Cutting Ties

I’m feeling called to fast forward for one blog entry, and talk about my current life. For the longest time, I have been feeling the emptiness that Wicca left when I abandoned that religion. I was still feeling the lure, the pull to start that lifestyle again. We all know that God is enabling me with the strength to resist, as I am now wearing the whole armor of God.

 As of late, I am now recognizing this as one of Satan’s tricks to trip me up in my walk in Christ by causing me to have doubts, and to question if Christ alone could make me feel whole. Satan is so subtle in this way, where he appears as an angel of light to make me feel like the grass is greener on the other side. Still, I stand upon the word of God, cast down what used to be my idols, and realize that in Christ, I am complete. All I need is Christ.

Being in Maine reminds me of my teen years where I dabbled in the Craft, and got quite serious with it. Memories often haunt me, and Satan uses them to  tempt me to long for those days. At times, I even led a double life where I was a Christian on the outside, but inside, my heart sang a different song. I used to agonize over this double life, and the loss of authenticity in either religion. I hated that my heart was so conflicted.

 Just a couple days ago, I got rid of my remaining belongings that reminded me of the Craft, so that I could symbolically give Christ the rest of my heart. This would permanently sever any ties that would drag me back into my old life. Since that old self is dead to me, why do I need any reminders of it?

When I got rid of this stuff, depression kicked in again. I realized that while I was a Christ follower in both heart and mind, I still had the Craft psychologically on the back burner “just in case”. I hate to admit that though, but in the process of healing, I need to be honest with myself, and confront that fact.

When I got rid of everything (and I mean everything), I cut all ties, so the Craft was out of the question altogether. I finally let go. It was painful, but I had to say goodbye. I was even clear with my friends who encouraged me to stay open minded to other religions, and told them that I belong to Christ, and Christ alone. I told them that I would live as a Christ-follower, and die a Christ-follower.

I’m still dealing with the depression, but God, through Christ alone is my healer, and I will trust Him with every single part of my heart now. He will listen to me pour my heart out to Him, and He will speak to me as well. I’m slowly, but surely learning that all I need is this connection to God through Christ. In time, it will become second nature.

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Giving Up, Gaining Everything

It’s been a huge transition with rebuilding my life after severing ties with the New Age. Of course, after any loss or change, there is going to be a period of mourning, and that goes for huge lifestyle changes as well. I have been feeling a little empty and depressed, and though I tell myself that it is normal, it is still not easy. Life isn’t easy anyways.

One of the hardest parts for me so far in this process was destroying or throwing away anything I had that had to do with the New Age, as I had some emotional connections to some of the items. For example, I had an angel tarot deck that I bought myself a couple years ago. I loved that deck, because not only did it contain some beautiful artwork, it reminded me of my childhood. When I was young, I had a dream I was sleeping on the lap of an angel, and she was tenderly stroking my head. What helped me was to remember that God came first. It was also a symbolic sacrifice I made where I was laying down my precious treasures I thought I had, and leaving them at the foot of the cross. I had to die to myself, as through my transformed heart, I was no longer my own. I’m purchased by the blood of Christ. By giving up what was precious to me, I gained so much more.

Jesus gave everything for me, even His very life, so what is stopping us from giving up everything we have to follow Him? Are our emotional ties, finances, security and such not more valuable than His treasures for us in heaven? Aren’t the greatest treasures from above? There is nothing, no gold or silver I wouldn’t sacrifice to increase my heavenly treasures. I found a poem that sums everything up:

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To straighten me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then, coming out, behold a space
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest His name that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.
It was his own, it was not mine,
Far be it that I should repine;
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best.
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle e’er shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom‘s voice e’er heard shall be.
In silence ever shalt thou lie,
Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity.
Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mould’ring dust?
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect
Frameed by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this be fled.
It‘s purchased and paid for too
By Him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown,
Yet by His gift is made thine own;
There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,
Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.
The world no longer let me love,
My hope and treasure lies above. 
 
