I want to share in this journey.
no scratch that.
I'm scared to share in this journey.
For many reasons.
But mostly I don't want to come off as judgmental or 'baptist preacher on you'.
I'm convinced Jesus wants me to share in this journey.
Since revealing my struggles with worldly sex and 'soft core porn' I have felt such a peace, such a happiness I cannot explain in words, such a 'yes Emily you are doing this for me and its good (Christ speaking in terms), and I feel for the FIRST time ever in my life like I'm actually doing Christ work. Like I'm actually listening to Him and aligning with His will.
Now before I go further, I've personally done nothing. Christ has blessed me with a heart to be more like His. Meaning, I didnt reveal, submit, change, behave, obey, without Him helping and pushing me to do this. I take no glory in this. Its alllllllll from Him.
My first post was very long so I'm going to keep this short and focus today on my struggles to 'die to self' and ridding my life of all the temptations.
I am in a bible study called "Bible Study Fellowship" also known as "BSF". Its all over the world and both a men and women bible study. I happen to be in the daytime womens bible study on the southside of Indy. (if you are more interested in being apart of it email me (email@example.com)
So I love/adore BSF. I started 5 years ago and its truly brought me such wisdom on the bible, God, His character, and how I'm to live as a christian on this earth.
So blah blah blah I'm not going to go over everything I've learned from being apart of BSF, it would take all week to just begin to format the wisdom gained. But I will share with you something I learned way back in my first year at BSF.
Ann (the teaching leader at the time) was talking about living a life for Christ. I was in my early 20s and remember thinking, 'oh that does not sound fun'. She touched on how the only way we can live for Christ, is to well die to self. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
Die To Self.
At the time again 5 years ago. That was just like too much to handle. I was in no way ready to give up my wants/desires/hobbies/lifestyle to be more like Christ. Not just because I was SELFish, but I couldn't fathom Christ. I had never really ever studied the word (Bible). So I knew really very little about Christ.
But as the years went by, each year in BSF I learned more and more about Christ. But most importantly His character.
You see in order for me to have changed, or wanted to change I had to fall in love with this guy that died for me on the cross (not like in the romantic lovely way but in a 'He's my savior way). It had to become personal. It took 4 years but last year in BSF we studied Matthews.
Oh on a side note: when I opened up Matthews to kind of restudy for this blog post, I felt this overwhelming feeling of Christ right by me, it felt very sacred, very touching.
So basically the book of Matthew is about Jesus, His life from beginning to end and all that happened in it. Matthew was one of his disciples. This is the study where I fell in love with my savior, Jesus. After studying it for 9 months at the end I wanted to stand on a table and proclaim His greatness and holiness but didn't want to seem weird! lol
My favorite part I studied were the 'Beatitudes'
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that
can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or
fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
(From The Message version)
When I first read them, also read them in the 'NIV' version if you feel inclined, I felt overwhelmed. Its not at all the way the world wants us to be. The beatitudes basically boil down to 'dying to self'. And once again it was like 'no way God, I like me'.
Its been about a year since I first read the beatitudes, and since then, I've thought about those lines, all of em, almost daily. Even when I don't want to think about them I do. That can only mean Jesus wants me to bank my thoughts on these scriptures.
I feel like most of the beatitudes are happening in my life right now because of my revelation/Gods blessing of opening my heart for obedience.
In many ways I feel 'at the end of your rope'. Its both liberating to know I'm onto a 'new rope' that's for Christ, but also I'm afraid I wont be relevant in this world. I won't be cool.
At times I feel Ive 'lost what is most dear to me'. That being my books, shows, movies, hobbies, that I feel I can no longer be apart of. Satan has been really good this last week at making me feel I'm missing out by giving up 'the good'.
But I also feel 'content'. So take that Satan! God has blessed me beyond all measures in so many ways. In my thoughts, my strengths, my idle time, and just the ability to obey Him. I feel content to obey Him. THIS IS HUGE for me!
My 'appetite' is growing for Christ. I feel full in my life in a way that can only be attributed from Christ himself! That in and of itself is enough for me to continue on this journey!
God has put me in certains lives at this exact time to be 'caring'. I have all these NEW passions I didn't know I had (because they were being masked by my worldly desires). I see myself helping young girls and showing them what sex is all about and how they perceive sex and themselves. I should note I don't know if this will happen but I feel God pulling me in this direction!
I know my 'heart and mind are being put right'. I'm convinced I'm doing this for Christ and because of it I feel a happiness I didn't know existed.
I never thought I would ever really get the 'beatitudes' or at least not share in them. Its wonderful to know I'm apart of something that Christ preached and believed in!!!!
