REIMAGINE YOU AS YOU!

I don’t often reshare, but this has so much truth that I am. Praying it blesses you as much as it did me.

Reimagine You as YOU!
To be subjected to sexual trauma and abuse distorts how you think about yourself. If you had these experiences when you were growing up, you came to conclusions about your value. If a predator or a passive bystander didn’t value you, your boundaries, or your humanity, it’s pretty easy for you to believe that you have no value or personal rights. If you had these experiences after you became an adult, where you once might have felt empowered and able to take care of yourself, you now know that you weren’t as strong or empowered as you needed to be.
These experiences shape – or re-shape – how we think about ourselves. We hear it from survivors all the time: “I feel as if part of me died.” The actions of predators and the inactions of passive bystanders twist in your mind and heart until you begin to see yourself as they saw you. You begin to value yourself as they valued you. Their warped disregard for you and your well-being often translates into a kind of personal derailment of the life you should have been able to live.
The tricky part of recovery is to be able to pull apart the tentacles of lies that have attached themselves to your soul. It is to untangle the deception and free yourself from its grip.
Think about how the actions of the predators and passive bystanders communicated their view of your worth. Now, ask yourself if you believe THEIR value system. If you can see it for what it is – that you have accepted THEIR twisted reality – then you can insist on redefining yourself in ways that are true to your value and personal rights.
Here’s a fact: they were wrong. Not only in what they did – their actions – but in how they devalued you. They were wrong. They were wrong, wrong, wrong! Got it?
So, take their definitions of you and dump them in the garbage where they belong. Take the time to think about yourself, untethered from their warped ideas. Reclaim you. Reimagine YOU, not as they saw you, but as you see – or want to see YOU.  And remember: “Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life”
(Golda Meir).
Written by Sallie Culbreth and Anne Quinn
©2015 Committed to Freedom / STAARR – Sexual Trauma and Abuse Recovery Resources

WAS, WASN’T/IS, ISN’T

9253_10151863401236718_1529397270_n

 

[ (2)I stand before a mirror these days, many mirrors

For within I am but a House of Mirrors

To look within one is to see another

Stretching back to was and wasn’t, as far as my inner eye can see

Each mirror seems magical

In a curious sort of way

 

.For though they are now

They show me then

To stare into one is to glimpse a was

While living an is

I have fallen down the Rabbit Hole

Where up is down, down is up

Then and Now having collided

It is so easy to keep my eyes downcast

To hide

;This I am good at

To hide was safe, then

To touch wasn’t

Reaching out was fearsome

Withdrawing secure

My mirrors show me all of this

Hiding is not safe, now

For it will end all that has begun

jSo, I lift my head

Open my eyes

To see

What is

What isn’t

To shatter the lies

With the truth

thI am not alone

So I can smile in all my then fear

I am surrounded of Heaven

Mama Mary beside me now

Holding my hand reassuringly

All of Heaven here

 

thFor many of my mirrors reflect my Momma of then

I was to not touch her

Never to look her in the eye

To want attention meant harm

“See me Momma,”

The unuttered cry of my child’s heart

thI look rather upon Momma Mary

She smiles back

This is safe

So I reach out

Hesitantly, unsure

I touch ever so lightly

To find no rebuke in doing so

My touch welcome

I accepted

thThe  mirror cracks

Was and Wasn’t shattered

As Is and Isn’t remain

I have many such mirrors

Within my house of me

Yet, mirrors is all they are

Easily vanquished

 

thPieces to lie at my feet

The colors of now

Reflected in them

A rainbow

Of love within

 

th

 

 

Upside down

Turning right side up

 

 

 

A SHOE KIND OF DAY

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.”  Ephesians 6:15-18a (MSG)

680c8ebda8cd5102f62759f1a131ab84

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my “shoe issue.” I smile as I type this. Smile because I know many of you are doing just that, thinking, “What shoes?”

Now I am chuckling a bit.

Shoes, they aren’t really my thing. I am more likely to be without than with when it comes to them. Oh, I have lots of them, tucked away in a magnificent antique box that I found, perfect with all its cubbies. Thing is, my shoes spend more time there than on my feet.

