Noemi, Daughter

Noemi

Her hair is lighter than it used to be
I marvel at her long slender legs
That were once short with baby fat
Those big eyes are still big and beautiful
And right now they are wild with wonder
And joy;
A stunning ebony butterfly, with pearl white spots
And a splash of powder blue around the bottom wings
Has flown over my 5-year-old daughters head
Her bare feet pound the sand as she runs across the beach
To catch it.
Then, little sisters come following close behind
Their exuberance angers the oldest one
Who understands the butterfly will disappear
At their chubby hands grabbing
I mediate their bickering, and soon
The fun of the chase continues.
The oldest stands still, hands out stretched
Hoping this lovely creature will grace her arms
She. Is. So. Beautiful.
The child who opened my womb
Who gave me the honor of…
Mother
Her beauty is as unique and exquisite
As the butterfly she longs to hold onto—
Even more!
My heart expands like open fields,
Like the depths of the ocean,
Like the canyons deep.
Will she know her own beauty
After the tender moments of childish innocence
Are gone?
Will she know her strength
After her heart is broken for the first time?
Will she know that a thousand years with her
Is not enough time?
Not enough time at all.
My oldest daughter,
I look at you
And I see the brilliance of creation
I see the mercy of heaven’s King
Who saw it fit to bless me
With you.
You—this girl running across the beach
And splashing in the water
Holding, loving, and confronting
Little sisters
You—the one who opened my womb
And made me
Mother
Thank you.

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Through Muddy Waters- A Poem of Remembering

Through Muddy Waters

There is a reservoir inside of me
Quietly streaming
Until words break forth and
The waters come rushing over me.
There is a secret a child is holding
So closely to her heart
That even now, it’s terrible truth is hidden;
Even from herself
What is that heavy burden you carry, child?
What a cross to bear on those tiny shoulders
Speak to me.
I am here now, waiting…
I know your fear—your trepidation
But it is safe now
Someone is listening
And I will believe you.
Because I have felt your buried rage,
Your broken will,
Your tired pain—
And I want to make it right again for you.
Those waters broke open,
And my mind is swimming in the puzzle pieces
Of memories long forgotten
But not completely.
Your trembling hands have held onto this
(bruises you are hiding, tears you keep from falling,
That heavy cross of a secret to bear…)
For far too long
Come out, child inside of me,
Whisper to me the truth I want to hide from
Because these pieces will fall into place
And I will see
His name.
And remember.
Then, the healing can begin.

The Lies of the Enemy vs. The Glorious Truth

I have been very busy lately with the end of this semester fast approaching, along with life’s other obligations. I’ve been able to spend some time praying though, and it has brought up a theme for me; resisting temptation and the lies of the enemy.

This is in stark contrast to the promises of Yahweh, and what he can offer us to sooth our weary souls.

For those us with mental illness and/or addiction, we tend to experience emotions in a BIG way. Often we are just overwhelmed by them, and hence we seek out a way to ease that pain. The enemy tells us “I have these drugs, all kinds of drugs, pick one…it will sooth your suffering and take it all away”. Or maybe it’s sex, gambling, taking big risks; anything that takes us out of the pain and brings us a rush.

But as we know, this never lasts. In fact, when the high wears off we are much worse off than when we first started. Not to mention the trauma, the family rifts, and many other consequences of our using that we now have to deal with. The enemy lies to us, and by the time we realize we are trapped in this cycle of addiction and pain, we face a huge struggle to climb back out.

But we don’t have to do it alone. The entire time we were searching, searching, searching for that fix—that high—that thrill, He was waiting with his arms outstretched to us with real hope.

The enemy tells us, “Go ahead, indulge yourself and feel better”

“Go ahead, follow your own desires and thrills”

“Go ahead, I can make you feel better than you ever imagined.”

When this fails, when we end up doing nothing and sacrificing everything for that fix/that false cure—we end up often considering suicide. Imagine how the enemy feels when he tricks us into following his way, and then takes our very life from us? That is exactly what he wants to do; steal, kill, and destroy.

You know how horrible it feels when a young person dies, because that had to feed that addiction? Or a middle ages person dies and leaves their children and spouse, questioning and devastated?

