This is the day the Lord made… me

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Isn’t it any amazing feeling to know the day you were created the Lord made, with his perfect hands. He wonderfully crafted you and there’s no one or nothing that can take away that bliss, the bliss of being an original copy. Even being a twin and being blessed to share this day with the other millions born on May 19th like Malcom X (1925-1965) or Kevin Garnett I feel special.

Along the way I started looking at the very day the Lord made me as a little less important, I started comparing myself to the other millions or huge figures born on the day I held so high making a name for themselves.

I remember the simple pleasures like playing a game of Snakes and Ladders, having a relaxed birthday party, and getting some much needed one-on-one time with mom, dad and sisters. Then came themed birthday parties, those were my favourite. My big day no longer became about myself but impressing those around me and that need began to take precedence over the actual birthday celebration.

This year even growing the ripe age of 21 I seemingly kept my adolescent way of thinking. I’m not where I thought I’d be in life. I envisioned my life looking different. 21, I was suppose to have 21 degrees, drive 21 cars, and make 21 figures. My birthday blues are linked to this whole, “what will people think” mindset that followed me from my youth with all those lavish birthday parties, loot bags and outfits.

This year, this day, this birthday I’m clinging to a newish “old saying”: “Growing old is hard, but it beats the alternative.” Although nicely put the author of that adage doesn’t have the wisdom of Paul who said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), whether death comes today, or after 100 years there may be birthdays, milestones I won’t get to see and for that I am humbled, grateful and blessed for THIS day.

Birthdays are a good reminder of what God has given us. In fact, reminders are biblical; God commanded the Israelites to set up stones to remind them of what God has done for them (Joshua 4:1–7). So instead of looking to what we don’t have, who we don’t have let us choose to look at what we do have and who we have! With this new thinking there will be no birthday we choose not to celebrate.

It’s time to see the day the Lord has made and… REJOICE !

Dear Mirror

As babies we are fascinated with our bodies – we can all attest to admiring ourselves in the mirror or maybe just checking out our toes like “wow, there’s so many of them! And they fit in my mouth.” As children we did crazy things, riding a bike down the hill with no hands attempting to defy gravity, just having fun and not thinking much about our appearances.

Somehow on the path of growing up instead of appreciating how strong our legs are or how hard we can kick a ball we fret about how short our legs are or how they “jiggle” when we kick a ball.

Ladies and gents, it’s time we take back that mirror.

It’s time to tell the mirror we are children of the most high. We are to tell the mirror, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14)

I can say this because I’ve been there. Let me take you back a few years ago when I was eating dinner with my then boyfriend and I ordered a burger with fries, not the usual girl eating a salad combo. If anyone really knows me, they know I’m a sucker for burgers. They could possibly be the best darn food in the world, okay… maybe I’m exaggerating a little but they are pretty awesome. As the food came I wasted no time, I started on my fries because I have a weird thing about eating fries first, you may say weird I say genius haha. Once the fries were over and done I took a bite of my burger, just one bite that’s all I was able to get to when my then boyfriend made a comment about my eating habits being like a man. I was very disturbed. That’s when the waitress came over, they always have the “perfect” timing, and asked how we were enjoying everything, I told her we were ready for the bill and when she noticed my untouched burger, with the exception of the small bite, she asked if I wanted a take out container, “no” I responded. My date paid and we left. What’s crazy is that he didn’t even seem to realize what he’d just done. We went back to hang out with some friends and while there I rested my legs on his, and then he began to squeeze my legs and said “I love your chunky legs.”

I’ve always considered myself a healthy eater; I didn’t eat pork and watched my daily intake, not obsessively but well enough. I was a happy size 6. I ate out only twice a week so I saw no problem in indulging in a burger when the occasion presented itself. But, that night something had changed. The relationship ended, and thank God it did but that’s when my new obsession with weight began. I went from 3 meals a day to just 1. First it wasn’t intentional, I was just working so much early morning and late nights that by the time I got home I only had time to scrimmage a little snack before bed. That’s when the compliments came rolling through about my new look, I loved the newfound attention. I was now eating ice as a supplement for food, imagining it being a juicy burger while maintaining the one meal a day. My mother was worried, rightfully. She’d make me lunches for work and search my lunch bag when I returned to make sure it was being eaten and it was being eaten, but not by myself. She was still concerned but no longer had proof that my food wasn’t being eaten by myself so she let it go, thank God. That was what I wanted because it wasn’t like I had a problem I’d keep telling myself, I wasn’t forcing myself to vomit or binging in my room behind closed doors. I had just limited my daily intake. But that’s no different.

