Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: ‼️BEWARE‼️ 7 Early Signs of A Toxic Relationship https://anchor.fm/healingwithharotian/episodes/BEWARE-7-Early-Signs-of-A-Toxic-Relationship-e154482
Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: **TRIGGER WARNING** ⚠️ Sexual Assault During Narcissistic Relationship https://anchor.fm/healingwithharotian/episodes/TRIGGER-WARNING–Sexual-Assault-During-Narcissistic-Relationship-e14s51n
So, you’ve left or they have left you. Now what? It is completely normal to feel that your life has been snatched for you. It’s normal to feel like you want to go back to the relationship, even after the last blowup that may have caused the separation. It is normal to suddenly get abuse amnesia and want to forget the bad stuff and look forward to the honeymoon phase, which is your abuser convincing you to come back by promising to do better and gift giving.
No worries because you literally cannot help it. When we find ourselves in a cycle of narcissistic abuse, there are number of things that happens in our brains. It’s normal to feel like you aren’t able to make decisions or not being able to concentrate on anything longer than a couple of minutes. Our brains are responding to the trauma that you’ve endured and is trying to make sense of it. Your brain thinks your narcissist is a “drug” and now you are “detoxing”, due to the dopamine levels increasing during the honeymoon phase and decreasing during the separation phase.
The very first thing you need to do is reach out for support. Begin building a foundation of supporters that you can depend on. These people will help you find stability in this unstable moment in your life. For me, I first began repairing my relationship with God. During my relationship, I tried everything but God to help me get through what I was going through. I was skeptical about “God” because I believed the world when they told me, I could get through this myself. You may not believe in God right now. And that’s ok because it doesn’t mean that He has stopped working on your behalf. As Alcoholics Anonymous says, right now, choose a god of your own understanding. Some people choose to the Universe, others may choose Mother Nature, etc. And I’ll continue to pray that my God of Love, Compassion, and Understanding is reintroduced into your life.
the Bible says to: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31: 6
God also says that “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Right after my husband left, I was so mad at God! I didn’t want to believe in Him anymore. I wanted to give up on everything good I was taught about the Creator of the Universe. Shamefully, I would even curse and yell at Him. I blamed Him for what I was going through. Until, I learned it wasn’t His fault. During my healing and recovery, I realized the numerous signs Gos was showing me from the moment I met my husband up until now. He tried to save me. He tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen. I wanted to do my own thing.
#2 – If you can, you have to stop all communication with this person. If you have ties with this person, such as business or children, its important to act like a gray rock; bland, uninterested to what they have to say or what they have going on. I was told for a year and a half to do this and I didnt listen. I thought my circumstance was different. But, it ended up with me having to get an order of protection against my husband due to continued physical abuse after the separation.
#2a If you are currently in a situation where you are unable to escape right now, I would encourage you begin planning for an escape. Reach out to an abuse hotline to get information to your nearest women’s s shelter. Here is my town of St. Louis, we have a organization https://alivestl.org or 800.941.9144. Put together an emergency to go bag, which will include: important documents, a change of clothes, important phone numbers and people. Hid it in a place where they are unable to find it. So, if the next time they become violent, you can grab your bag and go. If you have children, do the same for them as well.
#3 Get couneling. Imagine this: the narcissist has been driving your car (you) for so long; abusing it by not keeping up with the maintenance, making sure it stays nice and clean, and making sure it stays in the condition that it was given to them or even including a few upgrades along the way. Now that you have your car back, its your turn to take the steps to get your car repaired. You were able to get it away from the narcissist before they completely killed it. Some of us that made it out are extremely blessed. There are many of us who do not survive; either we kill ourselves from the heartbreak and mind games or we become extremely mentally and physically ill, stuck in a prison of our own minds and bodies.
My first year of liberation, it was so hard. There were so many days and nights I truly thought I wasnt going to makee it. I spent so much time, worrying about him and what he was doing. I spent so much time blaming myself for the toxicity that I allowed into the lives of my children. I spent so much time hating myself and sometimes God, trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I can do right so my husband could come home. As I stated in the last episode one, I was extremely confused because I didnt know why I wanted the abuse back. One time I even remember saying, “being with you hurts less than being without you”. How morbid is that? But then, my support system kept encouraging me, feeding me the truth because I clearly was still living in denial and not in my right mind.
