Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Recovering from Infidelity: Three Myths & Corresponding Truths

It happens. Somewhere along the line someone (or two) stepped out of the bounds of a relationship and made a connection elsewhere. Whether that connection was emotional, physical, or sexual matters very little because trust has been betrayed. The commitment is broken. Faith is lost. Love itself hangs onto the side of a city skyscraper while anger threatens to crush love’s fingers under its steel-toe boots– or pointy stilettos.

I don’t make light of these matters. Having been cheated on and done some cheating myself, I know full well what the consequences entail. In a marriage, infidelity is devastating. To have someone you give your life to step out and betray that bond…. words can’t express. Honestly, it’s what I feared most in life. When it happened, I thought I’d die. But here I am kicking and nearly ready to love again…. Shando!

In courtships and engagements, the consequences are less severe, but the pain is just as real. We wonder if the cheater ever really loved us. We try to figure out where things went wrong. Can we can fix it? Can we cause equal pain in return? Very few of us are resolved to totally walk away if someone cheats. If we do, we didn’t really love that person all that much in the first place which makes for easier recovery. But what if we’ve invested time, energy, money, promises, sex (oops!)? It’s not so easy to let go! Instead we dance the line between forgiving and despising. We want to make things work, but we’re wounded and unable to trust even though we want to.

I guarantee if you’ve been the cheatee, you’ve been told or thought these three things which I call myths. And of course, I tack on a bit of truth.

Myth #1: It’s all the cheater’s fault.

Our best friends and family will often tell us it’s not our fault. No, we can’t make a person be faithful to us, but we must consider if our actions contributed to their desire to step out. Long before infidelity creeps into a relationship a lack of respect and/or dishonesty reared its head. OR something changed in the relationship. Many times young Christian couples will start a relationship in the worst kind of way. Boy and girl are so strongly attracted to each other that sex becomes a regular part of the courtship, but before long one party (usually the woman) feels guilty and wants to do things the right way. By this time the man is used to having sex AND has formed a soul tie, so he can’t figure out why it should end. Trouble ensues. Who’s to blame here? Just the cheater? That’s hardly true or even fair. Yes, the sex should stop if you want a Godly relationship, but we must realize if we’ve contributed to someone else’s bad decision and ask forgiveness from God for ourselves particularly if you knew better. I’ve been in this sinking ship a few times over now.

There are cases, however, where one party does everything in his or her power to take care of their mates needs, yet the person is still unfaithful. In this case, both are still to blame. The truth, at the very foundation, is that the cheatee chose the wrong person. Get out, get healed, and choose better next time. *pops self on hand*

Truth: Both parties play a role in cheating. The cheatee may be guilty of neglect, unkindness, or changing of his/her mind. When issues arise and BEFORE infidelity occurs, each individual needs to decide whether the relationship should be continued with changes or ended. If you want something the person is unwilling to give, then why remain? Show the other party some respect and make the choice that’s right for you. If you love each other and are struggling with sex, then take your butts to the church and inquire about marriage. If you part ways, that’s fine too. Next time around, do what’s right from the beginning.

 

Myth #2: Breaking up is the only option.

When I suffered my first (known) case of infidelity I went to a counselor and she told me to consider staying. I’d just had a baby and was in school full-time, so while I was taking care of my small children and getting a degree there really wasn’t a need to run out the door. What good would it do? Who would it benefit? She counseled me  to stay and to try to win him over to the family lifestyle. I tried. Didn’t work, BUT at least I gave it a shot.

If you truly love a person and love what you’ve built together, then it’s worth taking a step back and considering whether you should go or remain. The Bible does clearly state that sexual infidelity is grounds for divorce, but it doesn’t say you HAVE to divorce. As far as courtships go… well… how can I put this? If I can’t trust you now, I probably won’t be able to later. Just the same, be Spirit led. One false step does not always indicate a bad person, but there are character issues present. And who doesn’t have those? Chances are God didn’t put you with a person who’s cheating. We make those kinds of choices on our own. Timing is also an issue. Don’t say the words until you’re ready to follow through. Too often we speak out of feeling or from what we want only to realize later that we’re unable to follow through. This goes for breaking up and staying together.

Truth: Whether you choose to stay or go should NOT be an emotional decision. Be quiet and still until God directs, and then obey.

 

Myth #3: They’re indebted to you.

