Category Archives: journey

I’m Bleeding, and I’m Okay

Today was overall a good day. It had its ups and downs, but thats life in general. I’m really thankful that someone had held me accountable with AA. I’m glad I started going back, I finally found a sponsor.

I’m really excited for this, but I’m also scared. The last week has been nothing but coming to realizations I didn’t want to come to, but I had to.

From recognizing alcoholic tendencies to learning how to heal and let go of that and acknowledge the fact I shouldn’t be drinking. When I got on probation, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to get off. But why? I couldn’t wait to get off because it meant I’d be able to drink again. That was the only reason. Not because I wouldn’t be tied down by the court system, not because it meant I wouldn’t be “watched” by the courts anymore, I couldn’t wait to get off because it would mean I’d be able to drink again.

But I realized…

How many times have I told myself I would have one or two drinks and let it be, yet realized that nobody was “policing” me so I could have more than I wanted? How many times was I worried about how I’d get home because I didn’t restrict myself? Too many times to count.

Honestly, the idea of me not drinking again terrifies me. And that’s perfectly normal for someone who admits to themselves that they can’t be a “normal” drinker. However, I know that as time comes, it will get easier. I won’t have that thought anymore.

For the first time, I was honest with myself. I had made myself vulnerable. I am exploiting myself every day whether I realize it or not.

I’m becoming a better person, and that’s something I’d never be able to find in a bottle. Normally, on Thursday’s I go to my college group but was invited to something that focuses on co-dependency. I figured I’d give it a shot. Because I am co-dependent, and this applies to many things on top of alcohol.

I told a friend that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the group tomorrow because of time conflict. He was disappointed, but he understood. And he sent me a text that gave me assurance that I was doing something right.

It felt really good. Not because he said good things, but because of the fact that the work I’m putting into myself is in fact worth it.

I’m radiating love. I’m radiating hope. I’m radiating faith. I never wanted to be this open because it meant that I could be taken advantage of. It meant that I could get hurt. I was so scared of getting hurt that I kept closing myself off. I can’t do that. I won’t do that. I need people just as much as they need me.

I’m bleeding, but in a good way. I’m bleeding love. I’m bleeding hope. I’m bleeding faith. If I don’t have something to work for, if I don’t have something to believe in, then what am I living for? I have to believe that my life will get better, I have to believe that God is there, and he is. Let this blog be my testimony.

I’m grateful for this life. I’m grateful for my friends and my family who have been so supportive. I’m thankful for my readers.

If I can make just one impact in someone else’s life, then that’s all I need. If I can make a change, then so can you. It’s not easy, but it’s well worth the investment. I cry myself to sleep sometimes, and it sucks. However, it’s part of the healing process. Recognizing and staying in tune with your emotions is important. You can’t just bottle them up inside because nothing good comes out of it. Trust me, I’ve been there. I know.

I’ll have my good days, and I’ll have my bad days. But on the good days I choose to have faith. On the bad days, I still CHOOSE to have faith.

 

Cover Photo by Jade on Unsplash

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Discouragement and Staying Sober

When I started this blog, I got really excited about being able to share my stories with the world. I was excited about knowing that I could make an impact to somebody, anybody.

However, today, I came across a blog that I thought was a lot better than mine. I didn’t get jealous, but I started to question what the point was with me doing this. I began to doubt myself, and more importantly, I began to doubt God.

I don’t want this blog to be about being “the perfect Christian.” This blog is far from. Besides, nobody is perfect. Plus, the word perfect is so relative anyway. It’s not a good word.

I want this blog to be about the daily struggles that ALL christians have. We all get mad at God, we all doubt God sometimes, and we all feel like God is not there. However, we have to make a conscious effort to remind ourselves that God never turns our back on us and that getting mad and doubting God is a human reaction. And guess what? HUMANS ARE NOT PERFECT.

What started this journey? I’m not sure if I ever really got into it. I got picked up for drinking and driving in December of 2017. My BAC was .09 and I was right by my house. I got arrested. Luckily, the end result was an Operating While Visually Impaired charge and not an Operating While Intoxicated charge, and I thank God everyday for that.

I was ordered to take impaired driving classes and that’s when I decided to give in. I decided to learn how to listen to God more. I decided that I’d actually make a conscious effort to make sure my faith remained solid. I may not blog every night, and I may not read the bible everyday, but at this point I pray more times a day than I probably have in the past year.

Another thing I did was start going to AA because I figured the courts would make me go anyway. They didn’t, so I stopped going.

