The battle for joy

More than once I’ve found myself tempted to be pessimistic and withdrawn in my own space of thoughts; that finding hope and beauty can be a challenge.

The truth is, waves of negativity can overwhelm and disorientate you. Push you around and tire you out. That’s when you need to push back! They will try to drown you, but you’re stronger, in fact the stronger their force, the stronger they’re making you. They can’t win, it may seem like it, but believe me, you’ll come out of it victorious.

Push back, hold out, trust me, you’ve got this! It’s a simple reminder, but easily forgotten. I needed it tonight.

Phillipians 2:13 AMP

13 For it is [not your strength, but it is God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

Zechariah 4:6 ESV

..Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

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Хъшовете

Прибирам се тъкмо от театрална постановка по повестта Немили недраги от Вазов. Невероятна игра, наистина бях пренесена в епохата на революционизма!
За това все още съм донякъде там – над такива моменти обичам да размишлявам, и не можех напълно да обърна внимание на майка ми която веднага след това изключи за театъра и си започна с редовните въпроси.

А аз все си мисля, как сцената на живота се е преобърнала  за 200 години и сега чужденците живеят добре и българите бягат да търсят качество на живот ИЗВЪН родината, и всеки кима със примирие. ?! Кажи това на Странджата и ще те разкъса на място.

А тогава, борци за свобода народна, гладуващи и мизеруващи, тъгували по родината и готови с хъс да дадат живота  си само да са част от освободителната битка. Чест и достойнство да умреш в бой за свобода. Да умреш на родна земя със знамето в ръка, пеейки задружно силни думи с горящ отвътре дух. СВОБОДА ИЛИ СМЪРТ. НАПРЕД!

Поразена съм.Не искам да се повтарям с един предишен пост на подобна тематика, но имах нужда да излея тези си мисли..

thought of the day

Je t'aimemon cheri.jpg

The story behind this is as follows.

A friend asked me what did I always “dream” of doing. I didn’t have a concrete answer, but what came out was something along the lines of “.. get a motorbike, pack my essentials and travel”. Because of the kind of person he was, he pushed for further detail, expecting my dream to include having sex. Because of the kind of person I am, I followed according to his expectations. “..sure, I would meet lots of people and dance on tabletops and be spontaneous with what happens next.” We left it at that.

Scroll up 2 years later, when I was hitchhiking, meeting people, traveling to breathtaking locations and having an amazing time. Yes, I had sexual experiences, ones I didn’t really want but I found myself in these situations somehow. And it only left me empty.
I wasn’t craving what was “forbidden” then way he was. I did what I wanted to do, and what I didn’t. If I could go back I would change a lot about the ways I communicated.

One of the big lessons for me out of 2017 was, even if it doesn’t tempt me, it might tempt them. So if it might tempt them, don’t do it. Also, don’t let people buy you things because then it feels like you owe them something. And you don’t. 

 

 

 

 

 

Letters to him

I miss you. Yes I know I probably haven’t met you yet, but I wish you were here. I want to hold you and kiss you. I want to talk to you and discuss our big thoughts and ideas. I want to talk about the future and the past. I want to cuddle and watch movies. I want to send you cheeky photos at work and hide silly love notes for you. I want to tag you in cute memes and I want to take photos with you. I want you to be part of my world and I – part of yours. I want to hold your hand as we fall asleep. I wonder if you’re also looking at the starry sky tonight and thinking about me. Or at all?

I miss you because I think of you and imagine us. I miss you because you’re not here. Yet.

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?