I’ve Already Died: A Poem

I wrote a poem the other day, and I'm really glad I did. The rhythm is kind of choppy, and I honestly don't know what some lines mean, but it felt so good to write it. I hated art for a little while, because I hated my own art, but I'm very slowly beginning to appreciate it again. So, here's my poem.

I've Already Died

I am sad and I am lonely
I have no real value
I know you care for me
But do I really care for you?

I am selfish and I am rude
Because I'm tired of being nice
Beneath this smiling face
Are thoughts as cold as ice

I died a long, long time ago
And I'm sure I'll die again
Because life no longer interests me
I have no real friend

Oh, I'm sure that people love me
And keep me in their hearts
But I cannot return their sentiments
I keep myself apart

You see, I'm really quite useless
I have nothing of worth to offer
My mind is filled with pointless thoughts
Like pennies in the coffer

It's nonsense really, all of it
You don't have to tell me twice
I know I've lead myself astray
My sadness is my vice

But here I am and here I'll stay
I've lost all motivation
To try and bring myself to task
And resume human relation

I hate myself, I loath myself
I merely fill the gaps
Between the much brighter minds
Between the cunning traps

It's lonely here within the breach
Between the better souls
But I know better than you think I do
That I put myself in these holes

I'm such a lonely person
And I'm the only one to blame
I'm selfish in the most lethargic way
My words are just a game

I've resigned myself to isolation
It's what I've told myself I deserve
But don't think it's a noble sentiment
I just don't want to serve

I'm tired of giving myself away
My heart has been callously refused
In my most humble prostrations
I was ridiculed and abused

I thought I had let go of it
But alas my heart kept hold
And now it slumbers bitterly
And won't wake until I'm old

Perhaps I'll die tomorrow
Or perhaps not for a century yet
Either way it no longer matters
Because in my heart death is already set

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I’m One of The Dreamers

I have mentioned this a few times already, but my MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) type is INFP (Introverted-iNtuitive-Feeling-Perceiver/Processor). The common archetypes for this personality are the Dreamer and the Idealist. Sometimes if you look into web pages all about the functions you'll find other unique archetypes for the INFP, but I won't go into those archetypes. However, I will go into the functions.

For a long time I thought the four letter system was the end all, be all of the MBTI, but I was wrong. The four traits are only the beginning. The real fun starts when you look into the functions, and I learned so much about my personality type when I did so.

As an INFP my functions are as follows, in order: Fi, Ne, Si, and Te. The order is important, because it indicates how much I use each function. Fi (Introverted Feeling) is my dominant function, and oh boy does it make decision making hard! In the context of the MBTI, feeling is not only indicative of emotion (although feelers are usually very emotional), but of principles. Meaning. Morals. Everybody has morals, of course, but for the introverted feeler morals are EVERYTHING. Every single decision I make revolves around my inner moral compass. Every. Single. One. I kid you not, when I was a teenager, I once spent hours contemplating whether or not it was morally ambiguous for me to leave a lady bug that I had found half stuck in a slowly melting sheet of ice. HOURS.

That's where Ne (Extraverted Intuition) comes in. It's as if people with a dominant Fi function and an auxiliary Ne function have an innate belief in the butterfly effect, and we see it as our moral obligation to always be aware of how even our most small, insignificant, every day actions could effect the world around us. It's exhausting. I think this may be one of the reasons why an INFP will often struggle with procrastination. Sometimes we really are just lazy, but sometimes we are paralyzed by the many possible moral implications of our actions.

As far as I understand it, Ne is about how we engage with the world and process stimuli. As previously mentioned, Ne is my auxiliary function, so although it is a very strong part of my personality, it's really more of a servant to my dominant function. My Ne function allows me to consider endless possibilities for all sorts of topics, and find patterns and connections with ease. It's great for brainstorming, but awful for decision making. Seriously, it's a miracle that an INFP can make any decisions at all! (This is why I married an INTJ. He not only likes making decisions for himself, but he rather enjoys making decisions for others, too.)