However, recently, I started to go back. I’ve met some pretty incredible people and even a few remembered me and that felt really good.

However, I began questioning myself after the second meeting back. I’d find myself asking questions like “Am I really an alcoholic? Do I really belong here?” I decided to do the twelve steps anyway because I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for self growth, and growth with God.

Then tonight’s meeting happened. I had finally put words to explain how I felt. I was questioning if I was whether or not an alcoholic. Somebody said something to me and it struck me: If I have been arrested for drinking and driving, chances are I was an alcoholic. Normal drinkers don’t get “popped. That caused me to do some serious thinking.

Someone had also quoted something from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that gave the reader a challenge. Try controlled drinking. Have one drink and let it be just one drink.

This caused me to go into some serious thinking.

How many times have I went out before I got my DUI and told myself I’d have just one, but ended up having two or three? Too many to count.

I’ve only been 21 for almost 6 months and the last 4 months have been spent on probation. I still don’t have a solid answer to my question and I don’t have to. But a coworker asked me a question the other day that I could not answer. What is the whole point of drinking?

Maybe it’s better for me not to find out rather than finding out when it’s too late. I’ve also been terrified at the thought of never drinking again. Clue number two maybe? I don’t know. At this point, I don’t want to find out.

I have been sober for awhile, but never really kept track because I didn’t consider myself an “alcoholic”.

However, today. Something changed. I decided to keep track. Today counted as Day 1 in my book.

I’m so thankful that God made me realize how important this journey was, and I’m grateful that I’m able to make myself vulnerable and share my story with you.

How Changing Your Mindset Could Change Your Life

First of all let me say this, my day started off horribly. My paycheck for my job never came through, and as soon as I got to work, I started throwing up. Even though I felt fine after, they thought it best that I be sent home just in case it was something more serious.

So I hung out with a friend, taught him some piano, he taught me guitar, and I helped him get ready for his audition for our church band on Thursday. Then we went out for sushi, and I went to an AA meeting.

There’s so many things I could talk about with what I’ve learned today alone.

I’ll try to narrow it down to the one of the things that hit me the most.

A few days ago, my dad had tagged me in a help wanted ad for something I’m going to school for. My initial thought was, “What’s the point? They probably wouldn’t call me anyway so there’s no use in applying.”

Something inside me switched. Instead of thinking that, I thought “What if I did get the job though?”

So I took a chance and applied. I’m not saying that when I go into work tomorrow I’m going to place all bets on getting this job and putting my two weeks in, but what if I did get that call and it was because I decided to try?

Changing your mindset to have a positive outlook on life can do so many things. You’re not coming up with excuses to not push for something, but rather finding reasons to push for something.

It gives me hope, and hope is what drives me. God didn’t plan for me to live a life full of doubt, fear, and worry. He planned for me to live a life full of love, radiance, and hope. Knowing that everything will be ok.

He is my hope.

Honestly? We could play the what if game all day. I know I’m bad at falling into it. If that was an olympic sport, I’d have a million gold medals. But what if we changed the rules of the “what if” game? What if we pursued God even more? What if we prayed more? What if we read the bible more? What if we actually tried? I promise you the answers are much more positive than if we asked ourselves “What if this doesn’t work?”

What if we didn’t live for us? What if we lived for God?

I realize that there is a possibility that I don’t get this job, and I’m ok. Our problem with society is that we have too many unrealistic expectations. We expect young adults (~20) to have at least one kid. We expect this generation to not go to school and get a higher education. We expect ourselves to work to death to provide for our families. We expect every rugged looking person to be an alcoholic or crackhead. We expect ourselves to put labels on things where no label is necessary.

We think that just because a woman doesn’t meet the current standards of beauty to not be worthy of anything.

We think that just because a man doesn’t meet the current standards of beauty to not be worthy of anything.

But YOU ARE.

Jesus loves you for who you are. No matter what. His love is unconditional. You might think that you’re not a good person, but you are. You have the ability to be a good person. And the phrase “being a good person” is so relative that each person has a different definition for what that may mean.

Instead of not trying, try. Instead of doubting yourself, push yourself. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in God. Trust in Him and Him alone. I promise you if you do that, the results will amaze you. I’ve been amazed. I think that I’ve made more growth in the past 4 months than I have in the past year.

The sky is the limit, but if you really think about it. The sky eventually leads into space. Space is endless. So really, you’re limitless. You can do whatever you want to do if you really push yourself, have faith in yourself, let go, and let God.

