Growing Apart

Sailboat

It’s interesting how backsliding works. One day your seeking Jesus’s face; the next day you’re out in the middle of the ocean. You don’t know how long you’ve been out there; you haven’t even noticed that Jesus isn’t within view anymore. It just happens to be that you catch yourself staring out at nothing, wondering how long you’ve been out of touch with God.

You start asking yourself how much time has passed since you were last with Jesus. Has it been a day, a week—two or three months?

I would say it’s been months, and yet somehow, I think it’s been longer than that.

At least, that’s what it feels like.

I saw all the signs, but it didn’t become real for me until I read the verse Psalm 40:8,

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8 KJV)

As the Lord had me meditate on the verse, I began to see that my passion for God had dwindled, if not died. I recall a time when I used to be excited to write poems for Him. I had a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to do the newsletters, but I gave it everything I had. I pushed myself to get the latest issue out even if that meant having to release it late because I missed the date.

I remember having a desire to read and study His Word—a need to study His Word. I can think on those mornings when I started making point to begin my day with prayer. Or when I took my ministry seriously and the assignments the Lord charged me with.

Then somewhere along the way the poems became fewer and fewer. I studied and read less and less. Other things became more important to me; other things were more interesting to me.

And eventually Christ became irrelevant altogether.

Going to church and listening to the message was the highlight of my week. Now they seemed to be dragging. Bible study was a must until it became a monotonous routine that didn’t seem to hold my attention. I struggled to take notes for both Sunday and Wednesday nights.

Even now I recognize that I’m under attack, but I haven’t grasped it because it doesn’t feel like I’m under attack, “I mean, I’m not really suffering; I feel fine…so…”

But that’s one of the devil’s best tricks, isn’t it? The power of deception and making you feel like everything is okay when it’s really not. The house isn’t burning down, so you’re good. Meanwhile the largest hurricane is on its way towards you and you aren’t aware because you’ve been lulled to sleep.

It’s time for me to wake up now. Time to wake up and get back into the fight again.

I need to rediscover my joy for God, to reset and focus back on my purpose, my calling, my ministry.

I need to get back to what’s important. Right now, that is God and my relationship with Him.

If you are in a place right now where serving Jesus seems more like a chore or seeking righteousness genuinely makes you roll your eyes, consider the scripture and what it says. Be honest with yourself—where are you really spiritually? Are you still in love with God?

Or have you found yourself pushing Him away?

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Daring To Be (Poem)

Thump, thump, thump
I can hear them
Thump, thump, thumping
Knocking
Banging against the walls
Of my ribs
Knock, knock
Open up
Let us out
Let us in

Shall we write today?
Why not
It’s been weeks since the last poem

So many things
Swirling inside
So many feelings
And thoughts
Yet somehow
After all this time
I’m still afraid

Of how people
Will see me

I wanted to write a poem
About a man’s eyes once
Not necessarily in a romantic way
I just found them so intriguing
The pain
And the beauty in them

The art of life is at times
Indescribable
But we as artists
Try anyway because

That’s what we do

So many poems
Bursting inside
Ready to spring forth
And pour out

And meanwhile
As you sit there hiding
Waiting for this perfect
Most opportune moment
To come
It never will
And that poems decays faster
Than an adolescent’s imagination
You are putting your dreams in acid

And hoping they’ll come out whole
Again
Once you get the timing right,
Of course
But of course you know
That method never works

You do know that, don’t you?
Certainly you do

Certainly, yes

Do what you were created to do
Create
Write
Imagine
Dream
Inspire

Don’t let misinterpretations,
Misunderstandings
And future judgmental comments
And scrutiny
Stifle and smother out a flame

Before you even light it


If you enjoy reading my works, please be sure to buy a copy of my latest book To Whom It May Concern

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Taboo

Woman-Hand Over Mouth

Photo source: Google Images

This being brave thing is harder than I thought…

(Before I go any further) What I’m going to talk about might be a bit much for some people, so if you’re one of those who gets grossed out easily then you’ve been warned. Don’t worry, I’m not going to post up any photos…that’s a little too personal for me.

Now then…

I’ve been inspired to start another blog focused on women’s health after my latest ordeal: an incessant yeast infection that shows up every month since around late last year.

(Some of you might be wondering, “And what does this have to do with Jesus?” Hold your horses. I’m going to get to that; just let me open up about this first.)

Studies show that 3 out of 4 women will have a yeast infection, and it’s relatively normal to have 3 or 4 a year. The first time I had a yeast infection was my sophomore year in college. It was bad, but no biggie. I took over the counter medicine for it and went about my way. Although later on in my life the infections became more persistent. One year I remember it got so bad I couldn’t sit or walk normally. I couldn’t sleep due to all the discomfort. Eventually I had to see a doctor and was prescribed some very strong antibiotics (I can’t tell you the name; I couldn’t pronounce them even if I tried.)

