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You’ve got questions…..I’ve got answers?

May 25, 2012

So girls, as we wrap up this month and are fast approaching the next, I thought of instead of looking into myself for what to write about, I’d ask all of you. For that reason, I am now declaring June to be the “You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers?” Month. This is where you can ask me questions and I’ll do my best to answer. Whether it is something as silly as what it is like being married to an Asian rock star, or as serious as how I feel about how God can allow suffering in the world- I’m your gal. Now let me tell you now that I won’t always have “the answers” but if I did, than this blog would be a little pointless. So feel free to write your questions in the comments section or email them to me under the What Do You Think page if you’d feel more comfortable that way. I’ll take the top eight (for now) and go from there. Looking forward to this new month with you all!

 

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  • Cece May 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

    First off, I just want to say how much I love Tenth Avenue North, it was your sweet husband that referred me to you through their website.
    Moving on… I guess one of my many questions is how do I sastisfy spiritual hunger? I’ve tried so hard for so many years, and I’ve come so far. I’m very active in church, I serve every chance I get, I’m even lucky enough to be playing keyboard in my Youth service. I read the Bible often, have lengthy quiet time with the Lord, and am going on a mission trip to Guatemala this summer. But while all this is great and really helps me feel close to God, there is still something missing. Some days it seems like no matter what I do, it’s not enough and I can’t satisfy that hunger deep inside me. I have the feeling that the main reason I do most of this stuff is because I’m a people-pleaser, but I hope that isn’t true. I’d like to know what your thoughts are on this.
    Thanks so much for you and your blog! It’s been a huge blessing to me!!

    • AC May 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Hello Cece :) I once felt that very same thing, and I believe there is a solution: Acts 2:38 (and verses 1-4). If you have any more questions, feel free to email me: washedaway47@yahoo.com. I’d love to talk with you more about it if you’re interested… I’m going on a missions trip this summer as well πŸ˜€

  • Sophia Haus May 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

    How fun is it being a mommy?

  • Summer May 25, 2012 at 10:08 am

    How did you come to find that Jeff was “the one” for you? Other than prayer I mean πŸ˜‰ Was there ever that doubting thought whether God was really leading you to him or not?

  • Shelby May 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    How to be the best daughter-in-law and how to deal with an monster-in-law??

  • aimee May 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    i am a young christian, as in i have always been a christian but have just recently started to understand what it means to trust in the lord and have faith…and i was wondering why do you believe in God? how do you trust him, even when the going gets tough?

    • Mayli K June 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Hi!
      I’m not the website owner, but if it’s alright with you, i’d like to share a little something :)
      I’m also a young Christian, and grew up in church and accepted Jesus into my heart when I was very young. It took me a long while to understand what it means to trust in the Lord also and have faith. I believe in God because of how He brought me to His feet:
      Starting in 7th/8th grade , I was struggling with a lot of emotions and problems that soon got out of hand. I didn’t tell anyone, and felt miserable, which effected my relationship with my parents. I looked at things in my past with an incredible amount of negativity and the overall effect was tremendous unhappiness, anger and depression. I am and was back then, not the girl who dyes her hair black, pierces her nose and swears right and left. I was the typical church girl, a little shy, polite and seemed to have a strong grip on my life. But I didn’t have a strong grip at all. One night, i was in my room and thinking about what it would be like to end my life. And I was tempted to. I don’t think I was at a suicidal point, but thinking about it was a bad sign. I was worn out from running around trying to heal myself, trying to come out of this, but couldn’t. For some reason (now I know that this was God), something told me to open my devotional. I read one passage from the Scripture and, I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew that God was with me, He was real, and He could get me out of this. It was like a life preserver being thrown out to me while I was drowning. I told hold of it and haven’t let go since. God has spoken to me in ways I’ve never even imagined, and truly has changed me. A year or so later, I hit another rough patch because my mom and dad’s relationship was getting rocky, and I was laying in bed asking God how love could exist when I had seen it fail. Instantly, I felt something hit me that took my breath away. It was His love, and I knew that He was the definition of love and everything would be okay.
      Even though I have been truly changed and recreated and experienced God in many ways, that does not mean that I don’t go through phases when my faith is weak and I don’t know how to trust Him. My advice to you is to throw every little single living piece of you into Jesus. Read His word even if you don’t understand, keep praying because we serve an omnipresent God (omnipresent=He is everywhere…we have all of God, all the time) and He says that if we “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7…so if you seek God, you will find Him no matter what! Also surrounding yourself with Christian role models and friends can help encourage you in times of struggles. Remember that God is on Your side, He loves you and a strong relationship with Him is worth more than anything imaginable!

      Sorry this was long girly….I’m praying for you!

