The Worst Way to Comfort Singles

IMG_3269.jpgWe singles love to play this horrible self abuse game called “why am i still single”.
And as my age climbs, so have the occurrences of people offering diagnoses for the “why”
And… I’m starting to notice a theme:
but let me first give a disclaimer. Not everyone who’s single has a problem with it. And sometimes the desire for relationship can come and go. This bit is not to lump all singles into one category of ‘what we all desire’. Let’s just assume for this bit, that i’m speaking of people who desire to be in a healthy, loving, lasting relationship- but aren’t. And lets also just get it out of the way that i know not all people IN relationships are in one’s id want to be in.
okay. so now, onto the horrible things people say to singles 🙂
I don’t doubt that one or many of the upcoming comments has come out of many a good-hearted persons mouth. They hold rationale behind them most of them i gather were sourced from an individuals own life when looking back at what shifts occurred right before they found themselves in a relationshp. But- when you place comment after comment- atop each other and resolve that there is in fact a code to crack… well… a theme arises. So, lets see if you can spot the theme..
In seemingly innocent comments like this,
“When you stop looking for [a relationship], that’s it will happen”
“once you allow God as your husband to be enough for you, then your husband will come”
“once you’re finally okay being alone” or “once you truly love yourself”
“It happens once you fully let go & trust God”
It’s even the less spiritual comments like:
“maybe you’re too intimidating to approach?”
“do you think maybe you’re being too picky?”
“maybe you don’t go to enough places where guys can find you”
“maybe you have RBF & don’t smile at men enough?”
“maybe guys just need you to open the door & approach them first”
do you notice it? what’s the through-line?…
all things that imply : you’re single…. because: you’re doing something wrong.
and once you right that wrong- you’d qualify for love.
and yet- would any of us RATIONALLY argue that someone IN a relationship or even a marriage- is someone who has done all the things ‘right’? no! We all know we’re all our own versions of hot messes. And yet over and over as a culture we perpetuate the idea to singles that it is in fact something in their lack or error that has landed them without a person walking beside them.
the implication that we are not married BECAUSE X; some crucial absolute element of marriedness is not yet present in us.
But Ultimately, diagnosing us as though those things make us unmarryable, just points us toward mistrusting ourselves…rather than pointing us toward the whole point of it all: trusting God in the moment at hand.
Because i consider myself a relatively teachable person, for a while i actually opened myself up to pointed efforts at not exuding these flaws people pointed out in the single demographic. Dilligently righting the things i was likely doing wrong. Because i genuinely knew i wanted a husband and more children & i didn’t want to be the thing sabotaging that.
I spent years trying to be “more smiley” even though guys don’t walk around with a permanent smile on their faces…? Tried to figure out how to mind-trick myself into ‘NOT wanting a relationship’ so that God could then- give me one… because i in fact- wanted one…(smh). I committed to being less picky and saying yes to dates i didn’t want to go on.. and then would taste depression as i started to believe a lie that i would have to settle for someone i wasn’t absolutely crazy about. I’d yearn for a guy to find me desirable enough to push through his fears and approach me, but then got shamed for wanting this “over the top fantasy”, and was encouraged to essentially make excuses for guys who’ve lost their gusto. So I started diminishing my expectation for men to be capable of seeing that i was worth the ‘above and beyond’. My standards dropped because i felt guilty for wanting pursuit. And then i found myself caught in an entirely different predicament of giving the treasure of my time & emotional intimacy to people who hadn’t even … earned it.
Or this one- My favorite tweak i made in an attempt to be teachable:  i started obsessively worrying about how findable i was. And it wasn’t just about going to a social event vs staying home watching netflix. The anxiety was in whether to go to this event or that event- which one would i meet ‘him’ at??!…, which outfit to wear- what if God told him ‘he’d find his wife wearing a x colored shirt that day’ and i make a last second wardrobe change and ruin it all…..to walk down this aisle at the grocery or that aisle.. live in this city or move to that one- because what if the person im supposed to find and be found by – is there and i mess up choosing where to put myself at every single freaking moment of every single day? What if its my fault that im not findable???? ahhh! this one truly haunted me for nearly a decade.
Somewhere along the way of trying to fix my million missteps i had to start asking what could only be true: … Do i really believe that all married people are (and were at the time of marrying) all at great places with their self love? That they had all embraced doing life alone & allowing God to be their everything, and that’s why they were allowed to have their mates? Was i going to buy the narrative that every married person had first reached a zen space of ‘not looking’ for things to move in a relational direction & had  met their age appropriate quota for working through their insecurities and emotional battles and weren’t carrying ANY unhealthy mindsets into their marriage?? If i could intellectually discern that certainly all married people were not flawless.. then i had to deduce that it wasn’t my so called flaws keeping me from relationship.
Will my future marriage be better WITH self love & emotional health? Yes. For my own sake, I’d be dumb not to use this time of singleness to grow myself into a more mature & healthy person.  But the breakthrough treasure i found as a single is that being married is not predictive text for “finally having your shit together” and singleness isn’t a “less than” state of lack.
I used to view marriage as God’s stamp of approval on my readiness for what I viewed as the promise land. I counted every additional day in single-dom as proof that i still wasn’t worth choosing. With each passing year i received it as a message that by God’s standards, I still wasn’t ‘enough’ for that kind of experience. What i needed to know was that i wasn’t messing this up. I wasn’t doing it all wrong and ruining my story or my chances. I can leave that anxiety at the side of the road.
What i learned is this:
Sometimes a married person IS wonderfully equipped for that role. and sometimes it’s true, a single has no business in a relationship at that time. but sometimes… those realities reverse. and we have to stop implying that singleness is an indication of something missing.
The necessity for character tweaks aren’t just reserved for singles, just as accountability isn’t only ordained for covenant bound people .  Of course i need to be working on myself; my flaws and my foundational cracks…. Just like every married person does… 😃  Self improvement is a path & exercise we will ALL walk out for the entirety of our lives. Whether single or married we’ll all get to battle through the insecurities. the mindsets. the leaning on God and not leaning on God. the grass is greener syndrome.
So i say this to you, dear single af beauty
Your RBF is not making you unmarryable.  There are plenty of married momma’s who STILL have RBF. you can rest, sweet one. You don’t need to prove your desirability. Just rest & live without loathing your every move.
I say: your singleness is not because you’re too hot to approach or too unattractive to be wanted. Just rest & keep living. You don’t need to dress more frumpy to be more approachable nor do you need to fancy yourself up into something you don’t truly want to be, to be more palatable. People of all appearances and quirky personalities find adoring mates every day.
I say to you: keep digging into this ‘trusting God thing’. But not because it’ll land you a husband at last. Dig because the kind of rest provided by trust is the sweetest thing we’ll ever taste, and what a treasure to experience that this side of heaven.
i say work on your issues because you deserve to be free of lies, not because you’re undesirable with flaws.
I say to you wear the green shirt or wear the yellow one. it’s okay. You’ll find each other. BECAUSE: When God moves, you couldn’t mess it up if you tried. (<– See.. that’s pointing to trust in God vs trust in your own ability to screw it up)
I say: ‘good on ya’ for all the deep heart work you’ve done of letting God be your everything. I see you. And i don’t see your singleness as a lashing for not having that down yet.
 To those comforting us:
Though singleness might land us drinking wine and sending single-life memes to each other, remember we’re only Single, we’re not Sick. If one of us is 40 and single—you’re allowed to not wonder “so, what’s wrong with him/her?” (come on, we all do it)
And when you offer your words-
think of it like how a wife doesn’t always want her husband in fix-it mode. she sometimes just wants him to listen? that’s usually all we need too. And if you must offer words because your heart is just bursting to comfort us: maybe just say “I’m so sorry you don’t have something you want so badly in your life right now”. Us being heard might be just what our heart is aching for right then.
I’m sure your bits of advice often come from what wound up being the case for You prior to relationship (ie: You became content without relationship and BOOM- then relationship happened) and that’s great! but you becoming content wasn’t the REASON it ‘came’. That’s just how it happened. And for many others who Do GENUINELY enter that stage of contentedness… and then remain there so long that they then make their way OUT of that content state of walking alone 😉 …. it does not mean they didn’t learn true contentedness. Some people just wind up having to walk that road longer than maybe you had to or under different, maybe more challenging circumstances. So now they desire something that once they were okay without. And that is allowed. seasons are allowed. For everything in life. For healing. For mourning. For adventure. life & desires happen in waves. It gets to apply here too 🙂
We know you are often just trying to give us a bit of “hold onto hope, there’s a good reason for your waiting”. And maybe there IS a good reason for our waiting. But maybe just let each of our stories reveal for themselves why waiting was best for us. Because for every misdiagnosis you offer up,  we go home and question ourselves. And if anything right now, we need to be growing to enjoy ourselves. Not deducing every step as a possible undesirability. We know you love us. So just stand with us to keep loving what IS in our lives, celebrating the growth we’ve fought for, and in trusting God & His leadership.  That’s all we need.

