Craving Toxins

So I’m sitting here in my room, at my new fancy desk, and I realize I have yet to write on the blog since New Years. My resolution keeping sucks, which is very apparent. But I’ve noticed something else, I’m secretly wanting to talk to my dad even though he hates me. Which is totally taboo for my generation, because we’re all way too cool to care about dumb things like feelings and relationships anyways.

I realize today though, that the feeling is heavy on my heart, that while I am craving toxic people from times past that I am simultaneously trying to shut them out. Its a weird feeling, like that feeling when you go over a hill too fast in your car. It’s in the pit of your stomach and at first its a good feeling but you go too fast and it’ll make you sick.

So what’s it like to crave toxic people? Well allow me to define, while also offering you some solutions.

You will take any attention you can get. It doesn’t matter if its bad, good, or dangerous. You want people to look at you and love you because that person did not. First and foremost let me just say, regardless if that person loved you or not you’re still pretty amazing. You don’t need to degrade yourself, hurt yourself, or do anything to yourself because you is already better than prime time television and sliced bread combined. So instead of doing things to yourself, how about doing things for yourself. (i.e. #treatyoself)

You find your need for validation sky rockets. So maybe you have had a great month, and then some picture or Facebook video triggers you and reminds you of said toxic person. While reminding you of the good, you are also reminded of the reasons they left. Now you are more terrified to make decisions than a wet puppy in a dark alley. Have no fear, because this is the hardest one for me to combat too! The one thing you need to know, is although your heart is sending your brain these messages, your brain still knows that you’re a boss and you don’t need any validation. Not sure if you look good enough to go out? No worries, you’ve worn this outfit before and you remember how much you loved it. So go fourth in confidence (this applies to apparel, doing your job, doing your hair.) because I’m sure your slaying the game regardless of what your telling yourself in the moment.

You are unable to enjoy yourself. You feel like something is wrong with you and must be fixed before you could ever enjoy an aspect of life. For example: My dad told me that he wished he never had me and that I would never amount to anything. However (!) I have friends who encourage me at all hours of the day to follow my dreams because I’m super talented and loveable. I feel like I need to become a better daughter before I can ever do the things I love with the rocking talents I have. NOT TRUE. Like me, you have fought through it to make it to where you are alive and well. You deserve to do everything your heart and mind can think of! Want to own a rocking hot dog stand in New York? Go, be free my little weenie. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to beauty school? Yass, please go make everyone slay. Do you, always. Because you’re all you have and you got to see to it that you’re happy!

Really, I want you to understand a few things it has taken me two years to come to understand. What you feel is normal, but acting on it is detrimental. Your brain has labeled them toxic for a reason. You are an amazing person, with gifts and talents all your own. You can do anything you put your mind to. And you can do it all without any help from Toxic Tim or Terrible Tina*.

Be the Queen (And/or King) you know you are.

XOXO,

Steph

*I am in no way implying Tim’s and Tina’s are bad people. I mean, my idol is Tina Fey, soooo?

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New year, who dis?

Welcome to 2016! Insert all cliché quotes about this being page one of 365 and so on and so forth.

Personally new years as a holiday is not a big deal to me. I’m not much of a partyer or drinker, so I’m in bed by the time 12:01 rolls around. In the past I have always started a journal and wrote all my resolutions I was going to uphold that year. So I’m sure you know how many journals I have laying around with about a weeks worth of entries because journaling was always so w e i r d to me… and I’m also sure you can relate to the amount of resolutions I have made but never followed through with.

2015 has been a doozy for me this year. I have took many steps forward, but a million more back. I’ve been lied to, cheated, and manipulated. I’ve been rock bottom what seems like all year…but I survived. Damn right, I am alive and swell. No, I’m not rich. No, I’m not in a relationship. No, I don’t have a single thing to show for 2015. But I’m breathing, my heart is beating in me, and my mind is full of all the lessons learned. I am ready to start fighting toward the life I survived all these years for. I know what I deserve (finally! My therapist, Jen, would be so proud! Ha!)

So I’m not making any resolutions about losing weight (because..pizza..duh), or about finding love, just things I can achieve. Greatness starts small right?