  • mariex44 May 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    okay, so…my boy friend and i have been doing things that we should wait for marriage to do. we aren’t having sex but i know its still wrong. i want to stop because i know its against God’s will but i just don’t know how to handle it. any advice?

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      I think you should just tell him that u like to be respected and well that ur seeking God’s face and just tell him how you feel about the situation. If he really loves you he would understand have faith that everything will turn out for the best! God bless you.

    • Stephanie May 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Hello- my best piece of advice is to avoid situations in which things can easily happen. When you are alone together, go for a walk instead of staying indoors or find some other friends to hang out with as well. Remind yourself constantly of how much more special it will be in the future when it’s God’s timing. Finally, pray for the strength to stand by your decision. Fill your spare time with reading about God’s great love, listening to encouraging music, and talking to friends who share your values. I hope this helps a little bit!

    • Mayli K June 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Remember that even though you might love your boyfriend and he might love you but NOTHING compares to the love God has for you, so you need to put Him first, no matter what the cost is. Remember that God will give you the answers (just ask!) and the courage to do what He calls you to do. This life is like half a blink in the span of eternity, and so preserving your everlasting relationship with Jesus is more important than doing things that might be nice at the time, but are against God’s rules for us. Talk to your boyfriend, and talk in confidence that God is number one and He is by your side!

  • Allie May 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I was having a conversation at school with my classmates. The conversation soon turned to the topic of sexual orientation. He asked me what I though about gay people. I told him what I always say “I don’t agree with their decision, but respect them.” He later went on to ask me “What if your future son turned out to be gay?” I had no answer for that. I strongly believe that marriage is between a man and a women. I felt lost after he asked me that question. Any advice? Thank you & God Bless!

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      You should have told him that you would talk to your son about the word of God and that it’s against the laws . Besides if you instruct them in the faith while they are young when they grow up they shouldn’t depart. It would be hard but we should always leave it in God’s hands and pray . I don’t know if I completely answered your question but hope it helped . Lord bless you always!

      • Molly May 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        My mom would probably relate to that situation very well. I’m gay and I spent about 8 months in a relationship with a girl before I decided that what I was doing was wrong. My mom’s not the most religious ever but she did tell me that it went against God’s decision before me and my ex were ever serious. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t listen to her wisdom and dated her anyways. In my opinion we have to make decisions for ourselves, and sometimes it will take an 8 month relatioship to realize you aren’t okay with acting on homosexual impulses. A while after I went to confession and confessed for my actions with her, and I promised myself and God that I would no longer pursue girls. I have to say, my relationship with God has never been better. It still certainly isn’t perfect, but that decision made me much closer to Him and I’ve now realized that’s all that matters. If you did have a kid that ended up being gay, I do think you could hand him a bible and show him that marriage is a gift given from God for man and woman, but that wouldn’t necessarily make him think it was worth giving up human love. That certainly doesn’t make him a bad kid, either, by any means. We are all sinners. If your kid is gay, you should love him just as much, and support him in his decision to follow the Lord. With the love of God, we do not need any other love from this earth.

  • nixinator May 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    how can I make God seem more real, 24/7 and not only when i’m intensely focused in prayer

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Seek His face and have faith :)

    • Mayli K June 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      To make God seem “real” you need to know who God is. The Bible is the place for that! Read, continue on in prayer and always seek His face and He will do amazing work in you! Everyone, including me, struggles with this, but He promises that He is always with us and loves us deeply.

  • Sabrina May 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    First off, I just want to say that it was ur sweet husband that referred me to this! I have been struggling with being the only Christian in my family! I have tried to get my family to go to church with me but it just hasn’t worked… I want to know how I can them to come with me to church and help them accept the one and only amazing God? I also want to know how I can witness to my friends who are lost and don’t know where they stand when it becomes there time to go! I thank you so much for this blog! It’s been a huge blessing to me! Thanks again for you and ur blog!:)

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      God bless you I am very glad that ur still going to church although it may be hard for you. I know how it feels to not have family that aren’t saved yet and don’t like to go to church but all I can pretty much say is
      Pray and trust in God and be patient because everything is done at His time! My grandpa was really hard to bring him to church but my grandmas prayers rip and ours finally came through and I am so great full to God because of this ! Hope ur prayers get answered and the Lord will help ur family out Just have faith ! God bless :)

  • Jessika May 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    How do you deal with fear and anxiety, I struggle with anxiety alot, I have an extremely hard time talking to people, being in groups (even just a group of 2 other people), and being real with people, I don’t want to disappoint them when they find out that I’m not always happy, and the smile on my face isn’t always real.. but I’ve done it for so long that I don’t know how to stop. Does that make sense?

    • Jessika May 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      I read my bible and try to pray but i don’t feel any different afterwards- I am still anxious and fearful even though I pray not to be.. Am I doing something wrong? Could someone please help me?

