Category Archives: From The Heart

Ponderings and squabbles.

2016: Glancing Back.

The Past 13 months  

~December 2015-December 2016~

 

  • December
  1. Lived in Songtan, South Korea
  2. Visited Roda, Spain
  3. Came back stateside after 1 ½ years way
  4. Drank a Chick-Fil-A milkshake for the 1st time in two years
  5. Ax to root.
  • January
  1. Wrote “Near the Broken Hearted” and “Intricacies” 
  2. Visited family property with Mom for the first time!
  3. Found Cherokee Baptist Church 
  4. The roots are here still. I’m breathing still.

 

  • February
  1. First Hot Yoga Class
  2. Started the 30 Day Yoga Challenge 
  3. Started Painting Business
  4. BRACES OFF!
  5. Wrote another song (..or two or three)
  6. Road Trip Alone in TN to visit friends
  • March
  1. Started working at Starbucks
  2. Finished 1st in the 30DYC
  3. Started 200 HR YTT
  4. Wrote “Alive Forever”
  • April
  1. Started my own phone plan
  2. Bought my first smart phone
  • May
  1. Paid cash for my car
  2. Joined CBC
  3. Started walking Dogs for Kristin
  4. Record BEST organic spring garden

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  • June
  1. Spent a month in Israel
  2. Fell in love with the Mediterranean 
  3. ..and Tahini
  4. Bess and Davis announce Baby Miller #3 
  • July
  1. Reunited with the WHOLE family first time in two years
  2. Wrote “Steady”
  3. Sick for a whole day since I don’t remember! 
  4. Roots drive deeper.
  • August 
  1. Fullfilled a life long dream to sing the national anthem for an important occasion. 
  2. Beach with Brookie!
  3. Met new kindred soul, reunited with two other kindreds. 
  • September
  1. Finished 2nd place at Madlife! 
  2. Beach beach beach
  • October
  1. Turned in my 3 weeks at SBux
  2. Patio at MadLife Stage and Studios 
  3. Started Training at RightWay Health and Wellness
  4. Began deeper study of neurology and all things quantum related
  5. Introduced to the wonderfulness of essential oils
  6. knit a butt ton of hats for local INCU babies
  7. And still the roots search for those deep wells.
  • November
  1. Made it to the quarter finals
  2. Wrote “Wholly United”    
  3. Finished “The Broken Way”
  4. Graduated New Day Yoga
  5. Retreat with CBC clan 
  6. Hiked Black Rock Mountain
  7. 1st Thanks Giving Home in 2 years
  8. New Presidency!
  9. Ended career as a dogwalker

December

  1. Sponsorship relationship with some Asian children started
  2. Album written! (YES!) 
  3. Book to illustrate in motion
  4. Got my horizontal Drivers license!
  5. Performed in Christmas parade
  6. Performed at a Christmas event in the park
  7. Switch on your brain–Science is catching up with Scripture. 
  8. Monastic life: rhythmic discipline fosters robust growth which supports divine happiness. 
  9. Completed a total of 6 ½ books (not including my Yoga homework/research and the Bible):(“1,000 Gifts” (3rd time through), “Switch On Your Brain”, “The Broken Way”, “The Greatest Gift”, “Just Do Something”, “The Emotion Code”)… and I’m forgetting one. . . 
  10. Tender new Unfurling slow now. Water is nearer than  ever.

 

 

Miscellaneous Noteworthies:  The EndNotes

  • Stopped biting my nails, Worrying (so toxic) and staying up too late. 
  • Heart glass to God–Call to live always honest and awake to now. 
  • Learned about my God given personality and the magnificent strengths and plundering weaknesses (aka. HARD CORE “svadhyaya”).
  • Key goal: Balance and Acceptance. Work with what you’ve got, not against it. 
  • I finally know that I know that I know how to nourish my body/mind. Its been a battle. 
  • Chomping at the bit to go travel and see (or live) somewhere new. 

new path: keep it simple.

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Simplicity.

simplicité

~~~~~~~

And so this is the crescendo.

This final Au revoir.

The fanning of blank white pages on the face whispers: new chapter. 

That decaying oak that was chopped down last winter, maybe God recycles. Maybe the canvas for the new chapter wasn’t made of anything except that bark; those branches.

~~~~~~~~~

New Woman.

New Path.

New journey.

 New Blog! : https://reveillermoncoeur.wordpress.com/

THIS ENDS all I’ve relished 2013-2016.

Taking flight!

Into the bright starry eyed sky.

2017.