We read stories about how valiant knights would slay the dragons for a princess before even casting his gaze upon her. The long and short of it for 21st century is this… People ain’t about that life anymore! Oh how I’d love a man to vanquish my foes, but alas, I don’t have one that will and if I asked up front, I’d never make a fella mine. Lol. I fight big battles, you understand. Still, ladies and gentlemen, we find ourselves feeling that the other party owes us something when the cheating becomes discovered. And perhaps they do… in marriage they certainly do! But there comes a point where we must choose to forgive, i.e. cancel any real or perceived debt or obligation. And after we forgive, we stay or let go.

At the end of the end of the end of my marriage, I was advised to give my soon-to-be ex-husband some tasks to complete before I would consider reopening my heart to him. I did. You know the end of it, but honestly, he didn’t really need to do any of the things I asked because my mind was already made up. Was it wrong of me to ask? Not really because he insisted on proving his worth… (I’m trying hard not to laugh here.) Outside of a marriage relationship, I strongly feel that it is wrong to make a relationship conditional. “If you do these three things no matter how bad you hate it, we can get back together.” No no no! This creates unnecessary damage. Decide that you’re either going to reconcile and take steps together to move forward (agreed upon conditions) or part ways. If-then ultimatums are manipulative and damaging to both parties. If a person truly loves you, he or she will prove it without your requests or demands.

Truth: Some debts are better left unpaid. Forgiveness is not optional, so start there. Unless you’re married, conditions for reconciliation are NOT the way to go. You’re only hurting yourself more by expecting what someone else may be unwilling or unable to provide. Love is best expressed of its own accord. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” If you’re afraid of what will happen, seek God’s love first, then the outcome of the relationship won’t matter.

 

I write this for my friends that I love dearly, and for those of you I don’t know, that I love dearly. We are losing love because we make bad choices from the start and make worse ones during! Einstein says you can’t solve a problem with the same mindset you used to create it. The sooner we let go of these fallacies, the quicker we will find healing.

Selah.

What’s worse than losing love is that we’re damaging each other. Our selfish motives and self-righteous attitudes deepen the scares that both parties feel. If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently because of the depth of the hurt, but going forward, being matured in Christ’s love, I know that NOTHING can separate me from Him. It’s time Christian folks put away selfishness, receive the Lord’s love, and pour it out on each other the way He intended.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Photo credit: Creative Commons License dustyrhodes2012 via Compfight

Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Climax

There is a point in intimacy that marks the the height of pleasure and the knitting of two souls. The satisfaction of pressing in is granted.

Sometimes in my car. Sometimes at the table. In my bed. In the kitchen. Who knows when the Bridegroom will come and request my expression of love? I’ve waited so long for love like this, I could never deny Him. And so I slip into something more comfortable– my garment of praise.

And I sing to Him. He loves when I sing. He tells me what He desires to hear, and I flow from one tune to another. I used to cry in these moments, but lately I’ve laughed more. He has an incredible sense of humor. The praise becomes worship, and the air around me changes. It smells of fine oil and carries a charge that makes my hair stand on end.

I feel His glory surround me. And fill me. I’m afraid to open my eyes because I cannot become distracted and lose Him. The invisible God is in my space, loving me, wooing me, leading me into a dance.

And I feel His pressure against my chest. And for what seems like too long, I can’t breathe. The hair follicles on my head do a dance. You can’t tell me He’s not playing in my hair (2 Solomon 2:6). And at the same time, He’s reaching the deepest part of my being, my spirit. No man can go that far.

And I tremble. I become rigid and weak in my attempt to catch my breath. I’ve climaxed, and Heaven has worshiped with me. And unlike what we know physically, this climax can last.

And last.

And last.

I can’t stand for the pleasure to end, but life has its demands. And so like a blushing bride, I gather myself so others won’t know I’ve just… you know… made love. And I go back to my daily tasks, still humming the tune that drew Him near, anticipating when I can be alone with Him again.

My beloved is mine and I am his! (Song of Solomon 2:16)

What I’ve recently learned is that every time I worship Him in this way, I leave carrying a seed inside of me. Sometimes it’s a new assignment or a burden of prayer or an endowment of joy or peace. He gives me what I need.

 Like the lily among thorns, so are you, my love, among the daughters. (Song of Solomon 2:2)

How could I not love Him?

Photo credit:  Tony Seneadza via Compfight

Being Saved, Being Smart, Uncategorized

Disenfranchised 2012

I’ve never been particularly gifted in political sciences and the studies of government, but I can certainly say that Mrs. Ford from Prince George High School did a darn good job making sure I walked away with enough sense to hold my own in simple political discussions.