The truth is: it is NOT our fault, even if we stayed. Know that you did the best you could with what you had and how you felt at the time. Be kind to yourself. Work on forgiving yourself first, then the rest will follow with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Without Gods guidance, unfortuantely we are more prone to believing the lies and staying the situation. Also, have patience with yourself. Research states that it takes a person seven times to leave before they never look back. You may be on #1, #7, or #15. I encourage you never stop trying. Do not settle. You deserve so much more, whether you believe that or not. I’ve struggled with knowing what I deserve and what I dont. I just was recently in a situation where someone did something that made me uncomfortable and I had to question if this person valued my worth or not. I had to ask multiple people to get their perspective: I reached out to my spiritual mentor, and I even googled it. And amazingly, all of them said the same thing, which was “yes, girl! That was a complete violation and you need to run…RUN!”
Right now, you are in a vulnerable place. Right now, while we are wounded, other narcissistic people can smell our suffering and they love it. You may have people coming to you saying they want to help you heal, and may even do things that show they “care”. Now is the time to heal. Now is the time to connect to people who can help you and be compltely honest with you. Not someone who is going to place you in the same predicament as your previous relationship.
If you have any questions, please do not feel hesitant to reach out to me. We can talk, we can cry, we can pray, or I can simply send you more information.
Thank you all so much for being apart of this journey with me. I love each any everyone one of you. Please remember to pray for one another!
Its official like a whistle! Im a podcaster. This is my very first episode and its raw, honest, and scary.
Please click the link below to take a listen! Please comment whatever is on your mind.
Thank you in advance for listening and reading. And too my long time followers, ya’ll the real MVP’s!
Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Beware of Narcissistic Abuse: My Raw Personal Experience https://anchor.fm/healingwithharotian/episodes/Beware-of-Narcissistic-Abuse-My-Raw-Personal-Experience-e138n33
So, I have decided to test the podcasting waters. I have recorded a very rough cut of a subject that was on my mind one day; what is the true meaning of intimacy and how do we obtain it for ourselves without further damaging our lives and the lives of others? I don’t think my episode answers those questions in depth, but I do think it will start a conversation that would hopefully lead to healing and understanding.
Thank you in advance for your support and prayers. Remember, now more than ever, please remember to pray for one another and God bless each and everyone of you.
Until next time….
Welcome back to 150 days of Psalms Challenge. Friends, today was a challenge. I have so many blessings coming my way right now, but I’m also battling my own demons. It’s confusing to be honest. My blessings are coming at a time that I feel undeserving because I find myself summoning to the desires of my demons. I have to remind myself that this is not my fight, but sometimes the weight of the world becomes too must be bear. Either way, I wanted to get that off of my chest. That’s my “whoa is me” moment for the post.
My sponsor says I have to work on being consistent and forth coming with my truth. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing that I suck at the most; consistency! I say that to say, I apologize if any of you have been waiting for a chapter five post, but I also believe that everything happens in Gods timing, so hopefully this comes right on time for someone. It did for me.
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
6 You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
When I first read this chapter, my first thoughts were, “Oh no, God is mad at me because I do wicked things and I lie and deceive! There is no way God can forgive me for what I’ve done.” But then the Holy Spirit lead me back to the first three verses:
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
The words that stand out to me are “hear me, pay attention, listen, I pray, cry for help, listen to my voice, wait expectantly”. I am the daughter of the Most High. I can cry for help and He will hear me and listen to my voice as I pray. Since the beginning of Psalm, the author has been asking God to destroy his enemies. The author isn’t God enemy. You’re not God enemy. I am not God enemy. The evil forces working against Gods Kingdom and anyone crazy enough to go along with the plan is the enemy. At once, I too was crazy enough to go along with the plan to be Gods enemy, but thank you Jesus that He loved me too much to allow me to stay His enemy.
In the chapter, I believe the author is definitely warning us against the type of people not to hang around and most importantly what behaviors to watch in ourselves. I love how much of Gods love radiates from the Authors words. I feel safe after meditating on this chapter. The Author says a beautiful prayer for Gods people in the last two verses. How amazing is that? The person speaking is really going through it with this enemies and he is still remembers to pray for us!
Thank you all for sharing my thoughts tonight. I would love to hear your thoughts on the Psalm 5. What is God saying to you? What did you get out of it? I love you all and please don’t forget to pray for one another.
I hope your day was just enjoyable as mine. Here in “confused St. Louis”, it was actually a really nice day. The sun was shining high in the bright blue sky and the unknown future seems doable every day. Although I am in day four of this challenge, I already feel a difference in my thought process. If there is one thing I have learned about this journey called life is that perception of our circumstances determines how we deal and feel about our circumstances. And when we keep my eyes focused on God, we are able to fall into His will and not our own, we are able to be of service to those around us and our loved ones, and we are able to have fun with the days that are gifted to us; knowing that we have a wonderful Heavenly Father and super cool Brother, Jesus who are strapped and prepared to take on my stress. So let’s get with it.
