A Dead, Dead Man Walking

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I’ve been baptized for years- baptized November 24, 2002– but I can’t say how long I’ve been saved or alive.

I didn’t sleep walk through it but I wasn’t alive for most of it either. I didn’t just ‘go through the motions’ either, I, hmmm

I was active but I was also mostly distracted. I was committed but my commitment pie was missing a few slices.

I was both saved and lost in the same breath. I sought God, but most of my most thorough searches began and ended within the confines of a church service.

I think I was called at the intersection where my very real issues sped, crashed, or had haphazardly pulled over, all with loud honking horns and converged in this massively overwhelming traffic jam, all the while, all demanding a part of me.

I also felt abandoned to figure out what it meant to serve God. I now know that serving is loving. Loving him more than every and anything and doing so in action. Loving in actions as well as words.

Before I sift through the traffic jam. I’d like to explain my abandonment. I got baptized. I got left, well, we got left, to figure it out. I believe it was 3 or 4 of us that got baptized on that day. What happened was, our Sunday school teacher had left and joined another church, then the others that would be there to guide us, well they either had college focusing on or their relationships and later on marriages then their families. So we were born in a time when everyone that could have guided us had a lot focusing on, so we had no choice but to copy what we saw being done and soak up as much knowledge from the services we attended, try and read and understand the Word and some how figure out how to engage God and heaven and get filled by the holy spirit and use this power we were to have possessed and be holy and pure and learn to worship and understand worship and believe God and trust Jesus and love our neighbours as ourselves and tell others to come to church and accept Jesus and just be good all the time and I don’t know, be saved.

Headlining in the traffic jam was the beginning of puberty or the real real onset of it. I was 11 and having a hard time accepting what was happening to my body. My eyes were playing a cruel game with what it unveiled daily. Especially in comparison to the other girls. I was one of the “plump” kids with access to cable tv. It wasn’t hard for anorexia and bulimia to creep through those cruel eyes and into my mind and take hold of my body.

I was in need of a mother. I had no other saved person at home. I was beginning to remember all the bad stuff. I was about to experience another “bad thing”, this time IN church. I was about to move. I was in a new school that opened my eyes to classism and to a lesser extent, what I can only explain as racism. I had no identity and I was now questioning my sexuality. There were boys that had penises they were itching to try out. My mind was becoming crowded. There were parties. There was music. There was suicide. There was me and my now colourless world, my new world after Preparatory school that had no more games of innocent pretend or rings around roses. Just thorns and red, lots of blood red. And black. Lots of abysmally dark, pitch, black.

I was baptized but I wasn’t saved for more than few months at a time. Saved and in love with God until my next moment of despair. Until my next difficult thing. My next temptation. My next god, my next idol, my next joy ride down the broad road.

I was saved for a few months of the years that I had been baptized and empowered to love God and his people and myself.

I was saved on my good days and moments of my bad. Then eventually I let go.

Rae Sonson,
May 14, 2016,
12:21 p.m.

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Today I Walked a Tight Rope

Literally…
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…and after I did, everything else seemed easy. Waaay less treacherous. All the other activities I’d been afraid of doing, after that moment, felt like nothing. I wasn’t afraid anymore. That tight rope somehow rose the bar of what I considered ominous. It also rose the bar for what I thought I could bear/handle.

Besides the obvious thoughts of “OMG WHY DID I COME HERE, OMG PLEASE DON’T FALL, DON’T CRY DON’T CRY DON’T CRY”, I somehow stepped into this calm and I began, while crossing that very high very scary very high skinny piece of cable, I began to think about Jesus. Not just because I was terrified and without a doubt, probably had a thought that I was gonna fall to my death. No, I thought about Jesus because while I was crossing I wanted to somehow relate my experience in that moment to how much I constantly need him.

While trying not to cry. I slipped into this calm thinking about him. Thanking him. For being everything I would ever need. For holding me up. For keeping me from danger. For preserving me. For preserving my life. In him.

I’d be lying if I said walking that tight rope was fun. It was far from it. But it was memorable. I think I kind of leapt for the platform at the end. I wanted off. Let me give you a close up of how it was.

