I Am Healing; I’m Being Made Whole

As I continue to work through my experiences with abuse and processing the emotions I felt and feel, and the effects it’s had on me throughout my life, I become more and more aware of the amazing abilities God has given us to not only survive through what’s happened, but how we cope and continue to live life while wrestling with the wounds. I am seeing that while I was thriving in areas of my life, I was still stunted in other areas. I was walking out boldly in areas of my life while in others, I was still wrestling with undue shame and guilt; I was healing and triumphant in some areas in my life, while I was barely functional in other areas of my life.

I had the voice of ridicule and condemnation in my head that prevented me from moving forward, but all the while, living parallel with a life of self-awareness and understanding that I’ve grown to admire. I didn’t see this before, I only saw where I was lacking, what was taken, what was continuously brought to my attention as my short-comings. While the enemy used my hurts to torment me, God was right beside me as I addressed specific areas of my life that stopped the attempts to further destroy me and turned it into something for my benefit.

I don’t believe God planned or wanted me to experience the pain, betrayal, confusion, and grief I endured, I don’t believe it ‘happened for a reason,’ but I do believe the scripture that states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. So despite it being outside of God’s best offer for my life, outside of His loving will, He took me in my darkest moments and caused it all to work together for my good. As such, despite what was now my pattern of thinking, despite the lies I believed about myself, despite the confusion I was walking out, God didn’t throw up His hands and say – ‘she is so lost!’ He loved me through it and worked to show me the truth and to bring light to my confusion.

As working through all of this, it’s been confirmed that I’ve had to work through PTSD, anxiety, disassociative disorder, and there was a time that I also had an alternate personality. I have been accused of being fake or like I was hiding things, but the reality was, in one state I felt completely confident and true to who I was being and believed myself to be – while in another state, I was troubled, confused, and lacking confidence as I sought to find my place in this world. I was living a parallel life with myself, broken into two pieces. I wasn’t being fake, I wasn’t walking as my whole self. I was fragmented – one part childlike, a safe place to go when the harsh realities of anger and fear were too much to bear; the other a strong, independent thinker, and compassionate woman. Due to the fear of rejection and the anger inside of me, I would revert to the younger self – still my true self, just a fragmented and wounded part of myself – and I would become more dependent, emotionally insecure, unsure of myself, and deeply desiring someone to fill the holes that were created by neglect, abandonment, violation, and feeling the loss of my perceived caretakers along the way.

I don’t experience PTSD as often now that I’ve stopped talking with my sister J, though my anxiety is a daily issue that I have to work through. While J has made particular word choices in speaking with me that were rather aggressive, degrading, and dishonest throughout the time we were in contact, the impact they’ve had on me are rooted in issues that were created by my sexual assault because they perpetuated lies I believed as a result of the abuse I had endured. As a result, walking out of the abuse and under the treatment of J, whether intentionally or not, further resumed the abuse I had already been receiving. As a result, the trauma was being relived with each accusation, condemnation, or ridicule of flaws. The ability to address accusations, condemnation, and ridicule of flaws in a healthy way was damaged as a result of my sexual assault because I wasn’t simply violated in body, though that is harsh and tragic enough, I was violated in mind, body, and emotions – and that doesn’t even mention or address the spiritual trauma.

Since my many parts were violated, I was believing lies about who I was, feeling emotions of betrayal and loss of trust and safety, as well as a breach in physical boundaries and the safety/innocence of bodily autonomy. Additionally, as a person who feels loved and supported through words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, even the smallest offense in these categories after such an expansive infringement against my person impacted me in much the same way as if it were the original harm all over again, hence the traumatic response: panic attacks, overwhelming fear, and a desire to flee. Being that I would revert to a childlike state in these moments, but was also still a functioning adult, I learned to adapt to that condition and became deliberate with wording choices to try to gain control over the sudden period of intense reaction full of fear, with symptoms that included aggressive shaking, palpitations, dread, and tears.