  1. Go outside. Run, skip, swing, bike, dance, do karate for the love of bologna. Just go outside, because its gorgeous out there.
  2. Blog my heart out. I had an amazing 6k in readers this year (Thanks guys!) But I want to write more, improve my style, and maybe start writing for companies. (Buzzfeed, quit playing…you know you want me!)
  3. Start & finish my book. Because God knows I’ve procrastinated too long.. *sigh*
  4. Be fearless. I’m so tired of playing double Dutch with my own life. Always being hesitant about what people will think about my clothes, hair, life, etc. I will be fearless, I will do more of what I want. I will go back to school, chop my hair off, get a tattoo, do it all! No more sissy Steph.

And finally…

5. To belong deeply to myself. This one is so hard for me to even think about doing, but I’m excited as hell for it. My entire life has revolved around others. I have laid down my own passions and desires for others. This year I am going to chase after every dream and every passion my heart has. I’m going to learn about myself, my mind. I want to love myself so deeply, to be so comfortable with myself, that I will have no need to ever be validated by anyone. Come 2017 – I will know I am enough, because I always have been.

 

How exciting 2016 will be. I literally cant wait to look back in a year and read this and laugh because I will have accomplished them all and so much more!

Warmness

It seems like its going to be one of those nights. However, this one is different. Most of the time my late nights are consumed with my failures as depression lays heavy on my chest. Tonight though, I don’t know what it is…Frustration maybe? confusion? Maybe too much cough syrup…(I’ve been sick! ha, I’m not an addict – scouts honor.) So I think, I’ll write you a letter to express it…

Dear Warmness,

This is the life of a feeler. Someone who is connected to life in such a deep way. I’m not talking about being connected in a hipster way, I don’t sip coffee and talk about being “woke” all the time. It’s being connected to strangers, loved ones, communities in such a heart felt way. It’s being able to catch a vibe from a mile away, it’s seeing the pain from someone’s heart hid in the way they hold their hands. It’s my most cherished trait, and indeed my most hated.

Making friends is ridiculously easy, because I can tell a lot by just what words people use to describe their favorite show, or their favorite food (Which if it’s pizza, you by default are my bestie,) or even how they laugh at anything and everything. I know how to comfort the ones hiding pain, I usually notice it in the way they move their hands. It’s so much more then reading or observing, it’s just a connection you can’t help.

This makes attraction the worst thing in the world. Sure, good looking people are nice. But I’m attracted to the vibes, the light airiness in your laugh, in the way your eyebrow will furrow at some crazy thing that comes out of my mouth and just like that I’m hooked. No, I’m not lusting after you. I crave your mind, I want more. Because to me, finding someone with a smart mouth, and the vibe of warm sunshine is what I want…shoot, I’m almost sure its what I’ve missed my whole life.

Hence the crazy amount of frustration I feel right now. The universe has a funny way of  colliding lives together. You came into the store,  and I just couldn’t keep my eyes off you. Not because you were a model or anything (although, you weren’t half bad either..) but just in hopes that I wasn’t crazy, that you were indeed that sunshine I felt so warmly. We chatted about products, about life. Granted, my job requires a connection to customers for sales but there was an easiness about you. I felt the most me I’ve ever felt, but not just that. I felt the want…the need to be vulnerable with you and I wasn’t scared of you (which, if you know me…you also want to know this person, because everyone scares me.) I knew you were a kind soul, and honestly if I could’ve worked up the nerve to ask you out to lunch I would’ve, except the store was crazy busy and my shift wasn’t anywhere close to being done. (*sigh* retail life)

And now I’m laying in bed, wondering if you’re in bed wondering about me. I’m curious if you could feel the energy, the warmness that was there. But if I know anything about being a feeler, it’s that nobody ever quite gets the feels like you. People fall in love for some silly reasons, some superficial, and now-a-days love may not ever be an option. no connection. However, wordpress as my witness, I feel so connected to you. Should the universe ever let us collide, even maybe through a silly blog post like this someday (someday soon!) I would hope we could connect once more, in the most fulfilling way.

