Where Monsters are Found.

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[Not one of my usual posts, but it is something that is unique, and different. Some want to hide from this, others live with it. As for me, I am just wanting to show a soul that has touched me. This may be harsh for some to read, but it shows some insight to what others deal with.]


There are many unseen battles that people fight. Battles that are of the illness sorts, the emotional, and the psychological. Battles that, for many, have to be hidden away from society. I have had the privilege to meet a young lady, not through a formal meeting of face to face interaction, but through her writing. Writing that touched my soul; not in ways that are magical and whimsical and white, but deeper and harsh, in a world that is dark and rough. A world that she battles through, every single day. Here is a step into her world, her writing that grasped my soul, and had me take a step back and think:

I never tell people about my inside monster because I think they won’t believe me. So he’s here with me, getting stronger and wiser trying to lower me into his trap. 

He doesn’t care where I’m at, embracing every part of my body, living in me everyday

Picking at me, growing at my heart, memories all gone and extinct.

Will you help me get rid of him?

Will he ever leave?

Last night I was about to give him what he wanted, but I told him no. He didn’t like that one bit so he came up to me and started to break my ribs and gashing out my heart. I cried out in agony, I cried out to God, but the demon monster said that I’m all his no on else. I’m scared. I’m terrified. I don’t know what to do. To say every time I see him. I fall deeper and deeper into his dungeon.

There’s a monster inside me ripping at my intestines and breaking my ribs. This kind of monster shows no emotion, no empathy for me at all. he told me that I was worthless and ignorant. When I’m around people the monster really acts out. I see him in every dark corner of this room I lay in. I’m so scared but he’s more terrified. He knows I can get rid of him. I just don’t know how. Last night he was in my room telling me to fall with him to hell. 

Creeping into a dark tunnel, after losing faith, I cry till my eyes are puffy.

Crying because there’s no way out, having demons coming to steal me. My mind plays tricks everyday I fall deeper and deeper.

I’m tired of being tortured by the demons,

My good memories gone. Faded into darkness.

After he’s done he leaves me to bleed out. Laughing at all of the pain I’m in. Ignoring like a fresh scent. I’m terrified whats going to happen next.

No is what I want to say but my mouth won’t open. 

Going with him might be a good idea after all.

At night I’m scared, the most because he’s out lingering like smoke. Last night I had a dream, a nightmare. He crept in my room, got on top of me, and started to rip out my tongue so I wouldn’t scream. He told me that God can’t help me. He made me an offer. 1. He can take over my body. 2. Walk with him slowly to hell. I don’t want to choose, thats what I told the monster. Then he called his demons and started breaking my bones and shattering my heart. I shrieked in pain and started to cry out to the universe. I hate the monster, I really do. No one can save me. No one can see my pain or even come close to my pain. I’ve been with the monster for a long time. Now its time to tame the monster.

Is that a good idea?


Out of the heart and mind of a 15-year-old girl comes the truth that she faces, everyday.

I remember as a little girl, I loved watching movies on magical places, enchanted castles, true love, princess’ and princes’, that saving of souls. But I remember one movie, in particular, that scared me more than any of the others. A wicked woman turns into an evil dragon, and tries to destroy the innocence of one. That is what I picture when I read her piece. Not about a girl who will be saved by her one true love, her prince, and live happily ever after.

More of a girl who is a knight, saving herself, day after day, battle after battle with the dragon of a monster that she fights.

I don’t know about you, but there are so many monsters that people fight that we are all oblivious too. Some are harsh and gripe and rip and tear at the innocent ones thoughts and heart and even action. Other monsters are softer. They creep in and stay a while, find a home within and then, eventually, move on.

But I do know that, when I hear of such stories, that I always hear of how they are battling through. No matter what is going on in their life, they find a way to push forward and win another day.

So I say to you, no matter where your monsters are found,

Pick up your sword, put on your armor, and

win that next battle. 

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And so I wait.

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My breathe catches as I pull up the lab results, and as I look through I see a reoccurring theme “Normal.” My eyes scan over and over on the screen, as the tears begin to form beneath heavy eyes, and the thought crosses my mind as the tears fall down my cheeks, “How can I feel this bad, and labs show nothing?” Nothing.

Many would say that I should be grateful, that I shouldn’t want to find something wrong, but after 9 years with no answers, along with leaving a country, after only one month working there, to pursue medical assistance because I felt absolutely miserable; frustration grips my heart. Frustrated that I was following my dream and career in and then made the decision to come home, to heal, to get answers, and to get stronger in order to head back.