Okay so this was a little longer than I wanted it to be.
I'm giving up many tv shows and movies, books, things I view online, and what I allow myself to see, that have sex or things that don't align with Gods will for me.
Its been both really challenging and so liberating this last week. I'm so thankful for Christ who gave me the courage, the obedience, and the words to share in this journey!
To those who have been praying for me and have been such an encouragment- Thank you!
To those that just don't understand my journey I hope I shredded some new light today. I hope to continue to share in this and hopefully help those who are struggling with sexual/worldy sins and desires.
I'll leave you with a passage written from Paul and I feel it most describes my life right now.
And I’m going to keep that
celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through
your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus
Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can
hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed
in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail
only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I
live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m
Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I
aside from the jail part, I feel like I'm apart of something bigger, something for Christ!
and in the end its because of Christ.
Yes, because of Christ, and rightfully so,
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I can’t believe I’m going to share this stuff with the public. I can’t even believe I’m at this point in my life where I feel the need to share or have the right to share in this journey. I call it a journey because it is really. It all started back in June this year. But before I get ahead of myself I’ll take a moment to let you know more about me.
My name is Emily. I’m 27. I have been married to Kyle for 4 years this October. I’ve been with my hubby collectively almost 7 years. I’m happily married. I both love Kyle and hate him all at the same time. If you’re not married you might not get what I’m saying. We have a wonderful life here in Indianapolis Indiana. We live in a cute home that we adore. I have a kid. His name is Jim. We call him Jimmy mostly. I sometimes call him ‘Nell’. That came to be because he needs to slow down. Slow down Nell! He never stops because he 1.5 years old. And I’m a tired momma because of it.
Oh real quick...
Oh real quick...
I’m not a writer. I’m not just saying that to just underplay my genius writing stills. I’M NOT A WRITER. Period. I literally just almost put 'righter' for ‘writer’. Mmmmmmk. There will be mistakes, grammatical errors, totally messed up ways of putting a sentence together. This is your warning. Alrightly then. Shall we?
OK so this is the part where it gets sticky. Dirty. And just plain raw. RAW. I do not want to share this with you. I think God was crazy, C-R-A-Z-Y to pick me to tell you this.
Conviction. I am a Christian. That basically boils down to the fact that I believe Jesus came to this earth many, many moons ago and lived a life, a short life, here to share His gospel, all His truths, and then die on the cross so I might live to be with Him in this awesome place called Heaven. Now to those that are ‘nonbelievers’ of Jesus Christ, or simply think He was a man on this earth many moons ago who just you know was a hip and nice fella who wore sandals, one who walked around dusty places with a group of men, and died horrible…well you might not get this whole thing I’m about to share with you.
And that’s OK. This isn’t just a post for Christian women. It’s not a post to tell people who don’t believe in Jesus that their doomed or that I think their horrible. It’s none of that. This is about how I feel. How I live my life. How I’ve lived my life. My thinking. My struggles. My pains. My convictions. So please understand you might not agree with me or my opinions. You might think I’m wacky for sharing something you think is totally fine! Please know this is a personal, personal journey. And What I’m sharing is just my opinion.
Conviction: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth, a strong persuasion or belief.
I had to take the time to dictionary.com that. Because another crazy thing we Christians do. We have this thing on convictions. I believe I have the Holy Spirit living in me. That basically means I have Jesus in my brain and heart telling me when I should or shouldn’t do something. A code per se of living. Again sounds nuts explaining it. But I have to. Because this whole struggle I’m having is because of my convictions.
Please to those that think I’m nuts just keep reading I'm getting to the
point of this post. The climax.
I like porn.
I like porn.
Ahhhh there it is.
I like watching it when people do it in movies. When Sookie and Bill or Eric hooked up in true blood. I love nakedness. And the heavy breathing. I like sex. I like reading about it. And Learning new stuff.
OK so before I go any further with this. I do need to state. I do not watch porn on the internet. I have in the past dabbled in it. But do not and have not for a while. This porn I speak of is I guess in worldly terms, soft core porn.
Since I was a young teen I loved reading about it in my romance novels, the teen first time having sex novels, the more adult ridiculous trashy romance novels. Basically I found at a young age reading it was fun. It made me feel good and you know it just is nice to read about sex.
Also watching all the HBO dramas and those wild sex scenes was just killer fun. The movies with the graphic stuff. Nice. I found myself thinking it was totally fine for me to watch, read, see, and think about this kind of sexuality on a normal basis.
It wasn’t until this last winter. This really bad winter. Where it snowed and was way too cold, that I read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. I ordered it with a bit of precaution. I’m not into that hardcore stuff. But everyone was reading it. Everyone. So I read it. I loved it. Loved it.
