Author Archives: sarahjesusnlily

About sarahjesusnlily

My name is Sarah Abigail Kuriakos. I come from a background of extreme child abuse, and it almost destroyed my life. My mother tried to kill me while I was an infant, my father threatened to kill me if I told anyone what he was doing to me, and I tried suicide nine times as an adult. Fortunately, God had other plans, and none of the attempts on my life succeeded. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the progress I'm making as God heals me from my childhood, while making sure that God is glorified in the process. I'm a voracious reader, and I enjoy crocheting, doing counted cross stitch, and creating art. I also enjoy playing with my cat Lily, listening to Christian music, and watching movies. My favorite books are, first and foremost, The Holy Bible, then Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, The Count of Monte Cristo, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I also love Christian apologetics. The most important thing in my life is knowing and serving Jesus Christ, and telling people about His great love for them. People need to know that God loves them!

Leaping Tall Kittens With a Single Bound

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I was cleaning out the kittens’ litter box the other day, and heard a funny noise off to my right. So I turned to look, and lo and behold, the kittens had discovered that there was something behind the bathroom door. What dya know! They’d also found the door stop that’s back there, and noticed the lovely boinging sound it makes every time you hit it. So I was able to relieve the boredom inherent to cleaning out the litter box by watching Solomon and Gracie’s antics as they played in front of and behind the bathroom door, which is right next to where I have the litter box set up.

Solomon and Gracie play with each other almost constantly, and when they aren’t playing they’re either sleeping or eating. I love watching them romp about, because they’re so frisky when they’re doing it. I wish I had that kind of energy!

But I don’t. Oh well! I’ll just frolic vicariously through them. They’re so funny when they play together! Gracie will start chasing Solomon, or vice versa, and she’ll charge toward him, at which point Solomon will leap into the air, looking for all the world like he’s spring-loaded. They do that all the time, and it makes me giggle. I’m doing a whole lot of giggling right now, which I’m sure is good for my health.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22, NKJV.

I like the idea of a merry heart much better than a depressed and broken spirit. I’ve had both, and merry is MUCH better. Merry means I’m laughing and at peace, and content with my circumstances. It means God is active in my life, and I’m aware of His presence with me, which is what I desire more than anything.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8, NKJV.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, NIV [Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV].

I love that Solomon and Gracie are part of my life, and are part of why my heart is merry, and I’m so grateful to God for giving them to me! He does all things well, and I love Him so much!!

Two Furry Delights

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I’ve been hoping and praying for a pair of kittens for almost a year, and God has at long last answered my prayers. I am now the proud owner of two 4-5 week old Siamese kittens, a brother and sister pair. Their names are Solomon and Gracie, and they’re no bigger than two tiny mites. They are SOOO CUTE!!! I can practically hold each one in the palm of my hand, they’re so small. I brought them home earlier this afternoon, and immediately they ate dinner, and I then showed them the litter box, to which each of them promptly responded by pooping and peeing.

I can tell you, that made me very happy, because that means that they are both adapting quickly to living with me.

Thank you, Jesus!!

One of the really cool things that I just love about them is that they follow me around all the time. They also like to sleep on me, which I think is perfectly lovely, plus they purr easily ~ something else I had prayed for.

The only problem I’m having with them is that they’re so similar in appearance that I can’t tell them apart unless they’re both standing in front of me. I think I have to go to PetsMart and get two different colored collars so I can differentiate between the two of them. They’re too young to be spayed/neutered yet. That won’t happen for another month, so the solution seems to be two different colored collars.

This is what they look like. I think the top one is Gracie, and the one on the bottom is Solomon, but don’t hold me to that. Regardless, aren’t they cute? I think they’re adorable, and I’m praising God for answering my prayers so admirably.

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The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel. ~ Proverbs 12:10, NLT.

So Solomon and Gracie are a blessing and a gift from God, and I will do my level best to treat them as such, and love them a LOT!! I figure God gave them to me to demonstrate how much He loves me, so I can do no less than to love them back.

Pondering the Imponderable, or Jesus and Physics

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Probably my favorite thing about God is His mysteriousness. There are so many things about Him that are incomprehensible. I think God is so multifaceted and complex that we’ll never come to the end of who He is. We’ll never fully understand everything about Him ~ but that’s the cool thing, and is just one facet of His mysteriousness. We could study God for the rest of eternity and not come to the end of who He is, or learn everything there is to know about Him.