Fresh and waiting.

~~~~~~

Goodbye and bonne nuit!

Affectionately, poetically, and brightly yours,

-Sky

P.S. please feel free to share my poems, rambles, or any nugget of light you may want to keep.

RL isn’t going anywhere for now.

or for ever, really.

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“It’s Flower falls, and beauty perishes.”

James 1:9-11

It really does all pass.

This too…

…and that…

…even these…

I don’t cling to God during these less-than-ideal seasons of life because I want to.

I need to.

and to cling to God, in simple terms, is to keep the mind on Him and to remember (and remember and remember and repeat) His Truth in your head until it trickles down and stains the heart and everything in you.

My prayer isn’t that this will pass.

I refused the habit of hurry when I was crowned with joy and bliss–why adopt it now when i wear my own thorn-like head dress and face my own kind of rejection and disappointments?

My prayer is that I will grow always and everywhere and to be real always and everywhere and fully enter each season, emotionally, physically, spirtually, and live here and now and not wish away my life for something I might think I need or want.

The last years of my life were precious, but isn’t all life precious?  Isn’t all existence on this earth a miracle and wouldn’t you be so sad to be there, there at the very end of it all, the very last inhalation of this dust and wind and see nothing in your past but a blurr of hurried nothings?

Of empty gain, futile achievements, dusty trophies cracked and shattered, riches, status, beauty, all of it—the slime we’re addicted to and run to for comfort, to hide—is that what you want your legacy to be?

Where is God’s heart : and I read it here in Matthew 7:

 

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Those verse shook my very soul. I was 16 I think, maybe almost 17. I read the words fast, then stopped breathing, then again slow and was stunned: All these years of “being a Christian” and having grown up in a (as they say) “Christian home” and I was hearing for His very lips: You don’t know Me.

Here it is, His heart, His will, all dwindled down into the simplest terms:

Love Him and others. Relationships.

Matthew 22:36-40

And so the chasing had to stop and the aimless spinning and wanting and cravings for fame and beauty and romance (the things I thought would give me worth and a purpose) began to die because I could spend my whole life running in circles and “doing” the apparent right things, but then meet Him there once its all over and receive the most unfathomably devastating rejection any human being will ever, ever receive. (will there be tears in His eyes before mine?)

He wants intimacy with us. His heart is that my heart and His heart become one heart and I go beating his Truth (in love) throughout my entire life. Wherever, whenever. Even now! Here!

Undivided and focused on seeking Him first (Matthew 6! Luke 12! <3).

John knows it too:

“15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17H

Here again, life is fragile and fleeting:

“14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more. ” Psalm 103:14-16

“3 O Lord, what is man that you regard him,
    or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
    his days are like a passing shadow.” Palm 144:3-4

“…14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

“For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
    for our days on earth are a shadow.” Job 8:9


It all will pass.

And before you know it, your time is ending here and you’ve missed your chance to encounter your purpose. Maybe you did well at work and at the gym and were beautiful and popular in your youth, but what relationships did you foster? Who’s heart did your life mirror? I’m not saying always and perfect, but I am asking, what is the nature  of your heart and actions and desires?

Over and over again I read, more than these few Words I’ve shared, that life on earth ends for all humans.

Don’t miss Him here. Don’t miss Him at all! Don’t rush past blind to the wonder of life and beauty that can be yours if you only still although to know. (Psalm 46:10)

And to rush through any circumstances we’re given (whether a season of romantic bliss or demolishing confusion and hurt, or life’s signature mundane routines-ness), hurrying through life will result in fatal emptiness. And chronic void.

What I mean is there is something bigger than your life here and now and your desires and your dreams and your broken smothered bruised up heart. There is more to your breathing and beating bag of bones than the marathons you (Literally and hypatetically) run or the people you impress or the music you write or the polished performance of a perfect-on-the-outside-but-are-totally-atrophying-on-the-inside (Matthew 23:27).

God sees you straight through naked and bare anyway.

Any deception is ultimately self deception and you’ll grow little if at all as long as you’er not willing to be cut opened and honest with yourself and God.

Once you see where you are, who you are, to Whom you belong, Then you grow from there. even the lowest of the lows, it doesn’t matter. You’ll shoot up soaring if you’re true—repent, if you Trust and obey. Not grieving the Spirit, but walking humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). Mysterious, supernatural obedience, supernatural life (Ephesians 2:1-10) to the Word, yielding life walking consistent progress, not perfection.

In my flesh, i want to run and run long and run far and run fast and furiously and forever away from here and now. From the hurt of now and the fear of tomorrow(s).

But in my spirit, I know it is good to wait (Lamentations 3:25-26). And I am strong when I wait (Psalm 27). And fear is futile and helps the enemy further wreck me (Psalm 37:8!).

And to be quiet and honest and still is actually moving forward in leaps and bounds while worry and fear and denial keeps you running wild in circles.

Enjoy now. Wherever you are, be all there and bloom with what you have wherever you are. There is always another story, someone else’s life or circumstances, which will be “better” or “worse” than yours. Thank God for Yours, and keep moving forward.

One step at a time.

“Hurried life empties the soul.”

You get to choose what  lay in your wake. And on that day, there will be things (for me lots of things) I know I’ll refuse or regret, but right now  can be a new point from where I move forward and honor God with my attitude primarily, then let the goodness of Him in me infect my behavior and actions and conduct and life will pass whether I’m happy or sad or in love or in sorrow or in hope or despair.

I choose the one with the side affect of joy—the gratitude life.

The rich life.

“My son, keep my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
    keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words.” Proverbs 7:1-5

 

“7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11

 

Sorting Thoughts and Heart Stuffs.

It just hurts.

Give the heart raw, having it thrown back careless.

It just hurts.

And that is where I am.

God is still good, and I am always loved. My circumstances do not reflect the measure of Gods love for me. Nor my value in His eyes.

Life just hurts right now.

But with a heart weary and wounded, I’m surrounded by beauty. Beauty I refuse to miss!

Beauty He knew would be balm to for this Spirit.

Here and now.

And He reminds me, through kindness from friends, this extension of His love for me through tenderness of tangible human hands, that I am free to grieve.

It is safe to express the grief of a forever goodbye.

It is good too weep for the loss of someone you cherish.

What kind of heartlessness if I didn’t?

God knows me.

He knows this heart. He gave it to me! He knows the wound and its depth. And He is near. To help me walk through this pain.

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

And how I need His Truth. And how I need His love to comfort me.

To carry me.

I relfect back on the last two years and start to remember what I’ve cherished.

All the little memories I’ve tucked away safe in cracks and crevices of my heart for forever.

A scrapbook in the flesh.

It hasn’t been easy. Letting it all go. The hopes, the memories, the jokes, the shared exsperience, the favorites that were “ours”. It hasn’t been a passive tornado of a memory purge. Or an instant fire and past evaporated smoke.

But a very purposeful slow process of letting each treasure go one at a time as it should surface. And into the wind of yesterday I must set it free.

I agreed in my heart to a forever love, and I wrestle with my heart because forever isnt an option anymore, and I didnt know not to make such a big commitment.

And the sense of disloyalty echoes. And I see a face with streaming tears in the mirror not because I feel self pity but because this heart will not give up. And I desire earnestly to do what is right.

I deeply desire to do what is right. Is that let go of the past and the person? It is obvious to EVERYONE else that that is the “right thing” to do. I find that I’m still, still just not ok with that.

I do not wish to live in denial or continue in company of people who hurt me.

for the first time, I’m actually willing to let go.

Am I being stubborn?

Am I too determined?

Im angry, confused, and ready to be done.

So I forget it all.

I forget myself and look into the eyes of Christ.

Im precious, cherished,loved, deeply and forever.

He can take care of my heart. He wants to take care of it! He wants my trust, so I give it to Him. Moment by moment.

The less I try to be ok, the more naturally peace will come.

The more I try to hurry the process of this gnawing forever goodbye the more I hurt myself and prolong the process.

I don’t see today, but I know I’m not the only person who has every had the dreams slashed and heart dashed relentless.

I know the strength in these bones and the freedom in my spirit, the laughter I crave will come in buckets.

When Im ready to laugh again.

🙂

which is soon.

~~~~

Worship, focus on God and His majesty, love, authority, secures the heart steady for anything.

It’s in the forgetting of self that I begin to really live, and live with a certain joy.

Even though my eyes are dry, I know it, but tears keep coming. Even though the heart feels hallow and torn and trashed, I sense the beams of hope creeping over this shadowy place and the valley is almost fully traveled.

Just a little farther to go!

🙂

“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.”

Psalm 130

So I sing, and the medicine of music soothes the sting.

I remember to be honest with myself and where I am in my heart. And have grace with the pace at which I’m processing this grief.

Grace grace grace.

Your only human, fragile and dear.

It takes time to heal.

Be patient.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” -C.S. Lewis

In time, I’ll be done with trying to understand what happened and why and who he really is vs. who I thought he was, and I’ll embrace this hope that tomorrow is brighter and better and He wants to do good things for me.

And my prayer for myself is that I will see and hear truth And grow from said truth and not hold onto false perceptions of who he was to me or who he really is.

Just takes time to sort it all out.

But in the mean time, I choose joy And songs and life abundant.

🙂

😀

Hurt will soon be a shadow of my past.

image

Truly Broken

Truly Broken- Recognizing Bondage of Sexual Sin

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

I don’t believe you have to have had actual premarital sex in order to experience the bondage of sexual sin.

Maybe having committed the actual act would weigh more heavily on a spirit. Maybe that bondage would be heavier.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But all that I am about to share with you is very real and personal to me and I have never had actual sex before.

And I’ve found my soul to be broken nonetheless.

~

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~

I was ignorant.

I was defiant.

I was hormonal.

I was self seeking.

I was “loving”.

I was strong.

I was weak.

I was curious.

I was lonely.

I was passionate.

I was bored.

I was flirtatious.

I was wounded.

I was hurting.

I was running.

I was hiding.

I was new.

I was young.

(I am young).

I was sinful.

Wait:

I am sinful.

I have been all of thee above at one time or another.

Changing. Growing. Failing. Changing. Growing. Failing.

Its called ‘being human’.

But God doesn’t change.

“For I the Lord do not change…” (Malachi 3:6)

“Jesus is the same yesterday, today and the same forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Neither do His statues or laws.

“…But the Word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

“But the Word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25)

His Word says that sin affects us. Kills us.

“…You will surely die…” (genesis)

Sin always hurts our relationship with God.

And others.

And Ourselves.

Its law.

“Then when lust has conceived it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15)

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

Just exactly like gravity. You can’t fool gravity. You can’t deny it.

Sin damages.

“ ‘Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before me’ declares the Lord God.” (Jeremiah 2:22)

“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen Your hands are covered with blood.” (Isaiah 1:15)

But sexual sin always does the most damage.

“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment. Whoever does so destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32)

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are on the outside of the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

It doesn’t matter if I knew better or not. It doesn’t matter if I committed the “worst” sexual sin or if I just entertained a fantasy here and there.

Whether I am a prostitute or a day dreamer, every form of sexual sin damages deeply.

Actions, thoughts, desires.

Every manifestation of lust wounds the soul.

~

DSC04806

~

Sexual sin needs to be redefined.