My tertiary function is Si (introverted sensing), and I think this may be the function which I personally value the least in my day to day life. It basically has to do with information input and output, and how that information is stored. In a way it seems to serve my Ne just as my Ne serves my Fi (and to a lesser extent my Si directly serves my Fi as well). It strengthens my intuitive nature in connecting past experiences with present experiences, and from what I have read it can even cause the body to respond as if it is reliving the passed experience. I think this sort of causes us to teach ourselves based on those experiences, and I imagine this would have a profound influence on my Fi.

My inferior function is Te. This has to do with efficient organization of information, which then leads to greater systemization and quantification of that information. It's no surprise that this is my inferior function. Anybody who has seen any of my personal work spaces should know from how I "organize" my physical surroundings, just how little the organization of my inner world matters to me. This is my most frustrating function. As I had recently talked about in another post, my intellect matters a lot to me, and I don't want to neglect it, but it is clearly not my strength. I'm not empirically minded, nor do I easily look at data through an ordered lens. However, I know that I am intelligent, and I never want to make the mistake of placing greater objective value on my subjective feelings than is warranted. So, this would seem to be the source of my eternal struggle. I wish I could write a satisfying conclusion to this paragraph, but I can't. This is the burden of my particular set and measure of cognitive functions.

Well, I think I've rambled on enough about my thoughts on my personality, and the frustrations therein. Maybe one day it will all be worked out. I know that God isn't done with me yet, and sense loving God is not complete if we do not also love him with our minds, I'm sure he will eventually work out all the contradictions of my mind.

Thank you for reading my blog! God bless you!

(P.S. I'm no psychologist, only an enthusiast, so be sure to take everything I've said with a grain of salt.)

On Friendship and Mentorship

I have a confession to make. I don't want friends. *gasp* I must me emotionally stunted! What kind of person doesn't want friends? Surely I am a sociopath, or something like it.

Well, now that I have made you question my socio-emotional maturity, allow me to elaborate. I see the value of friendships, and I am very grateful for the friendships I have in my life. I love you, friends. However, I don't want any more friends. I no longer crave having peers. I crave something else now.

I crave a mentor. I yearn for a mentor. That's weird, though. I mean, how do you go about getting one? Do I just go up to someone I respect and say, "Hey, wanna be my mentor?" It's not quite the same as making a friend.

Mentorship is very important, though. It's basically discipleship, and I think sometimes Christians misunderstand the depth of discipleship. I wonder if we often think it begins and ends with an unbeliever becoming a believer, or whatever terminology you want to use, but it doesn't stop there. Discipleship actually truly begins after process is finished, because it's really a relationship. It's a relationship that has a teacher-student dynamic, and that's clearly very important sense those were some of the central relationships in Jesus' ministry.

I struggle to find a mentor. I think it's partially an issue of modern culture, because people have become so suspicious of the very concept of authority that a discipling relationship looks problematic (oh, I hate that word). However, it's also because the people who have tried to mentor me have neglected a very important need of mine, and by no fault of their own.

The people who have been drawn to me have been deeply spiritual people, and that's great! I love exploring the depths of spirituality! However, I don't want to neglect my intellect, but that's almost impossible to avoid when the people who want to invest in me focus almost exclusively on spiritual and emotional growth. Again, there's nothing wrong with that! If they're wired that way then they're wired that way. No judgement here.

I hesitate to say this, but I can't help but notice a trend. The people who have wanted to mentor me have mainly been women, and the people whom I have wanted to mentor me have mostly been men. I have nothing against other women, and I will reiterate one more time, I highly value their wisdom and investment in the socio-emotional pursuit of spirituality. However, I want more, and I struggle to find women who are as interested in exploring a purely intellectual examination of faith and spirituality as I am.

Unfortunately, it's weird looking for a male mentor. I am extremely neurotic, so any possibility of my relationships even LOOKING like they could be inappropriate is enough to stop me. So, what do I do? Well, so far, I have satisfied this need by finding people on the internet to listen to.