It is as if we can see how things could have been. In an alternate universe, in a world where their life had a difference ending; we can see how much was lost for this addiction. It is so breathtakingly sad. It was almost my fate as well.

This is a song by R.E.M called “Country Feedback”, and I listened to it a lot as teen. Part of the refrain goes like this;

“It’s crazy what you could have,
Crazy what you could have had,
I need this…I need this…”

I used to cry so hard at that, because it cut to my soul. I knew I could have another life. I saw a future that could have been mine; college, love, children, etc. but I needed my high so badly that I just couldn’t have it. I could feel that other future, and its loss (and my inability to stop myself) was so gut wrenching.

Of course, my future is not what I believed it would be but ONLY because I have resisted and fought and clawed my way out of that abyss.

Yahushua (Jesus) tells us that we must hate even our very own life to be his disciple. What he means by that is, we must put him first and follow him no matter what.

We used to put drugs first, which leads to death…

We used to put risk taking first, which leads to death….

We used to put sex first, which leads to death….

We used to put cutting/self-injury first, which leads to death…

But now,

Oh now we have something glorious!

We put HIM first, which leads to LIFE!

HalleuYah. Amen.

We all struggle, if you are being tempted please remember that no temptation will overtake you that you cannot overcome with HIM. He always gives us a way out, he always shows us the narrow path that leads to life and bids us to walk in in—with Him.

I wish healing for you all.

Shalom.

Not Transphobic, Just Another Female Survivor of Sexual Abuse.

Forgive me while I empty myself of contents under pressure.

Women deserve private spaces. We deserve places where only females are allowed for our safety and privacy. We deserve to be protected and not have our concerns dismissed. My PTSD has been off the charts this week because of all these laws supposedly about equality for transwomen (men who feel like women, yet what does it “feel” like to be a woman? what exactly is a woman brain like? hmm?). I have no interest in hurting anyone’s feelings, and I can see why a “trans” person would be uncomfortable using a bathroom that doesn’t “fit” their idea of who they are or look like. However, I am sick to my stomach of being told that I am bigoted simply because I do not deny biological realities, and reject the idea of a man being born with a “woman’s brain”.

I don’t “feel” like a woman, I AM a woman. I am female and hence a woman. I get the difference between “gender” as a social construct but trans ideology says gender is innate and supersedes biology. I am really hurt over the snide comments of “oh these people are obsessed over where people pee”. NO. That is not it! Do these “transwomen” and activists/supporters know how it feels to be completely and totally overpowered by a man? I do. I know how it feels to realize that I am defenseless against someone because their BONE structure, MUSCLE mass/distribution, and height surpass mine like the majority of men in this world compared to women.

I have a right to be concerned over my safety when ANY MAN who says he “feels like a woman” can walk into a restroom that was previously (for..well..forever until now) a FEMALE only space. I have a right to be concerned about how EASY it would be for a male predator to take pictures of women and girls in various stages of undress (this is happening folks!). I do NOT want my 5 and 3 year old daughters to see a grown man naked in the YMCA dressing room (like has happened in another state where this law exists).Their own father doesn’t shower and undress in front of them, yet I should just deal with it because some man “identifies” with “womanhood”? If that happened at a park, he would be arrested and charged with a crime.

Why do we have sex segregated bathrooms and changing areas if it suddenly doesn’t matter anymore? The same people always yelling about “rape culture” are telling ME that NO MEN will take advantage of these laws to easily access women and girls who are partially or totally naked. I don’t believe you. I do not believe you. I am SO tired of women and girls safety and mental health being put LAST, again. I am SO tired of men forcing themselves in OUR spaces.

