It is finally 2016, the perfect opportunity to start over fresh. No longer do you have to feel shackled by your past. This is the time to go after what is important to you. A new year gives way to start new things and set new goals. Such as, taking up a yoga class, growing closer to God, etc.
Knowing your worth is so important. Too many times in life we settle for what we think we deserve instead of what is sent from God. We allow partners to mistreat us because we want to feel loved. Or we seek validation and acceptance from an emotionally unavailable guy. Oftentimes we begin to place blame on why we were not good enough if a relationship fails. But if you weren’t treated with respect and care from that particular person then you are certainly not the one to blame for someone else’s bad behavior.
What I don’t want us ladies to do in these particular situations is to dwell over what happened. Get back to your regular routine because lo and behold there’s better waiting for you just around the corner. Sometimes as much as it hurts to let people go it is mostly for your benefit. Don’t stay emotionally hung up on an asshole jerk because YOU DESERVE BETTER. You deserve better than a liar, manipulator, user, cheater. God loves you and he’ll never send you someone to hurt you. Living your life and fulfilling those dreams will boost your self-confidence so you will not only move on from the hurt (because he’s more than likely moved on and is hurting some other unsuspecting poor woman) but attract a better quality of people into your life.
So in 2016, Know Your Worth, Don’t entertain b.s from anyone. You’re worth it ladies! Someone is always waiting to love you just the way you are! But we have to first love ourselves first. 😘
A few weeks ago, I went on a mission trip to India where I enjoyed the delicious food, the lively quarter tone music, and the erratic yet exciting traffic. However, more importantly, I witnessed a variety of cultures and religions. In terms of religion, India is very different than the United States as Hinduism is the main religion, followed by Islam as the second main religion. The difference in culture was truly evident in the numerous Hindu temples and the occasional Muslim call to prayer that blasted throughout the city.
Now, when I say the word religious I actually don’t mean religious at all in the sense of including all religions, however am specifically talking about Christianity. First off, being a Christian—a follower of Jesus Christ, is not actually a religion but a relationship. It’s important to understand that through a relationship with Jesus is where the freedom comes. The freedom I saw in India was not the freedom to worship openly on the streets or the ability to declare the name of Jesus to anyone in our sphere of influence as we still are able to do so in the United States; however, what I witnessed was the freedom that comes from knowing and experiencing God.
So, with that in mind, the freedom I witnessed in India was a Jesus filled freedom, the freedom Jesus said that people who believe in him would have.
In a country where it is illegal to share the gospel openly on the street because of “conversion” laws, I saw the beauty of Christians thriving in tough environments and in a society and culture that is against them. I saw thousands of people hungry for the real and astounding power and love of Jesus Christ. I saw lives being renewed and Love entering into the lives of many. Although Christians are the minority in India, I witnessed freedom. I saw a boldness for preaching the Gospel regardless of the cost. Many were free from religious routine, complacency and safety, and instead pursued an intimate relationship with God whole heartedly, while following Him wherever He led, saying whatever the Holy Spirit told them to say.
What I learned in India, is that true freedom is found by having a relationship with Jesus and living boldly for him no matter the cost. The church I helped and ministered at has had numerous threats from many who wished to do the pastors and congregation harm; however as Jesus has promised, He has and will continue to build His church.
In a world that is increasingly getting darker with wars and rumors of wars, moral decline and selfishness and hate seeming to be on the rise, there still is a beautiful and brilliant light that is rapidly growing. We the followers of Jesus Christ are the light of the world, the salt of the earth and through abiding in Jesus are we empowered to share and spread His love to the ends of the Earth.
Today, I am reminded of God’s Word in 2 Timothy 1:7. “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Often, when we hear bad news, the enemy (or satan, lucifer, the devil, or whatever name you call him) fights us in our thoughts. Here’s a typical scenario that illustrates how the enemy works.
You are getting ready for work one morning when you notice a mysterious lump on your breast. You don’t panic because you know that it could be nothing, so you check your other breast. You notice that the lump is only in the first breast, and here’s where the enemy begins his assault. I call it an assault because that’s exactly what it is–a premeditated ambush on your mind to get you to speak negative words out of your mouth. (We’ll address the power of words later.)