For example, separation of church and state… PEOPLE GET THIS WRONG ALLLLL THE TIME! The founders of our nation agreed that no church or religious body should control the government. Does this mean that we should not vote according to God’s principles? No! Does this mean the church has no say so? Absolutely not! Does this mean I should stop blogging with my radical Christian values in an effort not to tick you off? Not even close!

I remember a chart in my textbook. It depicted flags of various democratic-ish nations around the world and showed that MOST countries, particularly those in Europe, have multiple political parties. I wondered if those people had a stronger sense of belonging to their nation than those of us who are locked into bipartisanship. I wondered if more people voted in those countries. I wondered if they had a greater sense of pride in what their nation had become over time. Did the young voters in those nations feel marginalized and powerless? Or were there votes heard loud and clear? Who represented them?

I was only 18 when I had these questions. I never sought them out, but I never forgot them either. I voted for the first time that year. Bush Baby vs. Gore… I voted the way my mother told me to vote even though I disagreed strongly with her. I had to repent. Last election, again, I had to repent. These things are never easy.

And here I am, twelve years later, having the same thoughts, the same questions, wondering what the heck to do. Many believers are sitting on the sidelines undecided. Others still have made their choice and argued it down to the ground with nary a consideration of what God would have for us. This hurts my heart.

Let’s look at our options.

On one hand we have this charming, charismatic incredible leader. He’s gifted in many ways, but his policies are far from Biblically-based. He promises to take care of the poor, but with the opposing party in its place with their financial means, I don’t think Mr. President has that much power to make many changes at all. Not to mention he has ties to the leaders of the faith that is most well-known for having rigid, religious government structures. Isn’t that anti-separation-church-and-state? This man is not Moses. He is not our deliverer. I am proud of him, and I love him. I swoon when I see him, but I cannot vote for him.

On the other hand we have a character who is so far out of touch with reality, I can’t imagine how he plans to implement any of his policies. Though this party has SOME Biblical principles in place, others do not demonstrate the heart or love of God. Not to mention, this man is NOT a Christian. I’m not saying I feel a Christian should always be in office (I do think it’s nice), but surely whatever religious convictions, ties, controls he has will affect our nation for good or bad. Again, if you want to see separation of church and state go, put an extremely religious person in office and watch them fill their cabinet with like-minded, surly advisors. We will all be screwed.

I can’t help but think that we’re trapped. I’m reminded of the times when Christ was on earth and the Pharisees and Saducees controlled the government. These two parties had something of a common goal but starkly opposing views. They forced people to abandon their own convictions for the sake of choosing a side for THE PARTY’S benefit. Jesus called them “a brood of vipers.” Are these two parties in our nation not operating the same way? How dare you claim rights to me because of my color? How dare you assume that I’ll owe you my vote with your Christian-ish principles? I am thankful for those who died for my right to vote, but their lives do not supersede the death, life, and resurrection of my Savior. Should the two conflict, I choose Christ.

I have come to five conclusions regarding election 2012.

  • Neither person has the ability to really change the quality of life for Americans. It’s a good thing God is my source.
  • With either person in office, there will be stronger religious influences from faiths opposing Christianity, and thus our Constitution, in place. So unless we activate our voting rights WITH our faith leading our choices, we will lose the very thing  we’re trying to protect. Say goodbye to the Bill of Rights, folks.
  • There is no lesser of two evils, and there is no scapegoat. The first person who comments on this post will be written into my ballot should I choose to go to the polls.
  • Roseanne Barr needs to have a seat. But I thank her for the hearty laugh. You are truly a gifted comedienne.
  • I don’t want to have to repent for choosing the wrong candidate, and since they’re both wrong for me…

I am a Black American Christian female, and I am disenfranchised in 2012. What’s next, America?

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Todd Benson via Compfight

Being Saved, Fine Oil Initiative, Uncategorized

I’m Not One to Brag, But…

I’ve just come out of what was a very trying and dark season in my life, not because of my own personal choices per se, but because sometimes we have to walk through the valley with the Lord. He takes us to the depths to experience the fullness of Him then brings us out with new giftings. That’s what this year has been for me. A super long sauntering stroll through the valley of shadow of death… Some things I can’t wait to forget!

Funny thing about God, not passing is not an option as long as you continue to move forward. Even what others perceive to be failure (Peter denying Christ) causes us to experience grace when we feel least deserving. The only way to fail is to give up. And how many times did I just wanna lay down and die in the valley? Sweet merciful Father…

But on August 31st the tides turned. I was FINALLY offered a job (though I’m not sure why feet were dragged). That night I went to bed spiritually tired and inquiring of the Lord about what needed to be done next.

