Worn

This song is so real to me right now.

I’m tired of the struggle, and I’ve given up fighting. I mentioned my struggles in my previous post. Well, I thought I was over them then. Apparently not.

I wanna know there’s an end to what I’m facing. Nothing seems to be changing in me. IF there is change, it’s not the big one I want.

So this song is my prayer that God will carry me through this, and all will be well in the end.

~takara

 

Lyrics here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tenthavenuenorth/worn.html

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~Confessions~

I feel nearly empty. I am not sure if I actually am, but if I am not, it’s nearly there.

A TED talk I watched told me confessing, or rather, not keeping secrets improve a person’s well-being. That’s because secrets eat us from the inside out – especially a big one, one that weighs down on us heavily.

Not everybody has those, though.

I used to think I had none to keep. That is, until that year when I discovered something that would change me forever. I am not exaggerating. It was my biggest mistake, and if I could keep myself from it, I would. I will not deny though, that that same mistake has made me a better person. How much better I am not sure.

What was this catastrophically huge mistake? It was getting sucked into pornography. Some might disagree with me saying, “What? Porn? Pfft. That’s nothing.” But it was and still is a big deal to me.

It showed me that never is too strong a word, and that I cannot really say whether something will never happen or not. It showed me that my “blissful ignorance” was not the innocence that I so desired. It showed me that I had prided myself in being better than others, when I really am no better.

Okay, I’m giving porn too much credit. Porn was not what taught me that. Porn was only a catalyst that led me to realize that, and much more. Given the lessons that can be taken from the experience, I still cannot say that I am glad that had happened. I recognize its use. But I would rather not have anything to do with it.

I am a Christian. I call myself one. If you asked, I’d say I believe in God and in His Son, and in the promises of His Word. I’d say I love Him. However, at this point, I cannot say that that is entirely true. If it were, I wouldn’t be writing this. This blog would not exist. One reason I created this blog was because of feelings of unease in my relationship with God. I had wanted to vent here. I had made other blogs before with the same intention, actually. But I had forgotten both my username and my password. I can’t revive them now. Another reason I started this was to share God’s word. That’s what I told myself anyway. There has nearly always been this nagging feeling in me with regard to that. I could hardly ever get myself to talk to others about God. I don’t know why. I find it difficult to do so, even though I get a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment afterwards.

I digress.

It is this – that I am a Christian – that I learned all those lessons, albeit with porn as a catalyst.

Still, sometimes I wonder if I had changed at all. A silly thought, because I know I have. It’s just not as much as I would’ve liked.

I dislike porn. But just some weeks – or was it days? – ago, I had been looking it up again. It was fan fiction that propelled me into pornography. I had finished watching a TV series I liked, and had wanted to learn more about the characters, and see how else the could’ve gone on with their lives. I was rooting for a particular pairing, and I did not see it realized in the show. So I looked them up.

When I had read all that I had cared to read under the ratings K through T, I still wanted to read some more. So I decided to try those under rating M. I told myself that it’s not that bad. The first smut I read actually happened before this. I had no idea what it was. I had a thought that the restricted sign was just for show. It was not. I had thought it was a one time thing. Looking back (and after reading some articles online on people get into porn), I realized that that singular moment when I had read something restricted most likely had an effect on my actions later.

I did not know that at the time, though. I did not know any better. So years later, the second one I read was the first one I read with some degree of understanding. I did not understand all the words, but somehow got the point through context clues. It was a queer feeling. I somehow knew I wasn’t supposed to be reading it, but I did not stop, and I had not wanted to. I wanted to know much more about the characters in the show that I thought that reading smut would be fine, as I’d get used to it in time. I had also felt something physically. I felt warm, and sort of tingly. My heart rate went up, and if anyone looked at me, I was sure they’d see me blushing. I quickly put two and two together, and realized that that physical reaction was caused by what I had been reading. I did not attach a name – a noun – to it till much later though.

That led me to spiral of depression.

I’d like to say that my mistake led me to realize that God would forgive all and accept me for who I am. But it did not – not really. I knew that before and I know that now, despite occasional questions. I know that, but I do not always feel that.

It’s a funny thing – these feelings. They go beyond logic and understanding. Something I know to be true but does not feel true is doubted.

There was a time I wished to do without them. Feelings to me were annoying, and a sign of weakness. I wanted to lock them up, and keep them away. Clearly I was wrong. No one can truly do away with these – not the very physical feeling of touch nor the feelings that spring from the heart (or the hypothalamus, whichever way you want to look at it).