I do love some of them, how they are comfortable, I don’t buy them if they aren’t! No high heels for this girl!

I just don’t wear them at times.

How could I revel in the walking through the rain puddles if I did? Feel the texture of the earth beneath my feet? I feel so much with my feet!

Yet, I am learning that there are times for shoelessness and times for wearing them.

After all, going barefoot in the snow, as I have often, isn’t good for my health. Caring for my feet requires shodding them in the heat, guarding them from harm.

So,  shoeless kind of days are less.

Today, Abba, woke me to this about wearing shoes.

But let me start at the beginning.

Yesterday I interacted with someone who put me on edge. The type of individual who raised a red flag for me as a sexual abuse survivor. He made me very uncomfortable as we rode the elevator, I found myself putting objects between us and guarding my answers to his questions.

Protecting myself, that’s what I was doing.                           1

Wearing my shoes.

Big Girl shoes.

Safe Girl shoes.

I wore these shoes with confidence.

I felt grounded in my present.

No more barefoot used and tossed away.

No

This is the pair of shoes I found myself wearing yesterday…

Fearless ones.

Beautiful to look upon as they were embellished in Christ like  gemstones

Yet, well made that they not give.

I wasn’t afraid.

That’s big for me. I have had a lot of opportunities to fear these last few months, and I have found myself on the side of that fear way to often.

I have coward and shrunk back, cringed and claimed false blame…

Yesterday was a no more kind of day…

A shoe one.

I am allowed to guard my self,

God-has-you-in-the-palm-of-his-handI am secure in Christ and that means a world of difference, all the difference,

Yet, only if I shod myself in this truth,

I do.

 

With gratitude, in awe, and in praise.

Oh, I shall still enjoy strolling barefoot from time to time, splashing through the puddles..

Smiling as I do so, handsfinal2

For these feet were made for walking and that’s just what they do!

Only, now they go with truth and love,

Now they walk with God.

Gotta go, it’s raining!

LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT, LOVES ME

11013205_801781446582805_213940000294253687_n

Love, what a conundrum…

Least it used to be, not as much these days.

Abba is maturing me to understanding love.

The what is and what isn’t of it, from the me part of giving it to the receiving end.

It is so much more than I fathomed even while it is far lesss than I perceived.

It isn’t about touch or words really, not how I thought it was

I don’t have to hear it to know it exists, it is greater than words

Finding it in touch does happen but isn’t the wearwithal for experiencing it

No it is more complex than that, found in the breadth of friendships and the existence of life

I am seeing that nature surrounds me of it, sunrise beckons me with it even as moonlight lulls me to sleep wrapped in it

Love is everywhere, in everything

All inclusive, for love is God and God is love

I was taught that love was a two-pronged fork, one to give wrong the other to deny

I sure came out twisted from this

I so positive that if someone isn’t giving me all of the attention I want, then they don’t love me

If I was starving for love, I would desire touch of any kind, hurt me even, because that was all I had known as a child.

Use or neglect, love being the term spoken when used of a father

Unknown to me safe and secure love, from a touch withheld of a mother.

love wasn’t what I lived, i was told so, but it wasn’t true

I like this love definition I am finding

It is comforting to know I am cared for in more than touch

I am valued for my mind, my emotions and my input

I am someone worth loving in the right way, loved by deed and action, cared for in providing, wanted around

Love is really all of these

Touch to stem from the relationship in a godly way

A kind look, a smile aimed at you, a question of, “How are you?”

Thinking of you and how can I help, that’s love too.

Genuine love

I like that simply being in someones presence suffices

The freedom it gives me to love back in the same way

To love right

To stem from giving rather than getting

That’s Abba love

That’s my Jesus love just like He gave me

Momma Mary, Papa Joseph and all of heaven-sent love

I couldn’t love my God more, I know how much He loves me

I feel it even though He isn’t visible to me,

I find it sitting in His presence, listening to His words, resting in His peace

He is love

Thus I have had love all along

Thank you to all of you who have loved me through this healing, still are too10429477_908958922458625_7337555781405599027_n

Loved me in my need and want, my give me and hold me, given the lost child within what was missed

In the end it has been your love of Christ that has healed me

His love lived out that His love show me this truth

I, Tammy Anne of God, am loved

with an everlasting love

beyond form

in existence.