      • Cece May 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        I understand where you are right now. It’s not a fun place, either.
        But you’re not doing anything wrong… God makes us all different, some people are comfortable with large crowds, some people aren’t. I hope you know that there’s not anything wrong with you, because there really isn’t.
        To be honest, I don’t think I was ever as scared of people as you are, but I tended to be shy, and I still am sometimes. One of the main reasons, was that I was afraid that people wouldn’t accept me, which is probably what you’re dealing with too. But once you realize that it doesn’t matter what people think, or say, or do, and all that does matter is that we have a merciful God who loves with an unconditional love, then you start to feel okay around people. And it’s not like you have to be happy all the time, because that would be crazy. For me, I can do just fine by myself. But the truth is, I need people sometimes, or at least someone I can talk to. I have quite a few mentors in my life that I can spill my heart to, which has helped me greatly. I really hope you have someone like that in your life, because even the most introverted person needs people, that’s how God designed us. By the way, prayer has helped me lot, as well. And not even a long prayer, but a short cry for help will work for God. Did you know that the Holy Spirit prays for us? That’s part of his job. Sorry, getting off track…
        So my advice to you would be to continue having quiet time everyday and find someone who can be a mentor to you, the best choice would be a strong, Christian woman.
        Even though I’ve never met you in person, I want you to know that you’re my sister in Christ and I’m here to serve you in any way I can. :)

      • Jessika May 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        Hi,
        Thanks so much for replying…
        It’s not so much that I am afraid of people, I don’t feel afraid of the people themselves, but I definitely feel scared of what they will think of me. And wow, i hope this all makes sense.. but anyway it’s kind of a habit for me to have a huge smile on my face- even when things aren’t going that good, and when anyone asks me how I’m doing, my automatic response is “Good! How are you?” and they don’t go any deeper than that they just accept it and that’s that. Not that I think they should try to dig and find out if anything’s wrong- but they don’t so I leave, cause it’s not like I’m gonna go back to them and be like “Oh yeah, actually this and this is wrong, and blah blah blah” cause who wants that, so I just keep up the act. Not that things are horrible- cause they’re not- they are just not always as good as I make them seem.
        I do have people that I can talk to, but they are fairly new friends, so I haven’t let myself be completely real with them yet, but maybe soon :)
        Anyway, thanks for “listening”! i appreciate it lots!

    • Mayli K June 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      God has His own timing. As long as you continue to walk with Him no matter what, He WILL do amazing work in you girly! Watch this video, it might be useful:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mZL2tAWcGj8

      • Jessika June 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        I have watched that video- it is amazing :) I’ve tried writing down my fears and the lies that caused them, but what do I do next?

  • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Hello God bless you,
    I don’t really do posts like this but I thought I might give it a try it might just help me out. Ok well how do you stay as a strong Christian if
    Problems keep coming ur way.? If your family isn’t there for you when you want them to be and instead they talk behind your back.. It really
    Hurts me to know that they would do this and well I tried to apologize to them just incase I offended them but it’s still just doesn’t seem to work. I trust in God that everything will be just fine but it’s hard. I’m a youth trying to keep on my faith and don’t want to lose it. I just feel like hardly nobody is ever here when I need the help and well I know I need to pray but sometimes I even lack prayer and I know it isn’t good. I guess I just want Jesus to let me know everything will turn out to be ok . Please pray for me . God bless ! I really hope you can reply it would be highly appreciated :)

    • Rachel May 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Ash!
      I never thought I’d live to say this, but I’m glad that I went through exactly what you’re going through. Your posting your question here was a blessing to me personally, and I thank you for your courage!
      How to stay strong as a Christian when troubles come your way? Remember that God is with you–if you want to know what He is like when He has you near him, read Hosea. You may not be a misbehaving, ugly-with-sin creature like Gomer was, but God still wants to take you aside and whisper what you mean to Him where only the two of you can be. He loves you like a Husband and a Brother, not just like a Father. He helped me to be strong when I listened to Him; not just in prayer where I talked to Him, but in the calm silence after reading the Bible. He will protect you, He is a strong tower to defend you.
      How to be strong if your family doesn’t support you? Find out if what you are doing is against your parents’ wishes; if you are still living with them, you need to obey them in what they are telling you, no matter how stupid you think it is, or how unfair they are being. God commands it, but gives a promise that it will be well with you, and that you will have a long life. It’s good that you apologize when you’ve done something wrong, but that is where your responsibility to the wronged person ends–you are commanded to apologize, not to wait and be punished for your wrongdoing before you are forgiven. If you are never forgiven for what you do, know that you have done what you could, and cannot change another person’s heart. Rely on God for forgiveness when people will not forgive.
      You don’t want to lose your faith? That is great, sister! Hold on tight to the truth. Don’t lose it. It is more than difficult to live without supportive family, but you can do it. It is possible–I am the only practicing Christian in my family. Don’t just look to God; stare at Him, demand to be with Him. He wants your company badly enough to sacrifice His life for you, my beautiful sister!
      As for nobody being there, I understand completely. You need to find ways to be involved with people one way or another, either through Facebook (if you are allowed), through e-mail, or through this site even. Stay in contact with people. When satan is getting you down, or you are down about yourself, find someone who will tell you the truth: You are a Child of God, a Daughter of the King of Kings, Who saw fit to create you just the way you are, and Who wants nothing better than to hear your voice, see your smile, and share your life with you. He paid a price that we can never hope to match, just so He can have you when He returns (or you meet Him through death).
      My sister, keep going strong. God knows what He is doing, and will be beside you through all that satan and the world will throw at you. Use the lessons you learn from your life to help others; give God glory for it throughout, because He knows you’re strong enough to handle it with His help.