For years and years I’ve been wafting through my life, unaware yet totally running from the feelings of a bloody and bruised spirit weighing me down inside. And now I know why:

My spirit was/ is absolutely bloody, red and black and blue all over.

Because of sexual sin harbored in my heart.

Carrying the weight of shame and guilt–the repercautions of my acts and thoughts—had beaten me to the pulp.

Festering disease of lustfulness in the heart weakened my spirit.

No matter how I grow or what I learn, there was always hindrance from full bloom.

“Dearly Beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul…” 1 Peter 2:11

~~~~~~~~~~

All of the freedom I’ve learned. I wrote about it here. That was a real transformation.

But the problem with getting real and healing is that as the superficial layers (lies from Satan) are revealed by the Light and then burned forever (100 times AMEN!!!!), the ugly hideous truth of where I really am is revealed.

I don’t need food or body image to distract me anymore.

Popularity, fame, vanity, I really could care less about.

Honestly.

The old things of this world which I used to crave, I really don’t find attractive anymore. I even try to entertain myself with old musings and they don’t appeal to me.

It is all fake.

Music.

Movies.

FaceBook.

Cheap substitutes. And I’ve learned that they don’t satisfy.

So then, without any place to run, I am left with is this girl, completely the girl I didn’t want to see and tried to hide from myself and others, and God.

But God knew. He wasn’t surprised as I was.

I didn’t know I was an adulterer.

And my sin: I’ve hurt myself, my relationship with someone I loved dearly and with God.

~

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~

It was Easter eve at Duane’s house and my breath was taken away.

“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him ‘Where are you?’ “(Genesis 3:9).

God didn’t ask Adam where he was in the garden because God Himself didn’t know. He called to him because He knew Adam didn’t know where he was.

~

IMG_1628

~

“Lord, where am I? Why does it still hurt to breathe?”

In a whisper:

“All sexual sin is the same.”

Like a photo flip book I replay all the times in my life I’ve fallen to lust. From very young to very recent.

Oh.

And my soul is broken.

That’s all.

Oh boy.

~

IMG_1941

~

When I was younger, very little in fact, looking back I see how the enemy attacked my mind with graphic thoughts and images. I became very afraid of bodies and anything that had to do with both female and male anatomy.

But wildly curious.

Like any child I suppose.

But I listened to the hiss, again and again

“You are so bad. Shame on you for being so gross. You are worthless and just plain awful. You know better than to be so enticed. Shame on you!”

The enemy’s favorite tactics: shame and fear.

Fearful but curious. Ashamed but fascinated. And He bullied my mind. Being young I was passive about these thoughts and really didn’t know what to do or how to identify them as demonic.

It wasn’t too constant at first but the effects of the imagery and bad dreams obviously were, well, effective.

Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!”was a lullaby I became very familiar with. Night after night.

But of course, the same voice which shoveled the shame was also tempting me and enticing me.

Same voice.

Different words.

Same cause: destroy this girl’s soul.

Twist the truth and cause her to hide from God.

(To run form the God who is everywhere and everything.

Haha. )

And the shame echoed within the hollow of my soul and I believed its resounding anthems for years.

I kept climbing trees and playing dollhouse and drawing and violin and piano and all the things little Sky used to fill her days with. Always falling down—random fact—biking, roller blading, just living life full and happy.

I just had an ever darkening cloud over my spirit.

Shame and fear.

I didn’t see it then, but I see it now.

~~~~~~~~~~

Early teen years: Poisonous thought habits became more regular and normal and my heart was so desperate to be wanted and to be loved and cherished and the only “reality” of romance ever occurring in my life was found in my mind.

(NOTE: Every teenager, male or female, dreams and wants to be wanted. I know this isn’t unique. I’m just identifying the truth, and revealing that what is seemingly “normal” by the world’s standards is usually always absolutely contradictory to God’s standards and therefore very harmful to the human spirit).

Desperation in a teenage girl’s heart is fertile ground for all sorts of fantasy and deception to take root.

My unrealistic expectations lead to many many many a heart breaks. Nothing serious really, but in the moment, in that frame of time, I saw these disappointments as devastations.

Crushes are devastating by nature. NO one EVER liked me back (looking back of course, I say “Thanks you Jesus!!”). But at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20!! All those years of “rejection” just solidified my beliefs of worthlessness, which fed my ‘shame’ complex, which made the feeling of fear that no one would ever love me feel so true.  This wheel of unrequited, unreciprocated “love” was so discouraging.

I felt hopeless, ugly and “No one likes me now, so I guess no one ever will!”

This attitude of hopelessness fed my disease of lust.

Parasite to the soul.

I didn’t call it lust, I didn’t know it had a name. and I didn’t know it was hurting me.

(I guess that’s the nature of deception right?)

This disease of lust manifested itself in actions around 15.

From then on, I continued sinning.

Ignorantly.

I didn’t know I was hurting myself as deeply as I was.

Totally clueless.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

No, I didn’t know.

~

IMG_7357

~

A relationship bloomed between me and a man.

I was healed from a lot of stuff at that point.

I really was.

Here is a quick laundry list of the heart transformations the Lord had begun to change and would continue to change from within me (from the most surfacey to the most core):

  • Quick Temperedness
  • Impatience
  • Love of Money
  • Love of Fame
  • Defensive/reactive/taking everything too personally
  • Habitual Worry
  • Habitual Fear
  • Gratitude for everything vs. entitlement complex
  • Real tangible trust in His sovereignty and Wisdom in my life and all of creation.

Kind of a lot.

These changes in my heart were so liberating. I felt soooooo free being untangled from the cares of this world which I used to hold so dearly.

I used to grip these things so tightly. These old behaviors and habits and desires were so natural to me that once I started learning about His heart and His ways and what really mattered, and once I started living more in line with what I was learning from His Word, the freedom I experienced was so reviving.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11

This Psalm nailed exactly how I was feeling.

I felt so free I didn’t see how I could still be in bondage to anything else.

As far as I was concerned I was happy, healed, forgiven and on my way to happily ever after with “the one and only” happily by my side.

~

We dated for 11 months.

Romance ended.

Continued talking for 3 months.

Then everything ended.

~

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~

Loving one man for one lifetime was (and still remains) a very important core value to me. I am very much an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Loyal and determined and dedicated to what I believe is true.

I believed the truth was this: This man loves me.

CUE: Heart all in.

Maybe that’s juvenile.

Unrealistic?

I don’t know, but that’s where I was.

</3

~~~~~~~~~~

I take full responsibility for my actions, my beliefs and my behaviors. From the very beginning of this relationship I was super intentional about letting him pursue and lead. I believed that was/is the Biblical model for a healthy relationship, and during our career as a couple I did my best (with what understanding I had at the time…) to do my part of executing my “role” as a “Godly girlfriend” by waiting to following. . .

. . . and I also was so afraid of getting hurt again that I thought that the best way to protect my heart was to never assume he did or didn’t love me (having unrealistic expectations from past crushes taught me that one), and instead watch and respond to his actions words and treatment before I let the heart out.

That would secure a solid foundation for me to believe and embrace and go through this relationship wound free. Right?

Little known fact: relationships involves two people, one of which is you and the other is someone have whom you have no control over. I can “protect” my heart and “do everything right” until the cows come home, but that doesn’t mean I can control how the relationship turns out because there is no way I can control what the other person does or thinks about me.

I watched and everything seemed “safe”.

“All clear! Time to fly!”

He “loves” me!!

I responded with ENOURMOUS affection and gratitude and trust and “mutual love”.

My mistake: I took his actions and words to be a reflection of his heart for me.

Because, after all, everything I did for him and said to him was a tiny reflection of the monstrous amount of love I had for him.

So surely he operates the same way.

Bad logic I suppose.

~

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(Thought you might enjoy a little fun in the middle of all of the “woefulness” from this pondering heart)