I’d been so busy working that I’d missed many weeks of church (this is also the time when I swore God off as previously attested to in Confessions of a Church Girl) so when my day off finally came I was dedicating it to sleeping in but my mother had different plans. She picked an outfit for me, set it on the bed and left me to get dressed. I took the outfit and laughed at her sense of style, put the outfit on and walked downstairs to meet the family for church. By the time I hit the bottom step my mother was in tears. She no longer recognized the girl that was in front of her. She brought me to the mirror and had me take a real long look at myself in the mirror. With sinking cheeks, deep collarbones, and a sunken rib piercing stomach I realized I had a problem.

From that day on I was committed to making a change. It wasn’t easy. I weighed around 100 pounds and was weak in body, but with God and my family I was able to make it out of that mess. Philippians 1 verse 12 reads: “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” This is the goal I have in mind, some may say I’m crazy and maybe they’re right. I’m crazy about Jesus; I love Him and have a goal in mind, to use my story to bring others to Him. Although you may be wondering, what does an eating disorder have to do with God, well everything. When we know we’re loved we won’t go to the extremes to make ourselves loveable, love is given… it’s free, Jesus paid the ultimate price/sacrifice we don’t have to suffer.

If you are falling into the same issue or feel pretty close remember the God loves you – because He made you. And even more because He died for us. I realized some time ago that my body was no longer just skin covering muscle covering bone but that it was a vessel and God wanted to pour His love into me so I could pour into others. We are not just physical beings. We are spiritual.

I know it’s not easy when the world tells you that you are what you eat, or what you weigh, or that you need to be more muscular. The world weights with numbers; the Lord weights with grace, and you owe Him nothing, friend. He has paid it all. He wants you to rest and trust Him. He’s got you covered.

Confessions of a Church girl

I was saved, grew up in the church, and had what I believed was a lasting relationship with Christ. BUT I went from living out the scriptures to simply knowing scriptures and reading the Bible sometimes when I felt like it, and still found a way to encourage others, despite my own mess that I was going through. It still amazes me that after all this time, God still kept holding my hand, even when I was being rebellious and dragging Him along in my mess. So, let me give you a little background about myself, and what even prompted this blog… After my high school graduation when I realized I haven’t even had a sip of alcohol or any unprecedented fun I sought for a change. That summer I began hanging out with an old friend, one much more experienced with the workings of the world. It started with a walk. We met up at the park by our house and took it from there, passing blocks, and as she began to talk about her life and her newest problems I was reminded that all of our meet-ups consisted of her talking and me listening like all the other relationships in my life, people found my life so boring after all I’m the “church girl” as one guy put it in school. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always been the type to speak to everyone in my school, top of my class, fashionista, drama and music student along with student council member. But I never really fit in no matter the surroundings. One day on my way to class the group of boys that usually skip class opting for the ruggedness of the bench than the comfort of a seat in class began to make fun of my outfit saying it looked like I was ready for a church service, because I chose not to wear the cropped tops and short shorts. I laughed. Despite what my outfit was portraying to them I gave them the less Christian response. I won’t go into details but it was LEGEND- wait for it- ARY. From then on any parties even amongst my friends I wasn’t invited to and if that wasn’t bad enough the same thing happened to me at work, I couldn’t escape it. I wondered for so long why I wasn’t invited. What was different? I sought to change that.

Back to the walk. We passed by our elementary school and I remembered that my whole life I have been sheltered, my life planned for me and I’m not just meaning by God. My parents made my decisions. Valedictorian. Honors student. As I walked past the school literally I was trying to do the same figuratively. As we continued, looking for a new path journey even a familiar car called out to us. It was a guy from our school who graduated the year before. He asked if we were looking to hang out and despite my friend’s reluctance I made the decision for the both of us, my first real decision. Into the car we went on an unknown journey. We stopped off at someone’s house and we all hung out. People I once passed in the hallways now keeping my company. It was going well, I was truly enjoying myself and I didn’t want the fun to end, I wanted my entire life to be like this. Our ride and his brother chose a new plan so into the car we went. We ended up at the Beer Store. There we were. Sitting in the parking lot waiting for what was next. He came out with the beers and we drove to the park to indulge. I have never had a drink of alcohol ever at this point with the exception of the time I was babysitting my neighbours children and my sister decided it would be funny to dare me to drink a cup of their whisky, never again. I took a beer and froze, not knowing what to do next. My friend looked at me and explained to the rest that I’ve never ever drank before, although it was the truth I was embarrassed, how dare she make me seem like a prude. So gulp, gulp. All done. Ironically she wasn’t able to finish hers so I did the pleasure. After the drink and a half. I insisted I needed to stretch my legs, as I got out of the care I stumbled, guess it was kicking in. The guy took my hand and led me with him to go for a walk to clear my head. As we made our way to a bench I stopped and kissed him. As I backed away he told me about how much he liked who I was becoming and I laughed because I no longer knew who I was. That was the beginning of a summer fling. He taught me new things, showed me new things. The party invitations that once passed me came flying my way.