  • Stephanie May 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    As Christians, we often hear of the importance of forgiving the people that have hurt us in our lives (Mark 11:26). Jesus was the perfect model of true forgiveness in his forgiving all of the sins of the world on the cross that chilly April day, and we are called every day to live by Jesus’ example.
    My question is, what about when someone refuses to forgive you? I have been in such a situation for about a year now, my particular someone refusing even to talk with me or acknowledge my existence. Living with the guilt of being unforgiven is very difficult, and it’s something that we do not hear about nearly as often as our responsibility TO forgive. Yes, it is very comforting that I am ultimately forgiven by God, but I still struggle with the this-world aspect of the situation, as not everyone shares my values of forgiveness and desires to be like Christ. I have found some help in Romans 12:14-21, a passage that delineates specific instructions for dealing with unforgiveness- we are told to bless those who persecute us and to leave vengeance to God. In my situation, I have taken this passage to mean that I need to pray for this person- pray that God will bless him and satisfy his needs. I have accepted that there is no longer anything I can do apart from praying. But I still yearn to talk to him just once more, to defend my actions, to ask him what I could have done or could now do to change the way he thinks of me. Perhaps what I struggle with the most is the guilt of having hurt my friend to the extent that they refuse me forgiveness, and having falsely represented what it means to be a Christian in the process with no chance to redeem my words and actions. Have you been in a similar situation? Is there hope for a change? What was helpful to you?

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Stephanie thank you for everything may The Lord bless you always and just know that the person that refuses to forgive you will eventually forgive you but not in ur time, in God’s time I know its hard because I’m going through the same thing but it’s encouraging to know that I’m alone let’s put out full trust in the Lord and know that He understands our situation and He will help us through it .

  • Amber May 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you for your openness. I have been struggling for two months now with depression. My husband and I have been married a year and five months, we lost our first child in a miscarriage two months ago. I tried to trust God, I am a Worship Pastor at my fathers church, I know that everything happens in God’s time, I understand that God has the perfect will for my life, but I don’t understand why we had to lose our first baby.
    For weeks I tried to move on, believed that God would heal that wound in my heart for the baby we never got to hold in our arms, now I find myself drowning in this ocean of loss and depression. I feel like I am letting God down in my walk with him, because of my lack of joy that I should find in him. I feel guilty because my heart has changed, I am angry, sad, afraid to try again in fear of losing another child, I am everything I not suppose to be.
    It has weighed on my marriage, my husband and I are distant, I feel it’s my fault because I am never happy, I have lost so much of myself. I look in the mirror and I don’t know this woman.
    How can I move on when I don’t feel worthy? When I have no joy? When I fear? How can I press on through these tears? How can I find myself again? The girl that dreamed, that believed, the girl that always saw the good in life. How can I get her back?

    • Ash May 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you ur words really helped me and I will read the scriptures. Its nice to share our feelings and just let it out and know that someone is willing to help us out. And about ur baby in sorry to hear about that I know it must be really hard for you and ur husband. My aunt and uncle lost their only son and it wasn’t easy for them. But I thank God that he was there to comfort them through those hard times . I would say you have a talk with God and just tell him how you feel with humbleness. I’m sure He would help a lot trust in Him seek Him more then you have ever before and know that ur baby is in a better place and won’t suffer in this cruel wicked world. Talk to ur husband apologize to him by the way u have been acting lately but before you do pray to God that He can give you the words I’ll be praying as well that everything will turn out to be ok . What God has put together no man or obstacle Cannot tare apart God bless you .

  • Brooke May 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    So I have been struggling with self-injury. I’ve been cutting myself for a couple months now and I’m finding it so hard to quit. I am a strong believer in God and I know this is wrong and it’s not what He wants for me but it’s the only way I know how to cope with how I’m feeling. I want to quit so bad but I find myself cutting again almost every night. I turn to God about it a lot but sometimes I think God just isn’t helping me and maybe forgot about me but I know in my heart that’s not true. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do? I’m at a loss and I’m so desperate to get over this.