Here’s an imponderable,

When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. ~ John 14:20, NLT.

How is it possible for me to be in Jesus at the same time He’s in me? It sounds like a box in a box in a box, except you’d have to keep switching the Jesus-box with the me-box, putting me in the Jesus-box, and then putting the Jesus-box in the me-box, back and forth, again and again, over and over. It kind of boggles my mind and makes me dizzy all at once. I realize that I’m thinking about it on a physical plane when I should be thinking of it on a spiritual plane, but I haven’t taken it that far yet.

The Holy Spirit suggested an imponderable from the Book of Proverbs, though I’m sure it’s more mysterious and unfathomable for people than it is for God (because nothing is unknowable to God, of course).

There are three things too wonderful for me to understand—no, four! How an eagle glides through the sky. How a serpent crawls upon a rock. How a ship finds its way across the heaving ocean. The growth of love between a man and a girl. ~ Proverbs 30:18-19, The Living Bible.

I like the way that version words this passage, but there’s another translation that makes it very clear that there’s a relationship between the four examples,

There are three things which are hidden from me, yea, four which I know not: the track of the eagle in the air; the track of the serpent upon the rock; the track of the ship in the midst of the sea; and the track of the man in the maid. ~ Proverbs 30:18-19, Jubilee Bible.

I find it interesting that even Solomon had things he found to be bewildering and incomprehensible, and he was supposed to be the wisest man who ever lived, except for Jesus Christ, of course.

And then there’s the unfathomable and imponderable mystery of my own existence. Why was I born, if only to be abused within an inch of my life? I’ve spent many years trying to understand this, seeking God, asking why, asking why me, and just generally demanding answers from God. And as I nagged and clamored louder and louder, I got angrier and more indignant ~ to the point of raging and breaking windows ~ because I wasn’t getting the answers I thought God should’ve been giving me, answers I deserved, because, after all, I had a right to know!

And then something happened that changed everything. I was listening to James Dobson on Focus On the Family, and he said something that startled me, and made me realize that I didn’t understand God at all. He said, “We don’t have the right to hold God accountable.”

I’ve never forgotten that statement, because it revolutionized my thinking, and completely altered my understanding of God and who He is. What I understood Dr. Dobson to mean is that I don’t have the right to challenge God’s sovereignty, which was what I was doing by demanding answers from Him, and demanding that He explain Himself to me.

Woe to the man who fights with his Creator. Does the pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with him who forms it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!” or the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be!”? ~ Isaiah 45:9, TLB (The Living Bible).

As I write that now I cringe at the thought of my arrogance and pride back then, and I’m very grateful for God’s mercy and grace, because I think He must have understood how much pain I was in, and how ignorant I was.

So once I realized that I had been going about my questions in the wrong way, I changed the tenor of my inquiries. Instead of asking why questions, I started asking who, what, when, and where questions. And then I recognized that what I’d wanted to know all along was where God was when I was being abused. And once I started asking these questions, I got answers almost immediately.

And what answers they were! They were life-altering for me, and they showed me that God had been in my life, saving my life, from the very beginning. He had been intervening, keeping me alive, and helping me everytime there was a need, which was all the time!!

It turns out that it was God who gave me the gift of multiplicity. Everytime there was an incident of abuse that was serious enough to require the creation of a new alter, God was there. He placed His finger on my mind ~ my personality ~ in the exact place where He wanted the new alter to be split off, and that’s where the split happened. And then He would tell everyone what to name that alter.

God is AMAZING!! I love Him so!!

Knowing that God had been there the whole time, saving my life, and that He had been behind the multiplicity made what I had suffered easier to accept. I still don’t understand why it had to happen, though I’m fairly certain that part of the reason has something to do with the fact that God can’t go against Harry’s free will. I can understand and accept that. I wouldn’t want God to go against my free will, so why should it be any different for anyone else, including Harry, even at the risk of my life. As long as I know that God was working to protect me as much as He could, I can deal with that. Plus, I get to have a relationship with Him, which is better and more important than anything else than I can possibly imagine.

I’ll get to spend eternity in Heaven learning about Him, and getting to know Him and all His mysteriousness! I can’t think of ANYTHING more amazing and wonderful and marvelous than THAT!!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-11, NLT.