It seems as though I’ve found myself back there again, seeing as how terrible it’s gotten and the over-the-counter medicine isn’t working (I’m schedule to see a doctor next week.) It has pushed me to read up on yeast infections. I came across some very startling things: one being that diabetes could be a reason for why I’ve had so many between last year and this one.

I’m afraid.

I keep telling myself to think positively, but the one thing that keeps echoing in my head is, “Even if the doctor gives you a bad report, do you will still trust God to be God? Do you still believe that God is able?”

While researching I wondered why women tend to be so hush-hush on these things, “Shouldn’t we talk more about these kinds of things?” Then I read an article of a woman’s struggle with bacterial vaginosis (an aggressive form of a yeast infection.) In her case, she seemed to keep getting it from her sex partners. At that moment I thought to myself, “She’s nasty…really, really nasty!”

Woman-Stink Face

Photo source: Google Images

Then it dawned on me why a lot of women don’t open up. No one wants to be seen that way and the fact that she was honest about her order was very courageous. It wasn’t as if she had multiple partners—and let’s be clear. In NO WAY do I encourage premarital sex. PLEASE WAIT FOR MARRIAGE—but BV (bacterial vaginosis for short) isn’t an STD or STI. Women can get it from any of the following:

  • High sugar, carb intake
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Clothing (skinny jeans, unbreathable underwear, wet gym clothes or bathing suit, etc.)
  • Low pH levels (possibly from stress or menopause)
  • Use of body sprays, scented soaps or fragranced/perfumed products on the genital area
  • Low immune system
  • Diabetes

Allergies or an allergic reaction to something can also be a factor. What’s worse is that BV can end up becoming a chronic illness, therefore a change in diet may be necessary. So for me to react the way I did was me being judgmental of her.

I think about the woman with the issue of blood. How many people do you think looked at her as though she was something disgusting? Back in those days, the law said she couldn’t get near anyone—no one was allowed to touch her because she was considered unclean.

She didn’t let that stop her from seeking her healing from Christ though…

Truth is a lot of us are very ignorant when it comes to women’s health, myself included. We could learn to be more understanding and take the time to educate ourselves on this stuff, women especially should. Why be ashamed to share or talk about it? I’m sure there are plenty who might disagree with me and suggest I keep these things to myself.

But I think about women all over the world dealing with this stuff in silence, and I said to myself yesterday, “I’ll do it. I’ll speak up, and if they’re too scared to, I’ll be a shield for them. I’ll gladly take on the criticisms and vile comments if it means it’ll help bring more women together to discuss with one another.”

As I said before, being brave is harder than I thought.

Yet somehow, deep down inside, something tells me it’s more ungodly to shun women for sharing their health stories than it is to write about it. I think it’s more ungodly to encourage women to be quiet and deal with it alone, quarantining them into isolation, than it is to say, “Hey, you’re not alone. I’m battling this crap, too. It sucks, but we’re in this together!” Long as Christ is for us, it doesn’t matter what people say or think; there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

Going back to that woman with the issue of blood, she wasn’t worried about the whispers or the looks she would get. All she thought was, “If I can just touch the hem of His garment…” She reached out in faith knowing that God was going to heal her.

What’s so beautiful about it is that not one time was Jesus offended by the woman’s condition. He recognized her faith, He blessed her—Jesus LOVED her anyway.

Regardless of what your condition is, whatever report the doctors have given you, do you believe that God is? Know and understand He’s not going to judge you; He loves you and He’s more than capable of giving you the healing you need. Continue trusting in Jesus.

Woman Group On Blue

Photo source: Google Images

Tiny Thoughts (Poem)

(I wrote this poem in dedication to Child Abuse Awareness month, which is every year in April. I had originally attended on writing one piece each week until I realized that I don’t know enough on the topic. Child abuse is a serious thing, but I think once I read more on it then I’ll be able to do more pieces next year. For now, I hope that this piece will spark interest and initiative to step in and stand up for those children who are silenced.)

TINY THOUGHTS

I remember my niece
Telling me once
About a girl in her class
She had long scratches
On her back
And her hands, she said
She told me
Her classmate shared with her
That her dad was the cause
This little girl’s father
Apparently was abusive
Towards her classmate
And her classmate’s mother
She wanted her mother to leave
But her mother was afraid
And she had been warned
Not to tell an adult what was
—happening

This was in second or third grade,
I believe…

We assume
The only monsters kids worry about
Are the ones under their bed
Or in their closet
We don’t consider
That the boogeyman is their parent
A relative
Or a guardian

We assume
That every kid has a childhood
Full of smiles
When we know good and well
That this was not the case
For most of us

Daily
Children are being tormented
And even more
Are robbed of their innocence

So what do we do?
Who will fight for the fatherless
When no one will step up
To help the poor widow?
Ought of sight, out of mind
Is that it?

