Attending public university, recently escaped from a scathing martial engagement, I was twenty and “too cool for school.” Somehow, perhaps it was Maslow’s fault, I thought I was wise, important, and better than my peers; I thought I had achieved some heightened state of significance: through reading a plethora of books, studying the writings of the ages, and taking courses hundreds of miles away from home and family. In reality, I was miserably depressed, isolated, and scared; unsure of anything, I floundered from one bad situation to the next.
This was the moment I decided that having fun was more important than longevity; this was the moment I allowed myself to partake in the vile, wretched, wicked ways of society without concern for my wellbeing, my family, or my future. I was camping in the mountains of Colorado, and how easily I could have died then and there. Yet, knowing what I know now, my GOD uses all things for His purpose, and even my own self destruction cannot stop His perfect plan.
“It’s my twenty-first birthday and I’ll cry if I want to!” The fun times of university were over; I was home, living with my family, taking the semester off of school; those “friends” whom I thought were better than family were long gone too. What I had left was, well, everything (because I had my life and a loving family) but it seemed like nothing; I wallowed in self pity, a loathing of sorts, and a misery so profound, I am truly surprised to have come out of it alive.
I made my mother take this picture, I think, because I found the irony of the sign too hilarious for my own good; I thought, “sure, yep, yes, exactly: ‘Born to Die,'” and embraced such a mindset, by smoking and other degregating behaviour; but what I know now is infinitely more profound: I was born to live for my Lord, my loving Savior, preaching the Gospel, the good news of a living GOD who will return and restore the world to perfection; I need not embrace death, for death has no hold on me; Christ obtained the power over death when He completed His finished work on the cross and through the resurrection; I am free from the burden of death, for I will, truly, live forever. Did I know that then? Perhaps. But did I embrace such notions? Certainly not. I am thankful to have moved miles from that mindset through the mercy and grace of my GOD.
I was given a second chance at the whole University thing. Did I make the most of it? Not in the slightest! I was a wild child, partaking in the festivities of the frivolous, thinking myself something both wounded and wonderful. I aspired towards nothing but whatever thrill could occur in the moment; I broke my families’ hearts and nearly destroyed my entire life; but GOD is SO good to have brought my out of all that, away from all that, and to have transformed me into something that can serve Him better.
Many things have changed; I no longer call my old companions friends; some of them are dead, while I am simply dead to some of them. I have learned to stop dressing like a care-free freak with far too many mismatching accessories; most importantly, I’ve learned the Source of all Love has a real name, was a real person, and is coming again to collect His believers: Jesus Christ: the One who has continuously transformed my life into something better, more brilliant and beautiful.
You can see it on my face: I had met my husband-to-be and the world was never going to be the same for me; life had taken new meaning, and all old fears were slowly dissipating; I was embracing a glorious future, with hope and esteem; and praise to my GOD, for He gave it to me in such a perfect way (not even I knew how much greatness was coming; yet this smile surely foreshadows it all).
What an odd time in my life, when this photo was taken; my weight had plummeted, my mental health had (according to many) deteriorated, and I was living within my own imaginative atmosphere: where the propriety of the day was shunned and the illusive thought pattern embraced: I nearly lost my love, my life, and my freedom, but praise be to GOD, He gave it all back again (just as soon as I repented and believed on His name alone).
Also August 2010
Once my mind stabilized again, life was altered for the better; I was put on a path towards serving a Living God, praising the name of Jesus Christ and following after Him. I found a certain peace in knowing my Maker, in studying His Word, and striving- not for strife or glory- but to please the one who is the Source of true pleasure: which is, knowing with certainty the protection of His promises and love abounding.
Behind my grandparents home was a chunk of land we called the Back Forty: acres and acres of prairie grasses and shrubbery; I spent many hours within “my nest,” a hidden, off-the-trail portion of flattened plants; I kept blankets, and water bottles, and supplies back there. In recent days, all of the forty acres have been cleared for an Industrial Park (aka warehouses and such); I am saddened to have lost my natural playground, my sanctuary; still, the days go on, and I can still find peace elsewhere.
