Are You On the Way to Hell In the Name of Love?

How many people are on their way to hell in the name of love?

I thought I knew what love was. I didn’t know at the time that the reason I kept searching for it was because I had no idea what it was, so everywhere I looked, it escaped me. There was no real love in the relationships I had; in the fire I felt by the touch of a guy. No amount of attention or affection was ever enough. And it was always polluted, and left me broken, over and over and over again. I thought for sure I’d be unmarried the rest of my life, and alone.

And all the while, there were times where, in the midst of my brokenness, my heartache over yet again another failed attempt at love, I cried out to Jesus. I remembered the One…but then, the devil would send another beautiful guy in my path who said the right words and I forgot about Christ; forgot how He answered my cry and showed me He was there…listening, near…I didn’t know He wasn’t just close, but that He was waiting…for me.

So years passed and heartbreak after heartbreak it was the same thing, moments of crying to Jesus, experiencing His nearness, and then getting distracted from it. This path of darkness and thorns with just the briefest moments of light was all my doing…I didn’t know that Jesus didn’t want to just pierce my darkness once in a while, but that He wanted to completely eradicate it and flood my life with His light.

After my third heartbreak in a row from the same guy, the one I had loved more than any other, I cried out to Jesus. But this time, it was different. Because this time, when He answered me, I determined to respond, and to keep responding.

I was done searching for love in broken human beings, I was going to seek out Jesus like I had the many guys whom I wanted attention from. I began reading the New Testament, I turned on Christian music and that’s all I listened to. I went back to Christian, bible-teaching church, I attended a woman’s bible study. My prayers were suddenly being answered like never before. Joy flooded my heart and in six days after that last heartbreak, my heart was healed! I was so content, so joyful, so excited. Everything was different, and it wasn’t just a shift of perspective, by my whole life began to transform. Light had found His way in my heart and mind and now I was walking on a clear, bright path.
And till this day, I still am.

If you’re looking for love everywhere, but have yet to REALLY seek it in Jesus, I dare you to start hunting. And here is what I am absolutely, undeniably certain of, you will discover Him, and you will never need to look anywhere else again.

What Single Sisters Should Learn From Ruth Part 2

You can read part one of this study here.



In further studying the book of Ruth, something astounding about her going after Boaz for a husband was revealed:
7.) Ruth didn’t marry Boaz just for her own happiness and well-being, but for others’ as well.

Ruth didn’t marry Boaz for a selfish reason. She didn’t marry him just because he made her happy. Ruth knew Boaz would be a major blessing for her mother-in-law, Naomi, as well, since he was one of her relatives, aka a family redeemer, someone who could buy back the land Naomi had lost.

Ruth was a treasure, a prime catch; she was beautiful both inside and out, yet she chose to marry a significantly older man rather than going after younger, “hotter” men. Had she chose to do the latter, her mother-in-law would’ve been abandoned to live in poverty with none to care for her.

Ruth wasn’t thinking about herself alone in her decision to marry Boaz, but instead, knew her marriage to him would be a ministry and blessing to someone else.

Too often we enter into engagement and marriage solely because the person makes us happy. We aren’t thinking about how our marriage can bless others and be a ministry. Happiness is certainly a by-product of a godly marriage, but it shouldn’t be the sole motivating factor as to why we do it. God is much bigger and much more generous than that. Which leads to the final lesson I want to share with you ladies:

8.) Ruth and Boaz’s marriage pointed people to God.

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “ We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”-Ruth‬ ‭4:11-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Both the noble men of the city and the women saw God in Ruth and Boaz’s relationship and were very encouraged by it. They knew the union of this godly couple was special. And indeed, their marriage bore the grandfather of King David and from their lineage, Jesus the Messiah came forth.
Their union was a blessing, a ministry, and a beacon of Christ’s light to not only their community, but to the many generations that would follow.

For us Christians, it is the same. The weight of the legacy we leave behind will be according to our doing. We reap what we sow. If our marriage was ultimately about advancing the gospel and enlarging Christ’s kingdom, the legacy we leave will be great and will effect even the generations after us.