Mothers and Fathers

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Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’m not very fond of Mother’s Day, and neither am I crazy about Father’s Day.

I used to have a problem from the beginning of October till the middle of January, but over the last couple of years God has been healing me so that the time between Hallowe’en and Christmas is no longer such a problem for me, and for that I am extremely grateful. But the deadly depression that used to devastate me between Hallowe’en and Christmas has transferred itself to Mother’s and Father’s Days.

So now I get sad and depressed between May and June, and everytime I see an ad on TV about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day I get all jumbled up and chaotic inside. But I also feel angry, because all the commercials talk about how wonderful moms and dads are, and neither my mom nor my father were even remotely nice, much less wonderful or amazing in any way. I mean, just writing this post is making me feel despondent, miserable, and desolate ~ as well as infuriated and resentful.

Both my parents presented a happy front to the world. Harry made himself out to be a highly intelligent solid citizen who always worked to support his family, while my mother made the whole world love her. The front my mother presented to the world was that of someone who loved everyone, and loved to give of herself to everyone. Everyone thought my mother was an absolute Saint, who could do no wrong, could probably walk on water, and held the walls of the church up, because she was one of its pillars.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My mother did a lot of good things for her church. She was the wedding coordinator, and did all the flowers and decorations for all the weddings and every event her church held for the better part of 40 years. She also volunteered in the church office at least once a week during those same 40 years. And if that wasn’t enough, she sang in the choir, also for those self-same 40 years. The problem was, she was so busy making the world think she was God’s Woman of Power for the Hour that she had no time for me or my sister, and while she was doing all that cool stuff out In public, at home she was allowing my father to beat me within an inch of my life, and rape me repeatedly virtually every day of my life. And when I told her about the abuse memories I was having, and that they were both physical and sexual, her response was,

“Well, I knew something was going on physically, because I saw bruises. If I had known it was sexual, the divorce would have happened a lot sooner.”

When she said that, I thought I would boil over with anger! I wanted to yell at her that children are murdered all the time by parents who are physically abusing them. The idea that she had known that Harry was beating me, and did NOTHING to stop him or protect me in any way made me want to SHRIEK with RAGE!!

And then I knew I had to forgive her. Even though I had every right to be angry, even enraged, at her, I knew that holding on to all that anger wouldn’t help me let go of the pain or put it behind me. Besides, God commands us to forgive. If nothing else, God forgave me, and since that’s true, I can do no less to everyone who’s sinned against me, and that’s a LOT of people!!

“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ ‘Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!'” ~ Matthew 18:21-22, NLT.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:14-15, NLT.

Seventy times seven comes out to 490. I’m sure Peter thought he was being really spiritual when he asked Jesus about forgiving someone seven times, and I can just see his face when Jesus told him that seven times wasn’t enough, that he had to forgive 490 times. 490 times!! You’ve gotta be kidding me!! That’s impossible!! I want to say to Peter, Yes, it is impossible to forgive even once without God’s help. So of course you can’t forgive someone 490 times on your own. You will absolutely need His help to forgive that many times!!

I’ve been able to forgive my mother and my father for everything they did to me. But I’ve only been able to do it with God’s help. I never could have done it on my own. NEVER!!

And I wouldn’t even want to try. I would much rather be fully dependent on God, and grateful for the Cross of Christ and His resurrection, and the comfort and indwelling advocacy of the Holy Spirit than to presume that I could do any of it without Their enabling grace and mercy!

Anything else is pure arrogance and pride, and I want no part of that.

I’ll deal with Father’s Day come June. Once problem at a time!

A Surfeit of Ideas

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Originally I planned to use this post to break my long silence, but circumstances dictated otherwise when the situation with the two kittens came up (read Solomon and Gracie and A Crushing Blow, and Yet I Have Hope for that story). This post came about as a result of realizing I had too many ideas to write about rather than not enough, which is kind of a nice problem to have, if you think about it. But I’ve decided to publish it anyway, even if it isn’t breaking my silence, because I still have all those ideas surfeiting around in my head, and they need an outlet. So here it is in all its original glory, with a little pfft at the end.

