He Goes Before me

Death makes a person do things.

It tends to rule your thoughts and emotions, whether you know you are grieving or not. There was a time in my life, especially after I lost my uncle and cousin so close together that all I could think of was what it would be like when I got “there”. The proverbial “there” looms. I don’t know where I thought I was going, because I was not saved yet.

When death struck our family again last year, it shoved me down some sort of tunnel of despair and even today, I can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other, but I am trying. Really it’s our own reality that can sometimes halt us in our track. I’m struggling this week because of a decision that directly affected us in such a negative manner and I need to believe that He has gone before me and made it right and full of sense and purpose.

The Lord is gentle with us. The angry and delusional thoughts that seep through our mind are the enemy, and I know that. And so when it happens I am learning to lean in to him, although I am certainly not perfect at it. But He is kind and knows all and surely this won’t last forever. He will finish what He started.

2 Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Pro-choice Social Liberal to Pro-life Social Conservative

How can that happen? How does someone who grew up believing in an all-accepting spirituality driven, God-rejecting and pro-choice lifestyle turn to the One who she thought she didn’t need? How does a feminist girl grow up to eventually change her entire belief system and start standing up for pro-lifers or the proverbial “bible-thumpers”? If you spend enough time in fluorescent lighting, in other words “fake” light, it can start to give you a headache. It’s a slow dull pain at first and then it explodes into a migraine. At the end of the day, after everything I had been through, I was empty. Not depressed empty, but heartbreak empty. And then the political war started. I had spent months vowing to never vote for Trump. Even going against my “never say never”.

But as the election dragged on I found myself being disgusted with not only the Clinton policy but the way some women were behaving, as if, simply because they were women they were allowed to break laws and support countries that abused women or support women who were killing their unborn babies.

The proverbial political waters became murky for me. Drag queens dressed in scary costumes were reading books to children in libraries and parents were encouraging their children to take hormone replacement therapy, against the advice of therapists and doctors. My friends, friends of friends, wives of friends were all of a sudden baiting people in their circles and would then attack people with false narratives and fact-less links. All of a sudden it became more important to point out why someone was terrible because they didn’t support abortion, the organized race war or the heated gay agenda, than it was to simply disagree and realize that it didn’t equate to hate. Disagreement does not equate to hate.

I began to see the Democratic party and the Liberal followers in a very different light, and it gave me a headache. When I meditated I still felt empty. Before I met Jesus, I was empty. Buddha, Krishna, all of the “New Age” practices and belief systems left me empty and unfulfilled. My salvation was the beginning of sunlight for me. It was like a literal veil was lifted and I could see the false narrative even more brighter than before. The war on Christians that I had participated in was terrible. The war against civil, loving, good people was raging. And it is still raging and being perpetuated by an unjust and dishonest media system. But we allowed it to be created. My oldest friends know I would never have an abortion. But those in my circle who have had abortion know I love them the same, why? Because we can disagree and still love one another. That is the sign of a mature woman.

Having an “open” mind may not be such a great idea at all. It leads to moral corruption and a belief system that goes against the laws of nature. Being a Christian doesn’t make my sins better than yours, it means mine are forgiven. And if I choose to stand up and stand out for what I believe now and repent for what I once believed it doesn’t equate to hatred for me. It simply means I have chosen a different path. I would challenge a staunch feminist to engage in intelligent and fact-based conversation, while leaving the emotion out of it for a moment, and explain a few different things that I’ve struggled with:

  1. How can someone who believes in women SO much with such a whole heart encourage another women to abort her child, to play God, and choose to end a life that could be the next greatest and most amazing life-changing baby girl born?
  2. How can we justify having humane societies for animals and yet encourage the mass murder of unborn humans?
  3. How can we support a feminine agenda that is belittling and destroying our little boys, our sons, husbands, and brothers?
  4. How can we support a feminist political agenda that sends millions of dollars to countries that rape, murder, and cut the clitoris off of pubescent girls?
  5. How can we take all of the things we have accomplished and live in the greatest nation of the world and still have no heart for the homeless women, the drug addicted women, or those who are suffering from violent home situations and yet send money to other countries that commit the above atrocities?
  6. How, as feminists do we take an incredible, intelligent, beautiful, and moral woman like Sarah Sanders and annihilate her on national television for “ratings” and “clicks”. She doesn’t deserve it. She is amazing and SHE IS the woman we should be raising our girls to be like.
  7. How, as a nation of women, can we allow a media to encourage girls that sexuality and sexiness are weighted means of self worth, and turn around and complain about it? We do nothing. In fact, we do the opposite when we utilize the media to push anti-woman agendas of other nations.
  8. How can we beg for our leaders to allow the rush of the border because it is “women and children” and yet encourage the infanticide of our own nations children?

Those are just a few of my issues the last few years. We ignore core issues and move on to something we think is important while leaving the very one we claim to be standing up for, behind. That is how a pro-choice female becomes pro-life. It is when you see the world thought the eyes of Jesus, and you choose to stop playing God, that you see that there is a greater purpose for the greater good. But then again, maybe the greater good has become the minority.
Live love,Tiffany

Thy Will Be Done

When I opened my computer today, this is what Erica had changed the background to. Oh, the irony in this photo. This is how I’ve felt the last 11 months. It’s how all the teenagers I know have felt, it’s how some parents involved have felt, and it is how many in addiction prevention have felt I guess. We have been barely hanging on to reality. I am barely hanging on. I also took my spirituality test on Sunday, the gift of “apostleship, exhortation, and mercy” is what I scored highest on. Imagine that. God smiled, I am sure. Last year on Thanksgiving, I wasn’t aware that I would spend many, MANY future nights begging God to send me a message that a boy was in heaven. That message came from his mother. I wasn’t aware of the brewing storm on the horizon. What I have also failed to share lately is that I have spent a majority of my days and nights in a very deep, almost spiritual depression since last December, I suppose. I cry in the shower with grief. I cry in the car with thankfulness I have my kids, and then I cry because of guilt again. I cry on the way from the grocery. I cry at work. I cry all the time. Ugly crying. I was blaming myself. I was blaming our society. I was blaming the drug company and the crumbling education system and pressure on children and parents. But mostly, I have been trying to carry the burden. It was my fault. I missed signs. I missed something along the way. I wasn’t a good enough mother. God must be punishing me. Very few understand the burden some of us are carrying. Even fewer, truly care. This week, I finally gave it to God. He took it in His hands, He took it right away from me in the most loving way he could, and it was because I asked Him to. Last week, at a very heated meeting in community drug prevention, I felt like God sent a messenger to instruct me to read a passage. Someone in our meeting kept repeating the importance of Acts 10:38, only when I got to that scripture, it didn’t say what he thought it said. Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” I didn’t understand the importance of this. I don’t think recovery and treatment will stick without a connection with God. Then on Sunday, a voice, in my head. “Thy will be done”.Then it was cemented when the song kept repeating on my station. Thy will be done. They will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will and free will. The two crossed paths in my heart, mind, and soul. Over and over again.There isn’t anything any of us could have done to change the outcome. Not one of us could have prevented the will of God. Before you get enraged and scream at me, “But Tiffany! God WILLED Alex to die? What kind of God would do that!” The first sin gave us free will. God’s will was to live without sin. We created sin. Free will leads us to sin, not God’s will. God’s will leads us out of sin and into a life of righteousness. God’s will is what comforts us when something so profoundly human happens and crushes us, we could not have prevented His will, nor can we prevent the free will of another human. We can only seek comfort and grace, and we can only offer comfort and grace into another persons situation. Alex is one of God’s many lambs. I believe that. If you do too, then live like that. I will thank God every day for Alex bringing me to Christ, and also, my family. Because we are better than we were before. I am opening up my heart to more. I am trying to see, more. I tell you this because to understand salvation is to understand that even the worst of tragedy can cause us to be so angry with God. Or blame ourselves,our children, or our spouses. But it isn’t our responsibility to foretell sin or travesty and prevent it, it is to lead people to God, before God’s will plays out. It is to love people so fiercely that they know God through your heart. I should love people and when they ask me how I do it, then I tell Alex’s story. Even through your human moments, they know you are Gods love and mercy. It lies in forgiveness and mercy on your own heart, because that is what God gives us. Just the way I give mercy to my own children. When God speaks of the proverbial rod, he isn’t saying punish your child, he is saying discipline your child in and with love. Show your child mercy and grace, don’t ever stop loving your child. Never. Because if God can forgive you, he will forgive them. For all those who cry out to him will receive his reign of grace. It isn’t up to you to determine someone else’s worth. To be honest I don’t know that I am capable of working in prevention at all. Not knowing what God has now shown me. Not knowing the truth, that the only true way to live free is truly through the heart of Jesus, I can’t prevent anything from happening. I can only love those through it and wait for the day that I am standing in heaven with those who are waiting for us. But I can start a ministry, I don’t know how, but I believe that no one can stay sober without God. I believe that conviction is what leads to a safe, happy, and loving life. I believe that we have robbed many of our children of conviction so that we may continue living the life we want, as opposed to the life God wants us to lead. It’s self harm at the deepest level.Some of you, (you “kids”, our “kids”, you know who you are) are blaming yourself. You are just wallowing in grief. I want you to know that I truly mean it when I say I love you all. I know how painful it is. A couple of you have been chosen by God to walk a path that may be difficult, but in the end, rewarding. *cough,cough, JD, *cough. You can stay sober with God. People cannot keep you sober. Medication cannot keep you sober. Nothing we did could have changed the outcome. God doesn’t want you to feel that way anymore. That place of guilt doesn’t come from God. Oh how He loves us, even as His will is done. Give thanks. Love people. #livelove

