A Thankful Heart, Dear.

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It has recently been thanks giving over in America and it really got me inspired me to write all around thankfulness. Funnily enough, it’s exactly what the Lord has been pressing on my heart to do more of lately.

Psalm 36:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

I am a very happy, energetic and confident person. I have always been someone who chooses optimism and positivity first but if I am honest, the last few months have felt SO opposite to that and it’s been so conflicting. It’s like I  was constantly churned up and every time something wonderful happened I would feel this tug on my heart and this unexplainable sadness filled the pit of my soul.

I have been in this constant up hill climb and I haven’t been able to see the top. I wrote in my last post about my gratitude for my friend Tess. I spoke about how I started to feel like myself again, for the first time in months.

Do you want to know why I started to feel like myself again?… Because the Lord invaded my heart and refilled my spirit with Thankfulness.

We are called to be Thankful in all circumstances of our lives. When we Praise and give thanks to our incredible Jesus we are ridding ourselves of the very thing the devil is trying to hold us down with. When we give Thanks, we receive blessing. When we choose to focus on the good things, we actually reap the benefit of the blessing by just feeling full again.

There is nothing more beautiful than the feeling of pure, genuine thankfulness. Our God wants us to live a life full of abundance and relentless Joy. He wants us to recognise his work and Praise him for everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I look at Characters of the bible like, Job, David and Paul. God – honouring men who poured their heart and souls to God with Thankfulness. They were faced with awful circumstances yet still they were able to walk out their day covered in crazy, unexplainable peace, simply because they were Thankful. 

My prayer for you is to always have a Thankful heart, that no matter what you are facing, you choose God and you trust wholeheartedly that you belong to him, the King of the world.

My Challenge for you is to count your blessings. As you wake up instead of scrolling aimlessly on social media, spend time in the presence of God and Thank him for all the wonder and beauty in your life.

What are you thankful for?

How has God moved in your world?

When did he carry you out of that place you thought you were going to be stuck in forever?

Who has he placed in your life that has made a positive influence over you?

I can 100% promise you, you are going to be setting your day up for success when you start it like this.

Beth xx

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Let’s A D V E N T U R E!

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27.11.17.

Adventuring is in my blood, it makes me feel alive, it sets my heart on fire to the wild pursuit of exploring the unknown and delving deeper into the beauty and wonder of this vast world.

On Monday I found myself overly excited because my beautiful friend Tess asked me to go on an adventure with her. We had no direction or intention for the day, we were just free to roam where ever our hearts desired. We ended up in Newcastle, NSW, where we wandered upon a magical little mermaid hole just off the shore line. It was surrounded by the roaring ocean and a multitude of cliff face, textured and patterned so intricately. Beneath us was a whole new world of creatures, coral, seaweed and living organisms.

As we sat in the stillness of creation I felt myself feeling whole again. You see, over these last few months I have wanted to be alone. In that time my anxiety began to cripple me again and I found that dreaming became scarce. I stopped doing the things I loved. I stopped adventuring. I spent that time praying + seeking but I just found myself going around and around in circles.

God places different people in your life at the most perfect of times. I met Tess 5 years ago and she has been one of my most treasured friends ever since. Whether she knows it or not God used her in the most tremendous way this week.

Because of her asking a simple little question, my heart genuinely bubbled up with pure joy + excitement. A feeling I haven’t felt since America.

When I am given the opportunity to explore I feel the rush and adrenalin of adventure as well as the peace and stillness of my soul. When I am out in nature I find myself connecting to my creator in such a beautiful way. I am able to embrace and immerse myself fully in the wonder I’m forever marvelling at.

Please don’t ever stop doing things that bring you joy. Don’t let anxiety and painful thoughts hold you back from the beautiful opportunities that await you! The enemy is here to steal, kill and destroy, especially when you are on the verge of greatness! Don’t let him rob you of your joy, your gifts, your talents or your dreams. You have a God that loves & adores you. He has overcome the world and he is ready to take you on an adventure and invade your heart in the most indescribable way. All you have to do is trust and be completely open to his will.

Beth xx

I am Delighted in…

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Keep the word ‘delighted’ in your head and let me try my best to give you some insight of the value of this word in my life right now.

