Hate

Dear God,

I feel like I’m going to explode and I’m hanging on a very tiny thread. God, I know you’re with me and you see all. But I hate this season. I really hate that I had to cancel my classes today. I wasn’t expecting that and I hate curve balls. I hate that you’ve totally stopped me from going into my mental rant and have me on here writing out my thoughts. I hate that you’re carving out everything I know to do when things feel uncomfortable or unpredictable. I’m completely free-falling. You’re creating the habits you want me to practice and they’re apparently happening organically.

I really hate that my dad’s prostrate level is high. I hate I’m okay with the fact that I don’t have to hold it all together. I hate that my grandmother is dead. I miss laying down with her. I always drew from her strength.

I really hate that my mom over eats. I beyond hate that my brother chain smokes and locks himself in his room breathing in his polluted second and third hand self inflicting smoke. I hate that I think my parents and brother are so selfish living in their destruction. 

I hate that my brother’s psyche is being consumed by violent games all day long. I worry for his lungs and cry myself to sleep at seeing the people I love the most not love themselves because they do not fully know you God. I’m cried out. 

I hate that you took away me hiding in my anger. I hate that I can’t do anything about any of this but just call on your name and pray. Sometimes I feel like it’s not enough but there is power in the name of Jesus and you hear all prayers.

I find comfort in this fact. It’s one of the main things that keep me going. I hate that Harper* and I don’t speak. It’s absolute insanity to me that speaking to him would be comforting. Even silence with him would be soothing and that makes no sense to me and it pisses me off.

I hate being confused in the sense of clarity. Everything has to make sense for me to function. Or so I thought. Clearly. I’m incorrect because I’m more than functioning.

I hate that you have me in a fog to teach me to just walk on faith. It’s so whack. I hate that I think I’ll hear bad news on Thursday when I go with my dad for this procedure.

I hate that you made me a super positive person. I hate that I feel guilty for thinking the worse will happen. I hate that you’re giving me no indication on what will occur.

I hate that I find solace in a crowded cafe surrounded by eyeballs when I love being locked up in my room isolated. Isolation is comfort.

People hurt you and it’s disappointing. 

I cannot be in my house. I can’t see my father act like he’s on his last days and verbally lashing out. I can’t see my mom eat herself to oblivion when she’s got health issues. I hate that she’s taking the fact we have no idea why she was in the hospital in December so lightly. I can’t see my brother chain smoke. It’s all too draining.

I hate that I loved the amazing fellowship I experienced last night because it proved I was wrong. I hate being wrong. But I’m blessed I was. I hate that I’m okay with messing up. I hate that I’m accepting I’m flawed and will always miss the mark.

There are amazing God-fearing women like my sisters last night that I can be friends with outside of Jojo* it’s not an act. They truly want unity and sisterhood too, and it makes me leap with joy. You made sure that I epically failed at pushing Jojo* away. Thank you for that determination God.

You had to prove to me that previous observations of fakeness and past hurts could not subconsciously close me off to everyone. God you blow my mind. I’m so stubborn. You know this about me yet you still love me and you’re still with me and still want to make me better: bratty me. Why?!

I hate that I don’t think I deserve it and I want you to forget me. I hate that you won’t because I know I shouldn’t feel that way because “I know better.” I know nothing.

I no longer find peace in my room. I hate that you’re making me uncomfortable in my isolation bubble to the point where it probably no longer exists.

I hate that you’re tendering my heart even more. I hate that you’re carving out the sting and the residue of past hurts. This is all allowing me to be more vulnerable. It’s already happening and I’m still here, the world didn’t collapse as I thought it would. I still hate it though.

I hate that in this out of control  feeling I still find peace. I don’t understand these emotions. I have no idea what’s about to happen. I know you’re holding my right hand and that’s what keeping me from sinking.

I hate that you’re making me uncomfortable in my isolation bubble to the point it probably no longer exist.

I don’t understand how I can be so frustrated to the point of swearing (then you of course convict me into repentance) yet I’m freely at peace. I don’t recognize this calmness. 

Before salvation during moments like these I’d be ready to slit my wrists or do something completely self sabotaging since dying wasn’t an option to you. I have no desire to do any of that. Your will not mine.

I hate that I’m no longer a fixer. There is NOTHING I can fix in this season. Fixing is all I knew how to do. This is all so new for me. Like what’s really life right now? Being a fixer is dismantled and the world didn’t end. I want to be numb but you dismantled that as well.

I hate that I’m free-falling and this stretching process is okay with me.  I hate that I don’t understand my own calmness. I never thought I would be capable to be so zeroed in on you God. This extremely frustrating feeling of wanting to explode is not fearful. I’m walking on water. 