1 Answer me when I call to you,
O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies? Interlude
3 You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.
4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude
5 Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.
6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
7 You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
Again, what a great chapter. The author reminds me a lot of myself. It seems, and I could be mistaken, that the author cares a lot about what people are saying about them (v. 2) when they are not around. I struggle with the same problem. When it comes to strangers, I can care less, but when it comes down to people I care about, I care about their perception of me, but the Lord says that His opinion of me is the only one that matters.
Galatians 1:10, NLT: “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
So I love how the authors continues to immediately go into praising God for all He has done. The author is also putting his complete faith into the power of God by trusting the promises that God has made us. That type of father is absolutely wonderful. They type of faith where we are staying in the face of adversity and still believe and trust in the power of God. Amen!
For me, this chapter is a reminder to keep pushing and persevering no matter what people have to say. I am on this journey because God has me on this journey. It is not for anyone to understand, judge, or scale, especially comparing myself to other around me. Thank you God for Your Word. Your power and love is incomprehensible and I’m proud to be the Princess of the Most High King. I thank You, I love You. Amen.
Thank you all for hearing my thoughts today. Please tune in tomorrow for Day 5 of 150 Days of Psalm Challenge. Love you all and please do not forget to pray for one another.
Thank you for joining me on day 3 of the 150 days of Psalms Challenge. Technically, today is day four but yesterday was so busy, I actually forgot about it, so here we are. What matters is that we are here reading Gods Word together. If you are just now joining us, last week I encouraged my readers to read a chapter of Psalm a day and comment below on what God has revealed to us. If you have any questions or would like to message me privately, you can do so at email@example.com. Let’s dive in.
1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!” Interlude[a]
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.
Thank you, Father for such a wonderful chapter. This chapter came right on time for me. I love how the author David, at the beginning is asking why are people against him (v. 1) but he goes on praise God for what He has done and what He is going to do. David’s faith in Gods protection and promises is inspiring.
When we praise God in the midst of our struggles, we take the focus off of ourselves and onto God where it belongs. When we do that, we feel peace in the middle of the storm. We are also able to see, understand, and receive all of the blessings that God has in store for us.
I also love how David was like, “and God, slap them so hard you knock teeth from their grill!” 😂 Definitely sounds like one of my prayers.
Thank you Father God for keeping every last one of your promises. Thank you for protecting us against the seen and the unseen. Thank you Father for being willing to slap a few people on my behalf so that I won’t have to. Thank you Jesus for your unconditional love, mercy, and grace. I I pray that You continue to bless everyone in need of all of You. I praise you and lift your name of high. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Thank you friends for reading my thoughts. Please comment below your thoughts on todays chapter. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.
Welcome back to our 150 days of Psalm challenge. To be honest, it was difficult sitting down today. My mind began to plan all of the other things that I needed to get done, but I found my way here with my Bible in hand. So let’s get to it.
1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
I love this chapter. Sometimes I feel that my problems are too big for God, but this chapter clearly states that God is bigger than any circumstance, any foe. I love how the author explains how fierce God comes to our defense when someone or something is threatening us. The Lord also graces us with His love and blessings while punishing the people or circumstance that is trying to destroy us.
Just like He stated in chapter one, anything we ask for, it will be given to us freely (v. 7-9). How wonderful is it that God fights our battles and He promises that we will find peace and blessings with Him? All we have to do is trust so we can see and be prepared for the blessings coming our way. God thank you for your guidance, grace, love, and strength. When we are weak, You are strong Father and we thank You for that. No problem, no illness, no virus, no circumstance is too big for you Father. Thank you Father God for such a wonderful gift.
Thank you all for reading my thoughts today. Please let me know what the Holy Spirit said to you while reading the chapter. I’m definitely interested to know.
Also, my plan is about to expire. I have started a GoFundMe account to renew my plan and keep my domain. If God puts it on your heart to donate, here is the link:
I love you all and please don’t forget to pray for one another.