I got dressed and got ready for one with my walking buddy to a pretty dead party, only a couple of people dancing. I was getting bored and getting ready to leave when I saw a couple people smoking weed, I wanted in besides I’ve never done this. I made my appeal to join an unknown guy just for a few hits, as I did I felt as though I was watching myself on the outside. I was finally free. Party invitations were now rolling my way and I made it a way to make it to all of them. With the same intentions, to lose myself, never drunk but never sober. Now we were on our way to the next party where something changed inside of me. In a familiar setting with old friends and acquaintances I was confronted with a guy I’ve always seen in the distance. This guy asked me to walk with him so we could talk about “life” and I was living life so how hard could it be to talk about it, but what I didn’t know is that it wasn’t “life” he wanted to talk about, he didn’t want to talk period. This walk turned into sitting outside of the house party in his car with him shoving himself on me. Tongue deep in my mouth like an unwanted guest, hands grazing my body like an assassin, then his pants unbuckled. That night despite my high state I broke free from being a rape victim.

Despite the event, I sought to forget and that meant substance abuse. I know what you’re thinking, “are you crazy?!” One day my desperation to loose myself hit a new low when I asked my mum if I could go out and she said no, the reason being that I’ve been going out a lot and not acting like myself, which is true. I was furious. I told her it was a simple walk. I screamed. I yelled. I was acting a fool and it was from the my new lifestyle. She wasn’t hearing it anymore and turned to continue making dinner, but I refused to be ignored. After the front and back arguing and threats she had enough. I picked up the phone and dialed the police. I made my request for an officer. Before I could undue the damage two police cars were outside. I was determined to have my mother pay, but for what. I realized my fault and pleaded with the officers requesting to take it easy on her. I was an idiot. It was only by the grace of God that they heard my cry and backed off with a stiff warning. I was shunned. I moved out for a couple weeks because I couldn’t bear to look my mother in the face any longer and see her hurting for me.

There were only a couple weeks before my first year at the University of Toronto I was preparing for Frosh. I cleaned up my life and made promises to never be the same. Frosh was great, I met new friends, made new experiences, and earned myself of boyfriend. I never thought I’d be the type to date in University let alone in my first year or during Frosh. He lived on campus and I was a commuter so that didn’t leave much time together but we found ways. I would stay by his place until very late and then commute home. I’d miss my trains, but I thought it was worth it. Every time we were together he was pressing for sex, but I made a vow to myself before God that I would follow his commandment and wait till marriage. This guy wasn’t happy. He doubted God, despite his Christian upbringing; he was a self-proclaimed philosopher who brought me down with him. I stopped attending church, stopped believing and became a skeptic. I partied again. One day I was unable to make it to the subway station so I had to be brought out of the party by a new friend and my boyfriend back to his dorm. He prepared the bed for me and I literally made my bed and lied in it. I threw school down the drain, we had similar classes but we’d spend more time fooling around than studying. If I wasn’t going to give him sex, I sought other ways to please him because well as long as I’m not having sex I’m fine right? WRONG. I never realized I lost my sexual purity while keeping my virginity. The relationship started becoming too much to soon especially given the emotional abuse I’d taken with threats and being controlled by him. I had a realization that I deserved better so we both agreed it wasn’t going to work. After finding out he, a day later, started seeing my friend from frosh I was heartbroken, I swore him and her both off despite the many calls, texts, emails I received from them both telling me to do otherwise. Pathetic. It wasn’t long that they started dating, that ruined me and I soon faced some serious depression. Drinking and smoking now had a new meaning, no longer just for fun but now for a way to feel better. My grades were plummeting. My life in shambles.

I could feel the Holy Spirit telling me that I needed to get it together, not judging me just being frank. I could hear the Lord urging me to quit ignoring him and let him in. But I didn’t want to listen; I didn’t want to believe that he still loved him. I sit here now realizing how stupid I was to give up on God. But, if it weren’t for these tests, I would not have been able to share this testimony. After a heart to heart with my mother and my reappearance in church when the choir sung “What Can I Do?” by Tye Tribbett I knew it was time for a change. My life took a complete 180. I was a new creation, all things passed away.

I tried it on my own, but what I found is I can’t make it on my own. I still face my issues today but my faith still stands. So today, if you’re listening and willing, I challenge you to get on your knees before God, repent of your sins, and invite Him to be your sole leader and foundation of life. Find Him on your knees. I challenge you to say NO to pornography, masturbation, fornication, premarital sex, and any other thing that is seperating you from God. You’re not in it alone after all. You will feel so much peace in your life, peace God calls us to have, and will no longer feel bound to your past. This blog is an opportunity for my story to change your story into something meaningful. As I share my experiences, thoughts, devotionals, be blessed.

I am living proof, now If I could do it, you can too.