I am not claiming all “trans” women are predators, and some are actually speaking out against these laws because they realize that female’s deserve female spaces. I am sure they are struggling with intense issues and I hope they receive compassionate help for that. I do believe that there are “trans” people who truly have honest intentions with these laws, but I refuse to once again put my safety and right to privacy and comfort put last. And over my dead body will my daughter’s live in a world where their safety and well-being is put last without me putting up a fight. If I lose friends, fine. If I am called a transphobic bigot, fine. I know how often male sexual violence occurs against girls and women and I refuse to be silent when laws are passed that erase womanhood as a FEMALE lived experience attached to our biology and place FEMALES (and only females) at risk.
I can not sleep well. I am having panic attacks. I am having intrusive memories. This affects real women, please stop pretending it is just people caring about “where people pee”. Men do not know what it is like to be a woman, and I take offense at the often porn-ified and empty version of womanhood propped up by cross-dressing men (some who transition fully, some do not, most don’t).

Our voice doesn’t matter. Our comfort doesn’t matter. Being silenced by society over laws directly affecting me and my daughters hurts tremendously.

Do you know how easy those bathroom doors are to break down? My mind keeps going over it in detail. The door breaks, he is standing there, I am already partly undressed. My heart pounds. My mouth goes dry. I want to cry, scream, fight, run, vomit. And this is NOT some unimaginable and will-never-happen nightmare of a woman who who has endured trauma. Women and girls *are* sexually assaulted in bathrooms and changing areas. Men *sneak* in, and are not caught right away and are then able to attack unsuspecting women and girls.

Well if it already happens, then the law wont make it worse right? Wrong! It makes it easier because now he doesn’t have to hide. He can walk right in, and if a woman complains that a naked man is standing in the women’s changing room SHE will be the one who is told “too bad”. He has the legal right to be there because the law has erased the meaning of femaleness that includes biology. He is a woman because he says so.

And if women and girls don’t like it, THEY can leave. That is what we are told. Either accept getting naked next to a person with a penis or you can go someplace else. But when we suggest a private “gender neutral” space for trans people we are castigated as uncaring bigots who are hurting their egos and sense of self.

WOMEN must leave our own spaces, unless we accept penises. That is really what it is. We have to believe that the man with a penis is *just as much of a woman* as we are. I do not accept that, and you possess zero evidence to back up this rigid dogma beyond the feelings of a minority of men.

I have a reasonable reason to be afraid, given the statistics of rape and sexual assault against women, those of us with vaginas. I can defend myself against an aggressive woman much more easily than I could ever defend myself against a man. And a woman lacks a penis to rape me with, so there is that.

Women are not allowed our spaces. Our fears are mocked. Transactivists call for the death, mutilation and rape of “cis scum” as we called. And now, we not even allowed to describe our own bodies as female.

“Not all woman have vaginas” they say. Therefore I must censor my speech and use only language sanctioned by males who insist their penis is female.

Did you know that a man pretended to be trans in order to be placed inside female shelters for homeless women? He sexually assaulted two of them in two separate places. One woman was escaping domestic violence. Are we allowed no safe place?

Yet, “these laws don’t put women at risk”. Tell that to the women who should have been safe in a female only shelter. Tell that to the women in a female prison who are housed with a violent male sex offender who decided he was actually a woman after all.

This post is kind of disorganized, shattered, here and there.

Excuse me while I go calm the raging anxiety inside of me, while society legally defines womanhood as a feeling and marginalizes females and their safety. While they march toward a meaningless and ever shifting definition of OUR lives and bodies.

Excuse me, as I go quiet my rage.

Excuse me…excuse me…

There I go, always asking to be excused. Always shrinking. Always apologizing.

So female.

Accepting Love, After Sexual Trauma.

The deepest kind of sadness is felt by one who is lonely in that sadness. Although I endeavor to share my experience and my hope, there are certain places where that raw loneliness has remained untouched by another human soul. Those deep places, still bleeding after all these years.

My sex is something painful. On one hand, womanhood has blessed me immeasurably. I rejoice over my body’s ability to grow a person inside my womb, birth that person into the world, and nourish and comfort that baby at my breast. In fact, having children gave me love for my body and gender for the first time as an adult. Yet it feels that my body has betrayed me so many times.

I ask myself, was I ever innocent? I know that I was. If I think hard about it; I remember. I was an innocent child. I deserved no harm against me. Still that feeling of ugly, dirty, worthlessness has been etched so far into my psyche that it can be difficult to force a memory of innocence.

Too. Many. Men.