I have been a girl that has struggled with self worth and body image for most of my teen years and now into my early 20’s.. I thought this cycle of insecurity and discontentment in myself would have ended by now. I’ve written a bit about a few of my own personal stories in my self love journey in a place of coming out of negative thoughts about myself.

About 2 months ago I found my mind playing tricks on me again, I found myself listening to what the enemy thought of me and I believed it, more than ever this time.

I can honestly say, hand on heart I have never experienced self doubt like I have these last few months.

I know other women can relate when I say that I stood in the mirror and picked at every little thing on my body, I could see nothing good about me. The more I looked the more the enemy filled my mind with lies. There is no worse feeling than looking at yourself and just crying because you are so damn insecure of the person you are and feel nothing but worthless. I was caught in the trap of comparison. I just seemed to be in this rut and I didn’t know how to get out.

I had been back in Australia for a few weeks now from a 4 month trip to the states and I was still in this negative mind frame. I decided to take myself down to one of my favourite beaches and spend some solitude time with the Lord. I opened up to Psalm 139 – A beautiful chapter of poetry from the bible that speaks of all the goodness God sees in us. Normally, this would help me and ease my mind straight away but this time it didn’t.

I love that God knows me better than I know me because when I went to close my bible a highlighted verse popped up.

Zephaniah 3:17 – For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty saviour.

He will take DELIGHT in you with gladness.

With his love, he will calm your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

I was instantly taken back to week 5 at camp – Reboot.

One of the workshops we sat through was all about how the Lord delights in us.

I’m just going to re write that sentence because a lot of you would have just grazed over it… The KING of the universe, maker of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE takes DELIGHT IN US!

Some synonyms for the word delighted are:

  • Joyful.
  • Very pleased.
  • Ecstatic.
  • Happy.
  • Cloud 9.
  • Excited.

If that wasn’t the biggest slap in the face by God at the beach I don’t know what was. I was still in this proud state of mind while reading that verse because I knew it was God speaking to me but my brain was still believing the negative thoughts that were being fed to me.

I remember thinking why can’t I feel the way I did when I was sitting in that workshop almost 3 months ago now?

On the 3/7/17 I wrote in my journal.

I AM LOVED BY A KING WHO DIED TO KNOW ME.

You are my delight..

Every time I feel ashamed or down on myself I need to stop and ask God what he thinks of me. What is God proud of me for?

We were then given time to sit and listen to God and why he delights in us.

He spoke to me and said:

“I delight in you because…

You are courageous and you take risks.

Because you accept who you are.

Because you are loud and quirky.”

I then told my Saviour why I delighted in him.

I delight in God because..

He is my father.

He forgives.

His love is perfect.

He knows.

He is gentle.

He loves without question.

I am on a journey of self love and re learning to see myself the way Jesus sees me and I am determined to get back to the mind frame of where I was in week 5 of camp, except better.

I am not writing this blog for self pity, I’m writing it because I am the biggest advocate of self love and believing in who you are as a person but know that in different seasons of life come different challenges. Right now this is mine and it might be someone else’s too.

I want to encourage who ever is reading this blog that YOU are DELIGHTED in by a King. Who made you fearfully and wonderfully. He doesn’t make mistakes. He rejoices over you!!! God is Joyful for YOU, He is ecstatic for YOU, he is on cloud 9 for YOU and he is pleased with YOU.

I challenge you right now, Go and sit in a quiet place and write down 3 positive things about yourself. Embrace them and Embrace you!!!!!

By Bethany Calverley.

I belong at camp Sonshine!

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I’ve really struggled to start writing this blog because I just had no idea where to start. It’s been two weeks on from finishing camp and I have had time to process and reflect on what God has done over the summer, lessons I’ve learnt and how I’ve changed as a person. So now I’ts finally time for me to share my 2 and a half month journey of my unfolding of how I belong at camp Sonshine.

25th of May, 2017 – My mum and I jumped on a train to stay in Sydney for the night before my journey To Lincoln, Nebraska began. I remember sitting with her talking about camp and reading over the training manual. This was the moment when it all became real for me, when my emotions started to go crazy yet take control at the same time. I was filled with wonder of what could be, fear of the unknown and Joy because God chose me to go on this journey with him. Sitting on that train I had absolutely no idea what I was about to step into nor did I know the experiences I was about to have.

