blog.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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." Isaiah 43:18-19

Saying goodbye to blogging (for now)

Well, it’s been almost 3 years of writing blogs. I’ve got to say I’ve learned a lot about myself as I read back on the years.

When I started, I was 20 years old, and in a very dark place. A month and a half before I started the blog, I almost committed suicide. I was really hurting. I asked myself, “Why do I have to be so fake about how sad I am? Why do I just walk around with a smile on my face when its so dark deep inside…?”… I always acted happy and witty but inside I was living in despair. I was burdened.

It was my psychiatrist or my doctor that asked, “Why don’t you start writing it out?” Ever since I was 6 years old, I was always writing. Journals, books, you name it. I was always writing.

So, I guess I can say, God used writing to save my life.

I had never really seen a really raw blog. I’ve never seen a blog that poured out everything a person had. I knew if I started a blog that was very raw and direct and came from my heart – there was an opportunity for ridicule or backlash.

But I decided to do it with courage. I decided to write my blogs. I thank God for pushing me to start a blog.

God used my writing to go out of my comfort zone; to talk about the DEEP stuff and the things other Christians won’t talk about. I talked about controversial things, and I talked about all the hurting things that happened in my life. I talked about my dark places, and I shared stories about my journey of healing as a Christian with depression. I shared my sorrows, and I shared my joys and victories. I tried my very best to articulate my emotions. God challenged my mind to think more philosophically, and realistically. God used writing to make me more real with my own emotions. God used writing to convict me and shape me.

God used people to encourage me, and to also correct me when I was out of line. God used my writing to encourage others to start writing, which encouraged me to continue to write. I can’t take credit, though. I can’t say that was me, because starting a blog came from a point where I was near death. God used my depression to create a blog that, in time, became very successful. People in over 95 countries viewed my blog, and I still can’t take credit for it. I can definitely say that God used my gift of writing in a powerful way.

It wasn’t for everyone though; it was God’s way of healing me through the power of words. I struggled with communicating my inner thoughts, and now I have become more whole in expressing myself.

In 3 years, I can say God has radically changed my life. People have witnessed my hurt, bitterness, unforgiveness, insecurity, depression and raw emotions… Now, I’ve grown to forgive deeper, love deeper, and be more free since overcoming so much. I can’t say I’m 100% perfect or healed… But after 3 years of crazy growth, I give Glory to God.

3 years later, God has changed my life. I am getting married in 8 months, and life will change even more.   I’ve started my career. My priorities have changed, and it’s time to grow more, without writing a blog.

I’m a fan of saying “Everything is for a season”. I’m not sure if this is for a season or a lifetime. I won’t say never, but for now – it’s time to grow more, and this is where I say goodbye to writing blogs (for now).

Thank you to all the people who supported and cheered me on. Thank you to the MANY people who really encouraged me. Thank you to all those who walked with me. Thank you to ALL those who shared my blogs and encouraged their friends with my blogs. Thank you for sharing in my vision for an authentic, raw blog.

It truly was a successful blog, and I give Christ all the Glory, Honour and Praise for transforming my life through writing.

For now, it’s time to start a new journey!

A million thanks again!

Fight the Good fight always, fellow believers!

With joy,
Bonnie Valley

 

The Story of Ryan Neville and Bonnie Valley

“Ryan and Bonnie grew up in opposite ends of Toronto, Ontario. But God is the author of this story, and He always has a timing for everything.

Ryan started re-attending his home church, Rexdale Alliance Church. A week after his baptism in August 2011, he attended a men’s bible study which Miles Valley (who happens to be Bonnie’s dad), was invited to share his testimony. That’s when Ryan met Bonnie’s dad, and a couple of members from the church that Miles pastors at.

Miles invited Ryan to come to Rouge Valley Alliance Church in the very east end of Scarborough, Ontario. So, Ryan took up Miles’ offer and travelled to Scarborough.

On September 4 2011, Ryan stepped into Rouge Valley Church for the first time. The first person who greeted him to the church was Bonnie. When Bonnie first saw Ryan, she was beyond thrilled to see another young face who so happened to be the same age as her. Bonnie never had friends her age while growing up in church, so seeing a young face was beyond exciting.

Bonnie quickly approached Ryan, and asked him about himself to get to know him. She invited him to sit beside her, knowing that a new visitor shouldn’t sit alone! Ryan was very, very shy and didn’t say much to Bonnie. What Bonnie does remember from that day was that Ryan was very shy, he had an army haircut, and he had a really nice cross necklace that she complimented him on.

After the service, they parted ways. Bonnie was in a relationship at the time, so she was just being genuinely friendly and wanting to welcome Ryan. Bonnie’s mom warned her to, “not give that boy the wrong impression”. Bonnie’s mom had a feeling Ryan liked Bonnie. (Her mom even saw Ryan looking at Bonnie from a distance). Ryan made friends who attended Rouge Valley Church.

Less than a year later, Ryan finished his 5th year of high school and graduated. He moved to Scarborough Ontario, with his best friend and mentor, and enrolled into the University of Toronto Scarborough and began his undergrad. Ryan started regularly attending Rouge Valley Church and became a member.

In Ryan’s first year of university, he was praying for his future wife. He prayed, “God, I ask that my wife would be someone that I already know. Someone that I’ve already met”. He was thinking about all girls he had met in his life. “Okay, there’s this one… no….. There’s this one…. No… God, really? These are my options?” But then the thought of Bonnie came to his mind. “Is Bonnie my future wife? Is Bonnie the girl I’m going to marry, Lord?” Ryan didn’t think it was possible. She was already in a relationship.

Ryan’s mentor asked once, “What do you think about Bonnie?” Ryan shrugged it off. Ryan and Bonnie are two very different people. Bonnie is more spontaneous and expressive, while Ryan is more calm, cool and collected. But Ryan admired Bonnie a lot from a distance throughout the years. He would see her perform skits at church, dancing or signing on Facebook. Ryan just never thought it was possible.

So, Ryan and Bonnie would see each other once in a while, crossing paths, or saying a quick hi (or scaring Ryan half to death that one time!). Bonnie was travelling to other places, and she started attending C4 Young Adults in Whitby Ontario. They had two different lives, growing in their own ways, walking two different paths.

3 years pass by, and Bonnie’s previous relationship had ended.

Back in 2012, Bonnie’s mother gave her engagement ring to Bonnie. Bonnie never got around to sizing it for her own personal use, so the ring sat in Bonnie’s jewellery box.

A little while after the end of her previous relationship, Bonnie decided to write a letter to her future husband stating that this was ring was only for him to propose to her. This was for her future husband, to provide any relief from the stress of paying so much for a ring. Bonnie sealed the letter (with the ring inside) and gave it to her parents. Bonnie trusted her parents that when they met the right man for Bonnie, they would give this letter and ring to him.

Months later, in October 2014, Bonnie was coming home for Thanksgiving weekend. Bonnie was living in Nova Scotia at the time. On Thanksgiving Sunday, Bonnie was with her friend in Bonnie’s bedroom, giving her a bottle of sand and rocks Bonnie collected from the beach in Nova Scotia.

