My anchor is in Christ.

I choose not to doubt myself anymore. I choose to believe. I choose to move forward and not stay stuck like the enemy wants me too. I choose to believe that God is going to use my uniqueness for good because He is good. I choose to believe that God loves all of me. I choose Him.

May you experience the Love of Christ, then you’ll be made complete with all the fullness of Life” Ephesians 3:19

He is life. He is love. He is I Am.

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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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Talk about it Tuesday

Well, things are just moving right along y’all. I feel like I am finally getting my groove in things. I knew the season would be winding down. It has been a crazy 6-8 months of life for me. Not that I am counting or anything, and not to say that things are roses and rainbows, but they do feel not so overwhelming. I don’t feel that the other shoe is about to drop. We all have those moments right?! Like what else could happen? When actually its not our job to really know what the future holds. Today has its own problems, can’t worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:24 NIV) And with a lot of practice of being mindful and being in the present moment helps a ton with being grounded.

I can recognize and accept the emotions that come with the situation, but not be consumed by them. Now for me unlike other healthy people, it still takes me a while to work through situations and the emotions that come with that. Sometimes even days and weeks, especially if its a big ordeal. It’s the one time I actually have to fight back the old ways of coping. Like full on OCD blowout to just cope. It’s like a frantic cleaning, freak out then go back to cleaning, setting rules and limitations for everyone, then back to over doing the rituals over and over. Now, I know doing those things don’t actually help me or benefit me as a person. It does however get all the cleaning and gets the things I need or want evened out, or the trash all out of the way at once. Or I will try to read and research a something until its almost tunnel vision when I am trying to cope. It’s really unhealthy. At least now I am in a place where its not so extreme at all, I really rely on Him first, then do things in moderation until I am able to calm down, and figure out what I need to do and feel better.

So, that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. My second year anniversary is coming up with my recovery. It’s a super emotionally filled mine field at times. This year is no exception, in fact more traumatic events happened in this part of the year. Let me back up … This is the hardest time of year because three years ago is when I was going through one of the toughest times in my life. I lost Granddaddy, I was over working myself in a job I loved, I was going through a tough time in my marriage, I was going through something with my kids that I still won’t really talk about, and then my boys moved out right before Christmas to their dads, and I couldn’t hold it anymore and finally attempted suicide. Twice! That’s why its a hard time this time of year for me in a nutshell.

So the first year of recovery at this time of year, I was basically living in bed, hopeless and full of sadness. I didn’t want to shower, I was only leaving my bed to get some food to bring back to my room, all activities stopped. I didn’t even know I was doing it until I was called out about it. Then I was like “Oh, what am I doing?!” I was able from that moment really SEE what I was doing and use the skills that I was learning and applying to get myself out of bed and live. This year, there have been new events that have added to this time of year, and I was internally freaking out a bit. Because I knew going into this time of year that I can’t live in bed, or not shower, among other things. Then other things started happening and it felt like chaos!!

So I needed to put all I knew into action and use this time to really put my weaker practices into action as well. More importantly I needed to stay as grounded as possible. GROUNDED!! I needed to be the deeply rooted tree in the storm. I needed to be able to sway in the storm but stay rooted. I knew I might lose some of my leaves and branches but I needed to see the joy and that maybe I needed some pruning. See what I did there. Haha So I stayed rooted in my faith, hope and the love He has for me. Seek direction in the Word of God, and get a lot of guidance and not be afraid. Another thing was to talk about it. I searched for a therapist that could help someone in my situation, and I couldn’t find one that could help me. I can’t always take up my support systems time, so I was able to call the suicide hotline ( 1-800-273-8255, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ ) on those really bad nights. They were able to help me when I needed. Then I was able to talk with some friends about stuff, and it was nice to see things in a new fresh way. But no matter what I still needed to go through the emotional part of things and actually go through it all and at my pace. Which I am doing. I still get sad but I dont sit in the sadness all day. I recognize that I am feeling that emotion and express that and do what I need to do to cope. #SelfCare #SelfLove

