When I Was Nine

I have 7 days. Again. I already fought this. Now here I am again.
[…update: Last week I was told I have 7 days. Yesterday I was told I have 15 days to get a note. (My doctor won’t write one.) Today I was told I have no days even if any doctor would write one, but that I’m to apply for a leave of absence. If you have healthy, respectable jobs that do not require a mask or covering over faces or heads, please send a message. I’m looking for a job to help provide for my family. Thank you.]

For some insanity reason… when did people not become “enough” to speak for ourselves? I am so exhausted of people telling other people that they aren’t enough. It happens every day in all kinds of ways.

If I can’t find a doctor (…or legal professional or counselor or policeman or preacher or scientist) to write a note saying I am not able to wear a mask or face shield or anything else over my face then I have 7 days and my employer said I likely won’t have a job.

I wish I knew the law to be able to write for myself.

I feel helpless all over again.

There are things that happened to me when I was younger. Because of 7 years of molestation starting when I was 9 years old and rape that happened 4 times between the ages of 15 (the year the molestation stopped, by the way) and age 23 I am not able to wear something over my face.

It sounds so clinical when I see it written in a couple sentences like that.

Almost like it wasn’t a lifetime of a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

But it’s not insignificant.

It’s my life.

Some people say that everything that happened to you in life is a result of your choices but that’s just a cover for their ignorance because they are trying to place blame and trying to feel better about something in your life that they don’t know what to do with. This harmful way of thinking just adds weight on top of already impossible, heavy situations.

I’m not as sure what to think about “stranger danger” but I’m very alert now to to classmate, boyfriend, extended family, church friends, and co-worker awareness.

Some choices are made for you.

And what you do with those circumstances is what will show what you’re made of and who you are (and also Whose you are.)

It is clear that after talking with my current doctor, although he, himself, is not wearing something over his face for his shifts at work and neither do his employees, he isn’t helping in this. But even if he was wearing something over his face for hours it’s likely he isn’t fighting the same battles if the same kinds of things that happened to me didn’t happen to him.

Even so, some similar things affect different people differently.

Why the world tries to fit us all into one tiny box doesn’t make sense. God is wise enough to have created us each in such incredibly unique ways.

People try to measure each other and compare each other and judge and decide each other’s life…

That’s not what we are supposed to be doing; comparing.

What a terrible way to spend this life; measuring people.

What even is that? It’s not from God.

My 17 year marriage has ended because of things I need to write some other time. In fact, when I look back it never started. If you don’t know about narcissistic abusive relationships – because of enduring one – then you won’t understand no matter what I say anyway. But if you have endured one (maybe more) of these, then you are not alone. There are thousands who will understand. Email me. I see you. And I will pray with you for help.

The child support ends this month and I need a job where I can focus and don’t feel absolutely terrified for having my face covered. My health insurance apparently was just turned off by my former husband on top of all the other things going on.

This looks hopeless.

I will admit…. Everywhere I turn it looks hopeless.

I’ve been at this place called hopeless before.

But our God is so big.

I know NONE of what’s going on right now is a surprise to Him.

He gives hope.

And my kids and I have seen Him provide time after time.

My heart rate and tears and shaking body from the anxiety of trying to work with my face covered are enough to make me throw up. I just cannot do it.

People don’t know what they don’t know.

Praise God that He extends grace to us to give to others even when they speak out of ignorance.

And people who find some things tougher than others ….well that doesn’t mean people (like me) are weaker in some way. In fact, if I wasn’t as tough as I am I wouldn’t have made it this far in this world.

I am constantly reminded that our prayers need to be about soft hearts and to be Warriors.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

Please would you just lift my family up in prayer right now?

I’ll wait here.

Even though my small paycheck isn’t much it’s been able to help us have a place to live. We are okay moving (and we believe we are soon) but I’ve also prayed a lot and searched a lot about apartments and houses to rent and that has only proven to cost more.

I’m constantly asking, seeking, and knocking.

I am praying to work online and in people’s lives every day to help others out of similar situations as my kids and I have known. This has already been happening and I’m praying for it on another level. We do believe are to be packing in faith to move into a trailer and on to Alaska soon.

If you build travel trailers or trucks or believe in this ministry we feel called to of offering safety to girls who need to get out of sex-trafficking and into safe places to live and new jobs and new hope, then please email me.

I have some in common with sex-trafficked survivors. So to go walk through life beside people who have been through some things seems not so far out of an idea. I know that God uses ALL things for good for those who love Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (My favorite Verse when I was a little girl – such a long time ago.)

We are praying for a new truck and travel trailer and the ferry ride to move from Washington to Alaska to build tiny homes for people to stay in for a while to be able to breathe and begin healing. Also if you pray and you feel you can help build the tiny homes, please email me. itisallaboutfaithblog@gmail.com

As silly as that may sound …. All I know is God gives dreams and visions. And God rewards faith.

Please pray for us.

Prayer is where IT’S at.