~~~~~~~~~~

The point is this: I thought one thing for a year and built a lot of security on that one thing, and that one thing turned out to be not true which is, of course disappointing, and very heart breaking and come to find out (sorta what launched this post in the first place), damaging to my spirit.

~~~~~~~~~~

With each kiss and kind gesture and sweet note and caring word, dates and special anniversaries, stupid stupid roses (which I am was a total sucker for…) I was replaying these words in my heart and solidifying in my heart:

“He loves me? Wow! This man loves ME! ME!?! We belong together and he wants ME!! YAY!!!”

Anything can become concrete if you replay it in your head for long enough.

But that’s why I hurt so much: I solidly believed, by my choice (taking FULL responsibility here) that he loved me, and therefore, I returned his love with ample affection, devotion and care.

Wasn’t I “Supposed to”?

I was “finally loved”! It was time to embrace and love him back!

Grrrrrr……

Silly girl.

~

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~

So the questions spiral. And for weeks, months, I go round and round wrestling with heart ache deeper than simple disappointment:

Why was my heart so connected?

How was I so dedicated to him?

What reason did I have to be so committed?

Why didn’t he have the same convictions and feelings?

How could he not share my wild dedication and passion?

More importantly, why does it still hurt to breathe?

Answer: All sexual sin is the same.

And it originates in the heart first.

~

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~

“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage kept pure, for God will judge adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4

It was in my heart. By the world’s standards, I did, or we did, an OUTSTANDING job of maintaining purity. By God’s standards, I’ll be the first to admit that I did a lousy job and hardly pass the purity test.

Why was my heart tangled?

I committed to him in my heart the “appropriate” devotion because we shared too much too intimately.

Affection (we will call it), every act, kisses, holding hands, all of the shared intimacy was fortifying a strong and stronger relationship between us.

Or at least from my heart.

The anthem in my heart truly was

“I promise to love you and only you forever! You have my word, you have my heart.”

I know—PREMATURE TO MAKE THOSE STATEMENTS—I’m just being honest.

I made strong inner vows.

I was wrong to share what I shared.

To give what I gave.

Regardless of the reasons.

Regardless of if I was lead on or not.

I gave the most of myself that I’ve given to anyone before and it wasn’t the right time or person and I didn’t know that until after I was dumped.

…Again, heart all in.

Silly silly girl.

~

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~

I’ve never had sex before.

Doesn’t matter.

It is about the heart, and my heart was damaged by past sin and the past habits of lust festering infected my relationship.

I won’t say it caused the demise of the relationship. But I do blame my sin and my inner vows for why I hurt so badly today.

~~~~~~~~~~

There aren’t degrees of purity.

Pure means pure.

Pure thoughts, actions and desires.

I didn’t see it. The state of damage my spirit was in.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know I was hurting anybody. Hurting him.

But then I learned, and then I saw and then I knew, and I didn’t stop.

Not in my heart.

Barely in my actions.

I was hurting him. I hurt someone I loved. I didn’t see it. He sorta said it.  Then I saw it and turned my head.

So prideful.

I didn’t mean to hurt him or myself.

I meant to do the OPPOSITE.

But instead of seeking the best way to avoid the fire, I danced precariously around the wobbly rim of the pit, at times hoping to fall in.

And it really doesn’t matter where I was then. It doesn’t matter whether it was ignorant or defiant.

Because it was absolutely both at different times.

I’m so deeply hurt now because I tied my heart to someone else’s heart in my thoughts, in my actions and in my mind.

Outside of the protected hedge of marriage.

I gave my sweetest and best to someone who ended up not wanting me after all.

And that is my fault.

Not his.

Mine.

~~~~~~~~~~

I cemented in my mind:

“This is the man who will love me forever!”

It was an honest statement.

Huge mistake: That is God’s place in my heart. And I gave it away.

Not carelessly, just unknowingly.

Not carelessly. Just Unknowingly.

 

~

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~

Sexual tension between men and women is supposed to be strong. God designed sex and “sex acts” to build and fortify relationships.

Within marriage.

This is all elementary Sunday school information I’d learned and memorized before.

I read the Joshua Harris Books.

I lead a book study on the topic when I was 17 (18?)!

Sexual immorality was only “sex outside of marriage”.

Point blank.

Right?

Nope!

Wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~

Adultery starts in the heart, and Jesus said it plain in Matthew:

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her I his heart.” (5:28)

And the truth is just as easily applied  in reverse:

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a man to lust for him has already committed adultery with him in her heart.”

The consequences remains regardless if I act on the lust or let it fester in the heart. It hurt me. It hurt him (potentially) and it hurt my relationship with God. The sin. All sin, but this sin.

Cue Shame and fear:

“Oh you shameful awful Christian!”

“Shame on you! You obviously don’t love God because you screwed up big time and you were so selfish and you hurt someone you loved. Over and over! He even told you he was hurting and you ignored him. Do you even care about him really? Wow, you are gross and awful and you really need to just stop pretending to love God and admit that you don’t. Because you obviously don’t. Shame shame shame!”

“You are such a horrible example of a Christian. You know the verse, too! Wow…some “believer” you are!”

“Oh, denim skirts and turtlenecks for you for the rest of your life! Start growing your hair long and stringy because you don’t deserve to be beautiful because you’re absolutely not and you are just wretched.”

“You’re dirty now, so no one can love you. You don’t deserve it.”

Over and over and over and over in my mind.

Shame and fear. The destructive duo.

Absolutely no grace.

~

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~

He is always targeting the heart, isn’t He?

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

The heart.

And that is why I hurt.

The mystery of sex and intimacy. The purpose, the design of it.

Oneness.

Heart, body, soul.

I was one in my heart, and it was strong and I was honest with that commitment and I didn’t know not to be. I thought it was safe and reciprocated, the right thing to believe and do,  but that’s my fault that I thought that.

I’ve skewed it. For years, in my thoughts, in my heart, and then in a relationship that didn’t last.

And I am emptied at the sheer simplicity of my sinfulness. And breathless at the mountain of recovery ahead of me. The weight of knowing someone else’s heart may have been equally or partially damaged by my actions, too.

Daunting hike beyond me: redemption from a lifelong habit of sexual immorality (as defined by God’s word).

I can hardy lift my head.

But I do see the rays, peeking out from behind the peaks.

There is hope.

But for now, I rest here and let the Life Supporter Revive me with Living Word Water.

~

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~

So the cruel reality is that my spirit is bruised bloody and broken because I’ve damaged it through years of entertaining desires and behaviors and selfish desires and lustful thoughts.

I know all of the verses.

I know all the stories.

I didn’t know all of the masks sexual immorality has.

I didn’t know how devastating idolatry of lust is against the spirit.

And I don’t know how He is going to heal my broken spirit.

I don’t know how long its going to take.

I know I don’t deserve the healing.

I know I’ve done a number on myself.

I don’t know when my heart will release the past and the people I’ve attached it to.

But, this verse absolutely encourages me:

“This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.

Great is Your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion’ says my soul. Therefore I put my trust in Him.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, and to the soul who seeks Him.

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:21-26)

Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I have hope that I will begin to breathe again with no pain.

I’ve been wandering around, open and bleeding. Trying to take tums but the problem is I have a head cold.

Tums won’t help.

I need Vitamin C.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 john 1:9)

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

~~~~~~~~~~

Shame fear and guilt and self pity are all traps from the enemy and couldn’t be farther from His heart.

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

I started to become discouraged and guilty when the Lord revealed to be the reality of where I was spiritually and emotionally.

I was in the ER. By my own sinfulness. And I knew better.

Remember though, listen for peace and follow it. His voice says:

“Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)

He is simple, truthful and loving and profoundly liberating.

Never confusing either. Simply this:

“Sky, this is where you are as a result of what you’ve done. I forgive you. Go and sin no more.“

I don’t have to analyze. I’m not a better Christian for trying to figure it all out either.

HE asking me to repent and rest. Not panic and try to fix anything.

Its in the past. I’m forgiven. Keep moving forward.