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything here, a fact which I greatly regret, but about which I can do nothing. Part of the reason is that I’ve been kind of depressed, though that’s not a very good reason, because being depressed is actually a perfect reason to write, not a reason to not write.

I’ve just realized that another reason I haven’t written anything is because I’m struggling with a surfeit of ideas. In other words, I’ve got so many ideas for things to write about that they’re swirling around in my mind, and geysering out my ears, and through the top of my head like Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.

So I’m having a terrible time picking and choosing which ones to write about and which ones to set aside for a later time, or just plain ignore.

For instance, I’ve been actively looking for a new cat or cats for months, and I could have written about that. I’ve filled out cat adoption applications until I’m blue in the face, and none of them have borne any fruit, so I’ve been constantly disappointed, but I keep on praying, believing that God has the perfect cat or cats waiting for me. I just have to find it or them.

And then Easter was approaching, and I could have written about that. I value the Cross of Christ, and His Resurrection above all else in my life, except for possibly God’s Word, because without those two events I’d be utterly lost and dead. So, seems to me, there’s plenty to write about there.

Once Easter is over, next we have Mother’s Day, and after that, Father’s Day. For years all my problems were centered around the time between Hallowe’en and the middle of January. I would get horribly depressed, so depressed that it was hard to get out of bed. It was even hard to blink and breathe! But God has been healing me on the sly, so to speak, because slowly but surely, without me noticing, the holidays were no longer such a problem ~ something for which I’m very grateful. Feeling that awful all the time was incredibly difficult. I felt almost physically ill, I was so depressed, so I was very glad once I began to notice that I was feeling better around the holidays.

But then I began to observe that instead of getting depressed around the holidays, it had transferred itself to Mother’s and Father’s Day. I guess I should be grateful that I’m not depressed around the holidays AND around Mother’s and Father’s Day!

Blessings for small favors!!

So the upshot of all this thinking is that I finally have something to write about. I don’t know how long it will last, writing about all these ideas milling around in my surfeiting mind, but at least, now I can start.

I have to add an addendum here, however. I’ve just remembered why I didn’t publish this back when I first wrote it months ago. It’s because I couldn’t think of a Scripture verse to use. I’ve committed myself to making God’s Word preeminent in my life. I know God sees it that way, so I can do no less.

I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. ~ Psalm 138:2, NKJV.

I’ve tried, to the best of my ability, with God’s help, to include at least one Scripture verse in every post that I publish. I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded. There may a post here and there that don’t have any Scriptures in them, but they are few and far between.

Because this post is about writing, or rather, about not being able to write, I wanted the verse to be about writing, but I couldn’t think of one. Aarrgh!! I kept wracking my brain and praying for God’s help. And then, last night He reminded me of a verse from Psalm 45 that’s perfect.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. ~ Psalm 45:1, NKJV.

How cool is that! And not only is it about writing, but it’s about praising God! I love the Bible! God has incorporated stuff into it to meet every single teeny tiny need. You are amazing, God!!

I love You so!!

A Crushing Blow, and Yet I Have Hope

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“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5, KJV.

Last Tuesday I posted the wonderful news of two adorable kittens that I was going to be able to adopt. Unfortunately, I found out on Wednesday that I won’t be able to adopt them after all. Needless to say, I feel devastated.

I was able to meet the two kittens on Tuesday afternoon, and was utterly captivated by their cuteness. And in the process I decided on what I wanted to name them; to wit, Solomon and Gracie. What I didn’t know was that, when faced with the prospect of having to give them up to me, the woman who’s been fostering them came to the realization that she couldn’t do it.

It turns out that she was the one who’d originally found them and rescued them off the street when they were newborns, basically saving their lives. That’s a bond that is very hard to break.

So I’ve spent the rest of the week mourning over two furry children that weren’t really mine yet, even though they felt like mine because I’d held them and played with them and named them. In my mind they were mine, so it feels like a death now that I have to give them up, even though I never truly had them.

So what’s next? Well, the woman who found these kittens for me has said she will continue looking for a new pair. She has been a real blessing in all this. Wednesday morning we texted back and forth for almost three hours as she allowed me to rage and cry. She allowed me to have my feelings without condemnation or criticism. All she kept saying was how sorry she was. I finally realized that it wasn’t really her fault, so I told her that. I forgave Vickie (the woman who’s fostering the kittens; I’m changing her name to protect her privacy). I pray that they prosper with her, and that she is exceedingly happy and blessed with them.