It got to the morning of me leaving and I was an anxious wreck. I have never felt so scared to do something before. My journey to Nebraska alone was 3 flights and about 2 days worth of travelling. Keep in mind I am PETRIFIED of flying and I had no idea what I was doing. If I’m being completely honest at this stage I didn’t want to go. I didn’t think I was capable enough. All I felt was doubt and fear but thank goodness my incredible Jesus stepped in and carried me the whole way. As soon as I said good bye to my mum and step dad at the airport I felt nothing but peace. This was a big leap of faith and a defining moment in my walk with God and I am so thankful I was obedient and listened.

Fast forward a few days – I have arrived! As soon as my plane landed and I got greeted by Lauren, Lulu and Adrianna with open arms and smiling faces. I knew this is where I was meant to be. I knew this season was going to be life changing.

The meeting process began. I remember feeling nothing but overwhelmed at this stage because I felt so connected to everyone almost instantly. I can honestly say I have never met a bunch of people as beautiful as the team I was blessed to work with this summer. Each of them made me feel welcome, loved and accepted. They were each a beautiful representation of what a Christian should be. They were different because Jesus shone through them.

I am changed because of the things God has done in not only me but through the people around me this summer.

During our training week we were asked to write out a vision for the summer, our goal, our purpose, what we wanted to achieve. When I first got accepted into camp Sonshine after reading their visions and values I said to mum “This seems like the type of camp I would have needed when I was younger”.

As much as I knew this summer, the people, Nebraska and camp Sonshine was a part of my new beginning, my purpose for the next few months was about others.

I love to encourage so this summer that’s exactly what my vision was.

Growing up I was an anxious little being and a lot of people Judged me for who I was and I HATED how that made me feel so I wanted to use my past experiences to help empower and encourage young people that they are enough, they are loved and they are worthy just the way they are – the way God made them. Each week I taught my girls about how much God loves them and how important it is to love themselves. I did this through talking about their fears, picking up rocks as a representation of what they had just stated their fears were and threw them into the pond so they are now rid of what ever it is that was holding them back. I did it through reading my all time favourite book – You are special by Max Lucado, I did it by filling up each others buckets – We would get in a circle and say something we liked about the person to our left. I did it by reading them Psalm 139 and then getting them to write down and speak out loud 3 things they loved about themselves to the group.

I was blessed to be given the opportunity to work alongside each age group over the summer. Through each of the precious beings I became friends with came many lessons.

I remember sitting in my room at my host home one Wednesday night, I was praying to God because I didn’t feel as connected my group as I had hoped on this particular week. I was praying for answers as to how to make a connection with them in the space of 2 days. I heard God instantly and as clear as anything.. Be vulnerable.

The more I thought about it the more it made sense and the more I sat on the thought of vulnerability with Children the louder God spoke.

I have been through a fair bit in my 21 years of living and I know that it hasn’t been for no reason so why shouldn’t I share my life with my girls? I prayed for the opportunity to be vulnerable with my little loves and I prayed it would be in God’s time. It says in the bible if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains. Boy oh boy did mountains move that week. It came to Thursday afternoon and my group had become really interested in the concept of Heaven and hell. The girls shot out questions left right and centre during that afternoon group time. I kept praying as we had one more day left that their interest in this would continue. It got to Friday night during the over nighter and I decided to have my group by the archery stalls (right where everyone had their belongings to move into teepees and tents). I didn’t think the group would go for as long as it did but I heard God say loud and clear again.. Be vulnerable. So I struck up a conversation about how I felt the presence of Jesus and I started to share about my personal relationship with him. By doing this that then lead my beautiful girls to do the same thing. We spoke about our fears, things we’ve overcome with God, our self worth, our crappy times and how God has moved in our hearts.

