My # 1 Toxic Relationship

My # 1 Toxic Relationship

I know it sounds funny but I kinda gave up a man for Lent. Not men, one particular man. He didn’t make the cut. I sent him a text saying I needed to work on me and I would contact him on April 2. God has been using this season in my life to work on relationships whether they be intimate or casual regardless I am in need of some soul-searching to figure things out. I am surrounded by the constant reminder of being single and the yearn to get married or committed to someone. My best friend R.L. Stine we will call him has been there for me when no one else has. He has been my confidante and kept me on track. There was some experimentation with romance three years ago but that quickly fizzled when we figured out we were better off friends. I was going through our connect groups from church to see what was available. I found one on Toxic Relationships. Wow, if that was not a sign from God I don’t know what is. Love Junkies is a book written by Christy Johnson which explains 7 steps to breaking the toxic relationship cycle. As I chose to give up R.L. Stine it gave me time to observe our friendship. I constantly was trying to get him to tell me why I was important to him. He often said I was seeking validation. I looked back over the years and started asking myself where this all started. Was it part of the relationship him and I had or was it something deeper. My first Love Junkie class and I was already 2 weeks behind but it was as if I hadn’t missed anything. I had already given up R.L. for the prior 2 weeks and I was all alone. I hadn’t supplemented him with anyone else like I had in the past. I had quit cold turkey and identified a few more problematic acquaintances as well.  During class our Leader had asked a question. Define Love. I wrote it down but hadn’t thought about it. With group over I had a busy few days following but was excited to delve into my new book. We were warned to stop at Chapter 4. We are not to run ahead of the class. I was ok with it, mainly cause I hadn’t even started the book yet. Guess what? I bought the book, I downloaded the book, and before I knew it I was in Chapter 5!Shhh don’t tell the leader. It was a total accident and I am sure she forgives me. So I placed the book down and started working on THE question. You know, Define Love. Here is that particular journal entry.

Love for my children the day they were born saying they can do anything I will continue to love them. Be disappointed but always love them. It’s the kisses, the hugs, the pain their hatred causes but to still look at them and say I love you. It’s the tears and pain you feel when you want them to stop crying. It’s the I will do anything for you.  Now the two men I married to there was never love. The love I thought I felt was distorted. The love I thought they expressed was infatuation.
who showed me love. R.L.Stine showed me love by not loving me. It’s the I care about your life. I am going to help you become a better person kind of love. The even though you hurt me I am not leaving you or holding it against you forever. I will do all I can do to shield you from harm. Ev en though we may not agree we will compromise. Non judgemental, unconditional, There for me when I need you. Willing to walk through a fire or take a bullet for each other. Talk for hours, Earth stands still when you are together. If one is hurting there is a feeling deep inside your soul prompting you . Thoughts of each other at the same moment though you are 3000 miles away. At the beginning the love was a one way street then we realized what love was. Lovie is I am there for you when your grandparent dies or you get awful news. When the whole world could not understand this one person can. This definition of Love tends to be what I wanted it to be not what it really is. Then I realized this too is not love but infatuation and came to the conclusion the only one who loves me is God himself. I do know what Gods love is. Two pages on love and I don’t even know what it is. Its easier to say what it is not.
Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