As I was going through this, the Scripture verse that kept trumpeting loudly in my mind was Romans 5:5, and I figured it must be God telling me not to give up, and not to be ashamed of feeling sad because it’s just kittens after all; if I’m going to be sad I should be sad about something important (I hope you can sense how far into my cheek my tongue is!); or of being hopeful. So that’s why I quoted that verse at the beginning of this post. So I plan to keep on looking to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith,

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:2, NKJV.

I know that He has a beautiful plan for me, and I believe that plan includes two kittens, so I’ll keep on looking for them. I’ve come to realize that I experience loneliness a whole lot more than I’d like to admit, and having cats mitigates that for me.

As I’ve mourned and grieved and cried and prayed and talked to God about everything this week, I could sense that God has a pair of kittens for me. I just have to be patient.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” ~ James 1:2-4, NKJV.

Even though I’ve forgiven Vickie I wish someone would talk to her and ask her if she has any idea just how deeply she hurt me when she changed her mind and took those kittens back. Because actions have consequences, and what’s going to happen when the next time comes? And the time after that, and the time after that? Will she change her mind and decide she wants to keep those kittens too?

I think I can be patient if I know my kittens are coming!

Solomon and Gracie

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I lost my Lily in December of 2020, and I’ve missed having a cat around since then. It’s been a very long time, and I’ve been pretty lonely, even with God to talk to. There’s nothing like a purring cat to make you feel content and peaceful, and since Lily’s death, the closest thing I’ve had to petting a cat or hearing one purr is watching cat videos on Facebook. A paltry substitute, I must say.

Well, all that is about to change, because I’ve applied to adopt a cat, and my application has been accepted, and I’ve found two kittens to adopt. They’re a brother and sister bonded pair, and they’re both Siamese with blue eyes. They’re five weeks old as of last Friday. I can’t bring them home yet, though. They have to weigh at least five pounds before that can happen, plus they have to be spayed and/or neutered, dewormed, and microchipped.

But the cool thing is, I got to meet them today, and it turns out that the boy is a flame-point Siamese! That might not mean much to anyone else, but my last cat, Lily, was a flame-point Siamese, and flame-points are gorgeous cats. They start out white as kittens, and then as they grow, they turn orange. Their ears are orange, and their tails are white white orange stripes. And they have the characteristic blue eyes of the Siamese.

I’ve had a thing for blue-eyed cats most of my life. When I was a child we had an orange tabby cat named Dennis the Menace, and he had bright blue eyes. And because of the constant chaos and abuse in my family, Dennis was my only friend, and constant companion. The only time I felt safe was when I was alone, or when I was with Dennis. He didn’t judge me, and he never questioned anything I said, or called me a liar, or told me I was stupid. He just listened and let me cuddle with him, and loved me. I really think God used Dennis to help keep me sane and alive. He was like an angel with fur on.

I’ve thought a lot about Dennis the Menace during the process of looking for my new kittens, probably more in the last couple of weeks than I have in many years. And I’m realizing just how wonderful he was to me back then. I wish I could meet him again so I could thank him, but maybe thanking God is enough.

The kindness and goodness of God is beyond all measure! That He would make one of the new kittens a flame-point just amazes me. I didn’t tell anyone that I wanted a flame-point. All I said was I wanted a Siamese with blue eyes. Thank you, God!! I love You so!!

So now I have to name them. Up until now the woman who’s fostering them has been calling the girl Dixie, and the boy Finn, but when I was playing with them today, she told me I could change their names if I wanted to, because they’re so young that they haven’t had time to learn those names yet. And they’re SOOO CUTE!! I just had to say that. They’re just SOOO darn CUTE!!

I’ve been thinking I might name the boy Abraham, and call him Abe for short. Or David ~ Dave for short. Or Isaac, or Isaiah, or Elijah ~ Eli for short. I really like Bible names. Or I could call him Solomon. That doesn’t really need a nickname, and I really like the way that name sounds.

And then I could call the girl Ruth, or Naomi, or Abby. I don’t want to name her Abigail because that’s my middle name. Or maybe I could name her Grace or Faith.

