The Peacemaker of North Augusta

Listening to strangers vent might not be the average person’s idea of a good time, but for April Hill, it is! Hill is the owner of North Augusta Counseling located at 1417 Georgia Ave, Suite C, North Augusta, South Carolina. Hill was born in Tennessee but if you ask her where she’s from, she liable to say Africa. At 7 years old, Hill’s parents moved to Malawi, Africa for work. She and her family moved back to the states a few days shy of her 17th birthday after her father became gravely ill. As an adult Hill decided to settle in North Augusta, because the city harbors some of Hill’s favorite adolescent and adult memories with her best friend.

April Hill

“I love the peacefulness of North Augusta, it’s a beautiful city,” Hill said.

She has a thing for peaceful aesthetics! Her office is filled with affirming artwork, the aroma of verdant flowers, and the soothing sounds of an ocean wave playlist. Hill is very intentional about her client’s experiencing relaxation from the time they enter her office and after they depart. Her eager clientele waits to be seen at ease. Some could argue that the waiting room itself is a mental health escape. When the wait is over, Hill’s clients are met by her, a petite woman with a vivacious smile and soft voice.

Hill prides herself on bringing others their peace. She was inspired to become a therapist after experiencing her own traumas and traveling on her own journey to healing.

“I started therapy in 8th grade. Since then, I’ve wanted to help others,” she said.

Hill like most children experienced a rebellious stage. Her rebellion even got her kicked out of school. Hill’s parents sent her to counseling.

“I don’t really remember why I was rebelling; I just was.” She shared.

Where Hill might not be able to recall what sparked her rebellion, she does remember feeling ostracized and never wanting anyone to feel what she felt. In fact, that’s what inspired her to be a therapist.

Decades later, still true to her yearn to help others find their healing, Hill attended Liberty University and earned a BS degree in Psychology and an MA degree in Professional Counseling. She completed her psychological clinicals in a high max prison in Wisconsin. There she worked aimlessly on and off the clock to provide inmates with the proper psychological resources.

After witnessing the dispositions many underprivileged people face due to lack of psychological resources, Hill decided to make her counseling practice quality, and affordable for all. Hill feels that mental healthcare isn’t normalized in the way that it should be. According to npr.org, persons in or below the poverty line are at a higher risk for mental illnesses. Untreated illnesses can have adverse effects on the person with the illness and people closest to them. Mental health is being talked about more openly today and more people are getting assistance. Yet, the stigma that, “only crazy people need therapy,” is still a stigma mental healthcare workers rebuttal daily. This false narrative discourages many that need therapy not to acquire it. Alongside mental healthcare stigmas, there’s affordability, mental healthcare isn’t as accessible as it should be for the people that may need it most.

Though she is aware that everyone is not financially able to afford the mental healthcare they deserve, she encourages people to do what they can do to nurture their peace. For instance, Hill starts every day off with a gospel playlist and on more difficult days she blasts her favorite 80’s metal. She understands that there’s no one way to heal and she doesn’t want anyone to think their journey to peace should mirror someone else’s, because every journey is unique.

To accommodate her client’s needs, Hill offers an array of therapy treatments like: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and others. Hill doesn’t believe in band-aiding (temporarily fixing ) healing, she want her clients to address their traumas headfirst to guarantee they find a healthy resolution.

Hill explained: “ I want my clients to heal from bad experiences they never asked for, to finally feel a sense of calm, to know it’s ok to feel whatever emotion they’re felling, to learn to speak life over themselves, to be hopeful, empowered, and to know that at any time they can switch gears and start in a completely new direction.”

Due to Covid-19, North Augusta Counseling’s office isn’t open for face to face appointments but you can schedule a video or phone session via https://northaugustacounseling.com/ .

I’m Scared.

It’s not that police brutality or the mistreatment of African Americans in America is new; it’s that before, I didn’t feel the same urgency to consider and protect, until I became a wife to a black man and a mother to black children. I’ve been black all my life yet I didn’t become vocal about black rights—human rights until I became pregnant with my son. It was in 2015 when I was welcoming new a life while many black parents like the parents of Sandra Bland were saying goodbye to a life.