You start thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Do I have cancer? What if I have cancer? I’m not ready to die! What about my husband? What about my kids?” All sorts of thoughts start to barrage your mind, except they’re not really your thoughts. Nope, not at all. Instead, they are strategically placed messages spoken in your ears (in a voice sounding like your own) by the enemy.
You see, the enemy is the ultimate con artist since he’s hustled people for years into believing (1.) that he doesn’t exist and (2.) that the negative and damaging thoughts that they are thinking are their own thoughts instead of his words.
Because of these tricks, people have been duped into believing the negative. And here’s the problem with negative thoughts: our words tend to mirror our thoughts. This is exactly what the enemy is counting on when he launches his mental assault.
The enemy knows the power of words, so he is desperately trying to get us to agree with his message. He knows that the world is operated by words. Consider this: The entire world was created in seven days by what? Yep, you guessed it. By Words. God SAID, “Let there be light,” and light appeared. The same happened with everything else.
As such, the enemy knows that if you can say, “I have cancer,” then the spirit of infirmity has legal grounds to attack your body. Sounds scary right? But I was reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 today, and it ignited a fire within me.
When the enemy comes to us and tries to fill our minds with what looks like scary facts and logic, which brings on anxiety, we can recognize that the message is not from God and choose to ignore it. Using the scenario mentioned earlier, if we are the ones with the lump, we can recognize it and make the Dr. appointment (which is very necessary in all health concerns) without fear and anxiety, knowing that it is God’s good pleasure to take care of us. We can stand on God’s Word concerning whatever fiery assault the enemy throws our way–understanding that whatever happens afterwards is just part of the process that God is using to fulfill His promise to us in His Word. (Here is a good time to also remember that God is not like us; He is completely incapable of lying. So if He said it, he’s good for it. Remember, He honors His Word even above His name.)
I want everyone who reads this to know that even though the enemy wants us to respond with fear to his assaults, we can look to God’s Word and respond with faith. Here’s how: Actively monitor your thoughts. If they don’t match what God promised you, then they are not from God, and you don’t have to accept them. Instead, you can replace these negative thoughts with what God promised. When the enemy tries to scare you with threats of sickness, you can remind him that “by His (Jesus’) stripes, you are healed.” You may not feel better initially, and the thoughts may continue to come. But God’s Word says that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Translation: The more you hear the Word of God, the more your faith in what God promised increases.
God wants us to live a life of freedom, not one that is trapped in a prison of fear by the enemy. I encourage everyone who reads this to practice these principles, and watch God move and the enemy back up. Welcome to the No-Fear Zone.
Many people have their own opinions on this matter. But I have found saving myself for Mr. Right is a lot easier then settling for Mr. Right Now or sitting in a doctor’s office wondering the results of a STD/HIV test. Actually there may be more virgins saving themselves for marriage then many people know about. There is no need to feel bad for being a follower of Christ and practicing celibacy or abstinence. One of the best reasons I can say people should slow down and wait for both sexes.
1.) A Clear State of Mind
You don’t have to worry about feeling guilty after you’ve been with a partner and perhaps the relationship didn’t work out the way you wanted it. Several people believe in the term, “soul ties,” where your soul is literally tied to a person you’ve had sexual relations with. I’m not exactly sure about the realness of the soul ties. But I do know if you are not intimate with every guy or girl who comes your way you don’t have to worry about a reputation. Also will the person call or text you later on, it’s just too much drama tied to casual sex. It’s much better to wait and find the right person.
2.) No Lies Or Bullcrap Stories
Both guys and girls create stories to get what it is they want. We have heard all of these lies before. Guys: I don’t use condoms because it feels better without one. Ladies please don’t fall for this lie/excuse. Although that “might be true” it doesn’t hurt to use protection because you NEVER know who is lying about having a disease. Several people lie about their HIV status everyday, take for example a young lady you might have heard about named Marvelyn Brown, she was 19 years old when she became infected with HIV because she chose to trust her partner who didn’t want to use condoms. She later found out he gave her the HIV disease. This is something that can happen to anyone. I repeat anyone! Wrap it up!