Let me take a moment to say I was not or am not into the kinky stuff that was in the book. But it didn’t mean I didn’t like reading it.
So there’s 3 in the series. I ordered the 2nd one with a bit more caution. I felt this thing called ‘conviction’ and ya I rolled my eyes. “really God, I’m fine. I love my hubby. I’m just reading a romance book that happens to have a red sex room with ropes and whips. It’s totally fine Lord. I mean I’m not cheating on my hubby. I just love the male guy character. It’s fine. It’s fine.”
So I read the 2nd book. And whoa. Whoa whoa. The convictions came in like a flood gate bursting open. I found myself comparing my hubby to Mr. Grey (who by the way ladies, he’s not real) and my life compared to the girls in the book. I became restless. Unhappy with my marriage. Many other convictions came to mind. Like I’ll just state what they were like going through my head…”Is this book I’m reading doing anything for Christ” “Would Jesus read this book or books” “Maybe I should get another guy I can cheat with from time to time to you know just make things exciting again” “doesn’t Jesus want me to be happy” “does this book glorify Jesus or Satan” “is this OK for me to read when people know I go to church and believe in Jesus”
There were so many more thoughts and just so much guilt in my heart and head I could have exploded!!!!
But I ordered the 3rd book. I did this and I remember saying to my Savior, the guy that took my place on the cross, for my icky sins, “Seriously, it’s just a book. And you already paid for this sin so it’s fine”. Yes I know. I cringe when I think I told Him that.
I read the first 3 pages. Let me also note that that book stayed on my book shelf…wait..wait..wait..Let me be honest...I hid all of them in my closet (look at that irony) for many, many weeks. I just didn’t like how my thoughts were going and the guilt I felt for my thoughts and I know it sounds weird but I felt Jesus just saying “do not read this!”
But like most Christians. We have weak moments. Where bad things happen. And I just wanted to finish the series for heaven’s sakes!
So again I started it and I swear the first paragraph in my kid woke up vomiting. Then once he was cleaned up and happily sleeping I opened that book up to start reading where I left off and all of a sudden I was overcome with pure and utter sleepiness. You see I’m not one to fall asleep easy. Ever. So the fact that I just like fell asleep I think was Jesus putting me to sleep. He did not want me to read this.
The book was on the floor in the morning. It had fallen in a weird way and half the pages were bent.
The next day or that evening really I started a bible study with a God sent group of women. We were studying Revelation.
By the 3rd week in the Revelation study (mind you the 3rd book was still not read since that night, still very bent up and put away in the closet) I knew God was calling me to not only NOT read this final book. But to not read or watch anything that had sex in it. Oh my gosh. I was like “really God, really?” Sex is everywhere. And gosh I want to watch all those cool shows! And Read those cool, hip, popular books!!!
I was mad. Pissed. So freakin mad at God.
Why would he take away something I love. I love reading, seeing, watching romances and sex. It makes me happy!!!!!
I still am mad.
But learning and reading in Revelation, oh there’s just too much to share... I came to the conclusion that Jesus is worthy. He’s worthy for me to listen to my convictions. And my conviction is to not partake in the ‘fifty shades of grey’ books or movie.
Which still makes me mad. I saw the trailer. It looks good. But every day in my head and my heart, I feel Him calling me to listen that He is worthy of my time and obedience.
Call me a crazy, wacky Christian lady. I feel I am called to not finish that book. And to not see that movie when it comes out this winter. I’m called to be obedient to Him.
This verse came to me one night when I was in just plain tears over knowing I had to stop watching and reading the shows and books that I love.
‘The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.’
2 Timothy 7-12
He has saved us and called us to a holy life.
Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
I’m convinced Jesus has called me to share my struggles with sex, worldly ways of thinking on sex, and my struggle to not partake in the Fifty Shades of Grey popularity.
I do not know why. I do not know why he would call me, ME!!!! I am so weak!!!
But he said to me (Jesus), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:9
I don’t know how any of you will feel about this revelation I have had. Many will most likely think I’m nuts to follow Jesus to begin with. But I know more than anything on this earth that I want to have a holy life. That doesn’t mean I want to be perfect. What I want to do is wake up every day and give Jesus all my convictions, my desires, my ways, and tell him “you do this for me and shape me, REFINE me. Make me like you. Even if it hurts”
Which it does. This process has been such a refinement.
Refinement: to purify from what is coarse, vulgar, or debasing; make elegant or cultured.
The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
Philippians 3:7-9 (The Message)
Because of Christ, and rightfully so,