As the two girls walked downstairs, Ryan was sitting on the couch talking to Bonnie’s dad. Bonnie saw Ryan. But this time, Bonnie really noticed Ryan. “He looks so different.. a good different..” Bonnie thought. Right away, Bonnie grabbed the box of bottles with sand and stones inside, and offered Ryan a choice to pick his two favourite bottles of sand. Ryan’s smile grew so wide, as he chose two bottles very carefully. After that night, something changed for Bonnie.

When Bonnie went back to Nova Scotia, Ryan’s name kept popping up everywhere, Bonnie went. His name even showed up as a name of a restaurant in downtown Halifax. It was driving her crazy. Bonnie tried so hard to ignore it. She started writing her feelings out, in hopes of getting things off her mind and moving forward. “They’re just petty feelings”, she thought. “Nothing’s going to happen. We’re just two, too different people.” Bonnie kept her thoughts secret from her family, friends, and anyone else while she was away.

“Besides, how could things even happen? I live in Nova Scotia. He lives in Ontario. It’s just not possible.”

Meanwhile back home, the Holy Spirit in Bonnie’s father spoke to him. One evening, Miles visited Ryan’s house to visit one of Ryan’s friends (two of Ryan’s friends also live with Ryan, who also attend Rouge Valley Church). Miles visited Ryan’s room. After some brief talk, Miles said, “Oh.. and Ryan… I think my daughter likes you.”

Ryan was shocked. Then, something in his heart happened. His heart opened up. This girl he thought about 3 years ago, actually likes him. But Ryan wanted to see it to believe it.

** Around that time, Bonnie realized the program she was in was not her fit. Through much prayer, Bonnie felt lead to move back home to Toronto for some reason. She was very sad, and wrestled with God, but she felt deeply that there was a reason for Bonnie to move back to Ontario.

A month after, Bonnie’s parents wanted to go to Blue Mountain with her and her brother. They invited Colin and Ryan to join the Valley’s for a weekend. (Interesting……..) Neither of them were looking for love (or even expected anything to happen), but God did something amazing in both of their hearts that weekend.

Ever since that weekend, Ryan and Bonnie began to admire and like each other more and more. A month later, Bonnie confessed that she admired Ryan more than a friend, but she didn’t want to play any games. Ryan felt the exact same way. They decided to just be friends; just hang out and get to know each other intentionally. There was no pressure. Bonnie needed time to heal, and Ryan needed time to grow.

For 8 months, God helped them battle and overcome fear, brokenness, baggage, and insecurities in their friendship. Bonnie and Ryan began to bravely admit that they were falling deeply in love with each other. When Bonnie went to Ontario Camp of the Deaf for a month, they started praying about their future and if God wanted them to be together. They were praying if they were meant to be married together.

After a couple days of fasting and praying for a week before Bonnie came home from camp, God confirmed to Ryan that Bonnie was the woman Ryan was going to marry. Ryan wrote a letter to Bonnie’s parents, telling them his intentions – that he wanted to marry Bonnie. Her parents were beyond thrilled.… They invited Ryan over for dinner, and gave him the letter Bonnie wrote, WITH the ring. Now, Ryan had an engagement ring for Bonnie.

Then, Ryan wrote a letter to Bonnie, telling her that he was going to marry her in 1.5-2 years. On August 7th, 2015 Bonnie came home from the Deaf camp and they were an official duo. (Yes! They shared their first kiss that day!)

After some months of growing, learning, going deeper in their faith individually and as a couple, spiritual and emotional intimacy, saying sorries, forgiving, praying, singing, serving and doing ministry together; it has been a complete joy for both of them. They are quite the opposite, and yet similar on very deep levels.

Then, on June 13 2016, a spontaneous moment happened.

Bonnie and Ryan were celebrating his birthday two days early because they wouldn’t have had a chance to celebrate on the day of.

Bonnie created a gift for him that God inspired her to do. She thought of 8 words that came to her mind when she thought of Ryan. She used scripture to back it up, and each word there was a video of her explaining it.

Ryan was deeply touched. Speechless. In complete awe. Thinking deeply. Quiet. Then, Ryan spoke, “Bonnie. You know it’s very hard for me to open up my heart right? Well I’d like to bring you deeper into my heart. I want to let you deeper into my heart”

There’s a verse in the bible that says, “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret….” Matthew 6:6.

So, Ryan has created this “prayer closet” in his closet. There’s a little mattress, a pillow, and a big light. He goes in there and that’s where he just prays and talks to God and rests in God’s presence in the closet. So it’s a very holy place for Ryan to spend time with God. That’s Ryan’s true prayer closet.

Ryan said to Bonnie, “Come into the prayer closet with me.”

Bonnie was a bit hesitant but she knew in her Spirit this was a deep moment for Ryan. So they went inside this closet, he closed the door and they laid down and stared at the wall together.

Ryan began to express how this place was very holy for Ryan. This is a place where Ryan spends time with God. It was a sweet holy presence. God was there. It was innocent. He expressed his heart to Bonnie, and they grew deeper spiritually and emotionally.

Estimately 40-50 minutes later , after they talked and prayed…It was pretty silent for a while. They were both just laying down, side by side…. Then, God spoke to Ryan very clearly in that prayer room. (Still pretty silent, according to Bonnie)

Suddenly, Ryan broke the silence and said, ” Bonnie I want to show you something that means a lot of me”. Lying beside Bonnie, he reaches over to the shelf in his prayer closest, and grabs his jewelry box. Then, he pulls out her mother’s engagement ring, and asks, “Bonnie, will you marry me?”

After that, he continued “I was going to propose to you August 7. But Bonnie, I couldn’t think of a better place to ask you such an important question. I had this plan, but for such a moment as this, before God.. I would never get this kind of moment again.”

Bonnie said a huge yes (after being completely shocked)! Praise God!

Now, Bonnie and Ryan are going to be enjoying their engagement with family and friends, for the rest of the summer and will start planning in the fall for their wedding on May 13, 2017!”

 

 

A couple of our best moments together 🙂

 

 

 

Story | A Christian with Depression

Well,

I didn’t want to post my story of depression during Mental Health Awareness Week, or #BellLetsTalk day. I’ve been so used to depression and anxiety, that it’s a “norm” for me.

I am a firm believer in Christ. I love Jesus with all my heart. I am diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. I never wanted this. I’ve prayed enough for it to go away, but I believe God has used my mental illness for a great and beautiful purpose, despite the ugliness of such illnesses.

I feel deeply in my heart to share my story.

Well, it is biological and depression runs in my family. So, there you go. I was bound to get it at some point. I was always told that I was “joyful, happy, social, outgoing and just bubbly!” Naturally, a lot of people perceive me as joyful and outgoing. I believe it’s a gift from God to experience so much joy, but it’s ironic that so much joy is inside a girl who struggles with depression.

My childhood involved a lot of bullying, and putdowns before I moved to my elementary school where I met two of my best friends (to this day!), and I grew more in my personality and began to express myself much more. I started having sad thoughts when I was 12 years old. I remember writing in my journal, asking God to make me disappear. I just didn’t want to be on earth anymore. I wanted to leave the world. I believe that was the start of my suicidal thinking.