Girls: I’m on birth control. Guys don’t fall for that. That’s no excuse to not protect yourself from pregnancies if you are not ready yet to be a father. Also she may be a carrier of a serious disease and give it to you. Plus you might end up in a terrible situation which you have to take on the responsibility of a child with a female you might not even like and become forced to pay child support for the next 18 years of your life. All this can be prevented by just using protection or staying abstinent or celibate.
3.) A Deeper Connection Too GOD
I believe once you have given yourself to JESUS. HE can answer all prayers and answers about yourself. It is much more satisfying to wait for the right person than to have multiple partners.. Although I am a realist I know people will engage in sexual activity I just say use protection and get tested regularly.
Every night I had to hide. Every night I had to hide from the pain I felt inside. I had to escape from the world I was in. The days he, my father would come home drunk, yelling and screaming as my mother would leave me alone with him as she rushed off to work as a District Attorney or so I thought. She didn’t give a damn about the misery I endured at home. Tonight like any other of his drunken nights, would be the day he would strip me of my innocence. Every night he’d come into my room, to kiss me good night. But those visits seemed so unnatural. The things he did, the things he wanted me to do.
“I’m going to teach you to be a woman,” he said.
I was only thirteen and was scared shitless of him. I knew what we were doing was wrong but what was I suppose to do? Yell, kick, scream then he may kill me too? I watched him unbutton his pants. I clinched the sheets, feeling a strong nerving feeling flow through me. I had never seen a penis before and I certainly never wanted the first one that I saw to be one of my own fathers’.
“Touch it, grab it and hold on to it,” he orders me. Frozen in fear I did nothing but look at him until his voice grew louder and with more anger, he took my hand and wrapped it around his penis. I let out cries of sorrow but he just slapped me and told me to “grow up.”
“I’m going to make a woman out of you.” He often repeated to me. “This is what makes you a woman. Now lay back as I put this inside you. You going to be a real woman, not like your mother that selfish bitch,” he tells me. I begged for my father to stop. I even tried to kick him in the groin but he punched me in the face and tells me to be a “good girl.” I hated my father for continuously taking my innocence away from me. I was never the same after what he did. I cried, screamed, shouted and pleaded for him to stop. I could feel every piece of me ripping apart as my father shoved his six inch manhood inside of me. I wanted to kill him and vowed to myself that one day I would. I resented my mother secretly for staying with a man so drunk, evil and crazy. I knew after tonight my life would never be the same again. He kissed me on the forehead as he fastened his pants to get ready to leave.
“Remember Danielle, if you tell anyone, they’ll never believe you. They’ll just say you’re lying,” he states to me as he walks out the door.
No One Would Listen
It had been almost two years later before I found the courage to tell someone what was going on between my father and I. I finally decided I would tell my mother. Surely, a good mother would stick up and support her child right? Hmmph, or so I thought, I found my mother working on some files buried on her desk, while tapping a computer keyboard in front of her. Slowly, I approached her with what was the hardest confession I ever had to make.
“Mom, can I talk to you about something?” I asked standing in front of her.
“Ugh, Danielle is this important, don’t you see I’m busy,” she replies with an attitude.
“It’s about dad.”
“What about him” She questioned annoyed as her friends tapped the keyboard, and eyes still glazed at the computer screen.
“Well,” I said, clearing my throat.
“When you are gone to work, dad does things to me,” I admitted.
“Does what things to you?” She says not batting one eye.
“He does things to me…he should be doing to you.” As quickly as the words poured out from underneath my tongue, my mother finally took her eyes away from the computer screen. That did it, that’s what got her attention. I just knew she would come rescue me from the dark hell I felt I was in.
“You lying bitch!”
“Always trying to seek attention, now if you don’t mind; I am very busy, Dani.”
“I’m not lying,” I yelled as tears rolled off my cheeks.
“He does this every night, you are gone. If you don’t believe me, ask him, ask him, momma!”
I painfully cried out as I tried hard to make this woman who gave me life believe me.