Signed,

Hopeless Connector

Hope House

The wind blows in over the grass; warm as the sun is bright. You can feel the crisp breeze flow over your shoulders. The ground is cold beneath your bare and dirty feet, you’ve been running for what seems like decades. Your breathing starts to match the rhythmic beat of the rustling trees behind you. The sun setting and painting the sky in beautiful hues of grey and black. It cast a perfect backdrop for the country home you are face to face with.

The house is painted ivory, but its worn so you can see the natural wood peeking throughout the building. There’s a wrap around porch, and a classic porch swing out front. Beautiful baby grey shutters on all the windows, almost matching the sky. As you slowly walk forward, her details are better seen. The cracks in the paint, the worn in steps of the people who would approach her. You smile as you notice the ridges in the wood where two rocking chairs had been. Tears sting your eyes, as you reminisce of the love this porch has seen. You push the front door open, and the sun from the kitchen spills into the hallway.

Typical house really, small entry way with the living room to the left and an extra room to the right. straight ahead on the right was the stair case in the same hall that lead to the kitchen full of sunshine. A lot of the windows are broken, and the dust on the floor is almost thick enough to be a first snow. You make a quick tour of the downstairs, running your hand across anything and everything. So much life was held in these four walls, so many things dreamed up here it was so overwhelming.

As you make your way back to the front entry way you make your way up the stairs, and your heart beat picks up her pace. you make your way down the short hall to the right to the room at the end of the hall. This room is different, even in the small hallway. It looks a deeper, dirtier white then the rest of the house. Your heart is making its way up to your throat.

And here you are. Face to face with this door, your heart beating in your ears, your hands sweaty and shaky as you brush the cobb webs away from the knob to turn it. This is the moment you have waited for, you have ran all this way, you have tracked it down, and now in front of you, in this dark room, it lies on the floor.

The tears that had stung your eyes, now fall down your cheeks. T-shirt soaked in tears and sweat. You move your legs, even though you cant feel them and your heartbeat is almost deafening.

On the floor lies the most beautiful little girl. She has curls that Shirley Temple couldn’t touch, shiny black like fresh polished shoes. Her skin gorgeous and glowing, the only light in this whole room, her breathing constant but soft. You fall to your knees in front of her and quickly snatch her up to your chest. The tears flow more freely…

You see, this girl is you. She is your hopes, your dreams, your happiness. she is everything pure and lovely about you, she is the color to your world. But you put her in this room and told her not to move when depression began to take over your mind.

Depression painting everything in blacks and greys, taking the taste of food right out of your mouth. Making your sleep unpredictable, thus making you its slave. You hid her, to save her. But its been almost 3 years and you weren’t sure if she would even be alive.


But that’s the beauty of hope…you cannot kill it, only misplace it.


And as you cry in the middle of the room you can feel the shift in the atmosphere, and she’s gone. At first you’re frightened, but then you notice them. One by one, the names coming back to your mind as they become vivid. Magenta, lilac, lavender, tangerine, colors of sky outside your window. Tears well up as you realize your body feeling full, your heart over flowing and your mind trying to keep up. You are you, and that’s all you’ve ever wanted…

 

 

 

Hello, my  name is Stephanie and I’m 22 years old and run this blog. I’ve struggled for a while on what to write next and realized this story has been one I visit often in my own mind. I wanted to share it and I wanted to say a few things…

Everyday is a battle, sometimes I get away from myself, and I must go searching for her again. Sometimes this is in the form of moving, changing jobs but every time I find her – just as beautiful as before. Currently in my life, depression is winning. And that’s OK. Sometimes I’m too tired to find her, sometimes I’m too hurt to pick myself off the ground, but I always find her. The point is that you never give up, and do what makes you – you!

Want some more info on depression or mental health? Buzzfeed is doing an awesome compilation of videos that are dealing with an array of mental health issues and I was inspired to write this.  So be sure to subscribe to them on YouTube!

 

 

 

Follow me on the gram (steph.toro) or on Facebook (Heart Hid Words has its own page!)

