I've been listening to a lot of Christine Caine lately; she's an amazing speaker who has been through so much and is a modern day abolitionist (youtube videos and links at the bottom) and I've just been thinking about a ton of stuff that she's talked about/that's been awakened inside of me. I'm learning to find my identity in who God is and what He did for me. He died for me. He loves me THAT much. I've come to realize that I silently accept what people say about me and the value that they give me without question. I accept so many things lying down, and I don't say most of what I feel.
I'll give you some examples:
-For longest time, because my parents and "the church" were so against tattoos, I thought that they couldn't be my passion. That my dream of reaching the world and sharing with everyday people the wonderfulness of God and my passion for tattoos should be a backburner dream, a dream that I couldn't actively pursue. Because they didn't love it, I couldn't openly love it.
-I readily accept that I'm not worth listening to, because some people don't take the time to actually listen
2 examples are enough, mainly because I don't feel like listening/giving anymore examples of the lies I've BEEN listening to for so long, and also because I have something more important to say!

It's not about any of that. 1, because that isn't true. I can love what I love because Jesus first loved me and HE put that passion in my heart, parents or no parents (I have amazing parents by the way, but as so often happens, they don't share my passion, but boy do they love me!) and I am worth listening to. God hears me!
More importantly, these days I'm just being so much more aware of what's going on around me. I feel very much like the John Mark McMillan song (that I feel like I quote a great deal...I'm ok with that) when he says "When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me." But not just in the way that God is amazing, and He is and I am in no way dismissing that, that really is something I try desperately to cling to when I just want to freak out and cry. However what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to direct my mind more and more onto the big picture. That even if whatever situation I'm going through doesn't work out that at the end of the day, God is still for me.

I've found myself in prayer more and more lately. I was up late a few nights ago, for once not wanting to apologize just to make everything better, as so often is the case, but just with a mess load of thoughts in my brain. I hate not feeling heard, even though I feel that way quite a bit. I hate when people cross a line and I feel like I can't tell them. And vice versa. That night I felt like lines were crossed on both sides and there was nothing I could do about it, but be angry. And it was just amazing how things come back to you, and  remembered hearing the advice of a chapel speaker that I heard when I was in high school saying that when you are angry, to pray for that person. Sooner or later you start seeing them through God's eyes. And I'm aware that this blog post is a bunch of random thoughts [hey, at least they all have God as a common theme!] and a bunch of run-on sentences as well...but that's my life. Literally. 

I feel like my view of myself is changing, that I'm going from a ugly person who deserves nothing, to a beautiful, lovely person who isn't going to let people walk over her silently. And I'm not going to keep living my life like I have been, I am trying to truly seize the day, and live my days for God and not just me, because that is no way to live. 
-----And this all is scary. It's making me be more honest, and I know that relationships are changing/will change in my life. I take some people for granted, and I'm going to truly try and stop doing that. And I'm going to try and be not so silent when I feel downtrodden. More on this later most likely.------

Christine Caine links: (go look them up. All amazing stuff)
-Discover an identity beyond your abusive past (video)-

-Be in it but not of it (video)-

-A 21 Campaign (website)-

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