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A Message to the Grave

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A powerful testimony of forgiveness and healing.

Jen's Secret Diary

Dear Dad,
I am writing this on the 9th anniversary of your death, October 18th, 2018. I shed a few tears for you, as I do every year around this time. I guess I get nostalgic around this time, just as I do around the holidays, missing the few good times we did have and thinking of what could have been.

I never got the chance to tell you while you were alive, the impact that your alcoholism and absenteeism had on me. No, I do not hold you solely responsible for the abuse. I do however; feel that by allowing your 2nd wife to make me share a room with boys, while she gave my bedroom to her daughter, somehow played a part. Why didn’t you speak up and say it was not appropriate? Why couldn’t you have paid closer attention to what was going on infront of your…

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The Narrow Road – True Story

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Running along the trail, his footfalls resound upward and leave a deep resounding thump, thump. thump like a drum beat in a cave. The birds stop their singing and take flight as he lifts his head and screams, “Why God? Why?”

Suddenly dropping to his knees, his fingers dig into the damp soft ground and sobs rip through him from a heart that seems to have shattered into a million pieces. Peering from beneath a nearby bush, a rabbit sits twitching his nose with big brown eyes watching Brian. Brain is unaware as wet leaves soak his jeans.

Feeling exasperation and anger, he flings his arms heavenward with shaking, clenched fists. He yells to God, “How can you love me? You can’t when you let this happen!” Falling face down, Brian sobs into his folded arms. The still of the forest absorbs his cries.

The rabbit has scampered to safety and the birds have taken flight as Brian lies on the cold damp ground confused, frustrated, heartbroken, and doubting how God could ever love him.

“This book should be on the New York Best sellers list.” Robert Filosi

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Authenticity Encircles Authenticity

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the grizzle grist mill

As you become authentic, you will begin to see and be drawn to others who are authentic. As you begin to walk this road, you may also realize some people in your life seem to walk away or even fade away. Realize this for what it is, and embrace it; be okay with it.

Don’t judge them for not continuing in your journey. Don’t slander them for not being loyal and true. Don’t even worry about asking too many questions of why? Or why not?

Some weren’t meant to travel this same road with you. Some don’t wish for the changes you’ve chosen to indulge like a sweet dessert. Others just aren’t where you are and will never understand the transformation until they themselves come to that crossroad in their own lives…and that is okay!

Be you. Be authentic. Encircle others who are authentic. Let go of that and…

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4 Hidden Behaviors An Abusive Person Displays Before Revealing Themselves

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“Just because a person doesn’t put hands on you doesn’t mean they aren’t abusive. Abuse is control, blatant disrespect, and also hurtful words. Don’t settle for emotional abuse, thinking it’s okay because it’s not physical.” – Tony A. Gaskins Jr

Spotting abusive people isn’t always as easy as television and movies make it seem. Most people want to believe that they would be able to tell an abusive person from the crowd after one conversation. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Abusive people are often hard to spot, and can hide in plain sight from the people that they aren’t actively abusing.

According to psychotherapist Amy Lewis Bear, “Abusers can be highly skilled at projecting an attractive image that convinces others they have solid personal values and wouldn’t be capable of abuse. An abuser’s thoughtful and caring behavior toward others gives their victims more reason to take the blame.”

After all, they’re husbands and wives and coworkers and bosses – abusive people fly under the radar more often than not, because they don’t want their abusive tendencies to be front and center. It’s important to know how to spot an abuser before they reveal themselves – or before someone reveals them. It’s important not only for victims of abuse, but for the friends and family of those victims.

FOUR HIDDEN BEHAVIORS AN ABUSIVE PERSON DISPLAYS BEFORE REVEALING THEMSELVES
1. ABUSERS ARE REGULAR PEOPLE, BUT HERE’S THE CATCH…
This is important to remember. It isn’t so much a hidden behavior as it is a fact above abusive people. Keeping an eye out for abusers needs to be more than just looking for the shifty characters late at night, or the husband with a bad temper. Abusers don’t seem like normal people because they’re good at pretending – it’s because they are normal people, who lead completely normal lives outside of their cycles of abuse.