Blessing or a Lesson

I could say this week has been tough mentally and emotionally.

Or I could say that this week has been full of growth and learning lessons. I think I’m going to go with that one.

I recognize that I’ve been somewhat inactive with this project I’m doing. It’s so easy to come up with excuses as to why we can’t do something, rather than just doing it.

After my piano teacher’s funeral last Saturday, events unfolded. I had doubts, I was second guessing myself, but eventually I made the right choice.

Let me tell you about a conversation I had with a pretty incredible woman I know. I met this person last year at my cousins wedding-she was the wedding photographer. When we spoke on the phone Monday night (because I had been confiding in her a lot with what was going on) she told me something I will never forget.

When she first met me, she knew she had to pray for me. She didn’t know why, she let go and let God. She didn’t know why she was praying for me, she was just praying for me.

I told her my story, and those that know me know my story is quite extensive. Hearing this, she figured out what she had been praying for in regards to me.

For my faith to become stronger.

So we talked a little more, about life, the bible, our journey, etc. Then this blog was brought up. She had noticed that there had been a lapse. She wasn’t seeing me posting. She knew I wasn’t posting.

She said (in her charming southern accent) “Keep doing what you’re doing because you don’t know who you’ll be able to reach through that blog. You could change lives.”

I didn’t stop blogging because I had given up on it, I stopped blogging because I lost focus of what was important. I made excuses to why I shouldn’t do it (I’m too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow, I should probably do homework) rather than trying to find reasons why I should do it.

It’s been 3 days since that conversation and I realized that I need to get serious about putting myself back on a strict schedule so I don’t lose sight of that focus.

God doesn’t place people in our lives for no reason. They’re either a blessing or a lesson and it’s up to us to figure out which category they fall into. Some will be a blessing, others will be a lesson.

God gave us the power of free will. It’s up to us to use it responsibly.

In The Midst Of All The Sadness

This week has been a tough week. This past Wednesday, my piano teacher (or “Grandma” as I like to call her-because that’s what she was to me) passed away. My heart stopped. I froze. I couldn’t believe what I had been told when I was on the phone.

I went to her house, and I said goodbye for the final time. She taught me everything I know about music and so much more. I miss her so much. I’ll always miss her.

The funeral was on Saturday and it was a beautiful funeral. It gave me peace knowing that she wasn’t suffering anymore. It gave me peace that she’s still with me everyday, even though it may not be physically.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. I’ll miss her laugh, her smile, her playing the piano. She may not have been able to teach, but she was supposed to go to my wedding one day and meet my kids when I had one.  Let me tell you, that woman could sight-read like I’ve never seen. But there is one thing that I am now 100% confident in, and that’s knowing that she was so proud of me.

I wasn’t the perfect student, or the perfect kid. I’m still not. But I know I made her proud. And I know that she is smiling down at me.

I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t a depressing day, because it was, for the most part. But there is beauty in the midst of it all, and I want to acknowledge that beauty.

She was one of the most Godly women I know. She was a role model. An excellent one. I don’t know if she knew I started this blog or not, but I’m hoping she did.

I feel like a piece of me is missing without her around, and that’s normal. I’ll heal eventually.

Hopefully after this week things will get back to the relatively decent level of normalcy that it was before this week.

I’m not the best blogger out there, but I do enjoy doing this when I can. I love you all so much. Keep living and keep praying.

XOXO

Exhausted, But Worth it.

This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. This past Thursday, I went to my college group at my church and my leader talked about how we strive towards something that we think is worth it (the series is called Marching On: Marching Toward Jesus).

As I have posted previously, I lost my job last Thursday. I was freaking out, but I knew it would all be okay. I sent in an app to the University of Michigan as a temp employee and had this feeling that I should wait a few days and see what happens. So I did.

Looking back, I know that was God. This past Monday, I got a call from someone I knew from my old job. I asked if I could call her back because I was getting ready to walk into class to take my midterm. She asked for 5 minutes so I said ok. She told me about someone she knew who ran a factory for Dunkin’ Donuts. He needed people. So I asked her for his number and that I’d call him tomorrow (Tuesday). So I did. By 3 pm on Tuesday I met with him and toured the facility.

He told me how much I’d be making (only $1 less than my last job), medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as paid time off. It was a different environment than what I was used to but there was no way I’d go back to working fast food (no offense Wendy’s! I still love you). I ended up getting hired in on the spot. My first day was this past Saturday. The shifts are different because they’re mids (I start at two) but it’s well worth it.