Okay. I have to start narrowing it down. I’m really leaning toward Solomon for the boy, and Gracie for the girl. And, as silly as it sounds, I’ve prayed about it, and Solomon and Grace feel right. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, so maybe my Solomon will be a very wise cat. And Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and God has shone me sooo much undeserved kindness and favor, just in bringing me these wonderful kitties that naming her Grace, or Gracie, will remind me of how much God loves me every time I say her name.

I like the sound of that!

Now I get to show you all what they look like! On the right is Solomon, and on the left is Gracie.

Are they not the cutest, most adorable floofballs you’ve ever seen? I’m in LOVE!! When I was playing with them this afternoon, they were climbing all over me, and I felt the craving of my heart being satisfied. After all these months of no cat at all, to have God give me two, and they’re both Siamese with blue eyes!!

The goodness of God just overwhelms me, and my gratitude knows no bounds!!

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19, NLT.

How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!…For the Mighty One is holy, and He has done great things for me. ~ Luke 1:47,49, NLT.

Folderol and Tiddlywinks

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The above title is because I can’t think of anything to write about, nor can I think of a decent title. So I decided to come up with the most ludicrous and meaningless title I could think of, and what you see above is that title. I think it fills the bill pretty well. The two words are completely unrelated to each other; nor is either of them related to anything else in my life.

So now to the business of writing, and I think I’ve come up with some ideas. It seems that an absurd title stimulated my thinking, and this post is turning out to be a train-of-thought post where you get to watch my brain work. I could edit it down so it looks all neat and tidy, but this is much more fun!

Last Sunday in church my pastor was preaching from Romans 4, and he had us turn to a verse in Psalms 27,

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” ~ Psalm 27:4, NIV.

As I read that verse, it occurred to me that my deepest heart’s desire is summed up in that one verse. My craving for beauty, and being able see Jesus face to face when I get to Heaven, are all encapsulated in Psalm 27:4.

All of a sudden everything became crystal clear for me as I read Psalm 27:4. I’ve heard of people having one verse that’s their life verse, and I’ve always wondered about that, because I’ve never had one. But now I think I do, and it’s Psalm 27:4. It’s kind a cool realization to have, and I’m pretty excited about it. I feel like it gives a focus to my life that I didn’t have before.

Change of subject. I guess this is kind of a potpourri post, cuz my thoughts are meandering all over the place, and every zig in my zag feels important enough to write about, even though the topics are diverse and scattered all over the place.

My ophthalmologist warned me about a year ago that I would need cataract surgery at some point in the future. The idea of someone, ANYone messing with my eyes fills me with terror, all commands in Scripture to fear not notwithstanding. I know what the Bible says.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV.

And then there’s this,

Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10, Hebrew Names Version.

I like these verses because they remind me that God will always be with me, and help me. Another beautiful reminder is from Psalm 23.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4, Hebrew Names Version.

I am an artist, and color is of inestimable importance to me. It’s not as valuable as my salvation is, to be sure, but color is one of the best ways I use to worship God, because His creation is so wonderfully and beautifully colorful. For instance, take a look at this:

This is a Mandarin Fish. Isn’t it gorgeous? And isn’t God amazing for creating such a beautiful creature? And then there’s this:

This is an Emperor Angelfish. Once again, look at how beautiful it is!

And check this out:

This is a Royal Gramma Basslet (I think I got the name right). Just feast your eyes on those vibrant colors! And how ’bout that eyespot on the dorsal fin. That’s a protective feature. God is SOOO SMART!!

The oceans are absolutely littered with fish that are equally as beautiful as these three are. And those are just the marine examples! On land the immense variety of flowers and birds are so incredibly beautiful that it leaves me speechless every time I have a chance to look at them!

Needless to say, I don’t want to lose my vision, especially my color vision, for any reason. I’m trying hard to trust God, and trust that, regardless of what happens, God knows best, but it’s very difficult. Maybe I’m worrying needlessly. I hope I am! But the idea of anyone doing anything with my eyes just freaks me out, and the changes in my vision over the last few months have been rather drastic. I can no longer drive at night, and I’m having a very hard time reading ~ and I LOVE to read! Even doing my cross stitch has been hard, but I’m still trying to do it.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m still looking for a cat, but I don’t know if I’d be able to see a cat to choose it because my vision has gotten so bad.

HARRUMPH!! Patience and shuffle the cards, as the saying goes.