Waves

*do not, I repeat, do not utter/comment a word of disrespect toward the person I chose to marry. I am no idiot and insulting him insults me. He is not the point of this. Permission to confess the depth of your pain, is. This, like many of your experiences, is just an unfortunately poignant story that paints it. I think these pictures do more than a million of my words could for painting the depth and validity of what was and thus the cavern created by what came to be no more.
I struggled all day to find words for the way October 27 feels, 5 years later.I know I’m not the only one embarrassed that “too many years later” something of the past still pains you. I know I’m not the only one brought to their knees by confusion for how you are where you are, while whitnessing “them” get what you wanted all along. (Oh man. That sentence was too honest). I can’t be the only one with suggestions barraging your trigger points… “of course everyones assumption is,Sophie, that this was some rushed,less than mature love.”….it’s a query I never address, because the thought angers me so.. but I’m stopped in my tracks, seeing these images how… Oh , how we loved deeply.. like a tale ppl dream of. I may never get to understand what occurred.
 I intended to say nothing about today, because “talking about it means im stuck in the past and I’m not ready to move on”<< says the accusation voice that’s nestled deep in the crack this break made. I feel a shame in merely noticing todays date, much less speaking about it. But I also found myself hating the idea that somehow “healed” means today can’t matter for me? Is that really healing? To ignore aches for the sake of saying you’re ache free? Words are hard for me to come by the last month but what I will squeak out is this: I think it’s okay to mourn the loss, even 20 years later perhaps. I think it’s healthy to grieve when grief roars. And I think it’s just as pertinently healthy to LET yourself smile when smiles surface, without fear of the lips upward curve nullifying the pain that was, sometimes is, and probably will be in passing. It can be both and. You are a both and. And that is more than okay. It is divine.
As oct 27 came to a close, I gave up searching for words to describe the phantom sensations of this day. And then I came across these words..Suffice it to say… yes… Yes,Yes..Accurate.👇🏽

 When Asked for Advice on How to Deal with Grief, This Old Man Gave the Most Incredible Reply

“I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love.

So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out.

But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too.”

“Why don’t I feel what ‘they’ feel during Worship?”

I’m kinda the weirdo that paces  back and forth while I worship through song. lay down when i wanna submit my will and preoccupations to the words im singning. move my arms all strange and honestly I kinda (intentionally) forget there are humans in my vicinity.
The other night though, I was tied to a mic and unable to move freely. i noticed the feeling of constraint and how something felt lost for me in not being able to just go ham (that’s slang for “crazy” or “all in”). I didn’t like not being able to just move and give to Him through movement. That’s when something sweet and counterintuitive occurred to me. 
I remember days when I was so caught up in & discouraged by not being able to FEEL ANYTHING when I tried to worship. I use that wording on purpose because I really did  see it as something I could ‘do well’ or ‘do wrong’. Thoughts about this would consume my whole worship time. “Whats wrong with me? Why isnt this working for me like it seems to for them?” I would be trying to worship but just couldnt get myself to feel anything. I Felt like the other crazy arm wavers and body movers were tapping into something I just freaking couldn’t seem to access. They were more spiritual than me. Certainly not more Hungry than me because I was freaking desperate. But for whatever reason, God liked them more and was more responsive to their company in worship. 
Somewhere along the years I learned without ever having a definitive moment of learning, that praise when I don’t FEEL like it, is perhaps  actually a SWEETER offering than when my emotions are running high and demonstrating love to God feels easy. 
To choose to PUT my body on the GROUND instead of asking Him to MAKE me (since when was His root character, force & compulsory love?) and say with my mouth  that  “He deserves and has my all” even when I’m not overcome with emotion. And make the knees of my heart bend to the confession That “He is good and I trust Him” even when I’m tempted not to. That “I’ll take Him over all else the world can offer”…including a husband & more kids. That “i need and require more of Him to do this life”…….to submit my every inch and atom to extravegant confessions like this… while.feeling.nothing. 
That is not 

Fake. 

That is not

Reaching.

That is not
Playing a part.
That is putting your body, soul and mind where your mouth has been every time you said these words before. That is submitting your flesh to the confession that these things remain true regardless of FEELING. 
What a freaking offering! What a beautiful _sight.
This is nothing against my ex, but more an illustration of the opportunity to demonstrate great Love to god: 
I think of how it would have moved me to see my husband stay and fight for the promise we made EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT in the moment. For him to have still honored, served and protected me regardless of his eb and flow of emotions. THAT is true lived out love. That is the thickness of true, mature lifelong relationship. Devotion cannot be dictated by emotion. It is choice. It is submission to that devoted choice. And perhaps all the sweeter when it’s valliance is not faded by a self centered pursuit of emotional arousal. I am not here on this floor to feel something. I am not even here to walk out feeling refreshed. Though I may. I am not here to get-off on the spirit. Yeah I said that. I am not here to feel good or feel moved or feel spiritually touched. Though I may from time to time.  I am here on this floor because I have decided for myself that what I have seen of God, has deemed Him forever in my heart, as worthy to lay down my ENTIRE life, image, pride and comfor for. That whether I Feel it or not today, He is still going to be the pursuit of my heart. Whether I’m in the spiritual mood or not,  He is just as worthy of my strange, vulnerablilty-inducing arm and body movement. I will give Him the offering of: my body made uncomfortable,whether I FEEL it or not because He doesn’t stop being all the things I felt Him to be yesterday just because I’m less aware of it today and more aware of my fears or busy schedule. He doesn’t stop being King because I’m less moved by the reality of His stature today. He isnt less trustworthy today because im struggling to trust today. His charcater is established. So I will submit my pride and my comfort and my mistaken allegiance to my feelings, to the Deservingness of My All, every time. 
What a relief. The sincerity of my worship does not have to wait on my feelings that day. I dont have to like the song. Or the band. I don’t have to feel a thing. I’m not on the outskirts while the weird movers are in His presence. I’m not waiting on my turn. My turn is every time i say “hey, right now i say you’re worthy and i trust your leadership.” And boom. Incense rises up to His throne like sweet perfume that His daughter is here to love regardless of her fleeting earthly feelings and whether she gets anything physical or emotional out of it. 
Perhaps that, is even sweeter. 
Cue: Pressure

Gone. 
Just give.