Throughout high school, everyone knew me as “happy, outgoing and social”, but deep inside I really struggled to see the light. I kept my sadness hidden, because I learned in church that “feeling sad or depressed meant you have hidden sin in your life that you haven’t confessed”. So, I just stayed “happy”.

7 years after feeling my first sad thought, I was involved in a serious head injury that gave me a concussion, and rushed me to the hospital. I believe this injury really affected me mentally, and brought all the pain to the surface. I was full-blown suffering. At the time, my environmental situations were very poor – involving a lot of bullying and abuse.

Fall 2012, I had so many mental breakdowns that I lost count, and I started planning my suicide attempt. Later in November 2012, I said I was suffering with depression, and I wanted to kill myself. I was taken to a few counsellors and a great doctor who was very patient with me. The doctor officially diagnosed me with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. I started medication.

November 1st 2013, I was in the middle of attempting suicide, when cops came into my house. An old friend of mine called the cops to my house, having a feeling I was very serious about suicide. I was truly at my lowest, and I wanted to die. I remember being very angry with her for a while. I really didn’t want to live anymore.

Less than a year later, my environmental situation changed drastically and a lot of the things that brought me grief, anxiety and pain were completely out of my life forever. I still suffered with depression and anxiety, but the medication started working and life was less stressful. Life started really picking up. The light shun a little brighter in my mind.

Now, I no longer have suicidal thoughts. I live a lot more, than just survive and get by. My heart’s goal is to live for Jesus, and strive for purpose. I live a very joyful life with family, an amazing support system, and a loving church. I wish I could tell you depression is not present anymore, but I’d be lying. Depression is still a cloud – more prominent on some days than others, but I am alive and so thankful. I am not on medication anymore, because I am able to cope with it. Maybe one day, I’ll have to start taking medication again. I’m not obstinate about it. Just as a little boy with a broken leg needs a cast, is a young lady with a mental illness needs medication and counselling.

In the church, people have asked me if I believe in God’s healing to heal me. People have asked me if I have enough faith for healing. People have told me medication is wrong. People have ignored this issue.

As a firm believer in Christ with a voice, I’m hear to encourage my fellow brothers and sisters. Medication is not wrong. It’s not a sin to get help or take medication for a mental illness. Depression is not a sin. It is an illness. It is not wrong to humble ourselves and say, “I need help”.

Do you have that one family member who won’t go to the doctor or refuses to get checked out for cancer? It’s really annoying, right? You care so much for that person, and you want to make sure they are safe. That’s the same thing for anyone who suffered with a mental illness. So, why say “oh just have faith and pray, and God will heal you”. God created doctors, and people who know science to create medicine for people suffering. I’m not saying I don’t believe in God’s power to heal. I have seen God heal instantly, and I have seen God heal throughout a number of years. We do not dictate to God. God is God and he is sovereign whether he heals a person now or later or never.

As a Christian, I praise God for my mental illnesses. It may not seem normal to praise God for a debilitating illness, but I praise God. If I never had depression or anxiety, I wouldn’t have been compassionate or understanding towards others. I would have been arrogant to other people’s life stories and where they had come from. It is a blessing in disguise. I don’t know when God will heal me of depression and anxiety. But if God’s plan is to use depression to change me into a woman who depends on God with her whole life, despite the darkness, then I never want it to leave.

God has used mental illness in my life to make me cling to Christ with everything I got – even when my very life depends on it. Depression has made me go deeper with who I am, how I think and how God created me. Depression has taught me how to love others and care for people. I realize that no matter who you meet, you could be meeting someone who thinks they can’t go on anymore, or can’t survive another day.

God has used depression to change my life, and even though it is an illness, it truly is a great change.

So, if you are a Christian who struggles with a mental illness.. Keep fighting because so many people love you. God loves you. God empathizes with you. He’s crying with you. He will never reject or abandon you. God wants all your deepest raw emotions given to him. Don’t be afraid to swear, or scream at God. Don’t be afraid to cry to God. God loves you. I say this with tears in my eyes, because I’m the girl who swore, screamed and cried to God, begging him to take me out of my misery.

God loves you. There is a purpose for the pain, and God is going to change your life. Cling to Jesus. Tell a trustworthy friend of your pain. Seek counselling. Take medication if you need to. Go to your pastor. Email me. But just know that God loves you and this mental illness is not the end.

There is a purpose.

You are meant to be here.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Keep fighting the Good fight,
Bonnie Valley

 

2015 | let’s be real.

Song to listen to while reading: Good good Father – HOUSEFIRES II

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hey!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post. I don’t really have a name for this blog, but I think I’ll figure it out when I conclude.

I guess I just wanted to update you briefly on my life. I had so many blog ideas after my East Coast Trip but then something really struck me. I can get so caught up in pleasing others, making myself look good, or just really broadcasting my life like my life is super awesome. In reality, none of you see my “unedited” life. So here it is. This is what’s been happening.

Since April, I’ve gone through the most life-changing healing process ever. I deleted all social media (except vine and YouTube), switched to a classic flip-phone (WITH NO DATA), and sold my iPhone and iPad. Just leaving technology behind. I was done with all these temptations to pretend like my life was amazing on social media, when in reality, I needed the social media break and find myself. I needed to align my life. Like a broken bone that gets straightened, was my life that had to be mended.

It all starts with my identity. When I was 17, after I became a Christian, I really struggled with who I was. (I won’t get too personal, but feel free to shoot me an email and I can go deeper into the issue of my identity). When I was being bullied, it really chipped away my identity.
Then, after ending a relationship that was so heavily involved in social media, and broadcasting it to the world, it impacted my identity. I lost my individual identity because I made my last relationship an idol. It hurt so much because I replaced the true living God, for a mediocre relationship and made THAT my god.

One thing I learned is to never make a relationship an idol. When that person let’s you down, and they are not in God’s #1 place in your heart, it’s easier to be gracious and forgiving. Why? Because you know they are HUMAN. Full of FLAWS. Friends, relationships, fiancées, husbands, wives have one thing in common: they will let you down more than ONCE in your life. That was a very freeing lesson to learn for me, because that means I don’t make unrealistic, unreachable high mental expectations that my significant other can’t reach. We must find our true belonging, worth and feeling of being absolutely wanted in a perfect way only in Christ. That’s a powerful lesson that I learned and has set me free from a lot of future pain.

Okay, back to social media. During my lone wolf journey, I started figuring out what I was lacking. I started losing interest in blogging, instagramming, and Facebooking. Loss of interest in this meant, I was finding my identity somewhere else.

I joined Celebrate Recovery and started letting out my hurts, habits and hangups to other hurting people. I was very broken, and even resorted to tears. I was so wounded and I didn’t want to wounds to poison me. I just wanted to heal. God started healing me when I was opening up to people personally, rather than an open blog that the whole world can read. I just vented but never really had people around to support and empathize with my emotions. This was very freeing for me.