That night I dreamed of a gift box. I knew in the box there were 100 different gifts for me inside. I reached in to pull out the first present– a silver apple. I had NO clue what this meant, but I knew that the next day I was to drive to Falls Church, open a bank account, and look for an apartment.

Sure enough the name of the credit union was none other than… What? No Guesses? APPLE!

Not only did I open an account, I was able to get the funds I needed to make the move with NO interest, but my car was also refinanced and monthly payment lowered by $155! I walked OUT of the bank with my debit card in hand and ready to make the move.

That’s just the beginning of the blessings!

As I searched for apartments I realized the places I found online were subpar. I whispered a prayer to the Lord and made two turns (without navigation you understand) and found the rental office to a reasonably priced, homey, apartment complex. My children’s school is within one third of a mile from our home, and they have OUTSTANDING TEACHERS!

Later that week as I searched for movers, I came to a screeching halt to the tune of $1200. I snotted, cried, and prayed. Found a fella who quoted me $800. He sent his two finest young gentleman movers who favored me so much, they didn’t even charge me for the full trip. I paid $600 to move my things from Richmond to Northern Virginia. The next day two of my close girlfriends showed up to help me move the last of my things. Everywhere I turned there was a blessing down to one of them driving the ten-foot truck because I couldn’t! Listen… I know I’m not anointed for driving big vehicles, so I thank God for them!

After I moved, the position that was originally offered to me changed to the position I really wanted. Do you not understand that I stood in the courtyard and shouted after I hung up the phone? B&B did a little shout with me before even asking why I was so thrilled. God is faithful!

Everyone talks about how expensive it is to live up here. The rent is high, BUT what I paid for child care monthly in Richmond, I’m paying for the entire school year in NOVA. A full tank of gas lasts me two weeks, and I can easily fill up where it’s cheap when I take the kids to their dad. Food here is better quality, and surprisingly, much cheaper.

I have NO classes to teach so my work day ends around 2pm, but I stay longer by choice. The kids beg me not to pick them up because they’re having fun with their friends, so I go home and relax… I mean exercise… before cooking dinner, checking homework, ironing clothes, making lunches, the list goes on…

He gave me my life back!!!

Yes, I know I’m bragging. But not on me! ON HIM!!! If I had one thing to shout from a mountain top it would not be that I love Him but that “HE LOVES ME!!” And if He loves me, in all my faults and nastiness, then surely He loves you in yours. Don’t get me wrong… I stand in need of many things, but I trust Him so much more this year than I did last year. Did I mention how good it feels to be free from the limitations and expectations of other people?

I’m not one to brag, but this time I just couldn’t keep it to myself. If you’re willing to walk through the dark places with the Lord, endure hardship, and carry His burdens, the blessings He gives will far outweigh any suffering you’ve endured. Don’t believe me? Then read my posts starting six months ago…

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for you future!

 

Alana

 

 

 

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Precautionary Dating Tale #5: The Man IN My Dream

I’ve been a bit unsettled the past few days, and the only reason I can think as to why is because I tend to feel the energy and thoughts of those around me. What do you word-loving folks call that? An empath? Meh. It’s not quite the right word, and I’ll tell you why.

I dreamed that a man was in my personal space so much that I could not escape him. He wasn’t abusive, violent, or unkind. He was just very very very present. I couldn’t leave the space in my dream, but I do remember finally sitting on the floor tired from trying to kindly escape him, only to have him sit at my feet. I dream in color, but this particular instance, I saw shades of sepia, black, and gray. I knew this wasn’t the guy for me.

The VERY next day, someone invaded my space over and over again to the point where I became annoyed & exasperated. For the rest of the day, I felt his energy and thoughts. Empath? Kinda. Spooky? Definitely. I didn’t shake the ickiness til Saturday morning.

So the man in my dreams was smart, motivated, well-meaning, successful– had great qualities. He was even handsome. But because I knew he wasn’t for me, none of that mattered. The man I encountered isn’t much different. Had I dreamed something like this two years ago I would’ve thought “Oh Lord, you gave me a dream about him. He must be the one for me!”

Starry-eyed, stupid, and shameless I would’ve begun a relationship with someone with whom I was supposed to avoid. My littered soul would’ve prevented me from seeking out God’s purpose for revealing this man to me. This time, I knew better.

I knew better because God has spoken clearly to me about a few things regarding my future boo that makes several candidates easy to cross off the list. Here’s what I know.