I was super hesitant to share about a few things because the girls I had were 8 and 9 years old but I trusted God and shared about how dad had passed away and how God bought me through that time of my life. Being vulnerable really pays off because my girls shared about their experiences with death too. I remember when I shared this, my girls paused, some came and sat closer to me, some held my hand, others gave me their friendship bracelets they had made from earlier on in the week. There was a distinctive moment where one girl (I call her angel face or joy face because you feel nothing but happiness when you are around her, she is anointed with the love of Jesus and it is so so evident) She looked at me when she was sharing one of her life stories and She quoted the bible verse “Our God is a father to the fatherless”. I was so taken back because I was being encouraged by a 9 year old. She also shared an incredible story of how she felt the presence of Jesus. She said “I feel Jesus in my dreams, I have this dream where I am running up to Jesus on his throne and then we just embrace with this big hug”. This group time went on for about an hour when we were only given 20 minutes. All while these conversations were happening we had so many distractions around us with people moving their belongings, other groups were really loud as well as others packing up from s’more time. God gave me the opportunity to connect with my group in a way I never have before. We didn’t just have surface conversations, we were able to go deeper – We cried together, we prayed together and we felt the presence of Jesus TOGETHER. All because I was able to have the courage to be vulnerable. I will be forever thankful to my incredible Saviour for that moment.

The next big lesson I want to talk about is obedience. Obedience to God in my opinion is never going to be something simple but the outcome is going to be phenomenal. My first lesson of obedience on this journey was listening clearly to what God had called me to do. I was in shock when things started to piece together so quickly and so easily for me to come over to Nebraska. I had no idea why I was called to the middle of America to do a summer camp but I knew in my heart that I had a peace that I had never experienced before and I had to go.

It was the end of week 2 when I was sitting in a local church I attended during my time in America (Mosaic! Best church I have ever been to) when I felt God telling me to open up to John 13. I had absolutely no clue what story of the bible it was going to be but I was eager to find out. I began to read, It was the story of Jesus washing his deciples feet. My stomach instantly got butterflies and my heart began to tingle… I knew the Holy Spirit was calling me to not only share this story with my group in the coming week but to actually show an act of love by washing each others feet just as Jesus did. This was petrifying to say the least. I mean, really, who wants to sit and wash someones else’s feet, let alone make this experience engaging enough that the focus will still be on Jesus? The week started and days kept going by, I still couldn’t muster up the courage to do this devotion. This particular week was my absolute favourite week of camp ever because of the bond I shared with my girls completely through Jesus, it was incredible but I was still scared to go through with my devotion. It finally got to Friday and I knew I had to do it or I would be filled with utter regret knowing this is something God had specifically called me to do. We had just finished doing some spontaneous Yoga in the rain because the girls didn’t want to continue with pool time as it was a little cooler that day, we sat down for lunch underneath the white tent and we finished a lot earlier than expected.. It was time. God even gave me an extra 20 minutes to do this devotion. I went to Walmart the night before and bought some bath salts and moisturiser to make the experience a little more fun for the girls. We sat in a circle and I began to tell them the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, I focussed on the fact that it was a complete act of love. I then told them that we, as a group, were going to wash each others feet just as Jesus did. At this stage I was SO scared of the reaction I was going to get but I was taken by surprise. The girls couldn’t wait to do it! they thought it was super fun and they grasped the concept of why they were doing it. They told me that it made them feel special, loved and relaxed. Then all the girls crowded around me to wash my feet and oh my, it was honestly the most humbling experience I have ever had in my life. We then went on to imagining how it would feel if Jesus washed our feet. I loved watching as their faces beamed with absolute joy and wonder of what it would be like.
My girls have were so hungry for God, so eager to learn about him and were such a reflection of all he is.

A few weeks after doing this, I got a little note from a mum from one of the girls in my group that week. It said.. “Bethany, Anya absolutely loved you. And it wasn’t just that you were fun, when I asked about her favourite part of the day she shared about your devotions and about you washing her feet. Thank you so much for being more than just a councelor. Thank you for purposely living out Jesus to my girl. She already misses you.”

With Obedience comes blessings that you can’t even comprehend.

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As wonderful as camp has been, I’d be lying if I said my growth was only through the good times because everyone that walks with Jesus knows that our real growth comes through the hard times and man oh man did those times come. I’m all about being real, raw and honest with my feelings and my writing so here it goes.