I don’t know about you, but I want my marriage to be a powerful force that echoes on long after I’m gone and resounds into eternity where I will see and meet the lives that are in heaven because of it. And I pray the same becomes true for you.
With love,
Natasha

What Single Sisters Should Learn From Ruth

The iconic biblical relationship of Ruth and Boaz is one most single Christian women hope for. But this story—like all the other history recorded in the bible—isn’t just there to give us hope, but to teach us valuable lessons, especially on romantic relationships.

1.) Ruth chose God over a husband.

“And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”-Ruth‬ ‭1:15-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The primary and most important thing to note if you desire to marry a godly man someday is to put that desire behind you, and put Christ in front of you.

As a young and beautiful widow (her name means friend, companion, and “vision of beauty”), Ruth could’ve chose to go back to her country and her “gods” and get remarried. But she didn’t. She chose to remain with the Lord and His people, leaving behind her old life, and moving forward to a new land where God’s people lived.

If you really want a godly husband, recognize and embrace the fact that you already have one, Jesus, and that you will walk onward with Him no matter what you receive or don’t receive. If you can’t be faithful to Him, don’t expect to be faithful to a husband.

2.) Ruth desired and made sure she was discipled by a godly woman.

“But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”-Ruth‬ ‭1:16-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Discipleship is crucial in our walk with Christ. When we allow godly examples to pour into us, we become more godly, and then we’re more equipped to handle marriage and whatever else God entrusts us with. We have to have a heart devoted to growing closer and more like our Savior. If we don’t desire and pursue godliness, we are setting ourselves up for disaster in marriage.

3.) Ruth worked hard.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”-‭‭Ruth‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭‬‬

Ruth wasn’t lazy. She worked all day in the fields with willing hands. She didn’t do it bitterly, she did it from love to help bring food home for her and her widowed mother-in-law. Be hard at work wherever God has placed you, whether that be in full-time ministry or at your job. You never know, your Boaz may be close by, which leads to the next lesson:

4.) Boaz made the first move.

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”-Ruth‬ ‭2:8-9‬ ‭

Before saying a word to Ruth, Boaz asked his men about her; he wanted to know what her reputation was like. Do you have a godly reputation, or a worldly one? Godliness attracts godliness. Her reputation drew a godly man closer; it caused him to take further interest. If a godly man asks about you and hears worldliness, he will more than likely back off.

So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”-Ruth‬ ‭2:10-12‬ ‭‬‬

‭‭5.) Their first one-on-one time was out in the open with others, not alone behind closed doors—and again, Boaz gave the invitation. 

Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.-Ruth‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭

The world is all about one-on-one alone time. That’s pretty tempting, and almost always leads to sin. Boaz respected Ruth and got to know her better openly, rather than privately. He wasn’t harboring lustful motives.

Back then, God’s people didn’t date like the world dates now. Godly people had accountably, and there is no godly reason why we should discontinue following this pattern. When we do, we often fall into sexual sin. You can choose never to date like the world does, and still end up engaged and married.

6.) When you’re ready, God makes things happen swiftly.

Ruth started gleaning on Boaz’s field at the beginning of the barley harvest. Barley is the fastest crop to harvest. She worked until the end of the harvest which could’ve been as swiftly as a month. When God deems you ready to inherit His blessing in marriage, you won’t have to court for years.

The world is all about “waiting” (though they’re really not waiting for anything, except to seriously commit), whereas those in a godly relationship don’t have to wait that long if Christ has already matured them to a place of being a suitable spouse.

Satan would love two godly Christians to spend time fearing and falling into sin, rather than being confident in their courtship and not wasting a lot of time so as not to fall into sexual sin.

Single sisters, my prayer is that you won’t read the bible as if it were just another book, but really study it, understanding what it really is: the inspired word of God, preserved for those who would inherit salvation, to equip and prepare us for eternity with Christ. In it we will find all the truths and lessons we need in order to live our lives as a living, pleasing, sacrifice to God in every area, especially relationships.
There’s more lessons, but I’ll continue sharing them in another post.

Much love to you,

Natasha

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Here’s Why We Were Created

 

“I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. This [insert your name] I have formed for Myself; [she] shall declare My praise.”
Isaiah‬ ‭43:20-21‬ ‭NKJV

‭‭

Let that marinate in your brain. If you are a Christian, God chose you. God formed you for Himself so that you would declare His praise.

The Perfect Creator, the One all will someday bow before, picked you; He picked me. Why?