 

 

 

Sleepless

It seems that all the hours I should be sleeping, are spent wide awake. Even now, I should be fast asleep. Spiraling into a beautiful, whimsical dreamland with not the slightest inclination of the world around me. However, here I sit…a darkened room, my only company; a fan buzzing in the background. I wish I could say that I’m awake because my reality is finally greater than my dreams, but what a lie that would be. I’m awake because my depression has chosen to awaken me now. It’s the realist I’ve felt this late at night, the pain surges underneath my skin and tears threaten my dry cheeks as I type. 

Nights like these I wish my happy Instagram and ecstatic Facebook pages were so real that I could inject them into to this darkened body. But they are just pictures, to satisfy ones longing for hearts. As silly as it sounds I wish someone would come double tap my heart back to life. 

This post has no real meaning, but I’m not mad about it. I just need to write, I need to bleed out on to this keyboard. I need to sort out my thoughts, I need to understand the darkness that tries to over take me. It starts off so small, so innocent. A simple comment made about me will throw a whole detailed machine into action. If it wasn’t so dark, I would go as far to say it was beautiful how it works, really. Then the flood gates will open, and darkness will fill every corner of my mind. Sometimes, I swear I can feel it in my toes. And how I wish that that was the end of it. 

But here I am, at 2 am. Surging from the pain in my veins. It’s not a pain you can touch, but sometimes I wish it was really physical pain so I could justify the crying. And then all at once it consumes you, and it’s as if everything you see is through grey lenses. You’re so ugly, your hair is so drab – so you lob it off. You’re so fat, the food doesn’t look good and I doubt it’ll taste good. Days become your best sleep because at night you have to sit next to yourself and relive the pain of the day over and over. 

I’m sitting on my bed, with my covers pulled over me. And I hate this post, I hate it because it’s all so true. Even as the funny one, the strong one, the cool one. I am devastated because I am losing grips with myself. That’s what being strong does to you, it really does kill you in the end. Maybe not physically, but man might as well. I have enough ambition to run a company on sheer energy but I am handicapped by the ball and chain of depression. I have a desire to be great, to do great, to reach great but as high as my dreams may take me I’m always hooked and reeled back in. 

Sometimes while I eat dinner I imagine myself throwing every plate against the wall, clearing the counters off in rage, and falling to the floor in exhaustion. I actually imagine that a lot, because that is what my mind is doing to me everyday and I want someone to see it! I set up my goals, my dreams, my hopes all meticulously on my counter and the darkness sweeps over, and self loathe grabs the plates, pity throws them, pain clears the counter, and depression exhausts me down to the floor. 

I often entertain the thought of not existing. No, not suicide. But just not being h-e-r-e. Being lost in some world that is all white, and bright enough to burn the darkness out of me. One where I can be me without reserve, one in which I can learn to be human. Not just strong, but human. One where I get to be a kid, so I can finally close that open chapter that has loomed over me for so long. One where I can love my body, incomparably and choose  to care for it. Sadly, this world does not exist. 

I can not imagine it. I can not touch it. I can not breathe it in, and yet it’s all I yearn for…Serene peace, true love, acceptance, and realness. 

But I’m snapped back to this bed, with that fan muttering in the background. With the lights off, just the ticking of the keyboard. For now the tears have retreated, the pain is bearable, the darkness has lightened enough for me to see. And for a split moment I have gotten a step ahead of my depression. 

And one day I will beat him, I will beat the life out of him and it will be well worth this hell I have to go through to find myself..

The 3 AM Rants

The car mutters as his foreheads leans on the steering wheel, with a heavy sigh of nerves on his lip. He hasn’t step foot into a building like this since he was a kid. Both good and bad memories come to mind as he rest there. He decides he might as well, he’s dressed for it. He walks up to the church building, where his heartbeat keeps a quick rhythm to the song playing in the sanctuary. His face is flushed and his palm sweaty as he reachs for the handle to the lobby. He’s made it in…

“Just raise your hand and close your eyes, no one will ever know what’s going on” she tells herself as she stands for worship. She is careful not to raise her left hand, because that is where she bears the proof that she wants to hide so bad. She knows every song by heart, she knows all the right gestures, and knows when to do them. No wonder church was so exhausting to her…
“I’m not moving, I don’t care what he says” says the young man in his pew. He can feel their stares into the back of his head as their moans of prayer and grief deafen his ears. This will be his fifth service in a row with a pretended victory. That’s what people want right? An hour of sobbing and for a moment we all believe he’s free but he leaves just as bound as he came…