I know that God has chosen a mate for me who will see me as a gift. 

I know the time frame in which I will meet him.

I know he’s not pushy, self-serving, or arrogant.

I know he won’t be sitting at my feet like a lost puppy.

I know he will love God more than he’ll love me.

I know he’s going to be physically attractive to me, and I won’t have to squint my eyes and look at him sideways to want to look at him.

The person IN your dreams is not always the person OF your dreams if the latter even exists. Sometimes God will present us with a person to see if we really want what we’ve asked Him for and if we’re willing to wait on it. I have six months left on my dating sabbatical, so should this person ask me out, it’ll be super easy to say no. It’s just not my time.

But for those of you who are actively dating, courting, seeking, waiting– Ask God specific questions to help you navigate. If you know that your future mate will be a doctor, ain’t no sense getting caught up with the construction worker unless he’s in med school. But surely the construction worker will cross your path and you’ll have to say no to his rippling abs and chiseled arms. And when you know he ain’t the one, it should be (relatively) easy to keep it moving. Don’t stick around to find out why he’s wrong for you. This is how many of us ended up heartbroken in the first place.

 

Dating Precaution #5: Soul issues often cause us to misinterpret what God is trying to reveal. The man IN your dreams and the man OF your dreams may be two different people. They are not to be confused, so seek God before making a move. 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being Saved, Being Single, Fine Oil Initiative, Uncategorized

I Moved for Love

Many proposed that I was being foolish and running from my problems.

Others thought I was being overly ambitious.

A few thought I was pregnant and hiding it.

The truth is that I moved for love.

I started packing in June and for two and a half months my children and I lived on the bare minimum while our nicer things remained in boxes. I had no money some days, and so I sold a few of my belongings to make ends meet. I did this all for love.

I quit my job before I had another. I submitted my 60-day notice before I had a new home. What kind of man would ask a woman to leave what she has to join him in another place with no certainty, no promise, no guarantees? Only trust. I did it anyway for love.

I drove to an interview and was certain the job was mine. Two weeks later– two weeks too late– they offered me a job, but not the one I wanted. He told me to come anyway. He needed to have me there. So I took the job for love.

Twelve hundred dollars was the cost for moving my things. If you don’t give me this money, then I can’t come. Someone came along and charged me six hundred. I paid them for love.

For weeks I was bound by fear wondering if He were telling me the truth. Was He being honest, or manipulative? Could I trust Him? If I moved my life… my children… my belongings… my career… my ministry… would He support me? Or would He leave me? Would He stay to mock me? I fought my fears for love.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that I would never move for love, but here I am in a new city, my kids in a new school, working the job that I’ve wanted for years (they changed their minds), with plenty of time in the evening to do whatever I choose to do. I choose to spend that time loving Him.

And to be perfectly honest, I did run from some things. Even the animal kingdom knows that when a river dries up, it’s time to move.

And maybe I was being a little ambitious. I hate to be bored.

And, yes, I am pregnant, but not with a baby. With purpose.

And I did the thing I swore I’d never do…. I moved for love for One who is not a man that He should lie, nor a little boy that He should change His mind. He promised it, and He performed it. He spoke it, and He’s making it good.

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Atilla Kefeli via Compfight

Being Saved, Uncategorized

I’m a dreamer by nature, but every so often the Lord gives me a picture in my mind’s eye while I’m awake…. a vision so to speak. And last Friday, for a few moments I saw people walking around with large blockheads. Think of those blocks you played with as a toddler, make it one hundred times bigger, set it on your shoulders, and that’s what I saw.

I hadn’t a clue what it meant so I asked the Lord to show me more. He showed me these blockhead-ed folk walking towards doors expecting to go through, only to run smack into the doorposts or get stuck in between. I always think of doors as opportunities, but the blockheads had me baffled.

…Until later that afternoon when in an awkward conversation with someone, I realized that we as Christ-followers have become so conformed to the world’s way of thinking that we are in essence blockheads. Mental blocks, or strongholds, cause us to navigate our lives in an unwieldy manner. Imagine, if you will, how much your physical existence would be impacted if your head were truly shaped that way AND out of proportion with your body. You’d lean to the side as you walked… bump your head into every thing… couldn’t fit into your car. And so, spiritually speaking, strongholds do the same to our inner man. They limit our faith and make it literally impossible for us to reach our fullest potential in Christ. And we have the nerve to think we’re putting God in a box.

No! No! No! WE ARE IN THE BOX!!!

