I got duct taped to the wall by the middle schoolers and it was awesome!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
When your home becomes your un-home and they make it clear you are not welcome, that is when you leave. Sometimes things must be broken before they are made whole again. Thus, my relationship with my mother is utterly broken, and I am remaking it, even if it costs her tears.
In that moment, find another place, away from her words and tears you didn’t want. I sit by a glass window in a place full of books and very little noise. It is blissfully silent, with only a few voices. And I read a book of goblins and outcasts and seekings–a children’s book.
Wherevery I go–that is my home. In this way I have become Roma.
Every time you and I get hurt, there is a lie that the devil tries to ingrain in you.
Here are some of the lies in my life that the Holy Spirit has helped me pinpoint:
- You’re not beautiful.
- There is something wrong with you. That’s why they rejected you.
- You will never be loved.
- You don’t deserve love.
- You will never have a husband, or a home, or children.
- You will not be able to have children. Be afraid of that.
- Being married is going to be scary. Being with your husband is going to be frightening.
- You’re going to be a bad mom.
- You are mentally ill.
- You are a terrible, hurtful person.
- A new boyfriend will try to, or demand and manipulate you, to “touch” you.
- You’re going to lose your job and not be able to support yourself.
- You are a failure and will always fail.
- You will never have a loving relationship with your family again.
- You will be abandoned and rejected always.
I was under very serious spiritual attack today. Tons of voices in my head. Panic in my heart. It was terrible, and I fled to a gal friend’s house, and spent the rest of the day with her and her family. I cried so hard, over and over and over, and whispered of the broken things in my life. And she was there for me. Even better, she understood the spiritual warfare, and gave me the tools I needed–straight out of God’s Word.
I loved going down through the woods with her and her passel of children, and down to the crik. The autumnal woods were like a breath of mountain air. The children laughed with me, and refreshed my spirit. And I cried so hard, and my voice was so broken, and she listened and helped me. I never fear exposing my tortured, mangled heart to her. I trust her utterly. I know God sent her to me.
And just to not feel like a burden. Her house was a mess, and I honestly loved that. Her children were so sweet, and that helped so much. Their orphaned squirrel was amazing, and so adorable and funny (his name is “Ginger”). My friend is like an animal charmer. She reminds me so much of myself, and I trust her even more because of it. Her children don’t mind that I’m crying in their living room. Her husband doesn’t mind. Her dad is there too, and he prays over me, and his spiritual protection is what I needed.
There are next to no places anymore that feel like that. When I needed it so desperately, God showed up. He promised to provide for me. And I believe Him and trust Him. My God is good. Though I often don’t understand His ways, I know He is good.
I never had a homecoming. When I was eighteen, I cut out pictures of beautiful dresses, and pasted them into my journal, and showed them to my best gal friend.
The closest I came to a homecoming was my friend’s eighteenth birthday party. We all got to dress up all beautiful. I wore green nail polish, and a pretty summer dress, and sparkles on my face like a fairy, and a beautiful mask (it was a masquerade). I think I may have had a henna tattoo all up and down my arm too.
There weren’t enough guys there to dance with, but I had fun anyway. Just dressing up was really fun. Girls really do dream about getting swept off their feet. Us poor romantic souls. Every girl dreams of that.
I used to dance off at WWU. There was this guy who was an extremely good dancer. But he was so arrogant, and made fun of me when I made a mistake. I hated that. I felt like I was so stupid. But… I was a highland dancer, and much more talented than him. That made up for a lot. No one in that class could dance as beautifully or gracefully as I could.
Girls aren’t nice. I’ll just put it that way. Girls hate other girls to whom guys are attracted to. That was one of the reasons I didn’t have very many gal friends off at WWU. I had to learn that the hard way.
Some of my gal friends were different though. One was a highland dancer friend, who had Jewish blood in her. After that one awful quarter, I came and cried to her and my other friend, and they listened to me and cared about me, and I needed that so desperately. We could talk Lord of the Rings for hours, or go out bushwhacking up in the arboretum. Friends like that helped me out a lot.
She wasn’t a Christian. Sometimes the “Christians” were the worst of the worst. And I’ve had many, many similar experiences since then. Girls are just plain mean. With guys, they knock each other’s brains out, and that solves that. Girls are much worse. They know how to “do you under” socially, and make your life like hell.