Today is a glorious day. God woke me up this morning and gave me the grace and courage to blog today. I have been facing writers block. Mainly because I was distracting myself with the ways and stress of the world and not ways of the Word. I can blame mental illness, I can blame stress, or I can blame my circumstances. When the cold hard fact is my behavior lately has been very unbecoming of a princess of the Most High King, but thank you Jesus that we have a Heavenly Father that not only forgives, but shows grace, patience, and understanding while doing it. My mistakes are just that, mistakes. And my past is where it’s suppose to be, in the past…even if it was just a day or two ago. Nonetheless, today is a new day, day one. Day one for better choices. Day one for growing closer to God. Day one to become the woman I’m supposed to be.
Late last night, as I was meditating, God gave me an idea on what to do about our relationship and my writers block. For the next 150 days, I will read and blog about Psalm. It’s called 150 days of Psalms Challenge. I truly believe that the peace and clarity that I seek will be provided in these scriptures. I also believe that my soul will be restored with nothing but the Living Water and not the tainted water of my own personal desires. So, my posts will be short and sweet (let’s be honest, I am known to ramble so I can’t promise anything). I will let you guys knows what Psalm I read and talk about what in the scripture stood out to me and anything else God brings to mind for me to talk about. I’m excited about this journey and I hope you all will join me.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Wow! I would like to say that I did not read the first chapter before I started typing this blog. God, I love how You make your directions so clear for me to follow because whew, Chile! The Lord knows I can be hardheaded. For me, this chapter verifies how I’ve been feeling about my behavior lately. Last week, I spoke to my mentor about it and she said, “Ashleygirl, you bring the company you keep spirits into your home. Even if they do not come into your home.” Today, that makes even more sense then the day she said it.
Also, my takeaway is, if I delight myself in God’s Word, I would become like “trees planted by streams of water – whatever they do propers”. If you’ve ever seen a tree near a stream of water, you will know how tall and strong they are. They are known to face some of the worst weather conditions and still flourish. Why? Because they are rooted deep in a never ending supply of fresh water. Following the ways of the world has gotten me frustrated, angry, careless, reckless, relentless, and so much more; that sounds like chaff (scaly parts of seeds or flowers/finely chopped straw) blowing away in the wind to me (v. 4); unproductive and unpredictable.
In this chapter, to me, God promises that if I immerse myself in His Word, that everything I do according to His Will will prosper. Hmmm…. 🤔 Ok, God, sounds like a deal to me.
Thank you friends for reading my thoughts and spending this time with me. Let’s do this together. I’m excited to see where we are at the end of the 150 days.
The disease of addiction spreads like a wildfire. It destroys everything and everyone in it’s path; leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. It only takes seconds to destroy life long relationships and memories. And if you’re fortunate, and can take years to rebuild. It doesn’t care if you have children, if you’re a small business owner, a wife, a mother, a child. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor. It doesn’t care about your social status or achievements. It doesn’t care about you or me.
Addiction is the most selfish lover you would ever have. She will take and take from you, only leaving you scraps of satisfaction in the end. Sooner or later, her appetite grows bigger and stronger. Then one day, you wake up and realize she has completely taken over your life. You look around and your friends and family have all disappeared. You go to the ATM to find you are overdrawn by hundreds. You are in complete shambles. Lost. Shaken. Confused.
We can be addicted to anything. We all know this, right? But how much is it taking over your life? How much time do you spend wanting and thinking about one thing? Have we put ourselves or a loved one in jeporedy to obtain this one thing?
The disease of addiction is a powerful. I have seen it in action with my own eyes. If we pay close attention, we will see the disease spread throughout a small space within minutes. The disease of addiction breeds with hate, depression, anxiety, fear, self-loathing, etc. And whenever you have a small group of people, for instance who are experiencing the above emotions, the disease of addiction grows more intense. The desire of wanting to escape from the hell of mental anguish is beyond words. Even the craziest of ideas will sounds like great one if it means we will have release from what we are currently feeling. We are literally in the fire. And it burns ever single moment of every single day.
So, how can we battle this? The disease of addiction is very present and alive. So, how do we fight against it. Because truth be told, everyone is affected by the disease of addiction; wether you are the user or the loved ones of the user or the people, related or unrelated, who are affected by our poor choices. One way to fight the disease of addiction is stop feeding the fire. The addiction feeds the disease. The more we feed it the more it grows and the hunger it gets. Also, surround ourselves with a community of “firefighters”. We may have lost people due to hurt that has been caused, but nows the time to allow God to introduce us to new people. Everyone comes and leaves our lives when they have served their purpose and vice versa. When God brings new people into our lives, they are there for a reason or season.