They may have difficulties like money troubles or substance abuse, but those are traits of non-abusive people as well. It’s important to remember: abusers are regular people, and knowing that will make it easier to spot an abuser when they start to show themselves. But what’s the catch? They like playing the blame game.

Author Steven Stosny mentions, “Avoid anyone who blames his negative feelings and bad luck on someone else. Feeling like victims, they see themselves as justified in whatever retaliation they enact and whatever compensation they take. Blamers will certainly cause pain for you if you come to love one.”

2. ABUSERS DON’T ABUSE EVERYONE
A lot of people don’t believe the victims of abuse because they have only had perfectly pleasant interactions with the abuser. This is a dangerous trap to fall into, and it’s important to remember that abusers will never abuse everyone. They need to be selective of their victims because if they abuse everyone they come across, no one will get close enough to them for them to manipulate, control and enact their abuse upon.

The victims of an abuser are usually people that they’re close to, like a partner or a family member. If someone’s past partners all have the same story of that person being abusive, it’s a red flag. In fact, it’s more likely that someone is abusive if there are only select people in their life that come forward with stories of abuse.

3. ABUSERS DON’T ABUSE ALL THE TIME, BUT WHEN THEY DO…
This is one of the main reasons that many women who are in abusive relationships stay, or get so caught up that it’s hard to leave. Because if an abuser were mistreating their victims 100% of the time, they wouldn’t have anyone to control or abuse, because everyone would avoid them. The key trait of an abuser is that they’re able to get away with it without driving their victims away.

This means that they may start out with small acts of abuse – manipulation or subtle gaslighting – and then build up to a more controlling nature. Or, they may exact outbursts of violence – such as yelling or hitting – and then immediately become nurturing or loving again.

The thing about abusive people is: these acts of abuse are almost never just a one-time thing, but when they abuse, “they may have elaborate excuses for these incidents or blame the person they attacked by saying they “had to” or that they “were provoked,” states WebMD.

4. ABUSERS RUSH INTO RELATIONSHIPS
Without a victim, an abuser has no one to abuse. This may result in the abuser getting into a string of failed relationships, or immediately seeking out another victim when the first one removes themselves from the situation. This is one of the most overlooked hidden behaviors in an abusive person. An abuser cannot abuse without a victim.

When one victim leaves, the abuser will oftentimes immediately be in search of another victim – or, they’ll act as sweet and kind as they can in order to lure their previous victim back to them. The best way to end an abuser’s reign is to safely remove the victim. Once this happens, an abuser will almost always show their hand – after all, they don’t like having their abuse victims taken from them.

powerofpositivity.com

Trying to Control

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Give Yourself Permission: Authenticity

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We all must strive to be who God created us to be. Be you!

the grizzle grist mill

Too many of us grow up believing we must conform to society, or be molded after our family’s traditions, or conform to our friends’ desires, or even be completely yielded to our parents’ or spouses wishes. When we’ve been constantly conditioned to surrender and submit all willpower, all defiance, all choice to the determination of another, authenticity can escape us, and we might not even realize it.

It really takes hard work to be authentic, because not everyone is going to agree with you on everything. It takes a dogged mindset to remain real when the world around us is full of so much fake that is sold to the highest bidder. It even takes a mental stubbornness to remain grounded in your own beliefs, standards and choices for life, especially if you have someone close to you whom you seek to have their approval, affection or admiration.

The coveting…

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Extraordinary Grace – Testimony

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What the Lord has done in my life is extraordinary and I’d like to share it with you. We all have a testimony and this is mine. I hope it blesses you.

I did not grow up in church.  My parents divorced when I was 2 years old but I did continue to see my dad.  Eventually he just left me out of the blue when I was in elementary school. I don’t know why.

My mom married again and her new husband molested me. She is still married to him and I have long since forgiven him and pray for him. Because I was able to forgive him and due to my current circumstances I am living in their home right now.

I was a habitual run away and my mom had me locked up in mental institutions and drug rehabs, halfway houses and girl’s camp for the emotionally disturbed.  I started drinking and using drugs at a very early age….maybe 10 or 11.  When I would run away, I ran away to these much older men and they sold me as a sex slave to other men each time.