…Finally

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To help get us to our needed $300 to open our Non-Profit

  • Venmo (@sophie-beya) (fee free)
  • or the above Pay-Pal Button (paypal takes small fee)

When I quit college to move to Africa, before I ended up accidentally opening a school for our orphanages at risk kids, I’d spend my days at the hospital malnourished children’s ward. Spending my days washing the bedwound ridden bodies of 7 year old skin wrapped skeletons, feeding formula through feeding tubes on their last days living. Giving the mom’s time to go wash the soiled bedding by hand in the courtyard while I’d carry a small momentary load.

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All to watch children die. Week after week. Sometimes 5 in one week. Every one of them, from starvation.

They’d come too late and the simple fix damage was already done.

It was here that I had a dream birthed.

I heard of a person who provided basic medical and nutritional care + human touch and attention to bring starving kids back to health.

From that moment 9 years ago my dream has been to take 1 child in at a time, feed, hold, rock, pray and love them back to health. 1:1, rip them far away from deaths door. To give my life to this. Living in a remote forgotten unseen part of the world, loving where it’s dark. That’s been my BIGGEST dream my whole life.

This past month God whispered to me about my influence… “make it a village” He said.. and turned my eyes toward the UNMATCHED community i’ve had surrounding, supporting and answering to every single mission ive been involved in the past 11 years.

“Make it a village”… easy, with my people!!

And like that, the dream was detonated into something faaarrrr more glorious than i could have thought up.

A village of healing homes. Where ( i and other) volunteers would come and say “i can give 2 weeks, I can give 2 months, I can give 1 year”, and 1:1 we’d serve and love life back into them .

So much of what I’ve run into nation after nation, is simple simple DOABLE stuff. And damnit I’M WILLING. Send us! Ill go build it, yall come!

This is what my heart cries out to Jesus and sits up thinking about at night.

This and more project dreams just like it.

I shared with you my 10 year dream to start a non profit to be able to run after projects like this. Shockingly I was able to do a hefty amount of the paperwork that hung over my head for 10 years and we are at the END of the paperwork to officially open this non profit. $300 stands in the way of submitting final papers and receiving the green light to officially GO and give donors tac deductions for their contribution to everything we do from here on out.

Halellu!

If you feel so moved to help make this final “finally” happen so we can feed the starving, medicate the sick, house the homeless and answer when He calls, every penny will help toward that $300.

I cannot wait to share this coming journey filled with volunteer trips with so many of you.

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Goin’ to Haiti!

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To Donate toward the expenses of Sophie’s service trip to Haiti:

(you may prefer VENMO, or the below pay pal button)

Any Unused money (by sophie/sophie’s trip expenses will be given directly to the Medical Relief Agencies doing work on the ground with victims)

expenses thus far:
flight $680
vaccinnations: $268
malaria pills: $120
dry food rations: $100
on ground impact fee:$70
emergency evacuation insurance: $213
misc expenses: $600
TOTAL NEEDED:$2051
(will update as money comes in)

“OK. So here it goes.
If you know me, you know my heart is for the parts of the world where No one wants to go. The darkest, forgotten places. It’s where my mind always is, and what makes my heart feel most like it’s living. If you followed my journey back in December when I went to Greece to serve at a Syrian Refugee Camp while they traveled to hopeful safety: you know I mentioned that that trip had unveiled to me what I believed to be my Life Calling. I don’t know if I ever shared what that was: and I think that’s mostly because while I knew now what I WANTED to do with my mission efforts: I didn’t yet see HOW or believe that it WOULD be needed or that doors would open for it. The life calling revelation was that my dream was to tell the stories of the people in these darkest places. To bring eyes to their realities and let God do what He will with the greater exposure of those stories. This was always what my heart wanted to do, but i kept believeing that “that wasnt enough to offer”. I needed to be a teacher. Or nurse. In Greece it hit me like a ton of bricks: the ENTIRE ISLAND of volunteers was there because ONE story teller went there first and exposed what was happening to these refugees on the boats..and it ignited unmeasurable waves of change. There’s so much God can do with the hearing of a story. He may use that story telling to facilitate changing the future story of the victims. Or He may change the HEARTS of the ones reading; which changes the world on so many levels. I wanted to give my life as a bridge to THAT happening. because I knew I had the heart to go. The willingness to see what it hard to look at. Let my heart be broken, face anything, and relay it back.

This weekend while away at a self-work conference: a crisis medical relief agency asked me if I would be able and willing to go in place of their Director , to a zone that is currently in EXTREME desolation and is thus far *UNREACHED*. she said: “there won’t be a bed for you to sleep on Sophie, or a roof over your head. Or a shower the whole time you’re there. You’ll have to jump down from the plane, and into the water, just to get to the ppl”…type of mission. She kept trying to talk me Out of it. Let me know how desolate this was. She said volunteers had been arriving and Quitting within 3 days to go back home because of how bad it was… I told her the more she was talking the more it was just making me want to get on the plane today .
They called me.. because they needed someone in great Physical shape to deal with the awful conditions(they’d seen my Instagram), and with mental fortitude amongst great devastation (they’d seen my work with Orphans & Hospice Children in Sudan and Syrian refugees in Greece, and the way I’ve handled my divorce & life)…and they wanted: get this: to send me: the college drop out, with their team of Doctors…. to: get this: TELL THE STORIES OF THOSE ON GROUND.
They needed someone who could physically and mentally double as both a support to the doctors as well as someone to document the stories and work being done there (I’ll film, photograph and write)……😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭YOU GUYS COME ON! If that doesn’t tell you God is playing His chess pieces even when we’re not watching: I don’t know what will!
I always preach about working out SO THAT we CAN do the things were called to do: but this is the FIRST TIME I’m actually CALLED UPON, BECAUSE I’m in physical shape enough to handle walking through water for 5 miles in EXTREME heat for days on end.what if I had written it off and convinced myself that being in shape didn’t REALLY matter because I was loved by God regardless and Yada Yada?! 😭 What i preach is being made so literal to me, and that’s wrecking my spirit 😭 I’m a college DROP OUT YOU GUYS! And God calls ME out of the crowd to stand beside Doctors and Surgeons in their work. To tell the stories of the broken and hurting. To go in place of the DIRECTOR this amazing organization….?! I mean, WHAT?!…!
I know that I don’t have the $ in my account right now to make this happen. I don’t have the proper clothing for heat and flooding. I don’t have the proper protection for my gear.. I don’t have my shots or the malaria pills. Don’t have travelers insurance in case I need to be emergency evacuated. I’ll be away from my baby and that hurts……but I just know: everything will happen and everything will be okay.

If you have stories playing out in your head of why you’re not qualified to do the ideas in your head: LET this encourage you. If you wonder if the exact dreams you have, will ever come to pass: I have been faithful with the missions set before me for TEN YEARS before this exact trip came. Be faithful with what’s been given to you and you will be given more. If God has nudged you to be diligent in something and you don’t see the importance of why you should: JUST DO IT.trust that there is a reason! Your “workout” [insert your nudging] may be for a coming “extreme condition calling”.
Haiti. Here I come.”