I hate that I don’t know this daughter to the king Crysta like the back of my hand. It’s not your will for me to know that and I’m okay with that.

I hate that I’m not uncomfortable with not knowing what’s around the corner. I truly understand the only foundation you ever want all your children to comprehend is the free-falling fact of faith. You are our foundation. You allow us to see what we need to and you teach us to be okay with that no matter what. The tidal waves I’m experiencing now and will in the future are all apart of your grand design; I’m walking on the water as my eyes are fixed on you and that will never change.

I trust you God. I believe in you. I’ll never stop looking up. That I don’t hate and I never will. You will always be my anchor. I love you beyond expression.

Love your daughter.

This is path called life belongs to Jesus Christ.

*names changed for privacy purposes. #TeamProPrivacy

Wrestling

Dearest Abba,

You are wrestling with me. I find it extremely uncomfortable but I’m grateful that you love me enough to ignore my complaints and trust that I’ll eventually rise above my clouded emotions and seek truth. It becomes glaringly obvious as days go on you have not only equipped us with the gift of the Holy Spirit found through salvation of Jesus Christ as the truth factor; but our lifeline to survive on this planet. Being a proud follower of Jesus Christ and having the opportunity to be a born again believer is a true blessing. It also shows me that I’m pretty limited in terms of having company. I’m slowly starting to see that it’s not lonely but rather an opportunity to draw closer to you. You work through me and expand me as your vessel to do your work. The edification of your kingdom comes first not for me to get caught up in temporary emotions. 

Lately, without even realizing it my heart was hardening and my mouth was closed. And then this happened… “The enemy will try and keep your mouth closed with discouragement but push through and open your mouth to spread your gifts. Don’t let him win.” That was said by the super cool and anointed teen pastor at my church this past Friday to me and Jojo* and I fought back tears. Just before I heard those words, I cried at the most beautiful witnessing of 90 teenagers surrendering their lives to God and living for Jesus. The tears kept coming and I had an inkling something bigger was happening then I felt freedom. As if a chain I didn’t realize I had was broken. There was a revival within me. I felt my heart beating with a new appreciation. I felt lighter.

I won’t pretend to always understand the decisions you place on my heart God; especially if they cause me to be hesitant in listening to them. However, your wrath petrifies me the most. After my hissy fits, I do as you command. I truly love serving in ministry. It’s an honor and true privilege to go lower. The more I serve the more I appreciate. For some reason Abba you gave me a big heart that just loves hard. I also see that you gave me the ability to pick up things that I sometimes wish I didn’t; it makes me frustrated to be Christian. Because those moments I see nasty attitudes, fake personas or mistreatment I want to forget about being Jesus-like and deck first ask questions never. But thankfully my fear in you keeps me accountable to not act on my initial emotions. It keeps me in a spirit of prayer and I’m thankful for that. It’s still discouraging to be within six degrees of these circumstances because I love serving the Lord, I love the messages but there’s a heartbreaking disconnect. You are bigger. “With God, there is nothing you can’t handle.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

I’m so thankful that you put in my heart to seek spiritual mentoring for my growth in this walk. There’s so much you’re teaching me and it’s exciting because learning is my stimulation and a positive offset to idolatry and idleness. It took me a long time to recognize that boredom walks a fine line of danger that could lead to an opportunity for the enemy to feed lies; or give me the excuse to hold onto something in my heart: festering frustration. I don’t always succeed in seeing these moments, naturally none of us will. We’re flawed humans that organically miss the mark. But we have a perfect savior that’s guiding us and wraps up in his righteousness. Our consistent protection is the Holy Spirit. I would be my own worse enemy if anything was left to me. I breath easier knowing that you are the pilot and author of my life God. You see all because you created all. I’m only permitted to see through my limited lens. My eyes only sees glimmers aka what you allow me to see.

You’re wrestling with me as I write these words because you’re putting in my heart to write about topics I have no desire to write about. Clearly that’s not going to interfere with the grand design so here goes nothing:

The Six Degrees surrounding Crysta (thanks Jojo*)

You blessed me with the amazing opportunity to serve in two wonderful ministries at my church. Children are your magic and the fact that you equipped me with the gift to not only interact with them but assist in their development AND teach them about you is beyond winning. I’m left in complete awe. I’m five years old all over again believing I’m going to get a flying unicorn and meet a mermaid like Ariel. That innocence and pure joy is infectious to be around. It makes me a better woman of God. It makes me a better human overall. Especially because I’m becoming more appreciative and sensitive to everything around me. I look forward to serving every month. When it’s over, I’m sad and I count down the days until I serve again. The unity and pure joy I see in all my fellow helpers and workers makes me extremely proud to be apart of this team. There’s genuine love and support and it’s so welcoming. There’s just one love, one focus: edifying the kingdom of God and serving the Lord by bettering these amazing kids. I’m so ecstatic that this children’s ministry was put on my heart. I can’t believe two months has already past. It went by too fast.