That is the truth. They have no number, no name, only some have a face or hands that I remember. There are just too many, far too many, men.

I remember just when they succeeded in crushing my spirit inside of me, along with my body and blood and bone. That moment when I stopped the fruitless and pathetic begging. When my legs ceased to kick erratically and ineffectively against the strength of their manhood. When I no longer opened my mouth to utter a painful “no”.

My mouth closed. My legs opened, without fight, with resignation. I had been lost. Defeated. Completely overcome.

So. Many. Years.

That is the truth. I cannot recall a time that I was not so damaged by them. It seeps into every corner of my mind—my very being is infused with my defeat. For so many, many years I could not resist them; any of them. My body and mind checked out, survival meant submission. And I did survive.

I couldn’t accept the forgiveness of my Father in Heaven because I knew he would never want something like me. I felt less than human. I looked around at the kind people at this church I had never been exposed to, and I knew that I would never be them. I could never be them. Someday they would realize it too. Someday they would stand me up, strip me naked, and expose my filthiness. I would be thrown out, cast away, shut off from the kingdom.

Yet, what does this Savior say?

That those who hurt children would be better off thrown into the sea. My abusers were adults, they saw my lack of maturity and used it to their advantage. They knew I was desperate, so they used me. They saw that I was unable to defend myself, so they hurt me.

What does this Savior say?

Those who come to him will be forgiven, clean as snow where they were once scarlet. He will forget, remove, destroy the sin that trapped me and held me in perpetual guilt and slavery. There is no sin too great, no person too low. He sees me as pure, even if I can’t yet.

Again, what does this Savior say?

That prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of the Father before the hypocritical “righteous” do! He says to the woman who has lost her way, “You are forgiven. Go, and sin no more.”
Even prostitutes can enter the Kingdom?

When we seek His face, repent, and trust Him; we are forgiven. Yes, even we.

Even I.

Tonight, the emotions of the past are climbing into the present. I feel uncomfortable. I feel the aching despair of shame and loneliness. Has anyone else had so much taken from them, that they just wanted to scream “ENOUGH! I have NOTHING left! Stop touching me! Stop taking from me! I am empty”? Has anyone else ever stood in a crowded room and wondered if the people talking to them would stay, if they knew “their history”? Has anyone cried uncontrollably and alone wondering what it feels like to be loved instead of hurt by others?

I have. For too many years. From too many men.

I want to focus on One Man; Yahushua(Jesus), who DOES love me. He does not and will never hurt me. He forgives my sins, and he shows me where I should be forgiving to those who have sinned against me. He can heal me, if I will open myself to Him and accept his love.

Help me to accept your love tonight, my Savior.

Help me to accept your healing tonight, my Abba Yahweh.

To my sisters who understand the aching grief of sexual abuse, I am so sorry you have endured it as I have. I love you, and you are loved by the one who created you. You do not deserve abuse. Please, reach out to someone and allow them to love you on this journey.

Peace to you. Shalom.

*Relevant Bible Verses (brackets inserted by me) *

John 8:10,11 Straightening up, Jesus [Yahushua] said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus [Yahushua] said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Matt 21:31 … “I [Yahushua] tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.”

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD [YHWH, Yahweh]. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Luke 17: 1,2 He [Yahushua] said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.

A Time of Trials

I feel pressed in on every side. In each direction a heavy stone wall leans menacingly against me. My hands are frantically pushing back against them each in turn but I lack enough strength to hold them all up, so in a panic I realize that they are all going to crush me.

This has been my month so far. March 2016, not joyful like it should be. It is the Biblical New Year, Passover is fast approaching, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and last but not least my first child’s 5th birthday is on March 31st. Yet, it has been one crisis after the other and my hands are shakily holding up these walls; but they keep pressing and pressing in.

First, it was the months and months of unpaid utility bills. Although I more than qualify for help, the mountains of paperwork, dealing with two separate government agencies (neither very willing to assist) and red tape and after red tape left me with shut off notices and no help in sight.