Though pregnant, I hadn’t really comprehended what it meant to mother while black. I remember reading about Sandra Bland and acknowledging that her treatment was unjust, but still being unsure of the possible truth behind the evil accusations made against the police department. I couldn’t fathom such cruelty in modern times. I just couldn’t.

It wasn’t until I experienced the first disregard to my little black baby’s life that I realized, white society doesn’t feel the same urgency to respect or nurture black lives.

“It’s no big deal,” the nurse said to me rolling her eyes as I nervously ask her what was next. With little regard, the nurse pointed to the hospital gown I was to get dressed in and exited out the room. I dressed in my hospital gown to deliver my baby boy prematurely. Although Liam was full term, he was induced 3 days early due to lack of amniotic fluid.

“No big deal,” I thought. If it was no big deal, why was I being wheeled across the hospital and being told to remain calm? Why did my baby need to be born today if this was in fact, “no big deal.” It was in that moment when my body was consumed with fear, my mind monopolized by hypotheticals, and my family still 2 hours away from comfort that I realized, I, the black mother of this black baby had to advocate for his life—our life. The nurse with her biases treated me and my unborn child as nuisances. In those moments I quickly grasped the meaning of what mothering while black would entail.

That interaction shaped how I parent and love my son. It shaped how I maneuver in life. In that same hospital days after my son’s birth I remember a doctor’s astonishment that my son had a present father in his life. “Oh, he has his father’s last name,” the doctor asked with a raised brow. Liam, my sweet baby boy hadn’t even settled in this world, yet somehow society had already written his story.

So when I hear of stories about sweet brown baby boys now black men like Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, my heart doesn’t just break, it shatters. These men’s mother’s looked at their babies the same way I look at mine. The bond between mother and child is well established before the child enters the world and being a black mother to a black child enhances that bond times 10. Everything leading up to birth has been calculated, well thought out, and understood. For instance, black mothers know that the maternal rate for them is abnormally high. So a lot of consideration goes into choosing the best hospital to deliver. Black mothers understand that schools aren’t picked based solely on zoning. The school your child goes to has to be racially diverse enough to empathize with black plight, but white and wealthy enough to offer better opportunities. Black mothers understand that although they bring life into the world, they too have to acknowledge that there’s a possibility that at anytime life might be stolen from them by the hands of authority.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies grow up, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies “just be a kids,” “as if they have that choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to send them out into the world, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared for white society to be scared of them because of the color of their skin, “as if they have a choice.”

Times like this I question God. I do. Why? Why is this happening? Why is this still happening? Why is it happening to people of color?

My son matters. My husband matter. My daughter matters. I matter.

Today I have no powerful words or insight to share, because the truth is, I’m just scared.

The Journey to Becoming the Mother I Never Had

Coming of age memoir

The first vivid memory that I have of my mother is when she sent me to stay with my grandmother after my brother was born. The memory serves as small flashbacks; suddenly, my mother was rushed to the hospital to give birth to my baby brother, at one point I was asleep on a visitor’s chair in the hospital lobby. Next, I was handed a box of orange juice by a nurse, and the last thing sketched in my memory is my aunt’s car pulling out my grandmother’s driveway, and me, a newly promoted sister, 5 years old, watching as the car sped away. No one really explained what was happening. I was left to assume that mommy had gotten a new baby and no longer needed her old one.

Before my baby brother, my mom treated me somewhat like a burden. She took me places, and she bought me things, but often times, it felt like a tired routine that she was over performing.

I remember walking into my grandmother’s house the day my mom welcomed my new brother. The blinds were open to let in sunlight, but the eerie of truly believing that my mother was getting rid of me tented my vision with the darkest gray. Grandma’s house was dark both literally, and figuratively. My mom and my grandmother were never close. My mom had made it clear that she didn’t approve of my grandmother’s parenting. Knowing this while standing with my luggage in my hand at my grandmother’s front door solidified the feeling that my mother didn’t care about me.

Feelings of abandonment, and uncertainty consumed 5-year-old me, and even after my mom retuned to pick me up from grandma’s house (after what felt like a few years later,) the feeling of rejection never subsided.

I spent the latter part of my childhood desperately trying to gain attention from my mother. Any attention was welcomed, no matter how it was rendered. I gave my mom a hard time in elementary school, talking out in class, and constantly finding myself in disappointing situations. Although I didn’t always know why I behaved the way did, I remember just wanting to be seen, heard, and loved.