It got to the last few weeks of camp where I really started to struggle, I struggled in ways that I never have before. I struggled because I was doing ministry work, the work of the Lord. Looking back now it’s more of a compliment because the enemy saw me as a threat. There were so many times in those last few weeks where I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained. I was burnt out and I knew in those weeks I couldn’t do camp alone. The only reason I was able to finish was because of God’s strength. Working 12 hours days outside in 45 degree heat is not something my body would be able to do for 5 days a week normally. Not being able to talk to my family because I was working so much that when I  would be awake they would be asleep and when they would wake up I’d be doing camp. Not being able to spend more than 20 minutes alone with God because my mind was so distracted with planning for the next day of camp, spending time building relationships with people that I met in America or trying to have some time to only think about myself. From almost fainting a number of times, throwing up in corn fields, being sweaty, smelly and gross my God came through. I cried out to him (literally) because I was done but he wasn’t. I was sitting outside of the barn one night at camp and I was praying for help, I was praying for signs, I was praying for anything to get me through these next few weeks.

God started talking to me through the book of Philippians in the bible. It is essentially a bunch of letters from Paul writing to Philipi while he is in prison, in literal chains for having a faith. I know that my situation is nothing like Pauls but I took comfort in the fact that to some degree I felt like I was able to relate because I had to completely rid myself of me and all the things that I found comfort in to serve God in a way that I never have before. I was reminded that I have been called to Nebraska all the way from Australia to serve God. God chose me! He chose me to love on all of these little American babes and use me as a vessel to pour his love on them. WHAT A FREAKING HONOUR!

I received all of these verses in my time of a breakdown.

Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 2:13 – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:17 – But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.

Philippians 4:4-7 – Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 – For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:19 – And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 – Always be joyful. Never stop praying.

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The list goes on and on to how much I have learnt and how much God has taught me over these last few months but I am changed because I’ve learnt how to be completely obedient, I am changed because I have learnt how to be vulnerable, I am changed because I have learnt to love like Jesus loves, I am changed because I now know my capability of how far I can push myself and I can only do that because of God’s strength, I am changed because I have learnt how to surrender the things I am comfortable with, I am changed because I let God do what he wants even when I am scared. I am changed because I belong at camp Sonshine.
By Bethany Calverley.

 

Nebraska.

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for the last 10 days. I’ve been trying my very hardest to describe exactly how I’m feeling. I’ve sat in front of my laptop screen that many times and I haven’t been able to write. All the emotions are right there but nothing flowed like it normally would. I couldn’t understand why.

Last night I became very overwhelmed with all the emotions I was feeling and had been feeling over the last 12 days of being in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. I came to realise that I wasn’t able to express myself because I wasn’t sorting through all the things I was feeling. I started speaking to my mum, my roommate and one of my new best friends from America about what was going through my brain. I realised I feel torn. I feel torn because I knew that I would absolutely fall in love with Nebraska, I knew it but I didn’t know I would be blessed enough to experience the feelings I am feeling right now. I didn’t know that I was going to make friends with some of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met, Ones that are kind and genuine, ones that lift you up everyday, constantly make you laugh and give you cuddles whenever you need it, friends that I now consider my family and I’ve know them for less than 2 weeks. I din’t know that I was going to be blessed to live in a host home with the most beautiful family! I didn’t know that Nebraska would be so damn beautiful, the city, the landscape, THE SUNSETS, the corn fields, the s’mores! I didn’t know that I was going to be blessed enough to work in a place where you instantly feel the presence of Jesus as soon as you drive into the driveway. I didn’t know how much I would feel like I belong at camp Sonshine. I didn’t know that my relationship with Jesus was going to go to the heights that it has because it’s just me and him on this crazy, incredible journey. I didn’t know that my heart was going to be filled with gratitude when I hear what my campers learnt through the day, when they pray to God or that they are just as thankful for me as I am for them. I feel torn because I feel like this is home and that in its self is conflicting because how can I feel more comfortable here than I do when I’m back in Australia? I feel stuck because I just don’t want to leave and I don’t know what’s next.

I was having some quiet time with the Lord just praying and seeking for answers.

He answered instantly with three things…

  1. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
  2. Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
  3. Genesis 12:1 – “Leave your native country, your relatives and your fathers family, and go to the land that I will show you”.

I’m forever on a journey of trusting the Lord, having patience and having faith. I know that he knows what’s best for me and he knows exactly how my future is going to play out.

I’m embracing this season of Nebraska with all of my heart because I am experiencing more than just happiness being here, I’m experiencing pure joy.