Second, my insurance company has found something wrong with the multiple pre-auth’s my suboxone/subutex doctor has given them. This means that during a month where I am struggling to keep gas and electric on I now have an essential medication NOT being paid for, while pregnant! I have been taking suboxone because of my previous heroin addiction for 8 long years (this will be addressed in future blogs dedicated solely to buprenorphine treatment and subutex in pregnancy). It is essential for my health both physically and mentally/emotionally, and it is just as important for my unborn baby because withdrawal can induce a miscarriage.

I am up against these big companies, these government agencies, these unjust bureaucracies and I can’t take it anymore. My emotional energy is run dry. My strength is just as depleted as my pathetic bank account and meager savings I am losing over this.

How can I get through? Why is this happening?

In the past I would run to my old ways. I know how to make money illegally, that is how I survived for many years before I met my husband and had my children and got clean. I briefly went back to some of my old ways when I encountered serious problems in my martial life last year and I never want to do that again (and I won’t). But the enemy does whisper “you know how to make those hundreds of dollars you need”.

Yes, with my body. The only currency I had. It was taken first, and then I learned how to sell myself. But is that the way? Are my morals worth sacrificing? Is my marriage worth destroying? Is it the message I want to send to my THREE beautiful GIRLS? That whenever life gets really, really difficult they can always sell their bodies to the highest bidder and move on? No. No. NO!

My Father in Heaven wants me to trust him. I just don’t know how. That is the truth. I do not know how!

How do I look at this mess, where I see no way out and trust that my Savior can actually rescue me?

Am I really worth more than many sparrows? Do you actually number the hairs on my head? Do you? How can I know, really know?

Also, if I am honest, this issue with my medication drags up so many buried painful memories of addiction and detoxing. I am SO scared to get sick, not only because of the horrendous physical consequences (my body has not functioned off opiates for even a single day in over 10 years) but also I am scared down to my bones over relapsing.

A relapse equals death to me. I was literally dying when I stopped using dope (heroin) and smoking crack (my true drug of choice). I suffered a heart attack, spent four days in the hospital, and I still got high after they released me. I was so sick my body was unable to keep ANY food down. I carried plastic bags with me everywhere to vomit in any time I consumed food or water. I was dying physically, and I was dying emotionally and spiritually.

It is this sick, evil, black shadow at my back; addiction. The threat of not having my medication that, for all its drawbacks, HAS indeed helped to save my life is absolutely terrifying on a level that I cannot describe to you. It is my life that I fear losing to this beast. I cannot pretend that I “would never”. That is the scariest part.

I cannot say that I “would never”
Leave my precious babies
Leave my husband
Steal from my loved ones
Lie to everyone
Go back to prostitution
Live on the streets
Etc etc etc all of the hellish things that come with active addiction.

This beast is on my back, breathing down my neck and it scares me to the core; and I am not even having cravings! I feel okay in that regard, as I typically do thanks to my medication and the other supports I have for my recovery, and my faith. But the idea, the mere thought or suggestion that it is possible to go down that road keeps me awake at night.

I hold my children just that much tighter. I feel like I built this life and this beast could come and devour it. I want to protect my life with all that I have within me, and this insurance issue drags all this up for me.

So is there nothing positive to report? Is there no good news? Is there nothing faithful and true to say?

Of course there is. In fact, I had originally planned on writing some much more uplifting blog posts on the joy of watching my oldest grow, and I still plan to do so. There has been spiritual growth in this trial, but I am yet a babe and I know that there is much I need to learn. However, this post is venting over the troubles of this month. I had to purge it out of me.

Remember, saying what you fear and saying what your struggling with, making it public exposes it all and keeps the enemy from digging in his claws.

I wish peace to you all. Shalom.

*Relevant Bible Verses*

Ephesians 5:13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself

Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Mark 4:17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Matthew 10:29-31 29“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31“So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Coping with Stress

Don’t you just wish some days that you could pack a bag and head off to someplace sunny and beautiful and remote? Where you could sit on the sandy beaches and let your feet touch the foamy waves? Most importantly, someplace where your bills and responsibilities cannot find you? Today is certainly one of those days for me.

