Friday, November 30, 2018

Keyboard Warriors & Internet Bullies

Have you ever been insulted by someone you didn't even know on the internet? Did you ever try to correct their assessment of your character by responding to their madness? Thing is, each person on each side thinks that he or she is right. Social media has made it extremely easy to not only misconstrue communication, but to actually hurt and bully others when the other person's offended. You would think this would only happen through text, and never live streaming---but it's more common among live streamers, because once you watch someone on a regular basis, you begin to form a 'personal opinion' on them. You feel like you know the "character" on the screen---just as you would watching your favorite soap opera. People will gain their opinions, and side with whatever character they like better. And if you think for a second that you'll never run into this sort of thing while live streaming---you're wrong. Someone somehow, in some way or another is going to offend you or, they're going to say something that isn't true about you, or that you highly disagree with.

Let me explain...

I had tweeted about a racist Periscope live streamer who happens to also be sexist, talking on his broadcast about degrading white women sexually without their consent just because he thinks black women are better, and white people are trash. Now, in my opinion, when you catch a broadcast like that, you can do one or two things---you can simply "X" out of the stream or you can sit and argue with a hateful person until you get blocked by his minions. Another option would be reporting it. Usually, that doesn't work though. So one day after a highly offensive broadcast was sent off by the racist, I retweeted someone's tweet about his behavior. A fellow scoper named Ryan Miller from Parent Dome, who is an "educator" on internet safety for children responded to my retweet saying that he didn't care to see a tweet by someone who is taking all of this man's (the racist) words out of context, as well as calling him a "white apologist." I just suggested that he didn't have to respond to it. But he kept on, saying how we are all taking this man's words out of context---a man who said he basically wanted to "spread his seed" all over some white girl's face to degrade her and then go back to a black woman because they're better. This man has also threatened to kill all white people, saying that he wished he was the Las Vegas shooter so he could take a semiautomatic gun and shoot all of them down by the dozens, as he motioned with his "air gun" making "pop-pop-pop-pop" sounds. And, you support this, why?

This is what Ryan Miller supports. He was in this particular broadcast.

So I asked Ryan respectfully how did I take his words out of context. He began to explain to me that "caucasians" are OK -- but white people are indeed, racist. If you look up what "caucasian" means in the dictionary, it simply means...."a white person." I'm a white person and I am in no way racist whatsoever. So I called him out on his confusion, and as I expected, he lashed out at me, mocking me about having mental illness and also posted articles for me about getting help and medication. Now, if I was somebody who was weak-minded, or in a mental health crisis, that could have been the last straw for me. Thankfully, I'm not suicidal. I have anxiety disorder which sometimes leaves me with bouts of depression. I'm not embarrassed to admit that. My entire blog is dedicated to mental health issues and helping other people through my own struggles. But when a tiger is cornered, they usually lash out with personal insults, because they have nothing else. But what if Ryan caught someone with mental illness on a very bad day? What if that one person needed just one more insult? Just recently, there has been a suicide on Periscope due to people attacking him. Nobody is taking blame, because let's face it, mental illness alone took his life...but, to even have contributed to the cause was enough to push him over the edge. And may you RIP Brian Hayes. Back to Ryan though...on top of mocking me for having anxiety, he mentioned that I was uneducated because I had to Google the word "nihilism" since I didn't know what that word meant. Here's the thing about me: if I don't know what a word means, I'm not gonna nod my head pretending to know. I'm going to respectfully ask you what that word means. Ryan said to me, "Oh just Google it!" So I did on my broadcast and for that, he called me "uneducated." He also pointed out that I was somehow over emotional about this topic, as he almost cried in his scope, yelling about how vile and disgusting I was. For what? For pointing out the fact that he's supporting a homicidal racist and aspiring rapist? For someone who coins himself as an "educator on internet safety" --- his own rules do not apply to him.

Then the manipulative childlike 'stomp my feet till I get what I want' tactics began. He began to tell his story about how sick he was and that he's leaving Periscope because of all of the "vile and disgusting people." (Yes, me.) Let me say one thing. As someone who has lost both her parents to cancer, I know what that struggle is like. I was their caregiver. But if someone publicly insults me, calls me uneducated, and then mocks me for having anxiety---I don't care if you have cancer, AIDS, HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, herpes, diabetes or tuberculosis---if you start an argument with me, filled with hateful insults, while you support a bigoted sexist? Then expect me to respond. You must be strong enough to have the gumption to tackle this issue while you're yelling at the camera like a complete lunatic. People told me to just let it go...and I did for a while. Then I got an email about how I was publicly brought up in one of this recent broadcasts, to which he took down shortly afterwards. Ryan explained how "over emotional" I was while broadcasting my response as well as my rebuttals via Twitter. But if you want to see my true response to this all, face-to-face on a live stream, CLICK HERE. It's my response to Ryan's crazy rant on how I was triggered somehow. Nothing about my broadcast said "triggered" nor did it say "over-emotional." I'm just alarmed that he would support such a dangerous scoper who shouldn't even be on this platform.

Wait, what are we paying for again? 

Here's the terrifying part: Ryan Miller from Parent Dome supports racists who are aspiring rapists, yet he also supports internet safety for children?  He even has a Gofundme page dedicated for you to pay him for keeping the "awareness" of internet safety. And hey, that's up to you whether or not you want to throw your hard earned money into the pockets of someone who is cashing in on something he doesn't even support.

Some snippets of his mission statement:
"The Go Fund Me campaign is an investment into me personally in continuing my efforts on promoting Awareness, Oversight and Control tied to being safe on the internet. Currently, Parent Dome is an existing entity on the Internet with a web presence at www.ParentDome.com. This is where the University of information resides and the repository for the continuing updated lessons, research and content as it pertains to the Mission.

"The internet is a very powerful entry point for anyone to become a victim of negative consequences tied to a poorly thought through Text, Tweet, Photo, Video or just visiting someplace dangerous on the internet. Consequences are not just based upon what we do, say or visit, but can be a response to others actions."

He mentioned my response to his broadcast was a defamation of character. No, Ryan, it's actually based on facts (which I have all screenshot) and based on the fact that you openly admitted publicly that you support this man who is a racist and aspiring rapist. Not good for someone who is all about "internet safety."