Old age and spankings quickly taught me that good behavior offered the best attention given to me by my mom. So, I took heed, and became an angel child. My favorite pastime was being around my mom on those “good behavior days” in front of company.  An audience fed my mom’s desire to appear as a doting mother, and with every ounce of praise she received, my mom performed harder.  These performances never mattered to me. I was always overly eager to indulge in any affection offered to me by her. This temporary acknowledgement that came with these shows was always worth it. People would eat up her act, and that made her perform even better. Our relationship was never organic, but situational. I knew this, but I didn’t dare accept it.

When I became a pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling lost—mostly unsure. I knew failed parental relationships dwelled deep within my family. I understood that the only way that I’d know if I had inherited this cancerous trait was after I too became a parent, vulnerable and new. It was only logical that I address my childhood traumas with my own mother before I could ever be someone else’s mom.

After my son was born, I fell into the deepest love with him. He was perfect in every way; I awaited the moment that I would fail to make him feel loved in the same way that my mother did to me. Late feedings would end with me mesmerized by a face belonging to a being that I loved more than myself. Acknowledging this admiration for my child, conjured unanswered questions as to why my own mother didn’t feel this way about me. The ache of not knowing the answer to my question began to haunt me. I was never alone in my thoughts, because every moment I was granted time to think; the ghost of, “why” persisted a fixation. The question “why” took the form of my child. Despite my baby being alive, they question, “why” haunted my child’s very existence. My son became a ghostly reminder of the love I always wanted but would never get.

Liam and Zora

 I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to do what I had been doing for the past couple of months; I nurtured him, I fed him, I talked to him, and most importantly I loved him—so much. My haunted baby might have become the Casper I never wanted to encounter, but still, I couldn’t fathom even a ghost feeling alone. So, I became a ghost whisperer and as soon as I started to accept my new norm, something happened. One day, I looked down at my son’s face, he once Casper, no longer looked ghostly. In fact, he looked new. It was as if I was meeting my son and he was meeting his mother, for the first time.

In this realization, I felt as if chains had fallen at my feet–invisible shackles broken. The ghost that once consumed my child was gone. Before I could fully wrap my head around what just happened, I had an epiphany. In that moment of cradling my baby boy in my arms, I realized what that ghost symbolized. It was a ghost from my past, a generational curse. When it realized that it had no place in my home—my life, it concluded that it had no ability, no power! By giving my son the selfless and pure love that I never had, I was discontinuing a long viciously and unhealthy family cycle. Selfless love had broken my family’s generational curse. I was free of burden! We all were. The ghost of my past no longer had a place to fester or feed. So, when the ghost and I realized that, I was immediately emancipated.

On that day, that’s how I became the mother I never had.

My Son’s Thirst For Christ Lead Us To A New Church Home

I’ve only been a member of 2 churches as an adult. Similar to finding you’re forever spouse, searching for a church home is just as a special process. I was a member of my last church home for about 7 years, and after marrying my husband, he joined my church too. Our young love grew, so did our family, and our love for Christ grew deeper, but something changed.

Last year, my son began to ask a lot of questions about Christ. His thirst to know and understand Him brought forth my own feelings of harsh realities. I hadn’t been honest with myself. Deep down inside I knew that I had outgrown my current church home, but feelings of disloyalty filled my heart. This church had been apart of my life for so long and I felt guilty for waning to venture out. My son’s newfound interest in Christ held me accountable for how I introduced Him to my child. When your enter that sacred spiritual space with God, you have to make sure to neglect all outside distractions to ensure that you really open your heart to Him.

You see, I had been battling with many conflicted feelings at my old church. I wanted a media accessible church. Living a busy life with my phone always in hand, I wanted to be able to feel connected to my church at all times, even when I was out of town. My old church didn’t have those amenities. I also dealt with feelings of alienation. My husband and I were one of a handful of young married couples. Sometimes, well a lot of times, I felt out of place. Although no one intentionally set out to make us feel “too young or out of the loop,” we did feel that way. Lastly, a scholarly children’s church and nursery was important to me. My old church didn’t have a nursery, and sometimes mommying my little ones took away from mommy’s praise and worship.

