so you think you’re invincible? #confessions

I messed up.
I slipped.
I failed.
I’m sorry.

I don’t mean to be preachy – I know how it is, you hear someone say it and think well that’s a bit excessive, I wouldn’t do that ever, nothing can tempt me.
But please hear me when I say pride surely goes before destruction (Pr 16:18)

Do you think you’re invincible? You’re not, I assure you.
That’s the biggest mistake I ever made.
To think I was a strong, smart, mature Christian and nothing could trip me.
I’d even find myself getting frustrated at Christians who were weak and imperfect, and while I didn’t think I was perfect either I certainly thought of myself as pretty secure – I was bringing good fruit, trying to improve always and seeking God honestly.

Basically I went out looking for a challenge, new continent, working and adventuring where “I’m stepping into the unknown, fully reliant on God alone”. That was my prayer, my plan. Doesn’t it sound so good?
What I miscalculated was my character.
In the experiement where you brew eggs, potato and coffee, I thought I was/would be coffee, but when tested I showed different colours. *

I never before had any trouble keeping celibate, (mostly) in mind as well as physically; I never met anyone who made me question my decision and my morals, and not being particularly attractive I didn’t have much chance to slip either, so I assumed I was safe.
Then I hit 21 – guys started giving me some attention, moved away for a time, struggled with my work environment. Prayed but all I got? A resounding silence.
And what do I do; seek God more, persevere, be built into patience and trust?
Nah, like on autopilot, when I got disappointed time after time I stopped trying to communicate with God, and found comfort in people instead. How silly?!
I stopped attempting quiet time – not  on purpose, I just fell out of habit – as nothing was happening and wasn’t feeling God’s presence at all. A distance was created.

Then  Ifound myself making some risky and uncomfortable choices for one reason or another. I was spoken to like never before, like I was fascinating and gorgeous and desired. Some new sensations came to view. I got curious.. And the rest is history.

If that’s not bad enough just wait.
He was married with kids, whom I’ve met, as terrible as that sounds.
Think that’s it?
I slipped again not long afterwards, with another guy whom I allowed to lose more of myself in search of pleasant sensations.

They both took me so unexpectedly – not particularly attractive men, but it was the way they touched me and spoke to me that made me fall into the blinding lies of the enemy!
I kid you not when I say I DON’T UNDERSTAND how my impulses took over my clear mind.

It’s hard even being at church pretending to be all dandy, talking to my old friends when they ask me about my experience over there. Now I feel a great pull away from my Father. The harder I try to get out of my mess and break these ‘soul ties’ that seem to bind me, the more I fail, unable to move, lifeless – how could I approach God again and read His word without feeling the uttermost emptiness and shame, how could I look at Him, when I can’t even bring myself to confess to another living soul?
I don’t want to make this about myself either, but it’s messing me up so I’m putting it out there, as a way to come to terms with it, let go, and warn you, reader. Whatever you think you’ll never be tempted in – you’re wrong, never let your guard down and keep your focus on GOD. Please be watchful and vigilant, prayerful and grateful always.
Believe me when I say nothing compares to the joy of being soaked in God’s presence. I absolutely mean it.

Now I struggle with lust, regret, self condemnation and depression. I know some lessons are difficult to learn unless you suffer from experience,  I still believe this. However I now know that even if I don’t understand, it is still good for me to obey biblical advice, and trust it’s there for a reason.
Keep the door locked until it’s time, because the consequences are not worth this unbearable weight that demands to be carried afterwards.

 

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFHlxLWdeTQ

PS I found this short message from John Piper insanely helpful in my spiritual fight.

uni life thoughts

On my flight to London I had 3 hours to think about what was happening in my life. I had got on my first flight ever, which was more exciting than scary I’m relieved to say. I was going to a country, notoriously known for its cold weather and cold people. I am not one to believe stereotypes, but they are after all stereotypes for a reason, and when people you know repeat again and again their observations and experiences more or less you start to build your expectations. Looking out the window just after the air hostess had announced that we had arrived in London, I was welcomed by that grey, cloudy sky I had heard much about, which then triggered in my mind the other notion I was presented.

If I didn’t have a group of other Bulgarians traveling to the same place as me, I would most likely have felt like crying at that point, but I got it together and followed the stream of people through what felt like a maze of turns at the airport. Coming out of Arrivals I was surprised to see a bunch of young people holding signs with the uni symbols and smiling widely and friendly at us.  I believe I gave a sigh of relief at that sight. We had a big week ahead of us, and now that I knew we were gonna safely get there I was ready to embrace it.