You’re In Your Darkest Pit…

i suppose as a result of my open heart policy in my social media- i get questions (pretty often) about

~How to come out of Depression

~How i dealt with the ANGER surrounding my heartaches

~What to do when you have nothing left in you to even Seek God because you’re so beaten down

and

~Feeling/Not feeling God in the midst of so much pain.

I get these questions a lot. and i understand each one of them. i have been there too many times.

 

 

sometimes a person reaches out to me via email and i stop the whole show to really make sure i respond whole heartedly and without rushing. i’ll be honest it takes energy, and sometimes the knowledge of the energy it’s going to take for me to let myself “go there” in my response- will make me delay my responding for a few days. But these kinds of messages matter. more than vegetables and weight loss. more than my dream job or travels. To me, my life calling (outside of being made more like Jesus) is to go to the darkest corners and bring light. its where the cheesy name of this blog came from 9 years ago when i began my African travels and country after country each nationality would give me a native name that time after time meant : “bringer of light”. they all chose that for me. each new place. i noticed the trend and adopted it. it matched my heart. to love on the people and go to the places where no one else wanted to go. the dark places. the scary raw places. of the world, and of peoples hearts.

so maybe that plays into why i open up about things that maybe some wouldn’t.

anyways.

One particular beautiful and courageously vulnerable woman (who knows who she is) reached out to me after going through something (i consider to be) far worse than anything ive faced. as usual, it took me a few days to respond, because her words and experience cut me so deeply. i ached for her and lost all my words.

but finally i responded with a whole and open heart. And something nudged me with the thought that maybe.. just maybe , these words could answer the questions of others who’ve maybe never reached out. Maybe this can comfort others?  And this way, you don’t have to reach out 🙂 you can quietly watch and receive. I hope for someone, reading this, feels like receiving.

❤ i love you all so much ❤

 

 

My Words to this gem:

“First of all, i could never pretend to even remotely understand the pain and weight that your heart very understandably has faced with what you went through. i truly Cannot imagine. and won’t pretend to have felt pain that deep. I’m so sorry. so so deeply genuinely sorry.

i can relate very much to the feeling of God not being around. or at least it seeming like that. i used to be a deep lover of God. deeply worshiped Him. worship was my thing. And then my husband left. a husband i thought God had led me to. and Boom , just like that, my feeling of safety with the lord was ZAPPED. gone. my feeling of trust in the fact that i even Knew what the Lords voice sounded like- was gone. i couldn’t worship. couldn’t read the word. couldn’t even hear worship songs i used to listen to during my engagement and marriage. all of what i had known with the Lord suddenly felt so tainted. and He was the ONE thing i needed and longed for in the midst of all that pain. and was the one thing i couldn’t seem to get to (or truly what it was, the one thing i couldn’t seem to Receive from) in that time. i hated when ppl said that Time would do so much healing. because it felt like they were saying “just hang on , in the place of the worst pain you’ve ever felt. just keep that up. you’ll get over it eventually“. but honestly the pain felt like it was going to suffocate me and there wouldn’t BE a someday for me. i didn’t think i WAS even going to make it through. But honestly, what did impact me, was hearing friends of mine, who i KNEW the stories of, who i knew had been through hell and back- for THEM to tell me that It wouldn’t always hurt this bad. That time would change so much. and that everything WOULD be okay. somehow, hearing this from ppl who had really hurt as bad (or even worse) than i was – somehow knowing that if THEY could say “someday the pain will lift”,… then i trusted it. i CLUNG to that. CLUNG to the hope that the pain would lift. and that it would get better.

and in that space- of NOT feeling God. I just WALKED in whatever “relational behaviors” i could squeeze out of me. I could no longer open the bible and weep in revelation. the word felt dead to me. but i could make myself read and let things deposit in the soil of my heart. even if it didn’t THINK or SEE that they were taking root (they were) . Maybe i couldn’t get to a place in worship anymore where i felt Him closer than my skin. Maybe i didn’t trust that i heard His voice clearly anymore. But i could make myself get down on my knees in my bedroom when no one was looking, and tell what felt like a brick wall (but was a Living, listening God) “i don’t hear you. i don’t feel you. and i don’t trust myself to: BUT more than those FEELINGS- i want you to know- i desire your voice more than anything else in life. So please help me hear you. I’m going to choose to trust that you Are in fact speaking to me and helping me through this shit hole. help me to be able to see it, sense it, hear it, receive it. i don’t want my soil to grow thorny. i don’t want my heart to harden. be my helper, because without you intervening- thats the direction I’m headed in”

and that’s the direction i walked in every day. i walked out whatever i could squeeze from myself. WITHOUT there being FEELINGS there. just out of a Choice to choose to trust and cling.

i was also 1000000% angry. and we talked about that a lot. God and I.

i didn’t want to invest in a relationship that i felt like hadn’t protected me from the pain my divorce had now left me with. but when i was honest with myself, as “natural” as it felt to just say “screw it. i don’t even want to seek you” i KNEW in the bottom of my heart…. i simply COULDN’T THINK of a life lived without Him. i knew i desperately needed Him. i knew how suicidal, hard hearted, hopeless, self centered, bitter and unforgiving i was without Him intervening and teaching me otherwise. this was one of the few times that my HEAD stepped in and out-ruled my spirit. because my spirit felt 100% Dead. But my head had Decided to cling in the littlest ways i could squeak out. and as it turned out- my mustard seed was enough. slowly He began to flourish in my heart again in private worship. something i never thought id feel safe in again. He began to make the bible not feel so foreign to me again. Began to walk me through trusting safe ppl in relationships. it was not a plan that He laid out for me all at once from the start and said “this is how its going to happen” . it was a lot of talking out loud to what felt like was just myself in an empty bedroom. but parts of my heart started to shake off fear and anger. my eyes started to shed shells blinding me from seeing Good and Blessing He was pouring out (and I’m not talking like “the sun is shining and i woke up today”, i know those ARE extravagant undeserved blessings. but sometimes those feel trite. I’m talking “holy mother of pearl, i cannot believe i didn’t see how He was working in my life in x way. my eyes weren’t even LOOKING to see that but now they do!”) i know that the same God who loved me fiercely enough to not let me fall of the cliff in my utter darkness- loves You no less. i trust He will guide you in the ways that YOUR heart needs. speak to you in the ways that You need. your healing and redemption will likely look nothing like mine. because your finger print is different than mine. But what i can pray for you- is that you may allow yourself to BELIEVE that it IS God , anytime you feel an encouraging thought, feeling or idea plop into your head. That you may feel an ounce more of anger lift from your spirit each morning. That you may allow yourself to trust it is God you’re hearing, not your own thoughts. because He IS speaking. He just is. He can’t not. And that if there is anything you have held up in your spirit that is Blocking your own ears and eyes from hearing and seeing His heart for you: that He would clearly & gently point out to you what it is that’s blocking you from recognizing His voice in your life in this season. If there’s any thing you need to let go your grip of (bitterness, lack of trust in Him, thinking we know better, my personal list could go on and on and on) that He may make that realization sit at the front of your brain and make you unable to get away from it, until you turn away from it in your heart and ask Him to walk you into the opposite (tenderness with Him, unconditional chosen trust in Him & what He allows, trusting and adoring His leadership) .