Having my own unique set of strongholds, I’ve found the Lord chipping down my gargantuan oddly b0x-shaped spiritual dome and so opportunities that I’ve never had before have been presented to me. Last year this time, I would’ve missed these blessings. I barely recognized them this year! Thank God for His grace.

In John 11, we’re told a story of a man named Lazarus, Jesus’ homeboy. Long story short, Lazarus died. And Jesus in his seemingly insensitive way didn’t run to Lazarus’s aid. Instead he waited… for four days he waited. See the folks closest to Jesus knew He could heal the worst of sicknesses, cast out the nastiest devils, and even bring a person back from the day within 3 days time. Yet their proverbial box about what the son of God could do still rested on their shoulders. And when Jesus came on the fourth day, they tried to stop Him from making a fool of Himself. They stood around and watched, the whole city you understand, as Jesus cried out to His dead friend “LAZARUS, COME FORTH!”

Can you imagine the shock, the terror and the cries that came from the people as a body they thought had begun to rot came creeping out of the tombs?  A preacher might say Jesus stretched their faith, but I can’t see where anyone actually believed He could do it. So it seems to me that He took them past the point of believing and THEN demonstrated His power. They actually thought He had forsaken them and even questioned His character. Oh, you’ve never done that to God? I have… and quite a bit in this last month.

But I digress…

Any thought process, belief system or fear that says God can’t or won’t do something for you is, in essence, a stronghold. We all have them. And if you think don’t, well your head is bigger and boxier than the rest of ours.

As it was in the days of Lazarus so it is in this day, we believe in God. We trust Him. We walk by faith and live out His Word. To a point. And when we are given new opportunities we race forward to the door expecting a great change, but our big *ahem* heads won’t let us through.

Inasmuch as we refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I’ll leave that scripture there for now and ask you to think about the last time you thought that God can’t or God won’t or that you need something outside of God and His resources to fix a problem…  Those are your strongholds.

We will look at them more closely another time.

 

What blocks are on your shoulders and keeping you outside of new opportunities?

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Another Sneak Peek of “Late Nights on the Straight & Narrow”

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my absence lately. I miss tweeting with you all, but I’ve focused my writing efforts on my first book “Late Nights on the Straight & Narrow.” I’m hoping the book will be finished and ready for sale by Sunday!!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this short snippet, and the previous excerpt that I’ve posted.

Ladies Only: Are You Help Meet Material? 

…But for Adam there was not found a helper meet
(suitable, adapted, and complementary) for him.
Genesis 2:20b

And now the unveiling of the cybermirror of introspection! Look at yourself, woman of God. Are you help meet material? I’m not asking you, my sister, if you’re willing to cook his dinner, clean his undergarments, and contribute fifty bucks to the cable bill. I’m asking if you are strong enough and willing enough to stand face to face with a man of God and assist him in his calling. And are you wise enough to choose the right man who will also help you with yours?

Some macho man somewhere painted a picture of help as one coming behind you and cleaning up what you messed up. That’s not help! That’s a maid. Maids are blessings in their own right, but alas, that is not my calling. Whenever God and Adam met, they talked face to face. When God created Woman, He intended her to be that type of help that would offer wise counsel and comfort. I think of my best girlfriends who are a help to me. We talk with like minds but they bring out the best in me. Whatever I miss, God reveals to them and we both grow in the process. When Adam cried out for help, Woman would come to him, look him in the face, and say “Baby, what do you need? What can I do for you? Help you turn this soil? No problem.”

God designed you to be a strong consolation and gift to someone, but if you haven’t submitted to His plans for education, career, ministry, etc., you can’t help the man to whom you’ve been called. What will you have to offer him besides sex, a hot meal, and a hot ironed shirt? Some of us can’t even do those things.

Fellas Only: Would You Submit to You?

I tweeted once “Women aren’t that complicated.” Needless to say I was retweeted into oblivion and lambasted by men who thought I was insane. I started to backpedal, but by the time other women jumped in, my point was made. We are NOT that complicated.

Any woman who is truly in line with God’s will (and most that aren’t) is willing to submit to a man who meets a certain set of qualifications. And I’m not talking six feet tall, making six figures, with zero children and all that nonsense. I’m talking about a man who loves God and serves Him faithfully, and then, of course, loves the woman he chooses as wife. A woman knows that if a man truly loves her, he will not make a choice that will bring harm or danger to their family. It’s EASY to submit to a man like that. And should he make a wrong choice… well, nobody’s perfect!