It’s amazing to see how I’ve been living with these conditions without even being fully aware of them until these recent years. It’s equally amazing to watch them happen and understand what’s happening when before I believed I was being dramatic or over-reacting. It’s exciting to be learning through these experiences ways to continue to overcome and work through my healing, so that this is not a lifelong sentence I have to endure. I’m thankful to see myself becoming whole, wholly me and not fractured me, obtaining tools to regain control over these areas of my life and to walk out the changes I’m working through. These effects of the abuse I endured do not define me and do not have to control me. I can take back my life – all of it, and not just the parts I can emotionally, mentally, physically handle. I am more than the result of the transgressions done against me – I am healing; I’m being made whole. I am a victorious child of the King. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

Advertisements

The Judgment of Onlookers Means Nil

I read this article in my newsfeed today, and these are my thoughts:
There was a day a couple years ago that I brought the kids to the zoo. My sister and I spent the entire day on our feet, with our combined 10 children, making the day fun and exciting for the little ones. I was enjoying my sisters company but also very exhausted so after the zoo was getting ready to close, we decided to meet up at a playground by our houses. My youngest daughter at the time was about 2 and wanted to swing in the baby swing but I was just too exhausted and a lady who was pushing her child offered to push mine. Normally I’d hop up and do it because a) that’s my kid and b) what would onlookers think of me, ignoring my kids desires like that. lol Instead, I expressed deep thanks because of our long day at the zoo and how tired I was and just wanted to sit and visit while the kids had a little more time to play. I watched from that bench as this fellow Mama kindly pushed my daughter as she stood with her child as well.
 
How often I felt the burning looks of onlookers in grocery stores, playgrounds, and especially as I climbed in our vehicle for the 3 months I was apart from my husband as he prepared to join us after we moved. They had no clue that I already spend 24/7 with my children as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, and for those 3mos I was filling the roll of their daddy as well and had to bring them with me anywhere I needed to go and had zero moments to myself except for briefly in the evening after I got them to sleep. During that time, there were days I brought the kids to the playground and told them, ‘you’re going to want to show me all the fun things you can do, but today I’m going to relax and keep an eye on you while I play solitaire on my phone.’ and I ignored what everyone was probably thinking of me as they called my name and I told them not right now; there were days I brought them to the playground to stay occupied so I could have uninterrupted chats with my husband and family/friends back home from the state we just moved from; there were days I had all my kids with me at the grocery store where people acted as though I was too strict with my kids (one woman actually suggesting that I shouldn’t spank my child for running off because CPS could take my kids – my response was, I’d rather spank my child and deal with CPS than lose my kid or they get kidnapped… thanks for the unsolicited advice lady); I don’t know if anyone thought anything of it, but there were multiple times I got us all into the van to go for a drive because I needed to get a breather and barked at the kids to climb in, snapping at them and stressed. I was not a perfect mother, nor am I now, but my world has consisted of trying to balance caring for my kids and trying to make sure I’m in a healthy place to do that… and sometimes I get a little spastic when I’ve not taken care of myself and on occasion, people get to witness that. lol
 
Even while having my husband home with us, he works from before breakfast until after supper… so on his day off, I run errands alone. Some evenings when he gets home, I go spend time with a friend. And sometimes, he’s so tired after working such a long day/week, we have our daughter keep an eye on the baby while he and I relax.
 
People are so quick to judge. I don’t believe it takes a village to raise a child, however, the encouragement we have received over the years has helped me to be the Mom I need to be. Never ever has an ounce of hate or guilt tripping ever helped me to do better or be better, it only either heaped guilt or frustration on me. And I promise you, many snapshots in my day might make us appear to be tired or frustrated, maybe even neglectful, but there are a thousand other moments that aren’t caught – the many 20-60min conversations with my daughters about their emotions and hormones, or as they grieve or process things; the many 5-10min conversations that happen because of questions that the kids have about growth and puberty, how the body works, or a question having to do with their schoolwork; the snuggles, kisses, I love you’s, and I miss Daddy’s; the many times of getting up in the night to check on kids, get drinks, calm fears, change diapers, feed babies, soothe sick and fussy kids, etc.
 