You are beautiful, and brave JUST for being humble and tender enough to reach out to a stranger. that shows HUNGER in your heart for God and for breakthrough. He is JUMPING UP AND DOWN that you have that hunger beating inside you. as much as you may THINK you don’t want to seek Him… you just did. 🙂 You have no concept of how massive that is to the heart of God . do all you can to allow yourself to experiment with trusting that the Good and sweet things that drop in your brain ARE from God. you may find He is, & has been speaking to you more than you ever realized.

you are loved. and it WILL get better <3″

 

 

i pray this reaches whoever might have also needed these words

xo

The Story Behind My Worship

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it’s midnight, and despite a fast approaching 530am alarm i won’t be able to escape: every part of me is WIRED awake after tonights Wednesday Service & Worship.
 
I share a lot about my life: all the parts of it. And though i may post a passive “invite” to join us for a service sometimes- a part of my life i DON’T share about is the worship part (like where i volunteer for weekends at my church). I’ll be 100% honest and say that this is out of me NOT wanting to come off as “wanting the attention of it” or any other number of accusations i can make up in my head for why i should never speak on that area of my life. if i talk about it, i bring more eyes to it. if i bring eyes to it, it means I’m in it for the attention. (see how he deceives)
But as I’m sitting here JAZZED at midnight as if i haven’t been up since 530am… God’s reminding me of WHAT HE JUST BROUGHT ME THROUGH IN MY LIFE and What that says about God.
 
i grew up a fierce worshipper. song did something to my insides. sounds spoke what words couldn’t. worship would bring parts of me to life that no teaching or sermon ever could.
after a few years of being involved in worship at church growing up (been at crds for 16 years), i moved away to Africa and when i came back i never got involved again. The devil tried attaching himself to my mind in that season. thoughts of rejection; that i wasn’t wanted in that space. (all false) but what was really happening was God said “i want you to myself. i don’t want you to need a crowd. i want you to need me”.
and did i ever. desperately so.
 
i entered the most private, DEEP, hungry, naked, honest, unashamed season of worship in my life up to that point. It’s not about time- but man, the TIME spent in that place. Hours and hours, on my floor, knee’s bruised, throat coarse from essentially screaming songs in desperation for more of God. hours upon hours upon hours. not for performance. But because i knew anything else i could get up and redirect my attention toward- DIDNT STAND A CHANCE at satisfying what my heart was crying out for. I WANTED HIM TO COME A LITTLE CLOSER to my flawed ablitilty to sense and revere Him. So i stayed there. might as well.
i remember GOING.FOR.IT. in seasons i had roommates. my poor roommates. i used to SHOOOUTTT like no one was within miles. They were. they were on the other side of our very thin walls. bahaha. I’m so sorry guys.
 
In that season of a tug-and-pull with God; in the midst of my frustration for more of Him not being felt: He tugged on my hunger: not as a taunt or tease. but as a genuine question. How hungry Are you really? How much precedence Does this take on your priority list and the weights of your heart? Can life provide you with something else distraction worthy?
 
at the height of what felt like my hunger years (a period of probably 5 years), i became engaged (to a fellow missionary friend) and quickly married. Then as you know the story: in 2 months: that shattered. And with it- shattered my intricately woven, built, cultivated and nourished grounds for where i safely met a God with no walls around my heart. My closet was gone. i felt like an idiot. How could i spend so much time, in the “presence of god”, “giving Him permission to ALL of me” and MISS that He had to have been telling me Not to marry this man?? If i was so close to God, how did i miss this?? How did i think this man was given to me by God?? i no longer trusted MY HEARING of the Lord. It wasn’t God i doubted. It was ME and my ability to accurately hear and discern what was God and what wasn’t. The thoughts i heard in my worship space? could no longer be trusted. The intimacy and love i sang of – i clearly was not an accurate representation of TRULY knowing. i was an idiot and a completely lost fraud. If i missed this- there had to be 5 million other things i thought i heard in that sacred space with God- that id also miss-heard.
 
That space became 100% dirty feeling to me. couldn’t listen to worship music WHATSOEVER. could NOT open my bible. just a complete film of filth and fear and doubt was pulled over my private place with God. i remember during the separation while i was pregnant- i described it to 2 friends as “i was so HUNGRY and desperate for 5 years… i felt like i was crying out to God that i was EMPTY for all those years- and at the peak of that CRY and emptiness- THEN THIS hit… (the divorce) and THAT- felt like God had walked me out to the end of a 5 year trek into the desert. then He beat me to a bloody pulp. cracked each of my ribs. kicked out my teeth. shattered my jaw. collar bones. snapped my knees. eyes swollen shut… and then He left me there- without a drop of water. to die”
 
it sounds AWFUL and overly dramatic. But this was the only picture i could think to describe the level of pain i felt in that time.
 
i share this to say:
over the past 2ish years. maybe no one really knew it. people just saw “this girl out of no where, step onto stage” but what had happened behind the scenes- was i slowly. inch by inch. song by song. conversation by conversation.. was inching my way back to my knees. in front of the “throne of God” where i used to come so boldly. I was inching back into that space. well actually. a new space. it meant even more this time. It meant: even through the pain: here am i God. i’ll love you still. even when my human brain doesn’t get WHY it went down like this.
 
when i weep, during worship.um. its legitimately genuine. because i KNOW how far my heart was from Him. To sing to Him from an unafraid, trusting again, loving Him again- place: that ALONE can make me weep.
There is no place i go “on stage” that i haven’t gone in the secrecy of my own room. No sacrifice i offer up. no posture i sit in. Or thing that i tell Him. the BEST and purest place for that is for an audience of 1. when no one is watching. when no one knows whether I’m cultivating-or netflixing. when no one knows if i’ll choose to REALLY trust Him after losing faith in my own ability to “get it right”…. will i devote and lay down right there? THAT had to come before any “stage” could come. (or at least for me to genuinely carry something) without that: i’d just be singing.
 
I’m sitting up thinking on this because 1)of course no one knows the story behind why i worship the way i do. why I fight for it, and why it’s like a PLACE i insist on TAKING BACK every single day. i want my intimacy back 10 fold, for every minute i spent away from Him doubting His feet to be a safe place for my heart to lay down. Truthfully… no one Needs to know my behind the scenes story. It doesn’t further legitimize it. But i share because 1)there has to be someone sitting where i sat- feeling rejected (its a lie. you’re not rejected by any one or anything. and in full disclosure: the ONLY audience (1) who Ever mattered: He’s currently sitting front row and center RET to receive your praises. without a band behind you. it’s sweeter to Him anywyas. because no one is watching and He knows its intent is more likely to be pure. And it sends a message that He is enough. He’s what you want. That whole thing where He kept me to Himself so i could discover just how deeply and desperately i Needed Him… yeah. I’m there. and the thought of how desperately i need Him at every waking moment in even the most mundane things: isn’t just a head knowledge thought- its a rabbit trail of truth and emotion that I’ve traveled so deeply with Him, that it makes me ACTUALLY WEEP at the drop of a hat. and i COULDN’T have gone to that depth in front of a room. i needed the safety of privacy. He knew my best interest. and my best interest was to find my deepest level of hunger for Him. And to get there- i needed the safety of no one around. Thank you for the safety of no stage in those days- jesus; you the real mvp) I needed ALL roots of me thinking a stage legitimized my worship- to be eradicated- before i could be trusted with that space again.

