All posts by Zenice H

My heart is to assist individuals affected by domestic violence. Over the past year I have been working on developing a ministry team that will provide services and programs for those affected by domestic violence. We are in the final stages of preparation and will be launching all services publicly very soon. We give honor and glory to God for entrusting us with this important and much needed ministry. Beyond The Miry Clay Ministries Psalm 40:2a – He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,

My One Word for 2017

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We are now in 2017, I believe the Lord gave me the word Consecration to be my theme. My scripture verse is:

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

Joshua 3:5 (ESV)

My word for 2016 was Advancement. It was a wild year and I did see much advancement not only in my life but in my ministry as well.As long as I kept my focus on Jesus and followed His leading I was advancing. Unfortunately everything came to a screeching halt when I began to operate in my own strength. It took me a while to get that revelation but when I realized what I had done, I repented. God is so good and He disciplines us for our good. The Lord spoke to me about consecration the first time back in 2013 but now He’s calling me to make it a lifestyle for 2017 and beyond.

Do you have a one word theme for 2017? Please share with me in the comments.

Happy New Year!!

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Breaking the Silence (Guest Corner)

My guest today is Kim Hawkins, she is one of the co-authors with me and 21 other women in The Art of Brave Living Book. Today she is sharing about breaking the silence of domestic violence.

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“Now, you know he loves you, he didn’t mean anything by it.”

“We don’t need to be airing our dirty laundry around to God and everybody.”

“It’s just that he had a few to many last night. It will be alright.”

Shhhh!!! Seriously, when does it stop? When does the glossing over the details, turning a deaf ear, and ignoring the blatant misconduct come to an end?

There was nothing significant about that final day. It could have been any day of the week, it wasn’t a holiday, and the weather was the same as it was the day before the straw broke the camel’s back. The neighbors could hear what was happening, it wasn’t the first time. No one came to the door to ask if I needed help. Someone did call the police, again. My screams filled the night air, but people just wouldn’t get involved. After all, there are all kinds of crazy out there.

What made this night any different than any of the others I will never really know, but I was done. I couldn’t keep going on this way. Something had to give and I had given all that I could. I was broken.

As desensitized as our society has become to violence, domestic violence is a horse of another color. It’s a strange shade of discomfort wrapped in fear viewed with a blind eye because no one wants the elephant in the room to speak and prove its existence is real.

Domestic violence is a real thing. It’s not a simple misunderstanding between a man and a woman or intimate partners. This thing is not all of a sudden. It’s subtle and plays tricks on the mind. Warped by smooth talk and constant word manipulation, you won’t know if what you thought you heard was what was really said or if you’ve mistaken what was said.

Tweet: Domestic violence is a real thing. @kshineonline #beavoice #domesticviolence #DomesticViolenceAwareness

The seduction and charm suck you in and before you realize what’s happening, you find yourself isolated riding waves of jealous fits and other forms of manipulation. Criticism replaces what once was compliments and sheer flattery. The mean streak appears and it is generally meant for your eyes only, but if it happens to expose itself in the presence of others you can expect a dutiful “I’m sorry,” but never a repentant heart.

It took time for me to leave, but I finally did. I’m breaking the silence.

No more shhh-ing and hushing about the truth of the matter.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) provided these national statistics:

• 95% of men who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them.
• Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner
• Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries

I share these particular statistics because there are signs to watch for. Listen for changes in the way someone speaks—lack of respect, constant criticism, vicious or cruel words are a red flag. Fear can cause you to make unwise choices and refusing medical attention when an injury is inflicted by an intimate partner can create a pattern you don’t want to keep repeating. Perhaps they didn’t mean, but maybe they did.

Fairy tales are not real life. There is no prince charming, no knight in shining armor. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them, especially when they are no longer charming. It’s okay to make a mistake in a relationship but when you let the mistaken behavior continue, that’s a choice. You get to choose to break the silence and be a voice.

Tweet: You get to choose to break the silence and be a voice. @kshineonline #beavoice #DomesticViolenceAwareness

If you realize from this blog post that you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship, please find help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or locate a safe house in your community.

Bio:
Kim S. Hawkins is a Social Media Consultant, Certified Christian Life Coach, and women’s ministry leader. She is passionate about simplifying the way women do social media for business. What tugs at her heart is the need to increase awareness about domestic violence. She is a living testimony that there are safe ways out. She lives in South Texas with her husband of nine years and her rescue dog. You can find out more about Kim by visiting http://kimshawkins.com/.