Anne Bradstreet, Upon the Burning of Our House

Allure of Wicca

I’m sorry,” I told my online group of Pagan friends through Facebook messenger, “But I cannot continue living this way- a double life. I have to jump off the fence, and I’m choosing Jesus Christ.
At this point in time, I could no longer return. My old self was and is now dead to me, and my new self has resurrected with Jesus Christ as He conquered death.  I am now a new creation.

 The allure of Wicca, Eastern thought is deeply rooted in today’s culture.  To me, Wicca was all about finding power within myself in order to dream my life into a reality. I often struggled with feelings of anxiety, depression and helplessness, and Wicca came with the empowering message that we could create our own reality.

The very definition of magic, according to the prominent Wiccan author Scott Cunningham is “the movement of natural energies to create needed change”. The Wiccan rede states that we may do whatever we want, but do not harm anyone. Within this law, we are given a vast amount of freedom to create our own realities, like a sheet of white paper and a fist full of colored pencils. We’re given the master seat, and our lives become mold-able in our hands.

Rather than trusting in God’s understanding, we strive to seek our own understanding, and to create our own paths in life based on who we think we are, and what we think we want. In the book stores, we see new self-help books every day, and they all basically say the same things: You can find the answers within yourself. You can heal yourself. You are in control of your life….etc

The words of God’s word are noticeably different. In Proverbs 3:5, it is written “Trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding.In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”. In John 15:5-6, it is written, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into a fire and burned.”.

 Compared to the expertise of our Creator God, we know nothing, because we are simply the creation. We cannot understand without the instruction manual, the Word of God in both flesh (Jesus) and Word (Bible). After realizing this, I looked up, and asked God to help me to trust Him again. I asked Him to help me to turn away from the Craft, and turn to Christ. I told God that I was ready for Him to transform my life, my heart and mind for His glory.

Testimony: Disclaimer and Life Verse

It has been so long since I have written a blog, so here goes…

Disclaimer: Sometimes our testimonies are difficult to share, because we fear ridicule and judgement from others, God, or even from ourselves. I am one of those, and I have been silent for years. I only shared glimpses and hints of my testimony, but never shared it openly or honestly, so I ask everyone to please forgive me. I also ask for understanding, gentleness and love as I open up for the first time.

I have been afraid for a couple reasons:
1. Fear others will be mad at me for not telling the whole truth.
2. Fear others will look down on me for being weak in spirit and heart.
3. Fear of ridicule and judgement.

The primary emotion here seems to be fear, but 2 Timothy 1:7 comes to mind. The spirit of fear does not come from God. He gives us a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Through God’s power, instead of my own, I will allow God to open my heart, so my testimony can be used to encourage and help others.

My Life Verse: 

Romans 12:2– Be not conformed to the patterns of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, perfect and pleasing will. 

*I’ll be writing an entry that focuses on why I chose this life verse later on.  I do hope, however, that elements of it will be apparent in my testimony.

Post-Graduation: A Time of Reflection and Pondering

These past few days have been super busy, and somehow, I’m not completely worn out. There is a higher power sustaining my energy and strengthening my frame. I’m not at all running on my own strength, and it simply amazes me what God can do through me. He is my power source, my love and my wisdom.

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life, as I graduated college with two degrees, one in Bible/Theology, and one in Interdisciplinary (a focus on English and communication). Not only these, but though I have autism (a condition that affects one’s ability to communicate and understand others), I earned a minor in communications. Still to this day, I laugh a bit at the irony. With these degrees, I intend on using the gifts that God has entrusted to me to edit documents, including novels, books, and short stories.

During the graduation ceremony, we listened to a woman who told of her journey through Reform Bible College (now known as simply Kuyper College). She graduated with a degree in the area of health care, and God led her to an oriental country where she experienced a time of war in her environment. Her country came under attack, and she slept through the night with the peace that came from Psalm 91, which starts with the phrase “he who rests in the shadow of the almighty”, and is dedicated to God’s protection over His children. Her peace as she slept during a time of was inspiring to many in the town where she lived.