 
i share because 2)

i also share to encourage the one whose ability to yearn for deep connection with God, seems to be dried up: ..His desire to pull close with you – will always out weigh your own. However hungry you can imagine being to meet with this supposedly living God: He at all times- wants it 1 million times more than that. So know that it’s not Your hunger that has to carry you into His presence. its His. and your hunger is just the sweet romance of a gift you get to leave at the feet of a great God who holds back the shores of the sea’s from overtaking the earth- and have THAT God go .. “wow…. SHE’S lovely…wow”. my hunger for Him is just a state of sweetness and CHOSEN tenderness amidst a set of circumstances that want to tell me to harden myself to a”God who doesn’t show up”. my hunger does not have to GET ME TO HIM. He comes to me. my hunger is what softens me to Receive Him and what He says/delivers/breaks off- when He comes.

 
i don’t know if this is making any sense.
 
your dry place will not last forever. Every single day, He is speaking directly over you “rise up, dry bones. rise up”. He is doing that. Your job is to: in your hardness, speak agreements with that which is tender and belief filled. In your fear, still call out that you WANT to get back to a place of trusting. Not “force it on me God. make me trust you”. no . He won’t force Himself on anyone. But you don’t have to FEEL something to GET to that something. You can FEEL beaten down and impossibly timid to enter into a place of intimate worship with God AND STILL proclaim Agreements with WANTING that to be restored (even to greater levels). You can feel 100% positive you’ve never once “gotten the voice of God ‘right’.” and still SPEAK OUT TO HIM that you WANT to Hear from Him and you WANT His help and leadership in discerning what is and isn’t His voice.
 
And you know what that’s called? Intimacy.
 
we have this idea that intimacy is warm feeling. positive. uplifting. safe. cozy.
 
Imtimacy is also the trenches where you Could turn your back on a lover: and choosing to SPEAK to them THROUGH that pit and still share your longings, thought processes, stumbling blocks, and postures you’re CHOOSING to maintain: despite what cover your skin tells you that you should run for.
intimacy after my desert beating, looked like sitting in an empty room, with no music playing, no bible open, because my soul couldn’t bear it- and going- “I’m a dead man walking…. but i want you”
 
it was getting back on my knees and saying ” i feel nothing right now. i trust nothing right now. but i want you to change that. i don’t want to grow hard. I want deeper love exchanges with you than i had before. I want you to teach me how to hear, and how to trust when i Do think i hear. i need you to re-wire this whole thing called me.”
 
intimacy was going back into that space without the familiar parameters and tools of the last season. and saying “at the end of the day, i just want you”
 
There is no place i “go to” spiritually,on a stage, that i haven’t traversed deeply in the secrecy of my home before an audience of 1.
 
and that makes it pretty easy to forget anyones even around honestly, when there Are a couple thousand peeps. (that and the blinding lights help too)
 
why i share this:
-part as a testimony to the goodness of Gods redemption (not that I’m on a stage: good grief i hope that’s coming across clear; redemption that He got His spot as center lover in my heart again).
-part as encouragement to anyone with slivers of shared experiences.
and
-part as gratitude reflection.
the enemy wants me to shut up about this part of my journey. it’s why he’s worked so hard to convince me that speaking on my worship learnings means i want more attention. um. news flash satan: whether i talk about it or not- its happening…
so, if there is growth or insight to be handed forth: i do little good to sit on it, in fear.
“the prophecy of God, is the testimony of Jesus”
if this is true: then Jesus coming back for me in that place of Worship— prophecies that God comes for us in our dark places.
if this is true- then Jesus wanting closeness with me, more than i want it with Him- prophecy’s that God wants nearness with us more than we want it with Him. this is good news. it means that ache in your heart that feels unmet- it won’t remain unmet. He can’t hold back for ever. It’s just not an option or in His ways. if something you’ve chosen to hold onto is blocking you from Him coming near- then He’ll send a million life boats for you to get Out of that state so He CAN dwell nearer. SOMEHOW . SOME WAY. HE WILL. Have His bride. This is the testimony of Jesus in My life. And that is the foretelling of God in all our lives.
 
I know i lost some ppl here, but. Its my story. its the story behind my big ol long arms spread out wide. I fling my arms wide open, because that is truly the posture and state of my HEART toward Him. And i’ll do it every chance i get to align myself with that posture: because i know what it was like to have my heart wrapped tightly in a terrified, closed off ball. I’m completely smitten to be back in His throne room WITHIN MY HEART when i sing to Him. I’m EXCITED to be mush before Him, because i know what it was like to be a hard hard rock. This is the story behind my tightly shut eyes: because when i sing: i literally see a glorious golden and maroon throne RIGHT in front of my body, where He sits and listens to the words pour out from my heart – into His. (oh y’all think I’m crazy now)
 
this is another facet of my story. hope it encourages someone,somehow.
now i can sleep
*my fears in sharing this were that it would come off as though i think highly of myself or that i think being on a stage actually Means something. I hope it’s clear neither of those are the case. My point in sharing is centered around what I’ve learned about Worship. there are about 70 other facets of worship inside of music and outside of the context of music- that i haven’t touched on here. this is just one facet I’ve learned about.

to Moria

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As you’ve heard, the doors have opened for me to head to a Syrian Refugee Camp (in Greece) in less than 2 weeks which means God’s about to show us Just how many puzzle pieces He can arrange in a short amount of time.

In order for this miracle trip to happen, i’m needing to raise around $5000 (will allow some extra for me to respond to needs that HPP is finding and needing assistance with). Flight prices are increasing each day so AS SOON as i have enough for that portion – i will purchase my flight!

Here is a link to donate!!

Donate to Sophie’s Trip

Other asks:

  • Prayer for God’s voice to draw near on this trip. There are some big things He’s speaking to me about this trip, this crisis, the people I’ll get to see & fall in love with. I want nothing but His voice in my ears, and His heart thumping in my own chest.
  • I’ll potentially be reaching out to really close friends/family  for help with a few gaps of needed Kari Coverage. Most of it is already covered, but i want to be as little of a burden as possible to her father and my parents 🙂
  • A Camera. I feel a prompting to take a good camera. Not sure why. If anyone has a camera that to them, is ‘old’ and they are okay with the risk of letting me take it on this trip (and of course returning once im home). I have experience with professional Nikon’s & Cannons if that makes you feel less scared 😉

Have Any Questions? email me at sophie.beya@gmail.com

And um. ..

Thank you. You even Caring about someone else, me, going on this trip- is profoundly moving and selfless and i don’t really know what to say outside of : THANK YOU.

 

below is the actual Camp i will be helping at (Moria Refugee Camp), which is inland from where all of the refugee’s are arriving by “boat”. Again, i am going through a Medical Organization that brings over medical professionals to help the refugees. I am going to help THEM in whatever ways they say they need. Ambulance Driver. Runner. Play-with-kid-er 🙂 WhateverTheySay 🙂 One thing they have voiced is wanting something to bring joy to the kids as they wait in the camp. To bring them back to life for even a short time. This is such a desolate time for them. Something to help the kids laugh and feel alive for a brief moment. Idea’s welcome. I’ll be taking as little clothing as possible for myself as to leave room for whatever i can take! i don’t THINK clothing is what’s needed. but i could be wrong. I’ll try to find out more!syria 2

Worship Sign Up

I am constantly finding worship songs & worship “sets” that bring me to my knee’s, crush me with the sweetness of God’s character, soften my heart before Him, and re-align my mind and spirit with His will.