Ironically, it was these same feelings that led me to porn. They aren’t the whole reason. They’re simply one reason. I had been looking for love and affection I did not realize I already have. God love me. My family and friends love me. I don’t care if you call me sappy.

I just do not always feel their love. I find that I nearly always look for something that isn’t there. Not necessarily because I am not content, rather because something does not fit a certain template in my mind.

Templates most likely fed to me by what I have read and what I have seen. Friendships, especially between best friends, have always struck me as a very intimate sort – one with a lot of secret sharing, and maybe even sleepovers. I do not do that a lot, and until very recently, I have never had a sleepover. So I thought there was something missing.

Families, as pictured in my mind, are very close-knit – always gathering for meals, praying before eating, doing devotion together before breakfast, or maybe even after breakfast, speaking openly with everyone, being serious together and not only having fun. I hardly recall a time in my childhood when I have been open to both of my parents. I mean completely open, not ashamed to talk about anything at all. I would like that. But I do not have that often.

In everything I do, I have a script, or at least an outline – something to guide me along it. But I do not always have scripts, especially scripts about human interaction.

That is probably one reason why I have felt that something was missing in my templates. There is a huge gap that must be closed to get from where I currently am with my relations with people, and the ideal I have in my mind. And I hardly have the guts to initiate closing that gap.

Love is something I seek, and I know that it is given. But sometimes I find myself searching for a different kind, one that is not platonic nor familial, rather romantic. This is another point of struggle for me. Romance was something I had always attached to girlishness, even though boys can be just as romantic as girls.

Somewhere down the line, I have detested the label girly, and anything and possibly everything that came with it. To be girly meant liking pink and wearing dresses. It meant being sappy and romantic, and giggling at the thought of crushes. It meant liking dolls and playing dress-up. It meant liking make-up and different kinds of hair-dos. It meant only getting toys from the Girls’ Section of the Toy Store, and getting clothes as presents, while your siblings got new toys. It meant eventually becoming a lady, which was even worse, because then I’d have to be prim and proper all the time, and I would not be allowed to have any fun. Would you believe that to further distance myself from being girly I said I’d never get married? My mom chastised me, saying that I’d regret if I decide I wanted to, but can’t. I regretted it right after she said that, but I don’t think I’ve ever told her.

That was what being girly meant to me. I disliked what it stood for and distanced myself from it. I became known as a sort of tomboy. I was not sure if that was any better, because it too had negative connotations. But I focused on disliking the alternative – being girly.

Now I question that meaning of being girly. Is not being a girl enough to be called girly? Why then do I have to subject myself to stereotypes? Why can’t I be myself? Why can’t I do what I want and be who I want to be?

Possibly because of the years of distancing myself from it, I am now very reluctant to talk to anyone about it. Talks of whether or not so and so likes this person or that is something I do not have a lot of experience in. It is also something I still avoid, though I am curious to know what others have to say about it. I do not know about others, but I would also rather not bring up such topics among friends. It embarrasses and flusters me too much, though I do want to talk about such things from time to time. I also welcome being included in such conversations … as long as they do not center around me – who I might like – even though I do want to talk about it.

It seems I am a paradox. Else, I am just very conflicted.

Some more points of conflict (these are again about labels): I dislike labels. Any sort actually. All, if not most. However I also nearly almost immediately attach my own label to others. It is not fair, I know. I do not like them on me, but I apply them to others. I am more willing to associate with others depending on what label they seem to have. On one hand, it helps me interact with them. The labels form guidelines for me to follow. On the other hand, it disrupts potential for further interaction. I do not know what to do after I have followed my outline. I need a comprehensive guideline for interacting with people – one that takes into account differences between people, and not one that focuses only on groups of people.

Also, it seems that no matter how much I say I dislike racism or class discrimination, I find myself applying labels to people based on them. I’d say I am not as racist as before, but I am still am. I was never an extremist, but still racist. There has to be some way to interact to people with hardly an awkward silence. We are all human after all. We all have some things in common.

When I try to connect with people I have just met on a deeper level, I try to get into much deeper conversation by asking questions that are nearly philosophical. I nearly always end up ranting. Most laugh. Most do not say anything to add to the discussion. There are those who just accept things as they are, and I try to challenge them.

I must be doing something wrong.

I nearly always expect a discussion where there is nothing to discuss.