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.”

1 John 4:10 The Message

RIP, TEAR, SLASH

 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:32King (KJV)

I had someone who is oh so special to me say something to me that I did not like.

I was so hurt by it, couldn’t believe they would think that of me, accuse me of the very opposite of all I felt I had spent my life doing.

I cried to find that I then became angry at them, “How dare they!” I thought.

I so tied up over this one question.

It was ripping me apart. Shredding my self-control as it slashed through my heart.

I just knew ti was eating me from the inside out. Consuming me as it stole my peace, causing me to question my heart, my perception of me, all I have done my whole life.

I wanted to call them back and dum my feelings on them, rant and rave in defense of myself. I wished I was there to shake them good and look them in the eye and say, “What? You don’t know anything! You weren’t there when I was strong and did it all, you didn’t see how much I sacrificed, I did this, I survived that, I sacrificed, I and I and I.”

This is where Papa stopped me. He woke me to hearing myself, noticing all the I’s rattling through my rant.

So I cried it out, poured it forth before the throne instead, while asking, pleading and imploring Abba to tear down my defenses and slash the I from my perspective.

One thing about Abba, He always hears, listens and delivers.

Ripped apart my defenses and let me bare.

Didn’t like this raw view o my heart then.

No, I, most certainly didn’t.

But staying there wasn’t why He woke me to it, isn’t what He wants me to focus on.

Christ went to Calvary to “stare all o sin in the face, held up to tear down. I needed to allow God to do the same with me, for me, in me to all my sin.

Eyes off of self.

I then understood.

I was applying this comment to me in relation to others. I wanted to point my finger, turn these words away from me so I didn’t really need to consider myself in relation to them.

It is oh so easy to look at another’s sins rather than ones own.

God showed me so much because of this

This person is growing in their walk and service with the Lord, so it was a very good call to have them ask me it. They are young and should have done so differently but God will mold them in understanding that.

Just because I fulfilled this very responsibility in the past doesn’t mean I am not failing in it now, so it was right of them to call my attention to it, to help me be aware of this responsibility.

I sat with this feeling, is what I did. Sat with it and ripped it apart, tore it down to its basics and slashed it apart from my heart.

I looked at it with perspective and thankfulness despite how my emotions reacted to it

It was just a statement,

The power o it to lie within me,

Or lack of the power

It is only words, ones that can only break me if I allow them to.

I won’t

Because Abba doesn’t want me to.

He would rather I turn them over to Him

So, I did

Such a load lifted.

He will tell me what I need to glean from them

if anything.

My job is simply to be thankful that this person cared enough to be honest and share truth

Truth isn’t always easy, but it is truth

and…

“Truth sets us free.”

THIEVING

                                                                                                                           But he said to me,                                                                                                                                                                                                       “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”                                                                                                                                                      Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,                                                                                                                                                                                     so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

images

This morning I woke up feeling lost and alone. Trickles to slowly track their way out of the corners of my eyes and pool in stains upon my pillow.

I don’t panic anymore, when I wake up with feelings, they are what they are but I am only what I allow them to make of me.

I laid here awhile with Abba, just letting the trickle flow, no more hiding allowed, holding in only creates pressure til I blow.

I am tired of blowing up.

dAbba is showing me how these trickles are release, how they can flow from me, collected of Him and become this stream of healing waters. He shows me how I can lie within them and rest, not worry about their source as He purifies them. The frozen icecaps of emotions denied, bound up and locked away melting to be these crystal clear waters of now.

Now

This is where He has me, showing me and teaching me that I am His now girl.

The tears and running still now as I say this, for He is showing me this morning that I have been a thief.

Thieving to survive much like a child on the streets of Calcutta does

Mine to be an emotional thieving

You see I can be with folks in all the wrong ways, past ones.