The sad thing is, we have mutual friends who viewed this shit show, and frankly, I was kind of surprised over one person's reaction to it. She actually supports this racist too, saying, "Oh I get what he's saying." These people were to me, upstanding "citizens of Periscope" who educate people on various levels, and now I just think it's a huge show they put on just to look like some kind of good person. Maybe they are, or maybe I'm wrong. Meanwhile, their actions speak louder than their words. You will know them by their fruits.

Let me say one more thing before I go... After his latest broadcast publicly slamming me once again, I feel the need (as he does too) to address the internet bullies. We should all strive to make the internet a safer place. We should try to be respectful to those dealing with mental illness, or perhaps, not support someone who is a homicidal racist and aspiring rapist. And therein lies the problem: the people who usually preach about this kind of stuff are sometimes the worst culprits.

Be careful out there. Save your money for people who truly need it. Do not support this hypocritical cause of "internet safety," as he calls it. The only way he would get money out of me, is if he put a gofundme account for chemo or radiation treatments. Maybe he should think about focusing on his health and getting better. Maybe he should fund his medical expenses, instead of funding something he doesn't fully support. I have a lot of people who would gladly throw money into a cancer treatment gofundme. Now that's something I can stand by.

Be safe, be well.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at Deb's Cucina for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Stop Relying On People and Start Trusting God


Everyone is trying to master the art of being fearless. Anxiety attacks, panic attacks, stress, tension, phobias, are all common terminologies these days. During the past year, I have learned that anxiety, based on fear, never truly goes away. It's the courage that overcomes the fear. It can completely diminish that feeling. While praying one morning, I was asking God to give me strength with something I was dealing with. I had a lot of fear and anxiety over this one particular issue. I opened up my Bible and came to this scripture: "I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources, He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit."--Ephesians 3:16. So by His strength, your fear is unnoticeable. It's still there, but the inner strength will conquer it. I've been known to cry out, "I just wish my anxiety would go away," but that kind of thinking isn't going to do anything other than amplify it. Whatever you resist, persists. It's when you let it stay there, but you pray for "mighty inner strength from God" that makes you overcome anything you're afraid of. It works. It does take time, but it works. From being a scared agoraphobic, to a strong and courageous 'I can do anything' type of person, I can still see the fear inside, but God's strength crushes it every time. A lot of things had to be adjusted to, like drinking wine every night with dinner. It kept me awake until 4am. When you're fatigued during the day, this causes more anxiety. So I had to be conscious of what I was putting in my body. I also started eating healthier. I dabble with junk food from time to time, but I don't eat crap anymore. Done. This helped with my heartburn, which also kept me up at night. Sleepless nights are triggers for anxiety and sometimes, you have to give something up in order to get that rest that God's been trying to give you.

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. When my mom passed away, my anxiety began to increase at an alarming speed. I was scared of everything. I was scared to go out. I was scared to stay inside. I was just a mess. I started to get answers to my prayers, so I kept a journal writing down each prayer, and then I would write down any answers I feel that came from God Himself. I made my way out to go to grief counseling. After the session, I got in my car to go home. As I was pulling out, the radio was on a Christian station. It said, "Doing something you fear and trusting God will put you in a better position the next time around. Ask for God's strength and you can do anything in His name. When you have faith, this requires actions, because faith without actions is dead. It means you don't trust Him enough to take care of you while you are walking in fear."


As I nervously made my way out of this huge parking lot, I started driving onto the highway. I was anxious and focused on just getting home. But something weird happened. I could hear my mom's voice. I heard, "Go to our favorite restaurant right now and celebrate the fact that you conquered your fear." But with who? I never walked into a restaurant alone---and with this anxiety? Are you crazy? But my car literally drove to this restaurant that my mother and I always went to. When I walked toward the building, it was as if my inner voice was yelling out, "No! Go home! Stop this! This is still! You're walking inside there all by yourself? What will people think?" As soon as I got in, I was greeted by the owner with a hug and I sat at the bar and had an amazing dinner, reading articles from my phone. It wasn't bad at all. People were talking to me, and it was nice to see other people sitting by themselves as well. When I returned home, I sat outside on my deck because it was a beautiful night and poured a glass of wine. In the wine glass, my mother's face appeared. Strange, because someone pointed it out to me on Instagram and said, "Deb, do you see the face in the wine glass?" And oddly enough, it was my mom's face when she was in her 40's when she wore these cat eyes glasses that went dark when she went outside---I think they were photo lenses. I wouldn't have noticed this at all, if it wasn't for someone I didn't even know well pointing it out to me.

I seem to always get signs from God telling me something that I should or shouldn't be doing. And as you know, I loved my wine. I drank every single day, maybe one before dinner, and 3-4 afterwards. But even if someone thinks that's pretty moderate, it wasn't because my wine goblets are huge. My serving sizes were ridiculous. But I looked forward to my wine time and my evenings hanging out with Madelene, having a nice dinner and relaxing, until it was time to go to bed. That's when the anxiety would kick in and leave me awake till 4am. The alcohol stripped me from having any restful sleep whatsoever. While praying for rest and for my myoclonic jerks to stop---which are like little jolts and mini seizures from stress and anxiety, God gave me a realization of what I was doing to my system. He needed me to be level-headed and sober. He needed me to stop drinking.

"And it is not fit for 'kings' to guzzle wine. 'Rulers' should not crave liquor. For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. Liquor is for the dying, and wine is for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more." ---Proverbs 31:4-7

Translating---kings and rulers meaning, God needed me to be at a higher position in life--to be more reliable and to work with clarity instead of always being in a state of fear and anxiety. And when it says that wine is for those in deep depression---yes, I was in a deep depression due to my grief as well as my anxiety, but that wasn't what God had planned for my life. For some, wine is good for those who are having a hard time. But for those meant to reach higher, He needed me to put down the wine and pick up something better. Soon after I had given up the booze, I started sleeping better. I started attending church services just to be around other people who loved God as much as I did. I started to do more things, and miraculously, my agoraphobia disappeared because with the alcohol being taken out of the equation, my anxiety and depression lessened. I started to wake up early, making coffee and breakfast as I did years ago, before my mom got sick. I started to enjoy life again. I know my mom would want that for me.