Also September 2010
Early in our relationship, Vincent and I were both pretty blind; I mean, honestly, look at that stupid gesture we are making with our fingers (if you think that means “peace” well then… carry on believing socialized lies). We were practically children, both of us having left our parents home and yet, in order to purifying our hearts, ready ourselves for love, and simply “do the right thing” we were each living with our families. Something (Jesus) sanctified us; we were transforming into who we needed to be in order to commit entirely to one another on a most serious level.
Vincent proposed to me. We had been together for over two and a half years, and we both knew that we were ready to make the life-long commitment; we had been prepared, emotionally, intellectually, and (most importantly) spiritually: we believed in the same Living GOD of all Creation and Jesus the Christ; we were growing fast in the Holy Spirit and moving closer, day by day, to developing into the people we wanted to become.
Happy birthday party to both Vincent and me! Our families gathered together, for we all knew, in one year’s time, he and I would become married. It was a joyous day, knowing that times goes on, and on, and on, and soon the hour would come when we would say, “I do” before GOD and all our loved ones, solidifying the way we felt for each other, and more so: we were ready to make the promise above all promises: to care for each other more than ourselves.
The theme of our upcoming wedding had been decided: peacock. As it happened to be, the first time Vince kissed me was back at the 2010 Halloween party, when I had been dressed as a peacock (sorry, no quality photos to prove it). Vince didn’t much mind either way, but I thought Peacock was a gorgeous color pallet and motif for our wedding. With only 133 days left till the Big Day, I was counting down the minutes until Vincent, my best friend, would be my husband.
MARRIED! What a difference marriage makes upon the soul, the spirit, the mind and the identity. Suddenly, life makes more sense when you have your other half- just as dedicated, just as willing to cooperate, just as motivated to assist and see to a thriving lifestyle. If anyone were to ask me, “should I get married or should my significant other and I just keep things the way they currently happen to be?” I would say, in a heartbeat, MARRIAGE RULES. God designed us to have a partner, a helper; everything about life changes after the vows are said the the marriage is consummated: everything.
I had officially (mentally) begun my career as Indie Author. I was writing continuously and making it my full time obligation; yes a passion, but more so, a calling. I knew then that there was no other line of work or employment that would so fully satisfy me as that of crafting words and manipulating vernacular; I found the art to be something beyond spectacular.
Mother’s Day 2013
Okay, so I wan’t officially a mother, but I had become a mama to two kitty boys, Rico and Charlie. I couldn’t have been happier than with those little furballs. They were a gift, cherished and sought after, much appreciated and desired. Having those boys has revolutionized Vin’s and my life; sometimes, after a good bout of play time, we find ourselves asking, “What did we do before we had them?” and honestly, it seems vague now to think on those kittenless days.
Vincent and me being silly at his brother’s wedding. So much had changed to bring us to that point; we had left our church, forever, to be a part of a Bigger Picture; that Christ never asked of us, “go forth a build building,” but instead, “make disciples of all men.” We believed then in a newfound freedom; without the tyranny of a lying, manipulative pastor, preaching a false doctrine and causing confusion; we were then able to understand our GOD and His Word and the Holy Spirit in truth, without man attempting to blind our eyes and cause strife into our hearts.
Vincent and I tried being in a band for a short time: Elucination. Vincent played guitar, Mike G. played bass, Bacca sang, and I wrote the lyrics and played a mini djembe. Here are my two favorite songs from that experience:
My first (and so far only) book is published: This Place. I wrote it during a weekend camping trip with my mother and brother; Vincent stayed home to work. In my downtime during the camping trip, I picked up a pen and a notebook, and before I knew it, I had one, long, epic poem, worthy of self publishing. It was a beautiful endeavor, and one I hope to replicate as soon as humanly possible.
Not that long ago, but it feels like ages ago. Vincent and I have made friends with the owners of both DayHog and Orange 13 Lounge; here is me sporting their t-shirt, a gift from a dear friend. If you see a small sorrow in my eyes, it is because my writing was not going according to plan; I was not writing as fluidly as I had hoped, and the dreams of publishing another book before year’s end were become more and more obscure.
As we draw this post to a close, I’d like to say thank you: to my family, my friends, and my fans, I could not have made it this far without your love, support, and guidance. There is so much I have learned over the years, and yet, I know there is much more to be obtained in the time ahead (Lord willing). I hope the best for each and everyone of you as we continue on this journey together.
Until next time, ta ta!