I want family and I can pretend others is mine

I crave touch and I can watch someone getting a hug and draw from that to satisfy wishing it was mine

I steal smiles sent others way and pretend they passed me by on the way to them

I thieve to survive emotionally

In the end robbing myself

I have so much love in my life from not only my God, but people too

I am no longer hidden away or cast out

I am inside

So I must choose

I must break the bonds of these old habits of survival or they will rob me of now as then did so long ago

It is so hard to let go, to say I am me here I am and what you can give is sufficient

I am oh so childish in wanting so much more, all of people

Help me Abba to make You my all that I turn to you

For hugs and holding, a whisper to my heart, the twinkle of an eye upon me

I don’t want to live off of stealing anymore

Open my eyes and heart to the treasures surrounding me that are already mine

Take my eyes off of wants

Purge me of my selfish give mes

My childish perspective of need

Hold me tight

Teach me right

I yield, to You, this day…. my sin of thieving.

I WILL BE OK

 

11008446_829482233791938_4964202580412060068_n

It is amazing to feel pretty… to think maybe someday God will bring a 10411829_807341622635702_541962065439913033_nman into my life that will enjoy my company. I am astounded to realize I want to be free to be me, no more defined by others, I was always alright with that, thought I wasn’t worthy to have an opinion or free to choose. Now I know and feel I am, I am someone just like everyone else, it is an amazing discovery. It feels like I am saying this wrong, I just like being me and embracing the gift of being female, make up and pretty dresses, all that stuff.

10253878_10152613664062264_7961685884494294173_n

I have known and felt the love of Christ in my life, the hand of Him through so many of those who have and are journeying with me on this journey of healing. Abuse leaves such scars, especially when it is heaped on one after the other, now I am waking up to finding my body without those scars. To seeing myself as God does, pure and beautiful, unworthy but still loved, I can give yet am worthy to receive. Joy is mine to claim, hope for what God created me for as a women, more than to be used, pushed and thrown out. I am someone not only as a human being but as a woman. I can feel attractive and it isn’t haughty, I can enjoy a man’s company simply for that. I can learn to dance, laugh out loud and share my thoughts, some day I may even have my first kiss and I like that feeling. Guess I am saying I feel alive. Confused some, but oh so alive.

TammyAnneofGod

 

I HAVE TO LEARN

I have found my lost years in a new way lately, not a pleasant one either.

I am finding that I, “Have to learn.”

Learn like all children do. Things that seem natural to you are so not for me.

All grown up means sharing and putting others first, I am finding I feel quite selfish sometimes.

All grown up means I listen, not just to hear the words but to put them in practice.

All grown up meant acknowledging where I fail and changing that.

If I am grown up I will see that life isn’t all about me no matter how much I wish it was, also realizing that life is about more than me.

Finding my footing grown up is hard, painful and oh so sad sometimes.

It feels like part of me is just going away, the part that has loved me always.

Childhood vanishing, I suppose, is what I am feeling.

How I wish I had more of it sometimes… more all me attention, more take care of me, more don’t leave me please, kind.

Thing is at the same time I am so excited to be making friends and carving time out for myself.

I like knowing I am doing someone proud and choosing right,

I love feeling grown up and that maybe someday I will be all grown up inside… the kind that is brave and strong.

I don’t feel so brave sometimes these days or strong, rather it feels that I am straddling two worlds.

Teeter totting back and forth

Up with independence, down with loneliness

Up and down, up and down,

Scared to brave, Sure to doubtful,

But it’s ok

This playground sure is a lot safer than the one I used to live in,

Now I can experience all of these childhood passings while safe,

Accept that I feel forgotten but am not,

Know that scared isn’t something I have to be because no cruellness is behind the words and actions

Only love for me,

Rooted in kindness and graciousness, forgiveness

All the important things that ease the passage from childhood to grown up.

I have been childish some these last weeks, so childish

whinny and full of tantrums.

Thing is I can see it so that’s good.

I am at the top of the slide

and oh so ready

to go down.

I shall enjoy every moment of it

and by the grace of God

surrounded of the love of friends and family

I shall land on both my feet

Even if I fall down a bit I shall glory in the ability to get up

Falling down isn’t the end of the world that I thought it was

so…

Goodbye childhood,

I hold you dear now and that in of itself is more than I ever expected to land in my heart.

 

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF MY HEARTBEAT

 

 

imagesMy heart, a mystery unto me all these years I have lived.