So a friend of mine reached out to me a couple of weeks ago asking if I was okay, because there was a trend there where I wasn’t doing what I normally do. Once again, I was reminded in that moment to be aware of what I am doing or not doing in this time. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to call me out, and she did. I confided in her on what was on my mind and what I was going through and that my anniversary was coming up; what she said to me impacted me. She told me to celebrate it. I never thought about it in that way. I thought about it like ” Just survive it Kristal once its past you’ll be fine.” But to celebrate it… whoa my mind was blown. God was telling me something and delivered the message through her. #PraiseGodandHisGoodWork #ThanksMelinda So I what did with that nugget of good ol LOVE, was really celebrate the days coming as that date approaches. By really loving myself. I am blessed to have such great friends in my life. They are an answered prayer. He keeps on giving. So for those of you who are in a place that is hard to cope in this time of year I have this to say.

I know what you may be feeling. I may not know your situation or what you are going through, but the emotional parts I hear you. They aren’t forever, they too move on to a different emotion and it keeps going. I encourage you to get out of bed, whatever small or big reason you give yourself to make that a action happen do it. If it means, that you need to eat breakfast and smell like a clean human, and thats your motivation to get out of bed, then do it. I encourage you to reach out to talk to someone. Sometimes we just need to unload all that baggage and need someone to listen. Trust in faith that someone in your life wants to listen and be there for you, let them and give yourself the permission to allow them to do it for you. If you dont have anyone or feel that you dont, call the hotline. I think they even have it to where you can text now. Do something to make yourself feel good, like getting flowers, draw, take a bath, make some cookies, watch a silly movie. Just to name a few. Find joy in the moments that you do for yourself. And if you’re in a place where you’ve lost someone too, celebrate all the great things this person has done or made you feel while they were here. When Granddaddy passed I mourned his loss for a long time. I still cry when I think of him not being here, but I also remember all the silliness and how loving he was. That man loved me and that is what I remember and hold on too. I don’t have all the answers but I know this time of year is hard on a lot of people all around the world. If you are reading this and you are one of those people, you are not alone. If you are reading this and know someone who is going through a hard time during this season, reach out to them, you never know what your presence means to them. You might be exactly what they needed in this time of their live. Love each other, be kind and be good to yourself and each other. Be light in the dark.

With that said have a great day and smile.

With love,

Kristal

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Chapter 8 

So I have been reading The Shack by WM Paul Young. You know what?! I haven’t cried so many tears of joy at one time in almost nine months. This read brings me in a place that is treasured and cherished to me. I want to share part of it with you. 

I had mentioned in my last post about the questions of why God allows things to happen. I want to touch on that a little more. Here’s the reason why. Clarification. 

So many of us blame God first. Guilty! I know I have. I can’t speak for everyone in this world but I can speak for me. I mostly had this phase in my teen years. I really thought that he was to blame. God equals good in my eyes so why does the bad happen? 

Well, to those of you who don’t know there is evil in this world. It’s all over the place. And sometimes it resides in us. I know it resided in me and in all my hurts. And the lies that I believed are what made The Wall in my life. Every red brick was a lie that I believed from evil. 

I am going to be blunt because I don’t know any other way to say these next few things. ( that’s a lie because it’s not a few things. Haha) but it comes from a place of love in my heart. I have been dancing around this subject for a few posts now but now is the time. 

My Father doesn’t create the tragic things that happen in life. He does use it as way to give it purpose of Love. In one way or another Love comes out of it. Let that sink in for a second. 

This was a hard thing for me to swallow when I first heard this. I even gave the look of ” This person is cray cray boo boo.” And even looking around to see if anyone else agrees. It didn’t come. If they did agree they weren’t going to tell me. 