The status quo is something I would probably enjoying fighting. I might even contribute to changing it. Not everyone feels the same, though.

I live a different life in my mind. Sometimes it leaks into my dreams at night.

In my mind I am all I want to be. I do want I want and I find satisfaction in what I do. It’s an idyllic life – one where I am not lazy, and I am able to do everything I have ever said I wanted to do. In it I am not ashamed to talk about God. These simulations are often set in the future, at a time when I have a family, and am raising children. The older children would be around 13, I think, and I’ve raised them well. Some of them are blonde, but that may be because they’re adopted. I am not really sure.

The father, that is, my husband, is the most charming man, but I am never sure of what he looks like, because I am not married, and he might not actually exist.

Sometimes I think that with all my simulations, I am ruining myself for what is real. I’m also sometimes afraid that with all the porn I’ve encountered, I’ve ruined myself for the actual sex. People who are addicted to porn are less likely to  enjoy real life sex. That’s something I have learned through looking up the negative effects of porn.

I am embarrassed to admit that I’d like to try doing sex someday. It’s not something that is supposed to be dirty. But it is seen as such. I am ashamed to admit I have had some rather naughty thoughts – some involving real people, not fictional.

Sometimes I catch myself gauging people in terms of whether or not I’d be likely to date them. I nearly always feel silly for doing it though, but I see its use. I’ve also had simulations about courtship. It’s classier than dating, in my opinion. I’ve always liked how the whole process went on back then. Think Pride and Prejudice with the balls and the suitor calling on the one he courts, and the couple never going anywhere without a chaperone, but always given a degree of privacy, and the couple spends a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. Call me old-fashioned, but like the idea of that. Going out for movies can be nice, too, but it’s nowhere near as romantic.

Did you know that I sometimes give relationship advice on Yahoo! Answers even though I have never been romantically involved? I also tried answering some parenting questions, too. Odd, since I’m not a mother.

Look at me going on about such things, and after I’ve said I don’t like initiating such topics. The Internet does provide a feeling of security, after all.

Living with others, rather for others – mein Lebenspartner mit oder ohne unsere Kinder oder jemand anderes – is something I look forward to. I have found that if I were to live alone I would surrender to entropy. I have found that I function better when I live for others. I am more inclined to get things to turn out well. I believe it is also more satisfying and fulfilling.

I say this, but really I have Someone to live already – God. I do not know why I search elsewhere. Reason tells me He is enough. Still, I look elsewhere. Thoughts of romantic love have me searching for someone to live for. It is uncharted waters for me, and a place I long to explore. Now’s not the time for that, though. I know God has will lead me to someone if He wills.

It’s the in-between from this time till the time when I reach an ideal I have set for myself that is infuriating. I want to do much, but because of my unfathomable laziness, I do nothing, even those I like doing. It’s incomprehensible! Furthermore, the ideal I have is not necessarily the same one that God has.

I do not know, yet, where I will go. I have an idea, but that may change.

The future is all uncharted territory that I have yet to explore. An online mini-series called “Dating Rules from My Future Self” had the main character saying this line at the end of the first season, “The best moment [of my life] is now.” I think it has a truth to it.

The best is not in the past that I cannot change, not in the future that I do not know, it is in the now that I can influence. No matter how great something in the past was, right now it is merely a memory. No matter how great the future can be, right now it does not exist. So the best time is now, no matter how terrible it may seem, because now I can be thankful for the past, and look forward to the future. No matter how terrible the present is, since I can influence it, I can influence it to be better.

I think in writing this, I’ve been closer to God than I have in days – weeks, even!

There is a certain charm in being able to think freely and lay out what I have kept to myself, even if I had not had any intention to keep them to myself forever.

From this point, I’d like to think things can only get better. Well, ,only if I do good, I suppose. If I do nothing, the state of things will decline. If I do bad, things will decline faster. So the only way up is God. How else can I do good and only good without Him?

Quote

To a Friend # 1

God’s on your side, wherever you are
on a bike, in a car.
Don’t forget His gift to you.
‘Tis much better than fondue!

When you’re down, remember God.
Think not of the devil’s fraud.
God can give you peace of mind
& heart, soul, body combined!

Part of a poem I wrote to a friend

(Yes, I’ve decided to try poetry.)