~

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~

I can’t expect my heart to be ok yet. After all, it has been the last 14 months of “We belong together” and “I love you so much” replaying in my head.

I imagine it will take a bit of time for the undoing of these beliefs to manifest in my heart.

And I have to accept that, and again, trust His plan and His pace for my healing.

He promises to heal the broken hearted.

The truly broken.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 38:18

“So put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word which is able to save your soul.” (James 1)

She brought only her tears and the finest oil she had. And with them both she washed His feet.

With her hair.

Emptied herself at His feet.

This act of emptying, compelled by love for the Lord was a reflection of her repentant heart, and He said:

“Do you see this woman? I entered your [pharasies] house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:44-48)

Luke 7 again, Look:

“And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the LAME WALK, the LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, and the DEAF HEAR, the DEAD RAISED UP, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.” (Luke 7:22)

Healing the physical needs.

He is in the business of healing the blindness, lameness, diseased, deafness and deadness of the spirit as well.

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…” (Ezekeil 36:25-27)

(…you really should read the whole chapter. Aaaa, the poetry of it all! Raptured. <3)

~~~~~~~~~~

His fame and His glory.

Always the end goal.

That is the whole reason I’m alive: to love Him and worship Him and share intimacy with Him and be a reflection if Him to the world. Him glorified is always the reason. And all that gets in the way of that one soul purpose needs to be destroyed.

I didn’t know how clobbered and unreachable, prideful,  I was. And will probably fall into pride. I don’t pretend to be pride-less. Even suggesting any such notion is, well, prideful!

I cannot radiate a single speck of His beauty or light without Him creating me new from the inside out.

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.…” (Isaiah 48:18-20)

At His pace, for His purpose and His glory and His fame.

“For His name’s sake…”

(Psalm 23:3)

“But I will not do this for your sake but for the sake of my Holy Name…”

(Ezekiel 36:22)

“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.  For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”

(1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

~

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~

He is jealous:

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:4-5)

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)

“For they provoked Him with their high places and aroused His jealousy with their graven images.” (Psalm 78:58)

And I’ve given my love to “graven” earthy desires and humans and temporal things.

I lost sight of eternity and set my mind on things of the earth.

Maybe not fame or fancy cars or mansions or food or body image anymore.

Its the deeper layers now. The core things I cling to.

I’ve made idols in my heart. Of people and romance and relationships which are all very earthly things.

NOT BAD THINGS. Just things not worthy of my whole entire heart.

And He is jealous, wildly, for my heart.

All of it.

Because He loves me. And His love lasts.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5)

~

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~

That’s is who I am:

Endlessly cherished by God.

Who I am is not where I am.

Who I am is not what I’ve done.

Whether I’ve done good or whether I’ve done bad.

What I did: Sin. My choices. Deception. Ignorant. Defiant.

Where I am: I am in the emotional/Spiritual ER. Bruised. Scarred. Bloody. Beaten.

But who am I?

I am Endlessly cherished by God.

Totally independent from my performance, whether obedient or disobedient.

 “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

“The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. ”Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your tambourines, and go forth to the dances of the merrymakers…” (Jeramiah 31:3-4)

(You can read more about your identity in Christ here: https://bible.org/article/who-does-god-say-i-am)

(…and here is an awesome link to a PDF with a printable Scriptural identity-in-Christ chart: http://www.prayertoday.org/2004/PDF/Guides/Who-I-Am.PDF )

~~~~~~~~~~

It will be a mystery to me if I ever love again (there is a little dramatic—Anne of green gables-flare-for you).

My heart, so wildly passionate about everything, I can hardly bear the thought of it being shot again.

I’m really tired right now. ugh. I need time. I have to learn balance, relearn to breathe.

I know not to live or remain in fear.

That’s just how I feel.

Today.

I accept where I am.

Today.

Emotional and spiritual ER.

Time is the best medicine.

Time and truth and a humility.

And I believe He can make this spirit whole and new.

Now that I really see what is going on with my spirit, I really know that I cannot do anything to make it right. In my own human strength and wisdom.

I continue to ask Him to reveal to me what all is hiding in my heart. It’s a daily prayer now, because pride says “You’re good. You’ve got this” but I know now how dangerous that mindset is. Daily (hourly, minutely) dose of His perspective and wisdom. Just keep asking.

Now I know how to pray now. And what to pray for and what to watch for.

And it’s Psalm 51. Over and over again.

“Against You, You only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight…You desire truth in the innermost secret of the heart…create in me a clean heart…”

~

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~

I’ll conclude with an easy four pointer summerization:

  • Recognize your sin. Identify idols. Ask God to show you were you are…honestly.
  • Repent. Make 180 degree turn from where He’s showing you are.
  • Refocus your heart continually on Him and His heart and truth through prayer.
  • Remain heavily steeped in His word. And healthy fellowship.

“Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You.”

(Psalm 119:11)