Ought of sight, out of mind
You didn’t witness that child
Being hit
So
It’s back to the hustle and bustle
Of every day life

But if you were that child
If that was your kid
Being assaulted
And battered
You’d want somebody to care,
Wouldn’t you?

You do care…
Don’t you?

Photo source: Google Images

BOOK UPDATE: To Whom It May Concern

Big news folks! To Whom It May Concern is now available for purchase as a PAPERBACK book. So for those of you who’ve wanted a physical copy instead of the digital, you can buy it here:

To Whom It May Concern (PAPERBACK)

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The paperback is 600 pages and costs $25, but I’m giving a 20% discount for two weeks from APRIL 13, 2017 TO APRIL 27, 2017. After that it will go back to regular price. You can still buy the digital copy (PDF, 587 pages) for $15 directly from me. Just click the link down below:

To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern (DIGITAL, PDF)

Fantasy VS Reality: Part IV (FINAL)

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Photo source: Google Images

Why can’t you grasp it?
I kept asking myself this
You know it’s poison
Slowly killing you from the inside
Out
Like buying the sweetest candy
Known in the world
Hard, crunchy shell
Soft, delicate center

Its glimmer makes every mouth
—water
Its shimmer so appetizing
You feel compelled to take a bite
And you bite
Only to discover it’s rotten
Down to the core
But still,
You continue to eat it
You keep buying that garbage
Even though you know
The result is you reeling in sickness
Head stuck in the toilet
As you upchuck every bit of that bag
Of false delights you wasted time,
Money
And energy on…
You know this
And yet
You still keep doing this
So
Why?
Why do you keep doing it
If you know it’s only going to make you
Sick?
Yeah,
I keep asking myself this
Why do I continue to buy into the lie
When I know it’s only going to result
In heartbreak, heartache
And more and more grief
Why, oh why, O’Lord
Do I keep doing this
To me?

I remember sitting down one night and I began writing to God. I wanted to better understand why it was I kept falling victim to romanticism. Why did I continuously catch myself up in a snare when I knew the result would mean disaster? I knew ahead of time that runaway fantasy would never come true, but I continued to by into the lie anyway. I went through an episode of this about a week or two ago. I began to grow fond of one of my language partners; it was so nice talking to him everyday, and eventually I started entertaining the thought of “what if.” It didn’t take long before I got ahead of myself (for the infinite time) and had thoughts of us as a couple…until I found out he had a longtime girlfriend.

This is constantly happening to me
I wind up breaking my own heart
For putting all my hopes and desires
Into something
That is non-existent
Like taking all your precious
Treasures and riches
And throwing them straight into the
—abyss
A black hole that devours it
Void of any emotion or sympathy
You can’t even say it enjoys it
Because it’s just simply doing
What a black hole does

—Snippet from “Dark and Twisted Nature”
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry

I was hurt like I had been in times before, but this time was somewhat different. I was extremely angry and bitter, too. I felt myself spiraling into a dark place, thinking, “I just want to be happy…why do I have to go through this crap again? How do I always manage to do this to myself? Why? At this rate I’m always going to be alone! I don’t get it—not again, not again…” After getting everything off my chest, the Lord told me I’m addicted to the fantasy because “everything is perfect. You’re complete. Real life isn’t like that; it’s messy…”

Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, and ultimately, we don’t want to believe it. We just can’t accept it for what it is so we continue to wallow around in denial. We keep eating that poisonous waste disguised as something delicious. “This time will be different.” “That happened with the last, but this one is sure to work!” “I know I’ll find love this time around. Just wait and see.”

Even when the truth is right there in front of us, and Jesus reveals the devil’s deceptive tactics—detailing every move—we fall for the trap again and again.

cold_medicineFlickrellie

Photo source: Google Images

I wish I could say that I’ve conquered my battle with romanticism, but I can’t. Right now I wrestle with embracing the truth; God’s Truth.

I have moments of clarity from time to time, “God’s love doesn’t hurt like this.” “The love of God will never deceive you.” “There has to be more to life than fairytales gone bad.” As of late, I realize that I can’t reach the root of the issue for walking in circles around it. Part of that is because I want to know, and then again, I don’t. I’m sure if I can handle it… Somehow I sense once Jesus reveals it to me, it’s going to send me flying.

But I know that I desperately need to end this. This isn’t something I want to take into a marriage…

I can’t un-see
What I’ve already seen
He made his choice
He made it well
I must now go back to waiting
For someone to make that choice
For me

I want to be the one a man chooses
Not out of convenience
Or because it felt right at the time
Or because we’re both two single,
—good-looking people
With nothing else to do
But because
He actually fell in love with me
When he looked at me
He saw me right away right as his wife
And he somehow knew
That I would be

I will be
Someday
I will, you know?