His ex did that to me. I can’t even begin to describe how badly she hurt me, or how badly he hurt me, there at the end. She never really dated him. She just led him on, and enjoyed having him on her arm, even though she had a boyfriend. And he always made excuses for her. I grew to understand that he loved her, never me.
She hurt me so very badly. I was stupid enough to get myself into that mess though. It was a party group. We played games every whatever-day-of-the-week-that-was. Her brother flirted with me, and I never trusted him (and there are some other stories there). Her youngest brother was a snob. She was a snob too. She treated me like I was dumb (and I’m not. But it still hurt).
She said untrue things about another gal friend of mine, trying to besmear her name. Her family was as wicked as she was, and they made sure I knew how unwelcome I was in their house.
His dad. My boyfriend’s dad. He was not a good man. That was not a good family. He carried a picture of me around with him, showing people his son’s “hot” girlfriend (how do you think that makes a woman feel?).
His mom. She told her son that I was too strong-willed for him. I never told her about her son’s past. He said she wouldn’t want to know. I never told her that me being strong-willed protected her son from so much evil–that he was trying to talk me into, and failed at.
But girls. Girls are cruel. My boyfriend told me to just stop coming if I was so darn uncomfortable, and didn’t I trust him? She made fun of me in front of him. I asked him, please please please could we stop hanging out with them. He said no.
Girls are cruel. Life is cruel. We once sat in his car in the rain, chatting (thankfully). He saw her out of the corner of his eye, and said, “Oh look, there’s Becky.”
When he first introduced me to her, he said that “Oh this is Becky, my girlfriend. I mean, Arielle.”
Do you have any idea how painful that is?
Girls are cruel. And I struggle, so very badly, trusting people. I struggle so badly. Why are people so mean?
Sometimes it’s weird hearing stories of the kids I grew up with. I was chatting with my family this evening. So-and-so (a gal friend) is in Oxford, going to school. So-and-so says that we’re condensing to one service on Sundays, instead of two. So-and-so said this or that. Stuff like that: the general news of people and their lives.
And then I hear other stories, ones I wish I didn’t. I used to know this family (a lot of childhood history there). Two of their sons have live-in girlfriends and kids by them. What?! I thought. Back in middle school, I used to tease one of my gal friends about the eldest boy. And I remember once, he flirted with me in front of his girlfriend, and I thought: How uncool is that? And now… live-in girlfriends and kids.
How did THAT happen?
“Where are they going to church now?” I ask my family.
“They’re not–going to church.”
I hate when my world shifts like this.
One of my guy friends, back in elementary (until he got teased for being my friend, and then he stopped being friends with me) had a mom who was a leader to us middle schoolers. Then, something happened. She left her husband and son–my friend. She left all of us, and my heart hurt.
I saw her in the mall, months later, and she had that hard look on her face. I hated it. I hated it.
She shook our world. I remember when our high school pastor told us the basics, and that we shouldn’t be taking any spiritual advice from her right now, because she wasn’t walking with the Lord.
And my heart broke. And my world shifted. And I felt disillusioned.
I know the devil goes after the leaders. Sometimes, that’s what frightens me about being a youth leader. But most times, it just makes me want to do the right thing even more. I want to be an example to these kids. I want to share my stories with them. I want to bless their middle school years as much as my own were blessed.
There are so many of the young adults at Calvary who look up to me. Many, I’ve helped out with since I was nineteen. Even more, since they were two years old, and small enough to carry.
These young men and women? They are going to be the next generation. I am young like them, but old–so old–in so many other ways. And they will all look up to me, and remember how I lived my life.
Help me be an example to them. Let us be leaders they can look up to. Please.
Another goal of mine: Learn how to do cinematography like this:
I used to help out at a lady’s house, tending to her kids and helping her keep house. It was a good job, and she treated me well.
But I observed some stuff.
Spanking kids just for punishment isn’t good. The kids got spanked a lot. But they never learned anything from it.
The eldest girl was pretty sweet, but jealous of the littlest, and was a bit of a bully.