The more sin swelled in your heart  (defiant or ignorant), the more life it will suck from your spirit.

~~~~~~~~~~

Oh that I would grow to treasure Your word.

Lord, I cup my hands empty.

To hunger and thirst.

Make me endlessly crave You above all else.

Take this heart.

Fortify my love for You.

~

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~

He has already begun.

Roots reaching. Searching.

Keep breathing,

-Sky

 

 

Finally Quiet.

” My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

Perfectionism.

The  extinguisher of joy.

The violator of peace.

The counterfeit– the ultimate illusion of rest I’m profanely attracted to.

The voice in my head I’ve mistaken for Truth.

And this is where my story begins, and this is were my story will end: Perfectionism: the violent, silent killer who as been killed already, but I am only now awake to that reality.

—–

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—–

A seed of discontentment was sown in my heart many many many moons ago.

The mirror said it plain. I can see with these earth eyes every flaw: My thighs touched when I stood with my feet together. My stomach pooched out and over my favorite pair of red corduroy pants. My chest, the bane of my existence, caused all of my junior and child sized shirts to pull and stretch and expose “offensively enormous” amounts of flesh.

Worth: I am Skylar. The disgusting pig girl who no one will ever ever love or desire to be with because my image is ugly and fat and therefore worthless and shameful.

Age 12.

—–

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—–

Once the skinny one, the athletic one, always barefoot and climbing trees, biking, walking, running, rollerblading, waking with the sun escaping into the woods until the moon convinced my body that I needed to sleep. Always happiest in the forest with the trees and the creek.”She eats like a bird” my dad once said in a very unassuming observational tone, to which in my mind I received as merit to my name.  A unintentional pat on the back for Skylar.

Worth: I am Skylar, the skinny, athletic, vivacious bird.

Age 9.

—–

 

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—-

The ballet barre. Wooden silk gliding beneath my clenched fists. White knuckled grip. Determined to be the best ballerina in the entire world. I had the heart. I had the will. I was not lacking in passion. Movement and music, the art of embodying poetry. It was my life blood. My release. My very own joy. My purpose.

But the romance with the studio mirrors. It grew. It overcame me. Meters from which I measured my value.The gauge which told me how to view myself. What was meant to be a useful tool to help align and correct the body quickly became a weapon which was used against the constitution of my mind and my will and my emotions.

The tutu didn’t fit over my hips. The leotard I bought last month, yet again, wasn’t supporting my chest. Always “getting fatter”. Never skinnier, no matter how many hours I danced, how many miles I walked. Thousands of crushes a week. The darn tutu bodice. 100,000 hooks and eyes, bent out of shape just trying to hold me and my fat self in place.

“See, you’re so fat. You’re always going to be. What are you going to do about it? No one is going to love you. You won’t be able to live without love. You’d better do something and fast!” Over and over and over again. Constantly on replay in my head.

“Lift your chest, suck in your stomach. Imagine if prince charming was right behind you, you wouldn’t want him to see your belly hanging out!!” My ballet teachers enforces my core beliefs.

“Oh my goodness!! I know it, I knew it, I know it is true! The one, the only thing this girlish romantic heart desires is to be desired and wanted and cherished, and all of my dreams of finding the “one” to gratify these longings hinges of the flatness of my belly!”

So I walk through life, holding my breath, afraid of repelling “the one” with my “fat stomach”.

Age 13. And 14. And 15. And 16. And 17.

—–

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—–

Shallow breathing. Watching myself, every bite, every plie, every pirouette, ever grand jete. Never good enough. I was too fat! I was never going to be as thin as Meredith. I wasn’t going to be as skinny as Mrs. Christy. I was trying and trying, and these dusty eyes could only see jabba the hut in a leotard.

“Enough! Stop fooling yourself. It doesn’t matter how much you love motion and movement. It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy getting lost in the music. It doesn’t matter that mothers from other dancers and teachers applauded you with tears, thanking you for dancing with freedom and passion enough to inspire the whole audience.

You are too fat and therefore not worthy of point shoes. Get real Skylar. No matter how many lives are touched, you are only as valuable as you are skinny. So since you’re so fat, nothing else matters and nothing else is true. Turn in your point shoes.”

Worth: Still fat. Will always be fat. Will always be worthless and undesirable. Get real and grow up and stop these dreams of ballet. Stop kidding yourself.

Age 17-21.

—–

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—–

I went to Korea once. It was a very lovely and happy place for me. I ran away there. Although, I really didn’t know I was running away. All I knew is that I was weary inside and it came through on the outside. I weighed 150ish pounds and I am a smashing 5’31/2″. And that reality alone, at that point, oh my. I was numb. In denial and just avoided mirrors all together.

I walked in Korea. Everyday and everywhere. I rode my bike all over those pothole pocked, randomly patched brutally uneven roads and sidewalks. It was like Picasso and Bob the builder got together and then that blessed maze of streets and roads in Korea where born! I mountain biked almost daily. Learned how to swim. I was pummeled relentlessly by old farts trying to sell my kimchi and roasted larva on market days. I saw some of the most beautiful mountains. The bridal flush of cherry blossoms swept through the landscapes in April like a hurricane radar on a weather map. Furiously monopolized every street corner and nook and cranny with a bloom so pink and fresh that I fell in love every time.

I managed to get lost on the trains, in the city, on the trails.

From July 2014-December 2015 I lost 25ish pounds.

I didn’t see it. I only saw what I still had to lose. Sure, my pants were looser and my dresses sagged on me, but I still have more fat to lose. More about this later.

I also lost myself. Finally. In a little way. I surrendered my life to Christ.

Really though.

This time it was real. Unlike all of the proceeding frantic times, where I’d be sitting in the car as a 7 year old listening to haunting radio reports about new millennium and terrorist attacks and twin towers.

I actually felt peace manifest in my heart and I actually felt joy radiate from my spirit. I actually tasted freedom and it was mine and forever I am free from, well, free from whatever it was that was so haunting to me before. I just, I could breath and my mind was finally quiet.

I was content for the first time in my life. I wasn’t skinny (by my delusional standards) and I was ok. I didn’t have a boyfriend and I was ok! I was honestly happy being single and completely in love, for the first time, with the heart of God who loved me here and now and then and apart from my performance. Imperfect. But He wasn’t asking me to be perfect. And I had never known that before. I was free from something I didn’t know I was held hostage to: Perfectionism.

It was really cool.

And also really short lived.

Not my position or my awakening, but the freedom and fireworks of that first few weeks.

Then my heart was tested.

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I fell in love in Korea.

I fell in love with God for the first time.

I also fell in love with Josh.

I believed that since I had learned to be content without all the things I thought I needed to be content (“perfect” body and someone to value and cherish me and my perfect-ness),  I believed that the Lord was rewarding me with a ( my first) romantic relationship. The one and only thing I had really every wanted. The ballet, the beauty, and music, everything I chased to achieve, I chased to become, I chased so passionately because I wanted to secure love from others through my performance.

Josh, he came out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. He pursued me and wanted me, without me being my standard of perfect! It was like the Lord was saying “See why all of those past manufactured relationships failed? It was because I was saving you for Josh! See what good it is to trust in Me? Have you learned to trust me yet? Just trust who I’ve made you to be! Let go of your standards and enjoy this relationship! ”

God had written for me a beautiful romance, one more intricate and delightful than I could have ever imagined or written myself. He was just waiting for me to let go a TRUST HIM.

I was so relieved and happy. All. Of. The. Time.

Josh was exactly everything I had every dreamed of, ever hoped for finding in a future spouse. It was laughable, really, how exactly he seemed to match all of my qualifications. All of the important ones, and even all of the silly not-so-important ones. Yet again, confirmation that the Lord puts desires in your heart and that He is the one you need to trust to fulfill them.

So from that moment on, really and truly trusting the Lord has been the life breath to my existence. Because He showed me through letting go of what I thought was important and what I perceived as best, only then was I susceptible to His blessing and leading. He can be trusted and His wisdom is better and constant and much broader than mine. Pride is deciding that what you see and think is true and best. My new relationship with Josh and surrender to God’s wisdom solidified forever that Proverbs 3:5-8 and Isaiah 55:8-9 were words worthy of all of my trust.

I went from: “I will never be loved or wanted. I will never have worth” replaying over and over in my head to “You are finally wanted and finally cherished ! You finally have worth!” over and over and over again. It was a new song to me and I sang it all the time. I was genuinely joyfully free from the nagging hiss of worthlessness because Josh loved me and it was a miracle and it was too good to be true and it was God who inspired the relationship and set it in motion, rewarding me for trusting Him.

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Many days past from that initial epiphany. Many seasons passed. A birthday passed. 11 months worth of days and seasons and church services and worship practices, Thai food, ice skating, long unhurried train rides from Seoul. The hiking, the gimbap in a random rice field under the twilight, stars scattered here and there. So many hours of becoming familiar with the way his fingers felt all tangled with mine. I studied his smile and loved remembering how it made the wildest sparks fly whenever he looked at me with it. I was raptured, heart and soul with this man. Every airplane note, e-mail, guitar pick, recap of his day. The octopus we always accidentally seemed to order. All of the nonsense that become a part of us and our romance and our story. I beheld with tenderness and wild gratitude. Joy flourished in my heart.