Then there’s the couple on the second pew, with kids crawling all over them. They are doing their best to worship. He steps out and raises his hands, and she sheds a tear or two. I wonder if anyone can tell where he struck her the night before. Probably not, they blend in perfectly well…

And just like that, the service is over. The congregation gets up, some remain to talk but most move on to get their afternoon meal. Some leave with full hearts, others with hearts emptier than they could’ve ever imagined. And if they can, they’ll make it to Wednesday night service and probably still leave empty. But they pray! They worship! Why aren’t they made better? Why does it seem like no one cares? Is this why some of them leave? Did they not want it bad enough? We’re they not surrendered enough? 

I could feel their warm hands on my body, supporting me and letting me know they were there. My head was burrowed into my elbow as I cried out to God. Occasionally the pastor would come by and place gentle hand on my head and pray. I would pray in tongues, I would sob, I would sit still begging God to help me. More times than none I can remember me being this way. Always crying out for God…

What’s the will of God? Call me into your ministry, oh lord! Help my family God! Deliver me from evil! God deliver me from pornogrphy! Deliver me from bitterness! Help them to see how much we need you! Mend my family! Give me strength! Give me strength!

Give. Me. Strength. 

3 years of bible school, with the exact same moaning and groaning, except now with added parts. Now I had to have a daily prayer life that I could brag about (although I wouldn’t, because pride is sin). I had to have longer skirts, longer sleeves, longer hair. You want to go on ministry? Be asked to testify? Be asked to sing? Well you better pray the hardest in the alter, in prayer meeting, and worship hard! Show up to every single class, never late, and no late assignments. Because if you’re faithful in the little things God will bless you in the big things. But Stephanie, these things aren’t required…oh no? Well if you wanted to be taken seriously, especially as a woman, you bet your dollar these things are required. Consider it your “Woman of God starter pack. ” and as if none of that was hard enough, you have 100 other people wanting that spot in choir or on that ministry trip. Then add crazy parents, and you’ve got yourself a busy year. Not to mention youth camps in the summer and there’s like 8, if you’re trying to be superb. 

And here I am sitting in my bed boggled to death about this last year. I can remember my first time in a church. It was in California, it had a school and it was just so cool to me. I can remember missonettes and stars and always trying to get badges! There are two memories that are vivid and come to mind: the first is the missions services. Doesn’t matter which one but they were always so clear in my mind. All the cool tables with neat things and the colorful flag hung around the church. I always loved the pictures that would be projected and I always had a place in my heart for missions. The second is also just as vivid, but a lot sadder. I can remember every year, every service, every time that any one prayed the sinners prayer I would say it. I said it at a Stars crowning, I got a phamplet with it in it and would always try to read it. I guess I just hoped it would one day be like magic pixie dust and God would love me instantly. I’m sure you can guess how that turned out.

We stopped going to church, and I tucked that paper away. Some days I wish I still had it, especially days like today. I then went on to live an eventful life. I’ve watched porn everyday of my life since I was in kindergarten, the only time I can recall not is when I was in middle school and I self harmed. In my mind it made more sense to choose the lesser evil. I never drank, I never did drugs but my parents did. I can remember all the times my parents were too drunk to recognize me, or the times I’ve had to help them into bed, or the times where there were not enough pillows to drown out their yelling. Porn seemed to be my only true idea of intimacy – if you can’t see it it doesn’t exist. I was a hoodlum in school and got into a bunch of fights, that all stopped the day I got arrested. I still had a rotten additude but at least I wasn’t hitting anyone in the face, right? 

When I got into to high school I did a lot of things like theatre, soccer, and read at the library. (Haha, not a nerd nor popular just one of the mass produced drones.) I had one boyfriend for a couple months and that was it. I’d like to believe it was because I was too gorgeous and intimidated everyone but really I was cold. I’ve always been cold towards people, I always wanted them to prove to me that they were worth what Little intimacy I could give them. That’s why friends I invest in mean so much to me, because it’s like I literally gave you a piece of me, I learned fast though that that was not going to work. 