I love Dr. Jordan Peterson, J. Warner Wallace, and even David Wood. They are huge inspirations for me. I also enjoy the YouTubers Sargon of Akkad and Computing Forever, and to be honest I view their content more than anyone else's content. (I know, I know, some people consider them pseudo-intellectuals, but I still think they have good insights.) Now, I am not trying to bad mouth atheists – quite the opposite actually, I have a great deal of respect for a lot of social and political commentators who happen to be atheists – but I wonder what it might say about what Christian communities may be lacking , when the majority of my need for mentorship is being fulfilled by atheists. We have lost something in our Christian communities. We need to find it again.

My dear atheist friends, please don't misunderstand me. I don't think you are lesser than Christians, I am simply saddened by the lack of Christian mentors who I can connect with. I have found much wisdom and companionship with atheists and agnostics, and I am deeply grateful for that. I only make the distinction to illustrate my point that I wish I could find a mentor who would invest in my intellectual growth as a vital component of my faith walk.

Anywho. Thank you for reading my blog. God bless you! I love you all!

God Loves Pedophiles, Too

Hello everyone. Today I’m going to speak on another topic which revolves around sexuality. I have mentioned it before, and God has placed it on my heart (very heavily) to work against the condemnation that is heaped onto these individuals. I want to work with Jesus to break this spirit of condemnation that so many Christians feel is okay and even righteous in this particular situation. I’m talking about pedophilia and child molestation. Yes, I mean it.

If you’ve read my previous posts all the way back to my earliest ones, then you should know that I have experienced sexual abuse in my childhood. So, I am speaking from experience here. As Christians it is not okay for us to condemn pedophiles and child molesters. I know this will probably shock a lot of readers (if not everyone who reads this). For people who have children I acknowledge that your love for your children is very strong and that even the thought of somebody doing something evil to them is likely revolting to you. However, this does not mean that it is okay to condemn anyone who does such things. Here is why I say this:

I believe that it is important for us to be careful not to encourage our children to withhold forgiveness from others because of how they see us treating those who hurt them. That could prevent them from finding peace and cause their suffering to last throughout their entire lives. In my struggle with homosexuality, sexual abuse and lust, I have found that people look at sexual abuse/immorality/impurity as reason to cast judgement and condemnation on others. This is not righteousness. I would like to point out Romans 12:17-21. It is not our job to take vengeance. It is our job to operate under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, under which there is no condemnation. Romans 8:1 Now, probably those who molest children are not in Christ Jesus (Although we cannot be certain. Who among us can say that we who are in Christ Jesus do not commit sins any more?), but we must still be kind to our enemies. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

I have found that there are still many people who allow their emotional reactions to such things to control what they say and do. I once saw a picture on Facebook with a vicious dog in the top cut, and a man in an orange jumpsuit sitting between two lawyers in the bottom cut. The text on this picture read: “When a dog attacks a child and scars them for life the dog is put to sleep. Shouldn’t we do the same to Pedophiles?”, and in the comment section I see message after message of “Yes!” and even “Amen!” I then see message after message of “Torture them first” or “Make them feel what they made the kids feel!” I honestly believe that this is a very selfish standpoint. I believe this is a mindset that places one’s own desire to have immediate satisfaction in terms of justice and revenge as a higher priority than a child’s complete healing so that they may one day gain permanent psychological well-being. If we cannot forgive, we cannot forget. If we cannot forget, we cannot move on. I still remember what happened to me, but thanks be to God I have long forgotten the pain and confusion that was a result of the abuse. God has let me forget my troubles. (We actually got a dog from my uncle who was named Manasseh, which is what Joseph named one of his sons because “God [made him] forget all [his] trouble…” Genesis 41:51. I think that’s pretty cool.)