So, God is healing me. Changing me. Transforming me. The last Sunday of 2014, God used a sermon to tell me “2015 is the year I’m going to heal you”. I remember sitting on my friends indoor trampoline with my friend Mike on New Years Eve, and I told him, “yes. God is going to really heal me this year. I don’t know how. But he will…”

I would have NEVER expected God to go THIS far, THIS deep into my heart. Lots of tears shed, but a lot of joys. When I let go of social media and broke free from the pressures of “documenting every moment of my life to the world”, I realized how empty and unfulfilling that mindset is.

What do you get out of it? 100 likes makes you feel like you are pretty? 200 likes makes you feel like you are the perfect couple in the world? 10,000 people follow you and that gives you worth? It’s so unsatisfying!

I just recently got Instagram and Facebook again, and I find it so boring. I just don’t have time to oogle at people and envy other people’s lives. I don’t find satisfaction in being jealous of how pretty a girl looks. It’s really poisoning, actually. I am uniquely beautiful. Comparison is a thief of joy.

God used my social media break, to show me that my identity will only be stable when it’s founded on CHRIST.

This is a really simple truth that can’t be ignored. It’s easy to ignore but let me say it again, in simpler terms.
If your identity and self-esteem is found in the number of likes you get, followers you get, subscribers you get….. Or even if your identity is found in a boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, parent, aunt, uncle, or your childhood best friend… You are on the road to mere disappointment and discouragement. If your identity is founded on anything or anyone that can hurt you or make you feel insecure (social media), your self-esteem with crumble. Trust me. I can testify to this.

For the first two months without social media, I felt like I had more free time, and yet I felt like I had less people in my life. This made me feel bored and even in part not special or important. Isn’t that sad? That’s really sad. It took a lot of getting used to.

But God was using that to shape my identity where I don’t need to search for the approval of others. I’m already approved by God. So, why should I seek other people’s validation?

As the months went on, I grew more and more… But there was a certain point where I broke down in September and admitted that my identity was severely broken, and I was longing for change. Just admitting how much of an identity I lacked, restored a lot of who I truly am. (Like I said, I won’t go into personal details, but feel free to give an email and I can talk to you personally). Admitting that I was broken, God’s grace really is made PERFECT in weakness. In my weakness, then HE is strong.

Then, I got baptized recently in October, proclaiming my faith publicly. Ever since, I have been so healed and changed. Honestly, I’m a different person because of how much God has healed me. I think it’s truly a miracle. I’m like the man who couldn’t walk, and Jesus touched me, and healed me. I’m just dancing away, praising his name.

This is the second time I truly knew who I was (The first time was when I recommitted my life to Jesus over 5 years ago). I found myself in Jesus. Even in my weakness, THEN HE IS STRONG. Amen? Amen!

It’s a miracle and I only shout praises to the ONE, true healer. His name is Jesus.

So, that’s my life. I have social media now, but I just use it to post my blogs or keep in touch with close friends. I’m rarely on it.

To all the people who have been praying for me, crying with me and encouraging me – I really deeply thank you for walking beside me in this journey. God puts people in our walks to cheer us on. Thank you guys for being my cheerleaders in this long, but needed emotional breakthrough run.

In conclusion, I’m just very thankful I’ve come this far and have learned so much through it all. If you’re in a season where you’re hurting, or you’re confused, or you feel discouraged… Look to Jesus. He provides ALL the answers that you’re searching for.

I hope this encourages you.

Keep fighting the Good Fight (through Jesus),
Bonnie Valley

An Open Letter to the Girl He Cheated On Me With

Bonnie: I have never read an open letter that spoke the words I’ve felt from the depth of my heart. Thank you Emily Faulk, for this amazing open letter. I had to copy and post this on my blog. This is so extremely powerful in the form of healing and true forgiveness. I seriously feel like these words were copied right out of my journal a year ago. I can relate to this kind of deep forgiveness so massively. Wow. So worth posting on my blog. Here it is:

An Open Letter to the Girl He Cheated On Me With
Written: Emily Faulk

For your sake, I won’t say your name. I know it well, and I cannot get it out of my head. But to you, you who hurt me, you who selfishly thought of only your own happiness, thank you.

We have never met, but I know you must know who I am. I am the woman you saved through the strangest means possible. He cheated on me with you. Through social media, you must have known I existed.

I could say congratulations or you win, or even the cliché — you deserve each other, but I won’t. I will say thank you.

You would think I would hate you, because you did to another woman what all women fear most, but I don’t hate you. You have done me an incredible service that I did not have the courage to do myself.

Thank you for setting me free. Thank you for saving me a future full of pain and lies. Thank you for showing his true colors through your joint actions.

Thank you for giving me a reason to say goodbye to the biggest blockade I have ever faced. Thank you for opening my future up again.

Thank you for taking the blame, for giving me a reason to leave, to give me a reason to start over.

Thank you for reminding me that I am worth so much more than lies and deception, that I don’t have to take the emotional abuse and trauma of this experience lying down.

Thank you for showing me that my dad was always right, and for letting me feel the overwhelming love of the friendships I had forgotten.

Thank you for showing me that there are better ways to spend my time and my tears. Thank you for sending me running to Jesus, for reminding me that I am nothing without my true Saviour.

Thank you for giving me a chance to have another first date, another first kiss, another chance at a pure and Christ-filled relationship.

Thank you for bringing me to my knees, for reminding me of what pain feels like, for without pain we cannot understand the beauty of healing.

Without bad, we cannot understand good.

Without your interference, I would not have lost my breath; but because of you, I have learned to breathe again.

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

The girl you helped set free”

Reference: Original Blog Post Here

Sunflower Tattoo | The Story.

Hey! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog! Don’t worry, I’ve got a few blog posts coming up soon! So… Many… Adventures this past summer. I don’t even know where to start.

Well, I was going to get my half-sleeve, but in the profession I’m about to enter into, it may not be a good idea to get a half sleeve as it might be intimidating for my clients. So, I decided with one single sunflower, as a reminder of my story.

If someone were to ask (and people already have), “I love your tattoo. Is there a story or meaning behind it?”

Well, this is the meaning.

Number 1. Sunflowers are my favourite flowers (Daffodils and Baby’s breath come in a close second and third place).

Number 2. Let’s get deep. Sunflowers grow beautiful and tall. Sometimes, it can be tricky to grow them, since they always need to be in the perfect place so it’s directly under sunlight (hence SUNFLOWER). Like all flowers, sunflowers take time to grow. You need patience. My story resembles a sunflower. Throughout my life, I believe God has had a lot of patience with me in my growth as a person as well as a Christ-follower. There were points in my life where I went through a lot of pain.. Even more so in the past 8 years of my life.. Being diagnosed with depression, and going through a lot of emotional hardship and some points where I felt like I wanted to walk away from my faith, or even to the point where I wanted nothing more than to die. Jesus still held on to me, no matter what. I still held on to him, even when I was sinking. Why are sunflowers called sunflowers? They grow because they face towards the sun, no matter what. And for me to grow – I have had to keep my eyes on the Son – Jesus. The Cross. I get true love, joy, peace, and a firm foundation in Jesus! Ever since June 2010, my journey is to fight the good fight, taking hold of the eternal gift in Jesus (1 Timothy 6:12); to keep growing, to keep healing in the midst of depression.. And in the darkest of times.. Facing towards the light until I see Jesus face to face.