    • april May 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Brook, I cant say i know what you are going through but I had some experience with cutting myself just one time. And I realized I only did it because I was crying out for help, for attention, and for the love I didnt feel I had in my life. I cryed out to the Lord while I was doing it because I didnt feel Him near me. I cried so hard that I literally felt him reaching down and filling my body with His presence. All I can tell you to do is cry out to the Lord and do it with a contrite heart. Ask Him to come into your body and deliver you from the demons that are encouraging you to do this to yourself. God said that your body is His temple and not to take anything in it or do anything to it that will harm it and keep it from the inpurities. You are a woman and when He made you He made you strong. You can do all things throuhg christ who streangthens you. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Anna May 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

      I’ve self-injured for years, and I’ve cut since January 2011. I stopped for 10 months, had an extremely bad day, and I fell right back into it. Cutting is an addiction…your body releases endorphins when you cut and it helps you feel good if only for a moment.

      I would love to tell you that it is as easy as getting rid of whatever you use to cut, but it’s not. You need to find out what it is actually the root of this, otherwise, the day will come when your other coping mechanisms fail, and you end up like me. For myself, I’m about to embark on therapy to hopefully be on a longer and lasting road to recovery, and I’m terrified. I know that therapy can be terrifying especially if you are younger and rely on your parents for health insurance. If this is the case, your parents may not be understanding, but I strongly encourage you to let them know as much as you are comfortable with telling them.

      And in the meanwhile, although this won’t help get to the root of the problem, I’d encourage you to explore other ways to get emotions out. For me, this has been coloring (in coloring books!), playing guitar, singing along to songs that express an emotion that I want to get out, listening to music (I have a playlist on my iPod specifically called DON’T), and even sleep. Sometimes, it helps. And finally, if you have any friends that you really trust, let them know what you are struggling with. I have about 6 friends who know about my cutting, and while all were supportive at first, only 3 of them are still. But they care deeply, and in the moments where you cannot be alone because you will cut but you really don’t want to cut, you can call those friends.

      It will get better. It may not at first, and it may not last the first time around, but it will get better. I’ll be praying for you. <3

    • Iamanobody May 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I had struggled with self harm because I live in pretty bad home life…and I struggles with a negative mindset and I still do to be honest but i guess what got me to give up self harm is hearing the voice of truth from god and I can’t wait to celebrate my anniversary! Just kn

      • Iamanobody May 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

        The question is this how can you turn negative mindset into positive mindset even though you are struggling with other stuff?

  • scatteredthoughtsintherain May 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    When I’m praying, I feel like it never hear God. Everyone always tells me I should wait till I hear it, but ive wanted for a long time and I have never Heard it. It’s making me really frustrated. What should I do when I pray, so i hear him?

    • lisa kova (@evelynkova) June 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      You hear God by reading His Word. That’s His main way of speaking to us. God can speak to us by giving us a thought, reminding us of scripture, etc. I don’t think it’s always a “voice”.
      Couple years ago i was really worried about persecution. What if i wouldn’t have the courage to stand firm? I was watching a video about christian persecution going on in a different country and was writing in my journal. That’s when i heard God tell me not to worry about it. Not to worry about having the fear of ”what if i dont stand”. The fact i was worried about not standing firm, showed that i want to be firm! I wasn’t expecting God to speak to me. But He did. I’ve heard people say, “you have to be quiet if you want God to speak to you.” I wasn’t quiet. Yet in the mist of my turmoil, God spoke.
      Another time He spoke to me was by reminding me of His Word. I was in the bathroom and i was thinking, “Does God ever get tired of me?” I know sometimes i get tired of people. But as i was thinking, the Holy Spirit brought back the scripture that says God is a jealous God. He always wants us.
      Hope this helps, and continue to be still. God is a rewarded of those who diligently seek Him! Try mediating on His Word when you sit quietly before Him. :)

  • Mary May 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    You are where you are because of such a time. Thank you for your obedience to follow Gods plan for your life. There are so many people right next to us that do not see the way out of their terrible mess, please don’t assume dear friends that just because everything looks so perfect on the outside that they aren’t pleading on the inside for help. May the Holy Spirit direct you as you seek Him!

  • Maneesha Darrow May 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Well i’m younger…15 and well there is a ex-friend of mine that I have given many chances to be friends with me again….but that’s not the story. The last time she was friends with me was when her boyfriend asked me to Sex-txt him. I said NO WAY ARE YOU CRAZY?!? WHAT WOULD YOUR GIRLFRIEND THINK ABOUT IT?!?! He just laughed….then I figured out the she was there with him that night and well….i feel verbaly raped in a way and hurt….but that happened months ago. I know by now I should be over it but I’m not….and I don’t (as much as I don’t like her) want to see her marry him….but she is….How do I let go of what they said to me? I’ve tried and tried….but it wont leave….