Try and imagine your favourite everything – The things that instantly make your heart bubble up with joy and bring you complete peace. Now times that by 10 and that’s about half of the happiness I’m experiencing.

I am so thankful for this journey so far and I am beyond excited to see what the next 9 weeks will bring if this is what I’ve gotten out of the first 12 days of being here.

By Bethany Calverley.

I AM FREE!!!

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This is hands down one of the most vulnerable blogs I have posted about myself and my experiences to date but there’s been a fire burning in my belly for a while now and I just really feel I need to write about this and hopefully help anyone who has or is going through a similar thing.

It’s hard to know where to actually begin because this has been such a long journey in the making.

I’ll go from the beginning. 2013. It was only a few months after my dad had passed away, I was coping reasonably well and I decided to move back to my childhood church. That was my first mistake. If I hadn’t of done that, the rest wouldn’t have followed, but it did.

He was a close friend growing up so naturally we clicked after many years of not seeing each other. We started to hang out more and more and eventually began to date. At the time he was everything I wanted and more, I thought I was going to marry this boy. He cared for me and showed me “love”. It was about 7 or 8 months into the relationship and I thought everything was going wonderful but looking back now I realise how unhealthily attached I became to this boy and how toxic our relationship really was. There was a certain experience that happened that I won’t go into but since then everything changed between him and I. I began to notice a huge shift in myself, I wasn’t Bethany anymore. He became very controlling and manipulative of me. He wanted all of my attention and at the time I thought I “loved” him so I dropped everything for him. I became more and more anxious around him and he knew it. A coping mechanism I sub consciously started doing was twirling my hair, he picked up on that and hated it. Every time he caught me doing it he would hit my hand away from my head and scream “STOP DOING THAT!”. He didn’t want me near my friends and it got to the point where he didn’t want me near my family either. We fought all the time. He used to man handle me and say awful, hurtful things to me. He always put me down. I remember sitting down numerous times and just thinking.. How and when did this happen? He changed and I feel stuck.

I dealt with it because I was hopeful things would change.. but after this next experience I knew there was no going back.

It was a Sunday morning and at the time he was living with me. I was in my room and he was in his. I wanted space because we had just had a stupid fight, because that’s all we seemed to do. I remember as clear as day I was cuddled up in my bed looking at my phone and he came running up the hallway, grabbed my blanket, snatched my phone out of my hand and took them to his room and hid them. I was already worked up from the fight earlier so as calmly as I could I asked for my things back. “NO” he yelled. “Your not getting these back”. I continued to ask him and he wouldn’t budge. We bickered. Up until this It was no different to any other fight we would have but then what happened next was a complete shock to my system. He raised his hand and slapped me across the face. I held my left cheek and demanded him to give me back my phone. (I later worked out, he took my phone so I couldn’t contact anyone, he knew what he was going to do). I locked myself in my room and called my mum distressed saying “He hit me, he hit me!”. She told me 5 minutes before receiving my phone call God showed her a picture of me in hospital and he called her saying he had beaten me up.

It didn’t end there though, I stayed in that relationship for another few months. I stayed out of fear. I didn’t want him to hit me again, I didn’t know how he’d react if I left. I was scared to be alone with him so at every chance I got I made out hang outs public.

Those months went by and then one day it was over. We were over. I cried and cried. I cried tears of absolute joy because I WAS FREE. I AM FREE. I no longer had to be mis treated by this monster of a boy again. I call him a boy because he doesn’t deserve the respect of being called a man. A man doesn’t treat a woman the way he treated me.

As happy as I was that our relationship was over I was left very, very broken. I didn’t know who I was or what to do with myself. My anxiety was the worst it’s ever been. So I took a step. I went to a Phycologist. I didn’t realise how messed up my life had been for the past year and a half. It wasn’t until I was describing all of these fucked up experiences with him that my Phycologist looked at me and told me I was in a domestic violence relationship. It hit me. I had been abused – Physically, mentally and emotionally. This took a huge toll on me. I questioned my self worth, my beauty and my womanhood!! How dare another human being pick me at my lowest most vulnerable state of loosing my father then doing what he did to me? That’s not fair! That’s not okay with me!

Slowly but surely I began to find my healing! I found it through talking about it, through writing, through friends, through the ocean, through positivity, through my family, through exercise but mostly through my incredible Jesus. He gave me courage to find myself again. A new me. A better me.