Finally at age 16 I was at home and I left again for good.  I married and became pregnant and my husband, my son’s father, would beat me.  I had another son with him and left him right after my son was  born and once again started using drugs and pretty severely. I was on the run from the law because I shot someone during a drunken stupor. I was caught.

I met my 2nd husband while in jail and he was very, very emotionally and mentally abusive. I almost wished I would rather be beaten. He would tell me to kill myself in front of my kids (his children) and tell me how everyone would be better off without me.

When I left him I was on drugs really severely and lived on the streets.  I ate from dumpsters, slept in park bathrooms, panhandled, and just survived (not on purpose).  I had lost all hope.  I was angry at God for not letting me die (I attempted suicide a few times) and would wonder why would He give my children someone like me.

One of the numerous times I was in jail I started reading a bible and then someone told me Jesus was God….I had not a clue.  I was sent to another locked facility and started highlighting in my bible everywhere that it was ok to drink.  Ecclesiastes…lol.  Then one night Jesus came to me in a dream.  He was a silhouette of a man all lit up and I just knew it was Jesus.

In the dream I stepped forward to hug Him and all of sudden, like a freight train, the LOVE He had for me hit me.  Tears did not run down my cheeks – they shot out of my eyes like bullets.  I could not contain all the love.  It was so intense and so immense and so …no words can describe it.  It filled every part of me.

When I woke up my hair was wet from crying and the first thing I said was, who needs the love of a man when you have that……WOW.  I didn’t know what to think. I still intended on going back to the streets, but for some reason when I got out of jail, I didn’t.  I also did not tell anyone about the dream and I pretty much left it at being a dream.

When I got out of jail and was on probation, probation officers made me go back to where I lived on the streets – I begged them not to.  Then they had me do community service with the homeless. They really wanted to put me back in the same environment so I ran from probation and came to Dallas with a man and moved in with my mom.

This guy was nooooo good.  So I kicked him to the curb and I realized I had this void inside of me.  I was no longer replacing it with drugs or alcohol and men.  So I decided to look for a church and then I became very devoted.  It wasn’t a Spirit filled church, but I was a brand spanking new Christian and hungry for God.

I asked God to find a way to get my warrant from running from my probation behind me.  I told Him He had to work it out because I was not going to turn myself in since I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I thought, hmmmm how is that going to happen?  Well, 2 weeks later I was in front of a home I was cleaning and a policeman pulled up and stated that he got a disturbance call and took my name, then  drove away. I looked to Heaven and said, “Really God?” Suddenly the policeman turned around and came back. He asked if I knew why he came back and I said, yes, smiling soooo big. (The warrant for breaking probation).

While I was in jail waiting to go to prison, I thought, “I wonder if I got the glow the Christians have.”  You know where their countenance is just filled with the glory of God.  Well, I went to prison and some woman, whom I never met, runs up to me and says, “God told me to tell you have a glow!” Oh my goodness. That was crazy to me because I didn’t know He could hear my thoughts.

I eventually got out of prison and was not looking for a man, but my now husband came into my life. I did not know that I was not to marry someone who was not a Christian.  I didn’t know.  I started drinking again with him and left God behind, putting my husband before Him. My husband became my idol. And then I went on a 5 day MIA drunken rampage.

God with His great mercy and grace rescued me again.

Since then I started coming back to Him and growing in the Lord.  I have since stopped all drinking and drugging and smoking and stealing and you name it. I have been set free and He is continuing to teach me, grow me and love me.

I suppose the last time I drank was 3 years ago.  There is much I have left out but I have been out of prison since 2013. I am still married but separated from my husband. He too, is abusive, but I have hope for him since he recently asked Christ into his heart.

I go to the jail and minister to women and serve at a homeless shelter on week-ends along with serving in my church. I’ve experienced both jail and being homeless and that’s why I love serving God in those two places. I can definitely relate to these people’s pain.

I want everyone to know how worthy and loved you are.  I want you to experience God and encounter Him and feel the love I felt in that dream and through my blessings.  I want to let you know there is a better way of life out there.  I just turned 50 years old and I want to let you know that it is never too late to seek Christ. I want to treat those in jail and the homeless and others the way God intended them to be treated and to know God loves them.

God is so awesome and amazing and real. I love Him soooooo much.

Michelle