I love God, so I’ll try and trust that He has my best interests at heart.

Boy, is it hard to say that and believe it!!

But this is what Scripture says, and Scripture is where I’ll find Life:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV.

Flawed and Fallible

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Yup, that’s me. I am a flawed, fallible, and sinful person. That’s why I’m so incredibly grateful for the Cross and what Christ did there for me. Christ’s death on the Cross, and His subsequent resurrection mean everything to me, because without them I would have succeeded in one of my many suicide attempts, and then I would have ended up in Hell. So there isn’t enough gratitude throughout the whole universe for me to express how grateful I am to Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

That said, I still mess up on an extremely regular basis.The difference is, because I have Christ in my life, I can ask Him to forgive me according to 1 John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9, NKJV.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently became acutely aware of just how flawed and fallible I truly am, and it’s probably at least partly a result of the abuse from my childhood. If you’ll remember, I’ve said before that the pain inflicted on me when I was little is my parents’ responsibility, but I bear the burden for what happens now as a result. I’m an adult now, so I can’t blame my childhood if I decide to go out and rob a bank or burn down a house (which, by the way, are things I would never do, just so you know). This post isn’t about that. It’s about how I function in relationships.

Relationships are very difficult for me, something that’s fairly common for people who are survivors of child abuse, and especially for people who’ve experienced childhood sexual abuse. The only time I was safe when I was little was when I was alone, so I learned fairly quickly that being an introvert was the best way to keep myself safe and abuse-free. Of course being an introvert didn’t protect me from Harry and his horrors, but nothing could safeguard me from that. God made things easier, however, because He gave me the ability to become multiple, and that saved my life many times over. So even though I couldn’t keep myself free from being abused, at least I could stay alive.

Recently I got into a difficult interaction with a dear friend. She’s probably the best friend I have in the world, and I love her dearly. I will do anything for her if it’s within my power, even to the point of dying for her if need be. She’s been with me through thick and thin, and she knows everything about me.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13, NKJV.

I’ll call her Sylvia for purposes of anonymity and privacy.

Sylvia’s mother died on February 25th of last year, so this whole year has been really hard for her. Most of the time I’ve been fairly good about being available when she needs me, but the last month or so I blew it big time, because I fell into my usual little hermity way of doing things, and in the process I’m ashamed to say I forgot about calling her for a couple of weeks. (I didn’t forget about her; I thought about her all the time, but somehow calling her became separated in my mind from thinking about her, as strange as that seems.) But I just plain forgot about everyone else for a couple of weeks, and poor Sylvia got the worst of it because she was the neediest, legitimately so. It ended up being more like a month because once I realized I’d neglected her for two weeks, it took me another two weeks to get up the courage to reestablish contact. I knew she’d be mad at me ~ justifiably so ~ and I’d have to apologize, which I didn’t mind doing. I was wrong, after all!

I wrote a post back on June 18, 2019, entitled I Would Make a Great Hermit in which I related why I like being alone so much, and why it’s so easy for me to do my hermity thing, so to speak.

So I had a lot of apologizing to do, and Sylvia and I had to figure out how I could change the way I do things so the last month of me neglecting her wouldn’t happen again. We set up a time when I went to see her and we sat down and talked it all out. And we decided that I would text her every couple of days just to say hi, and maybe I would include a funny cat photo with my text (I have a LOT of funny cat pics. I find them on Facebook ALL the time in this Facebook group I’m part of, Episcopal Cats With Problems.) Below is a classic example.

So I think I’ll leave it at that. Every time I look at the above photograph I start giggling helplessly. I think there are nine cats in that box, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how they all crammed themselves in there. One of the things I’m most grateful to God for, aside from the Cross, is a sense of humor, which I know I got from Him, because I know He has one too. I’m sure He laughs every time He sees photos like this just like we do.

My Blocked Brain

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It’s been about two weeks since I tried to write anything, mostly because I made a muddle of the post I was working on, and I just couldn’t finish it. So I decided I would try writing a train-of-thought post, just so I could get myself putting words to paper, so to speak, thereby, hopefully, unblocking my brain. We’ll see how it goes…

I got myself on a reading program ~ finally, though it remains to be seen if I’ll be able to maintain it over the long haul. As much as I love God’s Word, I struggle to read it consistently every day. As the Bible says, “…The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~ Matthew 26:41, and Mark 14:38, NIV. Sometimes I’ll go for months without reading it at all, even though I use it all the time. I quote it here in just about every blog post I write, and I use it when I’m praying for myself, and for other people. But I know I need to keep reading and studying regularly to keep my spiritual tank full, plus I always have fun when I’m doing my reading.