First of all, your way up in the top of a tree on a platform that sways, all the way up in the high tree tops you just zip lined to from another high platform way up in the tree tops. Then you see this one piece of cable and some seemingly haphazardly placed ropes of various sizes hanging overhead. Some have knots, some don’t. So forget about those ropes being much support. You sit on the edge of the high up in the tree top platform. Step onto the cable. Reach for the first rope and try to grab a hold of the other rope that’s atleast a whole arms length away. You can only slide across because lifting you feet off the cable means it’ll begin to bounce. You don’t want bounce! Some pieces of rope were shorter than some and further away than some. So it’s like a moment of mini heart attacks every time you realize you’ll have to kind of leap for the next piece of rope and somehow convince yourself to let go of the one behind you. All without being tempted to step across as opposed to sliding your feet across, permitted by the nature of it to only face one direction. While high up off the ground on a nice day with a fresh breeze, nice sunlight through the tree tops; so that your body can be found easily once you plummet to your death. It wasn’t fun.

How I found time to be at peace and be thankful was beyond me. But I did. And that’s what made it memorable. It’s as though I stopped to envision myself in difficult times when I felt like, one wrong move, and it would be over for me. Or when I felt trapped by my decisions or lack thereof. Or just overwhelmed. Or fearful or lingering in some form of doubt. It’s as though I transcended into a lesson. That God is a very present help in times of trouble. That I should rejoice in the Lord always. That I should pray without ceasing, all the while believing what I’m praying for/about and already being thankful for whatever response Jesus provides. That while I should be distracted by all the impending dangers in the situation and while I should be overwhelmed by all the occurrences and while I should be drowning. It makes a better life if I shifted my perspective and saw it through his eyes.

When I first stepped onto the cable I asked to be allowed to turn back. The tears welled up. It seemed impossible and it seemed too great a request of me. It seemed too hard a challenge and too scary an experience. But I did it. Not because I coached myself across. Not because the people around cheered me on. I made it because my perspective shifted along the way.

If I can see myself how God sees me and if I can see people how God sees them and if I can see situations and every day of my life through the eyes of God, I can surely do all things through Christ who strengthens me. From that perspective my words change. I can only speak from a place of victory and gratitude and love and compassion. I can only be at peace even in turmoil. I can love through offense. I can love through pain. I can win when everything set up and set in motion says I should lose.

That’s where my mind went. My mind in terror was lost in Christ. I essentially lost my mind on a tight rope and saw Jesus. I saw how he can keep me. I saw how he is able to protect me. I saw how I can trust him and surrender my fears to him. I saw how he would

put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones.

 

 

Rae Sonson,
April 30, 2016.

Psalm 91:11‭-‬12 GNT
http://bible.com/68/psa.91.11-12.GNT

In Another Life

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Today I remembered this one time I’d used that phrase, “in another life”. I used that phrase for all the things I’d dreamed of being- like a brilliant dancer or an amazing vocalist- and all the things I should have never dreamed of being. You’ll see in a second what I mean.

So today I was testifying. In church. In my mind. Yes, I know, I’m weird, I do that a lot. Think up stuff, play it out, except now, I win in my thoughts, so for the bad situations I play out, I get to figure out how I should respond, kinda, train my emotions. That is, thoughts aligned with the Will of God and following the lines of “as a man thinketh, so is he”.

Anyway back to my “story”. So I was testifying and I started on one thing and then I ended up at my “in another life” scene. I was baptized YEARS ago. I was filled for a long time. I was a powerful young woman in Christ. But I was a totally different person in this circle of friends. I was definitely the go to for the filth. I had the ability to turn ANY conversation and ANY situation into an unmentionable one. Trust me I was funny as hell; however, I was supposed to be the example that should have lead these people I should have cared for towards the cross. But I was funny as hell!

Ok, for real now, so I was testifying and I started on the time I ended up in a strip club. Naked. Yes, NAKED!!!!