I have seen a few people quote Matthew 18:6 to support their desire to kill and even torture those who molest children. Well, here’s what I have to say to that. If we cause a child to withhold forgiveness because of how they see us treating those who hurt them, aren’t we causing them to stumble, too? If this is true, then any child caught in such a situation would be caused to stumble twice over the same matter. This is not progress. It’s actually a step backwards. I sometimes wonder if perhaps we stopped condemning pedophiles, but instead taught our children to forgive them, we might see a generation rise up that feels totally clean and pure even if they’ve experienced sexual abuse. For it was when I forgave that the end of my suffering and confusion began. It was when I truly forgave, not only in my heart but through confession of my lips as well, that I was able to begin the deeper healing process with Jesus. Allowing a child to begin deeper healing with Jesus is a higher priority than justice through vengeance in my books. I could be wrong, but if we can teach a child to forgive and walk with Jesus in their pain and suffering, than nothing in this life can hold them down even if they are made to stumble.

James 3:13-18

I was once bitter and unforgiving against the one who abused me. However, God was not pleased with my bitter and unforgiving heart, nor did he approve when my desire to take justice and vengeance into my own hands rose up in my heart. I realized that because Jesus does not bind me to my sin, I have no right to bind anyone to theirs, no matter how it might offend my human sensibilities (which are probably flawed). Not even I have any right to condemn a pedophile or child molester.

Jesus came to save ANYONE who would believe in him, right? Anyone. No matter what they’ve done. What message are we sending to pedophiles in this day and age? Most of us send the message that they cannot be saved, and they cannot be forgiven. What then will Jesus say when we are standing before him? Will he ask us, “Why did you place a stumbling block for those people? Why did you speak in a way that stopped them from being saved? Do you not know that I died for them, too? Does my sacrifice mean so little to you? Do you not know that my blood was shed for them just as much as it was shed for you?” Do we have so little respect for Christ’s suffering that we do not care that his wounds were for pedophiles, too?

As Christians, it is our duty to continue Christ’s ministry, and open a way for the Holy Spirit to impart truth to the world. We have really nailed in the truth that they have sinned, but have we balanced it with the truth that they can be forgiven? Not with pedophiles we haven’t. With pedophiles all we say is that they have sinned. Very few are willing to say that they can be forgiven.  Is that what we wish for? Do we wish for those who have molested children not to be forgiven? I believe that is selfish. I believe that dishonours Christ’s suffering. As much as many of us don’t want to think about it, they were made in the image of God, too. Just like us.

God loves them, too.

So, what message will we send to pedophiles the next time an opportunity to speak on the topic comes? Will we use partial, worldly, and even demonic wisdom to satisfy our own (often perverse) desire for justice? Or will we be quiet in spirit, and wait for the Holy Spirit to prompt us to open a way for them to hear the gospel. They can be forgiven, perhaps we should let them know. The blood of Christ can cleans us, and it can cleanse them, too.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16 All things includes all things, which includes pedophiles. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and it’s not up to us to rank who fell farther. It’s up to us to help each other find our way back, and to do so under the authority of Jesus. Let’s stop robbing Jesus of the people he died for because of our own selfish ambitions and bitterness. How about we speak life to everyone, even when it’s hard to? That’s what Jesus came to do.

And for those that say pedophiles cannot change, perhaps remember Matthew 19:26,

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” (Again I will say, all things includes all things.)

And Proverbs 3:5-6,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

How much faith do we put in Jesus, and how much faith do we put in our own understanding?

Well, that’s all I have to say for now. Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂

God Took My World Apart

I finally get to talk about the very thing that I wanted to share when I first started this blog! I have wanted to share this right from the start, it was the reason I began writing here, and now God has given me permission to share this.

A couple years ago (maybe even longer) I was listening to a song by Jars of Clay called Worlds Apart. It was a Sunday morning and I was taking a walk through the town before heading off to Church. I remember that I was in the elementary school park, and I was swinging on the swing set as I listened to this song on my MP 3 player. I sang along with it as I thought about the lyrics, and I think the Holy Spirit nudged me. I think the Holy Spirit took that moment to begin the process of changing my heart. So, I kind of made that song my prayer. I asked God to take my world apart. I told Him to take everything apart so that I would let go of the delusions that I could somehow hold myself together. I was imagining a broken up landscape being held together by bungee cords as I prayed this. I asked God to take it all apart so that only rock and rubble would be left, and when that is all I have to look at, I will see that Jesus is all that is truly worth looking at. Jesus will be all that’s left to see.