 

I think we can all benefit from thinking of God. I don’t mean to ask questions like “Is God real?”. I mean to think of God with love – reminiscing about what He has done for us, what He has given us, and all those times spent together. I mean to remember His promises and love. He is on our side, even when we don’t believe so. He loves us and wants us to come to Him, seek Him – yet He is never far away. He is only ever waiting for us to search for Him and reach out to Him, as He has reached out to us.

God’s gift is His gift of life. Without Him, we are dead – we’re goners. This life is is short and will come to an end. His gift of life is both richness of life here ( a life filled with meaning and purpose), and eternal life with Him after this one.

 

On the devil’s fraud: I mean his lies. The devil is a liar. It would do us good not to listen to his lies.

 

Quote

On Genesis 4:6-7

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV 1984)

God said this to Cain after Cain’s offering was rejected and before Cain went and killed his brother. Cain did not master sin crouching at his door.

On why Cain’s offering was rejected: I’ve learned that it’s because he did not give the first fruits of his crop. Abel gave of the firstborn of his flock.

I attended a sermon given by Pastor Robert Morris before, and he said that God is big on tithing: the first of whatever you get is God’s. If you don’t give that to God, you’re stealing from God. This makes sense. It explains a lot of things in the Bible. Stuff like, why Achan and his family had to be stoned, after stealing some of the spoils from Jericho, which the LORD had said were to be His. Tithing is that important in the Bible. You’ll notice a lot of references to the “firsts”, when you read the Bible. I didn’t think much of it then. Afterwards, it all started to make sense.

Back to Cain.

He didn’t do what was right by not bringing the first fruits. He could still do right after that. The LORD was concerned about Cain. He knew that Cain was bitter. So He cautioned Cain with these words, but Cain failed to heed them.

I think a lot of times the LORD is also cautioning us with these words. We do something wrong, and the LORD wants us to ask forgiveness and move on. But we – I, at least, do this, I cannot speak for everyone – I do not always seek forgiveness and move on. I wallow in my mistake and berate myself. It’s a vicious time for me. And if I let it go on, I end up sinning more.

Perhaps Cain experienced something similar. I don’t know for sure.

But I think he knew what was right and what was wrong, even though the Law had not yet been written. Abel was able to do right after all. I do not think that was a coincidence. And all the times before that one time mentioned in the Bible when Cain did not bring the first fruits – surely they have given offerings to the LORD before then.

Perhaps Cain thought that he was doing right by not giving the first fruits. But I learned that God wants the first, and the first is not necessarily the best. Maybe Cain gave the best, and it was rejected because it was not the first.

By giving the first to God, we are returning what is His, and we are trusting Him to provide us with the rest of whatever it is we gave. It is just the first, after all. The other nine-tenths of the, shall we say, fruits are ours, but the first is His. We give Him the first, and we can be assured that we shall receive the rest also.

The rest is a blessing from God. If they’re better, praise God. If they are not better than the first, praise Him still, because He provided.

Tithing applies not only to objects, but to time as well, and to everything else we receive.

The first of our time should be spent with God. The first of our money should be given to Him. The first of our talents, the first of our gifts – all to Him.

Cain was angry after his offering was rejected. He wanted to do something about it. The LORD cautioned him to master sin crouching at his door, but Cain did not. Perhaps he would not.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We do something wrong, or something doesn’t go our way, and it angers us so much we just want to keep doing wrong – for a false sense of satisfaction. I know I’ve done something like that. I have acted in anger, and in my anger, I thought it would satisfy me, if I worsened the situation.

It didn’t.

So my lesson from this: When I do something wrong, if I do something wrong, ask forgiveness, and move on. The devil can’t hold that against me anymore. God has erased my sin. I shouldn’t hold that against myself, either, because God has erased it.

 

Modern day Polygamy: Porn and Polygamy in the church

BBG

Polygamy is a practice that most Christians find a bit embarrassing. It seems that the bible implicitly allows for some form of polygamy when we see the temporal blessings of Solomon, David, and Abraham. Can there be any doubt that Solomon was given wisdom by God? Can there be any doubt that God blessed him with wealth and all manner of temporal blessings? Yet, by all accounts Solomon was the polygamist par excellence.  

Why does the bible record these seemingly incongruous accounts of his wisdom and his polygamy? Why not avoid the implication that many have wrongly drawn that the bible allows for or possibly condones polygamy? Furthermore, it seems that Christianity has been able to effectively and efficiently move away from this embarrassing episode in our religious history. Is it possible that God in his infinite wisdom has allowed the testimony of scripture to record a sordid affair…

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