The One Where I Figure It Out

I was never meant to be a long term missionary, not in the traditional sense, packing everything up in my casket, sailing for faraway shores, leaving all I love behind. Oh, it sounded romantic and dreamy. It sounded like something I really wanted to be. But it was never in my DNA. It wasn’t part of God’s plan for me.

How did I finally figure it out?

It’s been a process. The biggest problem for me has been this deep seeded need to meet the expectations of others, always trying to make others like me.

After almost 10 years in relationship with the Lord, I’ve finally chosen to be me, the me he knew before I was born. I’ve decided to accept I am who I am, to stop trying to be who others want me to be, to make others like me as if something is wrong with me. To fit the mold of cookie cutter people that exists in our culture, even United States Christianity.

All this to say, I am another, less acknowledged by the church, type of long term missionary. I am itinerant. I like to roam, wander, travel, move, all over the place. I am like the apostle Paul in my missionary adventures. Because you see, I love making Christ known wherever I am, wherever I go.

As I plan my next adventure to Arizona, I am praying for and dreaming of all the people the Lord will put in my path who need to be encouraged in their faith, who have never met Jesus and I can introduce them to him, who I can help to fall in love with our Savior.

So you see, I am a long term missionary. My mission is to make much of Christ, to make him known, to glorify him, to shout his nameE from rooftops. He is the reason I live!

Happy Wednesday!

Thankful to join 3DLessons4Life#TellHisStory, Three Word WednesdayTuesday at Ten, Coffee For Your Heart

Weighing in on ‘Grey’ Matters

50 Shades of Grey. Everyone is talking about it. I won’t read it. I won’t watch it.

I don’t even normally comment about these things. What’s my one opinion in a sea of opinions worth anyway?

But this matters to me. I am so against this. I would implore you to stay away from this with all my heart. Why?

Let me tell you a personal story. It’s not pretty. Brace yourself.

When I was 12 years old, I found my dad’s porn stash. Oh, it included all the usual suspects — Playboy, Penthouse. But it also included the seedier, more heinous suspects — Hustler, BDSM rags, x-rated novels. I’m sure he thought he hid them well, like a man hides a gun in a shoe box on the top shelf of a closet. But children are curious little creatures, wanting to pull these weapons of destruction from their hiding spots, to examine them closely, not realizing they’re holding a deadly weapon in their hands.

Now, now Michelle. Should you really be lumping porn in with firearms?

Um, yeah!

Finding that porn stash changed my life almost irrevocably. I was completely fascinated with the twisted ways of the sex acts I was reading about. Those stories awakened a darkness in me I didn’t understand or know how to control. They led me down a path of fantasies I longed to fulfill which led to an extremely, sexually abusive marriage that ended in divorce.

But it didn’t stop there. After the marriage ended, I hopped from bed to bed to bed, addicted to the weird and depraved, never understanding what a truly loving relationship was. Like the old film Looking for Mr Goodbar, I was searching for true love in all the wrong places when I wouldn’t know true love if it walked up to me and screamed “here I am!”

My last relationship ended in 2003, after I obsessively tried to hold onto it for 2 years because I was terrified to let it go. But it was never good. It was empty, meaningless sex. I called him my ‘sex friend.’ We were ‘friends with benefits.’ But who it was benefiting was him, not me.

None of the relationships I’ve had have ever benefited me, save One. I have been celibate these last 12 years now, stayed far away from the opposite sex, the thought of intimacy with a man chills me to the bone because I’ve only ever been hurt by them.

So I beg you, I plead with you, stay away from 50 Shades of Grey. Keep your children away from it. Guard your hearts dear ones. It’s time to stand against the enemy.

I still live with the struggle and temptation of the lewd and lascivious, lust vs love issue. I share this story with you because if my story would help even one person avoid this disastrous trap, then it is worth sharing.I share this story with you because if you have suffered like I have, I want you to know you are not alone. And I share this story to praise God for saving me from this self destruction. The battles may continue, but I know my Redeemer lives! I know He loves me with an everlasting love. He loves me the way I always hoped a man would love me, only better! For this I am deeply thankful.

Sharing with 3DLessons4Life, #TellHisStory

the slow spiral down

*I wanted to tell you, I’m not writing these stories to accuse, to judge, to belittle, or berate. I’m writing to discover, to purge, to be healed from the past that has followed me for far too long. I’m writing because the Lord says it’s time. Time to go deeper, to discover who I am, who He created me to be, His purpose, His plan.*

When did hope, optimism, faith of childhood leave? When did all of it get replaced with fear, pessimism, worry, shattered faith?

It trickled away slowly at first.

Transitioning from being held closely as a very small child to being a “big” girl who takes herself to bed without so much as a hug or peck on the cheek began as early as 8 years old.

Discovering there is no tooth fairy or Santa or Easter bunny around the same time, they’re all made up inventions of people searching for more, led me to wonder if perhaps God and Jesus were just made up too?

At 12, realizing the world is not safe. Cold wars threatened bombs dropping that would end life. Closer still, girls in junior high threatening to beat me up just because they didn’t like the way my face looked and the time a man tried to abduct me in an alley just a half block from home brought no concern, no sympathy, no compassion, no justice from my house.

I am a very sensitive creature, too sensitive for my parents. Neither parent was available for me. One was always working or playing with his friends. Sure he was nice when he was home, but he was hardly ever home. The other parent emotionally distant, home but not home.
Sure she kept a clean, tidy house, made great meals, did all the tasks a mom should do, but unavailable for the hard things.

They could only do happy. They never knew how to do sensitive. Therefore they never embraced me for who I was. They wanted me to be someone else, happy go lucky, fun, smiling, outgoing. I was/am mostly the opposite of that person.

I heard things like:
You have no sense of humor.
You can’t take a joke.
Stop crying.
You have to be tougher.
You’re too sensitive.
Pissy Missy.
You’re such a baby.

Shamed for who I was when I didn’t meet their expectations.

By 14, I started to pull away from them, stopped sharing my life with them, figured they didn’t care so why should I tell them about my life anymore?

To protect myself from the bullies I started smoking cigarettes, figured they would see me as tough like them and leave me alone. It worked.

At 15 I smoked my first joint. I started drinking too. I began the search for belonging. I found a group that year that took me in. I was in the marching band. I was really happy in that group. Tenth grade was a magical, happy year for me. Smoking with new friends in what we affectionately called “cancer court,” hanging out together after school, parties, group activities.

But everything took a dramatic turn for the worse the following year. One short year later, the heart attack, the retreat of friendship, the paradigm shift.

His… Michelle

Linking with Jennifer for #tellhisstory.