The disease of addiction doesn’t have to live long if we don’t let it. We can work hard to cut it off at the head so it no longer continues to grow.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.Corinthians 10:13
Fortunately, God loves us through our addictions, our pain, our struggles. God guides us through the process and the journey. The journey to clean living is not an easy one. It requires honesty and dedication to the truth of God and who we are to Him. The enemy will try to get us to believe that addiction is all we need. That the disease of addiction is incurable and it is a prison that we will never be able to escape from.
It’s not true! Its a lie from the pits of hell. We are already forgiven. We are already saved from the prison of addiction. And we have everything we need to walk in the purpose that God has set for our lives. All is required of us is a little faith because the Bible says that only a little faith can move a mountain (Matthew 17:20).
Thank you so much for reading my thoughts today. I appreciate and love every single one of you. Please remember to pray for one another and a little faith is all you need.
We all can say that 2020 was an interesting year to say the least. So many losses, so many deaths, so much misfortune. But those of us who are aware can also say that 2020 was a year of growth, faith, and self-realization.
In 2020, I was forced to look at me and who I was as a mother, wife, sister, friend, and overall child of God. Only after I realized how my selfishness was interfering with my life and the lives of my children, I was able to submit myself fully to God so that he can release me from the personal bondage I was imprisoned in.
In 2020, I experienced loss, grief, misfortune, physical and mental ailments. But I am proud and grateful to say that each misfortune, loss, and grieving moment, God turned it around for mine and His good.
I lost a husband, but I gained two of the best friends I’ve after had. I never thought our relationships would ever be restored, but God brought them back to me and we are stronger than ever.
I experienced misfortune, but I gained a job. I am a Chronic Care Case Manager for individuals who struggle with substance abuse/mental health disorders at a non-profit stabilization housing agency. And I absolutely love it! I get to share my story with my patients to encourage them to never give up, that God has a plan and there’s proof each day they wake up.
Most significantly, I lost sleep, peace, and joy. And now, I am experiencing peace,joy, love and much more. I am able to face stressful situations with patience and peace because of what the Lord has done for me. It would be foolish of me to stay in the pit that God pulled me out of.
Now, that this is the first day of the new year, to me its just another day. Another day to improve. Another day to grow. Another day to learn. Another day to forgive and move forward. God isn’t limited by time. Neither should we. 2021 didn’t come with a guarantee that it’ll be better than 2020. What it can be is an opportunity, each day we wake up, how to be better for ourselves and better for humanity.
Happy New Year to each and everyone of you. I pray that you all feel Gods eternal peace and joy. I pray you have the courage and strength to walk into what God has in store for you this year with your head held high. I love each of you and please remember to pray for one another.
I have some very exciting news. I have officially launched my YouTube channel called Healing with Harotian to go along with my blog.
I am very excited that God has chosen me and given me the opportunity to share my story in order to help my brothers and sisters. Although I am nervous beyond comprehension, I am confident because I know this is my purpose in life and I LOVE IT!
Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me. It has helped me realize that my talent, passion, and desire to help people is very real and God-given. This is an assignment called on my life that I am no longer willing to ignore because of fear and intimidation from the evils of this world. God is bigger and we are all going to get through this together.
I hope you all enjoy it! Love you all and please remember to pray for one another. God bless.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31
It was like any other day, secretely, unknowingly, holding on to hope that a person is capable of real change. I came to this realization when I found myself terribly upset when someone did what they are known for doing. Honestly, what kind of person would allow themselves to continue to get terribly upset at the fact that a leopard cannot change its spots? What kind of person would allow themselves to go into a mental coma simply because the sun is rising and setting as it should each day.
On this special day something miraculous happened. I was able to see the error in my ways. I was able to realize that no matter what I did, things that are meant to be will simply be. Whether I agree with how they are or not. A leopard will always have their spots, the IRS will always want their money, and the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west.
As my eyes were opened, my heart slowly began stepping out of the woods covering her eyes from the glare. Asking herself, “Am I out?” She immediately feels lighter and safer. She feels the warm sun and its making her radiant, inside and out. She stretches out her arms and legs. She sits up straight realizing she has been hunched over for too long. She looks out in front of her towards the tall trees and the beautiful skyline. She sees everyone that has been calling her name, directing her out of the dark forest. She sees Jesus, family, friends, loved ones. She drops to her knees and apologizes for ever doubting his love and power. Now as she furthers into the unknown of her journey, she is set free. Happily tackling every obstacle like the warriors we are.