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His heart for the Lord was what I really cherished most about him. That and the perception that he loved me. Inside and out, all of me without my silly notion of perfection achieved. He loved me raw! I perceived him as a man who I could trust with my heart because he said he loved me. Of course he did! He showed me all the time that he did. I never ever doubted his love for me. I loved him too! Entirely. Sometimes too obviously but I had never been in a relationship before, so I gave myself grace for making mistakes. For being less than perfect.

All of this time, these 11 months, I felt happy and peaceful. Compared to the physiological chaos I was living with before, this “peace” I was experiencing now was like steady streams of water to my Spirit. I was at rest and I didn’t think about my body anymore.

It was amazing.

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I felt him pull away. He acted the same, and kept sending me flowers, but in my spirit I sensed him rejecting me. My worth was on the line. I was suddenly becoming unloved and un-cherish-able and I didn’t know why or what to do.

My life state side, many people  dear to me had died. I was left to grieve four major losses on my own. I had never experienced death before, so I really didn’t know how to, or what the normal side affects would be. I didn’t know how to handle the sadness I was feeling in a healthy way, so I stuffed it and tried to pretend that I was ok.

My life Korea side I became isolated and depressed.  I was terribly lonely and felt pressure for not being enough. The one who, one moment, showed me I was lovely and beautiful and wanted was now the one confirming all of those old lies I shared with you before:

“there is something wrong with you, you’re not good enough after all, I really just don’t see how anyone would want you“.

I didn’t  understand then what made Josh critical and particular, or nervous all of the sudden, but it made me nervous! I cared so much for him, despite the pressure I was feeling, that I tried to keep my chin up and make sure I was light in his day regardless of what was going on in my spirit.  (The gnawing reality was that I saw how uneasy he got when I expressed any sadness or negativity so I denied it in myself and ignored the emotional traumas taking place in my heart, which was coming out in my energy and spirit).

*Looking back, if I had just allowed myself to cry and be real, I think I know I would have felt a whole lot better!!*

I felt anxious and nervous around my boss, too because he was projecting onto me that I was a headache, a bother and just completely stressful to be around. I was never singing loud enough, never singing fast enough. Too many hymns, slides we’re perfect, not confident enough. There was too much “Skyar” coming though in my worship leading and I was just so immature and basically a hopeless cause. Whether or not that was realaity, that is what I sensed and it was very defeating.

I felt totally defeated because I was weak and was fragile and I didn’t know what was going on internally but it was affecting my external relationships and that really made me even more frustrated with myself.

But I still stayed in Korea. I still loved Josh. Endlessly.

“Every relationship has its ups and downs, right? That is normal! If  Josh thinks there is something wrong with me, since he is older and wiser than me then there probably is! I’ll just grow and be better and do better, and if my boss thinks something is wrong with me then there probably is because he is more mature and wiser.”

“Just do more Skylar! Run more, eat less, sing louder, practice more, memorize scripture, listen to sermons, just BE BETTER! Get a grip, stop being sad, get over your immaturity and grow up! Oh, and stop talking so much. Just be quiet and listen.”

This became my new anthem: You’re not worthy after all, so GET TO WORK so that you don’t lose Josh or your value.

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The romance continued right on into Christmas day.

Then it ended.

Then I came home.

Korea. Josh. My life there. One huge wad of confusion, sadness and disappointment. And I was the disappointment. It was my fault.

Back to square one:

I am Skylar Barger: Fat and ugly and completely worthless. See, I told you it was too good to be true. Josh doesn’t love you, God doesn’t love you and you really shouldn’t love you either. Who would love you anyway.

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It was December 26 2015. 126 lbs for the first time since I was 14 years old. And I was on my sofa in Georgia, bent into the tightest ball I have ever folded myself into. Breathlessly weeping under the light of a Christmas tree.

A place I never dreamed I would be. Broken. Shattered, “finally skinny enough” confused and I felt like all that I had thought the Lord had done in my heart and life was a joke. I was fraud and not a real Christian because I was completely shattered on my parents couch one day before my Birthday. An ocean apart from the man I had committed to love forever. Someone I cherished asked me to stop cherishing him.

How? Why?

I felt betrayed. Promises had been broken. I thought God was so involved! Why didn’t He protect our relationship! Didn’t He give it to us? To me?! Hadn’t He seen my heart for Him, and my heart for Josh? Wasn’t He the one who brought us together? He knew my heart. I know I made mistakes, I know I was new at the whole “girl friend” thing. Was it really necessary to “punish” me for my imperfections by taking Josh away? I only did my best with what little wisdom I had in the moment. I learned, I know better now, why should this horrible trauma happen? Out of left field! I never in a million years thought he would dump me! Why?!

Questions I really wanted answers to but the Lord in His gentle mercy began working on me in a different way.

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He told me in a whisper, one early morning as I was playing piano, waiting to be able to breath again without pain, He said

You were never going to heal in Korea. It is time to bloom. ” 

And so, life suddenly became horribly stressful, more so than in Korea, and I felt every force of evil against me. The more I sought the Lord, the louder the enemy and his demons fought for my soul. The more I prayed the more I failed. The more I laughed, the more I cried. I heard voices like “See, good thing Josh dumped you, you are sooo  unstable! You are a mess and you are never going to change! He really dodged a bullet.” Just relentless constant loud chaos in my head. Beat up from every angle all the time.

I was a wreck inside, cool on the outside and trying way too hard to be ok when my reality was this:

I am Skylar Barger, completely broken hearted, afraid to fully  feel this pain, and unbelievably hopeful that things between Josh and I will turn around and work out.  Holding my breath, maybe I can numb myself to this gnawing disappointment.

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Maybe you need a break from reading. In which case, please go grab yourself some water. I promise when you get back, this story is going to start becoming hopeful.

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The weed growing in my heart, seeded so long ago, this discontentment, it is gone. Left huge empty hole, which is now being washed by the water of the Word and healed through time, by the grace and un-measurable mercy of God.

I started to breath again. I started to cry. For the first time in my life I feel safe crying. Not trying to be soundless anymore, but honest. It was  once I stopped running from the stress of sadness and trauma and emotions in general that I was quiet enough to invited the Holy Spirit to help me see all that was going on and all that had happened from HIS perspective. He started healing me with the Truth, from the inside out. I learned that feeling the stress and feeling the sadness wasn’t going to kill me. My mind was less distracted by emotions so I started becoming aware of the lies that I was embracing as truth.

I started seeing how these lies had shaped my values and paradigm. How I veiwed and valued others. I saw how these basically satanic beliefs about myself were projecting onto others, even Josh. I started to see for the first time in my life how normal people don’t worry about the fat on their stomachs. I was seeing how you can actually live peacefully without thinking about your body and your clothes size and worrying about was or wasn’t on your plate.

I never wanted to think about those things, I just thought I had to. I thought it was my role as a responsible Christian to, essentially, obsess over my body and health. But come to find out, that is not God’s heart at all.

You see, all this time, all of my life, I was unaware that I was slave to false truths. Sure I wanted to be skinny, but I didn’t realize until just recently that I was not only tying my physical worth and value to my performance and body image, but I have been tying my spiritual value to my performance and body image as well.

That is way  I was so disappointed with myself every time I “sinned” (aka ate too many crackers or skipped too many work outs). I thought I was, not only disappointing myself, but that I was just completely making it impossible for God to love me. I was so sinful that there was no way He would even want to use me to glorify Himself, to love others. He could never use me and ultimately, all I really want is that very thing: to be loved and wanted by God. Not just by others, but by God.

That is what I was created for. Communion with God. And the lie that put a wedge in between myself and the Jealous, Passionate Lover of my soul was everything perfectionism stood for: “You’re not enough, shame on you! You should know better, there for do better! You’ll never be enough, why bother”.

Then the savior says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”…( Matthew 11:28-30)

I did not see how ingrained perfectionism was in my being and thinking. It took the most heart breaking thing to happen in order for Him to begin this work of breaking me from these hell inspired anthems of death. I mistook these demonic voices for life and truth.

Its been a process, but really the best advice I give to EVERYONE who is trying to break free from bondage in their lives is this:

Pray (James 5:13-18)

Memorize, KNOW TRUTH (John 8:32)

Focus your mind on said Truth (Romans 12:1-2, Isaiah 26:3, Colossians 3)

Lastly, do not give up. Wait on the Lord and keep fighting. No matter who gives up on you, no matter how Satan will try and drag you down, you have been given Power and authority and demons want nothing more than to keep you unaware and thus defeated forever (2 Timothy 1:7, Galatians 6, Lamentations 3:25-26, Isiah 40:31)

I learned that positionaly in Christ I am whole, perfect and new (Hebrews 10:14, Colossians 3, 2 Corinthians 5:17). IThus my reality is I have great value apart from my performance because Christ gave His life for me and therefore imparted great worth to me. I am deeply love, fully pleasing, totally forgiven and completely accepted in Christ.

Praise God, Praise God Forever.

Finally quiet.

Finally quiet. 