This is a short blog post. I’m heading to the East Coast this Friday, and I’ll be back with stories, and pictures!

I hope you had a great summer!

With joy,
Bonnie Valley

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(done by Janice @ Chronic Ink)

WORDS | For a few Special People.

I was inspired this morning.

I’m not the kind of person to do this, but I felt a huge desire to say a huge thanks to some specific people and groups in my life that have encouraged, supported, and cheered me through the last nine months. I know God really carried me through the storm but if he didn’t place a whole bunch of main people in my life during these months – it would have been MORE of a struggle. I want to say a specific thank you to these people:

Rochelle
You are on top of this list because you have cheered me on the loudest, all throughout my life, since I was 9 years old. You have watched me grow up, and go through many different things. Thank you for being a faithful friend through it all. Thank you for loving me and praying for me.  Thank you for being my accountability partner is my struggles. You are a great friend and I always tell people about you. I’m so proud of you and I’m so proud to call you my friend.

Kulveer
Like Rochelle, I feel as our friendship gets older, it gets better… like fine wine. You are one of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for. Thank you for being you, for building me up and constantly making me laugh. I am so thankful for you because you have always taught me to have fun, keep giggling and never stop looking towards the bright side of things. You remind me of a time capsule. Who you are now has always been you since I met you at 9 years old. You’ve really encouraged me to never stop being myself all these years.. Thank you. You are definitely one of the best influences in my life.

Bethany C.
Beth. In the last month, I really see how much of a great friend you are. I’m so thankful for you, I can’t express it enough. I know God placed you in my life for a very specific reason,
and you are not meant to be in my life for only a season. (Truth. I rhymed it.) I never expected you to be one of my deepest and most cherished friends in my world. These last few months, I feel God has just doused our friendship with gasoline and it exploded into something much deeper than superficial talks or giggling over our gopher faces. You are my intercessory prayer friend and a friend who constantly points me towards Jesus. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. Thank you for being a friend that LOVES to pray with me. I really admire you and I’m constantly encouraged by your walk with the Lord. You are a gift from the Lord.

Rouge Valley Church/Celebrate Recovery
(Rouge Valley Church is my home church, where my Dad pastors at.)

I never expected to write a Thank You to my home church. When I was on the airplane coming home to Ontario, I remember God putting a thought in my heart that life was going to change in many different ways. I never expected one of the changes was being called back to Rouge. In the beginning, I was sort of nervous, skeptical and in ready-to-flee mode.
There’s not a lot of young people my age so I left that church two and a half years ago, and attended C4 NineOFive at 7pm, Sunday evenings. When I came back home to Ontario December 15 2014, God put Rouge Valley Church back on my heart. So, I’ve been going and I’m so glad I didn’t turn around. I was introduced to Celebrate Recovery, and God has been healing my heart, convicting me and transforming me every single week. It’s mind-blowing.

Rouge Valley deserves a Thank You. I want to thank every single member in that church. I know a lot of you have been praying deeply for me and showing me how much you love me. I’m overwhelmed thinking about it. I want to thank Mike especially, for always opening up his home so that I can bake and take ideas on how we can fellowship more, and bring them life (make-homemade-pizza night, etc). I’m so thankful for him that he has a heart for the blossoming college group in our church. Thank you. Thank you guys. I know that this year is the year my life has been so richly impacted. I’m happy to call you guys my church once again, and I can’t wait to see where this church is heading as it grows and grows.

Support Crew: Darren, Kandice, Arajubros, Alix, Josh Y, Mike B. and the majority of NineOFive.
Two and a half years ago, I would have never expected to be extremely blessed by these amazing people. I  realized it over a year ago, how you guys are all a Godsend. I know God put each and every one of you in my life, at specific moments, to encourage me, cheer me on, make me laugh, listen to me and pray with me. I can’t express enough how MUCH each and every one of you has impacted my life. Every individual has challenged my faith and it’s amazing. I’m so thankful for all the burger hangs, starbucks chats, house hangs, jumping into an iceberg temperature pool, and huddling in a sauna with brews and chatting. Thank you guys for making life so fun and thank you for lifting me up. Thank you.

Aaron A.
Aaron, my baby bearded buddy. I want to say a deep thanks to you. You are a great friend. Your heart is so big, I don’t even know how it fits in that little body of yours. You are just too wonderful and compassionate for words. You have really impacted my life with your thoughtful gifts, gestures and all the times you have spent with me. I want to thank you for investing in our friendship. I know that you are one heck of a great friend and I’m so thankful that you are a part of my life. Thank you for rocking my socks, pizza pie guy. You are an unreal young man who loves Jesus deeply. Thanks for inspiring me to love others like how you do. You really inspire me and challenge me! Thanks bud. You da bomb.

Kimberely M.
I just want to thank you for pushing me to not GIVE IN. In the beginning of December when I started making my final decisions to cut off the loose ends, you strongly encouraged me to not give in. You really fiercely showed me that I deserved way more and I’m so glad I trusted your wisdom in that sensitive situation, in that time. I know you say that it was all me, but I used to give in to people who told me sweet empty nothings. You spoke heavy truth into my life that I know was Jesus-inspired words and He filled me with the Holy Spirit to leave the awful behind, ONCE AND FOR ALL. Thank you.

Josh F.
If I never came back to Ontario, I wouldn’t have been able to get to know you like how I know you now. You are one genuine person. I admire your compassion and desire to be like Jesus. I admire your transparency and willingness to be open about everything going on. Thank you for encouraging me in my walk with Christ. You are a great friend. I love how you are so helpful, and kind to people; in an extremely tenderhearted way. I am so excited to watch you grow more and more as you set off in a new adventure of your life after graduation. You’re cool.

Ryan
You remind me of Aloe Vera to a sunburn. You are someone that brings peace to all kinds of conversations. When it’s appropriate and needed, you really think before you speak (which is an astounding trait to have). I don’t really know how to explain you. You are so gentle, that even the little ones gravitate to you. You encourage the lives of those you walk into, including mine. I can always learn so much from you and I look up to you because you are someone who wants to constantly pursue, and chase after Christ above everything else. You love Jesus. It’s on your face, and in the way you interact with others and yourself. “Those who look to him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5) is the verse that best describes you. When you look to him, that’s when you point others to him. I’m so blessed by your friendship. Keep being you. Never, EVER change. You friggin rock. 

Stephanie
I’m really thankful for you. You, among a few others, have watched me grow up since 9 years old. I want to thank you for all the times you have encouraged, listened and prayed with me throughout the years. I know that you have never stopped investing in me, even when I was too busy, or at a time when I pushed people away. Thank you for never giving up. I notice it. I see it. No wonder people always ask you to be a bridesmaid. You are one of the most unique and genuine ladies I’ve ever met. Like, I’ve truly never met any woman like you. You are the kind of friend that you would lay your life down for others. That’s an amazing trait about you. I don’t know how to explain it but you are just one very beautiful person, inside and out. Thank you for encouraging me, and praying with me. I love you Steph. You are my friend.