The Art of Brave Living

I am excited to announce that I am a co-author with 22 Christian women who share their brave stories in this beautiful new book called “The Art of Brave Living”. First of all I praise God for allowing me the opportunity as I have known for many years that I am a writer that would one day write books. My freshman year high school teacher Mrs. Bjorklund would chase me down in the cafeteria to encourage me to enter writing contests. I had no desire to be in any writing contests at that time of my life but I knew that English was my favorite subject and I enjoyed writing poetry.

Fast forward a few years and my goal in life was to become a print journalist. That goal was tossed aside when I was interviewed for a story in a newspaper and the journalist twisted my story. She apologized and told me the hard facts about print journalism. I knew that writing would somehow be a part of my life as I loved to read but unless I was going to write an underground newspaper I would not be going into print journalism. At that time I was working at a job where I created a monthly newsletter which I thoroughly enjoyed.

For approximately 10 years now I have felt a strong prompting to begin writing my story. I literally have tons of journals with enough material for several books but I was always afraid to take the steps to actually write the books. I also knew that there was much healing that needed to happen in my life before I could actually share anything anywhere. That healing began in 2009 and has been ongoing ever since. I was presented with the opportunity to join a group of women to share their stories about being brave. I knew it was time to take a step forward to being a published author. I thought this would be a great introduction into the world of books.

I have learned so much about birthing a book over the past 5 months. It’s a brave action to take for sure. I am especially thankful to Diane Cunningham for the opportunity to join her in her 7th book and my first as a co-author. I learned a lot about being brave from Diane several years ago when she had a Be Brave email challenge for 30 days. It was just one of the many people and tools that God would use to propel me to where I am today. I didn’t mention Diane in the story that is written in the book but I want to publicly acknowledge her in this blog post today. Visit her at http://dianecunningham.com/

If you are interested in an autographed copy of the hard cover book you can order here The Art of Brave Living Book

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Waging War on Domestic Violence

Today I just want to share a little of my heart with you all. I am not one who likes to ask for help…ever! However, there comes a time in all our lives when we must ask for help. So today I am asking for your help. Would you please click on the photo below and read my GoFundMe page? Would you share my GoFundMe page with your network? Would you prayerfully consider donating to this important ministry?

My heart is to assist individuals affected by domestic violence. Over the past year I have been working on developing a ministry team that will provide services and programs for those affected by domestic violence. We are in the final stages of preparation and will be launching all services publicly very soon. We give honor and glory to God for entrusting us with this important and much needed ministry. We cannot begin this work without your support.

Would you consider giving today? No amount is too small. If many people give just a few dollars it will add up very quickly. Would you trade your Starbucks coffee today and let your donation help someone in need?

Thank you all and may God bless each and every one of you.

Gofundme Fundraising Page

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Diary of an Abused Woman Part 5

The diary entry that follows is purely fictional. None of the situations expressed are linked to actual persons living or dead. Although some things may resemble actual events, the intent is not to relay a true diary but a fictional character that can express many different stories of women who have been abused. The intent is merely to bring awareness from the inside out since we mostly see abused women from the outside looking in.

Trigger warning – The content below contains wording which may be triggering to domestic abuse survivors.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month But for Me, It's also JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, NOV & DEC

Diary May 4, 2016

I really should keep up with my diary more frequently but it seems that my life has been one whirlwind after another. I can’t believe how much has happened to me over the past 2 and a half months. Here I sit in my own little house, well it’s not mine but it feels like it is. I am not sure why Minnie and Cora took me under their wings to help me but I can tell you the truth, they are truly angels in disguise. They keep telling me that they see something in me that draws them to me. I don’t know what that means but I am grateful. I have been going with them to church ever since I got out of the psychiatric hospital. Minnie calls me every Sunday morning to go to church. She has been such a blessing to me. I still don’t understand it all but I know that it was God’s plan for her to meet me along the road that day back in October. It was His plan to get me back into church and back into my relationship with Him. I am amazed at how He works.

Sometimes I think about the homeless people that I would talk to when I was out in the streets. Those people are still out there and I wish I could help each of them like I have been helped. I would have all of them come and live with me but there’s not enough room. Haha! I am not sure I would want to do that anyway. Being homeless is a state I don’t ever want to live through again. Many of the people I met are content to live in the streets because they have no families or they are alcoholics or drug addicts. I didn’t have addiction issues, I was just depressed all the time and suffering from PTSD.

You know what’s funny is I have a joy inside of me that has not been there in a very long time. It’s the joy of the Lord. I hope and pray that it never goes away. It’s a great feeling. I still have many things that I need to work on before I can actually say that I am completely healed but I am surely on my way. Jesus is a healer.