Because I knew you would pick Me. I formed you to be loved by Me, and I by you.

Do we grasp this? I mean really? How can we? The closest earthly picture I can fathom to even begin understanding why on earth God just wants to love us and be loved by us is my son.

Before I got pregnant, I longed for a child. Interestingly, the longer I walked with Jesus, growing more like Him, the stronger this desire became. It was so great, I wanted a child so immensely, I just remember falling to my knees during worship and weeping.

But why? Why did I want a kid so bad? Because though I didn’t think this at the time, because I never had a child so my brain couldn’t compute this, my heart, my spirit knew that I would so love and enjoy a child. It was and is a supernatural instinct. That’s the only way this makes any sense at all. Because if you’ve had a child you understand all the discomfort and pain pregnancy and birth brings, and all the extreme exhaustion and difficulty caring for a child entails. It just does not naturally make sense to so deeply desire something that takes such hard work and makes us so vulnerable.

When a child rebels, it absolutely breaks a loving parent’s heart. My dad was a marine. He is one of the toughest if not thee toughest men I know, but when he found out my sister was on crack for a week, he was destroyed. When he broke down in front of her, it so moved her, she stopped doing it.

We were created in Christ’s image. Our desire to love and be loved is not natural, it is godly. Though we can grow up and choose our own path, rejecting Him and utterly breaking God’s heart, He loves us enough to make us anyway because He knows that some of us will love Him back. And to Him, that’s worth it; we’re worth it.

If you didn’t know what your purpose was, you do now: to love God and be loved by Him. Praise God indeed. What an amazing reality. As time goes on, and we continue holding Christ’s hand, I pray we grasp this truth evermore deeply because God wants us to.

“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”-Jesus (John 17:26)

Finally, A Romance That Never Ends

 

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you. Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”-Isaiah 54:5-10
God is the Author of romance. He is the embodiment of love; He is love personified. When He speaks, it is from a source of pure, unadulterated, all-powerful, all-consuming love. There is nothing more intoxicating than God’s love.

Before midnight, February 22nd, 2009, I was intoxicated by what I thought was love. The affection and attention I received from guys controlled basically everything I did in life. My desire for love was so great, it influenced all of my decisions from the moment my eyes opened each morning. I would spend at least forty-five minutes on my hair and makeup before leaving for school, and my outfits had to be sexy.

Every weekend I went places with a motive: to find a hot guy and reel him in. I was always seeking attention, affirmation, and adoration from guys I liked. If I didn’t get what I wanted, and when things fell apart, it always made me sorrowful. My relational status dictated my demeanor and my outlook on life.

I was so consumed with finding “the one,” I was so lost in the feelings, the emotional high, the pleasure of being desired, that I had no idea it was an idol; guys were my god.

I worshipped being wanted.

I told people I was a Christian; I thought since I believed in Jesus and prayed that I was good. I was totally oblivious to the fact that I was breaking the very first of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me.” A “god” or an “idol” is anything you love more than god, anything that controls you, anything you can’t let go of. I allowed romantic relationships with guys to grab a hold of my deepest desire and greatest need and try to fulfill it. Obviously, they never did.

Whoever coined the phrase, “You’re looking for love in all the wrong places,” was quite wise. I was looking for love in the wrong places: broken, fallen, sinful guys. They didn’t know the Author of Love, they didn’t have him in their heart. They could never love me the way I so desperately wanted them to. There was only one Man who could love me the way I needed to be loved: Jesus.

On February 22nd, 2009 I finally awoke to that amazing truth. My last heartbreak jarred me. I had been inching closer to God, but that day I collapsed into His arms, and this time, I didn’t want to let go. I was done. I knew what I hoped in­—the relationships I had dreamed of—were just that: dreams distracting me from the truth; the truth that my real dream Prince was there all along, waiting to sweep me into His adventure, into His great romance, and fulfill all of my desires.

I stopped searching for love in guys and began finding it in Christ. 

His love was so sweet, so tender, so healthy, it healed me in literally six days. I no longer needed attention from a guy, or a boyfriend. I was single and happier than I’d ever been. Almost seven years later, and I am still more joyful than ever, in love with my Redeemer, my first Husband, my King, Jesus Christ. I was carried into a divine romance, and by God’s breathtaking grace, I will enjoy it for all eternity.