“Ok Danielle, what does he do to you?”
“He used to make me touch his penis, and then as I got older, he would come into my room at night while you were at work and have sex with me. I begged him to stop but he would just slap me across the face and tell me to be quiet. Please mom, leave this man, I beg of you for my sake?”
I pleaded with this woman to be a responsible woman and mother to do the right thing.
“How long has this been going on?”
“For two years,” I answered
“For two years…Why the hell didn’t you say anything?
“I was too scared. He told me not to tell you but I am tired of this. He is my father. I am fifteen years old. This is not right mom. If you don’t believe me ask him,”
My father had just walked through the door which meant soon it would be time for my mother to leave but not before we finally got to the bottom of this. I had hoped my mother would put him in his place. I was hoping his place would be on the corner of Woodward and 6 Mile.
My mother and I walked into the living room where my father was drinking a can of beer and staring out the window.
“Hello, Warrington, you got a minute? I need to talk to you about something ,” my mother asked my father.
“Um, sure, what’s going on?”
I waited in the kitchen while my parents talked I didn’t want to feel the awkward tension in the room. The conversation didn’t last long because, the next thing I knew my mother calls out to me.
“Danielle Latrice Turner, get in here right now!”
“Yes, mother,” I said, as I entered the living room but before I could figure out what was going on. I was greeted with a hard slap across the face. I broke out into tears as I grabbed my stingy face.
“What the hell did I tell you about lying Danielle? Now he tells me, you’re going around being fast with boys at school and you wanted to cover it up before you got into trouble. Well, Danielle, I have no damn tolerance for this nonsense. You brought this on yourself. Stop lying. Are you acting out for attention or something? I’m leaving for work now. I swear girl, I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.”
“Mom, I’m not lying and I’m not messing with any boys at school. Mama, please believe me,” I begged.
“Danielle, that’s enough!” my father interjected.
I looked at him and rolled my eyes with anger. How dare he say I am lying he is the cause of all of my pain. My mother grabbed her briefcase, gave me a disapproving stare and walked out the door. I tried to run out after her.
“Mom, please don’t leave me alone with him. I beg you, please stay home today.
“Danielle, please, get yourself back in the house,” I watched her drive off into her car as I stood on the porch too afraid of what to do next. I tried to sneak away down the street but before I hit the stairs my father called me back into the house.
“Oh, no,” I thought.
I went back inside going against my gut feeling. I should’ve kept walking. He told me to shut the door behind me. His eyes were stern and I could tell he was furious that I had told mom about our dirty little secret.
“Didn’t I tell you not to tell anyone about our secret?” He questioned frustrated.
“Didn’t I?” he repeated.
“Yes…” I answered as my father hit me so hard across the face I fell to the floor.
“I’m going to teach you a hard lesson about keeping secrets,” he said. I watched him take the belt from his pants off. I tried to make a run for it, to try to lock myself into my bedroom but my father caught me halfway up the stairs. He dragged me into my parent’s bedroom and locked the door. He shoved me onto the bed and told me he was going to make me pay for telling on him. He pulled down my pants and forced himself inside of me from behind. I let out small wails of agony and pain. My father was relentless when it came to destroying the purity I was supposed to have. I was only fifteen and already had the sexual capacity of a grown woman. I hated my parents; my mother for never sticking up for me. It was almost as if she knew what was going on between us but didn’t care. My father; for raping me of a childhood because he would rather torture me instead of stick his dick in some old woman. My parents were two messed up individuals. But why did my life have to suffer for it? This is the day I decided to take back my life. I told my mother and she did nothing. There was no way on God’s green earth would I allow this to continue. I’m ending this once and for all. By any means necessary. Danielle Latrice Turner is getting the little piece of happiness they took from me. My father was going to pay for being a sick and mentally disturbed pervert if it was the last damn thing I did.
He finally tired himself out and collapsed on the bed, falling asleep, the sick bastard. I got myself together and quietly left the room as my silent cries shielded the pain I felt inside but not before I grabbed one little thing from on top of the closet shelf. I unlocked the door as he lay in the bed knocked out. I left with something that I knew was going to help me get my life back.