What I experienced wasn’t a culture shock, though I was warned about those, but it did feel somewhat surreal not recognizing anything around me. It took me about a week to get used to everything, including hearing andspeaking in English almost all the time. I must admit I found this particularly exhausting in the beginning – I would get headaches a lot, and sometimes stop listening when people weren’t talking directly to me.

I met so many people that first fortnight, I’m sure it was more than I had in the whole year before. Many of them I have forgotten by now, some are just lingering names or faces. I still recognize the girl who first greeted me at the airport though, every time I see her around campus I go back to that moment, involuntarily it just pops into my mind.

It proved less scary than all I had imagined, I wasn’t after all going to end up alone, locked in my room wallowing in depression and self pity. Because as it turns out, everyone is scared, some more and some less, but on some scale everyone wants to find acceptace and a feeling of belonging, friends to be real with. It was no doubt exciting, being so social, but at one point one has to finally pick friends from acquaintances.  And that’s when I finally felt at home, when I met someone I could honestly, wholeheartedly call   ‘a friend’.

After that everything just fell into place. We went to church together and met new people together and sat together through lectures and hung out after, had inside jokes. I had a face to look for in a crowd. I had someone who shared my interests and hobbies, who understood me and I them, with whom I could relax and be myself, share my opinions and thoughts freely with no fear of being rejected or laughed at, who was genuinely interested in getting to know me and has proven an amazing support during hard times, and still is.

So my advice to international students is just to use all the resources we’re given. There are so many choices even in just the Christian world- Chaplaincy’s Global Cafe, Friends international, Christian union etc;

Be yourself, but don’t go trusting everyone you meet, some people you need to test before really opening up to. You will find friends, there are definitely people compatible with you.  This is where clubs and societies come in. There are so many of those! Don’t go telling me that not one of them interests you at all. And if it does but you’re not sure- try it. Just trust me and go to one of their meetings.  Chances are you’re gonna enjoy it and meet people with whom you have at least one interest in common already.

There’s probably a society for your nationality, or similar which can be really great, I’m sure loads of students find them invaluable. For myself, in contrast, I have very little to nothing in common with the rest of the Bulgarians I’ve met so far, so belonging to the same nation is no guarantee to provide a base for friendship, but it might make the transition easier. I’m proud to be a Bulgarian, of course, I love my country and my home, and I’m glad to belong in a community, but there’s more to me, get to know my personality, don’t just label me Bulgarian or foreigner.

There’s another subject that I just thought of. Fitting in with British culture and students can take a while but eventually you’ll get there, you’ll understand their jokes, their banter if you will, their references, idioms they use, manner of speech and dialect. Given enough time here and enough immersion, you will likely pick it up too. But then a rather obscure problem comes to my mind. Does that lead to loss of identity in any way? I can’t give a definitive answer but I think it could. What I’ve noticed with myself is when I switch to Bulgarian with my friends I am a slightly different person, than I am in English. Also, it happens sometimes that I forget some words in my native language and just say them in English because it’s easier. I would have soaked up English culture and mannerism and carry them on in my everyday life. I fear that is inevitable. But is this loss of identity? Or is it a development? Because it’s just another side of you, originating from external circumstances and is natural. It’s not to say you’re betraying your nationality, but rather a survival tactic, that’s just there to help you handle the change and adapt to it.

I’ve noticed most British people on my course stick to each other and don’t mix with internationals much, unless the international student acts like one of them, or pretends he is one of them.  So what is so scary about us, I genuinely want to know. I ought to make a survey about that. I swear we are not at all scary or bad. I’m sure if I or someone else was stuck on an elevator with a british student for, say a few hours, we would surely get chatting and getting to know each other as people, not as ‘english and bulgarian’ but more likely ‘comic book collector and movie lover’, like ‘jazz and house’,  like ‘ pb + jam and pb + chocolate’, like ‘Van Gogh and Banksy’. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

the most beautiful lady

I met a lady so beautiful it made me cry.

She wandered into the store with a nice warm smile looking for my mum, who wasn’t there at the moment.We chatted for a bit and then mum showed up.After the lady left to go about her day my mum told me more about her.

She lives alone and has no family to speak of, except a sister in US. She says that,  because she’s ugly no one really gives her any attention, apart from my mum. That’s why she comes to the store to chat. She faithfully does my mum favours and buys her small gifts every now and then. She also buys the little random items that no one else would buy from the shop for whatever reason, because she relates. Then she gives them away.

After mum told me all that I couldn’t help but tear up and this lady.. although not particularly physically appealing, seemed to me like the most beautiful person I had met in a long time. I kept thinking about her all throughout the day and on to the next.

I think her story will stick with me for a while.

