Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Refinement Process

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...
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.

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. To bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities.

 I feel Jesus telling me to let Him refine me. And to share this particular refinement. 
I’m still struggling. I threw away all the books a couple of weeks ago. The last not being read beyond page 3. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the movie or be a part of this. But Jesus has called me to be obedient in this purification of my sexual sins. My desires are not right in His eyes and ultimately that’s what I’m here on this earth for. To glorify Jesus.

I hope I didn’t offend those that read the books and felt no conviction. This is again, a very personal conviction of mine. I just hope by opening up this truth of mine that maybe I can help other girls/women out there struggling with sexual desires and convictions.

Thanks so much for reading. And please Pray for me as this struggle is just newly surfaced and it’s going to be along refinement process!

I’ll leave you with my favorite verses of all times and I believe it’s perfect for this.

        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,

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