    • Emily May 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Maneesha,
      I haven’t been through exactly what you have, so I don’t know everything that you are feeling. But from what you wrote it sounds like you need some Spirit-enabled forgiveness! Being hurt by your friend and her boyfriend are painful things. I’m sorry that happened to you. I’ve learned over the years that the best way to forgive someone is to pray for them. Not forgiving someone only gives the enemy a foothold to grow some bitterness inside you. I’m speaking from first-hand experience on that little tid-bit. Something else I would encourage you to remember is that forgiveness is a process. We are not God. We can’t just let something go and completely forgive it in an instant like God can. Another bit of advice I would share would be to allow yourself time to be angry. God knows the pain your in. He sees it. Don’t give up hope. God is powerful enough to heal you from this. Go to Him. Ask Him to help you give it to Him. He is perfectly capable. I am praying for you!

      • Emily May 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

        Hey Maneesha,

        That sounds super hurtful what happened to you! My name’s Em and I’m 19 years old. I hope you will trust that you aren’t alone in your struggles. During high school, one of my ex-boyfriends insisted on touching me against my wishes in a way that was disrespectful, and it took me a long time to recover from that violation. I think I might still be recovering a bit. But it’s funny now how I don’t feel the emotions of hurt, sadness, anger, helplessness and worthlessness as sharply as I did before. I think a lot of healing happened through the passing of time, but it also took a few of my own steps/choices to embrace this kind of peace.

        First of all, I removed myself from the relationship. (I broke up with him, stopped hanging out with him, and ended phone/online contact with him in a brief, firm, and polite manner.) It was tough to do, but it helped to keep in mind that our relationship was unhealthy and not helping either of us. Also, simply setting limits on the extent of the relationship (i.e. staying ‘just-friends’) was not something I was strong enough or mature enough to do. I think it’s a pretty sweet step toward our own maturity to recognize our own weaknesses and be able to let go of unhealthy relationships that keep us down.

        Secondly, I processed my feelings of extreme pain, hurt, and inadequacy with a trusted people (especially trusted older people) in my life.

        (For me, it was asking patience from a counselor and a close, Christian friend who showered the loving acceptance and truth of Jesus on me. These people were trustworthy to me because they did not tell my secrets to others and they didn’t call me names or put me down for what happened. They didn’t throw religious, holier-than-thou nonsense at me, either. They just sat with me, were sad with me, cried with me, hugged me, and listened. If they didn’t understand that this was what I needed, I let them know by saying, “I know you, as my friend, want to help me through this. What I need most right now is a listening ear/a hug/to hear that I am loved/to hear that I am valued/to hear that I am beautiful/ to hear that I am precious/to hear that you still accept me/to hear that someone wants me for who I really am inside.)

        Lastly, I wrote out what my ex-boyfriend did to me and all the feelings I felt because of it. I read it out loud to Jesus. Then I said to Jesus that I forgive him for doing those things and for how it made me feel. Then I ripped up the note and threw it in the trash. :) It was pretty awesome!

        Now it’s kind of funny how I don’t ever think about him anymore. We aren’t in contact as ‘just-friends’ because he hasn’t chosen to repent or change his hurtful ways of living. (Maybe if he does change his ways, we could be friendly acquaintances again. But that’s not something I predict happening in the near future, and I have Jesus’ peace about that because, ultimately, that decision is up to him and Jesus– not me.) The BIG difference is that, through my choice to forgive him, I was set free from what this guy did. :)

        I still struggle with problems and have challenges to overcome, some of which are due to my past relationships with guys. But it’s kinda cool how I don’t have to face them alone– I got Jesus, and Jesus got me, and Jesus is da King of kings. :) Yeah.

        Anyways, I hope my story was interesting to you and hopefully helped you in some way, if only to let you know that you aren’t alone. πŸ˜‰ I wish you the best, beautiful and beloved Maneesha. You’re the daughter of the King!

  • J May 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    What has God spoken to your heart about body image?

  • Raquel May 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    God bless your ministry!

    I was born to a Christian family in the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic; and I have been blessed to have the opportunity to study abroad in the United States for college in Florida. As a teenager I grew very close to God and been able to serve Him and worship Him in the Bible School ministry and in the Dance team for a couple years at church; evangelizing at school and interceding for others in prayer. Since I moved to college in the United States I’ve struggled to maintain the same relationship with God and often feel unworthy to even stand before His presence in prayer. I’ll start my Junior year this Fall and I know for a fact God has been displaced from my first priority. I don’t go to church regularly anymore or read the Bible and pray less and less as time goes by. I do not want to keep walking this way anymore but I struggle to accept His grace and persevere in His path since I get caught up in the idea I don’t deserve God anymore… as if I ever did.