Welcome Home

I’ve answered several private messages today regarding James River Church and their stance on yoga. It wasn’t until someone sent me a screen shot of the News-Leader story that dropped that I understood the hub-bub surrounding it and why suddenly people were asking me about Church. As a matter of fact, I felt like a few were either trying to point out all my sins and hypocrisy or others wanted to insult my intelligence (and my belief in Christ) by suggesting that I had been brainwashed by some sort of cult. I’d like to think for many of you who know me, that I, 1. Have no issue eating crow when I am wrong and 2. I am still the same hot mess of independence and intelligence that I was prior to giving my life to Christ. I just live a little differently. My veil has indeed been torn and I can’t just put it back on and pretend that God hasn’t spoken to me. My life is very different than it was a year ago and I love that. I will fall at the feet of God every single day and thank him for saving my son and our family. It’s no secret that I gave my life to Christ this year and that my family has been attending the Church. I have a deep love for the Church now and I also have much respect for the many people who give their life to serve on a weekly basis. We encountered a lot in the last year that drove me to “come to Jesus” and hand it all over to Him. I don’t want to go to hell. I want to go to Heaven. I mean, that’s kind of the end. I want to be with Jesus and I want to see those who are waiting for me. I was so tired of trying to carry everything spiritually alone. My heart is changed. It was from the inside out and it isn’t temporary. It’s also no secret that I’ve written paranormal fiction, that I’ve practiced yoga and meditation, I ran a ghost-hunting group and was very involved in the paranormal community. What I found during those times was instant gratification and I was still left with a deep longing for something permanent to take up in my heart and relieve a lot of years’ worth of pain and self-destruction that finds many of us the last decade or so. (longest run on sentence-evs’) But what I can also tell you is that true evil exists. Satan does in fact exist on Earth. I could quote scripture or tell you that you need to find Christ, but you already know that. What I would ask is that before you decide to condemn an incredible messenger of the word of God and his family and our Church that you take the time to truly understand the word of God and Jesus’ love for you. I would ask you to attend a service without a bad attitude and open your life to experience the presence of God that fills our building every single week. We have a prayer service on Wednesday evenings and we have 3 different services on Sunday. I would ask you to watch as our alter fills and people are healed and redeemed of their sin. Come see for yourself. You can sit with me. These are good people. It is an awesome church. For goodness sake leave well enough alone. The truth is that Jesus is the Son of God, he died for our sins, and that if you listen, he is calling for you.