It takes a lot more to be a good mom than looking up from your phone at the playground. It takes a lot more to be the mom your kids need than simply not yelling. It’s all the moments in between. Do we love on them, do we kiss them, do we take responsibility for our mess ups and own them, are we repentant, do we validate their feelings, do we teach them about grace, do we help them find their voice to speak up for themselves, are we their safe place despite our imperfections? I’ve often thought, if only I was yelling all that stuff at them, then maybe the neighbors might hear how much I truly love my kids outside of that moment of insanity when I had it up to my neck and lost my temper and the window was open. lol
 
At the end of the day, the judgment of onlookers means nil. At the end of the day, I have to shake off where I failed so miserably and take courage to go forward to do better where my kids need me the most. I take those failures as lessons in being a better human in general, and allow God to use them in teaching my children how to be emotionally healthy as well as spiritually grounded; to learn in everyday life the message of love, repentance, grace, forgiveness… and for that, I’m grateful.

Christ Died on the Passover – Not on Good Friday

UPDATE: After reading in John 18-19 these last couple days during my devotions, this post and study has been on my heart again so I wanted to repost it. At the end, I’ve included some additional things I’ve since learned that adds to this study.

Did Christ Die on Good Friday?
I’ve followed the tradition of honoring Good Friday, based on the understanding that Christ died on preparation day, which is widely understood to be the day before the Sabbath… so to understand the events leading up to the death of Christ on the cross, that’s where I started in my studies to discover whether Christ did in fact die on Good Friday.  I looked in the scripture to understand the observances of the Sabbath (the day that follows the preparation day), the Passover (when Christ ate the last supper, prayed in the garden, was arrested and tried, and hung on the cross and died), and the Feast of Unleavened bread (the seven day feast that immediately follows Passover), so I’ll address that part of my study first.

In Leviticus 23:3, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.”

In Leviticus 23:5-8, In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord‘s Passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.  But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

You can read more regarding the Passover in Exodus 12 and Numbers 28:16-25, but I am going to address these passages I’ve shared.  We see in verse 3, that there is a weekly Sabbath that we are called to rest, and will be a holy convocation (assembly, reading, summoning).  This Sabbath falls on the seventh day of every week, on Saturday.  On the Sabbath, there is to be no work done.

We then see that in verse 5, that it states that the Passover will be what marks the first month, on 14 Nissan at twilight. So Passover begins at dark on 14 Nissan and ends at twilight on 15 Nissan.  As Passover concludes, the beginning of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matzah) begins.  The first day and last day of the next 7 days, have been declared by the Lord as High Sabbaths and thus no work must take place.  These Sabbaths are what the Lord has proclaimed as a holy convocation and thus no work is to be done.

Now that we understand these details, we can better understand the events taking place surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection.

“And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”  Mark 14:16

In Mark 14:12-16 we see that the disciples went to prepare a place for them to partake of the Passover meal.  This was on 13 Nissan, the hours leading up to sunset.  Upon the arrival of sunset, 14 Nissan began.  Reading on, we see in the scriptures that they ate the Passover meal, went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, and after praying, Jesus was arrested, tried, and on the cross by morning. (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)

“It was now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was sacrificed. Jesus’ followers [disciples] said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?’  Jesus sent two of his followers [disciples] and said to them, ‘Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  When he goes into a house, tell the owner of the house, “The Teacher says: ‘Where is my guest room in which I can eat the Passover meal with my followers [disciples]?'”  The owner will show you a large room upstairs [T upper room] that is furnished and ready. Prepare the food [Make preparations] for us there.’  So the followers [disciples] left and went into the city. Everything happened as Jesus had said, so they prepared the Passover meal.  Mark 14:12-16

Early the next morning, all the ·leading [T chief] priests and elders of the people decided that Jesus should die [or met together to plan Jesus’ death].  They tied [bound] him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.  Matthew 27:1-2 

As I’ve observed over the years, traditional teaching says that Christ died on Friday, was in the tomb through the weekly Sabbath, and arose on Sunday morning.  However, Christ Himself stated He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish:

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

The importance of this passage is noted in the passages surrounding it where Christ states: An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” Matthew 12:39-41 (emphasis mine)

So we see, the Lord told Jonah to go to Ninevah and call out against them.  It was such a warning that led them to their repentance.  Greater than Jonah, is the Christ that’s come to do the same for the whole world.  If this was a great sign of the Lord, the only sign given, for the evil and adulterous generation seeking a sign, wouldn’t it thus be necessary to be accurate? Friday evening to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights!