When I was first introduced to Jesus,heaven and hell I was a young child. I remember asking my Grandpa O what would happen if I did anything wrong. Mind you, when I asked this I was holding a old King James Verison of the good book. It had pictures in the book of Revelations. It looked horrific that is why I asked. As we stood in the kitchen as he was gathering the garbage he told me that I would burn in hell for all eternity  Two words…. life changing!! I didn’t want to burn in hell for all eternity!!  I really wanted to learn everything in The Bible so that I wouldn’t ever go to that bad place. 

Then there was my Granny and GrandDaddy their version was a lot less absolute. They spoke of Jesus as Love. I didn’t understand that either. I was confused. 

About this time in my life I started to experience things I really didn’t understand. The supernatural. Far fetched?! No not really. I had my first premonition through a dream as child. It involved my mom and her friend going out to a bar and her friends boyfriend trying to kill them. I told my mom about my dream. I was very specific on the details and like so many other moms she told me kindly that it was a dream. She added that I had nothing to worry about. I trusted her words and thought nothing of it. That was until she woke me up in the middle of the night asking me how did I know. She made me tell her friend the next morning. My mom told me that I was crazy. Haha, I am sure she meant that as a term of endearment. Or shock. I don’t know. Maybe it scared her. 

So I continue to talk about this I will use terms that I have used to describe what I saw or experienced. The dark is what I would describe things. I found it odd that as I grew older these feelings, sightings or seeing people’s thoughts were strong.  I always felt in my heart they were curses. Not gifts as so many others called them. They weren’t gifts. They were exhausting and tolling on me. People asking me to talk to the dead like it was nothing was very taxing. I hated that I could see what was in people’s minds and they didn’t appreciate it either. Getting dates wasn’t easy back then. 

In my twenties I tried so hard to turn them off. All of it. And it ate at me. It was hurting me. Nightmares, the awful things people say and do to others, or being taken advantage of by the dead. So weird right. I often told myself that if I used it for good then I can do good. Not without some sort of consequence of course. I started to discover that a lot of people in my family have these things in one form or another. That includes my mom. Her stories are things out of scary movies. Not like mine are any better but it seems so normal for us. 

My Father was never far behind in these quests. Y’all have to understand I didn’t have friends growing up in my super young years. I had my Father and Jesus. I talked to them like I would any other person in my life. I hungered to know them but I knew I was never alone. I hated when the darkness came. When they were around I knew I was safe.  As a child, I didn’t know it was them but here is how I knew them. 

I was guided on what to say when a man was trying to kidnap me one morning to school. I was directed to go to a neighbors house in hopes that someone would open the door. They were there throughout everything in my life. I just didn’t KNOW them the way I know them now. I just knew to trust that voice and not the other voice from the darkness. 

The dark voice was not ever up to any good. It would disguise itself to be good but wasn’t. But the darkness I knew well. But the light was never far behind. I sought out the light. I needed it. 

The darkness came into life before I was even born. The darkness is what I knew first before my Father. The darkness has been using people’s hurts to take up residency in their lives. They tell you lies and we’re humans; It’s so easy for us to believe the bad than the good. 

The more hurt we are the more we believe the lies. Generally speaking that is. We are all different. I have believed all those lies and at some point even embraced them. Hence my huge brick wall. 

There was a turning point for me in my relationship with my Father. I started asking the hard questions. Why did God make his only son die for us? Why am I raised catholic? Do these prayers and holy water really hold any real power? Is kneeling every five minutes in mass really impacting my life? Is it really showing my faithfulness to God? And why do I have to go through conformation to get married? And why do I have to marry a catholic man? Same went with my dad when we talked about church. He raised me a Baptist. Polar opposites in the way faith is practiced and equally exhausting. I remember telling both of them I wasn’t going to be a part of it. My mom didn’t like my choice and neither did my dad but they understood where I was coming from. 

I didn’t feel that doing rituals or pretending was the way to God’s heart. That was my thinking at 15 and 16 years old. I mean, I had already seen the dark side of things all around me and in the news. I wanted to believe that there wasn’t a hell to go to but that I was living in hell on this planet and I had to find God in this world. Talk about confusion right?! I was totally confused. I’m sure reading this you’re confused haha. 