Have you been captivated by God’s love? Do share in a comment when your divine romance began and where it has brought you. If you have yet to experience God’s intoxicating love, I pray you consider what the idol is in your life, lay it down, and seek Christ. You will certainly discover all that you’ve ever needed is in Him. If you need prayer or encouragement, feel free to email me: BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com

The Real Reason Why A Man Pushing Premarital Sex Doesn’t Love You

Ladies, if a “Christian” man intends on and expects to have sex before marriage, he does not really love you, and you may not have considered this as the reason why. Stay put; it’s about to get deep.

“Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God — as you are doing — do so even more.

For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification. Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:1, 3-8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

The man who purposes to have sex with you before marriage is rejecting God by refusing to abstain from premarital sex. He is rejecting Christ which means if he dies today, according to scripture, he will go to hell:

“Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers … will inherit God’s kingdom.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

It’s much deeper than many of us realize. So much of pagan and idol worship involves sex outside of the covenant of marriage. Having sex with temple prostitutes and orgies were popular forms of “worship” and here is why:

God ordained marriage to display the beautiful, holy, intimate relationship He has with His bride the Church. In the bible, the word used for when a man makes love to his wife is “yada.” It is a deep “knowing” hence the reason the bible usually translates it in ways like this, “and Isaac *knew* Rebecca.”

That same word is used often by God when He tells us He will cause us to “know” Him.

“I will take you to be My wife forever. I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion. I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know Yahweh.”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

God is all about creation pointing back to Him, glorifying Him. The union of a married couple is supposed to help us understand the way God desires us to deeply know and love Him, just as we are deeply loved and known by Him.

Satan, God’s enemy, the fallen angel who hates Jesus more than anyone, as an act of defiance toward Him, takes pleasure in profaning God’s creation, in profaning everything, but ESPECIALLY marriage. Satan warps the creation of true, sacred marital oneness (“sex” as the world calls it), and makes it as vile as possible, hence pornography, rape, homosexuality, beastiality, orgies, etc.

But with Christians, he needs to be much more crafty and less flamboyantly profane to lure them into his trap. Satan’s mission: seduce God’s children whom God loves immeasurably and died to save, trick them into having premarital sex so they can be his greatest weapons to crush God’s heart. After luring a Christian to reject the Holy Spirit and walk into his grasp, engaging in sex outside of God’s covenant of marriage, Satan peers up into the fiery eyes of Jesus and says, “look at Your children. Look at how much they love You.”

Beloved, do not ever let yourself become a flaming arrow in Satan’s hand used to pierce Christ’s heart and trample and spit upon His sacrifice. He died so you can be free from sin, not so that you can keep following Satan.

“But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.” On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:17-20‬ ‭‬‬

Letter To My Hero Husband

Jonathan Derek Sapienza, strong, beautiful weapon of righteousness. You remind me of Phoenix from Bryan Davis’s Reapers novels, with your devotion to godly principles, but of course, you are better because you’re also a son of God.
I want you to know I truly mean every word I’m writing. You really do weather me, you keep me balanced, you always hold me back from jumping off a cliff. You are truly my pillar, a strong foundation upon which I stand, and when I’m running in the wrong direction, you capture me and pull me back to safety.

I am speaking about one of your greatest gifts: discernment and wisdom. Proverbs says much about wisdom: it protects, it guides, it opens doors, it brings favor, and most importantly, it is the chief of all principles. After love, everything flows from wisdom. “The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” You certainly have the fear of the Lord, and I am an eyewitness of your ever-expanding wisdom.

This wisdom has grounded me, has kept me so many times from making foolish decisions and hurting myself. After being married to you, and experiencing just how much your godly wisdom and discernment has protected me, I see now that Adam’s wisdom and discernment was given to Him by God to protect Eve. Like all women, her emotions drove her. Her emotions, though a beautiful gift, were also her greatest vulnerability, and they began dragging her toward an extremely dangerous situation. This was when her husband was supposed to be her hero and rescue her. He had the wisdom and discernment to know that what was happening between her and satan was wrong, but he did not intervene.