I’ve come to realise though, this all comes back to him and his insecurities. NOT ME!!! I went through a stage of being so scared of boys and what they would do to me or have the potential to do to me but that’s not a way of living. It’s about 3 and a half years on now and I have met some of the most incredible, gentle, caring and humble men ever and every time I meet a good one my soul is refreshed because I know the good ones outweigh the bad.

I now know and have learnt exactly what I want and exactly what I deserve!!! I am content, I am courageous and I AM FREE!

By Bethany Calverley.

 

STOP COMPARING GIRL!

The last few days I have felt a strong pull on my heart to talk about the word Comparison and the completely toxic and negative things it does to our minds.

The definition of the word compare is: To estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between.

In some circumstances it’s okay to compare normal and practical things in life but when it comes to a females body I’m going to slap a big fat NO on that!

I will happily put my hand up and say I have been the first person to compare myself to others. Looking back I can clearly see that it is not a healthy nor is it a full way of living. So often I would reach this place of happiness and contentment within myself only to be crumbled by comparison because of the insecurities in my own mind. A perfect example of this really wasn’t that long ago. I was super happy, eating clean and exercising everyday for all the right reasons. I wanted to nourish my body and help it become strong and fit but somewhere along the way it became unhealthy and my motive changed. It turned into I NEED to go to the gym so I don’t get fat and I limited myself to the foods I would eat because I didn’t want to get fat. Anyone that knows me well knows how much I love sushi but I stopped eating it because of the rice, because I was scared that if I consumed too many carbs I would gain weight! My goodness, I am silly. It’s not okay that I made a conscious effort to stop eating something I loved, my treat, because of this stupid fear. This stemmed from a few years ago, I tried to go vegetarian and ended up gaining 8kg in 6 months. It wasn’t my smartest choice but it didn’t change who I was as a person. I was still the same Bethany. I realise that now. I haven’t been to the gym in a while and I’m sitting here with a completely thankful heart because my body has been lazy (who would have thought i’d ever be happy about that?) I’m thankful because I have now had time to reflect and sort things out in my mind so I can go back with the right attitude, mind frame and the right goals.

That brings me to the lessons I have learnt. A self love journey should start from the inside which then will naturally reflect on the outside. I still like to nourish my body with the right foods and the foods that work for me as an individual. Lately I have been asking myself “Will my body thank me for eating this?” A perfect example of this would be ice-cream. I flipping LOVE it but my body doesn’t, hands down every time I eat it I will feel sick and have a belly ache afterwards. That doesn’t mean I limit myself though. Once a month my best friend and I go to cold rock and share a massive chocolate filed cup. It’s all about finding your right balance.

Every woman has been sculpted differently, no one is the same, yet we are all equally fearfully and wonderfully made. The sooner you embrace the woman you are with all of YOUR strengths the happier life is going to be for you. Don’t scroll through social media wishing you looked like her or you had her hair or her abs because you never going to because thats not YOU! I’m all for empowering other woman, If you like something compliment her but don’t forget that there are amazing things about you too.

I’ve started a project for unveiling beauty and my beautiful, beautiful cousin has decided to be a part of it. Her answers are honest, raw and real, I really admire her for it, more than she will ever know. She talks a lot about “bouncing back” after pregnancy and in my opinion she is quite hard on herself but what she doesn’t realise is she is in her “bounce back”,  she’s tackling it head on every single day. She compares herself to others yet she doesn’t ever take time to sit and feel empowered by her own strengths or how far she’s come. She has had two babies in two years.. THAT IS INCREDIBLE. HER body has grown not one but two lives. She has bounced back, she is fierce and she is courageous.

If you are a woman reading this I urge you to start a journal or look at yourself in the mirror and write or speak out 3 positive things about yourself daily. The power of words are so strong. Speaking life into a negative situation is only going to bring positivity and happiness the more you do it. Take time to do the things you love, that might be getting your nails done, getting a facial, doing a hair mask or reading a book. What ever it is, do it, take half an hour out of your day to practice your idea of self love. Embrace your heart moment and be bold with your body, respect it, love it and nurture it. I promise you, your world will change once that switch in your mind is flicked.

By Bethany Calverley.