Bob 
My scary movie/The Walking Dead buddy, accountability partner, laugh-a-holic, witty friend. I’m so thankful for your friendship. Ever since we started praying every Thursday evening together, I feel like our friendship has really blossomed. I have always been so deeply impacted by you. I love talking and praying with you. Your ability to be humble, even when you struggle with pride, is so admirable because I struggle with pride. I am always so in awe of how real and raw you are. It really encourages me to be just as raw. I love how you are so authentic in our friendship. I’m always looking forward to seeing you and praying with you. Thank you for investing your time in me. I really appreciate it. I’m so thankful for you Bob. Thank you x1.5 million.

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(I laughed SO hard at that picture. You don’t even KNOW. LOL!)

There are many, many more names to say a thank you too. I apologize if you weren’t mentioned. I’m still thankful. Extremely.

With deep joy,
Bonnie Valley

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7 Things I’ve Learned after Deleting Social Media

April 1st 2015, my Facebook account was officially deleted. It’s been over a month now, and I’ve learned a lot. I realize how addicted I was to Facebook. I still catch myself subconsciously typing “http://www.faceboo-“ in the web address bar, until I suddenly realize, “Uh. My Facebook account was permanently deleted”.

I hung out with a friend last week and she asked me, “so what have you learned since you’ve deleted all this social media from your life?” When I finished my speech on everything I’ve learned (and more), she asked, “Is this going to be a new blog post?

Eureka!

And that’s how this blog post was inspired! Since this ridiculous social media disconnection (perma-detox), this is what I’ve personally learned. I summed it all up into 7 simple lessons:

  1. You don’t actually know the people you thought you knew, via FACEBOOK.
    giphynatalie

This one is #7 because it sucks the most. After I deleted my Facebook, I really found my true friends. That’s a yay! There were people in my life who cared so much about me that they went out of their way to call or text for a phone chat or a hang out (preferably at The Works. Yummy!). I had to do the exact same thing, too! Friendship is not a one-way thing. Friendships take work. It takes two people who deeply care about each other, to keep up with. This doesn’t mean every day, but this means keeping up. I don’t have Facebook to check-up on people. I have to personally go out of my way, to check up on my friends.

Let me tell you that it is not easy, to not be lazy in our friendships.

Facebook lies when it says you have 1,000 friends. Since I’ve left Facebook, I have about 10 friends I keep in constant contact with now. The amount of people I kept in contact with before I deleted Facebook, significantly dropped since the deletion. Crazy. It sucks but it’s an amazing realization of who my truest true friends are. I’m really thankful for the friends that have kept in touch!

  1. You have way more time to do the other important things.
    emmastone

When Facebook and everything else is out of the equation, it is extremely weird. You have so much time, sometimes you don’t even know what to do with that time. I had Facebook for 8 years and for the first time, I actually don’t lose time to do the things I should/want to do.. Like, calling a friend, writing a new blog post, volunteering at the retirement home, baking goodies for my friends, etc.

  1. You actually eat enjoy your food without feeling a responsibility to take pictures, hashtag and/or locate the restaurant to post.
    giphy

That all takes too much damn work. Haha. I’m sorry for my language but it makes me laugh now. The food is hot and delicious-looking and we are worrying about the angle of the picture, the filters, what hashtag to use, the restaurant location (and we get flustered thinking why our iPhones are not finding the location), and where to post the picture on.. ‘Instagram? Facebook? Snapchat?’……… All while our food is getting cold.

(Then, we get flustered if there are only 10 likes on the picture, when we expected 35 likes.)

Do you not see the audacity of it? I sure do. I laugh at myself because I am this person.
Heck, if the presentation of our meal looks fantastic, TAKE A PICTURE. I’m not dissing that! I’m just pressing into the fact that we are too busy worrying about how our pictures will look, to show the world that we have delicious food in front of us, and what others will think…

.. instead of enjoying the moment.

  1. You enjoy your surroundings
    .
    giphyfire

When I downgraded my iPhone to a regular cell-phone (ONLY text and calls, no data), and deleted most social media (not including Vine and Youtube) – I noticed I was more observant of my surroundings. The less involved I became with the social media world, the more involved I became in our real world.

I’ve gone on MORE hikes, MORE bike rides (I got a new bike!), MORE adventurous road trips, and I’ve enjoyed it way MORE. I’m not busy trying to tell the world that my life is really fun by posting my day to day life. I just live more in the moment than ever. I enjoy my life more without feeling the need to brag about it to others.

  1. You call more and text less
    .
    giphywill

Why call when we can know all about our friends’ lives via Facebook and Instagram? We do daily check-ups and if nothing happened, we go on with our day to day lives.

Since I deleted my Facebook and Instagram, I have to make an effort to call my friends and check up on them. It’s not easy because I really don’t like talking on the phone. But by God’s grace, He’s been teaching me to pursue others and show I care by giving a call, and asking how life is. I’ve never regretted a phone call so it’s really worth it. Texts are convenient but sometimes so impersonal.

It’s not the norm to call people nowadays, and some people are growing more and more uncomfortable with it. I’m that person but I want to break out of the cycle and just show I care about others. It’s a journey and I’m not there yet so don’t feel bad. 🙂

  1. You enjoy your relationships.

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This is number 2 for a reason. It’s one of the 2 top lessons I’ve learned. It goes hand in hand with calling others, spending time with others one on one without texting, Facebook, or instagramming the hangouts. It goes hand in hand with realizing who your true friends are after cutting out social media and investing in your relationships in a deeper way.

I’ve been learning how important people are. When we invest in the right people, the relationship grows and bears a lot of fruit. When we invest in others in a healthy, whole way, we really learn how to genuinely love others.

God’s revealed how much I’ve been healing by the amount of times I’ve baked for others with joy. Baking and depression doesn’t go hand in hand for me. If I failed in the process of baking, I would be so discouraged that I stopped baking all together. In the last 3 months, God has given me the courage, mental strength and Holy Spirit to bake more difficult, from-scratch recipes with confidence! Let me tell you, they’ve all turned out amazing. Then, I give my baked goods to others to bless them. Praise God.

It’s been an amazing process to invest in others in all sorts of ways besides Facebook and commenting “you’re so pretty” on a recent profile picture. I’ve truly been growing more deeply in my relationships since this deletion than any other time in my 5 years of being a born-again Christian.

  1. You learn more about God and grow more intimate with Him.
    giphyrachel

Need I say more?

Facebook had me comparing myself to others. I felt a lack of worth when I would go on Facebook or Instagram. I felt lame and useless.
I built myself on a pedestal, making my life look so sweet when really, I was a hurting lady. Selfies and selfies didn’t satisfy the longing to know that I’m beautiful.
Facebook stalking wasted my time and left me feeling more discouraged than satisfied. My curiosity wounded me way more.
I was discouraged when a couple would get engaged or married. I never really noticed my feelings. I thought it was normal.

Since the deletion, God has shown me my deep character defects of self-worthless, self-condemnation, envy and pride, and God has been healing me. The longer I’m away from all the distractions of social media and glamourizing myself – the more I realize how truly broken I am and yet God loves the broken.. He loves me.. He doesn’t want to leave me where I am.
He doesn’t come into our lives when we pretend we aren’t broken or want to put up walls. God comes into our lives when we open ourselves up and let him seep into the broken cracks of our heart.