Even more so it seemed as my healing progressed.

In the beginning of this journey it seemed to be missing, just a hole where it belonged. When I would stumble upon it I to have no idea what to do with it. To hold it in my hands left me full of sorrow as I looked upon its bruised and bloody pulp. If I strived to lovingly return to self it would shock me into past. jolt me awake to all endured as a child sending me fleeing and hiding as those memories, now alive, overwhelmed me.

My hearts very aliveness to seem my greatest enemy.

To claim my heart was to find me.

How scary this was.

Little me, toddler me, child me… all rejected

Growing me, teen me unto woman me void of touch, lost of heart.

Oh it was there, within my frame for such is our created being.

Yet, in my mind’s eye, it was gone…     imgres

Endurance having replaced it, survival the flow through my veins…

How deeply I hid my heart, to save me, to save it.

Handed off from one abuse to another as it was secreted away with each.

Lies to self the oxygen needed that a fake existence emerge.

A child to cope by going away from even self.

This is the side of my heartbeat I have been traversing.

Finding bits and pieces of then as God led, pulling my heart from hiding that I feel it’s true beat. Accept the truth of its being mine as it was placed back within me. Such a painful journey as each beat coursed through me, each throb tied to an abuse, each memory a horror unto its self.

Wanting my heart back was not desired, allowing God to do so, simply because Abba always knows best, was hard and ugly work. Focusing on Calvary and the truth that Jesus experienced the same was where I stayed.

0Here also is where I was healed, here is where I found me, here is where the end began.

The wrong side of my heartbeat.

Death while living, dark in the day, cold and lonely always. Heartbeat slowed that I not exist to me.

Bit by bit I have been waking up to me, to the fact that I am now not then.

Bit by bit learning to sit still as I simply feel, beyond the memory to my being there, experiencing what was my truth of then as it woke my heart to the other side.

Now.

The right side of my heart.

images

Life. Living while enduring possible for Christ is with me, His light going before me lighting even the darkest of days. Hispresence the warmth when cold blasts find my heart, His arms enough to show me I am never alone. Heartbeat to race that it seemed it would explode, He to sit with me even in this that I learn it won’t. My heart need not be hidden, it is safe to carry it within me, for He guards this as well. He desires to teach me how to do so as our hearts beat as one.

I still hear my heartbeat knocking from time to time these days. Gentle taps of  my childhood hiding. Ones that are begging their turn to be seen and heard. At first this scared me to realize what I was “hearing.”  I can feel so spent with soothing myself of the pain and using, the discarded times.

But I am learning that feelings don’t hold the power, God does. He gifted me with the ability to feel just as He did all of His creation, thus He is also teaching me what that means. How to be human and give Him the control, to turn the fear for self into compassion for others who are facing theirs. I am learning to look on others emotions gone haywire beyond the impact they have on me and feel for them instead. How great their own wrong side of their heartbeat pain must be.

Having my heart back is changing me, having Christs heart wrapped around mine transforming me, as only His power can.

I no longer panic when these heartbeats come knocking.

Rather, I invite them home.

img_1775Allow each memory its visit held in the arms of God, soothed of my Mother Mary, Christ’s Momma lovingly shared with me.

Then we say goodbye. Some to stay the side of Heaven to heal in light and love, others to come home to me that they be used of God.

Papa, God, tells us, “As a (Woman) thinketh in her heart, so she is.” Prov. 23:7 (KJV)

I am thinking now, thus my heart is too.

I am thinking whole is good, thus God is making me whole.

Whole of heart, body, soul, spirit and mind.

Whole in Christ alone

 

The right side of my heart,

His side.

 

 

FINAL PHOTO CREDIT

https://pilgrimcenter.wordpress.com/category/prayer/pilgrimages/

The church’s crypt marked the site of the fourth station where Jesus met His Mother as He carried the Cross to Calvary.

BIRTHDAY 2015

imgres

Today is my birthday, my Saint name is Anne, and I just read that Tuesday is the day dedicated to Saint Anne. A birthday gift from Abba, I think. I am Tammy Anne of God, redeemed to a new heritage, rebirthed in light and love.