    My kind regards,
    A.Wondering.Sheep.of.His.Flock

    • Emily May 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Raquel!

      Thank you for sharing. My name is Emily and I am Chinese-American. My parents immigrated to the States in their 20s, so I was born and raised in the U.S. At the moment I am attending a liberal arts Christian college.

      Like you, I also struggle with many self-condemning feelings and thoughts. (Sometimes I’ll notice that in my thoughts that I’m even berating myself for thinking bad things about myself– that’s condemning myself for condemning myself! Hahaha. Kind of silly, eh?) So I hope you will be encouraged to know that you are not alone in your challenges and that He is helping us to overcome these challenges together.

      Two pastors I have found helpful and healing to listen to with regards to my self-condemning thoughts/emotions are Tullian Tchividjian and Joseph Prince. It might interest you to know that Pastor Tullian is actually the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church… in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. πŸ˜‰ If you like, you can look them up online– they have many blogs and webcasts posted.

      It has also helped me to surround myself with people who love me for who I am, not what I do. For me, this includes friends, elders, and a counselor from church– people who understand that Christian community is not condemning or demanding good works from others, but a healthy mixture of both truth and steady love over an extended period of time.

      There have been times that I have not been able to be surrounded by these encouraging believers or have chosen to isolate myself from them because of my pride in my own self-sufficiency. This happened in my early high school years and my freshman year of college. If this is the case, I have found that I need to pray for, wait for, trust God will provide me, look for, and actively go after these healthy, life-giving relationships again. Along with beginning healthy relationships, I also need to either end or put a limit on unhealthy ones that are filled with unacceptance and condemnation of me (because, ultimately, these relationships cannot help me or my friend grow).

      Lastly, I hope to encourage you myself with something that I need to tell myself every day: You are not a sinner; you are a saint! Made so by the loving acceptance of Christ poured out all over you. As my church counselor told me: just as there is nowhere you can go to avoid His presence, there is nothing you can do to escape His love. (See Psalm 139:7-16.)

      • Emily May 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm

        An afterthought for you, Raquel:

        Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being. (Hebrews 1:3) Therefore…

        While you are not praying for God, He is praying for you. (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34)

        While you do things that lead to death, He cleanses your conscience so you can rest in His peaceful grace thankfully, and if you choose to serve you will serve freely and not guiltily or under compulsion. (Hebrews 9:14, Galatians 5:1, John 14:27, Colossians 3:15, John 16:33, John 20:19, 2 Corinthians 9:7)

        While you are not thinking about God, He is thinking about you. (Psalm 139:17-18)

        While you are not loving God, He is loving you. In fact, He cannot NOT love you because He IS love. (1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:19)

        While you are not rejoicing in God, He is rejoicing over you. (Zephaniah 3:17, Isaiah 62:5)

        While you are not doing good works for Him, He is doing good works for you. (Joel 2:21, Joel 2:26, Psalm 126:3)

        While you are not faithful to God, He is faithful to you. (Hosea 14:4, Psalm 91:4– notice how it says that “His” faithfulness, not “your” faithfulness, will be your refuge.)

        While you are not saving the world, He saves the world–and He saves you. (Genesis 49:18, Isaiah 25:9, Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah 33:2, Isaiah 33:22, and one of my personal favorites: Isaiah 35:4)

      • Emily May 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        The question is not “How far have I, a wandering, lost sheep, gone astray?” But rather, “How far will He, the shepherd of my soul, go to save me?”

        And we believe the answer, don’t we? Death, Hell, and back. He did it for us. Done deal. Victory in Jesus! Yeah.

  • Emily May 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Hi, Heather! :) I feel honored to be talking to you. I know you have many people to speak with so I’ll try to keep this quick…

    Like you, I am growing up with many challenges to overcome. Many are related to my family and past. Sometimes I feel hopeless, trapped by the ‘generation-to-generation’ cycles of sin in my family. By God’s grace, I am a first-generation Christian who’d very much like to marry a husband who leads the family in all spiritual, emotional, and other matters. How can I, perhaps like you, overcome those challenges in order to marry a ‘solid Christian guy’ without idolizing my future husband or becoming a Pharisee?

    Thank you!

    • Emily May 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      By the way, I am 19 years old, an Asian-American born and raised in the States, and a student at Wheaton College (Christian liberal arts).

  • Sarah May 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    How can you tell if God is speaking to you? I can never tell if it’s just my thoughts, or if it’s really Him..
    And also, how can you have a strong personal relationship with God? I try, but I don’t know how to start.. It seems so easy and effortless for everyone else, but impossible for me. Maybe doubts stop me? Maybe I overthink things?