I’ve grown more deeply in love with God since I’ve been away from social media.

He is not an angry God. He is not a God who merely tolerates me. He is passionately in love with me and wants me to go more and more deeper with Him, and into His presence on a minute-to-minute basis. A relationship with Him is so much more deeper than just going to church for a couple hours every Sunday. It’s a daily thing. I’m just so deeply in love with Jesus and how massive His love is for me, a broken sinner.
He loves me and calls me HIS. I am beautiful, no matter my weight, how long my hair is, my acne, or anything else that will merely fade away in 50 years. He lives in me and He calls me beloved. How romantic is God! He’s so amazing. I’m so in love with Him. I love that I can now, see His love for me so evidently since obeying the call to delete Facebook, Instagram and everything else.

He kept His promise to draw me closer to Him. It’s still a journey until I see Him face to face. Oh, what an adventure it is to follow Jesus.

Now, I’m a new leader for a group called Celebrate Recovery originated from Saddleback Church in California, pastored by Rick Warren. It’s a Christian-based recovery group for dealing with people’s hurts, habits and hang-ups (alcoholism, depression, drug-abuse, pornography, self-hatred, co-dependency, etc, etc, etc).
God’s called me back to Ontario Camp of the Deaf this summer from July 3-August 7, being a dishwasher again! So, I’m very excited!

(I have another blog post coming up soon about how God convicted me deeply. I’ll keep you posted on that. I’ll post that one in 2 weeks time.)

Before I close this blog post, I would like to mention something. In no way, shape, or form do I intend to make you feel guilty or foolish. Some people prefer using Facebook because they live far away from everyone, or they have friends that are all across the globe. (I have friends all across the globe that I want to keep in touch with!) Some people need it to keep in contact with colleagues, college or high school friends, roommates, etc. Facebook is absolutely amazing for that. It’s handy when you need to get to know who someone really is, based on their Facebook profile. I get it!

So, I don’t want you to feel guilty for my own personal decision.

My decision is for my own personal reasons. I don’t want to impose my reasons on anyone else. I just want to share what I’ve learned on this new journey, with you, so that you can celebrate and be joyful with me.

Have a great day! I hope you were encouraged!
Keep fighting the Good fight.

Bonnie Valley

“Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

TEARS | the explosive breakthrough

Hey! I’m alive!

Three weeks ago, I deleted all my social media connections (Facebook, Instagram, etc). I am social-media free (excluding vine and youtube). Since this transition, God has been revealing and healing very deep wounds. I feel my eyes are way more open to this huge healing process than they were when I had Facebook. All distractions out, and I can finally see how God is relentlessly working in my heart.

I have one specific story that gives you a glimpse of this unbelievable yet believable process.

Last Thursday, I went to a local heavy metal concert, featuring seven bands (Phinehas, Mirrors&Tides, etc) at the Hard Luck Bar. My friend invited me, so I tagged along.

(If you like heavy metal, I suggest Mirrors&Tides. https://mirrorsandtides.bandcamp.com/album/knowing)

A while before the date of this concert, a girl who knew about me, informed me of some very hurtful news that answered and confirmed so many of my questions, thoughts, and doubts in the last eleven months. Even though it made everything much clearer and the stories made more sense, the brokenness of being cheated on, again, is still heart-breaking.

I had a feeling I was being cheated on. After all, people who have been cheated on before, develop this crazy “cheating” instinct. I was ridiculed by the culprit and the friends… But I knew something was wrong. Deep down, I knew. In the end, I was right and all my questions were finally answered and put to rest, without me searching for the answers.

It still hurt deeply. Instantly, I emotionally shut down. I can easily turn emotionless. Instead of crying, I don’t show true, deep emotion. I don’t want to look weak, I don’t want to be fragile, and I want to look pretty okay. But nothing was okay…

My emotions were never okay… since depression started… Since my previous ex cheated on me… since this ex cheated on me… Since being bullied… Since putting on a “happy mask”… My emotions were broken. I realized I turned to my numbness so that I couldn’t feel the pain. All the deep pain.

All feelings went so numb to the point where I couldn’t feel the pain. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t break. I just stood still and motionless, in my heart. It was almost like my heart died. It was cold and death-like. I kept this up for as long as I could until it would go away or I’d forget about it.

I didn’t want to look stupid or weak. I’ve been moving on, healing and deeply emotionally improving… Now, this set-back. To be honest, I was doing really well until this girl messaged me. I just emotionally shut down from everything, and everyone.

So, fast-forward to this heavy metal concert. It was great. The music was pretty decent (Mirrors&Tides killed it. There. I said it again), met some cool people, had some sweet chats….

Here’s where this story really starts. It’s loud inside. Screaming. Yelling. Loud Drums. BASS. GUITAR. More screaming.

But in a sudden moment, the screaming turned quiet and muffled… It was weird. That’s when I knew…

“Here. Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening.”

The noise was so dim, and even though the bass bursted in my chest… It was quiet. It may sound crazy, but I know his gentle voice when I hear it. It quiets any type of earthly sound. “Bonnie, why are you so emotionally numb? Why do you hold back your tears so fiercely? I heal in the tears. I can heal you. You need to weep about your hurt to someone. Only then, will I be able to heal you in a more deeper way as we continue this process. Obey me.”

I knew I had to cry about it. I had to set a time with someone I trusted, to cry in front of them. Oh and guess what? I don’t cry in front of people. Nope. I’m too ashamed to cry to people, especially crying over my hurt.. I believed a lie that I had to bear my burdens and not burden anyone else.

But, I had to obey Him. I had to entrust my tears in a friend. But who?

Then, God put a special person on my heart. I texted her, “What are you doing tomorrow?” and she responded, “Crazy, I was about to text you to ask the same thing”. Alright. Now, we get the confirmation that she’s the right person to cry to. Cool. Scary, but cool. I told her specifically that I had to cry to her. “God opened my eyes and spoke to me in a heavy metal concert, that I have to really cry and feel the pain. He promised me he would heal me if I did this. I want this healing. So, I’m going by faith.”

The next day, she picked me up. I told her to drive me to a specific place close to my house, because I know it would trigger a lot of unfelt emotions. We stopped the car. We stayed in silence.

and then I wept with her…

I wept. The harder I wept, the more healing flowed in. It was so weird. The more God blessed me with healing, more tears flowed. I can’t explain it.

There was a very real mix of deep emotions. God revealed all the lies I believed that I wasn’t “pretty, skinny, or lovely enough” for that to be the reason of infidelity. God revealed all the truths in how he saved me from a life of misery and eventually death. I was rescued. In my tears, I realized how God empowered me to be strong enough to leave when I knew there was infidelity, emotional abuse, neglect and to trust God’s divine gift of discernment in me. God revealed that I am a DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH.. Special. Unique. Significant. Wonderful. Fearfully made.. and I was not worth being treated like anything less than that.. It was revealed that all the pain that I went through, was being used for GOOD, for HIS GLORY. I’m not dead because the work is not done. God revealed His faithfulness to the broken-hearted and in the tears, he really did bind up the wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

In my tears and through the encouragement of my friend sitting beside me in this car, God continuously blesses me with people who have lifted my heart up, prayed with me, encouraged, loved, and pursued me in this long heart-healing season story. In my tears, I truly felt my cold-frozen emotions thaw. I felt my emotions blossom into what I’ve been praying for. I was being transformed and renewed.. All because of tears.