 

 

the lesson

Вчера гледах с брат ми български филм на име Урокът. Като европейско кино естествено, действието се развиваше дооста бавно и потискащо. Та този филм го гледахме в продължение на близо час и половина. В един момент (поредната) сърце-раздираща драма беше на път да се случи в така или иначе тежкия живот на главната героиня и аз не издържах. Станах и отидох в другата стая да се занимавам с нещо друго.Естествено от другата стая все пак чух, че се е случило точно това, което очаквах. Тази жена беше буквално на дъното, и макар че се беше трудила усърдно и честно, всички и отказваха помощ.

Краят не изчаках и заспах преди да е свършил филма за да питам брат ми какво е станало накрая. Докато се опитвах да заспя премислях какво какъв какъв беше “урокът”. Дали, че животът без пари е скапан? Че хората лъжат и не можеш да се довериш на никого?

Не знам, но аз друга поука си извадих. Като цяло, не за този специално. Според мен за да е интересна една история трябва да има някаква трудност за преодоляване. Момент, в който да покажеш геройство, да се пречупи нещо в теб, да надвиеш плътта си. Момент, в който да се довериш на Бог, защото сам не можеш да се справиш. Да се предадеш. Ако всичко върви по мед и масло, няма как да го оцениш.И така заключвам, че трудностите са необходими до някаква степен.

Та. Да се върнем към основната тема. В такъв момент аз се предадох и излязох от стаята. Въобще има филми, които са трудни за гледане, но ако веднъж си го видял и знаеш какво ще се случи и как ще свърши с хепи енд* тогава става малко по-лесно. Знаеш със сигурност, че накрая всичко ще е наред и злото даже може да се обърне за добро. Защото иначе филма би те оставил неудоволетворен.
И така – не се отказвай.

“When we hit our lowest point we are open to the greatest change.” – Avatar Aang

 

 

* (не винаги, но често) и как накрая някак всичко се е подредило както трябва. Така завършват филмите които аз харесвам. Ако завърши с хаос и разочарование и  feeling of dread, директно отива в категорията на “never again”.

не спрях (птп)

Снощи ми дойде една доста точна метафора за първата ми връзка. Понеже уча за шофьорски изпит..

През първото пътно произшествие преминах невредима.
Случи се на един кръстопът.
Катастрофа, но с минимални последствия – само леко ожулване (което забелязах доста по-късно).
Аз си продължих напред и дори не намалих. Не спрях.
Мисля, че се опитах, но колата не поддаде.
Вината беше моя. Не съобразих.
Оставих те, видях на огледалото, смачкан до неузнаваемост.
И не спрях. Дори не намалих.

thought of the day

I get lost. A lot.
For whatever reason I can’t seem to be able to stick to the map route and always end up wandering off and finding myself at a dead end having to go right back. Might be becaue in the back of my mind I’m wishing to find a secret road, like a treasure. The road less traveled.

What they don’t tell you though, is that 9/10 times it will be a dead end or really nothing impressive. But it’s also to a great extent what makes that one time so amazing and special. What I believe is that the struggle to the top plays a crucial role in how awesome the view sitting at the top is. Like you have fought for something, achieved something. You have earned it.

So therefore my advice (to myself as well as to you) is don’t be afraid of the obstacles and adversities which  life will inevitably throw at you. Rather embrace them and make the most of each experience – good or bad. Use them to get stronger

bursting bubbles

In our day and society I find that our worldview is created by the media – that’s no secret of course. I just wanted to give a warning. Thoughts, opinions and morals are strongly influenced, if not entirely created by what you perceive and this can lead to some dire complications.
There’s some real bull***t being preached out there.
Think about things, always, question what you see and hear.

And so please, please teach your kids morals and right from wrong before letting them watch whatever’s on TV.

On that note, also don’t raise your children in a Christian bubble – solely bible stories and ignorance about the outside world and all in it. Rather introduce them to it and educate them, speak with them, answer their questions, don’t just brush those aside, because if you don’t teach them someone else will. Challenge them.

It’s perfectly fine and I think healthy, to let them watch Harry Potter (etc)  for example – yes it features wizards and magic but do you think it will have them tempted to play with the occult? Honestly? Not if you have taught them well and if they truly know Jesus they won’t be. Watch it with them!

It can teach them some good and valuable life lessons like friendship, fighting for what’s right, etc. Their imagination will also develop. Also, c’mon, it’s pop culture. They will need to be able to participate in discussions and understand references.Otherwise they will always feel left out of the group.

Childhood forms so much of one’s personality, even throughout adulthood and it’s bewildering  that parents are so careless anyway.

P.S. It’s ok to disagree with a movie, or a character in a book, etc. Some are even there exactly to make us question our ideas and thoughts and that’s alright. That’s quality, consider those, but don’t feel like it’s necessarily the right thing.