So basically I’m a depressed, ignored, self abusive, emotionless, angry teenager. (You can call me for a sitcom anytime LifeTimeTv) then my parents got divorced, and I have no words to describe what I felt. I would sit at the stairs as they would argue about how hard this will be because of me, how helpless I am, how this was my fault for weighing on their marriage so much. So when they began to file I was beyond devistated, I felt like I single handily brought down a 22 year marriage and I was a monster for it. This was the first time I attempted suicide. I turned the shower on, took my blade a sliced deep into my arm (I have a scar that reminds me daily of His grace) but I didn’t do it right and instead I bled profusely. I wore a huge knee bandage and my parents never once asked me why, they were too involved in their own lives…

Fast forward to today… I am a broken hearted, abused, depressed, anxiety ridden, angry young woman. My dad has shunned me, and my mom is finally working on our relationship. I wear pants, I wear makeup, and I cut my hair but I still love Jesus. 

…so why are you writing this blog?…

BESIDE the fact thats its 3AM, I’m writing due the current events of everything that has happened in this United States and my frustration surrounding them. So I wanted to write this for a couple reasons…

1. Everyone is fighting a battle. This phrase has become cliched but I yearn for a day for when people look at people they see souls. Because it’s a sad time when people are so self focused that they judge you on first glance and treat you that way. If you’re gay -disgust. If you’re tattooed – feared. If you are colored- gangster. If your Hispanic – illegal. If you’re holiness – skeptical. I get it, everyone wants to judge, but when you look at me you don’t know the hardships, the battles, the pits I have had to crawl my way through. And how dare anyone make comments about people, towards people or too people based on first glance. It’s rude, it’s hurtful, and it can be deadly. Those intro stories are people I’ve known personally, all battling but not a single person in the church knew. How different things would be if people were genuine, heartfelt, and real. 

2. I want to be understood. I don’t want pity, I don’t want to apologize, I definitely don’t want you “praying” for my soul. I want you to look me in the eye and treat me like a human. So I dress different then you, and I act different then you but who gave you the monopoly on truth? I want love that’s not based on conditions. Love that isn’t based on my appearance, my contribution, or anything else. I want the love that God has promised me if I’m in a relationship with Him. And I want to be so filled with that love that I can share it in these sad times in America. 

So I can love my gay brother (because we are all Gods children) so that for once he can know true love, and maybe open up long enough  to learn about the real God and what it really means for love to win. 
I want to be full enough to take it to the streets and let it pour out of me into the cracks of the sidewalk, and into the crack addicts house so they can build a relationship with me and I can show them Jesus. 
I want to be so full that when my feet touch down in India, although a language and culture barrier exist, love will do all the speaking because we are friends.
 I want so much love that when God looks at me He will be able to say well done my good and faithful servant. And I want so much love so that we can love one another, as Christ loves us. 

Go fourth. Spread love. Spread His Word. Spread God. 

Stand, therefore.

The ground feels ice cold beneath my body.

I can feel the pain shooting through my system,

And the taste of blood has grown all too familiar in my mouth.

My eyes are shut but I feel the tears as them warm my cheeks.

That’s when everything grows quiet and I hear it…

Stand therefore.

Mockingly I laugh, my breath is short.

I sit up and open my eyes to a darkly lit alley.

My head spins, my stomach turns, the memories rush in.

My heart beats fast, my palms are sweaty and

I can feel the tears sting behind my eye lids.

Then I hear it again…

Stand therefore.

My mind takes me back to the beginning.

I was walking back to my place, the city lit up like the fourth of July.

I took the same shortcut I always do, my hood was pulled and

I was trying to be quick because it was cold enough to see my breath.

I turn the corner into the dark and suddenly my face is filled with pain.

I drop to the ground, and it’s as if I’m being kicked by a thousand different men.

I know surely I will die. If only there was someone who cared.

Then suddenly, the kicking stops. I uncurl my coiled body

And roll onto my back to catch a glimpse of my attacker before they flee.

Now here I am, again. This seemed to be a reoccurring thing most nights.

I draw my knees into my body and try to steady my breathing.

And this time it’s barely audible…

Stand therefore.