And this was the final chapter. The tears were the confirmation that I was being healed. God made himself clear and loud with answered prayers of healing and moving on.

In the end of our tears, we prayed together. We prayed for the people who hurt us. We prayed that God would forgive them, and that we would forgive them. I made a firm decision to leave my past at this specific place. We prayed over new beginnings in our lives, new flowers that are blooming. We prayed for a brand-new renewal of loving someone new in our futures, without fear of intimacy. We cried happy tears. We praised the Lord.

Since that day, my emotions have been so restored that I’ve been crying with pure joy as I write this blog post. Infidelity hurts and that takes time for healing on its own, but I don’t replay it over and over again. I don’t go back, because I left it back at the specific spot where I wept. Isn’t that amazing? 

I’ve cried real tears of joy and real tears of sadness. I feel Christ is close and is NOT far. I can literally feel, almost touch God’s beautiful presence in the midst of this all, that I’m just brought to tears. I’ve been really seeing how God has ridiculously saved and protected my life from any more future harm. God fiercely preserved my life from all the suicide attempts to experience the new opportunities, friendships and walk through new and beautiful doors.

He protected my life so that I could be alive to witness all this profound healing that ONLY comes from Christ and the cross. I made it out alive. Boy, am I ever thankful.

Now, the work He has started is not finished. God is working in me, making my heart completely whole again. I want this for my future and I’m confident in faith that a whole, healed heart will be given. While I’m waiting, I’ll worship His faithfulness and beauty. He is faithful. He keeps promises. He loves relentlessly. He always protects, hopes and trusts.

I think that’s all praise-worthy.
I praise the Lord. Glory to God! All Glory goes to Him.

With love and joy,
Bonnie Valley

(Writer gives full permission to share this blog post)

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Spoken Word: I Will Wait For You.

Almost four years ago I watched a Spoken Word poem called “I Will Wait For You” by Janette…Ikz. I never really paid much attention to it since at the time I was in a relationship and I thought I was okay.
Today, I stumbled upon that same spoken word poem and I got so impacted. Who knew that four years later, I would be listening to my life being told back at me? Who knew that I would be listening to all my new convictions stated back at me through art? I know who knew all along; God.

It’s crazy how God uses old news to encourage us in the NOW, when we need to hear it most. This poem is pretty much the very words in my heart and part of my testimony spoken through someone else’s lips.

So, I want to share this, and hopefully it will encourage you like it has with me. Enjoy. The video is at the bottom of this blog post.
Bonnie Valley

“I Will Wait For you”

So it seemed,
that it was cool,
for everyone to be in a relationship but me.

So I took matters into my own hands
and… ended up with him.
him, who displayed the characteristics of a
cheater, a liar, an abuser, and a thief.

So why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac-arrested for
aiding and abetting,
’cause it was me who let him in,
claiming we were “just friends.”

It was already decided for me by the first date that
even if he wasn’t,
I was gonna make him “the One.”

You know… I was tired of being alone,
and I simply made up in my mind,
that it was about that time
so I decided to drag him along for the ride,
’cause I was always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

A
virgin in the physical,
but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat,
who was tired of the wait,
so I was gonna make him “the One.”

he had a… form of Godliness,
but not much.
But, but, hey, hey, I can change him,
so I’ll take him, I mean he’s close…
enough.

Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter,
not knowing the value of its use to me.
Arteries so clogged with my will,
it blocked His will from flowing through me.
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
that flatlined my obscured vision,
put me flat on my back.

Through my ignorance, He saw,
so through my sternum He sawed, and cracked open my chest
to transplant Psalms 51:10,
a new heart
and a renewed right spirit within.
So now, I fully understand,
better yet, I thoroughly comprehend,
how much I need to wait
for You.

See,
the bad thing is
that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning.
’cause in the beginning was the Word
and he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
and all he could whisper was
sweet,
empty
nothings–
which meant nothing!

He couldn’t even pray when I needed him to,
asking him to fast would be absurd,
so, forget about being cleansed and washed
with water through the Word.

But I know you,
you are already praying for me.
Even never having met me,
let me assure you,
I will wait
for you.

I will no longer date, 
socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you
to appease my boredom
or to quench my thirsty desire I have for attention and short-lived compliments
from ‘sorta kindas.’

You know, he ‘sorta kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name: Luke,
his last name: Warm.

Aye,
I won’t settle for false companionship.
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
attempting to find some closeness,
but never feeling so far, far apart
’cause, I just wanna be held.
♫ ‘Cause all I gotta do is say♫
“No!”

No more ‘almost sessions’ of
‘almost coming close’
passing winks & buying drinks,
and ♫I’ma,
I’ma,
I’ma flirt!♫
Who flirts with the ideology of,
“Can you just tell me how much I can get away with and still be saved?”

No more.

I’ll stay in my bed,
alone,
and write poems,
about how I will wait for You.

he won’t even come close,
our fingers won’t even interlock,
we won’t even exchange breath,
’cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.

I will no longer get weighted down,
from so-called friends and family talks,
about the concern for my biological clock
when I serve the Author of Time.
Who is not subject to time,
but I’m subject to Him.
He has the ability to stop, fast-forward, pause, or rewind at any given time.
So,
if we could role play,
you would be Abraham and I would be Sara,
or you can be Isaac and I can be Rebecca – a servant’s answered prayer.
I am
bone of your bone,
flesh of your flesh,
made up of your rib, Adam.

And once we meet,
like electrons, I will be bound to your nucleus,
completely indivisible
atom.

We even speak the same math:
1 + 1 + 1 = 3,
which really equals 1 if you add Him.

We were all created in His image,
but you have the ability to reflect, project, and even detect
the Son.
If I were to explain what you look like,
you would have to look like a star–
a sun of the Son.
I would gain energy simply from the light that you shine on me.
I would need you in order to complete my photosynthesis.
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis,
I will wait for you.

And I will know you
because when you speak,
I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
your faith will remind me of Abraham,
your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
your heart for God will remind me of David,
your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
and your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
but your ability to love selflessly and unconditionally will remind me of Christ.

But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews
or any special marks,
’cause His Word will be tatted all over your heart.

And you will know me,
and you will find me,
where
the boldness of Esther
meets the warm closeness of Ruth,
where the hospitality of Lydia
is aligned with the submission of Mary,
which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hannah.
I will be the one,
drenched in Proverbs 31,
waiting for you.

But to my Father,
my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,
only if You should see fit.

I desire Your will above mine.
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
my heart is content with You – the One who was sent.
You are the greatest love story ever told,
the greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge and I’m forever Your witness,
and I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.

I will always be Yours,
and I will always wait for You, Lord.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
I will wait.