The other ministry is the young adult ministry. I love this ministry so much. I love the vision of focusing on Jesus Christ and introducing his great name to the youth and/or refreshing this fact to those that do. I will always stand by the fact that this place saved my life by bringing me to life. Before setting foot in that sanctuary, I was the walking dead and a few steps from just ending it all. The moment I entered that place I remember it like yesterday, I felt the presence of God. I don’t know how I knew that in that moment because I wasn’t saved at the time but I just did. This special anointed ministry lead by two amazingly special people, gave me an invaluable gift: learning the LOVE of Jesus Christ. My first instinct was to pay it forward. I was so hungry and eager to spread the love of God. To  truly learn and understand what that encompasses. But Jojo* was like pause, pump your breaks. There’s steps to this… like joining the church. I didn’t like that logical example because I’m #teameagerbeaver

From Day 1 in October 2013 to the present has been one exciting and challenging ride. I take it all because it gives me you, Lord. I work on surrendering vertically everyday. I’ve experienced a lot of hissy fits and continue to experience them because of what I saw and what I continue to see. Despite my deep love and appreciation for this anointed place, I get very discouraged when I see younger individuals with so much potential on this walk feel discouraged or look it because of the lack of reception, which leaves them feeling unwelcome. Every time I see this, it leaves me in my feelings and then I get angry because I see that they don’t have the ability to compartmentalize; and just focus on the presence of God to take in the joy of Jesus in this special place. I sadly don’t see some of these faces anymore and that has me sitting up in my room pondering well were they self harmers discouraged away? Were any of them walking the line of suicide? Were there people that have addictions that are trying to fight them pushed away? I hurt for unjust circumstances. If we’re all one through the blood of Jesus why isn’t there complete unity here? There’s just hurdles of a few. Jesus would go back for one missing sheep so why aren’t we? There’s some people I serve with on my sub team that aren’t even around anymore. That hurts. Why aren’t we in their face like yo what’s really good? We’re not leaving until you spill. 

I didn’t realize that I had all this hurt festering inside until I vented to a servant leader regarding an observation. I was really surprised that they not only saw what I saw but agreed with me. I truly thought I was alone in these observations thinking I only cared and wanted better. The bigger picture is at stake: the lives of the youth. Unity is so important but to a youth feeling welcomed is ten times more important aka their whole galaxy. It gives them a sense of belonging. And everyone wants to feel like they belong. Not everyone is in the maturation mindset to fully grasp that the only place we will EVER truly feel like we belong is in Jesus Christ, which we already have through salvation. Until that mental registration clicks we have to get better at meeting people where they are at and loving them through the place God needs them to be.

This conversation also opened my eyes to a different perspective as an outsider. Naturally building anything with consistent faces will create history but most importantly friendships that over time become tight knit. Tight knit friendships are a beautiful special bond. They’re truly a blessing and amazing. Sometimes, it can create such a familiarity and comfort that the idea of seeing change or new faces isn’t something that can be grasped far less practiced. Change is scary. Changes mean things won’t be the consistent familiarity that some of these individuals knew for years on end. After understanding that from the outsider perspective I had a better grasp of the mindset. However, God doesn’t live in comfort zones. God lives in the realm of discomfort, which is why he wrestles with us. We naturally want to resist change. I do, all the time. It’s scary makes me feel like I’m breaking out in invisible hives. Makes me want to run. Like leave America run. Last month I wanted to move to Canada, both God and Jojo* laughed at me. Running is easier for me. That’s how I handle resisting change. Everyone handles resisting change differently. I now see this cold and unwelcoming persona given off by some as a possible resistant to change. But it doesn’t hurt me. It doesn’t even hurt them. It  hurts the bigger picture: the youth. That should always be the focal point. Always.