I suppose that sounds strange. How can you have fun when you’re reading the Bible? Well, I do. I don’t find the Bible at all boring. The Bible is full of fascinating stories, and beautiful poetry, and gorgeous imagery. Now, to be sure, you have to believe that God exists, and that the stories contained in the Bible are true, but that’s not a problem for me, because I do believe in God, and I love Him passionately, and I believe that the stories in the Bible are true, because God is a god of miracles, and He can’t lie. So if He says something in the Bible happened, then it really happened, because God can’t tell a lie.

God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19, NLT.

God means everything to me, as does Jesus Christ, His Son, and so does the Holy Spirit. Jesus saved me gloriously by dying on the cross, and coming back from the dead, and the Holy Spirit lives in me, and guides and teaches me everyday as the guarantor of my hope of eternal life, and of God fulfilling His promises to me.

And you too trusted him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. And after you gave your confidence to him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own; and that will again be to the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14, J.B. Phillips New Testament.

When I’m reading my Bible, I get to spend time with God, and learn more about Him. Reading the Bible means I get to dive deeper into His Word, and come to a deeper understanding of who He is. God is an endless well of beauty and mystery and holiness and truth, and He wants us to search Him out so we can know and understand Him, even though we’ll never reach the bottom of that well. His mysteriousness is one of my favorite things about God, because there’s always something new to learn about Him, and the Bible is the place to look for the answers to your questions about Him.

When I say that Jesus saved me gloriously by dying on the cross for me, I mean just that. Not only did He save me because I’m a sinner ~ because I am a sinner. We’re all sinners, and if you think you aren’t, then you’re deceiving yourself. Just ask yourself about the last time you lied.

“You must not tell lies about other people.” ~ Exodus 20:16, Easy-to-Read Version (ERV, Commandment Number Nine.

Or how ‘bout the last time you coveted your neighbor’s car because yours is in the shop and his never breaks down.

“Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don’t want anyone’s house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.” ~ Exodus 20:17, Contemporary English Version (CEV), Commandment Number Ten.

Jesus also saved me from my childhood. If it wasn’t for God protecting me from the worst of my parents’ abuse, I wouldn’t be here to write this blog and tell you my story. God gave me the gift of multiplicity, which helped to keep me alive, and protect me when the abuse was too much for me to bear. I used to hate being multiple, but now I’m very grateful to God for the multiplicity, because I know how instrumental my alters were in keeping me alive. Multiplicity is a gift from God to help a child survive what is otherwise unsurvivable. Anyone who thinks multiplicity is demon possession doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Well, I think my blocked brain is blocked no longer, thank God, and I think I’m pretty much done with this post. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge, but I said what I wanted to say.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. ~ Ephesians 2:10, NLT.

In the Greek, the word masterpiece is poiēma, from which we get the English word poem, which is a thing of beauty, and that’s how I want to finish this post, because while that’s how God sees me, that’s also how I see God’s Word, because the Bible is a masterpiece.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-11, NLT.

One of the main reasons I love the Bible is because it’s a record of who God is, and what He’s like. And if the Bible says God can or can’t do something, then that’s what God can or can’t do. You can take the Bible at face value. What it says is the Truth. Jesus is the Word of God, and He’s also the embodiment of the Truth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.~ John 1:1,14, NKJV.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.~ John 14:6, NIV.

I’ve been lied to many times in my life, so truth and integrity and honesty are important to me, and if I find someone whom I can trust to tell me the truth all the time, then I will give myself fully to that person. I’ve found that trustworthiness and integrity in God and in Jesus Christ, and in His Word. He’s healed me and saved me, and given me His Word to teach me and show me that He keeps His promises. I’m very grateful for everything God has done for me. He has my undying gratitude and love. I can never thank Him enough for saving me from Hell, and for saving me from the hell of my childhood.

Thank you, Jesus, thank you God, and thank you, Holy Spirit!!