I am so blessed, Jonathan, so grateful to be able to say that you, my precious husband, have always intervened. There were times in my stubbornness and passion that I did not listen and submit to your loving wisdom, and I suffered the consequences. But you, my faithful companion and hero, have always been there to lift me in your arms, carry me home, and nurse my wounds. You never shame me or scorn me for my foolishness and stubbornness. You are tender and graceful toward me and I absolutely treasure you, dear prince.

Though I’ve gotten wiser from more time with our Lord and from watching your example, there are still moments that I fail to submit to your caring guidance, but since Christ continues to flourish in your godly heart, you have only become more graceful and patient with me. This beautiful reflection of our kind Savior and Lord leaves me breathless.

I recall pastor John reading Ephesians to us as we stood at the altar:

““Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:25-29‬)

O, precious beloved of mine, in our marriage, you have never—ever—asked me or enticed me to sin. You ensure what we watch is not sexually enticing or perverse or wicked; you gently help guard my heart, my mind, my eyes and my ears, as you likewise do for yourself. I watch you; your pure heart is clearly displayed in your loving actions. Christ’s purity in you is clearly manifested, shining off you, son of God.

If I could choose to go back in time and marry any of the godly men I know now, I would always choose you. You are a man after God’s own heart; a man of strong morale, granite character, and gentle strength. You are not a forceful wind, you are a gentle, guiding and refreshing breeze. You are a warrior prince with the breastplate of righteousness, a soldier who carries the sword, but is careful, patient, and wise in how and when you wield it. I am a warrior princess who practically never has her sword sheathed, and often swings too soon. You gently place your hand upon mine and lower my sword. You guide it back to the sheath and gently train my hands for God’s war of rescuing souls from our enemy’s clutches.

Too often, I allow the busyness of life to consume me, and I do not ponder and meditate on the amazingly wonderful gift I have been given. As so many words poured forth from my heart, I was taken aback by just how blessed I am.

My leader, my knight, may God so bless me and Arrow with many more years under the shelter of your loving guidance. I love you with all of my heart.

I Really Want A Boyfriend, What Do I Do?

To my O so precious younger sisters in Christ:

Before I stopped chasing guys, and pursued Jesus, I treated God like medicine. I used Him when I felt bad, but once He made me better, I stopped taking Him in. Instead, I put Him away, and kept hurting myself with relationships I wasn’t ready for. 

And though I didn’t know it until I was eighteen-years-old, that’s the reason I kept craving a boyfriend. I was looking for the love only Jesus could give me. I wasn’t satisfied because I kept leaving God and not listening to Him. I kept ditching Him and getting into relationships. I didn’t need a boyfriend, I needed Jesus. When I finally realized that, I stopped pursuing guys and started really pursuing Jesus. He began flooding my life with love and joy and for once in my life I FINALLY didn’t need or care to have a boyfriend or attention from a guy. 

And guess what else? When I was ready for marriage (believe it or not, at age eighteen, after I surrendered to Jesus, I didn’t want a boyfriend anymore, but I looked forward to some day having a husband. I met Jon and we were ready by a year. After a year and two months, he proposed. 

Being ready for marriage within a year or so is super important because of sexual temptation. As our pastor who married us would say, “if you’re in a relationship and not married by a year, you’re playing with fire.” So at 14, you’ll have to wait at least four years to be physical with your husband. You think you could really refrain that long the more and more you begin liking a guy? That’s why teenage relationships are very dangerous.

I know it can be especially hard going to public or private school, and God knows your friends are probably boy crazy, but when you allow Jesus to blow your mind with His love, you’ll be strong enough to wait on your future husband, and you’ll be the girl your friends come to when they’re heart broken and going through boy drama. If you find that satisfaction in Jesus and no longer seek a guy’s attention, it will be such a powerful example, you’ll be so extremely different, God will use you to save your unsaved friends. 

Remember, YOU are the light your friends NEED. As a Christian, you alone have what they need to escape heart break AND more importantly, hell. 

Maybe try to switch your focus and instead of finding your identity as some cute guy’s girlfriend, you realize you’re so much more special than that. You’re like a superhero, saving souls from the devil’s grip on their life. You’re a warrior princess, a leader among your friends and younger family members, placed in their lives by God’s will. You have a great mission. Will you train yourself for that mission, or train yourself to just be another girl guys use?