We shouldn’t allow the discomfort we feel to give us the excuse we need to resist the wrestling because we’re scared. God doesn’t have time for that. It’s not about us. It’s about the fact that we’re needed for the edification of the kingdom. We’re needed to be the eyes and ears of the lives of tomorrow: the youth. That’s what truly matters. It’s the second most important commandment. Love your neighbors. Is this easy? Of course not, it’s like I’d rather have a root canal. I walked away from that conversation with a better understanding of this sentence: You’re biggest strength is your biggest weakness. Relationship building is not easy and does not come naturally for everyone. It definitely doesn’t come naturally for me. Sure, I can be nice to a mushroom and share my testimony freely because it edifies God. That doesn’t mean I trust you with my vulnerability. I’m an onion. There are layers to my vulnerability. Jojo* calls me out on this all the time. It truly sucks and she pushes me and I can’t stand it. But this isn’t about me and my feelings. God uses her as a vessel. I actively work at surrendering so I’m open to this wrestling that God so *awesomely* puts me through. It’s like back to back man… {slaps forehead.}

God also put it in my heart to reach out to Harper* and I thought God was completely out of his mind. Please don’t act like you never thought God wasn’t crazy for putting something on your heart that you absolutely do not want to do or think is insane. If you said no, you’re lying and that’s a shame because Jesus is listening. I totally ignored it for like a week and then forgot about it. Until one morning Jojo* convicted me and I was so upset with life because I knew I had to do it. I can’t get a grasp on this Harper* thing and that drives me nuts. Completely in the air and unpredictable. Literally nothing. I pick up things I don’t care for but this I got nothing… ha, just even more proof anything given to us is for the betterment of others not ourselves that edifies God. Not trying to figure out what’s happening in our lives. THAT is for God. We’re supposed to just let him work. The outcome of being obedient to this task hurt but I took that to God and that’s when I let my imagination get the better of me because I thought I was moving to Canada. I was like yes, no more seeing nonsense and thinking it’s unfair. No more whatever Harper* is w h a t a j o k e . c o m; seeing him yesterday was hard and I prayed for strength and God gave it to me. I’m hopeful I’ll keep succeeding in this realm. Leaning on God, not me. I’m stupid and do idiotic things, especially with guys. Crysta is dangerous. Thank God I’m daughter to the king and will always choose to be her. I’ll keep saying your will not mine so that I’m not caught up in my emotions. I can’t stand being hurt. Instead of feeling the pain I mask it with anger. My emotions want me to feed the desire to run.

Up until Friday, it seemed like it was impossible to accomplish loving people where they are and praying for where they need to be. That chain breaking tendered my heart. Yesterday at church I encountered unwelcoming and fake personas but instead of meeting those emotions and reacting I prayed for strength and asked God to lead me to what he wants me to do. I said hi and got no response. And that’s okay. I can’t react to anything that’s not love. God is love. That’s it. Anything else I feed, opens the gateway of the enemy to allow him to harden my heart and shift my focus. I love God so I love where he is: everywhere. I love what’s most important to him: his people. Loving all people is that easy? Of course not, people try me all the time. But I have to go against what comes naturally to Crysta acting like ‘whack’ people don’t exist. Shutting them down, etc. Who am I flawed sinner, just like them full of bologna, just like them to call them names or box them in a category. God doesn’t do that, so why should I? I finally get the surface cannot be paid attention to. Everything has a deeper meaning. It’s a complete pet peeve of mine to see individuals be selective with whom they want to be welcoming to or who they want to be fake to. What truly makes me see red above all else is when someone has the audacity to blindside someone or attempt to mistreat them. That happened to Jojo* a few weeks ago. I think I saw so much red I was red. I was mainly hurt because it’s so unnecessary. Sisters should be sisters not catty. It probably solidified the hardening of my heart and I was slowly starting to check out from a place God called me to. Then the witnessing of lives surrendering to Jesus just broke that chain thankfully as well as those encouraging words. Also known as God intervening… Thank you God.

It’s registered that I must constantly stay in a state of prayer. It’s registered that I have to love people where they’re at as challenging as they make it and pray for them to be where God needs them to be. I may be the only one praying for them as God’s vessel. Prayer is powerful and they’re always answered. I pray that one day they’ll be more unity, more focus on the bigger picture less unnecessary coldness and unwelcoming behaviors. I’m choosing to not feed the easy choice of paying attention to face value scenarios and praying with belief that you’re working Abba. Because you can make anything happen. All we need is a muster seed. Keep doing you Abba. Thank you in advance. Love your daughter.

P.S. I’m being still to the best of my ability although it’s hard career wise and Harper* wise. Everything I attempted to do you shut down so I get it now. I’m done. I’ll just sit as I want to pull my teeth out in frustration, which you’ll probably stop. You got this all.

Thanks for reading beautiful readers. Until next time, God loves you so much. John 3:16. Romans 2.12 don’t be afraid to be worked on. Wrestle with God because it’s not for you. It’s for those around you who need it more.

This path called life belongs to Jesus Christ.

*Names changed for privacy purposes. #TeamProPrivacy