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea." ---Psalm 46:1-2

Here's the thing I've learned, especially lately. Through my grief, loneliness, solitude and state of panic and anxiety, God was always there for me. And not even through my own belief system---it was the proof of His existence---his answers and remedies that have seen me through my own inner struggles. I hate to say this, but whenever I needed anything from anyone, not one person was there. I'd hear a whole lotta' "I'll be there for you," or "Call me anytime if you need anything," and when I called, I either got a lecture on how to get my crap together, or I was completely ignored as if I didn't exist. The thing is, people will always disappoint you. I know I've disappointed people in my life. We are human. People have their own lives and stressors going on. This is why you'll eventually come to find out that the ONLY one who is there is Jesus. And you want Him to be the only one there because the things He has done for me are beyond what any human can possibly do. I'm not saying I don't appreciate what people do for me, or even their attempts to help me out in a time of need---but God is all you need when you are feeling alone, isolated and scared. He is the only one that can save you from your own mind. Our mind can be a torture chamber. We're prisoners of our own mind if we let it. But when we let the Holy Spirit control us---invite the Spirit to dwell within us---we become new Beings. We become like-minded with Christ with strength and courage to get through the toughest storms. That's why we should thank Him in the storm. When you trust that God will get you through it, you'll notice your faith strengthening and your fear lessening.

"He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak... Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." ---Isaiah 40:29-31

Whenever you're feeling scared and alone, go into a room, shut the door behind you and pray to God. Keep doing this until you start feeling His answers. I have a prayer and answer journal. I write down my prayers and I always get an answer from God through many mysterious ways. But His answers are all written down in my journal. But the only reason why I received answers was because I expected answers. Faith is hope, but strong faith is the expectation that comes along with it. Stop relying on people and start trusting God instead.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

When You Feel Like You Don't Have a Purpose in Life

It's hard to have faith in mediums and psychics when they're begging you to pay them for a message a loved one has for you. If you're a believer in the Christian faith, you know that the only way your loved one can communicate with you is through God only. Everything else is coming through are what's called "familiar spirits," especially coming from someone who is into new age religions---those who do not believe that Jesus is their Savior. I had a moment where I audibly heard by mother's voice call out to me three weeks after her death. It was 3am and I was reading an article on the sofa because I couldn't sleep. I heard with a loud enthusiastic voice of my mother, "Debbie!" I put my phone down, went into my bed and put the covers over my head like a scared little girl. I didn't know what to make of it and it didn't feel right. It wasn't my mom. I still, till this day do not believe it was my mom, but the mockery of the devil. I even had mediums tell me it was really her, but I shifted my attention the other way, because mediums mostly deal with familiar spirits to begin with. So, I turned to God for answers instead.

Your loved ones can communicate with you, but not as you would imagine. You first have to have a strong relationship with God, and your primary goal is to make God first. Loving your family more than life, more than your own life---and even loving them more than God is a form of idolatry. In the Bible it states that if someone loves their family more than God, that God can turn daughters from their mothers, fathers against their sons---meaning He can tear up your family right before your eyes. You can lose your family in a split second, but you can never lose God. God is the one who created your loved ones to spend "temporary" time here with you. So why worship your family? Love them, appreciate them, but worship God. That's first and foremost.

While my mom was sick and during the times of my grieving after she passed away, I began asking what my purpose was now that she was gone. I began questioning if suicide was a sin or not. I even went so far as to have a plan if I ever did want to "go home." My other half would hear me say terrible things in my moments of intense grief. She heard details, plans and questions like, "Why am I even here?" She's heard it all. I would sway back and forth with these thoughts. Some days I wanted to live, while other days, I just wanted to go home---my eternal home.

The other day, I started praying about it. I asked God would I still go to heaven if I chose the time to go home? And where in the Bible does it talk about suicide being a sin---I see "murder" as a sin, but would that be considered murder? I also promised Him that I would stick it out down here, but I still wanted those questions answered.

As I was getting ready for our Thanksgiving holiday, I accidentally hit my phone, to where a video popped up and started right smack dab in the middle of the stream. It was a Joyce Meyer video.

It said, "I wanna turn to the people watching on TV or online right now. God put it in my heart right now that you are contemplating or seriously considering suicide. A lot of the reason people get to that point in life is that they just feel like people really don't love them or they feel like they just cannot event it right. And part of that reason why you get to that point is because you are trying to find worth and value in all these other things that never give you true worth and value. So you begin to feel like you're a big 'mess up'---you didn't make it through college, your marriage didn't work out, you weren't good at sports like your brother or you weren't good at something as your sister, so you always felt like the tail end of life...and you're just ready to give up. I want you to listen to me today. God is talking to you and He had you turn this program on at specifically at this time---even if you think you accidentally found me. And I don't care if it's 2 o'clock in the morning or 3 o'clock, here's the point: GOD LOVES YOU! And He has a good plan for you. And if you'll just receive that by faith and speak it out of your own mouth...this is where it gets hard...to sit somewhere by yourself and say: GOD LOVES ME! GOD THINKS I AM WONDERFUL!"

As I listened to this message blaring out from my iPhone, I was sobbing---as if God REALLY did hear me! He heard my cries for help. He heard me ask Him to take me home. He heard me say that I had no purpose here and that I was more of a burden than anything else. And even though I promised Him I would stick it out, these thoughts sometimes came seeping into the cracks of my mind, tormenting me and continually asking, "Why should I stay?" The one thing God did teach me is that people are human---unreliable and unpredictable. They sometimes hurt our feelings and don't live up to our expectations. Just last week, my own psychiatrist let me down. He sat there in his chair and laughed at me as I explained my fear and agony of living in this house. I fear the winters alone and I'm also tormented by the memories of this beautiful home. It has become a torture chamber more than it has a home. And as "easier said than done" ---I was explaining how I told him my partner promised me that we'd be out of here by the fall so we wouldn't have to endure another painful winter up here. We argue over it as well. Again, my psychiatrist chuckled and said, "What---did you just want her to admit that she had broken a promise?" That wasn't the point at all. It was the fact that I'm going to be (or in my mind) a repeat of last year, panicky and over-the-top anxious every single time we have a snowstorm. We lose power with even a slight breeze, so when it's below zero and there's no lights, I'm there by myself trying to feed the fire with whatever wood is left in the house itself, hoping that someone can make it to me if God forbid I have an emergency. Sometimes my panic attacks are so bad, that I'm carried out of the by ambulance anyway. Thing is, they cannot get to me because sometimes, there's more than four feet of snow blocking our driveway, so we have to call emergency vehicles from the town itself to get us out. I wouldn't call this an "irrational fear" ---an irrational fear would be me sitting here on a perfectly sunny day thinking I'm gonna have a heart attack. That's irrational.