Nine years is a long time to constantly deal with chronic pain, fatigue, and migraines that are life stopping; for days when food can’t even be kept down because of the pain you feel. Nine years is also a long time for frustration to set in with doctors, with your own abilities, and with your faith. I have been told by doctors that I was faking, that it is minor, that they do not understand therefore it is not present; if the test results do not show, then that must mean you are healthy and that there is no way that you should feel this bad. Let’s try some pain meds, and rest for a few days. Nine years of all of that. Over and over. Until you stop going all together. You learn to deal with the pain. You learn your warning signs, your flare up factors, and you take a rest day and then push forward.


Then I heard, “My child, thy will be done.”

 

This frustration was covering up the will that The Lord had set aside for me, set aside before I was even in my mother’s womb. Frustration covers up who and what God is, how He works, and the plan He has.

In life, things happen that are out of our control. There are moments when you feel like giving up, where you do not understand your purpose or the plan. Instead of focusing on the frustration,

find the waiting and patience.

Abraham and Sarah waited to be blessed with a child. Although they had moments of frustration, of confusion, moments of doubt, yet the faith was sustained and they were blessed.

Ruth followed Naomi wherever she was. She was faithful and true, even if that was not the plan that she had placed in her heart. But Ruth found her Boaz.

Job was tried and tried. He had family, property and his own physical body effected. Satan was given a task to break Job, yet he used all of that and pushed forward.

They all found their strength through waiting and through patience.

There is a plan and a reason for all that has happened. The medical frustrations, the leaving a country, and the normal results, but I find my strength in the waiting and the patience. There is comfort in knowing that the ones that God called also had trials and tribulations that tested their faith and they found frustration. But what helped to define their lessons was the strength found during their waiting and patience.

And so I wait.

Seek patience.

And find strength.

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.” – Isaiah 40:31

New Waves.

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Ever feel so incredibly small, yet significant in the moment you are in? In the season of learning that you are experiencing? In a single segment of a larger picture and design for your life? 


I bet it was a sight to see…

 The waves strong and forceful, sending foam and salt all over the sandy shore, like a welcomed blanket on a cool evening. You could feel the earth breathing with every web and flow that was sent ashore. It wasn’t an overpowering breath, but a strong and steady one. The wind carried with it the salty air that consumes and intoxicates anyone that enjoys the steadiness of a powerful force, like the sea. The music from the restaurant added to the excitement that was resinating with the three that entered the water. There was shrieks and laughs, a few choice words when a wave swept feet out from under, and lots of dancing. Three black swimsuited beings, that were having the time of their lives.

Let me tell you, it was a sight to see, and fun to be apart of. The moon was out, and the music was loud, and I had two of the craziest, most interesting women by my side as we ran, jumped, danced, and laughed ourselves into the sea. We sounded and probably looked like little kids, enjoying a moment of sheer bliss. Trying to outrun waves, run out to waves, and simply embracing the power behind the tide. There were no consuming thoughts running through my mind, nothing more than simply living in the moment.

As we were wrapping up our fiasco in the water, and walking back to where our discarded sandals and cover ups lay, I couldn’t help but stop and listen to the force behind me, around me, and billowing up within me. It was in that moment where the being small matched with the significant moment. How lucky am I to experience something that could possibly be a once in a lifetime moment? The opportunities that arise when you simply kick off your shoes and run into the waves.

Too often, we try to consume our lives with tasks and schedules, details and times, that dictate every moment of every minute of our lives. Moments of childlike pleasures, like running through waves, are nonexistent because the thought of, “I am too old for that,” ventures through and talks you out before you even attempt to consider it. Take the time to be young, forever. Breath in the salty sea air, and go splashing in the waves because sooner rather than later, time catches up. The seasons move on, the adventures fade into something different and maybe, even, a little more dull. But if you take the time, to find the segment of life that pulls you into a larger moment, and you begin to realize that there is something more in this life than just surviving. This life is full of moments of new waves to run and jump in… but you have to stop, take a breath, and listen to everything all around you that reminds you that you are meant to be here for a purpose.

And then, for just one night, you feel completely and totally alive, in the middle of a beach in a country that is unlike your own.

-Hope Sorrells

Experiencing Worship for the First Time.

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Church. A word, a place, a feeling that I have been apart of since I was born, but more importantly when I was saved at the age of 7. I knew, well, thought I knew the true meaning of worship, but that changed, today.

Carrie and I were invited to Holy Ghost Centre church by our host sister, Euince. Of course, the response was a quick “yes!” Church started out just like I was used to. Greeting the pastor, finding your seat in Sunday school and working through a lesson. We finished Sunday school, moved spots towards the front of the church, and service started.