Although I love my old church and everyone in it, with the new seasons of my life, my spirit became weary. It needed to be fed a different way and my son saw this–he felt this. I knew that his first intimate introduction to Christ was a monumental moment. I didn’t want my son to think that he had to stay in one place of worship if it wasn’t where he wanted to be–where he needed to be.

So, like a mother duck leading her little ducklings, I decided to ventured out for a new church home. The decision wasn’t easy. In fact, I went back and forth. I felt guilty for leaving the church that reared and shaped me, but I couldn’t dwell in my unhappiness.

Pharisees get back, I had conversation with my old pastor. I expressed my reasoning for leaving his church and like the wonderful man of God he is, he smiled and gave me his blessing. (I love you PG & First Lady!)

So, back to my little spiritual child Liam. We got lucky and found our new church home on the first visit! What solidified my choice was Liam’s excitement to go! He yearned for his new teachers, friends, and Bible lessons! The kid came home reciting Bible verses and wanting to reenact Bible stories. This made my heart so happy!

Another plus was that my little Zora had her own friends and class too! Our new church also has an app, YouTube page, and a plethora of ministries to get involved in. The other exciting part is, I know a lot of my church members from school, which means, I don’t feel so socially awkward! (Yay millennials!)

Our new church fulfilled everything I wanted–needed. My husband and I were finally able to really focus on getting fed the word! After a couple of Sundays, I noticed a change within my house. We were all so full–full of Christ!

There’s a church for everyone! If you don’t have a church home, visit some of your local churches and find your home!

Xoxo,

Christian 

Graduating On Time Or Early Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

The most talked about thing in college is graduation. It’s like people bypass the college experience and immediately jump to post grad life. The problem with that is, many college students don’t take full advantage of what their institution offers. So yeah, you graduated on time or early just to be struggling to find a job after graduation. How crazy is that?

Taken from Pinterest

Every major has an academic track. A vast majority of students go for the easier track meaning they take the bare minimum, and some others end up taking classes irrelevant to their post graduation goals. Why? Sometimes our parents heavily influence what academic route we take. Sometimes we feel pressured to follow in mom and dad’s footsteps and we get all the way to finish line and realize that this isn’t what we want to do. I know it’s uncomfortable, but you have to remember, the only person that can live your life is you.

Taken from Pinterest

Class selection and experience is key. Take classes that are beneficial to you. Also, gain as much experience undergrad as you can. For example, I’m an aspiring journalist so to gain journalistic experience, I’m working for my university’s magazine. Prior to landing that job, I wrote for my university’s newspaper.

Because I have a blog and brand that I hope to expand, I’m taking marketing classes as well. Marketing classes aren’t mandatory for my major, but I’m choosing to take advantage of classes that will help me in the future.

I know it’s easy to become obsessed with the idea of graduation. After a challenging semester, it’s almost all you want to think about. These obsessive thoughts cause you to be unrealistic about what you’ll do after graduation, because now you’re driven by frustration instead of progression. The workforce is competitive and one must be able to stand against the toughest competitors!

Taken from Pinterest

Another thing we sometimes forget to do as college academics is networking! I’m huge on networking. I always speak when I enter a room. You never know who’s in the room! I also make sure to surround myself with likeminded people. Having a circle like that pushes me to strive to be better. For example, I ended up making friends with my now boss on the magazine, all because I talked to her on the first day of class the semester prior. I didn’t know who she was. I just sparked up conversation.

Since I’m not a traditional student (remember, I’m a wife and mom) I don’t over exert myself on frivolous play. I understand that I don’t have the leisure to do so, but that doesn’t stop me from showing my face and making my presence known when I need it to be. I know that sometimes it’s hard to muster up extra motivation to get involved with things on campus, but remember, networking is key. Many universities have guest speakers. Check out those events! Network! Network! Network!

Taken from Pinterest

Internships are another way to gain experience and land jobs post grad! Most universities have specific places their majors intern, but I’d recommend venturing out to other places. Interning places outside your school’s connects makes pitching yourself a little easier. I know a few people that ventured out and are now working their dream jobs! Think about what you really want to do. Put yourself out there and see if the company you’re interesting in has interning opportunities. Also, use your professors as tools! A lot of your professors know people that can connect you to where you want to go, your professor might even be one of those connects. Reach out to your professors!