But I regress, my psychiatrist laughed at all of this and I turned to him and said, "What's so funny? I just lost my mother and learning how to cope and also learning how to live in this big house by myself---and this somehow amuses you?" I said a couple of choice words to him and then before I slammed the door, I told him, "When I leave here, I'm going up to that tower I spoke about and I'm going to end it. That's on your head."

Not only did he sit there and say absolutely nothing, but he didn't even call for help. It's strange how you're supposed to feel "safe" in a therapist's office, especially one that calls himself an M.D.---but you're not. They're human too and unfortunately, carry a whole lot of flaws just like we do. How many other people walked out of his office threatening suicide who actually did it, and the doctor didn't make that one call to save their lives? And honestly, I'm not sure if I wanted him to call. I knew he wouldn't. He knows that my faith in God is much stronger than my constant thoughts of going home. In my mind, I just believed nobody cares. In fact, it would make other people's lives a little less stressful if I was gone. Like, why am I here? What purpose do I have? And then God hits me with His very own words that He loves me. He sends me messages to me like, "hold on, endure just a little more," and He has also impressed on me that my purpose is far greater than I can even imagine. And I can't imagine. This is why we need to trust God.

The next day, I heard, "Start cooking!" But I'm like, "For who?" So I started cooking my famous meatballs made with sweet Italian sausage and ground beef. I started chopping all the veggies and herbs and making my marinara sauce for the raviolis. I live stream my cooking as well, so people around the world can see my recipes. I also made roast beef, mashed potatoes, and some veggies to prep for the next day. Then I got a phone call from a friend. She came and ate dinner with us and then we went over to the Bronx to visit my partner's grandmother and it fed the whole family. My meal had a purpose. Every morsel was gone. Then I made a chicken soup and it went faster than I could even grab a bowl. On top of that, a viewer of mine on the internet who watches my cooking shows cooked my recipe exactly how I did it. I was so honored someone cooked my meal! Then other people started saying, "Hey Deb, I cooked your pasta fagioli last night!" "Hey Deb! I cooked your roasted chicken with potatoes the other day!" "Hey Deb! I cooked your marinara sauce and it came out great!" In my heart, God said, "You have purpose." Things like that make it all worth it. If I know I'm helping someone, then yes, it seems like it's worth it.

For all of you who see me on Periscope Live---thank you for taking interest in my recipes. I'm also going to update my cooking website over at DebsCucina.com.

Anyway, back to what I was saying... I don't think it's uncommon for someone to feel purposeless. In fact, while I was praying this morning, God put an impression on my heart. I was listening to the ambient music channel on my TV on low. The song, "A Mother's Love" came on, along with "Paradise," from the "Sailing" album. But what struck me was the word "Sailing." Do you remember the song, "Sailing" by Christopher Cross back in the 80's? I felt my mom talking to me. She put me in a memory that I had forgotten about---and she also told me something that I never knew before. A long time ago, when I was 7 years old and my mother was 43 years old, around my age, she was going through a depression. She and my dad were fighting a lot. After their arguments, she would go out to the outer living room, which she called "the porch." But it was closed in, with a fireplace, sofas, TV, plus a large dining room table. I sat down on the sofa chair next to her while she was lying down on the sofa watching TV smoking a cigarette. A commercial came on playing the song, "Sailing." She looked over at me and said, "When I die, I want you to sing this song near my grave." I stared at her, speechless. My eyes welled up with tears and I felt a huge lump in my throat. The thought of losing my mother was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. NO! NO! NO! But the imagery of me kneeling besides her grave singing this song tormented me for years. Every time the song, "Sailing" came on the radio, I would immediately turn it off. I couldn't listen to it. It reminded me of mom's death. She kept giving us subtle hints that she wanted to die. Shortly after this incident, she ran into the woods after another argument took place and we didn't know where to find her. Mom never left the house without telling us where she was---in fact, she never left the house with me in it!

I ran outside yelling out, "Ma!!! Ma!!! Maaaaaaaa!!!" I went inside the dining room where my father was still sitting and yelled at him. As scared as I was to yell at my own father, I yelled and screamed at him! He didn't say a word. "WHERE IS SHE?" Nothing. No response. I even called him a jerk. Later that evening, she came home. She had walked down this old path deep into the woods and just sat there for a while. I'm not sure what she was thinking or contemplating, but I know it wasn't good. I do remember one thing, but years later after my died passed away... Mom explained why they were fighting and I totally understood everything. It made sense and it took away her self-worth and purpose. She felt she had no purpose anymore. But she did, and yet she couldn't see it.


So as I was praying this morning, I felt my mother all around me. I said, "I hate how that song makes me feel. It traumatizes me every time I hear it." In an instance, I heard, "This is exactly how you make Madelene feel when you say you wanna go home." I can't imagine someone I love wishing they were dead all the time, but that's what I was doing and didn't realize the impact of it. Whether someone is serious about suicide or not, the words, the threats, the planned out scheme of how it's gonna go down is traumatizing for a loved one to hear. It's like saying you don't care enough about them to live---even though you're suffering internally, emotionally, or even physically, it's still a traumatizing thought to throw at someone who loves you with all their heart. It's not fair to them. It also brings us to the actual suicide itself: think about your loved ones. Think about all of the "what if I could've helped them more" type of thoughts running through their minds for the rest. of. their. lives.