               “Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
                            The little old woman sitting at my corner booth had asked
Then I was chatting with a fellow Christian friend and he was trying to route me to his recent blog post through Facebook!  I was confused, had he not read my earlier blog on Lent? With a quick reply I stated “It’s still lent”. His reply was  that he wasn’t catholic. Ugh, not again I thought to myself. Why is society so quick to judge a persons spiritual rituals on the denomination of a church rather than on their personal relationship with God. Where is a Christian individuality? Maybe that is a good topic for yet another blog. Back to Lent, Easter and Pentecost.  I do not celebrate Lent because of a certain denomination I belong too.  I honor Lent because of my own personal relationship with Christ. It’s an individual commitment I began making in 2011. Let me explain why. On Wednesday March 9, 2011; I didn’t  attend any church,  I did not get a cross of ashes made on my forehead. I had never observed a season of Lent in my life. I knew what Lent was, however I was never in a denomination in which observed the Lent season. My Pastor at the time did however encourage us to take time during this season and fast for 40 days. This encouragement was the beginning of breaking down the denomination barrier for me.Lent season is an opportunity to look deeply at your spiritual life. To remember the creator of humanity. To reflect on your sin and repent.I began petitioning God to reveal what He wanted me to Fast and began reading 40 day devotion. Days later it became evident I would not be completing that particular devotion. God’s plan led me to give up my freedom.  Lent season to the day of Pentecost has such a parallel to that particular season in my life, I am sure it was no coincidence.  All 40 days I got the opportunity to be in a controlled environment which gave me more time for daily devotion without an increase of worrying  about societal influences. I may not have been free in a worldly sense but I was slowly inching my way to freedom in a spiritual sense.We recieved spiritual feedings in jail but they were stagnant. You stood at the gate and only a certain amount of inmates from each block could attend. Sometimes I wouldn’t even stand in line knowing my belly was full and there were lost souls craving the food . On April 17, 2011 I was blessed to be one of the few to be selected to go to the Palm Sunday church service. I remember being spoken to about Palm Sunday and being guided on how to prepare our hearts for Easter. On Easter, God revealed His desire for me to do a NO TALK fast. I was to remain silent from sun up to sun down. I chose to be obedient . I prayed , meditated , and read God’s word all day long. I took a piece of bread and my koolaid from lunch so I could engage in private  Communion with God. I took communion in remembrance of what Jesus had done for us on Easter Sunday. At that point I was  halfway done with my sentence. In the following week  inmates were being released due to overcrowding.  I prayed my name would be pulled in the lottery. God had other plans. I had to serve out the sentence God had imposed not the one society had imposed. A few days after my release I would discover the significance. June 5, 2011 was Ascension Day. This date is not celebrated bascensiony Christians in our western society but is very crucial in the validity of Jesus Christ as our savior. It was the day Jesus ascended into heaven. Two days later my sentence would be completed and I would be free. Lent, Easter, and the Ascension mimic my season of incarceration and release. Four days later the holy spirit would move about my soul as it did on the day of Pentecost. This was the  beginning of a spiritual awakening to my soul. It was a personal closeness with God that brought about a new improved me.  Do you believe in coincidences or do you believe God had a plan all along. Jesus may have ascended to heaven over 2000 years ago but the remembrance of Jesus ascending in 2011 sparked a light for me to go and fulfill the great commission.
Lent is Upon Us: What are you giving up?

Lent is Upon Us: What are you giving up?

jesus desert

  Lent  is a religious observance coming from the latin term Quadragesima meaning Fortieth. Lent is the season lasting from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday is Easter Eve. During the season of Lent Christians reflect in daily devotion and commit to total repentance of sin by engaging in self-denial. Many of us choose to fast from certain things in life to bring the reality of God’s greatest gift to life. Christian’s normally choose to give up something that is hindering their walk with God. The biblical origin of Lent comes from the New Testament Gospels Matthew , Mark , and Luke in which Jesus Spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by Satan.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written:  ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

When I gave up social media last month  (see New Year’s Fast. ) I became exactly who I needed to be to finish out this year strong. Now being in the second month of the year I am proud to say I have not withered one bit  and plan on continuing to grow through this Lenten season to a mighty woman of God. Once again I have chosen to give up Social Media. After being back on Facebook and Instagram for the past month I decided Social Media is once again a great distraction in my relationship with God. God is working in my life in an extraordinary way and I would encourage you to take the time during this season to give up something as well. Fast along with me in remembrance of Jesus and his temptation in the desert. Become the person God has called you to be. This is  possible by just giving up one thing in your life as an act of self-denial. If you need help deciding what to give up here is a list of ideas.