I’m weary from fighting battles that I wish with all my heart I didn’t have to fight.

I feel like I’ve been fighting the same fight for air that started when I was 9.

Or at least I became aware of this battle when I was 9.

Though it started way before that as the enemy calculated the ways to try to end my life.

EVEN SO I will still be praising my God in the middle of it all. Out loud – because He is my God.

This world is not my Home. I am just passing through.

Hey Beautiful Survivor,

If you’re still reading this, I see you.

And the things you have endured (and maybe never even said out loud) are some things that others probably wouldn’t have endured.

You are so important and if you weren’t then this life wouldn’t feel so very impossible.

The enemy is SO AFRAID of what you can become in Jesus.

You want to make this a fight of flesh and blood. But it’s not. It’s spiritual with the powers of darkness.

The enemy is AFRAID OF what YOU can truly become. -the movie King’s Faith

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

It’s a very good time to stay in prayer and fight on your knees. You are not alone.

No friend can open a door that God has closed to redirect you.

But no enemy can close a door that God opens for you.

[Author Note:

If you have anything negative to say here then go away and click the “unfriend button.”

I am needing prayers and support and empathy.

If you don’t have those to offer please go away. I’m learning that finding who is for me and who is against me is a blessing in disguise. It is okay for you to go.]

 

I’ve gotta write about this amazing customer service!

Thank you, Gigi, Jax, Ashleigh, and Nora.  Ladies, you made my Christmas extra special this year. And thank you, Erin, for telling us about this store. Thank you, Chloe, my daughter, for caring about me and being a noticer. Thank you for pushing me to go to this store (because we both know I wasn’t gonna.) You are one of my best friends (even if the world says parents and kids can’t/shouldn’t be friends. When you think about it… the world says a lotta stuff that doesn’t make much sense and makes life more difficult.)

When I receive good customer service I OFTEN write to the company or to an employer praising the great way an employee exceeded expectations. (And when I get crummy service I only occasionally write and am very careful what I say. Maybe the person was having a bad day. Everyone has bad days.)

My husband recently took me shopping at Torrid. Torrid is a women’s clothing store. They have cute jackets, tops, bottoms, shoes, jewelry, undies, bras, and even a few nighties to choose from. AND they have gift cards so you can give this wonderful gift to someone.

I visited there once before and received the same quality of service as this time.

THAT time I was just buying a bra that would fit me (because mine was squeezing me like a corset and I was barely able to breathe.) Thank you, Erin. You are my hero! (I know the correct word is “heroine” but I like the word “hero” better because it sounds cooler.) Because you took my daughter shopping with you for your birthday, she told me about Torrid and now I can breathe again. You made a difference in my life when you shared this amazing treasure of a place with my daughter.

THIS time I tried on about 50 items of clothing.

And they did not hurry me. Not even a little bit!

I just had to write about it.

From the moment I walked in I was greeted by a smiling face and she asked if I was looking for something specific. I was. For many years I haven’t found cute jeans that would fit me. She found a couple pair of jeans and then asked if she could reserve a fitting room for me. (They even wrote my name on the door.)

Every time I’d get a few more hangers over my arm, someone would ask if she could take them to my dressing room. “Yes, please.”

At one time I noticed a woman waiting with an employee near the 4 dressing rooms. 3 were occupied. My room was just holding my clothes in it (I wasn’t ready to try stuff on yet) but they were not letting anyone use my space. They prepared a place just for me! Of course, I offered the room to the customer and she accepted.

I believe every person working spoke to me and nobody rushed me. Since I’ve had kids, many days I have been rushed. That’s not fun. Somewhere in the middle of mommyhood, we realize we better sit down a while because we just really need to. As a mom and wife, I hurry to help my kids, my friends, my kids’ friends, my husband, church, school, and then don’t remember that I haven’t taken time for me to be refreshed.

This shopping visit did just that!

After I was there maybe 10 minutes, tears came to my eyes.

What’s THAT about? OHHH! I’m not being rushed, pulled on, pushed, guilted into, needed, volunteered, or anything but pampered.

PAMPERED! WOW! THIS feels GREAT! I could do this every day! (I won’t do this every day. But I will remember the feeling and take moments for me more often.)

(I LOVE being a mommy and wife. These 2 things are all I ever dreamed about being when I was younger. I absolutely love it. It’s okay to need time to re-energize and regroup. Any job requires that for someone to be able to give more again.)

The employees were all kind to each other. There was no “attitude” when they spoke to each other or to customers. There was a genuine respect in the atmosphere that many companies don’t have between employees.

THAT says A LOT by itself!

I wasn’t in a hurry. They let me keep adding clothes to the room.

When I finished looking through all the beautiful choices and was trying the clothes on, every once in a while one of the girls would ask if I needed a different size or how things were going. (They did this with everyone ~ and it was very kind.) Someone would trade out one size or color for another while I was trying on clothes.

It was like they were there to REALLY HELP me shop!