I am weak, and do not want to stand.

I am tired, and have no need to stand.

I am fed up, and do not care to stand.

I am in pain, and cannot stand.

Tell me then…how do I stand?

That is when I see him, he is ordinary but handsome.

Soft but with authority echoing in his features.

I am not frightened as I see him, but gain more peace as

He takes another step near me.

He kneels down to me and I know he will ask –

Did you see who did this?

And I respond cowardly, and quietly.

She was medium height, with dark features,

And dark hair. I know her, and I know she means me no harm.

A pathetic laugh will cross my lips as I look into his eyes,

I realize he already knows who she was.

He stands and reaches out a hand to help me up.

It hurts, but I stretch to meet his reach.

As he lifts me into his safe, strong, yet gentle arms,

I can feel every fiber of my being throb with pain –

And in that moment I realize it is him who tells me stand.

He does not tell me because he mocks me, but he

Believes I can rise above.

I look at him with tears in my eyes, searching for disgust

In his eyes but there was none. In that split second I read his

Expression. Deep, painful sorrow…

Because it was no stranger that beat me half to death,

It was my own fist that struck my jaw,

My own hands that choked the life out of my lungs,

The feet that cracked my bones were my very own.

It was me, I had beat myself down to the ground.

I too felt deep sorrow, but he held me close as we stood in the frigid alley.

He told me I have done all I can to live, I am a fighter,

I survived my attacker, I was on my feet.

No longer a victim, now only a victor.

As he let me go from his embrace, I could not feel any pain.

I looked down and had no blood, no bruise,

Just scars where the pain use to be. I looked up to thank him,

And just like that he was gone, but I heard it one more time.

Stand, therefore.

Casting Call

I spend a  lot of my spare time – and by spare time I mean the time I’m not eating or sleeping – thinking about my life. I think about my childhood around 2am and I think about my future around 3pm. Its constant, some days its horrible and I can’t seem to hide from my thoughts and other days they are welcomed to motivate me to better myself. While I was reflecting the other day I had a little nugget drop on in, and I’ll introduce you to him here. So without further ado I give you – The Casting Call…

When I was in kindergarten, we lived in Tennessee and I went to an awesome school. Why was it awesome? Well, because it had the coolest playground and art program ever! You can ask me anything about that school and I can tell you all the fun cool stuff I did, but back to the park. There was this awesome twisty slide and a wide slide. The wide slide was metal, so in the summer it was bittersweet for sure. One day I was playing on this slide and I got into an argument with this boy because he cut the line and wouldn’t let us go – I’ve always been quite the vigilante – and before I knew it I was flying off the wide slide. I landed and had twisted my arm at the elbow completely around, popping my bone out-of-place. I remember laying there in shock,laughing.

My parents were phoned and I was taken to the hospital and my arm was put in a cast with a nifty snoopy sling. I had to wear it for what seemed forever! If you’ve ever broke anything you now exactly what I’m talking about when I say pencils or rulers were your best friend, you threatened your siblings with it as a weapon, and it might as well should’ve been amputated because you have to learn to live without it. Do you know how hard it is to play barbies with only one functioning hand? HARD.

When I finally got my arm out of the cast it was like seeing my arm for the first time. It was thinner, was pale compared to the rest of my tan self, and almost seemed alienated from my memory. And I was so scared it would be easy to break again, I protected that arm with my life. The pain just wasn’t worth it.

So, why the story? Why the casting call? What are you talking about, Stephanie?

Over a month ago, someone told me that I could not use my feelings as a crutch, that I needed to be stronger than that. I’ve been told that I give up when it gets hard, or that I failed the test God was putting me through. A lot of things people had no right to say, but voiced anyways. However, the only one that upset me was the first – about crutches. Now, I know you’re probably not a medical professional, and neither am I but I think there needs to be some things explained.

When something breaks, it is not overlooked – but takes attention, skill, and knowledge to fix. So when you break an arm or a leg – you go to a doctor who puts it in a cast for you. The bone is most definitely still broken, and will need a lot of time before it fuses back together and becomes whole. During this time they put your broken arm in a sling and if you leg is broken – you use crutches. Now I don’t know about you , but if someone told me that I was weak for using my crutches – I would be pretty baffled. I mean, my physician – who knows about broken bones – encouraged me to use them. And yet, in the church movement it is so frowned upon to have any kind of crutch. As if being weak is such a shame if you’re a Christian.