And you know what else I found out while praying to God about this? We'll never know our real purpose in this life until we are back home with God. The mystery is far too great to even comprehend. It's like fish trying to understand algebra. So my biggest advice to anyone contemplating suicide is this: if you need help, reach out. If you feel like nobody's there to listen, reach out to GOD. God hears every prayer, every cry, in fact He collected every teardrop you've ever shed. If you would just believe it...receive it...and trust in God's promise, you'll be surprised over how easy the answers are and why 'this' is that way or why 'that' is this way. Some answers will be revealed, while others will remain a mystery.

Keep trying. Keep living. Keep doing what you love. For me, I had to keep praying, keep taking notes, keep cooking for my loved ones, keep playing guitar, keep going to church---all things that lift my spirits up. I had to give up drinking, eat healthier, welcome more people into my life without the fear of being let down or disappointed. I had to change my attitude about everything and just trust God. I also had to stop complaining. Your words are very powerful, and sometimes my words can tear my entire spirit down, or tear someone else down if I don't use them wisely. As it says in the scriptures, life and death are in the power of the tongue. Which way are you going to use yours? The old "Sticks & Stones" is a fallacy. Don't be deceived, because the devil is a liar and he wants you to believe that words are meaningless and that what you say can always be forgotten. Some words can never be forgotten. I'm not perfect and I know that without a doubt, there are people out there in the world who still remember my words of poison, and hopefully one day, there'll be forgiveness for my sins. But for now, I'm still learning. We all are. I coming to terms with the fact that I'll probably never know why I'm here or what my purpose is, but I'm going to try my hardest to make somebody's day, maybe even life much better. I'm going to try my best to put a smile on someone's face who's lost all hope. Maybe I can help somebody who lost their favorite person like I did, and maybe...I can help someone who wants to go home just like I once did. I still do, but I'm going to wait on God and His timing. To anyone reading this, hang in there. Don't give up. Pray. Believe. Expect answers. God has proven to me that I still have work to do. Through my perspective it's cloudy, but to Him, the view is perfect. His ways are always perfect.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." --Proverbs 3:5-6

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Spiritual Warfare: The Dangers of New Age Practices

The other day, I was feeling a bit down. I was having a "Debbie Pity Fest," and grabbed my bag of potato chips into the living room and started watching a depressing movie called, A Sea of Trees on Netflix. It's basically about this large woodsy area in Japan where people go so they can commit suicide. I should've picked a comedy, but this was a little too intriguing for me. Right in the middle of my movie, a good friend of mine calls me up and said, "No. This isn't good for you. Let's get in trouble somewhere. I'm picking you up." I had my hair up in one of my goofy buns that make me look like Micky Mouse, wearing my comfy sweatpants with my big fleece blanket covering me. My dog was comfortably nestled in between my legs. There was no way I was going out. It was right after the horrible winter storm we had---everything was slushy and muddy and also rainy.  I'm staying put. But my friend was funny, she was so insistent, so I took a shower and got ready really fast. As we were driving off, I had an idea to go to this little artsy village nearby. She had never seen it before. They sell handmade soaps, candles, healing oils, incense, you name it. You also have to be careful when you enter some of the shops there. Some of them are owned by people who practice witchcraft and into other types of "religions" that sort of conflict with anything trinity-based. I definitely had my guard up.

We visited the handcrafted soap shop and bought a few things there, and then we entered another shop that sold sculptures, salt lamps as well as a million and one different types of stones for healing purposes. The store owner was incredibly helpful and she led me over to the bins full of stones. She said, "Walk around this entire case area and see which stone picks you first." I sort of knew what she meant, walked around it, and oddly enough, this one stone felt as if it was staring at me. It was like popping out from the rest, and oddly enough, a color I wouldn't normally pick out. So I grabbed it. She took it from my hands and said, "Do you have anxiety and gastritis?" Yep and yep. She explained the healing properties of the stone and then left it right near the cash register for me. They also make their own CBD oil, to which I bought as well. Soon after, an Asian man walks in. She introduced us and said he does Qigong classes in their beautiful studio they have in the back. Basically, Qigong is a traditional holistic healing practice mostly practiced by Taoists and Buddhists. It's supposed to be beneficial to anything from hypertension to cancer by pushing out blockages that we store up in our body due to stress and anxiety. It sounds good and all, but the only concern is that someone else is pouring their energy into your energy.

"Here, touch this," the store owner said to the Qigong teacher, "She has a lot of stored up energy. Would you mind doing a little work on her now?"

I did not plan to do this. Somehow, I always end up in places that have these practices that I don't wish to participate in. For instance, I walked into a nearby cafe that sells exotic coffees. A lady came up to me and introduced herself, showed me around the new place and even guessed that I had lost my parents recently. Little did I know, I got suckered into getting a tarot card reading, which is against my faith and beliefs as a Christian. But that day, I was really depressed and lonely, and I did it because I just wanted to have coffee with someone and talk. She grabbed her coffee and took me in a back room to tell me things I already kinda knew. She was nice though and I had no issues with the person, it was just the practice that left me a bit leery. Little did I know, she practices witchcraft on a daily basis. I learned this after our Facebook connection. Her photos contained the pentagram, and the mention of covens and photos of artwork that had witches being together near a bonfire.


Back to the Qigong gentleman... He stood in front of me and asked, "Is ok if I gently touch your arms?" And I agreed. We stood there for a pretty long time as he did some deep breathing meditation---kind of like Reiki---they meditate on your energy and try to remove any 'static' or blockages that they feel themselves. I have to say that after he did what he did, I felt incredibly lighter and had a tingling sensation all over my body. He also helped my friend whose ankle was bothering her and she noticed a big difference too.

As I'm leaving the store, I have a bag that's holding big blue lace Agate stone along with the homemade CBD oil in it. When I got home, I started to notice a weird feeling. I tried to pass it off as just being overtired, but the next day, I had feelings of dread that was so heavy, I started to nitpick at everything Madelene was doing, and became overly upset that she had to work the next day, which happens to be her regular day off. My demeanor was way off. On top of that, I was toppled over with a huge wave of grief like I never seen before. I was up until 3am crying my eyes out. I couldn't stop. It was as if my mom just died. I didn't understand what was going on. The next day, I went to see my psychiatrist who I have been seeing for 15 years. We never fought, argued or even had a disagreement. That night, he was asking questions and for some reason, my brain was processing it as an attack. I literally saw him laughing at me, while asking questions that concerned my life on a larger scale. I got up from the sofa and said a few choice words, and as I walked out of his office, I slammed the door so hard that all of his framed artwork on the walls shook. Keep in mind: I have never done this before in my life to a therapist or someone I was working with, especially a doctor.  I wasn't myself. It was like someone else was inside of me---this angry little monster that took over and wreaked havoc everywhere I went.