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You see, It was His timing. I had to trust His timing and His plan for my journey of healing (scriptures always admonishing to wait on the Lord!). I was trying to heal myself through prayer and reading and mediation and all the while focusing on my progress (or lack of progress), but He just wanted me to rest in Him. He sets the pace. He knows who He has created me to be. He knows His purpose for my life. He created me on purpose for a purpose and the pressure and stress of perfectionism is NEVER his voice.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lay down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores me Soul…”

Psalm 23

All of this, my whole life, could be summarized in this paragraph: I thought perfectionism was His voice, the path to the fullest life, so I tried to obey it. Because I love the Lord and desire to do His will. But perfectionism is the venom of satan. I’m a turkey human, attracted to all that sparkles and the some-what tangibility, illusion of perfect was very attractive to me and so my heart was drawn to the things of this word (1 John 2:15-17) then the fangs sunk deep into my blood and I was totally blinded by the deception that perfect = fullest richest life. Perfect being: Physically beautiful and desired by a man and loved by God. That is my perfect.

Christ, and being alive to Him = Fullest richest life.

So guess what?

I DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THAT VOICE ANYMORE BECAUSE IT IS NOT OF THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

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The whole Josh thing wasn’t a clean break.

He didn’t want me.

That hurts.

There isn’t any way around that part of the story. It sucks and sometimes you just have to walk through the mud to get to the other side.

Ok.

It is ok for me to feel hurt. It is ok for me to feel disappointed. It is ok for me to feel betrayed.  It is ok to feel rejected. Christ felt all of those things, so now I knida have a mini tiny taste of how His heart broke, and how I’ve been the one to break His.

That is something I am going to have to work through and heart break just takes time to heal.

God loves me. Deeply, wildly and passionately. And my mind is free from the demonic lies which haunted me before, so I can finally breath and finally hear and finally see that HE IS ALIVE and HE IS LIFE and He is TRUTH and His TRUTH HAS SET ME FREE!

The Lord sees my heart and knows Josh’s heart. The Lord loves Josh just as passionately and wildly as the Lord loves me. The Lord also loves Josh more than I do or can, so I can trust that the Lord will heal my heart.

He absolutely is in the business of making things new.

Especially when He gets to glory.

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I am Skylar Barger: I Embrace, embody and inspire freedom in myself and others through Christ and for Christ. I am beautiful, I am strong and I am loved, worthy and complete. I am fearfully and beautifully made, inside and out. I Delight in the Lord, I trust in the Lord and I commit my ways to the Lord, from now until forevermore.

Now I know what it means to be fully alive.

And right before Easter!

Thank you Lord!

I am loved.

I love you, too.

Sky

22

Definition|Transfigure

1. change in outward form or appearance; transform

2. to change as to glorify or exalt

“One Thousand Gifts”

Excerpts form pages 96-101, chapter five titled “What in the World, in all this world, is Grace?”

 written by Ann Voskamp

I awaken to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn’t it always been? Pit of darkness, God spoke forth the teeming life. That wheat round and ripe across all theses fields, the swelled as hope embryos in womb of the black earth. Out of the dark, tender life unfurled. Out of my own inner pitch, six human beings emerged, new life wet and fresh.

All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness. The fullest life itself dawn from nothing but Calvary darkness and tomb-cave black into the radiance of Easter morning.

Out of the darkness of the cross, the world transfigures into new life. And there is no other way. Then. . . yes: It is dark sufferings umbilical cord that alone can untether new life.

It is suffering that has realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace. And grace that chooses to bear the cross of suffering overcomes that suffering. I need to breathe. I roll down my window. I inhale the pungency of a passing hayfield in bloom of clover, ditches with those all together wild black-eyed Susans swaying in the early air. I try to think straight, truest straight. My pain, my dark–all the world’s pain, all the world’s dark– it might actually taste sweet to the tongue, be a genesis of new life?

Yes. And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy.

So, God transfigures the world? Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing–“make everything work out according to His plan” (Ephesians 1:11).

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We sit in a room with bodies broken and casted, bent over walkers…durned, the skin dressed in gauze, the skin exposed, grafted, mottled, scarred. No one speaks. We try not to stare at each other but I can’t keep myself from saying it to God, the raw sob echoing St. Teresa of Avila’s: ” If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder you have so few!” Can I be that honest? I am David, lamenting “O Lord, why…?” (Psalm 10:1). Why this broken world punched through with losses? “O Lord, how long?” (Psalm 13:1). How long until every baby thrives and all children sleep down the hall form mom and dad wrapped up in love, and each womb swells with vigorous life, and every single cancer clinic sits empty and we all grow old together? How long? I know a neighboring Mennonite woman folding away the clothes of her dead some and I sit in a room full of the battered and busted and I lament: please. And He takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of Love. You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? Isn’t everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Loves ones lost still belong to Him–then aren’t they still yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren’t then all provisions, in Christ also yours? If you haven’t lost Christ,, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember, “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” [Acts 14:22 NASB], and in “sharing in [my Son’s] sufferings, becoming like him in his death” you come “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection” [Philippians 3:10 NIV]. 

And I nod sift. Yes, Father, You long transfigure all, no matter how long it takes, You long to transfigure all. The wrinkled man in the wheelchair with his legs wrapped, the girl with her face punctured deep with the teeth marks of a dog, the mess of this world, and I see–this, all this, is what the French call d’un beau affreux, what the Germans call hubsch-hasslich–the ugly-beautiful. That which is perceived as ugly transfigures into beautiful. What the postimpressionist painted Paul Gauguin expressed as “Le laid peut etre beau”–The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace.

In infant psychology at university, I learned that newborns, shown side-by-side images of two faces, spend more than 80 percent of their time looking at the attractive face. So to see through the ugliness to beauty, won’t I need to wear a lens? I’ll need my own transfiguration to enter a kingdom where the Prince is born into a manure-smeared feed trough, where Holy God touches leper sores, breaks break with cheats, where God wounds himself through with nails on a cross and we wear the symbol as beauty. Is the Son of God nauseated by the stench of twelve years of soaking menstrual cloths when He speaks tenderly to the bleeding woman? Is He repelled by the crazed eyes, the foul talk, or bad breath of the demon-possessed man. Staggeringly, doesn’t even Beauty Himself become the ugly beautiful? “There was nothing beautiful…about his appearance” (Isaiah 53:2). He became ugly that we might become beauty. The God of the Mount of Transfiguration cannot cease His work of transfiguring moment–making all that is dark, evil, empty into that which is all light, grace, full.

I take to heart the words of Thomas Aquinas, who defined beauty as id quod visum placet–beauty as that which being seen, pleases. And if all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God, it is a work of beauty. Is there anything in this world that is truly ugly? That is curse?

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I see what I am. I am amputated. I have hacked my life up into grace moments and curse moments. The chopping that has cut myself off from the embracing love of a God who “does not enjoy hurting people of causing them sorrow” (Lamentations 3:33), but labors to birth grief into grater grace. Isn’t this the crux of the gospel? The good news that all those living in the land of shadow of death have been birthed into new life, that the transfiguration of a suffering world has already begun. That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart–and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty. Can I believe the gospel, that God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son?

What in the world, in all this world, is grace? I can say it certain now: All is grace. I see through the woods of the world: God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo. Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Las Supper, showed us to transfigure all things–take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into joy that fulfills all emptiness. I have glimpsed it: This, that hard eucharisteo. The hard  discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks for all things at all times because He is all good. The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace because as the surgeon would cut open my son’t finger to heal him, so God chooses to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole. All is grace only because all can transfigure. 

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Simple Truth: Truth is often simple.

Truth is often simple.

Its the human mind that shuffles facts with feelings, which make for one heck of a card game.

Maze, like Alice trying to escape the queen of hearts, but is so lost in confusion that her only escape is to wake up: get out of her mind and into reality.

Why make life so complex?

Want a life rich and real?

“Love what you have, and you’ll have more love.” -R. Spektor

Open your eyes. Vision; blessing.

Open your ears. Hearing; blessed.

Beat in your heart, pulse in your veins, breath in your lungs, mobility in your limbs, capacity to learn in your head.

Blessed.

Even with every year aging on your tired body–you’ve reached a distance in life to which many have not had the privilege of surviving.

Gray hairs. Life; blessing.

Simple truth: “More blessed to give…”

A person will give as much as they count as gift given to them.

Start counting (1 Thessalonians. 5:18, Ephesians 5:20).

Christ modeled the greatest giving, how can I possibly agree with greed when One so great gave up is life for my soul?

Father thank you for instruction that simplifies my life: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35