Now that we understand the Sabbath, the Passover, and The Feast of Unleavened Bread, we see that the Passover and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are back to back and thus, Christ ate the last supper, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, was arrested, tried, hung on the cross, and died on the Passover.

The evening of that day initiated The Feast of Unleavened Bread and thus was a High Sabbath.  They removed Christ from the cross and placed Him in the tomb, only wrapped in linen soaked in a mixture myrrh and aloes, before the evening began because it was a holy convocation.

Let’s look in the scriptures to see the support for this:

“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.” John 19:31

This man (Joseph of Arimathea) went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.  It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.  Luke 23:52-54

“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body.  Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.  So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.”  John 19:38-40

“So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”  John 19:42 

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus was laid and would thus return on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, and Jesus was already gone.

“And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw [took note of] the place where Jesus was laid.”  Mark 15:47

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”  John 20:1

“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”  Mark 16:1-6

So we see that early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Christ had risen.  If we follow the timeline given, we see that the High Sabbath, which could happen on any day of the week, did not fall on the weekly Sabbath.  Let’s break this down:

Saturday evening/Sunday morning, Christ rose

Friday evening/Saturday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the Sabbath (Third Night and Third Day)

Thursday evening/Friday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the preparation day (Second Night and Second Day)

Wednesday evening/Thursday day, Christ lay in the tomb through the High Sabbath (First Night and First Day)

Tuesday evening/Wednesday day, Christ at the Passover meal with His disciples, prayed in Gethsemane, was arrested, tried, put on the cross, and died.

This must be the order of events in order for the words of Christ to be true and to fulfill the only sign that was given.  So we see that no, Christ did not die on Good Friday.  He died on Wednesday, as the Passover lamb.  The ultimate sacrifice for our sins so we could live eternally with the Father in Heaven.

I did this study, not to take issue with the traditions many still observe, but to find the truth.  I have such a desire to understand the Word in its intended context and not simply in the context of my own understanding.  I hope this is enlightening to anyone who reads it, and that while we should continue to renew our minds with the truth, we should be mindful to remember that it’s this very sacrifice in this post that brings us salvation and not whether we honor this sacrifice on a Friday or a Tuesday.  We must be careful not to become legalistic over these matters and to live as we are called.

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.  This is my rule in all the churches.  Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised?  Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision.  Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised?  Let him not seek circumcision.  For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.  Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.  Were you a bondservant when called?  Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)  For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.  You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.  So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”  1 Corinthians 7:17-24

August 16-17, 2017 UPDATE: Something new I saw while reading was in John 18:28, was that the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews didn’t enter the governor, Caiaphas’s quarters, so as to not defile themselves, but could eat the Passover. This further reveals that Christ was arrested and died on the cross on the Passover, which is the Preparation Day for the week long Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the first and last days of the feast, it is a High Sabbath. It was again stated in John 19:14-16 “Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.”

This further confirms that the following day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was a High Sabbath, not the weekly Sabbath; further confirming also that Jesus did not and could not have died on Friday.

Let’s Be Different Than the Haters

So I don’t usually talk politics. I have my viewpoints and I don’t want to create any tension with those I love. I am just really struggling with some of the things I’m seeing in the media so I hope my friends read this, knowing my heart and my love for people.  I’m not ‘YAY Trump’ or anything… I don’t agree with a lot of his politics and views or how he communicates.  However, I don’t see what in this latest press conference regarding Charlottesville screams that he supports racism/slavery (please watch it now if you haven’t seen it in full – don’t wait until you’re done with this blog entry, simply because I hope what I have to say will cover all the annoyance you will be feeling lol).

What I saw was that he said there were violent protesters on both sides and peaceful protesters on both sides. He didn’t say Nazi’s and White Supremacists were good people and he said the people showing up in black clothes with bats in their hands were ‘bad’. He called the woman who died an incredible woman and the man who killed her, a murderer. I mean… he repeated himself 3546875154 unnecessary and obnoxious times, so I don’t understand why this is being said about him with this particular conference?