Then it hit me: it was the "energy healing" as well as the stone I carried. I told Madelene to take the stone and throw it somewhere off the property and into the woods. I prayed and felt God healing me from all that I went through. This was supposed to be a 'good thing'---but most people don't realize that you're tampering with something that can open up doors to unwanted things, even unwanted spirits. During my 'madness' ---my dog noticed it and felt the anxiety and tension. As I was praying and meditating in the other room, at the end, I usually anoint myself with holy oil, as well as my dog. You should always anoint your "beast" (pet) with oil and bless them. There's a story where Jesus was removing demons out of someone, and what happened was, the demons fled, but they rushed into the pigs that were on the beach. Once you remove spirits, they can flee into weaker and vulnerable species. So make sure you protect your animals. So as I was anointing myself, my dog who was in the other room came running like a lunatic, jumped on the couch to get her anointing too. She kept nudging my arm that had the oil in it---like, "C'mon! Hurry! Anoint me!" I am not kidding. She goes crazy for it. She even shows her belly so I can anoint her head, belly and paws. I pray over her and then she becomes incredibly peaceful---especially for a hyperactive chihuahua.

I know that people want to be more accepting in this society. They want to be more "tolerant" and loving to everyone of every creed, but there has to be a line drawn to what is good and to what is bad. And don't get me wrong, a few of my friends are Wiccan, and we respect one another's beliefs. That's fine. But when you start dabbling into things like tarot cards, Ouija boards, psychic readings, mediumship, energy healing, yoga (which brings up the Kundalini spirit) or even something as simple as wearing or keeping a healing stone, like the blue agate I bought, these things hold energy. All of these things are considered to be witchcraft. I used to think that concept was crazy too, until I tested it out for myself. I couldn't believe that yoga was bad. What do you mean, yoga is bad? But once I started to realize what was entailed and how it was discovered, most people don't even know about the Kundalini spirit. The Kundalini is a serpent! What does the serpent do in the Bible? How is it represented? Before you hit the yoga mats, try researching the Kundalini. Some sights will tell you that this spirit is good. It's not. You're allowing demonic energy to seep right into you. Some portals are hard to close, so be careful on what you entertain. Awakening the Kundalini is the expression used by mystics, Hindu gurus and New Agers for the practice of focussing on a 'serpent spirit' which, they say, resides in each one of us in the form of a coiled snake located at the base of the spine. Through meditation and physical body positioning the aim is to 'raise the Kundalini' through a total of seven spiritual waypoints – called 'Chakras' – located along the spine.---read more about this here.

Isaiah 8:19-22 says, "When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness." 

Things like yoga and meditation have become so apart of our culture and society that we don't even look twice into it. I used to as well. I thought it was harmless. This is the trick the devil uses. The devil will even have you believe that he doesn't exist, leaving you open and vulnerable to demonic attacks. Our world is filled with new age stuff and paraphernalia that seem so incredibly innocent. Also be careful getting "harmless" oils in a shops that are owned by those who practice witchcraft. Some oils have spells on them. I'm not some "crazy overzealous Christian"---I'm just extremely cautious about what I choose to hold and to have in my home. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that some people even choose to leave their shoes outside, and keep house shoes (only worn inside) as a habit due to stepping on unholy grounds.

Trust me, I used to laugh this off too, whenever my Christian friends would tell me these things. It was only till I saw a pattern of "bad luck" or bad happenings, moods and feelings of dread anytime I came across these things and entertained them. It proved to me that these "innocent practices" are to plague you with more misery and bad fortune down the line. If you believe in God, then you should also believe in the devil. If you believe in a higher power, then you should believe there are lower powers. Don't ever underestimate the power of low frequency spiritual attacks. They're so real, they'll have you thinking you're going insane. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Your family and friends will think you're having a mental breakdown. It'll attack you on every level. Stay close to God and read up on your Bible about spiritual warfare, witchcraft and how God is the only one who can heal you.

Don't go to a medium or a spiritualist---go to God!

There is power in the name of Jesus! Trust that.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Communicating With God is Possible

Life isn't the same. Not for me anyway. It took on a different twist to where I almost nearly had given up most things I enjoyed. I started fasting with certain things: food, alcohol, people. I would isolate myself and only drink water, bone broth and light meals in order to become closer to God. I obtained from any intimacy, hoping to find a deeper level in my spirituality. I pushed away my earthly desires and went straight for the one thing we all try to strive for: GOD. It wasn't easy. It took a lot of plea-bargaining and denial. It took a ton of strength and ability, with a dab of self-doubt which kept rearing its ugly head. But the more I prayed for inner strength, the more courageous I became in conquering my fears---the fear of failing---the fear of being a prisoner in my own rusty chains. I wanted to know that I wasn't a slave to my earthly desires, but merely just a spiritual being in my own weakened humanness passing through this earthly experience. I was hoping to find some hidden meaning to it all. It took avoiding people, to only face them again. It took isolation, and then facing the crowd again. It took a heap of loneliness, to find that I was still lonely even in a crowd of people. The only thing that filled that loneliness was my relationship with God.

My prayer time requires a prayer room, or you can simply just designate a special chair that you go to in order to be alone with God. I grab my coffee, my Kleenex, because I know I'm going to be a bit weepy at times and my Bible and notebook. My prayer consists of meditating on His presence, repenting, crying, and reading Scripture to help gain my strength by His written Word. It's sometimes messy and a bit revealing. Other times, it's just glorifying Him, praising Him for all of His blessings and answered prayers. It's also important for verbal prayer, not just bowing your head in silence and letting God read your thoughts. Verbal prayer also sets up the atmosphere to where you are actually cleansing your living space. The power is in His name: JESUS -- and when you say that out loud or listen to worship music, your will feel a shift in the atmosphere. This is just what works for me though. But I do stress on finding a secret place that you can have privacy in order to speak to God about everything that's in your heart.