Diary of an Abused Woman Part 4

The diary entry that follows is purely fictional. None of the situations expressed are linked to actual persons living or dead. Although some things may resemble actual events, the intent is not to relay a true diary but a fictional character that can express many different stories of women who have been abused. The intent is merely to bring awareness from the inside out since we mostly see abused women from the outside looking in.

Trigger warning – The content below contains wording which may be triggering to domestic abuse survivors.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month But for Me, It's also JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, NOV & DEC

Diary February 16, 2016

I have not updated my diary in a long time. Gosh I don’t even know where to begin. My life went into a major whirlwind at the end of October. I became highly suicidal and was hospitalized for a few weeks. Even though I was being treated for my suicide attempt, being at the hospital was actually nice. I mean I had three meals a day, people to talk to, a warm bed and it was a safe place. It was certainly much nicer than being in those crummy shelters. People just don’t understand that when you are homeless it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Sure there is bad and good people in every area of life but shouldn’t people be allowed to have a little dignity in whatever station of life they find themselves in?

I suppose I should be grateful. The last shelter I stayed at was an awful mess of a place. It was located in a run down old church building in the basement where they had rows of cots. The place stunk to high heaven but it was better than being out in the cold. I could never sleep at night so I would go up and talk to the volunteer who was there 3 nights and 4 days a week. She was a sweetheart, middle aged and very intelligent. I could tell she came from a wealthy family but something in her just oozed with compassion for homeless people. I talked to her for hours on the nights that she worked. I couldn’t believe that she was just a volunteer. Who does that? Who spends 56 hours a week with a bunch of homeless people? Cora did, that was her name. She was an angel. The night that I tried to commit suicide she actually accompanied me to the hospital. She sat in the emergency room until she found out that I was going to survive. When the nurses allowed her to come in and see me as they were waiting on the transport to come and move me to a room on the behavioral health unit she told me that she had been praying for me all night. I asked her why, she said she loved me and Jesus loved me. I knew she was an angel. She gave me her phone number and made me promise to call her every day to update her on how I was doing. I told her that I would and thanked her for caring.

The behavioral health unit was dark as I was transported up to my room. It was a private room and I was so happy to have a bed instead of a cot to sleep on. I wrapped myself up so tight in those blankets and fell quickly off to sleep. The next morning I met the team of “professionals” that were going to be helping me back to a place of healing. I wasn’t listening to a word they said to me, they sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher “wha wha wha wha wha wha wha wha”. HAHA it’s funny now but I suppose I should have paid more attention at the time since they were trying to help. I think I was at the hospital for 10 days when Cora came to visit me. The staff allowed it because I had no family or anything and she was on all my paperwork since she was with the ambulance that brought me there. She gave me a big hug and it was a little awkward but nice. She told me that a woman had come to the shelter looking for me, an older woman with gray hair named Minnie. Tears immediately fell from my eyes as I remembered meeting Minnie. She was the woman at the church lunch who invited me to stay with her. But how did she find me? I was confused. Cora said she had looked for me at every shelter in town. Who does that?

I didn’t know what to think about knowing that Minnie had been looking for me. I mean I only stayed with her for one night. It wasn’t like we were best friends. I remembered that she too had been abused and she really got me. She didn’t get that look of terror in her eyes when I told her my story like most people. Cora revealed to me that she actually knew Minnie from her church. They worked on a women’s bake sale together once to raise funds for the youth group. She had no idea that I had even been to her church because apparently the day I went was the one Sunday she had to cover for another volunteer at the shelter. She told me that Minnie showed up at the shelter the day after I was admitted to the hospital and they had been praying for me ever since daily at noon. I had to ask Cora to leave, this was just too much for me to handle and I couldn’t see why anyone would care that much about little old me. It was too much emotion for me to handle. I yelled at her to just get out and leave me alone. I saw a tear roll down her eye as she looked back at me while walking out the door.

To be continued…

 

My One Word for 2016

  
I am looking forward to 2016, I believe the Lord gave me the word advancement to be my theme for 2016. Interestingly my scripture for 2016 is the same as 2015:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

2015 was a hard year as my word was courage. I was excited when I got that word but had no idea how many things I would need courage to face. It was a year of learning, pruning and growing. 

I’m ready for 2016 and whatever the word advancement brings. 

Happy New Year!!

Suicidal Thoughts Part 2

In my last blog I shared about my journey back to the pit of depression that started this past June. I shared an excerpt from my personal journal and today I am going to share another excerpt. As I said before please keep in mind that this is just from my own thoughts and I am sure there are others who have desperate thoughts even more or less severe than what I experienced. My goal is to bring awareness to this harsh reality that plagues people every day. My next blog will focus on the healing process after going through this hard depression.