It was the end of a tournament and some of us had decided we wanted to not only have a little party, but also to go out. Turns out, the out, was at a nearby strip club. Sooo, my little group and I arrived to the fiasco behind the other teams that had already been there basking in the “glory” of the settings. Anywaaay. One of the fun guys decided he wanted me to put his money on the strippers on stage. Mind you, we’d just watched some guy get his business pulled out of his pants by one of the strippers, so I should have known better, but somehow I forgot that quick that that had happened.

So, I walk up. Cocky as ever. Put the money on this one stripper and was about to walk away when the person on the mic- I don’t know where he was, but there was a person on a mic somewhere giving directives- told them not to let me off the stage. I can’t re word what he said in any way that can make it sound as intense, fun, and filthy as he did, so just take my word for it that what he said was fit for where we were. Much like Vegas. They did have a motto of that nature going around. So yeah.

Now I’m being pinned to a pole. One had my arms in a serious lock around that pole. The other started at my clothes. I looked into the crowd at my friends for help and they STOOD THERE. STARING AT ME, just about with mouths open and drooling. Lol. No help whatsoever.

In another life, I was as stripper, so know that I did NOT resist but only for a second. I enjoyed it. I was entirely caught up with the idea of two beautiful women undressing me, and how happy I was I had groomed my lady parts, and how hot I thought I looked. Listen, this was while my body was in competition, I had muscle tone. Let me continue. My supposed friends came closer to the front of the stage to catch the clothes these two women took off of me and threw to them. By the time my pants were on its way down over my behind, that’s when one of my supposed friends ran on the stage and pulled my pants up. Of course they started stripping her. Lol. She was mad. They eventually let us go. My supposed friends dressed me.

Then I asked. “Why didn’t you guys help me?” Response: “I was enjoying the show.” Another friend was just amazed at my lack of response. Or rather, my intense enjoyment. He said I didn’t flinch.

Remember how I said I was testifying in church, in my mind. Yep, by the time I got to this story in my thoughts I was asking God not to let me tell this one. Point is, I was on the stage, I was naked, I wasn’t bothered by it, I desired that light, I had a taste for it, I was thriving in that atmosphere. I was saved. I was the salt. I was the light. I was the naked Christian on the stage of a strip club, and I was enjoying myself.

Believe me that that wasn’t the worst I did that night. I’m not just telling a story though. I’m not just putting my private business into social media for the fun of it. This is not fun. I’m not looking for special accolades either. I’m hoping that maybe somebody somewhere will realize that sometimes, intentional or not, sometimes we become the messes of the bible. We become this full blown embodiment, this life sized visual of just how undeserving we’ve been of GRACE. BUT that’s exactly where grace abounds. In our messes. Where we don’t deserve it.

Underserved mercy, that’s grace. I received it even after I’d been in places I shouldn’t have been. Doing things I shouldn’t have been doing. I received it after going through cycles of the same mistakes and messes. I RECEIVED IT.

Because much like the choices I was making, receiving grace is also a choice. It’s not forced upon us. It’s free but not forced. It’s always being extended to us. It’s for us to accept it. To accept God’s divine and perfect plan for us. To accept that “there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THEM WHO ARE IN CHRIST”.To shine in darkness rather than blend in. To stand out as opposed to cowering in the shadows of “fitting in” and being liked.

To be willing to be loved by an unfailing God with a proven track record. I haven’t been naked in any more strip clubs. But I have been in some places that haven’t been ideal for a representative of Christ, but every time his mercy found me and his grace was extended. I’ve decided to FINALLY love him in TRUTH. Love him beyond my desires and my plans and LET HIS GRACE ABOUND. In and through me.

Rae Sonson,
April 28, 2016,
22:33.

•°•°Rae Sonson°•°•

I’ve changed my name ALOT but I like this one the most. It captures ALL the me’s. I am a king Sonson is pretty straight forward. I’m a King. I could say I’m a queen but, what I really mean by I’m a king is simply that, there’s a king in me. He and I are one. Therefore, I am a king. You’d have to ask me in person about the Sonson end of it. It’s an interesting “tale”.

I always said I’d write a book and I’ve always wanted to share my testimonies (but testifying terrifies me). This is the middle ground.

☆☆☆God still gets all the glory☆☆☆

Rae ♡