The purpose of crutches is to keep your weight off the fracture so that it can heal properly, if you take it upon yourself to go without crutches you can end up injuring yourself more or even having the bones fuse together warped. And it is the same way in life, when your will breaks, your heart breaks, or just everything around you is falling apart – you need something to lean on to stabilize yourself. I mean sure, you can lean on your doctor but the point it is to learn to walk again. He will guide you, make follow-up appointments, do everything he can to help you heal but eventually his goal is for you talk walk again with confidence. He knows exactly when you need your cast taken off, he knows exactly when you should be without crutches, and he knows exactly how long your healing will take.

So how about some advice? From someone who is currently using a crutch in life. Yes, I’m broken, and yes it sucks, and yes sometimes I wish I could spread my wings and fly. BUT I have to wait, I have to heal completely before I can fly. I need to stabilize, heal, and re-learn basic functions to move forward. To many I’m a coward, or a quitter, but if you only knew the strength it takes for me to go out and live my life everyday. remember that everyone is facing battles, and you should never undermine someone’s hurt or problems because you don’t understand.

to those who have said mean things, find that person to apologize and remind them that you love them and are still there for them.

And for those still healing, rocking your crutch. Keep on keeping on. One day you’ll soar – but until then enjoy the journey to healing.


This is a casting call for the weak – Jesus wants to be your strength.


Daddy issues

Everyone’s a critic nowadays.
Giving us all the words to say,
Telling us which ways we can feel,
And in what areas we must be like steel.
The funny thing is, no one is listening
But then again it’s not funny at all –
Because once your world starts twisting,
No one will run to your frightened call.

But you, you were my toughest critic!
A firecracker at the end of a short wick.
You’re the reason for all my pain.
You’re the reason I feel I’m going insane!
What happened? Where did I go wrong?
When did I stop being your princess, and become
Like the lyrics of an annoying song.

Those hands were meant to protect me,
To guard my eyes from the evil I would see.
To comfort a broken heart,
To hammer the nail that would hang my art.
They were meant to tuck me into bed,
Mess up the hair on my head.
Those hands instead have met my lips with heavy blows,
And reached to that bottle in your life’s lows.
Those hands would rip our family apart,
As you selfishly filled them with lustful art.
Daddy, those hands were meant to love.

Those lips were meant to kiss me good night
And to utter stories about castles and Knights.
Those lips were meant to speak beauty into me,
Making me confident for all the world to see.
To build a bridge of trust, love, and happiness.
Those lips however, have made me worthless.
Those lips would never touch my forehead
But instead would tell me lie after lie until I was well fed.
Those lips would rip apart any tools to build trust,
And they would repeat my faults until I felt I would bust.
But daddy, those lips were meant to love.

As I lay here on the floor, I believe one thing.
I believe that your words deeply sting,
I believe that you have failed at being a father,
And as a coward blamed it on your daughter.
I believe that I have every right to be angry,
To be hurt, to hate you, and to flee.
But I also believe that I love you dad,
And I love the issues that you gave me.
Because although I should be sad, mad, or bad.
I have actually had my eyes open wide enough to see…

That there are hands that were spread on a cross,
So that one day I would realize the pains true cause.
See, my real daddy hung on that tree,
And through his lips He forgave me.
Those hands have been my comfort in the darkness,
They protected me when I was powerless.
They have rocked me into slumber,
And have sheltered me from the thunder.
And those lips? Those lips have given me life!
They have told me I’ll make a beautiful wife,
They have reminded me I am beautiful
And they have uttered to my heart to be full.

They have told me I posses the power,
That these daddy issues don’t make me a coward.
His hands have guided mine to prayer,
And now fear, bitterness, and doubt are no longer players.

He has spoken to me life and forgiveness,
And now daddy I want you to know one thing…
I may have issues because of you, but you are powerless.
Because I choose to forgive you, and love you, in spite of everything.
Because I am the daughter of the one true king.