The girls were professional, fun, silly, friendly, real, polite, and would offer their opinions about an outfit.

I LOVED that!

Even if someone doesn’t like a certain style or color on me, I may still buy it because I like it but I really do appreciate their opinions about whether something looks good on me or not. (I’d always rather hear someone who cares about me or cares how I look tell me in the store if it doesn’t look so flattering than for a hundred people to think, “That looks awful on her,” after I buy it.)

It’s not a reflection of my worth or beauty if a certain style or color does or doesn’t look great. Every body is a different shape and it’s pretty cool that we have so many choices to find the most flattering patterns to fit our body shapes.

At Torrid, (I have to admit this) clothes are a little pricey for every season shopping for me, but they’re good quality and the experience, itself, was WORTH EVERY PENNY to me (and to my husband!)

After deciding on final choices (with the help of my family and 4 sweet employees,) they took the time to find if my mailer coupons or if the in-store promotions were better for me.

It was just a special experience from the beginning and it stayed that way until I went home. I listened to the way they talked with other customers. Every person was treated with respect.

Thank you, ladies, for making this Christmas (and bra shopping a few months ago) a fun and special time. Thank you for NOT rushing me. Thank you for actually caring about my day and for offering your opinions when I tried on clothes. YOU made my Christmas more special this year. I know wherever you work, you will shine and companies would be honored to employ you! Thank you, Gigi, Jax, Ashleigh, and Nora.

[Note: This is not a story about thrift stores but I have to mention how much I LOVE thrift stores. Most of my adult life I have bought my clothes and my family’s clothes (not undies or socks) from thrift stores and garage sales. It’s okay to spend money on clothes sometimes but it’s very fun to be able, when someone compliments my cute shirt, to tell people it was only $2 at a thrift store.

But I’m pretty sure I’ll be visiting Torrid again; maybe for my birthday!

Oh, and I did find some cute jeans, too!]

[Note Too: I find it degrading that some people call some women “plus” size. I believe it would be equally degrading if people called some women “negative” size. It sounds unkind either way to me. Like “You’re too much woman.” or “You’re not enough woman.” There’s a lot I wish would change about this world.

Torrid mostly “sizes” clothes in 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. And it’s a fun experience just to not see PLUS (or minus) on a sign.

We’re women and we’re ALL beautiful. Period.]

[Note Too Also: You know all those clothes we keep in our closets for 10…20…30… years kinda hoping to wear them again?

I cleaned them out.

THIS actually feels GREAT! (I’ll admit I never could bring myself to do this until now. Not really sure why that took so long. And any small step toward being healthier is better than looking a certain size.)

Try it! Say Merry Christmas to who you are NOW at the beautiful size you are NOW.

It’s actually a LOT of fun!! I never thought it would be. But it’s freeing! And once you really look at who you are and how beautiful you are NOW, no matter what size you are, it’s easier and easier as you go through the closet! I’m so excited for you! It may even turn out to be your favorite Christmas gift to yourself.]

 

Everybody is kind of broken.

Some people want you to believe that they are totally okay; that they have it all together.

They don’t.

Being broken isn’t a bad thing. God says He can use you when you’re broken.

EVERYBODY is broken in some way. God is the ONLY One who can repair the brokenness.

It would take a long time to understand why people react to stuff in life the way they do since each of us is broken in a different way.

Think about it.  If we were whole, with nothing at all ever wrong in our lives, we could always 100% of the time react in a healthy way.  But we’re just not always okay.  And so stress (even good stress) can affect our responses (even when we don’t really want it to.)

If you take time to look around you’ll see some of what it may look like in everyday life and a way you can help because you CAN help (whether you realize it or not.)

You can have a plan already in mind to be kind ~ ANYWAY.  Watch for moments because they’re sure to show themselves.

When your boss is moody – show a little more kindness and enthusiasm at work.

When your teacher is upset – turn in your assignment early if possible.

If mom is feeling overwhelmed – do a job or 2 that she didn’t even ask you to do.

If dad seems angry – take a few minutes to remind him how much you appreciate him.

When a student comes to school late or is disrupting class – use gentle, encouraging words (as she may not have heard any recently.)

If the checkout guy is slower than you’d like remember it may his first job (just like once upon a time it was your first job) – be more understanding and speak softer.

When your wife meets you with an icy look – be a little more gentle and help melt it.

When your husband grumbles – make him a snack and remind him of a specific thing you admire about him.

If your employee is having an off day – tell him you’re glad he’s there and he’s valuable (which may be perfect words to lift his energy.)

Even though God is the only One who can do the repairs, WE can STILL be people who help (INSTEAD of rolling eyes, stomping off, making a smartalecky comment, or all the other ways that are NOT helpful…)

Just because someone’s outsides look okay doesn’t mean the insides are okay.

If we’d quit trying to hide all the broken pieces, we’d begin to heal a lot quicker.  Jesus is The Answer. And everybody needs more kindness and love.