If you LOVE worship & would be blessed by being sent amazing worship to help you get lost in Him, this will bless you, and it would be my joy to pass musical goodness your way 🙂 Just click here and drop your email 🙂 I’ll also include prayers & encouraging words as i feel led 🙂

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The Other Woman…

The Other Woman…

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There’s another woman standing where I Thought my Permanent Unshakeable spot was. She’s nestled her feet into the grooves my footprints left in wet concrete.  Life ripped me off of that spot before I had enough time to dry & settle into Permanency.

She looks more like her daughter than mine, both with golden blonde locks, and I can’t lie and say that doesn’t make me feel like God a little bit wanted her life to be easier than He cared to bring ease to mine. For the rest of their lives… she can play mom and no one will ever ask or wonder or look perplexed. They’ll have an easy, unquestioned, free to move on from the past: life. Together. No daily reminders of what happened. No daily “… oh….. ?… is that… your daughter…? Or..” and then having to explain that “no”, Sakari is another womans child. Their family unit will never have to address that for years to come. Because she looks like she’s from her.

Kari is every bit, mine. But there is just a cold hard fact that I daily get asked if im the Nanny. That every time I explain “no she’s mine. Her dad is just white. She’s only ¼ black.. so it makes sense…” all of this would be true and necessary to explain whether he’d left or not. But. With it as it is- each repeated explanation handed over. Is a repeated reminder of what happened.

But in my mind. The space where I torture myself into thinking I got the short straw: THEY live seamlessly as one unquestioned, and smiled upon family.  He gets the partner to share this whole “parenting” thing with. And I (overflowed with GRACE and HELP) still.. journey through it “alone”.

It. Sucks.

And I could be bitter. And truthfully some days I am. Some days they come to pick Sakari up and she calls out “Hi Hunny!” and my heart feels an ache that rips through my spine. Some days he drives her car and I’m reminded that he managed to join his life with someone else and somehow couldn’t with mine. When he walks into the ER and she’s by his side after I walked the dark sidewalks of a notorious neighborhood,  with a baby and her overflowing night bag, alone.. I hurt and almost want to go bitter. When I see him taking effort and intentionality in building his life and relationship with someone else like he should have with me- it makes sense to go bitter.

But what doesn’t make sense is poisoning Sakari with bitterness. Making Sakari PAY for what choices he or I made. She already has the story to cope with that her parents didn’t stay committed. She shouldn’t have to also suffer TENSION between a mom and step mom when she never ASKED for that situation. Its not her job to have to Protect ME from the fact that she loves her dad or his partner. Feeling bad for telling stories excitedly about all the fun things she did with them. That’s not fair to HER to have to guard ME from that truth in her life, just because it might shoot pains through my soul. Bittering the waters of MY heart, only bitters the grounds of Kari’s life. She should be openly allowed to exist fully in love with BOTH of us and not made to feel guilty for it.

Did I cry when I casually talked with Kari the other day and said “who do you workout with kari?” knowing , of course, that’s our thing. And she smiled big and replied with his girlfriends name? why yes. I did cry. And it caught me off guard. And I felt ridiculous. But here’s the HOENST truth. I genuinely have no reason NOT to like the chick. Is it awkward? Yeah I guess. But do I know a THING worth directing my energy and emotions toward DISLIKING HER? I really don’t. I prayed about it. I felt her out. Met up with her for dinner. She seems like a truly pleasant and sweet girl. And while I could choose to just hate for for f**ks sake and find every reason to hate the way she looks, talks, breathes and dresses… honestly that just sounds dumb. Its not going to ADD to my ability to breathe in deep each day. Or take away from the fact that my life didn’t turn out like I planned. Truth be told.. if another woman is going to play a vital role in my daughters life… based on what i know… I’m happy for it to be her! Me Committing to hating a person just for the sake of it- does NOT give me life. Its drains it. And if im REALLY honest with myself and what I want for my daughter… this .. situations… while not how I believe for a second is how God INTENDED it to be…. At the end of the day, at the bottom of the choices that WERE made… Kari now gets ONE MORE PERSON who’s life is Largely going to be centered around LOVING and caring for my daughters needs. Making sure she has what she needs when she’s not in my home. Making sure she has a safe woman to talk to when shes at her dads. Why would I NOT want that? Does it make me any more legit as a great woman or a mom for Kari to know NO other great women or mom figures? NO. Does it make me more connected to Kari for her to NEVER love anyone else? No. This gift EXPANDS her ability to love and understand MORE types of people. This only ADDS love to Sakari’s life. And if I can’t get past my OWN shit to celebrate and cultivate my daughter having MORE love in her life, then I don’t know if I could honestly look back and be proud of the kind of mother I chose to be.

It would be so EASY and almost EXPECTED if I followed the well beaten path of using my daughter as leverage to torture and ruin her fathers life. It wouldn’t even make an eye bat, if I harbored a hatred for him and rooms were filled with held-breaths any time his name was mentioned in my presence. If kari had to spend her schooling years, navigating which parent to invite to what activity and what she could and couldn’t mention around me. Soooooo many single moms use their kids as bait to get back at the dads. Keep their kids from the dads out of anger, and honestly, desire to CONTROL something after feeling so RAPED of any control. … But…. Just think…. Alllllllllllllll of the kids WISHING their dad wanted to be around. WISHING their dad hadn’t walked out and never looked back. All the MOMS wishing they could get a helping hand…get just ONE break. Have just ONE night. How in the WORLD could I KEEP my daughter FROM her dad who WANTS to be around her, just because I’m hurt he didn’t value being around ME when he should have. I couldn’t BEAR to choose that side of the coin, but I see moms do it EVERYDAY and I feel like it’s the accepted/expected norm.

WHAT KIND OF A MOTHER would I be- if I cared MORE about my 15 mintues of Pain than about the ENTIRE FUTURE of my daughters life playing out??? I couldn’t stomach the idea of holding on tighter to the idea of me needing to hate someone, more than I held tight to the determination to get my OWN heart and mind SO FREED UP that I can contribute as MUCH as possible toward my daughter

Knowing Who She Is

Knowing WHO’S she is (God’s)

Knowing Who’s there for (ALL of her family; blood and Not)

Playing the key role in my daughter Knowing first hand what Forgiveness and Freedom from Torment looks like – BECAUSE of how we rose from the ashes of broken human tendencies.

Her Knowing that a person actually CAN keep walking after they feel their life fell apart… so when her painful days come, she WON’T research suicide methods.

So that she’ll know what it looks like to NOT curl up in blankets of self-pitty and Victimhood.

I HAVE to choose flourishing my daughters heart over enabling my own into dwelling and coddling.

It SUCKS not having her 3 nights a week and missing her on Birthday’s and Holidays. BUT ITS NOT ABOUT ME. It’s about HERRRR experiencing Love. AND I HAVE TO STAY EVER ALIGNED WITH THE ACCEPTANCE THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY AVENUE THROUGH WHICH SHE CAN, SHOULD, OR WILL EXPERIENCE LOVE. And why would I WANT her to only know it through me?? Does it make me better by being her sole source of tangible love? Um No. And I want her to have as MUCH healthy safe love from as MANY God sent avenues as possible. I have to let my pride die enough to accept HE, YES GOD may have sent this person TO love my daughter. I don’t get to stand in the way of that because “im entitled to hating someone”. No. big girl panty time. Big FOLLOWER OF GOD, not flesh, time.