This month has brought about the dreaded STRESS. The details don’t really matter, they change every time, but the STRESS is always the same. For someone in recovery from mental illness and/or drug addiction, stress can be particularly damaging. We tend to have a more difficult time coping with the stressors of life compared with people who have not endured our struggles. After all, we got high mostly to avoid whatever uncomfortable emotional state we were in.

For those of us with mental illness (of any kind) stress is a big trigger for symptoms. It is extremely important to know what you can and cannot handle, and ask for help if you are overwhelmed! I have made this mistake before.

As mothers, we tend to feel the need to take care of everything. We are caring for little ones and running around from here to there, hardly taking notice of our own needs. Some days I just collapse into bed without having done a single thing for myself because I have been meeting the needs (the many needs!) of these little people around me. However, this is not good! Especially during stressful trials, it is essential to care for yourself and ask for assistance where you may need it.

When my oldest child was only a baby, I endured a lot of hardship in my marriage and actually ended up in a family homeless shelter for a few months. I was under a tremendous amount of stress to find a place for us to live and enough resources to live off of. I held it down while at the shelter but once I found a tiny closet of an apartment for us to move into, I just fell completely apart.

I was incredibly depressed. I was hardly functioning at all. I was lost in my head all day long tormented by my PTSD. I was taking care of my daughter in only the most basic of ways; her clothes were clean, she was getting bathed, she was fed, her diaper was changed—but I was NOT okay! I really needed help, but what held me back from asking?

Shame!

Fear!

I was scared of disappointing my mother and everyone else. I was constantly in psychiatric units as a teenager and young adult but I had finally been doing well ever since I got pregnant with my daughter. I felt embarrassed to admit that I was no longer doing well. I was ashamed.

I was fearful of what kind of reactions I would receive. Would I be deemed an unfit mother? Would I be seen as a hopeless case? Would everyone be terribly disappointed in me?

I was also very reluctant to leave my baby daughter, who was very young and very attached to me. How could I leave my baby, even for one week? How would my mother take off work? It just seemed impossible, and I didn’t want to burden anyone with helping me.

I have to tell you; I really regret not asking for help. Although I didn’t start getting high again (by the skin of my teeth), I did fall back into some very destructive behaviors. I also realize now that the best thing possible for my daughter at that point was for her mother to be mentally healthy. It didn’t matter that I was with her physically if I was distant and unable to care for her emotionally. Maybe only one week of rest and therapy would have improved my situation.

I wish I could tell you that now I always ask for help whenever I need it. I wish I could say that I learned my lesson and I don’t need to learn it again. This would not be entirely true. There have been other times since then where I really wasn’t doing so well and had put too much on my plate. I still do not like asking for help.

However, I have gotten much better at knowing my own limitations. If something is just too much for me, I acknowledge that and remove it from my life. I am currently in school with the goal of getting my R.N, but I am going to school part-time because I know my limitations and full-time school plus caring for my children is just too much for me to handle. I felt bad about that at first. I felt like a failure. I felt like I would never be “normal”. Now I understand that this is just who I am and these are the struggles that I have. Learning to work with myself rather than hating myself for failing to meet the expectations of others has helped keep me mentally healthy, and improved my ability to perform well in school and other areas of life.

So, back to this being a particularly stressful month. Sometimes the stress in our lives is not something we can control! This is the worst kind of stress, because we can add the feeling of helplessness to it. Again, this is a good time to ask for help. If you don’t have a person to help you (keep trying to find someone!) there is always One who we can go to for help to endure our trials—our Father in Heaven! Our Savior, His Son!

Pray. Pray. Pray. And then pray some more.

Read psalms. Read stories of how Yahweh has helped His people over and over throughout time. Take comfort in His ability to help us. There is a lesson to be learned. There is something, somewhere, that is good to come of this trial.

I hope you take comfort in that if you are struggling. I know I do.

And you know what else really helps stress? Hugs from your children. There is nothing that can more quickly change my heart from fearful and stressed out to calm and peaceful than hugs from my baby girls.

I wish you peace. Shalom.

*Relevant Scripture Verses, brackets inserted by me*

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love

God[Elohim]: those who are called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God [Elohim] of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ[Messiah], will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. [words of Messiah]

James 1:2-8 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. …