Sometimes I get caught up on my graduation date, but I have to remind myself that by doing everything I listed above, I’ll be more than prepared for the workforce!

Not taking full advantage of college life happens to a lot of people. Some people don’t take full advantage of the college experience and then they end up having to return back to college for another degree. Those people blame the degree when in actuality, it was the lack of work they put in to be successful before they graduated. It’s sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

I think we as people have this idea that if we graduate with a degree, jobs should fall at our feet. This is partially society’s fault. We’ve all heard, “you can’t do anything without a degree.” Someone somewhere always rebuttals, “they’re successful people that don’t have degrees all over.” That someone is true! Those successful people are successful, because they took advantage of the space they were in. We college students have to do the same! Take advantage of college just like SallyMae takes advantage of interest applied to our loans! Woosah and laugh.

At the end of the day, you’re paying for college. Some of us are even in debt for it, my philosophy is to take everything college is willing to give you! Then take some more! Make college work for you!

Good luck!

Xoxo,

Christian

Sharing Your Goals With Others Won’t Hinder Your Success. So, Stop Saying That!

We’ve all seen the meme or heard people say, “move in silence.” I get it, the right hand doesn’t always need to know what the left hand is doing, but it seems that people believe that verbally manifesting their desires jinxes their success. That’s the dumbest theory in the world. Ok, maybe not in the world, but it’s dumb. The Bible teaches us that words have power. So, speak it! If what you want is meant for you, sharing that desire to others won’t prohibit your success. Believe in your power–the power in the tongue. 

I find that speaking my goals out loud hold me accountable. People may act like they don’t listen, but they do, especially your haters. Often times, our haters believe in us more than we do. Most of the time we stand in our own way, blocking our own blessings. The only people that don’t want to hear your goals are the people that believe you can achieve them. When you verbally speak over your life the things you want and don’t succeed, it’s not because you jinxed yourself by sharing. It’s most likely because you shared it, someone heard you, and they didn’t support you. They may have said something to discourage you. So guess what? You quit before you even started. News flash! The only thing that stopped your success was you and what you think others think of you!

Don’t enter 2020 with the plancrastinator syndrome. Don’t make goals with no intent to crush them! Speak it! Write it. Crush it! Own it!Speak it again!

I’m not saying you have to share your plans with the world, but share them with someone. Someone you know could be standing between you, and a great opportunity. Kill the idea that everyone is remotely bad and rooting against you. The first part of manifestation is to speak it, the second part is to act on it!

Happy New Year! By the way, when do you think it’s appropriate to stop saying happy new year? I say until the first week of February.

Xoxo,

Christian

Are Kids Allowed? If Not, I Can’t Come…

As a young mom, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I was missing out on certain aspects of my life when I can’t go to certain events because of the kids. Any mom that says motherhood is ALWAYS rewarding, or that it’s a walk in the park has either A) not been a parent long enough or B) is afraid to be honest.

Sis, it’s ok. You’re safe here. Sometimes motherhood sucks. Calm down, I said sometimes.

Taken from memeologist.com

It’s those days when your kid is being a complete butthole, or “you just can’t get it right,” that further fuels your feelings of failure as a mom. These moments make you question if you were really made for parenthood. We’ve all passed a mom having one of those days. She’s usually in the grocery store. Her kid is belting at their top of their lungs. We pass her with an encouraging smile while secretly thanking God that it’s not our own kid. The mom is usually visibly tired and overwhelmed, and although this lady is a complete stranger, you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. Why? Because, she’s you, we’ve all experienced one of these days.

taken from fempositivity.com

When I see my peers partying or traveling carefree, I can’t help but to wonder if I started my journey of motherhood too soon, or wonder if I wasted my youth. I usually snap back to reality and remember that even when I had the leisure to do the things my peers do now, I never did.

Why? Because it wasn’t me–it’s not me. God knew I was meant for wifehood and motherhood before I did.

So, I love being a mom. It’s a title–job, that I take seriously, and conduct with so much pride! It helps that my kids are super cute, and know how to win over mommy’s heart when they lock eyes with mine too! I’m a sucker for those big brown eyes, and they know that.