Your demonstration of love for your future wife is a seed sown. You will, in turn, reap her respect and willingness to submit to you. So I would also ask you, brother, do you love yourself? Not in the cocky, arrogant way… but do you value who God has created you to be? The Bible teaches that you must love your wife as yourself, and so it follows that if you hate yourself—well, that’s an ugly thought. I’ve lived through a marriage where my husband did not love himself. I began to have suicidal thoughts, but I knew they weren’t from me! If you have room to grow in this area, then please allow your heart to be healed before taking a wife and making more babies.

Take a glance into the cybermirror of introspection and ask yourself the following… Are you a good leader? Are you patient enough to learn about her, or will you assume that you know her, or worse, attempt to make her what you desire? Do you make decisions based on what you think is best, or do you consider the well-being of others? Are you gentle and forgiving? Is your swag sanctified? Tell me about your character and integrity. If your wife-to-be so happened to pick up your phone, would your stomach turn inside out? Do you require a “foretaste of glory divine” before marriage even though she is kept a secret from your family and friends? Unless you live out the right answers, no REAL woman of God will submit to you. Any woman who does is silly and foolish.

[button link=”http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/An-Excerpt-from-Late-Nights.pdf” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Download PDF[/button]

 

 

I’d love to hear your comments!!! What do you hope to read in this book? Let me know what your concerns are before I finish. 🙂

 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Photo credit: Carlos Porto via Compfight

Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Knowing Jesus as Savior is one matter, but knowing Him as Lord is a different matter altogether. But why would anyone turn their lives over to God? What if His plans are boring and unappealing? I’ve questioned God’s will for my life for years, not only in content but also context. Will I enjoy it? Will it be fulfilling? Will I be able to use my gifts? Though I don’t know the fullness of my calling, I do have a glimpse. And with certainty, I know that apart from living God’s will, my life will be less than enjoyable.

 

 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Romans 12:2)

 

Our pastors focus heavily on the first portion of this scripture reminding us to read our Word daily for transformation of the mind. So by all means, READ THE WORD! The latter portion of the scripture, however, has suffered abuse and misinterpretation at the hand of theologians. Let’s forget the fallacies and discover the truth!

Paul used three words to describe God’s will for us– GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT. These are not three different types of wills should we venture off on our own. But it is an answer the heart’s silent question of “Does God really know and care about what I want in life?” And the answer is a resounding “YES!”

  • God’s will for you is good. He has planned pleasurable and enjoyable experiences for your future.  (For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11)
  • God’s will for you is acceptable. You will find yourself saying “I can do this.” His will and purpose for your life will fit some of your natural talents, but also stretch you to learn things that are unfamiliar to you. (Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19)
  • God’s will for you is perfect. Even you can’t mess this thing up when you serve Him in spirit and truth. Seek Him first, and He will guide you, but should you miss the mark, He will redirect. (The steps of a good man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way and He busies Himself with his every step. Psalm 37:23)

And notice Paul said that you may PROVE His will. Now that’s something to shout about!!

You can find my book, Late Nights on the Straight and Narrow, on Tate Publishing’s website.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

How I Got Over (Him)

[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]T[/dropcap]hose closest to me know the kraziness that has occurred in the past few days. I cannot recount the tales because of the concern I have for one involved party. The other can kick the biggest darn rocks one can find in Central Virginia, and I may offer him some via stoning should God be willing. But many times, in this situation and others, I’ve been asked “How did you get over him?” People seem to think I have this uncanny knack for recovering from bad relationships, and they’re right. I have LOTS of experience getting over these situations… (snickering at myself). When I’m in the trenches, it’s ugly. But once I’m out, that’s it! I’m not going back.

I laugh… With fullness of joy and confidence, I laugh at the enemy and every lie he’s trying to sell you. You cannot imagine the defeat I’ve carried in my soul for years thinking that I was unlovable, unattractive, unworthy to be treated with respect and kindness. Every predator within a five mile radius could smell the stench of my bloody, broken heart. Vicious cycles greatly abounded in my life.

So yes, I “got over” every last him… The ex-hubby him, the him who used my heart to wipe his–, and this last him who may find a few pebbles flying at his head when our paths cross. I’ve shared about forgiveness and grief recovery, but I guess this is the missing link. This post embodies the transition from a place of pain and guilt to a place of rest and promise.

Here’s how my ashes were changed to what I’d like to think is beauty.

 

I submitted to God’s will.