I was feeling good after this experience, but then there was something else I needed to do. A ritual I kind of developed since I was a teenager, I suppose. To be honest, I never thought about it until after I did it this last time. Although this particular night where the crickets were extra loud and the cool breeze was blowing around my hair, I went to the gas station and bought a pack of cigarettes. I was never a regular smoker. I guess someone you would call a social smoker. Anyway, the last time I had a cigarette was almost seven years ago when I became clean. I sat outside in my car, lit a cigarette, and started jamming to old school R&B. I listened to everyone from Switch to Keyshia Cole to Jeremih. Sang. Lit another one. Sang. Took a deep breath and I felt nothing. No pain. No guilt. No condemnation. No confusion. No jealousy. No curiosity. No death.
There is absolutely nothing in this world like freedom. You guys! You have no idea how many times I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I thought this torture was going to last forever. I was fighting myself everyday. Literally battling with the world and the Word; trying to stick to the idea that there is an entity that claims to be The Creator of all AND on top of that loves me unconditionally?? Me?? But this….this moment, that day, me graduating college, homeschooling during a pandemic (and I’m not going to get into all of the things we had going on) and today, TODAY… my heart and I are walking hand in hand out of the forest.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” -Luke 19:10
Jesus is with me. He is with you. Every step I take in trusting him, the more I fell comfortable trusting him. Thank God he is not a liar nor manipulator like the real enemy. Once God helped me to realize that it is not our loved ones who intend on hurting us, but the influence of an evil entity, it helps recognizing that days like the day I felt nothing needs to happen more often. In saying that, not everything is Satan’s fault. God is more powerful and is calling all of us to do something with our existence to continue to spread the Message. It is our responsibility to either answer or not answer. And when we answer, we will become mentally and spiritually aware that we are free. Then we will be living and acting like the Princes and Princess’ we truly are. Not allowing ourselves to be feed table scrapes when we have banquet tables awaiting us.
Thank you so very much for allowing me to share my thoughts. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.
P.S. I didn’t finish the cigarettes. After the two, I was cool as a breeze and threw the rest of the pack away. Weird ritual for closure, I guess. *shrugs*
Thank you all for sticking with me this far. Some of you have been following my journey since day one. Thank you to my new followers as well. The past three years have been a roller coaster ride. Not the fun kind, but definitely necessary.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried around fear and sadness. It has caused me to make decisions, good and bad, that most people wouldn’t understand.
Three years ago, God started to gut me like a fish, removing all of the remnants of each encounter, each bad decision, each mistake. All of the shame, guilt, fear, sadness, etc. had to come out in order for me to walk in the purpose God has set for me. And that crap hurt! Sometimes still does. He has removed certain people out of my life that I once thought I could never live without. God has helped me forgive those who I thought I would never be able to forgive. He has given me the strength to love those I was determined to hate.
What’s the difference between the Ashley three years ago and the Ashley today? Complete and utter surrender. Understanding that my life is not my own and when I try to control my life and the outcome of certain situations, I get in my own way and fall straight on my face. Ugh! And man, that hurts, too! I ultimately create my own misery.
I used to believe people when they would say, “Life is pain. You just have to deal with it.” That’s not true. I’m going to shame the devil by dropping this fun fact: once we accept Jesus, surrender to God’s will and not our own, life becomes beautiful. Reread that. Everything is possible that once felt impossible. We are able to pour into other people what God is pouring into us. We begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I’m not saying things arent going to be challenging, but I have good news. The more challenges we face, the more opportunity we have to draw closer to Abba Father. The closer we draw to God, the more we trust Him. The more we trust Him, the easier we are able to see our circumstances through our Fathers eyes and not our own, which is awesome because my vision is tore up from the floor up. OK, maybe I shouldn’t bring that phrase back, but I tried. 🤪
The picture above is me in 2018; sick, depressed, 99 pounds soaking wet. I was stressed all of the time. I was trying to do everything in my own strength (which as you can see wasn’t much), including trying to control those around me to fit my agenda on what I thought life was suppose to look like.
The above picture was taken five days ago. I am a healthy 100 and something pounds 😁 and have completely surrendered to the Lord who’s agenda for my life and the lives of my children is so much better than my own.
The road to recovery is not a easy one, nor is it for the faint in heart. Every morning I have to pull up my big girl draws and remind myself that Gods will is better than mine. Surrendering is tough, especially when you’re stubborn, selfish, and arrogant like myself. But thank the Lord Jesus Christ that I get a fresh start each morning to do better than the day before.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I love each and every one of you. Please don’t forget to pray for one another. Remember, we can disagree and still love on each other.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17