Praying for you,


Natasha  

God Is Using My Son To Crucify Me

As I sat up in my bed, skin-to-skin, rocking my baby to sleep, feeling so grateful for him, I contemplated the last four days. 

Die to yourself.
Die to your comfort. 

Since day three, I’ve bed-shared with Arrow. It has always been amazing. However, for maybe two weeks (not sure, it’s hazy), it’s been a challenge. He starts turning for every sound. And then he starts rolling and crawling in his sleep. I have to grab him and pull him back to me more than once for him to stop. And then I have to comfort nurse him, but even that doesn’t work sometimes, so I just have to wait for him to relax. Then I try to keep sleeping, only to have him start again. This was happening several times a night/morning. Add on the fact that I use the restroom at least twice and you’ve got a very tired mama in the morning. And my weariness solicited some sadness, and a little impatience. 

Usually, I would be energized and exited to worship at the top of my lungs and pray, but my exhaustion was/is affecting my morning time with the Lord, and I was being short on patience with my loved ones. One night, I was so fed up, I laid Arrow in his crib. Poor thing started crying and I patted his butt to no avail and then decided to let him “cry it out” for a certain time limit before going in again. The next day I tried researching unbiased opinions on CIO methods, and assuming I found one, thought it wasn’t detrimental to Arrow, especially if I often checked in on him as he cried. 

So for three whole days I did it. I let Arrow cry. I let Arrow scream. I asked God—pleaded with Him—to please give Arrow peace and calm him and let him sleep on his own without needing me. After forty-five minutes of crying, he eventually would fall asleep. Today I tried to continue, but I didn’t see improvement. In fact, I saw the opposite. Arrow was more exhausted, he seemed even sad sometimes, anxious when I neared his crib, and fussy when he knew I was trying to get him drowsy. 

Never have I struggled with anxiety, but these past few days, I have. I lost even more sleep and felt three times as exhausted. I decided enough was enough. How in the world could I possibly let my baby suffer any more than he already has? He never cried before unless he became over-tired. He’s the happiest baby I know. And though he’s still happy, I noticed it hasn’t been as much. 

I did more research and read an article on how it certainly is damaging and where the CIO method originated from. It affirmed my decision all the more. I told Arrow I won’t let him cry anymore. So as I hold him tonight, I think about why I chose to try this in the first place. Sure, I was concerned Arrow may have not been getting good sleep with all the rolling around and stirring, but I was more concerned with me. I was being selfish. I wanted my comfort back. 

In the majority of the world, women hardly ever put their infants down. They work hard gathering food and water, cooking, and taking care of their children. But have you seen an African woman’s smile and strength? She doesn’t complain about having to wear her baby and sleep with him. Her culture has trained her to be that strong, but mine? Mine has trained me to put Comfort first, Mother first, Woman first, Self first. 

Abortion is hailed as a woman’s choice and her power over her own body and her child’s. She’s allowed to have him or her ripped to pieces and scraped out of the womb for her comfort. 

Carrying a baby is hard. Being a mom is hard. Losing sleep is hard. But I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul who said he’d endured, “many sleepless nights,” not to mention shipwrecks, beatings, hunger, nakedness and much more. And when was Jesus ever well rested after going into full-time Gospel mode? I’m sure it wasn’t often, based on the accounts of His ministry. He was weary and hungry, a true vagabond, “with nowhere to rest His head.” Yet, here I am, grumpy about some lost sleep? 

This is just a season, and I think it’s the season of really dying to myself. This season will pass. Arrow is teething and learning how to crawl. I heard these things can disrupt sleep. I’ve also unfortunately trained him to sleep in very quiet conditions (I began breaking that habit today!) so I probably made him a light sleeper. 

One day soon, Arrow will be walking, and soon after, running. He will be exploring, and then climbing. He will venture farther and farther away from me. He’ll start driving, and then, he’ll get married. The little baby boy that often needed to be held and touched and rocked will be gone, and I’ll only get hugs and kisses when he visits, or I visit. 

I plan on savoring his little, yet ever-swiftly growing body snuggled against mine for as long as I can. And I can, I will, I must die to myself. 

Today, some more selfishness was crucified to the cross, selfishness I hadn’t really recognized, or justified because of how tired I was. But I got the lesson, Lord, and I pray I always put Arrow—and others—above myself. Hello again attachment parenting!