We can want something sooo badly that we totally negate God’s will for our lives. We might even convince ourselves that it is God’s will for a person to be a part of our lives. When your desires supersede God’s will it’s easy to be deceived. This is why we’re dreaming about these menfolk and our possible futures with them as if the Spirit is leading. Be ye careful. These are tactics the enemy uses to create soul ties even when sex hasn’t come into play. Anything you hunger for more than God can and will be used to exploit and harm you. A simple “Your will be done prayer” can change things overnight.

I repented.

It doesn’t matter how badly he treated me, how much he lied, the fact that he cheated, on and on… I did something wrong too. And more often than not my error was making the choice to date the person in the first place. I won’t even dig in to the conversation about red flags. No need to revisit those things in your mind if you’re intent on moving forward. Just repent and get back in a place where you can hear from God. And stay there!

I suffered.

It’s childish to think that after repenting all consequences will be revoked. It just doesn’t work that way. If Christ really is the LORD of your life, then you’ll have to endure some suffering. If He’s not, then you’re likely to go the opposite direction and either sink into sadness and depression or act out your pain with reckless behavior. I chose to endure the suffering and allow Him to prune me so that I could become fruitful again. During these low points I battled with loneliness and horniness. (Was I not supposed to write that? Oop.) But I learned that those feelings come from an empty place that can easily be filled and overcome with worship. Think of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You’ve done more for lesser men. So why not lift your hands, sing to Him, dance before Him, talk to Him freely? All the intimacy I longed for with him, I found in Christ. Eventually the lack of body became irrelevant. Suffering doesn’t seem so bad… now does it?

I fell in love again.

This is the best part. I feel, even now, as though the Lord is courting me. Some days I just need to feel loved, and whether I ask or not, something significant happens in that day that reaffirms His love for me. And how can I not love Him in return? Just Saturday I felt His presence engulf my being while I was changing a trash bag. I know we fantasize about how great it will be to have a Godly husband, but truly… There is no physical body that can completely surround you and cover you from every angle. Only the Spirit of the Lord can do this. And how can you know the love of another unless you first know God’s love? We’d be much more cautious of the men we chose if we used God’s burning compassion and favor over us as the standard. So, yes, I’m in love with Him. But I’m also in love with me. Not the vanity type of love, but I have confidence and love every part of this bottom-heavy frame with which I’ve been endowed. My Twitter followers know this well as I’ve coined the term #LoveThighSelf.

I closed the doors.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool to his folly. You ever wonder why they ALWAYS come back? Dogs can’t help it. Whatever they chew and spit up, they go back to lick it up. Nasty, right? So metaphorically-speaking, don’t continue to be vomit. Now let’s turn the tables, and say… I don’t know… maybe you are the dog, metaphorically-speaking of course. Do you really want to go back to that? Who cares how wealthy he is? How many inches he’s packing? All the stuff he said about getting married and making babies? IT’S ALL VOMIT!!! Here are a few options to help you.

  • Change his name in your phone to something like– oh, I don’t know– Asshole. Serves as a great reminder that he’s NOT who he claimed to be. Don’t delete him, however. You’ll get sucked into a “Who is this?” conversation.
  • Send all emails, calls and texts to Spam if you have Google voice or block them altogether. The last thing you want is a random “I miss you” to jar you in the middle of your workday. Until you can control your emotional response, put controls on your SMS, etc.
  • LISTEN to the spirit. They always come back. You hear me? ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS! But God will warn you. And this, in fact, is a blessing. Over time, if you’ve allowed healing to take place, you’ll find that the pull he has on you will become weaker and weaker. God will warn you before he pops up… sometimes weeks in advance and sometimes hours.
  • Whatever you think you’re feeling may or may not be you. I’ve found myself “missing” someone only to realize I really felt them missing me. Women are sensitive to things like this, but be wise enough to know if it’s your emotions talking or his. Either way, a simple prayer of “Lord, redirect him to the nearest hoochie” should solve that problem.

So there it is. The quick-and-dirty of how I got over not just each individual, but the mentality I had which has drawn these piss-poor quality men to me. I now find that folks who’ve wronged me have a hard time looking me in the face or even contacting me. I’m different. I’m not available to be abused. I’m not open to manipulation. The very presence of God in me convicts them of their wrong, and so they’re faced with a choice to remove themselves from my presence or sincerely apologize for having wronged me.

One last point… God doesn’t take it lightly when His children are mistreated. However, until we behave as His children He is unable to defend. Yet in His mercy and lovingkindness, He permits us to be neglected by those who we think should love us. He’s jealous for you! And when you see the entire situation through that lens, you can’t help but thank Him for bringing a bad relationship to an end.

Selah.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana