When Addiction Hits Close To Home

When Addiction Hits Close to Home

Christina Crain talks about gaining perspective, defining the problem, and finding the pathway to freedom when addiction touches our lives and the lives of others around us.

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True Confessions of New York Girl

When I think of embarrassing moments there are those that rise to the top. I will never forget the dressing room; I was standing in line to try on some clothes, when a nice lady asked me if all the rooms were taken. I simply replied that they were and that I was in line. On the outside this was a normal exchange, nothing too ordinary about it.

 Let me just add a little more color to the scene.

 

The scene: a mall in Scranton Pennsylvania, America. A true Yankee, born and raised in New York, where all “a” sounds are clearly that of a New Yorker. Enter in a sweet lady with an accent identified by the untrained ear as “British.” They begin the dialogue where in the lady who may appear to be from the UK, judged by her accent, asks if the dressing rooms are full. At this time the New York grown American replies in a British accent that they are full and there is a line.

 

There you have it friends. I confess. I am not really entirely sure what came over me, but I do know that immediately I wanted to leave. In fact, I abandoned my position in line for a room and took off all together. There was something in me that just instinctively responded to the dialect and tried to parrot her. I was not mocking her. I don’t have a real explanation other than it felt left a foreign language that I should try to respond in. It would have been bad just to respond, but the entire back and forth exchange I needed to maintain where I first started off.   To the unknown lady in the dressing room, I apologize, I meant no harm or foul. I am truly sorry.

 

Have you ever had a moment like that where immediately you wish you could take it away, un-do it, or perhaps erase the memory? You are not alone, and in-fact sometimes it is something silly or embarrassing like responding in an accent, but other times it is far more traumatizing. Maybe something done to you, or some action you wish you could take back. Even still, maybe it was how you were raised, or memories from your past.

 

Regardless of its origins; shame steals. Shame speaks that you need to hide who you are. It cloaks you in guilt and forces you to play roles to attempt at making the shame go away. It invites you to wear a mask, press the pain down, and be a different version of who you were made to be just to survive.

 

I am here to tell you that shame does not have to steal from you any longer, when we unveil the dark places in our lives we can be known by people, we can begin to heal what shame once stole. Can I encourage you today to speak to your shame, unveil the contents of your identity, and take off the masks? Face who you were made to be so shame cannot define you any longer.

 

-C

Posted in Blacklist, Change, Confession, Faith, Freedom, Identity, Offences, Shame, Trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Free

We largely do not live free because we do not understand our world and how it works! Lets look at three ways we can live free and understand our world through the example of Christ.

Posted in Ability, Change, Deppression, Destiny, Faith, Freedom, Identity, Media, Suffering, Trials, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

too little too much

Two women enter a room. One has a million dollars the other the dream of a million dollars. They each control the other. Which one are you?

One thinks she is too much the other thinks she is not enough. Each one lives the fullness of the identity they have adopted and each one lives completely controlled by the people around them.

 

These two women go by the names of Sarah and Hagar. It’s an ancient story where Sarah is promised to have generations of offspring that will outnumber the stars in the sky, with one caveat; she is old. Hagar, on the other hand is merely a servant girl, who could never imagine life outside of service. Their story is full of a roller coaster that has both of these women operating out of their two worldviews: “I am too much,” and “I am not enough.”

 

Sarah’s position is that she is barren, but she has been given this grand promise. Her opportunity is her need for God but rather she decides to take her destiny into her hands and give her servant to her husband in hopes of offspring. She is too much to wait on God in her need that she takes action. What we see is an attempt for her to control her righteousness, her destiny. Her focus is ultimately on herself and what she can do. She responds to Hagar with harshness, even blaming her husband for her actions. She demands that Abraham choose between the promise or her. She wants the promises of God but the mantra of “I am too much,” gets in the way of God’s perfect timing.

 

Hagar’s position is servanthood, yet before her is the opportunity to receive the blessing of marriage and children, she has the opportunity to be a partaker in the promise, yet she functions out of an unworthiness. Immediately, Hagar, once she conceived broadcasts a self-righteousness toward Sarah. That her lowly state and her sudden favor of the Lord’s is her crown of righteousness. False humility takes stage and she ends up fleeing from her mistress. She believes that she is not enough and that she must go. All she wanted was to be seen yet the mantra of “I am not enough,” keeps her hidden and fleeing from view.

 

The story continues, Hagar returns and Sarah ends up conceiving almost 15 years later. At the ripe age of 100 Sarah gives birth and she has the opportunity for blessing and motherhood. Sadly, her focus of “I am too much,” remains. She begins to blame God for having a child so old, demanding that people will laugh at her so much that she starts accusing Ishmael of mocking her and demands that they leave forfeiting the promises to Abrahams decedents. The nagging thought that she is too much and the thought that her son could not share God’s promise with Hagar’s son takes prime stage.  She wants what God wants, but her self-focus declares that her destiny is just for her rather than all of humanity.

 

As Sarah’s opportunity moves toward blessing while Hagar’s moves toward need.  She and her son are accused of mocking Sarah, they are cut out, and sent away. She immediately gives up, walks away from her son in their need, and assumes the worst; namely that he will die.  Her worldview of “I am not enough,” causes her to give into her circumstances, focus on the negative, and acts as though God could not see her. She wants God to see her and meet her need but she can’t see that God wants to give her more including the blessings promised to Sarah’s son.