So what did I do? Well, let me tell you. I hung on to what I knew in my heart of God and fought as much as I could against the darkness. 

I had this helpless feeling that the darkness was stronger than me but I held on. My dad gave me all my bibles I have today. But he had given me a bible that was passed down to him from GrandDaddy. It was special to me. He gave it to me after I went to a church lock in and I was saved. I got so close to God in those moments. He was life. And I clung to him in a very codependent way. He was my air when the darkness wanted to suffocate me. And I think my dad knew that. I hungered for God. I hungered to feel loved and wanted. God did that for me. My Father still does. 

I depended on Father for everything. I knew I was going to be okay one way or another. I hoped for more but didn’t know what that would look like. And I was still searching for love. 

In all the hurts that I have ever encountered He was there but I didn’t know it like I do now. 

For instance I didn’t understand why he wasn’t there when that man pulled my panties down to get his pleasure. That was a hurt that was deep. How could God allow someone to do that to a child? I got my answer. I was presented a vision. 

I’m not sure if I do it justice by saying it was a vision, but, as if I were there all over again. I was that small child standing toward the wall reading that book and Jesus was there. He asked me to turn around and to look at that man. To see that he was sick and it was beyond my understanding how sick he was. That there was nothing I could have done to change him. I forgave that man for doing what he did to me and grateful he didn’t do more to hurt me. And just like that Jesus picked him up and asked me to leave the room. I choose to forgive and give Jesus that hurt. 

The very first time I saw Jesus’ face he was behind my mom. She was choking me over the same stupid vent on the floor. I was reliving another hurt. As she’s choking me I don’t feel pain or fear like before. Jesus said ” Kristal look at your mom. She how sad she is. See how scared she is. This isn’t your mom right now. She is in pain. Forgive your mom. She’s going through things that you don’t understand.” I cried  because He was right. I no longer saw rage or anger in my mom. I saw her hurts and her own pain. I saw how sad she was. I saw how the darkness was in her too and in those moments rage it really wasn’t my mom. Not in those eyes. 

I am crying even writing this because He was so tender with my mom. He would pick her up at the very moment she would stop hurting me. And he would take her to her room. He was there the whole time y’all. I knew that for sure now because he was actually showing me. He was the one to be there to stop her. That is what I believe. Jesus helped me see. God knows how much I love my momma. 

To get out of the darkness of my own fears and stress I had to see things with new eyes. He showed me that choosing to forgive the people that have caused me hurts made a huge difference in my own life and recovery. 

I knew at that moment that Father was there the whole time and He wasn’t the one who caused these events in my life but that he was there to help me through it all. Telling me That my story matters. That these things in my life are going to help someone else at his perfect timing that only he knows. He can use the hurts and events for good. Glory be to Him. 

He has shown me love in all these hurts I’ve have. He has shown me when I get out of his way things happen. He has shown me that the love I have for him I will stand alone because people have a hard understanding things they don’t know. I am humbled by the love he has for all of his children. 

He has shown me who I am within him. He helped me save my little child self from a very dark place. He holds that young Kristal’s hand as she grows up to be a woman. She has a lot to learn about who she really is. 

I talk to Father like I would my own parents, my friends or like my children. Without scolding though 😉. When I attempted suicide He was there too. 

I have debated on when to dive into this topic. In fact I avoided it. I knew I wasn’t going to win that argument with Father because He knows what’s best. All my close friends know where I stand when it comes to God. In the most impossible situations I will turn to him first. I won’t rely on my own thoughts on most things. I talk to Father throughout my day. I have annoyed people with my talks of Jesus. 

I know how fantastic this all sounds but it’s the truth. When I am sad I ask for Him to hold me and He does. When I am happy I know he is too. I have a duty to live this life to the fullest because Jesus died so that I could.

 The love that washes over me is unfathomable. I don’t even know how to describe it. For the first time in my life I know Love. But that is for another day.