I’m not saying he’s not frustrating to listen to and arrogant; he talks about his money, property, and how great he is a lot and it’s annoying… I just don’t get why the snippet of the conference, out of context of what he’s saying, that leaves out the part where he specifically clarifies that he’s not supporting Nazi’s and White supremacists, declaring him as hateful and racist for saying there were *some* violent people on the side of those who wanted the statue to come down as well as *some* peaceful people on those protesting the statue coming down.  I guess I feel like the guy has enough issues without having to twist something out of context to make an example of it. I don’t understand.

Just to make it clear, I am pro-life: black lives matter, I hear their cry to be seen and heard, and empathize with their need for love, compassion, and support; I cry for the babies who have been aborted; I mourn for the children abandoned; I grieve with those who’ve endured abuse; I rally with men and women overcoming trauma; and I stand up for those who need a helping hand and who struggle with standing up for themselves. I am anti-slavery, racism, violence, and hate. I believe all people deserve respect, no matter how different our views are. I believe each of us and our own personal journey’s matter and that we all have a basic human need and right to be heard and loved.

I don’t support Nazi’s or White supremacists. I don’t support black people murdering white people. I don’t support those who agree with slavery. I also see how our history lifts up people who did support slavery… it was sadly, a cultural norm at one point, so there are those historical figures who had slaves.  I do recognize however that as culture shifted, and the norm changed, that black men and women who have made a historical impact on our nation have also been recognized as they should be! It shows how we can learn, grow, be enlightened, and ultimately make changes in a huge way.  Both realities matter! Where we were and what we were brought through to get to where we are reveals the power we all have to make a change.

For some perspective on what I’m saying.  I don’t agree with abortion. It grieves me to know millions of children have not lived their lives due to this act of violence done against them… however, it’s a cultural norm. I’m seen as the odd one and non-progressive for that viewpoint.  I’m seen as perhaps one might also view a slave owner, as though I’m oppressive to women in some way because I care for the lives of these children.  However, you will not find me protesting the statues that our culture puts up as a mark of our history, revering and promoting the abortion industry. Why? Because it doesn’t change hearts. It’s my heart, that someday, people will begin to see the lives of the unborn as valuable and precious. As valuable and precious as the women carrying them in their womb.  I stand for them both.

If there comes a day that our culture shifts, and we all agree that the lives of the unborn are sacred, we will see in our history, a culture who celebrated abortion, that was brought through to get to a place that celebrated LIFE.

Much like I am looking forward to the day where we celebrate life, and how these little people impact our lives and the lives around us, where we see the opportunity to sacrifice a selfishness inside of us to love and cherish a vulnerable, fragile, and beautiful creature that offers an unconditional love in return, a love that changes our insides straight to the core, and that wrecks our perception of everything we ever thought was important… as much as I am looking forward to that day, I am also looking forward to the day we celebrate variations of skin color, that we see the beauty in people and how our differences help us learn, grow, and inspire. That we’d see all violence as wrong and not justify it.  That we stand for kindness and stand for historical change, but not try to erase what’s brought us to where we’re going: because it’s in seeing it in our history that we learn the importance of why we should never go back!

I hope whomever has read this far has heard my heart… I’m not a Trump supporter. I also wasn’t a Bush or Obama supporter. I want God’s best offer for our country and I have had to settle for the presidents we’ve had since being old enough to vote.  I see good in all of our presidents but I don’t agree with everything they’ve done. Ultimately, I see them for what they were and seek to impact change in the small part of the world I’m a part of. If we all do that, through love and respectful communication, I believe we can make a difference. Violence won’t; focusing on the violent and grouping the peaceful with them as though they too are violent, won’t; nor will ignoring the violent and grouping them together with those who are peaceful as though they all were peaceful.

I hope whomever has read this far sees what I’m saying in context… in context of who I am as a person, in the entirety of my views, affections, and character, and with the compassion I have for those who so desperately want to be heard.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, but I respectfully request that you be kind. This is a hot topic for sure, and I want your thoughts heard, but I also would like to be spoken to appropriately about it. Love and kindness, honor and respect, start with at least two people. Communication and dialogue clears the path for insight, understanding, and perspective. Let’s be different than the haters. Thanks for reading. 🙂