Soul Chocolate

giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets…

Being Naomi February 25, 2014

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 8:00 pm

A friend (thanks VB) sent me a link to a great sermon this week. It was on friendship and relationships, and recognizing who in your life is a “halfway friend” vs a “covenant partner.” The pastor used Ruth 1, the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah as an illustration.

As I’ve been reflecting on it and considering the roles of people – old and new – in my life, I’ve also been struck by what it took for Naomi to allow Ruth to support her. I mean, we tend to focus on Ruth and her amazing proclamation of love an support. But what about Naomi? She was, to all appearances, a failure. She was returning home with no husband, no sons, no viable means of support. She was bitter, angry, and broken. Ruth saw that she needed help, and lent it. But it was still up to Naomi to accept it. It was up to Naomi to allow Ruth to bring blessings to her life.

Imagine if Naomi still insisted after Ruth’s great speech that Ruth return home. Imagine if Naomi refuse to allow Ruth to accompany her. Imagine if Naomi didn’t have the humility to admit she needed Ruth. Imagine.

This forced me to look at my own life. There are people offering to be Ruth to me right now. Offering to come alongside me, support me, go to the threshing floor for me. I’ve been so wrapped up in my pride and not wanting to burden them, wanting them to have the life that’s better in Moab, that I didn’t want to accept. I’ve been pushing them and their support away.

No more. I need to be Naomi. I need to accept. I need to make the call, send the text, and be grateful. I have Ruths in my life. Who knows where this could lead.

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let’s do this: another time February 24, 2014

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 8:57 pm

Well, it’s tomorrow.

My second bar. (I’ve already passed one, btw. NY and I are good.) I’ve reached the “what I know, I know” phase. I don’t have the same anxiety that i had the last time. i’m not feeling sick to my stomach – though my friends say that the nightmares are probably a manifestation of the anxiety i don’t think i’m feeling.

but yeah. i feel calm. i earnestly – EARNESTLY – covet all prayers and well wishes that anyone could throw up for me. righteous saints, and those who are seeking righteousness, please pray for me. for real.

i may not be as anxious, but i still want this.

tues-thurs. let’s do this.

 

Sometimes: Just Cry February 22, 2014

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 2:49 pm

I’ve had friends ask why I will always say I love Mandisa (of American Idol fame). I mean, yes, she makes great workout music (which one of my BFFS refers to as bubblegum music lol). But, there’s more to her music – and voice – than that. I often feel like she sings my experiences. That, as much as she sings for those who don’t know Christ and wants to change the world, etc etc, she also sings for those who have been in church for a while. She sings songs that make me feel okay about my struggles and doubts and pains – things that others have said I should be “over” by now, because hello, church kid and Christian for eons. No. God gives us permission to be and feel and grow.

Her song, Just Cry, has meant so much to me. I’ve been “strong” for so long, been afraid to show anyone beyond a select few any of the pain I feel. And I know, it’s ridiculous to get “permission” to feel from a song – but I  feel that this song gives me permission to feel and to be less than strong. I can’t think of a bad day I’ve experienced in the few years since this song was released where I didn’t end up playing it at some point. Sometimes, you need to take off the brave face, take out all the platitudes and even scriptures used to hold you down (hello, Job’s friends?), and just cry. This song helps me do that, then get up and move forward.

In any case, I’m now rambling. So, here’s the song. I don’t know why I feel compelled to share today of all days (I see the bar peering over the horizon at me in 3 days), but I do.

 

 

nightmares February 21, 2014

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 1:04 pm

my nightmares are back.

the “i can’t go back to sleep because if i do i know that i’ll be back there” nightmares. the “i just want to call my family and make sure they’re okay” nightmares. the “why is it so dark in here” nightmares. the “why isn’t someone here beside me so that i can cling to them” nightmares. the “dear God i just want to get married and have someone be stuck with my neuroses because this has to be crazy” nightmares.

several nights in a row now. contributing to my inability to sleep, and therefore my exhaustion, and therefore my problems studying, and therefore my fear of the bar, and therefore…well, you get the point.

i’ve tried playing music. i’ve tried thinking “happy thoughts.” i’ve tried praying, reading the Bible before going to sleep, having someone talk me to sleep (without knowing it LOL. thanks). none of it is working – or at least, none of it has worked this week. every night, the nightmare returns within 20 min of my falling asleep. i struggle to wake up, and then can’t go back to sleep.

finally, last night, i got tired of struggling alone. i called a friend who’s coming to mean so much to me, and just got help. i called and all i said was, “just talk to me. i had a nightmare, and i just need to hear you talk for a while.” of course, the immediate response was concern. “what’s wrong? what was it about?” but no. all i needed, all i wanted was to hear someone else’s voice. truthfully, all i wanted was to hear that particular voice. so…”just talk. about anything. what you’re watching, what you’re doing tomorrow, how annoyed you are if i woke you up. i don’t care. just talk.” thankfully, the talking started. i could just lie there and listen. practice my breathing. be calmed down and comforted. be soothed and lulled back into a peaceful place. and when i finally hung up the phone (after what felt like eons – poor thing!), i didn’t quite sleep easily, but i slept. eventually.

i can only hope, pray really, that these nightmares stop, and stop soon.

i’m okay, for today. tonight may be a different story. but two things i know: i have memories to cling to through this, and support when those aren’t enough.

 

hard requests February 19, 2014

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 8:15 pm

I have a hard time asking for help. I’m sure it’s related to my socialization and upbringing, the idea that one should work and work and work and work, but there it is. I know that a lot of that is pride. I want to always “have it together.” I want to show people: I’ve got it! I’m awesome! I don’t need you!

Another part of this is that the very idea of trusting someone enough to ask them for help is really hard for me. Going to them and saying: I’m in a bad place. Whatever the reason, whatever the source, admitting that I cannot handle everything by myself is hard. Trusting that the person I talk to isn’t going to through my (perceived) failure back in my face is even harder – probably because I’ve had it happen over things, big and small, before. I can truly count the amount of people I trust that way on one hand.

Yet, this issue of mine is antithetical to living a successful Christian life. As a Christian, I’m charged with being authentic with others. I’m told not to forsake assembling with the saints. I read that my brother/sister should bear my burdens, leading to the  logical conclusion that I should share those burdens with them. I read practical examples of Paul writing of his needs, and the needs of various church locations to others. I see that a cornerstone of the early church in Acts is that they ensured none among them had a need. Whether it be confessing our sins to one another, asking for someone to stand in prayer, or bringing your practical needs, the body of Christ needs one another. We cannot make this life alone. If I had any further doubt, Ecclesiastes explicitly states: two are better than one […] and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I know the words. I know the nature of them. I know that even the fight to make these calls, to ask for help, is a sign of growth – because during law school I preferred to go without food than even consider asking for help. So the thought process? Huge step. Will I make the calls? I dunno. Possibly. But I know this: if I pretend, if I don’t call, then I’ve got another thing to add to the repentance list.