And it clearly states that in this scripture:

"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don't be like them because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!"--Matthew 6:5-8

What I started to do was write a longhand journal about my communication with God. So each section will have a "P" or an "A" on it for "prayer" and "answer." The answers I receive sometimes come in the form of an impression I get, like a revelation or an idea, other times, it's through someone's text, or a song's name on the ambient music channel I listen to while praying. It can even come later in the day, to which I'll jot down that evening.

For instance, I had an issue with tachycardia due to drinking because I was trying to self-medicate my anxiety away, to only make it worse. In one section of my notebook, I had written, "My heart races, I'm having anxiety and in extreme pain."

During this time, I would get these pseudo painful episodes that left doctors clueless. I must've gone through a hundred cat scans (which isn't good) and other testing to only find out that I was in perfect health....thankfully!

Immediately after writing that prayer down and letting God know how scared I was, I came across this scripture.

"My heart, my heart---I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me. I cannot be still." --Jeremiah
Right after reading this scripture, not even a minute afterwards, the doctor calls me regarding my pain and if I was feeling better...and I was.


Another prayer in this notebook is probably an interesting one, and perhaps a bit personal, but I'm going to share it with you anyway. I think it's important. Just a brief rundown on what's going on---as some of you know, my parents who we took care of passed away from cancer. We were left the ancestral home, which we love, but it's too big of a house for just the two of us. A lot of little things add up to a huge bill and we do the best we can. My main issue is that I work from home and although that has been my dream to do what I love and work from my own home, in the winters, I sometimes end up stuck and stranded on this huge mountain all alone. At times, the power goes out, where I have to fill up the wood stove and keep the house warm in the dark. It's quite frightening to tell you the truth. I asked my other half if we could move before the winter last year, and we both agreed it would be better since I would probably drive her crazy with my fear of staying here alone in this big house.

Needless to say, it's been taking a long time to get things moving, and of course, to get us moving as well. And wouldn't you know it---here comes winter with its snow and ice. Once again, I'm freaking out. We've been arguing over this for a long time and for some reason, she doesn't seem to want to move out. It's a beautiful home when it's lived in. It's a perfect home, if more than two people lived here. It's also a very lonely place if it's just you and the sounds of coyotes, just to remind you of how scary it is to just walk your 10 lb chihuahua outside.

So this was my prayer word for word:

"I can't understand why God isn't coming through for me - why am I still fighting, arguing over what I want with Mad still? Why am I so depressed?"

The answer came through scripture:

"So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth, because we belong to each other. And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a might foothold to the devil. " --Ephesians 4:25-27
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." --Ephesians 4:31-32 
"Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again--my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember your kindness--from Mount Hermon, the source of Jordan from the land of Mount Mizar." --Psalm 42:5-6


Many people ask why God doesn't answer their prayers. The reason for this is because that person is slightly or greatly doubting that God will answer. It's kind of like going to a psychic medium. If you put walls up and you doubt their abilities, you are blocking the answers that they'll give you. They'll sense it and you will waste your money on a negative reading. And not that I am into going to psychics---this is just an example. So when you believe, you will receive. But you have to believe with all your heart. Now that I placed my faith in God so strongly, I receive His answers, and these answers are not coincidences nor are they hopeful 'finds' that I happen to seek out.

I'm not perfect. I'm a little messy, unraveled and sometimes rude. I make mistakes, I curse a little and at times, I can become depressed and hopeless. This is all the more reason I need God. Every single morning, I make Him first. If you make God first in the day, your attitude completely changes. He gives you the strength to face anything. I definitely want to make God first on my schedule rather than anything else that comes flying my way. You don't have to have Christian paraphernalia hanging from your neck or Jesus bumper stickers, in fact, most people who do are often the ones who will flip you the bird on your evening commute home.


The more time I spent with God, just meditating on his presence, the more awareness I received. I could hear and read messages that are straight from the Spirit. If you ask God for discernment and especially the motives of other people, He will definitely show you in ways that will surprise you. Sometimes, our energy is drained from just being around another person who holds a lot of negative energy. That energy can rub off on you, and if you let it, it can make the communication you have with God a bit static and hard to understand. That's why for me, it's important to surround myself around those who will edify me, not tear me down. I don't mean that you need to be with these fake 'happy-happy-go-lucky' people all the time, I'm talking about being around those who at least give off some positivity and compassion, and less of the negativity---the gossip, the bitterness and betrayal. Be there for them if they're sad or need you, but when it comes to people who treat you poorly, it's OK to set boundaries. Forgiveness doesn't always mean reconciling with the person and making them your best friend again. It just means looking past human flaw--to pardon them, whether you choose to befriend them again or go your own separate ways. I realized that some of the people in my life never ask an important question.

"HOW ARE YOU?"

It seems to be the new "hello." They don't want an answer if they do actually murmur those words. Sometimes I'll receive a text/novel from someone immediately rambling off all of their woes in life. As much as you try to be there for them, they will keep treating you like a psychotherapist. There has to be a give and take. In my world, when I text or call someone, the first words out of my mouth or text are, "How are you? Is this a good time to talk?" But I really want to know how they are doing. Are you feeling well? How are things at home, at work? But nobody seems to ever ask those questions anymore. I slightly blame social media for this narcissistic behavior. Everyone wants everyone to know their business and what they're doing. But have you ever seen someone write on their FB status message or tweet out----"Hey, how is everyone?" Ha, funny to even think about that happening. Compassion is somewhat lost in this world. I'm finding a lack of empathy with many people who I once admired, loved or surrounded myself with. Everyone seems to be too self-absorbed in their own world to actually life up their head and see the world as it once was. For the people I care about, most only call me because they need something from me, and I am more than willing to help or give to whoever. But once in a while, I pray that one day, they'll just call me up to ask, "Hey, how are you?" If I want to ask someone how they are doing, I simply call them up---no social media comments or text messages---a good old fashioned telephone call.