  • Janette May 25, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Hi!
    I just started reading your blog. I really am greatful that your talking about your past with others. My questions are, 1. I have a problem with cutting myself and I have a note on my facebook (that I haven’t posted yet) that just says most if not all the things I dealing with. I really want to post it, but I’m afraid to do it. Should I post it or not? 2. I come from a big family of 8 kids ( I number 7) and I get in fights with everyone older and younger then me. I know I need to stop, but I just don’t know how. Do you have any advice on what I should do?

  • Cindy May 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    How did you keep your heart pure before engaging in a relationship with your current husband? and how did you keep your eyes on Christ instead of fantasizing/dreaming/envying others?

  • Mary May 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I think this is really inspiring that you are writing a blog that helps us in such a great way. I was feeling sad, worthless, and shameful. As soon as I read all your blogs I realized that I wasn’t alone in my struggle that you and other people have gone through the same things. I sat here reading and I started to cry because it’s all true. It touched me and I felt better afterwards because sometimes you need that. I felt better and I promised myself that I would start behaving better and moving away from my sin. I myself am suppose to be a model for my youth group, friends, church, and family. I felt that I wasn’t acting the way I should. I use to be very involved in church but because of the weight of my sin i fell and I’ve been struggling trying to get back to where I was. I am in a battlefield with my own mind and it’s hard. My question though is what should I do to stop this battle in my mind and start on the right path again?

  • Anna May 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

    As a woman far into recovery from her eating disorder, how did you ever feel normal about food again? With my own eating disorder, I recently had a 5 day run where I allowed myself to eat somewhat normally but I was still constantly berating myself about what I was eating…and in the end, it wasn’t enough, and I fell right back into my regular patterns.

  • Kat May 28, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Hi, I have an almost identical background to yours, from never imagining sexual sin would be a problem, to all the sexual sins that did overwhelmed me. As a result, I was wondering, do you think people can continue a relationship if they have sinned sexually? If it was in the past and both regret it and want to move on? Or should they cut off the relationship to resist temptation again?

    • agirlikemee May 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Kat, That is an excellent question you have asked. In my opinion, no, they cannot stay in that relationship. I cannot tell you how many countless times in past relationships where the guy I was dating and I would talk about how we were going to stop the physical stuff and how guilty we felt. And every time we’d have that talk, we’d eventually end up back where we started.

      Scripture is littered with telling us that we must flee temptation, especially sexual temptation. How can you flee temptation when you continue to surround yourself with the very thing that you struggle with? You can’t. And so by staying in the relationship you will always fall back into the sin no matter how hard you try. The only way to conquer it, is to flee from it.

      Here are some verses to think on that I hope may help you.

      1 Corinthians 10:12-13 James 1:13-14 James 4:7 1 Peter 5:8-9 1 Corinthians 6:18

      Hope this answered your question.

      Heather

  • Linsey May 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I actually do have a question. In my youth group, we talk a lot about how God doesn’t make bad things happen. But reading that article about the other girl, she said that God told her that she is more. I noticed it said something like ‘Your sister HAD to die..” following something like “You’re still stronger than all of that.” Did God give it to her to make her stronger? Or did Satan give it to her, and God turned it into healing?

    • Heather May 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Satan always provides the negative in our life. As humans we fail and sin on a daily basis. It is often times the sins of others and ourselves that we stumble upon and fall into that set up situations in our lives that create hurt, shame, fear, regret and so forth. It is God however that is willing, who does and is more than capable of transforming the sin into beauty. He uses our mistakes and sins to glorify his kingdom.

  • Linsey May 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Sorry.. I also have another question. If you read these. My relationship with God has been great last year, I have been on fire with God, always getting into worship.. but now I just turned 15. For some reason, I just feel like I refuse to love God again.. like I won’t worship Him anymore.. I don’t know why. I want to so bad. I want to love Him, I want Him to be my first priority. It feels like everything gets in the way.. soccer, un-godly friends.. I just don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know what I want.. I just can’t feel God anymore.. and I feel so dry. It’s terrible living without Him.. but I don’t know what to do. My friend passed away November 6.. I feel like after that it’s going down hill.. I just don’t know where I’m going. I’m definetely not going towards God, but that’s where I want to go..

  • Jess June 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    From reading your posts, I have been thinking about my own past. I know that Christ has a purpose for it all, but I am just waiting to see what that could be. I came across your blog and hoped that I would be able to see that I am not the only one struggling with sexual sin. So first off, thank you for your honesty and openness. I was sexually abused when I was very young (thankfully it did not last more than a year), but I have been mentally and verbally abused by my father. The hurt and confusion has led to many different habits all over the board, but now as I just finished my freshman year at college.. I am still struggling to break the habit of masturbation.. I guess I wanted to ask how you were able to get through the past and be able to end the anorexia.