I want her to grow up knowing the world Can be Good. That she Can travel and find refuge in homes of strangers who’s language she didn’t speak; like her mom did J I WANT her to be confident in her identity and it not be tied to a codependency on me. How does that help her? It may make me feel needed and affirmed. But that’s not what parenting IS. How selfish. My role is to disciple and raise up a heart that is tender to what GOD’s heartbeat is saying. Not what moms flesh is demanding or manipulating out of people. I don’t want her sensors trained to walk into a room, reading ppls insecurities (because she spent her life reading mine) and thinking- how can I please this or that person. No I want her ears SO UNWAXED that she walks into a room and instantly hears what GOD says to do and not do. My role isn’t for me to Feel good, chosen or favored. My role is to Teach, Guide & Love this life that’s been entrusted to me- into obedience to God. And she could never do that if from the moment she was born- she was clouded with parental tension that she didn’t ask for. She couldn’t be FREE to learn God’s voice if I made sounds so loud her whole life that preoccupied her entirely with protecting and never offending me. That is not love. Not from me to her; if I put that pettiness first. I’m not saying its petty to hurt. I have days when I hurt and I can hardly look him or her in the face. And I walk back inside my house after giving Kari up, and sit against the door with tears welling up wondering “why wasn’t I good enough”, “why am I alone?”, “why wasn’t I worth what she’s getting”. I have days where I replay over & over, scene’s of when  it all fell apart and wonder if I could have said ‘this’ to save it, or ‘that’ to have changed it. I have those days. I have those hurts and I waste my time. Its part of the process and I don’t even look down on it. I think its been a necessary piece to me being ABLE to actually process through it enough to go… yeah…. No, I actually DO want to let this fall down the list of priorities for what gets to lay hold on my heart. I actually want to be a Damn FREE mom. I actually want to have Kari SMILE on the way I fought for her hearts freedom. I want her to learn from me how to love ppl in truth and not just words. I want her to learn from me how to bless and release. How to mourn and wrestle, then match it with play & embrace of redemption.

Its not petty to hurt. But it’s a shame to choose to wear a lifelong garment of hurt when it really is a choice. Nothing that has ever happened [to a living person] has ever just instantaneously SQUASHED all capabilities for ANYTHING more to Ever happen in life again. Meaning.. outside of death, there literally is NOTHING that can happen that means “life is over now, theres no future for me now”. There is ALWAYS something else. Something more. Something deeper. Something lighter. Something. There’s always an “after that”.

So Grieve. I mean, Really Grieve. Cry. Write until your knuckles ache.. talk out loud in a room by yourself until your voice is hoarse. Live in Horizontal mode for some days if needed. Get a damn counselor for God’s sake. Its wise and it’s a blessing. Grieve. And then grieve a little bit more than you probably think you need to.

And then.

Decide what kind of person you want to see yourself being again. After all this. Who do you want to be.. and what kinds of words, agreements, mindsets and attitudes would THAT person live under. Set your heart on what kind of daughter you want to be to God. How responsive do you want to be to His promptings? Or do you want to be uncharacteristically guarded because your past pains gave you warrant for that. And you’re just going to hold tight to that warrant slip for life. “Life”. If you can call it that, when strangled in poisonous fear & dwelling.

Decide what’s REALLY important to you. For single, jilted brides and moms.. is it more important for you to marry yourself to the entitlement to Pain and Anger… or … to LIVE again. BREATHE in Deep again. Day Dream about the things you’ll do around the world, again. Make plans for the kind of life your child will have, like you would have dreamed of for her, if the carpet hadn’t been swept out from under you? Us single parents have an honest question to ask ourselves… Is Our Pain, or our childs prosperity more important to us. And this is even for those who the other parent ISN’T around and you really ARE alone. Don’t think your level of hurt and pain is thus excusable for holding onto for life and you marrying bitterness. You still have the question of how you will harbor that life turn. Will it foster hardness in you and therefore undeserved tension in the air that’s meant to GROW your child. Or will you hunker down, do the work and wrestling it takes to really get OVER and THROUGH a thing so truthfully, so that it no longer grips you? Again. Get a damn Counselor. Ask around for a safe one. They do exist and we on average are WAY to screwed up and deceived and prideful to see the ways we’re making life’s circumstances more impossible than they truly are. We’re too good at self sabotaging to   self – fix.

I digress. Get a counselor.

Whatever your [wound] was. Your [husband that walked out]  Your [friend that betrayed you].  Your [job that was lost]  Whatever your [this] is that’s weighed your hope, faith & joy down in shackles….Do the work, whatever it takes, to not let [this] steal from you the communication line you can have with God. Do not let this take from your child the love they can see, learn, and receive from you. Do not let yourself be tricked into thinking bitterness is a better comfort and freedom. Do not let yourself sit too long inside the fantasies of “why not me’s” and “I can’t believe he didn’t’s”. The point of wrestling isn’t to feel feel feel yourself back into feeling like the initial wound from 3 years ago is happening all over again right now. The point of wrestling is to land right on top of what that experience started to make you believe about yourself, about life and about God. And then DECIDE if that’s a learning you’re willing to embrace and carry within you into the rest of your life? Or whether you want to research [God] and replace it with what’s better.  Wrestling is to identify WHY x actually hurt you and WHAT you actually had your identity and worth tied to. What you actually believed it meant about a person if they were married vs unmarried. Or a single mom. What you had your hope and security tethered to. What about you, that you thought made you respectable, and how when that all fell apart, you were now left to decide… WERE YOU a respectable being? Wrestling is for Understanding yourself. Not re-awakening emotions. Though those may come, they are not the bunny we are chasing. They are the bush we may acknowledge and pass by, on the way to understanding OUR WIRING and WHERE GOD IS SAYING TO MOVE. He may move your attitude. Your speech. Call you Not to speak. Wrestling is for seeing what He has to say about it all. Not to dig deeper into what we think of it all. But He did GIVE you your brain. So He will use it, and speak within it. Don’t run from your brain and its thoughts. He often speaks to you and you dismiss it as ‘your own thoughts’. Rule of thumb: if it calls you to bless and release (and release is NOT a bitter “screw you”, its actually smothered in peace).. its likely Him. If it calls you to put someones future ahead of your current emotions: its probably His wisdom. If it calls you to be mindful of YOURSELF instead of obsessing over someone else who it will never be feasible for you to control.. its prrrrobably Him. Wrestle to sink deeper into Him. It’s the only place that makes the pain of humans, bearable; and even… purposeful.

It is worth noting, the other woman is not an “other woman” in the connotation of her ‘stealing’ a married man. She, in my case, is far above that grade of behavior and my reference of the term is solely based on someone else’s powerful and thus powerfully perplexing presence 1) in my childs life, and 2) as the New and chosen partner in the life of a man I committed to and envisioned traveling, parenting and dying beside.

Our relationship was ended before she came along so there is No hatred needed from me OR any of my  supportive friends toward her. There was no “stealing” involved. He is no longer mine. And my journey has been steeped in transitioning to a posture of honoring and holding in [fleshly uncharacteristic] high regards THEIR relationship and viewing him as hers. And WITHOUT a bite of bitterness. Truly. I use the language I do- to paint authentically the valleys of hurt and emotion that DID have to be walked through- to get to where I am now.

I don’t know IF this is helpful. To WHOM it would be helpful. If its only helpful to single moms. Or if my very odd Alice in Wonderland writing can be followed and translated to other walks of life through pain- but I do hope it’s the latter.

Signing off. Tonight the kiddo is with me and I want to snuggle her until sweat soaks my shirt 🙂 These days are slipping between my fingers & I want to drown myself in the truth that I love her.

Night yall.