Even still, I’ve found myself flustered with balancing mommy time and mommy’s free time. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in motherhood that I forget that a lot of my friends aren’t moms yet. Although they love my kids, they’re not always down to censor their language, change location, babysit, or change plans for me and the kids. They don’t say it outright, but I can tell. So, what do I do? Don’t say, “find new friends.” That’s not logical.

What I’ve chosen to do is, sit some events out. It sucks sometimes, especially when it’s career related, or when mommy just needs a break, but I understand that motherhood comes before everything.

So, to any mama that’s feeling what I’m feeling, I don’t have the answers yet. Although, you love being a mommy, the feeling of feeling like you’re missing out won’t lessen, and it’s not fair to bypass those feelings. They’re real.

The truth is, you will feel like you’re missing out on things, and guess what, sometime you literally will miss things. It’s ok. You just have to know that no other job compares to motherhood! It’s the hug at your knees that your toddler gives you after a day you thought would never end. It’s the smile your baby does when she’s sleeping on your chest at 5:00am, because she’s refusing to sleep through the night. It’s on those hard days when you feel like you’re failing the kids that you overhear your kid telling someone that you’re a superhero.

It’s those moments that are priceless! It’s in those moments you realize you’re only “missing” out on superficial things. Your true meaning in life calls you mom.

So in conclusion, if the kids can’t come, neither can this mama.

Xoxo,

Christian

Please Don’t Ignore My Oldest Child

I get it, chubby cheeks, and baby giggles make the manliest of men stop in their tracks to smile in admiration at a cute baby. I’m positive that babies have their own powers. I read somewhere that babies are literally scientifically created “cute,” so that mothers naturally want to care for them. Like, there’s science behind baby cuteness.

Before my own kiddos, I never cared too much for other people’s children. I’d give a cute smile, and “aww,” but nothing else. So, to my kidless friends, maybe you don’t understand why what I’m about to talk to is considered butthole behavior, but to my friends that are parents, shame on you! *Shakes finger in disapproval

Liam has been an only child for 4 years. He’s super cute with a lot of personality which makes him hard not to notice and even harder to forget. He’s a natural star and I’m not just saying that because he’s my son, it’s true! Now that Zora’s here, Liam has noticed that most of the attention has shifted to his baby sister.

At first he was conflicted. He’d stand by while people totally ignored him and doted over his sister, but more recently, he’s started to address the situation. When someone doesn’t address him after a couple of minutes, Liam will make his presence known with a facetious, “Hi!” He says in a way like, “I know you see me standing here, speak fool!” The first time he did it, I was both tickled and proud. I was proud that he didn’t fall trap to the tired sad song, “no one ever noticed me, they always payed more attention to my sister/brother.” I was proud of Liam for standing up for him! Way to go Liam!

As a mom, it really bothers me that people see nothing wrong with blatantly ignoring one child for another! If you have kids, you know that when a stranger gets to chatting about the baby, these chats last a good 5 minutes at the least! Imagine standing with a group of people and everyone gets acknowledge, but you! How would that make you feel? Imagine what it feels like when you’re a little kid.

To you, you’re only uncontrollably drawn to the baby and all their cuteness. You’re not thinking too much about it. To the child/children that feel left out, they’re internalizing why they’re not good enough to be spoken to. “What’s wrong with me?” That takes a tole on their self esteem. Many older children act out, because they feel left out. You ignoring the eldest for the youngest could literally cost that parent a tantrum, because the youngest child can’t verbalize that they feel left out. I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid tantrums at all cost!

So, when I find myself in one of these situations, I make sure to mention Liam several times in conversation to “imply” to the other person, “hey, there’s another child here.” It’s seemed to work so far.

To all my perpetrators of this egregious child offense, don’t feel bad! I’m sure you didn’t mean any harm. Like I said before, babies are bundles of adorableness! In the future, think before you speak. In fact, count before you speak. Count every child and speak to each of them to ensure that no kid feels left out!

One of my favorite philosophers, Birdman once said, “Put some respek on my name.” Put some respek on every child’s existence!

Xoxo,

Christian

They Weren’t Using You, God Was

Have you ever felt like somebody got over on you? Like, you gave this person all you had, yet they stabbed in the back and deserted you–turned on you. We’ve all had that feeling. Whether it was an old ex, a family member or friend, we’ve all been let down by someone we cared about. After the perpetrator’s egregious acts, we usually sit back and think about all the things we did for them. “I did this.” “I did that.” In the end, we end up feeling lost, angry even. We feel used!