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July 6, 2015

These feelings are like a snake that slithers around my body and squeezes the life out of me. It’s up to my neck and stifling my breathing. How can I go on? How can I break free. My eyes are sore from crying and my heart is shattered. I’m empty, alone and scared. I’m surrounded by people who love me and they say things that should help me but they fall to the ground because my ears cannot retain them.

You love me? Why? I’m horrible. I cannot go on. Don’t you see my pain? My struggle? My ugliness is so unbelievable. Don’t look at me with tears in your eyes. It chokes me and causes me pain. I don’t want to hurt you. Just look away and let me be. Just let me sink. I’m not worth the effort. I’m not worth the time. You might get this snake off me today but it will just come back and choke me again. It will cause me to fall back into the miry pit again and again. I just want to go home. I want to be free from this torment. I can’t take it anymore and I don’t know how to answer your questions. It’s too painful. It’s too ugly and I can’t speak the words. Look away. Just look away.

Suicidal Thoughts Part 1

Suicide is rampant in our culture today. We hear of it almost daily. It’s a subject that touches my life in many ways. I’ve noticed that my first blog about suicidal thoughts is probably the most read of all the posts that I have written. That speaks volumes to me because it tells me that people are looking up information on suicide whether they are researching or whether they are feeling suicidal.

Back in June of this year I fell into a depression that took me to a place of deep despair and I admit I was having suicidal thoughts again. The following is an excerpt from my personal journal. It’s difficult to write on the subject of suicide when you are not in a place of despair. I am grateful that I have always journaled my thoughts in one way or another. It helps me to be able to see into my own mind once I am in a better place. I am sharing this with you all today because I am at a place where I feel comfortable sharing my experience. This will be a 3 part series that I hope will help others peek into the mind of someone who is feeling hopeless and suicidal. Keep in mind this is just from my own thoughts and I am sure there are others who have desperate thoughts even more or less severe than what I experienced.

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June 22, 2015

Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I could just lay down and die. It’s a thought that plagues me sometimes. I don’t like it much. The thought accompanies feelings of numbness, pain and hopelessness. What do you do when these thoughts overtake your mind? How do you get past them and focus on what’s good in your life? What if there is no good in your life? What if the world you see with your eyes is so completely messed up that you feel you cannot take living in it one more day? There is so much pain and sorrow at every turn and you wonder why? Why is it like this? No hope. No peace. Nothing. Just numbness.

Death is so final though. How will it affect those around me? What will people think? What will people say about me at my funeral? What will my friends say? My children? My family? Will anyone even care? Will anyone’s life be devastated by my absence? Does anyone need me to be in their life now? Why? Who am I?

No one likes to be around someone who is depressed. Can you blame them? Especially if they are happy, they don’t want to be brought down…makes sense, right? So what is one to do? A search on Google will lead you to a bunch of places you can call. “Trained” people you can talk to who will convince you that everything is going to be okay. I won’t call them, for what? Their training doesn’t give them a clue as to what’s in my mind. Seriously unless you have experienced suicidal thoughts I have nothing to talk to you about.

I took an online quiz called “Should you kill yourself?” It was pretty lame, created by a kid but my result was “maybe”. Another quiz written by someone who’s been suicidal before just begged me to change my mind and look for the positive. Just the fact that there are quizzes online of this nature makes me feel even worse.

To be continued…

Contest Winner Announcement and More

Wow, where did the month of October go? First of all, I just want to say thank you to all the new readers and followers of my blog. It means a lot to me to know that the work the Lord Jesus has done in my life can be used to help others. Domestic Violence is a tough topic and I hope that the three posts that I wrote from the perspective of a victim trying to find her way was helpful to give insight into the mind of an abused woman. If you haven’t read those entries you can find them at the links below:

Diary of An Abused Woman

Diary of An Abused Woman Part 2

Diary of An Abused Woman Part 3

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Now the moment that I have been excited to announce is here! On October 1st I ran a giveaway contest asking for comments to let me know what topic you would like to see here. I got some great responses so in the future I will be writing on the following topics:

Accountability, Procrastination, Agape love, Thoughts, Self talk, F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real, Forgiveness (of self) and Sisterhood.

So without further ado the winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card goes to:

energizercindy

energizercindy

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Please send me a message with your email address and I will get your gift card sent to you right away. I will get busy on writing those topics as the Lord leads me. I am so excited to be challenged with these topics and cannot wait to see how the Lord will direct me.

Please watch for future contests right here at Beyond The Miry Clay!