During prayer, I brought up this issue, about people just venting out their frustrations to me, with never even asking how I'm doing. I actually heard my mother's voice in my heart saying, "It's the only way they know, forgive them." It's like Jesus saying on the cross, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Funny thing is, even if they did ask me how I was doing, I'd probably just say, "Fine, how's it going?" I don't like to burden others with my issues, and usually, I am pretty much a private person. When it comes to this blog, I tell personal things about my life in order that it may help someone else dealing with similar issues.

Anytime you're feeling unsure about a situation in your life or a problem with someone else, whether it be family or friends, pray about it, but most of all, put faith behind it. Expect God to answer. Watch Him work in your life as He does in mine. I can't tell you how much peace He has given me just by communicating with Him every single morning. It's the one thing that has truly saved my life is many ways.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Answered Prayers Sometimes Requires Work on Your Part

Sometimes a break is in order, especially when you're feeling confused about a certain situation in your life, whether it's a relationship issue, a developed habit, spirituality and religious teachings and/or beliefs or just time to reevaluate yourself internally.  During this time, I began to understand what God needed me to do in order to answer my prayers. Sometimes, prayers cannot be answered because we have to do something on our part to make that happen. We can't just expect miraculous things to happen if we don't make the effort to improve things on our part. For instance, for the longest time---I'm talking over ten years, I suffered with insomnia, where I couldn't go to sleep until 4am. It was the hardest thing to deal with because I was living in a different time schedule than everyone else around me. I love my mornings and having coffee watching the sunrise. I love working early, because that's when I'm at my sharpest. But it wasn't happening for me, even though I prayed and prayed.

I learned that God sometimes will remove something in your life in order to bless you and answer your prayer. For me, He showed me how alcohol was the culprit for my insomnia and health issues. In my mind I was like, "I'm a moderate drinker and like my wine with dinner---it's not like I'm a boozer!" But it didn't matter. The way my body processing the alcohol was ruining my sleep and giving me other health ailments. And yes, my wine goblets are huge, so one glass is really like drinking three. So there's that. Out of nowhere, every single time I would touch wine, my heart would spin out of control with a heart rate of 150 bpm. Even one glass of wine would set it off. I had to visit my cardiologist and as always, get a clean bill of health. Once I removed the alcohol, I noticed I was more calmer, and at night,  with no racing heart. I would fall asleep at a decent time, and wake up at 6am, shower, have my coffee and watch the sunrise. I thought this was a fluke, but it kept happening more and more, with each day that passed by without the wine, I found myself adjusting to my new schedule. I was always told, "Well, you work from home so it shouldn't be that big of a deal---don't even think about it." But I LOVE my mornings! It was bothering me because I like to get all my work done and be able to do the groceries, clean and cook afterwards. I was not very functional drinking wine every single evening.

With that being said, I also incorporated hemp extract (CBD oil) into my routine. At any given time I was plagued with an anxiety attack or I was feeling too tense, I would use a dropper of the oil and my entire body would feel calm and relaxed---not high---just at ease. As time went on, I realized that my claims of being a "moderate drinker" were way off base. I was drinking a lot more than I thought. So now, I am able to have a glass or two of wine on one night of the week, like on a Sunday with a nice meal. I don't crave another glass nor do I feel cheated during the week. I am more productive, I am busy from 6am, till I go to bed at night. It's been an amazing discovery for me through God's answered prayers.

I keep a journal of my prayers, along with God's answers. One of my prayers was speaking about my one week without alcohol. I was thanking Him for giving me this discovery and how good I felt. Right after my prayer, I opened the Bible to this scripture:

"And it is not for kings to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave liquor. For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. Liquor is for the dying, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more." ---Proverbs 31:4-7

For me, this scripture spoke to me. Without focusing on "kings and rulers" --- I felt as if God was saying that He had greater things in mind for me, so if I want to go higher in life, I need to not crave liquor or guzzle my wine. And He also wanted me to heal from my grief of losing my mother, so the wine isn't helping at all, in fact, it was exasperating it to a level of complicated grief, which is a form of clinical depression.


I also learned that I was praying wrong. I kept praying for God to remove the fear and anxiety I felt. But I didn't realize that asking for that was pointless. Fear and anxiety will always be there at some level. He said, "Ask for mighty inner strength, instead of praying for fear to just go away." So I kept asking Him for mighty inner strength and to make me courageous---to even make my dangerously courageous. After praying this way, I began to do things I wouldn't normally do. I began to go out more, shop in places I was terrified of, like super Walmarts and even driving into the Bronx to see family. These are things I used to fear. I'm also able to be available for anyone who needs me at 'mostly' any given time. I used to feel sluggish or to anxiety-stricken to even make it out of the house. But with God, all things are possible.

So if you're suffering with the same things I did: fear, insomnia, agoraphobia and grief, maybe try praying every single day, and try eliminating things or substances from your life to see if it's the culprit. I also attend church on Sundays---not because "it's the right thing to do for a Christian" ---because I don't believe that. I believe church starts at home. But for me, I believe being surrounded by other people who love God as much as I do edifies me and also educates me. I've learned a lot more about my Bible too. It's good to have friends of every creed, but it's also good to fellowship with those who believe as you do.

Have faith and expect God to work in your life. If you have an inkling of doubt while praying to God, the answers to your prayers will take that much longer to get to you. Have faith, EXPECT God to answer you, and also, expect God to remove something that's blocking the path of your blessing. For me, my wine was the only thing I truly looked forward to at the end of the day. And now? I look forward to days with clarity, productive weeks filled with accomplishment and success due to God's help. I look forward to prayer and meditating on God's Word every single morning, whether for 30 minutes or two hours. I sometimes lose track because being in His presence has overwhelmed my heart with complete love and acceptance of who I am. God doesn't need you to be "perfect" and "holier than thou" --- He just needs you to believe and trust. That's it.

I will be writing more about my testimony as my journey goes on. I'm excited about my new life, and I'm hoping that maybe someone out there will be inspired by what God has done for me, because He can do this for you too. If you ever need to reach me, please reach me by sending a message in the box on the right side of this blog, or follow me on Twitter to send a DM.

Thanks for reading.


For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!