The littlest was a fairy child. She sort of wilted under getting spanked. To the other two siblings, it was a game.
My mom says I only got spanked once. I thought it was a few more times than that, but I also believe her. I’m a natural people-pleaser, and I have a very tender conscience that God keeps in line with Him. Between those two things, I didn’t get into much mischief as a kid. I wanted to do the right thing, and I was honest to a fault.
I didn’t like how this mom dealt with her kids. She’d get down the wooden spoon, and go to work. And the kids learned absolutely nothing from any of it.
I don’t think that’s what God meant when he wrote about training up kids in the way they should go.
She was a good mom, mostly. The kids had clothes on their backs, and a good place to live, and plenty of food to eat. They had all their main needs provided for. But the rest? I just didn’t think it was what it could have been.
It was a good job though. That was one of the half-a-million-odd-jobs I had around age nineteen. Sometimes I miss having jobs like that.
I think after this year, I’m going to be done being a paraeducator. It’s very hard on my emotional health, and I believe God will provide for me elsewhere. Besides, it might be fun to work in a gardening store or a craft store for a while. Who knows?
My home church is very weird, in some ways.
In our city, there’s a place that all the young adults and adults go for swing dancing. It’s one of the “hang outs.” I didn’t ever really go much, until I started hanging with the Chehalis crowd. And later, I went with another church group (and am no longer friends with a single one of those old friends. Funny how that works).
Two church families at my home church, back in my high school years, “broke fellowship” over the whole “issue” of swing dancing at that place.
I agree that it’s not a safe place to send your daughter alone. It really isn’t (believe me, I know). But if your daughter is with a group of friends, and some guys with honor and a protective older brother mindset, she’ll be safe. And a lot depends on how “street smart” a girl is. A lot depends on that.
Personally, I’ve had a mix of experiences there. I love dancing, so that’s always fun. Dancing is my essence, and I come alive when I’m dancing, and the music is flowing through me. I feel utterly alive.
I’ve had a mix of experiences there.
One of the dancers was a Spanish fellow. Boy, was he a good dancer. I had the time of my life. But, being Latino, he liked to dance a little too close for comfort. But when I asked him to give me some space, he did. And that was good.
Another guy was a manipulator. Believe me, I know what those look like. They like to take advantage of a girl’s emotions, because us girls are naturally sympathetic, generally.
He told me all these sad things about him, and acted like he was SO self-conscious. It honestly reminded me of Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, almost down to the letter. I danced that dance with him, and then avoided his advances for the rest of the evening, and stuck close to my friend group.
My favorite dancer there was an older gentleman. He had lost his wife, and he was lonely. He was always so sweet with me. You can tell a lot about a guy by how he comes and asks you to dance. I liked talking with him, and how he danced with me. He was such a sweetheart.
Once, a girl came to the dances. I knew she liked the guy I had liked at the time (and they were coworkers). Laugh out loud! Ohmygosh, this is a hilarious story: So, I was at church, and had come up to the guy I liked because I was showing him some of my art (we were pretty good friends, at the time). Before I could get to him, this gal literally came running up to me and started talking my ear off. It made me laugh. But, sometimes, I feared that he would choose her over me.
But anyways. Back to the dancing. There were some guys there who were absolute creeps, and you could tell which ones were like this, from nearly a mile away. THESE were the ones you had to look out for, and the ones that made you thankful if you had protective older brother type of guys with you.
I danced at my cousin’s wedding. I wore a beautiful dress and felt like a fairy princess. And I loved the music and laughter and wild lights. I am much like my brother in this way–loving parties like this. I loved dancing on the dance floor. I only offered to dance with one guy (besides my dad). He was disabled, in a wheelchair, and I know how hard it is to want to be up and dancing, but not be able to. He was a teenager, and not very tall, so I figured I was strong enough to help him dance if he wanted to. The others I danced with were the little ones. Children are so precious. I see why Jesus loves them so much.
I haven’t been dancing since then. I don’t want to dance with a bunch of different guys. And I hated sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be asked to dance, or wondering if it would be kosher for me to ask a guy to dance.
I loved though, that the guys always said I was good at dancing. I really am a natural, and the perfect dancer. Sometimes, that makes up for losing my highland dancing.