 

Comparison identity is by far one of the most enslaving mindsets yet. Men, women, young, old, no one is immune from the talons of comparison. It demands that you look at other people, anyone, as the sum total of your worth and value. It is exhausting, never ending, and most specifically enslaving. You either are looking at others and as more than you or less than you.

 

One says that you are too much, that God needs your help, and demands that God do things the way you think. The other says that you are not enough, that God won’t help you and that you don’t have anything to live for. Both of these extremes damage who you were made to be. They damage what you were made for.

 

You are made to live free. To be fully you, participants in the blessings of God and partakers in His purposes and plans. Lay down comparison, lay down the old mantras of being too much or not enough. Step into who you were made to be!

 

-C

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what’s in your family box?

My garage is full of boxes. We are freshly married and the excess of our combined lives, lives in our garage, including everything from the wedding. It serves as the extra space for our kitchen items, our lawn games, our tools, and of course all of the wedding decor.

 

More recently; however, I just inherited a number of items that belonged to my late father. These boxes are also in my garage. They are filled with items that are left from his life, his passions, and his hobbies. They were once his but now they are mine.

As I have looked at them I’ve realized there are only three things I can do with these items:

  1.  I can unpack them and let them become a part of my life,
  2. I can keep them in boxes and carry them around with me the rest of my life, or
  3. I can get rid of them.

Regardless about how I feel, or the memory associated with them, these three options remain and I find myself often wondering what to do.

I can’t help but think about how we don’t just inherit objects from our parents of family members. Sometimes we inherit things far before we inherit possessions, things like hair color, eye color, traits, personality, passions, fears, beliefs, or dare I even say it; pain.

Our family has a way of shaping our identity unlike anything else. Part of that is by design, and part of that is not. We were made to be a product of the generations before us. God tells us that both blessing and cures can follow family lines and visit up to the 4 generations. God designed this to pass down blessing…. Unfortunately, sometimes we also pass down pain.

The story of Joseph is an example of favoritism passed down. His grandmother favored his father, Jacob. Because of this, Jacob stole his brother’s birthright, causing pain and division in his family. Jacob also favored his youngest son Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of their father’s favoritism, so much so that they sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead. This characteristic trait of favoritism passed down is just one example of how we are impacted by the generations before us. It produced pain and division one generation after the other. We could talk about the example of David and the sexual promiscuity that follows his family line, or even Abraham and how there was a generational pattern of lying. The list can go on and on. One generation impacts the next both with the positive and with the negative.

The truth is we are not just what we inherited. Our identity is not the sum of the words spoken over us, the fears instilled into us, or even the pain passed down to us. We have a choice with who we will be. We may not escape this world with some imperfection that was passed down to us, but we do not need to keep passing it down. We do not need to choose the addiction, the rejection, or even the need to perform for approval that has been passed down through the generations.

As I reflect on these truths I am reminded of the boxes in my garage. The ones I inherited. I have the same choice with the negative patterns, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and pains that I have inherited. I can keep them boxed up and carry them around with me in my life. I can take them out and let them be a part of my life, dictating who I am and how I live. Or I can get rid of them.

The last is often times is the hardest and bravest thing a person can do… change for the next generation.

My momma always said that she wanted to do better than her parents…. I think that is true for all of us. So as I reflect on this, I challenge you to ask…

What came from my family that God never intended for me and my future generations?

 

-C

 

 

 

Posted in Blacklist, Change, Family, Freedom, Generational, Identity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

people are so…

I feel it rising up in me all the time. People. They don’t get it. Someone takes the shopping cart clearly I wanted. Someone purposefully cuts me off in traffic just to get under my skin. It seems that everywhere I turn someone is out to get me… or are they?

 

Can you relate to the blood boiling frustration of people being in your way? Causing you discomfort or inconvenience? Constantly not understanding you when you talk. Maybe you can relate to the frustration of living in a culture and time where people can be largely inconsiderate… especially of you.

 

As I take a step back from my offenders one thing becomes largely clear. I am the one thing in common amongst all of these offences. Another step back and I can see how I can view the world through the lenses of offence. And then it hits me…

 

I am living with an offender identity. It is not simply an identity of someone who has committed some national crime. An offender identity is anyone who views themselves through the lenses of offence. Most commonly recognized when you take a step back and evaluate just how many people are out to get you… or so you think.

 

Living, breathing, existing in the muck and mire of offense is draining. It is more than draining it is outright exhausting and debilitating. When we live looking for offences, we end up viewing ourselves as someone who ought to be offended. The reality is way worse. We end up living with an identity that leaves us ultimately excluded, forgotten, unwanted, guilty, judged, punished, outcast, broken and dirty. The worse part of all of those things is that we ultimately write the script for the role we play in it all.

 

The challenge I have for myself is simple: Christina take off the lenses of offense. It’s a daily reminder that everyone else’s world does not actually revolve around me and offending me.  I must stand in the gap of grace that allows others to make mistakes and allows me to stand in who I am, not how I feel. It is this daily mindset that allows me to cover up under the blanket of God’s identity spoken over me from before time began.

 

I am included as a grand family member and a great friend. I am remembered, seen, and noticed. I am wanted even chosen. I am innocent, made clean. I am covered in mercy and grace. I am healed. I am free.

Say it to yourself and live free with me.

 

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its me

It’s me! I am back! I am looking forward to officially writing under my new name; Christina Crain. Check back for some more posts!

 

-Lil C

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