Well, He answered my prayer, and His answer was not a quick answer. Oh, He answered my prayer right away. He began working as soon as my heart uttered the prayer, but His work took a long time to complete. So, guess what God had to do to begin His work. He had to remove the bungee cords. Oh yes, the ground beneath me began to break and tumble as the only means I had to keep it from moving and shaking was being taken away. I had to face my brokenness. I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t there anymore. I couldn’t look at my sin and call it by another name, because God was making it all very clear to me.

I suppose everything I’ve written so far is everything that has come to my attentions as God was taking away all the extra things in my life; all the thing that He didn’t put there. Perhaps that’s why God has not given me permission to write this until now. Perhaps He wanted me to share everything that was a result of it first. Well, about five months ago I randomly messaged my fiance this sentence; “I think the dust is settling.” I said this to myself one day and for split second it kind of confused me. I do that sometimes. Like a few years ago in church I heard my own voice in my head say, “My rebellion is over.” I was confused for a moment, and then I felt relief. Something had ended in me in that moment, something which God had been working on for a long time, and something in me was announcing it to the rest of me. So, God has taken my world apart and now the dust has settled. The work is done. Time to look at Jesus more clearly.

Thank you Lord for completing this work in me. Time to move on to the next job, whatever that might be.

Thank you for reading my blog! 🙂

High School, The Holy Spirit and Homosexuality

I have seen many interpretations of the verses found in Romans Chapter 1 (specifically Romans 1:18-28) in regard to homosexuality. Some I have been able to agree with completely, some I have been able to agree with partially, and others I have not been able to agree with at all. The reason I am saying this is because the scriptures found in Romans 1 are very important to me. They are the very scriptures that God used to first convict me of my homosexual desires. It was not man kind and human philosophies that first convicted me, but God himself.

It was a timely warning that was given in the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit. I first read these scriptures in grade eight when my ex-girlfriend and I were still just friends. There was no question in my mind what the scriptures meant, nor how they were relevant to me. I had never seen those scriptures before and no one had ever quoted them to me. It was the first time those words had ever been presented to me, and it was the Holy Spirit who was pointing them out.

As I was thinking about this I realized what the major difference between convictions of the Holy Spirit and convictions of men are (in my experiences). I remembered how I felt when I first read these scriptures. I did not feel ashamed, defeated or condemned, which is often how I feel when people try to convict me of something. I actually felt quite the opposite. I felt excited and amazed. I think that inside my soul was rejoicing, and I think my spirit was crying out, “God, you care enough about me to tell me this. You have seen my iniquities and you have not left me! You know my heart better than I do, and you still want to be a part of it!” I was rejoicing in my Lord’s loving kindness. I was delighted that He counted me worthy to share in His wisdom.

However, when I shared those verses with my ex-girlfriend, she reacted very differently. I think she was actually taken aback by my enthusiasm, and sometimes I wonder if I might have even made her concerned or nervous about me. If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that she stopped being a Christian. This confused me. I could not understand how something which excited me so much could upset her so much. Although, we had not come out to each other yet, so I didn’t have the whole picture. Of course, I’m not saying this was the one and only reason that she became an atheist, but it is the reason that I was most aware of.

Time went on and she and I, along with some other friends, hung out with each other a lot. Going into high school we were a pretty tight group, and we all really cared about each other. Then one day while I was in English Class I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to separate myself from my group of friends. I don’t know if this was intended to be permanent or temporary, but I did not question it. Up to this point I was not in the habit of questioning God in how He lead me. It made no sense to me to question the one who knows me better than I know myself.