When worship began, the atmosphere changed. The rustling of bodies surrendered to the beating drums, and the electric guitar which added a nice modern twist, along with the keyboard that kept a rhythm. All the sounds were so known to me, but they were put  together in such a foreign way. But, it was the singers. The worshipers in the audience, that changed everything.

I closed my eyes, and breathed in a deep breath as a woman with a powerful voice took over. The peaceful tapping of tambourines guides how I begin to sway to the music. There is raw emotion. I see for the first time the true surrendering during worship, and it was only song number one. The air is humid, but the fans move it around to keep it cool against my skin. I watch as the emotions of true love for Christ pours out from every heart and soul in the room. They do not just sing, they pour out everything they have to the one true King. As the song ends, another person takes over the worship and it changes to an upbeat song. Our host sister warned Carrie and I at the beginning, “I hope you can dance…” and I thought, “uh, what?” Sure enough. As the beat gets faster, the smiles begin to grow on everyone’s face, including mine. I look around and sure enough, the whole church has erupted in dancing.

Pure rejoice.

I begin to get more of a sway going, hand clapping, and a nice knee bounce as I just watch everyone enjoying worship; enjoying being in the presence of not only Christ but their brothers and sisters in Christ. At that moment, you could feel the Holy Spirit in and around everything, working its way through every chair, every skirt fiber, every vein that carries life. It was over powering, and moving. I just smiled and whispered, “Thank you, Lord.”


So often, there is a stigma that Christians and churches must resort to a particular image. You have to have your service go a certain way, have specified people for jobs. The worship will be planned out. We have to look and act like we are standing in a service that is full of prim and proper motives. But here, there is nothing like that. Their was rejoicing, outcry, and sheer hope.

I have never been in a church where I felt so comfortable amidst loud singing, and a pastor that shouted more than he spoke. I have never witnessed true worship until now, and I will forever be grateful.

If you see someone at your church praising a “different” way. It may look different, sound different, and it may make you feel uncomfortable, but think for a moment, “How in depth is their love for Christ that they have the comfort and openness to have an honest and raw worship moment, and you get to witness it.”

-Hope Sorrells

 

Before even moving in.

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The A/C felt cool against my skin. The West Texas heat has a way of creeping in and settling on every surface. My ford pick-up was heading east down a long two-lane highway. My favorite music playing in the background, but I wasn’t truly focused on the lyrics. They sat and talked, one in the front seat, the other in the back, and although they were close in proximity, miles of space separated us. I felt as though I was trapped in my own thoughts, consumed with an overwhelming feeling of fear, anticipation, excitement, and nerves. I felt as though my stomach would betray me. Landscape after landscape, mile after mile passed by and as I passed a green highway sign that said, “Throckmorton County.” I opened my mouth and said, “Here goes nothing.”

Mom and Melissa laughed, but I knew that they both felt the tension that had enveloped me. I was trying to joke, be a goof, avoid the conflicting thoughts that were flying. The final question of, “Am I really doing this?” echoed in my mind as I pulled up beside the beautiful courthouse and stepped out of my pickup. Melissa met me with a soft smile and a warm hug. I sighed.

So this is really it?

The anticipation of meeting the other fellows was somewhat silenced as Melissa and I made conversation heading to the cabins we would be staying in. The gorgeous pastureland flew by us, surprisingly greener than I had expected. Rain can change a landscape so much. We finally pulled up to the cabin and as I unloaded my grey, overly large, and almost inconveniently sized suitcases, I was greeted by John. A large smile and an even larger hug eased my anxious heart.

I waited only thirty minutes before the other fellows pulled up, and the nerves returned. Will they like me? Will I be able to make friends? Such junior high, school girl questions rattled in my mind as the introductions began. After a day on the lake, settling down at supper and beginning to get to know each other I felt a sudden reassurance that, I am home.

Not home in the physical sense. Not a structure. Home had evolved into the state of which my heart and mind were in, and the people that surrounded me. Home needed to evolve for me. I needed to know that no matter if I was in Throckmorton, Texas or in Ghana, West Africa, that I could feel steady, stable, and full of life. I had a support system around me that was present the minute we were all in the same room. I knew, at that point, that this journey would change my life, more so than I would change lives. And now, as I sit and think about that… I am completely okay with that. Often we try and take new experiences and moments of vulnerability and find ways to extract those feelings to other people, and avoid our own. But as I sat around seven people who have beautiful hearts, I think to myself, “We are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime… but we have made a way to make it home, before even moving in.”

-Hope Sorrells

Mastering the Art of Chaco’s.


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I don’t know about you, but when I bought my first pair of Chaco’s I was slightly concerned.