This made me think of my challenging eight years of college, and all those times God has provided for me, sustained and nourished me, and never gave up on me as stubborn as I was in my own ways at times. As long as I can remember, I always come running back to Him through Jesus Christ, as I need His love. Nothing compares to the love that only He can give. My life depends on this love.

The coolest thing is that He loves me not out of anything I have done, so I don’t need to  “earn” His love. He loves me not because of what I do, but because of who He is. He is my daddy, Abba Father, who cheers me on through life, and takes my hand ever so gently to lead me. He will continue to lead me as I run the race marked out for me, as my eyes are set on Him in this new phase of life.

Moments of Weakness

“There is nothing, there is nothing, more precious, more worthy” Laura Story, There is Nothing
 PSALM 45:11 The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.

I beat myself up every single day because I’m a perfectionist. I hate my own weak flesh at times. I’m ashamed because I give in to temptation, and sin. With the way I talk to myself as a result, the cycle of sin perpetuates, and I feel like I’m running a helpless rat race every single day.

 Just today, I swore I was going to order a healthy salad for lunch, and I ordered something unhealthy. Of course, I beat myself up over this. After lunch, I went to an appointment, and due to my forgetfulness, I arrived a half an hour late. “Stupid me!” I muttered under my breath. The things I tell myself would be considered bullying if I was doing it to anyone else. I never seem to be good enough; never measuring up to my own standards of perfect. I heard over and over the adage that nobody is perfect, but tell that to the accuser, that bullying voice.

 Been struggling with my weight, my self esteem, and my body image for as long as I can remember. Perhaps other women can relate to this, and feel my struggle. I am my own worst enemy. In the midst of this, I cried out to God to rescue me. While I could have ordered a salad instead, or jotted down the actual time of the appointment into my planner, maybe I wasn’t acknowledging the small efforts I was making. I ordered a hot tea for a beverage instead of my usual soda, resisted a second slice of bread, and made a plan to work out tonight.

God sees everything, but he looks into our hearts. He knows I’m earnestly trying to create a healthier lifestyle, and how deeply I want to please people. He also sees the war going on. He sees my heart, the desires of my flesh, and my inner critic, and the three of them fighting. It’s endless, and I’m reaching to God for freedom. Each day it is the same cycle.

While this cycle spins it’s course, a higher and stronger force comes in and breaks the spokes so it ceases spinning. It comes to me as a mighty force from heaven, and and brings an epiphany. No matter how I try to reason that I’m not good enough, He calls me to come into His light.

 “Kelly,” a strong voice tells me, “I am ENTHRALLED with your beauty, as you are my princess! Why are you doing this? Did you know you are hurting me? You are my child, and I created you with my own hands! You are exceptionally beautiful and I see no blemishes and blame in you!”

As a born-again child of God, I have to confess and believe that these words are true! I have been purchased and pardoned by the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s not about what I have done, but what Jesus Christ, God in flesh has done for me.

My First Love: Transforming into a Young Woman

Estoy contigo para siempre, especialmente con mis ojos cerrados, y con mis ojos cerragos, cuán grande es mi recuerdo de ti. Viviras para siempre conmigo en mi corazon. Descanse en paz!

It is a mixed feeling to say that my first love is not only written in the stars, but shining on me in the sun. His life was active and vibrant, just like the Dominican culture he belonged to. He died suddenly at the tender age of 15, and left me here on this earth with a shattered heart while I was 16 years old. I never got to tell him goodbye. He died in a motorcycle crash in the blink of an eye.Tonight, these memories are coming back to me. I do remember him, and he will always have a special place in my heart as my true love. As a result of the tragedy and the intensity and pain of my grieving, and the help of the body of Christ comforting me and guiding me to seek God as the author of the book of my life, I transformed spiritually from a girl to a young woman full of potential to shake the kingdom of heaven with her vibrant faith.