So, after English Class I approached my friends and told them that I couldn’t hang out with them anymore, and my ex-girlfriend’s reaction was devastating. They asked me why, and my ex-girlfriend declared, “Because we’re not good enough for her!” and then stormed out, and I’m pretty certain that she was crying. The next day she didn’t come to school, and we were all worried about her. I was torn. I knew what God was asking me to do, and I didn’t want to disobey Him, but I didn’t want to hurt my friends either.

On the day that my ex-girlfriend didn’t come in we had a substitute teacher for English Class, and she was a devout Christian. Seriously. She spent the entire class talking about God and how everything we do has a ripple effect. I don’t know if it was in God’s plan to send someone that day who would spend an hour sharing things that made me feel comfortable to open up to her about my spiritual life, but that’s sure what she did. After class I approached her and started talking to her, and although I don’t remember much of what was said, I remember that she smiled kindly and sincerely, I cried for nearly the entire lunch hour, and she told me that “It’s obvious you care about her”. That has stuck with me for a long time, because for a long time I was afraid that I was just heartless.

That day, despite my conversation with this lovely and mature woman of God, I made one of the worst decisions of my life. I chose to deliberately ignore the Holy Spirit and disobey God, and when I went to my next class I apologized to my other friends and made up. I’m not saying that my friends were bad people who didn’t deserve to have me as a friend. No. I loved my friends, and I still do, but my obedience to God should never have taken second place to anything or anyone.

My friends and I went to my ex-girlfriend’s house after school to see how she was doing, and then I made up with her too. If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that we came out to each other. It was over the phone, and after we both told each other that we were lesbians, I felt a strange mix of pride and comfort. After we were done talking to each other and we hung up, God’s spirit fell heavily on me. I could feel the weight of the Holy Spirit pressing heavily on my heart. Like, HEAVY.

I knew that what I wanted was dishonorable to Him, and He knew that I knew that what I wanted was dishonorable to Him. This is what it feels like was going on in that moment:

God was saying, “You know my truth. I have already revealed it to you.”

Satan was already creeping into the situation and saying, “It’s just who you are. There’s no other choice. It’s just who you are. There’s no other choice. There’s no other choice. There’s no other choice.

My flesh was giving into Satan and saying, “Yeah, you know what? It really is who I am. It’s just who I am. It really does feel like there’s no other choice.”

And then my spirit chimed in saying, “No! You can’t reject God’s truth! Please, don’t reject God’s truth! Please, you need His good counsel! You need His wisdom! You need His truth! You can’t reject God’s truth and expect anything good to come of it!”

The weight of it all was so great that I literally could not stand. I lay on the ground as I tried to process it all, but in my heart I was already allowing Satan to win. I was already allowing my fleshly nature to become dominant. All I could think about in that moment was how much I wanted her, and how much I didn’t want to hurt her, so I rejected it all. All of it. Everything. I gave in to myself. I gave in to my own flesh. I didn’t know how to balance the relationship I had with God and the relationship I wanted to have with her, and the fact of the matter is that I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t work, so I silenced my spirit and told God to leave me alone, and Satan just got quiet without being told. I am now convinced that he was pretending to co-operate so that I would keep my guard down. God backed off and let me make my own choice in the matter, but He never gave up on me. My spirit remained quiet for a long time, but it was still alive so it remained alert.

That was the absolute worst choice of my life. Ever.

If I can recall correctly, it was not long after this that she and I started dating. I cannot recall much about this time, but I must have still talked about God. I don’t know how much I talked about Him or Christianity, or possibly even my parents’ views, but apparently I talked about Him enough for her to say this, “You don’t need God to be complete, you know.”

This is how I know that my spirit was still alert, because when she said this my spirit rose up and spoke. It said, quietly yet assuredly, “Yes, I do. I am His very breath. I need Him. I am His very breath. I need Him. I am His very breath. I need Him.”

This is probably the reason why I cried the first time I sang the song Great Are You Lord in church.

This is all that I will write for now. Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂 God bless you.