I looked at the variety of styles. From different colored straps, to different amounts of straps to even the type of Chaco. I couldn’t help but think, “I didn’t know there would be so many options!” I picked a pair that were a red color and begin to put them on.

SO many straps. Awkwardly uncomfortable. Not my style.

I walked around like I had bricks on my feet. They weren’t necessarily the most comfortable foot attire I have ever worn, nor were they the most flattering. My naturally long, skinny feet looked even longer and skinnier. Trying to get them tight enough to fit my feet was another obstacle. After 15 minutes of pulling, tugging, maneuvering, I finally   felt like I had accomplished a huge task. For 3 weeks, I have worn them almost everyday, just trying to get used to the unfamiliar item that will soon be as familiar as an old friend.


But as I sit and think I can’t help but relate that experience and those shoes to life.

Sometimes life throws you a very familiar experience in a somewhat familiar facade.

[[Even in sandals that aren’t like most sandals.]]

You are handed an opportunity that will completely take you out of a comfort zone or put you in a situation you have never experienced. You begin to weigh all options. Pros, cons, likes, dislikes. The exact thing that will change you as a person and help you to test your limits. After much decisions, internal conflicts, and closing your eyes and saying, “Let’s do this.” You finally decide.

Then, comes the next move, actually prepping for that experience. It may look wrong or off. You will be standing on your own feet that are in a new place. You begin to describe to your friends and family your decision and sometimes, the support, isn’t always there. It is difficult to embrace the unusually or the unfamiliar, especially when your foundation is slightly shaky and unsure.

But, with each day, you take another step, you hit a new stride. You begin to feel stronger and more comfortable in your own skin. You know that no matter how ‘tight’ life gets or even how unsure and ‘loose,’ there is a strong and steady piece, that keeps you pushing forward. You know that not everyday will look as good as you would like nor will it have the same new feeling as before but the unfamiliar slowly becomes the familiar. The old friend that you can forever lean on or in this instance, a pair of sandals, that aren’t like any other sandal, that will be faithful and true as you venture out on a new adventure.

That is where Mastering the Art of Chaco’s become something greater than a simple sandal for a simple person. It is a complex life change, that begins with one decision, one try, and one step. Why not, begin… now.

-Hope Sorrells

Old Fashioned Romance in a New Fashion World.

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“If you’re a bird, then I’m a bird.” 

–The Notebook

“I knew, even then, how rare that kind of love is. Only the luckiest people get to experience it at all.”

–The Best of Me


There is always a since of wonder and jealousy that takes over when watching a classic love story. The passion, and heart of an old fashioned romance begins to intertwine within your own heart. The idea that someone could love you that deeply, and become intrigued by your mind and soul is thrilling. You begin to sit back and wonder, “where is this romance? Why haven’t I experienced? What happened to the love that our grandparents talked about?”

Then, you slowly begin to reflect on society. The norms, the common actions of today’s world. There isn’t any courting, because that means going out in public as an “item”, which will begin to raise suspension and you have to begin to verify that you two are “just talking.” And “just talking” gives way that you are still scoping out other people. There isn’t any concrete items until it becomes “official.”

Phone calls once a day or even a few times a week are definitely completely extinct. Immediate responses happen, every day, almost constantly. Sometimes there is some delay depending on work or school or something of that nature, but for the most part, you and your significant other are in constant contact.

No time to breath. No time to miss them. No time to build a trust.

That old fashioned romance has evolved into a new fashion, immediate sense of urgency.

So change that mindset. Slow down.

Develop into the idea that being able to text them all day is fabulous, but try to begin to pull away from that. Limit your talk to a phone call or even two over the course of the day. You will begin to truly miss that person, and you develop a conversation basis besides the usual filler of “wryd?” every 5 minutes when you run out of things to talk about. Enjoy your day and then relive it over the phone or in person. Bask in the idea that you can build a trust that is stronger than most in this day in age.

Take the time to truly learn someone. Go on adventures. Try not to stick to a schedule. Find time to have an intimate moment with them, not even a physical one, but a time to pick their brain, understand their heart. Forgive quickly and often and limit assumption. Old fashion love took time, and patience. A trust and belief that is was developed and that is something that has been lost and skewed over time. Learn to love in a different way, scope out the person that makes your heart and mind grow, makes you yearn for a tomorrow with them, gives you the desire to show them off every single day, and makes you miss them four times over every time you say “good night.” Find someone who makes you want to feel and be in love, not just stand awkwardly in the presence of it.

Go and grab hold of an old fashioned romance in a new fashion world.

–Hope Sorrells