What comes next depends on your spirituality, if you’re still in you’re Simon stage, you just might get even–curse the other party, the (bleep) out. If you’re in your Peter stage, you’ll take the high road. No matter the phase you take, you’re hurting, because, “they used you!” But what if it wasn’t “them” who used you, but “He?”

God knows everything before it happens. He places us where we need to be. Our flesh has taught us to think that He places us places we need to be for our own agendas, but sometimes He puts us in places others need us to be. Because God moves through people, He uses us to do His work–if you allow Him to anyway.

No long post today just a short and simple message. Instead of being hurt by what you think someone took from you, thank God for Him using YOU to SHARE what He GAVE you. Let God use you! Amen Jesus! 

Philippians 2:13 ESV

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Taken from Pinterest
Xoxo,

Christian

Effective Ways To Keep Depressive Thoughts Away

Like most Americans, I’ve been dealing with depression for awhile. It’s a forever wave of sad and negative thoughts sometimes triggered by stress or trauma. One year, my depression got so bad, I called the suicide helpline. It wasn’t that I wanted to commit suicide, I just needed direction. I knew that I refused to leave my family behind without trying, and I knew that I refused to give into to devil’s lies.

I sat sad in my dark room, cried and thought to myself about what things I could do in that moment to make me feel better—at least feel a little better. At the time, I was still newly postpartum with Liam. I didn’t feel beautiful, and was struggling with my new identity as a mom. I’ve always been a girly girly so I thought about ways I could improve my outer being, and in turn improve my inner. I started my weight lifting journey, started to make time for myself every 2 weeks to get my nails done and I made sure to wear clothes that made me feel sexy!

When I started doing these things, I started to feel good about me! I felt good and I looked good. I was making progress. It’s seems silly that me investing in cosmetic things helped my depression, but it was deeper than that! When I really examined my life, I was already doing to the hard stuff—completing the steps to achieve my larger goals. I was back in college, I was mastering motherhood and my marriage was on the ups. I realized that although my depressive thoughts directed me elsewhere, the real source of this wave of sadness was from not being happy with me. So, what better way to fix me than to invest in me, right?

When I found the source of my sadness, I was able to address it. My friends and family started to notice the change in my mood, and it felt good to be on top of Mt. Depression!

Depression sneaks in at our most vulnerable times, hoping to masks its minor issues in larger issues. Depression will make you feel like you’re not good enough, causing you to want to quit when in reality, an example source of your depression could derive from you being overwhelmed in school. Depression attaches itself to our subconscious and acts through our conscious. There’s so cure for depression, because depression was made by the enemy to plant doubt in a mind that already knows the truth. The truth is, depression can only take hold of you if you give it your hand. Don’t!

Cry, scream, pray and then sit alone in your thoughts! Write down how you’re feeling. Your feelings will most likely be lies like:

I’m not good enough.

No one likes me.

I’ll never get anywhere in life.

Beside those “feelings,” write down the truth depression doesn’t want you to know.

I am enough!

Jesus likes me, I like me!

It may be hard, but I’ll get there one day!

After that, think about what triggered your bad thoughts. Was it a falling out with a friend? Was it your job? What happened to send you in this downward spiral?

When you figure this out, compose a plan to change your situation. If it’s a spit with a friend, talk to them. If it’s your job, maybe it’s time to talk to your boss or find another place to work.

If you’re reading this, and think this sounds like too much to do, ask yourself if you’re ready to divorce depressive thoughts? Maybe you’re not ready to get better, and that’s ok. We have to remember that although no one asks for depression, it’s still our responsibility to climb out of the dark hole.

Try these steps, they helped me tremendously! Depression never leaves, it’s a silent attacker that attaches itself to your life when you’re most vulnerable. Be prepared. I use these steps each time I find myself in a bad place. It’s ok to take time to re-evaluate your situation. Depression will make you think you can’t beat it, but you can!

When depression makes its return and attack on my life, I 1.)find the cause of the relapse, 2.) I strategize on how to rectify the problem, and 3.) I rectify the problem!

Don’t let depression become bigger than you. I love you! Be happy lappy, not depressy lessy!

Xoxo,

Christian