—Snippet from “Dark and Twisted Nature”
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry

Over the time I’ve been writing this series, I’ve come to see this isn’t something that will affect me and my future husband. My friendships and relationships with my family have been affected to a certain degree, too. It takes; it has taken away so much from the people in my life who deserve more from me. This self quest for self-gratification has damaged me in more ways than one. Therefore it’s highly important that I do something about it TODAY, rather than bury myself in the façade once more.

I may not be completely delivered of this—I honestly didn’t expect this series to go in the direction it did—but I’m glad that I finally listened to the Lord and wrote it. It’s helping me to come to terms with what’s going on with me. I’m not in denial about it anymore.

Time to stop walking in circles and looks towards gaining a healthy future, both naturally and spiritually.

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Photo source: Google Images

Fantasy VS Reality: Part III

ye-ole-lock-and-chain-fraida-gutovich

“Ye Olde Lock and Chain” by Fraida Gutovich

If you’ve been keeping up with the series (Part I, Part II) then you know it’s been getting increasingly more intense. This one is no different.

Needless to say, it becomes harder and harder for me to continue this so I earnestly ask that you pray with me for courage to face the things I’ve been avoiding. To remember that this is all bigger than me. When people need a word, I don’t have time to waste on waiting until I feel ready to go forward. That’s not right and we shouldn’t do that.

I wrote a poem today, and in a way it sums up how I feel right about now, but I’ll share it later.

Remember what I said last time about still born children?

Eventually we all have a day when the fantasy comes to an end. It begins to crumble piece by piece, and while the high you’re on is amazing, once it comes crashing down it’s the worst experience of your life. No matter how great those fluttery, passionate waves of desire felt, they were unimaginable to the blows I received when the mirage vanished.

 

So what happens when you come down from the high?

Pain is right there with its arms outstretched to greet you. They are metal, sharp and pointy blades that slice you up into several pieces. Sometimes you’re chopped, other days you’re minced, and on rare occasions you get sliced so fine you almost like like a whole person from a distance…

Almost.

Before the pain catches you, however, your thoughts begin to drift in the fall. I have constantly and consistently wonder every time: Why do I always do this to myself? Why do I always have to make myself feel like this?

And for a split second, reason comes to mind. The Holy Spirit speaks to me through this reason and helps to rationalize things, “Jacqueline, this was never real anyway. It wasn’t meant to turn out the way you hoped for because this was not meant for you. It was never meant for you. There is someone else better in store for you—just wait,” but once I hit those blades at full speed all those dark thoughts come creeping back, “You’re going to always be alone. Did you really think this time was going to be any different? You’re so pathetic. There’s no one out there for you.”

Shattered Heart

Since there’s no solid foundation I accept all that nonsense. Truthfully I am impatient and impatience leads to disobedience. Disobedience lands me in a world of trouble and I end up hurting myself. When Jesus is not what you’re standing on, and you are tormented by the agony you feel, you go right back to what got you there in the first place.

“Oh well—he has a girlfriend. Time to find a new guy to pine over.”
“Dag, that didn’t work out the way I planned. Back to my celebrity crushes.”
“Hmm…maybe I’ll stick to thinking about my dream guy then…”

As I’ve stated before, romanticism is a pacifier. It’s used to distract you from the fact that you’re slowly dying inside, that you need healing and Jesus Christ is the only one who can give it to you. All you know is that the pain is unbearable and you want it to stop. All those sweet thoughts and fantasies become idols—it all causes you to ignore what’s going on inside. You ignore the fact that you are hurt, angry, confused, shattered.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t fully received the report. I’ve heard for a long time now that Jesus is better than any arousal I get from lustful thoughts, what I sought after when I masturbated. He’s better than what they sell on TV and in film about sex, better than any man will ever be to me. Jesus is better—I’ve heard this more times than I can count, but I don’t believe it because I have yet to fully experience that for myself. I experienced His goodness in the midst of depression, in the midst of my fits of rage that skirted on the edge of violence. I know how good He is when I’m sad, when I’m dealing with the loss of a loved one. What I have failed to experience is His goodness and how infinitely great He is in the parts of my love life, in my singleness.

Though even now I think I’m beginning to catch a glimpse of it. While I have fallen off into those blades again, the Lord reminds me of His grace.

I fell down earlier this week, and I told myself today what I said then, “Not again…not again…not again.”

But for the first time in a long time I’m finally embracing my wounds. I’m acknowledging the hurt. I still wrestle with confronting the issue and going back to pretending like everything’s fine, but still I’m learning to embrace it.

Slowly, but surely, I am finally positioning myself to let Jesus heal me.

Surgical Tools

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