As much as I loved my previous job, this job is by far better. My boss is flexible with my schedule, I have benefits, I have PTO, a paid break, and I always have something to do. I’m nowhere near a clock either so I’m not really focused on the time.

I love my previous job and I still visit. However, there’s a reason it didn’t work out and I’m somewhat glad that it didn’t. I can move up at this new job if I do well enough. I couldn’t do that with my last job. My former boss said something to me during the short time I was unemployed. She said, “you are so much better than this job.” and I’m beginning to think she’s right.

Even though I’m now working 9-10 hour shifts, my feet are sore when I get home, as well as my back, it’s worth it. The pain is worth it.

Just like my journey and growing closer with God. It’s tough, it isn’t always easy. It won’t be easy. I’ll face trouble and hard times, but in the end I know it’s worth it.

I’m excited.

Also, I have built up the courage to give my testimony at my college group. Not sure when it’ll be just yet, but keep your eye out for the date. If you’re interested in attending, please email me via the email in the contact section of my blog.

I will also ask someone to record it and will be posting it onto here.

As far as my bible journey goes, I tried to write them on a daily basis, but that isn’t going to work. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays are my off days so I’ll try to blog then.

Thank you guys for being so supportive and loving. You have no idea how much it means.

Take care and God bless.

To All the Women Out There, You Are Good Enough

One thing I felt like I needed to talk about was women and how our romantic relationships with men can alter us, if we let it.

Do you feel “left out” because some of your friends are getting engaged and getting married? Do you feel like it’s been nothing but failed relationship after failed relationship and some nights you feel like you were just going to die alone? This blog is for you.

I’ve been there, and maybe I’m still there. I’m only 21 and I’ve been through so much. I couldn’t even sum it up into one blog post. I’m constantly thinking about not missing an opportunity and becoming afraid.

Example: I see a really cute guy at the supermarket. I want to go and strike up a conversation that could possibly lead to exchanging phone numbers, but I’m too scared. If I don’t do it, then I could be missing the chance to find the love of my life.

I’ve learned that 1. This mindset is so unbiblical to have and 2. That’s not just how it works.

For a long time, I thought love and relationships would be just like it was in The Wedding Singer, Titanic, The Notebook, and all those other cliche Hollywood movies. However, it’s not. Granted they are nice to watch, but that’s not how real life works.

Awhile back, I read a book called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris. It’s a wonderful book and I strongly recommend reading it. It was a book on how to take a Christian approach when it comes to modern dating.

What is the whole point of dating? To get married. We want to get to know a person (dating) to figure out if we want to marry them.

God didn’t plan for us to be alone. He created Eve for Adam.

There have been times where I went a little too boy crazy, and times where I may have found the “right” one but let him go.

Dating in this day and age is incredibly hard. We have bumble, tinder, match, eHarmony. Even Christian mingle! For some, they’re useful. Others? Not so much.

It feels like most men from my generation “aren’t ready for a relationship” and they want all the physical benefits of one. That’s not how I work. That’s not how I operate. I’m not going to compromise in what I believe just for a guy.

The best relationships start off as really great friendships and they progress slowly. It requires patience. A rose just doesn’t bloom overnight.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”

Someone once told me to replace the word “love” in this verse with a person I’m seeing. If their behavior matches with this verse, then I should stay with him. If not, they’re not the one for me. The Bible laid out what we should look for in this verse alone.

We should be looking for someone who is patient with us, someone who is kind, not envious, not boastful. Someone who is humble and selfless.

Some women blame themselves for a man cheating, hitting, manipulating them, etc etc. “Maybe if I was thinner, maybe if I actually tried harder” are all things women say to justify a mans actions. The thing is we shouldn’t. We are good enough, we are strong enough and any man who really loves a woman will take care of them, provide for them, support them, etc.

If I have to wait 50 years for that type of man, then I will. Our time that we are given while we are single is to spend time with God and grow closer to Him. God provides, he always provides.

It doesn’t suck being single. Take it from me, I thought it did. It gives us the time to learn who we are as women and what we want. Being single allows us to enjoy life and when we’re ready, we’ll find someone. The most important thing for us single women to do is love and respect ourselves. That’s our number 1 priority. Think about how you want a man to perceive you. And remember, bad company corrupts good morals. 😉

Here is what I want you to do, somebody awhile back told me to do this. Make a list of all the qualities you want in a man, then write down the qualities women of the Bible have. See how many qualities you can match up with women of the bible. The qualities that you don’t match up with, aspire to be.